[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh 11-13-1991 by L.L. No. 32-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of Greenburgh, in the face of population growth, urbanization and technological change, with their accompanying demands on natural resources, are found to be of increasing and vital importance to the health, welfare and economic well-being of present and future inhabitants and require forthright action by the governing body of the Town of Greenburgh. It is recognized that the biological integrity of the natural environment on which man is dependent for survival and the natural and functional beauty of our surroundings which affect the quality of our life experience cannot be protected without the full cooperation and participation of all the people of the Town working in partnership with local, state and federal officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a council for conservation of the environment is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. The chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.
There is hereby created for the Town of Greenburgh a Conservation Advisory Council, hereinafter referred to as the "CAC."
The CAC shall consist of seven members who shall be residents of the unincorporated area of the Town and shall be appointed by the Town Board. Each member shall be appointed for a two-year term, except that four initial appointees shall be appointed for one-year terms so that the terms shall thereafter be staggered. Vacancies on the CAC shall be filled in the same manner as for any other appointee, except that the replacement shall serve only for the unexpired term.
[Amended 11-22-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
The Town Supervisor, the Chairman of the Planning Board, the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works, the Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Town Attorney and other officials that may hereafter be designated by the Town Board shall be ex officio members of the CAC.
The Town Board shall designate a member of the CAC to act as Chairman thereof. The members of the CAC shall elect from among themselves a recording secretary, who shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report. The CAC shall adopt rules and regulations for its meetings.
No members of the CAC, including ex officio members, shall receive any compensation for their services as members thereof, but they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within appropriations which are made available therefor.
The powers and duties of the CAC shall be to:
Advise the Town Board on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the Town insofar as scenic and aesthetic qualities, geological, biological and hydrological integrity and other environmental factors are concerned and, in the case of human activities and developments, with regard to any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the environment.
To this end, the CAC shall receive copies of any application submitted to the Town Board or any administrative agency thereunder which seeks approval for the use or development of any open area listed in the open space index. Copies of any environmental assessment form(s) shall be included with the application. Additionally, the CAC shall be provided with such other information as it may reasonably request from time to time.
Within 45 days after receiving copies of the application, the CAC shall submit a written report to the appropriate body. This report shall examine, evaluate and make recommendations regarding the proposed use and its effect on the environment.
Develop and conduct a program which shall be designed to increase understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solutions in the community.
Conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Town and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter. The CAC shall prepare and maintain an open space plan and index and a natural resources inventory.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Town in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Maintain liaisons and communications with public and private agencies and organizations of local, state and federal scope whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the CAC.
Prepare, print and distribute and obtain and maintain books, maps, charts, reports, pamphlets and other publications in accord with this chapter and to assist the Council in researching local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the Town Board, the CAC may accept, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Town of Greenburgh as may be necessary to conserve, protect and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Town. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights or as any lesser interest, development right, easement, including conservation easement, covenant or other contractual right, including a conveyance with limitations or reversions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board.
The CAC shall submit an annual report, in writing, to the Town Board, not later than the first day of April of each year, concerning the activities and work of the CAC and from time to time shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.