[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ocean Beach 4-14-1979 by L.L. No. 2-1979 as Article XX of the 1951 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 12-3-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Village of Ocean Beach, 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 to require forthright action by the governing body of the Village of Ocean Beach. It is recognized that the biologic integrity of the natural environment on which man is dependent for survival and the natural and functional beauty of our surroundings which condition the quality of our life experience cannot be protected without the full cooperation and participation of all the people of the village working in partnership with local, state and federal officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of an Environmental Commission is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
Editor's Note: This local law also changed the title of this chapter from Conservation Commission to Environmental Commission.
[Amended 12-3-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005]
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Ocean Beach hereby creates a Commission which shall be known as the "Ocean Beach Environmental Commission," hereinafter called the "Commission."
[Amended 12-12-1981 by L.L. No. 8-1981; 8-9-1997 by L.L. No. 11-1997]
The Commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees for staggered two-year terms, and the remainder shall be ex officio members as provided herein. Members appointed at the time of any increase in membership may be appointed for a term of less than two years to permit staggering of terms. Persons residing within the Village of Ocean Beach who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as members of the Commission. Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that a vacancy occurring other that by expiration of the term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
One or more members of the Village Board, the Chairman of the Planning Board, Village Administrator, the Village Attorney and other officials that may be hereafter designated by the Mayor and the Board of Trustees shall be ex officio members of the Commission.
The Mayor shall designate a member of the Commission to act as Chairman thereof. At the first meeting of the Commission its members shall elect from among themselves a Recording Secretary. The Commission shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 10-6 of this chapter.
The powers and duties of the Commission shall be to:
Advise the Board of Trustees on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and manmade features and conditions of the village insofar as quality, biologic integrity, beauty and other environmental factors are concerned. In the case of man's activities and developments, advise on any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people of the village.
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the Board of Trustees, conduct a program of public information in the community which shall be designed to foster increased understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solutions.
Conduct and maintain an inventory of the natural resources within the Village of Ocean Beach.
Maintain an up-to-date index of all open spaces as defined in § 239-y of the General Municipal Law, in public or private ownership within the municipality, including but not limited to natural landmarks; geomorphic or physiographic features; streams and their floodplains; swamps, marshlands and other wetlands; unique biotic communities; and scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value. Such index shall include the ownership and present and proposed uses of such open areas, so as to provide a base of information for recommendations by the Commission for their preservation and/or use.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Village of Ocean Beach in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Maintain liaison and communications with public and private agencies and organizations whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the Commission.
Working in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Board of Trustees features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Village of Ocean Beach and, similarly, recommend to the Board of Trustees appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws relating to environmental and land use controls or recommend new local laws and ordinances.
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Commission into local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Ocean Beach, the Commission may accept by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Village of Ocean Beach, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Village of Ocean Beach. 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 conveyance with limitations or reversions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Board of Trustees, including but not limited to assisting the Board of Trustees with compliance with state and federal environmental laws.
The Commission shall keep accurate records of its meetings and actions and shall submit an annual report to the Board of Trustees not later than the 31st day of December of each year, concerning the activities and work of the Commission. From time to time the Commission shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purpose of this chapter.
The members of the Commission, including ex officio members, shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof but may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within the appropriations made available therefor.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Village of Ocean Beach to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporations.