[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cheektowaga as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Meeting Attendance and Training
[Adopted 8-18-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003]
This article shall be titled "A Local Law to Provide Minimum Requirements for Meeting Attendance and Training for Members of the Town of Cheektowaga Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PLANNING BOARD
- Planning Board of the Town of Cheektowaga.
- Town of Cheektowaga.
- TOWN BOARD
- Town Board of the Town of Cheektowaga.
- TOWN CLERK
- Town Clerk of the Town of Cheektowaga.
- ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
- Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Cheektowaga.
The Town Board finds that appropriate attendance at meetings and training of Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board members are essential.
The State of New York has recognized the importance of both meeting attendance and training in its recent amendments to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals statutes (§§ 271 and 267, respectively, of the Town Law).
It is the purpose of this article to encourage Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board members to attend their respective Board meetings and to obtain training to enhance their ability to carry out their duties under law. The Town Board is prepared to pay the costs associated with meeting attendance and such training as provided for in the Town's budget.
It is also the purpose of this article to establish required minimum meeting attendance along with training and continuing education course requirements for such members.
All members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board shall be required to attend a minimum of 75% of their Board meetings scheduled within a calendar year.
Noncompliance with minimum requirements relating to attendance at meetings shall be deemed a proper cause for removal from office.
Each member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board shall complete, at a minimum, four hours of training each year designed to enable such members to more effectively carry out their duties. Training received by a member in excess of four hours in any one year may be carried over by the member into succeeding years. Any new member appointed to fill the last five months of a given year shall complete, at a minimum, two hours of training in such year; afterwards, he/she shall complete, at a minimum, four hours of training in subsequent years.
[Amended 5-4-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
Noncompliance with minimum requirements relating to training shall be deemed a proper cause for removal from office.
The costs of such seminars, workshops or continuing education courses so designated shall be a Town charge. Members shall also be reimbursed for travel and meal expenses according to Town policies. Such training sessions shall be approved in advance by the Town Board.
[Amended 5-4-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
The following list of agencies, commissions, associations, universities and other organizations are approved to provide training to meet the state requirements when the training they provide pertains to municipal planning, zoning, community design, environmental issues, economic development and local government functions and practices:
The NYS Department of State; Department of Agriculture and Markets; Office of the State Comptroller; Department of Health; Department of Transportation; Department of Environmental Conservation; Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Hudson River Valley Greenway; and
The New York State Association of Towns; the New York Conference of Mayors; the New York State Association of Counties; the New York Planning Federation; the American Planning Association; the Upstate New York Chapter of the American Planning Association and its sections; and the Metro New York Chapter of the American Planning Association and its sections; and
The Capital District Regional Planning Commission; Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board; Herkimer-Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning and Development Board; Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board; Long Island Regional Planning Board; Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board; Southern Tier East Regional Planning Development Board; Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board; Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council; Hudson Valley Regional Council; Tug Hill Commission; and Adirondack Park Agency; and
The New York State Planning Federation and subsections thereof; Erie County Department of Environment and Planning; and Erie County Soil and Water Conservation Districts; and
The Albany Law School Government Law Centre and Institute for Legal Studies; Pace Law School; Cornell University and its Cooperative Extension; State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning; and
On-line planning and zoning training programs offered by the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal; Pace University and Land Use Law Center; and the Lincoln Institute of Land Use Policy.
The Town Board may, from time to time, by resolution, approve additional or specific training which is deemed acceptable training under this article. Other training activities may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Town Board upon the request of a Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals member.
It shall be the responsibility of each Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board member to verify and prove that the training he/she attends is acceptable training under this article and New York State.
Each Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board member shall, within a reasonable time after attending the prescribed training, file a certificate of attendance and other proof of attendance verifying such training with the Coordinator of Employee Relations and the Chairperson of his/her board.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the failure of a member of the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals to attend the required percentage of meetings or obtain such training shall not affect said person's appointment to serve on such Board, to entertain applications, and to vote on such applications, or the validity of such member's actions.
[Amended 5-4-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
The Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Chairperson of the Planning Board shall notify the Town Board and the involved Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board member, in writing, on or before October 1 in each year, of any member who fails to comply with the minimum requirements for meeting attendance and/or training in any calendar year. In the event a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board fails to complete the minimum attendance and/or training requirements set forth in this article, then the Town Board may remove such member for cause as herein provided.
Public hearing. Such notice shall specify a date, not less than 10 nor more than 30 days from the date of mailing such notice, when the Town Board shall convene and hold a public hearing on whether or not such member should be removed from service on such Board. Such notice shall also specify the time and place of such hearing.
Public notice. Public notice of such hearing shall be published in a paper of general circulation within the Town at least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing.
Conduct of hearing. The public hearing on the charges shall be conducted before the Town Board. The member shall be given an opportunity to present evidence and to call witnesses to refute the charges. A record of such hearing shall be made. The decision of the Town Board shall be reduced to writing, together with specific findings of the Town Board with respect to each charge against such member. Findings shall be filed in the Town Clerk's office and mailed to the member within five business days of such filing by certified mail, return receipt.
Action by the Town Board. Following the hearing and upon a finding that a member has not met the minimum meeting attendance and/or training established by this article, the Town Board shall remove such member from the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board (by a majority vote of the entire board).
[Added 5-4-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
The Personnel Office/office of Coordinator of Employee Relations of the Town of Cheektowaga shall forward a copy of this article to any and all newly appointed members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board within a reasonable period after his/her/their appointment.
Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to limit or restrict the Town Board's authority to remove a member from the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board for cause (i.e., for other than the reasons enumerated herein). The procedural provisions of § 27-8, Procedure for removal of members, shall govern any hearing to remove a member for cause.
This article shall apply to all members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board regardless of the date of their appointment to such Board.