Sample Municipal Ordinance

Municipal Ordinance
Article ####

Sec. * -***. Conservation commission

(a) See the Chapter, Article ##, Section *#

(b) Created, purpose, duties, powers. There is created a conservation commission, the purpose of which is to promote and develop the natural resources, to protect the watershed resources and to preserve natural aesthetic areas of the town. Such commission shall conduct research into its local land areas and shall seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its work. It shall make and keep an index of all open spaces within the town publicly or privately owned including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands for the purpose of obtaining information on the proper use of such areas. It may recommend to municipal councils, boards or agencies a program for the better promotion, development, utilization or preservation of open areas, streams, shores, wooded areas, roadsides, swamps, marshlands and natural esthetic areas. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and actions, and shall file an annual report with the town council. It shall have the power to appoint, subject to any personnel procurement program ordained by the town, clerks, and other employees it may from time to time require.

(c) Members. The conservation commission shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the town administrator with the approval of the town council. The members of such commission shall be appointed for three-year terms, except the initial appointments of the members shall be as follows: Two (2) members for one (1) year; two (2) members for two (2) years; one (1) member for three (3) years; one (1) member for four (4) years; and one (1) member for five (5) years. At the first meeting of the commission, the members shall elect a chairman, a vice-chairman, and shall organize such subcommittees, as they shall deem necessary for the performance of their duties. In the event of a vacancy, interim appointments may be made by the appointing authority to complete the unexpired term of such position. Duly incorporated and existing wildlife, conservation, sportsmen’s, horticultural or like organizations may present to the appointing authority a list of qualified citizens, from which lists the appointing authority must select at least three (3) members of the commission and from which lists the appointing authority may select the remainder.

(d) Finances. The conservation commission may receive gifts of funds, lands, buildings or other properties in the name of the municipality and may also acquire by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise, lease or otherwise the fee in such lands or water rights or any lease interest, development right, easement, covenant or other contractual right, including conveyances, and there- after shall manage the same in accordance with the purposes set forth above. However, nothing herein shall be construed to deny to the people access to said lands for all legitimate purposes or to restrict free access to said lands, or to any other land held by or for the town for recreational purposes.

(e) Meetings and records open. All meetings of the conservation commission shall be open to the public and any person or his duly constituted representative shall be entitled to appear and be heard on any matter before the commission before it reaches its decision. All records of the proceedings, resolutions and actions shall be open to public view.

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