General Information

Section 23-13 Election of Officers

The Commission shall annually elect a chair, vice-chair, and secretary from among its members. Other offices may be elected as necessary. Officers shall serve for a period of one (1) year and until a successor is elected, and they may succeed themselves in office if so elected. (Ord. of 12-7-70, § 2; Ord of 5-21-18)

Section 23-14. Meetings; Records; Quorum Constituted

The commission shall hold regular meetings and shall designate the time and place thereof, and shall keep a record of all its proceedings. Meetings shall be called at the discretion of the chair or vice-chair. Four (4) members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. The commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities, submitting such minutes to the municipal clerk for filing, and shall also make an annual report to the municipality. The annual report must be written and submitted to the mayor and the city council by August 31st of each year relative to the work of the commission during the prior fiscal year, and submit such other reports as may be requested by the mayor and/or the city council from time to time. (Ord. of 12-7-70, § 3; Ord. of 12-21-87; Ord. of 12-21-87; Ord of 5-21-18)

Section 23-15 Powers & Duties

A. The Westbrook Recreation and Conservation shall:

i. Plan, develop and conserve open areas;

ii. Conduct research in conjunction with the Planning Board into the land area throughout the city, which research may include the development of land management plans.

iii. Prepare and keep an index of all "open areas" both publicly and privately owned, within the city, including swamps, and other wet lands, and waterways, for the purpose of obtaining information pertinent to the proper utilization, protection, development or use of such areas, and may recommend to the city council or any other municipal body, board or commission or any public agency of the state a program for the better protection, development or use of such areas, which may include the acquisition of conservation easements of land for city or area recreational purposes. Those duties found in 30-A M.R.S.A. Section 3261(2)(D) apply. As used in this subsection "open areas" mean any space or area the preservation or restriction of the use of which would maintain or enhance the conservation of natural or scenic resources, protect natural streams or water supplies, enhance the value to the public of abutting or neighboring parks, school grounds, forests, wildlife preserves, nature reservations or sanctuaries or other open areas or open spaces, affect or enhance public recreation opportunities, preserve historic sites, implement the plan of development adopted by the planning board or commission of any municipality and/or promote orderly urban or suburban development.

iv. Conduct those duties regarding the management of the City Forest as outlined in Chapter 15, City Forest.

v. Have such other powers and perform such other duties, in conjunction with the Planning Board, as may be necessary for the proper administration of the affairs of the commission.

B. The Westbrook Recreation and Conservation Commission shall have the power to:

i. Call upon any other department of the city government for assistance in performing its duties, subject to the approval of the Mayor, and it shall be the duty of such other departments to comply with the requests of said commission within the limits of its departmental budget.

ii. Conduct recreation activities on all city and school property in cooperation with City departments and the School Department.

C. The Westbrook Recreation and Conservation Commission may:

i. Acquire by purchase or gift land and/or conservation easements in the name of the city for any of the purposes set forth in this section, subject to the approval of the City Council. Furthermore, the Commission may recommend to the City Council that a parcel or parcels of land or easements therein be acquired by condemnation proceedings as authorized by state law, when in the opinion of the commission such land or easement should be acquired by the City for such conservation purposes but cannot be purchased from the owners thereof at fair market value.

ii. Seek to coordinate the activities of other conservation bodies organized for similar purposes.

iii. Serve in an advisory capacity to the City Arborist and applicable City departments concerning the effective management of forested lands and City planting programs and the development of a City street tree master plan as outlined in Chapter 15, Forest, and Chapter 32, Trees.

iv. Promote and encourage local environmental initiatives, such as education and encouraging the public with respect to environmentally sensitive lawn products, native landscaping, residential buffers to natural resources, water conservation and similar measures.

v. Assist various City departments with open area land planning and acquisition priorities.

vi. Encourage trail planning and promote connectivity of a City-wide trail system, with consideration of regional trails.

vii. Initiate critical environmental studies and projects. (Ord. of 12-7-70, § 4; Order of 5-21-2018)

Section 23-16 Recreation & Conservation Account; Budget

(a) The commission may solicit and receive federal and/or state grants of funds and private gifts or bequests to be used, principal or income, for municipal and area recreational and/or conservation purposes and all such funds shall be deposited with the city treasurer in a special city Recreation and Conservation account to be appropriated as recommended by the commission and approved by the city council.

(b) Funds received by the City in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Land Use Ordinance Sec. 502.6(A)(2) regarding fees in lieu of land shall be deposited into a special Recreation and Conservation account to be appropriated as recommended by the commission and approved by City Council. (Ord. of 12-7-70, § 5; Order of 5-21-2018)