The Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted unanimously Monday night to schedule a town meeting on changing the ordinance for the Conservation Commission to include language concerning the management and upkeep of historic buildings along with the preservation of the town’s open space. The change comes on the heels of the , which oversaw the , and put the property under the auspices of the Conservation Commission.
Because the current language for the Conservation Commission was adopted at a town meeting, the selectmen decided, on the advice of town counsel, to schedule a town meeting on the amended language. (See proposed amended text below with changes in bold and italics.)
The BOS has yet to set a date for the town meeting, as they will wait to bundle the action with another town meeting vote when one arises (such as ). According to First Selectman Bill Davidson, there is no statute on timeliness as to when the meeting must be held.
During a public hearing before the BOS meeting, former Gurski Commission member Elizabeth DeLambert asked the board whether there would be additional members added to the Conservation Commission to help with the added responsibility.
“The Conservation Commission has indicated that they can handle the new responsibilities with the staff they have,” Davdison said, noting that if portions of the proposed 2012-13 budget go unchanged, they will have less managerial duties, as the town’s facilities manager will be taking over management of the town’s various rental properties, most of which are on town-owned open space.
Amended Language for Conservation Ordinance:
The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
To supervise and control all designated open space, conserved land and dwellings and other structures upon those properties owned or controlled by the Town and to make rules and regulations for the use of said land and dwellings and other structures subject to the approval of said rules and regulations by the Board of Selectmen. To designate “historically significant” dwellings and other structures as such and to maintain such dwellings and other structures in accordance with The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. This applies to all properties, dwellings and structures under the supervision and control of the Conservation Commission.
To advise and consult with the Board of Selectmen, Planning Commission and Zoning Commission with reference to the acquisition of open space land and conserved land areas and to make recommendations to said Board and Commissions with reference to the impact, if any, which the development of land which is adjacent to open space or conserved land areas would have on said properties.
To advise and make recommendations to the Planning Commission, Zoning Commission and Inland Wetlands Commission regarding proposed land development and proposed changes in land use.
To expend, for the purposes set forth in this chapter, funds appropriated to it in the annual budget or any supplemental appropriation as well as to raise funds and apply for grants in connection with the purchase and/or maintenance of all open spaces and the dwellings and other structures therein.
To educate the public concerning conservation of land and the historic and agricultural heritage of Brookfield.