Takoma Park, MD Establishing the Committee of the Environment as a Statutory Committee

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Takoma Park, MD, US

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Type: Ordinance

Status: Adopted on 4/25/05

Vote: Unanimous

Source File: http://www.takomaparkmd.gov/clerk/ordinance/2005/or200509.pdf



WHEREAS, the City Council established the Committee on the Environment in April, 1992, to provide advice, assistance and guidance to the Council on matters related to environmental protection and preservation; and

WHEREAS, the Committee on the Environment (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”) has been active since its creation and has worked on many and various projects including creating the annual Arbor Day celebration and Adopt-A-Tree program, producing a Local Action Plan for Greenhouse Gas Reduction funded in part by the US Environmental Protection Agency, promoting energy conservation in City buildings, coordinating Energy Workshops, preparing a successful grant application for solar hot water heaters, developing Green Building Guidelines approved by Council, promoting tree health and preservation and coordinating a Tree Care Workshop, supporting and encouraging good land stewardship and the City’s acquisition of open space lands for habitat preservation, encouraging and promoting healthy watershed functioning, and served to provide technical support for other City efforts such as the Master Plan Advisory Group, the West Nile Virus Task Force, and the Municipal Energy Authority Task Force; and

WHEREAS, the Committee is currently treated as a non-statutory committee with original members appointed by Council and subsequent members approved within the Committee; and

WHEREAS, recognizing the permanent nature and long term objectives of the committee, the City Council desires to establish the Committee as a statutory council-established committee.


SECTION 1. Title 2, Chapter 2.16, of the Takoma Park Code is amended to add a new Article 7, Committee on the Environment, as follows:

Article 7. Committee on the Environment

2.16.180 Committee established.
There is hereby established a Takoma Park Committee on the Environment which shall serve in an official advisory/approval role to the City Council on all matters related to environmental protection and preservation.

2.16.200 Statement of purpose.
The purposes of the Committee shall be as follows:

A. To advise the City Council on all environmental issues, including but not limited to, tree protection, open space conservation, biodiversity, watershed functioning, energy use and conservation, and recycling.

B. To review and provide advice on City actions that affect environmental quality, preferably prior to implementation. The Committee may review any work within the City which it has reason to believe may impact environmental quality. This includes resolutions, legislation, regulations, policy, guidance, administrative actions, plans, and program activities that may affect environmental quality.

C. To educate Takoma Park residents, businesses, and County government on environmental issues and encourage Takoma Park residents, businesses, and County government to choose environmentally beneficial or non-harmful alternatives when available to protect the environment, reduce energy use and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

D. To convey citizen views on environmental issues to Council and City staff.

E. To work with City staff on environmental issues and projects.

2.16.210 Committee and Council collaboration, membership, terms of office, structure, and staffing.

A. Committee and Council Collaboration. The City Council recognizes the need to build environmental considerations into a broad array of City operations and activities. To this end, the Committee will offer advice and counsel as soon as practicable on each applicable issue and will maintain an open dialogue with Council and citizens.

B. Membership. The Committee shall consist of between seven (7) and eleven (11) persons to be appointed by the Council. Efforts shall be made to have representation from a variety of scientific, technical, and environmental policy disciplines, outreach skills related to environmental science, and with a variety of organizational talents. Members shall attempt to assess environmental issues and protect the environment across the entire City without political bias. Candidates are encouraged to attend meetings and volunteer with the Committee prior to appointment.

C. Terms of Office. Committee members shall serve renewable three (3) year terms with initial appointments of one, two and three years. All terms shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30. Midterm vacancies will be filled as needed.

D. Structure.

1. The Committee shall organize to accomplish its purposes, and elect from its members a Chair and other officers as it shall deem necessary.
2. The Committee shall meet at least quarterly or as often as required to fulfill its responsibilities.
3. All meetings shall be open to the public and are subject to the Maryland Open Meetings Law. Meeting notices and agendas shall be prepared and submitted to the City Clerk and posted in advance of any Committee meeting in accordance with state law. Written records of Committee proceedings shall be maintained. An oral or written report on the activities of the Committee shall be submitted to the Council at least once a year.
4. A Committee meeting shall not be an “official” meeting unless a majority of the members are present.

E. Staffing and Resources. The City Manager or his or her designee shall provide appropriate staff support and funding to support the Committee’s activities. The City Manager shall make available City communication vehicles to the Committee, such as the newsletter, website, and cable television programming as needed.

2.16.220 Duties and Responsibilities of the Committee.
The Committee shall advise and assist the Council in developing and implementing policies to protect and preserve the environment in Takoma Park. In furtherance of these duties, the Committee shall attempt to accomplish the following:

A. Assist the Council in the development of policies and programming that address the environmental concerns of the community.

B. Proactively promote environmental issues and projects based on the technical expertise of Committee members.

C. Assist the Council in technical and policy direction and in setting priorities for environmental projects.

D. Review and provide advice on any City actions, prior to, during, and after implementation, that it has reason to believe may affect environmental quality. These actions include resolutions, legislation, regulations, policy, guidance, administrative actions, plans, and program activities that may affect environmental quality. The Committee shall make recommendations or give direction for alternatives to change City actions to actions that are likely to improve environmental outcomes.

E. Educate Takoma Park residents on environmental issues and actions to promote environmental quality.

F. Keep abreast of what other communities are doing to promote environmental protection and preservation.

G. Prepare an annual report to the Council on the activities of the Committee and provide additional briefings as needed.

SECTION 2. The term expiration chart set forth in Section 2.16.010.C of the Takoma Park Code for membership of statutory Council-appointed committees is amended to add the Committee on the Environment as follows:

  • Committee - Committee on the Environment (§ 2.16.180 et seq.)
  • Term Length (Years) - 3
  • Expiration - June 30

SECTION 3. This Ordinance shall be effective on July 1, 2005.