Authority and duties
This Board was established by the Board of County Commissioners through adoption of Escambia County Ordinance No. 88-15. Ordinance 2004-9, adopted 02-05-2004, made changes as stated: Pursuant to, and in accordance with, F.S. 163.3174 and Section 2.01 of the Escambia County Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Board is established as the local planning agency (LPA) of Escambia County for the purposes established by Florida Statutes and additionally prescribed in the LDC. Accordingly, Planning Board members shall be informed and knowledgeable of the current conditions and development of the county. Board members shall also be familiar with county land development regulations, contemporary planning practices, and the rules of quasi-judicial proceedings. The board shall take action on all matters according to the requirements of the LDC, other applicable county ordinances, and state regulations as may be initiated by the board itself, the County Administrator or the BCC. The Planning Board has the authority and duty for:
- Comprehensive planning. Prepare the Escambia County Comprehensive Plan or plan amendments, hold public hearings on the proposals, and make recommendations to the BCC regarding adoption. Additionally, monitor and oversee the status and effectiveness of plan implementation and recommend to the BCC any plan changes as maybe necessary.
- Land development regulation. Hold public hearings to review all proposed text amendments to the LDC and make recommendations to the BCC regarding approval, particularly as to consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and other provisions of the LDC.
- Quasi-judicial hearings. Hold quasi-judicial public hearings on proposed zoning map amendments (rezoning), vested rights, and planned unit developments (PUD), to review the established record of evidence in support of LDC criteria and make recommendations to the BCC regarding approval, particularly as to consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and LDC.
- Appointment. Each of the five County Commissioners shall appoint one member, and the BCC as a whole shall appoint two “at large” members. All seven will be voting members and must be approved by a majority vote of the BCC. The Escambia County School Board shall appoint one ex officio member and the commanding officers of NAS Pensacola and NAS Whiting Field shall jointly appoint a second ex officio member. These two nonvoting members will provide the school district and military installations with the representation prescribed by Florida Statutes and interlocal agreement.
- Qualification. All appointees of the BCC must reside within Escambia County and none shall be a paid or elected employee of the county. All persons seeking appointment shall furnish a resume or curriculum vitae to the County Administrator and BCC demonstrating their qualifications to serve.
- Terms of service. Each member appointed by an individual commissioner shall serve a four-year term concurrent with their appointing commissioner, and the two at large members shall serve two-year staggered terms. The school board and Navy representatives shall serve until replacement by their respective appointing authorities.
- Removal and replacement. Any member appointed by an individual commissioner may be removed from office during his term by that commissioner, and any at large member may be removed by a majority vote of the BCC. Any voting member absent from four or more meetings within a 12-month period shall be removed by the BCC unless the absences are reported by the Planning Board chair as beyond the control of the absentee. The school board and Navy may replace their appointed representatives at any time and for any reason they determine appropriate. Any vacancy occurring during an unexpired term of a member shall be filled for the balance of the term according to the appointment and qualifications provisions applicable to that member.
- Officers. The voting members shall elect a chair and vice-chair from among themselves. Terms of the offices shall be for two years, with eligibility for reelection.
- (1) The board shall hold regular meetings for the consideration of business. Special meetings may also be held as the members may determine necessary, or at the call of the chair or Planning Official. All meetings shall be public and adhere to Florida Sunshine Law requirements.
- (2) Quorum and vote. At least four of the seven voting members must be present to hold a meeting, and a majority vote of those present is required for any official action to be taken at the meeting.
- (3) Procedure. The Planning Board shall follow its adopted rules of procedure for the transaction of its business consistent with the compliance review processes of the LDC and any other applicable county or state requirements. Any questions of order or procedure not covered by these rules shall be decided according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, as applicable.