Regional Planning Councils

 

In 1980 under the Florida Regional Planning Council Act, Florida established ten regional planning councils across the state. Initially, the councils were formed by interlocal agreement as early as the 1960s before the Regional Planning Council Act took effect. Every county in Florida was assigned to a council and required to serve as members of their RPCS. RCPS include local elected officials (counties and municipalities) and gubernatorial appointees.

 

 

The purpose of the formation of Regional Planning Council across the state was to create unified councils to assist local governments with resolving common problems with a regional focus and to participate in comprehensive and functional planning while partnering with their surrounding counties. Under 186.505, F.S., RPC’s have many functions including serving as an advisory body for regional planning matters, conduct studies of resources in their regions, provide technical assistance for growth management matters, to coordinate and review transportation developments in the region to represent the local government voice in statewide agency plans, and many more consulting services. For over forty years, RPCs have served to create a bridge between local and state as “Florida’s only multipurpose regional entity on greater-than-local-issues.”

 

This Session, SB 62- Regional Planning Councils would eliminate Florida’s regional planning councils from Florida Statute, thereby removing the requirement for all counties to participate in their respected RPCs. The removal of RPC’s from state law, would mean the loss of state and local partnership and the local advisory role that was created through RPCS to tackle issues facing Floridians, from transportation, regional planning, housing, agriculture, and emergency planning. Councils encourage citizens to be actively engaged in the planning process, further connecting the state to local problems and implementing stronger regional solutions.  Furthermore, RPCs bring in state and federal grant funds to conduct research and projects to enhance their communities. While RPC’s would no longer be state mandated, government entities may independently create regional planning entities through interlocal agreements as originally formed.

 

 

FAC Contact: 

For additional information, please contact Sara Henley at shenley@fl-counties.com.