The planning commission of any municipality or the county commission of any county or any 100 citizens by signed petition may apply to the Governor for the establishment of a region for planning purposes and the appointment of a regional planning commission for such region. The Governor shall hold at least one public hearing upon any such application or petition, the time and place of which he shall officially proclaim. If the Governor finds that by reason of urban growth and development not corresponding to existing municipal boundary lines or by reason of other developments or trends in the growth and distribution of population, commerce and industry or by reason of topographic or other conditions two or more separate municipalities or the territory of one or more municipalities and neighboring nonmunicipal territory have overlapping ping and interrelated or common problems of such nature as not to be capable of intelligent, economical and adequate solution by means of the separate planning of each separate political unit and require for such solution a general plan of the physical development of the entire area of such municipalities or territories as a whole and that, consequently, it is to the public interest that a region be established for planning purposes, he shall grant the application and shall define the boundaries of such region and appoint a regional planning commission.
As used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
(1) AUTHORITY. The public corporation organized pursuant to this article.
(2) BOARD OF DIRECTORS. The Board of Directors of the Alabama Revolving Loan Fund Authority.
(3) BONDS. The bonds issued under this article.
(4) GRANTEE. The several existing regional planning and development commissions, as provided for in Sections 11-85-50 to 11-85-73, inclusive.
(5) REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS. The monies provided by the sale of the bonds pursuant to this article. These monies may be combined with or used to facilitate access to either federal funds or foundation grants or loans, or to leverage private sector financing that may be available for initial or seed capital, long or short term fixed asset or equipment loans or working capital for local economic development projects for improving, developing, or financing new, existing, or expanding business or industry, to preserve or create employment pursuant to Section 41-23-50.
(6) STATE. The State of Alabama.
The Governor, or his or her designee, the Finance Director, the Lieutenant Governor, or his or her designee, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or his or her designee, the Chairman of the Regional Revolving Loan Policy Committee, and the President of the Alabama Association of Regional Councils, or his or her designee shall become a public corporation with the powers provided for in this article by proceeding according to Section 11-85-102.
(a) To become the public corporation authorized by this article, the Governor, the Finance Director, and the President of the Alabama Association of Regional Councils shall present to the Secretary of State of Alabama an application signed by the applicants listed in Section 11-85-101 which shall set forth all of the following:
(1) The name, official designation, and official residence of each of the applicants, together with a certified copy of the commission evidencing each applicant's right to office.
(2) The date on which each applicant was inducted into office and the term of office of each applicant.
(3) The name of the proposed public corporation, which shall be the Alabama Revolving Loan Fund Authority.
(4) The location of the principal office of the proposed corporation.
(b) The applicants may also include in the application any other matters which are not inconsistent with this article or with any of the other laws of the state.
(c) The application shall be subscribed and sworn to by each of the applicants before an officer authorized by the laws of this state to take acknowledgements to deeds.
(d) The Secretary of State shall examine the application and, if he or she finds that it substantially complies with the requirements of this section, he or she shall receive and file it and record it in an appropriate book of records in his or her office.
(a) When the application has been made, filed, and recorded as provided in this article, the applicants shall constitute a corporation under the name proposed in the application. The Secretary of State shall make and issue to the applicants a certificate of incorporation pursuant to this article, under the Great Seal of the State, and shall record the certificate with the application.
(b) There shall be no fees paid to the Secretary of State for any service rendered or work performed in connection with the authority, its incorporation, dissolution, or records.
(a) The applicants named in the application and their respective successors in office shall constitute the members of the authority. The Governor, or his or her designee, shall be the president of the authority; the Finance Director shall be the vice-president thereof; and the President of the Alabama Association of Regional Councils, or his or her designee shall be the secretary thereof. The State Treasurer shall be the treasurer of the authority, shall act as custodian of its funds until the allocations are disbursed to the several regional planning commissions pursuant to Section 11-85-109, and shall pay the principal and the interest on the bonds of the authority out of the funds provided for in this article. The members of the authority shall constitute all the members of the board of directors of the authority, and any four members of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Should any person holding a position named in this article cease to hold such office by reasons of death, resignation, expiration of term of office, or for any other reason, then his or her successor in office shall take his or her place as an officer and member of the board of directors of the authority. No officer or member of the board of directors shall draw any salary in addition to that now authorized by law for any service he or she may render or for any duty he or she may perform in connection with the authority.
(b) All proceedings had and done by the board of directors shall be reduced to writing by the secretary of the authority, shall be signed by at least four members of the authority present at the proceedings, and shall be recorded in a substantially bound book and filed in the office of the Secretary of State. Copies of such proceedings, when certified by the secretary of the authority, under the seal of the authority, shall be received in all courts as prima facie evidence of the matters and things therein certified.
The authority shall have the following powers:
(1) To have succession by its corporate name until dissolved as provided in this article.
(2) To institute and defend legal proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction and proper venue; provided, that the authority may not be sued in any trial court other than the courts of the county in which is located the principal office of the authority; provided further, that the officers, directors, and agents of the authority may not be sued for action on behalf of the authority in any trial court other than the courts of the county in which is located the principal office of the authority.
(3) To have and to use a corporate seal and to alter the seal at pleasure.
(4) To establish a fiscal year.
(5) To anticipate by the issuance of its bonds the receipt of the revenues appropriated and pledged in this article.
(6) To pledge the proceeds of the appropriations and pledges provided for in this article as security for the payment of the principal of and interest on its bonds.
(7) To contract with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to perform the administrative and recordkeeping functions necessary for the successful implementation of this article, which shall include but shall not be limited to the function delineated in Section 11-85-109.
(8) To appoint and employ such attorneys and agents as the authority may require to fulfill the corporate purposes of the authority and in exercising the foregoing powers.
The authority is authorized to sell and issue its bonds in the aggregate principal amount of twelve million dollars ($12,000,000) for the purpose of making grants to the twelve regional planning and development commissions, which shall be utilized by the grantees as revolving loan funds.
The bonds of the authority shall be signed by its president and attested by its secretary and the seal of the authority shall be affixed thereto or a facsimile of such seal shall be printed or otherwise reproduced thereon; provided, that a facsimile of the signature of one, but not both, of said officers may be printed or otherwise reproduced on any such bonds in lieu of being manually subscribed thereon and a facsimile of the signatures of both of the officers may be printed or otherwise reproduced on such bonds in lieu of being manually affixed thereof if the authority, in its proceedings with respect to issuance of the bonds, provides for manual authentication of such bonds. The State Treasurer shall be registrar, transfer agent, and paying agent for the bonds. The State Treasurer may designate named individuals who are employees of the state and who are assigned to the Finance Department or the State Treasurer's office to authenticate the bonds. Any bonds of the authority may be executed and delivered by it at any time and from time to time and shall be in such form or forms and such denomination or denominations and of such tenor and maturity or maturities, shall bear such rate or rates of interest, which may be variable rates, shall be payable at such times and evidenced in such manner, and may contain such other provisions not inconsistent herewith, all as may be provided by the resolution of the board of directors of the authority under which such bonds are authorized to be issued; provided, that no bond of the authority shall have a specified maturity date later than twenty years after its date. Any bond of the authority may be made subject to redemption at the option of the authority at such times and after such notice and on such conditions and at such redemption price or prices as may be provided in the resolution under which it is authorized to be issued; provided, that those bonds of the authority having specified maturity dates more than 10 years after their date shall be made subject to redemption at the option of the authority not later than the end of the tenth year after their date, and on any interest payment date thereafter, under such terms and conditions and at such redemption price or prices as may be provided in the resolution under which such bonds are authorized to be issued. Bonds of the authority may be sold at such price or prices and at such time or times as the board of directors of the authority may consider advantageous, either at public or private sale and by negotiation or by competitive bid. Bonds of the authority sold by competitive bid must be sold, whether on sealed bids or at public auction, to the bidder whose bid reflects the lowest true interest cost to the authority for the bonds being sold, computed from their date to their respective maturities; provided, that if no bid acceptable to the authority is received, it may reject all bids. The authority may fix the terms and conditions under which each sale of bonds may be held; provided, that such terms and conditions shall not conflict with any of the requirements of this article. Subject to the provisions and limitations contained in this article, the authority may from time to time sell and issue refunding bonds for the purpose of refunding any matured or unmatured bonds of the authority then outstanding. Such refunding bonds shall be subrogated and entitled to all priorities, rights and pledges to which the bonds refunded thereby were entitled. Provided, however, that no refunding bonds shall be issued unless the present value of all debt service on the refunding bonds, computed with a discount rate equal to the true interest rate of the refunding bonds and taking into account all underwriting discount and other issuance expenses, shall not be greater than 95% of the present value of all debt service on the bonds to be refunded, computed using the same discount rate and taking into account the underwriting discount and other issuance expenses originally applicable to such bonds, determined as if such bonds to be refunded were paid and retired in accordance with the schedule of maturities, considering mandatory redemption as a scheduled maturity, provided at the time of their issuance. Provided further, that the average maturity of the refunding bonds, as measured from the date of issuance of such refunding bonds, shall not exceed by more than three years the average maturity of the bonds to be refunded, as also measured from such date of issuance, with the average maturity of any principal amount of bonds to be determined by multiplying the principal of each maturity by the number of years, including any fractional part of a year, intervening between such date of issuance and each such maturity, taking the sum of all such products, and then dividing such sum by the aggregate principal amount of bonds for which the average maturity is to be determined. The authority may pay out of the proceeds of the sale of its bonds attorneys' fees and the expenses of issuance which the board of directors may deem necessary and advantageous in connection with the issuance of such bonds. Bonds issued by the authority shall not be general obligations of the authority but shall be payable solely out of the funds appropriated and pledged thereof in Section 11-85-108. As security for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds issued by it, the authority is hereby authorized and empowered to pledge for payment of such principal and interest the funds that are appropriated and pledged in Section 11-85-108 for payment of such principal and interest. All such pledges made by the authority shall take precedence in the order of the adoption of the resolutions containing such pledges; provided, that each pledge for the benefit of refunding bonds shall have the same priority as the pledge for the benefit of the bonds refunded thereby. All contracts made and all bonds issued by the authority pursuant to this article shall be solely and exclusively obligations of the authority and shall not constitute or create an obligation or debt of the State of Alabama. All bonds issued by the authority and the income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the state. Any bonds issued by the authority may be used by the holder thereof as security for any funds belonging to the state, or to any political subdivision, instrumentality, or agency of the state, in any instance where security for such deposits may be required by law. Unless otherwise directed by the court having jurisdiction thereof, or the document that is the source of authority, a trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, or one acting in any other fiduciary capacity may, in addition to any other investment powers conferred by law and with the exercise of reasonable business prudence, invest trust funds in bonds of the authority. Neither a public hearing nor consent of the Department of Finance of the state or any other department or agency shall be a prerequisite to the issuance of the bonds by the authority. The bonds issued under this article shall be legal investments for funds of the Teachers' Retirement System of Alabama, the Employees' Retirement System of Alabama, and the State Insurance Fund.
For the purpose of providing funds to enable the authority to pay at their respective maturities the principal of and interest on any bonds issued by it under this article and to accomplish the objects of this article, there is hereby irrevocably pledged to these purposes, and hereby appropriated the amount that may be necessary for those purposes from the receipts from the privilege or license tax on providers of cellular radio telecommunication services levied in Section 40-21-121.
(a) The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Planning and Economic Development Division shall perform the centralized administrative and recordkeeping functions for the authority. ADECA shall ensure that grantees utilize their allocations of grant monies efficiently and effectively as revolving loan funds, pursuant to Sections 41-23-50 and 41-23-51. The grantees shall provide to ADECA all information regarding the disbursements of revolving loan funds, terms and conditions of the revolving loans that are approved, jobs created, and other information deemed necessary by the authority to assess the respective revolving loan programs of the grantees. ADECA shall cause programmatic audits to be conducted on the utilization of revolving loan funds by grantees upon the request of the authority. ADECA shall recommend to the Regional Revolving Loan Policy Committee, defined in Section 41-23-51 a formula relative to the indirect cost of the Planning and Economic Development Division, to provide for the payment of the administrative and oversight requirements of ADECA pursuant hereto. The several regions shall contract with and pay ADECA an amount, at such times as necessary established by the formula agreed upon.
(b) ADECA shall not deduct from the net bond proceeds any administrative costs, service charges, salaries or fees for the performance of these functions on behalf of the authority.
(c) ADECA shall make grants of equal amounts to the twelve regional planning and development commissions, grantees, from the net proceeds derived from the sale of the authority's bonds within 30 days following the sale of the bonds.
Out of the revenues appropriated and pledged in Section 11-85-108, the State Treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to pay the principal of and the interest on the bonds issued by the authority under this article, as the principal and interest shall respectively mature, and the State Treasurer is further authorized and directed to set up and maintain appropriate records pertaining thereto.
At any time when no authority bonds or refunding bonds are outstanding, the authority may be dissolved upon the filing with the Secretary of State of an application for dissolution, which shall be subscribed by each of the directors of the authority and sworn to by each director before an officer authorized to take acknowledgments to deeds. Upon the filing of the application for dissolution, the authority shall cease to exist. The Secretary of State shall file and record the application for dissolution in an appropriate book of record in his or her office, and shall make and issue, under the Great Seal of the State, a certificate that the authority is dissolved, and shall record the certificate with the application for dissolution. Title to all property held in the name of the authority shall be vested in the state upon dissolution of the authority.
The regional planning commission shall consist of nine persons. Members shall be appointed for six years; except, that the respective terms of seven of the members first appointed shall be one year, two years, two years, three years, four years, four years and five years; provided, that, if at the time of his appointment the appointee is a public officer or in the public service of the state or any of its political subdivisions and his incumbency as such public officer or servant expires previous to the term for which he is appointed on the regional planning commission, then his term on the commission shall terminate with the expiration of his incumbency as such public officer or servant, unless it is extended by the Governor, in which case such extension shall be for the remainder of the term for which he was originally appointed. The members shall serve without compensation but shall be paid their necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. They may, after a public hearing, be removed by the Governor for inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office, and he shall file a written statement of his reasons therefor. Vacancies shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term.
When used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) GOVERNMENTAL UNIT. Counties and municipalities.
(2) GOVERNING BODY. The chief legislative body of a governmental unit.
(3) MUNICIPALITY. Such term shall include cities and towns.
(4) REGION. All the geographical area contained within the aggregate territorial limits of all governmental units participating in the establishment of a region for planning as provided in this article.
(5) ADVISORY PLANNING. Continuing and systematic studies of the land economics and land policies of a region in terms of social and economic betterment of said region, together with the submission of interim and final results of said systematic and continuous studies to the governing bodies of constituent governmental units for review, adoption, rejection or implementation thereof in whole or in part. Said term shall not be deemed, construed or held to include zoning or any other regulation of the use, disposition, alienation, ownership, improvement or change of any land or any structures thereon within any given region, whether said regulation is sought to be accomplished by way of ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation or any other enactment or action of whatsoever kind.
(6) COMPREHENSIVE ADVISORY PLANNING. Comprehensive studies of the present and future development of the land economics and land policies of a region, with due regard to neighboring regions and the state as a whole. Said term may include, but is not limited to:
a. Preparation, as a guide for long-range development, of advisory general physical plans with respect to the pattern and intensity of land use and the provision of public facilities, including transportation facilities, together with long-range fiscal plans for such development;
b. Advisory coordination of all related advisory plans and planned activities at both the intragovernmental and intergovernmental levels; and
c. Preparation of suggested regulatory or administrative measures in support of the foregoing for submission to the governing bodies of constituent governmental units for review, adoption, rejection or implementation in whole or in part as said units may elect.
The governing bodies of any two or more governmental units are hereby authorized and empowered to create and establish a region for advisory planning purposes and to constitute, create and establish a regional planning commission. Such joint creation and establishment of a region for planning purposes and of a regional planning commission shall be accomplished by ordinance or resolution separately adopted by the governing body of each governmental unit involved. Such ordinance or resolution shall be recorded in the minutes of the governing body of each such governmental unit.
(a) The membership of any regional planning commission created and established under this article shall be composed of not less than three representatives of each governmental unit participating in the creation of such. In addition to said minimum representation of three, each governmental unit shall be entitled to appoint one other representative for each 50,000 people residing within the geographical and territorial limits and bounds of such governmental unit according to the most recent federal census; provided, that any commission in which any county having a population in excess of 600,000 participates shall be constituted as follows: Each governmental unit shall have only one representative, except that any city having a population of more than 300,000 shall have 20 representatives, and each county having a population of more than 600,000 shall have 10 representatives; provided further, that any commission in which any county having a population between 300,000 and 500,000 according to the most recent federal census participates shall be constituted as follows: Voting representatives from each governmental unit in such number, not less than one for each unit, as shall be agreed upon between all the governmental units forming the region and participating in the regional planning commission on a basis of representation which will give relatively equal representation to each governmental unit according to percentage of its population and its financial contribution to the cost of the commission as related to the total population of the region and the total agreed operating cost of the commission, it being understood that the assessment of operating costs to the member governmental units will be based on the population and area of each such unit as related to the whole population of the region.
(b) Each governmental unit may designate to membership ex officio, and without vote its chief planning officer or chief engineer if it has either, but not both of said officials. The voting members of each such planning commission shall be appointed by the respective governing bodies of the respective governmental units participating. No member of any regional planning commission created under this article shall receive any compensation for his or her services rendered as a member of such regional planning commission, but each such member shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for his or her actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties as a member of such regional planning commission. Voting members of each regional planning commission created under this article shall be appointed for terms of four years. The terms of ex officio members shall expire with their incumbency in the offices by virtue of which they shall have been designated to membership on such regional planning commission. Vacancies occurring on any such commission shall be filled by the governing body of the governmental unit previously represented by the latest prior occupant of a particular vacant place on such commission.
Any regional planning commission established and created under this article shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To perform comprehensive advisory planning and research for the region for which such commission shall have been established and its urban areas or areas where rapid urbanization has occurred or is expected to occur, including those areas extending into adjoining states in instances and situations where such planning and related activities for such bi- or multi-state areas are now or hereafter may be authorized by compact or otherwise;
(2) To provide planning assistance, upon request duly evidenced by ordinance or resolution, to
a. Any city, other municipality or county;
b. Any group of adjacent communities, incorporated or unincorporated, having common or related urban planning or development problems; or,
c. Any other regional planning agency;
(3) To apply for and accept and utilize grants and assistance from the federal government or from any other public or private source which now or hereafter legally may make such grants or afford such other assistance;
(4) To contract with the federal government or with private or public sources which now or hereafter legally may contract as to such planning to receive advances or progress payments; and
(5) To adopt its own rules of procedure and order of business.
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to impair the right of eminent domain conferred on utilities, both public or private, or their right to exercise authority conferred by statutes, franchises, certificates of convenience and necessity, licenses or easements.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, the provisions of Sections 11-52-4, 11-52-5 and 11-52-6 relative to organization, rules, staff, finances, procedure and miscellaneous powers and duties of municipal planning commissions shall, so far as applicable, apply to regional planning commissions.
(b) The amount which a regional planning commission may expend in any year shall be such as may be determined by said regional planning commission, subject to approval by the Governor, who shall fix the proportion of such expenditure to be borne by the respective municipalities, counties and other taxing districts and political subdivisions within the region. The council or other governing body of each such municipality, the county commission of each such county and the appropriating body of each such taxing district or political subdivision within the region are hereby authorized to appropriate their respective shares of such expenditures. The sums so appropriated shall be paid into the treasury and shall be paid out on certificate of the regional planning commission.
Any regional planning commission is hereby authorized and empowered to make, adopt, amend, extend and add to a master regional plan for the physical development of its region. Such plan shall be based on comprehensive studies of the present and future development of the region with due regard to its relation to neighboring regions and the state as a whole and to neighboring states.
Such plan, including maps, charts, diagrams and descriptive matter, shall show the commission's recommendations for the physical development of the region and may include, among other things, the general location, extent and character of streets, parks and other public ways, grounds and open spaces, public buildings and properties and public utilities (whether publicly or privately owned or operated) which affect the development of the region as a whole or which affect more than one political subdivision of the state within the region, the general location of forests, agricultural and open development areas for purposes of conservation, food and water supply, sanitary and drainage facilities or the protection of future urban development and a zoning plan for the control of the height and area or bulk, location and use of buildings and premises and of the density of population.
Such master plan shall be made with the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the region and of public improvements and utilities which do not begin and terminate within the boundaries of any single municipality or which do not relate exclusively to the development of any single municipality and which will, in accordance with the present and future needs of the region and the state, best promote health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare, as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development.
(a) To facilitate the solution of urban and regional planning problems and to provide for comprehensive advisory planning, including transportation planning, for the state and its cities, counties, urban areas and regions, the Alabama Development Office, the various regional planning commissions presently authorized to be created, the various county planning commissions presently authorized to be created, the various joint planning commissions presently authorized to be created, municipalities and the various municipal planning commissions presently authorized to be created are each and all hereby empowered and authorized, within the respective geographical areas as to which planning power has heretofore been delegated to such respective office, commissions or other agencies to perform comprehensive advisory planning and research and other activities related thereto for urban areas and regions or areas where rapid urbanization has occurred or is expected to occur and to provide planning assistance, upon request duly evidenced by ordinance or resolution, to
(1) Any city, other municipality or county;
(2) Any group of adjacent communities, incorporated or unincorporated, having common or related urban planning or development problems; or
(3) Any municipal, county, joint, joint county, multicounty or regional planning agency.
(b) The Alabama Development Office, as well as each and all of the aforesaid other commissions and planning agencies, are hereby further authorized and empowered to perform comprehensive advisory planning and research and other activities related thereto for urban areas and regions or areas where rapid urbanization has occurred or is expected to occur, which said areas and regions extend into adjoining states, in instances and situations where such planning and other activities for such bistate or multistate areas is now or hereafter may be authorized by compact or otherwise.
(c) The Alabama Development Office, the various regional planning commissions presently authorized to be created, the various joint planning commissions presently authorized to be created, the various county planning commissions presently authorized to be created and the municipal planning commissions presently authorized to be created, as well as cities and other municipalities, counties and groups of adjacent communities (incorporated or unincorporated) having common or related urban planning or development problems are authorized for the purpose of this section to perform comprehensive advisory planning, to contract with the federal government and with any public or private sources which now or hereafter legally may contract as to such planning, to receive advances or progress payments and to contract with other planning agencies, public agencies and political subdivisions. Said office, planning commissions and other planning agencies are also authorized and empowered to apply for and to accept and utilize grants and other assistance from the federal government or from any other public or private sources which now or hereafter legally may make such grants or afford such other assistance.
(d) The term "comprehensive advisory planning" as used in this section shall mean comprehensive studies of the present and future development of the land economics and land policies of a region, with due regard to neighboring regions and the state as a whole. Said term may include, but is not limited to:
(1) Preparation, as a guide for long-range development, of advisory general physical plans with respect to the pattern and intensity of land use and the provision of public facilities, including transportation facilities, together with long-range fiscal plans for such development;
(2) Advisory coordination of all related advisory plans and planned activities at both the intragovernmental and intergovernmental levels; and
(3) Preparation of suggested regulatory or administrative measures in support of the foregoing for submission to the governing bodies of constituent governmental units for review, adoption, rejection or implementation in whole or part, as said units may elect.
The regional planning commission, after adopting the regional plan, shall certify a copy thereof to the Governor, to the planning commission of each municipality within the region, to the council of each municipality not having a planning commission, to the county commission of each county wholly or partly included in the region and to other organized taxing districts or political subdivisions wholly or partly included in the region.
When used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) GOVERNMENTAL UNIT. Counties and municipalities.
(2) GOVERNING BODY. The chief legislative body of a governmental unit.
(3) MUNICIPALITY. Cities or towns.
(4) REGION. All the geographical area contained within the aggregate territorial limits of all governmental units participating in a regional planning and development commission as provided in this article.
(5) DISTRICT. A geographical area designated by the Governor as provided in this article.
(a) The Governor may, from time to time as he deems appropriate and necessary, define and designate a state planning and development district by executive order.
(b) In defining boundaries of state planning and development districts, the Governor shall consult with the governmental units concerned and shall consider such factors as community of interest and homogeneity; geographic features and natural boundaries; patterns of communication and transportation; patterns of urban development; total population and population density; similarity of social and economic problems; boundaries of existing regional planning commissions and councils of government; existing state functional planning areas and the utility of proposed boundaries for provision of governmental services. Districts should be as large as practicable consistent with the above factors and except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, shall include at least three contiguous counties and contain a population of at least 100,000. No county shall be divided in forming a district.
(c) The Governor may change boundaries of districts as required to reflect changing conditions or otherwise to fulfill the purposes of this article observing the criteria and procedures stated in subsection (b) of this section.
(d) Any provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, the Governor may define and designate single county state planning and development districts within any county having a population between 93,000 and 100,000 persons according to the most recent federal decennial census.
(a) Generally. At any time subsequent to the designation of a state planning and development district pursuant to Section 11-85-51, governmental units within the district acting through their governing bodies by ordinance or resolution may adopt a written agreement for the formation of a regional planning and development commission and may petition the Governor to certify such a commission for a region located entirely within a state planning and development district and consisting of at least three contiguous counties and containing a population of at least 100,000. Governmental units so petitioning must represent at least a majority of the population within the proposed region. No county shall be divided in forming a region. The Governor may, after consultation with the governing bodies of the governmental units involved, amend petitions to include additional counties to assure that the objectives of this article are furthered and that no county or city will be precluded from participation in a regional planning and development commission.
(b) Bistate or multistate commissions. In case two or more governmental units determine that the geographical area embraced by such units, although not meeting the minimum criteria prescribed in subsection (a) of this section, is logically, for planning and development purposes, a part of a larger area which extends into an adjoining state or states, such governmental units may adopt an agreement for the formation of a regional planning and development commission and may petition the Governor to certify such commission for the proposed region. The Governor may, after consultation with the governmental units which are parties to the petition and after approval by him of an appropriate interstate agreement or compact certify the commission. In such case the Governor may authorize such deviations from the minimum requirements for area and population prescribed in Section 11-85-51 and subsection (a) of this section and the requirements for composition of the commission prescribed in Section 11-85-53 as may be necessary to conform to the interstate agreement or compact. No county shall be divided in applying the provisions of this subsection.
(c) Single county commissions. Regional planning and development commissions may be formed in any county having a population between 93,000 and 100,000 persons according to the most recent federal decennial census in the same manner as any other state planning and development district; provided, however, that the requirements for the formation of such districts and commissions with respect to the population and numbers of contiguous counties shall not be applicable to districts and commissions formed pursuant to this subsection. Regional planning and development commissions so formed may function in conjunction with contiguous regional planning and development commissions with respect to any project, plan, program or other activity which by necessity crosses county or state planning and development district boundary lines.
(a) All governmental units within the boundaries of a region which are parties to the agreement for the establishment of a regional planning and development commission shall be represented on the commission as provided in this section. The agreement may provide formulas and procedures under which smaller governmental units may select a common representative and larger units may select more than one representative, but there shall be at least one representative for each county and for each city of over 10,000 population. At least a majority of the representation of a commission shall be elected public officials of the participating governmental units. This section shall not apply to any counties which have formed any regional planning commissions.
(b) The terms and manner of selection and replacement of the commission representatives shall be specified in the agreement or, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, by ordinances or resolutions adopted by participating governmental units. Terms of representatives who are not elected officials shall be arranged to provide overlapping periods of service. The term of any representative serving in such capacity by virtue of elective public office shall expire with his incumbency in such office.
(c) The agreement shall include the formula by which participating governments will contribute to the financing of the commission and the procedure for amendment, for addition of other governmental units within the region which are not parties to the original agreement and for withdrawal from the agreement by a governmental unit and for dissolution of the commission.
(d) Any governmental unit included within the boundaries of a region but not a party to the agreement and petition shall not be represented on the commission nor be entitled as a matter of right to services provided by the commission until it joins the commission by appropriate official action as provided for in the agreement or the bylaws of the commission.
The commission shall elect a chairman and may elect an executive committee and other officers as necessary from among its membership. A commission may appoint such advisory committees as it may deem necessary.
Regional planning commissions certified pursuant to this article may receive state financial support if they meet requirements for state financial assistance, for financial controls and for reporting established by executive order.
A regional planning and development commission established pursuant to this article may perform the following:
(1) Carry on continuous, comprehensive planning for the region, assessing needs, resources, and development opportunities and formulating goals, objectives, policies, and standards to guide physical, economic, and human resource development.
(2) Prepare a regional plan consistent with state comprehensive planning and reflecting plans and programs of the participating governmental units which shall set forth policies for the development of the region in accordance with present and future needs and resources including policies for patterns of urbanization, for the use of land and resources for commerce, industry, recreation, transportation, forestry, and agriculture, for the development of human resources and for administrative measures in support thereof.
(3) Prepare an annual regional development program to implement the policies contained in the regional plan, which program shall contain an analysis of the current status of regional development in relation to the regional plan and prior regional development programs, a review of trends affecting regional development, schedules of major program expenditures and activities and capital improvements together with financing plans and recommendations for new programs or elimination or change of existing programs and for changes in administrative organization or procedures.
(4) Prepare and publish studies of the region's resources.
(5) Provide planning and technical assistance to governmental units and planning and development agencies within the region and coordinate regional planning activities with those of the state, of governmental units within the region and in neighboring regions, and with the programs of federal departments and agencies and regional commissions.
(6) Borrow money and apply for and receive grants-in-aid, contributions, and any other forms of financial or other assistance from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this article subject to applicable provisions of state law.
(7) Review and comment on applications by governmental units within the region for state or federal loans, grants-in-aid, or other financial assistance and indicate their relationship to the regional plan and development program and provide information regarding state and federal grants and assistance programs in the region.
(8) Adopt bylaws and issue rules and regulations for the conduct of its business.
(9) Make and enter into contracts and agreements.
(10) Acquire and dispose of real and personal property subject to applicable provisions of state law.
(11) Promote industrial and economic growth for the region by means of advertisement, recruitment, or by whatever method deemed appropriate and approved by the commission.
(12) Charge fees for services provided by the commission.
(13) Employ a director and other employees and consultants, prescribe their duties and fix their compensation.
(14) Perform other activities in furtherance of this article not inconsistent or contrary to state law.
(15) Determine the name by which the commission shall be called and certified.
(a) Commissions formed pursuant to this article shall have the authority to enter into joint planning agreements, contracts or programs with adjacent counties, municipalities situated in adjacent counties or adjacent regional planning and development commissions.
(b) If the Governor should determine that it is desirable to change the boundaries of regional planning and development districts which have been defined and designated pursuant to this article to include an adjacent county or counties within such district or districts, he shall have the authority to do so in the manner and form set forth in Section 11-85-51; provided, however, that the criteria or requirements set forth in subsection (b) of Section 11-85-51 with respect to population and numbers of contiguous counties shall not apply to a district designated by the Governor under the authority of this section, nor to any change in the boundaries of such district which the Governor may find to be desirable as provided in subsection (c) of Section 11-85-51.
State planning and development districts designated under this article and regional planning commissions established pursuant to this article shall, to the extent possible, be used as the basis for:
(1) State planning and programming;
(2) Proposing or designating areas for the purposes of administering programs which receive aid under federal acts which require districts; and
(3) Performing areawide planning including review and comment on projects, coordination and informational services for state and federal grant-in-aid programs.
The establishment and operation of any state planning and development district or regional planning commission designated or formed pursuant to this article shall not be affected by any subsequent changes in population so long as the county comprising such district and in which such commission is located met the requirements of this article at the time such district was designated or such commission was formed.
(a) Such plan may be adopted by the municipal planning commission of any municipality within the region to which it is certified by the regional planning commission. Such adoption shall be in accordance with the procedure specified in Sections 11-52-8, 11-52-9, and 11-52-10 for the adoption of plans by municipal planning commissions. When thus adopted, it shall thereupon have the same force and effect within such municipality as plans made and adopted by municipal planning commissions and shall be deemed an original municipal plan or an amendment of or addition to the municipal plan.
(b) Before adopting any amendment of the municipal plan which would constitute a violation of or departure from the regional plan certified to the municipal planning commission by the regional planning commission, the municipal planning commission shall submit such proposed amendment to the regional planning commission, which latter commission shall certify to the municipal commission its approval, disapproval or other opinion concerning the proposed amendment.
After the adoption of the regional plan by the regional planning commission, no street, park or other public way, ground or open space, public building or other public structure and public utility, whether publicly or privately owned or operated, shall be constructed or authorized in nonmunicipal territory within the region until the location, character and extent thereof shall have been submitted to and approved by the regional planning commission of the region. This prohibition shall not be interpreted as requiring the approval by the regional planning commission of any subdivision falling within the subdivision jurisdiction of a municipal planning commission as defined in Section 11-52-30, and duly approved by such municipal planning commission as provided in Section 11-52-32. In case of disapproval by the regional planning commission, such disapproval may be overruled by the board, commission, body or officer in which or in whom the power to finally determine such location, character and extent is reposed by law by a vote, in the case of any such board, commission or body, of not less than two thirds of its membership. A statement of its or his reason for any such overruling shall be spread upon the minutes or records of the board, commission, body or officer.
Those 12 bodies, organizations, or persons respectively acting and operating as regional planning and development commissions within their respective districts on May 29, 1985, and however created or established; by formation of nonprofit corporations, by various resolutions of local governments, or by agreements and/or compacts between local governments, or otherwise; are hereby ratified and confirmed as regional planning and development commissions under Sections 11-85-50 through 11-85-59.
The respective regional planning and development commissions ratified and confirmed by Section 11-85-70 shall henceforth continue to act and operate as regional planning and development commissions within their respective districts, and any governmental units within a particular district desiring to become a member of, and have representation on a commission within the district in which the governmental unit is located, shall pass resolutions or ordinances as applicable to accomplish that purpose and they shall thereupon become members of the commission within their respective district and shall be granted the respective representation on the commission as is provided by Section 11-85-53, provided they agree by appropriate resolution or ordinance, as applicable, to contribute to the financing of the commission in keeping with a formula of financing on a population basis in the same proportion as current members as established by the commission.
The regional planning and development commissions ratified and confirmed by this article as such commissions shall have such powers, rights, obligations and privileges as heretofore accorded to, and which might be hereinafter accorded to regional planning and development commissions under the laws of Alabama.
Regional planning commissions, business corporations, nonprofit corporations, and local entities as defined in Section 23-1-21.1, or as might be hereafter defined by amendment of such section are authorized and empowered to enter into contracts, jointly, separately, and severally with each other and/or with the State of Alabama, the federal government, and/or with their respective departments and agencies, for the purpose of receiving and disbursing state, federal and/or local governmental and private funds for programs established or which might be established as a result of federal, state, and/or local legislation, and to establish on a state or local level, operate and administer any such programs under the contract terms, provided the contract performance, the operation and administration of programs thereunder are in keeping with any such legislation and regulations thereunder. Any such contracts entered into prior to May 29, 1985, are deemed to have been executed with full power and authority.