The Emerald Coast Regional Council (formerly the West Florida Regional Planning Council) was reorganized as of January 1, 1987, under Chapter 186, Florida Statutes. The Council functions as the official regional planning council (RPC) as defined in Chapter 186 of the Florida Statutes, and as the regional planning agency (RPA) as defined in Chapters 23, 163, and 380, Florida Statutes. As the regional council, it serves Florida’s seven most western counties (Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington) that comprise Planning District 1. The growth management responsibilities under the ECRC include: strategic regional policy plans, review local government comprehensive plan amendments & evaluation and appraisal reports, review developments of regional impact, implement the regional dispute resolution process, local emergency planning committee & hazardous materials planning, state planning efforts, technical assistance & public information, and intergovernmental coordination and review.
The members of the ECRC consists of two voting representatives (shall be County Commissioners selected from individual counties) from Escambia, Okaloosa and Bay Counties as appointed by their respective Board of County Commissioners. The Cities of Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City shall each have one voting representative on the Council appointed by their respective City Council or Commission and shall be City Councilmen or Commissioners. Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington and Holmes Counties shall each have one voting representative on the Council appointed by their respective Board of County Commissioners. The principal city within each county shall be entitled to one voting representative on the Council appointed by their respective City Council.