The Pensacola City Council members are also members of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency. However, they are two distinct legal entities under Florida law. A council vote is not a substitute for a CRA vote.
When the CRA meets, it cannot vote on matters outside of its defined geographical area. For instance, the council approved the VT MAE deal at the Pensacola International Airport, not the CRA because the airport is not in the CRA district.
Conversely, the CRA is the body that bid out the Hawkshaw property and approved its buyer. Once the CRA took the action, the city council held another public hearing on the matter and voted on the sale and development agreement. Florida law prevented the mayor’s office from skipping the CRA steps.
Florida Statute 163.356 Creation of community redevelopment agency.—
(1) Upon a finding of necessity as set forth in s. 163.355, and upon a further finding that there is a need for a community redevelopment agency to function in the county or municipality to carry out the community redevelopment purposes of this part, any county or municipality may create a public body corporate and politic to be known as a “community redevelopment agency.”