Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 17, 2017

FL AG Finds Incompatible Simultaneous Service on the Planning and Zoning Board and the County Historic Preservation Board

William Gallo, who was appointed to serve on both the City of Lighthouse Point Planning and Zoning Board and the Broward County Historic Preservation Board, asked the Attorney General of the State of Florida whether this simultaneous appointment would violate the Florida Constitution’s prohibition against dual office-holding. The Attorney General answered in the affirmative, citing to the relevant section of the Constitution that provided “[n]o person shall hold at the same time more than one office under the government of the state and the counties and municipalities therein.” She determined that because the Planning and Zoning Board had the power to grant variances and decide appeals and the Historic Preservation Board had the power to approve or deny certificates of appropriateness, both Boards were considered “offices” under the Florida Constitution, and Gallo was therefore not allowed to participate in both at the same time. If both Boards had only advisory capacities, then the Boards would have been excepted from the dual office-holding prohibition. However, though both had some advisory roles, the fact that they also had powers implying “a delegation of a portion of the sovereign power to, and the possession of it by, the person filling the office” led to the conclusion that the Boards were indeed offices under the dual-office prohibition.

Fla. Att’y Gen. Op. 2016-15 (2016)


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