CEO 76-8 -- January 16, 1976
ZONING AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
The term "local officer" is defined in Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1975) to include a "county or city administrator with power to grant or deny a land development permit." Therefore, where the director of a municipal zoning department must approve all building permits, he is deemed to be a local officer subject to financial disclosure requirements of the Code of Ethics. The director of a city planning department who neither issues permits nor acts as a purchasing agent, on the other hand, is not deemed to be a local officer and therefore is not required to file financial disclosure.
Are the directors of city planning departments and zoning departments "local officers" as that term is defined in the revised Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees and therefore required to file financial disclosure statements?
Your question is answered in the affirmative as to the director of the zoning department and in the negative as to the director of the planning department.
You have informed us that neither director exercises purchasing powers. However, the director of the zoning department must approve all building permits, while the director of the planning department has no similar function.
Based on these facts, there is no provision in the Code of Ethics that would require the director of your city's planning department to file a statement of financial disclosure.
The zoning director, on the other hand, is a local officer subject to disclosure by virtue of his responsibility to approve or deny building permits. Enclosed please find a copy of a recent opinion of this commission, CEO 75-198, the rationale of which is applicable to this inquiry.
Accordingly, the director of the planning department of your city is not deemed to be a local officer subject to disclosure, while the director of the zoning department does meet the definition of "local officer" and thus is subject to disclosure.