(1) The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) The problems of growth and development often transcend the boundaries of individual units of local general-purpose government, and often no single unit can formulate plans or implement policies for their solution without affecting other units in their geographic area.
(b) There is a need for regional planning agencies to assist local governments to resolve their common problems, engage in areawide comprehensive and functional planning, administer certain federal and state grants-in-aid, and provide a regional focus in regard to multiple programs undertaken on an areawide basis.
(c) Federal and state programs should have coordinated purposes and consistent policy direction in order to avoid the proliferation of overlapping, duplicating, and competing regional agencies. To further this end, these efforts should result in 1entities agencies which effectively carry out a wide variety of federal and state program designations.
(d) The financial and technical assistance of the state should be provided to regional planning agencies to maximize the effective use of regional programs undertaken with the authorization of local, state, or federal governments serving the citizens of this state.
(e) There is a need for the establishment at the regional level of clear policy plans that will guide broad-based representative regional planning agencies as they undertake regional review functions.
(2) It is the declared purpose of this act to establish a common system of regional planning councils for areawide coordination and related cooperative activities of federal, state, and local governments; ensure a broad-based regional organization that can provide a truly regional perspective; and enhance the ability and opportunity of local governments to resolve issues and problems transcending their individual boundaries.
(3) The regional planning council is designated as the primary organization to address problems and plan solutions that are of greater-than-local concern or scope, and the regional planning council shall be recognized by local governments as one of the means to provide input into state policy development.
(4) The regional planning council is recognized as Florida’s only multipurpose regional entity that is in a position to plan for and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth-related problems on greater-than-local issues, provide technical assistance to local governments, and meet other needs of the communities in each region. A council shall not act as a permitting or regulatory entity.
(5) The regional planning council shall have a duty to assist local governments with activities designed to promote and facilitate economic development in the geographic area covered by the council.