Regional Planning Commission
The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPC) is a service agency founded in 1963 to promote community enhancement and cooperation among the member counties. The commission district is compromised of Jefferson, Blount, St Clair, Walker, Chilton, and Shelby Counties. An overarching goal of the RPC is to promote regional cooperation between local governments and assist them in implementing federal and state programs. The service is advisory in nature and provides technical assistance and recommendations for future growth in the counties.
The RPC's transit and transportation service provides long-range transportation planning for corridor, greenway and urban area programs as well as regional transportation safety studies. Other service areas include intergovernmental cooperation, community planning and economic development, human resource services and information management. The current Executive Director is Charles Ball, who oversees a staff of thirty planners, analysts, engineers and support workers. The RPC has its offices in the Center for Regional Planning and Design at 1731 1st Avenue North in downtown Birmingham.
The current commission members (as of October 2006) are:
- Valerie Abbott, Birmingham
- Bruce Hamrick, Walker County (chairman)
- Royce King, Blount County
- Roger McCondichie
- Waymon Pitts, Cleveland
- James Whitfield, Leeds
- Gary White, Jefferson County
- Ray Hamilton, Shelby County
- Reginald Holloway, Shelby County
- John Hudson, Jefferson County
- Bernard Kincaid, Birmingham
- Shelia Smoot, Jefferson County
- Adam Stocks, Pell City
- Tim Westhoven, Hoover
- Stan Batemon, St Clair County
- Mary Buckelew, Jefferson County
- Anthony Cicio, Mountain Brook
- Richard Dickerson, Birmingham
- Billy Joe Driver, Clanton
- Robbie Hayes, Shelby County
- Michael L. Johnson, Fairfield
- Larry Langford, Jefferson County
- Ed Lowe, Oneonta
- Ed May, Bessemer
- Sonny Posey, Jasper
- Glenda Strength, Chilton County
The RPC was created as the Birmingham-Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission on November 5, 1963 after the passage of an enabling law by the state legislature the previous September. The Bimingham City Council and Jefferson County Commission joined together to designate the the county as a "planning region" for the purposes of submitting regional transportation plans to the Federal Highway Administration, as required by the Federal Highway Act of 1962. In all, thirty municipal governments participated with the county in the formation of the commission.
The Commission held its first meeting on January 22, 1964 and appointed an executive director, Bob Juster, the following May. The Commission's offices were on the 15th floor of the 2121 Building. In 1967 the commission was certified as a regional planning agency under the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966. When the Census Bureau expanded their definition of the Birmingham Metropolitan Area to include Walker and Shelby Counties, and indicated that Blount and St Clair would soon follow, the Commission began discussing a major expansion of the commission area with leaders in the region. All five counties joined the commission by April 24, 1969. Later that same year, the commission was charged with additional duties for federal program management, and state planning and programming.
In 1970 Governor Albert Brewer added Chilton County to the Birmingham planning and development district, designated District 3 of eight across Alabama. The change required the dissolution and re-commissioning of the RPC, which was accomplished on January 28, 1971.