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Ask The Times: What does it take to become a member of Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board?
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

What are the qualifications for being members of the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board?

As stated in Gainesville’s Code of Ordinances, all seven members of the city’s Planning and Appeals Board are bound by qualification requirements, in addition to being residents of Gainesville. 

Other than the chairperson, two board members must have experience or knowledge in real estate, land development, architectural design, landscape architecture, building construction or a similar field. 

The code requires that four members “shall be recognized community leaders having experience or knowledge in representing the interests of citizens, residential areas or nonprofit organizations dedicated to public purposes.”

As for the chairperson, they must be “a community leader who has demonstrated the ability to conduct meetings, organize debate and act in the public interest of the city as a whole.”

The Gainesville City Council makes the decision in deeming whether or not a person is qualified to join the Planning and Appeals Board. 

Doug Carter currently serves as the board’s chairman, alongside six other members. 

Carter, who works as a Realtor, said the board’s members exhibit a large scope of backgrounds, including small businesses, real estate, education and manufacturing. 

“We’re very fortunate to have an outstanding board,” he said. “I think we all have been involved in numerous organizations within the nonprofit sector of the community.”

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