Requests for Proposals

Planning Commission Solicitor - City of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

The City of Rehoboth Beach is issuing a Request for Proposal to identify and retain a Solicitor to represent the City’s Planning Commission.  The function of Planning Commissioner Solicitor has previously been performed by the City Solicitor.  As a reflection of the growth of the City’s activities and the complexity of its current and future legal needs, the City has determined a need for a separate Planning Commission Solicitor.

The Planning Commission Solicitor shall be a member in good standing of the Delaware Bar and licensed to practice law before all Courts in the State of Delaware and the Federal District having jurisdiction over Delaware and shall have a current or previous affiliation with a full-service law firm.  Such a firm must have expertise in Delaware land use and zoning law, real estate, regulatory rules, and procedures. It is preferred that the candidate have a minimum of 3 years practical experience representing municipalities and in the areas of land use and zoning.

The Planning Commission Solicitor will serve as the Planning Commission legal counsel and manage any additional legal analysis and representation and manage any necessary outside counsel.

The Planning Commission Solicitor will be retained by the Mayor and the Commissioners as an independent contractor and will report directly to the full City Commission.  The position of Planning Commission Solicitor will be a contract position for an initial term of one year with possible renewals of multi-year contracts beyond that point.  The Mayor and Commissioners may issue an additional RFP at the end of the first contract.

In their role of advice and consultation to the Planning Commission, the Solicitor will be providing on a regular basis, preparation, participation, and follow-up for all Planning Commission Meetings.  This will include prior review and prepared comments on all matters to come before the Planning Commission, including, but not limited to, partitioning, minor subdivisions, major subdivisions, site plan reviews, city code interpretation and code application. The Commission typically meets the second Friday of each month.

The Planning Commission Solicitor will also be advising the Chair of the Planning Commission, Mayor, City Manager, Chief Building Inspector, City Planner and City Secretary on a regular and ongoing basis on all relevant matters pertaining to Planning Commission activities.

It is expected that the Planning Commission Solicitor will consult regularly with the Building and Licensing Department, City Planner and City Secretary on matters related to code interpretation, issuance of permits and variances and represent the Building Inspector before the City’s Board of Adjustment when deemed appropriate.  The Board of Adjustment meets the fourth Monday of each month if there are cases to be heard.

The Planning Commission Solicitor will be required to provide all written deliverables and work products in a timely manner, typically at least five days before a meeting at which the topic is to be discussed.

The Planning Commission Solicitor and all counsel utilized on behalf of the City or any of its entities must have no conflict of interest with the business of the city, or any parties in any case or proceeding before the Planning Commission, and shall take all measures to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Above all, it is anticipated that the Planning Commission Solicitor will be key to providing the City with a proactive approach to managing the City’s land use and interpreting the Comprehensive Development Plan.
As part of the contract agreement with the City, clear annual goals and objectives will be established as to scope of work, time commitment and determination of fees.  The Planning Commission Solicitor will be given regular written and verbal feedback from the Mayor and Planning Commission Chair in consultation with the City Manager on performance pursuant to a previously agreed-upon performance plan on an annual basis.

The Request for Proposal should include, but is not limited to the following:
1)    Relevant legal experience, with emphasis on municipal work or related experience, and land use and zoning issues.
2)    Location of office(s)
3)    What resources - personnel and other - that may be made available to the successful candidate.
4)    Three or four relevant client references.
5)    A statement that there is no conflict of interest between the business of the City and current clients.
6)    A description of the proposed working relationship between the Planning Commission and the Solicitor, including an approximate number of hours per month and written deliverables.
7)    Manner and extent of availability for consultation with Planning Commission Chair, Mayor and other City officials.
8)    Hourly rates, for all personnel proposed. Anticipated out of pocket expenses.

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