About Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA)

Our Mission:  

“To preserve our natural resources, manage growth & promote eco-friendly tourism in a clean, safe community environment.”


On June 16, 1947 the Florida State Legislature ratified the establishment of the Santa Rosa Island Authority after Escambia County’s Board of County Commissioners’ voted to establish a long-range program for commercial and residential development and institute a more permanent governmental body for the island. A portion of Santa Rosa Island was dedicated as National Monument status in 1939 by President Franklin Roosevelt. After the Island Authority was established, it was tasked to persuade the federal government to terminate the status in order to develop facilities and services on the island. Chapter 25810 of the 1949 Florida Legislature allowed the SRIA to create ninety-nine-year leases for residential construction. The leasehold agreements required a fixed annual payment and were exempt from ad valorem and property taxes.

Pensacola Beach, is owned by Escambia County, Florida, and is under the direction of the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA). The SRIA was created by the Florida legislature in 1947 under Chapter 24500. The SRIA does not receive tax revenue, it is fully funded from business and residences lease fees. Because of restrictions placed in the legal document from the federal government, land may not be purchased on Pensacola Beach; instead property is leased by the Island Authority for varying periods of time, up to ninety-nine years. Pensacola Beach encompasses approximately 1,474 acres on an eight mile stretch of Santa Rosa Island, accounting for nearly 30% of Escambia County. At the present time 60% of Pensacola Beach is public use or public service land with the remaining 40% leased for residential and commercial use. SRIA’s administrative office is located at 1 Via de Luna Dr., Pensacola Beach, Florida. 

The Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA) is the governing branch overseeing the direction of Pensacola Beach on Santa Rosa Island. Pensacola Beach is located in Escambia County, the northwestern most county in Florida, and is home to approximately 2,000 residents. It is fully funded from lease fees collected from beach businesses and residences. Escambia County Board of County Commissioners each appoint a member to serve on the SRIA board, whose term runs concurrent with the commissioner who appointed them. The sixth member is elected by the registered voters on Pensacola Beach and has a two-year term. Each board member serves on designated committees to conduct business according to by-laws and county ordinances. Committees include: architectural and environmental, development and leasing, administration, operations and special projects.