Community Development District Overview
The Seven Oaks Community Development District (the “District”) is an independent local unit of, special-purpose government, created pursuant to and existing under the provisions of Chapter 190, Florida Statutes. The District was established by Ordinance 01-03 adopted of the Board of County Commissioners of Pasco County, Florida which became effective on January 23rd, 2001. Ordinance 01-03 was later amended by Ordinance 01-022, adopted of the Board of County Commissioners of Pasco County, Florida which became effective on November 14th, 2001.
The District currently encompasses approximately six hundred fifty (650.369) acres of land located entirely within Pasco County, Florida. As a local unit of special-purpose government, the District provides an alternative means for planning, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining various public improvements and community facilities within its jurisdiction.
A District provides the “solution” to Florida’s need to provide valuable community infrastructure generated by growth, ultimately without overburdening other governments and their taxpaying residents. Community Development Districts represent a major advancement in Florida’s effort to manage its growth effectively and efficiently. This allows a community to establish higher construction standards, meanwhile providing a long-term solution to the operation and maintenance of the community’s facilities.
Levels of service of program operations within the District are directly related to the annual operating budget. Program services include:
- Community appearance
- Recreational facilities
- Street lighting
- Infrastructure administration
During the fiscal year staff monitors the budget to maintain operational efficiency. During the annual budget process staff reviews what was budgeted against what was actually spent, and recommends increases and decreases in service levels. The Board of Supervisors, with input from the public, reviews staff’s proposals and has the final decision for the budget constraints that will determine the levels of service.
The budget process typically begins in the spring and concludes in the summer, after a public hearing to ensure resident participation. Staff actions are directly related to those restrictions placed within the annual operations and maintenance budget for each fiscal year.
Community Development District Organization
The Seven Oaks Community Development District (the “District”) is organized similar to other local governments in Florida, in that the legislative body is composed of a five-member board known as the Board of Supervisors. The Board establishes the policy of the District in accordance with Florida law. The Board, by law, must hire a District Manager. In addition, the Board may choose to employ other staff such as District Counsel and District Engineer. Staff members operate utilizing the same formalities as a County Administrator and County Attorney. The Board, through review of advertised Requests for Qualifications, ranks and selects a District Engineer to perform the engineering needs of the District. The District staff administers the operations of the District and implements the Board’s policies and contracts.
The District Manager’s responsibilities include:
- Preparation and submittal of a proposed operations and maintenance budgets for Board of Supervisors review and action.
- Preparation of contract specifications for District operations, including community appearance, waterway management, street lighting and facilities maintenance.
- File all required forms and documents with state and local agencies.
- Attend all Board of Supervisor meetings.
- Implement the policies of the Board of Supervisors.
- Additional duties as directed by the Board of Supervisors.
Questions about Community Development Districts
A CDD is a governmental unit created to serve the long-term specific needs of its community. Created pursuant to chapter 190 of the Florida Statutes, a CDD’s main powers are to plan, finance, construct, operate and maintain community-wide infrastructure and services specifically for the benefit of its residents.
What will the CDD Do?
Through a CDD, the community can offer its residents a broad range of community-related services and infrastructure to help ensure the highest quality of life possible. CDD responsibilities within our community may include storm water management, potable and irrigation water supply, sewer and wastewater management, and street lights.
How CDDs Operate
A CDD is governed by its Board of Supervisors which is elected initially by the landowners, then begins transitioning to residents of the CDD after six years of operation. Like all municipal, county, state, and national elections, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections oversees the vote, and CDD Supervisors are subject to state ethics and financial disclosure laws. The CDD’s business is conducted in the “Sunshine,” which means all meetings and records are open to the public. Public hearings are held on CDD assessments. and the CDD’s budget is subject to annual independent audit.
Relationship with Homeowner's Associations
The CDD complements the responsibilities of community homeowner's associations (HOAs). Many of the maintenance functions handled by these associations in other communities may be handled by the CDD. However, the associations have other responsibilities such as operating amenities and ensuring that deed restrictions and other quality standards are enforced. The CDD may contract with the master homeowner's association to perform maintenance functions.
Benefits to Residents
Residents within a community with a CDD may expect to receive three major classes of benefits. First, the CDD provides landowners consistently high levels of public facilities and services managed and financed through self-imposed fees and assessments. Second, the CDD ensures that these community development facilities and services will be completed concurrently with other parts of the development. Third, CDD landowners and electors choose the Board of Supervisors, which is able to determine the type, quality and expense of CDD facilities and services.
Other savings are realized because a CDD is subject to the same laws and regulations that apply to other government entities. The CDD is able to borrow money to finance its facilities at lower, tax-exempt, interest rates, the same as cities and counties. Many contracts for goods and services, such as annually negotiated maintenance contracts, are subject to publicly advertised competitive bidding.
Residents and property owners in a CDD set the standards of quality, which are then managed by the CDD. The CDD provides perpetual maintenance of the environmental conservation areas. This consistent and quality-controlled method of management helps protect the long term property values in a community.
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