Overview of Community Development Districts
Community Development Districts (CDDs)
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 Homeowners Associations
The CDD complements the responsibilities of community homeowners 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.
The Cost of a CDD
The cost to operate a CDD is borne by those who benefit from its services. Property owners in the CDD are subject to a non-ad valorem assessment, which appears on their annual property tax bill from the county tax collector and may consist of two parts—an annual assessment for operations and maintenance, which can fluctuate up and down from year to year based on the budget adopted for that fiscal year—and an annual capital assessment to repay bonds sold by the CDD to finance community infrastructure and facilities, which annual assessments are generally fixed for the term of the bonds. Because costs and services vary depending upon the individual CDD, specific fee information is available for each community.
The CDD makes it possible for our community to offer the most desirable elements of a master-planned community. Residents enjoy high quality infrastructure facilities and services with the comfort and assurance of knowing that the standards of the community will be maintained long after the developer is gone. With a CDD in place, residents are assured of the ability to control quality and value for years to come.
About the Rivercrest CDD
Rivercrest CDD Master Plan
The Rivercrest CDD is an independent unit of special purpose local government. The Rivercrest CDD was created by the Uniform Community Development District Act of 1980, Chapter 190, Florida Statutes, as amended (the ‚”Act‚”) and established on October 16, 2000 by Ordinance Mp. 00-32 adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Hillsborough County, Florida. The CDD encompasses approximately 413 acres. The CDD is approximately 1.2 miles east of Interstate 75, ten miles southeast of downtown Tampa and nearly five miles south of Brandon. The District is located just east of U.S. 301, south of Symmes Road and west of Balm Riverview Road. When the CDD was established the following planned development included 235 town homes, 218 duplexes and 927 single family homes. In addition, the Development planned to contains commercial sites, which total approximately 16 acres. The commercial sites are the day cares, a church and The Riverview Montessori School. The Development has an eight acre amenity center, which includes a resort style swimming pool, an aqua tot lot, a playground, basketball courts and soccer field. In addition, the Development includes neighborhood parks, which are connected by pedestrian walkways.
This site is funded on behalf of the Community Development District (CDD) in an effort to help educate the general public about the services provided by the Rivercrest CDD and to also highlight the other agencies involved that have an impact in the day-to-day operations, such as Hillsborough County and the Home Owners Association.
January 1, 2008 Meritus Districts became the new District Administrator for Rivercrest CDD. Meritus Districts is a financial consulting and management firm consisting of a team of over 45 professionals who provide multiple services to the development and community residential services industry as it relates to community development districts (CDDs) and special taxing districts. Please feel free to contact our office at (813) 397-5121 if you have any questions concerning the District.
To find out more information about Meritus Districts please go to our website at www.meritusdistricts.com