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CDD 101 – What you need to know

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 Forest Creek community include storm water management, pond management, common area maintenance, entry gates, irrigation water system, clubhouse, pool/SPA, nature trails, parks, roads, 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). In order to give a clear understanding of the physical property responsibilities of the CDD and HOA this list was created for your reference.

CDD Responsibilities

 Property Site Elements

  • Landscape of common areas
  • Gate system
  • Camera system
  • Key fobs
  • Fences (developer installed)
  • Docks and Pavilions
  • Irrigation system
  • Playground equipment & basketball court
  • Dog Parks and keys
  • Pond maintenance
  • Boardwalks & Bridges
  • Community signage and entrance monuments
  • Sidewalks
  • Roads
  • Pool, SPA, Grill & Clubhouse
  • Pool furniture
  • Streetlights & Decorative Lighting
  • Storm water system
  • Fitness Center & Exercise equipment

HOA Responsibilities

  • Maintenance Assisted Sections (cottages, old cypress, townhomes and harvest grove)
  • Architectural Review for exterior modifications

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, 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 as a single CDD assessment.  The CDD assessment 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.

Lasting Value

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.

Link to the May 2019 Forest Creek Community Development District Administration and Budget Cycle Presentation