notice of intent to enact a county ordinance


notice of intent to enact a county ordinance

When: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
9:30 AM


County Commissioners’ Chambers
Lee County Courthouse
2120 Main Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901

Notice is hereby given that the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, Florida, will consider the enactment of one County ordinance in accordance with Article VIII, Section 1, of the Florida Constitution and Chapters 125 and 190, Florida Statutes.  The proposed County ordinance title is as follows: 


There will be a public hearing held in the County Commissioners' Chambers, Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main Street, Fort Myers, Florida.  The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at 9:30 a.m., or as soon thereafter as it can be heard.

The purpose of this hearing is to consider a petition filed by RH Venture II, LLC  on August 7, 2018, to establish a Uniform Community Development District to be known as the River Hall II Community Development District (District) in accordance with Ch. 190, Florida Statutes.  Specifically, the Board will consider the six factors listed in §190.005(1)(e), Florida Statutes.  This hearing will also afford the petitioner, affected units of local government, and the general public a fair and adequate opportunity to appear and present oral and written comments regarding the establishment of the District.

The specific legal authority for the establishment of the District is set forth in §§190.004 and 190.005, Florida Statutes.
The land area to be served by the District is located in unincorporated Lee County, Florida.  The land area is generally located south of S.R. 80, east of Buckingham Road, north of Lehigh acres and west of Hickey Creek Mitigation Park and comprises approximately 338.19 contiguous acres.  The boundaries of the properties to be serviced by the proposed Community Development District are outlined in the map depicted in this notice.  There is no real property within the boundaries of the District that will be excluded from the District.

If adopted, the ordinance will establish a Uniform Community Development District and designate the land to be serviced by the District.  A Community Development District government is a mechanism to ensure the provision of infrastructure subject to State and local regulatory requirements governing the lawful use and development of the property.  Creation and establishment of a district pursuant to Ch. 190, Florida Statutes, is not a development order under Ch. 380, Florida Statutes.  All planning, permitting, and other regulatory requirements pertaining to development within the land area must be in accordance with general and special law and applicable Lee County regulations.  The information set forth below, as provided by the petitioner, deals only with the factors to be considered in creating the Special District as an alternative for managing and financing certain basic services for community development pursuant to County permits.

An independent Economic Impact Analysis (SERC) prepared by Wrathell Hunt & Associates, LLC determined that the categories of persons that may be affected by the economic consequences of the proposed District establishment are: the State of Florida and its citizens, Lee County and its citizens, the petitioner, and present and future owners of property within the areas to be serviced by the District.  The SERC anticipates the costs and benefits derived from the District establishment and operation and describes the costs and benefits in detail.  A brief description of the costs and benefits are as follows:

            1.         To the State of Florida and Its Citizens.  There will be no more than minimal administrative costs and the proposed Community Development District will not require subsidies from the State or its citizens.  The District will pay all costs of capital construction and maintenance for District-owned infrastructure.  Establishment of the proposed District will benefit the State and its citizens by creating a mechanism to provide for a substantial investment in roads, drainage, and water and wastewater systems to satisfy level-of-service concurrency requirements.  The District will assure the placement of major infrastructure consistent and concurrent with approved development.  The District will provide effective monitoring and enforcement of development.  Additionally, the District will provide an improved level of development coordination and planning, as well as future maintenance of the infrastructure necessary to support the development.

             2.         Lee County and Its Citizens.  All County costs of reviewing the petition will be absorbed by the $15,000.00 filing fee paid by the petitioner.  The benefits to Lee County and its citizens from the establishment of the District will be as follows: (a) Establishment of the District ensures that the cost of providing additional infrastructure to serve the development will be borne by those receiving the benefit of the additional services; (b) Operating and maintenance costs of the development and its infrastructure will be the obligation of those actually receiving the benefits of these services and not Lee County; (c) The District will be responsible for the cost, management and administrative burdens associated with providing and funding the infrastructure improvements, facilities, services and maintenance for development within the District; (d) The District will accommodate a net increase in the County's population, but will not increase the demand for infrastructure and facilities outside the District; and (e) The District will contract with the Lee County Tax Collector to collect its taxes and non ad valorem assessments.  The cost for this service will be defrayed through the fees charged by the Tax Collector.  These costs will be borne by the landowners of the District.

             3.         Current Property Owners.  The developer, as the initial landowner, will incur substantial costs if the proposed District is approved.  These costs can be grouped into five categories that include: (a) planning and petitioning for the District; (b) contributions of management and technical assistance; (c) district taxes and special assessments; (d) provision of required rights-of-way and easements; and, (e) landowners participation in the governmental process.  Over the life of the project, District landowners may pay District taxes and/or assessments to cover debt service and general operating expenditures.  As the major initial landowner in the District, the developer will pay the largest share of any District taxes and assessments.  The developer will provide the majority of the rights-of-way and easements.  Additional costs to District landowners will stem from the loss of legal control and project management over the District's infrastructure.  This is due to the Florida law requirement that all District decisions be made in open public meetings by a governing body subject to removal for malfeasance, nonfeasance, and misfeasance.  The economic benefit to the current property owner is derived from more efficient cost management of the District's infrastructure and from sustained delivery of quality service.  In addition, the District will provide access to otherwise unavailable tax-exempt financing for infrastructure development.

            4.         Future Property Owners.  District landowners will be required to pay District taxes and/or assessments in addition to County and other taxes and assessments as a result of the establishment of the River Hall II Community Development District.  District taxes and assessments do not affect or offset County or school board taxes and do not count against the County's millage cap.  Establishment of the District increases the future likelihood of high quality and well-maintained infrastructure after the developer has completed the project and may serve to enhance property values. Future owners may receive higher levels of services and amenities, if provided by the District. Control by a Community Development District, though subject to the Lee County Comprehensive Land Use Plan and land development regulations, allows District landowners some ability to determine the type, quality, and expense of District facilities and services.

            5.         Effect on Competition and the Open Market for Employment.  Establishment of the District will have an effect on competition in the housing market for residential real estate in Lee County. No unique competitive advantage will be conferred on the                     Community Development District because similar developments have an equal opportunity to establish a district under State law. Once established, the District may have a nominal positive impact on the open market for employment related to the provision of public infrastructure because District construction contracts must be publicly bid, and contractors, including small and minority businesses, will have timely access and opportunities for employment.

             6.         Impact on Small Businesses.  Establishing the proposed District will not adversely affect small business firms.  A district must operate in accord with the Florida "Sunshine Law" and use a competitive bid process to obtain certain goods and services. The District must follow the Consultant's Competitive Negotiation Act when awarding contracts for certain services.  Accordingly, small businesses may be better able to compete for business in the  district.

            7.         Probable Costs and Benefits of Not Adopting the Rule.  If the District is not established, the developers would have to obtain other management and delivery tools and related financing.  Long-term fixed financing may not be available in the amounts needed or on the terms available from most lending institutions.  Assuming alternate financing is available, the interest cost may be significantly higher than the interest rate on district bonds.  Establishing the District provides the developer with a special governmental entity to assure that the community and its facilities are operated and maintained at the very highest levels.  Without the proposed District, the developer would have to utilize the homeowner association for this purpose, which does not have the enhanced ability of collecting assessments through the Tax Collector.

            8.         Determination of Less Costly, Less Intrusive Methods.  The SERC identifies alternate methods to achieve the same purpose as the District and determines whether those methods are less costly or less intrusive than establishment of the District.  The assessment concludes the alternatives are inferior.

            9.         Reasonable Alternative.  The assessment describes reasonable alternatives to achieve the purpose such as: (a) MSTU/MSBU; (b) Dependent District; (c) County Government; (d) Special Act Independent District under Chapter 189; (e) the Developer; and, (f) Homeowner Association.  The assessment concludes that these alternatives are less suitable for reasons explained more fully in the SERC prepared by Wrathell, Hunt and Associates, LLC.

            10.       Detailed Methodology.  A detailed statement of methodology is in the SERC prepared by Wrathell, Hunt and Associates, LLC.

Copies of this Notice, the proposed Ordinance, and the River Hall II Community Development District Petition and its documentation are on file in the Minutes Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lee County.  The public may inspect or copy the Ordinance and Petition during regular business hours at the Department of Community Development or the Minutes Office.  The Minutes Office is located in the Courthouse Administration Building, 2115 Second Street, Fort Myers, Florida.  The Department of Community Development is located at 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, Florida.  

The ordinance, if adopted by the Board at this meeting, will take effect upon its filing with the Office of the Secretary of the Florida Department of State.

This meeting is open to the public. Anyone wishing to appeal the Board's decision(s) with respect to any matter considered at this meeting will need a record of the proceedings. Generally, a verbatim record, including all testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based, will be necessary.

Lee County will not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. To request an accommodation, contact Joan LaGuardia, (239) 533-2314, Florida Relay Service 711, or, at least five business days in advance. 

Please govern yourself accordingly.