An Introduction to the Tradition Family of Community Development Districts
Q. What is a Community Development District (CDD)?
A. A community development district (CDD) is an independent special-purpose unit of local government established by a developer or landowner with government approval. CDDs offer an attractive and cost-effective means of providing for the financing and management of major infrastructure systems and services to support the development of new communities. The Tradition Community Development Districts are independent special districts created pursuant to and existing under the provisions of Chapter 190, Florida Statutes.
Q. Can there be more than one CDD in a community?
A. Yes. It is possible to have more than one CDD in a new community. This strategy makes sense when the project encompasses many years, multiple uses and a large site. Another reason to consider multiple districts, particularly for long-term projects, is that control of a CDD may begin to transfer to residents, through election of the Board of Supervisors by residents rather than landowners, before the necessary infrastructure has been implemented throughout the entire community. Therefore, it may be wise to have more than one CDD to ensure that the developer-landowner retains control longer than would be possible if only one CDD were utilized. There are a total of ten districts in Tradition. Please see the attached “Tradition Community Development Districts Neighborhood Summary Map” for a breakdown of each District’s boundary. Each of the neighborhoods in Tradition lay within the following Districts:
Bedford Park District No. 3
The Promenade District No. 3
The Lakes District No. 3
Heritage Oaks District No. 4
The Estates District No. 4
Victoria Parc District No. 4
Westcliffe Estates District No. 4
Vitalia District No. 5
TownPark District No. 6
Q. What do the Tradition CDD’s fund?
A. The Districts fund, through Series 2003 and 2008 Bonds, the construction and/or acquisition of water and sewer utilities, storm water management improvements, landscaping, streetlights, wetland mitigation and roadways within their boundaries.
Q. How are CDD’s governed?
A. A CDD is a unit of local government like a county or a city, although it does not have the regulatory powers of a county or city. CDD’s are governed by a five member Board of Supervisors, elected initially by District landowners on a one vote to one-acre basis. Commencing no sooner than six years following creation of the District, and only after there are at least 250 qualified electors, Supervisors whose terms are expiring may be elected by qualified electors (typically residents) of the District. Like all municipal elections, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections oversees the vote. CDD Supervisors are subject to Florida ethics and financial disclosure laws. Board meetings are governed by the Florida “Sunshine” law, and therefore, must be noticed in a local newspaper and conducted in a public forum. Subject to the requirements of the public records law, CDD’s must make District records routinely available for public inspection during normal business hours. These requirements, as well as the governmental reporting and auditing requirements imposed on CDD’s by law, ensure that CDD’s are visible and accessible.
Q. How are District assessments determined?
A. Each property owner will pay an annual assessment, levied on the annual property tax bills as non-ad valorem assessments, based on two component costs. One is the capital amount required to amortize the long-term tax-exempt debt assessed against each lot, parcel or acre for the public facilities acquired or constructed by or on behalf of the District. That amount is $715.96 for single-family unit owners and $391.36 for multi-family unit owners. This capital assessment remains constant. The other is an annual assessment for operations and maintenance (O & M) of District facilities. The annual assessment amounts vary in relation to the land class of the property, and to the infrastructure benefit allocated to the property. Each year, the District Board of Supervisors advertises for and holds a public hearing to set its budget and the level of assessments.
Q. What do the Operations & Maintenance assessment charges cover?
A. The Operations & Maintenance (O&M) assessments cover ongoing maintenance of the various areas under the jurisdiction of the Tradition. Within these boundaries, CDD maintenance oversight covers, but is not limited to the following:
- landscape and irrigation
- maintenance of various wetland and/or upland preserve areas per permits in place with governmental agencies
- aquatic maintenance of the various retention lakes throughout all of Tradition – these bodies of water are interconnected throughout Tradition as part of the Master Surface Water System (this maintenance pertains more to functionality rather than esthetics, and is approached from a standpoint of maintaining the flow of water throughout the system as outlined in the permits in place with the various governmental agencies)
- various structures (i.e. the monument towers near I-95, the large waterfall structure on Tradition Parkway, gazebos, exercise paths, etc)
- large fountains in Lake Tradition and Lake 14 Park
Q. How often does the Tradition Community Development District Board of Supervisors meet?
A. The Boards meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Tradition Town Hall – 10799 SW Civic Lane, Port St. Lucie, FL 34987, agenda pending. Tradition CDD No. 6 meets at 10:00 AM, and Tradition CDD No’s. 1-5 & 7-10 meet at 11:00 AM. Meetings are open to the public. The annual meeting schedule is advertised once, and cancelations are not. To confirm a scheduled meeting is occurring, please contact the District Manager.
Q. How long do residents of Tradition have to pay CDD assessments?
A. Residents of Tradition are subject to two assessments, a Bond assessment and an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) assessment. Residents will continue to make O&M assessments, which pay for the ongoing expenses of the Districts, as long as the CDDs exist. Regarding the bond assessment, unless the bond is paid off prior to 2035 or unless a resident has paid off their assessment, residents will pay bond assessments until 2035 when we make our last principal payment. A resident may pay off their bond assessment in advance. The District may also pay off the bond. Residents may contact Alan Mishlove at 407-382-3256 to pay off their bond assessments.
The Tradition CDDs are managed by Fishkind & Associates, Inc., located at 10807 SW Tradition Square, Port St. Lucie, FL 34987. The office is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM. Please feel free to contact Angela Shepherd (772) 345-5101, or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns you may have relating to the CDDs.