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What is a CDD?

A CDD is a special district and 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.

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.

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.

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.

Special Districts are forms of local government created by the State, County, and Municipalities in order to provide a specific service or services to a defined area.  Special Districts are often referred to as special-purpose governments, since the law authorizes them to provide only those services specifically defined in their enabling legislation.  Conversely, the State, County and Municipal governments are called general-purpose local governments and are not specifically limited in what services they can provide to their residents.

The reason for Special District creation is to provide the permanent administrative structure for financing and maintaining services or infrastructure traditionally provided by general-purpose governments when these governments are unwilling or unable to provide the service or capital improvement.  Consequently, Special Taxing Districts are frequently substituting and/or complementing the capabilities of general-purpose governments.  For instance, Special Districts provide water management in multi-county jurisdictions, public infrastructure in new developments, streetlights to neighborhoods without them and fire protection for Cities and Counties.

According to the statute, a Community Development District is an independent, local unit of special-purpose government charged with planning, financing, constructing and/or acquiring, operating and maintaining community-wide infrastructure in large planned developments overburdening other governments and their tax payers according to “growth pays for growth” principle, and lastly constitute a timely, efficient, effective, responsive and economic way to deliver basic services.

Community Development Districts are specifically authorized by Florida Statute 190 to finance, fund, plan, establish, acquire, construct or reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, operate and maintain systems, facilities and basic infrastructures for the following:

  • Water management and control.
  • Water supply, sewer and wastewater management, reclamation and reuse.  
  • Bridges or culverts which may be needed.
  • District roads equal to or exceeding the specifications of the county in which such District roads are located, and street lights.  
  • Buses, trolleys, transit shelters, ridesharing facilities and services, parking improvements and related signage.
  • Conservation areas, mitigation areas and wildlife habitats.
  • Any other project within or without the boundaries of a District when the project is the subject of an agreement between the District and a governmental entity and is consistent with the local government comprehensive plan of the local government within which the project is to be located.

Board of Supervisors
The Board of Supervisors serves as the governing body of the District and sets public policies implemented by staff.  The Board can adopt administrative rules and regulations with respect to any projects of the District, and enforce penalties for violation of such rules and regulations.  They can levy taxes, special assessments, fees and user charges for use of District facilities.  The Board may also adopt resolutions, which may be necessary to conduct District business.  The Board of Supervisors shall also employ and fix the compensation of the District Manager, designate a person who is a resident of the State as Treasurer of the District, and select a depository for its funds.

Initially, Board members are designated and appointed in the formative petition and the rule establishing the District.  Thereafter, the members are elected on an at-large basis by the owners of property within the District.  Each landowner is entitled to cast one vote per acre of land owned by him or her and located within the District for each person to be elected.  A fraction of an acre shall be treated as one acre, entitling the landowner to one vote with respect thereto.  After the sixth year of the initial appointment of members and once the District reaches 250 qualified electors, the positions of two Board members whose terms are expiring are filled by qualified electors of the District.  A qualified elector is a registered voter who is a resident of the District and the State and a citizen of the United States.

District Administration  
The District Manager's responsibilities include:  

  1. Preparation and submittal of a proposed operations and maintenance budgets for Board review and action  
  2. Preparation of contract specifications for District operations
  3. File all required forms and documents with state and local agencies  
  4. Attend all Board of Supervisor meetings – implement the policies of the Board   Additional duties as directed by the Board  


The District Engineer's responsibilities include:

  1. Preparation and supervision of construction projects within the CDD
  2. Inspection and reporting on the District facilities
  3. Assist in the preparation of the annual maintenance budget.  
  4. Attend all Board of Supervisor meetings – implement the policies of the Board  
  5. Additional duties as directed by the Board  

The District Counsel's responsibilities include:

  1. Preparation and review of agreements and other CDD documents
  2. Ensuring all provisions of the Florida Statutes are followed
  3. Attend all Board of Supervisor meetings – implement the policies of the Board  
  4. Additional duties as directed by the Board


The Field Manager's responsibilities include:

  1. Maintenance and oversight of water and wastewater facilities and storm-water ponds
  2. Assist in preparing and submitting budget numbers for maintenance items
  3. Approve and submit invoices
  4. Attend all Board of Supervisor meetings – implement the policies of the Board  
  5. Additional duties as directed by the Board  

Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law, commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law, provides a right of access to governmental proceedings at both the State and local levels.  The law is equally applicable to elected and appointed Boards and has been applied to any gathering of two or more members of the same Board to discuss some matter which will foreseeably come before that Board for action. The Sunshine Law establishes a basic right of access to most meetings of Boards, commissions and other governing bodies of state and local governmental agencies or authorities to prevent members of a government Board from secretly dealing with public business.

Public agencies are allowed to adopt reasonable rules and regulations which ensure the orderly conduct of a public meeting and which require orderly behavior on the part of the public attending.  This includes limiting the amount of time an individual can speak and, when a large number of people attend and wish to speak, requesting that a representative of each side of the issue speak rather than everyone present.

Reasonable public notice is required for all meetings subject to the Sunshine Law.  The type of notice which must be given depends on the facts of the situation and the Board involved.  In some instances, posting of the notice in an area set aside for that purpose may be sufficient; in others, publication in a local newspaper may be necessary.  In either case an agency must give notice at such time and in such a manner as will enable the media and the general public to attend the meeting.  

There are three basic requirements of Chapter 286.011, Florida Statutes:

  1. meetings of public Boards or commissions must be open to the public;
  2. reasonable notice of such meetings must be given; and  
  3. minutes of the meetings must be taken.

Public Records Law states:
Every person who has custody of a public record shall permit the record to be inspected and examined by any person desiring to do so, at any reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision by the custodian of the public record or the custodian’s designee.  The custodian shall furnish a copy or a certified copy of the record upon payment of the fee prescribed by law; and for all other copies, upon payment of the actual cost of duplication of the record.

The custodian of records for the district is Inframark, Infrastructure Management Services, 210 North University Drive, Suite 702, Coral Springs, FL 33071.  Telephone (954) 603-0033

The CDD issues Special Assessment Revenue Bonds to finance community infrastructure. Generally, Community Development Districts assess each property owner a yearly capital debt service assessment to pay back those bonds. In the case of the CDD a significant portion of this capital assessment will be prepaid by the developer at the time of closing. In addition, to maintain the facilities of the community and administer the CDD, the CDD conducts a public hearing each year at which it adopts an operating and maintenance budget. The funding of this budget is levied as an operating and maintenance assessment on your property by the Board of Supervisors. All residents pay for a share of the maintenance of the CDD improvements through this annual assessment.

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