Fiddler's Creek CDD
What is it?
First, CDD stands for Community Development District. All CDDs, including the Fiddler's Creek CDD, is a governmental entity created to serve the specific needs of a particular development. The powers of a CDD are outlined in Florida Statue Chapter 190. The purpose of this law is to promote housing development through use of tax-free bonds that developers use to lower the initial cost of these residential communities. Developers issue bonds to pay for initial infrastructure (sewers, roads, water supply, grading, utilities, etc.). The bonds are then paid off by residents over periods of 10-30 years. Some communities within Fiddler's Creek have nearly finished paying off their CDD bonds.
The big advantage of a CDD is that housing is less expensive since major development costs are deferred and are financed through the use of tax-free bonds instead of higher-interest bank loans. In other words, if the infrastructure costs were not deferred and regular loans were used to finance the development, home prices would be much higher in Fiddler's Creek.
Is a CDD Good or Bad?
Certainly, Fiddler's Creek is a special place and this likely would not have been possible without the CDD - not at these prices. If you doubt this, simply compare Fiddler's Creek prices with comparable inland home prices two miles away in Marco Island. Apples to apples, the Marco Island home will be 50%-80% more expensive and offer none of the amenities. Also, the CDD assures buyers that their investment will be secure and the quality of the development will remain intact long after the developer has moved on.
How does a CDD operate?
A CDD is governed by its Board of Supervisors consisting of five members. Initially, Board Members are elected by property owners and usually composed of representatives of the developer. Thereafter, the Board of Supervisors is elected by the majority vote of the electors within the District. 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.
Is a CDD an HOA?
No. The CDD complements your Fiddler's Creek homeowner's associations. Many functions traditionally managed by HOAs in other communities may be handled by the CDD in Fiddler's Creek. However, the various HOAs within Fiddler's have their own responsibilities such as operating amenities and ensuring that deed restrictions and other quality standards are enforced.
Benefits to Residents
Residents receive three major benefits with a CDD. 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. Many residents of other developments without a CDD will wait perpetually for promised infrastructure and amenities that never come. 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.
Fiddler's Creek residents and property owners dictate the standards of quality, which are then managed by the CDD. This allows for a consistent quality of management thereby helping protect the property values in our neighborhood.
How is the CDD paid?
The cost to operate a CDD is borne by those who benefit from its services, the residents and property owners. As a property owners, you are subject to a non-ad valorem assessment, which appears on your annual property tax bill from the county tax collector. This assessment consists of two parts - an annual assessment for operations and maintenance and an annual capital or debt service assessment to repay bonds sold by the CDD to finance community infrastructure and facilities. Because costs and services vary depending upon the individual CDD, specific fee information is available for each village within Fiddler's Creek.