Bill Passed by Florida House Would Provide Path to Cityhood for Special Districts
Published on Thursday, 08 March 2012 21:50
Legislation approved by the Florida House of Representatives Wednesday provides a way for some special districts in the state of Florida to incorporate as cities, but although Ave Maria would qualify, a spokesman for the Barron Collier Cos. said there are no plans to seek cityhood, and the company was not involved in any with with the legislation.
The bill would still need to pass the Senate and with the legislative session finishing at the end of this week it is uncertain whether it will even come up for a vote.
The legislation was originally proposed by Senator Mike Bennett, who represents a district in the Sarasota area. In its original form, it would have permitted a large number of special districts to incorporate. The Naples Daily News reported, however, that the House balked at the breadth of the original bill and it was scaled back.
The Florida Association of Special Districts says that there are more than 1,600 independent and dependent special districts in Florida covering a wide range of purposes including firefighting and community development. More than 500 local governments are involved, according to the association.
The legislation passed by the House would provide a path to cityhood only for two types of those districts: stewardship districts and community districts. There are fewer than 20 of those districts in Florida.
"We were not involved in this legislation and have no plans to pursue any change in status for the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District," said Tom Sansbury, a Barron Collier Cos. vice president whose duties including acting as the developer's representative to the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District board.Click for more in story from Naples Daily News