District Information

Full Legal Name: Lake Deer Community Development District

B. Public Purpose: The Lake Deer Community Development District is a local, special purpose government entity authorized by Chapter 190 of the Florida Statutes as amended, and created by ordinance of Polk County Ordinance No. 21-030 as an alternative method of planning, acquiring, operating and maintaining community-wide improvements in planned communities. A CDD provides the “solution” to Florida’s need to provide valuable community infrastructure generated by growth, ultimately without overburdening other governments and their taxpaying residents. Community Development Districts represent a major advancement in Florida’s effort to manage its growth effectively and efficiently. This allows a developer to establish higher construction standards, meanwhile providing a long-term solution to the operation and maintenance of the community’s facilities. The Lake Deer CDD has been granted those general powers defined in Section 190.011, Florida Statutes, as well as those special powers defined in Section 190.012(1) and (2)(a), (d), and (e), Florida Statutes, all as more particularly described in The Polk County Ordinance. CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO CHAPTER 190, F.S.

C. Contact Info:
Lake Deer Community Development District
219 E. Livingston Street
Orlando, Florida 32801
Tel: (407) 841-5524
Fax: (407) 839-1526

D. Fiscal Year: October 1 through September 30

E. District Establishment Date: June 15, 2021 PDF

F. Contact Info for District:
Jill Burns
Lake Deer Community Development District
Governmental Management Services
Central Florida, LLC
219 E. Livingston Street
Orlando, Florida 32801
Tel: (407) 841-5524
Fax: (407) 839-1526
jburns@gmscfl.com

Website: www.LakeDeerCDD.com

G. Map of the District: PDF

H. Taxes, Fees, and Assessments: Assessments are collected Pursuant to Florida Statutes Chapter 170.

I. Primary Contact Info:
Lake Deer Community Development District
Governmental Management Services
Central Florida, LLC
219 E. Livingston Street
Orlando, Florida 32801

J. Code of Ethics: Link to Florida Commission on Ethics (CLICK HERE)

Board of Supervisors

Rennie Heath
Chair

346 East Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880

rheath@heathfl.com

8633243698

Term Expires: 11/2025

Seat #2

Lauren Schwenk
Vice Chair

346 East Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880

loakley@cassidyhomes.com

8633243698 x 229

Term Expires: 11/2023

Seat #3

Andrew Rhinehart
Assistant Secretary

346 East Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880

andrew@cassidyholdingsfl.com

8633243698

Term Expires: 11/2025

Seat #1

Patrick Marone
Assistant Secretary

346 East Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880

pmarone@heathfl.com

8633243698

Term Expires: 11/2023

Seat #5

Justin Frye
Assistant Secretary

346 East Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880

pmarone@heathfl.com

8633243698

Term Expires: 11/2023

Seat #4

District Contacts

Jill Burns
District Manager

Governmental Management Services

jburns@gmscfl.com

219 E. Livingston Street
Orlando, FL 32801

Roy Van Wyk
District Attorney

KE Law Group

roy@kelawgroup.com

P.O. Box 6386
Tallahassee, Florida 32314

Rey Malavé
District Engineer

Dewberry Engineering

rmalave@dewberry.com

800 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 1000
Orlando, FL 32803

Board of Supervisors Meeting Dates

The Board of Supervisors of the Lake Deer Community Development District will hold their regular meetings for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020-2021 and Fiscal Year 2021-2022 at Cassidy Offices, at 346 E. Central Ave., Winter Haven, FL 33880, on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise indicated as follows:

August 3, 2021
September 7, 2021
October 5, 2021 Cancelled
November 2, 2021
December 7, 2021
January 4, 2022
February 1, 2022
March 1, 2022
April 5, 2022
May 3, 2022
June 7, 2022
July 5, 2022
August 2, 2022
September 6, 2022

The meetings are open to the public and will be conducted in accordance with the provision of Florida Law for Community Development Districts. The meetings may be continued to a date, time, and place to be specified on the record at the meeting. A copy of the agenda for these meetings may be obtained from Governmental Management Services – Central Florida, LLC, 219
E. Livingston Street, Orlando, Florida 32801 or by calling (407) 841-5524.

There may be occasions when one or more Supervisors or staff will participate by telephone. Pursuant to provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations at this meeting because of a disability or physical impairment should contact the District Office at (407) 841-5524 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the Florida Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1, or 1-800-955-8771 (TTY)/ 1-800-955-8770 (Voice), for aid in contacting the District Office.

A person who decides to appeal any decision made at the meeting with respect to any matter considered at the meeting is advised that person will need a record of the proceedings and that accordingly, the person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, including the testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

Community Development District FAQ

The following information briefly answers the most commonly asked questions regarding establishment, powers, and governance of Community Development Districts under Florida law.

Q. What is a Community Development District?
A. A Community Development District (CDD) is an independent special purpose unit of local government established pursuant to and governed by Chapter 190, Florida Statutes. There are more than 275 CDDs throughout Florida today. CDDs have been used to help ensure infrastructure is in place when needed, meet the concerns of permitting agencies with respect to long-term maintenance of infrastructure, and provide access to sources of capital for infrastructure.

Q. What powers are CDDs permitted to exercise?
A. As special purpose local governments, by law CDDs possess certain general legal powers similar to cities and counties, such as the right to enter into contracts, to acquire and dispose of real and personal property, to adopt rules and regulations, and to obtain funds either by borrowing, issuing bonds, or levying non ad valorem assessments and taxes. CDDs also have certain special powers relating to basic public improvements and community facilities, such as roads, bridges, and water management. Finally, CDDs may have the power to undertake other types of facilities, such as recreational amenities, with the consent of the local general purpose government in its jurisdiction. All District powers, however, are authorized subject to the regulatory jurisdiction and permitting authority of all applicable governmental bodies, agencies and special districts having authority with respect to any area included within the District’s external boundaries. By law, CDDs do not have zoning, permitting, or comprehensive planning powers. The creation of a CDD does not change any requirements for governmental approvals of any activities or construction within the District.

Q. How are CDDs governed?
A. CDDs are governed by a five member Board of Supervisors elected initially by District landowners on a one acre one vote basis. Any fraction of an acre is treated as one acre, entitling the owner to one vote. 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 will begin to be elected by qualified electors of the District. A “qualified elector” is any person at least 18 years of age who is a United States citizen, a legal resident of Florida and of the District, and who is registered to vote with the Supervisor of Elections in the County in which the District land is located.

Board meetings are governed by the open meetings 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, CDDs must make District records available for public inspection during normal business hours. The Supervisors themselves are subject to the same financial disclosure requirements as are other local elected officials. These requirements, as well as the myriad of governmental reporting and auditing requirements imposed on CDDs by law, ensure that CDDs are particularly visible and accessible in the relation to other entities exercising responsibility for the development of community infrastructure and services.

In addition to all of the disclosure, records and meetings requirements above, the District is required to submit its budget annually to the County and the County has the option to review and comment on it. The District must also file a public facilities report with the County covering the facilities it provides.

Q. How is a CDD different than other kinds of special districts and homeowners associations?
A. While other kinds of special districts and homeowners associations may address certain issues, none of them have the specific type of powers necessary to provide the infrastructure in the manner contemplated here. In addition to their inability to effectively finance major capital improvements, homeowners associations generally do not meet regulatory agency requirements for stable, perpetual entities for long term maintenance of permitted infrastructure. Further, HOAs do not operate under the same open meeting, public records, and financial disclosure laws as CDDs. HOAs, however, can perform one function that CDDs cannot, namely the enforcement of deed restrictions and the exercise of architectural control. A CDD is also very different from a dependent special district established by a County for such a District, the County staff would have to take on the duties and responsibilities necessary to implement that District’s programs and activities as well as the financing. Undertaking such a responsibility would have an effect on a County’s borrowing capacity, credit rating and be accounted for on the County’s financial statements.

Q. Why do developers seek to establish CDDs?
A. There are several reasons. First a CDD can provide access to a different capital market. While the tax free market generally provides a lower cost of borrowing (i.e., interest rate), there are the initial costs of establishing and running a District that a developer must take into account. Second, to the extent there are facilities, such as water management or recreation that require long term maintenance, a CDD is a more stable, financially diverse entity that provides a higher degree of certainty that the facility will be maintained and have the resources to maintain. Environmental permitting entities generally prefer a CDD to a homeowners association for maintenance of facilities under their jurisdiction. Maintaining the infrastructure helps maintain property values, an important factor to the developer, as well as the homeowner and the county.

Q. How is District non ad valorem special assessments determined?
A. Each property owner will pay an annual assessment to the District based on two component costs. One is the fixed amount required to amortize the debt assessed against each lot, parcel or acre for the facilities acquired or constructed by the District. The other is an annual assessment for District operations and maintenance of District facilities. The annual installation amount may vary in relation to the size and location of the property, and to the infrastructure benefit allocated to the property assessed. Each year, the District Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing to set its budget and the level of assessments. Consequently, District residents will know each year’s assessment in advance.

Q. Do homeowners in a Community Development District pay more for the same amount of services than homeowners in non CDD communities?
A. No. Then analysis needs to begin with the basic premise that a homeowner will pay for the infrastructure improvements, both the construction and the ongoing maintenance of those improvements regardless of what mechanism is used to finance those improvements. From that standpoint, it is more advantageous for a homeowner to incur a portion of those costs through an assessment levied on his tax bill versus having to qualify for an additional amount of money in the form of a home mortgage. The homeowner has the advantage of paying over time in the form of an assessment on the homeowner’s tax bill versus having to finance them at his/her mortgage interest rate.

Q. How are defaults on CDD assessments handled?
A. CDDs may use the procedure for levying and collecting assessments provided in either Chapter 170 or Chapter 197, Florida Statutes. The remedies available to the District under each method are slightly different. However, in either case, if there is a default by an owner of property within a CDD, the bondholders are permitted to look only to the defaulting property for recovery of the delinquent assessment. Chapter 190 specifically provides that the local general purpose government is not responsible for debt issued by a CDD.

Q. Are CDDs permitted to issue general obligation bonds and levy ad valorem taxes?
A. Yes. While District Boards have the power to issue general obligation bonds and to levy and assess ad valorem taxes subject to referendum approval, there is no intention to have the District issue this type of bond or impose ad valorem taxes. By law, issuance of general obligation bonds is limited to financing or refinancing capital projects or to refunding outstanding bonds in an aggregate principal amount of bonds outstanding at any one time not in excess of 35 percent of the assessed value of the taxable property within the District. An ad valorem tax levied for operating purposes, exclusive of debt service on bonds, is limited to three mills. In the event a CDD exercises its ad valorem taxing power, landowner election of Supervisors will no longer be permitted. Prior to exercising such power, all Board members must be elected by qualified electors of the District.

Q. What about revenue bonds?
A. Districts may issue revenue bonds for appropriate projects. Revenue bonds may be secured, or made payable from, the gross or net pledge of the revenues to be derived form any project or combination of projects, from the rates, fees, or other charges to be collected from the users of any project or projects, from any revenue producing undertaking or activity of the District, from special assessments, or from any other source or pledges security. All bonds issued by CDDs must be secured by a trust agreement and any bonds maturing over a period of more than five years must be validated and confirmed by court decree. (excluding refunding bonds)

Q. What are District rates, fees and charges?
A. CDDs are authorized, after a public hearing, to prescribe, fix, establish, and collect rates, fees, rentals or other charges for the facilities and services furnished by the District. Florida law provides that these revenues must be uniform, just and equitable for users of the same class.

Q. What kinds of disclosures are required with respect to the sale of real property within CDDs?
A. CDDs are required by statute to take affirmative steps to provide full disclosure of information relating to the public financing and maintenance of improvements to real property undertaken by the District. This information must be made available to all existing residents of the District and to all prospective residents. Moreover, the CDD is required to furnish developer of any residential
development within the District enough copies of this information for distribution to each prospective purchaser. Finally, Florida law requires that all contracts for sale of land within a CDD must include the following language:

The (name of the District) imposes taxes or assessments or both taxes and assessments, on this property through a special taxing District. These taxes and assessments pay the construction, operation and maintenance costs of certain public facilities of the District and are set annually by the governing Board of District. These taxes and assessments are in addition to County and all other taxes and assessments provided for by law.

This disclosure language must appear in bold faced and conspicuous type which is larger than the type in the remaining text of the contract and must be situated immediately prior to the space reserved in the contract for the signature of the purchaser.

This contract disclosure is in addition to the information provided by the District to the developer and ultimately to the builder and homeowner/purchaser.

Management Services

Governmental Management Services LLC – Central Florida

Governmental Management Services (GMS) is a family of limited liability companies that was established on November 26, 2004 for the purpose of providing special district management services to Community Development Districts (CDD). GMS currently has offices in Orlando, St. Cloud, Ft. Lauderdale, Tallahassee, Port St. Lucie, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville, Florida, and Knoxville, Tennessee. GMS currently manages over 130 Community Development Districts across the State of Florida.

Governmental Management Services
Central Florida, LLC
219 E. Livingston Street
Orlando, Florida 32801

www.govmgtsvc.com