Latham, Luna, Eden & Beaudine, LLP Represents Client in Establishment of Ravaudage CDD

On April 8, 2013, the Public Finance department of LSEB, including attorneys Jan Carpenter and Colt Little, represented a large landowner client in front of the Winter Park City Commission to achieve the successful establishment of the Ravaudage Community Development District (District) over the landowner’s property, the first community development district (CDD) to be established within the City.  It is anticipated that the District will encompass a mixed-use project containing residential units, retail and office space, a hotel and recreational spaces.  The creation of the District for the Ravaudage project will allow for the financing (through the sale of tax-exempt bonds, an option available to a CDD, which is a governmental entity), construction/acquisition, operation and maintenance of the project-wide public infrastructure improvements (roadways, sidewalks, lighting, parking, stormwater management, utilities, recreational areas, etc.) for the benefit of the residents and property owners within the District.

A CDD is a local, special-purpose governmental entity authorized by Chapter 190 of the Florida Statutes as an alternative method of planning, acquiring, operating and maintaining public infrastructure improvements and services in planned communities. As a governmental entity, CDDs offer autonomy, accountability, stability and the capacity to sell tax-exempt bonds, repaid through assessments levied on the benefitted properties or other available revenue sources, thus providing financing for public infrastructure that might otherwise take years to build.  CDDs are attractive to surrounding local governments, such as cities and counties, because they foster rapid development, increasing the tax base at no cost to municipal governments or citizens who don’t live within the CDD, and because they serve as the local governmental entity for managing the operation and maintenance of the public improvements in perpetuity.

CDDs can offer the solution to Florida’s need to provide financing for community infrastructure generated by growth, ultimately without overburdening other local governments and their taxpaying residents. CDDs represent a major advancement in Florida’s effort to manage its growth effectively and efficiently, and this allows a community to establish higher construction standards while providing a long-term arrangement for the operation and maintenance of the community’s facilities.  As conventional construction loans have been increasingly difficult to obtain in today’s economic climate, CDDs can also provide unique financing and planning opportunities to developers seeking alternative methods of completing the public infrastructure improvements necessary to facilitate development.  The Public Finance department at LSEB has extensive experience in both establishing and representing community development district, and currently serves as District Counsel to over a dozen CDDs.