LAKEWOOD RANCH — If tentative community development district budgets are adopted as-is in August, most Lakewood Ranch residents will see minimal increases in their assessments for the 2011 fiscal year.
On June 10, Lakewood Ranch community development district supervisors in Districts 1, 2, 4 and 5 adopted tentative budgets that would increase residents’ assessment an average of $16 to $29 annually per household, varying by district.
Assessments within each district vary by neighborhood, and many neighborhoods even will see decreases in assessments.
Public hearings to adopt the final budgets will be held Aug. 26.
In CDD 2, supervisors also have agreed to change the way neighborhood allocations are calculated. That change will be up for a public discussion toward the end of summer, as well.
CDD 2 supervisor and chairman Bob Stepleman said several condominium neighborhoods last year were concerned that they were being overcharged in their assessments. This year, supervisors studied how to better match amenities with how neighborhoods were being assessed. Much of the community was not built-out when the assessment schedule was created.
“Basically, what we agreed to do, and what we did, is to start over again and reexamine a basis for dividing up the costs,” he said. “They are already tied closely to benefits, but now (even more so).”
As a result, if changes are approved, residents in Miramar will see a decrease of 18.1%, and residents in Boca Grove will see a decrease of 20.8%. The neighborhood of Weston, however, will see an increase of about 27% because it was benefiting as if it had its own gate, Stepleman said.
Residents in Legacy also will see an increase of 41.2% because they had not been contributing toward road reserves like the other neighborhoods and will begin doing so, Stepleman said.
Assessments in CDD 2, on average, went up 1.42% compared to the 2010 fiscal year. Stepleman attributed the increase to the board’s decision to place $30,000 in a contingency fund for landscaping, should the district decide to change landscape contractors during the year. Its current landscaping service, Mainscapes, has failed a monthly inspection and currently is not performing up to standards, he said.
“We’re not sure whether we will keep them on,” Stepleman said. “No final decision has been made. If we were to get another landscaper next year, the costs may go up. That’s the only place where the increase came from.”
In CDD 1, homeowners will see an average increase of $21 per household, with the increase attributed to clearing the lakes and preserves of exotic plants, among other items, Supervisor June Stroup said.
The CDD 1 board has opted to use $30,000 in reserves, and reduce funding for Christmas decorations, among other things, to keep assessment increases down, she said.
In CDD 5, the average increase per household comes out to about $16 annually.
“We did really well on our budget and I think the majority of our residents will be very happy with (it),” CDD 5 Supervisor Glenda Robertson said.
Michael Griffin, chairman for CDD 4, said Greenbrook residents will see an average of 2.7% increase in assessments. Those increase include funding for some additional landscaping and maintenance work, as well as upgrades to some mailboxes.
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The Inter-District Authority Board approved its tentative budget May 20. It includes $40,000 for the purchase of a new HV/AC unit, the purchase and implementation of new accounting/property management services software and the hiring of additional staff at Town Hall, among other items.