Lakewood Ranch Community Development District’s 2, 5 and 6 separately voted Thursday to approve an interlocal agreement to share the cost of maintaining and operating the gate at Balmoral Woods Boulevard and the gate at Legacy Boulevard.
The decision Thursday, at the boards’ regularly scheduled meetings, came after CDD 6 board members had considered tabling the vote due to dissention among residents of Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club West, who had petitioned for the opportunity to have a public meeting where they could verbalize why they oppose the agreement.
The division has been so strong that Robert Burstein, CDD 6 board chairman, resigned as chairman Monday, saying he felt threatened by the opposition.
After CDDs 2 and 5 each approved the agreement Thursday, Country Club West residents flooded into Lakewood Ranch Town Hall to watch CDD 6 vote.
By approving the agreement unanimously, the CDD 6 board signaled that the public had enough previous opportunities to express concerns about the agreement.
Supervisor Richard Williams did not vote because he is out of town.
“I felt there was nothing more we could do,” said Supervisor Doug Ferry. “People have had plenty of opportunities to ask questions. We tried to answer the questions. In the end, I’m here to help the people and help Lakewood Ranch.”
For the past seven months, the three CDDs had been collaborating to formalize a solution to the cost-sharing issue, holding monthly workshops that are open to the public.
Under the terms of the agreement — which is meant to fairly distribute costs amongst the boards to operate the gate at Balmoral Woods Boulevard — the CDDs will share costs on an equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) basis.
Currently, CDD 6 exclusively bears the cost of the Balmoral Woods Boulevard gate, while CDDs 2 and 5 share the cost of the Legacy Boulevard gate.
After the agreement takes effect Oct. 1, CDD 6 will pay 20.27% of costs related to the gatehouses, while districts 2 and 5 would pay 35.70% and 44.03%, respectively.
The two-year agreement includes automatic renewals for successive two-year periods, unless the boards provide one-year notice of nonrenewal.
James Rogoze, secretary of the Country Club West Homeowners Association, expressed disappointment in the decision.
“It was a surprise,” Rogoze said. “I find it difficult to understand why the board wouldn’t listen to what the residents want them to do.”
CDD 6 supervisors said its residents will see a decrease in their 2015 tax bill as a result of the agreement.
“The gates will still operate the same,” Burstein said. “The only difference people will see as a result of this agreement is a decrease in their tax bill.”
CDD 6 supervisors vowed to continue to collaborate with their country club counterparts.
“The interactions (with CDDs 2 and 5) have been very positive,” Supervisor James Hill said. “I look forward to do more to improve the life of Country Club Village.”
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