What is a CDD?

The Golden Lakes Community Development District (“CDD” or “District”) was established September 15, 1992, by Ordinance No. 92-29 of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. Click here for the Ordinance establishing the District.

On November 9, 2005, the Polk County Board of County Commissioners approved the District’s petition to expand the District to a total of 438.224 acres (from its previously established 370 acres). Click here for the Ordinance that expanded the District’s boundaries.

The Golden Lakes CDD is a Planned Unit Development including single-family units, a commercial parcel, an 18-hole championship golf course and clubhouse, and nine existing and planned lakes. The development is located in Polk County, Florida, approximately two miles south of the City of Lakeland. The land comprising the development is a reclaimed phosphate mine, of which 83% is considered usable land, with elevation changes of up to 100 feet and over 50 acres of lakes. This development is located in the “Highlands” residential area of the greater Lakeland area.

The Golden Lakes community is bounded by County Road 540-A to the north, U.S. Highway 98 to the east, State Road 60 to the south, and State Road 37 to the west. Shopping facilities are located within one mile of the community. Golden Lakes is within the Lakeland School District, with elementary, middle and high schools within two miles of the community.

General CDD Information

A Community Development District is a local unit of special-purpose government created primarily for the purpose of providing infrastructure for new communities and limited to the performance of those specialized functions authorized by Chapter 190, Florida Statutes, (the “Act”). The Act was enacted in 1980 to provide a uniform method for the establishment of independent Districts to manage and finance basic community development services, including capital infrastructure required for community developments throughout the State of Florida. The Act provides legal authority for CDDs, such as Golden Lakes CDD, to finance the acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of the major infrastructure for community development.

The Act provides that CDDs have the power to issue general obligation, revenue and special assessment bonds in any combination to pay all or part of the cost of infrastructure improvements authorized under the Act. The Act further provides that CDDs have the power to (i) levy and assess taxes, including special assessments, on all taxable real and tangible personal property within their boundaries to pay the principal and interest on bonds issued, and (ii) to provide for any sinking or other funds established in connection with any such bond issues. Pursuant to the Act, such special assessments shall be assessed, levied and collected in the same manner and time as County taxes.

Among other provisions, the Act gives the District’s Board of Supervisors the right (i) to hold, control, acquire by donation, purchase, condemn or dispose of any public easements, dedications to public use, platted reservations for public purposes or any reservations for those purposes authorized by the Act and to make use of such easements, dedications, or reservations for any of the purposes authorized by the Act; (ii) to finance, fund, plan, establish, acquire, construct or reconstruct, enlarge or extend, equip, operate and maintain stormwater management and control, water supply, sewer and wastewater management systems, or any combination thereof and to construct and operate connecting intercepting or outlet sewers and sewer mains and pipes and water mains, conduits, or pipelines in, along, and under any street, alley, highway, or other public place or ways, and to dispose of any effluent, residue, or other byproducts of such system or sewer system; (iii) to borrow money and issue bonds, certificates, warrants, notes or other evidence of indebtedness of the District; and (iv) to exercise all of the powers necessary, convenient, incidental or proper in connection with any of the powers, duties or purposes authorized by the Act.

The Act does not empower the District to adopt and enforce any land use plans or zoning ordinances, and the Act does not empower the District to grant building permits; these functions are to be performed by general-purpose local governments (e.g., Polk County) acting through their governing boards and their departments of government.