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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XII
MUNICIPALITIES
Chapter 171
LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARIES
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F.S. 171.031
171.031 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the following words and terms have the following meanings unless some other meaning is plainly indicated:
(1) “Annexation” means the adding of real property to the boundaries of an incorporated municipality, such addition making such real property in every way a part of the municipality.
(2) “Compactness” means concentration of a piece of property in a single area and precludes any action which would create enclaves, pockets, or finger areas in serpentine patterns. Any annexation proceeding in any county in this state must be designed in such a manner as to ensure that the area will be reasonably compact.
(3) “Contiguous” means that a substantial part of a boundary of the territory sought to be annexed by a municipality is coterminous with a part of the boundary of the municipality. The separation of the territory sought to be annexed from the annexing municipality by a publicly owned county park; a right-of-way for a highway, road, railroad, canal, or utility; or a body of water, watercourse, or other minor geographical division of a similar nature, running parallel with and between the territory sought to be annexed and the annexing municipality, may not prevent annexation under this act, provided the presence of such a division does not, as a practical matter, prevent the territory sought to be annexed and the annexing municipality from becoming a unified whole with respect to municipal services or prevent their inhabitants from fully associating and trading with each other, socially and economically. However, nothing in this subsection may be construed to allow local rights-of-way, utility easements, railroad rights-of-way, or like entities to be annexed in a corridor fashion to gain contiguity; and when any provision of any special law prohibits the annexation of territory that is separated from the annexing municipality by a body of water or watercourse, then that law shall prevent annexation under this act.
(4) “Contraction” means the reversion of real property within municipal boundaries to an unincorporated status.
(5) “Enclave” means:
(a) Any unincorporated improved or developed area that is enclosed within and bounded on all sides by a single municipality; or
(b) Any unincorporated improved or developed area that is enclosed within and bounded by a single municipality and a natural or manmade obstacle that allows the passage of vehicular traffic to that unincorporated area only through the municipality.
(6) “Feasibility study” means an analysis conducted by qualified staff or consultants of the economic, market, technical, financial, and management feasibility of the proposed annexation or contraction, as applicable.
(7) “Municipality” means a municipality created pursuant to general or special law authorized or recognized pursuant to s. 2 or s. 6, Art. VIII of the State Constitution.
(8) “Newspaper of general circulation” means a newspaper printed in the language most commonly spoken in the area within which it circulates, which is readily available for purchase by all inhabitants in its area of circulation, but does not include a newspaper intended primarily for members of a particular professional or occupational group, a newspaper whose primary function is to carry legal notices, or a newspaper that is given away primarily to distribute advertising.
(9) “Parties affected” means any persons or firms owning property in, or residing in, either a municipality proposing annexation or contraction or owning property that is proposed for annexation to a municipality or any governmental unit with jurisdiction over such area.
(10) “Qualified voter” means any person registered to vote in accordance with law.
(11) “Sufficiency of petition” means the verification of the signatures and addresses of all signers of a petition with the voting list maintained by the county supervisor of elections and certification that the number of valid signatures represents the required percentage of the total number of qualified voters in the area affected by a proposed annexation.
(12) “Urban in character” means an area used intensively for residential, urban recreational or conservation parklands, commercial, industrial, institutional, or governmental purposes or an area undergoing development for any of these purposes.
(13) “Urban purposes” means that land is used intensively for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and governmental purposes, including any parcels of land retained in their natural state or kept free of development as dedicated greenbelt areas.
(14) “Urban services” means any services offered by a municipality, either directly or by contract, to any of its present residents.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-190; s. 1, ch. 75-297; s. 75, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 84-148; s. 15, ch. 93-206; s. 2, ch. 2023-305.