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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 418
RECREATION DISTRICTS
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CHAPTER 418
CHAPTER 418
RECREATION DISTRICTS
418.20 Creation of recreation districts authorized.
418.21 Governing body.
418.22 Powers of recreation districts.
418.23 Limitation on power of districts.
418.24 Filing of ordinance.
418.25 Actions by aggrieved parties.
418.26 Assessment records.
418.30 Creation of mobile home park recreation districts.
418.302 Governing body of mobile home park recreation district.
418.304 Powers of the mobile home park recreation district; recreation district tax.
418.306 Bonds of the mobile home park recreation district.
418.309 Abolishment of the mobile home park recreation district.
418.20 Creation of recreation districts authorized.Each municipality and county in the state is authorized to create one or more recreation districts comprising the whole of or any part of the territory of said municipality and by counties only in the unincorporated areas of each county. Each such district shall be established by ordinance approved by a vote of the electors in the district in accordance with s. 165.041. Such ordinance, as it may from time to time be amended by the governing body of said municipality or county and approved by a vote of the electors in the district, shall constitute the charter of the recreation district. The electors residing in a proposed district may petition the governing body of the city or county to create a recreation district. If a majority of electors has signed the petition, no referendum shall be required to create the district.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-237.
418.21 Governing body.
(1) The governing body of a recreation district shall be determined by ordinance of the municipality or county that created the district and must be either:
(a) A five-member or larger board of supervisors elected from among the residents of the district, or
(b) The governing body of the municipality or county that created the district.
(2)(a) If the governing body is a board of supervisors, the ordinance must specify the date of the election and must provide that each property owner or resident in the district has the right to vote in the election. The ordinance may also provide for the staggering of terms of the supervisors. The ordinance may also provide for the establishment of designated geographic areas within the district from each of which are elected one or more members of the board of supervisors to represent that area, provided the ordinance is made contingent on approval by a majority vote of the electors in each designated area.
(b) Members of the board of supervisors shall serve without compensation.
(3) If the governing body is the governing body of the municipality or county that created the district, that body may appoint a district advisory board to advise it on all matters relating to the district. Members of the advisory board shall serve without compensation.
History.s. 4, ch. 78-237; s. 1, ch. 79-258; s. 24, ch. 94-350.
418.22 Powers of recreation districts.The charter of a recreation district may grant to the recreation district the following powers and all further or additional powers as the governing body of the municipality or county establishing the district may deem necessary or useful in order to exercise the powers for which provision is hereinafter made. The powers which may be granted by such charter include the following:
(1) To sue and be sued and to have a corporate seal.
(2) To contract and be contracted with.
(3) To acquire, purchase, construct, improve, and equip recreational facilities of all types, including real and personal property, within the boundaries of the district; such acquisition may be by purchase, lease, gift, or exercise of the power of eminent domain. If the governing body of the municipality or county that created the recreation district for exclusive use by a condominium established under chapter 718 or a cooperative established under chapter 719 makes the finding described in s. 418.24(4), the governing body of the district may make the recreational facilities available exclusively for district residents and property owners, and may restrict any access to recreational facilities by nonresidents by rules adopted by the governing body of the district. Prior to any vote of the electors in the district adopting or amending a charter pursuant to s. 418.20, the governing body shall decide whether the criteria in s. 418.24(4) apply and whether the recreation district shall be available exclusively for the district residents. The recreation district may construct and maintain security buildings and other structures needed to regulate access to, and provide security for, the recreational facilities.
(4) To issue bonds, secured by ad valorem taxes or by pledge of both such taxes and other revenues of the district, if approved at a referendum held in such district, and to levy and collect ad valorem taxes, without limitation or with such limitation as may be imposed by charter, on all real property subject to city taxation within such district in order to pay the principal of and interest on such bonds as the same respectively fall due or to accumulate a sinking fund for the payment of principal and interest. The referendum required by this section may be held on the same day as any other referendum related to the district; provided that such bonds shall bear interest at a rate pursuant to s. 215.84 and be sold at public sale. In the event an offer of an issue of bonds at public sale produces no bid, or in the event all bids received are rejected, the district is authorized to negotiate for the sale of such bonds under such rates and terms as are acceptable; provided that no such bonds shall be sold or delivered on terms less favorable than the terms contained in any bids rejected at the public sale thereof or the terms contained in the notice of public sale if no bids were received at such public sale.
(5) To operate and maintain recreational facilities or to enter into arrangements with others for such operation and maintenance pursuant to contract, lease, or otherwise.
(6) To establish, charge, and collect fees for admission to or use of recreational facilities and to apply such fees to the operation, maintenance, improvement, enlargement, or acquisition of recreational facilities or to the payment of bonds or revenue bonds of the district.
(7) To issue revenue bonds payable solely from the revenues to be derived from recreational facilities owned or operated by such district if approved at a referendum held in such district; provided that such bonds shall bear interest at a rate pursuant to s. 215.84 and be sold at public sale. In the event an offer of an issue of bonds at public sale produces no bid, or in the event all bids received are rejected, the district is authorized to negotiate for the sale of such bonds under such rates and terms as are acceptable; provided that no such bonds shall be so sold or delivered on terms less favorable than the terms contained in any bids rejected at the public sale thereof or the terms contained in the notice of public sale if no bids were received at such public sale.
(8) To adopt and enforce rules for the use of the recreational facilities owned or operated by the district.
(9) To employ all personnel deemed necessary for the operation and maintenance of the facilities of the district.
History.s. 2, ch. 78-237; s. 29, ch. 83-215; s. 25, ch. 94-350.
418.23 Limitation on power of districts.The charter of any recreation district may contain such limitations and restrictions on any of the powers named in s. 418.22 as the governing body of the municipality or county may from time to time determine, but no such restriction shall result in impairing the ability of a district to carry out any contract made by such district prior to the adoption of such restriction.
History.s. 3, ch. 78-237.
418.24 Filing of ordinance.Any ordinance creating or amending the charter of a recreation district, upon being finally adopted, shall be filed in the minutes of the governing body of the municipality or county, and certified copies thereof shall be filed with the county clerk of the county in which said district is located and with the property appraiser of said county. The charter of a recreation district may contain findings by the governing body of the municipality or county:
(1) That the creation of such district is the best alternative available for delivering recreational service.
(2) That such district is amenable to separate special district government.
(3) That all of the territory in the district will be benefited by proposed improvements to be made by said district.
(4) That, for recreation districts created for exclusive use by a condominium established pursuant to chapter 718 or a cooperative established under chapter 719, based upon the number of residents, potential for proliferation of crime, automobile traffic flow, district development, availability of other recreational facilities outside the district, excessive noise levels, or other factors applicable to the particular district, a valid and paramount public purpose will be served by making the recreational facilities available exclusively for district residents and property owners.

If such charter contains any one or more such findings, each such finding may be reviewed by a court only as part of any review of the ordinance making such finding.

History.s. 6, ch. 78-237; s. 26, ch. 94-350.
418.25 Actions by aggrieved parties.Any person feeling aggrieved by the adoption of an ordinance granting or amending the charter of a recreation district may bring, within the period hereinafter prescribed, an appropriate action in the circuit court of the state for that county in which the municipality is located for declaratory or injunctive relief on the grounds that the adoption of said ordinance or any part thereof was arbitrary, capricious, confiscatory, or violative of constitutional guarantees. Such action may be brought at any time during a period beginning immediately upon the adoption of said ordinance and ending no later than the earlier to occur of:
(1) One year from the date of adoption of said ordinance; or
(2) The date of judicial validation of the first bonds, tax bonds, or revenue bonds of said district to be authorized and validated after the adoption of the ordinance under chapter 75.

After the expiration of said period, no one shall have any right or cause of action to challenge such ordinance or the existence of any recreation district created thereby, whether such challenge be brought under this law or under any other law.

History.s. 7, ch. 78-237.
418.26 Assessment records.The assessment records for the municipality or county in which a recreation district is located shall be the official assessment records for any recreation district created pursuant to this act. The official charged with keeping said assessment records shall, at the request of the governing body of any recreation district, provide an assessment roll for any such district showing the assessed valuation of taxable property in said district. Unless otherwise provided by the charter of a recreation district, the official who collects taxes in the municipality or county shall be the tax collector of said district. Taxes of any such district shall be payable at the same time as, and shall be secured by a lien on taxable property the same as, municipal or county taxes. Enforcement of any such tax lien shall be in the same manner and by the same officials as enforcement of liens for municipal or county taxes.
History.s. 5, ch. 78-237.
418.30 Creation of mobile home park recreation districts.Any municipality or county in the state is authorized to create one or more mobile home park recreation districts. Each such district shall be limited to the boundaries of a mobile home park and shall be established by an ordinance approved by a vote of the electors residing in the proposed district. Such ordinance, as it may from time to time be amended by the governing body of the municipality or county and approved by a vote of the electors in the district, shall constitute the charter of the district. The electors residing in a proposed district may petition the governing body of the municipality or county to create a mobile home park recreation district. If a majority of electors of the proposed district has signed the petition, no referendum shall be required to create the district.
History.s. 34, ch. 83-204.
418.302 Governing body of mobile home park recreation district.
(1) The governing body of a recreation district created pursuant to s. 418.30 shall consist of a nine-member board of trustees elected by the electors of the district. A person desiring to have her or his name placed on the ballot for election as a trustee of the district shall be a qualified elector of the district and shall present a written petition, signed by the applicant and not fewer than 25 other electors of the district, to the supervisor of elections of the county not less than 60 days prior to the date of the election. The supervisor of elections shall be entitled to a reasonable reimbursement for conducting the election, payable out of the general funds of the district.
(2) The ordinance creating the district shall specify the date of the election. Notice of the election, setting forth the names of the persons proposed as trustees of the district, shall be given by the supervisor of elections by mail addressed to each qualified elector not less than 15 days before the date of the election. Such notice shall also be published one time at least 10 days prior to the election in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county. If no such newspaper is published in the county, the supervisor of elections shall cause written or printed notices of the election to be posted in five public places within the district. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 101.20, the publication of a sample ballot is not required.
(3) In the election held to elect the first board of trustees for the district, the candidates receiving the first, third, fifth, seventh, and ninth highest number of votes shall be elected to serve for terms of 2 years each, and the candidates receiving the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth highest number of votes shall be elected to serve for terms of 1 year each. Thereafter, elections for the board of trustees shall be held annually on a date to be specified in the ordinance creating the district, and those persons elected after the initial election shall be elected to serve for terms of 2 years each. A trustee may succeed herself or himself in office.
(4) After each election, the board of trustees shall organize itself by electing from its number a chair, two vice chairs, a secretary, and a treasurer. The trustees may not receive any compensation for their services, but shall be entitled to be reimbursed from funds of the district for any authorized disbursements they may properly incur in behalf of the district. Each trustee who is authorized to sign checks of the district or is otherwise designated to handle its funds shall, before she or he enters upon such duties, execute to the Governor, for the benefit of the district, a good and sufficient bond, approved by a circuit judge of the county in which the district is established, in the sum of $10,000 with a qualified corporate surety, conditioned to faithfully perform the duties of her or his office and to account for all funds which may come into her or his hands as such trustee. All premiums for the surety on such bonds shall be paid from the funds of the district. The trustees shall conduct their business as a public body and shall be subject to all laws of the state relating to open government, financial disclosure, avoidance of conflicts of interest, and ethics.
(5) Any vacancy on the board of trustees shall be filled for the unexpired term by the appointment of a successor from among the qualified electors of the district by the remaining trustees. Any trustee who fails to discharge her or his duties may be removed for cause by the board of trustees after due notice and an opportunity to be heard upon charges of malfeasance or misfeasance. A trustee who is not guilty of malfeasance or misfeasance in office is relieved of any personal liability for acts done by her or him while holding office. Except with respect to matters wherein it is adjudged that the trustee is liable for gross negligence or misconduct in the performance of her or his duties, a trustee who is made a party to any action, suit, or proceeding solely by reason of her or his holding office in the district shall be indemnified by the district against reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by the trustee in defending such suit, action, or proceeding.
History.s. 35, ch. 83-204; s. 75, ch. 97-103; s. 57, ch. 2001-62.
418.304 Powers of the mobile home park recreation district; recreation district tax.An ordinance creating or amending the charter of a mobile home park recreation district may grant to the recreation district the following powers:
(1) To sue and be sued and to have a corporate seal.
(2) To contract and be contracted with.
(3) To acquire, purchase, construct, improve, equip, and maintain streets and lights, recreational facilities, and other common areas of all types, including real property and personal property, within the boundaries of the existing platted mobile home park to be acquired by the district; such acquisition may be by purchase, lease, or gift.
(4) To levy and assess a special assessment known as a “recreation district tax” against all improved residential parcels situated within the district for the purpose of providing funds to implement the powers of the district, subject to the following:
(a) The fiscal year of the district shall commence October 1 of each year and end on September 30 of the following year. The trustees shall, on or before April 1 of each year, prepare an annual financial statement of income and disbursements during the prior fiscal year. On or before July 1 of each year, the trustees shall prepare and adopt an itemized budget showing the amount of money necessary for the operation of the district for the next fiscal year and the special assessment to be assessed and collected upon improved residential parcels of the district for the next ensuing year. Each year such a financial statement shall be published once during the month of April in a newspaper of general circulation within the county. A copy of the statement and a copy of the budget shall also be furnished to each owner of an improved residential parcel within 30 days after its preparation, and a copy of each shall be made available for public inspection at the principal office of the district at reasonable hours.
(b) The trustees shall, on or before July 30 of each year, by resolution, fix the amount of the assessment for the next ensuing year. These special assessments may be collected in the manner provided for ad valorem taxes under chapter 197, subject to the conditions of s. 197.363. Prior to the adoption of the resolution fixing the amount of the assessment, the trustees shall hold a public hearing at which time qualified electors of the district may appear and be heard. Notice of the time and place of the public hearing shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation within the county at least 21 days prior to the public hearing.
(c) For the purpose of determining property subject to the district assessment, the term “improved residential parcel” means a platted lot on which a mobile home may be erected.
(d) The district assessment shall not be an ad valorem tax, but shall be a special assessment assessed equally against all improved residential parcels. Each parcel of property in the district is hereby declared to be uniformly benefited by the services of such district.
(e) The district assessment shall be a valid lien upon each improved residential parcel of land so assessed until it has been paid. The district board of trustees may collect a district assessment in a single annual installment or in monthly installments equal to 1/12 of the district assessment for the fiscal year. However, before the board elects to collect assessments monthly, it must provide notice and an opportunity for public comment to all affected property owners.
1. If the board of trustees elects to collect the district assessment in a single annual installment, the district assessment must be considered part of the county tax and is subject to the same penalties, charges, fees, and remedies provided for the enforcement and collection of county taxes.
2. If the board of trustees elects to collect the district assessment in equal monthly installments, it must provide to all affected property owners notice that includes a clear and conspicuous statement of the change in the property owner’s rights with regard to foreclosure proceedings. If the district assessment is collected in equal monthly installments, the district assessment must not be considered part of the county tax and must not be collected as part of the county tax collection. Each monthly installment must be billed by the district to the owner of each improved residential parcel at the address of the owner shown on the county tax roll. Each installment is due and payable on the first day of each month and is delinquent if not paid within 1 month after its due date. This subparagraph does not prohibit any owner from paying multiple monthly installments in advance of the due dates of such installments. The district may collect a delinquent fee of not more than $10 per month or fraction thereof on any delinquent installment. The district may enforce a lien with respect to any delinquent installment. The lien must be perfected by recording in the public records of the county a claim of lien with respect to any delinquent installment, and the claim of lien has a priority as of the date of the recording. The claim of lien must be recorded no earlier than 30 days after an installment becomes delinquent, and the district may foreclose a lien for which a claim has been recorded. With respect to each such lien that the board records, the board must provide to the property owner, no later than 5 days after the lien is recorded, notice that includes a clear and conspicuous statement of the board’s right to foreclose. The foreclosure proceeding may be brought no sooner than 60 days after recording a claim of lien or 1 year after the first installment became delinquent, whichever is later, and may include all amounts owed to the district for installments of assessments and delinquent fees which accrue subsequent to the earliest installment shown on the claim of lien. The foreclosure proceeding must be brought in the circuit court of the county in which the district is located and in the usual and customary manner for a mortgage foreclosure proceeding. The district may recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs with respect to the recording of any claim of lien and in any foreclosure proceeding on such claim of lien.
(5) To issue bonds or notes to finance, in whole or in part, the cost of construction, acquisition, or improvement of common real property and personal property of the district. The trustees, in determining such costs, may include all costs and estimated costs of the issuance of the bonds or notes; all engineering, inspection, fiscal, and legal expenses; all costs of preliminary surveys, plans, maps, and specifications; initial reserve funds for debt service; and the costs of the services of persons, firms, corporations, partnerships, or associations employed or consultants, advisers, engineers, or fiscal, financial, or other experts in the planning, preparation, and financing of the district. The trustees are authorized to employ and to enter into agreements or contracts with consultants, engineers, attorneys, certified public accountants, or fiscal, financial, or other experts for the planning, preparation, and financing of the district, or any asset thereof, upon such terms and conditions as the trustees deem desirable and proper. The district may pledge to the punctual payment of bonds, notes, or revenue certificates, and interest thereon, an amount of the revenue from the special assessments, known as “recreation district taxes,” as well as the fees derived from the use of facilities and services of the district, including acquisitions, extensions, and improvements thereof, sufficient to pay the bonds, notes, and revenue certificates and the interest thereon as the same become due, and to create and maintain reasonable reserves therefor.
(6) To operate and maintain recreational facilities or to enter into arrangements with others for such operation and maintenance pursuant to contract, lease, or otherwise.
(7) To establish, charge, and collect reasonable fees for admission to or use of recreational facilities, provided the use of the facilities is extended to residents and nonresident owners within the district, their family members and guests, and other such persons and groups as the board may authorize from time to time; and to apply such fees to the operation, maintenance, improvement, enlargement, or acquisition of recreational facilities or to the payment of bonds, notes, or revenue certificates of the district.
(8) To adopt and enforce rules for the use of the recreational facilities owned or operated by the district.
(9) To employ all personnel, including private security guards, deemed necessary for the operation and maintenance of the facilities of the district.
(10) To adequately insure the facilities, properties, and operations of the district as well as the trustees of the district, jointly and severally, in the performance of their duties.
(11) To buy, sell, rent, or lease real property and personal property and to deliver purchase money notes and mortgages in connection with the acquisition of property.
(12) To adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with existing deed restrictions and to use district funds in the administration and enforcement of such rules, regulations, and deed restrictions.
(13) To enter into contracts involving the purchase, lease, conveyance, or other manner of acquisition of common real or tangible personal property; however, in any instance when the cost, price, or consideration therefor exceeds $25,000, including all obligations proposed to be assumed in connection with such acquisition, then only if:
(a) The trustees by a two-thirds vote have approved the terms and conditions of such acquisition by written resolution;
(b) Within not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days after the date of the resolution, the trustees certify the resolution to the supervisor of elections for the county for a referendum election; and
(c) The resolution is approved by a majority vote of the qualified electors voting in a referendum called for the purpose of considering the resolution.
History.s. 36, ch. 83-204; s. 3, ch. 83-337; s. 9, ch. 84-80; s. 215, ch. 85-342; s. 9, ch. 88-147; s. 1, ch. 97-11.
418.306 Bonds of the mobile home park recreation district.The trustees may construct, acquire, or improve real or personal property of the district and may issue refunding bonds or other obligations for such purposes in conformance with the applicable provisions of chapter 215. Public bonds, notes, and other securities may be issued to provide funds for such purposes by resolution adopted by the trustees, which resolution may be adopted at the same meeting at which it is introduced and may take effect immediately upon adoption. The bonds shall bear interest, payable semiannually, at a rate fixed in the resolution, subject to s. 215.84, and may be in one or more series; may bear such date or dates; may mature at such time or times not exceeding 40 years from their respective dates; may be made payable in such medium of payment, at such place, within or without the state; may carry such registration privileges; may be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium; may be executed in such manner; may contain such terms, covenants, and conditions; and may be in such form, either coupon or registered, as provided in such resolution or a subsequent resolution. The bonds may be sold all at one time or in blocks from time to time, at public or private sale, or, if they are refunding bonds, may also be delivered and exchanged for the outstanding obligations to be refunded thereby, in such manner as the trustees determine by resolution, and at such price or prices computed according to standard tables of bond value as will yield to the purchasers or the holders of the obligations surrendered in exchange, in the case of refunding bonds, income at a rate pursuant to s. 215.84 to the maturity dates of the several bonds so sold or exchanged on the money paid or the principal amount of obligations surrendered therefor to the district. Pending the preparation of the definitive bonds, interim certificates or receipts or temporary bonds in such form and with such provisions as the trustees determine may be issued to the purchaser or purchasers of the bonds. The bonds, and such interim certificates or receipts or temporary bonds, shall be fully negotiable.
History.s. 37, ch. 83-204.
418.309 Abolishment of the mobile home park recreation district.The district created pursuant to this act may be abolished by a majority vote of the qualified electors of the district at an election called by the trustees of the district for such purpose, which election shall be held and notice thereof given under the same requirements as are set forth for the creation of the district. The district may not be abolished while it has outstanding indebtedness unless adequate provision is made for the liquidation of such outstanding indebtedness.
History.s. 38, ch. 83-204.