TOWN OF

INDIAN RIVER RIDGE

 

INCORPORATION

FEASIBILITY

STUDY

 

– PRESENTED TO –

 

The Board of Directors

The Indian River Drive Freeholders, Inc.

 

The freeholders, residents, and registered voters within the proposed municipal limits

 

The Board of County Commissioners

St. Lucie County, Florida

 

The Legislature of the State of Florida

 

– WORKING DRAFT –

 

28 September 2006

(2:20 PM)


 

 

 

 

 

Prepared by

The Municipal Incorporation Committee

of

The Indian River Drive Freeholders Association, Inc.

 


 

Carl Flick, Chairman

 

Members

 

Tom Burgess, Kathy Davis, Debra Eddington, Bobby Edwards, George Edwards, Harry Hery, Rick Langdon, Christi Mollet,

Roger Sharp, Jack Shelton, Kevin Stinnette, Ed Stover,

Bruce Wunner

 

With

 

William B. Stronge Ph.D.

Economic Consulting + Comprehensive Planning + Market Research

270 NW 38th St

Boca Raton, Florida 33431


CONTENTS

Cover Page

 

 

 

Credits

2

 

 

Table of Contents

3 - 4

 

 

Executive Summary and Overview - TBD

5

 

 

History

6 - 16

 

 

Territorial Boundaries - General

17

 

 

Review of Methods and Requirements for Municipal Incorporation 

 

Florida Constitution, as revised in 1968

18

 1.. Title XII, Chapter 165 – “The Formation of Municipalities Act”

19 – 22

 2.  Municipal Merger

23

 3.   TitleXI, Chapter 163.3217 – Municipal overlay for municipal incorporation

24 – 25

 

 

Review of Municipal Incorporation -  Effect on Homesteads

26 – 28

 

 

Economic Evaluation by Dr William B. Stronge Ph. D.

29 - 61

 

 

Impact Analysis  -  Effects of Incorporation on the Freeholders of  the proposed town, and on adjacent Municipal and County Governments

-TBD

 

 

 

Conclusions and Recommendations

 

Background

 

Conclusions

 

Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS (CONT) - APPENDICES

 

Territorial Limits, Legal Descriptions:

 

Township 37 South, Range 41 East

 

Township 36 South, Range 41 East

 

Township 36 South, Range 40 East

 

Township 35 South, Range 40 East

 

 

 

Territorial Limits, Figures:

 

Miles 1 & 2 , From South to North- “Then & Now”

 

Miles 3 & 4 , From South to North- “Then & Now”

 

Miles 5 & 6 , From South to North- “Then & Now”

 

Miles 7 & 8 , From South to North- “Then & Now”

 

Miles 9 & 10 , From South to North- “Then & Now”

 

 

 

Year 2000 – Census Data Tables - by Block, Tract, and Total

 

Census Block Locations & Descriptions

 

Population and Median Age

 

Population – Age by Sex

 

Population – Race

 

Households

 

Household Occupancy / Vacancy & Vacancy Status

 

Household Size

 

Households & Housing Units

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND OVERVIEW

 

 


 

 

HISTORY

 

Anglo-American occupation and a sense of community identity along Indian River Ridge and “The Drive” stretches back nearly as far as Florida history exists.  Florida was purchased by the United States July 17, 1821 and St. John’s County formed which included most of East Florida.  Prior to our current County jurisdiction, this area was within the bounds of St. John’s County (1821 – 1824), Mosquito County (1824 – 1844), St. Lucia County (1844 – 1855), renamed Brevard County (1855 – 1905), and finally became St. Lucie County – Florida’s 46th County on May 24, 1905.  Florida was granted statehood on March 5, 1845.

 

Pre and early Florida history yields occupation in this area by the Ais, Creek, and Alachua Indians which by the mid 1800’s came to be known as “Seminoles”.  The Mid 1800’s marked the start of significant occupation in the area by Anglo-Americans.  An Army outpost, Ft. Pierce, was located about 4 miles south of the (natural) inlet thru “Hutchinson Island” and manned from 1838 – 1842 during the period of the second Seminole War.  This fort was decommissioned in 1842 and a second outpost, Fort Capron, located near the current St. Lucie Village – north of the city of Ft. Pierce was manned for the period 1849 – 1858 during the period of the third Seminole War.

 

The year 1842 marks the start of a significant period in the development and occupation of this “Indian River Ridge” area.  To encourage settlement, and in an attempt to free the federal government from the burden of providing and maintaining troops in the area, the U.S. Government on August 4, 1842 passed the “Armed Occupation Act”.  This act, in order to encourage settlement and provide for a ready civilian militia to defend their lands -  provided for the grant of 160 Acres to settlers willing to occupy, erect a fit habitat and cultivate at least 5 acres of their lands in southeastern Florida for a minimum period of 5 years.  Additional provisions of this Act provided that these homesteads be no closer than 2 miles from existing forts.  This act was the predecessor of “The Homestead Act”.  Permit Number 1 under this act was granted to Dr. Fredrick Wheedon and included lands containing the only existing structures in the region, the now deactivated Ft. Pierce.  Unfortunately this advantage, of having the deactivated fort on his lands, was short lived.  The buildings of Fort Pierce burned in December, 1843.

 

As a result of this inducement, pioneer settlers did arrive in the area, which was known as The Indian River Colony.  This colony ultimately consisted of claims and grants to about 40 families stretching along the Indian River from Barkers Bluff, near Sebastian at the north to almost to Ft. Jupiter at the south.  Locally, along our Indian


 

 

River Ridge area, this Armed Occupation Act settlement was known as the Susanna settlement which consisted of 8 homesteads stretching along the west bank of the Indian river from the Davis grant south thru areas to be known later as the Eldred and Ankona communities. 

 

From an article - How and by Whom Gilbert’s Bar was Opened in 1844 by Professor William Henry Peck – “The Florida Star”, May 5, 1886

In the summer of 1844 the leading settlers of the Indian River Country became convinced that it was vitally necessary … to open Gilbert’s Bar, which had been closed for many years.  The only settlers at that date, along the entire stretch of Indian River, from Gilbert’s Bar nearly to New Smyrna, lived on the west shore of St. Lucie Sound opposite Hutchinson’s Island, below Indian River Inlet.  From the mouth of St Lucie River, southward, as far as Key Biscayne Bay, there were no settlers.

 

Unfortunately for many of these homesteaders, an Indian massacre of “Trader Barker”, who had a store in the area and allegedly on several occasions cheated them in their trades (sold them defective gunpowder) raised fears of a general Indian uprising and the Susanna settlers made a hasty retreat to the relative safety of St. Augustine.  This abandonment of their claims took place in August 1849.  The 1850 census reflects this, most civilians having departed the area and not yet returned.  The majority of the St. Lucie County population, 22 dwellings in this "division" of the census, consisted of Soldiers barracked at Ft. Capron. 

 

In January 1851, the Florida Legislature appropriated $1,000 to build a wagon trail (Military Trail) from the Fort located at Biscayne Bay to Fort Capron across from the St. Lucie Inlet on the Indian River.  (See History - Figure 1)

 

 Little evidence of these earliest homesteads exists, except in the initial land records for the area.   In preparation for the transfer of lands from public to private hands, the General Land Office survey of the lands including our Indian River Ridge area were performed during the period 1844 – 1853.  Two parcels, preexisting claims and grants under this Armed Occupation Act were noted but “excluded” from this survey of public lands available for sale.  Near the northern end of our proposed town limits is The W.B. Davis Permit lands, a 143.77 Acre grant under this act, which extends from about 3553 to 4477 South Indian River Drive.  The only known artifact from this settlement exists in the form of a Coquina Rock fireplace, with the marking 1844 inscribed, at 4111 SIRD.  Near the south end of our proposed town limits is the James S. Grant Permit lands, a 158.81 Acre grant which extends from about 12623 to 13459 South Indian River Drive. 


 

All of the initial recordings for lands along Indian River Ridge were either in the form of U.S. Government Patent deeds (for “good lands”) or State of Florida Deeds for

lands transferred from the Federal Government to the State of Florida and subsequently sold by the state.  Under the Act of September 28, 1850, (“The Swamplands Act”) lands identified as swamp and overflowed lands unfit for cultivation was granted to the States. Once accepted by the State, the Federal Government had no further jurisdiction over the parcels. 

 

An item of interest with respect to some of the State deeded lands in the Savannas is that they are part of a sale, in June 1881,  by the cash strapped State of Florida, to Hamilton Diston of Philadelphia and his associates for 4 million acres (of “Swamplands”) for 1 million dollars … 25 cents per acre.  At the time, the typical price for these government lands was $1.25 per acre.

 

The primary Government land office responsible for the disposition of these lands was located in St. Augustine. All, except one, of the initial deeds located for the lands of Indian River Ridge, referred to lands located in Brevard County, Florida.  The lone exception, identifying a specific “place” is for lands purchased in April 1889 at the south end of our proposed town lands by Joseph Howard LeTourneau from Eden, Brevard County, Florida.  Lucie Richards, the future wife of Joseph Howard LeTourneau, is the daughter of Capt. Thomas Edward Richards, one our earliest pioneer families. He moved here in 1879, established one of the areas earliest successful Pineapple Plantations and named the community known as Eden, for it’s similarity to The Garden of Eden.  A book of her letters about pioneer life in South Florida 1880 – 1888 has been compiled and published by Raymond Richards Brown, as Memories of Eden.  The Richard’s Family also operated a popular and successful boarding house in their home named Eden Grove.  Unfortunately this historic home was destroyed by fire in 1989.  Capt Thomas Richards, his wife Rebecca, and Lucie’s brother Will, one of 9 brothers and sisters, are buried in a family cemetery, Eden Cemetery, near the north end of the Richards Plantation lands at 12767 South Indian River Drive.

 

The period 1880 through the 1890’s marks the start of continuous occupation and development of the Indian River Ridge area.  This period also includes two of the most significant events in the opening of South Florida for habitation and development.   The first of these was recorded in September 1890 when the State of Florida granted to the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company (a Henry Morrison Flagler company) 36,103.03 Acres from Lands of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State for the completion of what would become a segment of the Intracoastal Waterway from St. Augustine to Biscayne Bay, a distance of 134 ½ miles - dredged to a 5’ depth x 50’ width at MLW.


 

Also during this time period, the state was granting to various Railroad companies lands from the Internal Improvement Trust Fund at rates ranging from 6,000 to 20,000 acres per mile of railway constructed and placed into operation.  One of the largest single grants noted was a grant in 1885 to the "Florida Southern Railway Company" of  1,592,018 and 64/100 acres (of which 819,997 and 54/100 acres were in the present St. Lucie County) for the completion of 165.26 miles of road (at 10,000 acres per mile) from Gainsville to the Withlacoochee River in Hernando County.   Through many mergers and acquisitions these became grant lands of Henry Flagler and his Florida East Coast Railway.  We agonize now about economic incentives extended to business for development … in the late 1800’s the State of Florida was quite literally “giving away the state” to open it up.

This led to the second, and probably the most significant of the events opening up South Florida – the extension by Henry Flagler of his Florida East Coast Railway from St. Augustine to West Palm Beach in the period  1892 – 1894, on to Miami in 1896 and ultimately to Key West in 1912 with steamship connections from Miami to Nassau and from Key West to Havana.  The construction of the FEC Railway, although initially providing greatly increased access to the northern markets for  South Florida Pineapples, was also a significant contributor, combined with fungus problems and freezes, in the demise of the our Pineapple Plantations following the removal of protective tariffs on “Pines” and greatly increased importation of Pineapples from Cuba and the Bahamas.

 

The Railroad arrived in Ft. Pierce in January 1894 and West Palm Beach in March of the same year.  Right of Way acquisitions were being made through "our back yards" in the period May 1893 through about November 1893.  The railway thru our backyards limited the ability for development west of the railroad even though most parcels and subdivision of parcels along this stretch of the Indian River Ridge extended from the West bank of the Indian River (also referred to as the St. Lucie Sound or Indian River Lagoon) westward to the Eastern limits of the Savannas, a natural boundary separating development along the Indian River / Savannas Ridge from development to take place west of the Savannas.  From a1915 FEC Railway map it appears that station stops existed in this area at St. Lucie, Ft. Pierce, White City, Eldred, Walton, Eden, Jensen, and Stuart.  Around 1906 the White City Depot name was (briefly) changed to Carson at the request to the FEC from Mr. M.E. Card and Mr. Bill Robinson, big shippers on the Railroad, by taking “Car” out of Card and “son” out of Robinson thus making Carson.  The local people did not like this at all and resented the name change, some enough to move their shipping point north to the Ft. Pierce Depot.

 

Another of the early settlers to the Indian River Ridge area was Elon Eldred who arrived here around 1879 from Carrolton, Illinois – also with the intent, and success,


 

 

in establishing a Pineapple plantation in the area south of Midway Road - which would become the location of the White City Depot of the FEC Railway.  The Eldred House was built in 1893 at what is now 6101 South Indian River Drive.  Mrs. Marial Minton, a direct descendent, currently resides at this location and has in her possession a framed copy of the July 24, 1895 deed from Hal S. Thomas and Julia Eldred Thomas to the Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, selling   13 ¼ acres (for one dollar) thru the Eldred lands “along the Indian River on top of the bluff and about 20 feet back from the top thereof” for the purpose of constructing what is now South Indian River Drive. 

 

From an article by John Pennekamp in the “Herald” – 9/16/68

Comments Wenzel J Schubert, a “native born, old time East Florida Cracker”…Seventy years ago (1898) I stood on Grandfather Tancre’s front porch at Ankona … and watched a gang of laborers chopping down and grubbing out several fine old trees as they cut the new “county road” right across the middle of our front yard.  This narrow, single lane, dirt road that tunneled through the dense river bank hammock growth was Florida’s first East Coast Throughway.  That

Fall, Brevard County finished it as far south as Stuart, where Dade County took over and cut it eventually through to Miami and Homestead.

 

Over the years since it’s initial cut thru as a “sand trail” the road through our front yards has been variously identified as Riverside Drive, The Dixie Highway, U.S. Highway 1 (prior to construction of the “new” U.S. 1 approximately 4 miles inland), State Road 707, and currently County Road 707 and South Indian River Drive.

 

From the earliest days, speeding on The Drive has been, and remains, a major concern of residents.

 

 From “The St. Lucie County Tribune”, March 21, 1913

We second the Ankona correspondent’s efforts to draw the attention of the proper authorities to the reckless use of automobiles on Riverside Drive.  A pedestrian, bicycle, or horse and wagon have no rights at all, as far as some of them are concerned, and that Fort Pierce man who drives so recklessly at night without lights need to be severely dealt with.  One of our most conservative men said an unlighted car passed down the road one night last week, going a mile a minute.  It is a shame and an outrage and should not be allowed.  To the credit of most of the owners of cars we will say that they are uniformly courteous and gentlemanly, but there are a few who are aching to get into trouble and will probably succeed.

 

From the days of the earliest homesteaders and settlers along our Indian River Ridge there appears to have existed a strong sense of community and community identity. This sense of self identity and community was quite obviously reinforced by our


 

 

natural boundaries   

 

As time passed, and development along the Indian River Ridge progressed, local community identity was reinforced by the establishment of post offices located at Eden (7 July 1882 – 31 March 1923), Tibbals (28 April 1899 … renamed Walton 18 March 1907 as a “marketing” tool in honor of Isacc Walton to stress the opportunities for fishing and hunting in the area and which continued to be operated as the Walton Post Office until 30 June 1944), Ankona (named for the Ankeny Family, 29 May 1886 – 31 August 1953), and Eldred (23 August 1902 – 11 November 1942).  Postal service for our area has now shifted to the Ft. Pierce PO for properties located North of Walton Rd. and to the Jensen Beach PO for those living south of Walton. 

 

In conjunction with the decline of pineapple farming along the Indian River Ridge area, The FEC railway was, in the 1910’s, abandoning, tearing down, or disposing of many of the early shipping Depots along their line including all the early depots in our area – the White City, Eldred, Walton, and  Eden Depots.  In 1912, the Walton Depot was acquired by St. Lucie County and moved on rollers from its original location immediately north of Walton Road to its present location at the corner of Ridge Ave and Harris Street in the Walton Community.  This remains one of only a very few of the early FEC Depots  that still exist – anywhere.  From 1912 thru the late 1990’s, this “Walton Hall” has been the center of community identity and activity for the residents of the Indian River Ridge area.  In the late 1990’s, the County shifted jurisdiction over this, and other similar “community center” assets of the County to it’s Department of Leisure Services – which implemented rental fees for their use by the communities and groups which had enjoyed the free public use of these facilities, as a County / Community service for nearly 90 years. 

 

Despite the shift in our postal service and the “taking” of our community center, a strong sense of local community identity and pride remains.

Development of properties within the limits of our proposed Town of Indian River Ridge proceeded slowly in the period “pre 1900” through the mid to late 1940’s (see History – Figure 2).  In 1947, based on the current parceling of properties within the proposed limits of Indian River Ridge, occupation had reached approximately 10%. However, in anticipation of coming development, the period 1938 – 1947 represents a landmark period along “The Drive”.

During this period, The Indian River Drive Freeholders Association was organized. The primary purpose of this organization was to work toward obtaining passage of legislation authorizing the establishment of “local initiative zoning districts”.  These


 

efforts resulted in the passage of AN ACT in the Florida Legislature (Chapter 24865 No. 1251, House Bill No. 676, 9 pages) - which Empowers the Board of County Commissioners of St. Lucie County to “.... provide for the establishment of zoning districts within the unincorporated areas of the County ... by petition of a majority of the land owners within such proposed zoning district".  The final page of this ACT includes the notation - "Became a law without the Governor's approval, Filed in Office Secretary of State May 28, 1947".

The passing of this Act, and petition by the residents along The Drive, led to a Resolution by the Board of County Commissioners of St. Lucie County which established "The Indian River Drive Zoning District" filed - December 7, 1947, Deed Book 139, Page 334, St. Lucie County Records.  Coverage of this district extended from the City Limits of Ft. Pierce south to what is now 10151 SIRD (just north of the private road known as Indian River Lane), and west to the FEC Railroad.  The primary purpose of our residents in creating this zoning district was the retention of the rural, single family residential character of “The Drive”.  It is believed that this was a “first” in Florida and the predecessor of Acts which followed addressing the areas of zoning regulation and land use planning within unincorporated portions of the counties throughout Florida.

On May 10, 1961  - by Act of the Florida Legislature, HB 953 (Filed in the official Records of St. Lucie County, OR Book 10 Pages 1-37) the City of Port St. Lucie was created.  With one exception the eastern boundaries of this new town generally followed existing government land survey lines roughly describing the center of the Savannas, our western natural boundary.  The sole original exception to this was a “finger” which extended eastward to the west bank of the Indian River flanking, on the north and south, the county right-of-way of Walton Road.  Even long time residents along The Drive were unaware of this “finger” of Port St. Lucie which bisected our community along Indian River Ridge.  No “City Limits” signs have ever been posted along South Indian River Drive.  It was “thought” by our residents that this was a late 1990’s annexation to accommodate an effort to bridge the Indian River Lagoon and extend Walton Road east to South Hutchinson Island which was opposed by the Indian River Drive Freeholders in continued defense of the character of The Drive and our community.

In 1973, in a legal, but unusually short time period, Port St. Lucie, by ordinance. annexed properties reaching eastward across the Indian River Ridge to the bank of the Indian River.  This was an annexation of the parcels north of the Walton Community, commonly referred to as the Walton Woods or the Walton Scrub – with

 

 

 

 

 

the exception of the Jill & Kim Brownie parcel on the riverbank in the “center” of the land annexed.

May 14, 1973:  Petition for annexation
May 22, 1973:  Petition for rezoning upon annexation
June 26, 1973:  Public hearing
June 26, 1973: Both petitions approved, annexation ordinance 73-15 passed

 

The purpose for this request for annexation and rezoning was for the development of a large block of high density apartments and condominiums.  This was vigorously opposed by residents along Indian River Ridge and the IRD Freeholders Association who had gotten wind of the effort and opposed it in front of the St. Lucie County Zoning Board.  We had no “voice” however in opposing the action by the City of Port St. Lucie who had, by act and charter, the right to annexation by petition from the land owner, and St. Lucie County zoning control was by-passed.  The petition for annexation and rezoning was approved despite petitions signed by practically every resident of The Drive, begging Port St. Lucie not to do this to us.

 

Subsequent to this annexation, the developer attempted to build a causeway off of Walton Road through the Savannas to access this property from the West.  However,  this was enjoined by the State Department of environmental Regulation and the developer ordered by the court to restore the Savannas to their original condition.  He didn’t.  After much public outcry, General Development Corporation – the developers and “founders” of the City of Port St. Lucie stepped in and did the restoration as a “public service”.  Since this aborted attempt at high density development these lands have been acquired by The Florida Inland Navigation District – as a potential dredge spoil site for maintenance dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway, and by St. Lucie County – for use as a future Indian Riverside Park (?).

In 1974, following this experience – of having little or no control over our destiny -  a proposed Charter for the “Town of Ankona” was drafted and public hearings held at the Walton Community Hall on January 24th and 31st.   These early efforts were reported in the “News Tribune” in articles dated January 19 and 20, 1974.  Unfortunately, this effort faded away for unknown reasons.

Through the 1960’s and early 1970’s, public concern and awareness of the value of our natural resources increased.  Supported by the efforts of the Indian River Drive Freeholders, and many others, these concerns culminated in the creation of Aquatic Preserve A-10, aka "The Jensen Beach to Jupiter Inlet Aquatic Preserve" (of the Indian River Lagoon).  This was recorded by Resolution of the State of Florida board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund dated August 29, 1973, Filed


 

September 24, 1973, Register #264312, and recorded in the Official Records of St. Lucie County in OR Book 218 Page 2865. 

Also, during this time period, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust fund of the State of Florida commenced the reacquisition of private lands in the Savannas, which were sold by the state in the mid to late 1800’s, for the creation of the Savannas State Preserve.  The first recorded reacquisition of these lands in the Indian River Ridge area was recorded April 1, 1976 in the gift of a .05 Acre parcel lying west of the FEC Railway behind Sheriden Lane.  Reacquisition by the state of lands west of the FEC Railways for this Savannas State Preserve is a continuing effort, the most recent being the repurchase of four parcels totaling 87.49 Acres, south of Midway Road, for $650,000 recorded March 19, 2003.

For the past 66 years, The Indian River Drive Freeholders Association has been the public voice and social focus for residents along The Drive.  Thru the years it has undergone several reorganizations, levels of activity, and levels of participation.  However, the association has remained true to its original goal of protecting and preserving the unique character of the drive and the continued health and preservation of our natural boundaries - The Indian River and The Savannas.  The present “character” of the drive can well be credited to the associations efforts in retaining The Drive in its rural, two lane (narrow and winding) state flanked on the west with single family residential development.  The time over which Indian River Ridge has developed, slow and steady over a period of 125 years, along with its continued rural nature (private wells and individual septic tanks/drain fields) also contributes greatly to the character of our community and the diversity of our residences – character and diversity appreciated by new residents and jealously guarded by long time residents.

The current efforts toward creating our own town grow from renewed concerns of annexation by our member residents coupled with the desire to have a much stronger – municipal – voice in future development along the Indian River Ridge.  In October 2001 the Indian River Drive Freeholders, Inc. authorized the formation of an Incorporation Committee to study the feasibility of incorporating our community.

We pray that the effort is successful and that we may soon join our similar neighbor to the north – St. Lucie Village – and become the 4th municipality incorporated in St. Lucie County, Florida.

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

 


 

TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES

 

Generally described, the boundaries of the Town of INDIAN RIVER RIDGE are:

 

EAST, the Centerline of the Intracoastal Waterway’s Navigation Channel in the Indian River Lagoon.  This is an extension, Southeasterly of the existing municipal limits of the City of Ft. Pierce, Florida

 

NORTH,  a common Northern limit line, being the municipal boundary between the City of Ft. Pierce and the Town of Indian River Ridge, lying along the Northern line of Section 26, Township 35 South, Range 40 East and the projection of this line easterly to the centerline of the Intracoastal Waterway’s Navigation Channel..

 

SOUTH,  a common Southern limit line, being the Southern St. Lucie County / Northern Martin County line and the South line of the Town of Indian River Ridge, this line being the South line of Sections 9 and 10, Township 37 South, Range 41 East and the projection of this line easterly to the centerline of the Intracoastal Waterway’s Navigation Channel. 

 

WEST, a meander line generally following Government Land Survey lines describing the “center” of the Savannas in St. Lucie County, Florida.  Exceptions to this Western boundary meander line through the “center” of the Savannas exist at both the Southern and Northern ends of this Western Boundary where it forms a common boundary between lands of the Town of Indian River Ridge and the City of Port St. Lucie at the Southern end, or the Town of Indian River Ridge and the City of Ft. Pierce at the Northern end.  In some areas of this Western boundary the existing Municipal Limits extend Eastward from this “natural boundary”.

 

For the Southern 4 miles of this western boundary, this line is common with the Eastern Municipal limits of Port St. Lucie as originally established, or amended by annexation ordinance. 

 

For the Central 4 miles of this western boundary this line follows Government Land Survey lines roughly describing the center of the Savannas through unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida.

 

For the Northern 2 miles of this Western boundary, this line is common with the Eastern Municipal limits of Ft. Pierce as originally established, or amended by annexation ordinance. 


 

 

CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW

Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Florida AS REVISED IN 1968 AND SUBSEQUENTLY AMENDED addresses local government, Section 2 addresses municipal governments.

SECTION 2.  Municipalities.--

(a)  ESTABLISHMENT.  Municipalities may be established or abolished and their charters amended pursuant to general or special law. When any municipality is abolished, provision shall be made for the protection of its creditors.

(b)  POWERS.  Municipalities shall have governmental, corporate and proprietary powers to enable them to conduct municipal government, perform municipal functions and render municipal services, and may exercise any power for municipal purposes except as otherwise provided by law. Each municipal legislative body shall be elective.

(c)  ANNEXATION.  Municipal annexation of unincorporated territory, merger of municipalities, and exercise of extra-territorial powers by municipalities shall be as provided by general or special law.

Section 6 provides a schedule for implementing the revisions of 1968 and the superceding of the 1885 Constitution.

SECTION 6.  Schedule to Article VIII.--

(a)  This article shall replace all of Article VIII of the Constitution of 1885, as amended, except those sections expressly retained and made a part of this article by reference.

Basically this schedule provides for the continuation and recognition of Counties, County Seats, Municipalities and Districts then existing … provides for the continuation in office for persons holding office for the remainder of their terms provided the office has not been abolished and the compensation of office holders for if that office has been abolished … provides for the amending or repeal of local ordinances relating only to unincorporated portions of the Counties … and provides for the continuation and recognition of home rule provisions existing for Dade, Duval, Monroe, and Hillsborough Counties as exists in the Constitution of 1885 as adopted and revised.


 

 

STATUTORY REVIEW

 

Title XII, Chapter 165 of Florida Statutes, the “Formation of Municipalities Act” – Adopted July 1, 1974 - provides current law governing the formation, merger, and dissolution of municipalities.  Applicable excerpts from this act relating to the formation of (new) municipalities follow:

165.021  Purpose.--The purpose of this act is to provide standards, direction, and procedures for the formation of municipalities in this state and the provision of municipal services so as to:

(1)  Allow orderly patterns of urban growth and land use.

(2)  Assure adequate quality and quantity of local public services.

(3)  Ensure financial integrity of municipalities.

(4)  Eliminate or reduce avoidable and undesirable differentials in fiscal capacity among neighboring local governmental jurisdictions.

(5)  Promote equity in the financing of municipal services.

165.031  Definitions.

(4)  "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.

(7)  "Formation" means any one of the following activities:

(a)  "Incorporation"--The establishment of a municipality.

(8)  "Service delivery" means any mechanism used by a unit of local government to provide governmental services.

(10)  "Parties affected" means any person owning property or residing in a municipality proposing a formation or in the territory that is proposed for a formation or any governmental unit with jurisdiction over such area.

(11)  "Qualified voter" means any person registered to vote in accordance with law.


 

STATUTORY REVIEW

(12)  "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 proposal pursuant to this chapter.

1)(a)  A charter for incorporation of a municipality, except in case of a merger which is adopted as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3), shall be adopted only by a special act of the Legislature upon determination that the standards herein provided have been met.

(b)  To inform the Legislature on the feasibility of a proposed incorporation of a municipality, a feasibility study shall be completed and submitted to the Legislature 90 days before the first day of the regular session of the Legislature during which the municipal charter would be enacted.

The feasibility study shall contain the following:

1.  The general location of territory subject to boundary change and a map of the area which identifies the proposed change.

2.  The major reasons for proposing the boundary change.

3.  The following characteristics of the area:

a. A list of the current land use designations applied to the subject area in the county comprehensive plan.

b. A list of the current county zoning designations applied to the subject area.

c. A general statement of present land use characteristics of the area.

d. A description of development being proposed for the territory, if any, and a statement of when actual development is expected to begin, if known.

4.  A list of all public agencies, such as local governments, school districts, and special districts, whose current boundary falls within the boundary of the territory proposed for the change or reorganization.

 

 

 

 

 

STATUTORY REVIEW

5.  A list of current services being provided within the proposed incorporation area, including, but not limited to, water, sewer, solid waste, transportation, public works, law enforcement, fire and rescue, zoning, street lighting, parks and recreation, and library and cultural facilities, and the estimated costs for each current service.

6.  A list of proposed services to be provided within the proposed incorporation area, and the estimated cost of such proposed services.

7.  The names and addresses of three officers or persons submitting the proposal.

8.  Evidence of fiscal capacity and an organizational plan as it relates to the area seeking incorporation that, at a minimum, includes:

a.  Existing tax bases, including ad valorem taxable value, utility taxes, sales and use taxes, franchise taxes, license and permit fees, charges for services, fines and forfeitures, and other revenue sources, as appropriate.

b. A 5-year operational plan that, at a minimum, includes proposed staffing, building acquisition and construction, debt issuance, and budgets.

9.  Data and analysis to support the conclusions that incorporation is necessary and financially feasible, including population projections and population density calculations, and an explanation concerning methodologies used for such analysis.

10.  Evaluation of the alternatives available to the area to address its policy concerns.

11.  Evidence that the proposed municipality meets the requirements for incorporation pursuant to s. 165.061.

(c)  In counties that have adopted a municipal overlay for municipal incorporation pursuant to S163.3217, such information shall be submitted to the Legislature in conjunction with any proposed municipal incorporation in the county. This information should be used to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed municipal incorporation in the geographic area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATUTORY REVIEW

165.061  Standards for incorporation, merger, and dissolution.--

(1)  The incorporation of a new municipality, other than through merger of existing municipalities, must meet the following conditions in the area proposed for incorporation:  (emphasis added)

(a)  It must be compact and contiguous and amenable to separate municipal government.

It must have a total population, as determined in the latest official state census, special census, or estimate of population, in the area proposed to be incorporated of at least 1,500 persons in counties with a population of 75,000 or less, and of at least 5,000 population in counties with a population of more than 75,000.

(c)  It must have an average population density of at least 1.5 persons per acre or have extraordinary conditions requiring the establishment of a municipal corporation with less existing density.

(d)  It must have a minimum distance of any part of the area proposed for incorporation from the boundaries of an existing municipality within the county of at least 2 miles or have an extraordinary natural boundary which requires separate municipal government.

(e)  It must have a proposed municipal charter which:

1.  Prescribes the form of government and clearly defines the responsibility for legislative and executive functions.

2.  Does not prohibit the legislative body of the municipality from exercising its powers to levy any tax authorized by the Constitution or general law.

165.071  Financial allocations.--

(1)  The law incorporating a new municipality in previously unincorporated lands may provide a procedure for establishing the distributive share of local option gas tax moneys in counties where such tax is levied when appropriate under the provisions of s. 336.025(4)(b). The law shall also provide for assumption of the existing governmental indebtedness or property specially benefiting that area, if any, the fair value of such and the manner of transfer and financing.

165.093  All state and local agencies to cooperate in administration of chapter.--The department is empowered to call on any state, county, special district, or municipal agency, department, bureau, or board for any information or assistance which may, in its

 

 

 

STATUTORY REVIEW

judgment, be of assistance in administering, or preparing for the administration of, this chapter, and such state, county, special district, or municipal agency, department, bureau, or board is hereby authorized, directed, and required to furnish such information or assistance.

MERGER

2)(a)  A charter for merger of two or more municipalities and associated unincorporated areas may also be adopted by passage of a concurrent ordinance by the governing bodies of each municipality affected, approved by a vote of the qualified voters in each area affected.

(b)  The ordinance shall provide for:

1.  The charter and its effective date.

2.  The financial or other adjustments required.

3.  A referendum for separate majorities by each unit or area to be affected.

4.  The date of election, which should be the next regularly scheduled election or a special election held prior to such election, if approved by a majority of the members of the governing body of each governmental unit affected, but no sooner than 30 days after passage of the ordinance.

(c)  Notice of the election shall be published at least once each week for 2 consecutive weeks immediately prior to the election, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area to be affected. Such notice shall give the time and places for the election and a general description of the area to be included in the municipality, which shall be in the form of a map to show clearly the area to be covered by the municipality.

(3)(a)  Initiation of procedures for municipal incorporation by merger as described in subsection (2) may be done either by adoption of a resolution by the governing body of an area to be affected or by a petition of 10 percent of the qualified voters in the area.

(b)  If a petition has been filed with the clerks of the governing bodies concerned, the governing bodies shall immediately undertake a study of the feasibility of the formation proposal and shall, within 6 months, either adopt an ordinance under subsection (2) or reject the petition, specifically stating the facts upon which the rejection is based.

 

 

 

 

 

STATUTORY REVIEW

(c)  The purpose of this subsection is to provide broad citizen involvement in both initiating and developing their local government; therefore, establishment of appropriate citizen advisory committees, as well as other mechanisms for citizen involvement, by the governing bodies of the units affected is specifically authorized and encouraged.

MUNICIPAL OVERLAY

Title XI, COUNTY ORGANIZATION AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

Chapter 163, INTERGOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMS

PART II, GROWTH POLICY; COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL PLANNING; LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATION

 

Provides a “possible” third, alternative, method for the creation of new municipalities

163.3217 - Municipal overlay for municipal incorporation

This is included, by reference, in Title XII, Chapter 165 of Florida Statutes, the “Formation of Municipalities Act”.

163.3217  Municipal overlay for municipal incorporation.--

(1)  PURPOSE.--In order to assist in the planning for future municipal incorporation of a specific geographic area, a county may adopt a municipal overlay as an amendment to its comprehensive plan. A municipal overlay will allow a county, in cooperation with the public, to address the future possible municipal incorporation of a specific geographic area and the impact of municipal incorporation on the provision of public services to serve the area.

(2)  PREPARATION, ADOPTION, AND AMENDMENT OF THE MUNICIPAL OVERLAY.--

(a)1.  This section applies only in those jurisdictions in which the county has authorized, by resolution or local ordinance, the development of a municipal overlay pursuant to the provisions of this section. A county governing body, or a citizens' organization that represents property owners in the area affected, may sponsor the preparation of the municipal overlay.

2.  It shall be the responsibility of the county to prepare the municipal overlay for an area under its jurisdiction; however, if the sponsor of the municipal overlay is other than the county, the county may by written agreement authorize the sponsor to prepare some or all of a proposed municipal overlay.

(b)1.  A municipal overlay shall be adopted as an amendment to the local government comprehensive plan as prescribed by s. 163.3184


 

STATUTORY REVIEW

2.  A county may consider the adoption of a municipal overlay without regard to the provisions of s. 163.3187 (1) regarding the frequency of adoption of amendments to the local comprehensive plan.

(3) CONTENTS OF A MUNICIPAL OVERLAY.--A municipal overlay must contain:

(a)  Boundary options for the creation of the new municipality.

(b)  A feasibility study as outlined in chapter 165.

(c)  A map of existing and proposed land uses in the area by type and density.

(d)  Population projections for the area.

(e)  Data and analysis relating to the provision of public facilities for the area.

(4)  FUNDING OF THE MUNICIPAL OVERLAY.--The development of the municipal overlay shall be funded by the county unless there is written agreement between the county and another entity to fund it.


 

Review of Municipal Incorporation

Effect on Homesteads

 

MUNICIPLE INCORPORATION - It's effect on Homesteads, asset protection
And tax exemptions
 
The Florida Constitution, in Art. X, §4 and its legislative
implementation by F.S. ch. 222, provides asset protection for
homesteads in Florida.
 
ARTICLE X
MISCELLANEOUS
SECTION 4.  Homestead; exemptions. (provides - in part)--
 
(a)  There shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court,
and no judgment, decree or execution shall be a lien thereon, except for
the payment of taxes and assessments thereon, obligations contracted for
the purchase, improvement or repair thereof, or obligations contracted
for house, field or other labor performed on the realty, the following
property owned by a natural person:
 
(1)  a homestead, if located outside a municipality, to the extent of
one hundred sixty acres of contiguous land and improvements thereon,
which shall not be reduced without the owner's consent by reason of
subsequent inclusion in a municipality; or if located within a
municipality, to the extent of one-half acre of contiguous land, upon
which the exemption shall be limited to the residence of the owner or
the owner's family;
 
The Florida Statutes -  Title XV, HOMESTEAD AND EXEMPTIONS;
Chapter 222, METHOD OF SETTING APART HOMESTEAD AND EXEMPTIONS provides
the methods available for the homeowners designation, and protection of
their homestead asset (if subdivision for protection should become
necessary).
 
The Florida Statutes - Title XIV, TAXATION AND FINANCE;  Chapter 196,
EXEMPTION provides the authority(s) for the exemption from taxation of
all or a portion of a properties "taxable value" due to homestead, and
for various other reasons.
196.031  Exemption of homesteads
196.075  Additional homestead exemption for persons 65 and older.
196.081  Exemption for certain permanently and totally disabled veterans
              and for surviving spouses of veterans.

Review of Municipal Incorporation

Effect on Homesteads

(cont)
 
196.091  Exemption for disabled veterans confined to wheelchairs.
196.095  Exemption for a licensed child care facility operating in an
              enterprise zone.
196.101  Exemption for totally and permanently disabled persons.

 

 

 
S196.031(5)  Provides the "tie" to the constitutional limitation on the
size of a homestead provided asset protection and states -
 
The exemption provided in this section applies only to those parcels
classified and assessed as owner-occupied residential property or only
to the portion of property so classified and assessed.
 
The Florida Statutes - Title XIV, TAXATION AND FINANCE;  Chapter 193,
ASSESSMENTS, under S193.155  Homestead assessments - provides the
Statutory provisions for the limitations placed on the Assessment of
property values for taxation (prior to applicable "exemptions") provided
by the 1992 "Save our Homes" / "Amendment 10" to the Florida
Constitution for homesteaded property.
 
DISCUSSION:
 
Asset protection and Taxation of property, while related under the rules
established under S196 defining "homestead", are separate issues.
 
The issue of concern in considering municiple incorporation of "The
Drive" is the reduction in asset protection within a municipality to
"one-half acre of contiguous land, upon which the exemption shall be
limited to the residence of the owner or the owner's family".
 
We would assume that, at least initially, the current provisions of the
St. Lucie County Comprehensive Plan and the St. Lucie County Land
Development (and Zoning) Code as they effect our proposed Town Limits
would be adopted and reaffirmed, with perhaps only minor (future)
modifications.  We would further assume that these future modifications
would be consistant with the Constitutional desire to protect a
landowners homestead asset by division, if necessary.
 
The potential effect for a homestead owner seeking asset protection of
his homesteaded property by subdivision would then be the issue of
concern.
 

Review of Municipal Incorporation

Effect on Homesteads

(cont)
 
The overwhelmingly predominant zoning classification for lands
developed, or capable of being developed, within our proposed Town
Limits is RE-2 (Residential Estate, 2 Dwelling units per acre).  [see
the relation to the asset protection provision?]  This carries with the
classification, a minimum lot width of 100', 100' of road frontage, and 
a minimum lot size of 17,500 SF (0.402+/- acre).  Most of our property 
parcels exceed these minimums, and those that do not are "grandfathered" for development.  Also, a very significant portion of our developed 
property parcels and the few remaining parcels to be developed - exceed 
0.902+/- acre and could therefore be declared to be protected homestead 
properties by defining and declaring a "lot split" to protect a 
homestead parcel.
 
This is allowed, and provided for, under the current land development
code.  Even if "excess" roadway frontage is not available to "split off" an access way to a rear parcel (or parcels) the land development code provides that this access to an otherwise inaccessable parcel may (must) be provided via an access easement (over the fronting parcel).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Impact of Incorporation on Property Taxes

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared for

 

The Board of the Indian River Drive Freeholders, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared by

 

William B. Stronge Ph.D.

Senior Fellow in Economics

Catanese Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions

Florida Atlantic University

 

 

 

 

 

June 18, 2008


Table of Contents

 

 

Introduction                                                                                      1

 

 

Preliminary Studies                                                                            4

 

An Analysis of the Property Tax Base                                                             4

 

An Estimate of Population in Indian River Ridge                                           8

 

 

A Budget for Indian River Ridge After the Transitional Year       11

 

Expenditures                                                                                                   11

 

Revenues                                                                                                         17

 

5-Year Projection                                                                                            18

 

Current Property Tax Rates in St. Lucie County                                  19

 

 

Conclusion                                                                                                             22

 

 

Uncertainties                                                                                    24

 

Appendix A:  2007-08 St. Lucie Village Budget                                      26

            Revenues                                                                                                         27

Expenditures                                                                                                   28

Appendix B: Tables Presented to the Incorporation Committee

and not Included in the Body of the Report                                            29

 

Introduction

This report contains a fiscal analysis that has been prepared for the Indian River Drive Freeholders, Inc. in connection with the fiscal feasibility of incorporating South Indian River Drive south from the Ft. Pierce city boundary to the Martin County Line and east from the Savannas Recreation Area to the Indian River Lagoon.  The report shows the list of services that would be provided by the new city (hereinafter referred to as Indian River Ridge) and their estimated costs. 

Public service provision in St. Lucie County relies to an unusual extent on county wide providers funded by property tax levies collected by St. Lucie County Government.  For example, fire and rescue services are provided this way, in contrast to several other Florida counties where provision comes from a mix of county and municipal providers.  It is assumed that these countywide providers will continue to provide service under the same arrangements to Indian River Ridge if the new town is incorporated.  This includes fire and rescue, parks and recreation, and library and cultural facilities. (Water and sewer is not included because residents will continue to have wells and septic.)  Garbage collection would continue to be provided by the current (privately owned) provider, although fees for the services would be collected by the city and reimbursed to the supplier. 

The city would be responsible for public works (including roads and drainage projects) as detailed below and the city would remain in the Unincorporated MSTU for additional law enforcement services provided by the Sheriff.  The organization of the town would include a part time city council of five members, a part time town clerk and a city attorney.  Although the city attorney would be part time, it is expected that a major commitment of time will be needed, at least in the first five years.     

This report is divided into four sections.  Section One contains two preliminary studies:  an analysis of the property tax base and an estimate of the population within the proposed municipal boundaries   A budget for the proposed city after it completes its transitional period is presented in the second section.  Expenditures have been developed in consultation with St. Lucie County and members of the Indian River Ridge Incorporation Committee.  In a number of cases, the expenditures are estimated at twice the 2007 budgeted amounts for St. Lucie Village, a similarly situated existing municipality in St. Lucie County that has a population about one half the size of the population in the proposed municipality.  The second section also includes estimated revenues for the proposed municipality.  Several non-ad valorem revenue sources are estimated at twice the St. Lucie Village budgeted amounts.  The ad valorem revenues from the property tax are estimated as a residual, that is, as the amount necessary to make up the shortfall between projected expenditures and the sum of revenues from non-ad valorem sources.  

St. Lucie Village was chosen as a model for estimating many of the revenues and expenditures in this report because the Incorporation Committee indicated that the organization and structure of the Village has most of the features that would be desirable in Indian River Ridge.  The population of Indian River Ridge would be approximately twice the population of St. Lucie Village and so it is reasonable to assume that many of the revenues and expenditures in the new town will be approximately twice the corresponding numbers in the St. Lucie Village budget.  There are obvious differences, of course.  St. Lucie Village has a town hall and a Marshal, neither of which is assumed for Indian River Ridge. 

The use of a model can be expected to give an accurate estimate of aggregate expenditures and aggregate revenues, but there will be greater uncertainty about the individual items.  There are a number of items that may be underestimated by the model, such as the salary of the Town Clerk, and there may be others that are overestimated, such as mowing.  Because of the importance of providing an objective estimate, it was decided to minimize the adjustments to individual items so that the Incorporation Committee and others would see that selective adjustments designed to achieve a particular answer to the question of the impact of incorporation on property taxes were not made.  In this spirit, the labels for line items were generally retained and the actual St. Lucie Village budget was provided in an appendix. 

The third section of the report discusses current property tax rates in St. Lucie County and an estimate of the impact of the proposed budget on the property tax rate is presented in the fourth section, labeled Conclusion.   This study has been undertaken at a time of considerable uncertainty because of a statewide recession and constitutional changes in the homestead exemption to the property tax.   The report ends with a discussion of the potential for errors in the estimates as a result of these uncertainties.  The report also contains two appendices.  Appendix A contains the 2007-08 St. Lucie Village Budget, and Appendix B contains some tables previously presented to the Incorporation Committee but not included in the body of this report.


Preliminary Studies

In order to develop a budget for the town of Indian River Ridge, two preliminary studies had to be undertaken: an analysis of the property tax base and an estimate of the potential population of the municipality.

An Analysis of the Property Tax Base

            TABLE 1 contains a tabulation of the preliminary property tax rolls inside the proposed boundaries of the municipality.  The tax rolls were obtained from the Department of Revenue in Tallahassee to whom they had been submitted by the St. Lucie County Property Appraiser. 

 

TABLE 1

Indian River Ridge Study Area

Preliminary Tax Rolls 2006 and 2007

 

Land Use

No. Parcels

Taxable Value 2006

Taxable Value 2007

 

Vacant Residential

Single Family

Mobile Home

Apartments

Condos

Coops

Misc. Residential

Total Residential

Commercial

Vacant Industrial

Institutional & Gov’t

Utilities

Other

Total

 

 

172

494

   1

    7

  55

  68

    3

800

    1

    1

108

    7

  32

949

 

$  24,699,771

$139,314,302

$                  0

$    4,093,100

$    8,638,017

$    1,133,876

$         30,100

$177,909,166

$       742,300

$           2,600

$         30,200

$    3,376,800

$        138,700

$182,199,766

 

$  22,352,503

$143,755,782

$                  0

$    3,803,300

$    7,132,088

$    1,267,038

$         26,900

$178,337,611

$       586,400

$           2,600

$         25,700

$    3,011,700

$       138,400

$182,102,411

 

 

Between 2006 and 2007, the total taxable value in the proposed boundaries declined slightly, namely, 0.05 percent.  It is instructive to break down the changes in taxable values between properties subject to the Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution (SOH) and those not subject to the Amendment.  The SOH applies to homesteaded properties and caps the annual increase in their assessed values to 3 percent.  The taxable value of a homesteaded property is equal to the (capped) assessed value less the amount of the homestead exemption and any other exemptions that may apply to the property.  The assessed values of non-homesteaded properties are required to be assessed at their just (market) values and the taxable values of non-homesteaded properties is generally equal to their assessed values, unless the properties are exempt because of their ownership (e.g. government owned properties and certain institutionally  owned properties).

 

TABLE 2

Changes in Taxable Value of Homesteaded and Non-Homesteaded Properties

Type of Property

No.

Parcels

 

2006 Value

 

2007 Value

Percent

Change

 

Homesteaded Properties

Non-Homesteaded Properties

 

Total

 

395

554

 

949

 

$  81,413,064

$100,782,602

 

$182,199,766

 

$  82,695,696

$  99,406,715

 

$182,102,411

 

 1.58

-1.37

 

-0.05

     

TABLE 2 shows that between 2006 and 2007, the taxable value of homesteaded properties rose by 1.58 percent and the taxable value of non-homesteaded properties declined by 1.37 percent.  The increase in the taxable value of homesteaded properties reflects the “recapture provision”, namely, the requirement that assessed values be increased towards their market values when the increase in assessed values is less than 3 percent due to market conditions.  The decline in the taxable value of non-homesteaded values reflects the decline in market values as the Florida housing boom ended.

It appears possible that the decline in taxable value of non-homesteaded properties will continue for at least one more year since home prices have continued to decline since the first half of 2007 when the values were established for the 2007 year.  It is also likely, however, that the recapture provision will continue to raise the taxable value of homesteaded properties.  In the revenue estimates presented in the next section, it is assumed that the cancellation of these factors will continue into the budget for the first year after the transition to municipal status.  If the legislature approves the creation of the municipality in the spring of 2009, and the voters approve it in November of the same year, the first year after the transition will be 2010-11. 

            TABLE 1 above showed that in 2007 over 97 percent of the taxable values within the proposed boundaries for Indian River Ridge is accounted for by residential properties, and over 80 percent of residential taxable value is accounted for by single family homes.  The largest non-residential taxable values are accounted for by six parcels owned by Florida Power and Light Company, and one parcel owned by US Sprint Communications Company.               

In January 2008, Florida voters approved a Constitutional Amendment that doubled the Homestead Exemption from $25,000 to $50,000 and made the SOH tax benefit portable – homesteaded property owners who sell their properties and buy residential properties in different Florida locations that they homestead will be allowed to apply a portion of the SOH benefit to the new properties.  The effect of doubling the homestead exemption will have an immediate impact on the taxable value within the boundary of the proposed municipality.  TABLE 3 (next page) shows that the effect of doubling the homestead exemption will reduce the taxable value within the proposed boundaries from $182.1 million to $173.0 million.

 

TABLE 3

Indian River Ridge Study Area

Preliminary Tax Rolls 2007

AND ADJUSTED FOR DOUBLE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

 

Land Use

No. Parcels

Taxable Value 2007

Adjusted for Double Homestead Exemption

 

Vacant Residential

Single Family

Mobile Home

Apartments

Condos

Coops

Misc. Residential

Total Residential

Commercial

Vacant Industrial

Institutional & Gov’t

Utilities

Other

Total

 

171

495

   1

    7

  55

  68

    3

800

    1

    1

108

    7

  32

949

 

$  21,970,300

$144,137,985

$                  0

$    3,803,300

$    7,132,088

$    1,267,038

$         26,900

$178,337,611

$       586,400

$           2,600

$         25,700

$    3,011,700

$       138,400

$182,102,411

 

$  21,970,300

$135,508,705

$                  0

$    3,753,300

$    6,757,088

$    1,194,171

$         26,900

$169,210,464

$       586,400

$           2,600

$         25,700

$    3,011,700

$       138,400

$172,975,264

Note:  one parcel classified as vacant has a homestead exemption.  This parcel is included in the single family category in TABLE 3.  It is probably a parcel where the existing structure had been substantially demolished and a new structure was under construction in 2007.

 

There may also be a reduction in taxable values due to the portability provision.   It seems reasonable to expect that this impact will be delayed for a couple of years because of the collapse of home sales in the state during the current housing recession.  It is difficult to estimate the impact of portability on Indian River Ridge:  the desirability of properties within Indian River Ridge will be at least partly offset by the difficulty of selling homesteaded homes elsewhere.   

 

 

 

 

An Estimate of Population in Indian River Ridge

            The starting point for developing an estimate of population in Indian River Ridge is to identify the census tracts within the area and tabulate the population reported in the 2000 Census of Population.  The result is an estimated population of 1,145 as of 2000 as shown in TABLE 4 (next page). There are some small errors in the Census Data as noted in the footnote to the TABLE.  

The 2000 Census also provided an estimate of the number of households in each census tract and this can be used to estimate the number of persons per household in each tract.  The average number of persons per household within the Indian River Ridge boundaries in 2000 was 2.09 persons.  This average was applied to the count of housing units for 2007 obtained from the 2007 property tax rolls in order to develop an estimate of the 2007 population for the proposed municipality.

The use of the average household size across all the census tracts as reported in TABLE 4 results in a conservative estimate of the population because the average across all the tracts is considerably less than the household sizes reported in the four largest tracts which together account for 65 percent of the population in the area.  The estimate is also conservative because it is assumed that only ten percent of the housing units are vacant, or occupied by seasonal residents.   The vacancy rate may be higher or more seasonal although the close location of Indian River Ridge relative to the employment centers of Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie will result in a relatively high proportion of year round residents.

 

 

 

TABLE 4

Population and Households

indian river ridge 2000

 

Census Tract-Block

Population 2000

Households 2000

Average Household Size

 

14.01-1073

14.01-1075

14.03-1087

14.03-1088

14.03-1089

16.03-1000

16.03-1001

16.03-1002

16.03-1033

16.03-1034

16.03-1035

16.03-1036

16.03-1037

16.03-1038

16.03-1039

18.01-2000

18.01-2001

18.01-2034

18.01-2036

18.01-2037

18.01-2038

18.01-2039

18.01-2040

18.01-2041

18.01-2042

18.01-2043

18.01-2044

18.01-2045

18.01-2046

Total

 

              12

            193

                3

                0

                9

            276

   21

     0

     0

   24

     2

     0

     6

 131

  16

   0

   5

  32

  28

    0

144

    0

  16

  40

  82

104

    0

    0

    1

        1,145

 

               7

             84

               1

               0

               3

           121

  12

    0

    0

 13

   2

   0

   3

 51

    8

    0

    2

  13

  17

    0

  63

    0

    8

  27

  42

  69

    0

    0

    1  

547

 

                  1.71

                  2.30

                  3.00

 

                  3.00

                  2.28

1.75

 

 

1.85

1.00

0.0

2.00

2.57

2.00

 

2.50

2.46

1.65

 

2.29

 

2.00

1.48

1.95

1.51

 

 

1.00

2.09

 

Note:  The population in 16.03-1000 is really in 16.03-1001 and the population in 16.03-1001 is in 16.03-1002.  This data entry error may extend further across the tract.  There is also a question about where the population is in 18.01-2001.

 

 

 

The resulting estimate of population is presented in TABLE 5.  The estimate of 1,186 persons is very close to the census estimate for 2000. It indicates that the population is not growing rapidly, a finding confirmed by the experience of St. Lucie Village a similar area further north along Indian River Drive.

 

           

TABLE 5

Population Estimate 2007

 

Property Type

Number of Units

Population 2007

Single Family & Misc. Res.

Condos

Cooperatives

Apartments

 

Total

495

  55

  68

 11

 

629

  933

  104

  128

    21

 

1,186

Assumes 90 percent of units are occupied and 2.09 persons per housing unit – the average from the 2000 Census.  The mobile home is excluded.

 

The 2000 Census of population had a population in the census blocks covered by the area proposed for the new town of 1,145.  The land area in these same blocks was 3.86 square miles.  The population density per square mile of land area in 2000 was 297 persons per square mile.
A Budget for Indian River Ridge After the Transitional Year

 

Public service provision in St. Lucie County relies to an unusual extent on county- wide providers funded by property tax levies collected by St. Lucie County Government.  For example, fire and rescue services are provided this way, in contrast to several other Florida counties where provision comes from a mix of county and municipal providers.  It is assumed that these countywide providers will continue to provide service under the same arrangements to Indian River Ridge if the new town is incorporated.  This includes fire and rescue, parks and recreation, and library and cultural facilities. (Water and sewer is not included since residents will continue to have wells and septic.)  Garbage collection would continue to be provided by the current (privately owned) provider, although fees for the services would be collected by the city and reimbursed to the supplier. 

The city would be responsible for public works (including roads and drainage projects) as detailed below and the city would remain in the Unincorporated MSTU for additional law enforcement services provided by the Sheriff.  The organization of the town would include a part time city council of five members, a part time town clerk and a city attorney.  Although the city attorney would be part time, it is expected that a major commitment of time will be needed, at least in the first five years.     

Expenditures

            Expenditure items from a budget for Indian River Ridge after it makes the transition to municipality status are presented in TABLE 6.  Assuming the legislature approves legislation that would establish the new municipality (spring 2009), and assuming the voters approve the new municipality in a referendum (November 2009) , the first year of operation (fiscal 2009-10) will primarily be an organizational year.   During this time, revenues will be limited until a new town council is elected (March 2010), a budget is adopted, and ordinances and interlocal agreements are adopted that will enable the new town to obtain access to all of the standard municipal revenues. 

The transitional year will need careful attention if a decision is made to proceed to incorporation. 

The expenditure items in TABLE 6 represent a projection of the expenditures of the new municipality after the transitional year has ended.  If a decision to proceed with incorporation is taken, a detailed negotiation with the County Commission will be required by the legislature.  This introduces some uncertainty into the estimates presented here as discussed in the last section of the report.  The TABLES below contain assumptions about the outcome of these negotiations based on discussions with County staff and with members of the Incorporation Committee. Alternative assumptions can be made at the direction of the Committee.

            The Incorporation Committee indicated that St. Lucie Village, a long established small municipality similarly situated in St. Lucie County, can serve as a model for the proposed municipality of Indian River Ridge.  As a result, the 2007 Budget for St. Lucie Village is used as a basis for projecting several of the expenditure items in TABLE 6.  The population of St. Lucie Village in 2006 was 622[1] persons or 52.2 percent of the 2007 population of Indian River Ridge. For many expenditure items, the spending by St. Lucie Village relative to population was scaled up to allow for the larger population in Indian River Ridge.  The 2007-08 Budget for St. Lucie Village is presented in Appendix A to this report.

             

 

TABLE 6

Expenditures of the Town of Indian River Ridge 2010-11

Item

Amount

Basis of Estimation

 

Salaries

    Council members

    Town Clerk

    City Attorney

    Total Salaries

 

Town Hall

    Office Rental

    Furniture & Equipment

    Supplies

    Telephone

    Insurance   

Total Town Hall   

 

Contracted Services

   Building Official

   Sheriff

   Garbage Collection

   Comprehensive Planning

   Accounting

   Other Professional Fees

   Total Contracted Services

 

Public Works

   Mowing

   Road Repair

   Ditch Maintenance

   Drainage Projects

   Total Public Works

 

Addition to Reserves

 

Total Expenditures

        Plus Reserves

 

 

$    3,000

$  21,600

$  70,000

$  94,600

 

 

$  18,750

$    4,000

$    1,000

$    1,000

$    4,000

$  28,750

 

 

$   20,000

$   60,732

$ 118,000

$   16,500

$   15,000

$     6,000

$ 236,232

 

 

$   30,000

$   50,000

$   10,800

$ 100,000

$ 190,800

 

$   82,557

 

 

$ 632,939

 

 

$50/Month/Council Member (LG)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

 

 

 

750 sq. ft. NNN Walton Center

Estimate

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Estimate

$300/month rounded up

 

 

 

111% SLV (St. Lucie Village)

 2007 Millage Applied to 2009 Taxable Value

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Three times SLV + 10% inflation

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

 

 

 

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

5 of 100 culverts $20,000/Culvert (4SLV)

 

15% of expenses (a little less ½ mill)

Note: LG = Town of Loxahatchee Groves.  2007 Millage for Sheriff = .3511 mills.  2009 taxable value $172,975,264 same as 2007 in TABLE 3. 

 

In modeling future expenditures and revenues for the new town based on the population ratio, it was decided not to make adjustments to individual items that might appear to be too high or too low, in order to retain the objectivity of the methodology.  In essence, it is assumed that items that are overestimated by this methodology are offset by other items that are under-estimated.  

TABLE 6 contains expenditures of $550,382 and an addition to reserves (savings) of 15 percent of expenditures.  Expressed relative to the tax base of the new municipality, the addition to reserves is a little less than one-half of a mill (.4773 mills). 

Debt service has not been included on the grounds that taxpayers in the proposed municipality will continue to contribute to the three Unincorporated Municipal Service Taxing Units (MSTUs) during the transitional year.  In return for these contributions, St. Lucie County will continue to provide law enforcement, storm water drainage and comprehensive planning services.  Additional costs such as half year salaries for the members of the town council, the town clerk and attorney, office costs including furniture and equipment and rent, and accounting fees will total approximately $60,000, a sum that may be obtained from state revenue sharing.  To the extent that full revenue sharing is not obtained because a portion is paid to the County, the County should be asked to cover some of the transitional year budget. 

Below are some comments on the individual items:

Salaries:  It is unlikely that Indian River Ridge can hire a clerk or attorney for the rates paid by St. Lucie Village, especially since a new town will require extra commitments of time. The positions are budgeted at 200 percent of the St. Lucie Village figure.

Town Hall:  the rent will be the outcome of negotiations with the County.  The triple net rent of $25 per square foot was quoted by the County Administrator. 

Contracted Services:  The cost of a building official is rounded up to $20,000 from the $18,000 in the St. Lucie Village budget.  It is assumed that the current construction recession will cause the amount to be unusually low.  A similar low estimate will be applied to estimate building permit revenues in the next TABLE so that this expenditure is offset by a revenue item.  Errors in the two projections will offset each other.  Permits and inspections might be the subject of negotiation with the County, particularly in the early years when the County Zoning Code will apply. It is assumed that the Town will remain in the Law Enforcement Unincorporated MSTU and this is the projected expenditure for that item in the TABLE.  Garbage collection expenditures will be offset by a garbage fee on the revenue side and again errors in the two projections will offset each other.  It may be possible to delay comprehensive planning in the first year.

Public Works:  about one quarter of the public works budget is directly related to roads, of which Indian River Drive is the major part.  St. Lucie Village owns Indian River Drive within its boundaries and a major part of Indian River Drive in Fort Pierce is owned by the City.  Gas tax revenues are very small compared to road expenditures.  Ownership of the road will be the subject of negotiations with the County.  Even if the County assumes responsibility for the road, the County may seek reimbursement from the new town.

Drainage Projects: these projects are the other major expense under Public Works. There are approximately 100 unimproved roadway culverts along Indian River Drive within the proposed boundaries of the new town.  The St. Lucie County Public Works Director has indicated that the State will eventually require that all of these be retrofitted in order to protect the water quality of the Indian River Lagoon.  The State expects that these culverts will be retrofitted “a few at a time”.  The Director of Public Works has given an estimated cost of $20,000 per culvert. Committee member Rick Langdon, a civil engineer, believes an estimate of $37,500 per culvert is more likely.  The Director of Public Works indicated that government grants of $10,000 per culvert may be available.  Setting this against the Langdon estimate, and recognizing that there is uncertainty about the pace at which the improvements must be made, TABLE 6 retains the $20,000 net cost per culvert estimate.          

TABLE 7

Revenues of the Town of Indian River Ridge 2010-11

Item

Amount

Basis of Estimation

 

Ad Valorem Taxes

    Tax Levied

    Less Collection Costs

   Total Ad Valorem Net

 

State-Collected Revenue

    Revenue Sharing

    ½ cent sales tax

   Total State-Collected

 

City Taxes

    Communications Tax

    Gasoline Tax

     Total City Taxes

 

Fees & Licenses

   Electric Franchise

   Garbage Collection

   Building Permits

   Occupational Licenses

   Total Fees & Licenses

 

Other Revenue

   Miscellaneous Revenue

   Interest Income

   Total Other Revenue

Total Revenues

 

 

$ 307,099

$  (30,710)

$ 276,389

 

 

$  25,000

$  60,000

$  85,000

 

 

$  12,000

$  24,000

$  36,000

 

 

$ 100,000

$ 124,000

$   10,000

$     1,250

$ 235.250

 

 

$        300

$            0

$        300

$ 632,939

 

 

1.7754 mills versus 1.2847 mills in 2007

10 % of levy (early discounts & non-payment)

(LG used 15% collection costs)

 

 

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

 

 

 

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

 

 

 

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

Twice SLV (St. Lucie Village)

½ SLV (St. Lucie Village)

½ SLV (St. Lucie Village)

 

 

 

½ SLV (St. Lucie Village)

 

 

 

Revenues

            Revenues for Indian River Ridge after it completes the transition to municipal status are given in TABLE 7.  It is assumed that the 2008-09 tax base will be maintained, that is, the market-induced reduction in revenues of non-homesteaded properties will be offset by the increased revenues from homesteaded properties due to the SOH recapture provision.

 

In TABLE 7 the revenues from property taxes are a balancing item – they represent the difference between the total expenditures and addition to reserves in TABLE 6 and the total of projected revenues from other sources.  The calculation is as follows:

Total Ad Valorem Net = Total expenditures in TABLE 6 = $ 632,939

Less Total Non-Ad Valorem Revenues Table 7 (the sum of all items other than Total Ad Valorem Net) = $356,550

 

The result of this subtraction is $276,389.  This number needs to be divided by 90 percent to obtain the taxes levied gross of collection costs $307,999.  The gross cost divided by the tax base in TABLE 3 of $172,975,264 and the result is expressed in mills (tenths of a percent).  The required tax millage for the new municipality is 1.7754 mills.  Property tax revenues amount to less than fifty percent of the total revenues of the new city. 

            Most of the non-ad valorem revenue items have been projected to be twice the St. Lucie Village projection for 2007-08 because the population in Indian River Ridge is approximately twice that of St. Lucie Village.  The exception relates to construction related revenues which have been projected at one-half the St. Lucie Village amounts because of the recession in the industry.

 

5-Year Projection

A projection of these revenues and expenditures beyond the first year is exceptionally difficult at this time because of the uncertainties outlined later in this report.  The most prudent estimate is to assume no growth or decline in the expenditure or revenue totals in constant dollars.      
Current Property Taxes in St. Lucie County

            TABLE 7A contains the current property tax rates paid by property taxpayers in St. Lucie County.  Separate columns are presented for taxpayers in the unincorporated area and tax payers in each of the county’s three municipalities.  The rows of the Table distinguish various taxing authorities including St. Lucie County, the St. Lucie County Public School District, special taxing districts which collect property taxes from all county tax payers, municipal taxes collected only within a particular city, and special taxing districts which collect taxes only from taxpayers in the unincorporated area.  The tax rates are presented in mills (one thousandths) and reported to 4 decimal places.  A tax rate of 1 mill applied to $100,000 of taxable value would result in a tax amount of $100.  The total tax rates paid by St. Lucie County taxpayers are close to 20 mills for each type of taxpayer.  Twenty mills equal 2 percent.  Twenty mills applied to $100,000 of taxable value would result in a tax amount of $2,000. 

            All St. Lucie County property taxpayers are subject to 15 common taxes, seven of which are paid to St. Lucie County, three of which are paid to the St. Lucie Public School District, and five of which are paid to special taxing districts that collect taxes from all county property taxpayers.  Two of the latter districts (the Florida Inland Navigation District and the South Florida Water Management District) collect taxes from taxpayers in other counties as well as St. Lucie County.

            Taxpayers in each of the three municipalities in the county also pay taxes to their city governments, and taxpayers in the unincorporated area pay taxes to three special taxing districts administered by St. Lucie County.  These latter districts were established at least in part as a result of the settlement of double taxation law suits whereby municipal taxpayers objected to paying for municipal services delivered by the county- wide agencies while at the same time paying their city governments for the same services.  If a city has its own police services, for example, its taxpayers feel they should pay less for services provided by the sheriff than do taxpayers in the unincorporated area.

            A number of the taxes are collected by Municipal Services Taxing Units (MSTUs).  An MSTU is a special taxing district that is established by a County or City Government to help finance the delivery of municipal (urban) services.  An MSTU allows the collection of taxes from taxpayers in a geographic area whose boundaries do not have to be the same as the county or the city which establishes the MSTU.   The taxing and spending decisions relevant to the MSTU are usually made by the city or county and sometimes there is a citizens advisory committee to advise the city or county in these matters.

            The tax rates for the three MSTUs in the unincorporated area amount to 1.2847 mills, or $128.47 per $100,000 of taxable property value for the property taxpayers in the Indian River Ridge boundaries.       

            From a property tax perspective, the decision to incorporate is a decision to replace some or all of the 1.2847 mills collected by the unincorporated MSTUs with a city tax rate similar to the rates charged by the existing municipalities which range from 1.25 mills in St. Lucie Village to 5.4674 charged by Ft. Pierce. The total tax millage levied by the three unincorporated MSTUs amounted to about 6 percent of the total tax millage levied by all taxing authorities to property owners in the unincorporated county and this is similar to the situation in St. Lucie Village.              


 

TABLE 7A

Property Tax Rates in St. Lucie County

Expressed in Mills (One Thousandths)

 

 

Taxing Authority

Unin-

corporated

Area

City of

Ft.

Pierce

City of Port

St. Lucie

St.

Lucie

Village

 

St. Lucie County: All taxpayers

County Parks MSTU

County Public Transit MSTU

Erosion District E

Environ Signif Land Bond

Law Enf, Jail, Judicial Sys

Co General Revenue Fund

St. Lucie County Port Fund

Sub-Total County-Wide

 

St. Lucie Co Public School District

School Capital Improvement

School Discretionary

School Required Local Effort

Sub-Total Public Schools

 

Special Taxing Districts: All taxpayers

Children’s Services Council

St. Lucie Co Fire District

Florida Inland Navigation District

South Florida Water Management District

Mosquito Control

Sub-Total Special Taxing Districts

 

Municipal Taxes

Fort Pierce

Port St. Lucie

St. Lucie Village

 

Unincorporated MSTUs

Unincorp. Storm Water Management

Unincorp. Law Enforcement

Unincorp. Community Development

Sub-Total Unincorporated MSTUs

 

Total All Taxes

 

 

 

  0.2313

  0.0833

  0.0925

  0.0766

  1.9532

  4.2299

  0.0144

  6.6642

 

 

  2.0000

  0.6760

  4.8140

  7.4900

 

 

  0.3858

  2.2000

  0.0345

  0.6240

  0.2036

  3.4479

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  0.4731

  0.3511

  0.4605

  1.2847

 

20.1715

 

 

  0.2313

  0.0833

  0.0925

  0.0766

  1.9532

  4.2299

  0.0144

  6.6642

 

 

  2.0000

  0.6760

  4.8140

  7.4900

 

 

  0.3858

  2.2000

  0.0345

  0.6240

  0.2036

  3.4479

 

 

  5.4674

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24.1965

 

 

  0.2313

  0.0833

  0.0925

  0.0766

  1.9532

  4.2299

  0.0144

  6.6642

 

 

  2.0000

  0.6760

  4.8140

  7.4900

 

 

  0.3858

  2.2000

  0.0345

  0.6240

  0.2036

  3.4479

 

 

 

  4.2172

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22.9463

 

 

  0.2313

  0.0833

  0.0925

  0.0766

  1.9532

  4.2299

  0.0144

  6.6642

 

 

  2.0000

  0.6760

  4.8140

  7.4900

 

 

  0.3858

  2.2000

  0.0345

  0.6240

  0.2036

  3.4479

 

 

 

 

  1.2500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19.9791


 

Conclusion

            Currently tax payers in the Indian River Ridge boundaries are taxed by the County through three Municipal Service Taxing Units (MSTUs) because they are unincorporated.  All other unincorporated county property taxpayers are also subject to these MSTU taxes, but taxpayers in the cities of Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie Village are not.  The 2007 city millages are as follows:

            Fort Pierce                                                                   5.4674 mills

            Port St. Lucie                                                              4.2172 mills

            St. Lucie Village                                                         1.2500 mills

The Unincorporated MSTU taxes are as follows:

            Unincorporated Storm Water Management MSTU      .4731 mills

Unincorporated Law Enforcement MSTU                   .3511 mills

Unincorporated Community Development MSTU      .4605 mills

Total                                                                            1.2847 mills

The budget presented above assumes that the taxpayers of Indian River Ridge will remain in the Unincorporated Law Enforcement MSTU by inter-local agreement and that the city will collect the MSTU tax and forward the proceeds to the MSTU.  The budget assumes that Indian River Ridge taxpayers do not remain in the storm water or community development MSTUs but obtain these services from their own city. 

The budget in TABLES 6 and 7 would result in a property tax rate of 1.7754 mills.  For ease of comparison, round this rate to 1.8 mills and round the total of the three current MSTU rates (1.2847 mills) to 1.3 mills.  Comparing the two rates shows that the tax rate in a new municipality would be about one half mill above the current MSTU total (1.8 mills less 1.3 mills).  It is also helpful to recall that the budget in TABLES 7 includes almost one-half of a mill to build a reserve. 

TABLE 8.shows the implications for three homes with different taxable values in Indian River Ridge if the previous budget is adopted.  It shows the increased taxes that would result from incorporation, and the division of these increases between the need to build reserves and the need to fund current operations.   

 

 

TABLE 8

Impact of Incorporation on Homeowner Property Taxes

Taxable Value

Increased

Mills

Increased

Taxes

Mills to

Build

Reserves

Dollars to

Build Reserves

Net Increase

In Mills

Net Increase in Dollars

 

$100,000

$200,000

$300,000

 

 

0.50

0.50

0.50

 

$  50

$100

$150

 

0.48

0.48

0.48

 

  $48

  $96

$144

 

0.02

0.02

0.02

 

$2

$4

$6

 


Uncertainties

 

            There are several sources of uncertainty that should be considered in the process of deciding to move ahead to complete the feasibility study for the State Legislature.  It is likely that these uncertainties will diminish in a year or two, as more information becomes available. 

  1. Recession : the establishment of a new municipality is of the same character as the establishment of a new enterprise, albeit a not-for-profit enterprise.  It is generally not recommended that a new enterprise be started during a recession because of the uncertainty about revenues and to a lesser extent, costs.  Florida is entering a second year of recession and is likely to remain in recession for another year at least. 
  2. County Negotiations:  the outlook for the St. Lucie County budget is severe for the next fiscal year 2008-09.  This will be likely to make negotiations with the County difficult at this time.  The revenues of St. Lucie County have been cut in 2007-08 by a state-mandated property tax rate rollback.   They will be reduced further in 2008-09 by the doubling of the homestead exemption. This reduced the tax base in Indian River Ridge by 5 percent.  County revenues are also being reduced by the severe recession, especially as it affects construction --new construction increases the tax base in normal times.  The County may wish to use negotiations to impose unanticipated costs on the new town.
  3. Budget Uncertainty:  On the revenue side, this report assumes that market induced reductions in the tax base will be more or less cancelled by the recapture provision as it applies to homesteaded properties.  This occurred in 2007.  There is a risk it may not occur in the years ahead.

The expenditure side of the budget prepared here is very lean.  There are very small resources for the development of a town office and one expert has indicated that the assumed cost of retrofitting the culverts along Indian River Drive is under{-}estimated.  The expenditure figures also assume that no debt will be incurred during the difficult transition period after the referendum before the first full budget year is reached. 

The size of the reserve, budgeted at 15 percent of total expenditures, may be too low.  A single road washout might eliminate all the reserves with one project.  Other municipalities have much larger reserves, as the figures for St. Lucie Village in Appendix A show.       


Appendix A

2007-08 Budget for St. Lucie Village

 

            TABLE A.1 (next page) contains the revenue sources in the budget St. Lucie Village adopted for 2007-08.  It begins with the balances brought forward or reserves available at the end of the previous fiscal year.  These are added to the revenue sources to show the resources available to the municipality to fund spending in the fiscal year.  Borrowings are not included and are usually part of a separate capital budget where the corresponding expenditures are also listed.  It is likely that St. Lucie Village does not have borrowings or a capital budget.  

            The expenditures by line item from the 2007-08 St. Lucie Village Budget are presented in TABLE A.2 on page 20.  Ending balances are the amounts anticipated to remain in various accounts at the end of the 2007-08 fiscal year.

TABLE A.1 Revenues of St. Lucie Village 2007-08

 

BALANCES BROUGHT FORWARD

 

Amount

Checking

$4,000

Money Market (Railroad Crossings)

$63,200

Ad Valorem

$80,500

Parks MSTU

$30,075

TOTAL BALANCES BROUGHT FORWARD

$177,775

 

REVENUES:

 

Ad Valorem Taxes (MiIlage 1.25 mills)

$96,000

Electric Franchise Fee

$50,000

Local Communications Services Tax

$6,000

Alcohol Tax

$640

Occupational Licenses

$2,500

Building Permits

$20,000

Village Hall Rental

$2,400

Shade tree Rental

$1,200

State shared revenue

$12,500

Garbage Collection

$62,000

Interest

$3,000

Miscellaneous Revenues

$600

One Half Cent Sales

$30,000

Gas Tax

$12,000

Parks MSTU

$16,000

DCA Grant

$10,000

TOTAL REVENUES

$324,840

 

TOTAL REVENUES AND BALANCES

 

$502,615

 


 

 

TABLE A.2 Expenditures of St. Lucie Village 2007-08

EXPENDITURES:

 

Salaries

 

Clerk

$10,800

Marshal

$8,220

Building Official

$18,000

Payroll Tax

$3,000

Insurance

$23,000

Legal Fees and Costs

$35,000

Amend Zoning and Comp Plan

$5,000

Village Hall

 

Supplies

$500

Utilities

$4,500

Repairs, Maintenance & Renovation

$3,500

Cleaning

$650

Patrol Car

$2,000

Public Works

 

Heritage Park

$6,000

Street Lights

$6,000

Mowing

$15,000

Road Repair

$25,000

Ditch Maintenance

$5,400

Drainage Projects

$25,000

Rouse Road MSBU

$7,760

Crossing Repair/Contingency

$39,000

Accounting Services

$7,500

Other Professional Fees

$3,000

Garbage Collection

$59,000

Other (Miscellaneous)

$2,500

School

 

Utilities

$3,000

Renovation

$6,000

Cleaning

$1,800

TOTAL EXPENDITURES

$326,130

ENDING BALANCES (RESERVES)

 

Checking

$37,285

Money Market

$24,200

Ad Valorem

$75,000

Parks MSTU

$40,000

TOTAL EXPENDITURES AND BALANCES

$502,615

 


Appendix B

 

Tables Presented to the Incorporation Committee

and Not Included

in the Body of the Report

 

It should be noted that a number of the tables that follow contain data for the 2006 fiscal year.


 

TABLE 2

St. LUCIE VILLAGE

2006 Preliminary Tax Rolls

Land Use

No. Parcels

Taxable Value 2006

 

Vacant Residential

Single Family

Mobile Homes

Apartments < 10

Misc. Residential

Total Residential

Vacant Commercial

Developed Commercial

Industrial

Other

Total

 

 

    69

  243

    12

      6

      6

  336

   18

   20

    9

  36

419

 

$    6,653,491

$  40,195,608

$       773,302

$       959,574

$      717,000

$  49,298,975

$    6,008,800

$    7,075,200

$    5,594,900

$    1,060,700

$  69,038,575

Note:  St. Lucie Village has an airport parcel valued at over $1,000,000

 

table 3

sewall’s point

2006 preliminary tax rolls

Land Use

No. Parcel

Taxable Value

 

Vacant Residential

Single Family

Apartments

Condos

Coops

Misc. Residential

Total Residential

Commercial

Utilities

Other

Total

 

 

101

879

   

 

 

  20

    1,000

   4 

   

  23

    1,027

 

$  56,193,510

$569,045,201

 

 

 

$  25,442,610

$650,681,321

$  13,150,130

   

$              200

$650,681,321

 

 

TABLE 6

Population Estimate 2006

 

Property Type

Population 2006

 

 

Indian River Ridge

St. Lucie Village

Sewall’s Point

 

1,221

   572

2,024

 

TABLE 8

AD VALOREM REVENUES

INDIAN RIVER RIDGE AND ST. LUCIE VILLAGE

AREA

MILLAGE

REVENUES

 

Indian River Ridge 2007

St. Lucie Village 2006

 

 

1.5000

1.5000

 

$ 269,286

$ 103,558

 

TABLE 9

MILLAGE RATES

INDIAN RIVER RIDGE AND SEWALL’S POINT

 

Indian River Ridge

Sewall’s Point

Co. General Revenue Fund

4.2734

4.9280

Law Enf, Jail, Judicial Sys

2.3778

 

Environ Signif Land Bond

0.0823

0.0290

Other County Bonds

0.0154

0.0850

County Parks MSTU

0.2500

 

Co Public Transit MSTU

0.0900

 

Erosion District E

0.0100

 

County Total

7.1889

5.0420

Schools Total

7.7370

6.7440

St. Lucie Co. Fire District

2.4562

 

Mosquito Control

0.2200

 

Children’s Service Council

0.3915

0.3202

Fl Inland Navigation Dist

0.0385

0.0385

S FL Water Mgmt District

0.6970

0.6970

Taxing Districts

3.8032

3.8032

Unincorp. Storm Water  Mgt

 

 

Comm. Dev & Law Enforce.

1.2911

 

Sewall’s Point

 

2.4000

Total

20.0202

15.2417

Note:  there are more countywide taxes in St. Lucie County.

See especially the Law Enforcement, Jail and Judicial System,

as well as Fire District.  Also, Martin County is a wealthier county

than St. Lucie.  As a result, tax millage rates can be lower.  

TABLE 10

AD VALOREM REVENUES

INDIAN RIVER RIDGE AND ST. LUCIE VILLAGE

AREA

MILLAGE

REVENUES

 

Indian River Ridge (2007)

Sewalls’ Point (2006)

 

 

1.2911

2.4000

 

$    231,783

$ 1,561,634

 

 

CONCLUSIONS and RECOMMENDATIONS

 

 

The conclusions and recommendations are drawn exclusively from a review of the statutory provisions for the formation, merger, and dissolution of municipalities.

 

  1. The purpose for the formation of municipalities, as stated in s165 is directed toward assuring adequate “quality and quantity of local public services”, the assurance of financial integrity, the promotion of equity in the financing of municipal services, and the elimination or reduction of avoidable differentials in fiscal capacity among neighboring local governmental jurisdictions.

 

This purpose is the mandate of the State of Florida, and while all points and well taken and necessary points to be considered in the formation of a new municipality they are also points, in many cases, which are contrary to our essential purpose – that being the limitation on the provision of “public services” and the retention of our current, and historical rural character.

 

  1. Listed as the final item in the required content of the Incorporation Feasibility Study mandated by s165 is “evidence that the proposed municipality meets the requirements (emphasis added) for incorporation pursuant to s 165.061

 

a)      must be compact and contiguous

 

By the limits and boundaries proposed we can argue contiguity, compactness would be a somewhat harder “sell” being roughly 11 ½ miles long and roughly 0.8 mile wide (as an “average”).  However, this IS our community as it has historically been established, developed, and “guarded” through the efforts of The Indian River Drive Freeholders, Inc. established in 1938..

 

b)      must have a total population …. Of at least 5,000 … in counties with a population of more than 75,000

 

With an “official – 2000 Census” population of 1,152 … even knowing that that information is flawed with errors of omission, we could probably not reasonably argue for a current population of greater than 1,600 – 1,800 … still far shy of the 5000 required.  We can “wish” and point out many municipalities with populations less than this … but … this is the law as revised and adopted in 1974.


 

c)      must have an average population density of at least 1.5 persons per acre

 

Without going to extraordinary efforts to accurately calculate acreage, I roughly estimate acreages for our town as 5,950 Total – and break this down as roughly 3500a – as River, 1035a as Savannas, and 1415a as “developable lands”.

Based on census population and Total area this is – 0.19 persons per acre.

Based on Census population and “developable lands” this is a density of  - 0.74 persons per acre.  Based on an adjusted population estimate and “developable lands”  this is – 1.27 persons per acre which gets “closer”, based on “adjustments to required measures” but it still does not meet the requirements.  What we seem to envision as the desired future for our town “might” max out, or approach, 1.5 persons per acre (+/-) … of developable lands.

 

c)      continues by including an “out” which could be argued – “or have extraordinary conditions requiring the establishment of a municipal corporation with less existing density.

 

d)   must have a minimum distance of any part of the area proposed for incorporation from the boundaries of an existing municipality within the county of at least 2 miles

 

The boundaries we’ve selected are coincident with the boundaries of Port St. Lucie for the South 4 miles and with Ft. Pierce for the North 2 miles which “only leaves the center 4 … maintaining 2 miles separation leaves … nothing at all.

 

d)     continues by again including an “out” which could be argued – “or have an extraordinary natural boundary which requires separate municipal government

 

e)      must have a proposed municipal charter

 

This is “the least of the challenges” which we face and is “merely” a matter of either “doing it” or having it prepared.

 

From an analysis of the “musts” and “must haves” required for consideration of incorporation of a new municipality any reasonable person – and we must assume that our elected legislators, both House and Senate, are reasonable – would conclude that this is not a feasible request – even without addressing economic feasibility.  Further, these representatives are sworn to uphold the constitution and laws in force.  It is unreasonable and unrealistic to even ask them to support our desire under the “basic” provisions of s 165.   It is my conclusion that “lobbying” efforts directed


 

 toward our local State of Florida legislative delegation are not only doomed to failure but also could prove to be counterproductive in the long run.  With over 3200 House Bills introduced in the 2003 legislative session, our representatives have neither the time, and I would hope not the inclination, to even consider introduction of a Bill doomed to fail for lack of meeting the statutory requirements.  I do not support the continuation of the preparation of our incorporation feasibility study past the point of development which currently exists if the current “strategy” continues.

 

HOWEVER, s. 165.1.c includes by reference to s. 163.3217 – municipal incorporation by municipal overlay (of the Counties comprehensive plan) a method with a possible chance of success.  I mentioned this in committee shortly after becoming involved in 2002.  However, a path and “strategy” had already been established.  This method for incorporation of new municipalities appears to be specifically “tailored” to our situation and desires and does give our legislators reason and opportunity to support waiver of the “musts and must haves” addressed in s 165. 

 

For this reason, it is my RECOMMENDATION that the direction of our committee be shifted to a determination:  Has St. Lucie County adopted by Ordinance or Local Act “municipal incorporation for municipal incorporation pursuant to s 163.3217? 

If not, I recommend - we need to direct out lobbying efforts to the St. Lucie County Commission for it’s adoption by ordinance of s. 163.3217 and their voiced support by adoption of that ordinance to our efforts toward the completion of our Incorporation Feasibility Study.

 

Representatives of this committee have visited our District Commissioner, Cliff Barnes, who is also – at present – the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.  He has expressed support of our desire to incorporate.  However, he is not running for reelection in the coming term.  Therefore time is short, and possibly past, for what might be our “best shot” in having this provision adopted.

 

 

 

 

 


 

TERRITORIAL LIMITS

 

The territorial limits of the Town of INDIAN RIVER RIDGE are hereby defined and shall be as follows (Proceeding from the South, the common Martin County / St. Lucie County / Town of Indian River Ridge Line to the North and the Town of Indian River Ridge / City of Ft. Pierce municipal limit line):

 

Township 37 South, Range 41 East

 

Section 10

 

All of fractional Section 10, bounded on the South by the common South Line of St. Lucie County, Florida and North Line of Martin County, Florida … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said fractional Section 10, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 9 (the Southern ½) 

 

All of Govt. Lot 3, bounded on the West by SW ¼ of Section 9 T37S R41E - lands of the City of Port St. Lucie as established 27 April 1961 by HB 953 and filed in the Official Records of St. Lucie County, Florida – Book 10, Pages 1 -37 and on the South by the common South Line of St. Lucie County, Florida and North Line of Martin County, Florida.  — “OK”—

 

All of Govt. Lot 4, bounded on the South by the common South Line of St. Lucie County, Florida and North Line of Martin County, Florida … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 4, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 9 (the Northern ½)

 

All of Govt. Lot 2 and bounded on the West by Govt. Lot 1 of Section 9 T37S R41E and on the South by the SW ¼ of Section 9 T37S R41E - lands of the City of Port St. Lucie as established 27 April 1961 by HB 953 and filed in the Official Records of St. Lucie County, Florida – Book 10, Pages 1 -37.  — “OK”—


 

Section 9 (the Northern ½, Cont.)

 

All of that portion of a parcel of land known as “Grant’s Permit” situate within Section 9 T37S R41E… plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said “Grant’s Permit” on the South and the North  line of Section 9, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.   — “OK”—

 

Section 4 (the South ½)

 

All of Govt. Lot 2, bounded on the West by the SE ¼ Section 5 T37S R41E and on the South by Govt. Lot 1 of Section 9 T37S R41E - lands of the City of Port St. Lucie as established 27 April 1961 by HB 953 and filed in the Official Records of St. Lucie County, Florida – Book 10, Pages 1 -37.  — “OK”—

 

All of Govt. Lot 3, and all of that portion of land known as “Grant’s Permit” situate within Section 4 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida and others from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said South  ½ of Section 4, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 4 (the North ½)

 

All of Govt. Lot 1 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 5 (the North ½)

 

All of the E ½ of the NE ¼ of Section 5, bounded on the West by the W  ½ of the NE ¼ of Section 5 and on the South by the SE ¼ of Section 5 - lands of the City of Port St. Lucie as established 27 April 1961 by HB 953 and filed in the Official Records of St. Lucie County, Florida – Book 10, Pages 1 -37.  — “OK”—


 

Township 36 South, Range 41 East

Section 33

 

All of Govt. Lot 1… plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 32 (The South ½)

 

All of Govt. Lot 3 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 3, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel. 

Less the following lands:

1.      A parcel of land situate in Govt. Lot 3 of Section 32 described as:

 “The West Part of Govt. Lot 3 (Savannah)”

Said parcel is included in the municipal limits of the City of Port St. Lucie as established by HB 953 dated 27 April 1961.  — “OK”—

 

All of Govt. Lot 2 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 2, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel. 

Less the following lands:

1.      Lands situate within the central portion of Govt. Lot 2 described as:

 A parcel of land beginning at a point on the West Bank of the Indian River (St. Lucie Sound) 5 Chains and 20 Links South of the North line of Government Lot 2:  thence West parallel to said lot line 30 Chains and 20 Links to the West line of said Lot 2:  thence South along the said West line to a point 5 Chains and 18 Links North of the South line of said Lot 2:  thence East parallel to South line of said Lot 2 to the West Bank of the Indian River:  thence northwesterly along the River Shore to the point of beginning.”

Said parcel is included in the municipal limits of the City of Port St. Lucie as established by HB 953 dated 27 April 1961.  — “OK”—


 

Section 32 (The North ½) check & double check these descriptions

 

All of Govt. Lot 1 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

Less the following lands:

1.      That portion of lands situate within the North 738.1 feet of Government Lot 1 annexed into the Municipal Limits of the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida by Ordinance 73-15 dated 26 June 1973 as recorded in the Official Records of St., Lucie County, Florida in OR Book 317 Pages 2773 and 2774.  — “OK”—

 

All of the NE ¼ of the NW ¼ of Section 32 T 36S

Less the following lands:

1.  That portion of lands situate within the North 738.1 feet of the NE ¼ of the NW ¼ of Section 32 T36S R41E which was annexed into the Municipal Limits of the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida by Ordinance 73-15 dated 26 June 1973 as recorded in the Official Records of St., Lucie County, Florida in OR Book 317 Pages 2773 and 2774.  — “OK”—

 

2        That portion of lands situate within the South 581.9 feet of the NE ¼ of the NW ¼ of Section 32 T36S R41E which was annexed into the Municipal Limits of the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida by Ordinance 73-15 dated 26 June 1973 as recorded in the Official Records of St., Lucie County, Florida in OR Book 317 Pages 2773 and 2774.  — “OK”—

 

 

Section 29 (The South ½) check & double check these descriptions

 

All of Govt. Lot 3 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 3, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

            Less the following lands:

1.      That portion of lands situate within Government Lot 3 which was annexed into the Municipal Limits of the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida by Ordinance 73-15 dated 26 June 1973 as recorded in the Official Records of St., Lucie County, Florida in Official Records Book 317 Pages 2773 and 2774.

   — “OK”—


 

Section 29 (The South ½, cont.) check & double check these descriptions

 

 

All of Govt. Lot 2 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 2, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

            Less the following lands:

2.      That portion of lands situate within Government Lot 2 which was annexed into the Municipal Limits of the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida by Ordinance 73-15 dated 26 June 1973 as recorded in the Official Records of St., Lucie County, Florida in Official Records Book 317 Pages 2773 and 2774.

   — “OK”—

 

Section 29 (The North ½)

 

All of Govt. Lot 1 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 30 (The North ½ Section)

 

All of the E ½ of the NE ¼ of Section 30, bounded on the West by the West ½ of the NE ¼ of Section 30 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida) and on the South by the SE ¼ of Section 30 (lands of the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

Section 20

 

All of fractional Section 20 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 19 (The South ½)

 

All of Govt. Lots 3 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 2 and 3, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel, bounded on the West by the SW ¼ of Section 19 and on the South by the W ½ of the NE ¼ of Section 30 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—


 

Section 19 (The South ½, Cont.)

 

All of Govt. Lot 2  … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 2 and 3, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel, bounded on the West by the SW ¼ of Section 19 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

Section 19 (The North ½ Section)

 

All of Govt. Lot 1 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

All of the NW ¼ of Section 19 T36S R41E, bounded on the West by the NE ¼ of Section 24 T36S R40E and on the South by the SW ¼ of Section 19 T36S R41E (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

Section 18

 

All of Govt. Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Section 18, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel, bounded on the West by Section 13 T36S R40E (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

Section 7

 

All of fractional Section 7 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Fractional Section 7, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel. — “OK”—

 


 

Township 36 South, Range 40 East

 

Section 12 (South ½)

 

All of the E ½ of the SE ¼ of Section 12 T36S R40E, bounded on the South by the NE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 13 and on the West by the SE ¼ of the SE ¼ of Section 12 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

All of the NW ¼ of the SE ¼ of Section 12 T36S R40E, bounded on the South by the SW ¼ of the SE ¼ of Section 12 and on the West by the NE ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 12 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

Section 12 (North ½)

 

All of Govt. Lots 1 and 2 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lots 1 and 2, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel, bounded on the West by the NW ¼ of Section 12 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

Section 1 (South ½)

 

All of Govt. Lot 3 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 3, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel, Bounded on the West by the W ½ of the SW ¼ of Section 1 and on the South by the NW ¼ of Section 12 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

All of Govt. Lot 2  … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 2, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel, bounded on the West by W ½ of the SW ¼ of Section 1 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—

 

Section 1 (North ½)

 

All of Govt. Lot 1 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—


 

Section 1 (North ½, Cont.)

 

All of the W ½ of the NW ¼ of Section 1 T36S R40E, bounded on the West by the NE ¼ of Section 2 and on the South by the W ½ of the SW ¼ of Section 1 (unincorporated lands of St. Lucie County, Florida).  — “OK”—


 

Township 35 South, Range 40 East

 

Section 36 (South ½)check & double check these descriptions

 

All of Govt. Lot 1 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

            Less -  lands annexed into the City of Fort Pierce

************************* TBD *******************************

 

Section 36 (North ½)

 

All of that portion of a parcel of land known as the “W.B.Davis Permit” lying within Section 36 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Section 36 and said “W.B. Davis Permit”, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

Section 35 (North ½)

 

All of that portion of a parcel of land known as the “W.B.Davis Permit” lying within Section 35 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Section 35 and said “W.B. Davis Permit”, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

Less -  lands annexed into the City of Fort Pierce

************************* TBD *******************************

 

Section 26 (South ½)

 

All of that portion of a parcel of land known as the “W.B.Davis Permit” lying within Section 26 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Section 26 and said “W.B. Davis Permit”, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

Less -  lands annexed into the City of Fort Pierce

************************* TBD *******************************


 

 

All of Govt. Lot 4 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 4, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.  — “OK”—

 

All of the NE ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 26, bounded on the West by the NW ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 26 and on the South by the SE ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 26 (lands of the City of Ft. Pierce, Florida). 

**************** Annexation details TBD **************

 

Section 26 (North ½ Section)

 

All of Govt. Lot 3… plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 3, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

Less lands annexed into the City of Fort Pierce by Ordinance I-231, I-232, I-233, and I-234 dated 11 September 1987 -  recorded in the Official Records of St. Lucie County, Florida in OR Book ** Pages ******

 

All of Govt. Lots 1 … plus the submerged lands of the State of Florida from the intersection of the West bank of the Indian River Lagoon with the boundaries of said Govt. Lot 1, projected easterly to the center line of the Intracoastal Waterway’s navigation channel.

Less lands annexed into the City of Fort Pierce By Ordinance I-228, I-229, and I-230 dated 11 September 1987, and Ordinance J-254 dated 8 April 1997 - recorded in the Official Records of St. Lucie County, Florida in OR Book ** Pages ****


Territorial Limits

 

 

Township 37 South, Range 41 East

 

 

Sections 4 & 5

Figure 2

 

 

Sections 9 & 10

Figure 1


Territorial Limits

 

 

Township 36 South, Range 41 East

 

 

Sections 29 & 30

Figure 4

 

 

Sections 33

Figure 3


Territorial Limits

 

 

Township 36 South, Range 41 East

 

 

Sections 18

Figure 6

 

 

Sections 19 & 20

Figure 5


 

Territorial Limits

 

 

Township 36 South, Range 40 East

 

 

Sections 1

Figure 8

 

 

      Township 36 South, Range 41 East Section 7

Township 36 South, Range 40 East Sections 12

Figure 7


 

Territorial Limits

 

 

Township 35 South, Range 40 East

 

 

Section 26

Figure 10

 

 

      Sections 35 & 36

Figure 9


 

Year 2000 Census Data

Block Locations and Descriptions

 

Tract

Block

Map

     Block Description

18.01

2001

36

"PSL" - South of Walton & West of SIRD

18.01

2034

45, 44,36

West of FEC Rwy - Co Line to River View Dr

E&W of FEC - North of River View Dr to PSL properties

at Walton Rd.

18.01

2036

44

Small enclave between River View Dr & Walton Rd.

18.01

2038

45 & 44

Prop between River View Dr & Pleasant View Dr.

18.01

2040

45

Prop between Pleasant View Dr & "Indian River Ln"

18.01

2041

45

Prop between "Indian River Ln" & "Main St"

18.01

2042

45

Netherby Ave Properties

- between "Main St" & "Walton Rd"

18.01

2043

45

South of Netherby Properties - nic Lake Manor Park

18.01

2046

45

Wetland Way properties

 

 

 

 

16.03

1000

36 & 28

East of SIRD - North of Walton Woods to Midway Rd

16.03

1001

36 & 28

East of FEC Ry, West of SIRD,

North of Walton Woods to Midway Rd

16.03

1034

36

East of SIRD - North of "PSL"  Walton Rd. properties

 to North end of Walton Woods

16.03

1035

36

"Walton Woods" - South part

16.03

1037

36

Walton Community

- West of SIRD between Ohio St & Harris St

16.03

1038

36

Walton Community

- West of Ridge Ave & North of Ohio St.

16.03

1039

36

Walton Community

- West of SIRD, South of Ohio, North of Main, East of Ridge

16.03

1040

36

Walton Community

- Ridge Circle

16.03

1041

36

Walton Community

- South of Main to "PSL" properties @ Walton Rd.

 

 

 

 

14.01

1073

28

West of FEC, North of Midway to Ft. Pierce parcel

14.01

1075

28

East of FEC, West of SIRD,

North of Indianapolis St to Ft Pierce parcels

14.01

1087

28

North of Rio Vista, West of SIRD,

East of 2nd St, South of Ft. Pierce Annexations

14.01

1089

28

North of Midway, West of SIRD,

East of FEC, South of Indianapolis St.

NOTE:  ONLY those blocks reported as containing population have been included.  There are several additional “blocks” which should, but which have been reported as containing “zero population”.  Also to one with an intimate knowledge of the area, there are several cases of population and dwellings reported in incorrect “blocks”.

 


 

Year 2000 Census Data

Population and Median Age

 

 

 

Total

Population

Urban

Population

Rural

Population

Median

Age

Males

Median

Age

Females

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tract

Block

P1

P2a

P2b

P13a

P13b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.01

2001

5

5

0

28.0

40.5

18.01

2034

32

32

0

47.5

44.5

18.01

2036

28

28

0

34.5

43.3

18.01

2038

144

144

0

46.2

47.2

18.01

2040

16

16

0

36.5

57.5

18.01

2041

40

40

0

25.3

39.5

18.01

2042

82

82

0

40.0

48.3

18.01

2043

104

104

0

62.5

72.5

18.01

2046

1

1

0

0.0

66.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South

Subtotal

452

452

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.03

1000

276

276

0

49.5

48.9

16.03

1001

21

0

21

45.0

72.8

16.03

1034

24

24

0

38.5

70.5

16.03

1035

2

0

2

0.0

61.5

16.03

1037

6

6

0

39.0

52.5

16.03

1038

131

131

0

48.0

47.5

16.03

1039

16

16

0

45.8

53.5

16.03

1040

3

3

0

63.5

37.5

16.03

1041

4

4

0

39.0

57.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central

Subtotal

483

460

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.01

1073

12

0

12

49.5

44.5

14.01

1075

193

193

0

49.8

48.7

14.01

1087

3

3

0

61.5

74

14.01

1089

9

9

0

47.5

39.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North

Subtotal

217

205

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

1152

1117

35

 

 

 


 

Year 2000 Census Data

Age by Sex

 

Male:

584

Female:

568

Total:

1152

Under 5 years

16

Under 5 years

6

Under 5 years

22

5 to 9 years

26

5 to 9 years

20

5 to 9 years

46

10 to 14 years

49

10 to 14 years

31

10 to 14 years

80

15 to 17 years

18

15 to 17 years

16

15 to 17 years

34

18 and 19 years

4

18 and 19 years

6

18 and 19 years

10

20 years

3

20 years

3

20 years

6

21 years

5

21 years

5

21 years

10

22 to 24 years

9

22 to 24 years

9

22 to 24 years

18

25 to 29 years

21

25 to 29 years

16

25 to 29 years

37

30 to 34 years

23

30 to 34 years

23

30 to 34 years

46

35 to 39 years

36

35 to 39 years

36

35 to 39 years

72

40 to 44 years

43

40 to 44 years

56

40 to 44 years

99

45 to 49 years

65

45 to 49 years

70

45 to 49 years

135

50 to 54 years

74

50 to 54 years

45

50 to 54 years

119

55 to 59 years

41

55 to 59 years

31

55 to 59 years

72

60 and 61 years

15

60 and 61 years

20

60 and 61 years

35

62 to 64 years

20

62 to 64 years

19

62 to 64 years

39

65 and 66 years

12

65 and 66 years

9

65 and 66 years

21

67 to 69 years

19

67 to 69 years

22

67 to 69 years

41

70 to 74 years

28

70 to 74 years

35

70 to 74 years

63

75 to 79 years

28

75 to 79 years

36

75 to 79 years

64

80 to 84 years

20

80 to 84 years

33

80 to 84 years

53

85 years and over

9

85 years and over

21

85 years and over

30

 


 

Year 2000 Census Data

Race

 

 

 

White

Only

Black

Only

Am. Indian

Or Alaskan

Only

Hawaiian

Or Pacific

Islander

Only

Other

Only

Two

Or

More

Only

Pop. By

Race

Total

Tract

Block

P7a

P7b

P7c

P7d

P7e

P7f

P7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.01

2001

5

0

0

0

0

0

5

18.01

2034

32

0

0

0

0

0

32

18.01

2036

24

0

0

0

4

0

28

18.01

2038

132

5

3

0

0

4

144

18.01

2040

16

0

0

0

0

0

16

18.01

2041

40

0

0

0

0

0

40

18.01

2042

77

4

0

0

1

0

82

18.01

2043

102

0

1

0

0

1

104

18.01

2046

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      South

Subtotal

428

10

4

0

5

5

452

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.03

1000

274

0

1

0

0

1

276

16.03

1001

20

0

0

0

0

1

21

16.03

1034

24

0

0

0

0

0

24

16.03

1035

1

0

0

0

0

1

2

16.03

1037

6

0

0

0

0

0

6

16.03

1038

127

3

1

0

0

0

131

16.03

1039

16

0

0

0

0

0

16

16.03

1040

2

0

0

1

0

0

3

16.03

1041

4

0

0

0

0

0

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Central

Subtotal

474

3

2

1

0

3

483

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.01

1073

12

0

0

0

0

0

12

14.01

1075

190

2

0

0

0

1

193

14.01

1087

3

0

0

0

0

0

3

14.01

1089

9

0

0

0

0

0

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      North

Subtotal

214

2

0

0

0

1

217

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

1116

15

6

1

5

9

1152

 


 

Year 2000 Census Data

Households

 

 

 

House

Holds

Pop.

House

Hold

Size

Family

House

Holds

Pop

In

Families

Avg.

Family

Size

Non

Family

House

Holds

Pop.

In

Non

Family

Avg.

Non

Family

Size

Tract

Block

P15

P16

P17

P26a

P32

 

P26b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.01

2001

2

5

2.50

1

4

4.00

1

1

1.00

18.01

2034

13

32

2.46

10

28

2.80

3

4

1.33

18.01

2036

17

28

1.65

5

13