Tuesday, August 7, 2018

March 19, 2014 HOA Incorporation & Annexation Update

The Sky Lake and Highland Lakes Area Homeowners Association does the only lobbying with the county on behalf of the Northeast unincorporated municipal service area. All members of the HOA with I communicate seem either willing to help me, or forthright in directing me to someone they think will.
One such neighbor, Lenny Feldman, a former president of the HOA, provided me a very interesting document he developed. This provides some insight into the thoughts and concerns of some of my neighbors. It also demonstrates how the numbers have changed over the years.

It starts off with stuff I already know about the "Options" regarding changing boundaries: incorporation, annexation, merger. Keep in mind that many people living in the incorporation have the fantasy of annexation by Aventura, so it certainly stood out to me on the next pages where it mentions Aventura twice:

Fourteen years ago Aventura already rejected the possibility of annexation
Another rejection in 2008. Why conduct a study during a moratorium?

Not only that, but it also mentions the Planning Advisory Board recommending incorporation, and an analysis by an independent third party:

Also, two new documents to find!

Given this information, it seems the Board of County Commissioners would have voted on an incorporation referendum as soon as the District 4 Commissioner would put it on the agenda. Telling from the timeline in the Mayor's Memorandum that would have been the next step. Except perhaps for the moratorium[s] the BCC placed on annexation and incorporation:

Why did they have to do it twice?
While I invite you to read the document itself at the bottom of the page, I point out a few other interesting tidbits from the presentation.
Notable dates

In the "Initial Figures" section I notice the UMSA county rate went from 2.447 mills down to 1.928 mills, a primarily revenue neutral move given increased property values.

I could say many other things about the details in the presentation, but they mostly rehash things I wrote about in my previous posts on the subject, however I will leave you with a snippet from their Cons and Pros section. The item on the left is a con, the item on the right is a pro for incorporation:
While I don't hold it against them, these items reveal the diversity of thought on the subject. While many neighbors in favor of incorporation argue that the city can succeed without raising taxes, this presentation from 2014 explicitly categorizes the LOW level of county taxes as a burden on a new city, and that at the time of its publishing the understanding seemed to be that the incorporation area had a budget shortfall. I will certainly look more in to that.

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