Special districts, such as Stewardship Districts, Improvement Districts, and Community Development Districts, are independent, local special-purpose governments that levy taxes and assessments and issue bonds to provide infrastructure to develop communities of all types. When used effectively, Special Districts can help developers spread out development costs, meet the concerns of permitting agencies with respect to long-term maintenance of infrastructure, and meet the need of local governments to avoid politically unpopular property tax increases.
For years, Hopping Green & Sams has counseled landowners and developers on ways to address infrastructure and service needs via the establishment of Special Districts in Florida, Alabama, and elsewhere. Our lawyers have helped establish more than 180 Special Districts. As the use of Special Districts has become more widespread, our lawyers have played an important role in crafting legislative changes to the laws governing Special Districts to address real-life, day-to-day matters that confront Special Districts in their provision of services.
We also serve as general counsel to over 150 Special Districts in Florida and Alabama, wherever growth and development create the need for infrastructure. In this arena, our lawyers address issues related to public finance, public bidding, rulemaking, open meetings, ethics, public records, real property dedications, and conveyances and contracts. In this capacity, we provide service as “local government lawyers” to boards comprised of both landowner representatives and residents.
We have experience taking land from its undeveloped state through the land use approval process to the financing and construction of infrastructure, and ultimately its long-term maintenance. When necessary, we have also represented a number of districts addressing foreclosure of special assessment liens, restructuring and reissuance of bonds, post-foreclosure strategies for holding or selling lands, and structuring of special purpose entities to accomplish these tasks.
For more information on matters related to community development districts and other special districts, please see the articles below: