Monday, September 28, 2020
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The Villages

Why I voted the way that I did on the Hacienda agenda item

Carl Bell
Carl Bell

Community Development Districts (CDD) were formed in Florida so that developers could build communities. Permission to build, zoning, building permits, and inspections for building code compliance is controlled by the town, city or county that the CDD resides in. The AAC was created as an unpaid volunteer committee to give residents a say in how amenity money is spent. We have no vote on what the Developer builds on the land he currently owns, where or when he chooses to purchase more land, nor what he chooses to build on that new land. He makes those decisions subject to county or town ordnances, water management rules, etc.

Amenity contracts are the contracts between the developer and the buyer, we all signed one of those contracts when we purchased our houses. The contract runs with the land that our house sits on. The Developer may keep those contracts and the amenity payment stream, or, sell them. The AAC has no say so. If he offers to sell the contracts to the Village Center Community Development District, then we the AAC have a vote on whether to purchase them. If we do purchase the contracts we may pay for them as we did for the Philips and Soulliere Villa contracts at $8 million, from the current reserve bank account, or float a bond issue to pay for them pledging the amenity payment stream to the paying off of those bonds.

The Hacienda Country Club vote was not about what he could or could not build there, but about reaffirming a previous contract where the AAC agreed that he could create 300 new amenities about four years ago. We do not get to approve how he uses those amenities. The AAC is not a developer. We do not build houses and apartments because we are not developers.

The AAC is charged with the responsibility to provide the level of amenity services in place when the original home was purchased and to maintain all the amenity facilities. The AAC has chosen over the last few years to, modify, add and create additional amenities.

The second part of the vote was to allow the Developer to rebuild the Hacienda amenity-owned postal facility at his expense. The facility needs to be refurbished in the near term and he will do that for us at a savings of about $700,000. He will incorporate the mailboxes from the ALF (Assisted Living Facility) or ILF (Independent Living Facility) into the reconfigured mail station. I have included the agenda item and the supporting document below as most of the persons that I have been in contact with have not had the opportunity to really understand the issue.

ISSUE:

First Amendment to Agreement between Village Center Community Development District and The Villages of Lake-Sumter, Inc. for Utilization of Amenity Privileges.

ANALYSIS/INFORMATION:

On September 9, 2015, the Amenity Authority Committee (AAC) approved and recommended to the Village Center Community Development District (VCCDD) that The Villages of Lake-Sumter, Inc. (VLS) could bring into the Village Center District Service Territory an additional 300 units and that the use of the units be restricted to residents of independent living or assisted living facilities (ALF/ILF). On October 14, 2015, the VCCDD approved an agreement with VLS to provide amenities for the additional 300 units.

There are currently fourteen (14) amenity rights being utilized which include seven (7) for TSL SS PropCo, LLC (Elan Spanish Springs) and seven (7) that were subsequently designated for use for Chatham Acres. The current balance of unused amenity rights is 286.

For your consideration today is the First Amendment to the Agreement executed in 2015 between the VCCDD and VLS. This amended agreement takes into consideration that should VLS utilize the amenity rights for ALF/ILF, as the existing agreement provides, there would be no common amenity improvements to the community.

As presented, the amended agreement provides VLS the ability to utilize the unused amenity rights for age-restricted units, and to construct additional amenity improvements at no cost to residents and guests in the Village Center District territory and The Villages community at large. If the amenity rights are utilized in this manner, VLS shall construct, at a minimum, a resort-style pool, sport and activity courts, walking paths and open spaces – all of which shall be accessible to residents and guests. Furthermore, the additional amenities would be perpetually maintained by VLS.

In consideration of the significant capital expenditures to construct the amenity facilities, the amended agreement provides that VLS would retain the amenity fee revenue for said units, with the exception of certain defined contributions towards Community Watch and The Villages Public Safety Department. As previously noted, the amended agreement provides that VLS will perpetually maintain these facilities; they would not be the financial responsibility of the VCCDD.

The amended agreement also addresses the Hacienda Parcel, which is the former location of the privately owned Hacienda Hills Country Club. Should the additional age-restricted residential units or amenity infrastructure be constructed by VLS on this property, VLS assumes the responsibility for redesigning and improving the abutting parcel owned by the District as described in the attached Exhibit “B” . The improvements include the drive aisles, parking, and postal facility. The District will continue to own and operate the District Parcel, including the postal facility, and the Developer shall contribute the proportionate share of postal box charges and costs for postal boxes utilized by users of the Hacienda Parcel to the District. If this is pursued, the necessary legal documents pertaining to easements for ingress and egress of the property will be drafted.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION:

This public-private partnership further enhances the community and provides a benefit to the residents of the Village Center District Territory and The Villages as a whole. By amending the agreement for utilization of the amenity privileges, residents and guests of the community gain additional amenity opportunities at no additional expense. Additionally, enhancements to District property will be achieved if the Hacienda Parcel is developed. Staff recommends the Amenity Authority Committee (AAC) recommend approval of the First Amendment to the Agreement between the Village Center Community Development District and The Villages of Lake-Sumter, Inc.

MOTION:

Motion to recommend approval of the First Amendment to the Agreement between the Village Center Community Development District and The Villages of Lake-Sumter, Inc.

Carl Bell represents Community Development District 1 on the Amenity Authority Committee.

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