Landowner-Initiated Referenda

Petitions are used by landowners requesting capital improvements such as road paving or for requesting a "no-pave" restriction on a roadway. Landowners interested in road or other capital improvements or no paving requests must contact the District office and will be referred to the District Engineer for project review prior to issuing the District's authorized petition form. Please refer to the Enhanced Stabilization Policy below.

Enhanced Stabilization Policy - Effective April 20, 2017

I. PURPOSE

To create a systematic procedure for South Indian River Water Control District’s landowners to apply for road surface upgrades on roads maintained by SIRWCD.

II. PROCEDURE

The South Indian River Water Control District Board of Supervisors hereby establishes the following:
1. No roadway will be considered for enhanced stabilization unless the easement width, drainage swales, and road base are considered suitable by the District Manager of Operations and the District Engineer.

 

2. Enhanced stabilization shall be in accordance with the design and specifications approved by the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer.

 

3. Should a roadway need enhancements to be considered suitable for the project as determined by the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer, the landowners shall pay the costs of these improvements.

 

4. Enhanced stabilization projects require a petition by landowners having signatures from more than 50% of the lots abutting the road segment or lots within the benefitted area, as determined by the District Engineer. Petitions shall be submitted to the District Office requesting the project along with a petition review fee (as recommended by the District Engineer and approved by the Board of Supervisors). Petitions shall be on a District approved form which provides a range of preliminary estimated paving costs provided by the District Engineer and such petitions shall state whether the project will be financed by the District. The Board of Supervisors may approve or deny the Petition after the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer review, verify, and make recommendations.

 

5. After submission of a qualified petition, Board approval, and review by the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer, a referendum ballot will be sent to all landowners on the road segment or all landowners in the benefited area reflecting the estimated assessments. A successful referendum under this policy requires an affirmative vote by at least 90% of benefited landowners for passage.


6. There are two options for funding a project. The choice between Landowner financing or District financing must be part of the initial petition request and the choice must be clearly noted on the petition:

 

a. District financing: benefited landowners will be assessed for their portion of the actual cost of the project over the term of the financing secured by the District. Landowners who wish to pay their portion of the project without financing charges must submit their portion of the estimated project cost to SIRWCD prior to District financing of the project. Payment due dates will be announced to affected landowners.

b. Landowner financing: Projects not financed by the District must have all estimated costs paid in full prior to the project being added to a Plan of Improvement.


7. Petitions for landowner initiated enhanced stabilization projects will be available from the SIRWCD office on the first business day in February of each year and must be returned to SIRWCD by the last business day in April of the same year. Petitions meeting the requirements of the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer will be presented for approval by the Board no later than August 31 of the same year.
Once approved, referendum ballots will be mailed via certified mail to benefitted landowners. Landowners will have at least 30 days to return a completed referendum ballot with the date due for return clearly noted on the envelope and/or referendum ballot.

III. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

1. The District Board of Supervisors has the right to deny any landowner initiated project.


2. Petitions are only for one road section, defined as a continuous section of roadway of the same street name. Road sections considered for enhanced stabilization shall connect to existing stabilization of equal or greater durability on at least one end and consisting of a logical section of roadway (i.e., 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 4-way intersection, etc.).


3. For projects not financed through SIRWCD, no landowner shall be required by SIRWCD to provide funds. Funds collected for these projects will be held in escrow in a non-interest bearing account until all funds are collected and paid out. All funds must be collected by SIRWCD within one (1) year of a successful referendum. If adequate funds are not collected, the collected funds, less administrative, staff, and other fees or costs incurred by the District, will be returned to the landowners who paid. In the event of a project exceeding the budgeted amount, the additional funds needed to complete the project will be collected as a SIRWCD non-ad valorem assessment on the benefitted properties. Funds in excess of the project cost will be refunded proportionally to the amounts paid by each landowner.


4. Projects financed through SIRWCD are generally assessed on a per parcel benefited basis, although a per acre benefited or per foot of benefited frontage basis may be used, as determined by the Board of Supervisors.


5. Landowners must wait a minimum of three (3) years before a section of a road which failed in a referendum may be included in a new referendum. In addition, the failed section cannot be added to another section prior to the expiration of the three (3) year wait period.


6. Neighborhood plans approved by the Palm Beach County Commission shall be considered by the SIRWCD Board of Supervisors when making decisions about project approvals.


7. District Roads do not qualify for traffic calming devices.


8. Paving a road does not eliminate or reduce the annual road maintenance non-ad valorem assessment on a landowner’s tax bill.


9. A public record notice will be filed for all [benefited] properties within a project upon a successful referendum.


10. Landowners may choose to utilize a road paving program provided by Palm Beach County.

IV. NO PAVE PETITIONS

Landowners interested in placing a “no enhanced stabilization” or “no pave” restriction on the roadway adjacent to their property for a period of five (5) years may make a request in writing per the following procedures.


1. No-Pave Petitions shall be submitted to the District Office on a District-approved form within the time-frames specified for Enhanced Stabilization Petitions in Section II.7.


2. A No-Pave Petition fee (as recommended by the District Engineer and approved by the Board of Supervisors) shall be submitted at the time a petition is returned to the District office.


3. To be considered for approval, a No-Pave Petition shall be signed by landowners owning more than 50% of the lots abutting the road segment subject to the petition indicating their objection to paving. No-Pave Petitions shall be held on file with the District for a period of five (5) years following Board approval.


4. The Board of Supervisors may approve or deny the Petition after the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer review, verify, and make recommendations.


5. If the road segment designated in the No-Pave Petition overlaps a majority of parcels contained within an Enhanced Stabilization Petition submitted after the No-Pave Petition is approved by the Board, the Enhanced Stabilization Petition will not be accepted and no additional Enhanced Stabilization Petitions for such road segment will be accepted for five (5) years following approval of the No- Pave Petition by the Board.


6. No-Pave Petitions must meet the same criteria as Enhanced Stabilization Petitions regarding continuity, connection, and size as specified in Section III.2 of the Enhanced Stabilization Policy.


7. All No-Pave Petitions currently on file with the District as of April 20, 2017 upon approval of this policy shall expire five (5) years from their original submittal date.


8. Un-verified No-Pave Petitions on file with the District when this policy is adopted shall remain un-verified until such time as an Enhanced Stabilization Petition is submitted having the majority of its parcels overlapped by the road segment in the No-Pave Petition, but in no case following the expiration date of the No-Pave Petition.


9. If a signature of a landowner for a specific parcel appears on both a “No Pave” and an “Enhanced Stabilization” petition, the signature is not valid for either petition and will not be counted as part of the percentage of approval.

Current Referenda for Roadway Improvements

18th Plan of Improvements

Following the second of two required public hearings on the 2015 Landowner-Initiated Plan of Improvements on October 15, 2015, the Board of Supervisors approved and accepted the Engineer's Report at their Board meeting. The following roadway referenda passed for the application of asphalt in Palm Beach Country Estates and comprise the 18th Plan of Improvements:

 

• 64th Way N between 146th Road N and 149th Place N
• 67th Trail N between 146th Road N and 149th Place N
• 68th Drive N between 146th Road N and 149th Place N
• 74th Avenue N between 155th Place N and 159th Court N
• 75th Way N between 150th Court N and 154th Court N
• 77th Trail N between 150th Court N and 154th Court N
• 78th Drive N between 155th Place N and 159th Court North
• 81st Terrace N between 150th Court N and 154th Court N
• 149th Place between 69th Drive N and 64th Way N
• 163rd Court N between 75th Avenue N and 79th Terrace N
• 163rd Court N between 75th Avenue N and East End

 

District Engineer Amy Eason's original estimated cost for the project was $1.4 million or approximately $385,000 per mile. The Board of Supervisors approved the loan financing for the 18th Plan of Improvements at their March 2016 meeting. The cost to affected landowners is estimated to be $1150 per year for 10 years. Landowners were offered an option to pay a one-time, up-front cost of $8,813 in lieu of financing.

At the June 30, 2016 Board Meeting, the District Engineer presented the three bids that were received, with Hardrives being the low-bidder with an approximate cost of $1.3 million, which was in agreement with original estimates for the project. The Board of Supervisors accepted the Engineer's recommendation and awarded the project to Hardrives.

 

• Construction of this project was begun on October 18, 2016 and is in final walk through and review.


Proposed 19th Plan of Improvements

The District had received petitions from landowners requesting roadway improvements. In November 2015, the Board of Supervisors changed the requirement for petitions from the previous minimum requirement of 35% of affected landowners to a requirement of more than 50% of the landowners within the project area. Pursuant to Board direction, District staff prepared a referenda to apply asphalt on the following roadways in the District (approximately 3.6 miles), which were mailed on October 17, 2016 and were due back to the District office by December 9. The certified results were received from the Supervisor of Elections on December 14 and were as follows:

 

• 70th Trail N between 155th Place N and 159th Court N - Failed - 38.89%

• 76th Trail N between 160th Lane N and 162nd Court N - Failed - 50%**

• 76th Trail N between 163rd Court N and 165th Street N - Passed - 75%

• 78th Drive N between 165th Street N and 167th Court N - Passed - 63.64%

• 93rd Lane N between 155th Road N and 159th Court N - Failed - 31.8%

• 154th Court N. between 75th Avenue N and 81st Terrace N - Passed - 57.14%

• 159th Court N between 78th Drive N and 84th Avenue N - Passed - 66.67%

• 160th Street N between 72nd Drive N and 75th Avenue N and 72nd Drive N from 160th Street N to 160th Lane N. - Passed - 66.67%

• 175th Road N between Jupiter Farms Road and West End - Passed - 71.43%

• 179th Court N between Mellen Lane N and Alexander Run - Failed - 45%

 

If approved by the Board of Supervisors, the landowners in the benefitted areas where the referenda passed will be assessed the cost of the project on a per parcel basis. Due to the volume of roads being petitioned for the asphalt application, this project is likely to be combined into a single Plan of Improvements. The total estimated annual payment per parcel for parcels that have not been previously assessed for a landowner-initiated roadway improvement is approximately $1,575. This estimate is based upon current interest rates over a term of up to 10 years. 

 

Pursuant to District policy at the time of the referenda, parcels adjacent to two or more roadways are assessed the full amount for the first roadway to be improved and 50% of the amount if the second roadway is improved. The total estimated annual payment per parcel for a lot already assessed on a previous landowner-initiated roadway improvement is approximately $787.50. This estimate is based upon current interest rates over a term of up to 10 years.

 

The District Engineer presented the certified results of the referenda at the January 19, 2017 Board meeting. Due to time constraints, the Board elected to further discuss this proposed Plan of Improvements at their February 16 meeting. After additional discussion, the Board authorized the District Engineer to proceed with the 19th Plan of Improvements and adopted a resolution to direct staff to develop a water control plan amendment with respect to the project for consideration by the Board, schedule all necessary hearings and provide notice to all landowners and statutory parties of the proceedings as required by law. Provided the Board approves said plan, the District Engineer shall be further directed to prepare an Engineer’s Report assessing benefits and damages to affected properties within the District and recommending non-ad valorem assessments.

 

**Please note that per direction of the Board of Supervisors at their February 16 Board meeting, 76th Trail N between 160th Lane N and 162nd Court N was to be included in the Proposed 19th Plan of Improvements dependent upon the results of another verified petition process. The petitions were due at the District office by April 12, 2017 and were then forwarded to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections for certification of the results. The Supervisor of Elections certified the results on April 14 as follows:

 

Five in favor of the project

Zero against the project.

 

The District Engineer presented these results to the Board at the April 20, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting and was directed by the Board to add the roadway to the proposed 19th Plan of Improvements by a four to one vote.

 

The first of two required Public Hearings for the project was held on May 18, 2017. The second Public Hearing will be held June 29, 2017 at the Jupiter High School Media Center at 7:00 pm.If you have any questions, please call the District office at 561-747-0550.

 

Please check back for updates and Public Hearing information on this proposed Plan of Improvements.