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.


As of January 18, 2018 the Board of Supervisors has established a Petition Review Fee of $300 for roadway segments 0.5 mile or less and $600 for over 0.5 miles. The fee applies to both road paving and "no pave" petitions. Petitions must be submitted to the District office, along with the review fee, by April 30th of each year.


If a minimum of 50% of the landowners on a roadway or roadway segment request a road paving improvment and it is approved by the board to go to referendum, at least 90% of the affected landowners must be in favor for the project to proceed. Landowners would either be assessed on a per parcel bass through District financing, or the estimated costs for the project may be paid in full by landowners prior to the project being added to a Plan of Improvement. Currently District financing of projects is typically from 10 to 15 years depending on market conditions. For Open-Graded Emulsified Mix assessments, costs currently are estimated between $1,100 and $1,800 per parcel per year and for Asphalt, the estimated costs are between $1,800 and $2,500 per parcel per year, depending on construction costs and financing.


Please refer to the Enhanced Stabilization Policy below for detailed information.

Enhanced Stabilization Policy - Effective April 20, 2017


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.


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.


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.


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 Improvement

Following the second of two required public hearings on the 2015 Landowner-Initiated Plan of Improvement 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.


• This project has been completed.

19th Plan of Improvement

Pursuant to Board direction after petitioners met the minimum requirements, staff prepared a referendum for the landowner proposed project that was mailed October 17, 2016 with the request that the landowners submit their response to the District by December 9, 2016. On December 14, 2016 and on April 14, 2017, staff received the certification from the Supervisor of Elections on the results of the referendum. The majority of the landowners on the following roadways were “in favor” of the proposed project for asphalt in Palm Beach Country Estates (approximately 2.4 miles):


• 76th Trail N between 160th Lane N and 162nd Court N

• 76th Trail N between 163rd Court N and 165th Street N

• 78th Drive N between 165th Street N and 167th Court N

• 154th Court N. between 75th Avenue N and 81st Terrace N

• 159th Court N between 78th Drive N and 84th Avenue N*

• 160th Street N between 72nd Drive N and 75th Avenue N and 72nd Drive N from 160th Street N to 160th Lane N

• 175th Road N between Jupiter Farms Road and West End


At the February 2017 Board Meeting, staff received approval to prepare the 19th Plan of Improvements. A public hearing for the filing of the resolution to consider approval of an amendment to its current water control plan to include this project was held on May 18, 2017. At this meeting, the board approved staff to prepare the Engineer’s Report and draft Plan of Improvement. The Engineer’s Report was filed on May 26, 2017. A final hearing to consider approval of the report and proposed water control plan amendment was held June 29, 2017.


During the public hearing, the Board heard landowner comments and discussed the project. *After further discussion during the regularly- scheduled Board meeting, the Supervisors voted three to one to approve the District Engineer's Report with an amendent to the plan to remove the section from 83rd Way N to 84th Avenue N and authorized the District Engineer to submit the proposed water control plan amendment to South Florida Water Control District.


The District Engineer announced at the Annual Landowner Meeting on September 21 that the District has received the approval for the water control plan amendment from the South Florida Water Management District.


Due to extreme weather events that impacted the South Indian River Water Control District (the “District”) in the September and October of 2017, the time line for the 19th Plan of Improvements has changed. Preparation work for the 19th Plan was completed by the first week of November, and survey work to was begun in November/December. The District Engineer started design work for the project in January 2018.


As a result, the previously announced deadline for landowners who are interested in prepayment for this project was extended until January 15, 2018. The District had recently investigated financing for the project based upon estimated costs in the Engineer's Report. Based on that investigation, the estimated annual per parcel assessment for debt service beginning next year will be as follows:


• For standard parcels - $1,880.00 for a period of 10 years - prepayment amount - $13,350.00

• For corner parcels - $940.00 for a period of 10 years - prepayment amount - $6,675.00

• For parcels subject to standard parcel and corner parcel assessment - $2,820.00 for a period of 10 years - prepayment amount - $20,025.00


As detailed in the District’s legislation, prior to placing this assessment on your tax bill, you have the option of prepaying this assessment. Should you do so, the prepayment amount will be based upon the estimated per parcel construction cost of the project. If the actual cost is less than the estimated cost, the District will refund the excess amount to you. Likewise, if the actual cost is in excess of the estimated cost, you will be billed for that amount.


Anyone that had been interested in taking advantage of this pre-pay option, was to inform the District’s office of their intention no later than January 6, 2018. Full payment was to be received by the District no later than January 15, 2018.


If you have any questions, please call the District office at 561-747-0550. Please check back for updates on this Plan of Improvements.