Current

Tower-LogoTree-Logo Bulletin Board

To provide an arena (not a “Blog” spot) for reporting things not in the public media world, this page is dedicated to & designed around activities that are happening in the District, by or on behalf of the Residents.  If you have an item of interest to recommend for posting on this page, please email it to the District Manager at manager@harmonycdd.org.

Be AwareIf item is time sensitive, page update is nominally once-per-month.

District Announcements

  • Harmony Businesses — Listed under More Information About Harmony.
  • District Sidewalk Cleaning — Pressure wash cycle started on January 2, 2018.
  • Butterfly Drive Linear Park — Full length meander walkway w/ trees & benches.
  • Ashley Park Alleyways — Repair, Resurface, & Repaint – Completed on schedule.

Community Activities


Chairman’s Corner

How Development in Harmony Works

  • As you may know, Harmony started with an Investor buying the land and initiating the Development process; which in our case, was forming a governmental entity known as a “Community Development District” (normally referred to as the CDD or simply the “District”) which is empowered to issue bonds to raise money for the construction of infrastructure and public facilities: such as the Swim Club, ponds, docks & boathouse, sidewalks, dog parks, community parks, and the other facilities that you see.
  • The Investor became the Developer when he carved out a section of the 11,000 acres he had purchased, called those 998 acres “Harmony Main”, and platted about 1300 lots for use as home sites.  Over time, different entities purchased the acreage and each had different ideas of how to maximize their investment; which is how the changes in the “look and feel” that many have noticed came about.  Bear in mind that every Developer (i.e., Investor) ran the Development process through the County, and has the right to use (develop) their land as they see fit, subject only to the original plan (PUD/DRI) and any subsequent County approved revisions to that plan.
  • As has been announced, the current Developer (Sun Terra / Harmony FL Lands) came to the CDD with a development plan for the BL-1 parcel; the area that formerly housed the Community School, and then the Enrichment Center.  This parcel consists of about 5 acres located along the north side of Oak Glen Trail, to the east of the Lakeshore Park / Buck Lake Entrance road, and extending toward the retention pond just before The Estates entrance.  The previous Developer (Starwood) had originally planned to cram 20 houses into this area.  Sun Terra knew that would never work and redesigned the plan for 15 homes on a cul-de-sac street with 50 foot frontage lots, thus allowing for premium homes to be built.  To configure those 50 foot lots in an optimal fashion, they asked the CDD to swap about ¾ acres of land just to the east of parcel BL-1 for about a 1.5 acre slice of land along the west side of BL-1.  Because the western piece includes the path to Buck Lake and the parking area, Sun Terra offered to move and rebuild the parking area, and to give the CDD a perpetual lake access agreement – something that we do not now have.  They also agreed to handle permitting for, and contribute $5,000 toward, repairs to the Boathouse at Buck Lake (a process that has been in approval limbo for about 2 years now).
  • Sun Terra also agreed to the CDD request to cut the lot count to 13 and provide a larger landscape buffer to the new neighborhood; and this was reduced to 12 lots with 55 foot frontage, thereby allowing 4000 sq-ft homes to be built on those lots; in other words, premium (custom) homes on premium lots.  Pursuant to the general agreement to this plan by the CDD, concerns arose from residents; with the strongest expressed desire being for the CDD to BUY the land so as to prevent development.  While this might at first blush seem like an admirable idea, one must consider that the Developer currently pays over $50,000 annually in CDD fees on this land.  When multiplied by the 15 years left on the bonds, that is over $750,000 in fee income that must somehow be recouped in order to stay solvent and pay off bond obligations.  Add to that the $460,000 cost of buying the land, and taxpayers will have spent $1.96 MILLION to acquire it.
  • Then, there will be a demand to do SOMETHING with the land: a Community Center &/or pool being two ideas which have been floated.  With either likely to cost at least $500,000, the total taxpayer investment needed is on the order of $2.5 million.  The CDD has nowhere near that much in reserves; and sound fiscal management dictates that you do not drain your reserves and take on more debt for an “optional” purchase.  To fund such a purchase, one might consider a special assessment; which, in this case, would amount to $2,500 per lot (viz., $2,500,000 divided by about 1,000 lots equals $2,500 per lot).  It is believed that the overwhelming majority of owners would scream a resounding “NO!” to such an assessment.  So, after careful consideration, my opinion remains that getting the best concessions we can from Sun Terra is our best option.
  • In summary, remember that Sun Terra owns the land, and it appears to be properly zoned for their plan; so, they have every right to DEVELOP their land as they see fit.  And finally, as I state these opinions, I do not expect some to change their minds.  Rather, I hope to offer some reality to those who might not have had a comprehensive understanding of the facts surrounding this seemingly simple, yet complex issue.
  • Thanks for taking the time to read – I’ll see you next month!!

steve@harmonycdd.org


Acknowledgments

This online reservation system is provided free to Harmony residents through the generosity of Jungle Lasers and Harmony resident, Mark Catanese.  The product used is Geo3.0 (pronounced jee-oh-three-oh).  Currently available only for boats, in the future it may be expanded to include other District Recreational Facilities.

For daily boat operations, contact the Dockmaster (voice or text at 407-223-3899).

[Use Gear-Icon Settings to select English units (°F)]


Board Approvals

  • Tree Canopy Trimming — Along Outer & Inner Streets – Approved: 11/30/2017
  • Damaged Tree Replacement — Throughout Community – Approved: 11/30/2017
  • Pressure Washer System — District Sidewalk Cleaning – Approved: 11/30/2017
  • New Work Utility Vehicle — Needed By Field Services – Approved: 12/21/2017

Around Town

{ If you have an item of community interest, please submit it. }