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Annexations
ANNEXATION is the process by which a municipality extends its boundaries through the incorporation of neighboring urban areas and future growth areas.

Why is Annexation important?
In general, cities annex land to allow for the long-term planning necessary to accommodate growth and to facilitate the planning and budgeting of infrastructure, such as roads and parks.  Annexation is important for the creation of logical city limit boundaries and to efficiently provide essential public safety needs, such as fire and police services.

Types of Annexation
Voluntary annexation
Annexation by Notice of Encumbrance
Annexation of Enclave by Interlocal Agreement
Annexation by Referendum

Upcoming Annexations:
The annexation cases listed below are currently under review by the Development Review Committee (DRC).

DRC CASE #        DESCRIPTION                                
17-10.10              Enclave Annexation - Central            
                           Interlocal Agreement approved by Board of County Commissioners on May 1, 2017
                           
http://www.osceola.org/events/2053409-bcc-regular-meeting.stml
                       
Resolution No. 2017-070R – This resolution to authorize our mayor to enter into an in Interlocal Agreement with Osceola County for annexation of enclaves of 110 acres or less was postponed for discussion during a council workshop and to bring back to a future meeting. Enclave annexations are a high priority for Osceola County and City of St. Cloud to accomplish efficient services to residents. Osceola County Board of County Commissioners approved the Interlocal Agreements May 1 and May 8.

17-10.11              Enclave Annexation - East                
                           Interlocal Agreement approved by Board of County Commissioners on May 8, 2017
                           
http://www.osceola.org/events/2054664-bcc-meeting.stml 

Resolution No. 2017-071R This resolution to authorize our mayor to enter into an in Interlocal Agreement with Osceola County for annexation of enclaves of 110 acres or less was postponed for discussion during a council workshop and to bring back to a future meeting.  Osceola County Board of County Commissioners approved the Interlocal Agreements May 1 and May 8.

                           (Click here for a list of the properties in the Central and East Enclaves)

To read the Joint Press Release click here.

17-30.04             Narcoossee Commons                      
                           FINAL PUBLIC HEARING DATE:  July 13, 2017


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING ANNEXATIONS

Planning Department Questions

What is Annexation?
Annexation is the process by which a municipality extends its boundaries through the incorporation of neighboring urban areas and future growth areas.

Why is Annexation important?
In general, cities annex land to allow for the long-term planning necessary to accommodate growth and to facilitate the planning and budgeting of infrastructure, such as roads and parks. Annexation is important for the creation of logical city limit boundaries and to efficiently provide essential public safety needs, such as fire and police services.

What is an Enclave?
An enclave in the City of St. Cloud is a group of parcels which have not been incorporated into the City limits and are surrounded by the City.  This includes any unincorporated improved or developed area that is enclosed within and bounded by the City and a natural or manmade obstacle that allows the passage of vehicular traffic to that area only through the City.

Enclaves can create significant problems in public safety, planning, growth management, and service delivery for both counties and cities.  For several years, the elimination of enclaves existing near St. Cloud has been a top priority of Osceola County and the City.  The goal of this effort is to promote the efficient and cost-effective provision of public safety and other public services. The 2014 Joint Planning Agreement between the City and Osceola County sets the ultimate city boundaries and identifies the prioritization of annexation.  According to the agreement, “The preferred sequence of areas for annexation by the City is to annex properties within enclaves within the current City boundaries and any infrastructure or right-of-way meeting the requirements for annexation but which were not included in prior annexation approvals.” Florida Statute 171.046 authorizes local governments for enclave annexation as we have done in Resolution 2017-070R  and 2017-071R with Osceola County.  Of course, this is consistent with the County’s position that eliminating enclaves is in the general public’s best interest and public safety.  The City is zoning these properties to a City zoning compatible with their Osceola County zoning to ensure they maintain their current entitlements.  Residents are given the opportunity to request a different zoning by June 1, 2017.


To view a copy of the Joint Planning Area (JPA), click here.
To view a copy of the JPA Boundary Map, click here.

What is a Notice of Encumbrance?
A Notice of Encumbrance is a document signed by the property owner(s) at the time water or sewer service is provided by the City. This document gives the City of St. Cloud the authority to annex the property when it is adjacent to or across the street from a property currently within the City limits. The Notice of Encumbrance is recorded with the Osceola County Clerk of the Court, and is tied to the property. It is valid even when the property is sold or transferred.

What is an Interlocal Agreement?
An Interlocal Agreement is a collaborative contract between public bodies aiming to provide more efficient, less costly public services. In our case, the Interlocal Agreement is done between the City of St. Cloud and Osceola County.

What zoning will be placed on my property upon annexation?
Click HERE for a full list of the properties in the 2017 Annexation of Enclaves by Interlocal Agreement. This list indicates the current zoning district (Osceola County) and the City zoning district to be assigned.
Click HERE to see a map showing the proposed zoning district after annexation.

The City is zoning these properties to a City zoning compatible with their Osceola County zoning to ensure they maintain their current entitlements.

Owners of properties included in the current Annexation of Enclaves are given the opportunity to request a different zoning by June 1, 2017.


Is the City planning on building anything on these properties? 
The City is zoning these properties to a City zoning compatible with their Osceola County zoning to ensure they maintain their current entitlements.  Owners of properties included in the current Annexation of Enclaves are given the opportunity to request a different zoning by June 1, 2017.

The City does not have the authority to build anything else in place of existing homes, any decision to remove or change the use of an existing home would require approval of the owner of the property.

Will I be able to continue the USE of my property after annexation?
Uses and structures existing prior to the date of the annexation may continue to exist in their present form. A nonconforming use may continue in the same location provided the nonconforming use is continual and legally maintained. A nonconforming use which has not been continual and legally maintained for a period of 180 consecutive days shall irrevocably lose its nonconforming status and become a use which is not permitted. Said use may not revert back to nonconforming status. (See Section 3.20.18 of the LDC) 

Building Department Questions



After I’m annexed, where would I go to get a building permit?
Any building permits you need after annexation will be issued by the City of St. Cloud rather than Osceola County. The City of St. Cloud Building Department is located on the first floor of City Hall (1300 9th Street; Building A). If you have questions regarding whether you need a building permit you reach the Building Department at (407) 957-7224.

Is a building permit required within Agricultural zoning?
According to Florida State Statute 553.73(10)(c), a building permit is required for habitable structures.  Within Agricultural zoning, any building that is used for agricultural purposes only does not require a building permit.  For example, a structure over a well or a barn.

Where would I go for an irrigation permit?
The St. Cloud Utilities offices are located on the first floor of City Hall Building A.

Financial Questions

Will my taxes increase once I’m annexed into the City?
There are items that currently appear as part of your tax bill that that will be removed once annexation occurs. For example, you may currently pay for the electricity that supplies the street lighting in the right-of-way along your street, fire and emergency medical services, and trash collection through “special assessments” that appear on your annual tax bill. These assessments will no longer be included in your tax statement effective October 1, 2017. 
 
FAQs table NEW.JPG     
 
Customers that are currently connected to the City Water and Sanitary Sewer utilities will see a 25% reduction in their water and sewer base charges and usage.  A residential property example to changes to taxes and fee is available here.

Property owners should verify their Homestead Exemption and the Save Our Homes Assessment Limitation.  If a property has the Homestead Exemption, the Save Our Homes Assessment Limitation ensures that the assessment cannot increase more than 3% or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.  For more information, please visit www.floridarevenue.com/dor/property/brochures/pt112.pdf.

What is the Save Our Homes Assessment Limitation?
 
According to the Department of Revenue website www.floridarevenue.com/dor/property/brochures/pt112.pdf, after the first year a home receives a homestead exemption and the property appraiser assesses it at just value, the assessment for each following year cannot increase more than 3 percent or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less.  This is called the "Save Our Homes" (SOH) assessment limitation.  The accumulated difference between your assessed value and the just (market) value is your SOH benefit.  (See section 193.155, Florida Statutes) 

Parks and Recreation Questions

I have trees in the right-of-way that need trimming. Does the City provide trimming services?
Yes, the City assists homeowners with the trimming of trees located within rights-of-way. For assistance, please call the Tree Line at 407-957-7245.

Animal and Livestock Questions

How will annexation affect my pets?
Per Section 8.2 of the City Code: “It is unlawful for any person to keep on a single premises within the City more than three (3) pet animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits or other animals” (City Code Sec. 8-2) The keeping of 1 Vietnamese potbellied pig is allowed per Section 8-4 of the City Code and the keeping of chickens is allowed under the provision of the Temporary Backyard Chicken-Keeping Pilot program (Ordinance 2016-36)

Will I be allowed to have chickens?
The City of St. Cloud currently has a Temporary Backyard Chicken-Keeping Pilot program in place. The pilot program is set to expire on September 15, 2018. (City Code Sec. 8-3) The holder of a valid backyard chicken-keeping temporary permit is allowed up to a maximum of four (4) chickens, in addition to the three (3) pet animals already permitted.

Will I be able to continue to keep livestock that I presently have?
Please verify what zoning your property will be zoned to. Within the A- Agricultural Zoning, Grazing and pasturing of animals is an allowed use. Also within the A-Agricultural Zoning, the raising and storage of farm animals is an allowed use excluding pigs, hogs, or other swine. The keeping of 1 Vietnamese potbellied pig is allowed per Section 8-4 of the City Code. 
  
Public Services Questions

Who shall I contact to report road related problems (pot holes, eroding curbs, right-of-way drainage issues, missing or damaged street signage, etc.)?
Please contact the Public Services department at 407-957-7344 to report road related problems.

Will I continue paying for the street lights in my subdivision through a tax assessment?
Beginning October 1, 2017 the City of St. Cloud will take over electricity payments for the street lights located in the rights-of-way. Any lighting located on private property will remain the responsibility of the property owner.

Fire Department Questions

Would I be able to burn trash after annexation?
It is unlawful to burn solid waste in the city limits without special permission from the Fire Department. All solid waste shall be kept in city approved containers.
St. Cloud Utilities Questions

Are bonfires allowed in the City?
Outside fires are allowed in approved commercial burn containers, however, all State and County recognized burn bans must be complied with.


Can I burn items within my Agricultural zoned property?
Burning is allowable and permissible within the city's boundaries provided that the burning is in accordance with both
the City's Resolutions and the Department of Forestry's Regulation. 

For fires/burns requiring a permit, forestry must be contacted and a permit needs to be obtained.

For any fire/burn other than in a small outdoor commercial container, notification must be made to the Fire Department.

Any fires that are deemed a nuisance and/or are not within these guidelines must be extinguished.

NOTE:  It is illegal to burn household garbage, including paper products, treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticide, paint and aerosol containers.

The Department of Forestry's Regulations and Restrictions are available at: www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Wildland-Fire/Burn-Authorizations

Activities That Require a Burn Authorization

The following activities require a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service:
  • Agricultural burning
  • Silvicultural burning
  • Land clearing
  • Pile burning
  • Acreage burning
  • Piles greater than 8 feet

Activities That Do NOT Require a Burn Authorization within Agricultural zoning

You do not need a burn authorization to burn yard waste if:

  • The pile is less than 8 feet in diameter,
  • You meet the required setbacks, and
  • There are no local, city or county ordinances in place that prohibit burning.
  • Clear an area down to bare soil around your pile to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Cover a non-combustible container with wire mesh to keep sparks from flying out and starting new fires.
  • Check with your local city and county officials to find out if there are any restrictions in your area.
  • 25 feet from forests
  • 50 feet from paved public roads
  • 25 feet from your house
  • 150 feet from other occupied buildings

Outdoor Burning Tips for allowed burning within Agricultural zoning

  • Clear an area down to bare soil around your pile to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Cover a non-combustible container with wire mesh to keep sparks from flying out and starting new fires.
  • Check with your local city and county officials to find out if there are any restrictions in your area.
  • 25 feet from forests
  • 50 feet from paved public roads
  • 25 feet from your house
  • 150 feet from other occupied buildings

*All State and County recognized burn bans must be complied with.*

St. Cloud Utilities Questions

When should I expect my first St. Cloud Utilities bill?
Residents already customers of St. Cloud Utilities will continue to receive their bill as normal. New customers that will be receiving Solid Waste, EMS and Stormwater services will begin receiving bills within the month of November 2017.

How is the annexation going to affect my utility bill?
You will immediately notice a 25% reduction in your water rate and you will see some additional charges, some of which were previously a part of your Osceola County tax assessment. The following is a list of Public Services fees that will either appear or will reflect a change on your monthly utility bill. 

          Water consumption rate – 25% decrease 
          Water base rate – 25% decrease 
          Sanitary sewer rate – 25% decrease 
          Sanitary Sewer base rate – 25% decrease 
          Backflow testing – decrease from $5.64 to $4.51 
          Storm water charge - $6.35 added per month for residential . 
                    Commercial properties will be charged $6.35 per ERU (equivalent runoff unit) per month, 
                    Each ERU = 2,664 square feet of impervious surface.(refer inquiries to Public Services) 
                    (will not be charged until October 1, 2017) 
          EMS Fee - $3.00 (will not be charged until October 1, 2017) 
          Solid waste - $17.85 (will not be charged until October 1, 2017)

What is the “storm water utility charge” I will be assessed for?
In an effort to reduce the amount of pollutants that enter our lakes and to meet unfunded state and federal mandates, the City of St. Cloud has added a storm water utility fee to the monthly utility bill for all properties located within the City Limits. Monies collected from this fee will help the City meet the unfunded state and federal mandates, improve the maintenance of the publicly maintained storm water system, improve storm water quality prior to discharging into East Lake Tohopekaliga, and provide more public education that promotes cleaner storm water.

What is the purpose of the “backflow testing charge”?
There is a monthly charge established to pay for the required annual backflow testing, repair and certification for single family potable water customers requiring a backflow prevention device per the City’s Cross Connection Control Manual. The rate for these inspections and repair services has been set in accordance with Resolution #2016-154R. This fee may already appear on your monthly utility bill, but the amount will decrease once annexation occurs.

Where would I go for an irrigation permit?
The St. Cloud Utilities offices are located on the first floor of City Hall Building A.

Will an irrigation permit be cheaper once I become a City resident?
The cost of the permit will be the same. However, the cost of an irrigation meter will be reduced from $383.00 to $255.00 and the water base and usage charges will be reduced by 25%, the same as the normal water meter fees for City residents.

Water and Well Questions

If my property is annexed will I be required to connect to the City’s water or sewer system?
The Osceola County Health Department can require connection if a well fails and water is available or if the septic system fails and sewer is determined to be available. If the property is located inside the City limits the cost for that connection is 25% less than connection for properties outside the City limits. The City offers a payment plan to homesteaded properties that breaks down payment of those fees into monthly installments.

What is the cost to connect to City water?
Currently the impact fee cost for a residential ¾” connection is $3,549.29 for County residents and $2,839.43 for City residents. There are also meter tap fees dependent on the size of the meter and other fees that may be applicable at the time of connection. All fees would be explained prior to connection.

Who shall I contact to report water related issues?
If connected to City water, you should contact the City regarding water related issues before calling a plumber. The City will advise you if the problem is on your side of the connection. If there is a problem on the City’s side of your water connection and you pay a plumber to make the repair, the City will not reimburse you.

Is there a charge for a water and/or sewer meter?
There is a base fee for both water and sewer. Currently, the base fee for water for County residents is $17.23 and $21.41 for sewer. City residents are charged a base fee of $13.79 for water and $17.13 for sewer. There are additional fees for water consumption and the sewer consumption charge is based on the amount of water usage.

What will happen if someone cannot afford or pay to hook up?
The City offers a payment plan if the property has a homestead exemption. Most of the costs can be paid under the payment plan, but there are up- front costs that would be paid before connection. These fees consist of water tap fees and/or sewer tap fees, water/sewer request fee, concurrency review fee, and right of way fee.

Will the Osceola County Health Department permit a new well if it were to fail?
Yes. The Osceola County Health Department does allow replacement of wells as long as the proper permit is pulled and City water is not available to the property 
 
What would need to happen to the existing well if connection is made to the City water system?

If the current well is operational and not pumping sand, the owner may keep the well for irrigation purposes. If the well is not operable they would need to properly abandon the well.

Are there any costs charged by the Osceola County Health Department to abandon the well?
The permit fee for well abandonment is $50.00. Please verify with the Health Department.

Solid Waste Questions

Who will be picking up my garbage and at what cost to me?
Beginning October 1, 2017 the City will take over residential and commercial trash collection. Property owners paid for the current year’s trash collection as a part of their tax bill for service through September 2017. For that reason, the City must wait until the following “fiscal” year when that charge comes off of your Osceola County tax bill.. The fee for residential and commercial cart collection is $17.85 per month. Commercial dumpster collection is $6.00 per cubic yard of container per collection. See Solid Waste rate sheet for additional charges that may be applicable.

When will I receive my garbage can from the City?
The City will deliver a solid waste can (maroon), recycling can (blue) and a yard waste can (green) to your home prior to October 1, 2017.

What If I need an extra garbage, recycling or yard waste can?
Citizens can request and extra can for a one-time fee of a $100.00.

What day will my garbage, recycling and yard waste be picked up?
Customers will receive a welcome letter from St. Cloud Utilities that will include this information. A map of the pick-up routes is available on the City’s website at http://www.stcloud.org/solidwaste

Does the City charge for special solid waste pick-ups?
The City will collect large items placed at the curb once a week. The cost is: $12.00 for the first two cubic yards and $6.50 for each additional cubic yard. Charges will be applied to your utility bill as a “special pick-up”.

Sanitary Sewer and Septic System Questions

Is there a charge for a water and/or sewer meter?
There is a base fee for both water and sewer. Currently the base fee for water for County residents is $17.23 and $21.41 for sewer. City residents are charged a base fee of $13.79 for water and $17.13 for sewer. There are additional fees for water consumption and the sewer consumption charge is based on the amount of water usage.

Will a plumber be needed to put the pipes in to hook up to sewer?
A plumber will be needed to connect the sewer lines from the house or commercial unit to the sewer tie in at the street.

What will happen if someone cannot afford or pay to hook up?
The City offers a payment plan if the property has a homestead exemption. Most of the costs can be paid under the payment plan, but there are up- front costs that would be paid before connection. These fees consist of water tap fees and/or sewer tap fees, water/sewer request fee, concurrency review fee, and right of way fee.

How close do the lines have to be to hook up to City Sewer?
The County Health Department normally requires the sewer line to be within 200 ft of the property.

What constitutes septic system failure?
A septic system is considered to have failed if: 
    • Toilets cannot be flushed 
    • There is sewage leakage/seepage anywhere in the system or on the property. The Health Department will inspect and allow 30 days for the system to be fixed. Any sewage leakage after 30 days will generate $500/day in administrative fines assessed by the Florida Department of Health. 
    • The drain field drains directly into the water table.

Note: only a licensed plumber/contractor may pump a septic tank without a permit. Pumping the septic tank in either of the above situations will only temporarily relieve the problem/issue – typically less than a week. If a licensed contractor comes to pump out a tank and finds that it has failed, they are required to call the Health Department.

Who determines if a septic system has failed?
The Florida Department of Health, Osceola County Health Department.

What needs to happen if a septic system fails?
If gravity sewer is available, then the residence must connect to sewer. If sewer is not available, then the resident must repair or replace the septic system in accordance with permitting requirements. Following a soil evaluation, the Health Department may require any of the following: 1. The drain field may be elevated and replaced with the same drain field; 2. After evaluating water usage, the Health Dept. may require a larger drain field. If the property is not sized for this increase, a variance must be processed through the state Board

Will the septic tank need to be removed?
Not necessarily, but it must be removed from service. Removal from service may be accomplished by removing the tank; crushing the tank and filling the resultant void; or pumping the tank, removing the tank top, cutting holes in the bottom of the tank, and filling with dirt. All work must meet appropriate code.
What is the definition of “availability” (in regards to sewer)?
The County Health Department defines “availability” as sewer running adjacent to/touching the property. The City defines availability as within 200 feet of the property.

Is there a charge for the sewer meter?
There is no separate sewer meter; sewer rates are tied to water consumption as measured by the water meter. Current sewer charges are $21.41 per month base rate plus $5.38 per thousand gallons for County residents; $17.13 per month base rate plus $4.31 per thousand gallons for City residents. These rates are subject to change.

If the septic system fails, how much will it cost to connect to sewer?
Impact, tap and Contribution in aid of construction (CIAC) fees will be charged to connect to sewer. For County residents, impact fees are $4,002.39 and tap fees are $150.00. For City residents, impact fees are $3,201.91 and tap fees are $120.00. CIAC fees will be determined based on property frontage dimensions. These rates and fees are subject to change. In addition, each resident is responsible for the cost associated with running sewer piping to their property line and rendering their septic system inoperable. Each resident should consult a licensed plumber to obtain those estimates.
**The city has financing/payment plans available to homesteaded properties.

What is the average life span of a septic system?
The average septic system in Florida has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years. 
 
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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION....
Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 407-957-8427 or

Mail any Correspondence to: 
City of St. Cloud
Planning and Zoning Department
1300 9th Street
St. Cloud, FL  34769