Marshall Creek CDD Meeting Summary

May 17, 2017 MCCDD meeting

I attended the Marshall Creek CDD meeting with about 25 other residents (of somewhere) in addition to the board.  

This meeting was a bit of a circus because some people were misinformed about how the two CDDs operate and thought our decisions impacted their fees.  I felt like I was channeling the spirit of General Custer.  Although “Palencia” is marketed by Lennar as, and looks like one big happy community, actually there is a big difference between the Marshall Creek CDD and the Sweetwater CDD.  We each have our own boards, pay different fees, have separate capital expense budgets, and only share the operating expenses for amenities.  Communications, like this email or Facebook, can go to residents of both CDDs for informational purposes, but the decisions made by this board only cover Marshall Creek CDD residents.

It was a very busy month in April for the roving sheriff’s deputies.  They made 53 stops, issuing 26 verbal warnings, 22 written warnings, 3 tickets, and 2 arrests.  As usual, most were traffic related and for speeding or stop sign violations.   However, there were also several stops for juveniles in the parks after dark, illegal driving of golf carts, intoxication, or suspicion of illegal substances.

We started the process of the budging for the 2018 Fiscal Year.   Our first pass is usually a “wish list” of things we would like to do. We now have a couple of months to balance our wish list with what we are willing to spend.  Several suggestions were made and will be incorporated in the next iteration.

The potential construction of two Pickle Ball / junior tennis courts was shelved, at least temporarily.  The board needs to better understand the level of demand.  There was a campaign on Facebook to object based on preferences for a variety of other possible expenditures. Alternatives suggested included but were not limited to a new pool, a splash pool, putting a dome over the existing pool, heating the family pool all winter, food service at the pool, a cart path to the Publix, more landscaping, a picnic pavilion, kayak launch, nature trails, and a volleyball court.  On the other hand, there is also a petition in favor of the Pickle Ball courts.  We evaluate each proposal on its’ own merits so a Pickle Ball / junior tennis court would not take anything away from other community improvements.  We are not limited by money as much as availability of land for new amenities.  The small sliver of land proposed for Pickle Ball / junior tennis courts has no other obvious use.  It would make a really crappy kayak launch.

The current drought has been very hard on our ponds.  Although the CDD is responsible for the condition of the ponds, the golf course has rights to use some water for irrigation.   The amount is limited by the Water Management District.  We are concerned they may be using too much water, seriously lowering the levels, and we are investigating the situation.

Repairing the boardwalk is a high priority but progress is painfully slow.  We have to work with the FEMA bureaucracy to get them to eventually pay for most of it. The repairs are likely to cost about $500,000 and could take many months.  Lack of progress is not because of lack of interest, commitment or effort.

If anyone has seen the signs announcing a public meeting it is for a St Johns County Planning and Zoning meeting tomorrow to approve the transfer of 35 building permits from the Marshall Creek PUD (Hines) to the Palencia North PUD (Lennar) and a minor change in the roads in North Palencia.  No actual property is involved but the number of resident units Lennar can eventually build will increase to 736.  It appears the additional 35 homes will be built north of Vale Drive.  The Marshall Creek CDD originally had approval for 1,708 residential units but after changes in Avila plans they are down to only 1,613 max.

Helen and I attended the St. Johns County Office of Management and Budget meeting this morning and talked to Darrell Locklear, Assistant County Administrator of Operations on behalf of Palencia to make the case for paving Shannon (or Regalo) Road.  There are a lot of projects to be considered in their Capital Improvements Plan and a major backlog of maintenance projects.  Thanks to everyone, however, who has signed the petitions so far.  We are hoping to get many more signatures.  It will be a hard sell to the county.

The next CDD meeting is Wednesday, June 14, at 4:00.  More budgeting.

The next POA meeting is next Wednesday, May 24, at 6:00 p.m.  The results of a survey of white mail box owners will be discussed.  Should be interesting.

The official minutes of both CDD and POA meetings are on the PalenciaOnline.com website.

Best regards

Howard Hoffman

Legal disclaimer:  Although the CDD’s lawyers would prefer I didn’t distribute notes at all, they have agreed it probably doesn’t violate FL Sunshine laws if everyone knows these are for informational use only, have nothing to do with any business before the board either now or in the future, and are not in response to or represent the opinions of other supervisors. My notes are not official minutes, sanctioned by anybody, comprehensive, approved, authorized, endorsed, ratified, affirmed, validated, fact-checked, attested to, or vouched for.  The decisions made by this board only involve the Marshall Creek CDD residents, Sweetwater is a totally separate community and has its’ own board.

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