Historically, annexations have occurred incrementally through municipal and state legislative actions resulting in a patchwork of 31 municipalities interspersed with disconnected older, urban unincorporated neighborhoods. However, in 1996 the Broward Legislative Delegation (Delegation,) in response to the Broward County Board of County Commissioners' concerns about the fiscal impacts of piecemeal annexation, created the Ad Hoc Committee on Annexation Policy. This committee prepared a report which recommended policies to the Broward Legislative Delegation regarding the terms under which it should consider future annexations.
Two policies, promulgated by the Ad Hoc Committee on Annexation Policy, were carried forward and adopted by the Florida Legislature during the 1996 legislative session. The first discontinues the practice of dual referenda of municipal and unincorporated area voters. Only voters within the area proposed for annexation will be eligible to participate in the referendum. The second requires any annexation, including voluntary annexations, to be considered by the Broward Legislative Delegation at a public hearing and to be effective on the first day of October (later changed to September 15) following adjournment of the next regular legislative session.
Another Ad Hoc Committee on Annexation Policy (PDF), convened in 2001, established a policy creating "Partnership Committees" composed of municipal, County and unincorporated area neighborhood organization representatives. Partnership committees identify projects or issues of interest for possible inclusion in interlocal agreements associated with proposed annexations. In 2002, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners created five regional Partnership Committees each chaired by one or more County Commissioners.
To facilitate the annexation effort, the Planning and Environmental Regulation Division (PERD) staff is available to attend neighborhood meetings to explain the annexation process and discuss annexation options. PERD staff also serves as contract manager for County-funded annexation studies (PDF), which provide comparative information regarding taxes, fees and level of service issues identified by residents. PERD staff will review the findings of a study with area residents. Upon request, PERD staff will sponsor meetings with municipal officials and unincorporated area residents to resolve concerns raised by both parties. When a neighborhood is ready for annexation, PERD staff will draft a legislative bill proposal generally calling for a referendum on annexation.
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