Steps & Procedures
Step 1: Written Request for Petition
The process to create County Improvement Districts (CID) is a resident driven petition process. Property owners interested in the formation of a CID are advised to get a preliminary construction estimate on proposed improvements from a private engineering consultant before starting the petition process.
Step 2: Draft Petition
The Office of the Superintendent of Streets will respond to the applicant with a draft petition for review and comment by the residents proposing to form the improvement district.
All petitions will include the following:
- The name of the proposed improvement district
- Justification of the need for the improvement
- Justification that the public convenience, necessity or welfare will be promoted by the creation of the district and that the property to be included in the district will benefit from the district
- A cost estimate — detailed below
- The location and boundaries of the proposed district
- A general outline of the proposed improvement
- A map identifying the approximate area and boundaries of the district
- List of ownership information for all parcels within the proposed boundary
How is the projected cost of a project determined?
The projected cost of a project depends on the scope of work for the requested improvement. Factors that influence the scope of work may include the existing condition of the neighborhood, the needs and desires of the district, and County design standards. The following items may be included in the work inventory:
- Posting, publishing, mailing notices
- Intergovernmental Agreements
- Legal fees
- Bond marketing
- Capitalized interest
- Easement dedication/acquisition
- Hydrologic and drainage analysis
- Environmental reports
- Construction Management
- Utility relocation
- Construction inspection
- County Approval or Acceptance
Step 3: Neighborhood Meeting
The Office of Superintendent of Streets highly recommends a neighborhood meeting be held to discuss the benefits and responsibilities of forming an improvement district. A staff member from the Office of the Superintendent of Streets must attend the meeting. Residents will have the ability to ask questions and comment on the proposed improvement district.
Step 4: Final Petition
When all comments from the neighborhood meeting are addressed, the Office of the Superintendent of Streets prepares a final petition and sends it to the applicant. This petition is circulated by the applicant who must collect signatures. The completed petition must contain signatures based on the following criteria:
- A majority of the persons owning real property, or
- The owners of fifty-one per cent or more of the real property within the limits of the proposed district, and
- Owners of a majority of the frontage of properties contained within the limits of a proposed assessment district
Step 5: Financing the Improvement District Process
Petitioners must file a bond sufficient to pay the expenses connected with the proceedings, such as publishing and mailing notices. This bond must be filed before publication of the notice of the hearing on the petition.
Step 6: Board of Supervisors Approval
Once the signed petition(s), meeting the signature criteria, are submitted to the Office of the Superintendent of Streets, a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors (BOS) will be set, a notice will be published in the newspaper of general circulation, and a notice will be mailed by first class mail to all the owners of the real property within the area of the proposed district boundary.
Finally, after all comments and objections are duly considered and the BOS determines the public convenience, necessity, or welfare will be promoted, the district boundaries are finalized. At this point, the engineering, construction and/or maintenance, and financing arrangements can be made.
Once established by the BOS, the district may continue with the CID process. This can take a minimum of fourteen (14) to eighteen (18) months to complete, depending on the type of improvement district and its complexity, design, and construction time requirements.
County residents are encouraged to contact the County's Office of Superintendent of Streets with questions at (602) 506-8797.
How are the improvements financed?
The improvements are financed by bonds sold through either public or private sale or issued to the contractor. Once the improvements are complete, an assessment lien is placed upon every lot/parcel within the district. The assessment may be paid in any of the following:
- Assessments may be paid in full at the time the assessment is recorded, or Assessments may be financed as bonds over a ten (10) to twenty-five (25)* year period (*For bonds issued to the contractor.)
Assessments may be paid in semiannual installments of principal and eight percent (8%) interest collected by this office (May and November) or collected annually on the tax roll.
A consensus of the inhabitants/residents, with recommendations from the Superintendent of Streets, will generally determine the payment method for assessing properties in the district. Assessments may be based on one or any combination of the following:
- Per lineal foot of all property frontages
- Per lot
- Per acre
What happens if I cannot make the payments?
If an assessment becomes delinquent, the district is obligated to sell the lien on the property covered by that assessment to pay-off the improvement bonds. The buyer is required to hold the lien for a minimum of thirteen months from the date of sale before applying for a Superintendent’s deed to the property. During this period, the assessment lien must be paid in full, plus penalties. Once a Superintendent’s deed is issued, the buyer has control of its redemption value.
For districts on the tax roll, it is considered the same as delinquent general property taxes and prior special assessments.