At a recent St. Cloud City Council meeting elected officials and citizens were in agreement that more time was needed to properly “process” the proposed annexation of roughly 420 homes on Old Canoe Creek Road. The vote for annexation was postponed until more discussion can take place.
In order to inform the public of the significant problems in public safety, planning, growth management and service that enclaves can cause, Osceola County and City of St. Cloud management staff are providing clarification on the Joint Planning Area interlocal agreement signed in 2014 due to recent questions regarding enclave 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 the County has done via PM17-00011 (May 1) and PM17-00012 (May 8). City of St. Cloud enclave annexations were included in Resolution 2017-070R and Resolution 2017-071R. All four items are consistent with the County’s and City’s position that eliminating enclaves is in the general public’s best interest and public safety. The City zones these properties to a City zoning compatible with their Osceola County zoning to ensure they maintain their current entitlements.
Osceola County Management Statement – “It is critical that staff from the City of St. Cloud and Osceola County collaborate to manage improvements in services to those citizens and businesses adjacent to the city limits in an effort to improve safety and to provide the best services to citizens. State law recognizes that enclaves can create significant problems in planning, growth management, and service delivery. We are following state policy to eliminate long-standing enclaves. In fact, Florida law is written to encourage the annexation of enclaves of 110 acres or less of developed property by interlocal agreement with the County having jurisdiction of the enclave. Osceola County’s agreement with St. Cloud is based on this philosophy. In addition, we have successfully streamlined land development standards between the two jurisdictions, creating uniformity for planned developments, while trying to maintain entitlements. Creating these standards means that when properties are annexed into the city, they will fit into the city’s current design network and the maintenance levels of service will be continuous.”
City Management Statement – “St. Cloud City Council postponed a decision on Resolution No. 2017-070R and Resolution No. 2017-071R. These two resolutions are in reference to Interlocal Agreements with Osceola County for the annexation of enclaves relating to our Joint Planning Area approved via Resolution No. 2014-046R.
We informed the property owners of the annexation via postal mail soon after the May 1 BOCC meeting and held a community meeting for the property owners May 10 in City Hall. We held this meeting because we wanted to provide the property owners with factual information and the opportunity to ask questions regarding enclave annexations. We also created an extensive web page on our website at www.stcloud.org/annexations to provide all the facts regarding this matter. However, a lot of misinformation has been spread. Because we want to ensure that these property owners are provided the opportunity to further review all the facts regarding annexations, St. Cloud City Council postponed a decision on the two resolutions.
City of St. Cloud will now be conducting a council workshop and bringing forward the two resolutions during a future council meeting. Positively Osceola will continue to bring more information to the public in preparation for the future vote of the annexation.