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Habitat CDD (Bella Terra) Accomplishments Since Turnover from Developer (August 2014)

The Developer controlled the seats on the Habitat CDD Board and thus made all the decisions for the CDD.  Although required to have monthly meetings, many times the Habitat CDD Board members (developer appointed) did not show up.  This was a problem as, without a quorum, no CDD business could be enacted.  This issue continued with only two residents on the Habitat CDD Board.

In August 2014, the Habitat CDD Board of Supervisors, a government entity subject to the sunshine laws, became resident-controlled.  Habitat CDD Board members then had to qualify for their seat in May which meant they were placed on a ballot and elected in November for four-year terms.

The following list is the major accomplishments in the past 8+ years:

Management and Communication

  1. Hired a responsive management company
    • Field Manager developed work task tracking status
  2. Created a financial chart of accounts to help the Board and residents understand the Habitat CDD financials
    • Every invoice is annotated with chart of account numbers
    • Every invoice is approved by management
  3. Gained financial acumen
  4. Offered classed for new Board members
  5. Created an informative website
  6. Changed the monthly meeting times to 4 p.m. to allow more residents to attend meetings
  7. Sat on the Bella Terra Council of Presidents to share information and activities
  8. Wrote articles for the Bella Terra newsletter:
    • On Habitat CDD activities
    • Help the residents understand how the CDD operates
    • Identify the differences between the CDD and HOAs
    • Lakes are for storm water management and not recreation
    • Etc.
  9. Hired a Local engineering firm that works well with our team
  10. Hired a lawyer who is responsive to our needs
  11. Signed a lease with FP&L for streetlights
    • Installed LED lights to save energy and costs
    • Installed Down lights to limit light pollution


  1. Corrected over 300 mainline (4” or 6”) breaks because of the developer using the lowest price bidder (at least seven different companies) with no inspection and many unglued joints.
  2. Identified and installed over 50 shutoff valves
  3. Installed over 35 blow-off valves to help clear the irrigation lines
  4. Installed a sixth irrigation pump station
  5. Installed Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) in all the irrigation pump stations to eliminate the “bang and sudden pressure” on the irrigation lines
  6. Linked the six irrigation pump stations to create a centralized system to provide irrigation in the event any single pump or pump station was out of service
  7. Installed surge protectors in all irrigation pump stations
  8. Installed remote monitoring of all pump stations to be able to shut down in emergencies (e.g., hurricanes) or restart
  9. Removed the toxic chlorine gas systems as various pump stations
  10. Installed two irrigation wells to supply the lakes during dry season

Real Property

  1. Hired a graphical interface system (GIS) contractor to document CDD assets in Bella Terra
    • Main Irrigation lines
      1. Blow off valves
      2. Shut off valves
    • Storm water culverts
    • Storm water pipes
    • Lakes
    • Street signs
    • Streetlights
    • Pump stations
    • Etc.
  2. Shared the GIS database with the Master ARC
    • To help ARC in approval of homeowner construction requests
    • To avoid pool and lanai construction over irrigation main lines
  3. Repaired stormwater runoff water control structures
  4. Installed electrical outlets along Bella Terra Blvd from Corkscrew Rd to the clock tower for holiday lighting
  5. Installed a sidewalk from Larino Loop to Torre Del Lago along the west side of Bella Terra Blvd.
  6. Installed a sidewalk along Larino Loop going into the townhomes
  7. Installed a sidewalk along Serre Drive going into Villas I
  8. Moved the clubhouse sidewalk to just south of the clubhouse entrance on Bella Terra Blvd. to avoid traffic at the entrance
    • Provide a safe pedestrian zone in the Bella Terra median
    • Added heavy vinyl striping to outline the crosswalk
    • Added lights to the intersection
    • Added paver stones to ensure drivers knew and felt the crosswalk
    • Added flashing road reflectors to help drivers understand this is a crosswalk 
  9. Added a solar streetlight at the Bella Terra Blvd. and Torre Del Lago pedestrian crosswalk
    • Added heavy vinyl striping to outline the crosswalk
    • Reduced the speed limit on Bella Terra Blvd northbound and southbound
    • Added flashing road reflectors to help drivers understand this is a crosswalk 
  10. Added a streetlight at the Bella Terra Blvd. and Adore (South) pedestrian crosswalk
    • Added heavy vinyl striping to outline the crosswalk
    • Added flashing road reflectors to help drivers understand this is a crosswalk 
  11. Added a solar streetlight at the Bella Terra Blvd. second roundabout
  12. Replaced the clock tower fountain pump to the appropriate horsepower
    • Saved hundreds of dollars in electricity
    • Extended the life of the pump by years
  13. Added a speed hump at northbound Bella Terra Blvd. at Belvedere Lane to slow traffic
  14. Squared off the Gatehouse arch to allow more vehicles to enter the community quickly
  15. Signed agreements with the HOAs to maintain the trees and shrubs in their cul-de-sacs.
  16. Patched numerous potholes on the 21 miles of Bella Terra roads
  17. Established a plan to repair or replace the 50 miles of curbs and gutters
    • A result of
      1. Shoddy workmanship by developers’ contractors
      2. Lanai & pool install contractor trucks
      3. Roof repair trucks
      4. Delivery trucks
    • Review annually by Field Manager
    • Annual expenditure to repair worst
  18. Built an emergency ingress and egress
    • Purpose
      1. Emergency vehicles have access in and out
      2. Field Manager has access and monthly works gate 
    • 2 Limited Development Orders (LDO) required
      1. Village of Estero
      2. Lee County
    • Landscaped
    • Lighted
    • Turf blocks installed 
  19. Transferred the property around the three, conjoined Lee County sanitary-sewer-lift-stations and the CDD irrigation pump stations from the Master HOA to CDD
    • CDD will install turf block pavers to all three entrances
    • CDD will widen parking area at Sere Dr to two vehicle widths
    • This will eliminate ruts in the grass, inadequate maintenance vehicle parking, and broken/dilapidated pavement


  1. Removed developer-installed inadequate signage and installed markers to identify preserve areas
  2. Sent letter to numerous homeowners to help them understand the preserve area is just that -preserve
    • No dumping of yard waste
    • No kids building forts
    • No one creating paths
    • No dumping of junk
    • No recreation activities 
  3. Installed Trail Cameras
    • Determine wildlife
    • Spot illegal trespass
    • Document proof to remind residents the Bella Terra Preserves are just preserves    
  4. Trees and brush along preserve boundary
    • Removed trees that fell or are pending to fall out of the preserve
    • Trimmed all preserve trees and brush to align with the boundary

Stormwater Control and Lakes

  1. Re-engineered the swale behind Torre Del Lago
    • Graded the swale so stormwater drained towards the lake
    • Resodded the area
  2. Developed a plan to shore up Bella Terra Lake banks
    • Repaired 10 of 24 lakes to date with Geotube
    • Established littoral weed control
    • Planted numerous littoral plants
    • Planted numerous Cypress trees
    • Replaced littoral plants removed by a homeowner
  3. Stocked lakes with mosquito-eating fish
  4. Monthly maintenance crew picks up trash around lakes
  5. Contracted for monthly lake weed control
  6. Created a plan to maintain all storm drains and sewers
    • A result of
      1. Inadequate Developer screening during construction
      2. Lanai & pool contractors washing construction debris on roads
      3. Homeowners dumping yard waste and other debris in storm sewers
    • Quarterly inspection and cleaning of storm culverts
    • Every other year scope entire system
      1. Clean any storm sewer or drain that is over 25% clogged
      2. Maintain a record of what was cleaned
    • Last cleaning found a collapsed pipe – repaired and replaced damaged section
  7. Worked with Lee County on their two storm sewer lines coming into Lake 1 from Corkscrew Rd.
    • Lee County cleaned their sewer
    • CDD cleaned sewer on Bella Terra property
    • Coordinated with Lee County to ensure construction debris would be screened to keep it out of our joint storm drain lines during Corkscrew Rd construction