Services Provided to the Community
The Habitat Community Development District (CDD) is responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the community’s public infrastructure. These items include all storm water management assets including the lakes, roads, street lighting, the clock tower and fountain, sidewalks, conservation areas, and the irrigation primary distribution system. A monthly inspection is performed on all CDD assets including those listed below to insure they are being well maintained in a safe manner that protects the value of these assets throughout the life of the community. Specifically, the CDD is responsible and provide services for the following community assets:
There are approximately 12.5 miles of roadway of which the CDD has ownership, and thus is responsible for ongoing maintenance to insure safe and well-maintained roadways are enjoyed by the community. Alongside the roadways are sidewalks to provide a safe walking route for residents within the community. The street lighting along the roads for vehicular and pedestrian safety are also the responsibility of the CDD. The main guardhouse is a CDD asset but through terms of an agreement with the Bella Terra Community Association, the Association provides the security and maintains the structure. Other CDD assets used and maintained by the Community Association include the road right of way, which is maintained by the HOA but the CDD maintains street traffic control signage. The clock tower and fountain, which is a prominent community feature, is maintained by the CDD. The CDD inspects all community assets including road surfaces and sidewalks on a monthly basis so the Board can ensure they are being maintained as expected and are providing safe pedestrian and automobile travel routes within the community.
Storm Water Management System
The 22 lakes within the CDD are storm water retention basins which hold storm water during rain events, preventing flooding of residential homes and other community assets. Also included in the storm water management system are 462 storm water collection structures which include the catch basins along the streets. Also part of the storm water management system are the water control structures which assist in routing excessive storm water to flow outside of the community. Other assets to assist in minimizing the effects of storm events include 402 acres of native preserve or wetland areas, that includes designated swales, to assist in ensuring storm water is retained at maximum levels before it runs out of the community into the Estero River four miles away. This system was designed by Banks Engineering and approved by the South Florida Water Management District and the Corp of Engineers. These facilities are inspected visually on a monthly basis and a professional inspection service inspects all pipes and structures to identify cleaning needs every three years.
The CDD owns and maintains all 22 lakes and 402 acres of wetlands or conservation areas within the community. The goal is to make these areas aesthetically pleasing and to ensure they are functioning in their intended purpose. The District inspects, on a monthly basis, all lakes which are treated, on a monthly basis, by a professional lake maintenance firm. The District makes certain the contractor is performing within the expectations of the contract: to keep algae at a minimum, have any exotic plants are removed, and see that water is of sufficient quality to maintain an environmentally safe habitat for birds and aquatic life. In addition, the lake banks are monitored to identify concerns regarding erosion, washouts, and other issues of concern. A recent event of concern is the invasion of armored catfish, Plecostomus, which are destructive as they burrow into the lake banks causing loss of lake banks, promoting erosion and washouts. Also, the District has installed and maintains underwater devices called aerators which diffuse air into the water to increase the dissolved oxygen levels for the aquatic life and to keep the lakes heathy. As a community asset, the lakes are greatly valued as a part of the quality of life in Bella Terra. The few fountains that have been installed are also provided by the CDD, which are a visual benefit to the community. These devices are maintained by the CDD.
The District also uses a conservation maintenance firm that inspects and treats for any exotic vegetation such as Brazilian Pepper which exceeds the permitted maximum of 5% of the conservation area. A monthly visual inspection is also performed to ensure the contract for preserve maintenance is being followed.
The CDD has installed and maintains the irrigation water distribution system which includes six irrigation pumping stations and a distribution system providing all irrigation water to the properties within Bella Terra. As the water is pumped from the lakes for irrigation, it must be replaced with ground water supplied through two wells to meet the conditions of the Water Use permit issued by the South Florida Water Management District. The system is maintained by an irrigation maintenance firm which is in the community on a weekly basis.