County Improvement Districts
What is an Improvement District?
- Roadway paving
- Street lighting
- Water or sewer service
- Community parks
- Traffic calming
Per state statutes, these improvements are financed through the issuance of improvement bonds. Once the improvements are complete, an assessment or tax is placed on the properties within the CID and will remain until the bonds have been repaid. Some CIDs require ongoing payment for continuous services such as street lighting or sewer service.
The Board of Supervisors (BOS) has created the Office of the Superintendent of Streets (OSoS) to assist the residents and facilitate the establishment of CIDs in accordance with said statutes.
Additional Information for Certain Types of County Improvement Districts
A Paving Improvement District (PID) is designed to provide neighborhoods with a method to pave streets or make roadway improvements on private roads. These Districts are established through a resident driven petition process.
PID streets are constructed with the intent to turn over ownership, operation, and maintenance to the Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT). MCDOT requires that these streets meet the following criteria:
- Easements must meet a 50 foot minimum and be dedicated to the public and accepted by County Board of Supervisors
- Roads/streets must be engineered by a registered professional engineer
- Construction must be permitted and constructed to MCDOT standards via an open Low-Bid process
- A licensed-bonded contractor must be selected through sealed bid process as prescribed by statutes.
For Street Lighting in Existing Developments
A Public Lighting Improvement District (PLID) may be formed to make street lighting improvements along an existing public street. These Districts are established through a resident driven petition process.
PLIDs must meet the following criteria:
- The public lighting improvements are constructed with the intent to turn over ownership to the local power utility company which will require that the improvements meet their lighting standards
- The property owners within this proposed district are responsible for purchasing the energy for the public lighting improvements by forming a subsequent Street Lighting Improvement District (see below)
- The street light design must be performed by a registered professional engineer
- The street lighting must be constructed by a licensed-bonded contractor selected through sealed bid process as prescribed by statutes
For Street Lighting in New Developments
- A Street Lighting Improvement District (SLID) may be formed for the sole purpose of paying for the energy to power street lights on the public streets and parks.
- A SLID does not cover the costs of constructing the street lights. Construction costs must be incurred by the developer. The SLID provides the means for purchasing energy for lighting public streets and parks. The SLID also provides a mechanism to split these energy costs among all property owners in the SLID.
A SLID can be establish once all the streets in a subdivision are Opened and Declared (O&D) by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors which does not occur until after the streets are constructed under permit, then a final inspection by Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and completion of a one year Warranty period. Contact MCDOT for details regarding their one year Warranty requirements at (602) 506-8609. Special arrangements can be made once the subdivision is at least 6 to 9 months into the MCDOT Warranty Inspection period. The County Real Estate Division can provide status and/or copy of the O&D Resolution of the streets in a subdivision at (602) 506-2914.
How Do I Go About Getting One Organized?
To initiate an improvement district, a request for a petition must be submitted, in writing, to the Office of Superintendent of Streets (OSOS), outlining the extent of the street lighting district anticipated, along with a copy of the O&D Resolution, legal description, and map which define the boundaries of the proposed district. A petition and developer’s/petitioner’s verification document, which includes the district boundary will then be returned to obtain signature(s) of the person(s) owning real property within the district or the owner(s) of all or a majority of the real property within the district.
Upon receipt of a petition with sufficient signatures and a bond sufficient to pay the expenses for this filing, the Superintendent of Streets will proceed with formation of the district. Proceedings and hearings as required by state law will be conducted with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors serving as the Board of Directors of the district. This process, from start to finish, takes a minimum of four (4) months to complete, depending on signature acquisition period during the petition process and securing a Utility Company energy purchasing agreement.
How Are The Property Owners Assessed For Energy Cost?
Per this statute, the properties are assessed based on assessed value, unless the petitioners specifically request costs to be assessed per square footage of property (This method must be approved by Board of Directors). SLID energy costs are collected annually as part of the property tax bill; see Detailed District Information Special Districts. Moreover, before any assessments or taxes can be levied, the OSOS must file a notice of establishment with the Arizona Department of Revenue and the County Assessor on or before Nov 1st of the year preceding the year in which assessments or taxes are to be levied.
A Maintenance Improvement District (MID) is designed to provide neighborhoods a method of hiring a road grading service for a publicly dedicated access easement (typically existing dirt roads). The MID distributes the cost among all property owners who benefit from the grading service. Maintenance is provided by a licensed-bonded contractor selected through sealed bid process as prescribed by statutes. A Maintenance Improvement District is established through a resident driven petition process and is only available outside the PM-10 Boundary.