(1)(a) A charter for incorporation of a municipality, except in case of a merger which is adopted as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3), shall be adopted only by a special act of the Legislature upon determination that the standards herein provided have been met.
(b) To inform the Legislature on the feasibility of a proposed incorporation of a municipality, a feasibility study shall be completed and submitted to the Legislature 90 days before the first day of the regular session of the Legislature during which the municipal charter would be enacted. The feasibility study shall contain the following:
1. The general location of territory subject to boundary change and a map of the area which identifies the proposed change.
2. The major reasons for proposing the boundary change.
3. The following characteristics of the area:
a. A list of the current land use designations applied to the subject area in the county comprehensive plan.
b. A list of the current county zoning designations applied to the subject area.
c. A general statement of present land use characteristics of the area.
d. A description of development being proposed for the territory, if any, and a statement of when actual development is expected to begin, if known.
4. A list of all public agencies, such as local governments, school districts, and special districts, whose current boundary falls within the boundary of the territory proposed for the change or reorganization.
5. A list of current services being provided within the proposed incorporation area, including, but not limited to, water, sewer, solid waste, transportation, public works, law enforcement, fire and rescue, zoning, street lighting, parks and recreation, and library and cultural facilities, and the estimated costs for each current service.
6. A list of proposed services to be provided within the proposed incorporation area, and the estimated cost of such proposed services.
7. The names and addresses of three officers or persons submitting the proposal.
8. Evidence of fiscal capacity and an organizational plan as it relates to the area seeking incorporation that, at a minimum, includes:
a. Existing tax bases, including ad valorem taxable value, utility taxes, sales and use taxes, franchise taxes, license and permit fees, charges for services, fines and forfeitures, and other revenue sources, as appropriate.
b. A 5-year operational plan that, at a minimum, includes proposed staffing, building acquisition and construction, debt issuance, and budgets.
9. Data and analysis to support the conclusions that incorporation is necessary and financially feasible, including population projections and population density calculations, and an explanation concerning methodologies used for such analysis.
10. Evaluation of the alternatives available to the area to address its policy concerns.
11. Evidence that the proposed municipality meets the requirements for incorporation pursuant to s. 165.061.
(c) In counties that have adopted a municipal overlay for municipal incorporation pursuant to s. 163.3217, such information shall be submitted to the Legislature in conjunction with any proposed municipal incorporation in the county. This information should be used to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed municipal incorporation in the geographic area.
(2)(a) A charter for merger of two or more municipalities and associated unincorporated areas may also be adopted by passage of a concurrent ordinance by the governing bodies of each municipality affected, approved by a vote of the qualified voters in each area affected.
(b) The ordinance shall provide for:
1. The charter and its effective date.
2. The financial or other adjustments required.
3. A referendum for separate majorities by each unit or area to be affected.
4. The date of election, which should be the next regularly scheduled election or a special election held prior to such election, if approved by a majority of the members of the governing body of each governmental unit affected, but no sooner than 30 days after passage of the ordinance.
(c) Notice of the election shall be published at least once each week for 2 consecutive weeks immediately prior to the election, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area to be affected. Such notice shall give the time and places for the election and a general description of the area to be included in the municipality, which shall be in the form of a map to show clearly the area to be covered by the municipality.
(3)(a) Initiation of procedures for municipal incorporation by merger as described in subsection (2) may be done either by adoption of a resolution by the governing body of an area to be affected or by a petition of 10 percent of the qualified voters in the area.
(b) If a petition has been filed with the clerks of the governing bodies concerned, the governing bodies shall immediately undertake a study of the feasibility of the formation proposal and shall, within 6 months, either adopt an ordinance under subsection (2) or reject the petition, specifically stating the facts upon which the rejection is based.
(c) The purpose of this subsection is to provide broad citizen involvement in both initiating and developing their local government; therefore, establishment of appropriate citizen advisory committees, as well as other mechanisms for citizen involvement, by the governing bodies of the units affected is specifically authorized and encouraged.
History.—s. 1, ch. 74-192; s. 25, ch. 82-154; s. 1, ch. 87-223; s. 38, ch. 89-169; s. 12, ch. 90-279; s. 8, ch. 96-416; s. 3, ch. 97-255; s. 11, ch. 99-378.