The following terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) “Unit of local government” means any local general-purpose government.
(2) “Local general-purpose government” means a county, municipality, or consolidated city-county government.
(3) “County” means a political subdivision of the state established pursuant to s. 1, Art. VIII of the State Constitution.
(4) “Municipality” means a municipality created pursuant to general or special law authorized or recognized pursuant to s. 2 or s. 6, Art. VIII of the State Constitution.
(5) “Special district” means a local unit of special government, as defined in s. 189.403(1). This term includes dependent special districts, as defined in s. 189.403(2), and independent special districts, as defined in s. 189.403(3). All provisions of s. 200.001(8)(d) and (e) shall be considered provisions of this chapter.
(6) “Department” means the Department of Community Affairs.
(7) “Formation” means any one of the following activities:
(a) “Incorporation”—The establishment of a municipality.
(b) “Dissolution”—The dissolving of the corporate status of a municipality.
(c) “Merger”—The merging of two or more municipalities with each other and with any unincorporated areas authorized pursuant to this act to form a new municipality; the merging of one or more municipalities or special districts, in any combination thereof, with each other; or the merging of one or more counties with one or more special districts.
(8) “Service delivery” means any mechanism used by a unit of local government to provide governmental services.
(9) “Newspaper of general circulation” means a newspaper printed in the language most commonly spoken in the area within which it circulates, which is readily available for purchase by all inhabitants in its area of circulation, but does not include a newspaper intended primarily for members of a particular professional or occupational group, a newspaper the primary function of which is to carry legal notices, or a newspaper that is given away primarily to distribute advertising.
(10) “Parties affected” means any person owning property or residing in a municipality proposing a formation or in the territory that is proposed for a formation or any governmental unit with jurisdiction over such area.
(11) “Qualified voter” means any person registered to vote in accordance with law.
(12) “Sufficiency of petition” means the verification of the signatures and addresses of all signers of a petition with the voting list maintained by the county supervisor of elections and certification that the number of valid signatures represents the required percentage of the total number of qualified voters in the area affected by a proposal pursuant to this chapter.