Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board Adopts Enforcement Code That Includes Fines, Liens, and Foreclosures

Reedy Creek Improvement District

On Wednesday the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board once again met and continued to work on implementing its vision for the future of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. The board, all appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, voted to hire a new administrator for the district while also retaining the former one as an advisor. It also passed a new code of enforcement for the district that encompasses the area around Walt Disney World Resort.

This new enforcement code gives the district the power to impose fines, liens, and even foreclose for code violations. The fines range from $75 to $500 per day. This new code enforcement policy will take effect on August 1, 2023. The resolution was passed unanimously by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board.

This new code will create a new code enforcement department with officers who are tasked with issuing citations to enforce the code. An independent special magistrate will be set up for those who want to contest any citation. A district staff report says that “The enforcement citation program authorizes the imposition of fines, liens and if necessary foreclosures of liens.”

The district’s special counsel Daniel Langley said that fines could be levied for building code and fire violations, failed environmental requirements, along with other rules that could be made by the board in the future. The former Reedy Creek Improvement District did not have any code enforcement program in place like this, Landley shared.

“This is another tool in the toolbox for enforcement,” Langley said. “I’m actually not aware of any local government in Central Florida not having some sort of code enforcement process when you have rules and regulations and ordinances that say thou shalt not do X, Y, and Z or you’re violating our code or regulations.” Langley indicated that rules would be posted online as the district strives to be more transparent.

The new code enforcement policy comes as the district continues to be a point of controversy between The Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. With lawsuits being filed by Disney and also the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, the future of the district is very uncertain. Earlier this week Disney CEO Bob Iger questioned “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people and pay more taxes, or not?” This came after he was asked about the controversy in Florida during an earnings call.

With court cases and legislation all pushing in different directions, clarity for the future of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District is not anywhere close to being in sight. What do you think about this new enforcement code? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

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