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S.F. No. 212 - Repealing the Deadlines for Special Service Districts and Housing Improvement Areas (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Melisa Franzen
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: February 28, 2013


Currently, cities may establish special service districts and housing improvement areas under the existing law until June 30, 2013; after that, a city must seek a special law to authorize the establishment of either a special service district or a housing improvement area. This bill repeals the deadline, thus making the authority permanent.   



A city may adopt an ordinance that establishes a special service district. A special service district is “a defined area within the city where special services are rendered and the costs of the special services are paid from revenues collected from service charges imposed within that area.” Special services must not be services ordinarily provided throughout the city,  unless an increased level of the service is provided in the district. A special service district may be established anywhere in a city but only “business property” (i.e. commercial, industrial, public utility, or land zoned for commercial or industrial use) may be charged. The process for establishing a special service district are prescribed by law. Examples of special services provided include street and sidewalk cleaning, snow plowing, landscaping, or other physical improvements. 

A city may adopt an ordinance that establishes a housing improvement district at the request of owners of the housing units in the proposed district. A housing improvement area is “a defined area within the city where housing improvements are made or constructed and the costs of the improvements are paid in whole or in part from fees imposed within the area.” Housing improvements may include improvements to common elements of a condominium or other common interest community.



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