Residents in the Solivita retirement community in central Florida are going to be in court this week fighting against a bond sale backed by their community development districts. In a two-day trial, a judge will hear from both sides about the value of certain amenities and size of a proposed $102 million bond deal that would be paid back by assessments on residents.

VOICE OVER: Residents in the Solivita retirement community in Florida are going to court this week to fight against the bond sale backed by their community development districts. The Poinciana CCDs wants to issue $102 million of tax-exempts and they are asking a judge to validate the 30-year bonds. About $74 million of the proceeds will be used to buy amenities, such as pools and parks, owned by Avatar Properties, the developer.

The CCDs hired a consultant to determine the size of the deal, based on a method capitalizing the fees charged by Avatar. But the residents, who have to pay back the debt with assessments, think they’ll be paying too much and they signed a petition urging the CCDs to get a real estate appraisal. That didn’t happen, so the residents hired their own appraiser who said the amenities are worth about $19 million.

A judge will hear arguments about the value of the amenities and size of the bond issue in a two-day trial starting on Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome of this rare legal challenge, this case is likely to wind up in the Florida Supreme Court. I’m Chip Barnett and this has been your Muni Minute.