A CDD is a Community Development District which is an independent special purpose unit of local government established at the request of the landowner or developer. The purpose of a CDD is to build and maintain community features, like roadways, parks, sports fields, etc. These facilities are typically for the community residents only, so the County will not provide or maintain them. The CDD fee is collected with your taxes and can run between $1000 - $3000+ annually.
One common misconception about a CDD is that the fees will go away after a certain time. They are often presented as a 20 year bound, for example. The truth is that since part of the fee is for maintenance, that will never go away. Additionally, there is a good chance that the infrastructure will need to be improved over the years (new roof on a building, resurfacing roads or a pool). So even if a CDD bond is paid off when you purchase a home, it will eventually be reinstated when a new bond is issued.
So why would you want to own a home in a CDD community? Because there are no small towns or villages in this area, one of the only ways for a development to have community facilities is through a CDD. Each development has their own unique features that may or may not appeal to you. Large communities like Nocatee, Shearwater, and Beachwal have attractive water features. Trailmark is an example of a community that features miles of walking and bike trails. Community pools, golf courses, gyms, tennis courts, banquet centers are all amenities that can be found in CDD communities. If you are looking for a place to live where these types of activities are close, then one of these communities may be right for you.
CDD communities have often gotten a bad rap because of the added annual expense. However, if you take a look at your families lifestyle and needs, then examine what some of these communities have to offer, you may find they are right for you.