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Real Estate

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Wade Allen
Administrator

Phone: (863) 534-2580
Toll Free: (800) 780-5346

Email: WadeAllen@polk-county.net

Street Address:
515 E. Boulevard St.
Bartow, FL 33830

Office Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Polk County isn’t in the business of holding property. If a property isn’t on the tax role, it isn’t generating revenue.

Polk’s Right-of-Way and Real Estate office works to sell properties that the county owns, but doesn’t need. Think of this as the clearance rack of property. This office is responsible for all aspects of the county’s real estate acquisition and disposition services in the unincorporated areas of Polk.

Additionally, our office processes petitions to vacate right-of-way and easements along with petitions for street lighting districts.

Affordable Housing

On September 19, 2023 the Polk County Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution No. 23-124 which states that there are no properties which the county, or any dependent special district within its boundaries, holds fee simple title to within its boundaries that are appropriate for use as affordable housing. Said resolution was adopted, and this statement is being posted herein, in compliance with Section 125.379, Florida Statues, as revised effective July 1, 2023.

Vacate Right-of-Way

The Board of County Commissioners may be petitioned by property owners to vacate the public’s interest in certain property rights, such as right-of-way and easements. Complete the appropriate petition below and return it to our office, along with the required petition fee, using the information found in the general information form.

For questions or assistance related to vacating right-of-way or easements, call (863) 534-2580.

Please note that due to the complex nature of this process, it is suggested that you contact our office before submitting a petition.

General Information Form

Vacate Right-of-Way Petition

Vacate Easement Petition

Surplus Lands

  • The properties listed below have already been through the statutory public bid process and are now available for immediate purchase.
  • Properties will be sold on a first come, first served basis and full payment must be made in the form of a cashier’s check, made payable to the Polk County Board of County Commissioners.
  • Buyers will be responsible for the payment of documentary stamp tax and recording fees, which are due at the time of purchase. Check with our office for the appropriate amounts.
  • Properties are sold as-is with no warranties given or implied and conveyance of the property will be by county deed.
  • It is the responsibility of the potential buyer to contact the appropriate governmental agencies to determine whether the property can be utilized for the buyer’s intended use.
  • The sale and conveyance of any real property by the county is subject to the terms, conditions and requirements of Section 125.35 of Florida Statutes.
  • This list is subject to change at any time, so please check back frequently or contact this office for updated information.
  • For more information, please call Chris Peterson at (863) 534-2584, or Scott Lowery at (863) 534-2578.

Clicking the parcel numbers below will bring up additional information from the property appraiser. Please use the prices listed below as a guide. Contact Chris Peterson at (863) 534-2584, or Scott Lowery at (863) 534-2578 for official pricing and further details.

Parcel ID #Purchase Amount (as of 6/1/2023)
252813-343500-004660$42,750
272617-000000-044010$550,000

Street Lighting

Street lighting areas are special taxing districts created by county ordinance, which allow for the installation and operation of street lights within a specified area or community. The recurring costs of operating the street lights are then assessed to the property owners within the specified area or community through annual tax bills. Requests for the creation of street lighting districts must be made by petitioning the County Commission.

For questions or assistance related to street lighting areas, please call Chris Peterson at (863) 534-2584, or Scott Lowery at (863) 534-2578.

*Please note that due to the complex nature of this process, it is suggested that you contact our office before submitting a petition.

Street Lighting Area Petition

Procedures for Petitioning to Create a Street Lighting Area

  1. Obtain a map of the area to be included in the street lighting area. Maps can be obtained from the Property Appraiser’s office, the Property Appraiser’s website, or as provided by the utility company for the lighting design (see Item 3), once the applicant has contacted them. A lighting area can be a platted subdivision, a series of contiguous acreage parcels or a combination of the two types.
  2. Obtain an ownership edit list of all property owners in the proposed lighting area from the Property Appraiser’s office or website, which is www.polkpa.org.
  3. Contact the electric utility company servicing the area and request a lighting design on a map of the desired area and annual cost estimate. The street lighting design by the electric utility company adheres to minimum lighting standards.
  4. Show the lighting area property owners the lighting plan and cost estimate and ask them to sign the petition if they favor the plan and assessment. Parcel numbers must be printed on the petition. Use the list obtained from the Property Appraiser’s office to verify that the person signing the petition is the property owner. If a husband and wife jointly own the property, only one needs to sign the petition. One signature will serve as approval for all parcels listed in that name.
  5. The petition must be approved by the number of parcel owners who represent 75 percent of the parcels in the lighting area. The following calculations should be made to verify the petition: Count the number of parcel owners from the Property Appraiser’s list and the number of parcel owners on the petition. Divide the number on the petition by the number on the Property Appraiser’s list. This percentage must be greater than 75 percent. If the percentage is lower than 75 percent, you may call the Real Estate Services Office to discuss the status of the petition.
  6. Have a legal description prepared that describes the entire area to be included in the proposed lighting area, and is acceptable to the Property Appraiser, i.e., parcels 1 though 20 inclusive of Hometown Acres as recorded in Plat Book 1, page 1 of the Public records of Polk County, Florida.
  7. Any areas not to be taxed in the lighting area (retention ponds, etc.) should be noted as such in the legal description. The county will review and approve all legal descriptions.
  8. A fee of $1,250 is required to process the petition. It is the responsibility of the petitioners to provide the funds for this fee at the time the petition is submitted.
  9. The petition package should be submitted to Real Estate Services and must be submitted in person or by mail, by June 1. The formal petition form must have all blanks filled in and all exhibits, maps, and estimates attached. A check payable to the “Polk County Board of County Commissioners” should be attached to the petition package. The name, telephone number and address of a representative must be provided for county staff to contact if more information is needed.

Renters do not qualify as petitioners.

Checklist for Street Light Area Petition:

  • Obtained necessary map(s) from the Property Appraisers office, website, or utility company
  • Obtained an ownership edit from Property Appraiser’s office
  • Obtained Lighting Plan and cost estimate from electric company
  • Signatures on petition represent 75% of the property owners in the lighting area
  • A legal description has been prepared and is attached
  • Application fee has been collected and check is attached
  • A petitioner’s representative has been selected
  • All blanks on the petition have been filled in completely

Failure to have all necessary information could result in your petition being rejected as incomplete.

FAQs

A street lighting area is created when a person or group petitions the county to form a street lighting area. A resolution is written as a result of the petition that is approved by the Board of County Commissioners, which creates the lighting area in accordance with the Polk County government process.

The street lighting area is determined by the petitioner. Normal boundaries are property lines around the perimeter of subdivisions or blocks. The street lighting area must be defined by finite boundaries.

Members of the group petitioning to form a street lighting area choose the type of light to be installed. The electric company will assist with appropriate choices.

The electric company will recommend appropriate lighting for the street lighting area. The recommendation can be modified as the lighting area chooses.

Call the electric company. Polk County does not maintain street lighting.

Street lights in a street lighting area are paid for by the property owners included in the street lighting area on the yearly property tax bill. The number of parcels included in the street lighting area are used to determine the cost per parcel.

No. The petitioning process requires approval through several county departments, as well as the preparation of a resolution by the County Attorney’s office. The resolution is acted on by the Board of County Commissioners at a regularly scheduled meeting. The cost of the lighting on the property tax bill is collected prior to the billing by the electric company. The notice to proceed issued from the county to the electric companies for the installation of street lighting is issued once a year in July/August. At that point the electric companies schedule installations.

Any individual or group can contract with the electric company.

For more details please contact Chris Peterson at (863) 534-2584