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The past, present, and future of the Babcock Ranch community

Courtesy photo.

When developer Syd Kitson purchased the 91,000-acre Babcock Ranch in northeast Lee & southeast Charlotte counties in 2005 he said he was going to create a sustainable community and preserve most of the land. While many people were skeptical at the time, Kitson has gone on to build pretty much exactly what he said he would. About 67,000-acres became the Babcock Ranch Preserve, and more than half of the rest of the land has been preserved amidst the growing number of smart homes with high speed internet built to Florida Green Building Coalition standards.

Babcock ranch features 700,000 solar panels installed by FPL that provide more than enough electricity to power the entire community, all of which survived Hurricane Ian. Babcock Ranch never lost power or utilities during or after the storm. There’s a K-12 school that’s also a category 5 hurricane shelter, and direct trail access to the Preserve land. About 5,000 people live there now, with plans to grow to about 50,000.

Mr. Kitson joined us on this show quite a few times during the early days of its development, long before groundbreaking and the first homes were built. We look back on the picture he painted back then, and how well it aligns with what's there today. You can hear a full conversation with Mr. Kitson on this show from 2007 here.

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