Burt Reynolds former home and ranch has been approved for zoning changed needed to build 30 homes on 150 acres by in Florida. Reynolds made the land his residence until he told it nearly 15 years ago to Palm Beach County.
The land is approximately 2 miles south of Indiantown Road, where the county was going to build a school, but instead opted to sell it to developers.
Now, after collaborating with neighbors on what to build, developers plan estate-style homes, horse-riding trails and land set aside for preservation at the ranch that was once home to the star of “Smokey and the Bandit,” “The Longest Yard” and “Deliverance.”
“This is going to be beautiful,” said County Commissioner Hal Valeche, whose district includes the Reynolds Ranch property.
Development plans for Reynolds Ranch initially prompted concerns from some Jupiter Farms residents worried about losing the rural feel of their equestrian-friendly, large-lot community.
But the developers, K. Hovnanian Jupiter LLC, worked with Jupiter Farms representatives to craft a building plan aimed at fitting in with the area and avoiding community backlash.
The result includes plans for homes on lots of 2-1/2 acres or more. About 60 acres of the Reynolds Ranch are to be set aside as conservation land.
The new neighborhood will be connected to Jupiter Farms’ community network of trails for equestrians and pedestrians.
Also, nearly 2 acres are being set aside for future civic uses, which can include everything from a fire station to a library. With no immediate building plans for that land, the property is to be used as a community vegetable garden.
“We are excited about some of the opportunities,” said Susan Kennedy, president of the Jupiter Farms Environmental Council, which endorsed the compromise building plan.
Reynolds, a Palm Beach County transplant, graduated from Palm Beach High School and is the son of a former Riviera Beach police chief.
Reynolds Ranch was the site of the actor’s wedding to Loni Anderson, and through the years has included a Reynolds museum and a gift shop as well as a barn and petting zoo.
Reynolds declared bankruptcy in 1996, and three years later the Reynolds Liquidating Trust sold his ranch to the School District for $3.85 million.
The School District last year agreed to sell the land to Hovnanian for $5 million, contingent on developers getting the zoning approvals they needed.