Overview

Babcock Ranch is an 18,000-acre town spanning Charlotte and Lee counties, created by Kitson & Partners. The town has been intentionally designed to include stewardship, sustainability, preservation and restoration as key design features.

Nearly 3,000 families already call Babcock Ranch home. From a variety of opportunities to hike, bike and enjoy nature to excellent schools located within walking distance from home, residents enjoy a wide array of amenities specifically designed to help them live their happiest and healthiest lives.

Development is well-underway in Charlotte County, where approximately 80% of the town is located. However, Babcock Ranch is in the process of updating its development plan for the Lee County portion of the town, which includes about 4,200 acres.

The proposed changes do not impact the total footprint of the community, but rather reflect changes that better utilize existing infrastructure and meet the demands of Babcock Ranch and the community-at-large.

Project Facts

In 2018, the Lee Board of County Commissioners approved a development plan for Babcock Ranch in Lee County that included up to 1,630 residential units, 600 hotel units and 1.17 million square feet of retail and office uses.

Babcock Ranch is seeking to update its development plan to:

  • Reduce the number of hotel units to 250
  • Add 448 additional dwelling units to permit multi-family and assisted living units.
  • Increase preserve placed under permanent conservation easement to 2,613 acres, which equates to an additional 234 acres placed in permanent conservation easement.
  • Approximately 615 acres of wetlands within the preserves will be placed in the Lee County wetlands future land use category for added protection.
  • Reduction to the development footprint in the eastern portion of the project
  • No increase in building height requested
  • No additional commercial square footage is requested
Babcock Ranch Homes
Dr. Bill-Hammond Trails

Environmental Benefits

Babcock Ranch was created by Kitson & Partners with respect for the natural environment and the philosophy that smart growth and sustainability work hand in hand.

  • The proposed Babcock Ranch Lee County plan includes more than 2,600 acres of preserves, including high-quality native habitats to be preserved/enhanced, such as oak/palmetto scrub, pine palmetto flatwoods, and various wetlands, as well as areas of wetland creation within some of the existing farm fields.
  • The development footprint, including parks and retention areas, is limited to about 1,544 acres of the 4,157-acre parcel, less than 46% of the land. The remainder will be placed in permanent conservation.
  • Approximately 50% of Babcock Ranch’s total footprint is set aside for green spaces, reflecting the community’s appreciation for and sensitivity to local ecologies, from native plant areas and wildlife to important hydrologic networks.
  • Extensive on-site preserves protect existing flow ways into the Caloosahatchee River, including Trout Creek, Stricklan Gully, Telegraph Creek and Curry Lake Canal.
  • The plan provides panther habitat protection immediately adjacent to more than 74,000 acres of land already in public conservation.
  • Scrubber marshes are proposed in existing pastures to detain and filter water flowing into the Caloosahatchee River to improve water quality and reduce nutrient loads.
  • The enormous, forested buffer creates a natural southern terminus to the town of Babcock Ranch.

Transportation

As development progresses, Babcock Ranch is working closely with state and local transportation officials to enhance local roadways and mitigate traffic concerns.

  • Babcock Ranch is improving SR 31 to a four-lane divided highway from the town’s main entrance south to Bayshore Road, just north of the SR 31 bridge. Construction on SR 31 improvements are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024.
  • There is no access from Babcock Ranch to North River Road, limiting the impact on nearby residents.
Babcock Ranch

FAQs

What is Babcock Ranch?

Babcock Ranch is an 18,000-acre town spanning Charlotte and Lee counties created by Kitson & Partners. The town has been intentionally designed to include stewardship, sustainability, preservation and restoration as key design features.

Development is well underway in Charlotte County, where approximately 80% of the town is located, and nearly 3,000 families already call Babcock Ranch home. From a variety of opportunities to hike, bike and enjoy nature to excellent schools located within walking distance from home, residents enjoy a wide array of amenities specifically designed to help them live their happiest and healthiest lives.

What is currently allowed?

In 2018, the Lee Board of County Commissioners approved a development plan for Babcock Ranch in Lee County. That plan included up to 1,630 dwelling units, 600 hotel rooms and 1.17 million square feet of retail and office uses.

In Charlotte County, the Charlotte Board of County Commissioners approved a development plan that includes up to 17,870 residential units, 4.9 million square feet of retail and office uses, 650,000 square feet of industrial space, 600 hotel rooms, 177 hospital beds, 418 units of assisted living facilities, RV parks and 54 golf holes. The Charlotte County plan also includes schools, libraries, places of worship, community parks and emergency service facilities.

What changes are being proposed?

Babcock Ranch is in the process of updating its development plan for the Lee County portion of the town, which includes about 4,200 acres.

Babcock Ranch has proposed increasing the total number of units to 2,078, which would include approximately 360 apartments and 350 assisted living beds. Additionally, Babcock Ranch has proposed reducing the number of hotel rooms to 250. The proposed changes do not include any increases to building height or commercial square footage.

The proposed plan also includes increasing the preserves placed under permanent conservation to from 2,079 acres to 2,613 acres. Under the proposed plan, approximately 615 acres of wetlands within the preserves will be placed in the Lee County wetlands future land use category for added protection.

The updated plan will have no new proposed impacts on wetlands within Lee County

Why are these changes needed?

The proposed changes better utilize existing infrastructure and meet the demands of Babcock Ranch residents and the community at-large.

How will this impact the environment?

Babcock Ranch was created with respect for the natural environment and the philosophy that smart growth and sustainability work hand in hand. Approximately 50% of Babcock Ranch’s total footprint is set aside for greenspace, reflecting the community’s appreciation for, and sensitivity to, local ecologies, from native plant areas and wildlife to important hydrologic networks.

The proposed Babcock Ranch Lee County plan includes more than 2,600 acres of preserves, including high-quality native habitats to be preserved/enhanced, such as oak/palmetto scrub, pine palmetto flatwoods and various wetlands, as well as areas of wetland creation within some existing farm fields. This is equivalent to 65% of the site.

What protections are there for wildlife?

Wildlife crossings will be provided within the Charlotte County portion of the project when roads cross greenways. The Lee County lands are planned to interconnect habitat corridors with government preserves and internal preserves within the town. The plan also provides panther habitat protection immediately adjacent to more than 74,000 acres of land already in public conservation.

What impact will this have on traffic?

Babcock Ranch is improving SR 31 to a four-lane divided highway from the town’s main entrance to south of Bayshore Road, just north of the SR 31 bridge. Construction on these improvements is expected to begin in 2024.

How does this impact Alva and North Olga residents?

Babcock Ranch is taking a variety of steps to ensure nearby residents are minimally impacted by the Lee County plans. By requesting a modest increase in density to 1 unit per 2 acres, we are limiting sprawl and ensuring the creation of development pods. Our applications require us to complete extensive restoration and environmental enhancements, as well as meet strict design standards, to achieve the additional density requested.

Additionally, Alva and North Olga residents will have access to a variety of public amenities, shopping, dining and community parks, located within Lee County.

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