Due to some financial difficulties, Burt Reynolds, 78, was forced to sell his Jupiter, Florida ranch in 1999 — the place where he married second wife Loni Anderson — and the property is now being re-developed to allow the construction of some 30 homes on its 150 acres of land.
Three years after the Smokey and the Bandit star filed for bankruptcy in 1996 following a messy, expensive divorce and some poor financial investments, the Reynolds Liquidating Trust sold his ranch to the local school district for $3.85 million. Last year, the school district sold the land to developers K. Hovnanian Jupiter LLC.
The Palm Beach County Commission approved zoning changes Thursday needed to build the 30 new homes on the site of the the Deliverance actor’s former ranch.
“This is going to be beautiful,” said County Commissioner Hal Valeche.
Not everyone in the community agrees with Valeche. At the meeting, residents voiced their concerns that the development would cause the area to lose its rural character.
Hovnanian says that it has worked with Jupiter Farms representatives to design a building plan aimed at blending in with the area.
In a compromise, approximately 60 acres of the land are to be set aside as conservation land and nearly 2 acres for future civic uses, which may include a fire station and a library.
The Jupiter Farms Environmental Council endorsed the compromised building plan.
“We are excited about some of the opportunities,” said the council’s president, Susan Kennedy.
During Reynolds’ heyday, the ranch — with its gift shop, Burt Reynolds Museum and a petting zoo — was a tourist attraction.
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