CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- A new town in Southwest Florida is changing people's expectations on how to live. Babcock Ranch off Highway 31 near Ft. Myers is using solar energy to become a greener community.
Babcock Ranch said when all said and done they hope to have more than 50,000 people calling the place home.
"It's about front porch living, we want people to reconnect," said Babcock President Rick Severance.
Home sales have begun for Babcock Ranch with several already sold. What makes the town so unique is the approach to a sustainable and green lifestyle.
"So we own our own water and waste water. We are using gray water for all the irrigation and we are getting our water from the aquifers on the property," said Severance.
But water isn't the only thing they are doing differently than most communities. The way they produce energy is also new. "It's the cleanest form of energy of any town in the United States right now. It's solar during the day, and when the sun goes down it pulls back. And natural gas with TECO comes in the evening," said Severance.
The entire 18,000 livable acres is a Florida Green Building Coalition certified town with even the smallest details like sidewalks and tree-lined streets being environmentally friendly.
"It makes people realize that if you take the collective elements associated with sustainability, a little bit goes a really long way," said Severance.
Babcock Ranch said it's all about the nature, connectivity and the town, one that includes a school. "It's K through 8. We opened it up for registration and we are already full. The exciting thing it shows a lot about the demand, but we are encouraged by the quality. We've already had 83 principals apply to be principal of the new charter school," said Severance.
Beyond using the most efficient products, Severance said the community is about knowing your neighbors and enjoying where you live.
Babcock Ranch plans to have model homes open to the public starting in the next few weeks.
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