Pondering Lehigh Acres

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Major development pushing eastward

The News-Press coverage of the rapidly increasing level of development activity in Alva caused me to pause and think about the future of Lehigh Acres. Each additional step towards the development of the Babcock Ranch also causes me to ponder the future of Lehigh.

I recently took the nature tour at the Babcock Ranch and it is amazing how much of the ranch resembles Lehigh Acres, particularly the section of North Lehigh north of West 8th Street bounded by Sunshine Boulevard and Joel Boulevard. The stands of native pine and fields of palmetto are common to both of these areas.

The development along Colonial Boulevard east of I-75 and in the Gateway area, coupled with the plans in Alva have literally created a development ring around a sizable portion of Lehigh.

It is truly challenging to visualize several hundred thousand homes being constructed on the quarter and half acre lots that have been carved into the Lehigh landscape. The investor driven speculation throughout Lehigh has raised individual lot pricing to levels that limit the economic viability of a developer parcel assemblage strategy.

While I don’t have an answer to the dilemma that is Lehigh, it certainly seems tragic that beautiful pristine places like the Babcock Ranch and the orchards of Alva are going to be developed before the Lehigh.

Citrus groves in Alva vanishing [News-Press]

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