Southwest Ranches, Florida

Coordinates: 26°3′31″N 80°20′14″W / 26.05861°N 80.33722°W / 26.05861; -80.33722
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Southwest Ranches, Florida
Town of Southwest Ranches
"Preserving Our Rural Lifestyle"[1][2] (official) and "The pavement stops here!"[3]
Location of Southwest Ranches within Broward County
Location of Southwest Ranches within Broward County
Coordinates: 26°3′31″N 80°20′14″W / 26.05861°N 80.33722°W / 26.05861; -80.33722
Country United States of America
State Florida
IncorporatedJune 6, 2000[4]
 • TypeCommission-Manager
 • MayorSteve J. Breitkreuz (R)[5][6]
 • Vice MayorJim Allbritton
 • Council MemberBob Hartmann,
Gary Jablonski, and
David S. Kuczenski
 • Town AdministratorAndrew “Andy” Berns[7]
 • Town ClerkRussell Muñiz[8]
 • Total13.02 sq mi (33.71 km2)
 • Land12.98 sq mi (33.61 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
Elevation9 ft (2 m)
 • Total7,607
 • Density586.24/sq mi (226.35/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
33029, 33330-33332[11]
Area code(s)754, 954
FIPS code12-68135

Southwest Ranches is a town in Broward County, Florida, United States. It is a suburban community part of the Miami metropolitan area and is located on the eastern edge of the Everglades, 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Fort Lauderdale and about 22 miles (35 km) northwest of Miami. It is unusual in that it consists of three non-contiguous areas, albeit they are in close proximity; the two largest being separated by 1,455 feet (0.443 km). It became the county's 30th incorporated place in 2000 to avoid annexation into Pembroke Pines and to preserve its semirural lifestyle. Because the area has many horse ranches and is located in the southwestern part of Broward County, residents chose "Southwest Ranches" over other potential town names.

The population at the 2020 census was 7,607.[12] The town includes the former census-designated places of Country Estates, Green Meadow, Ivanhoe Estates, Rolling Oaks, and Sunshine Ranches (as well as subneighborhoods Landmark Ranch Estates and Sterling Ranch Estates), all of which are now Southwest Ranches neighborhoods. To support its rural-equestrian lifestyle, the town has developed many equestrian trails.


Prior to European colonization, the Tequesta were the native people in the southeastern part of Florida for almost 2,000 years from 500 BCE to the 18th century CE when the Spanish conquered Florida. In the 1970s archeologist excavated a Tequesta burial site, with artifacts that go back to more than a thousand years, that was part of a former Everglades tree island. There is also an old Indian trading post in the town.[13]

In 1996, Pembroke Pines proposed a bill to the Broward County Legislative Delegation to annex all the unincorporated areas between Griffin Road, Sheridan Street, Flamingo Road, and SR 25 into Pembroke Pines. Hundreds of citizens from the unincorporated area of Southwest Ranches packed the delegation hearing in November 1996 at Pembroke Pines City Hall to protest this takeover and to call for the right to form their own city. As a result of this grassroots effort, the State Legislature passed a bill in the 1997 session that called for a vote of Southwest Ranches' citizens in March 2000; they could be annexed into either Pembroke Pines or Davie, or become a new city.[14]

Southwest Ranches Homeowners Association was an umbrella group composed of individual homeowners associations in the Southwest Ranches area. Anyone belonging to an individual homeowners association was also automatically a member of the group, with full voting rights. In 1997, its members agreed to actively promote incorporation of a new city for the area and formed a political committee to explore this option. A feasibility committee was appointed to determine if a new city would be viable. They would have to know if revenues would be adequate to cover the costs of running a city. Dr. Milan Dluhy of Florida International University was contacted and asked to complete a formal feasibility study; Dluhy had produced many such studies for groups that subsequently became successful cities. The committee also contacted Moyer and Associates, the company that provides contract services to Weston.[14]

The feasibility committee determined that a contract city would be the best option. Contracting would allow the city access to experienced professionals without having to hire these individuals on a full-time basis. This would save taxpayers money and avoid many costly capital expenses. Moyer and Associates provided the feasibility committee and Dr. Dluhy with financial information on which to base estimates of both income and expenses. The committee also considered the figures provided by the PMG study. PMG is the company hired by Broward County to conduct a study comparing the costs of Pembroke Pines and Davie to the costs of being incorporated into a new city.[14]

On July 3, 1999, the Southwest Ranches Homeowners Association sponsored a parade and picnic to declare the area's independence. Speakers at the event included then-Senator Howard Forman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, County Commissioner Lori Parrish, Sheriff Ken Jenne, and Weston Mayor Harry Rosen.[14] The bill passed in 1997 authorized the vote in 2000 to determine if residents wanted to form their own city. If the vote was for a new city, a charter was to be drawn up and an election forming the city held in 2001. Leaders realized, however, that if a charter could be drawn up sooner, it could be approved in 2000 and the city formed a year earlier, which would be financially beneficial to the residents.[14]

A charter committee was formed to draw up a charter. The committee met almost weekly during July and August 1999, and formulated a new charter, using the Weston charter as a template. A contest was held to name the town, with 122 different names submitted. A vote was held on October 12, 1999, to select one of the top five names, which Southwest Ranches won. Southwest Ranches Homeowners Association members voted to move forward and request a local bill to allow incorporation in 2000 instead of 2001, which was approved. On March 14, 2000, residents voted overwhelmingly to form a new town rather than be annexed.[14]

The most contentious issue during charter committee meetings was whether or not to have districts.[14] The majority of members felt that council members should be elected at large, meaning that any qualified candidate could run for a seat, no matter where that individual lived, but some felt that candidates should only be able to run if they lived in one of four districts. When the election to approve the charter was held on June 6, 2000, the issue was put to a vote, and the majority of voters selected districts. Council members were elected on July 25, 2000, and the town was officially established.[14]

The area is primarily residential, with most lots consisting of 1 acre (0.40 ha) or more. Some are small farms and equestrian ranches. The town has laws that keep homes from being built on lots less than an acre. To conserve the town's rural lifestyle, the laws also generally prevent streetlights and sidewalks from being constructed.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2020 census[edit]

Southwest Ranches racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[15]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 3,380 44.43%
Black or African American (NH) 343 4.51%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 12 0.16%
Asian (NH) 291 3.83%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 0 0.00%
Some other race (NH) 49 0.64%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 292 3.84%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 3,240 42.59%
Total 7,607 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 7,607 people, 2,024 households, and 1,730 families residing in the town.[16]

2010 census[edit]

Southwest Ranches Demographics
2010 Census Southwest Ranches Broward County Florida
Total population 7,345 1,748,066 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +8.3% +7.7% +17.6%
Population density 562.5/sq mi 1,444.9/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 85.9% 63.1% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 56.4% 43.5% 57.9%
Black or African-American 5.4% 26.7% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 33.3% 25.1% 22.5%
Asian 2.8% 3.2% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.6% 0.3% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.0% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 2.9% 2.9% 2.5%
Some Other Race 2.4% 3.7% 3.6%

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 7,345 people, 2,210 households, and 1,844 families residing in the town.[17]

2000 census[edit]

As of 2000, before being annexed to Southwest Ranches, those who spoke only English accounted for 82.09% of Green Meadow residents, while those who spoke Spanish at home made up 17.90% of the population.[18] In the Rolling Oaks neighborhood, those who spoke only English accounted for 70.42% of all residents, while Spanish speakers were 29.57% of the population.[19] In the Country Estates neighborhood, English-only speakers were 78.46% of the populaiton while Spanish speakers made up 21.53% of the population.[20] In the Sunshine Ranches neighborhood, 76.22% of residents spoke only English while 22.16% spoke Spanish 1.61% spoke Italian.[21]


The Florida Department of Corrections operates the Region IV Correctional Facility Office on the grounds of Broward Correctional Institution in the former Country Estates CDP and in Southwest Ranches.[22][23][24] The Broward prison formerly housed the female death row,[25] which was moved to the Lowell Correctional Institution in February 2003.[23]

Parks and recreation[edit]

To support its rural-equestrian lifestyle, the town has developed miles of multiuse trails. People can be often be seen riding horses or bicycles or walking the trails that spread throughout the town. Since incorporation, the town has also acquired seven open-space parks, only one of which has been developed so far.[26] This park includes a schooling ring, a show ring, and the Equestrian Oasis, an art installation primarily used to provide drinking water for horses.[27]


From the time of its founding until 2012, the town conducted its business from a modular office at the South Broward Drainage District headquarters. In 2012, the town, under the leadership of Vice Mayor Doug McKay, renovated a former church to create Southwest Ranches' first permanent town hall. Police and emergency services are provided by the nearby town of Davie.[28]

Southwest Ranches' charter defines the governing body as a council with one mayor and four council members. The mayor and the council members are elected at large from the electorate of the town, but the council members represent districts in which they must reside. The mayoral role is largely ceremonial with no more power than any council member. Other charter positions serving Southwest Ranches include the town administrator, financial administrator, and town clerk.

The town's first council consisted of Mayor Mecca Fink, Vice Mayor Johnny Dollar, Forrest Blanton, Freddy Fisikelli, and Astor Knight.[29]


Southwest Ranches is served by Broward County Public Schools.[30]

Notable people[edit]

In media[edit]

In April 2019, the WSVN show Deco Drive featured a Southwest Ranches farm owned by Uncle Louie.[44]


  1. ^ "Preserving Our Rural Lifestyle: Welcome to Southwest Ranches, Florida (The upper top portion of the main page, with the town's seal & motto)". Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "Southwest Ranches: Preserving Our Rural Lifestyle". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  3. ^ "Broward Bugle: Southwest Ranches Making a Costly Mistake?". Archived from the original on July 14, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "Broward-by-the-Numbers (pages 3-5)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2015. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  5. ^ "Mayor Steve Breitkreuz - Southwest Ranches, Florida".
  6. ^ "Steve J Breitkreuz, 5120 SW 195th Ter, Southwest Ranches, FL 33332 | Vote Reference".
  7. ^ "Town Administrator - Southwest Ranches, Florida".
  8. ^ "Town Clerk - Southwest Ranches, Florida".
  9. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  10. ^ "Southwest Ranches, United States Page". Falling Rain Genomics. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  11. ^ "Southwest Ranches, Broward County, Florida Zip Code Map Boundary Version 3.0". Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "Cows Prodded off Burial Land".
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "About Our Town". Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  16. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2020: Southwest Ranches town, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2010: Southwest Ranches town, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  18. ^ "MLA Data Center Results for Green Meadow, FL". Modern Language Association. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  19. ^ "MLA Data Center Results for Rolling Oaks, FL". Modern Language Association. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  20. ^ "MLA Data Center results for Country Estates, FL". Modern Language Association. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  21. ^ "MLA Data Center Results of Sunshine Ranches, FL". Modern Language Association. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  22. ^ "Region IV - Correctional Facility Office." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  23. ^ a b "Broward Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
  24. ^ "Country Estates CDP, Florida[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  25. ^ "Death Row Fact Sheet." Florida Department of Corrections. February 3, 2001. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
  26. ^ SWR Parks and recreation Archived August 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  27. ^ "Southwest Ranches Real Estate & Information". Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  28. ^ "Weston, Southwest Ranches and unincorporated West Broward". Archived from the original on December 29, 2005. Retrieved January 13, 2006.
  29. ^ "Former Town Council Members". Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  30. ^ "District Map with Council". Southwest Ranches, Florida. Retrieved May 8, 2020. - Compare with the zoning boundaries.
  31. ^ "Southwest Ranches Website". Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  32. ^ "Creature from the Black Lagoon: Ricou Browning in need of get well cards from fans". September 30, 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  33. ^ "The Rock buys home" (PDF). 2012.
  34. ^ "Miss Cleo invokes the Fifth in birth certificate testimony".
  35. ^ "'Miss Cleo' dies in South Florida at 53". July 26, 2016.
  36. ^ "Article" (PDF). 2013.
  37. ^ "New home buy" (PDF). 2010.
  38. ^ Sentinel, Sun (May 2, 2013). "Udonis Haslem Robbed: Burglars Break Into Miami Heat Star's Southwest Ranches Home (VIDEO)" – via Huff Post.
  39. ^ "Dwayne Johnson Buys Rockin' South Florida House". March 15, 2012.
  40. ^ "The Rock Moves Into Southwest Ranches, Orders Big Addition". October 2014.
  41. ^ "Raw Leiba". IMDb.
  42. ^ Louie, Uncle (May 19, 2016). "Southwest Ranches. Have You Been?". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  43. ^ Leitereg, Neal J. (July 28, 2015). "NFL's Karlos Dansby lists Florida mansion he bought from Reggie Wayne". Los Angeles Times.
  44. ^ "Chris gets busy with bees in Southwest Ranches". April 11, 2019.

External links[edit]