The Guardian has reported on the Mormon’s plans to extensively develop the 290,000 acre Deseret cattle and citrus ranch in central Florida, which it says occupies more than nine times the size of San Francisco and about 20 times Manhattan’s size.
Now there are ambitious, far-reaching plans to transform much of this land into an entirely new “city”, home to as many as 500,000 people by 2080. Deseret has said that while nothing will be built here for decades, its plans are necessary because urban growth in the area is inevitable and the alternative is “piecemeal development”. A slide from a 2014 presentation explains: “We think in terms of generations.”
The plans, given the green light in 2015 by local county commissions, “are thought to be the largest-ever proposed in the state and have attracted high-profile attention.
“This is not a typical housing development. It is an entire region of the state of Florida – and it is the last remaining wilderness,” said Karina Veaudry, a landscape architect in Orlando and member of the Florida Native Plant Society. It is, she stressed, a plan on an unprecedented scale: “This project impacts the entire state, ecologically.”
See also this Orlando Sentinel article and Fox News interview.