About This Place
Southwest Ranches, located on the eastern edge of the Florida Everglades, 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Fort Lauderdale, is Broward County's 30th incorporated place, having incorporated in the year 2000 to avoid annexation by the city of Pembroke Pines and to preserve its semi-rural lifestyle. Because the area has many horse ranches and is located in the southwestern part of Broward County, residents chose "Southwest Ranches" over many other potential town names. The population as of the 2010 census was 7,345. The town includes the 2000 U.S. Census census-designated places of Country Estates, Green Meadow, Ivanhoe Estates, Rolling Oaks, and Sunshine Ranches. Other areas recently added to the town include Landmark Ranch Estates and Sterling Ranch Estates.
To support its rural-equestrian lifestyle, the town has designated and developed dozens of miles of greenways (multi-use trails).
The area is primarily residential, with most lots of 1 acre (0.40 ha) or more. There are some small farms and equestrian ranches. The town has laws that keep homes from being built on lots of less than 1 acre. They also generally stop streetlights and sidewalks from being built, in order to conserve and keep the town rural. The town contracts with the Broward County Sheriff's Office to provide police, fire and EMS services.