- By Hannah Morse Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The petition to change Jupiter Farms Road to Burt Reynolds Road after the actor died Thursday skyrocketed past the expectations of Jupiter Farms resident Debi Oliva.
Many seemed to love Oliva’s idea, but all the property owners who live off Jupiter Farms Road would have to agree.
The “Smokey and the Bandit” actor owned a 153-acre ranch off the road, which is now a 30-home community called Reynolds Ranch.
“I was willing to personally contact each of the owners to obtain their permission and get the signatures, however reading some comments made against the name change, I came to a better solution that I think it will make everyone happy,” she wrote in an update on the Change.org petition.
Instead, she’s proposing to update the “Jupiter Farms Center” sign at the corner of Indiantown Road and Jupiter Farms Road to add “Home of Burt Reynolds.” As of Monday afternoon, the petition has gathered more than 6,500 signatures.
Oliva said she is trying to get permission from the owner of Jupiter Farms Center as well as asking for financial help from the county. She would also consider starting a GoFundMe to raise money for the sign, and donate the remaining funds to the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theatre in North Palm Beach.
“I feel obligated to the signers of the petition, however I feel that this will not only honor Burt, but will also beautify our entrance,” she wrote.
A Reynolds family member, who asked not to be named, said of the scrapped proposal to change Jupiter Farms Road: “Burt wouldn’t want to inconvenience the people of Jupiter,” and added that a sign would be “lovely” and “a really good gesture.”