Guide Estero’s Future
During the last decade Estero, an unincorporated Lee County community,
has grown from 15,000 to 49,000 residents while adding nearly four
million square feet of commercial development. Three volunteer
community organizations have successfully managed this growth.
Council of Community Leaders (ECCL) is an all-volunteer civic
association that was formed in 2001 to:
- Coordinate the community response to residential community
“outside the gates” concerns,
- Make sure public resources and infrastructure keep up with
Estero’s rapid private sector growth,
- Interface with all governmental bodies whose policies
impact Estero -- including the County Board, the South Florida
Water Management District, the Metropolitan Planning Organization
and the Airport Authority to name a few.
membership consists of representatives from each of Estero’s 30
residential communities and from most community-wide organizations like
the Estero Fire Rescue Board, the Estero Historical Society, Estero
Kiwanis and many others.
Over the years
ECCL has been instrumental in accomplishing the following results for
the Estero community:
Greatly expanding the road network that serves the
community. The following roadways have been widened or built during
this period increasing our north-south lanes from 8 to 20 in most
areas: US 41, I-75, Via Coconut Point, Three Oaks Parkway and Ben
Hill Griffin. The final leg of US 41 will be six-laned beginning in
- Obtaining commitments for landscaping the medians of all
our major roadways. Three Oaks Parkway north of Corkscrew and the
Estero Parkway flyover will be landscaped in 2011.
- Influencing County Parks and Recreation on the design of
the Estero Community Park. ECCL encouraged the State and
County to obtain the 100 acre Boomer property, doubling the size of
the Koreshan State Site.
- Working for five years with Lee Memorial, NCH and the City
of Bonita Springs to accelerate easy access to emergency medical
services for south Lee County and ultimately obtain a hospital
constructed on land owned by Lee Memorial in Coconut Point.
- Forming a coalition that persuaded the Lee Board of County
Commissioners to adopt a new plan for the Density
Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) area to the east in order to
ensure Estero’s future water supply, prevent flooding of its rivers
and streams and reduce pollution in Estero Bay.
- Encouraging the development of arts facilities like the
Community Park Pavilion and Great Oval and community involvement in
the arts through major arts fairs and events.
The ECCL is committed to continuing to work on these and other
emerging community needs as well as those that are brought up by its
The Estero Community Planning Panel (ECPP) is a
not-for-profit corporation also staffed with volunteers. It was
established for the primary purposes of:
- Creating an Estero Vision and Community Plan in order to guide
the community’s future development.
- Proposing Estero-specific County Plan & Land Development Code
(LDC) amendments to the County Board.
- Providing opportunities for citizen involvement and
participation in all planning and zoning decisions prior to County
- Consulting with developers and county staff regarding proposed
developments within the Estero community planning area.
ECPP functions primarily as a
to Lee County and the development community. The ECPP has no
independent approval powers over the Lee Plan, LDC amendments, zoning or
development orders. The panel is composed of representatives from
the Estero Council of Community Leaders, the Estero Civic Association,
the Estero Chamber of Commerce, and the local development community.
ECPP sponsors public presentations in the
community by all developers seeking zoning changes and works closely
with private sector planning firms and consultants, the Lee County
Department of Community Development (DCD) and with developers,
landowners and other representatives of the development industry in
accomplishing its tasks.
ECPP conducts regular public meetings at the
Estero Community Park Center, and facilitates developer’s presentations
to the Estero community on their plans for zoning of property within the
Estero planning area. Citizen interest and participation in these
meetings is high. Recommendations, concerns and proposed solutions are
then summarized and included with the developer’s zoning request
submission package to Lee County DCD.
The Estero Design Review Committee (EDRC) is an
all-volunteer subcommittee of the ECPP and provides for professional
review of developer projects at the Development Order stage through
public hearings prior to their submittal to the County. These public
reviews, which are also conducted at the Estero Community Park Center,
include architectural, landscaping, signage and other aspects of
Estero-specific LDC requirements for the Estero planning community. The
EDRC is composed of local professionals in the fields of architecture,
landscape architecture, engineering, development, planning, and
business. Recommendations and concerns are summarized and forwarded in
parallel with the developer’s Development Order request submission
package to Lee County Development Order Services Department.
The three organizations will be working closely
together throughout 2001 to renew the Estero Community Plan and the
Estero specific Land Development Code provisions.
All ECCL members are required to join at least one Committee. the Chairman of
each committee must be a duly appointed member of the ECCL. However, membership
in any committee is open to any resident of Estero. To volunteer now, fill out
the online volunteer form on the ECCL Committees