To learn more about Estero and its growth management efforts view
the new website of:
Estero Community Planning Panel (ECPP);
Estero Civic Association (ECA);
Estero Design Review Committee (EDRC), and
Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL)
The site is still in formation … your suggestions for improvement
are most welcome.
Estero Community Plan was adopted in
January 2002 it called for a series of changes in the Lee County
Land Development Code in order to ensure that the goals of the plan
would be achieved throughout Estero.
In June 2002 Land Development Code changes requiring
the following were approved by the Board of County Commissioners:
• Increased buffering requirements for all
commercial projects but especially
between commercial and residential projects so that residents would
be negatively impacted by noise, odors and other forms of pollution,
• Special provisions for automobile service stations
and convenience food
and beverage stores to reduce the intensity of their canopy
upgrade their appearance and limit their numbers by establishing a
minimum separation distance,
• Created the Corkscrew Main Street Overlay District
and established Design Standards and Property Development
Regulations that impact all developments located along Corkscrew
In October 2002 the Board of County Commissioners
approved another change in the Land Development Code creating
General Signage Guidelines applicable throughout the Estero
These legal requirements, along with the Community
Plan, have guided the Estero Community Planning Panel (ECPP) and the
Estero Design Review Committee (EDRC) in their advisory review of
requested zoning and project development (DO) applications during
the last three years.
During this period both groups have sponsored
community meetings at which hundreds of developments and projects
have been presented and reviewed by thousands of community
residents. This experience has demonstrated the need for another
series of Land Development Code changes applicable only to Estero.
These changes have been developed by the ECPP in
conjunction with the County Community Development staff and have now
been reviewed and approved by the County’s Land Development Code
Advisory Committee and its Executive Regulatory Oversight Committee.
During October they will be reviewed by the County’s Local Planning
Agency and will then be presented to the Board of County
Commissioner’s for their approval.
Recently County staff decided to create a new
chapter of the Land Development Code, Chapter 33, exclusively for
“Planning Community Regulations” because several more planning
communities have established comprehensive community plans and
associated Land Development Code provisions and because these
requirements have become so extensive. As a result all of Estero’s
unique Land Development Code provisions will be found in one place,
not scattered around the County’s voluminous Land Development Code.
When it comes to managing development the “devil is
in the details”. As a result this consolidated Land Development Code
amendment contains eighty sections, in forty five pages of detailed
provisions affected every aspect of any commercial project that
wants to locate in the Estero Planning Community.
In addition to consolidating and reorganizing all
Estero’s existing provisions, the amendment makes the following
• Creates extensive standards for the development of
“Big Boxes”, buildings with at least 50,000 square feet of retail
space for a single user or 100,000 square feet for more than one
• Creates new Overlay Districts for Sandy Lane and
US 41 applying most of the design standards that have been
applicable along Corkscrew Road these last three years along with
some new ones.
The Land Development Code organizes the thirty-three
sections of the Estero Design Guidelines into five categories: Basic
elements, Architectural, Landscaping, Transportation and Signs. The
following are some examples of how each of these categories is
raising the quality of development in Estero’s Overlay Districts
that will soon contain all of the community’s commercial corridors.
Among the “basic elements” of the Design Guidelines
are requirements that:
• “all utility lines must be located underground except when located
within a public street or road with-of-way”,
• “Places of public interest/open space are intended to provide for
areas of public interest within commercial developments and must be
provided where possible. These areas must be equipped with amenities
such as seating areas, structures that provide shade, drinking
fountains and other amenities”.
• “Lighting must be given a distinct architectural theme that
complements the building’s exterior. Light fixtures must complement
the overall building development…. Provide lighting throughout all
parking areas utilizing decorative light poles/fixtures.”
Some key Architectural Design Guidelines are:
• “The preferred architectural style in the Estero Planning
Community is Mediterranean, with Old Florida where appropriate, and
other styles of architecture that are deemed compatible with these
• “Buildings of less than 5,000 square feet of gross floor area must
be designed with roofs having a minimum pitch of 30 degrees”.
• “…all proposed commercial, industrial, public and mixed use
buildings must blend with and complement existing architectural
features of adjacent structures constructed under these standards”.
• “Buildings must be designed to be visually appealing from all
• “Exterior facades of out-parcel buildings must be treated as
primary facades and must employ architectural, site, and landscaping
design elements that are common to the theme used on the main
development on site including colors and materials associated with
the main building”.
A few of the important Landscaping Design Guidelines
• “All landscape buffer designs should complement adjacent project
buffers to help aid in establishing a continuous landscape theme
within the Estero Planning Community”.
• “Developments must provide separation between pedestrian and
vehicular movement by using plantings as space defining elements”.
• “All required trees must be a minimum 45 gallon container, 12-14
foot planted height, 6 foot spread and 31/2 inch caliper, or field
grown equivalent, at the time of planting”. These are much larger
trees than is required elsewhere in Lee County.
The transportation sections focus primarily on
making Estero pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Some key provisions
• “Pedestrian walkways must be provided for each public vehicular
entrance to a project…”
• “Sidewalks or bikeways must be installed along all project
frontage roads, and whenever possible must be separated from the
edge of pavement by a minimum 4’ planting strip”.
• “Bicycle racks are required for all retail and office developments
within overlay districts’.
• “Developments must provide street furniture and other pedestrian
amenities in their design”.
The Signage Design Guidelines include the following
• Prohibit animated, emitting electronic changing message, figure
structure, poll, pylon and off-site directional signs as well as the
use of balloons, banners, pennants and other flying paraphernalia.
• Limits the use of temporary signs
• Extensively regulates all signage in all commercial and industrial
areas so that all identification signs are monument signs that are
wider than they are tall; may be no more than 17 feet in height;
must use at least 25% of the sign for architectural design; must be
lighted attractively; must match the architectural style of the
building or development.
Late in August Joe D’Jamoos,
President of the D’Jamoos Group, announced that his development
company would donate the land for a 500 seat professional regional
theater to be located in the
Estero on the River project they
propose to develop on the northeast corner of Corkscrew Road and US
41 in Estero. The developer of the theater would be
Playhouse (GP) headed by theater director Kristin Coury, who has
directed productions in New York and London. Gulfshore’s planned
program includes a mixture of traditional and new age plays,
Broadway and off-Broadway shows and family-oriented entertainment.
In addition to the 499 seat main stage theater the
facility will include a 125 seat studio theater, rehearsal space,
offices, dressing rooms and design shops. To pay for all this
Gulfshore has initiated a $15 million campaign to build the theater
and pay for the first years operating expenses. Four fundraising and
orientation events have already been scheduled for the upcoming
season. They are:
• On October 18th GP has purchased the house for a
presentation of “Rat Pack Revisited” at the Sudgen Theater in
Naples. Tickets are available for $40 by calling the box office at
• On November 7th GP will host a Golf Classic and Luncheon at
Tiburon Golf Course. Later this week the PGA Tours Franklin
Templeton Shootout will be held on the course so you know that it
will be in top-notch shape.
• On November 28th GP will host a Cocktail Party featuring Frank
D’Ambrosio and other special guests, and
• On January 12th GP will host Carol Channing for a “Diamonds Are a
Girl’s Best Friend” dinner and reception.
For information on any of these events or to learn
how you can help to bring professional theater to Estero call
261-5870 or see GPs website at
On September 16th Kristin Coury discussed the plans
for Gulfshore Playhouse with the Estero Council of Community Leaders
(ECCL). She indicated their need for community support and the
responded by starting to establish a Cultural, Arts and
Entertainment Committee. Persons interested in serving on this
Committee should indicate their interest by calling Frann Wagner at
In mid-2006 the
Estero Community Park will begin to serve the residents of Estero
and south Lee County. At the rear of the 41,000 square foot
Recreation/Community Building is a 60 foot wide, 30 feet deep
covered stage for concerts and other performances. The stage faces
the park’s “Central Lawn”, an oval that will seat at least 2,000 on
their blankets and beach chairs.
The stage will be equipped with a professional
lighting and sound system that will provide the power for the sound
equipment supplied by the performers. The Lee County Parks and
Recreation Department expects to work with a large number of groups
as public awareness of these outstanding facilities increases. The
potential exists for this facility to become one the premier outdoor
concert facilities in southwest Florida.
For the last
couple of years
FGCU’s theater department has been presenting
several plays per year for the University Community and the public
in their Black Box Theater. During September the University
announced the appointment of Nancy Cobb Lippens to become the
founding director of its music degree program. If all goes as
planned FGCU’s music degree program will enroll its first students
in the fall of 2006.
During August Lee County issued building permits
for another 279 housing units in Estero worth a record $61,214,436
excluding the value of the land under those units. The County’s
monthly report also includes several significant commercial permits,
not included in this total. They include $3.7 million for two
additional buildings in the Coconut Point Town Center and about $1.5
million for the community center in the
Meadows of Estero.
The following table shows how the first eight months
of 2005 compares with the same period during the prior five years:
Total January- July Housing
Building Value of Units
Average Building Value Per
Percentage of Single Family
The 1,924 housing units permitted during the first
eight months of 2005 exceeds the total units permitted throughout
any of the last three years. It exceeds the second highest year,
2001, by 304 units, or by 19%.
The permitted value of these units, excluding land,
exceeds last year, now the second highest on record, by over $150
million and is nearly twice the total for the first eight months of
the last two years.
The average building value of $209 thousand nearly
equals the average during 2004 when the percentage of single family
homes was 12% higher than this year.
The City of Bonita Springs has been growing more
rapidly during the last two years but still trails Estero on a year
to date basis by 38% in housing unit value and 36% in the total
value of permitted development.
REMINDER: The residential building value understates
the cost of each residence because it excludes the value of the
The following seven roadway projects are scheduled
for construction in and around Estero during the next 2 and one-half
years. They must stay on schedule if south Lee County is to avoid
even more traffic gridlock over the next several years as Estero’s
residential growth rate increases and our commercial growth takes
With the help of FDOT and Lee DOT staff this and
subsequent EDR reports will identify the key schedule deadlines for
each project so that any delays are observed and corrected as soon
US 41 from Old 41 in Collier County to Bonita Beach
Construction Underway…Completion Date… November 2005
US 41 from Bonita Beach Road to Old 41 by Pelican
Construction Underway…Completion Date…April 2006
US 41 from Corkscrew Road to San Carlos Boulevard
Apply for State Infrastructure Bank
(SIB) Construction Loan
Decision on the SIB Loan Application
60% Design Complete
90% Design Complete
On September 16th Don DeBerry, Lee County DOT’s
Manager for Road Design, Permitting and Right-of Way Acquisition
phases, discussed the status and plans for the County’s five major
roadway projects expected to be completed in the Estero Area during
the next two years. The following sections include DeBerry’s project
reports along with other important information on each of them.
The dates in DeBerry’s report indicate the month
that the project will be “awarded” to the contractor. “4L” means
four lanes, etc.
Three Oaks Parkway/Imperial/Livingston Corridor
PROJECT: Three Oaks Pkwy. South 4L Extension, E. Terry St. to The
CONSTRUCTION BUDGET: $19.2 million
PROJECT MANAGER: Nicole Maxey (479-8569)
STATUS: Awaiting final permits, have acquired 60% of the parcels for
right-of-way, others are in the process but may not be completed
until Feb. 06, anticipated construction time 21 months.”
Thus the estimated completion month is September
PROJECT: Imperial St. 4L, Bonita Beach Rd. to E. Terry St.
CONSTRUCTION BUDGET: $7.4 million
PROJECT MANAGER: Nicole Maxey (479-8569)
STATUS: Awaiting final permits, have acquired 32% of the parcels for
right-of-way, Resolutions of Necessity have been filed for the
remainder (includes 16 parcels on E. Terry St), anticipated
construction time 15 months.”
Thus the estimated completion month is May 2007.
Resolutions of Necessity authorize the department to proceed with
condemnation in order to acquire the property if the seller does not
reach agreement with the County to sell the property.
PROJECT: Three Oaks Pkwy. 4L, Corkscrew Rd. to Alico Rd.
CONSTRUCTION BUDGET: $11.8 million
PROJECT MANAGER: Betsy Rowan (479-8511)
STATUS: Awaiting final permits, two parcels left to acquire for
right-of-way, anticipated construction time 18 months.”
Thus the estimated completion month is September
PROJECT: Estero Pkwy. 4L Extension, Three Oaks Pkwy. To Ben Hill
CONSTRUCTION BUDGET: $19.6 million
PROJECT MANAGER: Betsy Rowan (479-8511)
STATUS: Design and right-of-way acquisition underway, should be
completed by June, anticipated construction time 21 months.”
Thus the estimated completion month is March 2008.
PROJECT: Corkscrew Rd. 4L, Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy. To East of Bella
CONSTRUCTION BUDGET: $12.4 million
PROJECT MANAGER: Don DeBerry (479-8503)
STATUS: Design and right-of-way acquisition underway, should be
completed by August, anticipated construction time 18 months.”
Thus the estimated completion month is February
In addition press reports indicate that the City of
Bonita Springs will be starting two road widening projects during in
2006. They are:
• Four laning of East Terry Street from Old 41 to
Imperial Street is scheduled to begin in January 2006. The City
expects to complete this project before the County completes the
Three Oaks/Imperial projects listed above in May and September 2007,
• Four laning of Old 41 between Rosemary Street and the north
connection to US 41 is scheduled to begin in March 2006.
On September 23rd the MPO voted 8 to 5 in opposition
to adding the proposed Coconut Road/I-75 intersection to the
County’s 2020 Long Range Plan over the objections of the City of
Bonita Springs and the Southwest Florida Transportation Initiative
(SWFTI), a private sector transportation lobby group. The
The Brooks communities spoke against changing the plan.
The issue arose because $10 million was, somewhat
mysteriously, added to the $286.4 billion 2005-10 Federal Highway
authorization bill recently passed by Congress and signed into law
by the President. Previous actions by the MPO in establishing
road-building priorities for 2020 did not include this project. Thus
the Federal funds could not be appropriated for the intersection
without the long range plan amendment.
The Estero spokespersons urged the MPO to seek
reallocation of the $10 million to the as yet not fully funded I-75
six-laning project expected to begin construction in late 2007 or
early 2008. In addition they noted that the full cost of such an
intersection will cost from $35 to $50 million. Thus the
intersection, if added to the 2020 plan, would compete for an
additional $25 to $40 million with the higher priority projects now
in the 2020 plan.
South Lee County priority projects now in the 2020
• Four Three Oaks Parkway/Imperial Road projects…the
three discussed above and another that would complete the corridor
from Alico Road to Daniels Parkway,
• The Estero Parkway Flyover discussed above,
• The Widening of I-75 to six lanes,
• Six laning of US 41 between Corkscrew Road and San Carlos Park,
• Extending Sandy Lane as a four lane road from Corkscrew Road to
Old 41 in Bonita Springs
• Six laning of segments of Corkscrew Road around I-75
• Reconstructing and expanding the Intersection of I-75 and
This project should not be planned until the
decisions regarding CR 951 have been finalized and the road
alignment and design approved if all the affected agencies decide to
proceed with the project.
The decision to proceed with this intersection
should take into account the residential nature of Coconut Road east
of US 41 and the fact that it is southwest Florida’s most beautiful
roadway that would undoubtedly be depreciated by such an
intersection and the traffic it would bring.
This issue will undoubtedly be addressed again soon
by the MPO in a slightly different context. The MPO is in the
process of adopting a 2030 Long Range Plan and the proponents of the
intersection will probably try to add the intersection to that plan
even though the direction of the MPO staff at the September meeting
was contrary to that position.
On September 30th Lee DOT, FDOT, Collier County, Lee
County Port Authority, and the Cities of Fort Myers, Cape Coral and
Bonita Springs conducted Southwest Florida’s First Construction
Preview Conference at the
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort. Over
800 road contractors were invited and over 150 responded to learn
about all the projects that these agencies will be taking out for
bids during the next two years.
At present there is too many road projects for the
local road contractors to construct on a timely basis. Hopefully the
Preview Conference will attract some new firms to the southwest
Florida market. As the Conference Handout book states “Over $700
million in roadway construction projects will be awarded in the next
two years by…” the seven agencies.
October 2003 the 33 acre parcel on the southeast corner of Three
Oaks Parkway and Corkscrew Road was rezoned with two large
multi-tenant parcels along the roadways and a large “big box” parcel
in the rear. At that time the project was called “Estero Town
Center” but the name was changed to “Estero Town Commons” at the
request of the EDRC when the developer, Kite Development, presented
the first phase of the project to them on March 9, 2005.
On September 14th Kite Development presented site
and design plans for its remaining five outlots to the EDRC. The
layout of these five parcels has been influenced by the developer’s
discussions with Lee County staff resulting in the preservation of
additional native trees on the site. Although the developer has only
one firm commitment for the five parcels, a bank on parcel 3, they
are prepared to designate the use, site plan and design for all five
parcels. The following table summarizes Kites plans for these five
parcels that extend by number from east to west along Corkscrew
Size in Square Feet
Kite indicated that the same plant palette will be used as with
the earlier approved Shops and
Lowe’s projects; that parcel 5
contains a public feature containing several large indigenous trees
that will be preserved on the corner of Three Oaks and Corkscrew
Road plus some extensive landscaping and that additional oak trees
will be preserved in the detention area.
The EDRC made several suggestions for improving the plans for the
five sites including the following:
• Committee felt the design of the buildings was too generic and
lacked continuity and detailing. In addition they suggested that
these buildings should add some of the features that made the small
shops presented last year so attractive. They urged the developer to
increase the variation of the height of the roof lines on these
buildings, like they had done previously. The applicant agreed to
return with improved architectural plans.
• One of the banks and the fast food restaurant contain less than
5,000 square feet and therefore are required to have a 30 degree
• Recommended that the three proposed drive-throughs be structured
so that the waiting vehicles are not visible from Corkscrew Road.
• Add green space on parcel 1.
• Recommended that the developer review the sight line provisions
included in the zoning resolution.
• The Corkscrew Road Overlay requires that all parking be setback at
least 75 feet from the Corkscrew Road property line. If that
requirement will not be met a deviation must be requested.
• Recommended that the fast food drive-thru should be covered for
the entire lane.
The EDRC appreciated the developer’s cooperative effort to ensure
that all the parcels within Estero Town Commons are designed in a
compatible way and fully satisfy all the design standards applicable
to this highly visible site.
Kite’s first initiative for developing this site proposed two,
multi-tenant commercial buildings with a total of 25,600 square feet
along Three Oaks Parkway and the internal roadway and infrastructure
system for the entire site. These two buildings will be built up
close to Three Oaks Parkway with the parking in the rear as required
by the Corkscrew Road overlay. They will be designed with colorful
Mediterranean architecture on all four sides because the entrances
to the buildings are on the side away from Three Oaks Parkway. Since
the zoning on the property contains extensive design standards, the
appearance of these buildings will set the standard for the entire
The large oak trees on the corner will be retained and the
landscaping around the entire site will be installed when the site
is cleared for development later this year.
On May 11, 2005 Lowe’s and Kite Development presented their plans
to the EDRC for a 169,000 square foot Lowe’s store including a
33,000 square foot garden center all to be located in the southeast
rear section of the property. The developers presented a Lowe’s
store with a Mediterranean design and other design elements that
would satisfy the Corkscrew Road Overlay Design Standards and the
Estero Town Commons appearance standards that are required by the
zoning of all projects on this site. The EDRC appreciated what
Lowe’s and Kite presented but made sixteen recommendations for
improvement. On June 8th Lowe’s, Kite and their professional design
team returned to the EDRC with their revised plans. After this
review the EDRC praised Kite and Lowe’s for their cooperation and
outstanding store and site design.
On September 12th the developers of
Crossing CPD presented their plans for this large retail site on the
south side of Corkscrew Road just west of the Island Club and
Corkscrew Woodlands residential communities and immediately east of
Estero Town Commons (see article above). The developers are Boston
based JTAD Estero LLC. Their plan for the 41.74 acre site provides
for 310,000 square feet of gross floor area of retail space and a
Two areas for smaller buildings (maximum 62,000 square feet)
would be up front along Corkscrew Road with parking in the rear;
this area is called the Village Square. The larger buildings would
be in the back and could include two big boxes or one big box and a
hotel. The panel and the public made the following suggestions for
change in the plan:
• Free standing bars or cocktail lounges are not permitted in
Estero, they must be connected to a restaurant or hotel,
• Asked the developer to join a coalition of other developers to
help finance the widening of Corkscrew Road between Three Oaks and
• The zoning should include appearance standards for the development
that are at least as good as those adopted by the developers of
Plaza del Sol and
Estero Town Commons, developments immediately
adjacent to the property. Such standards would ensure that all the
projects on the property would be compatible with one another.
• The developer should meet with surrounding communities to discuss
buffering, sidewalks and landscaping.
• When there are specific proposals for big boxes, the Panel will
like to review them.
• Expressed concern about the impact of the project upon the
proposed residential property to the southwest.
• Expressed concern about the flow of traffic from such a large
project at this location, in conjunction with the adjacent large
projects, and the County’s planned configuration of Corkscrew Road.
• Suggested that drive-throughs not be permitted for the small shops
in the front of the property
• Agreed with the developer that if a hotel was built on the site
that the authorized retail space would be reduced by 650 square feet
per hotel room.
• Expressed concern about the height of the hotel if it is to be
located on parcels B or C.
September 14th JED Development presented their plans to the EDRC for
three parcels of Plaza del Sol located between the Corkscrew
Road/Three Oaks Parkway intersection and the western property
entrance along the east side of Three Oaks Parkway. JED’s plans for
the five acre site consist of 53,250 square feet of retail, office
and restaurant uses in two
two-story buildings and three one-story buildings.
As with their other developments JED is proposing a rich Tuscan
architecture with hipped roof towers and façade details that serve
as a unifying theme. Other features of the project include:
• Pedestrian connections between all of the buildings, the
adjacent parcels and the surrounding sidewalks,
• Shared joint parking serving all the buildings,
• Preservation and integration of the large live oaks on the corner
of the property
• Decorative walls connecting the adjacent buildings and concealing
parked vehicles from view from Three Oaks and Corkscrew Road
The developer is asking for a administrative deviation from the
parking setback requirements of the Corkscrew Road Overlay District
in order to construct parking spaces 35 feet from the roadway
property lines instead of 75 feet as required by the Overlay. In one
location this is caused by the large trees that are being preserved,
in the other cases the vehicles are screened from view by the
decorative wall that connects the buildings. Because of the tree
preservation issue and the lift station on the corner the EDRC
indicated that they could support the requested deviation.
The EDRC also made the following suggestions for improving the
design of the project:
• Use of turf block in the parking areas,
• Reduce the number of parking spaces by 2 spaces.
• Install larger trees …they should be 12-14 feet tall at
In August 2002 the developers of the 38 acre site on the
northeast corner of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks Parkway, Sol
Property Development, began to rezone the property to:
• relocate a lake from the highly visible southwest corner of the
property to the back of the property,
• increase the number of tracts, mostly outlots, from 7 to 9,
• add 50,000 square feet of retail space in order to provide a large
parcel for a potential buyer.
The following year Plaza del Sol was zoned for 230,000 square
feet of commercial space on eight outlots and an anchor parcel that
could contain as much as 130,000 square foot store. The zoning
included a condition that all the parcels be developed in compliance
with an extensive set of design standards in addition to the
Corkscrew Road Overlay requirements.
In November and December 2004 the developers of the parcel in the
northwest corner of Plaza del Sol presented their plans for the
Classic Car Wash and four small retail or office spaces on the
western side of the building. After making several major changes at
the request of the EDRC the Committee strongly supported the design
of this project. This project is now nearing completion and will
soon be open for business.
On February and March 2005 the developer of the
Center presented their plans to the EDRC for a large, two story
medical facility to be located on the western 4 acres of the 11 acre
anchor parcel at Plaza del Sol. Once again the EDRC worked with the
developer to implement significant improvements in the site and
building design. The developers of this project have recently
initiated site preparation for the medical center.
On September 14th the
developers of Picaya Bay presented their plans for this medical
office project to the EDRC. The developers of this 3.4 acre site on
the north side of Corkscrew Road just west of Arby’s restaurant have
reduced the number of buildings on the site from four to two
buildings with a total of 25,400 square feet. The plan calls for a
6,000 square foot single story building on the front of the property
and a two story, 19,400 square foot building at the rear.
The site plan includes a gopher tortoise preserve at the rear of
the property and a fence on the west side to shield the project from
the adjacent residential community. The redesign increases the
amount of open space and the number of trees to be preserved.
As with all other buildings in the Corkscrew Road overlay the
front building will be up close to the road and all buildings with
use Mediterranean architecture.
The EDRC recommended that all the trees be larger, 12 to 14 feet
in height and of the 45 gallon variety. Inasmuch as there is a swale
between Arby’s and the site, perhaps an attractive bridge could be
The Town Center
On September 14th the Simon Property Group presented some more of
their design plans for the 166 acre
Coconut Point Town Center to the EDRC. This presentation provided a conceptual overview of the
landscape plans for all three parts of the Town Center. The EDRC
responded favorably to the presentation. Simon also indicated that
Simon’s Design Review Authority ( DRA) had met and reviewed the
Muvico Theater plans and had completed their initial review of
several other shops. These projects will be discussed with the EDRC
at the November meeting. In addition Simon will present their
lighting plans at that meeting.
View an Exciting Video of Simon’s Plans for the
Coconut Point Town Center on the web at
The North Village
The developers of the North Village, Oakbrook Properties,
recently reported the following progress to the EDRC:
The first phase of the infrastructure for the North Village has
been completed. This generally consists of the fire station entrance
road and the main entrance to Rapallo; a portion of the internal
ring road around Rapallo along with associated utilities/drainage;
perimeter buffering/landscaping; the majority of onsite lakes and
the backbone surface water management system. The remaining phase of
infrastructure will be completed by the first of November. This work
consists of the remaining internal ring road to Sandy Lane and to
the Town Center to the south. Signage, including the project
identification monument signs will be completed by the end of the
The North Village subdivision plat has been approved and recorded.
The Rapallo’s first phase of infrastructure is completed, with
approximately 5 building or 40 units with Certificates of Occupancy.
The Halfway Creek wetland flow way restoration has been completed
and an ongoing monitoring program has been put in place.
Sandy Lane Phase 1 construction, from Coconut Road to Williams
Road, is underway, with anticipated completion by April 2006.
Estero Fire Station
is expected to be open by the end of the
The Enclave at
Rapallo is currently under review by Lee Co and SFWMD. This project will consist of 90 multi-family units in the
same building style as in Rapallo.
The South Village
Oakbrook Properties, the firm that is also developing the South
Village, has reported the following progress on this site to the
The infrastructure for the South Village is now under
construction. This consists of the Pelican Colony Blvd Extension
from US 41 to Sandy Lane and the associated utilities/drainage; the
perimeter buffering/landscaping; the majority of onsite lakes and
the backbone surface water management system.
The South Village subdivision plat will be submitted for county
review/approval by the end of the month. Anticipated approval and
recording is August 2006.
Sandy Lane Phase 3 is under construction from Coconut Road to
Pelican Colony Boulevard, with anticipated completion by August
American Land Ventures LLC is proposing to develop Tract 3D with
224 multi-family units in a series of two story buildings. Tract 3D
is located east of Sandy Lane and just west of
Spring Run in the
Brooks. The Coconut Point Design Review Authority (DRA) for the
South Village has approved the development plans, which are
currently under review by SFWMD and Lee County. Anticipated start of
construction is January 2006.
o Centrum-Estero Limited Partnership is proposing to develop Tract
3B with 200 Assisted Living units. Tract 3B is located on the
southwest corner of the intersection of Sandy Lane and Pelican
Colony Boulevard. The Coconut Point South Village DRA has approved
their preliminary plans, with final review/approval to be completed
prior to the Lee County Development Order submittal.
Regency Centers is proposing to develop Tract 3A-1 with 32,500
square feet of general retail. This site is located along the south
side of Coconut Road between Sandy Lane and the entrance to The
Brooks Commerce Center. The Coconut Point South Village DRA has
approved their preliminary plans, with final review/approval to be
completed prior to the Lee County DO submittal.
In addition, Sandy Lane (Phase 2) from Williams Road to Corkscrew
Road is under construction, with anticipated completion in August
Phase II of Paradise Shoppes
On September 14th the Paradise
Development Group presented their plans for Phase 2 of
Paradise Shoppes to the EDRC. Phase 2 is located on Parcel 8, a 6.4 acre
parcel at the north end of the Paradise Shoppes development and just
south of Pelican Sound Boulevard on the west side of US 41. This
project will consist of one 39,755 square foot building to be
constructed in two phases. The building is a colorful, one story
retail structure of Mediterranean design. Other features of the
project include planters, benches, architectural lighting, a unified
signage package, delineated crosswalks and an adjacent landscaped
lake. The developer indicates that the project satisfies the
development’s Design Guidelines that are required by the Paradise
Shoppes zoning resolution. The zoning also requires a 30 foot wide
landscaped buffer in front of the property along US 41.
The EDRC made the following suggestions for improving the
• The committee generally approved of the architectural
appearance of the building but suggested that the design element
around the center of the roofline should be articulate more than in
the proposed design.
• The developers are asking for 442 parking spaces although the Code
would require only 326 spaces. Thus the Committee suggested that
more green space should be provided in lieu of the extra parking.
• Use canopy trees in the islands. Applicant agreed to take this
• Use viburnum rather than ixoras to screen the truck well.
12th the developers of Paradise Shoppes and
Steak n Shake met with
the ECPP and the community to discuss their plans for a restaurant
on Parcel 5 of this 22 acre development. Parcel 5 contains 1.39
acres and is the third parcel north of Williams Road along the west
side of US 41. The restaurant is 4,410 gross square feet in size and
will provide seats for 99 sit down diners and a drive through
The developers are seeking an administrative variance to permit a
drive-through on the south side of the building instead of in the
rear of the building as the zoning requires. The proposed
drive-through would be covered along the side of the building. This
site, along with all the others in
Paradise Shoppes, will be
buffered by the 30 foot wide landscape buffer along US 41 that is
required by the zoning. A landscape cluster will be used to shield
the drive-through from sight along U.S.41. After discussing why the
building could not be reoriented on the property and being assured
that the drive through area would be screened from view from US 41
the panel and the community agreed with the proposal.
On September 12th the developers of
Camargo Trust North 10 Acres, located just north of Pelican Sound
Boulevard along the west side of US 41, presented their plans for
this project to the ECPP for the second time. The first presentation
in April 2005 was a preliminary discussion and was not reported to
the County as is required for final presentations like this one. The
developers propose to divide the 10.95 acre site into six parcels
ranging in size from 1.03 acres to 4.57 acres. The proposed zoning
for the property contains two options:
• Option 1 seeks authority to build 100,000 square feet of retail
or office space, a parking deck and 42 housing units
• Option 2 seeks authority to build 125,000 square feet of retail or
office space and a parking deck.
The developer has made the following four major revisions in
order to satisfy the Panel’s earlier suggestions:
• Improved visual aesthetics along US 41 by eliminating parking
along the roadway; placement of a pond along US 41; prohibition of
drive-throughs along US 41 and the addition of a two story parking
• Create an Urban Village atmosphere by having less surface
parking due to the addition of a parking garage; improving
pedestrian scale/walkability and adding outdoor plazas and sitting
• Limit the height along the northern and western property lines
to two stories and adding a 8-foot wall along the north property
• Change the proposed uses by removing gas pumps, auto service
stations; adding a prohibition on outdoor sales, displays and
storage; deleting drive-throughs along U.S.41 and Pelican Sound
Drive; limiting the car wash to freestanding use only and limiting
convenience and beverage uses to one store and one upscale liquor
The Panel commended the developer on the changes.
Camargo Trust is the 83 acre parcel on the northwest corner of US
41 and Williams Road. Camargo Trust's size ranks it as Estero's
fourth largest mixed use development.
The property has been sold to several developers two of whom will be
selling or leasing several parcels to others for project
The first development, now in operation for about two years, is
the Estero Life Care skilled nursing and Alzheimer care facility.
The nearly 200 bed facility is located on 9.6 acres on the north
side of Williams Road about a quarter mile west of US 41. The second
development within Camargo Trust, and by far its largest, is the
Meadows of Estero, a 250 unit multi-family housing development
located on 50 acres along the western edge of the property. The
Meadows has been under construction since early 2005.
The third development within Camargo Trust is
This project consists of 22 acres along US 41 between Williams Road
and Pelican Sound Boulevard. When completed Paradise Shoppes will
contain eight (8) projects. Thus far the Paradise Shoppes Group has
sought Development Orders for three of those parcels, Walgreen’s and
the two projects discussed above,
Steak n Shake and Phase 2.
The final development within Camargo Trust is
Camargo North 10
On September 14th WCI Communities
presented the EDRC with their plans for a new six story, 125,920
square foot executive office building and four and one half story,
318 vehicle, parking deck. The project is to be located on a 4 acre
parcel along the south side of Coconut Road about one-quarter mile
west of US 41. The height of the office building is 93.5 feet to the
median point of the curved roof, approximately equal to the 95 foot
limit in the present zoning. WCI presented the project to the EDRC
because they believe that it satisfies all the requirements of the
existing zoning, approved in 1994.
The project site is adjacent to two existing residential
developments and one prospective housing development. The four story
parking deck appears to be less than 200 feet from the single story
Elks Club on its west. The parking deck and the office building are
about 300 feet from the nearest condominiums in The Tides of
Landing. The parking deck is about 350 feet from the nearest
condominium in the Coconut Shores development and about 175 feet
from the property line of the residentially zoned parcel within
Coconut Road MPD, recently purchased by JED Development and
according to press reports, is in process of being sold to a
residential developer. When fully occupied the building is expected
to house 500 WCI employees.
The developers describe the architecture of the building as
“Classic Corporate”. There will be some parking on the FPL easement
to the west of the property. Other features include:
• the building and project entry will use pavers,
• native canopy trees will be used extensively,
• a fountain and trellis covered parking will adorn the entrance
motor court, and
• building architectural features will include shadowing, step backs
and an arched roof.
The Committee explained that the Estero Land Development Code
indicates that Mediterranean is the preferred architectural style in
Estero. WCI contended that the Mediterranean only applied to the
Corkscrew Road Overlay District, not all of Estero.
The Committee indicated that the Code requires that the
architecture must be compatible with buildings around the project.
Coconut Point, the adjacent commercial parcels, including WCI’s
existing buildings and the adjacent residential communities are all
Mediterranean. The proposed building is not Mediterranean and is not
likely to be architecturally compatible with the surrounding
Three out of six EDRC members felt the building should be changed
to Mediterranean and when the Estero community residents were
polled, a large majority by a show of hands felt the building
architecture should be changed to Mediterranean.
In response to questions from the residents WCI agreed that the
parking garage would be architecturally pleasing with windows, grill
work and trellises. In addition they intend to use vines in order to
create a green barrier on the garage’s western wall
The committee questioned that height differential between the
building and its parking deck and the immediately adjacent single
story Elks Club and suggested that the County might enforce some
In defense of the roof design WCI indicated they felt a tile roof
would not be hurricane resistant. Finally the applicant agreed to
look at other design solutions and try to reach some common ground
with the Committee.