Estero Community Planning Panel
Public Meeting # 74
April 10, 2006
Marsh Landing Clubhouse, Estero, Florida
Panel Members Present:
Neal Noethlich, Chairman; Don Eslick, Estero Council of Community Leaders;
Mike Cato, Estero Fire Rescue; Jack Lienesch, Estero Civic Association; Carl
Barraco, Estero Chamber of Commerce; Guest: Gordon Lyons, Estero Design Review
Committee. Treasurer: Fran Wagner, ECA. Recording Secretary: Jim Ramsburg, ECCL.
Absent: Greg Toth , Estero Development Community;. Dan DeLisi, Estero
Noethlich called the meeting to order at 6:01PM.
Seventy-four participants were present including 66 members of the general
public. Ramsburg reported that public notices of the meeting were published in
the Fort Myers News-Press, the Bonita Daily News and the Bonita Banner. Notices
were posted on the Internet in the Estero Development Report, news-press.com,
the esterofl.org Web site of the ECCL/ECPP/ECA/EDRC and on the Web site of
Estero Fire Rescue. A paid advertising notice of the meeting was placed in the
Bonita Banner of April 8. Meeting notices were posted in Lee County South
Regional Library, Colonial Bank and the Estero office of Realty World.
Wagner reported a current balance of $6,516.24 in the Community Planning
Panel account on deposit at the Colonial Bank in Estero. Eslick: Motion to
accept Lienesch: Second. Report accepted unanimously.
Noethlich distributed minutes of the March meeting. Eslick: Motion to accept
minutes. Lienesch: Second. Minutes accepted unanimously.
Mo Kader and Jay Thabara of U.S. Water Services Corp. of New Port Richey
presented plans for a proposed 20 x 50 x 3 foot waste water retention pond
adjacent to its existing maintenance building on the grounds of Fountain Lakes
Sewer Corporation adjacent to the southwest corner of the
Fountain Lakes residential
community in Estero. The facility serves approximately 1,200 residences in the
Fountain Lakes and nearby Marsh
Landing communities. The pond is proposed to prevent discharge of reclaimed
water to adjacent wetlands, particularly during the rainy seasons. Lienesch
questioned the need for the pond. Kader responded that it was insurance against
a rain event that would overwhelm the existing system which consists of three
percolation ponds totaling 194,140 sq. ft. of surface area. No objections were
raised against the proposal.
Sean Weeks of SRW Engineering presented two possibilities for development by
Estero Palms II. The first proposes 32
single family homes on ten acres, the second proposes 48 single family homes on
15 acres, (with the addition of five adjacent acres). Weeks said that a traffic
impact study is scheduled for the project which will impact Block Lane and River
Ranch Road. Residents of nearby homes raised questions about the distance and
landscape buffering between their properties and the proposed development. Weeks
said Lee County buffering standards would be met. Noethlich reminded everyone of
the opportunities to question and challenge provisions of the proposal during
the County review process. Weeks said that he would leave business cards and
assured the Panel the SRW Engineering and its Estero Palms II clients would make
themselves available to meet with residents who may consider their properties
are affected by the proposed development to discuss the proposal.
Update of Estero on the River Mixed Use
Chuck Basinait of Henderson Franklin representing The D'Jamoos Group,
developers of the 90.2 acre, (including 4.95 acres of ROW),
proposed mixed-use development at the northeast corner of US 41 and Corkscrew
Road in Estero, lying on both sides of the Estero River, presented an
informational update from the original presentation on March 10, 2005. Basinait
said that questions raised during the first presentation have been addressed in
the interim. He reported that the proposal now requests 530 single and
multi-family residential units, approximately 34,500 square feet of medical
office space, 52,500 square feet of general office space, 177,000 square feet of
retail space including a 100 room boutique hotel and 36,000 square feet of civic
space designated to be the site of
Gulf Shore Playhouse. He cited one revision of street planning within the
development that would discourage use of the site as a shortcut for traffic
attempting to avoid the intersection of east bound Corkscrew and northbound US
41. Answering earlier questions about the proposed development's treatment of
Estero River which flows through the property, Basinait said that the river
would be available for public access with restoration planned for each side of
the river and no development allowed directly on the river. He itemized several
existing historic buildings on the site that would be transferred to new
locations and several structures approximately 40 to 50 years old that are not
considered of historic consequence and would be removed. He also noted four
structures of historic interest that would remain on the site. He said the
development would internalize building height with its shortest buildings near
the perimeters of the property and its tallest buildings of 60 feet located at
Eslick pointed out that a total of 300,000 square feet of commercial space on
17 acres amounts to a higher density than normal. Basinait agreed and said that
this was done to accommodate mixed use development and additional green space on
the property. He added that the requests of the proposal might be downsized if
detailed design of the site finds them impractical for traffic and parking.
Eslick asked about community areas of the development to encourage
residential use of areas within the property. Basinait said that the area along
the river would be a linear park with preservation, restoration and walkways.
Baracco asked for the width of preserved lands along the Estero River. Basinait
responded that 50 foot buffers would be established on each side of the river,
creating the linear park for the general public to enjoy. Leinesch asked about
the shared parking concept which Basinait explained would employ, for example,
the parking area of Gulf Shore Playhouse, generally vacant during the daytime
which would be available for office and retail parking. Noethlich asked how the
boating public would be accommodated in
the development. Basinait said consideration would be given that aspect during
its detailed planning. Noethlich stated that the development would an ideal site
for true mixed use development and said the Panel would support it. Basinet
responded that this specific project did not require the element of true mixed,
residential-over-retail, development to achieve the objective of maximized use.
Noethlich asked if the development's calculations include the possible
realignment of Sandy Lane. Basinait replied that it would not greatly affect the
Georgia Nelson of the Estero Historical Society
appropriateness of the Mediterranean style of design proposed for the community
and itemized the various structures of historical value on the property.
Basinait added in closing that The D'Jamoos Group would advance up to
$1,000,000 to expedite the widening of US 41adjacent to the west side of the
Montecristo Residential Planned Development
Catherine Backos of Newport Bay Corporation assisted by representatives of
ConsulTech Development Services presented revised plans for
Montecristo, an 820 residential unit
development proposed for the south side of Corkscrew Road adjacent to the east
side of Wildcat Run. Plans call for 130 single family homes and 690 multi-family
residences in buildings of four, six, eight, 12 and 18 units. No commercial uses
are planned for the development and 60% of the total site is designated for
preserve for existing flow way and wildlife habitat. The proposal includes two
gated access points, its main entrance on Corkscrew Road and a secondary point
connecting to Wildcat Run. Backos said that this was done to provide both
Montecristo and neighboring Wildcat Run with a common exit from the area to
Corkscrew Road to encourage construction of traffic signals at the intersection.
Noethlich and the Panel complimented the plan for its 1) Elimination of
commercial uses and 2) Locating structures for the purpose of preserving flow
way and wildlife corridor areas.
Plans include buffering of the east and west borders and along Corkscrew
Road. No development blasting is requested. Alissa Bierma of The Conservancy
requested that project lighting not expose the preserve to artificial light.
Other audience questions dealt with water flows into the moat which separates
the project from Wildcat Run, the types of residential buildings and
interconnection with Wildcat Run. The applicant indicated that they would
present again to the Panel and Community after receiving comments from SWFWD.
Neale Montgomery of Pavese Law Firm and Jon Hagen of Banks Engineering
presented the preliminary proposal for the
33.5 acre site located on
the east side of Three Oaks Parkway approximately 1,400 feet south of Corkscrew
Road to contain 249 residences in 17 buildings of up to 16 two story units.
Several concerns were raised about the development's buffering which Montgomery
and Hagen said would be addressed to satisfy county regulations and marketing
advantages. Lee Department of Transportation will need to address the requests
for deviations related to ingress/egress and separation distances for the two
proposed entrances off Three Oaks Parkway as well as traffic impacts on Three
Oaks and Corkscrew Road.
David Graham Award for Excellence in Planning, Design & Construction: Baracco
reported that he in Lienesch met with Bill Brysi and Joe McHarris of the Estero
Design Review Committee with a second meeting scheduled to again discuss the
specifics of the award. Progress was reported. Another report will be made at
Noethlich reported hearing from Bob Thinnes at Lee County questioning if the
Panel fully understood the site plan
presented by the applicant in regards to commercial space which the panel
understood as a 43,000 square foot bank building, a 34,200 square foot second
building and an 11,000 square foot third building. Thinnes pointed out that the
second building is proposed to be three stories, thus increasing the commercial
space by 68,400 square feet. Noethlich also reports that the applicant's list of
proposed uses, not before seen by the Panel, is extraordinarily long and does
not match the stated proposed use for the building, that of a storage facility.
Barraco: Motion to direct Noethlich to invite developers to appear before the
panel with specific site and use plans. Eslick: Second. Motion carried
Eslick: Motion to adjourn. Lienesch: Second. Motion passed unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM.
NEXT MEETING: 6 PM, MONDAY, MAY 8th, MARSH LANDING CLUBHOUSE