Estero Community Planning Panel
Minutes of Public Meeting #95 - January 14. 2008
Estero Community Park, Estero, Florida
Panel Members Present: Neal Noethlich, Chairman; Greg Toth , Estero
Development Community, Jack Lienesch, Estero Civic Association; Lin Welch,
Estero Chamber of Commerce; John Goodrich,.Estero Council of Community Leaders;
Dan DeLisi, Estero Development Community. Recording Secretary: Jim Ramsburg,
ECCL; Treasurer: Beverly MacNellis, ECCL.
Noethlich called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
One hundred eight participants were present including 100 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 and on the Web sites of the ECCL/ECPP/
ECA/EDRC and Estero Fire Rescue. A paid advertising notice of the meeting
was placed in the Bonita Banner of January 9th. Notices of the meeting
were posted in the South Regional Library, Colonial Bank, Estero Community Park
and Realty World of Estero.
Ramsburg distributed minutes of the December meeting. Toth: Motion to
accept minutes. Goodrich: Second. Report accepted unanimously.
MacNellis reported a current balance of $2,195.25 in the Community Planning
Panel account on deposit at Colonial Bank in Estero. Goodrich: Motion to accept
Toth: Second. Report accepted unanimously. Lienesch asked if the
income, derived from $100 voluntary fees paid by developers presenting proposals
to the Estero community at EDRC public reviews in conjunction with applications
to Lee County for development orders, will be sufficient to cover expenses going
forward. Noethlich said that the sharp decline in the Estero Community
Plan Fund account balance over past months has been a concern that will have to
be addressed. Major expense categories include EDRC professional secretary
expense, ECPP/EDRC public meeting notice expenses, annual insurance and
corporation filing fees, and the ECPP/EDRC portion of website expenses.
(fka Cypess Shadows):
Ray Blacksmith of Cameratta Properties presented a proposal to change the
previously approved plan for the 350.6 acre site located on the south side of
Corkscrew Road, west of Bella
Terra, three miles east of I-75. Blacksmith explained that Cameratta
Properties bought the site from Lennar Homes in 2007 and market conditions
dictated the changes which do not affect onsite preserves. The new plan
eliminates an 88.5 acre golf course and reduces the total number dwelling units
from 770 to 520. The plan reduces the number of multi-family residences
from 670 to 200 while it raises the single-family units from 100 to 320.
Blacksmith said that the single family lots would be approximately 90 by 160
feet and homes would be built by contractors chosen by purchasers of the lots.
Cameratta requests that the development’s 16.6 acre tract designated for
amenities be zoned CPD to allow construction of a five to seven thousand square
foot restaurant, open to the public, at the development’s main entrance. He also
outlined a number of amenities that will be available to residents.
Noethlich asked if projected traffic on Corkscrew Road would be affected.
Blacksmith replied that a traffic study is currently underway and that a slight
increase is expected. Noethlich said he would like to see more discussion
about the proposal to build a commercial restaurant on the site and what other
commercial uses the developer will propose. He also advised Blacksmith to
discuss the proposal with the Corkscrew Road Service Area (CRSA) Advisory
Committee. Toth’s questioned the CPD requested for the entire 16.5
amenities tract which will include the proposed public restaurant.
Blacksmith said that the developer has no intent to convert any more of the
tract to public commercial use and that the restaurant was to be the only public
use of the CPD.
Wildcat Run resident Gordon
Lyons, co-chair of the Estero Design Review Committee,
citing traffic congestion outside the sports bar at
Stonybrook’s entrance, said
that he would like to see specific plans in the zoning as to the type of
restaurant that is proposed before its approval.
Cody Vaughan-Birch of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., representing
property owner and developer of the five acre site Rick Johnson, presented a
proposal to reduce the width of the landscape buffer between the site and US 41.
Broadway Grande Shoppes is under construction at the northeast corner of US 41
and Broadway in Estero. Vaughan-Birch explained that the planned future widening
of US 41 will require FDOT to obtain land originally designed for the site’s
buffering along US 41. He said that the variance, reducing the buffer at
its narrowest point from 25 feet to ten feet, will not reduce the total amount
of landscaping and plantings within the Type E buffer, adding that
landscape architects have increased the amount of plantings in an effort to
compensate for the loss of width. Noethlich asked if the landscaping would
be high enough to mask cars parked at the site. Vaughan-Birch said it
MacNellis asked about the ownership of the pylon mounted, full sized billboard
located at the front of the property. Johnson said that the billboard sits
on a small space of land leased by the previous owner to the outdoor advertising
company that with no early termination possible.
Lyons recommended that the developer consult with the EDRC concerning the change
in the landscaping. Lienesch suggested that the developer learn FDOT’s
specific plans before any changes are made.
Fred Drovdlic of Quattrone & Associates and landscape architect Josh Kelley
representing the developers presented plans for 150,000 square feet of
self-storage units proposed for the five acre site on the south side of
Corkscrew Road approximately 500 feet east of Stonybrook Drive. The
presentation, focusing on appearance and landscaping, was a followup to address
concerns raised by the Panel in October.
Noethlich and Lyons commented that the plans represented a nice change from
earlier plans. The Panel had no specific criticism of the plans, however,
Toth cautioned that the community is sensitive to the facades of all structures
that can be seen from roadways. Estero LDC requires that any facade with
can be seen from adjacent streets needs to be dressed with architectural details
and landscaping. The Panel relies on Lee County Staff to ensure that
design parameters are met.
Pete Pellinto, Michelle Salberg, Teri Ceronson and Garrett Bender
representing Ascot Development, presented a proposal to amend plans for the 48.2
acre site located at the southwest corner of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks
Parkway. Pellinto said that the mixed use development has been approved as
the site for 234 multi-family units and 90,000 square feet of office and retail
use. The requested changes include a 135,000 square foot “big box” store,
a 20,000 square foot office or retail building and six outparcels of one to two
acres each for commercial or office use. The proposal replaces the 234
residential units with 100 “workforce housing” units - available to those
earning from 80 to 140% of the median income level - on the west side of the
Estero River which bisects the property. Pellinto said that Ascot proposes
the develop the housing in conjunction with Lee County and a grant from the
Community Workforce Housing Initiative Pilot Program, (CWHIP).
Toth asked why Ascot has confidence in obtaining CWHIP participation.
Salberg said that Ascot was meeting with Lee County to pursue it. Lienesch
asked Noethlich if the Panel was prepared to endorse Ascot’s efforts.
Noethlich replied that it was not.
Noethlich asked why a big box retail operation is included in the proposal as
opposed to a greater breakup of stores. Pellinto answered that current market
conditions dictated the decision. Noethlich expressed concern about the
advisability of another big box store in the immediate area and that another big
box at this intersection did not fit the Panel’s vision for that corner.
Pellinto replied that the site’s location would make it attractive to big box
A comment from the audience that no more big box operations were needed in
Estero drew applause. Toth said that he could not endorse the new proposal
as it stands. Public comment and related discussion had to be limited due
to the 8:00 PM closing time for the park building. Noethlich expressed
regret for this circumstance and apologized to the audience.
Noethlich asked that the presenters keep the Panel informed of its negotiations
with Lee County.
Toth: Motion to adjourn. DeLisi: Second. Motion passed
unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 7:59 PM.
NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH, ESTERO COMMUNITY PARK.