Estero Community Planning Panel
Public Meeting #100
Estero Community Park, Estero, Florida
Panel Members Present:
Neal Noethlich, Chairman, Estero Council of Community
Leaders; Jack Lienesch, Vice Chairman, Estero Civic Association; Greg Toth ,
Estero Development Community; John Goodrich, Estero Council of Community
Leaders; Tom O’Dea, ECCL and EDRC; Dan DeLisi, Estero Development Community.
Recording Secretary: Bill Brown, ECCL; Treasurer: Beverly MacNellis, ECCL. Noethlich called the meeting to order at 6:10 PM.
Forty-six participants were present including
thirty-six members of the general public. Brown reported that public
notices of the meeting appeared 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/EDRC/ECA, the
News-Press, the Bonita Daily News and Estero Fire Rescue. A paid
advertising notice of the meeting was placed in the Bonita Banner of July 16th. Notices of the meeting were posted in the South Regional Library, Colonial Bank,
Wachovia Bank and Realty World of Estero.
Brown distributed minutes of the May meeting. O’Dea asked
that his EDRC affiliation be noted. Goodrich: Motion to accept minutes as
amended. Toth: Second. Report accepted unanimously.
MacNellis reported a July 15 balance of $1,009.82 in the
Community Planning Panel account on deposit at Colonial Bank in Estero. Toth:
Motion to accept Goodrich: Second. Report accepted
100th Meeting Recognition:
Noethlich opened the meeting by recognizing
individuals and groups that helped the ECPP: Don Eslick, the Council of
Community Leaders, the Estero Civic Association, the Estero Chamber of Commerce,
Wayne Daltry, Neale Montgomery, the Estero Historical Society, South County
Regional Library, Marsh Landing and Rapallo. Organization of the ECPP began in
the year 2000 and the Estero Community Plan was born in January 2002. He gave
special recognition to Mitch Hutchcraft and Dan DeLisi for providing the
planning expertise in drafting the Estero Plan which was approved by the County
Commission as part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Noethlich quoted from A
Citizens Guide to the Nuts and Bolts of the Florida Growth Management Process,
published by 1,000 Friends of Florida, to illustrate how the ECPP had operated.
He said 4,000 people had attended 70 developer presentations. He emphasized that
public participation is the most important part of the process.
Developer Presentation: Estero 35
Estero 35 at the northeast corner of U.S. 41 and
Broadway East by Stacy Ellis Hewett, director of Planning, Brooks Engineering;
Neale Montgomery, Esq.; and Paul B. Roberts, Principal, Southland Group.
Montgomery said the Southland Group was requesting rezoning of the 34.41 acres
from Agricultural (AG-2) to a Mixed Use Planned Development (MPD) with 204
multiple-family units, 220,000 s.f. of commercial uses with a maximum of 100,000
s.f. of retail and 100 hotel rooms with a maximum height of 3 stories/ 45 feet
for residential and the hotel and 2 stories/35 feet for commercial use. The
Panel objected that what was being proposed was not true Mixed Use, such as is
found in Coconut Point where there are residences above retail stores, but
rather a commercial development facing U.S. 41 and hotel and residences in the
back with entrance off Broadway. Interconnections are planned with Ken Johnsons
to the south and Cypress Bend to the north. DeLisi said the proposed project
doesn’t meet the guidelines for Mixed Use and suggested the part of the project
on Broadway should use an Old Florida design such is found on the new church
shop across the street. Toth indicated before the Panel should consider giving
any approval to this proposed project they should see a detailed site plan and
U.S.41 widening should be underway before the project is begun. Montgomery
replied that they expect the widening to have started in 2010 when the project
will be ready to go and that they will return to the Panel with a detailed site
plan. Toth and Noethlich both indicated that the Schedule of Uses needed to be
pared and Noethlich said that he would follow-up with the developer on this.
Toth emphasized the need for the developer to meet with Cypress Bend residences.
Lienesch pointed out that when the Panel heard a previous owner in March of 2005
there was concern by Cypress Bend residences about looking up at a 45 foot
building. He suggested that the project should be contingent on widening U.S. 41
and that drive-thrus should be limited. Noethlich expressed concern about what
this would do to Broadway, especially since this is part of the historic area of
Estero. Sis Newberry strongly stated that Broadway can’t handle any more traffic
and two representatives of Cypress Bend indicated that they are not happy with a
hotel looming over them.
Discussion: Lienesch reported that St Mark Church had inquired about making a
zoning change to build a church at the corner of Horne Lane and River Ranch
Road. He also said the County Commission had postponed consideration of
Estero from August until September 15.
Neal Noethlich submitted a letter of resignation as Chairman of the
Planning Panel effective at the conclusion of this meeting and as one of the two
appointed ECPP Directors representing the Estero Council of Community Leaders,
effective upon the appointment of his replacement by the ECCL. DeLisi moved and
it was agreed that Noethlich would become a member emeritus once his successor
is named. Lienesch was unanimously elected as the new Chairman.
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM
NEXT PANEL MEETING: MONDAY August 18, 6:00 PM, Estero Community Park