ESTERO COMMUNITY PLANNING PANEL
Minutes of Public Meeting #139 –
June 18, 2012
Estero Community Park,
Panel Members Present: Jack Lienesch,
Chairman, Estero Community Association; Neal Noethlich, Emeritus
Chairman; Ned Dewhirst, Estero Development Community; John
Goodrich, ECCL; Greg Toth,
Founding Member; Paul Roberts, Rockford Development Group; Judy Beach,
Recording Secretary, ECCL; and Bev MacNellis, Treasurer. Absent:
Jeff Maas, Estero Chamber of Commerce
Also present: Mikki Rozdolski; Zoning Sr.
Planner; and Nettie Richardson, Zoning Principal Planner, Division
of Planning, Lee County Department of Community Development; Rob Price,
Lee County; and Daniel DeLisi, DeLisi Fitzgerald, Inc.
Public Notice: Beach reported that the
meeting notice was posted at the South County Regional Library, BB&T,
Wachovia and Fifth Third Banks and on the ECPP website.
Approval of Minutes: Goodrich: Motion
to waive the reading of the minutes of the April 16, 2012 meeting and
accept them as written. Dewhirst: Seconded. Accepted
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer MacNellis
reported a balance of $1,468.81. Goodrich: Motion to accept the
report. Dewhirst: Seconded. Accepted unanimously.
Mikki Rozdolski and Rob Price presented new
proposed parking regulations for Lee County. Other than occasional
minor amendments, parking regulations for unincorporated Lee County
have not changed since 1986. Rationale for future reduced parking
requirements and the new “multiple-use” category was explained. Mikki
shared a powerpoint presentation with the panel, highlighting that these
revisions are based on Staff review of national planning studies,
technical reports and other neighboring jurisdictional requirements.
Two minor changes to Estero’s Section 33-461 are being implemented.
The bottom line is reduced parking requirements for many non-residential
uses which could result in some building expansions in the county.
The panel supported the county effort.
Mikki also reviewed the Lee Plan updates that are
underway that will affect Estero’s Vision and Goals. Our panels
had reviewed these recommendations last January, but in the final
editing several inaccuracies were uncovered. The primary changes
involve Objective 19.5: Public Participation. This entire
section will be moved to a new goal that will guide the entire community
planning process, rather than just Estero’s, reflecting that now there
are several more communities in the county that have planning panels
such as ours.
Horizon Council Recommentations
Panel members reviewed, at length, five major
issues of the Horizon Council recommendations regarding streamlining
zoning and DO processes. Jack Lienesch will summarize the
discussion and write an email to the county commissioners with tonight’s
comments summarized. (That cmail is included as an attachment to these
minutes to ensure it is documented on our website.)
The Board of County Commissioners met today
regarding the Future Land Use Map amendment that deals with this
development (in the DR/GR, just East of our planning boundary on
Corkscrew Road). Roger Strelow attended and reported the outcome of 4 to
1 vote in favor of the staff/applicant consensus solution which the ECCL
supported. This is an important first step in the long process to
get this 800 acre property rezoned and approved for a higher density
residential development by Camaratta.
Community Plan Update
Dan DeLisi reminded everyone that the panel had
received a detailed status report by email from Bill Prysi within the
last few days. Bill plans to have an EDRC workshop on many of
these topics as soon as he can ensure enough members will be present.
Dan and Jeff Rapson reviewed the land and water access in Estero last
week (by car and boat). They are focusing on opportunities
and constraints at this time and Dan indicated that their deliverable
product will begin to gel later in the summer. He noted that the
first tangible deliverable is not due until September.
He indicated that a specific workshop on signage
will be required and asked for help with the logistics of ensuring
proper attendance. Jeff indicated the chamber could help.
Jamie Grofik from Simon Properties also indicated an interest in
helping. A panel member indicated he knew a sign company which
worked on some of the Miromar signs that might be persuaded to
participate as well. Neal asked about real estate signs. A
member noted that Matt Uhle would be the attorney to ask about those.
Greg indicated there should be language to indicate the length of time a
RE sign can be present. Dan also requested that anyone with
examples of “tasteful” electronic signs (photographs, etc.) should send
them to him.
Jack indicated he had drawn up a grant request to
help study electronic signs and submitted it to Clare Hauenstein, but
had not heard anything since.
Jack quickly reviewed the notes which he had
already distributed to everyone from the EDRC meeting on June 13th
regarding the Wal*Mart presentation. He also noted that Neale
Montgomery had stated that they will be returning to present to our
panel after they finish the building review with the EDRC, and will
discuss the outlot situation and permitted uses for same. She
indicated they needed time to digest the input from the EDRC meeting
Coconut Point Noise Status
John Goodrich reported that a HEX hearing will be
held at the County Building, at 9 a.m., June 21, 2012 regarding the
Coconut Point request for
outdoor entertainment. Last year we reviewed in detail the
safeguards put in place to ensure no objectionable noise could be heard
from surrounding residential properties. Jamie Grofik (mall
manager) was asked how that process was working. She indicated
there had been only three calls since the process was instituted.
The panel concluded that Coconut Point has a good response system in
David Graham 2012
No update as to status of our suggested winner
for 2012. Greg indicated he had a potential submission for 2013.
Effective for the July meeting, Judy Beach,
recording secretary, resigns due to conflicting schedules.
Goodrich: Motion to adjourn meeting. Noethlich:
Seconded. Accepted unanimously.
Panel was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
NEXT REGULAR MEETING:
Monday, July 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m., Estero
Attachment – Memo to
County Commissioners regarding the Horizon Council Proposal
Dear Commissioners Manning, Bigelow, Judah, Hall and Mann:
At the June Estero Planning Panel meeting, the
panel members spent considerable time going over each of the recent
recommendations made by the Business Issues Task Force of the Horizon
Council that had been presented and discussed at an M&P meeting on June
4th. As you know, several members of our panel are developers and
know and have experienced most of the issues from both sides of the
table. I won't detail the discussion on each bullet item in
the five sections, but I can summarize in stating the panel is in
general agreement with all of the Sufficiency Review Process
recommendations. These are primarily process issues and can prove
burdensome depending on what actions the staff takes. These changes
require guidelines for the staff that applicants can understand.
On the Submittal Requirements section,
we question the need for not requiring narratives as part of a rezoning
sufficiency review and we do not agree with the point of not requiring
upgrades for minor improvements. Estero is justifiably proud of
our buffering and landscaping requirements and feel that they help make
us a special place in Lee County. Although these points are referred to
as "being implemented administratively", we would caution that this can
be dangerous depending on the staff interpretation of words such as
"minor", “reasonably possible”, "common sense" and "upgrade". Again, to
make these changes workable, the County Staff needs published guidelines
that applicants can understand and that are not left for interpretation.
On the Rezoning Process section, we have
strong reservations about the task force recommendations. Although
Estero is essentially free of Conventional Zoning Districts in our major
development areas, we feel any Carte Blanche granting of zoning
changes anywhere in the County can be dangerous without restrictions or
certain thresholds. We are also very concerned about loosening the
requirements for administrative amendments. Estero's panel and design
review committee can accommodate developer requests quickly and
electronically for minor updates. We have done this frequently in the
past without requiring a public meeting unless we see concerns that may
arise in neighboring residential developments. Again, the words and
phrases "reasonable" and "not contrary to the public interest" and "do
not have significant external impacts" are certainly subject to
interpretation. We would favor erring on the safe side to provide a
public forum to address such amendments.
With regard to the concerns expressed about the
expiration of MCPs, we are sympathetic to the development community when
a project lands in "zoning limbo" due to such an expiration. However,
several examples were brought up at our meeting that might impact this
-- what if a road fails between the approval of a MCP and its
expiration? What if surrounding land uses have changed and would
conflict with approved uses? What about additional environmental
restrictions that become important? In general we are uncomfortable
with having no expiration date for MCPs for many of the reasons stated
The biggest concern we have, by far, is the
proposed restrictions on the Community Plan Review Processes in Section
V. When we were the only planning panel in Lee County, we worked hard
to ensure our planning panel and design review
committee members were technically qualified, properly chosen and
appropriately assigned to ensure a balanced approach to the review
process. This has taken years to achieve and we are proud of our
accomplishments in Estero. We agree that the review process for both
zoning and DO approvals can be improved, but we are in total
disagreement that this can be accomplished by removing any community
review procedures and requirements for public meetings. We have
endeavored never to be a holdup to a developer -- if they request a
meeting for an administrative amendment the day after our scheduled
public meeting was held, we can (and often have) reviewed them
electronically among the panel or committee and supported them within
two to three days of receiving the request. As has been stated many
times, community planning panels are NOT approval bodies. We cannot
block any developer from ignoring our concerns and proceeding directly
to the HEX. Our primary function is to vet their proposals before our
community to ensure all concerns and questions are heard.
The panel agrees that a uniform procedure for
public presentations before community planning panels should be
established. It should be driven by the DCD and Estero will be more
than willing to participate. A developer should be able to know that
wherever he goes in the County for public review of a proposed
development, the package he needs to bring would be uniform and
I know that this discussion has only just begun,
but we hope to be able to participate in the ongoing activities going
Jack Lienesch, Chairman
Estero Community Planning Panel
(Sent June 19th, 2012)