COMMUNITY PLANNING PANEL
Minutes of Public Meeting #105 - March
Estero Community Park, Estero, Florida
Panel Members Present: Jack Lienesch,
Chairman, Estero Civic Association; Neal Noethlich, Estero Council of Community
Leaders; Dan DeLisi, Estero Development Community; John Goodrich, ECCL; Greg
Toth, Estero Development Community and Erik Dickens, ECCL.
Recording Secretary: Jim Ramsburg, ECCL;
Treasurer: Beverly MacNellis, ECCL.
Absent: Lin Welch, Estero Chamber of Commerce.
Public Participation: Lienesch called the
meeting to order at 6:04 PM.
Twenty-eight participants were present including 20 members of the general
public. Ramsburg reported that
public notices of the meeting were distributed to 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
the community Web site,
Notices of the meeting were posted in the South Regional Library,
Colonial Bank and Estero Community Park.
Secretary’s Report: Ramsburg distributed
minutes of the February meeting.
Goodrich: Motion to accept minutes.
Report accepted unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report:: MacNellis reported a
current balance of $1,090.41in the Community Planning Panel account on deposit
at Colonial Bank in Esterohttp://www.estero.org..
Toth: Motion to accept report Goodrich:
University Highlands Presentation: Attorney
Neale Montgomery of the Pavese Law Firm led a team of presenters including John English and Dan Waters of Wilson-Miller Development, Al
Moscato and David Nassif of NM Development Group and Joseph Grubbs of Johnson
Engineering. The group narrated a Power
Point presentation in support of the 209 acre site bounded on the west by US
I-75, on the east by Ben Hill Griffin Road, on the north by the new Estero
Parkway addition and on the south by Germain Arena.
Moscato said his group proposes to sell 110 acres of the site to Lee
County for “Fenway South,” the new spring baseball facilities of the Boston Red
Sox which will include a stadium and six practice fields.
University Highlands is one of four sites under consideration for the
project. Wilson addressed
environmental concerns by describing the property as melaleuca infested and
uninhabited by wildlife. English
illustrated the site’s points of access from Estero Parkway and Ben Hill Griffin
Road. He presented information to
contradict FEMA information that the site was in a flood plain.
Montgomery explained that site will require a zoning change to a Mixed
Use Development which its proponents estimate will result in an economic impact
of $230 million. Moscato added that
a retail and entertainment center, “Yawkey Way South,” is also planned for the
site adjacent to the baseball complex.
Addressing concerns of traffic overloads on Corkscrew Road
between US I-75 and Ben Hill Griffin Road, Mark Gillis outlined proposals to
create two left turn lanes on eastbound Corkscrew to northbound Ben Hill
Griffin, create two right turn lanes from southbound Ben Hill Griffin to
westbound Corkscrew, and create two right turn lanes from westbound Corkscrew to
northbound Ben Hill Griffin. He said
the ultimate solution is to six-lane Corkscrew from I-75 to Ben Hill Griffin.
Noethlich asked English to detail traffic flow estimates.
English responded that traffic estimated to result from Red Sox spring
training games was averaged into 12 month projections for Estero Parkway and Ben
Hill Griffin Road. He added that
game traffic would be handled by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department as Special
Events Traffic with deputies present to direct traffic.
Toth congratulated the developers and endorsed the site.
In response to DeLisi’s question, Montgomery said that the site is
currently zoned for 1,500 residential units and 200 hotel rooms.
DeLisi estimated that the residences and hotel would generate a higher 12
month traffic impact that the proposed baseball complex. He endorsed the
University Highlands site.
A question was asked from the floor about future traffic
impact and safety on Estero Parkway at US 41 and Estero Parkway at Three Oaks
Boulevard when the Estero Parkway extension is opened, connecting US 41 and
Three Oaks to Ben Hill Griffin. It
was generally agreed that a traffic signal is imminent for Estero Parkway at US
41. A signal is already operating at
Estero Parkway’s intersection with Three Oaks.
Midtowne Estero: The Panel revisited the
development proposed for the southwest corner of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks
Boulevard. Lienesch said that
the Lee County Board of County Commissioners would consider Ascot Development’s
revised proposal, which includes the reduction of retail space from 300,000 to
200,000 square feet with the largest, single user structure no greater than
99,999 square feet. He added that
the Estero Council of Community Leaders had deferred to the Panel for a
community response to the proposal.
Noethlich prepared and distributed an eleven point response for Panel review.
The response was critical of the proposal for its commercial density,
estimated traffic problems and environmental concerns.
Lienesch distributed a site map illustrating the traffic situation.
The Panel discussed each point in detail and endorsed the statement with
David Graham Award: It was announced that the
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort has been entered in the 2009 competition for
design excellence in the Estero Community Planning Area.
Chapter 33 Signage Amendments: A meeting to
structure a Public Workshop to address signage details contained in the Lee
County Land Development Code specific to Estero - Chapter 33, has been scheduled
has been scheduled for 9 AM, Tuesday, March 31st,
at the offices of DeLisi-Fitzgerald in
Secretary Replacement: Lienesch reported that
Ramsburg has submitted his resignation as recording secretary.
Bill Brown has been appointed to replace him.
Marsh Landing Concerns:
residents Jack Mansfield and LuAnn Houseman presented concerns of community
residents regarding the buffering between the east side of the residential
development and the adjacent Tulip Trace commercial development.
Noethlich offered to guide the couple to the proper county authorities.
DeLisi: Motion to adjourn.
Motion passed unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.
NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM,
MONDAY, MAY 18TH, ESTERO COMMUNITY PARK.