ESTERO COMMUNITY PLANNING PANEL
Minutes of Public Meeting #146 - March 18, 2013
Estero Community Park, Estero, Florida
CALL TO ORDER:
The Meeting was called to order at 5:04 p.m. by Chairman Lienesch.
Panel Members Present:
Jack Lienesch, Chairman, Estero Community Association; Neal Noethlich, Emeritus Chairman; Paul Roberts, Estero Development Community; Roger Strelow, ECCL; and Howard Levitan, Secretary. Absent: John Goodrich, ECCL, Ned Dewhirst, Estero Development Community, Greg Toth, Founding member, Jeff Maas, Estero Chamber of Commerce and Bev MacNellis, Treasurer.
Also present: Kathie Ebaugh from Lee County Community Development and Bill Prysi from EDRC.
Secretary Levitan reported that the meeting notice was posted on the ECPP website. He noted that a quorum of the ECPP was not present for this meeting, and it would be deemed a workshop session.
Minutes of the prior meeting. Chairman Lienesch noted that the minutes of the February 18, 2013 meeting had been vetted by the Panel, and the updated version is posted on our ECPP website.
In Treasurer MacNellis' absence, Chairman Lienesch reported a balance of $315.43 in the checking account. Two checks received last week from EDRC have not been deposited yet. He noted that the ECPP needs to specify on checks which we receive the property that it relates to, in order for the Treasurer to accurately record the income.
1. Limited Review Development Orders. Kathie Ebaugh from Lee County Community Development Department made a presentation about proposed changes to the Lee Development Code. These changes eliminate limited review development orders from the public participation requirements of the LDC. Bill Prysi said this was acceptable to the EDRC, since it was unlikely to involve significant projects which would require more scrutiny. The Estero provisions as to landscaping, and other provisions of the Estero portion of the LDC, will still apply, however, a public hearing would not be necessary with respect to Limited Review DOs. The sense of those present at the workshop was favorable to these proposed changes.
1. Community Plan.
a. Completion of Contract. Since we do not have a quorum at this meeting, Chairman Lienesch announced that we will postpone most of this discussion until we have a quorum present. He advised the group that our Consultant, Dan Delisi has left his company for a new position as Chief of Staff of South Florida Water Management. Dan had agreed to see this submission through to its completion, however his new position will not allow this to occur.
Chairman Lienesch noted that we are getting pretty close to a consensus with the various community groups as to the language of the Plan. We are talking about a new map which is reflected in the Framework Plan Maps, which sets out where we want critical components in Estero. We will propose this for adoption by the BOCC. We are also proposing the Historic Core Area overlay area.
Regarding the Contract with Delisi &Fitzgerald for consulting services, Chairman Lienesch stated that he will propose that the ECPP sign a follow-up contract to complete the work with Bill Prysi’s firm, Land Architects Inc. Lienesch will also be meeting with Nick Batos from ECCL on this matter.
b. Public Participation language. The County has developed a new Community Elements section which they intend to apply to all of the different planning communities. In the ECCL Comments, they added two sentences in 14.7.3 which are in addition to the current Estero language which has been picked up as a part of the new Community Elements. Howard Levitan and Roger Strelow offered to redraft the Estero public participation language so that it will work in conjunction with the Community Elements language. EDRC is set up as a sub-committee of ECPP and they will reference this as well in the redraft. County Staff may be concerned about this language, however, we plan to make these proposals as additions to the Community Elements in our Community Plan.
c. DR/GR language. ECPP intends to keep this language in the redraft for the staff to review and comment.
d. Process. Kathie Ebaugh went on to report that the Land Use Element will be released to the public tomorrow for review. This is going to LPA on Monday, but likely it will be reviewed in at least two LPA meetings. Ebaugh will send the electronic version of the Land Use Element to ECPP as soon as it is available. The Horizon Council is still reviewing the various redrafted elements, and the administrative element is still being written. It is likely that ECPP will have until the Fall for all of the elements in the Lee Plan to be completed for a final review. Three communities have been reviewing their Community Plans during this process, and the Staff may roll these community revisions into the full Lee Plan approval process. The result is that ECPP will have plenty of time to get the final community plan (not the LDC portions) to the Staff in either May or June. To summarize Levitan and Strelow will revise the language of the public participation policy with the Community Elements. All other changes in the revised Community Plan should come to Levitan as secretary for coordination.
2. Other ECPP Issues:
a. Workshop with Seth Harry and ECCL. One Issue is the supposed 7 Million Square Feet of un-built but zoned commercial properties. Ned Dewhirst looked at this and came up with much less than 7 Million Square feet of space. For example Walmart is essentially done. Also MidTown Estero will be residential. It is still likely with the addition of undeveloped out parcels in previously zoned developments that the actual figure is somewhere between 2.3 million square feet and 7 Million. It was the sense of those present that regardless of the actual number, there is value in continuing to study how we will handle these properties in the future and how to incentivize high quality development and smart growth.
With respect to this workshop, it was concluded that, under Sunshine Laws, only one Panel Member will be able to go to the Workshop at a time. Prysi and other members of the EDRC will be there, along with Levitan and Noethlich (not panel members). Strelow and Goodrich plan to attend at different times as long as no other panel member of ECPP is present.
b. David Graham Award. ECPP awarded this to Lowes last week at the ULI Meeting in Fort Myers. The City Manager gave a talk and then David Farmer, chair of SW Florida ULI , introduced the ECPP. Chairman Lienesch and Treasurer MacNellis presented the award. Wayne Costa accepted the award on behalf of Lowes.
c. Bylaw Revisions. Howard Levitan presented the changes to the Bylaws which he drafted based on the existing format. Since a quorum was not present, this will be brought to the next meeting for approval. There was a discussion of the definition of “development community” with respect to the two panel positions specified in this category, especially since it is not defined. Bill Prysi thought this language was limited to developers and should be broadened to include professionals within the development community. Others present thought it was already broad enough to include professionals and that no changes needed to be made. There also was a discussion of the role and responsibilities of the EDRC. The Issue is whether we want to codify how the EDRC, as a sub-committee of ECPP conducts its business and how they are appointed. Bill Prysi and Neal Noethlich will provide Howard Levitan with more information about the historical roots of EDRC, its current make up, and its procedures, and Levitan will redraft the Bylaw draft accordingly.
d. Website. The ECPP portion of the ECCL website is formally in need of a lot of change. Kim Dailey is invaluable to us at a very reasonable cost. We need to give her more current information.
e. Member Issues: No member issues were discussed
Next Meeting is on April 15, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. at Estero Community Park. The Meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
Howard Levitan, Secretary