COMMUNITY PLANNING PANEL
Minutes of Public Meeting #115 – May 17, 2010
Community Park, Estero, Florida
Panel Members Present:
Jack Lienesch, Civic Association, Chairman; John Goodrich,
ECCL; Ned Dewhirst, Estero development community; Jeff Maas, Estero Chamber of Commerce;
Dan DeLisi, Estero development community; Greg Toth, Founding Member; Erik Dickens, ECCL; Neal Noethlich, Emeritus Chairman; Treasurer:
Bev MacNellis, ECCL and Bill Brown, Recording Secretary, ECCL.
Brown reported that the meeting notice appeared in the Naples Daily Calendar, the Century-Link Estero Events Calendar and Esterofl.org websites. The
notice was posted at the South County Regional Library, Realty World of Estero, the BB&T and Wachovia Banks.
Brown distributed minutes of the April meeting. Goodrich: Motion to accept minutes; Noethlich: Second.
Treasurer Bev MacNellis reported that the current balance of $938.36 is in the Community Planning Panel
account on deposit at the BB&T Bank.
Uptown Larry’s (in Estero Ridge) for Special Exception expanding permitted sale of alcohol for onsite consumption – Will Dempsey.
Dempsey explained that the request is to add four seats and to operate the restaurant until 2 a.m. Noethlich noted that
noise generated by a prior restaurant/bar within the Estero Ridge complex (presumably by outdoor
activities) resulted in complaints from residents at Belle Lago,
and requested assurance that this facility would not operated as a standalone bar and/or outside dinning and consumption. Dempsey
replied that here is no outside seating. Toth indicated he saw no problem. Dickens said he liked the clientele.
Lienesch said the Panel will support the request with the County.
Timberland and Tiburon MDP Amendment – Neale Montgomery.
Montgomery explained that the proposed amendment would decrease the number of residential units and increase commercial retail sf including medical
office. Specifically, residential units would decrease from 1356 units to 1300 units (including ALF); commercial would increase from 7800 sf of retail
to 100,000 sf retail and 150,000 sf of general/medical office; hotel rooms of 200 would remain the same. She introduced the developer’s
representative, Al Moscato, Principal of MN Development Group. Moscato said they were aiming for a
“village” concept with mixed use. He called on John C. English, Vice President, Civil Engineering of
WilsonMiller who explained the proposed water management plan for the site. Ronald T. Talone, Vice
President of David Plumber & Associates discussed traffic issues including entrance and egress proposals.
He said that the project would increase net external traffic by 12%, but because of the increased capacity since the original DRI study by the
addition of Ben Hill Griffin and Estero Parkway, no roadway segments would be adversely impacted. The Panel had concerns with two of the three
proposed deviations. Dickens questioned the need for increasing the building height restriction from the
45 ft. permitted in Estero to 95 feet. Moscato replied that this was for a proposed hotel, but conceded that the full 95 ft. would probably not be
needed. Noethlich and Toth both indicated that the Panel needs to know the location of the proposed hotel
height. Toth and Dickens questioned the justification for restricting public access to the proposed lake along Estero Parkway.
It appeared the applicant was asking for this deviation based on an assumption that it was needed rather than requesting the deviation when it
was known it could not work per the LDC. Lienesch said the Panel is resistant to going along with
restricting public access. Delisi said the proposal appears great and it has good vision, but there is not
enough detail to make an overall judgment. Dewhirst said the project site is a great opportunity for a
special mixed use development due to its location near existing major land uses such as the sports arena and outlet shops, but he would like more
details on such things as how the mixed use would be accommodated, along with pedestrian walkway / bikeway linkages, landscaping, signage, etc.
He suggested a signage/pedestrian/landscaping package and/or design guidelines for the rezoning. He
also was concerned about new commercial uses creeping northward along BHG Parkway. From the audience, Don
Eslick asked about wetlands. Montgomery said there isn’t much, but what there is will be maintained.
Eslick emphasized that appearance standards are essential and should go with any approval. Noethlich was concerned with increased height and increased
In summarizing, Lienesch concluded that the Panel appeared generally in favor of the proposal, but did not have
enough detail for complete support. Montgomery agreed that they would work up more details and come
back to a future meeting.
Updating the Estero Community Plan
(Goal 19 of the LEE PLAN) and Chapter 33 of the LDC. DeLisi outlined the history of Goal 19 which became our Estero
Community Plan in 2000. It spells out a vision and provides guidelines for the development of Estero
including architecture, landscaping, signage, lighting, etc. as well as providing for greater public participation in the development process. Updates
to Goal 19 in 2005 established boundaries for the Estero Planning Community, the Corkscrew Road Overlay, the Sandy Lane Overlay and the US 41 Overlay.
Dan said we need to decide where and how to fill any holes in our plan and to tighten-up definitions to get the results we want. Noethlich
pointed out that the Estero Plan was approved in 2002 by the County Commission after a lot of effort. Toth said county money was essential to pay for
the professional help for the development of the Plan and that funds will be needed to update it.
Lienesch introduced Kathie
Ebaugh who is a new Principal Planner for the Division of Planning for Lee County’s Department
of Community Development. She said that funds are very tight and any budget they get for planning will be made available only on a 50-50 matching
basis with the communities. DeLisi suggested a Saturday Workshop to discuss how to proceed. Noethlich said
we need to clean-up definitions to get the results we want. He pointed to signage specifically. Dewhirst
suggested that signage could be included as part of certain zoning processes. DeLisi pointed out that Mary
Zettel, the County signage officer, has made helpful suggestions which we need to consider. Eslick said we
need to establish priorities – that he won’t raise money for signage through the ECCL, but he can for a comprehensive update to the Estero Plan. He
said he would like to have something ready by the end of the year and he thinks we can raise $100,000 to get the professional help we will need.
It was agreed that Eslick and Noethlich will make plans for a Saturday workshop in the near future to discuss this process further.
Other bullet items –
David Graham Award is moving forward with a
projected announcement in late June
Health Center Sign has been redone and
appears much less offensive
Erik has not yet told Eslick he is resigning
from the ECPP
Chase Bank’s architecture has been reviewed
twice and is due for a third go-around at the EDRC.
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.
MONDAY, JUNE 21st, ESTERO COMMUNITY PARK