Estero Community Planning Panel
Public Meeting # 101
October 20. 2008
Estero Fire Rescue Building, Estero, Florida
Panel Members Present:
Jack Lienesch, Estero Civic Association. Chairman; Neal Noethlich, Estero
Council of Community Leaders; Greg Toth, Estero Development Community; Dan
DeLisi, Estero Development Community; John Goodrich, ECCL; Tom O’Dea, Estero
Design Review Committee sat in for Lin Welch. Treasurer: Bev MacNellis,
ECCL. Recording Secretary: Jim Ramsburg, ECCL. Lienesch called the meeting
to order at 6:03 PM.
Twenty-three participants were present including 15 members of the general
public. Ramsburg reported that public notices of the meeting were
published 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/ECA/EDRC and Estero Fire Rescue.
Notices of the meeting were posted in the South Regional Library, Colonial Bank,
Estero Community Park and the Estero office of Realty World.
MacNellis reported a September 30th balance of $731.75 in the Community
Planning Panel account on deposit at Colonial Bank in Estero. Toth: Motion to
accept Goodrich: Second. Report accepted unanimously.
Bill Brown distributed minutes of the July meeting. Goodrich: Motion to
accept minutes. Noethlich: Second. Report accepted unanimously.
Garrett Bender, Teri Gavinson and Pete Pellerito representing Ascot
Development presented plans for a proposed Administrative Amendment concerning
the 48 acre site on the southwest corner of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks
Parkway in Estero. Plans continue to call for 232 Multi-Family Townhouse
residential units and 90,000 square feet of commercial space on the site.
Bender explained that the layout of the site has been changed, with its
commercial elements becoming nine outlots of approximately one acre each, five
fronting on Corkscrew and four fronting on Three Oaks. New plans also call
for one fast food store and two drive-through structures for different uses such
as banks or pharmacies. Bender said plans call for a uniform architectural
design to create a blended appearance of the outlots with a water feature at the
corner of Corkscrew and Three Oaks to “welcome” passersby to the community.
He added that Ascot would contribute to the erection of a flashing or full stop
light at the Three Oaks entrance of the development, some 1,030 feet south of
Corkscrew for traffic safety purposes, particularly when emergency vehicles are
dispatched from the Estero Fire Rescue station to the south of the site.
Toth questioned the feasibility of working with one-acre outlot parcels to
accommodate buffering, parking, open space, garbage disposal and deliveries.
He estimated that the space remaining for the building would be in the area of
only 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. Bender replied that this is assuming
that the outlots are sold individually and not in combination. Toth added
that outlots developed at different times would be a challenge to the continuity
of the uniform design cited in the presentation. DeLisi asked how
buffering could factor into the continuity. Bender replied that a rooftop
architectural piece physically connecting one building to the next would be used
to create the impression. DeLisi expressed concern that the development would
maintain the architectural appearance standards set forth for Corkscrew Road
Noethlich cited Corkscrew Palms as a prime example Toth asked if any
consideration has been given to reducing the number of outlots in the same area,
to prevent slow, one-by-one development of individual parcels that could lead to
a “strip center” appearance. Bender replied that the market for larger
outlets is currently limited.
Noethlich said that Toth made a good point in questioning space allocation.
Lienesch suggested that illustrations of the architectural concept would enable
all concerned to more fully understand the concept. The Panel agreed to
this point. Bender committed to a descriptive document, not architectural
drawings at this point.
Developer Presentation - Cardella RPD:
Debbie Gress of Progressive Engineering presented two site plans proposed by
property owner Carl Cardella for a 5.66 acre tract on the east side of River
Ranch Road south of Corkscrew Road and north of Williams Road. The
first plan calls for 15 single family lots of 75 x 120 feet consistent with
neighboring properties on River Ranch. The second plan is for 28 townhouse
units in four separate buildings. A River Ranch resident inquired about
water and sewer lines. Gress replied that the developer would pay for the
lines south from Corkscrew. Toth added that current residents on River
Ranch would have the opportunity to tie into the lines with extensions from
their homes to the street. A resident asked about water management to
control runoff from the property and was told that a satisfactory water
management plan must be approved to obtain a development order.
When asked about the difference in projected traffic counts on River Ranch Road
between the two site plans, Gress replied that there is very little difference
between the single family home and multi-family unit plans. Resident
concerns about traffic on two-lane River Ranch were shared by the Panel which
favors its widening.
A general preference for aesthetics and compatibility with the current character
of River Ranch Road was given to the single family home concept although it was
acknowledged that the community would be adjacent to the larger multi–family
units in the proposed Mid Towne Estero
development to the site’s east. Gress added that setbacks and landscaping
to a multi-unit site could add an attractive feature to River Ranch. The
Panel commended nearby residents and Gress for agreeing to meet and discuss the
project in a neighborhood meeting.
Mike Roeder of Knott, Consoer, Ebelini, Hart & Sweet and Wayne Robinson,
landscape architect for Genus Loci Studio presented revised landscaping plans
and graphics for a reduced setback from Corkscrew Road from 75 to 25 feet.
Robinson explained that an undulating two to three foot “Enhanced Type B Buffer”
is planned for the site exceeding the required number of trees, requiring all
native plantings, substituting plantings for sod on parking lot islands,
requiring all buffering trees to be at least 16 feet high and all interior trees
14 feet. The Panel expressed satisfaction with the improved landscaping
Noethlich asked if the developer would be agreeable to a square footage cap on
the largest retail property in the development. Roeder replied that 50,000
square feet would be ample and the developer would agree to review the requested
list of uses. Lienesch added that the Panel will also review the list for
Tracy Bean of Bean, Whitaker, Lutz & Hareh appeared for the Island Club at
Corkscrew Woodlands Homeowners Association which seeks to allow reduced setbacks
and building separation that will bring units with building attachments and
adjacent patios within code. There are currently over 200 code violations
in the community. Bean said that the request is the result of five years’
argument and confusion among the county, developer and homeowners’ association.
The Panel gave the Administrative Amendment its complete endorsement.
Panel Issues -
Bonita Health Center Signage:
Lienesch reported that a letter has been sent to
Bonita Health Center
regarding its Urgent Care Signage on the east side of US 41 south of Coconut
Road which has drawn complaint from the Panel, the Estero Design Review
Committee and many residents. No response has been forthcoming.
Lienesch reported no progress in replacing the retiring Noethlich.
Sunshine Law Interpretation:
Lienesch reviewed an email that John Goodrich had received from assistant
county attorney John Fredyma that states that, as we are NOT appointed to become
or serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners, two or
more Panel members can meet with developers or other interested parties outside
Panel meetings without violating Florida Sunshine Laws.
A general discussion occurred regarding funding. Regarding advertising
of meetings, MacNellis suggested a flyer be posted in the Community Park
building. Noethlich said that one of the provisions for Lee county funding was
advertising Panel meetings in at least one newspaper. DeLisi recommended
pursuing a county grant to rewrite signage regulations.
Toth: Motion to adjourn. DeLisi: Second. Motion passed unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 8:32 PM.
NEXT MEETING: 6 PM, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17th, ESTERO COMMUNITY PARK