ESTERO COMMUNITY PLANNING PANEL
ESTERO DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEES
SPECIAL COMBINED WORKSHOP
Minutes of Public Meeting #136 – February 20, 2012
Park, Estero, Florida
Estero Planning Panel Members Present: Jack Lienesch, Chairman, Estero Community Association; Neal Noethlich,
Emeritus Chairman; Ned Dewhirst, Estero Development Community; Jeff
Maas, Estero Chamber of Commerce; John
Goodrich, ECCL; Paul Roberts, Estero Development
Community; Greg Toth, Founding Member; Roger Strelow, ECCL; Judy Beach,
Recording Secretary, ECCL; and Bev MacNellis, Treasurer.
Also present, Kathie Ebaugh, Division of
Planning, Lee County Department of Community Development; Daniel DeLisi,
DeLisi Fitzgerald, Inc.
Estero Design Review Committee Members Present:
William Prysi, Jim Wallace, Nancy Cohen, Joseph McHarris, and Gerald
Public Notice: Beach reported that the
meeting notice was posted at the South County Regional Library, BB&T,
Fifth Third Banks, Wells Fargo, the ECPP website and notices in the
Bonita Banner and NewsPress.
Approval of Minutes: Goodrich: Motion
to waive the reading of the minutes of the December 19, 2011 meeting and
accept them as written. Strelow: Seconded. Accepted
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer MacNellis
reported a balance of $1,574.67. Goodrich: Motion to accept the
report. Maas: Seconded. Accepted unanimously.
The Joint Workshop Then Followed Facilitated by
Dan Delisi, Bill Prysi and Joe McHarris
Combined Notes Follow:
Dan kicked off the meeting focusing on four areas
Parks and Connectivity
Notes in red were judged to be unique to this
Audience Feedback Encouraged
First discussion topic segued into –
- Estero on the River discussion – will there be public access
to the river? Some thought yes.
- Noethlich – Water access is currently available through the
State Park and Preserve areas. Bike/Ped as well
- Batos – Bamboo Island too – much discussion of this island
- Eslick – don’t forget the good ideas that have been captured
by the existing zoning of properties that have not developed.
(Estero on the River?)
- Toth – Weeks Fish Camp – currently owned by bank?
- Q – in Estero, is there a requirement that for properties > X
acres the developer must include provisions for public access to a
waterway? Should this be added to our plan?
- Strelow – think about trading opportunities among adjacent
properties that would consolidate access to a more contiguous area
- Q – can you develop right up to the water in FL?
Apparently yes, although setbacks are required.
- Eslick – Weeks Fish Camp and WCI own two properties that have
access to Estero Bay at the foot of Coconut Road. The county is
discussing a potential long range plan for Water Taxi from that spot to
Ft. Myers Beach. We should include this in our plan consistent
with the county’s efforts
- Where is Estero’s beach? (Mound Key?!) More discussion
of State Park access to the river.
- Estero River was the central artery of the community and is
mostly in preservation. It needs better public access.
- Toth – not many parcels left adjacent to the river to add to
potential public access. State Park is a great resource – can we
work with them to provide better access (perhaps a launch ramp for power
- Boomer property (owned by state/county)
- Newberry – historic area looks bad (Highland Avenue area).
Properties unkempt, etc. That WAS Estero years ago.
- Much discussion of the core of historic Estero and what could
- Koreshan Park mentioned
- What about special lighting along 41 or signage in the
historic area to distinguish it from the rest of Estero?
PARK ACCESS AND CONNECTIVITY
- Interconnects into our Park? Discussion of Bike/Ped but
not vehicular access – park has to be locked down in the evenings.
Hook up to other roads? Talk with John Yarborough? Liability
concerns mentioned. We must get Bike/Ped access better than today
– from the High School too!
- Neighborhood parks – Ebaugh mentioned that this will be an
element of the county’s Comp Plan update.
- Banyan – “complete streets”. How connected are schools
to parks? Are there simple connections between schools and parks
that could be done at little cost? Provide barriers for motor
vehicles but not walkers/joggers/bikers.
- Noethlich – What we see is Phase I of our park – totally
accomplished with impact fees. Phase II was to provide additional
access and it appears some in the community are asking for more access.
Phase II on hold due to lack of funding from impact fees.
- MPO’s Bike/Ped Master Plan should be complemented and
supported by local community plans – ours specifically (mentioned twice)
- Connecting the Koreshan/State Park with our park is a goal,
but one impediment is the requirement to cross US 41. Apparently a
walk over bridge is not justified by the usage threshold predicted.
- McHarris – How about redoing the Estero River bridge to allow
bikes to go UNDER 41 instead? There already is pedestrian access
Dan Asked Audience: SUGGEST ONE IMPROVEMENT YOU’D
LIKE TO SEE –
FPL lines underground Safer biking in our corridors Push our park to the next level for bike access. Moratorium on commercial building – “finish what they started” Should there be a Towne Center in Estero?
Bonita Springs has their Old 41 park area that is walkable
Estero on River was seen as a solid possibility as Town Center
Railroad ROW to use as needed for Bike/Ped?
Eslick – ROW is a minimum of 100’ wide
Wallace – Seminole RR gets a check every time someone crosses their RR
with a road/path etc. Real money maker for them
Liability issue? Who/how to hold the railway harmless?
Wallace: People prefer wide asphalt paths to narrow concrete sidewalks
that are mandated by our codes today. Look at Pelican Bay for an
example of a well connected group of communities. People prefer to
be on a separate path that is separate from the roadway and screened by
Signage issues – Toth and Batos re: electronic signs (ppd.
till later). Old Estero – FL rather than Mediterranean? Some existing
businesses that are grandfathered are ugly. Double signage – Historic areas should be designated somehow. Ensure that when properties change hands they must come up to
current code – non conforming developments at Development Order time
must meet current LDC codes. Discussions….
PRYSI – LDC: Site Design/Architectural
Design/Landscaping Design Discussions
Long discussion re: Mediterranean vs. Old FL and
how it has been implemented.
of developing a “Koreshan Style” for parts of Estero that are in
that region. It would be unique to this area.
– we have overlay districts that have specific requirements.
However there must be some sort of compatibility with existing
Wallace -- Ensure EDRC approved designs get constructed as
designed and approved…where is Code Enforcement?
pieces could develop “contextual designs” that bridge between
two architectural styles as required.
Discussion of Koreshan style. Old FL is an ambiguous term.
Cape Cod? Italian? Southern France?
-- the architecture of Estero is what attracted me to this area
and for 10 years now. You guys have done a really good job to
get Estero where it is today. When asked where I live, and I
say Estero people automatically say: Oh where it has a
Mediterranean look, or, “Oh yes that’s where the Coconut Mall
Wallace – we need to create a broader palette for Mediterranean
that is not cookie cutter like today. How do we do this? Lots
of good discussion on this topic by many people in audience.
Same for Old Florida.
– Estero citizens have spoken out that they do not want big
boxes nor free standing bars. Need to make sure that is
to think about incentivizing the type of development we want,
not just codifying what can occur and not occur.
Discussion of electronic signs and how Estero
will address them in the future.
School missing student needs, lost child needs at malls, etc.
comments – we are what we are today because we dug our heels in
years ago on electronic signs. Need to keep them out of Estero.
Toth – look what happened to the Germaine Arena sign? Started out
as an electronic billboard and now it’s like watching TV! We have
enough troubles controlling normal signs, how would we ever expect
to control electronic signs?
- McHarris –
Do not disregard electronic signage! Technology is changing
markedly and we have to ensure we can somehow keep up.
- Someone –
Coconut Point Mall is really upscale now. Electronic signs might
change it negatively.
- Miromar –
got electronic signs approved only for their interior roadways.
- Maas –
agree with McHarris – CP needs something to keep their clients
happy. Need to balance needs of businesses to attract customers
with quality of signs. Will not look good if businesses do not
succeed and we have empty strip malls.
- Ed Weil –
DIGI Awards. Beautiful things have been done for malls across the
country. Be careful with the security issue – there may be
requirements (Save Kids, etc.) that mandate such signs in certain
size malls. These can be accomplished with taste.
Alan Brennan – Most of us moved here because
of what Estero is today. Do not ruin that with electronic flashing
signs that detract from what we have.
Comments received after the initial notes were
Ed Weil -- Additional thoughts:
Interconnecting paths that could double as a place for a cross
country meet for Estero HS and walking/jogging and bike paths made of
crushed hard stone for our community Finish the Park with lighted fields so we could have our own
youth soccer and other field sports in Estero- attract young families to
stay and move here Plan to capture the access to the Bay and Estero River with
creative ideas- secure these major assets to Estero Hold an Architectural Design Competition to obtain the palette
of designs for our future developers --An architect that might be able
to help you build /create an Architectural Design competition is:
Renee Zepeda AIA senior design architect
See if there is digital signage out there that would be
acceptable to Estero- use them to set a minimum standard.
Fletcher Thompson in Naples
239 687 1240
Daniel DeLisi and William Prysi adjourned the
meeting @ 7:30 p.m.
NEXT REGULAR MEETING FOR ECPP:
Monday, March 19, 2012, 6:00 p.m., Estero Community Park.