Mayor Bill Ribble read a proclamation for Kim Poinsett and members of Girl Scout Troop 245. It stated, in part, that in celebration of those girls who are graduating to the next Girl Scout program level, Girl Scouts from Estero will hold their annual bridging ceremony at Koreshan State Park on May 12, which has been designated Girl Scout Bridging Day in Estero. (Proclamation)
Council voted to approve the settlement agreement between the Village of Estero and Argo Corkscrew Crossing. This property consists of 395 acres on Corkscrew Road. As part of the settlement agreement, Council will consider rezoning of the Argo property at subsequent public meetings. (Summary Sheet)
Public Comment: 5 residents spoke, with some expressing concerns about the wildlife corridor and environmental issues.
The next steps are:
- The parties will request a continuation of the pending administrative challenges
- Staff will prepare staff reports for a Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezoning
- Planning & Zoning Board will hold a hearing and make recommendations to Council on the amendment and rezoning
- Council will hold hearings on the amendment and rezoning
Community Development Block Grant – Urban County Cooperation Agreement
The Village was notified that there is an opportunity for Estero to be included in the Urban County Cooperation Agreement for federal entitlement funds. There are restrictions on what the funds can be used for (affordable housing, public facilities and improvements/ infrastructure such as water and sewer, sidewalks and roads). The funds must be used in areas designated as low and moderate income areas, delineated by the Census Tract west of US 41 and south of Broadway, and east of US 41 and south of Broadway extending to I-75. (Summary Sheet)
Council voted to participate in this program. A letter will be sent to the Lee County and HUD notifying them of this decision.
Consideration of appeal of Estero Town Center (Aldi) development order
The Vice Mayor had requested that Council consider an appeal of the development order for Aldi at Estero Town Center due to some unanswered questions regarding safety. Those issues have been addressed and Council determined this item is now closed (so the development order will proceed). (Summary Sheet)
Councilmember Nick Batos to apply for Lee County Commission District 3
The District 3 seat is vacant due to Commissioner Larry Kiker’s untimely death. Members of Council all signed a letter to Governor Ronald DeSantis supporting Nick Batos to fill this vacancy.
Batos has been an advocate for Estero and southwest Florida’s quality of life issues dating back to 2005. He served as a director and then chairman of the Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL) working on a number of local and regional environmental issues. He helped lead the Estero incorporation effort, later becoming Estero’s first mayor in 2015.
Batos is serving his second term as District 6 Councilmember following a swearing-in ceremony in 2017. He serves as liaison to the Lee School District and Lee Health, and his areas of strategic concern are the SUN Trails, CSX railroad, Bike/Pedestrian Pathways and Zip Codes.
Batos also has served on the south Lee County Hospital Committee, Chairman of the Estero Community Improvement Foundation and Chairman of the South Lee County Committee for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Councilmember Jon McLain suggested Estero residents might also want to join other community leaders who are writing letters of recommendation to the Governor in support of Batos filling this seat. It is imperative this seat be filled by someone willing to listen to their constituents and is a proponent of clean water and protecting our environment. (Council letter to Gov. DeSantis)
Estero Parkway landscape update
Representatives for Bruce Howard & Associates gave a presentation on the landscape design and plant selection for Estero Parkway. Their objective is to follow Xeriscape landscaping models, establishing and maintaining a healthy landscape by matching the right plants with existing site conditions so that the use of additional resources, such as water, fertilizer, pesticides and labor is minimized.
They will be using native plants in the storm water detention swales where wet conditions exist. The bottom of the swale will have moisture sensors that will turn off the zone when wet.
They plan to use 22 different tree varieties, 13 which are Florida natives, and 39 different shrub varieties, 24 of which are Florida natives.
Construction is scheduled to start in early August. (Presentation)
The next Council meeting will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2019.