Parks, recreation & open space
The importance of designing greenways, blueways, and shared-use paths that connect all the public spaces in Estero was discussed at the Planning & Zoning Board meeting on August 29.
This would include Estero Community Park, Estero Bay Preserve, Koreshan State Park, Boomer property, Estero River, CSX/Gulf Railway corridor, Coconut Point Mall, Village Center and as many other destinations and residential neighborhoods as possible.
The Board discussion included the use of overpasses over US 41 for bike/pedestrian use such as those in operation in Europe and Pinellas, FL, adding properties outside the Village’s boundaries which could become regional parks (i.e., former mines), and water taxi transportation from the Koreshan Historic Site to local beaches. (Presentation)
Public Comment: 10 members of the public made comments including purchasing the property on US 41 and Corkscrew Road; an indoor, warm water pool; Estero should become a “destination” as a result of parks/bike/pedestrian uses; restricting the use to electric or self-propelled boats only on Estero River; if Edison Farms is purchased it should be for passive use only; purchase the additional 12 acres adjacent to the Estero Community Park for another entrance road and civic building; retain motorized boating on Estero River; retain lands for flood attenuation, and preserving the historic Happehatchee Center known as “the park in the heart of Estero”.
The objective of the Housing amendment is to provide an adequate mix of safe and sustainable housing which meets the needs of Estero’s existing and future residents. It was noted that the majority of the housing in Estero was built following 1990 and that code enforcement be maintained to keep the level of housing in Estero at its current level.
The goals of this objective would be:
- to preserve the value and character of existing neighborhoods
- ensure the availability of adequate, affordable housing for the elderly and special needs populations
- encourage the preservation, restoration or rehabilitation for adaptive reuse of historically significant housing, as appropriate
- encourage sustainable housing design and construction practices
- allow for a mix of dwelling units of various types, sizes, and costs, to meet the housing needs of the community, businesses and residents
- ensure that housing remains safe and sanitary through code compliance and enforcement. (Presentation)
Public Comment: 3 residents spoke on this subject including safety concerns about what the codes should say regarding construction materials (concrete block vs wood and fire extinguishers), possible policies for the protection of golf communities which may be proposed for redevelopment, and an annual report on the number of units within Estero (homes, condos, rental units, etc.).
The goal of the Transportation amendment is to provide a safe, economic, efficient, and interconnected transportation network that successfully links residential, commercial and recreational areas and accommodates mobility in coordination with the Village’s development pattern and future land use map.
Some of the objectives of this amendment would be the implementation of complete streets and interconnectivity, reduction of traffic congestion, enhancement of the aesthetics of roadways and Corkscrew Road improvements. To see all of the objectives, view the presentation. (Presentation)
Board discussion included the importance of complete streets which would allow other modes of transportation within the Village including water taxi, bike/pedestrian paths; the suggestion for an annual record of road conditions and what improvements would be needed; the impact to the Village of the planned communities east of Estero, and the impact of rain events on the Village’s infrastructure, especially east of the Village.
Public Comment: 5 residents’ comments included making sure there are physical barriers between the streets and bike/pedestrian paths; public transportation for seniors; how the Raptor Bay proposal impacts Coconut Road; consider safety and costs of providing complete streets, especially on US 41; consider team sports for children so they don’t have to travel to Bonita or Three Oaks Elementary; add a third lane to Williams Road for turning onto River Ranch Road; sidewalks should become shared use paths, and input on this planning process should be required from both the San Carlos Park and Estero Fire Rescue departments.
Residents are asked to provide photos and/or artwork which represent Estero or elements of the Comprehensive Plan that could be included in the Comprehensive Plan. Send your JPEG to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional details are available in the minutes of this meeting. Residents may also view the archived meeting by going to the Village website http://estero-fl.gov/council/watch-meetings-online/.
The Village is required to have its first Comprehensive Plan completed before the end of the year and has been actively encouraging residents’ input in this important planning process.
The Village’s first Comprehensive Plan is underway and, as the planning progresses, all of the latest information is being added to a webpage devoted to the planning process on the Village’s website at https://estero-fl.gov/village-comprehensive-plan/
The next PZB meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 19.