The meeting started with Mayor Bill Ribble presenting a proclamation to Mike Beebe representing the Bridge Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt charity. The charity was founded in 2012 by a small group of residents of Pelican Landing and The Colony who were concerned that some neighbors were experiencing short-term financial crises with no place to turn. The Bridge Fund works in collaboration with a network of over 40 charity and school partners to identify and respond to short term, immediate financial crises. (Proclamation)
Public Comment on non-agenda items: Barbara Saxton, Chair of the Friends of River Oaks, spoke about an Estero Girl Scout project aimed at gopher tortoise protection on this land and that they are planning a “Gopher Tortoise Day” at River Oaks on April 10. River Oaks is located at the end of the road at 9541 Broadway Avenue East. The Girl Scouts and their families presented Council with story boards they had prepared on gopher tortoises.
Barbara Saxton, left, shown with Estero Girl Scout family members
Jack Meeker asked Council to spearhead opposition to the proposed toll roads extending from Polk County to southern Florida. He expressed concern this will lead to an increase in freight traffic at RSW airport and be disruptive to Estero residents.
River Ranch Road improvements contract
Council approved a contract with CW3 Engineering, Inc. to provide professional engineering services to proceed with the planning, design and permitting services work required for the River Ranch Road Improvements.
The improvements include addition of turn lanes, addressing stormwater issues and landscaping.
The contract amount is $266,750. Project costs will be paid using the FY2019/2020 River Ranch Road Improvements budget of $301,450.
Lien Mitigation Request
Council approved the lien mitigation request releasing any outstanding liens against the property located at 8401 Mockingbird Lane in exchange for payment of a reduced fine of $2,000 and $307.50 for administrative costs, as recommended by the Village Attorney. The property has been brought into compliance.
Settlement agreement – CHHCLA Investments, LLC
Council agreed to a settlement agreement between CHHCLA Investments, LLC and the Village of Estero pertaining to property at 20170 South Tamiami Trail, at the intersection of US 41 and Trailside Drive. (Draft settlement agreement)
The terms of the agreement include the following conditions relating to the application for 4 variances:
- Landscape buffers will be installed (within 60 days of approval of the Limited Development Order) as shown on the conceptual landscape buffer plan.
- Any use on the property will be configured consistent with the variance site plan.
- No outdoor storage is allowed.
- Outdoor display is limited to the area depicted on the variance site plan in yellow highlighting.
- Any pavement and fencing encroaching into the right-of-way shall be removed prior to any further development on site.
- A Limited Development Order may be approved administratively if consistent with this agreement. The variance application will be deemed withdrawn upon execution of this Agreement.
Ordinance No. 2020-01
There was a first reading of this ordinance prohibiting the use of micromobility devices and motorized scooters on the Village’s sidewalks and shared use paths as they may create a potential hazard to pedestrians. There was a discussion about clarifying the language of the ordinance to make sure it clearly refers to motorized, standup scooters.
The second reading/public hearing will be held on January 22, 2020. (Ordinance)
Land Development Code
Community Development Director Mary Gibbs gave an update on the Village’s Land Development Code. They are working on consolidating county codes to make them specific to Estero and reducing the size of the document with the emphasis of making it a more user-friendly document. They’re looking at all zoning districts and providing new maps with their uses. A workshop will be held in April.
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Restoration Projects
Phil Flood, Regional Representative with SFWMD, gave an informative overview of the district and its projects. SFWMD serves 8.1 million residents in 16 counties and is responsible for providing flood protection, restoring water quality, ensuring water supply and connecting natural systems. Their current budget is $989.8 million. (Presentation)
Residents may view the archived meeting by going to the Village website http://estero-fl.gov/council/watch-meetings-online/.
The next Council meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, January 22, 2020.