Following a year of gathering input from the community, Village Council voted last month to transmit the Estero Comprehensive Plan to the State of Florida for final review. This important, long-range planning document is expected to return to the Council for adoption in April.
“It is designed to be the long-range plan to guide all the decisions the Village will make as we move forward,” said Village Council Representative Howard Levitan. “We are trying to build a cohesive community.”
What is the Comprehensive Plan?
Florida law requires all municipalities to have a comprehensive plan. This “big picture” document establishes a community’s vision and defines long-range goals, objectives and policies to achieve that vision.
Since its incorporation on Dec. 31, 2014, the Village of Estero has been operating under a transitional comprehensive plan (the Lee County Comprehensive Plan, which included some Estero-specific policies). The new Village of Estero Comprehensive Plan is more tailored to Estero and its unique character. It also incorporates the Village Center Amendment, adopted by Village Council in June 2016.
“The overall goal of Estero is to provide a way of connecting residents of the various gated communities with one so-called ‘Village Center,’” explained Councilman Levitan.
Why is the Comprehensive Plan Important?
The Comprehensive Plan will guide future growth in the Village of Estero. In less than 20 years, Estero’s population is projected to increase from 46,091 permanent and seasonal residents to 73,000. The Village is mostly “built out” with just 10 percent of its land available for future development. The Comprehensive Plan identifies what is important to Estero’s citizens: sustainable development, high quality architectural and design standards, access to the Estero River, reduced traffic congestion and more.
What is included in the Comprehensive Plan?
The Comprehensive Plan includes nine “elements” — main areas of the document similar to chapters in a book. Beginning with a kick-off meeting on Dec. 13, 2016, the Village has hosted more than 20 public meetings and workshops to gather community input and discuss the various elements of the Comprehensive Plan. What follows is a brief look at each element.
1. Future Land Use – The Village will promote a true sense of place for Estero as a community with distinct character and diverse housing, economic, recreational and social opportunities.
2. Transportation – The Village seeks an interconnected transportation network to safely link residential, commercial and recreational areas — including transportation corridors for bikes and pedestrians.
3. Recreation and Open Space – The Village will prepare a Parks Master Plan to evaluate recreational needs and explore future development of “green space,” including greater access to Estero’s waterways.
4. Conservation and Coastal Management – The Village places priority on protecting natural treasures including the Estero River, Estero Bay and local wildlife.
5. Housing – The Village aims to provide an adequate variety of housing to meet the needs of Estero’s existing and future residents while remaining consistent with the character of the Village.
6. Infrastructure – The Village has established level-of-service standards to ensure high quality water, sewer, drainage and solid waste services.
7. Intergovernmental Coordination – The Village will coordinate with all appropriate agencies and entities necessary for successful implementation of plans, services and programs affecting the Village.
8. Public School Facilities – The Village will work with the School District of Lee County on location of future schools and programs, and to ensure that children living in Estero will be able to attend a school located in Estero.
9. Capital Improvements – The Village has established a Five-year Capital Improvements Program to prioritize expenditures for needed facilities and services.
Contact the Village
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