The Village acquired 67.5 acres at the northeast corner of U.S. 41 and Corkscrew Road in 2019 to use this property, bisected by the Estero River, for public enjoyment. Since then, Village staff has been planning for the property’s future use. Citizen surveys have indicated a clear desire for additional open space and park facilities in the Village of Estero.
With that in mind, Village Council recently voted to begin the process of rezoning the south part of the property and initiating a Comprehensive Plan Amendment.
The south part of the property is approximately 31 acres and contains the most environmentally important characteristics of the property, including a large variety of native trees (large oaks, sabal palms and pines). There are also gopher tortoises and a small wetland on the site.
What Will Rezoning Do?
Right now, the majority of the property has a zoning designation of Mixed Use Planned Development, which was approved by Lee County many years ago. The property was envisioned to have a large amount of fairly intense commercial and residential uses, with mixed use buildings and some preserve areas.
The Village also acquired the Happahatchee property located in the middle of the south parcel. It is zoned for Agricultural uses.
Because development pressure is intense, and because the current zoning categories do not match the Village’s intended uses, the Council voted on March 16 to start the process of changing the zoning and Comprehensive Plan categories. A more appropriate zoning designation is “Parks and Community Facilities.” This zoning category is specific for publicly owned property and allows active and passive recreation, preserved lands and civic uses. A more appropriate Comprehensive Plan category is “Public Parks and Recreation.”
What are the Next Steps?
Staff will prepare an application and documents for review by the Planning, Zoning and Design Board, which will make a recommendation to the Village Council—the ultimate decision makers. The schedule involves several public hearings where there is opportunity for citizens to provide input.
There is a Public Information Meeting scheduled for the Planning, Zoning and Design Board on May 10 at 4:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers in Village Hall. The public is invited to attend and ask questions.
Upcoming Public Meetings
May 10, 2022Public Information Meeting at PZDB
June 14, 2022Public Hearing at PZDB
July 6, 20221st Council Meeting
Rezoning – 1st Reading and Public Hearing
Comprehensive Plan Amendment – Public Hearing to transmit to State (State will review in August)
July 20, 20222nd Council Meeting – Public hearing to consider rezoning approval
September-October 2022Council adoption hearing for Comprehensive Plan Amendment
All meetings will be held in Council Chambers at Village Hall, 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle, Estero (33928).
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