Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Estero planning groups' priorities include safer bike paths

News-Press –
Estero's priorities put into panels' list

by christina cepero • ccepero@news-press.com•
December 21, 2010

Defined architectural styles, stricter
signage standards, safer bike paths, improved
access to waterways and partnership with FGCU are
the highest priorities for Estero.

Estero Community Planning Panel and Estero Design
Review Committee members on Monday ranked
topics that were discussed by about 130 people at a
November planning workshop.

The Estero groups will submit a work plan to Lee
County Community Development to make changes to
Estero’s land development code and community

The two volunteer panels, along with the Estero
Council of Community Leaders, can ask for $50,000
from the county for each of those two requests but
must raise money to match the county’s

The Estero leaders also plan to hire professional
consultants to help implement some of the ideas.

The community’s architecture is mostly
Mediterranean style with pockets of Old Florida
characteristics, such as metal roofs. Several
workshop attendees said they’d like to see more
architectural variety.

Monday’s participants said U.S. 41 north of
Corkscrew Road is a redevelopment area that could
be designated for Old Florida-style architecture.
Design review committee member Bill Prysi said they
need to define the Old Florida style elements they’d
like to see.

The participants also talked about the possibility of
designating a historic district in the area of
Highlands Avenue, Broadway Avenue and Sandy
Lane east of U.S. 41, which includes about 20

Steve Elferdink, who lives in a 1915 home he
restored at the corner of Highlands and Broadway,
said adding features to that area, such as
landscaping and old-fashioned streetlights, could
attract the support of longtime residents who are
resistant to change.

“If there’s a way to enhance Highlands, we should
do it,” said Dan DeLisi, a planning panel member.

The participants agreed to reach out to the
BikeWalkLee coalition for help improving bike paths.

Other issues they categorized as medium priority
are park expansions and promoting road and bike
path connectivity within and between developments.

DeLisi said interconnecting roads and bike paths
are required but “not in my backyard” issues arise. “
Everyone wants a connection through someone
else’s property but nobody wants a connection
through their property,” he said.

They also discussed bringing mass transit such as
water taxis, adding communities to Estero’s
planning boundaries and placing gateway signs or
monuments at the community’s entrances.

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