About the ECCL

What is the ECCL? 

The Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL) is a network of communities working together to serve as the “Voice of the People” to advocate for positive change.  Because there is strength in numbers and no Sunshine Law restrictions, the ECCL is able to openly address and affect the outcome of both challenges and opportunities facing the community, some of which are outside of the Village Council’s purview.

The ECCL’s mission is to help the Estero community to be informed and involved in Village, County, Regional and State issues that impact the community.  


Help us help Estero

The ECCL is made up entirely of volunteers.

Your donation can protect the voice of residents in Estero, help steer the future of quality of life, and prevent problems before they happen.

What We Accomplished in 2018

Extraordinary achievements of the ECCL in 2018:

  • Early in the year, ECCL led a campaign encouraging Estero residents to write detailed letters expressing the urgent need for hospital and emergency health services in south Lee County. Nearly 400 Estero residents wrote personal letters. The letters were included in an Appendix to Lee Health’s Certificate of Need application that quoted many resident comments. The application clearly expressed the urgency of the need for a health care provider close by and not 10 miles distant like the closest existing facilities.
  • The opening of Lee Health at Coconut Point was the result of our efforts. ECCL encouraged over 5,000 persons to attend the Community Open House on November 17th. ECCL’s effort helped Lee Health to launch this healthcare facility with overwhelming community support to demonstrate to the State why they should approve a hospital on this site.
  • On short notice, ECCL mobilized over 400 Estero residents to review the pictures of the Hertz Arena (formerly Germain Arena) painted in “Hertz Yellow” and send their opinions to the members of the Estero Design Review Board (DRB).  An estimated 97% of the email writers urged the DRB to reject the proposal and ask Hertz to revise their proposal. The DRB unanimously followed the suggestion of the citizens of Estero.
  • The ECCL and about 400 of its supporters urged the Estero Village Council to approve the purchase of 62-acres of the “Estero on the River” property on the northeast corner of US 41 and Corkscrew Road in order to ensure Estero residents and visitors perpetual access to the Estero River, preserve some of the property’s old growth trees and ensure that the future development of the property is consistent with the community’s needs and wishes.
  • ECCL and other Estero groups caused the Lee County Board to move the funding for 4-lane Corkscrew Road to a Tier 1 funded project so that the segment between Ben Hill Griffin Parkway and Alico Road will be completed during the next 5 years, by Fiscal Year 2023/2024.
  • In collaboration with the Village of Estero, Lee School District, and Junior Achievement, ECCL’s Education Outreach Council (EOC) recruited more than eighty Estero Education Ambassadors to facilitate classes in Lee School District Pilot Program entitled “2-5-8-Graduate” at all four Estero-area schools.
    By end of 2018 – ’19 school year more than 1,100 students will have participated in Program lesson plans which focus on JA’s three educational pillars; financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.
  • The EOC collaborated with the Village of Estero to develop, execute and support volunteer programs for Lee County Schools serving the Estero community to provide additional educational resources to students, teachers, and other staff members.
  • The EOC also collaborated with Florida Gulf State University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship to provide volunteers to mentor and guide entrepreneurial students and returning veterans.

Major Longer-term Accomplishments:

  • Coconut Point Mall: ECCL set strict design/architectural standards, including landscaping designs which resulted in the one-of-a-kind Coconut Point Mall. The Coconut Point Mall developers signed an agreement with ECCL that governed the development of all 500 acres of Coconut Point from Williams Road to the Bonita Springs boundary.
  • Contributed to stopping the threat of an I-75 flyover overpass. By joining with other civic groups, we stopped the construction of an I-75 flyover east of Coconut road avoiding disruption, additional noise, and potential loss of property values for several Estero Communities.
  • Worked with the Grandezza Community and Lee County to minimize adverse noise and visual impacts of university community development south of FGCU.
  • Helped convince the County Board to deny permits for 3 major mines on Corkscrew Road. Working with our rural neighbors, stopped our roads from being traveled by thousands of dump trucks. Mines impair adjacent wetlands which protect us from flooding and further contaminating Estero Bay.
  • Between 2000 and 2010 the ECCL worked with the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Lee County DOT and the Florida DOT to increase the number of north-south lanes on major arterials through Estero from 8 to 20 lanes.
  • During the same decade, ECCL organized public participation in the County’s planning and design of the 65-acre Estero Community Park. Later in that decade, ECCL worked with the County and the Florida Department of Parks and Recreation to acquire the 100-acre Boomer property that eventually will double the size of the Koreshan State Park.
  • ECCL joined forces with Lee Health to gain the necessary approval and financing for a 24/7 freestanding Emergency Department followed by a hospital. Since 2003, when Lee Health first acquired the 30-acre site this site is now the home of the 163,000 square foot Lee Health Coconut Point “everything but a hospital”, It has taken 15 years to get the ER and preliminary approval for the hospital. We continue to partner with Lee Health in the Final Approval process and expect a decision in 2019.

Helping Estero Become a Village:

  • In 2012, when the City of Bonita Springs began to annex parts of Estero’s Pelican Landing and The Colony, ECCL launched a referendum campaign to determine if Estero residents wanted to become an incorporated Village.
  • Over the course of the next two years the ECCL conducted over 30 community workshops, collected over 10,000 petitions in support of such a referendum and persuaded the Florida legislature to authorize an incorporation referendum in November 2014. Over 80% of the residents voting in that election supported Estero becoming a Village.
  • Coordinated all efforts resulting in the successful vote for incorporation of the Village of Estero, including initiating the feasibility study and charter, and conducting public workshops to inform the community about the benefits of incorporation.


ECCL meetings are held the second Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Recreation Center at the Estero Community Park. Check our calendar for exceptions. Meetings are open to all Estero residents.

Upcoming Meetings

August 9, 2019 10:00 am


Open to the public, the monthly meeting of the Estero Council of Community Leaders is designed to keep communities and residents informed on Estero issues and the actions the Council is taking on those issues. Representatives from the Village...

Read more

August 23, 2019 2:30 pm

Health Committee

Mid-level providers Falls, Fitness and Balance

Read more


The ECCL has several standing committees that meet regularly to track and address specific issues.

Join a Committee


The ECCL has been serving the residents of Estero as a voluntary, “grass roots” community organization since 2002. Each community designates one voting member and an alternate so that the concerns of all residents have a forum to obtain community-wide support.   Each member is responsible for relaying information from the ECCL to their respective communities, as well as relaying their community concerns to the ECCL membership.

The ECCL also informs and garners support from the over 3,900 residents who have requested to be part of the ECCL’s email communications.

More about the History of the ECCL.