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.
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.
Current Quality of Life Issues Being Addressed by the ECCL
- Enhancement of emergency medical services in south Lee County, working closely with Lee Memorial Health System to develop their Healthcare Village in Estero.
- Working with consultants and the community to develop a consensus for how the remaining 700 acres of undeveloped lands should be developed in the future.
- Monitoring mining and development activities along East Corkscrew Road.
- Addressing transportation issues, specifically any recommendations for returning the extension of CR-951 to the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2040 Transportation Plan.
- Advocating for “complete streets” for multimodal transportation.
A Few Prior Accomplishments of the ECCL
- Coordinated all efforts resulting in the successful vote for incorporation, including initiating the feasibility study and charter, and conducting public workshops to inform the community about the benefits of incorporation.
- Prepared a Transition Book to assist the new Village Council members as they took on the responsibilities transferred to them on March 17, 2015.
- Worked with Grandezza, Lee County and BoCC to minimize adverse noise and visual impacts of university community development south of FGCU.
- Worked with Lee County, environmental groups and developer to negotiate environmentally reasonable means of developing Corkscrew Shores in the DRGR.
- Updated the Estero Community Plan to protect the quality of life of the community.
- Set strict design/architectural standards, including landscaping designs, in the original Estero Community Plan which resulted in the one-of-a-kind Coconut Point Mall.
- Working with our rural neighbors, the ECCL helped convince the County Board to deny permits for 3 major mines on Corkscrew Road. If approved, our roads would have been traveled by thousands of dump trucks. Mines impair adjacent wetlands which protect us from flooding and further contaminating Estero Bay.
- Removal of CR 951 and Coconut Road interchange from the 2035 Transportation Plan due to their placement in environmentally sensitive lands.
- Extended hours at Bonita Community Health Center to better serve residents.
The ECCL has several standing committees that meet regularly to track and address specific issues.
- Environmental Committee
- Hospital Committee
- Speakers’ Panel
- Transportation Committee
- Village Center Champions
Defense and Planning Fund
In order to provide resources to overcome threats to the quality of life and/or property values in all Estero communities, the ECCL set up a Defense Fund to pay for attorneys, planners, architects and engineers, and other expert witnesses. To date these monies have been used for the ECCL’s costs for the incorporation referendum and transitioning in support of the new Village Council, Estero Community Plan, defense against mining outside of the designated mining area, and supporting the County’s Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) planning, lands which supply 80% of Lee County’s drinking water supplies. Each community is asked to contribute to this fund.
Each community pays annual dues; the amount depends on the size of the community. Members are asked to make sure their community dues are paid in a timely manner.
- 2012 Village Visionary Phil Douglas
- Estero Visionary of the Decade Award
- 100th Meeting
- 2011 Village Visionary Bill Brown
- 2010 Village Visionary Nick Batos
- 2009 Village Visionary Sam Levy
- Florida Wildlife Federation awards Conservation of the Year Award for 2008 to ECCL
- 2008 Village Visionary Neal Noethlich
- 2006 Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Don Eslick
- 2007 Village Visionary Barbara Akins
- 2006 Village Visionary Arnie Rosenthal