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History of the ECCL

Mission and History of the ECCL

The Mission

The ECCL serves the residents of Estero as a voluntary, “grass roots” community organization that listens to the concerns of all Estero residents and provides a forum for each residential community to obtain community-wide support for its concerns. Then the ECCL presents the consensus of its members’ opinions to the appropriate county and state decision makers for action.

The Beginning

Around the middle of 2001, the all volunteer Estero Concerned Citizens Organization (ECCO) began to study the zoning plans for Coconut Point, the largest commercial project ever proposed for Estero: 500 acres, 1,800,000 square foot of retail, 300,000 square foot of office and 600 hotel rooms. In the process ECCO recruited representatives of all the surrounding residential communities to identify the concerns of these communities.

As we progressed the group developed a position paper, discussed it with County zoning and transportation staff and sat down to negotiate our concerns with Coconut Point’s developers. The developers agreed to address all of our concerns and entered into a written agreement with the communities to follow through with those commitments, most of which were also made conditions of the zoning.

After Coconut Point’s zoning was approved in September 2002 the members of this group saw the need to include all of Estero’s residential communities and all community-wide organizations in the group in order to deal with all the large number of development projects proposed throughout the community. The Estero Council of Community Leaders emerged from this effort.

Exclusive Interviews

ECCL founders Don Eslick and Neal Noethlich were interviewed on camera in June 2014. They detailed the founding of the grassroots community group, the Estero Council of Community Leaders; the community planning that ensued; and the accomplishments of these dedicated residents.