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.
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.
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.
A New Era for the ECCL
Estero is now a village. But the work of the Estero Council of Community Leaders is not finished. Issues affecting Estero often exist beyond Estero’s boundaries and therefore are not subject to actions by the Village Council. And our communities often have unique concerns that can be brought to the ECCL to enlist broader support. The ECCL and its members, together with the Village Council and other community groups, can shape Estero’s future.
In 2016 and beyond, the ECCL is dedicated to a new mission:
Our grass-roots, volunteer organization continues to use its extensive experience to improve the quality of life in Estero now and for future generations by:
- Communicating directly through emails to more than 3,800 households and through our comprehensive website, EsteroToday.com;
- Educating our members about current issues and developments;
- Providing a forum for Estero-wide and neighborhood concerns and mobilizing calls for action.
Highlights of our accomplishments since Estero’s incorporation include:
- Transportation victories: Our actions led to accelerated funding of the widening of Corkscrew Road east of I-75 and prevented funding of CR 951 between Corkscrew Road and Alico Road through the Grandezza community.
- Collecting survey opinions: Our assistance to the Estero Community Improvement Foundation resulted in the collection of 1,000 responses to its Estero Needs Assessment Survey. The results of that survey were shared with the Village Council.
- Issuing warnings about Tropical Storm Erika: At the Village’s request, we helped inform residents about storm preparedness and emergency contact information in the event of a hurricane.
- Monitoring planning and zoning matters: ECCL communications have greatly increased citizen participation in development issues before the Village’s Planning and Zoning Board and Design Review Board.
- Sponsoring meetings as a clearinghouse for ideas: The ECCL’s 34 community representatives and the public participate in monthly meetings, unencumbered by Sunshine Law restrictions that can hobble Florida government bodies.
- Sharing information about healthcare developments: We provide regular updates about Lee Memorial’s Coconut Point Healthy Life Center, now open, and the 172,000- square-foot Healthcare Village, to open in 2018.
- Protecting our environment: We keep residents apprised of projects impacting our water quality and quantity, as well as area wildlife. This includes residential development and mining proposals in the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource area along east Corkscrew Road, inside and outside the Village boundaries.
- Reporting on housing trends: Our periodic Economic Development Reports (EDRs) provide updates on Estero’s new commercial and residential development, home sales, and economic development trends.
- Teaming up with other community groups: Using our communication capabilities, we collaborate with community organizations, like the Koreshan State Historic Site, the Estero Historic Preservation Citizens’ Committee and the Estero Art League, to strengthen their effectiveness.
- Offering the benefit of our experience: ECCL members have years of experience in governmental and civic matters that communities and citizens can access to guide Estero’s future.
As always the ECCL is dedicated to the future of Estero.
ECCL meetings are held the fourth Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Recreation Center at the Estero Community Park. Meetings are open to all Estero residents.
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.
Read More about the Background and History of the ECCL