Who and What

is the ECCL?

 

What have they done to help me?

Why should I pay attention?

Introduction

 

The ECCL recognizes that there is an ongoing need to continually explain to a broader audience the significance of what we do, and why those involved do what they do! It is essential to everyone who lives in Estero and surrounding communities understand why the ECCL strives to ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy the locality and the environment in which we live.

 

Enjoying our clean, attractive environment, feeling safe, having access to good healthcare, developing excellent educational facilities, good road networks, encouraging a greater focus on culture/the arts and sports facilities, enjoying various shops and restaurants, and minimizing overpopulation, are all vital to our well-being and quality of life. Our efforts have helped to increase our property values and have had a significant effect on enhancing the attractiveness of this part of South West Florida to visitors.

Who and what are we?

The ECCL is a non-partisan, volunteer civic advocacy organization working at a grassroots level to serve as the “Voice of the People” and to advocate for positive change. The ECCL has attracted many community influencers to its Board of Directors, Executive Management Team, and its various advocacy council leaders focused on maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Estero and surrounding communities. Please meet our Board of Directors and leadership here.

Our Focus…

The ECCL focuses on six key areas or “pillars” considered critical to Estero and surrounding communities:

Arts & Entertainment

Promoting Arts
Supporting Quality of Life
Encouraging Creativity

Community Development

Appearance
Signage
Traffic Impact

Education

Retention
Economic Curriculum
Supporting Schools

Environment

Mining
DR/GR
Water Quality

Health

Emergency Care
Quality
Availability

Transportation

Congestion
Landscaping
Funding

How does the ECCL interact with other organizations and elected officials?

When an issue arises that could adversely impact our lives here in South West Florida; the ECCL will firstly let residents know about the problem. We might seek your help in communicating your concerns to those responsible for deciding on how they should address the problem. This collective action is critical in effecting change and ensuring consideration of our position or opinions.

The ECCL also liaises with various organizations such as the “Village” Council, South West Florida Conservancy, the Estero Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Our connections help keep us, and you, up to date on any emerging developments that could affect our community either positively or negatively. You are significant to all we do. From time to time, we conduct surveys to seek your opinion on various issues, which help guide our actions.

The illustration below shows ECCL’s interaction with residents and the various organizations and officials with whom we communicate.

chart

What has the ECCL done to help residents?

The answer is a “great deal!” This short series of slides on the website summarizes the many essential benefits that have resulted from the organization’s advocacy efforts and our residents’ support. Click to see a summary of the ECCL’s impressive achievements.

 

    Incorporation of the Village of Estero

    We coordinated all efforts resulting in the successful vote for the establishment of the Village of Estero. Work included initiating the feasibility study and charter and conducting public workshops to inform the community about the benefits of incorporation. We still advoate for improved services within the Village structure.

    Development of the Coconut Mall

    We 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.

    Protected the DR/GR

    We collaborated with Lee County, environmental groups and developers to negotiate environmentally reasonable means of developing Corkscrew Shores in the DR/GR.

    Transportation victories

    Our actions led to accelerated funding of the widening of Corkscrew Road east of I-75. Prevented funding of CR 951 between Bonita Beach Road and Alico Road between the Stonybrook and Wildcat Run communities through the Grandezza community.

    Averted 951 Interchange

    The removal of CR 951 and Coconut Road interchange from the 2035 Transportation Plan due to its placement in environmentally sensitive lands.

    Estero Community Plan

    We contributed to the update of the Estero Community Plan to protect the quality of life of the community.

    We collect survey opinions

    Our assistance resulted in the collection of 1,000 responses to the Estero needs assessment, and we shared the survey results with the Estero Village Council.

    We contributed to stopping the I-75 flyover overpass

    Joining with other civic groups, we thwarted 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.

    Controlled Noise

    We collaborated with the Grandezza Community and Lee County to minimize adverse noise and visual impacts of university community development south of FGCU.

    Prepared a Transition Book

    Prepared a Transition Book to assist the new Village Council members as they took on the responsibilities transferred to them on March 17, 2015.

    Defeated mining on Corkscrew Road

    We helped convince the Lee County Board to deny permits for three major mines on Corkscrew Road. Mines impair adjacent wetlands, which protect us from flooding and further contaminating Estero Bay. Teaming up with our rural neighbors, we stopped our roads from being traveled by thousands of dump trucks.

    Protect the Environment

    We keep residents apprised of projects impacting our water quality and quantity, as well as area wildlife. Our targets included Estero on the River, Hertz Arena’ Weeks Fish Camp, and residential development and mining proposals in the Density Reduction/ Groundwater Resource area along east Corkscrew Road, inside and outside the Village boundaries.

    Monitor Planning and Zoning Matters

    Communications to over 10,000 households significantly increased citizen participation in the Village’s Planning and Zoning Board and Design Review Boards activity.

    Share Information on Healthcare Developments

    We supported the development of Lee Health Coconut Point. We provided regular updates on the progress of the 172,000- square-foot Healthcare Village that opened on December 3, 2018.

    Secure Volunteers

    Helped Lee County Schools to secure volunteers, implemented Junior Achievement programs in five Estero area schools, and to mentor students and veterans at Florida Gulf Coast University’ Institute for Entrepreneurship.

    Team 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.

    Issue Warnings About Tropical Storms

    At the Village’s request, we help inform residents about storm preparedness and emergency contact information in the event of a hurricane.

    Sponsor Meetings as a Clearinghouse for Ideas

    The ECCL’s 47 community and business representatives and the public participate in monthly meetings, unencumbered by Sunshine Law restrictions that can hobble Florida government bodies.

    Extended Hours at Bonita Community Health Center

    The ECCL worked to extend the hours at the Bonita Community Health Center to better serve residents until the 24/7 emergency department was available in Estero.

    We harness the Experience of Residents

    ECCL members have decades of experience in governmental and civic matters that communities and citizens can access to guide Estero’s future.

     

    • Just some of the achievements are also summarized below: –
      We coordinated all efforts resulting in the successful vote for the establishment of the Village of Estero
    • We keep residents appraised of projects impacting our water quality and quantity, as well as area wildlife
    • Successes in preventing the expansion of mining along Eastern Corkscrew Road
    • We set strict design/architectural standards, including landscaping designs, in the original Estero Community Plan
    • The removal of CR 951 and Coconut Road interchange from the 2035 Transportation Plan
    • We collaborated with the Grandezza Community and Lee County to minimize adverse noise and visual impacts of university community development
    • Extended hours at Bonita Community Health Center to better serve residents.
    • We supported the development of Lee Health Coconut Point
    • We supported the development of Lee Health Coconut Point
    • Helped Lee County Schools to secure volunteers, implemented Junior Achievement programs in five Estero area schools
    • At the Village’s request, we help inform residents about storm preparedness and emergency contact information in the event of a hurricane

    Why should I pay attention to the ECCL?

    There is still a considerable amount of work ahead for the ECCL. We need to keep a check of new developments and ensure that Estero and surrounding communities are not going to be subject to over-development, putting a strain on our resources such as roads, water supply, safety resulting from over-population. We also need to be mindful of any threats to our water supply and quality and additional mining activity and its likely impact.

    As we advance, we will continue to monitor the areas of concern you shared with us in our 2019 survey.

    In particular, you want the ECCL to focus on:

    • The Environment
    • Community Development
    • Health and Healthcare

    But there was also high Interest on the following issues on which the ECCL has been very focused.

    • A Performing Arts Center
    • Funding for expanding the arts, recreation, and entertainment
    • Open-air venues for music, and open-air plays
    • Use of government funds for enhancing roadway and landscaping,
    • Connecting biking and hiking trails
    • Improving access to the Estero River
    • Ensuring boat access to the Estero Bay

    Also, the ECCL is committed to

    • Challenging infringements (development) in the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) area
    • Challenging unnecessary mines
    • Challenging the need for the NCH Emergency Department across from Coconut Point Mall
    • Challenging sewage treatment plant/waste transfer station at the bend in Alico Road
    • Advocating for additional Lee District schools (Elementary, Middle) in Estero
    • Advocating for support of Estero area schools, teachers, and administrators
    • Advocating for a traffic light at Bella Terra Blvd and Corkscrew Rd
    • Advocating for Extension of Alico Rd to Ste Rt 82 to reduce the number of trucks on Corkscrew Road

    Make a Difference

    If you agree with the value of the initiatives and achievements of the ECCL, please:

    Spread the Word

    Subscribe to our Emails
    Share with Your Friends

    Let Us Know

    Tell us your concerns
    Send us a Message

    Take Action

    Contact your legislators
    Follow Important Decisions

    We Need Your Support

    Finally, our advocacy efforts can be costly. For us to continue to be successful, we need a partnership with you.

    The ECCL is a non-profit organization and does require financial support for many of the initiatives that we undertake. We continually need funds and other resources for communications, promotions, legal services, expert consultants and engineers, educational scholarships, etc.

    donate

    The ECCL Advocacy Foundation is a 501c3 tax-deductible organization. Please consider financially supporting the Foundation so that we can do even more to help our community.

    Sign up to receive emails on important and urgent issues facing Estero.

    Join the Movement

    Protect Your Voice

    The ECCL provides action alerts, community news, and regular reports on issues affecting the quality of life in Estero and surrounding communities. Sign up to be on the list.