Community group to join lawsuit over southeastern Lee County development
ESTERO – The groundwater resource area in southeast Lee has been density-restricted since the 1990s, allowing just one home per 10 acres.
The Estero Council of Community Leaders said Thursday that it will join the Responsible Growth Management Coalition in filing a lawsuit against Lee County commissioners.
The ECCL contends the rezoning of the Corkscrew Farms development violated county policies.
A news release says the rezoning violates several policies of Lee County's Comprehensive Plan for the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource (DR/GR) area where Corkscrew Farms is located.
The groundwater resource area in southeast Lee has been density-restricted since the 1990s, allowing one home per 10 acres. Cameratta Cos. of Fort Myers wants to build as many as 1,325 homes on 1,360 acres.
The ECCL, which does not represent Estero government, contends:
"enforcement of the county's Comprehensive Plan is left up to citizens," according to the state's growth management law;
rezonings inconsistent with that plan can be challenged by adversely affected people or groups.
The ECCL also contends the development:
would be in a high-priority flowway restoration area and primary habitat of the Florida panther;
would generate about 12,000 daily car trips on Corkscrew Road.
"Since Estero is downstream of the DR/GR, we have a vital interest in what happens out there," ECCL Interim Chairman Don Eslick said in a news release.
"We worked with Lee County for many years to amend the comprehensive plan for the DR/GR area to protect the county's water supply, our community from flooding and to keep Estero Bay a vital, pollution-free body of water," Eslick said.
"And now we find this work—and Estero's future health—under continued threat because of the (commission's) action."
The two groups are represented by attorney Ralf Brookes, of Cape Coral.
A Fort Myers company wants to build as many as 1,325 homes on 1,360 acres.