Safety Council

Engage Estero Safety Council is made of volunteers serving as a voice for the citizens of greater Estero on safety and transportation priorities and issues. We advocate for related solutions to Village, County, and State Government organizations.

Latest news…
Road Safety in Greater Estero

Road Safety in Greater Estero

Road Safety in Greater Estero By Contributing Author, Mark Novitski, and Engage Estero Consultant.  Everyone has their definition of what determines road safety or, conversely, what makes our roads unsafe. In writing extensively about Corkscrew Road, I have...

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Sign-Up for Property Fraud Alerts

Sign-Up for Property Fraud Alerts

Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comprtroller Kevin Karnes is now offering an alert notification system for Lee County property owners to reduce fraud. When you sign-up, if a deed, mortgage, or other non-Court official record is recorded in your name, you will be...

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Environment Council

Engage Estero Environment Council is a volunteer group focusing on improving water and air quality and mitigating and eliminating the effects of climate warming in greater Estero.

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Health Council

Engage Estero Community Health Council comprises health* and safety-minded volunteers who think about community health comprehensively with a common desire to improve the overall health of the citizens of greater Estero.

Latest news…
Let’s Make Estero A HeartSafe Community!

Let’s Make Estero A HeartSafe Community!

The facts Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 300,000 lives annually. Approximately 95 percent of SCA victims die before they reach a hospital or receive medical attention. How Can We Help Reduce This...

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Education Council

Engage Estero mobilizes volunteers in our schools, sponsors scholarships, and promotes the involvement of the community through announcements and public forums.

Latest news…
Estero High Cambridge Students Recognized

Estero High Cambridge Students Recognized

By Mike Wasson, Director, Engage Estero The Village of Estero Council issued a Proclamation its Meeting on Wednesday, March 6th honoring 39 Estero High School Students who were presented the Cambridge Outstanding Learners Awards. In his remarks, Jon McLain, Village of...

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Updates on Issues of Impact

Engage Estero believes the best way to get a community involved is to make sure they are aware of the issues impacting their future, and know how to impact those decisions before they are made. We conduct and publish original research and articles aimed at getting residents Engaged.

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The Future of Estero: Public Forum

October 25, 2023 @ 6:00 pm EDT


Public Forum

Greater Estero’s Future :
The Impact of Urbanization and Development

Wednesday, October 25, 2023
FGCU Cohen Ballroom

A Panel Discussion featuring local experts moderated by Shelton Weeks, FGCU Professor of Economics and Finance.

Engage Estero conducted a free public forum on the impact of urbanization and land development and how it will affect Estero’s future. The platform featured expert panelists on land development and smart growth issues facing greater Estero. The discussion focused on the impact of urbanization as more people come to live in greater Estero and the current and projected level of development in greater Estero.

We improve our programs by gathering feedback from attendees. If you saw our forum in person or via video, please take a moment to provide some guidance for our future forums and meetings. Thank you.

Key Concerns

The impact and benefits of inevitable urbanization in Estero – yes, it is here and growing. Urbanization is the process through which cities typically grow, and higher and higher percentages of the population come to live.

Mixed-use developments, a type of urban development that blends multiple uses, such as residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or entertainment, into one space and represents most projects critical to creating public amenities.

How developers and planners will address concerns about the impact of urbanization and water quality and quantity.

It’s all about creative and adaptive reuse that spans economic, social, and ecological benefits. Selected benefits include sustainability, addressing carbon burdens in the built environment and reusing existing materials and infrastructure, avoiding new-construction costs, and low acquisition costs.

Why the retail landscape is undergoing significant shifts due to changing consumer behaviors, the continued immersion of e-commerce into our daily lives, and how retail spaces’ re-purposing benefits our communities.

Held October 25th at FGCU’s Cohen Student Center Ballroom, the forum highlighted the initiatives in place and under consideration for developing the Greater Estero area. FGCU Professor Shelton Weeks moderated a four-member panel about these initiatives and what steps could be completed to improve the vision and objectives. The forum was sponsored by Greg Tolley, Executive Director of FGCU’s Water School.

The meeting was recorded and watched by an additional 780 residents during the two weeks following its release. If you want to view the meeting recording, please click here.

Attendees and panel members noted the difficulties of the current and future traffic congestion on East Corkscrew Road and Coconut Road (West.)   Village Manager Steve Sarkozy, a panel member, detailed what efforts are being considered on these challenges. He also discussed current plans for future projects.

Engage Estero’s management team prepared several recommendations for consideration that emerged during the forum:

  • The Village needs to encourage public input much earlier for planned developments and recreational changes being considered, as panel member Jim Wallace suggested.
  • The Village often takes a “hard line” to achieve the acceptable Village requirements from developers to fit the vision for the Village. But there is a need for a more cohesive vision for the Village that takes account of all the developments and how they can enhance our community holistically.
  • It was suggested that the Village consider engaging with a planner or company with a proven track record in “thinking outside the box” to put forward their vision of what Estero will need to meet our future requirements. This does not imply that Village management is doing a poor job but that outside perspectives can provide a broader vision, considering potential shifts in the behavior and needs of the public.

The Hosts

Dr. Aysegul Timur, Opening Remarks

President of FGCU

FGCU President TimurAysegul Timur, Ph.D., was selected to become Florida Gulf Coast University’s fifth president on May 4, 2023, and was confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors on June 22, 2023. Timur’s selection as FGCU’s next leader is historic, as she is the first woman and immigrant selected to lead the university.

Dr. Shelton Weeks, Moderator

Professor of Economics and Finance

Dr. H. Shelton Weeks is the Lucas Professor of Real Estate and Director of the Lucas Institute for Real Estate Development & Finance. He teaches corporate finance, investments, and real estate. Dr. Weeks has extensive industry experience in real property valuation, emphasizing senior living projects. Dr. Weeks serves on the academic review panel of The Appraisal Journal and is the former Managing Editor of the Journal of Housing Research and former co-editor of the Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education.

The Experts


Daniel DeLisi

Land use planning and water/environmental policy consultant

Daniel DeLisi is a local water and environmental policy consultant/lobbyist and land use planner for local governments, agricultural property owners, and developers interested in ecological enhancement. In May 2011, he was appointed to the water district governing board. DeLisi earned his master’s degree in city planning at MIT. DeLisi served as a planning consultant for the Estero Community Planning Panel prior to incorporation and was engaged in drafting Estero’s first community plan and design guidelines.

Bob Moore

Ross McIntosh

Senior commercial real estate broker and respected speaker

Ross Mcintosh has sold and assembled billions of dollars for land development or re-purposing in Lee and Collier counties. Ross has been located in Naples, Florida, for approximately 21 years. He previously served as Vice President of Axios Systems Inc., engaging and promoting developing, producing, and distributing computer software and computer systems design.

Bob Moore

Steve Sarkozy

Village of Estero Manager

Steven R. Sarkozy serves as the Village Manager in Estero, Florida. As Village Manager, Sarkozy serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Village, responsible to the Village Council. He keeps the Council fully advised on the financial condition and future needs of the Village and makes such recommendations to the Council. Steve came to the Village in November 2015 with 45 years of local government experience, the latest as City Manager for the City of Carlsbad, California. He also served as City Manager to the City of Bellevue, Washington; the City of Roseville, Minnesota; and the City of Geneva, New York.

Bob Moore

Jim Wallace

Key principal of Genova Realty LLC

Since 1990, Jim has designed, marketed, and built 2,295 for-sale residences in 6 communities, including Piper’s Grove and Calusa Bay in Naples, Florida, Lighthouse Bay at the Brooks, and Rapallo and Genova in Estero. Before moving to Florida in 1990, Jim was Creative Director and Managing Partner of Publicite Wallace/Saffer in Montreal, Canada. He has served on the Village of Estero Planning, Zoning, and Design Board For eight years and taught a Real Estate Development Practicum at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2019 and 2020.

Thanks to our Sponsor


October 25, 2023
6:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


Engage Estero
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FGCU Cohen Center Ballroom
11090 FGCU Blvd. N.
Fort Myers, FL 33965 United States
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