Featured Events

Community & Membership Meeting: Proton Therapy for Cancer

Learn about why Proton Therapy can provide an important alternative to traditional radiation treatment. This form of treatment which was only available in other parts of the USA now means that residents will have this form of treatment on their doorstep.

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Estero Park & Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd
Estero, FL 33928 United States
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Village of Estero Meetings

01 May
9:30 am
14 May
15 May
9:30 am
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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.

How it Works

The Development



Uniquely Estero

The Village of Estero has unique processes and guidelines for builders and developers. This brief overview is provided so residents can understand how the process works and when public input is most impactful. It is NOT intended to make business or legal decisions, nor does it claim to be comprehensive or authoritative.

It Begins with Land

All the vacant (and non-vacant) land in the Village of Estero has zoning assigned to it. The property can only be used for the purposes it is zoned (residential, commercial, agricultural, or specified mixed uses). Current zoning maps can be found at: https://leegis.leegov.com/zoning

If a landowner wants to build something outside the current zoning limits, they have to go to the Village or County and ask for a zoning change or variance. If they want to build within the current zoning limits, they have a couple of documents to guide how and what they build.

vacant land
Future Land Use Map

Governing Documents: The plan

The Comprehensive Plan is the overall vision of how Estero intends to balance residential, commercial, public, and reserve lands. Suppose a developer wants to build something that is not in line with that plan. In that case, they have to approach the Village Council through the Planning, Zoning, and Design Review Board, with documentation and a public presentation to justify the exemption. These presentations are announced in advance, are open to the public, and are recorded and available on-demand for those who cannot attend in person. The Village sends out an email before and after each meeting describing what requests are on the agenda and what decisions were made.

 Governing Documents: The Code

The Land Development Code is a technical document that details the rules builders and developers must follow to match the Comprehensive Plan’s vision. This code is specific to the Village and overrides the County’s codes.

All developments must present their architectural plans for buildings, site plans, permanent signage, and more for review to make sure it meets the standards of the code.

These presentations are also announced by email before and after every meeting of the Planning, Zoning, Design, and Review Board which either makes decisions within their authority or forwards recommendations to the Village Council.

Land Development Code
Village meeting

Weighing In on Decisions

Estero’s staff developed the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Code, led by the very experienced Community Development Director, Mary Gibbs, who previously worked for Lee County. Development of these plans included public input sessions and multiple reviews before being adopted.

In addition, all requests for permission to do major work (development orders) are reviewed by staff, who review the requests against the code and plan and report to both the Planning, Zoning, and Design Review Board and the Village Council as to whether the plans are compliant. In procedural issues, staff can decide on small renovations, technical deviations, and events like farmer’s markets.

The Planning, Zoning, and Design Review Board, which is made up of nine members appointed by the Village Council, decide on requests that have to do with development orders, special exceptions, variances to existing zoning, monument signage, exterior alterations, exterior painting, and such matters. This Board is not compensated and meets at least monthly as needed.

The Village Council decides Comprehensive Plan Amendments, rezoning requests, planned developments.

The public is invited to comment at all public meetings, at as many meetings as is required before a final vote is made. These meetings are posted on the Village’s calendar well in advance and offer public eComment on the agendas, which are available with detailed attachments the week prior to the meeting.

It Wasn’t Always Like This

In 2021, the Planning, Zoning, and Design Review Board merged from two separate boards: zoning and design.

Before the Village of Estero was incorporated in 2015, the boards existed as independent, volunteer-operated arms of the ECCL. The Estero Design Review Committee and Estero Community Planning Panel each served as a way for the public to easily be informed about and be heard by developers as they planned their projects.

These two panels existed solely because The ECCL developed the Estero Community Plan, a grassroots development plan guiding building design, landscaping, and buffers adopted by the Board of County Commissioners starting in 2002, long before Estero became a municipality.

Read more about the ECCL’s significant contribution to the appearance standards in Estero in “Forging a Better Path: the role of the ECCL in helping to make the Greater Estero Area the best place to visit, live, work and play now and in the future,” by our own Allan J. Bowditch.

Meeting of ECCL

So How Do You Get Involved?

The ECCL was founded on the idea that residents should be actively involved in the direction and implementation of the growth of Estero. Growth is inevitable, but the types and styles of growth are up to us.

Be Informed

First, subscribe to the ECCL email list for updates on all kinds of issues essential to residents, including development.

Second, subscribe to the Village of Estero’s email list for previews and summaries of each public meeting. These articles link to the actual applications developers submit, so you can view them, submit comments, or attend the meetings to comment.

Be Timely

Estero is the beautiful, consistent municipality it is today, is because residents took action BEFORE typical highway construction invaded the area. The time to become involved in a development process is in the planning stages, not after the bulldozers arrive. By then, the decisions have been made. Fortunately for us, we have access to those planning stages and can participate in the discussion.

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

Join the Movement

Protect Your Voice

Engage Estero provides action alerts, community news, and regular reports on issues affecting the quality of life in the greater Estero area. Sign up to be on the list.