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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Williams Road Golf Driving Range
is Slated to Close!

The Village management and Council have decided that the Driving Range will close. Given the facility’s remarkably elevated level of use and the lack of access to practice facilities within a reasonable distance, this will shock many.

by Allan Bowditch, Engage Estero’s Chief Communications Officer

Background

In March 2023, Engage Estero reported: –

“Gulf Coast Driving Range is experiencing a resurgence. During this seasonal period, 700 to 1000 people use this Estero golf driving range on Williams Road weekly. It’s the only public practice facility in a 15-mile radius. It is a great practice facility, and this non-profit operation gives back to the community. All proceeds from the Driving Range go to the Estero Forever Foundation, which operates the Range with a team of volunteers to support various essential projects in Estero.

The Village of Estero purchased the 10-acre Driving Range property in 2022. Because they wanted to avoid getting into the business of running a Driving Range, the Estero Forever Foundation, led by then-President George Zalucki, proposed that they take over the operation as a community service project. The facility will continue as a recreational amenity for Estero residents and provide funds for the Estero Forever Foundation to complete community-based projects in Estero.”

The Driving Range closure is linked to the proposed development of the 20 Acre site, which the Village plans to transform into an “Entertainment District.” This is just one transformation that will occur over the next 2-8 years for the creation of the Village Center.

Furthermore, the Village leaders must do more to communicate the long-term vision to the residents. It will affect communities around the new Village Center, the Capital Infrastructure plans, and the Estero River as we transform from a Nature and Active Lifestyle to a more Urban setting.

Engage Estero believes that Urban Planning needs to consider citizens’ views as the Village grows and develops. Communication improvement is essential!

Please let us know your views and thoughts on these developments, which we will compile and provide to the Village Management and Council members. 

 

20 Comments

  1. I would keep this driving range open as long as possible. It is being used by golfers and the numbers have increased with use. There is not a golf range within 15 miles for people to use. It also benefits Estero Forever Foundation which volunteers to keep it open. I think Village Management and Council Members need to communicate with residents to keep us informed.
    The Entertainment Center may not open for 2-8 years as planning does take time. Please consider keeping the golf range open for people to use. Thank you.

  2. I’m sorry. What am I missing? Isn’t a golf driving range considered entertainment? The dismantling of the driving range will create a great inconvenience to those that have no access to private driving ranges and have to drive an hour or more (round trip) to go have some fun and work on their strokes. Very disappointing!

  3. I’m disappointed in this action. This is an important recreational facility for the community.

  4. Seems odd to close down something that has reportedly seen an increase in use. Not only would you be taking away this facility from people who enjoy using it, you will more importantly be eliminating a source of income for a community foundation that benefits from the proceeds. Please reconsider this decision.

  5. I’m not a golfer, but I’d like to see the range stay open. I am concerned about Estero’s proclivity toward developing every square inch of available space. Estero is better served by a non-intrusive driving range than by yet another development.

  6. Please reconsider closing the gold range. I use it and many others also use it. I wait for an opening because it is filled with golfers to take my turn. After watching a couple meeting of the zoning boad on line I notice the development of Estero is favored towards the developer. The town should have a vote on this issue. Your going in the wrong direction. It won’t be a village for long.

  7. Closing this well used community resource would be a mistake. As this article makes clear, the range is very popular and usage is up. Why close a golf practice facility when there are so few in our area. Final personal point, the current management and staff, under the Estero Foundation, is doing an outstanding job – they are so kind and friendly. Estero, please reconsider!

  8. I think it’s terrible to close the driving range. Many of the citizens of Estero cannot afford to belong to a golf club and this is the only facility in the area at which they can practice. Golf is an entertainment for many. Please make it a part of the “Entertainment District “!

  9. Put your actions in a detailed plan and have the residents vote Yes or No………

  10. I feel a moratorium on all these new developments should take place. Let’s sit back , open this to a village meeting and let the folks that live here have a say. The golf range is one of the few green spots we have remaining in Estero. Let’s keep it that way. Estero is starting to go the way of Naples and Bonita. Let’s get back to the village concept that Estero was meant to be.

  11. Has not a contract already been signed with chicken and pickle?

  12. I don’t object to the Village buying vacant land for various community projects but what kind of entertainment consists of indoor Pickleball courts and a chicken restaurant. The Pickleball might be consistent adjacent to a large
    Community park but so is a driving range. The 2nd problem is spending $12 million dollars for infrastructure for a private business. No matter how you cut it we are talking about tax payer dollars and especially paying interest on a loan. We are also sitting on a large parcel of land on the river which is staying a wilderness and an eyesore at the corner of US 41 and Corkscrew. I don’t see that a 20 acre entertainment district is worthy of our dollars.

  13. I’m not a golfer, but I think that closing this facility will be a mistake. What is meant by the statement “converting into an urban area” mean? What is the end goal of the planning board?

  14. I would ask for reconsideration. South Florida is the golf Mecca of the US, however, many courses are private. For those of us who frequent this driving range we will be left with nothing. The ranges in North Fort Myers and on Collier Blvd, near Marco Island, are too far away. I loved racquetball back in the day, but it eventually disappeared. There are many places to play pickleball, so that group of residents can enjoy their sport. The driving range is the only place for residents to enjoy golf. Will pickleball remain as a popular sport in 5 years?

  15. Why close it if usage is up? I thought it was part of the “entertainment ” center. Whats going to go in the space? Please do not close the range, its a good practice facility and will missed by many if it closes

  16. There are so many opportunities to play pickle ball everywhere. Where is the diversity? Where is the standout uniqueness? The driving range is unique and has community history associated with it. It can be combined with the Estero Community Park and the eventual Greenway with Rails to Trails not for profit organization. There has to be more inclusive spots along that route like up in Venice, Sarasota and Tampa. That entertainment space design is well intended but not a good idea. Maybe you should look at Three Oaks Park a bit more. What does it have? How much is it used? What does that park not have and the Estero community park not have? We want all of these green spaces to be balanced and connected. I just don’t see what the Village is putting forth with this project matching all the others. I haven’t been wrong yet there. Definitely happy with what will become of that plot of land next to Koreshan. Estero will reap those benefits of that decision for ages. Especially if a few acres to the north of the River they decide to go ahead and make that a Downtown pad. Make sure the MySore Fig Tree gets protected along the way. Any of the older houses too. They can be transformed if sold and bought out by the city into restaurants etc. Keep it classy and different. It makes the city standout in a good way and you end up with everyone winning/being happy too. It is possible.

  17. Why close the driving range? its an entertainment center. Many people use this to sharpen their skills. Please reconsider

  18. Plenty of positive comments. Please reconsider keeping the driving range.

  19. If this is a recreational center, why could the driving range not be an interval part of it. There are very few public driving ranges a in Estero. Golf is something every age can enjoy. Please do not close this facility! We also need a 9 hole public course.

  20. This is a huge mistake, plain and simple. I seriously doubt if this was voted on by residents more than 15% would would agree with this decision. Very disappointing.

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