Close this search box.

Log in

Top Stories

A public information meeting was held for Corkscrew Pines seeking a development order for a convenience store, gas station and self-storage facility during Estero’s planning, zoning and design board meeting Tuesday.

The site is on a vacant 12-acre parcel zoned for commercial planned development within the Stoneybrook development, abutting Corkscrew Road to the north, Stoneybrook Golf Drive to the west, Fire House Lane to the east and a wetland conservation tract to the south.

The project is being subdivided into four development tracts and one road/drainage tract. Tract S-2 is proposed to be a 137,000-square-foot self-storage facility in three buildings, with two one-story buildings and one two-story building. Tract S-4 is proposed to be a 4,667-square-foot convenience store with 12 gas pumps and a 1,000-square-foot automated carwash.

The concept of Corkscrew Pines acting as a mix of commercial uses was brought to the planning board previously, involving zoning amendments that were ultimately withdrawn by the applicant a day after a public hearing was held. Since then, the applicant changed the site plan back to what was approved in the county’s zoning.

Neale Montgomery, the project’s attorney, said all proposed uses are allowed within the current zoning, which was recently amended in 2008, allowing mini warehouses, convenience stores with 12 gas pumps, restaurants, offices and drug stores.

“We’re here to discuss compliance with the land development code relative to the developer requirements,” Montgomery said.

Despite the project’s compliance with land use and zoning, neighboring residents of the property, almost overwhelmingly from Stoneybrook Golf Club, had several concerns regarding safety, noise and traffic.

The property location being on the north side of Pinewoods Elementary School and the southeast corner of Corkscrew Road and Stoneybrook Golf Drive, brought up concern for children’s safety.

“When did it become acceptable to build a hazardous, flammable facility outside the front door of an elementary school?” Stoneybrook resident Marcia Maryfield said. “There are so many vacant lots in Estero to build a gas station, but not at the doorstep of an elementary school.”

Other residents like Gary Israel had concern surrounding the gas station, saying the need is not there, as Estero’s Village Council approved a Wawa gas station and convenience store on Corkscrew Road last week.

The gas station is proposed to be a 24-hour 7-Eleven, raising issues in the current zoning which prohibits 24/7 operations of a gas station and fueling residents’ concerns for noise and traffic in and around their community.

“The road is not going to handle the trucks and the traffic coming out of here, that’s one of our biggest concerns,” said resident Eileen Huss. “You’ve got gas stations down the street. Why do we need one right in our backyard for 24 hours? This is going to negatively impact the entire community.”

Although residents voiced concerns, board member Barry Jones reminded the public comment speakers of land uses and the board’s limitations.

“It’s important that people understand the process, and what rights that they currently have that they are grandfathered into,” Jones said. “There’s nothing legally we can do to stop them from putting a gas station there. All we can do is make sure that it adheres to the community standards and they try and mitigate whatever impact they have on you.”

Board member Anthony Gargano, who acted as chairman at Tuesday’s meeting, made a closing comment to the applicant before a public hearing is brought back to the board at a later date, addressing concerns, landscaping and height elevations on the site.

“One of my takeaways was that there doesn’t seem to be much communication between the applicant and residents,” Gargano said. “That might be helpful for the applicant, to meet with the residents and discuss some of the issues.”

Copyright 2024 Gulfshore Life Media, LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.

Don't Miss

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Please note that article corrections should be submitted for grammar or syntax issues.

If you have other concerns about the content of this article, please submit a news tip.