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Milan Villas, a D.R. Horton subdivision consisting of 44 single-family attached units, was unanimously approved for rezoning to residential from commercial by Estero Village Council.

The 10-acre property at the northwest corner of Williams Road and Three Oaks Parkway was zoned for 100,000 square feet of commercial use in 2003, resulting in it never being developed and remaining vacant for 19 years.

The village’s planning board recommended approval to council in September, with two nay votes by board members Anthony Gargano and Jim Wallace.

About 4.3 acres of the site will be dedicated to open space, featuring a passive park, secondary emergency access and sidewalks on both sides of the street.

The first reading for the development left council members concerned regarding landscaping on the property, voting for a continuation to Wednesday.

The main issue with landscaping pertained to the visibility of the project from the main roads. D.R. Horton proposed two options to satisfy council’s request for more clarity about landscaping, visibility and buffering.

One option was enhanced landscaping with dense vegetation to block views and create an opaque privacy screen. The second option was landscaping enhanced with a wall.

“I think both will provide a nice buffer and an opaque screening,” said Dan DeLisi, land use planning consultant for the project. “Our preference, and it’s not a cost issue, is the landscape option. It’s about the same cost, it just looks better.”

Council chose the first option, a layered buffer with a double hedge row and a row of 12- and 16-foot trees. The enhanced buffering will accompany a decorative aluminum fence along Three Oaks Parkway and Williams Road, with a black coated chain link fence on the west and north sides of the site.

Milan Villas will have a coordinated, cohesive color scheme, with each unit consisting of three bedrooms, two baths and two-car garages with a firewall separating the units.

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