Genova, a 17-acre luxury community in Estero, requested the construction of single-family and villa townhomes on the undeveloped portion of its community.
The property, at the corner of Corkscrew Road and Coconut Point, was rezoned for 205 units and six condominium buildings by the Estero Village Council a few years ago. The two remaining undeveloped buildings are now proposed to be 20 single-family homes and 11 two-story townhome units, reducing the number of units to 162.
“It’s a very different product than what would have been built,” said Mary Gibbs, Estero community development director. “But the comprehensive plan says you can have a diversity of different types of residential housing. So even though I think everybody would probably prefer the last two buildings being constructed, that’s not going to happen.”
The applicant, Barron Collier Companies, had a meeting with residents last week, hoping to address any concerns regarding parking, greenspace and safety.
The visibility of parking, which was originally proposed as underground parking, was addressed by removing guest parking around the lake in the community, creating additional green space and keeping parking hidden.
There are also walls in between the villas that allow for less visibility of parking, as parking is now proposed to be between units.
The shifting of parking and the reduction of total units, allows for more green space, according to Jaime Lopez, vice president of acquisitions for Barron Collier Cos. The site provides 44% of open space, totaling 7.48 acres, a little more than the required 6.77 acres of open space.
Residents brought up fencing to address safety concerns, which will be provided with 6-foot-tall hedging to conceal the 5-foot-tall metal fencing, allowing residents to feel safe and secure.
While the new site plan is different than what residents bought into a few years ago, some residents like Jane Brown expressed gratitude and praised cooperation the developers have had with residents.
“I’ve been through the process of the different plans, phases and recommendations that Barron Collier has presented to us over the last three years,” said Brown, a three-year resident of Genova. “I must say that I am 100% in favor of the plan that they have settled with. I think they have been very open to all the residents’ suggestions and pretty much almost given us everything we wanted.”
However, other residents like Hal Korbee, spoke in opposition to the project.
“First of all, it represents a complete and utter betrayal to this village and to all of us who bought into it relying on the plan that was represented to us by the developer and approved by the council,” Korbee said. “The proposed plan that was presented to the Genova community last week in a special meeting was presented as a take it or leave it plan, no room for Plan D or any other thing.”
The villas will feature a minimum of two parking spaces per unit, shallow roof pitches with barrel tile as material and little overhang, square openings with occasional archway, architectural features with shutters, trim, clay tile vents and a decorative wall for massing effect.
The townhomes will feature two garage spaces per unit, varied massing, multiple building volumes and varied building heights and shallow roof pitches with barrel tile as material and wide overhangs. Attached balconies with decorative metal railings, square openings with an occasional archway and architectural features with roof cupolas, corbels and clay tile vents are also expected.
The villas and townhomes are both products of luxury home builder CC Homes, each expected to be two stories and 2,500 square feet.
The village planning board recommended approval of the construction to the Estero Village council, subject to conditions placed, with one nay vote by board member Anthony Gargano and one abstention by board member Jim Wallace.