The future development of four 22-story residential condo towers at Raptor Bay are facing some angry opposition from Estero residents and local government officials, who are raising concerns about potential added traffic snarls. Local residents and the Estero government are planning to take on developer WCI Communities, Inc., and the city of Bonita Springs over WCI’s residential project at the Raptor Bay Golf Course on Pelican Landing property overlooking Estero Bay. The property is located on Coconut Point Resort Drive.
The Raptor Bay 4-tower project will include a two-deck garage with 20 stories of residential units above. Currently, the proposed four residential towers’ project is before the Bonita Springs City Council. The Council voted to approve changes offered by WCI at a previous hearing, even after the city’s zoning board had voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council not pass the proposal, and deny the project. Two public hearings are scheduled for February 3 in Bonita Springs to discuss several proposals by WCI to move forward with the four towers. Estero residents will have a chance to air their grievances at one or both of the hearings.
Many of the issues from Estero residents include the impact of development on Estero, especially on traffic congestion on Coconut Road, which is the only public road from U.S. 41 to Estero Bay. The four-story residential development could add 700 to 800 new residents to the area. Residents have previously voiced their concerns at a workshop last week held by the Estero Village Council. The workshop was an information sharing session about traffic concerns. To fight future development of Raptor Towers, the residents have formed Coconut Grove West Neighborhood Association, and have hired both a city planner and an environmental attorney. The Estero Village Council agreed to have its land-use attorney research and prepare a memo explaining the legal options they have versus WCI, anticipating further expansion since WCI has an option to buy the adjacent Weeks Fish Camp property.