Joseph Cameratta has helped bring two big developments to Lee County, Preserve at Corkscrew and Corkscrew Shores.
“People want more homes and more people are migrating to Florida,” Cameratta said.
He now wants to build another, Corkscrew Farms. It would add 1,300 homes on this land off Corkscrew Road just east of Alico Road.
“Ultimately we believe these homes will be well accepted,” Cameratta said.
It’s a 1,300-acre plot, but in order to get the go-ahead Lee County Commissioners need to amend the comprehensive plan.
Cameratta’s unique pitch, he’ll set aside 800 acres to be restored and preserved.
“We feel that there’s a benefit to the ground water resources with this overlay and to wildlife as well,” growth management specialist for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida April Olson said.
But some don’t think the good outweighs the bad.
“Our principal opposition is based on the traffic impacts on Corkscrew Road,” vice mayor for the Village of Estero Howard Levitan said.
The development falls under the county’s future land.
“It’s urban sprawl in the worst possible form because it’s planned to be in the most sensitive sector of the county the DR/GR,” Responsible Growth Management Coalition board member Patty Whitehead said.
This calls for a maximum of one dwelling per 10 acres on this land.
“One unit to the acre and that’s not considered urban sprawl,” Cameratta said. “You don’t get support from those environmental agencies unless they’ve looked at the facts and understand what you’re doing.”
Local leaders don’t doubt ecological benefits of work slated for the individual properties (WildBlue and Corkscrew Farms), but worry about the cumulative effect of expanding development eastward and increasing residential densities near a major groundwater resource. Last week, the Estero Village Council passed a resolution calling for comprehensive transportation, environmental and wildlife studies to be completed before more development is allowed to move forward.