Estero neighbors upset about possible medical offices near their community

Published: January 10, 2022 10:31 PM EST
Updated: January 10, 2022 10:56 PM EST

Dozens of neighbors in one Estero community are worried about sprouting up a possible dental and medical office. It would be placed next to the Fountain Lakes entrance off US-41 in Estero.

They say their biggest concern is safety. Right now, the planned facility would be right next to the neighborhood’s entrance. And, it’s the left turn but the existing call box that would not only be where the offices would sit but also create traffic.

For more than 30 years, Joe Pavich Sr. has called Fountain Lakes home. “I have seven grandchildren that were born in Estero, so yes, safety is the utmost concern,” Pavich said.

He believes their safety is being compromised with medical offices sharing that entrance. “So picture this, you are at the call box, as somebody who is a non-resident here is calling on the phone to get the code to open the gate, and as their waiting to get access to the community. You have people going to the doctor and dentist office turning left in front of them. That could be an issue,” said Pavich.

The biggest issue is the call bo. It contains 900 names to go through if you don’t have an access code.

Janet Hildebrand also lives in Fountain Lakes. “People don’t like to wait,” she said. Hildebrand has seen it first hand. People cut around one another just to get through the gate.

The scariest thing, neighbors say, is the safety of kids exiting their buses. “Can you imagine if somebody decided to cut left in front of a school bus when it’s sitting there with children on it? So that’s an issue,” said Hildebrand.

These neighbors say it is an issue that is not worth the risk of putting these offices here. “We’re just holding our breath and hoping that the builder will decide they can use the entrance over at the storage unit,” Hildebrand said.

That storage unit is located south of the neighborhood’s entrance. If that doesn’t work, they’re hoping a light will help control the traffic.

On Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., there is a council meeting, and Fountain Lakes residents will make their voices heard there.