<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> External Affairs

External Affairs Committee


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The External Affairs Committee

The External Affairs Committee is a sanctioneed Committee of the Board of Directors. Members of the Committee are Sondra Gibbons, Chair, and Don Martell. Tom Gibbons and Janice Martell are ex-officio members of the Committee.


The Committee's Terms of Reference are to

- report to the VillageWalk Board of Directors on events taking place outside the community.

- monitor the City of Bonita Springs and Lee County regarding situations impacting Village Walk.

- represent VillageWalk at Bonita East Stakeholders meetings.

- convey the Board of Directors' position to an appropriate entity should the Board choose to do so.


The Committtee does not have regular meeting dates, since most of the Committee's time is spent at City Council, County Commissioner, School Board, etc. meeting. The Committee serves, as do all the Committees, at the pleasure of the Board, and have no decision making authority.


If you have questions, contact Sondra Gibbons 239-949-1887

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Public School Board


As of November 2016, the Lee County School Board will be comprised of five members elected through a District-wide vote of the people and two members elected at large.. Board Members serve four-year terms on a staggered basis and reside in one of the five districts from which they are voted. Members annually elect their Chairman and Vice Chairman.

The Lee County School Board sets policies and rules that govern the administration of the District. The Board operates according to Florida laws and Florida Department of Education regulations and it sets policy only when members meet in official session. The Board appoints the District's Superintendent, who administers the daily operations of the school system

The Public School Board's website is http://www.leeschools.net/


See the note below concerning the new high school for Bonita Springs.

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City of Bonita Springs


Mayor Peter Simmons 239-949-6262
Email: peter.simmons@cityofbonitasprings.org

City Manager Carl L. Schwing: 239-949-6232
Email: carl.schwing@cityofbonitasprings.org

Selected telephone numbers:

City Hall 239-949-6262

Code Enforcement 239-949-6257

Community Development 239-444-6150

Parks & Recreation 239-992-2556


The City of Bonita Springs website is http://www.cityofbonitasprings.org/


City Council

VillageWalk residents are represented by Fred Forbes, who is the City of Bonita Springs District 6 Councillor. Fred was born in Ohio and spent most of his working career in central Ohio.  He is both an Ohio and Florida Registered Architect and an Ohio Registered professional Engineer.  He has a BS degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters degree from the University of Dayton with all work completed except a thesis. 

Fred Forbes was elected to the Bonita Springs Fire Commission in 2012 and served as a Fire Commissioner until March 2016.  Concurrently he served on the City’s Local planning Agency from 2012 to March of 2016.  He also was a member of the Library Task Force whose mission was to get a new library for our City.  He also served as one of seven members of the Citizens Water Strategy Task Force from December 2013 thru December of 2014.

Contact Information:
Email: fred.forbes@citypofbonitasprings.org

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Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District


At a recent Fire Commissioner meeting , there was an update on the proposed fire house just to the east of VillageWalk.  This may be information you will want to share with your homeowners insurance carrier in case it will lower your insurance rates.

The anticipated start date is January of 2017, with completion scheduled for the end of 2018  At Sptember's commissioners' meeting, Chief Daigle will provide an update, including design, staffing, equipment, etc. 


Bonita Springs Fire Control & Rescue District
27701 Bonita Grande Drive, Bonita Springs,

The Fire Department's website is


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Policing in Bonita Springs


Policing in Bonita sPrings is administered by the Lee County Sheriff's Office.  Their number is 239-477-1000 or 911 in an emergency.  The website is http://www.sheriffleefl.org/main/Police Department



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Bonita Springs County Library


A new County library is going to be constructed in the Old 41 Redevelopment Area.  The County is moving forward with this project estimated to be completed by December 2018.  The process of getting a new Library for Bonita Springs has been going on for years.  Bill Lonkart, former City Councilman for District 6, was one of the major advocates on City Council for Bonita Springs getting a modern new library with the latest technology.

​ (I understand from Friends of the Library board members that library construction​ will begin as soon as the downtown redevelopment is completed and construction materials are removed from the building site.)

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Lee County

VillageWalk is located in Lee County Florida. The County Commissioner for District 3 will be determined in November 2016. The Lee County website is https://www.leegov.com/

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Potential Development in the Area of Bonita Beach Road, East of I-75


18 Acres - Wooded Tract between I-75 and Hunters Ridge Blvd. – The owner of this site has recently had a surveying team do a boundary and topographical survey of the site.   The proposed TV studio does not seem to be an active proposed project at this time.  Aldi’s, which is a grocery store chain whose stores are similar in size to Traders Joe’s, may be looking at this site.  Currently the site is being proposed as some type of a food service or grocery store plus a hotel or a retailer.  The most important information is that before anything can be proposed on this site a rezoning of the site is required which means the opportunity for public input both to and at the Zoning Board Hearing and at City Council who are the ultimate decision makers on zoning matters.  Recently, due to the newly elected Council, the procedures regarding making testimony or public input at zoning Board Hearings and City Council Zoning Hearings has been changed to make it much simpler for residents to have an opportunity to make input to the decision makers.


Bernwood 22 Acres - Site In front of Hunters Ridge – The parcel between the Pylon sign and the service station fronting on Bonita Beach Road and Bonita Grande has a serious Hotel Developer wanting to build a 110 - 120 room Upper/Middle line in, more than likely, the Hilton chain.  It may have a restaurant since the developer is an experienced restaurant and hotel developer operator from the northeast coast (New England States).  More than likely due to the site size it will be at least 55 feet high to as much as 75 feet high.  This project, should it continue to move forward, may likely not be required to go to City Council and the Zoning Board.


Storage Facilities – The Bernwood shopping center area was zoned and approved by Lee County back in the mid to late 1990’s and has a very large range of zoned permitted uses including storage facilities, storage yards, light manufacturing, auto body repair shops with associated outside storage of damaged vehicles and vehicle parts, as well as hotels, restaurants, professional offices, and a number of other uses.  As this potential proposal progresses, updates will be released.  Should this development move forward it would use a large portion of Bernwood land.  It may only require Administrative review on approval of the design, landscaping, site layout as opposed to being required to be approved by the City Council.  Again all of these approved uses were granted by County Commission and Lee Community Development over two decades ago.


Development on the North side of Bonita Beach Road east of I-75 – The 20 acre tract of land, which is immediately east of I-75, was recently sold to the group that several years ago purchased Bernwood on both Bonita Beach Road and Bernwood on Old 41.  The new owners plan to reconstruct Orr Road so it will be more to the east which provides larger commercial lots on the west side of Orr Road. Orr Road currently and will discharge onto a service road that runs parallel to Bonita beach Road, known as Miller Road. This site was already zoned by the City of Bonita around 2008 for some of the following permitted uses: hotel/motel, apartments or multifamily housing, restaurants, fast food restaurants, office buildings, retail, warehouse and self-storage facilities. The new owners are pursuing a number of projects. Most of the individual development projects will be approved by Community Development by administrative approval unless a project requires a zoning deviation.


The foregoingwas kindly provided by Councillor Fred Forbes.

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Bonita Springs High School 

See the Bonita Springs High School details and the development plan for the High School to be constructed on the Imperial Parkway site at the Shangri-La Road Intersection. Groundbreaking is supposed to occur in January of 2017. The High School is planning to be open by 2018 beginning of school year August or before. Lee School Board has announced that the official name for the new school is Bonita Springs High School.



Bonita Beach East Stakeholders

The Bonita East Stakeholders was formed in 2009, with representatives being selected and designated by the Boards of the communities east of I 75 to form an Executive Committee.


The mission of BBonita East Stakeholders is to be actively involved in issues and activities outside the gates of the communities represented, so that members and residents could be informed as to what was going on in the City of Bonita Springs and Lee County which could impact the communities and their residents.  Should an issue become critically important, Bonita East Stakeholders representatives were to keep their respective Boards of Directors informed, and, if needed, inform the residents, so that individuals could, at their choosing, send emails or make public comments at City Council, Committee, or County Commissioner meetings.


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Old 41 Redevelopment Project


This complete redevelopment of the Old 41 project area known as Old Downtown should be completed by October, 2017.  Already developers are getting new commercial and residential projects approved.  Within a year or two the new projects completed or underway will make a major and very positive impact on not only this area of downtown, but it will be a major catalyst in stimulating the positive development and redevelopment of other areas including Bonita Beach Road.  Will keep you updated on this project.

Information Sources

  Please understand that the information on this webpage is provided to assist residents at VillageWalk; it is not legal, taxation or insurance advice. Kindly check with a professional

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