Wellington town council ends three days of Equestrian Village talks

Final plans for dressage facility could take month

WELLINGTON, Fla. - The town of Wellington is moving forward with plans to bring a major and permanent dressage facility to the area. Town councilors voted in favor of that part of this plan Thursday morning and continued discussions through the evening concerning the scope of the project.

In a 3-to-2 vote, councilors approved a plan to amend the town's Comprehensive Plan, allowing developers of Equestrian Village to build structures larger in size than what current land use regulations allow.

Much of the end of three days of discussions focused on the height of a proposed hotel on the parcel of land at the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Pierson Road. Current rules cap the height of such a building at 35-feet. However, developers were hoping councilors would make an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, allowing for the hotel to be as high as 66-feet. The height agreed upon by developers and by a majority of councilors was 58-feet.

That amendment to Wellington's Comprehensive Plan must be reviewed by the state before the town council moves forward with any finalized Equestrian Village plan. That process could take several months to complete.

Earlier this week, councilors approved an amendment to the master plan, allowing for the addition of access points to the proposed dressage facility.

Councilors said this three day discussion was the longest one-topic discussion they have ever had. Still, opponents said they have not yet had adequate time for their side to be heard.

"Right now they're at least talking about possibly reducing the height, but at the end of the day, this is the same day they have to make a decision on this," said Mat Forrest of the Wellington Equestrian Preservation Alliance. "Maybe we should have had a discussion on height two months ago."

Developers of Equestrian Village were looking to increase building coverage size and increase floor area ratios. An equestrian arena, a hotel, shops and restaurants are part of the plan.

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