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Wellington asks affected residents to annex 257 acres west of Loxahatchee Grove

Question will appear on March 19 ballot for those in area
Village of Wellington sign, generic
Posted at 10:38 PM, Feb 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-13 22:38:54-05

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Wellington's Village Council on Tuesday unanimously passed an ordinance to include a ballot question next month on annexing 257 acres of unincorporated Palm Beach County land west of Loxahatchee Groves.

If approved by the residents in the area, the village's boundary would expand north, crossing Southern Boulevard for the first time.

The village has 61,448 residents as of 2021.

In December, the council voted to approve the question registered voters in the proposed area will see in their March 19 ballot. More than 50% of the voters must consent to the annexation.

The 257 acres are split among 38 properties in Entrada Acres immediately north of the intersection of Southern Boulevard and Seminole Pratt Whitney Road.

The land-use map would include 123 acres for commercial uses and 125 acres for residential housing built at a medium density.

The land currently includes 10 nurseries, four equestrian farms, three churches and two 10-acre lots owned by Palm Beach County, as well as a drainage lake. About eight properties are residential and 10 are vacant.

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A Wellington staff report estimated the properties have a combined assessed value of more than $15 million in assessed valuation with $224,999 in ad valorem taxes.

Many residents spoke in support of the annexation and even had shirts made.

However, a certified planner with Palm Beach County shared that the county objects to the annexation and will pursue "all legal liberties" to remedy the situation.

In December, county commissioners 5-1 to oppose the village's annexation effort. Staff concluded the land was not contiguous to Wellington and didn't meet the requirements of urbanized areas required by state law.