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Wellington committee votes unanimously against portion of luxury project

Second area to be discussed Thursday
Wellington committee on June 7, 2023.jpg
Posted at 12:10 AM, Jun 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-08 00:29:39-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Wellington's Equestrian Preserve Committee unanimously voted against the Wellington North proposal late Wednesday night.

The committee will hear a second proposal at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for the Wellington South Proposal.

"This is because they only had time for the first part of the project today," Tim Stillings, the Wellington planning and zoning director, said,
Wellington North and Wellington South are part of a proposal that is a 600-acre project that could bring new luxury homes, as well as a large expansion of the equestrian showgrounds.

The big debate has been how to balance change and development while preserving the lifestyle in the village.

"There's going to be a lot of angry people tonight and I think some of them have some real valid concerns," said Ron Davis, who lives in Wellington.

The project proposes to bring enhancements to equestrian facilities, as well as homes, shops and offices, and new luxury development to undeveloped areas.

"I don't think these condos or apartments or whatever that are being built are going to be inexpensive enough for the average person to have and I think that most of the people who are equestrians here already have farms," Carol Coleman said.

Coleman said she's an equestrian and a judge for the equestrian industry, and a concern for her is traffic.

"I think the additional traffic that would come out of these condos and apartments would be much too much," she said. "It would add thousands of trips to the road at Pearson and South Shore.

This is the first in a series of presentations the developer needs approval.

Wednesday, they presented for the Equestrian Preserve Committee, then the Planning, Zoning, and Adjustments Board in July, then before Village Council for final decision.

"The Equestrian Preserve Committee is an advisory board to the Planning Zoning and Adjustment board and Wellington's Council on land use decisions," said Liz Nunez, the Public Information officer with the Village of Wellington. "Tonight's decision means that they will not recommend the proposal for future approval."

Ron Davis, who lives in Wellington, said: "I'm open minded to the whole thing. I know there's people that are really against it and really for it."

Davis said this is one of the first opportunities residents have had to speak out, and he errors on the side of responsible progress.

"I mean wellington when I came 25 years ago was empty, there was nothing, and now it's a huge booming community so it's moving forward," Davis said. "Where are we going to take it and how are we going to do it is my concern," Davis said.

For him traffic and property values were top of mind, as well as the environmental impact the project may have

"Absolutely it's going to affect the environment and I want to know what their plans are to counter that," Davis said.
The project is backed by big celebrity names, Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake, which raises its own concerns for residents like Davis.

"Having Justin Timberlake or any famous celebrity attached to it means nothing to me because they probably don't even know about this community to be honest with me and it's probably just an investment for them," Davis said.