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Wellington Village council to vote on controversial proposals for golf courses

Posted at 5:45 PM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 18:51:40-05

It's going to be a late night for the Wellington Village Council. A large crowd is expected as they debate two controversial plans impacting two very large communities. 

On one side, you have the developer of Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club and Polo West who is trying to expand the use of land for the golf courses on the properties and add public access roads to them. 

On the other side, you have homeowner associations and neighbors worried about what the land would be used for and the traffic and safety concerns that come with people accessing roads near their private country club homes. 

If you live in the Golf Club Villas at the Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club, your home no longer overlooks a golf course. 

"Golf is dying. The people that play golf are getting older. They don't play as often," said Alexander Domb, an attorney representing Glenn Straub, the developer for Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club and Polo West. He's proposed changes to the way the land is used. 

"We've asked to expand the use to include field sports; soccer, baseball, field hockey," said Domb. 

And to include field and equestrian sports. Right now the developer has a special use permit for soccer matches on the field that some homeowners in the Golf Club Villas overlook. 

"There's no security between where they live and where the soccer matches are being played," said Neil Schiller, an attorney representing the Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club Homeowner's Association. 

The HOA does not like the lack of definition for what sports would be played on the field with the proposed master plan change. Another issue is the access roads the developer wants to be established by the village. 

"The roads that he's seeking to put access points on are owned by the Homeowner's Association," said Schiller. 

Village Manager Paul Schofield said in order to make Polo Club Drive an access point, the applicant will have to get permission from the property owner. He expects an active discussion and public comments from both sides at the village council meeting. 

"The two things that tend to keep up us late are sports and equestrian issues," said Schofield. 

And these proposals include both. 

The village council will take into consideration the recommendations made by the boards that have reviewed the proposals.They can either deny the proposals, approve them, or approve them with conditions.