5 Next Big Things For Wellington

5 Next Big Things For Wellington

1. Development in the equestrian preserve — The most contentious subject in Wellington for the last decade has been whether to allow more development in the village’s equestrian preserve. Developer Mark Bellissimo owns the three largest commercial equestrian properties in the area and has long wanted a hotel to accommodate visitors. A highly politicized issue, the voters passed a ban of hotels, condos and apartments in the preserve in the March 2016 election, but Bellissimo is making one last attempt to build them by asking that his properties be removed from the preserve and creating a new zoning district.

2. Growing population — All of the western communities are trying to stay ahead of the population explosion in the area over the last several years. Wellington is already the fifth largest municipality in the county, with more than 60,000 residents. New communities in Wellington — like the 350-unit Quaye project — are bringing still more people to the village. Just outside Wellington, Arden is a 2,000-home project planned to the northwest of the village. Elected officials will need to continue to sort out traffic issues as more people head west.

3. Developing golf courses — Wellington is finding itself wondering what to do with defunct golf courses. The Village Council is considering an equestrian housing project called Winding Trails on the site of the old Wanderers Club Executive Golf Course. The council approved the controversial proposal on a first reading but will have to give it a second OK before work can begin. Many people expect that this will only be the first of several such proposals in the next few years as golf courses continue to decline. Wellington is nearly built out and developers want more land to build.

4. K-Park — The area on U.S. 441 once slated to be a park is one of the hottest pieces of property left in the village. The Wellington Council has been considering what to do with K-Park for more than a decade. Many people believe at least some portion of the 70 acres will eventually be developed, but no one has come forward with a proposal that the council could get behind. The previous council famously rejected all six options, stalling any possibility of selling the land. Wellington held four forums in 2015, asking the residents what they’d like to see on the property, but they haven’t taken action since. Wellington is currently leasing the property as an organic farm.

5. Gladiator polo — In an attempt to make the “Game of Kings” more accessible to the common person, Mark Bellissimo is rolling out a new type of polo that has had strong early returns. His “Gladiator” version of Arena Polo is played on a much smaller field, leading to faster and more exciting action. The idea hasn’t really gotten off the ground yet, but Bellissimo is hoping to make it a new Thursday night tradition in the village. He is planning to have a 12-week season next year at the International Polo Club after three test matches this year. The opening night at Equestrian Village in January attracted more than 2,000 people.

Victor DeFrisco Headshot
Phone: 561-951-3759
Dated: February 16th 2017
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