A Florida residential project backed by pro golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els cleared one hazard, but they’re not out of the woods just yet.
The Wellington Village Council last week gave initial approval to the controversial development by Wellington Lifestyle Partners, the South Florida Business Journal reported. But the contentious plan requires a second vote for final approval.
The development, which has also been backed by entertainer Justin Timberlake, aims to construct homes and a sports club in two Wellington locations and relocate equestrian facilities to a third site near the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Wellington, known as the “equestrian capital of the world,” houses Olympic-level equestrian athletes and wealthy families engaged in the sport. The proposed Wellington North project on 102 acres would involve reclassifying 96 acres from the Equestrian Preserve, currently housing an equestrian dressage stadium.
The developer plans to sell about 90 acres near PBIEC to Global Equestrian Group, enabling the construction of a commercial equestrian center.
Wellington North is slated to feature 59 single-family homes, 36 townhouses, 11 condos, a golf driving range, a clubhouse, a pool, a fitness center, and a sports complex. The previous plan for 278 condos was scrapped to reduce project density. Simultaneously, the Wellington South project on 269.4 acres would encompass 114 home sites on large lots, a 12-acre preserve, and an equestrian-themed clubhouse.
Despite increasing the green space in the project from 50 to 59 acres, three out of five council members expressed reservations about both projects in the final vote, which is yet to be scheduled.
Concerns include insufficient information about the equestrian development and financing for green-space maintenance. A pending application for a hotel and retail was not discussed during the meeting.
Attorney Len Feiwus, representing the Equestrian Club Estates community, stated that his group would continue opposing the development plan.
“Essentially, four out of five council members defied thousands of their constituents to greenlight a disastrous plan that will destroy the Equestrian Preserve,” Feiwus told the outlet. “It was a vote out of unwarranted fear that somehow Wellington’s equestrian community, which has a very sophisticated and nuanced understanding of this unpopular plan, will lose out on something they adamantly do not want.”
— Ted Glanzer