Hotels vs. green space: Wellington equestrian hotel debate hits public – Palm Beach Post
The Palm Beach Post has written an article about the new Development. Read it in full. Some key excerpts are below:
Developer Mark Bellissimo’s plan to skirt a 2016 referendumand build hotels on his properties in the now-equestrian preserve is hitting a public meeting when the Equestrian Preserve Committee votes on it Wednesday.
Village officials are preparing for another battle between the developer and billionaire Jeremy Jacobs that will likely be similar to 2011 and 2012 when Bellissimo wanted to build a 58-foot condominium hotel on his Equestrian Village property.
Bellissimo has wanted to build hotels on the property and continue to expand his horse shows. Jacobs and his family want to preserve green space in Wellington.
About 59 percent of the voters cast their ballots to approve the ban. But 65 percent also voted on another charter amendment that said a “super majority” or four votes of council would be required to remove a property from the equestrian preserve.
Bellissimo now wants to use that provision to remove the “equestrian preserve” distinction from those properties and change the zoning to what the village is calling the “Equestrian Competition District.”
It includes horse competition properties within a half mile of South Shore Boulevard or Lake Worth Road. Not only would that encompass Bellissimo’s properties, but it would include other polo properties like Marc Ganzi’s Grand Champions Polo Club.
If Bellissimo gets everything he wants, he would be allowed to build hotels and condo hotels without oversight from the Village Council.
But that idea doesn’t sit well with many on Wellington’s staff including Planning, Zoning and Building Director Bob Basehart, who sent a scathing email to Schofield on March 22.
The email says, in part: “The biggest part of the problem is that they have no idea what they ultimately want to do, so they want a magic global approval that lets them do things with no further review, as they figure it out. We can’t support that.”