Controversial golf course proposals go to Wellington council today

6:37 a.m. Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 Local
Controversial proposals for golf courses at two communities, including the Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club, in Wellington will come before the village council on Monday. (Jennifer Podis/The Palm Beach Post)

Two controversial proposals are expected to draw dozens of residents to today’s village council meeting.

The applications for changes at Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club and Polo West by developer Glenn Straub have led to late nights and dozens of public comments as they came first before Wellington’s Equestrian Preserve Committee, then the village’s Planning, Zoning and Adjustments Board.

RELATED

In the first application, Straub wants to change the village’s master plan so Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club can include field and equestrian sports for the club’s golf courses and Straub’s property that runs along Stribling Way under the Florida Power & Light Co. power lines. He also requested several new access points to the property:

The Polo West application requests the same master-plan amendment for the golf course uses, plus a new access point from Greenview Shores Boulevard to his property, which would connect at the traffic light for Wellington High School.

Many residents of both neighborhoods have written to the village council in opposition. While some say the equestrian and field sports designation would change their way of life, other say the new access points — in particular the one at Polo West connecting to Greenview Shores — would create safety issues and destroy the golf course.

The Polo West application also has drawn letters of concern from residents of neighborhoods that adjoin the golf course. “There are many residents living in homes surrounding the Polo West Golf Course,” residents Lloyd and Helen Astmann wrote in a November note to council members. “Security and safety are very important to all of us.”

However, Straub’s attorney Alexander Domb has argued before both the equestrian and planning boards that the changes are necessary to keep Straub’s properties viable in an economic atmosphere that has been unfriendly to golf courses.

The Equestrian Preserve Committee recommended approval only of the requests for changes to Straub’s property east of Stribling, and adding equine sports to the master plan for the golf course at Polo West. The planning board, however, went a step further in recommending approval of the powerline property changes, but complete denial of the Polo West requests.

This will be the first time the council will hear the applications.

Also slated for discussion as today’s council meeting — which was moved from Tuesday because of Hanukkah — are proposed changes at the Village Green shopping center at Stribling Way and State Road 7 that would allow the construction of a medical-office building and a Starbucks.