An acre lot along State Road 7 south of Forest Hill Boulevard could become a medical office complex.
Family Vision Center hopes to move there from its location at Jog Road and Forest Hill Boulevard.
The land, between Whitehorse Drive and Stribling Way, is zoned to become a 3,700-square-foot bank with three drive-through lanes.
But the village council last week preliminarily approved changes that would instead allow a 5,000-square-foot medical complex, 1,500 square feet of which could be professional offices.
The council has to approve additional changes and vote again for the new proposal to come to fruition. Those votes are anticipated in April.
Part of the reason the eye care center wants to move to Wellington is simply because the village is a nice place, optometrist Lori Mazza said.
The practice would probably have about two practitioners.
Regions Bank owns the undeveloped land, which sits just east and north of the Whitehorse/Farmington Estates community. The neighborhood does not oppose the change.
Donaldson Hearing, a land planner working with the eye center, said the change to medical office is expected have less traffic than the financial institution would.
The council granted the eye center the ability to put some professional offices in the building, not just medical offices — but capped them at 1,500 square feet.
“I want to make sure it’s not rented to something we don’t want,” Councilman Matt Willhite said. “I don’t see somebody leaving space vacant if the opportunity arises, if someone says, ‘I want to rent it,’ but it maybe isn’t medical.”
More flexibility certainly helps in filling the space, Hearing said.
“We think the highest and best use will be medical, but you never know,” he said. “In the interim there might be some other office that might want to use it.”
Councilman John Greene said it probably makes most sense for the eye center to surround itself with businesses that would complement it.
“We’d all benefit from that, with higher paying jobs and the right kind of hours,” Greene said.
Patients would reach the medical offices from State Road 7. The proposed building would be about 120 feet from the neighboring community and include 10 feet of landscape buffering and a wall.