Alcohol sales spur Wellington to pull Palm Beach Polo soccer permit

After numerous complaints and violations, Wellington this week revoked a special-use permit that allowed soccer to be played on a large field at the north end of Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club.

The tipping point: A village code enforcement officer and Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies visited the site Sunday and found food and beverages, including alcohol, being sold in violation of the permit, said planning, zoning and building director Bob Basehart.

“If they have any activity out there this weekend, they will be in violation of the code,” he said.

WELLINGTON READERS: Sign up for The Post’s weekly newsletter for Wellington news

The permit for the weekly soccer games was issued last June, and it included 13 conditions with which property owner Glenn Straub was ordered to comply, including no food or beverage sales, no temporary facilities larger than 10-foot-by-10-foot tailgate tents or portable restroom facilities, monthly attendance counts submitted to the village, and clean-up of the site by 7 p.m. each event day.

According to village records, Wellington development review coordinator Cory Lyn Cramer sent a letter on Nov. 21 to Straub’s attorney Alexander Domb warning the permit could be revoked because of two violations: There was no screening for the portable restrooms at the site, and Straub had not yet submitted attendance counts for the events.

Residents in homes that adjoin the field where the games take place called in complaints about the lack of screening, Cramer wrote. Both violations were remedied and the permit was allowed to remain effective, village staff said.

RELATED: Wellington denies Palm Beach Polo, Polo West golf course changes

A letter sent Tuesday by Cramer to Domb listed the violations seen Sunday:

  • Food and alcohol being served, including a vendor selling ice cream from a cart.
  • Men urinating in bushes and behind vehicles.
  • Trash and litter along the fields and in a wooded area and canal close to nearby homes.
  • A 10-foot-by-20-foot tent, larger than the size allowed by the permit.

“The above mentioned observations are blatant non-compliance with the Special Use Permit conditions of approval,” Cramer wrote. “… Any future soccer events or other events will be considered a violation of the Land Development Regulations.”

Domb did not return a request for comment Friday afternoon.

RELATED: Two controversial proposals push Wellington meeting to 2:21 a.m.

Straub applied to the village last year requesting a master-plan amendment to change the use allowed on the property to include field and equine sports, which would allow him to have events like the soccer games on his property without needing a special-use permit.

His application, which also requested the addition of access points to the property, was largely denied by two village boards and in December completely denied by the village council. Hundreds of residents of Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club voiced their opposition to the application. They claimed the soccer games were disruptive, and some residents spoke of players urinating on bushes and trees and changing their clothes in the open.

A sister application made similar requests for his property at Polo West Golf Club. Those requests also were denied.

RELATED: Shouting, tension mark meeting on controversial Wellington proposals

Palm Beach Polo Property Owners Association attorney Neil Schiller said his clients were “extremely happy” the village revoked the permit.

“We’ve been saying for awhile now that the applicant, in this case the soccer matches and Mr. Straub, haven’t complied with the special-use permit, and we’re happy that it’s been revoked,” he said. “We’re going to continue to fight to protect the safety and security of our community and our neighborhood.”

Basehart said Straub can appeal the revocation through Wellington’s Planning, Zoning and Adjustment Board.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

95-year-old artist paints through nearly 80 years
95-year-old artist paints through nearly 80 years

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Linda Beers, 95 In recognition of Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, which was celebrated Jan. 31, Palm Beach Gardens resident Linda Beers, a Hungarian-born award-winning artist said that art has influenced her life for almost eight decades. Beers was 6 years old when her family moved from Hungary to New York. She found that expressing...
Glades Central High hosts inaugural Men & Boys Forum on Wednesday

SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH Varsity and JV football cheerleader tryouts are 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. April 4-5 in the cafeteria. Participants should pick up a tryout packet in the front office and bring the completed packet to a tryout session. For more information, contact National Honor Society inducted as honorary faculty members this year...
Man walking in traffic ignores police, says he only listens to God

BOCA RATON POLICE CONCEALED WEAPON A 17-year-old was arrested in the 100 block of North Federal Highway after he was found carrying a concealed firearm. He also was charged with possession of Xanax with intent to sell. BURGLARY Lawn care equipment was stolen from a maintenance facility in the 5900 block of Woodfield Circle. THEFT A cellphone was stolen...
LIBRARY LIFE: Donate food to clear fines at Martin County libraries

It’s Food for Fines time in Martin County. Patrons with late fines can clear them by donating canned or nonperishable food items to Martin County Library System sites during regular hours of operation April 2-8. Donations will be given to House of Hope, a nonprofit agency that provides food, clothing, financial assistance and other services to...
POST TIME: What’s the story behind mystery ‘Miller Radio Shop’ photo?
POST TIME: What’s the story behind mystery ‘Miller Radio Shop’ photo?

Readers: In the past, this column has called on you to help solve a historical mystery. This time around, it’s about a photo. Dozens of people stand around a panel truck mounted with three giant loudspeakers. On the side, in script: “Miller Radio Shop.” The pile in which the image was found hints it just might be part of the collection...
More Stories