NEW: Why Wellington delayed controversial airstrip project to January

4:31 p.m Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 Local
A proposed Wellington development would marry the aviation aspect of the Aero Club, runway seen here, with equestrian facilities in demand in the western communities. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)

Wellington’s council will wait another two months before discussing a controversial project that would bring homes, stalls and an airstrip to an area of Flying Cow Road, south of the Wellington Environmental Preserve.

The village council was slated to review three requests related to the Flying Cow Ranch project at its Tuesday night meeting, but postponed hearing the applications after the developer requested the delay to have more time to speak with residents in the Aero Club and Palm Beach Point who are concerned.

RELATED: Is proposed Wellington airstrip, community too close to the Aero Club?

Council members voted unanimously to OK postponing the discussion to their Jan. 23 meeting.

But Councilman Michael Drahos said he was frustrated the request for delay came in on Tuesday and not earlier, citing the more than two dozen residents who came to Tuesday night’s meeting to voice opposition to owners Mark, Timothy and Patricia McCarthy’s plans for its 150-acre property.

Drahos said he was “more inclined to grant the postponement” because several residents had written to the council asking for the applications to be delayed.

“I do want to make my frustrations known in that I’m not happy with how late this request was made,” he said.

The three applications would change the comprehensive plan and amend the zoning for the property to pave the way for the proposed Flying Cow Ranch project. As part of a master plan, which needs to return to Wellington’s Planning, Zoning and Adjustments Board for review before it can head to the council, an existing 1,800-foot airstrip would be extended to 4,000 feet. The master plan also includes 30 residential units, a clubhouse, hangars, barns, a recreational area and a tie-down space for airplanes.

At the October Planning, Zoning and Adjustments Board meeting last month, Aero Club residents said they feared the extended airstrip and increased air traffic would conflict with their landing and takeoff patterns, while residents in the Rustic Ranches neighborhood north of the Wellington Environmental Preserve said more air and road traffic would be disruptive. their way of life.

The board recommended approval of the zoning and comprehensive plan changes for Flying Cow, but delayed any recommendation for the site plan until the McCarthys met with residents to discuss their concerns.