Wellington’s newly reconfigured Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board met Wednesday and chose Board Member Elizabeth Mariaca as its chair to replace Carol Coleman, the previous chair, who remains on the board.
Aside from Coleman and Mariaca, board members include Tomas “Tommy” Bueno, Kenneth Kopp, Stephen Levin, Jeffrey Robbert and Alan Shullman.
Coleman, still serving as chair, opened the floor for nominations, and Levin nominated Coleman to remain as chair, but the nomination was unsuccessful. Kopp then nominated Mariaca, who is returning for her seventh year on the board, which carried 7-0.
The only item on the agenda, an administrative appeal regarding the height of a residential project under construction, was postponed at the request of the applicant.
Although nothing was on the agenda, Growth Management Director Bob Basehart said several important items will come before the board in the next few months.
“There are about a half-dozen applications that will be coming before you,” Basehart said.
One is the applicant-initiated bed-and-breakfast ordinance that would amend the code to make establishing bed-and-breakfast locations easier. They are allowed in Wellington, but none exist currently.
Basehart explained that the previously seated PZA board recommended denying the changes with no alternative.
“It was based on a private application that was submitted by someone,” he said. “A motion was seconded, but it failed to carry. There was no other motion, so by Robert’s Rules of Order, it moved forward with a recommendation for denial.”
Basehart said the Wellington Village Council would like a number of changes to what was proposed.
“We have reevaluated them and revised our recommendation, and revised the proposed amendments that are moving forward. We will be bringing them back to you at the July meeting,” he said. “It will be coming back to you for reconsideration with the changes that were suggested by the council.”
In the next two or three months, the board will be reviewing an application for a piece of property that was formerly the executive golf course at the Wanderers Club.
“There were two courses, the championship course and the executive course,” Basehart said. “The executive course closed a number of years ago. Someone has purchased that property, and they are moving forward with an application that will actually be going to the Equestrian Preserve Committee, because part of the proposal is to annex the property into the Equestrian Preserve Area.”
Another application going through the process is a 65-acre parcel west of State Road 7 just north of Wellington Regional Medical Center.
“There was a project approved on that property a number of years ago,” Basehart said. “All the approvals have expired, and the property owner now has some new people interested in it, and they want to move forward. They have applications in that are being reviewed at the staff level now.”
Basehart said part of the application is to bring an additional 10 acres into the project.
“The property has been annexed, but it’s a multifaceted application,” he said. “It involves proposed amendments to the code, conditional uses, master plan approvals and a number of things, so it’s probably going to come to you in pieces, not all as a package.”
Another application that will come before the board in short order is a small addition to the 150-acre McArthur property on the west side and south end of Flying Cow Road.
“There was a 2.85-acre piece of property that the McArthurs picked up after they had annexed their property,” Basehart said, noting that the McArthur land was annexed into Wellington in 2005.
The application will be to spread the existing use to the additional piece of property and add some dwelling units, but Basehart said that none of them are currently approved.
“The property is in the Equestrian Overlay Zoning District, so it’s going to the Equestrian Preserve Committee first,” he said.
In other business, Village Attorney Laurie Cohen went over some basic information for new board members.
“We have scheduled training for new board and committee members later this month, and you will get more detail as well as a handbook that we have prepared,” she said.
As a brief introduction, she explained that the board is bound by the Sunshine Law and public record laws.
“Meetings have to be open to the public,” Cohen said. “There has to be reasonable notice of the meetings, and minutes of the meeting have to be promptly recorded. Those functions are taken care of by staff, but what you do need to know is that all of your actions and all of your communications have to occur in the sunshine. That means that two or more of you cannot communicate about a matter that is likely to come before your board in a private setting, through e-mail, through text, through telephone calls.”
She pointed out that communications or concerns could be conveyed through staff to get them distributed to all members of the board.