Wellington Honored By Group For ‘Green’ Initiatives

Wellington has been designated a green government by the Florida Green Building Coalition, and members of the Wellington Village Council accepted a gold certification award for the accomplishment at a meeting Tuesday.

Cindy Hall, president of the FGBC board of directors, said that Wellington joins 55 local governments in Florida that have been certified or registered to certify as an official green government. “It’s a wonderful accomplishment for Wellington,” she said.

The FGBC was formed in 2000 to promote environmentally beneficial building standards. According to its web site, the nonprofit organization’s mission is “to provide a statewide green building program that defines, promotes and encourages sustainable efforts with environmental and economic benefits.”

Hall said that since its inception, the group has certified more than 4,200 homes in the state, with last year bringing in the largest number of certifications — 1,600 homes.

Wellington received a certificate as well as a flag to be flown.

Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Carmine Priore, speaking at his last meeting as a council member, said that when Wellington purchased the municipal complex property more than a decade ago, no one could predict what it would become.

“None of us could have imagined this would have been the case,” he said. “Now we have a building where, as we saw tonight, we’ve been recognized as being on the forefront of energy efficiency.”

In other business, the council voted to annex 71.5 acres of property on State Road 7 as part of the planned medical arts district.

The nine parcels have four different owners: Palm Beach County, Wellington Storage, Four Four One Partners and Venra Development LLC.

The council gave preliminary approval to the annexation last month. According to the staff report, none of the owners objected to the annexation.

Ross Hering with Palm Beach County noted that the Palm Beach County Commission had agreed to the annexation, but wanted all properties to be treated the same with regard to the constrained roadway at lower levels of service (CRALLS) designation.

“We just wanted to voice our request that the county property be treated the same as all the other properties,” he said. “We’d like to go on record that we support the allocation of trips by acreage.”

Village Manager Paul Schofield said that he had spoken with Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman about the issue. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t do that,” Schofield said.

Village Attorney Jeff Kurtz noted that there were annexation agreements with Four Four One Partners and Venra Development guaranteeing a minimum number of trips.

“We have proposed that the CRALLS trips be allocated on an acreage basis,” he said. “[The agreements] guarantee them a minimum of that allocation. With the development of a master plan, there could be a greater trip allocation, but not a lesser amount. The development of the parcel and what the master plan looks like will control the trip allocations.”

Schofield said he felt the county’s request was fair.

Kurtz said that there were amendments to the agreements with Venra Development. One would note that the conceptual master plan presented reflects the development potential of the property but not necessarily the actual plan for the property.

“It was conceptual,” Kurtz said, “so we are not necessarily going to develop the property in accordance with the conceptual design.”

The second amendment states that one of the parcels of land owned by Venra could be unnecessary if all owners of the properties in the medical arts district agree to a unitary drain system.

“One of the Venra parcels is a water management tract,” he said. “It may not be necessary.”

The other amendment states that there could be as much as 12,000 square feet of medical office space on the property, Kurtz said. “It’s not a commitment,” he said. “It just states that there is that potential.”

The council unanimously approved the annexation agreements as well as the annexation of the land into Wellington.