Wellington Zoners OK School On SR 7

Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board voted Wednesday to recommend approval of two ordinances that would allow for a charter school to be built on 8.35 acres of land south of Stribling Way on the east side of State Road 7.

The ordinances amend the land use map and zoning designation for the property.

The proposed Wellington Charter School would serve 1,200 students and also host a day-care facility.

Agent Jon Schmidt said that the school would have kindergarten through eighth-grade classes.

“There will be staggered pickup times,” he said. “We’ve done a great job of stacking around the site. You can actually circulate about three-quarters around the perimeter of the site, which is a better job than you’ll get at a public school. I think you’ll see we’re providing a lot of foresight in the plan.”

He noted that the charter school is publicly funded and would bring children from all over Palm Beach County.

Wellington Planning & Zoning Manager David Flinchum said that the proposed building would be about 90,000 square feet — 75,000 square feet for the school and 15,000 square feet for the day-care facility.

Flinchum noted that, previously, the land had been designated commercial and zoned for a retail furniture sales showroom and design center as well as related storage space.

Wellington traffic consultant Andrea Troutman said that the approval came with some traffic conditions, noting that the applicant must extend the southbound turn lane to the north of the property.

They must also enter into an agreement to pay for a traffic signal at Palomino Drive pending Florida Department of Transportation funding, or a raised direction median if the funding does not come through.

PZA Board Chairman Carmine Priore III noted that parents would not be able to turn southbound out of the school.

“There would be no left turn coming out of the school?” he asked, and Troutman confirmed it.

Board members asked how the traffic compared to what had been approved previously. “It’s a more intense use than what was approved before,” Troutman said.

Schmidt said his clients agree to all the conditions. “We’re in agreement to pay our fair share,” he said. “We’d like to bond out so that we can get our building permits and get underway.”

PZA Board Member Bob Margolis, also a candidate for mayor, asked whether the charter school would be affiliated with any of the other schools being built in the area. Flinchum said that the developer would build the school and then turn it over to a company. “It hasn’t been decided which one yet,” he said.

PZA Board Vice Chairman Craig Bachove made a motion to approve the two ordinances, which carried unanimously.