I am writing to share my concerns regarding the proposed locations for the new Wellington Tennis Center.
We moved to Wellington 16 years ago because it was an oasis of single-family homes, no heavy commercial industry, and religious and recreational facilities all wrapped up into one hometown. Since then, we have seen massive development like the Mall at Wellington Green and all of its outparcels, the expansion of roads, the expansion of Wellington Regional Medical Center, and the building of thousands of new homes. All of these developments have had impact — mostly positive, some not so positive.
When the village bought the old Wellington Club East property and team tennis under the leadership of Tommy Cheatham moved to that site, it proved to be a beautiful setting for tennis away from the hustle and bustle of the development that took place on State Road 7. At the time, there was plenty of parking and room for expansion and addition of more tennis courts and recreational facilities.
The Wellington Village Council then approved the expansion of the swimming complex on the property. The council then approved the building of an amphitheater on the property. The council then approved the building of a veterans memorial, a 9/11 memorial and a children’s playground on the property. These improvements were all in keeping with the recreational use of the property.
The council then built a large municipal building with a parking lot on the Forest Hill side. While it is a done deal, now there is suddenly insufficient space for parking and for expansion of the Wellington Tennis Center.
The council, before considering selection of the site for the new tennis center which they approved last year, wisely asked for input from the various groups that would be impacted by the decision.
As a longtime resident of Wellington, it is difficult to accept that the Wellington Tennis Center could possibly be located on the east side of State Road 7. It is equally unacceptable for it to be placed in K-Park. This selection would actually make the courts more easily and quickly accessible to residents of Lake Worth and Boynton Beach than to people who actually live in Wellington. Of the three proposals presented in focus groups, the parcel behind the Hampton Inn is actually the most desirable — yet the traffic and the commercial surroundings of the inn and the mall, and the parking situation that will exist, make it extremely undesirable for tennis.
Tennis is a quiet, clean, green sport which melds beautifully into its current setting with the other recreational facilities currently occupying the space. The existing community center has already been slated for demolition. A new community center should be built on the parcel of land behind the Hampton Inn adjacent to the mall. There would be plenty of parking available for those using the community center without having to share parking with the mall.
The tennis center could then be expanding on its current site immediately following the demolition of the existing community center building. Keeping the tennis center at its current site would allow easy accessibility by bicycle for kids and adults. Excess land might be used for a lakeside park.
The alternate plan also demonstrates the council’s intent and determination in providing the Village of Wellington and its residents new tennis and community centers, maintaining the “green” atmosphere of our village. Please consider keeping the Wellington Tennis Center in the heart and soul of Wellington right where it is.
Marlene Solomon, Wellington