I’m ecstatic that Mark Bellissimo decided to take his dreams to North Carolina, because they were too grandiose for our village, which is and was already about 95 percent built out.
Certainly, he helped our equestrian community, but we just didn’t have the space for a large hotel and a large commercial venue and numerous more large commercial barns. Our equestrian preserve is just that — a preserve. That’s something that Mr. Bellissimo has never recognized.
We already have our infrastructure, and adding more horse waste and commercial building in the preserve would overtax the existing infrastructure, necessitating wider roads and more horse waste management, not to mention a worse quality of life, less greenery, fewer pastures and more cement.
Wider roads means more traffic, dividing the equestrian community and making it very dangerous for our local riders to cross the thoroughfares and ride to the equestrian events.
I’m glad that Mr. Bellissimo can now go into the woods up there in “undeveloped” areas, cut down a forest, and put a planned community in, rather than try to squeeze it in here, where there is insufficient room.
To the doomsayers, know that our November through March venue is safe, because it’s too cold in North Carolina during our season, so there is no competition. Also, it was quoted that this past season was “the most successful one to date,” so indeed, it has been getting better without undo overdevelopment!
Lastly, I would like to point out that even during our country’s financial crisis, businesses and restaurants were still coming to Wellington. There’s a reason why Wellington was picked as one of the best places to live in this country.
I sat on the architectural review board, and now the planning board, and most of the complaints about village permitting came from the Bellissimo corner, and being on those committees, all I witnessed was the village trying to accommodate everyone, within our guidelines. We don’t want to be a big city with signs plastered all over and every bit of grass paved over. We want our hometown, village feel, and Mr. Bellissimo never got that. But then again, developers rarely do.
George Unger, Wellington