Over the course of the past eight months, at a cost of more than $50,000, Palm Beach Polo did everything it could to work with the Village of Wellington in order to come up with a long-range plan to provide access to some of its landlocked properties and to expand the utilization of no-longer-functioning golf courses in order to maintain the green space in Wellington. The Wellington planning and zoning staff agreed with us and recommended approval of 95 percent of the requests contained in our two applications. Palm Beach Polo owns almost all the undeveloped property in the western communities.
In addition, Palm Beach Polo did everything that it could to point out that it was entitled to be able to access its properties from main roads.
Everyone in this process worked hard to achieve a goal, and in the end, we were pleased to have participated in the process. We now have a better understanding of the potential future use of our property. We believe in the equestrian industry in Wellington, and have done everything possible to promote it on all of our properties, and will continue to do so.
Unfortunately, even though we had the village planning and zoning staff recommending approval of our plans, at the end of the day, this is a political process, and sometimes the law gets lost in a room filled with a hundred residents who believe that they have an absolute right to have a view of a golf course in their backyard in perpetuity.
Polo believes that it is entitled to access for ingress and egress to the property known as the North Course from Forest Hill Blvd., and may have to seek the enforcement of this right through the courts.
With respect to golf uses, anyone who said Monday night that golf is not a declining sport or leisure pastime in this country was being disingenuous. The number of golf club members, the number of golf rounds played and the number of new players is down around the country.
As a result of Monday night’s votes, we will have to change our direction in order to increase golf revenues by opening our golf course properties to the public to increase play, with no reservations.
Glenn Straub, Palm Beach Polo/Polo West, Wellington