Letter: Thank You To Council For Refusing Polo Access Change

Editor’s note: The following letter is addressed to the Wellington Village Council regarding the Palm Beach Polo and Polo West master plan decisions.

First and foremost, I would like to thank the council for your endurance and ultimate decision rendered Monday evening (Tuesday morning) regarding the land use designation and road access proposed in resolution 17-1477.  It certainly was helpful to the residents living along the Pod 80 boundary to have so many people from Palm Beach Polo & Country Club attend to reflect their own concerns for the impacts on their own properties. As I understand it, from our news agencies, this resolution cannot be reintroduced for two years as it was proposed.

I never realized and appreciated the stamina required of our council members. I made it until midnight watching from home but had to call it quits long before 3 a.m., so I didn’t have the opportunity to share in all the discussions leading up to your final vote. I am hopeful that both our current council and those to come will continue to respect the needs of our total community and not bend to the will of one individual who wants to profit at the expense of those who believed in what was originally envisioned for their neighborhood and the investment we all made in this vision.

In the late 1970s, people, including myself, purchased properties adjacent to Pod 80 with the understanding and commitment that the property would always be a golf course based on the existing land use designations. We paid a premium for our house lots and had our own visions of what our Wellington experience would be. By design and with forethought, the owner of this property had another vision for this land, and he knew how to achieve it. He abandoned it as a golf course knowing he ultimately would seek a land use change so as to be able to carve up and sell off the land in parcels. Thank you, council, for seeing through, and rejecting, this plan by rejecting the land use designation change!

With regard to Pod 80 access, I was most pleased to hear our village attorney share that the courts have already cited that current access to this property is being satisfied with the tunnel running under Forest Hill. This access is currently being used satisfactorily by Palm Beach Polo to “maintain” the property, so there are no current issues, in my mind, regarding adequate access. I would implore the council to continually reject any future limited zoning request changes to provide additional access points to Pod 80 until such time as a land use change and site plan have been approved.

Thank you all for your service to our community and for your endurance!

Joseph Manning, Wellington