Wellington Board Approves Plans For New Church

A rendering of the planned Christ Community Church.

Christ Community Church and Urban Air Adventure Park came before Wellington’s Architectural Review Board on Wednesday, May 15, seeking approvals relating to building colors and signage.

Senior Planner Damian Newell recommended approval of the petition from Christ Community Church, which bought the vacant property from Temple B’nai Jacob. The church was requesting approval of the building elevations, exterior colors, materials, site amenities and signage for the proposed place of worship.

The 2.85-acre property is located at the southwest corner of Lake Worth Road and Barefoot Lake Drive outside the Isles at Wellington. The lot was approved in 2010 as a conditional use to allow a new place of worship and daycare center for Temple B’nai Jacob of Wellington. The temple, which still operates out of a local storefront, never built on the land, selling it to Christ Community Church in 2018.

The proposal before the board was the final site plan approval to construct a place of worship without the previously approved daycare use.

“This is a one-story building totaling 14,512 square feet with an overall height of 32 feet, two inches,” Newell explained.

Christ Community Church was also seeking approval for a changeable copy monument sign along Lake Worth Road and one project identification monument sign along Barefoot Lake Drive.

“Staff recommends approval of the elevations, architectural details, exterior colors, materials, site amenities and monument signs with conditions,” Newell said.

Some of the conditions sited were that the building structure elevations and architectural details need to be consistent with the plan, and a trash enclosure is to be a concrete wall with a stucco finish.

Architect Robert Kuoppala of Kuoppala & Associates stood at the podium to answer questions on behalf of the Christ Community Church.

Vice Chair Thomas Wenham noted that the parcel has been under discussion for more than a decade.

“It has been a while since something has taken place with this [property]. It bothers me that there have been so many discussions. I’m glad to see that something is finally going to be done, and I’m sure it’s going to be for the best interest of the community,” he said before the plans for the church were approved without objections.

Next on the agenda was a petition from Urban Air Adventure Park at Wellington Green. The business was seeking approval of a primary wall sign that exceeds the maximum allowable height for its shopping center, which is located on Forest Hill Blvd. in front of the Mall at Wellington Green. The business also wanted to modify the board-approved color chart to add “knockout orange” and get approval of the exterior colors for the site.

Planner Branden Miller explained the Urban Air Adventure Park request.

“The petitioner is requesting a technical deviation to allow a primary wall sign 75.5 inches in height and 21.87 feet in length,” he said. “The proposed wall sign has a total sign area 141.3 square feet. The proposed primary wall sign exceeds the maximum allowed height. The current bay, which is the former H.H. Gregg location, has previously been approved for a sign that was 144 square feet with a height of 72 inches. This proposed sign is centered above the arched entryway of the tenant bay and has approximately 47 inches of space above and below the sign. The larger sign will increase visibility for the tenant. In addition, the tenant is located directly behind the nature preserve area, which also reduces their visibility along Forest Hill Blvd.”

The size of the sign was not as much of an issue as the choice of colors.

“The proposed rendering options for Urban Air Adventure Park shown leave the storefront intact, leaving all of the existing elements remaining except the colors,” Miller said. “The tenant has already painted the storefront as shown in option one without receiving approval. The orange color proposed is not on the approved color chart for either exterior body colors or trim colors.”

Village staff did not recommend approval of “knockout orange” on the color chart, since the color is too bright and not compatible with the aesthetics of the community.

Saleem Fernandez, president and co-owner of Urban Air Adventure Park at Wellington Green, apologized for painting the wall without color approval. Fernandez also expressed the need to have an area on the sign that pops out so patrons can find the location.

“We are in such a unique corner with zero visibility and there is no attention getter,” he said. “Even when you are in the parking lot standing 30 feet from our entrance, you can’t even see the sign. The trees do such a great job of blocking this $40,000 sign that we are trying to install. We even questioned putting the money into it, just because you can’t really see it. The orange border is one of the only things that pop out as you are turning the corner.”

Wenham did not believe the location is that hard to find.

“It didn’t take me long to find it,” he said. “My feeling is that you got off on the wrong foot by having someone go ahead and do the work. Now you are asking for our forgiveness. I do not think we should have that bright orange.”

The board approved the sign as proposed and agreed to allow an accent color of “flower pot,” a color that is on the village color chart.

The applicant was directed to submit renderings for the arches with two different versions for village staff to approve.