Part Of Lotis Property On State Road 7 Rezoned As Mixed Use

The Wellington Municipal Complex.

A former sand quarry on State Road 7 just north of Forest Hill Blvd. moved forward with plans for a mixed-use development at the Tuesday, Nov. 10 meeting of the Wellington Village Council.

Approval for the rezoning of a 10.36-acre part of what will be the 64-acre Lotis Wellington mixed-use project was received with very little comment but lots of clarification.

This hearing on the matter before Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board last month drew sparks from some residents in the nearby — but not adjacent, as many had believed — Black Diamond neighborhood.

Black Diamond has a wetlands area on the south end of the property. This abuts another parcel of some 49 acres with owners who have not requested any changes to their zoning.

South of this property is the former quarry that is the topic of the current rezoning efforts. Lotis consists of four parcels, one that was zoned Palm Beach County low residential and three that were zoned mixed use in 2006 for a development that was not built. This would rezone the recently annexed low residential parcel to mixed use as well.

For the Nov. 10 hearing, the charts presented by staff depicted the four parcels and labeled the 49 acres of land between them and Black Diamond.

“We are just talking about the basic building blocks,” Village Manager Paul Schofield said. “This property has just been brought into the village, and it needs to have a zoning applied to it before they determine a master plan rezoning. This is the first building block of many.”

Black Diamond resident Robert Hicks was the only member of the public to comment at the hearing. He was concerned that the water runoff for the site was not properly addressed.

Schofield pointed out that such issues would be addressed in the land development ordinance during the master plan approval, and that issue was not before the council at present.

Schofield also reported that the Lotis property is a former mining operation that was heavily impacted by the mining, and there is nothing protected on the land, which is heavily infested with exotic plants.

Councilman Michael Drahos made the motion to approve the zoning change for the newly annexed parcel, which was seconded by Councilman Michael Napoleone and passed unanimously.

In other business, a housekeeping measure was approved for the new Florida Building and Building Regulations 7th edition. The village can make amendments to the administration portion of the code to localize the document. All other regulations must be adopted as stated in the Florida regulations.

“Every three years we go through this process, and by state law we have to adopt it,” Wellington Building Official Jacek Tomasik explained. “The only changes we can make are to the administrative section to make it specific for Wellington… It gives us an opportunity to stay current with the State of Florida.”