Wellington Zoners Approve Final Two Portions Of Comp Plan

Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board reviewed the last two elements of the village’s new comprehensive plan on Wednesday, May 12.

The new comp plan developed over the past year has 10 elements. Each has been reviewed separately by committees before heading to the Wellington Village Council for final review and approval. The completed document will then be submitted to the State of Florida as required by law.

Planning, Zoning & Building Director Tim Stillings presented the Conservation, Sustainability & Resiliency Element and the Parks & Recreation Element for review by the board. No members of the public had comments on the items, which were then approved unanimously.

Continuing concepts in the conservation element are air quality protections, greenhouse gas reductions, soil and wetlands protection, clustered development, native vegetation protection and maintaining Wellington’s Tree City USA status.

New concepts added are water resources, conservation protection, energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental sustainability, resilience, emergency preparedness and green infrastructure.

PZA Board Member Ron Herman asked about the “walk friendly” and “bike friendly” aspects of the plan. Stillings explained that the village qualifies and is seeking to be awarded these designations from recognized organizations, and that then Wellington can use the designation in promotional pieces and for grant requests.

PZA Board Chair Elizabeth Mariaca asked about the aspirational goals for sustainability and environmental protection. Stillings explained that the plan is reviewed by the State of Florida, the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and inter-governmental organizations, so neighboring communities can see what each other is planning and aspiring toward to facilitate coordinated planning.

The final element in the comp plan update is the parks and recreation portion. The item repeals the entire previous version and adopts the new version so as to encompass all the agreed upon changes in one single action.

Stillings pointed out that Wellington has 10 acres of parks per 1,000 residents, which puts it third of all the municipalities in the county. He also explained that staff recommended changing the word “standards” to “targets,” as there are no actual standards, just the number the village chose as its target.

Stillings said that over time, trends in sports activities change, and residents may desire different recreational facilities in the future than what is popular now. The board asked that a sentence be added that the village has aspirations of adding more open park space and green space for non-programmed activities to its parks inventory in the future.