Wellington Zoners OK Medical Office For Former Restaurant Site

The Wellington Municipal Complex.

The owners of a property that until recently hosted the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen restaurant on State Road 7 in Wellington now want the village to allow medical offices there.

Applicant Ancoal Investments LLC asked Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board on Thursday, March 28 to allow conversion of the existing restaurant building of 8,800 square feet into medical offices.

The medical use will require changes to interior spaces of the building, which fronts SR 7, but “no anticipated exterior modifications except for proposed signage and landscaping,” according to a summary by village staff.

Board members discussed whether residents wanted to lose a restaurant in favor of medical offices, though some said it has been difficult for some larger chain restaurants to fill up big sit-down spaces in Wellington. Newer eateries, some tied to entertainment and attractions in approved projects from nearby Lotis Wellington to equestrian areas, are set to get their chance in coming years.

“I’m OK with that change, since it’s actually more appropriate for that area,” Board Member Satesh Raju said.

The board voted 5-0 to recommend that the Wellington Village Council approve the plan, with several board members absent.

In 2023, the council approved a land-use change to allow 20,000 undeveloped square feet behind Cheddar’s to become a self-storage facility. Late in the year, Cheddar’s closed at the site on the west side of SR 7, north of Forest Hill Blvd.

Previous village approvals for the site north of Wellington Regional Medical Center had allowed medical office space, before the self-storage plan revised that.

The new occupants could be LA Medical Associates, said Troy Holloway, an agent representing the project with 2GHO Inc.

The medical group specializes in primary care, podiatric medicine, surgery and “medspa” services. They would relocate from an existing site in Wellington, he said.

A representative for the planned storage facility said he supported the move, saying it would not be ideal to launch their operations behind a restaurant that had gone dark.

In other business:

  • The board postponed until April 17 consideration of possible land-use changes for the Islepointe project, located in the Orange Point Planned Unit Development near 50th Street South and 120th Avenue South. Applicants said they wanted more time to discuss plans with neighbors to change some land use from commercial to residential.
  • The board also approved a recommendation that the council approve updates to village codes regarding hedges and fences. Staff members said the changes were designed to allay concerns from residents that they could face large costs to move fences or change plants once considered in compliance, emphasizing they could apply for waivers.