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Wellington has one of the most dynamic equestrian communities in the country and features several venues for a variety of disciplines including polo, dressage, hunter and jumper disciplines as well as non-competitive, family-owned farms. Wellington's Equestrian Preserve Area (EPA) is identified on the Future Use Land Map and is regulated by the Equestrian Overlay Zoning District (EOZD). Wellington's Equestrian Community can be defined by both its location and population. Primarily, the equestrian community is located on 9,000 acres in the western and southern portions of Wellington within the EPA.
It includes the:
During the 1950's, Charles Oliver Wellington bought 18,000 acres of swampland - land that would eventually become known as the Village of Wellington. Wellington began as a Planned Unit Development (PUD) and was approved by Palm Beach County in 1972. Wellington's first polo match was played in the winter of 1979; within just a few years, Wellington exploded onto the equestrian scene, becoming an international destination and the host of the coveted United States Polo Association World Cup. As polo expanded in Wellington, so did hunter, jumper and dressage competitions. Just two decades after its first polo match, Wellington became home to the Olympic Trials for the U.S. Equestrian Show Jumping Team as well as the Winter Equestrian Festival.Wellington's Equestrian Preserve Area (EPA) was first included in Wellington's Comprehensive Plan in 2000, and an Equestrian Overlay Zoning District (EOZD) was adopted to implement unique zoning regulations for neighborhoods within the EPA.
The EOZD was adopted by the Village Council on September 9, 2003 and is known as Ordinance 2003-02.
Wellington's Council created the Equestrian Overlay Zoning District (EOZD) in 2003 in order to regulate development and activities within Wellington's Equestrian Preserve Area (EPA). The EOZD is the zoning regulatory framework that protects the community's character by regulating land uses and development. The purpose and intent of the EOZD regulations are the following:
By identifying and encouraging specific uses that are consistent with the character of the equestrian community, Wellington can sustain its equestrian industry.
Wellington's Equestrian Data Project is a document that will help guide the future of the equestrian community. The goals and objectives of the Equestrian Data Project are to:
Wellington has begun the process of formulating the Equestrian Data Project by coordinating with equestrian stakeholders and gathering data about the equestrian community including its activities, assets and facilities. Staff will collaborate with the Village's Equestrian Preserve Committee and various equestrian focus groups to review data and recommendations to provide a clearer consensus. The Equestrian Data Project is intended to be a community-based document created with participation from all stakeholders.
The Equestrian Data Project will include the following:
Wellington's Equestrian Preserve Committee was established by Resolution 2000-36 to advise Wellington's Planning, Zoning and Adjustment Board about land use decisions within the Equestrian Preserve Area (EPA). The Committee consists of seven residents who reside in the EPA and are involved in equestrian activities or businesses. The powers and duties of the Equestrian Preserve Committee are to provide advice, upon the request of the Village Council, about the following matters:
For more information about Wellington's Boards and Committees, including the application to serve on an advisory board, visit our Equestrian Preserve Committee page.
An Equestrian Data Project is needed to provide purpose and direction that will enhance Wellington's equine industry for years to come. For more than 30 years, Wellington's equestrian community has grown and prospered. During this time, major competitive venues have expanded and the community continues to change. The vision is to enhance the industry as a whole, creating a year-round world class equestrian community that is balanced and sustainable within Wellington and the surrounding region. This will be a collaborative effort and will encourage and promote a stronger relationship among Wellington, residents and businesses to ensure continued equestrian improvements while also preserving the rural lifestyle.
Through public input, Staff can collect data that will guide the growth, preservation and enhancement of Wellington's equestrian community.
Since 1999, Wellington has dedicated and maintained more than 100 miles of public and private bridle trails throughout the Village. These pathways include roadway easements, canal right-of-ways, and public and private bridle path easements. The trails are maintained to provide safe riding conditions for both horses and riders. Funding for bridle trail maintenance and improvements, including the installation of trail head and markings, landscaping, trail footing and trail crossings, is budgeted in Wellington's Capital Improvement Plan each year. Through the Equestrian Master Plan process, Staff will identify potential trail expansions and improvements to provide the safest and most secure pathways for horses and riders.
View Wellington's existing bridle paths in our GIS Map Gallery.
Wellington requires all livestock waste to be containerized and covered, and these bins must not allow storm water to result in waste discharge into adjacent bodies of water. The size of livestock waste bins is not specified in Wellington's Code of Ordinances. However, approval of the design and location must be obtained prior to construction of the manure bin. Livestock waste shall be placed or stored in the livestock waste storage area and shall not be placed, accepted, stored, or allowed to accumulate on any property except as provided in Section 30.153 of the Code of Ordinances.
For more information, contact Project Director Michael O'Dell.