First K-Park Meeting Draws 200 with Ideas

WEB_K-Park

More than 200 Wellington residents shared their ideas for the village’s K-Park property during the first of four town-hall meetings Tuesday night.

After discussing a wide variety of options, the only consensus on a vision is: There is none.

Wellington’s K-Park property is nearly 70 acres at the southwest corner of Stribling Way and State Road 7.

The audience participated in an interactive poll to share their favorability on a range of potential uses — from commercial ball fields and passive park space to a mixed-use town center or a residential neighborhood.

Participants generally favored using at least a portion of K-Park for open park space, as it was intended for when the village bought it in 2003.

“I do not want to see any type of commercial businesses, restaurants, anything of that nature,” resident Larry Sweetwood said. “I want to see it remain open space (for) parks and recreation.”

More than 200 Wellington residents participated in a town-hall meeting on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 to provide input on future potential uses for the village’s K-Park property. The meeting included an interactive poll of audience members and public comment.

But many others disagreed, saying Wellington lacks an entertainment destination for a night out on the town.

“I’ve noticed in the year we’ve been here, almost every weekend when we go out – it’s in Delray, it’s in Harbourside, it’s not here,” resident Jupiter Jenkins said.

The turnout was more than double what the village planned for, and an overflow room was used to accommodate the standing-room-only crowd.

The village staff quickly ran out of the 90 remote-clickers that the audience used for the interactive poll; the rest of the residents had to respond by hand, so full results weren’t available late Tuesday.

In general, the audience panned more dense alternatives, such as a resort-hotel, a mixed-use downtown, or lots of housing, including apartments. Ideas for entertainment spaces, such as an arts center or bowling alley, got mixed reviews.

A few residents accused the village of having a “private agenda” by including high-density alternatives among the options.

“I was very disappointed in this survey. This is a skewed survey,” said Bill Flack, president of the Olympia homeowners association.

Three more K-Park town-hall meetings are scheduled each month through September. The next is July 21 at Polo Park Middle School. The format is the same for each, so if a resident attends one, they don’t need to attend the others, but they’re welcome to do so, village staff said.

The meetings were prompted after residents complained following a contentious January meeting, when Village Council members rejected six bids to buy and develop K-Park.

No proposals are under consideration at this time.

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