Rob Wilson, developer and builder with Ventura Construction, provides insights and keys to successful equestrian estate design in Wellington, Florida.
Q: Some people say that building an equestrian property in Wellington can be complicated and, at times, frustrating. Do you think there is some truth to that?
A: I’ll admit, Wellington has some very specific codes and regulations for equestrian projects. Although it is different than in other parts of the country, no one should shy away from building or renovating any property to suit their specific needs. It can be complicated, but it’s in no way impossible.
Q: Because of those regulations it’s been suggested that the Village of Wellington has adopted an “anti-growth mentality”. Do you agree?
A: Absolutely not. The people we work with are just as committed as ever to seeing Wellington remain one of the premier locations in the world for equestrians to live and train for their sport. However, to guarantee that remains the case in the future, local officials should continue to look at all viewpoints and take into consideration many factors.
I’ve been a builder in Wellington for nearly 25 years and deal with regulations and codes daily. And, I think reasonable growth and logical regulation are critical to keeping Wellington in the real estate spotlight.
Q: What are some of the factors Wellington has taken into consideration?
A: Well, everything from comprehensive growth, storm drainage and water quality, to adequate roadways, riding trails and equine safety. A good example is the subject of manure storage. Because the number of horses in Wellington has grown significantly, Wellington has had to adopt dozens of very specific codes and criteria to deal with this issue. It would be easy to view this as “anti-growth” but in reality, it’s crucial to maintaining healthy water quality for both the residents and the horses.
Q: Based on your experience, what 3 recommendations might you give to prospective buyers who may want to build?
A: First, have the right group of professionals involved from the very beginning. The key to a successful project is to have a real estate agent, a design firm and a contractor who are all experienced with the markets, trends and the construction process in Wellington.
If you think about it, each really plays an equally critical role. Second, know what you want, but keep an open mind. When you build, especially when you build new, you should expect the project to include most of what you’re looking for but remember very rarely can it have everything. I’ve seen clients go in circles trying to find the perfect lot, site layout, floor plan and finally, price. You have to stay a little flexible during the process or you may never get started at all. Finally, don’t wait. Every year I see clients waiting to look for property or postponing decisions until they box themselves into a corner.
The best projects I’ve been involved in start much earlier than most people realize.