The Wellington Hills Sports Complex? No, it's NOT a done deal!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

In the Woodinville Patch - Updated (again) - more comments

Snohomish County Reveals Revised Plans for Former Wellington Hills Golf Course
go here for full article.
to date, here are comments left by readers

seems like a disaster - a slightly disguised variant of "paving the whole place".

I think Snohomish County is still missing a NASCAR track they could loop on the out side of the park, an Airplane runway down the middle and maybe cut some more trees down for a helipad so I can fly in and avoid the traffic jam getting into the park. Also when I bring my cat to the dog park it is very shy, where is the off leash area for the shy cats?

"Earth and Nature suffer grave ruin, destruction instead of preservation, when Snohomish County Public Land is in the hands of Greed." – LuCxeed & Author Unknown (Mix

The guys from Snohomish Parks and Wrecks has shown at least six master plans while they listened to people's complaints during the meetings held at Brightwater. The main difference between Master Plan No. 1 and Master Plan No. 6 is ... they just move the same sports complex pieces around on the golf course.
They really haven't done the things that people really want: Design a community park that EVERYONE can use! ... and then there are the particulars relating to the Sports Complex plans: Residential folks have said - No outdoor lights, no artificial turf, no mountain bike building, no 700+ car paved parking lot and no to the bulldozer leveling of the hills and dales and no to the cutting of 90 year old trees.
And, what about the traffic? Parking for 700+ cars means a ton of traffic on Hwy. 9 (especially at 240th) and also on 156th St. from 240th to beyond the Woodinville-Duvall Road.
Yeah, Master Plan No. 7 will probably include water slides, a gun range and helicopter landing zones.

It's hard to believe that this is the same county that did such a wonderful job with the Paradise Valley Conservation Area.

The Snohomish Park will certainly bring traffic. But residents are also worried that the park will bring costly sewers to the area and that people will be forced to connect. Woodinville has been working hard to keep sewer connection an option, not a requirement. But the Woodinville Water District has stuck by their guns that they have the right to force connections at will, so the next WWD election is very important, especially with development of the golf course. People living in Snohomish and unincorporated areas near the old golf course need to pay attention to this project

John Hughes made this comment on the Woodinville Facebook page:
"It baffles me how we have endless cash for a new sports complex or stadium yet if a local school asks for a few bucks for new library books there is zero chance of approval. Then on the debates its 'education, education, education' - something doesnt add up."

Dale Knapinski

Interesting that you should bring up the cost of parks. The Snohomish park is funded by Brightwater mitigation fees. Woodinville parks are funded at this time by the general fund and ONE local business, the movie theatre, because there is essentially no new construction to generate REET funds. When the City mentioned adding concerts at winery businesses in Woodinville to the entertainment tax, which would support Woodinville parks, the wineries hired a lobbyist to convince the council that adding a tax would be some sort of disaster. Woodinville cannot support parks because the wineries do not want to collect taxes for the city. What is the plan now? The city wants to annex a KING COUNTY PARK, and use it for commercial tourist activities (Another winery). How ironic is that? Woodinville wineries need to pay their way. Woodinville taxpayers spent 6 million dollars to improve roads for the tourist district and our wineries. The wineries need to support local parks, not tear them down for more wineries.

I can't imagine what they will have to do to the golf course to make it look like this...I drive through that area often and I have a hard time wrapping my head around this "plan." I feel badly for the residents, I can't imagine having 7 soccer fields in my backyard.

Dale Knapinski:
I attended all the County meetings held at Brightwater and in the homes of people near the golf course ... nothing was recorded or official but what I did hear about sewers and the sports complex varied.
At one meeting a large toilet structure with a large septic tank was mentioned. At another meeting, the sports complex was to get lots of port-a-potties. There was at one-time mention of a sewage pipe hook-up just for the toilets in the park.
The latest Master Plan shows a "Comfort Station"... I'm guessing that means toilets since it's at the center of the sports fields.
There's no info on whether or not the "Community Activity Center" or the "Mountain Bike Bldg." have toilets and if they do have toilets ... where does the sewage go?

This looks like a plan for a developed urban location, not in an area that is in an unincorporated rural area. I feel sorry for the neighbors.

Portable toilets for that many people? That isn't going to happen. The site is large enough to handle an on site septic system. Soils in the area support private systems for many residences. Extending the sewer main up towards 156th Avenue NE is a very scary thought, though. On the Woodinville side, protection of the R-1 and changes in the sewer requirements will help to keep Woodinville residents at lower risk of forced sewer connections. But my vote would be for no sewer extension larger than 6" diameter, even if that required installing two lines. For handling increased traffic on 156th, I have no clue. Anybody have suggestions?

Why on earth do we need SEVEN new soccer fields? Do they really expect that many games to be going on at once? With 750(!) parking spots I guess so. Anyone who has driven through there will know that amount of traffic on that road would be insane.

Seriously.. I can not imagine why Snohomish thinks this is the best use of this property. You are going to create the opposite effect. I attached a picture of the traffic on one of the roads to get to Wellington Hills. With the great minds that are attached to this project, you would think they could do a better job of understanding what is right for this area. WHAT A TRAVESTY!!! THIS IS THE WRONG USE OF THIS LAND.

I like it! It would be a real asset to Woodinville and the surrounding areas. The Brightwater money has been set aside for just such a thing. It's a rare opportunity to have the $ to build a public park with all these amenities.

We know from history and the movies, "follow the money". I'm guessing it's more than Brightwater mitigation funds driving this commercial park. It smacks of old fashion land development at the edge of urban areas. The County's plan is a classic example of how to create urban sprawl.

What is the "Comfort station? Toilets, showers, food services? Massage therapy?

We believe October 31, 2012, at 10:30am AND 6:30pm, IS AN IMPORTANT DATE.
and note the two times.... that is Halloween and they've planned two meetings, at 10:30am and a 6:30pm!
It's a Snohomish County Council Meeting, a Public Hearing and, so we've been told, The Dept. of Parks and Rec will propose their Comprehensive Parks Plan for Snohomish County - and that proposal includes their plans for Wellington Hills Park. Additionally, the County's 2013 budget will be presented.
This is a Big Deal Meeting!
It is an important meeting and we urge everyone to attend and use your 3 minutes to tell the Council what you think of this proposed commercial park.

I was told that if the Snohomish park was built, that all the property owners up on 156th Avenue NE would be required to connect to the sewer. The Woodinville Water District says this is a lie that is being circulated by people that oppose the park. What's the truth?

Awaiting for the increase in crime in my neighborhood to begin....

Neighbors To Save Wellington Park has not nor will we ever circulate lies. Nor will we use scare tactics or misrepresent what we've learned.

The truth is, we don't know what's going on with potential sewer lines. We've hear the rumors, we've questioned them and we cannot determine their source.

The only actual thing I've heard - at a County Meeting, from a County employee - there's a possibility of a sewer line being extended from the lower area of 240th to the toilets in the park. That was said with no further elaboration.

The other rumors in circulation: If the County doesn't build a park they will build a jail or jam a bunch of low cost housing on the golf course property. These are rumors, nothing more.

King County provided mitigation funds to Snohomish to help area residents deal with the Brightwater facility. Snohomish should offer mitigation funds to Woodinville so we can deal with the added traffic. Snohomish has offered their neighbors nothing but added traffic and a host of other problems that the park will bring.

I will provide a link to Les Rubstello's campaign statemens from the last council election. You HAVE to read this. Les has done the complete opposite of everything he promised! Please read what he said, and then look at how he has voted as a Woodinville councilmember. Les Rubstello lied to voters. Les Rubstello is supporting the total destruction of the Sammamish valley, after telling voters how he was going to PROTECT the valley.

The latest proposal is way out of character for the land, the location, and for the long time residents that live there. What a shame that there can't me a much more all inclusive community plan. Seven soccer fields and 700+ cars is truly out of line for this area. How about the dog park, biking and walking trails, a community center building, maybe even a botanical garden; all suitable for a cross-generational population and much better for the residential area the present golf course occupies?

Are there plans to put gates on this park and roadway? The fact that it is situated on the county line then who is going to patrol the rowdies and parties? Snohomish county doesn't have enough presence to cover the homes in the area let alone a major gathering area. King County and Woodinville are going to be left with dealing with the fallout and no jurisdiction. Why isn't Woodinville working on expanding its city limits to include the park, Brightwater, Costco and open land to the North instead of into prime agricultural areas to the South?

You want Woodinville to annex more land, including a park? Now that's funny. Woodinville built ball fields and now they can't pay for them, so they steal money from the general fund to make up for the $12,000.00 a month shortfall. King County owns the Northshore Athletic Fields in the heart of Woodinville wine country, a perfect location for much needed overflow parking and a great use of sensitive land. But Rich Leahy, Woodinville city manager, wants to destroy a big part of the property for more commercial expansion. Woodinville has nearly 24 acres of vacant tourist district land right across the street, but they want to steal King County parks? The Woodinville council has a vision. But the vision is based on campaign contributions. So if you want Woodinville councilmembers to do anything, send in your contribution, and it shall be done. I read the comments by Nancy (Above) and had to laugh at Les Rubstello’s campaign statement. Les had the highest amount of campaign contributions of all the candidates when he ran for Woodinville council. His biggest supporters were non-resident developers and realtors. Rubstello vowed to protect the valley, but voted consistently to replace the Sammamish Valley with commercial development for his non-residents contributors. There’s the proof, money talks.


We need funds for our lawyer to stop over development of this land. Our traffic safety, environmental impact, noise all will be impacted. Everyone needs to be part of helping. It can not be done by you watching or by just commenting. It is going to take all of us.
please go to and give on paypal or www and give right away. Your help is needed and appreciated

Woodinville paid $15,000.00 to have a lawyer review the Snohomish park situation. Do we need a bunch of parallel reviews of the same thing? What exactly do neighbors want? No park, a smaller park, mitigation funds, traffic calming, a guarantee that sewer hookups aren’t required? The website isn’t specific about why neighbors are mad or what they want done.

From the NSWP blog:
On May 8, 2012, Snohomish County surprised the residents living near the Wellington Hills Golf Course with the news they’re going to build a multi-use sports complex on the golf course location.
Included in this 100 acre sports complex: a 60,000 sq. ft. mountain bike building, a 50,000 sq. ft. indoor soccer/activities building, seven soccer, lacrosse and baseball/softball playing fields (both artificial turf and grass) and a dog park. There will be paved parking for 700+ cars.
With no real oversight or conversation with this neighborhood, they want their master plan approved by the end of July 2012.
Therefore, we the neighbors of Wellington Hills, are raising our voices to slow down this unchecked urban development. Our goal is for a thoughtfully developed park in harmony with the neighborhood."

What is the plan for ingress and egress for 156th Ave NE. With 2 lanes and barely any shoulder how is this road going to handle a park opf this siz? Should Woodinville set up a barracade or is the Brighwater mitiagtion going to widen it to Woodinville Duvall Rd. Also I wonder ho9w much field time will be stolen from downtown. The downtown fields are over priced and lost to other local fields. Those that wanted the downtwon fileds had blinders up to the sustainability. Now are we going to have blinders up to environmental destruction and more gridlock on our roads?
We all need to write City Council and they NEED TO TAKE A STAND in the best interests of the community and interface with Snohomish County

Now a barricade is a brilliant idea! Doesn't cost Woodinville much to erect and takes care of the excess pass thru traffic from Snohomish County. As an aside, reduced traffic extends the life of our roads; thus, saving Woodinville $millions. I'm all for a barricade.

If you have questions concerning the Snohomish County Roads contact Stephen Dickson, the Special Projects Manager for The Dept. Of Public Works. (425) 388-3488 He's the one who's spoken about roads at several of the public meetings held at Brightwater.
Also, I suggest if you write letters to the City of Woodinville you should also write letters to the Snohomish County Council at Snohomish County, 3000 Rockefeller Ave, Everett, WA 98201

Here is the correct link that Teri wanted to put in:

Nancy it seems that maybe you may not understand what the neighborhoods and community bordering and affected by the park would like. Wellington Park is outside the urban growth boundary area and a Regional Park of this size is not even in the Parks Comp Plan for this area, nor is property zoned for industrial buildings or commercial use of the property. As would happen if the Snohomish County goes ahead and builds the two commercial buildings of 50,000 and 60,000 square feet as is proposed currently. Imagine if they bulldozed the trees and homes around your place and built Costco next to your house and then took out any green space around your home and built a 700 plus parking lot. I would expect you to be upset especial if your area was not zoned for that and I would support you in trying to do what is right by law and ethics. That is all we as citizens and neighbors in the area are trying to do here.

Also all the studies and surveys done by Snohomish County call for any new regional park to be placed up by Marysville. Also by Snohomish Counties own studies people of Snohomish County want open space, walking trails, soccer fields are way down on the list in the study, in fact golf is requested by Snohomish County Citizens more then any organized sport. So we are saying build a regional sports park where it is need by Marysville in an industrial area and use the Brightwater Money as it was attended for a community park or a golf course that is designed to be placed in a neighborhood.

If I understand correctly, the mitigation funds have to be spent locally, so Marysville is out of the question. To say that the buildings are "Large" is misleading. Large is a relative term. The park is huge, and the buildings are very small compared to the impervious surfaces that would occur if homes or commercial development happened there. A park is the lesser evil. At some point, the land will be developed. I'd rather see a park than those huge concrete retaining blocks that were installed down the street. Nobody wants to see development in THEIR neighborhood that might cause noise, traffic, or inconvenience. If you want country atmosphere, you may have to move out into the country.

New update from Woodinville: The Woodinville ball field at the Carol Edwards Center is losing money at the rate of about $10,000.00 a month. The fields aren't being used. It would make sense for Woodinville to tear down the fields, and build tourist facilities at that location, then utilize the new Snohomish park instead. This would be a financial windfall for Woodinville, and there would be lots of new fields just a couple miles away from them to use. With the proposed annexation of the Northshore fields near the Sammamish Rirer, Woodinville could eliminate those fields, too. The city will make a bundle in tax revenue from converting the fields to tourist district uses, and again, the Snohomish park can be used for playing sports!

In one sense, the neighborhood kids in Wellington would have an ideal location for their sports and play time activities; however, I wouldn't rule out the role of downtown parks especially given the anticipated housing densities coming into town. Why can't we have a nice golf course continue operations? At least 3 former students that I know earned their college scholarships on these greens. Why ruin it for future generations. Proposed changes, additions and expenditures are not necessary to support current and future needs. This whole wasteful political shell game of use it or lose financing is what has gotten this country into its current predicament--it's time for some straight thinkers to take control.

Saira: If we could change the way King County handled Brightwater, we would have done that years ago. NOBODY wanted a sewage treatment facility in their back yard. But I have to admit, the facility is high tech, does not smell, looks nice, and it's a necessary item for future growth. The mitigation funds were wasteful, but it was local residents and politicians that took the money. One thing is for certain, if you don't put a park where the golf course used to be, you WILL get something far worse. People need to focus on making the park as neighborhood friendly as possible, accept and embrace it, without forcing Snohomish to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees fighting people that don't even know what they want. Put forth a reasonable compromise or workable plan. Hiring a lawyer for the sake of saving a few neighbors is just as wasteful as the mitigation funding was.

Nancy, my point is a park can mean many things--a park may be a multimillion dollar complex or be as simple as a nature preserve with trails (or golf course). Why is it necessary to spend all of our money--mitigation money is tax payer money--on a monstrosity that is out of character with the rural area? Earmarking the golf course as a park prevents it from being turned into something else later on. Please don't say that it must be a monster park or high-rise apartments will come--spooky and fear oriented arguments don't work!

Ronald: I certainly will be affected by a beautiful new park in Snohomish! Traffic for sports fields will be a lot less than it would be for residential development. Not only that, but the park will only be open during reasonable hours, so a bit of extra traffic will be fine during the day. The park will be empty at night, which means no additional speeding vehicles. Parks are great for kids and adults. Sports encourage people to be healthy and active. The off road trails and covered riding area will get the bikes off the dangerous street. Most of the traffic will be coming from the area of Costco through commercial areas, and those roads will be improved. The limited traffic coming from the east will mostly be our neighbors, and they already use the road. The proposed Snohomish park may affect a few close neighbors in a negative way, but parks benefit the whole community, and sometimes you have to accept a little bad with the good. Who knows, the value of the properties close to the park may skyrocket since many people would love to have a park for a back yard! Don't be too critical just yet.

I think you, Nancy, need to look at the zoning and the facts. Large, small, and something worse are vague terms, you are correct, but a 60,000 square foot building and a 50,000 square foot building is pretty specific. The zoning for the area is currently 1 home per 5 acres which equates to roughly 20 homes total for the area we are referencing. If each home is 3,000 square feet, the total space used by all homes would be 60,000 square feet equal to only one of the several buildings being proposed. The proposed parking lot will accommodate 720 plus cars. That means if you do the math, the 20 homes would have to own 36 cars per home to put as many cars in the location of the park and on the roads. This number does not take into consideration the fact there will be tournaments at the park, creating a multigame turn over of cars. You also say “The Woodinville ball field at the Carol Edwards Center is losing money at the rate of about $10,000.00 a month.” So why would you want Snohomish County to build fields that would lose $10,000 or more per month? Your math again does not add up.

Putting in a park will take zoning changes. That is what the council will do, make a change. It's for the good of the entire area. If you think the golf course will remain RA-5 forever with the Brightwater facility right down the road, you need a dose of reality. Calculating building size comparisons using current zoning is not being realistic. Take your pick, condos, residences, commercial development...or a park. Golf course...not on the menu. Neighborhood groups can serve a useful purpose, but they are nothing more than a special interest or lobby group serving the needs of a miniscule sliver of the area. The Snohomish County council represents the entire district. Don’t be a gorilla on the back. Be a concerned citizen willing to work with your neighbors, even the ones that live a couple miles away. Snohomish will do a better job of managing income from the fields than Woodinville did and Snohomish got the money for the park from King County, so the return on the "Investment" is much better right off the pun intended.

I think if Snohomish County needs a Regional Sports Compound then it should be built in an area where it is used by the entire County, it should be Centrally Located within the County, and placed in an industrial zoned area where the infrastructure (Roads, Sewer, Power, non-residential) is already built. Plus there is no current plan to improve the roads to handle more traffic to and from the site. So please don’t scare people with false fear that something worse will come. We are trying to prevent anything worse from coming. We like the Golf Course and would like to see the County keep it a Golf Course. Which also promotes health and wellness. Also we live in a rural zoned area and live on a rural road and are outside the urban growth boundary so why would you want me to move out of an already zoned country area to move to another rural area? We have also come up with solutions; just build Neighborhood Parks in Neighborhoods and Industrial Parks in Industrial areas. I am sorry that you believe people should suffer for your own good. We would like to see no one have to suffer, even you Nancy!
Snohomish could not afford to purchase enough land in the industrial or commercial zone, it would be cost prohibitive. Parks are a permitted use in rural areas. The main road to the park will be upgraded and will include a roundabout to slow traffic. Very few people used the golf course, and if it was a money maker, the sellers wouldn't have given it up. So there you have it. Enjoy the new park, spend some money on lawyers if you want, but the park will be built.

Nancy, parks are not money makers, period. As mitigation to the impact of Brightwater, it is perfectly reasonable to establish a naturally open park to be enjoyed by many. Locking up the land through a county purchase with Brightwater mitigation funds is enough to prevent the residential uses you describe as alternatives. If a golf course is as much a loser as you say, then the excess funds could be sunk into the maintenance and repair funds to keep it in operation for generations.

If the golf course location is developed, I think I'd agree with Nancy that a park would be much more desirable than houses or commercial development. I'm not a golfer so a golf course wouldn't be anything I would support. Golfing is a pretty narrow sport and although it's good exercise if you don't use a cart, it appeals to very few people. I don't play soccer, but maybe if the fields were available and very close, I might take that up. My grandkids love playing. The indoor bike trails sounds pretty nice, though, and I'd use that. Riding on the BG trail is downright dangerous at times, not to mention being crowded. Traffic? Yep, that will be a problem but it's something than be dealt with. I live right on 156th Avenue NE and I constantly complain about speeding vehicles...mostly my own neighbors. If any kind of development happens in this area, I want to see a comprehensive traffic plan.

The mitigation needs to match the scope of the project. If the golf course stays, no road improvements or mitigation is needed. Bring in two fields, picnic areas, and a riding trail, then maybe minor road improvements might be appropriate. For 8 fields, an indoor riding arena, and national tournaments, I expect to see some significant neighborhood improvements to accommodate a facility that large. The plan for no road improvements on 156th Avenue NE with the big project that's planned doesn't make sense.
Costco's parking lot holds just over 700 cars & that’s the number of parking spots proposed for the sports complex. About 500+ cars will park on the south side of 240th & additional 200+ will be on the north side of 240th. Also, but the grassy area on the north side of 240th will we used for additional parking whenever there's an overflow of vehicles.
And it's not accurate to call this proposal a “park”. Yes, they've included perimeter walking/biking trails & two off-leash dog areas & a few picnic tables - but the 60,000 sq. ft. commercial mountain bike building is not a free activity, you’ll have to pay to play-ride on the indoor trails. And for teams to plays sports they will need membership in sports clubs & there are fees for using the fields. The County also plans to rent several of the covered outdoor structures -- the sort of thing a group or club would use for a picnic/party.
Parks & Rec expects to have food wagons as in-the-park food vendors - meaning, people using the sports complex won’t need to go to Woodinville for food. The mountain bike business will also be selling bike stuff and accessories. Again, no reason to go to Woodinville.
Bottom line: Sno. County Parks & Rec has taken advantage of Brightwater mitigation money which was meant to soften the impact of Brightwater on nearby neighborhoods They bought the Golf Course & their plans are to turn into a money-making mega sports complex - which has virtually nothing to do with nearby homes.

I live on 156th in Snohomish County and we already deal with a lot of traffic from people cutting over from Woodinville-Duvall Rd to get to Costco or onto 522. There's no shoulder and the visibility is poor, so pulling into and out of my driveway can be treacherous. I had a recent road rage incident involving someone speeding down the road, using it as a cutoff between 522 and Woodinville-Duvall, where he stopped at my driveway to yell at me for pulling out in front of him and going too slow. (I told him the speed limit is 35, not 55, and this is a country road, not a highway.)
To have a big regional park with 2 large indoor facilities and 700 parking spaces located on the golf course road would be disastrous and so out of character for this rural area. Residents would have to deal with increased traffic on inadequate roads, lots of noise and lights.
I moved here because of the rural nature of the area, but the proposed plan will change that. I'm all for parks, in fact, this little corner of Snohomish County could use a nice little park. We have none. Walking trails. Picnic area. Open space. Dog area. Children's play area. But not this big, regional money-making venture with a parking lot the size of Costco's.

I believe the Brightwater mitigation funds need to be spent on a project within 4 miles of Brightwater. Is there another location for the Snohomish facility available for a reasonable price? If we do end up with the full blown regional park, are regional funds then available for road improvements from King County or other sources? How much traffic will this facility actually bring? How many trips per day, what roads are likely to be used, what times of the day will there be a traffic increase? Has Snohomish provided this information? Last I heard, there are no funds for road improvements east of the proposed park. I don't think that is fair to the Wellington area.

Dale, a barricade at the city limits will resolve a long standing problem that you describe. Woodinville can erect a barricade on 156th just as they have done on 168th in the hills and on 195th near the Street of Dreams. Instead of hiring lawyers just lobby your favorite council reps and city officials--that technique works well for others around our town.

At this moment I'm not aware of any King Co. intentions for roads in this area and I've heard nothing about funds related to road improvement near the sports complex area. Sno.
Originally, Sno. County's Public Works (roads) had no plans to do anything with the roads in South Snohomish County UNTIL the sports complex was proposed... they are now in the process of assessing the situation and, hopefully will have detail maps of necessary improvements to the roads adjacent to the sports complex.
As best as I can tell, that means the intersection of HWY 9 and 240th (across from COSTCO. 240th through the sports complex. And, the intersection of 240th and 156th (or 75th or Bostian Rd., whichever you prefer calling it).
Since Public Works had no plans for the area before the proposed sports complex, in order to now do the new work, they will use some of the Brighwater mitigation funds for the job.
Again, I haven't seen anything indicating road improvement beyond what I mentioned.

Ronald Long

Bill - thanks for sharing this document. Now if I could just reconcile the "...75% of the site will remain in natural/open space or green spaces" with the graphics at the top of this page.

Dale Knapinski

Comments to Tom Teiger, Director of Snohomish Co. Parks and Recreation Department:
I clicked on the link above and read the statement about the new park. It was stated that the vast majority of daily use will be by local citizens. If the fields in Woodinville are comparable with respect to who uses the fields, the non-local users will represent at least 80% of the players. It's hard to define who is a local person, though. Can you define local for us. How far away can a person live and still be a "Local"? Having the park close when play is completed, around 10:30 pm, would mean there could be a flood of traffic at nearly midnight! By the time a team packs up, showers, loads their cars, and leaves the park, who knows what time area residents will get to sleep. You need a park closing time, period. Lights off, game over, gates closed. I'm anxious to see the traffic study and SEPA....but I can tell you right now that I understand why the neighbors are not happy...

Bill Stankus

Gee, I have that very printed hand-out sitting on my desk. I will not argue or discuss the contents of that link but I will say this:

It was written by Tom Teigen the Director of Sno. County's Parks and Rec Dept. - the person who has spearheaded the proposed sports complex.

Dale Knapinski

The "Wellington Hills County Park History and Update" reads like a marketing brochure, because that’s what it is. Factual content, supporting documents, verified statistics, and expert testimony, are totally absent from this advertising literature. As you read it, take note of words like “Potential, hope, may be, it could, this could mean, we believe” as these words speak volumes about the author and the validity of what is being said. Reference was made to “Stakeholder groups” and “Community organizations” that were making recommendations as to the amenities provided and scope of the facility. I’d like to identify those people, and I want to review exactly what they requested, and why.
Snohomish officials made offers on multiple other locations suitable for a regional park. I’m curious to review the bidding documents. Granted, the Wellington Hills location was probably available at a very reasonable price, but I’d want to be assured that the county made serious offers on the other sites, especially if the park could have been built in a more suitable location. Even if the county had to pay more money for commercial property, that option should have been weighed against putting the facility in a residential neighborhood where the impact to the public would very high. If the county saved a lot of money by purchasing property in a residential neighborhood, they should have sufficient funds for making substantial mitigation measures.

Rob Courtney

Nancy, I don't live in the neighborhood. In fact I live quite far away. The problem with the development is it is unnecessary. There are ball fields and community parks that sit vacant because not enough of the community use them. Additionally when most of these residents purchased in this area it was the country. Now with Brightwater and Costco the area is much different than what they all purchased. This affects more than the people that live there but also the wildlife that used to inhabit that same land. Now the wildlife is dead and the residents who chose that area because of its location are being punished. Once again I repeat what someone else said...let's see if someone put a Costco and a waste water facility in your backyard would you still be singing the same tune. Probably not. Maybe nothing changes but maybe the people fighting can force enough change they can at least keep some of there quality of life.

The Northshore Youth Soccer Association has been a driving force behind the sports fields in Wellington. This is a very vocal group with more than 5,000 players. The NYSA effectively pressured Woodinville into building synthetic fields in that city, by literally bombarding council meetings with demands for new fields. The fields are a financial drain for the city. All the promises about parks increasing property values, improving the quality of life, benefitting local residents, or creating a financial windfall for the area, did not materialize. 

Maybe the Snohomish Park will be a boon for the NYSA, but neighbors, taxpayers, and local businesses will not benefit in any real sense. What is really happening is that there is a trade going on. Trade peace and quiet for noisy games and loud cars. Trade flood light for starlight. Trade wildlife for dogs. Trade green grass for blacktop parking lots. Trade light poles for trees. Soccer is a great sport. But the more I think about it, a huge facility like this one really does belong in an area where development has already stripped away the niceties. Put this park in an industrial or commercial area. It doesn’t belong in a residential neighborhood.

VERY well stated, Dale. Your points are right on!! I don't think the City of Woodinville has adequately considered the impact on cost to them of this proposed enormous Regional Sports Facility in an area that is so clearly lacking in the infrastructure and location appeal to support it. One can see this by examining where the other major sports parks are located in Snoho and King County -- all in industrial zones that are flat and already have multiple routes for ingress and egress. Wellington Park has none of this and given the steep slopes, landslide hazards, earthquake fault zones and UGB issues, it would be impossible to design a Regional Sports Park to fit into Wellington Park. It is incumbant upon concerned citizens to speak out at Snoho County meetings, such as the one coming up Nov 12 at 2:30pm at Willis Tucker Community Park and bring to light these issues.
Keep up the fabulous education, Dale!! Thank you so much!

The Northshore Youth Soccer Association represents your kids! The NYSA didn't force Woodinville into anything. The Woodinville council agreed that parks are very important to a community. The city made road improvements near the ball fields that made traffic better for everybody. Don't blame the NYSA, thank them. Liz Aspen supported the ball fields because it was good for the city. The fields may not directly bring money to the city, but the fields give kids a place to go to keep them out of trouble while improving their health, and money isn't everything. Some local kids do use the fields, and the kids that come to town are here for good things, not to break into cars, join gangs, or smoke cigarettes. The Snohomish park will be good for the neighborhood, and Snohomish County councilmembers will vote for what is good for the majority of their citizens. Wellington Hills has to accept the fact that they don't run the county, things change, they live close to an expensive sewage facility that will be paid for by new construction, and that a park is better than condos, a jail, apartments, or R-24 residentail lots. Deal....or no deal?

The facts are actually very different than what you've alluded to, Nancy. In fact, the Woodinville fields are under-utilized now and costing the City $.
However, the issue with Wellington Park is not at all about liking or not liking sports. It's about what that parcel of land CAN or cannot accommodate and also about the specifics in the Mitigation Agreement. The facts are that the proposed improvements (none of which are final and ALL of which are subject to change) are not suitable for this location. The purpose of Snoho County buying a park was to help EASE THE BURDEN of Brightwater on the surrounding citizens -- not increase it.
Also, the zoning and Urban Growth Boundary in this part of Snoho county prohibits R-24 residential lots, jails, apartments and condo's. So, none of these items are legally allowed to be built on this property. It is highly unlikely that zoning would be changed to accommodate any build-out like this as it would be absolutely contrary to the Snohomish County Master Plan, UGB, etc.
To respond to your question -- NO DEAL. The legal process allows any citizen of Snohomish County to appeal to their government. In fact, this same legal process enabled NON-RESIDENTS of Woodinville to persuade the building of artificial turf fields--we can do the same.
This is NOT DONE -- it is only beginning
"and Snohomish County councilmembers will vote for what is good for the majority of their citizens"
Yep, sure, you bet ... and that's why PACs, lobbyists and special interest groups are doing so well ... they convince government bureaucrats and lawmakers their special interest niche products are the best deal to vote on. Meanwhile, average citizens think voting in an election is their only responsibility.
Special interest groups usually present plans on the low-key, their plans are generally unknown to the general public so that when a vote comes up in a legislative or council session there's generally no opposition and the special interest group usually win. We've seen this happen at the Federal, State and local levels - over and over again.
Do you really believe the decision for a mega commercial sports complex was not influenced (or created) by special interest groups? If you think the proposed sports complex popped up as a virginal idea then you're more worried about kids smoking cigarettes than how local politics are done.

The only 'Special interest" group involved in the Snohomish park issue is the 10 or 15 rich neighbors that are threatening to sue the county. Everybody else wants the sports facility.
"... Everybody else wants the sports facility."
Nancy - that is a stunningly inaccurate remark, which I strongly suspect you have no data to back up. I believe that there are more voices of opposition (who aren't all rich) just in this discussion. This blatant "invention" certainly casts a shadow of doubt on your agenda in the role you've taken on as defender of Snohomish Country's plan.
What is your motivation? What do you get out of this park?

It will be a really nice park, what's to understand? It will affect the people that live really close to it the most, and the farther away you get, the less negative impact it will have. That's why a few close neighbors don't want it. They don't want anything in their neighborhood. No traffic, no construction, no noise, no parks, no change of any kind. Where were they to fight GMA, Brightwater, Costco, Boeing and Microsoft creating new jobs that bring people and income to the area? Things change. If a few people are disturbed, I'm sorry, I really I am. But this is for the good of the entire area and the hootie tooties in Wellington Hills got a lot of nerve trying to stop every new thing that comes to the neighborhood just because they are old and set in their ways. The only thing those people would support is a retirement community, on a septic system, with a wildlife preserve outside, and limit occupancy to one elderly person per 5 acres.

I think you have a lot of nerve speaking for a group of people that your don't represent.

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