Thank you for your coverage of the
Snohomish County Parks Advisory Board action on the Wellington Hills
County Park Master Plan. I attended their November 12 meeting in support
of Neighbors to Save Wellington Park, (NSWP) our newly-formed
association of local citizens in both King and Snohomish counties who
support Wellington Park and are utterly opposed to the massive regional
sports complex that Snohomish County Parks Department has advocated for
As the minutes of the November 12
meeting show, statements from the audience reaffirmed points that NSWP
have been trying to bring to the public discussion ever since we were
first informed of the draft plan in May 2012.
Mike O Grady, Woodinville excerpted comments - stated neighbors were not contacted in advance of May 2012 public meeting.
“This is a government run industrial
sports complex. A private company would never be allowed to drop a
commercial sports complex in a residential neighborhood
Larry Nelson, Woodinville, excerpted
comments - steep road, rarely plowed. We don’t want to be located across
from the new fields. A shame that this money is being spent on this
project and should be used instead by the county sheriff’s office, etc.
Todd Bailey, Woodinville, representing
Neighbors to Save Wellington Park, excerpted comments - zoned rural.
Concerns - commercial development located in a rural neighborhood.
This was not part of the county park
comp plan in 2007. We were not contacted regarding input as to amenities
and features of the property. We are asking you to downsize. Concerns
regarding traffic and safety. Property value is projected to decline by
experts. Suggested operating hours of the park will leave only eight
hours for sleeping.
Ed Stevenson, Woodinville, excerpted
comments - largest private property owner adjacent to park. Concerns
regarding cycling/bmx complex (public-private partnership).
Major business taking up a lot of
square footage. Please get assistance to assess risk vs. benefits of
this enterprise that is not zoned as such.” Loss of green area.
Katrina Stewart, Woodinville,
excerpted comments - this park is for the purpose of generating revenue.
It does not benefit the neighborhood. It doesn’t make sense. What is
the plan for traffic? Only a 2 -lane road. Not passable during snow.
No one at the meeting spoke in favor
of the plan. Nonetheless, Parks Director Tom Teigen pressed forward with
arguments he has been making since May 2013 at the start of the
so-called public involvement plan:
Parks Advisory Board potential action
on the Wellington Hills County Park Master Plan - Tom thanked audience
for coming, and made other comments related to what the Brightwater
Mitigation Agreement called for ( 40 + acre park for active recreation)
with discussions and meetings held as far back as 2005 detailing the
need for multipurpose, synthetic, lit athletic fields.
Tom stated: If approved by Board
today, plan still needs to be approved and reviewed through the SEPA
process (approx. mid Feb 2013), etc., before moving forward. Important:
there will still be opportunity to make comments and appeals before plan
is finalized and sent to Council for final approval. Motion to approve.
Seconded. One opposed. Nine affirmative. Motion passed. • More
comments from the audience.”
The intensity of the “more comments”
referenced but not included in the minutes would show just how divisive
this issue has become. The Parks Department is claiming it is just
meeting contractual obligations imposed by the Brightwater Mitigation
Agreement and that there is a local public demand for a sports-complex
at Wellington, a claim that is as yet undocumented.
Moreover, Parks continues to ignore minimize or defer to the future the following substantive points:
1) That its interpretation of the
Brightwater Mitigation Agreement may be flawed. The agreement certainly
wouldn’t require Snohomish County to ignore the needs of its own
Comprehensive Plan or the requirements of the Growth Management Act;
2) That there has been no public needs
assessment for a regional sports facility in south Snohomish County. In
fact, some of the proposed uses may be illegal outside of an urban
growth boundary. Wellington is a zoned rural area;
3) That Wellington may not be suitable
for such a facility. Consider 700 parking spaces to service two major
recreational draws to its traffic “chokepoints” — Route 9 on the west
and 156th (Bostian Road) to the east of 240th, the only access road
into and out of the park;
4) That alternative uses of the park,
such as continuation of an active 82-year-old golf course, had not been
5) That the changes made to the draft
plan because of interactions with the neighboring communities have been
little more than a tweaking of some features, appreciated but minimal
Meanwhile, NSWP has seen the purchase
of additional acreage to the park, the placement of fences (albeit
attractive) along both sides of 240th and a stream of surveyors who
represent a harbinger of the massive clearing and grading to come.
To learn more, and to see an outstanding photographic record, check out the following sites:
•http: // neighborsto savewellingtonpark.blogspot.com.
Thank you for your attention and support. We think the future well-being of our Wellington Hills communities are at stake!