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

Friday, March 1, 2013

Wellington Hills Park-Woodinville-Snohomish County - What's going on?

Here's a map of the counties in the State of Washington.

Snohomish County is the one darkened on the map and enlarged in the second image.

Pertinent stuff.

• Note the location of Marysville and Everett because those are Snohomish County's largest cities.

• Outside the county map's southern boundary is Woodinville, a King County city.

• Click on the map to enlarge it and you’ll see a tiny red dot (above the "i" in Woodinville) … that's the approximate location of Wellington Hills Park.

•  Snoco residents near the existing park have Woodinville WA 98072 as their mailing address.  As I stated, Woodinville is a King County city.

•  The Dept. of Parks & Recs says the Wellington Hills sports complex will be a magnet for all of Snohomish County.  Really?

• Did you know the soccer fields in Woodinville are under-utilized? It's true.

• According to The Dept. of Parks & Recs own Comprehensive Plan, there's call for developing active use parks in the Marysville area.  That seems reasonable because of the area's sizable population.  Take another look at Marysville's location, it's centered in a dynamic north-south corridor.


Drive the streets near the Wellington Hills Parks and you'll find old, narrow roads through and next to the park and heavy traffic on Route 9 and Hwy 522 … plus there's always plenty of traffic at the Costco intersection … which would also be the main entrance to the Teigen sports complex.

Have you been to the public meetings held at Brightwater and in local people’s homes? Audiences have heard plenty of rationalizations and justifications and sermonized assertions (aka, "the sales pitch"). The public meetings have been all about selling one-sided sizzle.  And if valid issues were raised by local people, great effort was made to convince them, whatever it was, it won't be a problem.

That fishy smell wasn’t Brightwater; something else is going on here.

If you reverse their "logic" about countywide use of the Wellington Hills sports complex, then people near Wellington Hills Park should be traveling to other Snohomish cities, perhaps even cities located near Snohomish County's northern border.

How many people living in Woodinville drive 38 miles to Kayak Point Regional County Park?
Or will they drive 7 miles to Willows Run Golf Club?

Mileage references.

Woodinville to Arlington:  38 miles, approximately 45 minutes driving time
Woodinville to Stanwood:  44 miles, approximately 1 hour driving time
Woodinville to Darrington: 65 miles, approximately 1 hour 20 minutes driving time

For comparison:

Woodinville to Redmond:  6 miles, approximately 15 minute driving time
Woodinville to Bellevue: 12 miles, approximately 20 minute driving time
Woodinville to Seattle:     20 miles, approximately 30 minutes driving time


The people numbers.
Populations in Snohomish County unless otherwise noted.

• Everett………….......104,295
• Marysville…………....60,785
• Edmonds.…………….40,215
• Lynwood………….....36,291
• Bothell……………….34,055  (in both King & Snohomish Counties)
• Mountlake Terrace ….20,165
• Mill Creek…………...18,480
• Arlington………….....18,154
• Monroe…………....…17,493
• Woodinville………….11,157 (King County)
• Stanwood……………...6,311

Here's the game

Can you guess why the Dept. of Parks & Recs is hard selling and fast-tracking their plan to develop a huge urban styled sport complex next to King County?

Something else to consider:
Wellington Hills Park is on the rural side of the UGB* (Urban Growth Boundary), outside the UGA line.

*For the state's definition of the UGA go here

Also, check out the definition of Urban Growth Management - here.

The players.

• The sport complex master planner, Tom Teigen, Director of Snoco Dept. of Parks & Recreation

• Tom's boss, Aaron Reardon, County Executive (until May 2013)

• The Snoco County Council - they manage County funds and vote yea or nay on budget issues

• People living next to Wellington Hills Park

• Residents of Woodinville (King County)

What's next.

• A full Environmental Impact Study (EIS) should be done but who in the County will step-up and start that ball rolling?

• Tom Teigen will submit a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist - in March 2013.

• That's followed by a 14-day comment period during which the public can comment/question specific parts of the SEPA checklist. 

• Also in March, Teigen's Master Plan will be submitted to the County Council and the 5 members will vote yea or nay on it.

Possible winners.

• The County gets revenue
• Private sports clubs and organizations
• Urban developers
• Private retailers
• Tom Teigen and his resume

Bottom line

• Sports complexes are good when built in appropriate locations.

• Building a sports complex in a rural neighborhood is flat out wrong.

• Brightwater mitigation money was meant to make things better, not worse.

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