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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Change one thing, expect large ripples

Building the proposed Wellington Hills Park Sports Complex just might be the same as pulling a loose string in mommy's wool sweater.  Pull hard enough and the sweater is ruined.  Guess what? That heirloom sweater will never be the same. Snohomish County seems to be in the string pulling business.

The issue of the County's inappropriate plan for a "Regional Tournament-level Sports Complex" is fueled by several factors:

• To build the Brightwater Sewage Plant in Snohomish County, King County gave Snohomish County 70 million mitigation dollars ... which caused Snohomish County authorities to swoon (free money!).

• The nearby Brightwater Sewage Plant is a housing, infrastructure & business growth generator.

• Special interest groups and land developers whispered their siren songs to County authorities.

• In existence, near Brightwater, is a quiet rural community with a jewel-like park.

• The plan: A Sports Complex with artificial turf fields, stadium lights, PA systems, 50,000 sq. ft. indoor sports fields w/ offices, 60,000 sq. ft. indoor mountain bike building & parking for more than 750 cars...

Brightwater Sewage Plant

Wellington Hills Park
In the backwash of the mitigation agreement, a community park was to be provided for those living near Brightwater.  That wasn't good enough for the County, a community park was myopic - They wanted a park that would generate revenue ... So, instead of an appropriately designed park for local residents they proposed a humongous sports complex.

Once again, we're facing another short-sighted version of Manifest Destiny: There's 100 acres of land (the park) - "Let's develop it!" ... We're witnessing another attempt that spreads urbanization where it need not be.  This is local version of the story that's transformed the United States, with all it's aftershocks and fallouts ... sprawl - traffic jams - unnecessary noise and light pollution - almost no land-use planning - spread-out population - minimal effort to design harmony between people and nature leaving people with jangled nerves and zero tranquility.

The following photos are the arc of the boom years of World War II to the present.

It begins with a bulldozer and it never quite ends … except it will probably end badly for both humans and the planet.

It certainly will end badly for Wellington Hills and Woodinville Washington.

Bulldozing orange tree orchards

mass produced housing

frame houses for single families

row upon row

housing engulfs orchards

The myth was born - everyone could own a "castle"

Business was good, lines of people look at model homes

Instant neighborhoods

Old was out, freeways were in

Today's version of a super highway

 Today's landscape: distant city, freeways and sprawl

Of course more cars are needed

Tract homes in the 1960s

Tract homes 2013

Instead of urban planning, every community has this

factories get bigger - people want stuff

Oil is needed for all those homes, cars and factories

Offshore oil is also a boom industry

Coal is in big demand

Open pit mining for more and more consumables

Waste on a grand scale

e waste, another booming business

But, hey, that's progress, right?

Tell me again why a sports complex is more important than a Green Space?

Wellington Hills Park Trees

Photos are from LIFE Google,  Edward Burtynsky's "Manufactured Landscapes" and several are mine.

Bill Stankus
April 2013

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