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

Friday, January 31, 2014


Today, January 31, 2014 ... a light, misty rain moved through the area.

While it's not difficult to take photos when it's sunny and the sky is blue ...
today weather offered interesting views within Wellington Hills Park.

 Unfortunately, the following views are in jeopardy...

The car in the next photo is at the spot where the County's Department of Parks wants to build a traffic circle ... to the right side of the car would be a driveway to a large parking lot and to the left of the car would be another driveway to a secondary parking lot. Also in this area there would be a large footbridge across the road.

Fine old trees, unfortunately located where the Department of Parks wants a driveway to a parking lot.

photos by Bill Stankus
January 31, 2014

For reference: Here's the traffic circle as drawn on the Department of Parks' Master Plan

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Wellington Hills Park is already a park

photos by
Bill Stankus

Public words

Yesterday, January 28, 2014, I and a number of residents from the Wellington Hills/Woodinville area attended the Snohomish County Council's Operations Committee.
Two of the County's scheduled "Discussion Points" were: 
• Parks Update 
• Snoco Parks and Recreation Visioning Plan for RCO (Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office).

At the beginning of the meeting the public is allowed to speak ... each person is limited to 3 minutes so it's difficult to go into much detail on whatever you feel you need to say.
Anyway, here's my three minutes: 

Does the Snohomish County Council or the County’s Parks Department understand the difference between “appropriate” and “inappropriate” or the concept of fiscal responsibility?
The plan to replace Wellington Hills Park with a "regional tournament-level athletic field site" puts both south Snohomish County and the City of Woodinville in a precarious situation.

The proposed plan is so huge and so disruptive that it would radically change the area and it would most certainly degrade the quality of our daily lives.

Look through your kitchen window and imagine this … a sports complex that would cover as much ground as Safeco Field with parking lots equal to that of Costco… jammed into a rurally zoned residential area.

If the plan proceeds, the areas on both sides of 240th SE (between Route 9 and Bostain Road) will be drastically transformed.  And, “drastic” means de-watering the area then followed by the costly removal of 250,000 cubic yards of soil from the south side of 240th and dumping it on the rolling terrain seen on the north side of 240th.

The reason for this incredible altering of the landscape? … It’s just to make the area flat.

Not only is the proposed plan for a regional sports complex inappropriate for a residential neighborhood, it is rife with problems, contradictions and waste.

If it’s built, we will have frustrating traffic jams and unnecessary congestion … there will be unprecedented noise and light pollution … an increase in crime, lowered property values and the possibility of required sewer and water hook-ups.

The proposed “special interests plan” is a waste of public money that will result in unnecessary and unjustified development and, adding further insult, it’s an inappropriate use of an existing natural park.

Instead of providing a Community Park – as was called for in the Brightwater mitigation deal … the plan for a "regional tournament-level athletic field site" is nothing but a boondoggle. 

Bill Stankus

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What DO you want?

The fate of Woodinville and South Snohomish County is sitting on a knife edge.

The issue isn't that of having a place to kick a ball, no, it's about wasting taxpayer money with unnecessary development and the inappropriate use of an existing natural park.

Special interest groups have made it seem that a mammoth regional sports complex should be built in a rurally zoned residential neighborhood.  We're not talking about a green lawn for the kids ... no, we are not ... The proposed Teigen Plan is a huge, bloated over-built concoction.  In fact, the proposed sports complex plan is the largest of its kind in Snohomish County history - and it isn't even near the population centers of Snohomish County.

The Teigen Plan calls for destroying the existing Wellington Hills Park and replacing it with a regional sports complex meant to attract, regional, national and international tournaments.

At this moment, The Teigen Plan includes artificial turf fields with stadium lights ... a traffic circle and parking lots for 700+ cars plus a bunch of other man-made stuff ... all of which should be built on a flat place with better access and located closer to the people who will use it.

Which is more appropriate for ANY residential area - Stadium lights OR beautiful trees?

Please take a moment and call or write the Snohomish County Council (their web page) AND County Executive John Lovick (his web address) and tell them the proposed regional sports complex to replace Wellington Hills Park is a bad, bad idea.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Teigen Plan for Wellington Hills Park

from the County's webpage

Kinda makes Costco look small, doesn't it?

Note - The intersection at Costco (Rt. 9 and 240th St) is intended to be the main entrance to the proposed Wellington Hills Regional Sports Complex.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wellington Hills Park, Washington State, Snohomish County

Here in the Northwest we take pride in the natural beauty of our forests, mountains and lakes ... but if you stop and think about it, what we see is often far away and sometimes unapproachable ... such as the Cascades or Olympics or Lake Washington’s shoreline.

A simple question - Can you name a local park filled with trees, natural features, peace and quiet and without swimming pools, soccer fields or baseball diamonds?

In Woodinville, on the Snohomish County side of town, there is such a place ... Wellington Hills Park. It's not a large park but it has majestic trees, almost 100 years old and there's walkable rolling hills and dales. As a bonus, if you’re strolling in the park you might see deer or bobcats, coyotes, eagles, hawks and owls doing what wildlife does best - existing in the small places we haven’t over-developed. 

Wellington Hills Parks is located between a quiet residential neighborhood and the commercial businesses of traffic-y Route 9. Unfortunately, the park has been targeted for unnecessary urban development - of the sprawl variety.

In May of 2012, Snohomish County's Director of Parks, Tom Teigen, announced that Wellington Hills Park was no longer scheduled to be a community park ... instead it was to be re-shaped into a regional sports complex.

Thus began my photography of the park. Since that terrible day in May I've taken thousands of photos of the place, in part to document what the park looks like but also because ... well, it's a beautiful place and I wanted to share that beauty with everyone. 

Here are a few recent photos of the park. 

btw, If Tom Teigen gets his way, the area in the photos would be de-watered, dug out then leveled. The removed soil would then be used as leveling fill dirt in other areas of the park.

In place of what you see in the photos there would be a number of artificial turf and grass sports fields, stadium lights and a 500 car parking lot.

photos by Bill Stankus
December 2013

And, just to be perfectly clear - Neighbors To Save Wellington Park is NOT opposed to sports fields or sports in general. What we are opposed to is the inappropriate use of Wellington Hills Park.