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

Friday, February 28, 2014

photos of Wellington Hills Park and area

... over in the sidebar is: "I Live Here". 

It's a separate blog of Wellington Hills Park photos I've taken since May 2012 ... you will see scenes of the park when it was a golf course ... there are critter and scenery pics and peeks at places and things you may not have noticed.  Please take a look. Thank you.

Go here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

In the Everett Herald - Letter to the Editor - Park Proposal needs an EIS

Go here for online Everett Herald newspaper Letters To Editor 

And, as seen:

Published: Friday, February 21, 2014, 1:00 a.m.
Snohomish County

Park proposal needs an EIS

 When Chris Hansen proposed to build a new NBA arena in Seattle, the city of Seattle and King County prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

As part of the DEIS process, the public had an opportunity to comment on the proposed project and then their comments were used to determine the scope of the environmental impacts that would subsequently be addressed in the DEIS.

I mention this because, in their proposal to construct a “regional sports complex” on the site of Wellington Hills Park, Snohomish County’s Department of Parks, unlike the city of Seattle and King County, has attempted to undermine the process, trivialized public comments and concerns, and they’ve self-proclaimed that an Environmental Impact Study was not necessary for a project with a footprint approximately the size of Safeco Field.

In the public’s best interest, I suggest the only way to proceed is to demand an Environmental Impact Study. The county’s development of this site, as currently proposed, is not just a localized issue. Rather, it is an issue that will affect all Snohomish County residents due to its numerous environmental impacts, community altering effects and the high costs for construction and maintenance.

The Wellington Hills Park proposal also raises the question — how should the county proceed on major multi-million dollar projects, especially non-essential ones?

Bill Stankus

Friday, February 21, 2014

Evolution of Wellington Hills Park Master Plans by Snohomish County's Department of Parks

As reference, the Department of Parks held the first public meeting about their "plans" for Wellington Hills Park on May 8, 2012.

At that meeting, the director of the department of parks said, "It's a done deal ... and you're going to love it."

Obviously, the concept of a sports complex predates any significant public notice or actual public involvement in the design or re-purposing of Wellington HIlls Park.

Take a look at the following "Master Plans" ... some of the detail shift and move around ... and there's the extra property they bought on the Park's eastern edge ... none the less, the major elements proposed in May 2012 are about the same as the December 2013 version.

June 25, 2012 Preliminary Master Plan

July 23, 1012 Concept Design

 August 30, 2012 Master Plan
 October 17, 2012 Master Plan

 January 28, 2013 Master Plan

December, 16, 2013 Master Plan

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Response to Snohomish County's LDA (Land Disturbing Activity) for Wellington Hills Park

Regarding the Notice for the "Pending Land-Use Application" … the "Land Disturbance" for Wellington Hills Park …

Every public display, every process that has dotted i's and crossed t's, every paper trail regarding Snohomish County Parks Department's proposal for Wellington Hills Park has cleverly ignored residents of the Wellington Hills/Woodinville region, mis-valued the existing park, and proceeded with total disregard for the original purpose of the Brightwater mitigation agreement - to build a Community Park for those living near Brightwater.

Instead, everything we've seen from the Parks Department has been:

1.   Misleading
2.   Incomplete
3.   Inaccurate
4.   Irresponsible

Furthermore, the Parks Department's proposal cannot be justified by either common sense or public need.

Why, in the name of all that's priceless and sacred … would you rip-up an existing eye-appealing park filled with tall trees and wildlife? 

Wellington Hills Park, as a natural park, could easily become a crown jewel for the County and an example of best-use of parks as a green space between commerce (on Route 9) and the adjacent residential neighborhoods (in this case, Wellington Hills and Woodinville).

Instead, this "Pending Land-Use Application" makes mockery of land management, ecological concerns, best use of public property and trivializes (in a major way) a residentially zoned rural area with all the associated vulgarities of gouging out the land to build tournament-level athletic fields adjacent to people’s homes. Think traffic congestion along with light and noise and pollution!

If you haven't personally experienced Wellington Hills Park, I invite you to visit my blog at You’ll see photographs of the park in sunny, rainy and snowy conditions … as it’s enjoyed by the public today.

What a waste of taxpayer money it would be to destroy the area by building the proposed tournament-level athletic fields and other commercial venues … which are designed, not for the public, but primarily for the limited benefit of private clubs and their tournaments.

Lastly, I see no reason to do a line item dissection of the land use proposal simply because the initial reason for the proposal is in error. The Parks Department began with a false premise (the so-called need for a regional sports complex in Wellington Hills) and any debate about it assumes the Parks Department's proposal actually has merit.

Bill Stankus
Woodinville, WA
Snohomish County

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Letter to Editor, Woodinville Weekly, Jan. 27, 2014

Woodinville Weekly, Letters to the Editor - Jan. 27, 2014  

Does the Snohomish County Council or the Parks Department understand the difference between "appropriate" and "inappropriate" or the concept of fiscal responsibility?

Their plan to replace Wellington Hills Park with a "regional tournament-level athletic field site" puts both the City of Woodinville and south Snohomish County in a precarious situation.

Their plan is so huge and so disruptive that it would radically change the area and 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 … in a rurally zoned residential area.

If their plan proceeds, the areas on both sides of 240th SE (between Costco and 195th) will be drastically changed.

Drastic means de-watering the area and then removing 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.

Once both sides of 240th St. are flattened, the existing natural scenery would be replaced with four artificial-turf fields with stadium lights and three grass fields. Additionally, there would be parking for 700+ cars, a traffic circle, a 60,000 square-foot "activities building" and a 50,000 sq. ft. commercial indoor mountain bike facility.

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 new traffic jams and more congestion, unprecedented noise and light pollution, an increase in crime, lower 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 development and the inappropriate use of an existing natural park.

Please, speak up and tell the Snohomish County Council, the County Executive and their Parks Department to act responsibly with our taxpayer money and rethink this outrageous plan.

Bill Stankus, Woodinville

Letter to Editor, Woodinville Weekly, Jan. 27, 2014

Woodinville Weekly, Letters to the Editor - Jan. 27, 2014

I was pleased to see the prominent mention of the comment period on the future of Wellington Park in last week’s paper.

Snohomish County Parks Department has applied for a Land Disturbing Activity (LDA) permit that would allow them to clear, level and grade approximately 50 acres of giant trees and rolling hills.

It would also allow construction of seven playing fields, four of which would be artificial turf.

The county would widen the little park road, rearrange the wetlands and excavate for a community center that has no funding.

This is a disastrous design for a small hilltop site in a rural neighborhood!

The traffic for year-round operation of the turf fields until almost 10 p.m. each night would far exceed the infrastructure in this area.

Construction of the turf fields would involve digging down more than two stories and moving all that dirt to fill in the rolling hills we enjoy.

This quiet rural area would suddenly be inundated with stadium lights, noise from tournament games and exhaust fumes from the huge influx of cars trying to get in and out of the sports complex.

Don’t let the County Council, the County Executive and the Parks Department ignore this travesty.

You have until February 5th to make your concerns known.

Do not be polite. Do not be quiet. Yell now and tell them this is the wrong place for a commercial sports complex.

These wonderful turf fields should be built on a flat commercial site, where participants can easily access them.

The Parks Department, the council and the Executive need to wake up and work with the community to design an appropriate park for this neighborhood.

Comments on the LDA permit application need to reach Tom Barnett by February 5th:

Please visit for County Council contact information and more about this disastrous plan.

Tina Stewart, Woodinville

Friday, February 7, 2014

Destruction of Place and your loss of Freedom

When you look through your kitchen or family room windows, what do you see? A tree lined street, the neighbor's yards ... maybe some kids riding their bikes ... or perhaps you see grassy fields and Doug firs?

How about this scenario - One day you open your drapes and, instead of seeing your neighbors, trees or all the visual reasons why you moved into your house ... you see a giant shopping mall sized parking lot, stadium lights, bumper to bumper traffic and cops directing crowds of strangers.

If that imagery is shocking, welcome to the Nightmare of the possible future of Wellington Hills Parks as envisioned by Snohomish County's Department of Parks.

If you've been to the Park and enjoyed walking in this particular location, note the trees and where they will no longer be in the circled area on the Department of Parks Master Plan map ...

 If you've strolled through the park, perhaps with your kids or dogs ... the following photos of familiar locations show how it currently is ... however, on the following Department of Parks Master Plan map you can see how it might become.

... IF you don't speak out to stop the Nightmare from becoming real.

You CAN make a difference.

Please donate to the Neighbors to Save Wellington Hills Parks ... it's easy, just use the PayPal button located at the top of this blog's side column.

Note - all donations are for attorney fees - it gets expensive trying to get local government to do the right thing.

Thank you.

photos by Bill Stankus
February 2014

Map sections, drawn up by Snohomish County's Department of Parks

Saturday, February 1, 2014