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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Land movement, slumps, slides, geological information

I found the following illustration of value  - here's the link to the site, it's from the British Geological Society.

a bit of text:

"The main classification criteria (for landslides) are:
  • type of movement (falls, topples, slides spreads, flows), and
  • type of material involved in the movement (rock, debris, earth)
Combining movement and material type terms enables an appropriately descriptive landslide name to be formulated. Naming can become more detailed with the addition of other descriptive details related to activity state, water content , rate of movement, etc., if known (e.g. active, complex, extremely rapid, dry rock fall-debris flow).

Only a small selection of the wide spectrum of landslide types that may develop in nature are shown here."

Recent photos of the unconsolidated landfill located above the concrete block wall which parallels Route 9, across the street from Costco.

photo no. 1 - View northward. Note Route 9 and Hwy 522 ramp
photo no. 2 - View southward. Note 240th St. SE intersection and Costco.

photos by Bill Stankus
March 30 (Sunday) approximately 10AM

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wellington Hills Park western boundary, vertical earth wall, water and sediment seepage, exposed geologic features, Snohomish County

I submitted the following photos as part of my comments, questions and observations pertaining to the SEPA checklist for Wellington Hills Park which was issued by Snohomish County's Department of Parks, April 2013.

In light of the current public interest in landslides, earth movement and exposed geologic features, especially those in Snohomish County, I'm showing views of the western boundary of Wellington Hills Park - which, in part, happens to be along a steep, almost vertical earth wall.

Please refer to the Google aerial view as seen in the previous blog posting.  The large white surface areas are the roofs of, what is referred to as, The Primus Buildings.

In photo #1, the park's boundary's is the top edge of the almost vertical wall. The two white buildings are the Primus buildings.

Note - photo #2, the view is to the north. Photo #3 is the view towards the south (240th St. SE is just on the other side of the sloping trees)).

In both photo #2 and #3, note the water seepage and the sand/silt which comes out at the base of the rock wall.

Also note - the trees on the slope in photo #3 are tilting due to land movement.

 This photo is from the top of park's western boundary edge -
with the view towards Costco and Hwy 522.

photos by Bill Stankus

Monday, March 24, 2014

Aerial view- Route 9, 240th St. SE, Costco intersection, block wall, retention pond, ground slumps and Wellington HIlls Park

Thank you Google Maps ...

A satellite view of the nasty intersection: Route 9 and 240th St. SE., Snohomish County WA

• Three "X's"  mark the locations of ground slumpage.

• I've circled the location of a retention pond located behind the concrete block wall!

• On the right of the photo is the boundary line for Wellington Hills Park - located above a vertical cliff behind the Primus building.

• Check out the last version of the Department of Park's "Master Plan" for Wellington Hills Park.

Mudslide tragedy, Snohomish County

Latest news via the BBC.

And, on the local front.

Here are photos taken today of the slumping unconsolidated fill dirt behind the artificial wall located along Route 9, at the corner of 240th St. SE.

What does this have to do with Wellington Hills Park?

1.  This is the intersection the Department of Parks proposes as the main entrance to the park.

2.  This area is basically the lowest land beneath the plateau on which the park sits.

• the first three photos were taken are from 240th St. SE
• photos 4 and 5 were taken from the Costco side of Route 9.

And, here is a link to photos of the same area in December 2012

photos by
Bill Stankus

Friday, March 21, 2014

Left turn lane from Route 9 to 240th St. SE at Costco intersection

 This is a common sight - with a degree of apprehension -
- waiting in the left turn lane (on Route 9) for turning onto 240th /St. SE

Note - in the first photo - the concrete block wall is visible
- so too is traffic waiting turns to exit 240th St.

(for max effect, click on photo)

photos by Bill Stankus

March 21, 2014
approximately 1:30pm

Monday, March 17, 2014

Route 9 & 240th St. SE - The Costco Intersection

The following photos were taken during a 15 minute period, just after 10am, March 17, 2014

Why take photos at this location?

Because this intersection is considered, by the people who have proposed the sports complex, as the main entrance to their warped re-make of Wellington Hills Park.


photos by Bill Stankus
March 2014

ps: While I was taking these photos a number of westbound drivers shouted positive encouragements.. such as, "Hey, Bill, keep up the good work!" ... "Yeah! Tell 'em they're crazy." ... "Way to go!" ... and there were a few that just smiled, waved and pumped their fists. 

So, whoever you are, thank you for the good vibes.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nightmare traffic

Just imagine ...

if the Teigen Plan is approved, instead of this ...

240th St. SE will be constantly jammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

photo by Bill Stankus

Friday, March 14, 2014

Another Letter to the Editor, Woodinville Weekly, March 10, 2014

in the Woodinville Weekly

It is unfortunate that the government official, Parks Director Tom Teigen, continues to make many misleading and false statements about his plans and actions.

I feel it is essential to continue to call him on that. Ms. Stewart was generous when she said Teigen makes “a lot of statements that are only half true.”

Mr Teigen says he’s met with the community repeatedly and has responded to their concerns. In truth, he had the entire complex designed before ever meeting openly with residents. At the first actual public meeting his message was that it’s a “done deal.”

Teigen has said he’s being open with residents. In truth, during the recent “public comment period” for his permit application, the plans residents were supposed to comment on simply weren’t available.

Teigen said critics of his plans make up a small percentage of the community. In truth, at the recent Woodinville Council meeting over 25 residents spoke out in firm opposition to Teigen’s sports complex. Residents in favor: Zero.

Yet Mr Teigen, as quoted in your article, dismisses the residents who have expressed an opinion and arrogantly claims those who haven’t spoken up are on his side. (Support from zero people?)

Teigen claims only 25 acres will be developed. In truth, his application asks permission to clear nearly twice that amount.

Teigen’s traffic study describes Woodinville-Snohomish Road as being a “five-lane” road. In truth, it has five lanes ONLY from the exit from Costco to the 522 on ramp. A distance not even half the length of Costco’s parking lot.

The one accurate thing he said is that the Wellington area is a buffer between the commercial and industrial area and the residential area. A buffer which Teigen wants to eliminate by filling the area with a commercial complex.

“They say we’re ruining the rural character, but we’re actually preserving it,” he said.
No doubt Mr Teigen also believes he has to destroy the village to save it.

Sean Martin, Woodinville

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Letter to the Editor, Woodinville Weekly, March 10, 2014

In the Woodinville Weekly

I think that Linda Gray and Carol Welch have it right (Letters to the Editor 3/3/14) with their concerns regarding Snohomish County’s proposed plan for Wellington Park.

Their factual letters describe issues that raise difficult questions for Parks Director Teigen. For example, as he has variously described it, the park is a “Regional Sports Complex” and “an amazing buffer that insulates you from any development.”

Further, it will only “host lacrosse/soccer tournaments once a year, if we`re lucky” and “draw regional and national tournaments on a regular basis.”

Director Teigen might be math challenged as well. He claims only 25 acres will be developed but 47 acres will be cleared.

What? Finally, somehow we get “an economic driver of the region” from low usage and minimal traffic. How does this happen?

Friends and neighbors, haven`t we seen all of this before.

Another slick politician with an agenda tailoring his message to his audience, back and forth, spinning and weaving the story as he goes along.

What`s wrong with just telling the truth for a change? Personally, I love the idea of a community park and so do most of my neighbors, however a park that remains true to the nature of the local community with the emphasis on nature, as in NATURAL.

Jim Willett, Woodinville

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Letter to the Editor (1), Woodinville Weekly, March 3, 2014

In the Woodinville Weekly

I was very disappointed in the recent article The Woodinville Weekly did on the City Council’s public hearing on Wellington Hills Park. A large number of people spoke against the Snohomish County Parks Department proposal to change Wellington Hills Park into a Regional Sports Complex.  In general, people were concerned over the very real issues of traffic congestion on local roads, noise, light pollution, loss of natural habitat, public safety, lack of any input into the park’s design as required and loss of the quality of life that’s associated with living in Woodinville.  

The fact is:  the director of Snohomish County’s parks was not at the public hearing yet he was quoted in the article.  The terrible misconception is the things he said were sound bytes, clich├ęs, half truths or totally unsubstantiated and condescending generalities.

The fact is: Snohomish County’s proposal is huge.  The south side of 240th SE would get artificial turf fields, stadium lights, a huge Costco-sized park lot and a giant activity building – all of which has approximately the same size footprint, lighting and noise impact as that of Safeco Field.

Furthermore:  the south side will be dug up and over 250,000 cubic yards of soil would be trucked across 240th and dumped on the rolling terrain of that area.  After the flattening, their plans call for a commercial mountain bike building and another large parking lot.  How this accounts for just 25% is unclear.

The irony is King County gave Snohomish County mitigation money to compensate the neighbors and the community that have to live by an essential public facility – the Brightwater Sewage Plant.  The 2005 Settlement Agreement stated there was to be a “community” park for residents near Brightwater and that they’d be included in the park design.  Somehow “Community Park” changed into a Regional Sports Complex reflecting only sports enthusiasts interests – and the consequence of that change of land use is; the sports complex would be worse for the area than Brightwater.

If the Weekly wants “fairness” and it wants to give “equal time” to citizens and to Snohomish County’s Director of Parks, then it should do a bit of investigative reporting.  If they do their homework, the proposal for a sport complex will look like a nightmare.

Linda Gray, Woodinville

Letter to the Editor (2), Woodinville Weekly, March 3, 2014

In the Woodinville Weekly

I’m writing in response to the 1/2 page ad that Northshore Youth Soccer placed in The Woodinville Weekly issue of Feb.17. I’d like to help inform not only the writer(s) of the ad, but anyone else who has not reviewed the numerous materials on the County Parks website.

As the ad suggested, people need to “get informed.” This does not mean taking the word of any biased party as truth, which goes for organizations on both sides of this issue. Northshore Youth Soccer is biased, as the development proposed most definitely serves their interests. I’m sure they have their reasons, and I will not insinuate that their claims regarding their need are untrue. As a 20+ year resident of this neighborhood, I am also biased, concerned for my property value, the noise and lighting impact, and mostly for the dramatic increase in vehicle traffic that is expected as a result of this development.

A comment in the NSYS ad states that the citizens opposed are “a few vocal opponents who prefer to protect the open space for themselves.”

Frankly, I find that comment insulting, very presumptive, misinformed and self-serving. My primary concern is the increased traffic, and were it not for a woefully insufficient infrastructure to support this plan, I would not have a problem with it.

The increased traffic is not just my opinion, it is a fact that is substantiated by the reports of the traffic consultant hired by the County, and available on the Parks website.

I quote from their report: “232 new PM peak hour trips daily,” “276 new Saturday peak hour trips daily.” It also notes “vast majority of the visitors/traffic will come from the west” via Hwy 9 and SR522 (at Costco), citing “long delays” and/or “very long delays.”

Those who drive to Costco or commute to/from work through that intersection now already know what a terrible one it is, with the frequent red light running by exiting shoppers. The County Parks website includes meeting comments (5/4/2012) made by a NSYS representative that they are looking to support “8 tournaments a year, to pack the place,” with “130 teams” with “5-9PM target usage time for NYSA.”

The plan for 700 parking spaces speaks for itself (I noted the ad didn’t indicate what percent those will take of the park space, only the field space).

The long, slow line of cars coming out of Woodinville at PM commute now will be even longer and slower and during a tournament will be a travesty.

I also noted on the County website that the name of this development started out as “Wellington Hills Regional Sports Complex” (meeting notes 4/27/2012), with comments by the Parks Director stating “not just a sports park but an economic driver of the region,” and the hope to “draw regional and national tournaments on a regular basis.”

He later attempted to deny this position (Woodinville Weekly article 5/6/2103), stating “when you say this is a regional sports complex, we simply don’t agree with that,” and that the park would host lacrosse/soccer tournaments “once a year, if we’re lucky.” Which statements are we to believe?

The name for the development was changed to a more benign “Wellington Hills County Park” when the County realized their sports park plan was not being embraced by the park neighbors.
My biggest concern?

As the traffic issues escalate at the Costco intersection, people will naturally look to the east entrance on 240th St SE as an alternative (via 156th Ave NE in King Co, 75th Ave SE in Sno.County).
156th/75th is already heavily traveled as a result of the Costco development and will certainly see a significant increase in congestion (and accidents due to the many driveways, cross streets, cycling events and hilly terrain).  The road improvements proposed are seriously inadequate.

Frankly, the only solution I find acceptable for my biased interests, short of moving the sports park to a more appropriate locale, is to block any entrance to it from the east, thus eliminating the traffic through the residential areas and forcing it through the industrial area on the west side. I’m sure Costco will not suffer from the added traffic.

Carol Welch, Woodinville

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Woodinville City Council Approves Increase in Land Use Legal Services

Last night at its regular meeting, the Woodinville City Council unanimously approved an increase of funds for special land use legal services associated with the Wellington Hills Park Project.

These funds will be used to address impacts, legal issues and a possible legal appeal of the application submitted by Snohomish County.

NSWP wishes to express its gratitude to the City Council for recognizing that the impacts from the proposed Wellington Hills Park project require further investigation.  We also wish to thank those individuals who attended the meeting to show their support for the passage of this motion. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

County Council Postpones Vote on Parks & Recreation Visioning Plan

Back on January 28th, the Parks Department presented a draft of the 2014 Parks & Recreation Visioning Plan to the Snohomish County Council for their consideration. Several citizens attended that meeting and voiced their concerns because, for the first time, the county officially described Wellington Hills Park as a “regional, tournament-level athletic facility”.  (See p. 27 of the Visioning Plan.)

Despite numerous requests to remove references to Wellington Hills Park as a tournament facility, the Parks Visioning Plan moved forward with no changes and was scheduled for Council vote during the February 25 Operations Committee meeting.  This meeting was canceled at the last minute, and the motion to approve the document has not yet been rescheduled.  We will let you know when the motion reappears on a council agenda.

Why is this important?

Although the Parks Department will tell you that its Visioning Plan is primarily a requirement for funding from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), in fact this document also satisfies requirements that development under the Growth Management Act start with a public visioning process.  (See the Preface.)

The Visioning Plan claims to base its findings on input received from Snohomish County residents.  Yet the Parks Visioning Plan actually reveals that residents’ highest priorities are Trails and Leisure Activities.  Sports and Special Use Facilities rank last.  

Survey responses also overwhelmingly state that the emphasis should be on renovating existing facilities rather than developing new ones.

The Visioning Plan shows us that, once again, the Parks Department is ignoring public input regarding the development of Wellington Hills Park.

NSWP urges you to use this unexpected delay to express your desire to develop Wellington Hills Park in harmony with its rural site and surroundings.  It’s an obvious choice for providing the trails and leisure activities desired by residents without destroying the natural beauty of the park. 

And remember to ask the Snohomish County Council and the Parks Department to correct the Visioning Plan.  Remove all references to Wellington Hills Park as a regional, tournament-level athletic facility, and instead use this site to give constituents what they say they want.

You are welcome to voice your opinion in a 3-minute comment at the next Operations Committee meeting (date and time to be announced).  Or send an email to the Council Members (, Executive ( and Parks Director (  Be sure to copy NSWP (