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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

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

No comments: