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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Beyond Wellington Hills Park: Why Preservation of the Park is Critical - Part 2

On this photo journey you've now driven a few hundred yards away from Wellington Hills Park.

This set of photos was taken at the intersection of 240th St. SE and Route 9.

(Snohomish County Departments of Parks and Public Works have proclaimed this will be the main "gateway" to their "Tournament Level Sports Complex".)

Among the features of this intersection are: 

·       Used car lot
·       Entrance to asphalt and concrete recycling business
·       Entrance to the Wellington Business Park (behind block wall)
·       Railroad tracks
·       Entrance to Costco 

 Looking eastward, uphill towards the trees of Wellington Hills Park.

The asphalt and concrete recycling business is visible behind the used car lot

That's Costco across the street. Locals refer to 240th St. and Route 9 as "the Costco intersection"

The next three photos are of trucks going to and from the very busy asphalt & concrete recycling business.

• The first two are looking northward.
• The third is looking southward. 

The last two photos were taken while in the Route 9 left-turn lane to 240th St. The “side dumping” trucks are commonly seen and generally uncomfortably close when turning at this intersection.

Photos by Bill Stankus

Beyond Wellington Hills Park: Why Preservation of the Park is Critical - Part 1

 During the past 2+ years I've blogged many photos of Wellington Hills Park
... hopefully the natural beauty of the park has been revealed.

Additionally, I've made reference that the park is a buffer zone, green space - a quiet place between residential homes on the plateau and the hustle and bustle of commerce along Route 9 and Highway 522 which are located on the valley floor.

This posting is the first in a series showing what's just beyond the park - and it ain't pretty.

The following photos are orientation for what will follow in the next few days.

Satellite view of the park and nearby area.

• The park and several types of businesses west of the park are labeled.
• Highway 522 and Route 9 are seen as diagonals in the photo.
240th St. is the east-west road going through the park.
71st. Drive is at the right edge of the photo - it is the park boundary, north of 240th.

The view westward across the park as seen from 71st Drive.
Note the grass horizon line at the center of the photo - that's the approximate location of the park's western boundary.

If you walk to that western boundary, there's a row of skinny trees ... and from this vantage point you can look down into the valley and see the highway and commerce of that area. 

In later photos the row of skinny trees and the grassy area can be used to orient where the park is located.

240th St. SE as it exits the park and goes downhill towards Route 9.

photos by Bill Stankus

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Once and Future Tree Canopy

I don’t know how close you follow local legislation, but the more time I spend sitting in County meetings and churning through the County’s website … some things get are “curiouser and curiouser”.

For example … do you know about the “novel” approach legislation regarding tree replacements based on measuring the now and future size of tree canopies?

Go here and here and here to read the Planning & Community Development summary on potential changes to existing ordinances and the Executive/Council Approval Form (aka, "ECAF).

Who benefits from cutting down trees and replacing stumps with trees that might grow to a certain size canopy in 20 years – Take a guess: You? Me? Land developers? 

Another question is, what potential impact might this proposed legislation have on the development of Wellington Hills Park?

Wellington Hills Park – (def.) A small park In Woodinville Washington with rolling topography and 90-year-old trees.  Currently, it is the proposed location of a Snohomish County Regional Tournament-level Sports Complex featuring stadium lights, amplified sound system, parking for 750 cars, a 50,000 sq. ft. indoor activities building plus a "few" other goodies to boot.

In order for the “Regional Tournament-level Sports Complex” to be built, mature trees will be removed and over 250,000 cubic yards of soil and dirt will be dug up and re-purposed.

And the current Wellington Hills tree canopy?  Just imagine what small mystery trees, fresh from a nursery, will look like, next to a Costco-sized parking lot in 20 years.

BTW - the cost for this park makeover? 

That's correct, $27 million.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Same place - September 2012 and August 2014

A few days ago when I was taking photos of the dry grasses near the overlook of Primus, Costco, etc. I recalled the fun time I had tagging along with a bunch I guys I had just met and who allowed to take photos while they golfed.  Lots of joking and teasing about bad shots and such.  Camaraderie at it's best.

August 18, 2014

September 8, 2012

photos by Bill Stankus
2012 and 2014

**Disclaimer: I'm not a golfer nor have I ever played golf.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The British are coming, the British are coming!

.... or at least they're passing over the top of Wellington Hills Park.

photo by Bill Stankus
August 2014

(The photo is neither cropped or enlarged, the plane seemed that close.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

it was dry & then it wasn't

The photos were taken August 10, around 5PM , the sky was cloudless, bright and blue. And it was hot - maybe more than 85 degrees.

There was a prairie-like feel to the rolling hills and grasses. Western Red Cedars and Doug Firs gaveaway that the park wasn't in the Central California foothills or someplace in the Midwest.

It hadn't rained for weeks so the grasses were very dry and mostly standing upright, except when their own weight caused them to lean or layover.

I'm writing this in the past tense because yesterday it rained - and with eight hours of rain, the return of clouds and cooler temperatures (65ยบ), change happens.

Natural harmonies and all that.

photos by Bill Stankus
August 10, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Wellington Hills Park - August 2014 - photos on a hot, dry day

I know, you probably thought, I'd given up on this blog and moved to someplace with a balmier climate, perhaps Dallas or Yuma ... but I haven't.

For the past months, I’ve been trying to be a good citizen by attending County legislative sessions, reading County documents and writing and talking about the Wellington Hills Park issue …

All that and a bag of peanuts.

Anyway, the Park has not (as of this moment) been whacked by Snohomish County’s Department of Parks.

Tho, there are people swearing they’ve seen Snohomish County’s Precision Bulldozing & Baton Twirling Team practicing in nearby Maltby.

Truth be told, the people saying that have attended many more County meetings than me.


Yesterday, I did a Park walk-around and composed the following ... 
... it’s OK, you don’t need sunscreen to look at them.

photos by Bill Stankus
August 10, 2014