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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wellington Hills Park - Snohomish County, Washington State

240th Street SE runs east-west through Wellington Hills Park. 
The following photos were taken approximately mid-way on 240th – The first one is from the north side of the street, looking westward. The second is of the south side of 240th.

If Snohomish County's Department of Parks gets their way, Wellington Hills Park  - what you see in the panoramas - would be nuked out of existence and replaced … not with the park people have said they want … but with a real pork barrel project - a tournament-level sports complex.
Play any Orwellian word game you want - their plan is NOT a community park - it is commercial development meant for the benefit of for-profit sports businesses.
If you search this blog's archives, you'll find lots of scenic views of Wellington Hills Park. What I can't show are the many hundreds of hours spent by average workaday people delving into the mysteries of the County's bureaucracy in order to counter the County’s sports complex plan.

Yet we persist because we want to save a natural landmark from inappropriate development and we don't want our community mugged by excessive and unnecessary “pollutions” – traffic congestion on the single road this area depends upon, evening and weekend crowds and noise, stadium lights and the constant churn produced by parking lots for over 750 cars.
Fundamentally we believe:  Neighborhoods should have a voice in what happens to their community.  Special interest groups may have lobbyists and easy access to bureaucracy, but that doesn't necessarily equate with "doing the right thing".
We are not opposed to sports or sports fields - that has never been our issue.  What we object to is the inappropriate development of Wellington Hills Park and the slick way our community has been treated.   

Sports fields have specific requirements, none that occur in Wellington Hills Park. Those basic needs are: open space, quick access via decent roads, large parking lots, sewer lines, etc.. Sports fields should also not disrupt or negatively impact their surroundings - which the Dept. of Parks' plan will do in bucket fulls.
In many ways, the proposed “tournament level sports complex” is no different than when a big box store elbows its way into a quiet rural town … and disrupts and impacts the quality of life and the daily life of established neighborhoods.

I close with these questions:

• Should taxpayer money (in this case, $27 million) be used to build an expensive sports complex to benefit for-profit sports businesses?

• Is this situation any different than when professional sport teams owners expect taxpayers to pay for expensive stadiums, arenas and ballparks?

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