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Notes on the January 31, 2013 Wellington Hills Park, Master Planning Meeting at the Brightwater Community Center

Snohomish County officials presented an updated master plan for the Wellington Hills Park

Notes on the January 31, 2013 Wellington Hills Park, Master Planning Meeting held at the Brightwater Community Center.

Approximately 75 people were in attendance.

The principle Snohomish County representatives were Tom Tiegen, Director of Parks and Recreation, James Yap, Project Manager, Dept. of Parks and Recreation and Stephen Dickson, Special Projects Manager of the Public Works Department.  Bruce Dees the architect for the proposed park plan detailed the latest master plan.

The main points of the updated park master plan related to changes on the north side of 240th SE. 

• A SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) checklist will be completed in early March 2013.

• The park construction will be done in phases: Road improvement, terraforming, sports fields and parking lots would be done in phase 1 and the activities building and mountain bike building would be phase 2.  No dates were given for phase 2.

• The County is actively looking for business partners for the construction of the large commercial buildings (i.e., the mountain bike building).

• The off-leash dog area has been moved westward, closer to the cliff.

• The north side paved parking lot has been moved from the cliff area eastward and is near and parallel to the proposed mountain bike building.  This parking lot will be increased in size for an additional 20 (approximate) cars. 

• The grassy area, central to the north side and edged by 71st Dr. SE, will have paved walking tracks, more or less, circling this area.

• Tom Tiegen said this new design means less bulldozer cut and fill and less tree cutting on the north side.

• There was considerable discussion about road improvements, specifically on 240th St. SE.  A few changes: there will be speed bumps on 240th to “calm” or slow traffic and an electronic sign which tells traffic how fast (or) slow) it is moving.

• 240th will not be widen thus discouraging shoulder parking and also to minimize speeding.

• The traffic circle is moved slightly to the west.

• Dickson also stated 240th would be reconfigured into three lanes at the intersection with Route 9.

• Dickson said the County was considering buying property at the intersection of 240th and 75th in order to have a better line of sight for traffic at the intersection.

It was at this time, the audience began peppering Tiegan, Dees and Dickson with questions and concerns. Initially, people felt the speed issues on 240th were less relevant than the volume of traffic and overall safety on 240th and where it meets with both Route 9 and 75th St. SE (Bostian Road).

Dickson stated they were studying the safety issues on 75th but the existing road configuration; drainage ditches and the large trees next to the road make redesigning the road both expensive and complicated.

Again the audience spoke out: The point was made, Brightwater mitigation funds were meant for a community park intended to off-set whatever negative impact Brightwater has on the local community.  Many in the audience felt the proposed sports complex was not a community park, it is a regional park – something built for the at-large population and specifically for special interests organizations.

Dickson said the definition of “community park” was more expansive than something simply for the community located near the Wellington Hills Park.  He said, it also included the Maltby area and communities to north of the Brightwater plant. 

Another point of contention was, many in the audience questioned, the necessity for seven sports fields. Tiegen defended the number by saying the soccer fields were always part of the plan even if such plans were verbal and not recorded. 

At this point the audience erupted with comments, many speaking at the same moment:

• Many voiced loud concern the sports complex construction is being proposed for a residential area. 

• Roads can’t support the volume of traffic generated by the park.

• There was concern about crowd noise, the use of field lights, traffic congestion during weekends and evening commuter time.

• The prospect of upwards of 10 large-scale tournaments per year (according to minutes from the ad hoc planning committee) generated intense feelings.

For detailed information, visit the Snohomish Parks and Rec. web page.

http://www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Parks/Park_Information/WellingtonHillsCountyPark.htm

For a local perspective, visit The Neighbors to Save Wellington Park blog:

http://neighborstosavewellingtonpark.blogspot.com

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

J February 02, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Having attended these presentations from the beginning, it is obvious that concerns of the neighbors around the Brightwater Sewage Treatment Plant are given little consideration as compared to the desires of the special interest groups. So now, after being left with a huge sewage treatment plant, the rural residential community immediately surrounding Brightwater will additionally be forced to reckon with the huge volume of traffic, noise from games and tournaments, and ambient light from the tall poles. What makes it worse is that the sports complex will be paid for by funds that were supposed to make things better for the neighbors after Brightwater was built. The County's response to the community's concerns: Trust us. After a couple of years, you're gonna love it.
NRA & HOG guy February 03, 2013 at 03:52 PM
A very intense and dedicated effort on the part of the Wellington golf course neighborhood to preserve their community, protect their rural life, try to maintain safety for their family and allow for continuing appreciation of their property values. A massive, powerful, overreaching, intrusive and ever expanding government always results in reducing citizens to small, irrelevant and insignificant status
Bill Stankus February 03, 2013 at 04:19 PM
NRA & HOG GUY. A few months ago one of the county reps told me in no uncertain terms, he hadn't spent HIS $10 million for the park just leave it as-is. HIS $10 mil was for a sports oriented place. It was implied the local neighborhood had to suck it up. There wasn't a trace of democratic process in his growl at me.
Bill Stankus February 03, 2013 at 04:25 PM
At least the County hasn't been hard selling us with offers on aluminum siding. The truth is, the only people representing this neighborhood are the people living in the neighborhood. It is OUR duty to change the County's massive development plans.
NRA & HOG guy February 03, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Understanding who owns, runs and operates the city of Woodinville will be a good first step in reclaiming your property rights and preserving the beauty of the Golf course area. Understanding Snohomish County's, County Executive's allies, which are money, power and control will also serve as a tool in regaining control. There are inter local agreements between cities. There are cross jurisdictional boundary agreements between county lines. There are also confusing and competing agendas and political power often controls.Their original intent was to protect a city or community from the negative affects of over development, improper zoning, and encroachment into neighboring jurisdictions. Additionally protection was needed to prevent adverse affects from traffic, flooding, disturbing sensitive areas, increase in crime, law enforcement, fire protection, and all services concurrent with development.. Understanding that a former Woodinville City council accepted and received $1.9 mill from KC, in mitigation to look the other way and not start any litigation, so the sewage treatment plant project could mover forward. Understanding how the (GMA) affects each project is important. Currently, Woodinville has some council members that have no interest in protecting the Golf Course, and have no technical or engineering experience as to how to even discuss the issue. Understanding the rules and who makes them, will be important

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