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Wellington Golf Course Closes – For Good

After 80 years, the golf course near Woodinville was shuttered permanently to make way for a Regional Sports Complex.

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After 80 years in business, the Wellington Hills Golf & Country Club was shuttered Sunday to make way for a Regional Sports Complex on the 100 acre-site. 

Those at the nine-hole course outside of Woodinville saw "a lot of sad, sad faces," Sunday, Jan Japar told The Herald. Japar has operated the course for more than 16 years with business partner Mimi Racicot.

Earlier this year Snohomish County bought the Wellington Golf Course site from the University of Washington with $9.7 million of $70 million in Brightwater sewage treatment plant mitigation funds agreed to by King and Snohomish Counties. The course is located at 7026 240th St. SE.

Part of the negotiations and settlement agreement conducted in 2003 between King County and Snohomish County mandated the acquisition of a property within a four-mile radius from the Brightwater wastewater treatment plant to do the following:

·    Recreational facilities or improvements (any active recreation like a golf course, walking trails)

·    Community Resource Center

·    Public Safety Improvements

·    Habitat Mitigation

The county's plan includes building an athletic facility with at least four fields with lights for night games. It also includes an indoor arena, trails, a mountain bike facility and an off-leash dog park, The Herald reported.

Neighbors in King and Snohomish Counties first heard of the Snohomish County Parks Department proposals for the golf course in a public meeting May 8, 2012. In the past few months there have been occasional public and numerous small-group meetings soliciting public input in the development of a master plan for the site.

A nearby group of residents opposed to the project has formed "Neighbors to Save Wellington Park," and hired an attorney to challenge the development.

Representatives of the group said this summer they believe the process of development has moved too fast and would rather see "both active and passive park uses without the destructive impacts raised during the current master planning process and its emphasis on a Regional Sports Complex."

What do you think? Can the former golf course area support a major sports complex? Where will you golf now? Tell us in comments.

Greg Fazzio October 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Closure of the golf course is really disappointing on a personal level. It's the only course my sons and I, who are hackers at best, ever felt comfortable playing. It's a great place to learn the game without the pressure of serious golfers breathing down your neck. I will really miss going out there and spending time with my boys on a sunny day to hit a round. It is a beautiful spot and I think too valuable as it sits to destroy. Remember: it's really easy to destroy mature trees and parkland, but virtually impossible to bring to bring it back once it's gone. Can the area support lighted sports fields, mountain bike parks, arena buildings and dog park, not to mention parking for hundreds? I don't think so. This type of development in a semi-rural neighborhood setting is shortsighted and it will ruin the quality of life for many of those homes around the golf course, not to mention the surrounding community that use the narrow two lane roads to get around. I've been to my share of soccer tournaments and cannot imagine living in the area when hundreds of cars flood in for a weekend of games. The noise, lights and congestion will be intolerable. Further, imagine riding a bike along 156th on the weekend once all the building is done and in full operation. Maybe if you have a death wish. If you're on the fence about this project, ask yourself this: Would you want to live next door to this development? I didn't think so. My vote: keep it as a passive park accessible to all.
bearfctry October 04, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I have a friend who lives next door to the course. She and her neighbors are outraged that they ware planning on placing a massive facility there. I cannot believe this is how Brightwater plans to help out the community. Someones pocket is getting fatter and it's not the community. Didn't Woodinville just install a new soccer/baseball field and I recall there was a article stating that they were not making money...blah, blah...blah. So you are telling me we need another field so the city can have another headache to deal with? REALLY???
Patti in Woodinville March 21, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Am supporting Mr. Fazzio's comments. We all know the destruction of the natural landscape that occurs, to make the land fit the "designer's scheme". This is NOT intelligent land use. But corporations always pull the winning number, don't they? Citizens' choice is sacrificed. The developers most likely don't live anywhere near the beautiful landscape they are about to destroy.

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