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.