Letters to the Editor - March 18, 2013

  • Written by Readers

Ed. Note: The following letters were written by 5th graders at Wellington Elementary School and are either in favor of or against the Wellington Hills County Park.

Imagine having a park in your neighborhood, yet you don’t have to worry about traffic, noise and lights. There is a way that makes that possible. It’s that the Wellington Hills County Park is built on a smaller scale. Less people, less traffic, less noise, and if you reduce the number of soccer fields to three or four, then fewer lights. It will be able to satisfy both sides of the argument.

Todd Bailey, a neighbor, said, “We are asking you to downsize.” Think of all the loss of green area. Besides, the Brightwater agreement only called for 40 acres. 100 acres is over twice that amount. Wellington might not even be suitable for the kind of park that is going to be built. Bailey has long maintained that his group is not opposed to a sports park where the golf course used to be; they just don’t want one of this size and scope. The large regional sports complex that’s planned has some neighbors worried. “The proposed project promises to make our lives worse, not better,” says Bailey.

Then again, maybe not as many people will come to a smaller version of Wellington Hills County Park. But what if you could add a pool or tennis courts in place of a couple soccer fields?

Shy dogs might not want to go to a dog park if they have to be with big dogs, but the one dog park can have multiple trails and plenty of trees and bushes to separate big dogs and shy dogs without having two dog parks.

Having fewer parking spaces could be a problem too if there isn’t a space for everyone. But there’s a simple solution: You can carpool, take buses or walk ...

And it could be a shame not to have as many picnic areas, but the picnic areas will likely be nicer and there will not be as much litter if there is a smaller area to pick up.

The mountain biking facility will be 60,000 square feet. With a mountain biking facility so large, injuries will happen more frequently than if you had a smaller mountain biking facility. Fewer injuries are better, right?

Don’t you see that down-sizing is a way to compromise? This is a way that everyone can get what they want!

Bilaal Ahmad

Dear Editor,

Have you had those boring, lazy days? Soon, you could be having fun with your family at Wellington Hills County Park!

Some of the features include playgrounds, multi-use fields, indoor/outdoor mountain biking, picnic tables, trails, lockers, dog parks, large parking lots and more.

Many of these features are needed in that area.

... There will be no water run-off because the park designers have moved the parking lot so that there is no run-off.

People are worried about sanitary issues around the dog parks and throughout the park, but the park designers will place garbage cans and dog waste stations throughout the park.

A few neighbors wouldn’t like to have to drive through the park every day to get to and from their houses, but there is an alternative route for them to take.

Some people wouldn’t like the trees to be cut down, but half of the acres will remain wooded, so half of the trees will stay right where they are. In fact, many of these trees will be blocking the neighbors’ view of the lights so it won’t bother them. People have recently decided to change the plan for the dog parks and save over 200 trees.

... There is also a requirement [the park] be within four miles of the Brightwater plant and be at least 40 acres.

Some neighbors are worried about crime increasing in that area when the park is built, but the park designers plan to add lights in dark places so it will be safer.

The park designers will build a sidewalk along the roads so neighbors can walk to the park. Some people are worried about traffic issues in that area, but they will also be revising the roads by adding a left turn lane on 240th at the intersection of Snohomish-Woodinville Road.

I hope you can agree with me that this park will be worth it. The Wellington Hills County Park is safe, great for all ages and welcomes everyone!

Maya Bhat

I am against the building of the Wellington Hills County Park — a lot. Please do not build it!

I really don’t think the park will be beneficial! The property values will go down  and nobody will be able to get anywhere with all the zooming cars and/or traffic! It will be complete pandemonium!

You are building an extremely expensive facility, judging by the many proposed add-ons you require as part of this massive facility. I have seen a lot of impartial or upset comments through many sources and next to no pleased ones.

Also, the trees that you claim will block the view of the light pole will lose their leaves, allowing visibility of the pole. Sure, there are shorter conifers in front of the pole, but they will take years to grow tall enough to block it.

... What if we build the park on a smaller scale, or in a location where it helps more people — in a neighborhood without a good park existing nearby,or over an old, scummy park.

Actually, you could just build it, but smaller, more appropriate for a suburban neighborhood. Perhaps only one dog park with bushes, berms, and small, shallow trenches to separate large and small dogs, and for dogs to play in ...

You could also build two or three soccer fields instead of seven, and build a mini-café or snow-cone stand so that you still make enough profit.

Another huge concern of mine is the homes of animals that live in the park.

I know most people won’t see that as a concern, but I amconcerned for the lives of our non-human friends as well as us humans!

The trees that you do cut down will destroy the homes of squirrels and maybe even owls, and the natural streams that the water runoff goes into could be a drinking source for some animals, maybe even a home to some fish, if the streams are as natural as you say. Think of the chemicals that the 700 cars in your parking lot will spew out! Also,rubbish from the fans at tournaments will pollute the streams.

I think this park will harm the neighborhood more than help it. It will fill this green, suburban hill with cars, traffic, lights, and noise. Please, consider downsizing — or just not building — the park.

Olivia Anderson

Imagine you are having a snack at your kitchen table. Your mom calls to you saying that you have to leave in 10 minutes for music lessons. When you leave you’re going at a normal speed and will be on time, and then traffic engulfs you and you can’t move. You are 15 minutes late to your 45-minute lesson. When your teacher asks you why you are late, there’s only one answer:Wellington Hills County Park.

... County Public Works officials have responded to some traffic issues, but have not gone far enough. ... They have not carried any of their solutions onto 156th. The roundabouts will help on 240th but not on 156th where drivers aren’t forced to go slowly.

There still will be chokepoints as games will always have different times and traffic will be congested at start and finishes.

Noise will be an issue for neighbors living by the park. There will be more car traffic, and activities at the park that will cause loud rackets ...

The neighbors with pets won’t be able to let their dogs or cats outside. It would be harder for dogs because they wouldn’t be able to go outside by the road, because with all the traffic they could get hit.

... The concerns above are just my top three.

People have many more, including: water run-off, lights, overgrowth of the landscaping, size and scale of the features/park, and increased crime. Lack of neighborhood input, speed of implementation, and a limited budget that could be spent somewhere else, also have neighbors increasingly frustrated.

I hope people will realize what kind of an impact this will have on all of us — and it will not be a small one.

Sally Beaudette

Sophia Chiesa

February’, 2013

Wyatt Church ©OO

Wellington Hills County Park February 11, 2013

Dear editor,

I am for Wellington Hills County Park.

Imagine your kids on a warm sunny day locked up inside playing

video games, or imagine them riding their bikes down to the Wellington

Hills County Park.

First they would set aside their equipment for the day in a locker.

Then they might play Frisbee in the community open space. Next, they

might want to go down and do some indoor mountain biking at the 50,000

square foot indoor mountain biking facility. Maybe after getting warmed

up, they might want to go on the rope course or climbing wall. After that

they might have gotten tired and decided they want to go to their locker

and get some lunch and eat at the picnic tables.

Besides the activities mentioned above there will be 7 multi-use

sports fields, 4 baseball/softball fields, trails for hiking and mountain

biking, a 35,000 square foot indoor-sports facility, indoor/outdoor

mountain biking facility, two off-leash dog parks, nature playground,

informal open space, picnic shelters with a BBQ basketball hoops,

playground area with swings, and adequate parking and access.

Also there is a high chance of a climbing wall, rope course, exercise

stations near fields, and a practice/warm up wall. There is also a slight

chance of having disc golf around the park, a small putting course, and

basketball courts.

One major concern is the traffic, but I don’t believe that this is going

to be the only sports complex in the area. Is everyone forgetting about

Woodinville fields, Timbercrest Jr. High, Wellington Elementary, Bear

Creek Elementary, 60 acres, North Creek fields, and Woodinville and

Bothell High School? Sure it will be busy for the first few months. But after

that most families will have a conversation like this: Kid: “I want to go to

the county park.” Mom: “We have already been there how ‘bout we go

there next time.”

Another major concern is the big giant lights that are being directed

right at you, right... no. First of all there is a 115’ to 135’ buffer made out of

existing trees all around the lights, and just in case the light makes it past

the 120’ barrier they’re pointed directly at the field. And even if a reflection

off the field produces light toward the houses, like I said before it wouldn’t

even stand a chance against the 120’ barrier.

Another major concern is water run-off because when you have 700

asphalt parking spaces, there is no natural water absorbent, but they found

a solution. Initially were going to have a pipe that connected to a drainage

pipe that flowed into the pond. Now they are making natural day lighted

streams from the sports fields and parking lot to the pond. Which will now

collect more water as it flows down to the pond.

And another major concern is that a lot of trees will be killed.

Actually they moved the parking lot up top, to be horizontal, which saves

all of the trees. They also moved the dog park where the old parking lot

was which makes it easy to let your dog out of the car to the park. This is a

bonus since the dog park is being moved to where the trees are they won’t

have to cut down the trees, instead they will be part of the dog park.

I recently attended master plan meeting #5 and one person brought

up a point, “If you want the park to be safe what are you going to do about

the crumbling wall falling down on the children on

Woodinville/Snohomish road?” and Steve Dickson said in different words:

“First we will take down the wall starting from the top and progressing

downwards. Then we will take down the barricade. Next we will widen

the left turn/forward lane to Costco and build side walks all the way from

the park to Costco.”

I definitely think that the park is a good idea for the community.

Some people think that it is more of a sports complex than a county park. I

think that it will make money for the park.

In the future Woodinville will be famous for wine, hot air balloons,

mountain views, streams, pine trees, and Wellington Hills County Park

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