A debate is brewing in south Snohomish County about the size of a new park planned for the site of the former Wellington Hills Golf Course. County leaders are in the final stages of planning for a community park on the 104-acre plot of land near Woodinville.
The land was purchased using funds from the Brightwater settlement, which includes a requirement to improve land within four miles of the wastewater treatment facility.
Some residents say the park, which includes seven sports fields, stadium lighting and a 700 space parking lot, would be worse than a sewage plant.
"They are essentially dropping Safeco Field on this plot of ground," said Bill Stankus, a member of Neighbors to Save Wellington Park.
They say the proposed park is too big for their rural neighborhood.
"They are going to eliminate a lot of the rolling hills that you see, and they are going to destroy most of the trees that we can't put back when we find out this was a bad idea," said Tina Stewart, a nearby resident.
Tom Teigen, Snohomish County Parks director said only 25 percent of the land will be developed, and much of the land and trees will be preserved.
"What we want the neighborhood to understand is that active use parks are good for the community," Teigen said. "They are one element of great community parks.”
Teigen has held more than a dozen public meetings during the planning process.
The county has completed a required environmental review. Opponents have 14 days to appeal the project. Some residents have threatened a lawsuit.