When Chris Hansen proposed to build a new NBA arena in Seattle, the city of Seattle and King County prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
As part of the DEIS process, the public had an opportunity to comment on the proposed project and then their comments were used to determine the scope of the environmental impacts that would subsequently be addressed in the DEIS.
I mention this because, in their proposal to construct a “regional sports complex” on the site of Wellington Hills Park, Snohomish County’s Department of Parks, unlike the city of Seattle and King County, has attempted to undermine the process, trivialized public comments and concerns, and they’ve self-proclaimed that an Environmental Impact Study was not necessary for a project with a footprint approximately the size of Safeco Field.
In the public’s best interest, I suggest the only way to proceed is to demand an Environmental Impact Study. The county’s development of this site, as currently proposed, is not just a localized issue. Rather, it is an issue that will affect all Snohomish County residents due to its numerous environmental impacts, community altering effects and the high costs for construction and maintenance.
The Wellington Hills Park proposal also raises the question — how should the county proceed on major multi-million dollar projects, especially non-essential ones?