Bothell given go ahead to buy golf course for park

The plan is to acquire the land to turn it into the Wayne Sammamish Regional Park.

The Bothell City Council is buying a lot of land to make a park.

Earlier this month, it authorized the city to purchase 49.9 acres of the Wayne Golf Course, known as the “Front 9,” by the end of the year for an estimated $3.4 million. The vote preserves most of the land — 45 acres — in a conservation easement for passive recreation. Another four acres will be available in an “Active Use Area,” but that, too, has land-use restrictions.

“City of Bothell purchasing the Wayne Golf Course is very important to our community and our region,” Mayor Andy Rheaume said. “The preservation of this land for public use and watershed health is a huge accomplishment and testament to the many people who came together to make this possible.”

The City Council is scheduled to consider approving the purchase of the “Back 9” on Dec. 12.

The plan is to acquire the land to turn it into the Wayne Sammamish Regional Park.

The 45 acres in the Front 9 is already in a conservation easement, which limits the types of activities that may occur to passive uses. The existing conservation easement will remain in place, allowing golf and other passive recreation uses.

In the four-acre Active Use Area, the deed specifically prohibits residential, manufacturing, industrial and most office uses and memberships that would limit public access.

The purchase will be fully funded from available park department money. A final bill, including the exact amount of interest, bank fees and closing costs is still being determined. A $1 million capital request for this purchase remains in the state budget proposal. If granted, the city’s financial obligation would be reduced to $2.4 million.

Once the purchase is final, the public may enjoy the park.

In early 2018, the city will conduct a public process to name the new park. Also next year, the Parks & Recreation Department will launch a master planning process for the new park. Watch the city’s website and social media for opportunities to participate, as public involvement will be critical to this effort.

Once the master plan is developed, it will be a 20- to 30-year process to fully develop the park and complete restoration, depending on funding. Significant restoration work is needed, such as removal of invasive plants and improving salmon habitat.

The purchase of Wayne Golf Course was possible through a partnership involving the city of Bothell, King County, Forterra and OneBothell.

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