It’s easier to keep something than to try to get it back. That was the reasoning behind the huge public outcry when word got out that Wayne Golf Course was for sale and developers were interested. With the enormous effort of our community members and our partners, Forterra successfully acquired the land on an interim basis.
We are immensely grateful to the owners of Wayne, the Richards family, the City of Bothell, King County and Washington State elected officials, and Forterra for working together on a solution. Forterra acquired the land temporarily as a way of preserving it for the public. When we have successfully funded the more than $11 million that Forterra advanced, the land will become public.
The front nine was for sale, but thanks to the Richards family who understood the legacy value of the beautiful property, and the more than 2,000 residents who rallied a passionate outcry, it was sold to Forterra instead of interested developers. One developer, after meeting with us, relinquished interest in the property because it the right thing to do for the community. An agreement was reached with the Richards family and Forterra, and the sale closed May 31, 2016.
A photo from the group meeting between golf course owners, OneBothell, Forterra, and Rod Dembowski.
Wayne Golf Course land will pass to future generations for passive recreation, education, habitat and water restoration.
The back nine was under a purchase and sale agreement with developers, but thanks to Forterra, King County and the even louder voices of the community calling for preservation of this premium open space, we were once again able to reach agreement. The sale was finalized on February 10th 2016. Again, the development group chose to do what was in the best interest of the community instead of its own short term gains. We know we speak for the community when we acknowledge our gratitude to developers who relinquished their interest in the property.
We have limited time to pay back Forterra. If we cannot get grants and other sources of funding to purchase the land from Forterra by February 2019, the non-profit organization must relinquish its ownership. That would likely result in conservation-sensitive development. We are confident, however, that we will be successful in our funding endeavor. We can do it with YOUR help! After all, it’s easier to keep something than to give it up!
Overview of acquired land
The front nine:
50 acres total, comprised of 46 acres protected from development by a conservation easement as well as a 4-acre developable area that today encompasses the club house. The conservation easement limits conversion to development but allows golf course, agriculture, and passive recreational uses.
The back nine:
39 acres total, abutting Blyth Park and the Sammamish River, and includes the historic Yellow Apple Ranch farm house and orchard, which are on the Bothell Historic Registry.
The 46 acre area outlined in yellow in the above image is protected by a conservation easement.