Council Roundup: March 4, 2019

Citizen of the Year, Community Court, Human Services Commission Report, Enhanced Services Facilities
Posted on 03/08/2019
Mayor proclamation

Burien City Council received updates on Community Court, the City’s human services program, and animal control services. The Council also presented two proclamations, selected the 2018 Burien Citizen of the Year, and issued a short-term moratorium on permitting of Enhanced Services Facilities in Burien.


Two proclamations were presented on Monday night. The first recognized the centennial anniversary of the Rainier Golf and Country Club and was presented by Councilmember Lucy Krakowiak. The second proclamation declared Burien as a city that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Mayor Jimmy Matta presented the proclamation to members of the Community Visions Network.

What is a proclamation and what is the process for selecting a proclamation?

A proclamation is an official declaration made by the City Council. The mayor and councilmembers may each request the preparation of two proclamations each year to honor individuals or groups. Community organizations, businesses, or groups of residents may request a proclamation by sending an email to the City Clerk’s office at [email protected]. Requests for proclamations from outside organizations and groups will be placed in the City Manager’s Report and reviewed by the City Council. Proclamations must be signed or otherwise be pre-approved by a majority of Councilmembers prior to execution by the Mayor.

Community Court

King County Court Judge Tucker provided an overview of Burien’s new Community Court program, which launched on February 25. Community court is an alternative problem-solving court that goes beyond punitive actions to identify and address the underlying challenges court participants face that may contribute to further criminal activity. The court works with people who have committed non-violent misdemeanors such as theft, shoplifting, trespassing, and other low-level offenses. The goal is to build stronger and safer neighborhoods and reduce recidivism, while helping people help themselves. A community resource center (open to the public) and court hearings are held each Monday at the Burien Community Center.

Update on Human Services in Burien

Human services are an integral part in the infrastructure of any city. Just as a city needs well-maintained roads and sewers, parks and schools, investments in human services helps to ensure that a city’s valuable resource—its residents—are well supported.

The 2018 human services annual report details results from the 2018 human services fund allocation, including the amount of funding each agency received and the services they provided. The 2019 work plan for the Human Services Commission will include supporting work on the Framework for Strengthening Families, the Balanced Approach to Public Safety, and tenant protections. The Commission will also be developing more robust and sophisticated measurement and scoring tools, so that the human services program can continue to improve.

Council also asked for services to serve a diverse group of residents and for the human services manager to help the service providers collaborate more effectively and leverage resources to provide a holistic approach. There are already several efforts underway to achieve this goal, including quarterly meetings that convene providers in SeaTac, Tukwila, and Burien and the weekly Community Resource Center, open to anyone, which gathers 20-30 providers in one location.

CARES Annual Report

Burien C.A.R.E.S., the nonprofit organization that provides animal control services in Burien, presented their annual report. Highlights from the report include information about:

  • Their low-cost spay and neutering and microchipping services.
  • Internships they provided for Kennedy High School and Big Picture High School students.
  • Adoption events and tours from community youth scouting groups.
  • Expansion of the cattery so that six cats can now be housed at the facility.

There were reduced calls for service from 2017 to 2018, however C.A.R.E.S. increased the number of cat and dog intakes. There was also an increase in the number of pets reunited with owners.

Citizen of the Year

The Burien City Council selected Cyndi Upthegrove as the 2018 Burien Citizen of the Year. The citizen of the year receives recognition at a Council meeting, is featured in the summer issue of the Burien Magazine, and serves as grandmaster of the Independence Day Parade.

Six-Month Moratorium on Enhanced Services Facilities

Council voted to place a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of permit applications for Enhanced Services Facilities (ESFs). This new category of licensed residential facility provides a community placement option for individuals whose complicated personal care and behavioral challenges do not require an institutional setting. Washington State did not designate ESFs into state law until 2013, however, the City of Burien’s zoning code, drafted in 1999 and subsequently amended, makes no provision for the siting of ESFs.

As more ESFs seek location in King County, the Planning Commission and the Council need time to establish appropriate locations within Burien for ESFs and similar facilities. The moratorium will provide a safe harbor for a period of time necessary for the Commission and the Council to evaluate appropriate locations for ESFs and to make the appropriate provisions in the zoning code. A public hearing on the moratorium is scheduled for March 18, 2019.

Within the next six months, the City will be working with the Planning Commission and Council to amend the zoning code to adopt rules and regulations regarding the placement of ESFs in the future. The public is encouraged to provide comment during this process.

South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership (SKHHP) Agreement

Council approved an interlocal agreement between the jurisdictions of Auburn, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Normandy Park, Renton, Tukwila, and King County to form the South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership (SKHHP). The agreement directs the south King County jurisdictions to work together to address affordable housing and homelessness. This collaborative model is based on similar approaches used in Snohomish County, East King County, and other areas of the country.

By pooling resources, jurisdictions in south King County can create two new staff positions that will work with each of the cities to develop plans, policy legislation, new programs, and help south King County speak with one voice at regional and state forums. The new staff will work with private and nonprofit developers, potentially attracting a housing trust fund to be used for rehabilitation and building of new housing stock.

City Manager Report

Council approved the following topics be placed on future agendas:

Council also agreed to sign letters of support on the following State legislation and community efforts: