Council Roundup: November 18, 2019

New Tax Rates, Impact of I-976, Accessory Dwelling Units, Climate Action, Animal Code
Posted on 11/20/2019
Revisions to Burien Zoning Code to Accommodate Accessory Dwelling Units

Council approved minor increases to commercial parking tax, surface water management fees, and property tax. Council also discussed climate change, impact of I-976, accessory dwelling units, and updates to the animal code.

Commercial Parking Tax Rates to Increase Annually

Council voted to adopt an automatic annual increase of the commercial parking tax rate. The increase amount was determined by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The new rate will bring in an estimated $5,000 in increased revenue in 2020.

Surface Water Management Fees Increase

Council adopted an increase to Surface Water Management (SWM) fees by 2.3 percent. The increase amount was determined by the CPI-U.

Revenue from these fees help pay for services and infrastructure that address problems that affect our local waters such as flooding, erosion, pollution, habitat degradation, low stream flows, and increased water temperatures. These problems result from development changes to natural systems and the movement of water over and through the land. Surface water management is a requirement of the federal Clean Air Act.

The fee appears on the property tax bill. The King County Assessor evaluates the amount of impervious surface on a property to determine the rate for each individual property.

New Property Tax Levy Adopted

Council adopted a new property tax levy bringing in an additional $$68,500 revenue. The City routinely increases the levy rate by up to one percent per the City’s financial policies. The City estimates that the increase will cost a property owner $7.50 more in property tax in 2020 if their property is assessed at the estimated median value of $421,500. The estimated tax rate for 2020 is $1.04 per $1,000 assessed value. The current tax rate is $1.09 per $1,000 assessed value.

Impact of I-976 on City of Burien Budget

The passage of I-976 reduces the City of Burien’s transportation funding by approximately $800,000. To address this loss of revenue in 2020, the City will need to reduce the pavement management program by approximately 50 percent. This will mean less repair and resurfacing projects on arterial and residential streets in 2020.

Revisions to Burien Zoning Code to Accommodate Accessory Dwelling Units

Council discussed revisions to Burien’s zoning code regarding accessory dwelling units. The proposed revisions would allow a maximum of two ADUs on a lot (one detached and one attached), remove owner occupancy requirement, and would waive parking requirement if the site is within a quarter mile of a transit stop.

Council will vote on this amendment on December 2, 2019.

Animal Code Update Discussed

Council discussed adding animal cruelty in the second degree to the Burien Municipal Code. This would mean that if someone were to be found guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree, that individual would be placed in a database and would not be allowed to own an animal in the city of burien for ten years.

Council will vote on this code amendment on December 2, 2019.

Council Supports Resolution of Support for Clean Fuel Standards

Council voted to discuss a resolution of support for new clean fuel standards proposed by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Council will also discuss whether to adopt a set of commitments proposed by the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) to reduce climate impacts. 

Council will vote on these items at a future date.

Get Involved

The Council encourages Burien residents to understand the business of the City as well as discussions on specific topics that are brought before the City Council. There are several ways to follow the workings of the Council:

  • Attend the Monday night City Council meetings-in person, on Channel 21, or streamed online. See schedule of meetings (
  • Watch for scheduled public meetings or public hearings on specific projects and topics (

The Council is interested in hearing from residents and businesses. Ways to provide meaningful input include:

  • Send emails to the City Council at [email protected] or to each individual Councilmembers’ email address, which can be found listed at:
  • Contact Councilmembers at their City phone number, which can be found listed at:
  • Attend a City Council meeting and speak to the Council for up to two minutes during public comment.