Council Roundup: November 4, 2019

Veterans Day, Shelter, Noise Ordinance, Budget, Affordable Housing
Posted on 11/13/2019
Veterans Day Proclamation

Council honored veterans with a proclamation, discussed homeless sheltering models, continued to discuss the 2020 budget, approved a new affordable housing program, and approved a new noise ordinance for downtown Burien.

Veteran’s Day Proclamations

Councilmember Edgar presented a proclamation declaring November 11 as Veterans Day in Burien. Representatives from Paralyzed Veterans of America, Burien American Legion 134, and the Burien Police Department received copies of the proclamation. Veterans who currently serve with the fire department and Transform Burien were also honored.

Research Presented on Extreme Weather Shelter and Long-term Shelter Models

Human Services Manager Colleen Brandt-Schluter presented research on different homeless sheltering models, including information about the populations they would serve as well as their cost and land requirements. Pastor Jenny Partch presented on the Ecumenical Leadership Circle’s plans to open an extreme weather shelter this winter at Highline United Methodist Church. The shelter will open when temperatures reach below freezing for over 12 hours, two nights in a row. Catholic Community Services will provide overnight staffing during the shelter’s operations.

Read Preliminary Research on Shelter Models in Burien.

2020 Budget Discussions Continue

Finance Director Eric Christensen introduced information about a small increase to the property tax levy for 2020. The City routinely increases the levy rate by up to one percent. The City estimates that the proposed increase will cost a property owner $7.50 more in property tax per year if their property is assessed at the current median value of $421,500. The proposed tax rate for 2020 is $1.04 per $1,000 assessed value. The current tax rate is $1.09 per $1,000 assessed value.

Christensen also presented information about increases to surface water management rates and commercial parking rates. Council will discuss adoption of the property tax levy, new rates, and total budget and financial policies on November 18 and December 2.

View the presentation.

Affordable Housing Demonstration Program Adopted

Council adopted ordinance 718 supporting the creation of an affordable housing demonstration program.

The new program will allow up to five affordable housing demonstration development projects be developed in Burien. The new program considers different housing types, requires projects be no closer than 1,500 feet from each other, determines total number of projects and zones where projects could be located. Developers would be required to host to have at least two community meetings per project, inviting neighbors from at least a 1,000 feet radius. Planning Commission and Council would both be involved in evaluating the projects and assessing if the projects are compatible in the neighborhood as well as ensuring public comment could be accepted during the process.

New Noise Ordinance in Downtown Burien

Council passed ordinance 707, which allows community events with a permit from the City of Burien to operate until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays in the downtown Burien commercial zone. The new ordinance does not apply to regular business activities.

Read the Ordinance 707.

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.