Council Roundup: October 28, 2019

Storm Drainage Master Plan, Parking on 152nd St, Regional Homeless Authority
Posted on 11/04/2019
Storm Drainage Master Plan

Council discussed the storm drainage master plan, parking on 152nd St in downtown Burien, and provided comments on a proposed regional homeless authority.

Storm Drainage Master Plan Update

Stormwater is rain that falls on a hard surface like a roof, driveway, or road that can’t soak up water so it flows across these surfaces to the nearest body of water instead, picking up chemicals and pollutants along the way. The City of Burien maintains stormwater infrastructure that includes 130 miles of pipe, stormwater detention ponds, stormwater treatment facilities, rain gardens, stormwater ditches, stormwater outfalls, and other infrastructure. City staff also monitor and permit stormwater infrastructure on private property.

The Washington State Department of Ecology issues permits stormwater permits to cities called National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). In order to comply with this permit, City staff operate a Stormwater Management Program. The Storm Drainage Master Plan directs the operational and capital needs for the City’s Surface Water Management Program. First adopted in 1996, it was most recently updated in 2012, and it directed operations for the next 5-10 years. In 2018, the City hired Otak to help update the plan in order to respond to new regulations, increased service need, and changing conditions of the stormwater infrastructure.

Council and staff discussed the proposed updates to the Storm Drainage Master Plan. The plan must still go through State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process in order to identify and analyze environmental impacts of the plan. Major changes it the plan include staffing and funding needed to:

  • Upgrade and replace aging stormwater infrastructure. Stormwater infrastructure lasts between 50-100 years. Many of Burien’s older neighborhoods have stormwater infrastructure that is reaching the end of its useful life.
  • Manage maintenance for the growth of the stormwater system. This growth is from continued development in the city.
  • Retrofit stormwater systems to provide pretreatment before stormwater discharges into local waters.
  • Keep up with the increase in permit reviews due to increased development.
  • Meet new regulatory training requirements.
  • Build seven new stormwater infrastructure improvement projects throughout the city.
  • Conduct five new studies to evaluate ways to improve the stormwater system in particular areas as well as system wide. Some of the proposed studies include public-private partnership for large-scale stormwater retrofits, pretreatment or water quality retrofits on untreated outfalls, and large-scale ditch retrofits.
  • Build four new small works projects that would improve stormwater infrastructure on a smaller scale. Small works projects do not require engineering analysis and are lower in cost.

View the 2012 Storm Drainage Master Plan.

Parking on 152nd Street

Staff presented information about what it would take to change the direction of parking on 152nd St in downtown Burien so that drivers would need to back in to a parking spot. Staff presented information from the Downtown Mobility Study, which recommended restriping the parking stalls on 152nd St.

According to the study, restriping would improve visibility for drivers exiting angled parking stalls, provide better visibility of bicyclists, and reduce the severity of collisions. Some of the arguments against restriping include the increased level of difficulty for some drivers to back into stalls and a need for education and signage requirements. The cost would be approximately $75,000 to remove existing striping, strip new parking stalls, and construct new access ramps. Council did not take action on this item.

Regional Homeless Authority

Council discussed comments that the Sound Cities Association is making on the formation of a new Regional Homeless Authority.

Council Approves New Planning Calendar

Staff presented a new planning calendar format to make it easier for Council and the community to know what items are planned for discussion at future meetings. The planning calendar will appear at the end of each Council agenda.

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.