Council Roundup: September 23, 2019

Staff Salary Study, Urban Forest Stewardship Plan, Affordable Housing Demonstration Projects
Posted on 09/24/2019
Burien Urban Forest

Council discussed City staff salaries and benefits, an urban forest stewardship plan designed to protect Burien’s tree canopy, and affordable housing demonstration program.

City Staff Salaries and Benefits Assessed in Salary Survey

Every three years, the City is required to assess the salaries and benefits of its employees, comparing each position’s salary and benefits to the market. This helps ensure that the City of Burien is able to retain and attract employees and continues to motivate existing employees. The study looked at market value, as well as internal equity. The 2019 survey uncovered that most positions were within market range, with a few exceptions. Council approved the recommended salary and benefits adjustments be included in the mid-biennium budget, which will be presented in early fall.

Council also agreed to evaluate at a future date pay and benefits for councilmembers. Any changes made in 2019 would only effect new councilmembers, not councilmembers currently in office.

Urban Forest Stewardship Plan

Ali Lakehart, senior project manager at Forterra, presented a draft of an urban forest stewardship plan for Burien. The plan was developed as part of Burien’s participation in the Port of Seattle-funded Green Cities Partnership. The plan details Burien’s current tree canopy, the benefits of a healthy urban forest, and recommendations for tree canopy restoration and urban forest stewardship. The plan will be finalized and published this fall.

Affordable Housing Demonstration Program

To meet the need for affordable housing in the community, the City of Burien is evaluating a new proposed ordinance that would allow up to five affordable housing demonstration projects. Some of the types of housing and density allowances in the proposed ordinance are not currently permitted under existing city regulations.

Council discussed details of the proposed ordinance. A public hearing is scheduled for September 25.

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.