Council Roundup: August 3, 2020

Citizen of the Year, Annual Police Report, Community Safety, Census, Housing Action Plan
Posted on 08/11/2020
Illustration of types of housing on blue background.

Council selected the 2019 Citizen of the Year, discussed the 2020 Census, approved moving forward with the sale of a City-owned parking lot, extended the outdoor dining program, approved changes to Comprehensive Plan docketing procedure, and discussed police services and a community safety public engagement process.

Council discussed and placed several items on the consent agenda to be approved at the August 17, 2020 meeting. The Council usually has a “two-touch” process when it comes to resolutions and ordinances, and will often place items on the consent agenda to be approved at the following meeting.

Map of Burien with color overlays denoting census tract response.

Community Urged to Participate in the 2020 Census

The Burien City Manager provided an update on census operations and Burien’s efforts to secure a complete count in the US Census. At this moment, 68.6 % of our community, representing 14,950 households, have self-responded to the census, surpassing our 2010 self-response rate (68%). However, we still have several census tracts who have responded at a lower rate.

The City has implemented a multilingual social media campaign focused on the laws protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the information collected via the census, reminding residents that a person’s census information cannot be shared with law enforcement agencies, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE), your employer, or landlord. We want to communicate to our community that it is every person’s right to be counted in the census.

There are many community organizations who have continued to work hard to urge people to take the census, despite barriers to outreach the pandemic has caused. This month, our staff passed out several hundred flyers about the census during our mask giveaway events. During the July 30 mask giveaway event, representatives from the US Census Bureau and Para los Niños joined City staff to encourage people to take the census.

Census workers will start working in the field this week. The Burien Police Department has been notified in case they get calls from residents about enumerators. Property managers are encouraged to allow census enumerators on their property. They have a legal right to be there.

There are mixed signals coming from the federal level regarding who gets counted and deadlines for wrapping field operations. The Census Bureau announced they will be cutting their field operations short to conclude on September 30.

Photo of the three Burien Citizen of the Year awardees.

2019 Citizen of the Year

Council selected Pastor Jenny Partch (United Methodist Church) and Pastor Lina Thompson (Lake Burien Presbyterian Church) for their work in creating an emergency extreme weather shelter for people experiencing homelessness and their community organizing in support of rental housing policies and the residents of Fox Cove Apartments. Grace Stiller (Nature Stewards and Burien Arts Association) was selected for her volunteer efforts promoting arts and environmental education and outreach in Burien.

There were eight nominations for the Burien citizen of the year. Because of the quality of the field of nominees, Council decided to select two nominations.

Municipal Lot Up May be Sold to Private Developer to Build Housing in Downtown Burien

Council voted to place on the consent agenda for the next Council meeting a resolution to approve an agreement with American Property Development to develop housing on the site of the municipal parking lot in downtown Burien.

American Property Development, a developer based in Bellevue and part of the American Capital Group family of companies, presented a proposal to Council during their July 6, 2020 meeting to redevelop the municipal parking lot one block west of Burien Town Square into a mixed-use multifamily housing development called Kinect @ Burien.

Comprehensive Plan Docketing Timeline Changed

Council voted to place on the consent agenda a new docketing timeline to give staff more time to address the most labor-intensive portion of the Comprehensive Plan docketing process.

Learn more about the Comprehensive Plan docketing process.

Table and chairs on sidewalk outside restaurant.

Council Extended Outdoor Dining Program for Restaurants 

Council placed on the consent agenda a resolution to extend the outdoor dining program through October 15. The program meant to remove barriers for restaurants who want to set up outdoor seating in order to comply with public health orders. 

Since the start of the program, two temporary use permits have been approved, two restaurants have applied for a permit, and four restaurants have expressed interest in applying for permits.


New Rental Housing Business License Fees Adopted

Council placed on the consent agenda a resolution approving new rental housing business license fees. The fees help pay for the implementation and maintenance of Burien’s new rental housing inspection program. The new fees go into effect August 17, 2020 but will not be assessed until the program begins in January of 2021.  The fees will be:

  • Buildings with 1-10 units - $250 per year
  • Buildings with 11-50 units - $380 per year
  • Buildings with 51 plus units - $675 per year

Council Signs on to Support State and Federal Financial Inclusion Policies

Council placed on the consent agenda a resolution support state and federal laws that would allow the remitters that transfer funds to home counties to hold bank accounts in Washington state.

Currently, federal policy does not allow for remittances to certain countries, including Somalia, because of the fear that such remittances could be used by terrorist organizations. This has created a public safety issue, forcing remitters to travel with large sums of cash to deliver remittances in person. This has had a dipropionate negative effect on Burien’s east African community.

2019 Police Services Annual Report Highlights Partnerships and Community Engagement

Chief Theodore Boe, Burien Police Department, delivered the annual public safety report for 2019. In his report, he included information about how he is increasing the diversity of Burien Police Department officers, replacing aging equipment, and increasing partnerships and community engagement.

This is the first year that the report reflects data collected under the NIBRS data collection system, which allows the City to accurately compare crime statistics with other King County cities. The NIBRS reporting system also tracks more accurately actual volume of crimes, and newer crimes such as identity theft.

Boe presented the crime rate in relationship to population, number of officers, and budget.

Key Public Safety Statistics for South King County Law Enforcement Agencies
City Crime rate
per 1000
Population Number of Officers Officers per 1000 Police Budget Cost per Resident
Normandy Park 37.8 6610 9 1.36 $1,813,630 $274.38
Burien 60.8 52000 52 1 $13,616,100 $261.85
Des Moines 62.4 31580 38 1.2 $10,971,950 $347.43
Renton 70.7 104716 125 1.19 $40,278,922 $384.65
SeaTac 76.6 29180 49 1.68 $10,393,000 $356.17
Federal Way 78.3 97840 128 1.31 $27,191,664 $277.92
Auburn 80.2 81720 113 1.38 $28,921,479 $353.91
Seattle 82.6 747300 1416 1.89 $363,366,248 $486.24
Kent 91 129800 152 1.17 $46,644,780 $359.36
Tukwila 249.2 20930 74 3.54 $19,427,613 $928.22

Gun Violence and Public Health

Boe also shared a new “Shots Fired Report,” developed through a partnership between Seattle-King County Public Health, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and seven police agencies, which presents an analysis of gun violence data through a public health lens. A key finding from the report a is that gun violence perpetrators and victims exist in a tightly contained social network.

Active Gangs in Burien

Boe stated that there are 11 active gangs, with 290 active gang members, in Burien and that these are roughly the same numbers of gangs and gang members as last year. Gang analysts say that when a gang member is taken to jail, a new person is recruited into the gang.

Emergency Health Response

In 2019, Burien police officers applied AED 11 times in response to a cardiac arrest. All officers carry NARCAN (Naloxone), an anti-overdose drug, and are trained in the application of it. A Burien police officer deployed NARCAN at least once per month in 2019.

Navigation Team

Boe praised the work of his officers on the Navigation Team, a partnership between the Burien Police Department, Human Service department, and social service outreach workers, to help connect people experiencing homelessness to services and housing.

Community Safety and Public Engagement

Council directed the city manager to develop a proposal for community engagement process to gather public input on community safety. The process would seek answers from the community on the following questions:

  • What does public safety mean to our community?
  • What gaps exist?
  • What community priorities exist in terms of terms of policing, human services, and budget?

Illustration of types of housing on blue background.

Burien’s Housing Needs Assessment and Housing Action Plan

Council heard a presentation on efforts to develop a housing action plan. The City of Burien received grant from Washington State Department of Commerce to develop a housing action plan by June, 2021. The City is collaborating five other south King County cities to develop a housing needs assessment, which will be used to inform the plan.

The City is also implementing a housing conditions assessment, which is surveying the condition of all multifamily housing in Burien, with help from a University of Washington graduate student.

City Declines Federal Law Enforcement Grant

The City declined a $19,000 federal law enforcement grant because the funding was contingent on compliance with special conditions and certifications related to 8 U.S.C. 1373 on immigration, which have been the subject of various lawsuits nationwide. 

Burien Community Court Suspends Operations

The King County District Court informed the City that they must temporarily suspend the Community Court in Burien until such time as they are able to secure adequate funding to reopen. They anticipate that the suspension will be for at least one year, or longer, depending on the pace of region’s economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


They will continue to work with the small number of Burien Community Court participants, to give them the opportunity to successfully complete their Community Court Agreement, while being monitored in their regional court setting. Additionally, until Community Court in Burien can resume, King County District Court will continue to accept and encourage diversion opportunities and to seek alternatives to incarceration whenever possible and appropriate.

Council voted to send a letter to King County to voice support for the Community Court program and support for the MIDD Behavioral Health Sales Tax Fund.

SCORE Jail Program Connects Individuals to Medically Assisted Treatment Providers

Score recently received a $200,000 grant to develop and implement a same-day visit and transportation program. This program will ensure there is no disruption in access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder for individuals released from jail. Under this program, individuals released from custody will be taken directly to a medication-assisted treatment provider to get set up on a continued treatment program, instead of the current practice that relies on the offender to make the connections upon release. The goal of this program is to help individuals continue upon the behavioral health success they achieved in custody through a “warm handoff.”

Recreation and Cultural Arts Programs Adapt to COVID-19

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department is working to develop a COVID-19 safe version of the Arts-A-Glow event. The event may contain virtual lantern making tips and tricks, home decorating contests, pop-up projection mapping art around the city, a possible art installation up for a month or more at Dottie Harper Park, and possible art installations in storefront windows.

The department is also hosting a modified 4-week summer camp for grades 1-5. Scholarships that cover 87 percent of the weekly camp fee are available. Skyhawks is offering two sport skills camps for preschool and youth participants at Lake Burien Memorial Park. The department is also offering virtual events, such as the Great Burien Baking Challenge and Mystery Challenge Safari: The Case of the Elusive Unicorns.