Council Roundup: July 6, 2020

Burien Police, COVID-19, Budget, New Housing Downtown, Signal Box Art
Posted on 07/09/2020
Group photo of Burien Police Department staff.

Council issued two proclamations and discussed policing in Burien, a new downtown housing development, and discussed work plans for the the parks, recreation and cultural services department and advisory boards.

Proclamation Thanking City Staff

Council thanked City of Burien staff and first responders for their ingenuity, flexibility, and diligence in adapting to a “new normal” and their commitment to public service.

Family playing soccer in park.

Proclamation for Parks and Recreation Month

Council issued a proclamation in support of Parks and Recreation Month. Every day, in communities across the country, parks and recreation staff and volunteers provide essential services and making their communities better places to live, work, and play.

Budget Shortfall Means Cuts to Services May be Necessary

The Burien City Council will be discussing and debating the 2021–2022 budget this fall. The city manager stated that starting in 2021, our current expenses will exceed revenues by 12 percent. This is due to lower revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, the anticipated end of the sales tax annexation credit, and loss of car tab revenue caused by the passage of I-976. If no changes are made to the budget, starting in 2021, expenditures will exceed revenues by 12 percent.

COVID-19 Cases on the Rise in Burien

Chief Mike Marrs, King County Fire District #2, provided an update on the incidence of COVID-19 in Burien. At the time of the meeting, Burien had the highest per capita rate of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in King County. Most of the new cases are in 20-29 age group. Chief Marrs cautioned that while this group may be asymptomatic, they could still spread the virus to older friends and family members or to those with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus. He emphasized that everyone should continue to physically distance and stay home if possible, wear a mask when out in public, and wash hands frequently. Free testing is available in King County regardless of your immigration status or whether you have health insurance.

Fireworks and July 4th

Chief Ted Boe, Burien Police Department, provided an update on the July 4th holiday and how the police department sought to educate people about the new fines. The fire department personnel also passed out flyers and masks. On a normal day, police receive 55 calls per service. On the July 4th holiday, police received 188 calls for service for disturbances, domestic violence reports, and malicious harassment. No citations were issued. There was some discussion of the need for a different approach to enforcement of the fireworks ban.

Burien to Join King County and Nine Cities to Apply for Washington State Grant for Homeless Shelter

The City of Burien will be applying with other King County cities for a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce to fund the building or expansion of a shelter for people experiencing homelessness. It has not been determined where this shelter will be built, however south King County cities are advocating for a shelter to be built in south King County.

Burien Police Department group photo.

Council Discusses Details of Burien’s Contract with King County Sheriff’s Office

Chief Boe presented an overview of how the King County Sheriff’s Office and Burien Police Department provide police services to the Burien community. The presentation included a description of the interlocal agreement between the City of Burien and the KCSO, where to find KCSO policies, the recruitment and hiring process for new deputies, and specific staffing and programs managed by the Burien Police Department. The police chief also described the culture he and his officers are trying to build within the department, and how it leads to better service for the Burien community.

Council voted to direct staff to bring back an ordinance creating a limited-duration Public Safety Community Task Force for Council discussion and potential action at the next regular business meeting (July 20, 2020).

Kinect at Burien architectural rendering.

Proposal to Redevelop Downtown Burien Municipal Parking Lot into Mixed Use Multifamily Housing

American Capital Group (ACG), a developer based in Bellevue, presented a proposal to redevelop the municipal parking lot one block west of Burien Town Square into a mixed-use multifamily housing development called Kinect @ Burien. ACG has control of an adjacent property and would assemble the two sites for this development. ACG recently completed the LARC at Burien, a 55+ apartment complex in Boulevard Park.

The development will be built to LEED Silver environmental building standards, include 230 dwelling units, retail and restaurant space, with 20 percent of the units affordable to households making 80 percent of median income. The development group has also committed to donate $250,000 to a trade or apprenticeship program to support workforce development, hire 15 percent of construction jobs locally, and develop a program to promote women and minority-owned businesses in the construction of the project.

Chris Craig, economic development manager also presented a summary of the Burien Urban Center Plan, which provides a vision for the future of Burien’s urban center based on extensive community engagement. The area where the municipal lot is located was recommended for urban residential development. Increased housing density supports walkable neighborhoods, housing choice and affordability, expanded transportation choices, community and local business fiscal health, improved security, and protection of the environment.

Council will vote to approve the sale of the municipal parking lot at a future date.

Exterior of the Annex building.

Recommendations for Assistance to the Annex Tenant Organizations

Council voted to refund the Burien Annex tenants rent payments for the last three months. The refund helps address moving costs and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PaRCS maintenance workers.

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department’s 2019 Annual Report and Future Work Plan

Carolyn Hope, Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director, gave an overview of the services her department delivered to the community. Key accomplishments from 2019 include:

  • 444 recreation classes delivered to 6,567 registrants
  • 7,165 youth attended afterschool programs
  • 13 community events attracted 13,000 attendees
  • 6,134 volunteer hours through Adopt-a-Park and Eagle Scout projects and senior, recreation, and art programs
  • 2,761 rentals
  • Seven facilities, one splash pad, 350 acres of parkland, and 10 miles of trails were maintained by parks maintenance staff

The PaRCS department also expanded several programs, including:

  • Marketing for recreation programs
  • Youth and teen programs into more schools
  • Adopt-a-Park
  • New events
  • Onboarded in-house parks maintenance team, acquired vehicle fleet and equipment, and converted two houses on park properties into maintenance facilities

Projects completed include:

  • Audit of deferred maintenance in parks
  • Seahurst North Shelter upgrade
  • Salmon Creek encampment clean up
  • Town Square Park Splash Pad repairs
  • New playground Lakeview Park
  • Moshier Memorial Park new field and restroom design
  • Burien Community Center Annex facilities condition assessment

The PaRCS department also conducted outreach via email, survey, and telephone calls during the pandemic in order to learn more about the needs of community members. Most seniors contacted said they are self-sufficient or getting help from friends and families, but many also said they need help with reducing social isolation. Most families with children stated they wanted summer camps to continue.

The work plan for the next two years includes:

  • Fee study and evaluation of scholarship funding sources for recreation programs
  • Serving community needs through COVID-19 pandemic
  • Implementing community outreach priorities and the Art & Culture plan
  • Demolition of the Burien Annex and community engagement process to determine next steps
  • Capital projects at Moshier Field, Lake Burien Memorial Park, and the Burien Community Center
  • Development of plans to address short and long term capital projects, routine and preventative maintenance, Burien trails, and accessibility concerns.

People cleaning up a park.

Advisory Board Annual Reports and Future Work Plans

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board presented their accomplishments from 2019, which included increased outreach, expansion of an adopt-a-park program, support for surveying efforts, and weighing in the Burien Community Center Annex project.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board presented their 2020 work plan. The advisory board will assess capital improvement projects, amplify public engagement on PaRCS projects, review fee study, recommend updates to memorial guidelines and procedures, and recommend a trail plan for Burien.

Arts commission annual report cropped screenshot.

The Arts Commission presented their accomplishments from 2019, which included public art projects, recommendations for allocation of arts and culture grants, implementing artist meet and greet events, and volunteering at arts events.

One of the key accomplishments of the commission was to launch the signal box art project.

In 2021, the Arts Commission will recommend allocation of arts and culture funding, support the second round of signal box art project, develop arts and culture plan, develop art displays in downtown Burien and the Burien Community Center, support artist outreach and arts events, and serve on the Creative District Committee hosted by the South Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Close up of signal box art.

Artist Proposals for Signal Box Project

Council approved the next round of art of ten more signal box art projects. The artists selected are:

  1. Brooke Borcherding, Sea/Water/Nature theme
    Evoking Burien's geography and surroundings of the Puget Sound and the lake, the piece would use two croppings of the artist’s abstracted water painting for the sides and the iconic blue heron on the front. View the proposed art piece.
  2. Evan Hilsenber-Riley, Sunlit Birch Grove
    Varying shades of sunlight-filtered green, reflected in the pond beneath will be visible in the piece. View the proposed art piece.
  3. Heather Landis, The Magical Burien
    The piece illustrates where community and nature connect through the magical acts of inspiration. View the proposed art piece.
  4. Heather Lawrence, Burien Farmers Market
    Inspired by the Burien Farmers Market and the vibrant neighborhood of friendly, caring people, adhering to the social distancing guidelines and supporting their local community. View a first draft of the proposed art piece.
  5. Vikram Madan, Bee Riders
    The intention of this piece is to create happy, uplifting feelings among viewers and express to the community that the city cares about how people feel about their surroundings. View the proposed art piece.
  6. Dovey Martinez, Untitled
    The piece was inspired by the artist’s visits to her parents’ hometown Marale, Honduras. Marale, Honduras may be a small pueblo, but everyone knows about Burien because this is their hub in the United States. Burien has the largest population of Hondurans in all of Washington. The art piece is intended to honor her Honduran, and greater Latino community, by sharing images that are reminiscent of their motherland. The pieces highlights the traditional vibrant colors of Latin America, found in the architecture, murals, and clothing and pair it with a color palette of earth tones associated with Washington. The work highlights the sacrifice of the immigrant community, to come here and provide opportunities for their kids. View the proposed art piece.
  7. Jovita Mercado, Untitled
    Using photoshop and color pencils, the pattern is a visual representation of Chicanos/Mexican-Americans and their historic migration from Yakima to Burien in the 1960s during Boeing's economic boom. The pattern consists of silhouettes of Yakima caballeros, airplane engines, airplanes, and aircraft mechanics with cactuses as their head or on their forehead. The cactus is a visual representation of the abstracted figures' ethnicity and cultural heritage. View the proposed art piece.
  8. Colleen Monette, Incoming
    The artist lived in Burien for 23 years and owned a flower shop and antique store in Olde Burien. The piece reflects her memory, portrayed through abstract realism, of incoming waves crashing on the beach. View the proposed art piece.
  9. Amaranta Sandys, Untitled
    This design is a portrait of people from different backgrounds that live in Burien in front of an iconic landmark (Helios, sculpture in Town Square Park). View the proposed art piece.
  10. Angie Hinojos Yusuf, Untitled
    View the proposed art piece.

Want to hear what’s on the agenda for future council meetings?

You can view the Planning Calendar at the end of each council agenda. This is a living document and is adjusted based on council priorities and speaker availability.