Council Roundup: June 7, 2021

Proclamations, Citizen of the Year, La Serra Subdivision, Budget, Food Trucks
Posted on 06/11/2021
Proclamations: Citizens of the Year, LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, Juneteenth

Burien City Council issued two proclamations, gave three Burien community members a Citizen of the Year award, approved Black Lives Matter artwork, and approved minor budget items.

Roxana Pardo Garcia and Don and Charlotte Berg Receive Citizen of the Year Awards

Roxana Pardo Garcia and Don and Charlotte Berg received Citizen of the Year Awards for their work on increasing access to culturally appropriate food during the pandemic and service to people experiencing homelessness in Burien.

Proclamations Recognize LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and Juneteenth

Council kicked off celebration of LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic) Pride Month by issuing a proclamation. They also approved the raising of a Pride Banner in front of Burien City Hall through the month of June. The flag was raised the following morning, with representatives from Burien Pride and several councilmembers in attendance. Debra George, executive director of Burien Pride, and Fred Swanson, executive director of Gay City: Seattle’s LGTBQ Center and Burien resident, accepted the proclamation.

Council also issued a proclamation acknowledging Juneteenth, a day celebrated on June 19th to acknowledge the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Adriene Buckley, who has worked for the City of Burien for 28 years and is a Burien resident, and Dr. George E. Noble, a pastor at Restoration Bible Church in Burien, accepted the proclamation.

Council also agreed to discuss at the next council meeting a new policy that would make Juneteenth an official City holiday in 2022.

Kinect at Burien building illustration.

Kinect@Burien Project Moving Forward

Council approved moving forward with closing of the sale of the Burien Municipal Parking Lot through a disposition and development agreement executed in October 2020 with American Property Development. Redevelopment of the property will include construction of a new mixed-use multifamily housing community in downtown Burien called Kinect@Burien that will include 230 resident units and 8,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Construction is set to begin in summer 2021. Funding from the sale of the lot will be placed in a capital projects reserve fund.

City Working on Reopening Plans for City Services and Public Meetings

City staff are working on plans to reopen city buildings and transition back to in-person services.

The city manager stated there will continue to be a hybrid approach to city services and public meetings, including a substantially updated teleworking policy. Council approved significant investments in Council Chambers technology systems prior to the pandemic, which positions the city well to continue to offer virtual meeting services, while still offering in-person options for the meetings.

Staff will bring a more detailed proposal to Council for discussion at a meeting soon.

Dog with sunglasses and no fireworks illustration.

Police and Fire Departments Prepare for July 4th Holiday

Chief Ted Boe detailed both police and fire departments' plans to enforce the fireworks ban this July 4th holiday. This will be the second year increased penalties and a “social host” ordinance will be in effect. Both fire and police departments are increasing their staffing levels during the holiday. Highline Public Schools and Burien parks will turn on lights and sprinklers (where available) to discourage fireworks use in these spaces. Increased outreach is beginning next week, including to apartment property managers.

Learn more about Burien’s fireworks law.

Black Lives Matter Public Art Proposed at Hazel Valley Elementary

Council approved a proposal for a Black Lives Matter public artwork, commissioned by the Burien Arts Commission and funded through Burien’s Art in Public Places fund. The six-person jury panel, comprised of five people of color who had various expertise in public art and community engagement, reviewed four proposals based on a set of criteria approved by Council and the Arts Commission.

The Arts Commission approved the recommendations of the jury panel and recommended that the city award the project to the Herbert Hightower Mural Project by the artists Brandon “BT” Thomas and Afro SPK (Ahmed Bashir) to be located on an exterior wall with public exposure at Hazel Valley Elementary. The artwork is intended to memorialize Herbert “Herb” Hightower. Both artists contributed to Seattle’s Black Lives Matter guerilla artwork and are now part of a new art collective called Vivid Matter (Art) Collective.

Now that the proposal has been approved, the artists will be directed to gain written approval from the Hightower family and conduct public outreach with the Burien Black community with the goal of making the project meaningful for Burien’s Black residents and business owners.


La Serra Subdivision to Build 36 Homes on Former Site of Bel-R Greenhouses

La Serra Subdivision is a proposed 36-lot plat on 8.04 acres to be located on the west side of 4th Ave SW between SW 124th and 126th Streets. Access to the lots will be from three new public streets and three private lanes. Full street frontage improvements consisting of curbs, sidewalks, storm drainage, landscaping, and streetlights are required on SW 124th Street, 4th Avenue SW, and the public internal streets. A common recreation area will also be provided with benches, picnic tables, and children's play equipment.

Council placed approval of the subdivision request on the consent agenda for the next council meeting.

Budget Update: Carryover Expenditures and Grant Revenues Approved

Ordinance No. 770 as a housekeeping item was discussed and carries appropriation authority and grant awarded revenue from 2020 into 2021. The detailed listing of the budget carryovers was provided and included expenditures such as consulting contracts for projects that are underway or planned and grant related expenditures such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Justice related to COVID-19. These changes to the budget were considered technical adjustments for items that were budgeted previously, and appropriation authority was needed for the current budget. 

Food truck.

Food Truck Pilot Program Set to Begin June 30, 2021

It was announced that the Burien Food Truck Pilot Program is set to begin on June 30, 2021. Earlier this year, Burien City Council delayed the launch of the program until restaurants are allowed to operate at full capacity, which will occur on July 1. Food trucks will be allowed to operate throughout Burien as long as they remain in compliance with the program guidelines.

Local Property Owner Gifts Land Adjacent to Salmon Creek Ravine

A local property owner has approached the City of Burien with an offer to donate a 7.4-acre parcel of land, adjacent Salmon Creek Ravine. The King County Tax Assessor values the land at $199,000. There are no known structures on the property. The land is in a landslide hazard area and has a stream running through it. City Council authorized the beginning of due diligence on this proposed property acquisition. Staff will hire a consulting firm to conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and a geotechnical assessment of the property.

Council approved moving forward with due diligence. Staff will engage a consulting firm to conduct more research on the property in order to make a final recommendation on whether to accept the donated land.

Future Meeting Topics to Include Renter Protections, Homelessness in Downtown Burien, and Mental Health

Council directed staff to bring back information on several topics including:

  • Options to protect renters once the statewide eviction moratorium expires on June 30, 2021.
  • Update on services for people experiencing homelessness and targeted efforts in downtown Burien.
  • Information about state of behavioral health services in Burien.