Council Roundup: May 24, 2021

Ambaum Blvd & Boulevard Park Study, Climate Action Plan, Police Services Study, Hazard Pay for Frontline Workers
Posted on 05/26/2021

Burien City Council held a study session to discuss updates to a new land use study, climate action plan, police services, and hazard pay for frontline workers.

Land Use Study Targets Ambaum Boulevard Corridor and Boulevard Park Neighborhoods

Two areas of Burien will be receiving special community planning attention this year: the Ambaum Boulevard corridor and Boulevard Park. The subarea plans will form the framework for future actions to encourage investment in these areas. Staff presented a progress update on the current status of the project, and ways for people to weigh in. Council made recommendations for related zoning changes that could supplement the land use study goals.

Aerial view of Ambaum Blvd Corridor and Boulevard Park with outline of Land Use Study planning areas drawn on top.

Ambaum Blvd Corridor and Boulevard Park Land Use Study planning areas.

Ambaum Blvd Corridor study will focus on ways to promote transit-oriented development along Ambaum Blvd SW, coinciding with the building of the H Line, a new King County Metro RapidRide line that will not only bring faster and more frequent transit, but also invest in pedestrian safety improvements along the corridor. The Boulevard Park study will focus on ways to strengthen the existing commercial core, while also meeting the needs of the neighborhood’s residents.

Stakeholder interviews, including communications with Highline School District youth, have already yielded early feedback. Community engagement will accelerate this summer, and the draft plan will be presented to the Planning Commission and Burien City Council in late 2021.

Climate Action Plan Details Ways to Prevent Climate Change and Mitigate Harms

Council discussed progress on the Burien Climate Action Plan. The plan will outline actions both the Burien city government and community can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience against impacts of climate change.

Burien’s greenhouse gas inventory of 2019 emissions was completed in 2020. The inventory shows that Burien’s major sources of emissions are gasoline vehicles and residential and commercial natural gas use.

Pie chart depicting sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Burien.

Sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Burien. Source: Burien 2019 Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

The draft plan calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2025, 50 percent by 2030, and to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. These reduction targets are based on the need for urgent action to reduce emissions to limit the most severe impacts of climate change and are aligned with the updated Washington state reduction targets adopted in June 2020.

Community members, including the Climate Action Plan Community Advisory Group, who attended the first community workshop called for the plan to include ways to bring more green jobs, inspire behavior change among residents and business owners, expand community green space, engage young people in climate action, add new public transportation options, improve the city’s walking and cycling infrastructure, and support energy efficiency efforts in buildings.

The draft goals and strategies, supported by suggested actions, focus on transportation, land use, buildings, energy consumption, waste and consumption patterns, protection of water and natural systems, and community resilience and well-being.

This spring and summer, staff will work with community stakeholders to refine the strategies and actions, and then present a draft plan to the Burien City Council this fall. This winter, the final draft of the Burien Climate Action Plan is scheduled to be adopted.

A second virtual community workshop is scheduled for June 30, 2021. If you are interested in receiving email updates on progress, contact [email protected] to sign up for updates.

2011 Study Details Costs of Delivering Police Services

For the fourth presentation on police services and public safety, Chief Ted Boe presented a 2011 report on the cost of police services, and what it would take to create a police department separate from King County Sheriff’s Office.

Council discussed the value of data that is ten years old, and whether the report answered questions about current needs. They also discussed whether a new study was needed.

Hazard Pay for Frontline Workers

Council discussed whether to consider the need for an ordinance mandating hazard pay for frontline workers during an emergency. They directed the topic be added to a future council meeting agenda to discuss whether to refer it to the Burien Business Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) to gather information about the working conditions and compensation for frontline workers to inform a possible recommendation to Council.