Council Roundup: April 25, 2022

State Legislative Session, Ambaum and Boulevard Park Community Plans, 2021 Financial Report, Opioid Settlement
Posted on 04/29/2022
Washington State Capitol building exterior.

The Burien City Council heard outcomes of the state legislative session, discussed progress on community planning for the Ambaum and Boulevard Park neighborhoods, received an update on the 2021 financial report, and discussed allocation of monies from a possible settlement as a result of a lawsuit other municipalities have filed against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors.

State Legislative Session Saw Progress on City Priorities

The City's state lobbyist, Lyset Cadena, updated the City Council on the outcomes of the state legislative 2022 session. She focused her report on legislation that was passed that aligns with priorities in the legislative agenda that the City Council approved in 2021.

Community Plans for Ambaum Corridor & Boulevard Park Neighborhoods Make Progress

Alex Hunt, a planner with the Community Development Department, presented an update on community planning for the Ambaum and Boulevard Park neighborhoods. He summarized what’s been heard so far during community engagement. Key themes that have emerged include:

  • Mitigate displacement of existing residents
  • Mitigate displacement of existing businesses
  • Ensure that new development meets community needs
  • Adjust zoning to reflect community goals
  • Create and preserve affordable housing
  • Include family-size rental units in new development
  • Allow a variety of home types with a range of price points
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Walkability
  • Residential density
  • Mix of uses (jobs, retail, community services)

He also detailed next steps in the plan development process, which will include:

  • Develop and refine plan proposals, draft community plan – community involved
  • Conduct environmental analysis
  • Continue community engagement including two more advisory group meetings, public workshops, follow up focused engagement, and a developers’ forum
  • Develop changes to Zoning Code and Zoning Map to support and implement the plan

Read more about the project.


2021 Financial Report Starts Discussion of 2023-2024 Biennial Budget Process

In preparation for the 2023-2024 biennial budget process, Eric Christensen, director of the Finance Department, presented a preliminary 2021 financial report. Key themes for the report include sales tax revenue was higher in 2021 than in 2020, indicating good local economic health and positive impact of COVID direct relief funding to individuals, property tax revenue increased, and utility tax revenue helped fill shortfall caused by loss of annexation tax credit.

A budget shortfall is forecast starting in 2026, meaning current level of services will need to be reduced in 2026 if revenues don’t increase. The City is working with FCS Group consulting firm to develop new revenue options as well as a six-year financial forecast.

Funding from Possible Settlement of Opioid Litigation May Come to Burien

City Attorney Garmon Newsom II presented to the City Council a proposed memorandum of understanding that would determine allocation of money that cities, including Burien, could receive from a possible settlement of a pending lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors for the reckless promotion and distribution of opioids.

The City Council discussed the memorandum of understanding, and will discuss it again with possible action, at a future meeting.