Council Roundup: April 3, 2023

Proclamations, Citizen of the Year, Homeless Services
Posted on 04/06/2023
Illustration of hand and home.

The Burien City Council issued proclamations, discussed services for people experiencing homelessness, and waived fees and penalties for a local nonprofit. They tabled scheduled topics for a future meeting and called for a special meeting on April 10, 2023 to continue discussion of services for people living in tents in downtown Burien.

Earth Day and Arbor Day Proclamations Honor Environment

The City Council issued proclamations in honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day. The proclamations highlighted the history of both days, the value of sustainability policies and programs, and the City of Burien’s contribution to protecting Burien’s tree canopy.

Vicky Hartley Receives Burien Citizen of the Year Award

Vicky Hartley, a long-time Boulevard Park resident and community organizer, was given the 2023 Citizen of the Year award and proclamation. She was nominated for her work organizing her neighbors in the Boulevard Park neighborhood who were experiencing severe flooding, helping them bring it to the attention of the City of Burien.

She was also recognized for her work in helping connect and organize her neighbors in Boulevard Park over the last decade starting with the vote to annex the Boulevard Park neighborhood into Burien.

Hartley spoke about the flooding issue, and thanked community members, elected officials, community groups, and others who were part of the network who advocated for action to be taken in their neighborhood.

City Council Discusses Options to Address Downtown Encampment

The City Manager presented options for temporarily supporting people living in tents in downtown Burien. He shared that to have a temporary sanctioned encampment, the City Council must first approve a location, authorize budget from other projects be re-allocated, and approve a service provider to supervise the managed site. City staff would work with King County officials and other stakeholders to seek a site and identify a provider.

The City Manager noted that King County has already given permission for temporary use of an empty lot next to the King County Courthouse on SW 149th St. However, they require the site have portable toilets and other hygiene resources, as well as 24/7 supervision from a provider that specializes in the complex needs of people experiencing homelessness.

The estimated cost to support a managed encampment at this site is $14,800-20,000 per month. King County has stated they would not support a long-term encampment on that site.

City funding sources that were discussed included:

  • Human services funding within American Rescue Plan Act funding. The City Council had previously approved a plan to support programs that would address root causes of homelessness.
  • Eagle Landing Park Project. The City’s insurance provider has strongly recommended the City complete the project to reduce liability.
  • Highline Heritage Museum and Arts and Culture Grants. During the last budget cycle, the City Council added funding to support the Highline Heritage Museum and to increase grants to local arts and culture organizations.
  • Sale of City-owned property. There are two City-owned properties that could be sold. Selling quickly could reduce amount of money the City would receive and eliminate future economic development opportunity for those locations.


The City Council voted to hold a special meeting on April 10 to discuss the following:

  • Discussion of Charles Schaefer, Planning Commission Chair
  • Discussion and possible action on options presented by the City Manager during the April 3 meeting
  • Educational session on State v. Blake, Martin v. Boise, and a comparative study of Burien and other cities that have implemented related ordinances

A discussion of a possible ordinance detailing zones where no camping is allowed will be discussed at a future meeting.

City Council Waives Gambling Tax Penalties and Fees for Local Nonprofit Fundraiser

A local nonprofit, Casa Italiana, held a fundraiser last year but neglected to pay required gambling tax. As a result of this nonpayment, they accrued fines. The City Council waived the fees and penalties that had been accrued.

Topics Postponed to Future Meetings

Due to extensive public comment and City Council discussion related to addressing people living in tents in downtown Burien, they agreed to reschedule discussion on the following topics:

  • Interviews and appointment of new members to Business and Economic Development Partnership
  • Potential revenue options
  • Summer youth camps
  • Opioid settlement

EcoTHRIVE and Sapphire Homes Projects Receive Approval

The City Council adopted the consent agenda, which included approval of EcoTHRIVE Housing’s application to the Affordable Housing Demonstration Program and Sapphire Homes subdivision request