Council Roundup: February 6, 2023

Affordable Housing, Shape Your City, Lake to Sound Trail, Advisory Boards, 30th Anniversary, Black History Month, Community Connectors
Posted on 02/13/2023
Council members and proclamation.

The Burien City Council approved allocation of SKHHP Housing Capital Fund investments, discussed an interagency agreement supporting the Lake to Sound Trail, and approved a process and final applicant list for advisory board member candidates. They also issued proclamations in honor of Burien’s 30th anniversary of incorporation and Black History Month and were introduced to participants in the Burien Connectors Program.

City Honors 30th Anniversary of Incorporation and Black History Month through Proclamations

The City Council issued a proclamation in honor of Black History Month. Eddie Rye, Jr., a prominent local civil rights leader accepted the proclamation.

The City Council also issued a proclamation in honor of Burien’s 30th anniversary of incorporation. Several former mayors and councilmembers attended the meeting and made remarks.

City Council Meets Community Connectors

The City Council met the current cohort of the Burien Community Connectors program. The City currently supports six community members through a paid community liaison program to help connect more people to civic planning processes. The pilot program, which has funding through 2024, is focused on improving connections with Burien’s Spanish, Vietnamese, and Amharic-speaking communities.

The current Community Connector cohort introduced themselves in both their native language and English.

  • Diana Llanes, Spanish Speaker
  • Sofia Estevez, Spanish Speaker
  • Elly Trinh, Vietnamese Speaker
  • Nha Khuc, Vietnamese Speaker
  • Mesti Kassa, Amharic Speaker
  • Alemtsehay Negeri, Amharic and Omoro Speaker

The program is based on the trusted advocate model which honors the ability and knowledge of leaders from a wide spectrum of cultural, ethnic, and racial identities and experiences, including many immigrant and refugee communities, as experts on what their community needs to thrive. The program brings resources, information, and decision-making opportunities to underrepresented communities.

The Community Connectors will be providing additional community engagement as part of the second phase of the Shape Your City initiative.

City Council Approves Affordable Housing Investments

The City Council placed on the consent agenda of their next meeting authorization to allocate $140,814.77 from the City of Burien’s contribution to the South King Housing and Homelessness Partners (SKHHP) Housing Capital Fund to support financing for two affordable housing developments in Burien. The two projects which will receive financial support from the SKHHP Housing Capital Fund are will be built by Habitat for Humanity and Mercy Housing Northwest.

SKHHP is a joint board formed in 2019 by an interlocal agreement between the jurisdictions of Auburn, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Maple Valley, Normandy Park, Renton, Tukwila, and King County. Through SKHHP, South King County jurisdictions can take a coordinated and comprehensive approach to increasing housing stability and producing and preserving quality affordable housing in South King County.

In 2019, SHB 1406 (RCW 82.14.540) became law, allowing jurisdictions to enact a local sales tax for the purpose of affordable housing. The sales tax is a recapture of a portion of existing sales tax and does not raise the sales tax rate for community members.

In 2021, the City Council authorized an interlocal agreement for the purpose of pooling sales tax receipts with SKHHP. The pooled sales tax was placed into a housing capital fund.

Three applications for the funding were received in 2022, all for projects in Burien. Through a collective decision-making process involving all member city councils and the SKHHP advisory board, two projects were recommended for funding.

Shape Your City Gathers Community Input into Future of City

City staff presented an update on Shape Your City, a coordinated planning effort to re-imagine the long-term future of our city. The update shared major themes heard during the first phase of community engagement, conducted over last summer and fall. The next phase of the community engagement will launch in late spring.

Interagency Agreement for Segment C of Lake to Sound Trail Approved

The City Council placed on consent agenda approval of an interagency agreement between the City of Burien and King County related to Lake to Sound Trail Segment C.

The Lake to Sound Trail is a regional trail that connects Lake Washington to the Puget Sound through five cities: Renton, Tukwila, SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines. Segment B was completed in 2017 along Des Moines Memorial Drive between S 156th St and Ambaum Blvd SW. Segment C continues along Des Moines Memorial Drive from Ambaum Blvd SW to SR 509 and will complete the segment of the trail that is within Burien city limits.

King County is designing and constructing the project, with advertisement for construction bids anticipated in spring 2023. This interagency agreement between the City and King County covers all aspects of the project coordination. The project is fully funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation, King County, and grants obtained by King County.

Upon completion of construction, King County will transfer ownership and maintenance of the improvements to Burien. The improvements will include approximately 2,000 feet of trail/sidewalk, most of the associated trail amenities, and the assignment of six easements obtained by King County on private parcels.

Advisory Board Interviews Will Begin in February

The City Council approved a process and list of candidates to interviews for advisory boards and commissions. Interviews will occur over a series of special meetings scheduled over the next few weeks. Of the 46 applicants, 33 were selected to interview for 26 open positions.

Consent Agenda and Planning Calendar

The City Council approved on their consent agenda a letter be sent to Senator Patty Murray congratulating her on her recent appointment as Chair of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and outlining priorities from Burien including investments into affordable housing, funding for co-response models for public safety, and a call for investments to help expedite U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting processes.