Council Roundup: March 20, 2023

Proclamations, Library and City Building Policy, Burien Airport Committee, King County Regional Homelessness Authority, Zoning and Building Code Updates, Rental Housing Inspection Program, Code Enforcement
Posted on 03/30/2023
Map imposed over RapidRide H Line logo.

The Burien City Council issued proclamations, discussed people living in tents outside the Burien Library/City Hall building, heard a presentation from the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, adopted zoning and building code updates, and heard updates on the rental housing inspection program and code enforcement.

Adriene Buckley’s 30 Years of Service Honored through a Proclamation

The City Council issued a proclamation in honor of Adriene Buckley, a City of Burien employee who recently marked her 30th anniversary working at the city. She was also given a ceremonial key to the city.

“This is such an honor to be recognized by the mayor and councilmembers for my 30 years of service working for the city and the community. I’ve really enjoyed working these 30 years with the city … I wasn’t expecting a key. For years I went and got keys for everybody else, but I never thought I would get a key. Thank you all!”

Proclamation Raises Awareness about Sexual Violence Resources in King County

The City Council issued a proclamation declared April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Burien. The proclamation emphasized how individual and community impacts of sexual violence are rooted in and compounded by racial, gender, sexual orientation, and other forms of oppression.

Merril Cousin, executive director of the Coalition to End Gender-based Violence, accepted the proclamation. She shared that the Coalition, which supports more than 30 organizations that are working together to end domestic and sexual violence in King County, is made up organizations serving Burien. The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center last year provided counseling and legal advocacy for approximately 60 Burien residents. More than half of those receiving services are below the age of 18. She also shared that other agencies serving Burien provide culturally specific services to survivors who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, refugee and immigrant survivors, LGBTQIA+ survivors, and survivors who have disabilities. Most local programs are reporting that calls for service are up as much as two to three times just since the beginning of last year.

“I’m really honored to be here today to acknowledge April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and to make visible the persistent and pervasive nature of rape culture and abuses of power that continue to thrive in our society. From harassment in person or online to physical assault and rape, we know all forms of sexual violence are rooted in sexism, racism, heterosexism and other forms of oppressions. It’s all to clear that we have to continue to assert and uphold the fundamental right for all people to bodily autonomy and consent.”

“It really takes enormous courage for survivors to speak out about their experiences and they take incredible risks to do so. They need non-judgmental supportive advocacy and counseling designed to protect their safety, emotional well-being and economic stability. We have to honor the courage and dignity of all survivors by ensuring supportive services are available and accessible when needed. And we must support prevention programming that focuses on healthy relationships, affirmative consent, and gender and racial equity. We are so proud to stand with you here and with our member agencies to honor our commitment to these goals and in our collective goals to build a world free from sexual violence.”

New Burien Condo Association Policy Gives Deadline for People Living in Tents Outside Burien Library and City Hall

The City Manager provided an update on a recent decision made by the Burien Condo Association to ban overnight camping on the Burien Library and City Hall building. The prohibition is part of a new code of conduct the Burien Condo Association adopted.

Service providers are working intensively to find housing or shelter for the people living in tents. This builds on years of work to match people with services, housing, and shelter.

The Burien Condo Association, a legal agreement between King County Library System (KCLS) and City of Burien, was formed in 2010 when the shared civic building housing the Burien Library and Burien City Hall opened. The Burien Library and City Hall building is managed through the Burien Condo Association. City staff and KCLS staff sit on the board. Changes in building policy, including new codes of conduct, must be approved by the Burien Condo Association.

City Council Appoints Six Community Members to Burien Airport Committee

The City Council appointed six community members to the Burien Airport Committee. Two* currently serve on the committee.

  • Brian Davis
  • Dana Carmichael
  • Holly Mouser-Guerra*
  • Tama Semo
  • Karen Veloria*
  • Kelsey Vanhee

King County Regional Homelessness Authority Presents Overview of their Organization and Future Plans

Representatives from the King County Regional Homelessness Authority presented an overview of the history of the organization, their role and scope of work, an overview of their five-year plan, and progress on a sub-regional plan. They are scheduled to present the south King County sub-regional plan to the City Council during their June 5 meeting.


Zoning Code Amendments Support Development Near RapidRide Stations

The City Council placed approval on the consent agenda of their next meeting approval of zoning code amendments to amend “station overlay standards” to allow new retail and services in certain locations. The intent of the station area overlay in the zoning code is to allow a compact mix of residential, office, retail service, and other public uses in the areas of the city that have a high potential for pedestrian activity and are near King County Metro RapidRide stations.

Amendments Align Burien’s Building Code to State and Local Sewer District Codes

The City Council placed approval on the consent agenda of their next meeting approval building code amendments that help Burien’s code align with state code updates and local sewer districts’ existing codes. The amendments cover a variety of areas including fees, inspection requirements, fire sprinkler requirements for smaller single-family homes, solar readiness standards, and more.

Rental Housing Inspection Program Enters Third Year

Manuela Ginnett, Rental Housing Inspection Coordinator, provided an update on current status of the Rental Housing Inspection Program. The program’s purpose is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of tenants by encouraging the proper maintenance of rental housing by identifying and requiring correction of substandard housing conditions.

The rental housing inspection process follows a three-year cycle. The City divided Burien into three zones where each rental property must be inspected once every three years. 20 percent of units with a maximum of 50 units, may be inspected at any property. City staff select which units will be inspected and the landlord is required to hire a qualified inspector from the City’s approved list. Inspections and re-inspections must be completed by a due date.

Burien has 352 non-exempt rental properties, with 6,037 units. Since launching in 2021, the program has facilitated inspection of 679 units, with 75 scheduled more to be inspected or re-inspected. Zone 3 inspections are underway, with inspections due on October 1.

Issues that that have been found through inspections include:

  • Smoke and CO2 detectors not functional
  • Water heater issues
  • Unsafe decks, stairs, and balconies
  • Electrical and plumbing issues
  • No permanent heat source
  • Mold
  • Debris or clutter, inside or outside
  • Pest control

City Council Asks for Recommendations to Increase Code Enforcement Resources

Michael Amaya, Code Enforcement Officer, provided an update on how code enforcement interacts with the community, code enforcement process. He shared details of some recent successes and discussed ways to improve the code enforcement process, including the need for additional resources.

The City Council asked for staff to bring back recommendations to grow code enforcement staffing resources.

Consent Agenda and Planning Calendar

The City Council asked to discuss at a future meeting ways to keep sidewalks, business alleyways, and the downtown area clean, clear, and safe in order to continue business operations.