Council Roundup: May 1, 2023

Proclamations, Port of Seattle Community Grants, Business Survey, Land Donation, Ambaum and Boulevard Park Community Plan, Lease of City-owned Property
Posted on 05/04/2023
Trees with ivy on trunks.

The Burien City Council issued proclamations in honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Older Americans Month. They heard an update on Port of Seattle environmental grants and results of a business survey. They discussed the Ambaum and Boulevard Park Community Plan, approved donation of land adjacent to Salmon Creek Ravine Park, and directed City staff to lease City-owned property to Burien CARES for use as a dog park.

Proclamations Honor Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Month and Older Americans Month

The City Council issued a proclamation in honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Washington State Senator Joe Nguyen accepted the proclamation.

The City Council also issued a proclamation for Older Americans Month. Burien resident Rose Winterhalder accepted the proclamation.

Port of Seattle Funding to Benefit Burien

Port of Seattle staff presented information about their funding and partnership program for cities around the airport. The goal of the South King County Community Impact Fund (SKCIIF) is to enhance livability, improve green spaces, and restore forests. The SKCIIF Environmental Grants Program expands the reach of the successful Airport Community Ecology (ACE) program into more communities that surround Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

The following six organizations that work in Burien received grants or continued funding:

  • Environmental Science Center: Beach Heroes
  • Earth Corps: Hilltop Park Restoration and Community Engagement
  • Dirt Corps: Salmon Creek Park Restoration
  • Partner in Employment: SKC Youth Restoration
  • Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust: Community-driven Stewardship at Salmon Creek Ravine
  • New Start Community Garden

Business Survey Provides Snapshot of Current Local Economic Conditions

Economic development staff presented results of a recent survey of local businesses. Last conducted in 2019, the current survey included additional questions and more intentional outreach to BIPOC-owned businesses, which resulted in higher response rates and richer information.

The survey revealed the top challenges for local businesses are crime, homelessness, marketing and attracting customers, staffing, and rising costs and economic security. Businesses shared that the top advantages that Burien had to offer are central location and accessibility, strong sense of community, affordability, diversity, and growing community. Overall, more than half of respondents stated Burien was either an excellent or good place to do business.

City staff will be holding three roundtable events as well as publishing the results online. The survey results will also be used to design programs and services and to inform development of the City’s economic development strategic plan.

Read the full survey results.

Donation of Property Adjacent to Salmon Creek Ravine Approved

The City Council approved a land donation from property owner Monte Powell. The land borders Salmon Creek Ravine Park to the north and will expand the park and preserve the natural habitat. The 7.54-acre parcel is thickly forested with a steep slope and has a stream in the basin.

Staff conducted an environmental site assessment of the property and found that there are some risks including future landslides, like other city parks on the westward-facing slope. Based on City Council direction given last year, staff investigated the septic system records for neighboring properties. A public health report shows that the three adjacent properties with septic systems had no reports of failures or repairs on file and that the latest inspections show the systems are working properly.

Ambaum and Boulevard Park Community Plan Discussed

The City Council discussed the Ambaum and Boulevard Park Community Plan, which lays out a twenty-year vision for land use and growth in the two neighborhoods.

The City Council moved to delay approval of the plan until additional land use maps could be presented for consideration.

Residents and property owners in an area that is being considered for possible rezoning will receive a postcard within the next week. More information, including an online map marking which properties may be affected by zoning changes, is available on the Burien Community Hub.

The Planning Commission will discuss related rezoning recommendations and Comprehensive Plan amendments for the Ambaum Blvd Corridor and Boulevard Park in late May. The City Council begins their discussion of zoning in late July.

City to Begin Negotiations with Burien CARES to Lease City-owned Property in Downtown Burien

The City Council directed the City Manager to engage in a short-term lease, pending negotiations including minimum price, with Burien CARES to operate the City-owned property at 6th Ave SW and SW 152nd St as a dog park.

Discussion of Legislative Options to Address Drug Possession and Public Use Tabled

The City Council tabled a scheduled educational session on recent state legislature actions related to the “Blake decision” and how neighboring cities are responding.

Council Reports and City Manager Report

Councilmember Sarah Moore reported on her StART trip to Washington, DC. Mayor Aragon, Deputy Mayor Schilling, and Councilmember Mora reported on meetings they’ve had with organizations and individuals conducting outreach to people living in an encampment at 6th Ave SW and SW 152nd St. The City Manager reported on the status of efforts to find shelter for people living in an encampment.