Code Compliance

The City of Burien Code Compliance Officer enforces Burien Municipal Code regulations related to building, zoning, land use, and nuisance code violations, generally through a complaint-generated system. 

Code Compliance staff will respond to complaints such as:

  • Junk vehicles and residential parking on private property
  • Graffiti
  • Accumulation of trash, junk or abandoned materials
  • Zoning and land use violations
  • Construction without a permit


Code Compliance Officer

Ph: (206) 241-4647

Reporting Complaints

You can file a complaint one of three ways:

For additional information or questions on the code complaint process, please contact the Code Compliance Officer at (206) 248-5507.

When filling out the form, please include the specific violation, the exact street address where it is occurring, your name, and phone number in case the City has any questions or needs further information. You may request that this information be anonymous if you wish. 

However, please be aware that your complaint is subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act and anonymity is not guaranteed. Additionally, please note that if the case is appealed or pursued in court, you will be expected to cooperate as a potential witness. 

By bringing violations to our attention, you are helping to protect your property values and the aesthetics of your neighborhood. If you are concerned about any of the preceding, we can help. If a violation has occurred, we will try to resolve it in several ways.

Code Compliance Process

  1. Report of possible violation received.
  2. Property is scheduled for inspection.
  3. If violation exists, the violator is notified first by personal contact and/or a letter giving a period of time to correct the violation.
  4. Property is re-inspected at expiration of time period.
  5. If violation has not been corrected, a Notice of Civil Violation may be issued. Failure to correct a violation may be subject to fines.
  6. When violation has been resolved, case is closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common code compliance issues?

The most common code compliance issues handled by code compliance staff are:

  • Junk vehicles: Vehicles on private property that are inoperable, wrecked or not parked on an approved impervious surface.
  • Automotive parts: Engines, or any other parts, assemblies or components of automobiles and other motor vehicles.
  • Trash or debris on private property constituting a nuisance as determined by the Code Compliance Officer, including refrigerators and freezers, neglected equipment and machinery. Any discarded, broken or disabled material including furniture, appliances, discarded lumber or other items that are not in functioning condition.
  • Residential parking: No more than 4 vehicles may be parked on a residential lot unless there are more than four licensed drivers residing at the address. There may be an additional motor vehicle for each licensed driver over four parked at the specific address.  Each licensed driver must have the particular address on their driver’s license. All vehicles must be licensed and operable.         
  • Graffiti on private property (commercial and residential)
  • Zoning or land use violations
  • Construction without a permit
Who do I contact for a barking, roaming, and unleashed dogs animals?

Contact Community Animal Resource Education Society (C.A.R.E.S) at (206) 812-2737.

How can I find out exactly where my property lines are located?

In order to correctly identify the location of a property line you will need to contact a licensed surveyor.

My neighbor has a tree/hedge that hangs over onto my property. What can I do?

Talk with your neighbor and try to work something out. You are allowed to remove any vegetation that hangs over an imaginary vertical property line as long as it does not cause the plant to die.

Who is responsible for maintaining vegetation growth in the alleys and along sidewalks?

The abutting property owners are responsible for maintaining vegetation growth in these areas.

A neighbor in my area has several vehicles and I believe many of them do not run. Is there a limit to the number of vehicles allowed in a residential zone?

Generally, four vehicles which are currently licensed and running are allowed to be parked on private property. For exceptions please contact the City Code Compliance Officer at (206) 248-5507.

Who do I call to report a vehicle that has been parked on a public street in the same place and has not been driven for several weeks?

Call the Burien Police Department for vehicle removal from city streets at (206) 205-0969. You will be asked to provide the make, model, color, license plate #, tab expiration month and year, and address where vehicle is parked.

Is garbage collection in the City mandatory or optional?

City of Burien does not require a scheduled pick up from the contracted disposal company, Recology; however, garbage must be removed by property owner/tenant equal to that of a contracted company (weekly).

Can I raise chickens within City limits and if so how many am I allowed to keep?

You are allowed to have a combination of any three (3) total fowl and /or rabbits. Roosters are prohibited.

What do I do if I want to report a code compliance violation which occurs during the weekend or after the City has closed for the day?

If this is a police emergency, call 9-1-1. If not an emergency, call the police non-emergency phone at (206) 296-3333 to make a report. Please submit a code complaint.

If I want to report a violation but do not want my name to be known to the violator, can I remain anonymous?

Yes, you may request to remain anonymous, however it is helpful to have a name and phone number in case we need additional information or give you status regarding the violation. However, please be aware that your complaint is subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act and anonymity is not guaranteed. Additionally, please note that if the case is appealed or pursued in court, you will be expected to cooperate as a potential witness.

I am starting to see rats in my neighborhood. What can I do?

City of Burien does not trap or exterminate rats. However, if there is an existence of trash/garbage or another food source on a specific property, the Code Compliance Officer will investigate to determine if there is a violation. Please submit a code complaint.

How do I know who to report a violation to: Police, Public Works or Code Enforcement?

If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1. Matters that appear to be criminal in nature should be reported to the police. Please refer to the Report an Issue page to report violations. Or you may contact the front desk at Burien City Hall (206) 241-4647.

Who should I call to report illegal dumping along the streets of the City?

Illegal dumping should be reported through the Report an Issue page. Or call Burien City Hall (206) 241-4647.

Is there a building and property maintenance code in Burien?

Yes. Burien's Building and Property Maintenance code is located under Burien Municipal Code 15.40.

What happens if a neighbor's tree falls on my property?

Trees that fall from one private property onto another is a private dispute between those property owners.