CITYNOTES: Burien’s Sales Tax Revenue Down 16.2%; NE Redevelopment Area Revisions Proposed

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by Ralph Nichols

Burien City Council members were presented with dismal sales tax figures from City Manager Mike Martin at the beginning of their meeting last Monday, Oct. 5th.

Through July, the city’s sales tax revenue for the year to date was down 16.2 percent compared with the same time frame in 2008, Martin reported. For July 2009, compared with July 2008, it was down 19.7 percent.

The data reflect a 14.3 percent decline in retail trade in the city, a 47 percent decline in construction-related purchases, and a 10.6 percent in accommodations and food service.

But this does not make Burien unusual. “We’re pretty much on par with our neighbors,” he observed.

Council members heard a presentation by Scott Greenberg, Community Development Director, on proposed revisions for the city’s Northeast Redevelopment Area (NERA) that, if adopted, will amend the Burien Comprehensive Plan and certain zoning designations within this area.

The NERA, located north of Sea-Tac International Airport between 8th Ave. S., S. 138th St., and Des Moines Memorial Dr., is an area that both the city and Port of Seattle, which owns much of the property there, hope is developed for business and commercial activity.

Alternative 1 in this proposal would change the existing Special Planning Area 4 designation to Airport Industrial and Professional Residential. In both areas, the current two-acre minimum for redevelopment would be eliminated.

Potential uses, according to Greenberg, include technological, light manufacturing, light industrial and offices. Auto sales and other commercial uses would be allowed in the south paort of the Airport Industrial zone.

The Professional Residential would allow for new single-family developments as well as small offices, retail uses and art studios.

Alternative 2 would include the same zoning changes, but would not include auto sales and other commercial uses.

Alternative 3 would leave the current NERA zoning unchanged.

These proposals will be introduced at the Tuesday, Oct. 13th meeting of the Burien Planning Commission at 7 p.m. in City Hall. On Tuesday, Oct. 20, a joint hearing with a hearing examiner and the planning commission will consider the proposed comprehensive plan amendments and proposed zoning changes.

Liz Ockwell, an assistant city planner, detailed for council members proposed zoning code amendments relating to land use, garages, slope, parking and landscaping for new developments.

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3 Responses to “CITYNOTES: Burien’s Sales Tax Revenue Down 16.2%; NE Redevelopment Area Revisions Proposed”
  1. Burien resident says:

    Once again Burien will lose out. If POS owns the land then the sales tax and such will go to them; not Burien.

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  2. chester says:

    It doesn’t help that the city forced out a number of businesses in the process of building the Town Square project – businesses that were generating sales tax revenue for the city. To make matters worse, we have 140+ condo units that exempt from paying property tax on the improvements for the next 10 years. They sit atop EMPTY retail space, which generates no sales tax. The NEXT grand plan is to build an auto mall- when the auto industry has gone through a massive contraction. Do you honestly believe any auto dealer we don’t already have, (Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Infiniti, Acura, Volvo, Saab) ,has plans of investing any capital in this town? Let’s be careful not to blame this current financial crisis on just the economy. Plenty of the blame lies at the feet of our oh-so-wise City Council. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come.

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  3. Dale says:

    The six ladies, and one man, were not elected for their experience in business. Mostly from Lazy Boeing and the Highline School District and everyone knows how successful those organizations have been and are.

    Government should not be planning our business activities. We are supposed to be a free-market kind of country where government has a very small roll to play. Like registrating our private property and filling pot holes.

    Thanks for reminding me why I did not agree to be annexed by Burien. Unfortunately over 50% of my voting neighbors did. I predict that my taxes will now go through the ceiling next year!

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