LETTER: ‘Councilmembers have obligation’ to deny Mary’s Place amendment

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

To The B-Town (Burien) Blog Editor,

City Councilmembers Have An Obligation to Deny Amendments Not Consistent w/ Comp. Plan, Designation Criteria, Land Use Map and the Growth Management Act.

My letter is in response to Mr. Feinberg’s letter dated, Dec. 9, 2018. The Burien Comprehensive Plan and the Washington State Growth Management Act are not just guidelines, they are the law for cities that plan under this Act and Burien is one of those cities. He claims that he knows how Burien Councilmembers will vote. Posting Councilmember’s names is rude and disrespectful, City Councilmembers don’t know how they are going to vote until the vote is called. A comment like this one could be false propaganda trying to get Councilmembers to vote for an unlawful and inconsistent amendment. Regarding the land use amendment for the parcel of land on which Mary’s Place resides and the Councilmember’s votes, it could be helpful for people to understand the following:

The previous owner of the Mary’s Place parcel was Burien Hill, LLC. They submitted a Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map Amendment PLA 18-0533 to try to change the current land use designation on the parcel from Office to High Density land use. This is not a rezone, this is a land use amendment.

As the Bricklin and Newman, LLP Law Firm has testified to the City, changing the land use from Office to High Density is unlawful because the parcel doesn’t meet some of the High Density criteria as detailed in Burien’s Comprehensive Plan. ALL of the criteria must be met to achieve High Density on the parcel. For example, the parcel sits on a low-intensity commercial node and the Burien Plan states that the node must be moderate or high intensity for a high density designation.

Neighbors near Mary’s Place want to work with Mary’s Place/their Board, the City, the developer and the City Council to collaborate on visioning, planning and submitting a new amendment in the future that works for everyone – Mary’s Place and their Board/families, the land developer, neighbors, the City and the City Council. The way to do that is for the Council to deny the unlawful High Density amendment and have the collaborative group work together to resubmit a changed, lawful amendment.

Neighbors near Mary’s Place respect the work of Mary’s Place and welcome them and the children and families they serve into the neighborhood. Neighbors are eager to continue to donate time and resources and have testified in support of Mary’s Place. Neighbors do not support Burien Hill LLC’s, amendment because it is inconsistent with the designation criteria of the Burien Comprehensive Plan and its land use map.

City Councilmembers have an obligation to vote to deny the amendment for both legal and ethical reasons and because it is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, the designation criteria, the Land Use map or the Growth Management Act. Their job is to vote based only on the criteria and the criteria for High Density is unmet warranting a deny vote.

Let’s all work together toward thoughtful development of housing for everyone.

Sue Anderson

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