LETTER: Reader disputes Letter Writer’s facts about Mary’s Place

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader, and part of a recent ongoing discussion about Mary’s Place. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Letter to the Editor;

David Feinberg has now written several letters.  They have gotten posted on The B-Town Blog but they were not really Letters to the Editor per se. He asked The B-Town Blog to print several of his personal emails to specifically named people and not to the editor. Here is some false information he has included in those letters:

1. In his December 9, 2018 letter addressed to Nancy Tosta, Pedro Olguin and Jimmy Matta (and not The B-town Editor), he claimed that the neighbors in Shorewood were doing illegal redlining. This is flat out false information about these citizens.

2. In the same letter, Mr. Feinberg claimed that the Burien Comprehensive Plan and the Land Use Map, which have been developed in strict compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA), were really only guidelines. The GMA is State Law.  He clearly doesn’t understand the difference between guidelines and State Law. He seems to have confused this with other kinds of Master Plans in the City. The Shoreline Master Plan is also State Law.

3. Again in the same letter, he claimed that the Burien Comprehensive Plan never planned for the current situation of needing affordable housing in Burien.  He is completely incorrect in this statement and it shows that he has never read the Burien Comprehensive Plan.  Pages 2-57 through 2-62 of the Comprehensive Plan discusses the Housing Element and Affordable Housing.  Mr. Feinberg is an uninformed writer and uninformed rabble-rouser on this issue. The intent of his 12-9-18 letter  was to try to; publicly embarrass and pressure these three council members and sway readers to his goals and desires regarding this amendment. https://www.burienwa.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_11045935/File/Resi

4. He claims Burien doesn’t have enough affordable housing which is again generally false.  Mr. Feinberg has no idea of how much affordable housing Burien has.  Even the City Staff doesn’t know that number exactly.  And if he had really read the other Comprehensive Plan amendments for 2018, he would have noticed that the staff has mentioned the need for doing a Housing Assessment Study in 2019-2020 to find out what the real numbers are.  However according to the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) free and reduced lunch count, Burien has many more students living in affordable housing here than in many other parts of King County.  Also according to the 2014/ 2016 updated Census Survey data, Burien has significant numbers of residents living in affordable housing already in the city, on over 50% of area in the city.  And according to the King County Housing Authority (due to the number of housing vouchers that are requested for Burien) more affordable housing is available in Burien than in many other cities in the county per population. See attachments and maps below.

Burien has always been one of the cities in King County with the largest stock of affordable housing per population (See attachment: Comp Plan Pol. HS 1.8, Page 2-58).  I suggest that Mr. Feinberg study these combined stats before he claims that Burien lacks affordable housing.  Burien has no obligation to provide all of the affordable housing for King County just because its neighboring and other KC cities are not doing their equitable share. While the County may need more affordable housing, Seattle has methodically destroyed its affordable housing for the last 20+ years and pushed its poorer residents down into South King County.  Seattle needs to step up and provide its equitable share of affordable housing as do several other KC cities. See the attachment below on which cities are providing the least amount of affordable housing in King County.

5. Many of the neighboring cities in King County have not been developing their fair share of affordable housing per population count.  This can be seen from the attached map that has been provided by King County Housing Authority.  Why is Burien being swamped with requests for affordable housing?  Perhaps Mr. Feinberg should be writing to those cities to urge them to carry their fair share in affordable housing.  However, Burien in 2018 has already met its housing targets and jobs targets for 2035 as decided by the PSRC..  We don’t currently need this housing from Mary’s Place to meet our 2035 targets.  Nor do we need to have Mr. Bell’s request to rezone the city’s Single Family Residential properties with Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) owned by non-resident landlords to meet our 2035 housing targets either.

6. In the last One Night Count, there were only 65 unsheltered homeless (majority single men) people counted in Burien.  Burien doesn’t have large numbers of unsheltered homeless women and children.  And contrary to what false information that has been spread around, Burien does not have 1,100 or 1,200 unsheltered homeless women and children living in the borders of the city.  This number, in relation to Burien’s population, is ridiculous and false.

7. In his most recent letter to The B-Town Blog of December 15, 2018, Mr. Feinberg claims to be on the “inside know” about money, agreements, compromises, funds promised  from the State and County, what the MLK Labor Council thinks and is willing to approve, etc.  How is it possible that he has this information when even the City Council is not informed about this in their meeting packets?  Who is Mr. Feinberg’s inside source on all of this information?  And is it even accurate or true?  Mr. Feinberg doesn’t even understand the difference between land use and zoning.  This amendment is not about zoning!  It is about land use.  And his scenarios about what a “Yes vote will mean” and ” What would happen if Mary’s Place, Gave up and re-sold the property?” are greatly flawed because he doesn’t understand the Burien Comprehensive Plan, Land Use Amendments and Chapter 19 of the Burien Municipal Code.

Before the Council or you as a resident come out and scream for Mr. Feinberg’s agendas, this writer encourages you to read the land use amendment application, check the current Comprehensive Plan Land Use map and the Designation Criteria for determining High Density Multi-family Residential Land Use, and check the criteria the Council members are required to consider and vote on.  Also, read the Shorewood neighbors’ concerns about the errors and inconsistencies in the applicant’s application and the numerous errors in the City Staff’s work.  For months, the City Staff couldn’t even find and correctly read the adopted Burien Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map.  And they appear to have lost the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this parcel?

Lastly, the amendment request before the City Council is not about zoning, rezoning, jobs, scab labor, MLK Council or affordable housing.  Last week, 36 of the 37 people who sent letters or emails to the Council and who claimed they were in favor of this amendment, called it a REZONING issue. That is flatly incorrect.  They clearly didn’t know what they were writing about or what they had been directed to write about from Mr. Feinberg’s group.  The Planning Commission never recommended a REZONE of this parcel!  And the Council will not be voting on a rezone Monday, December 17, 2018 but rather on a Land Use Map amendment request for a change to the Land Use Map. https://burienwa.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/10314

– Chestine Edgar


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