City Council to discuss repealing Burien’s ‘Trespass Ordinance’ Monday night

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City Council to discuss repealing Burien’s ‘Trespass Ordinance’ Monday night
February 5, 2018 7:00 pm
February 5, 2018 10:00 pm
February 3, 2018
Burien City Hall
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400 SW 152nd Street, Burien, WA, 98166, United States

At Monday night’s Burien City Council meeting, lawmakers will discuss whether to repeal Ordinance Nos. 606, 621, and 624, regarding Trespass Warnings on City and other publicly owned property.

Commonly called the ‘Trespass Ordinance(s),’ these laws once included language about body odor, and inspired a raucous protest at City Hall before being revised and passed in 2015.

Here’s language from the agenda item (on page 81):

During the January 22nd, 2018 Study Session, the Council directed staff to draft an Ordinance repealing Ordinances 606, 621, and 624, and BMC 9.125, Trespass Warnings on City and Other Publicly Owned Property. Attachment 1 to this memorandum is Ordinance 681, repealing BMC Chapter 9.125.

BMC 9.125 – Background
On August 18, 2014, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 606 and BMC 9.125 relating to trespass warnings on city and publicly owned property. See Attachment 2.

On January 5, 2015, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 621 amending BMC 9.125 to remove references to bodily hygiene that is offensive. See Attachment 3. Ordinance 621 made the following amendments:

  • Struck “unsafe” behavior from the types of behaviors for which one may be trespassed;
  • Modified the definition of behavior that is “unreasonably disruptive to others” to require consideration of the “nature, scope, use and purpose of the publicly owned property in question, and includes as examples, behavior that unreasonably “interferes with others’ use and enjoyment of public owned property”
  • Eliminated the following from the list of behavior “unreasonably disruptive to others”:
    • “wearing insufficient clothing for the location’s use (e.g., no top, no bottom, no shoes); or
    • “Bodily hygiene or scent that is unreasonably offensive to others”

On July 20, 2015, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 624 further amending BMC 9.125 as follows, see Attachment 4:

  • Made the chapter in applicable to public streets and sidewalks
  • Required that enforcement action take place only in locations where the City Manager’s rules for conduct have been posted
  • Provides an appeal procedure for an issued trespass warning.

UPDATE Feb. 5, 2018: Here’s a letter (PDF file) sent to the City of Burien by the ACLU regarding this issue.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

An Executive Session will be held at 6 p.m., “to Consider the Minimum Price at Which Real Estate Will be Offered for Sale or Lease Pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(c) and to Evaluate the Performance of a Public Employee Pursuant to RCW 42.30110(g).”


  • Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinance No. 681 Repealing Burien Municipal Code Chapter 9.125 and Ordinance Nos. 606, 621, and 624 Regarding Trespass Warnings on City and Other Publicly Owned Property. (Lisa Marshall, City Attorney)
  • Discussion and Potential Action on King County Conservation Futures Grant. (Steve Roemer, PaRCS Director)
  • Presentation of the Human Services Commission Quarterly Report and Review of Human Services Funding Priorities.(Colleen Brandt-Schluter, Human Services Manager & Lori Fleming, Contract Management Analyst)
  • Discussion and Potential Action on Interlocal Agreement for Review of the Sea-Tac Airport Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP). (Brian J. Wilson, City Manager)


  • Introduction of New Employee: Human Services Manager Colleen Brandt-Schluter. 
(Brian J. Wilson, City Manager)
  • Presentation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) Award. (Ade Ariwoola, Past President, Washington Finance Officers Association)

Download the full agenda packet PDF here.