By Jack Mayne

The Burien City Council on Monday, March 4 was given the annual report by CARES, the city’s animal control and welfare contract provider.

CARES director Debra George reported that the agency now offers low cost spay and neuter and conducted 259 neuterings in 2018, made available $20 animal microchips to permit finding and returning lost animals and was supported by “over 10,000 hours of volunteer time.” In addition the agency is active in community events and it offers internships to Kennedy Catholic High School students.

The agency said it produced $50,030 in pet licensing fees for the city, got $52,000 in adoption revenue and received $54,000 in general donations. It collected for the city nearly $17,000 in license revenues. CARES also reported that it spent $63,000 at local Burien veterinarian offices while working with only two full time employees and five part-time workers.

The agency also had 2,774 total calls in 2018, down from 3,164 the previous year.

George also said CARES in 2018 picked up 75 dead animals on roadways in Burien. Most are cats, but also many raccoons and other wild creatures such as crows, squirrels and pigeons.

Moratorium
The Council unanimously approved a six month moratorium on any approvals for any enhanced services facilities, assisted living or comparable mental health business seeking to locate in Burien because the city’s zoning code, approved in 1999, makes no provision for such facilities in the city. The city staff said ordinances and conditions are needed before establishing appropriate city locations for such facilities.

Councilmember Krystal Marx said such facilities are needed in Burien, but this gives time to find ways to best accommodate the enhanced services properties. She said this is not a sign the city is against mental health facilities.

Homeless agreement
Council also approved a South King Housing and Homeless Partners draft Interlocal Agreement, which means the cities of Auburn, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Normandy Park, Renton, Tukwila and King County will be part of the agreement.

The Interlocal Agreement proposes that jurisdictions in South King County work together collaboratively to address affordable housing and homelessness needs in the communities and is based on similar approaches used in Snohomish County, East King County, and other areas across the country, Wilson said.

Many South King County cities are included in this agreement, except SeaTac, which declined to participate and some others in far south parts of the county, Wilson said.

“The concept is that by pooling resources, jurisdictions in South King County can very efficiently create new staff capacity that will work with each of our cities to work on developing plans, policy legislation, new programs, work with private and non-profit developers, potentially attract a housing trust fund to be used for rehabilitation and building new stock, and help us speak with one voice on these topics at regional and state forums,” the city proposal said.

New Community Court
King County District Court Chief Presiding Judge Donna Tucker introduced new Community Court Judge Laurel Gibson and long serving Burien Municipal Judge David Christie, the judge who presides over the Burien Municipal Court. Gibson will preside over the newly formed Burien Community Court which oversees “low level quality of life offenses” but not driving offenses, violent felonies or sex offender cases.

Tucker said Community Court provides a resource center and that 40 different agencies came to a court meeting to urge the community court be started and they would support the program to help citizens in need “before they get in trouble.”

The Council also unanimously approved a proclamation that honors “diversity and inclusion and denounces hate.” The measure was included in an earlier B-Town Blog post.

Another proclamation also recognized the 100th anniversary of the Rainier Golf and Country Club.