By Jack Mayne

The Burien City Council on Monday night unanimously approved Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx’s recommendation for a renewed consideration of annexing White Center, the remaining northern portion of the North Highline unincorporated area.

It will be on the Council’s consent agenda at its next meeting, set for Monday, April 20, 2020.

Not a surprise
“Hopefully it will not come as too much of a surprise to fellow Councilmemers, but I am sorry if it does,” said Marx. “I would like to see us place on the docket a discussion of the potential annexation area of North Highline or White Center.”

She reiterated that the move is for discussion of the potential, not actually a move in that direction at this time.

It has been about six years since North Highline was discussed by the Burien Council after it annexed the southern portion of the White Center area.

“I think it is time to bring (North Highline) back so they have a seat at the table,” Marx said.

On prompting from Mayor Jimmy Matta, she made her comments into a motion that was seconded by Councilmember Kevin Schilling.

Will ‘look, explore’
City Manager Brian Wilson said “this is very preliminary and it would be something that we would look, explore. I am not quite sure that this could fit into a work plan … to do that, but we could certainly do some preliminary work if that is what Council is looking at.”

Senior Planner Thara Johnson said adding it back into the comprehensive plan is not a problem, but actually pursuing annexation of the remainder of the White Center area would be a problem for staff.

Councilmember Nancy Tosta said that “five or six years ago the Council did remove … the option for considering any further annexations” by taking it out of Burien’s comprehensive plan. Tosta said Marx’s motion would put White Center back into the city’s comprehensive plan “which means, at some future date, an annexation could be considered.”

Tosta said annexation is a “tremendous cost” but she would support Marx’s motion. She said there is “some logic considering White Center as part of Burien,” but if annexation is undertaken, costs would have to be considered and examined.