Here’s our recap of the Burien City Council meeting held on Monday night, April 24, 2023:

Blake Decision Updates

City Manager Adolfo Bailon updated council on where the Blake decision stands now that the legislative session has come to a close. This decision (Senate Bill 5536) essentially legalized drug possession in Washington State, and tied the hands of local law enforcement. However, the state law is set to expire July 1, 2023, which would leave it up to cities to make their own decisions regarding possession.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Schilling asked staff for an educational session regarding what Burien’s options are around drug possession, and Mayor Sofia Aragon added a request for information on what surrounding cities are doing regarding the Blake decision expiring.

Earth Week City Staff Litter Cleanup

City staff had a great showing during their Earth Week event, collecting over 200 gallons of trash off the streets.

Manhattan Park Equipment Updates

Construction will begin this fall on play equipment updates at Manhattan Park. The aim is to create play areas appropriate for kids age 2 to 5, as well as for 5 to 12 year olds. The Parks department has involved the community in the design, and the survey in both English & Spanish is still open for further feedback. More information is available here.

Public Comments

One speaker asked council to consider using a “lean management mode” in each department as the city discusses ways to handle the impending general fund deficiency.

Another speaker invited members of council to shadow her on one of her shifts at the downtown Safeway adjacent to the transit center, where crime is a mounting issue and affects everyone. She said that assault, drugs, and theft are a constant problem, and it’s becoming frustrating and dangerous for those who work there.

Ambaum & Boulevard Park Community Plans

Council heard a briefing on the development plans for the communities of Ambaum and Boulevard Park. The goal is to create more walkable business districts, with transit oriented development. They have collected feedback from the communities that will be affected, and are trying for strong community oriented development. The work the city is doing should make it easier and cheaper for developers to build the types of things that will help the communities grow in a positive way. 

More info on how to get involved and receive updates is available here. The planning team will report back in upcoming meetings, and then have a public hearing on May 24.

La Serra Subdivision

The former plant nursery on 4th Ave SW, between SW 124th and 126th, will become the La Serra new home community. The development, which began its first steps in 2021, includes 36 single family homes. The design incorporates a 31,000 square foot tract for both recreational use and stormwater collection. Council voted unanimously to add the completion of this development to the next consent agenda.

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in Burien. She has volunteered at many local establishments over the years, including the Burien Library, Burien Actors...