The Burien City Council will be holding a Special Meeting on Monday night, Nov. 27, 2023 to decide on whether to accept a $1 million offer from King County to establish emergency temporary housing for individuals experiencing homelessness.
This comes after the City Council voted at its Nov. 20 council meeting to hold the last-minute special meeting on Nov. 27 to decide.
After the Nov. 20 meeting ended, City Manager Adolfo Bailon requested an extension from the county so the council could “reconsider all locations” for the proposed pallet village.
The county denied the city’s request on Tuesday, Nov. 21, warning that if the city doesn’t take the $1 million by its Nov. 27 deadline, there’s no guarantee it will help fund future attempts or provide resources for Burien’s homelessness response.
The offer – first made to the city by the county in May – also includes 35 pallet shelters, and the City Council has been deliberating the offer for the last six months without making a decision.
The city has considered several potential locations for the shelter, including a vacant lot in Boulevard Park, a vacant lot owned by Seattle City Light near Kennedy Catholic High School, and a lot leased to Burien Toyota on SW 150th Street owned by the City of Burien.
The city has also identified potential sources of additional funding to offset expenditures beyond the $1 million offered by King County. These sources include reallocated funds from Economic Development’s 2023 Budget and allocations from Human Services’ 2024 Budget.
The council is now considering a motion to establish emergency temporary housing at one of the proposed locations and to direct the City Manager to inform the King County Regional Homelessness Authority of the services to be provided at the location. Any funds needed to establish and operate the facility, in excess of the $1 million provided by King County, would come from one of the identified funding sources.
How to Watch the Special Meeting
The council is expected to make a decision on the offer at this meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Burien City Hall on Monday night, Nov. 27, 2023.
Below is text from the agenda item:
Important Note: The offer extended by the Office of the King County Executive will expire on November 27, 2023.
SUMMARY OF EVENTS SINCE MAY 30, 2023:
On May 30, 2023, the Burien City Council held a special meeting to discuss a letter sent by the Office of the King County Executive. During the meeting, Council Member Hugo Garcia informed the Council Body of an offer proposed verbally to him by the Office of the King County Executive. The offer included access to $1 million and ownership of 35 pallet shelters. Several motions were made during the meeting, including the motion below as recorded in the meeting minutes:
A motion was made by Councilmember Hugo Garcia, seconded by Councilmember Cydney Moore, to direct the City Manager to start a 30-day notice of intent to end the lease agreement for the city lot currently leased on 150th St and to direct staff to work with the current leasee (Toyota dealership) to help find alternative options, including the parking garage and lot south of it which is [owned by] King County Metro. Amendment failed 3-4-0.
Opposed: Mayor Sofia Aragon, Deputy Mayor Kevin Schilling, Councilmember Jimmy Matta, and Councilmember Stephanie Mora.
On June 7, 2023, the City of Burien received an official offer, in writing, from the Office of the King County Executive. The offer included access to $1 million, through the King County Regional Homelessness Authority only, and 35 pallet shelters. The details of the offer are as follows:
Once the city identifies land for a sanctioned encampment, King County has offered to:
1. Allocate $1 million to the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) for the purpose of providing support to Burien residents who are experiencing homelessness. KCRHA has already been in discussions with Burien officials about the needs and opportunities, so we are confident your two entities can work out details regarding service provisions and other issues.
2. Transfer ownership of up to 35 Pallet Shelters valued at ~$350,000 (more details in Appendix 1.). Originally, we had offered 20 shelters, but we have since identified 15 additional shelters for potential use.
3. To the degree that city land provided for the encampment site is currently being used for parking, King County can accommodate up to 100 parking spaces at our Metro Transit Park and Ride or garage.
Council has deliberated the offer presented by King County on multiple occasions since May 30, 2023, and directed staff to investigate locations within and outside the City of Burien. Listed below are the locations most recently discussed by Council and updates on the status of potential use:
1. Vacant lot in Boulevard Park.
a. Owners remain committed to working with the City of Burien and KCRHA.
2. Vacant lot owned by Seattle City Light.
a. On 10-17-2023, City of Seattle was sent notice of the Burien City Council’s discussion during its meeting on 10-16-2023.
b. City of Seattle did not confirm the availability of the lot.
c. On 11-15-2023, City of Seattle issued the following instruction: Any interest/inquiry in lot to be submitted for consideration to the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department by KCRHA only.
3. Lot owned by City of Burien under continuation of lease agreement.
a. City performed a review of tax revenue paid by the lessee.
b. City is unable to disclose specific information related to tax paid by a business due to rules established by WA Department of Revenue (Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement).
c. City can confirm the following:
i. Lease termination will lead to a reduction in revenue of $24,000 per year.
ii. Lease termination may cause the city to lose tens of thousands of dollars in annual sales and B&O tax.
d. City Council considered this location on May 30, 2023; the motion presented by Councilmember Hugo Garcia, seconded by Councilmember Cydney Moore, failed 3-4.
POTENTIAL SOURCES FOR FUNDING
The City of Burien received funds through ARPA. Council has allocated funds for specific purposes within specific departments. Listed below are potential sources of funding to offset expenditures beyond the $1 million offered by King County for establishing emergency temporary housing. Please note that the potential funding sources listed below have undergone extensive review by city personnel and committees, and are in varying phases of potential allocation.
From Economic Development’s 2023 Budget:
• Approximately $115,000 from storefront business repair grants
• BEDP has recommended reallocating any remaining amount from 2023 to 2024 for the following purposes:
• 50% for Storefront Repair Grants
• 50% Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design lighting improvements
From Economic Development’s 2024 Budget:
• $250k for childcare business development,
• $250k for workforce development, and
• $500k for disadvantaged business lending programs.
From Human Services’ 2024 Budget:
• $390,000 Neighborhood Care Coordinator,
• Changes to this allocation may not be possible as it will require coordination with the federal government.
• $500,000 for Gang and Youth Violence Prevention/Intervention,
• $400,000 for Homelessness Prevention/Intervention,
• $500,000 for Food Access,
• $500,000 for Mental Health and Counseling,
• $600,000 for Housing Stability, and
• $400,000 for Neighborhood Cleanliness Projects.
• If no action is preferred, no motion is necessary.
• If action is preferred, then please consider the following:
I motion to establish emergency temporary housing at (insert location), and direct the City Manager to inform the King County Regional Homelessness Authority of the services to be provided at the location. Any funds needed to establish and operate an emergency temporary housing facility, in excess of the $1 million provided by King County, will come from (insert funding source) and be in the amount of (insert maximum amount or range).
Fiscal impact is unknown. Impact to city will depend on Council’s decision to allocate funds in excess of the $1 million offered by King County.