by Ralph Nichols

Burien business leaders – including members of the Business and Economic Development Partnership – will soon get what they have wished for.

The final draft of a new Economic Development Strategic Plan for Burien is expected to be submitted to the city council for review and possible adoption on March 3.

This will be the first economic plan for the city since 1998. “That’s quite some time,” Burien Economic Development Manager Dan Trimble told The B-Town Blog.
“The main reason for doing this is to find out what the shared vision for economic development is” in the city, Trimble said.

“Hopefully it will create some clarity and be a good document for us to work from,” he added. “The shared ideas and priorities will help us track our progress toward achieving that vision.”

That 1998 plan included visions for the rebuilding of SW 152nd Street through downtown as the city’s main street and development of a Burien Town Square – both of which were in place by 2009 before the recession derailed local economic growth.

BEDP members had pushed for several years for a new economic development plan – which council members delayed in 2012 until after the community and lawmakers adopted an updated vision for the city.
The 2013-2014 biennial city budget, which was adopted in late 2012, appropriated $50,000 for development of the new Economic Development Strategic Plan.

A consulting team – EconNW and BDS Planning – was selected by the council last year and charged with putting the new plan together. One of the first activities was a public open house last fall to receive input from Burien residents.

The BEDP is acting as a planning advisory committee for the planning process.

On either Jan. 24 or Feb. 14 the finished Economic Development Strategic Plan draft will go to the BEDP for its review, Trimble noted, and then on to the city council.

Trimble declined to discuss specifics in the draft plan until it is reviewed by the BEDP. But, he said, there has been input from virtually every sector that plays a role in commerce in Burien.

In addition to the city Planning Commission, the Port of Seattle, and the Highline School Foundation, opinions and ideas came from leaders in banking, heritage preservation, the arts, education, medicine and health care, small businesses, restaurants, and residential neighborhoods.

“Once it’s adopted by the council, then it becomes a city document to possibly guide future economic development,” Trimble said of the plan.

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.