This week, the Growth Management Hearing Board dismissed an appeal to the City of Burien’s Shoreline Master Program, filed by a neighborhood group in Lake Burien. “The Board dismissed the appeal in its entirety and upheld the Shoreline Master Program as adopted by the City and the Dept. of Ecology,” the city said in a statement. This means that the SMP that was approved by the state Department of Ecology last October will stand. The claim was filed by the Lake Burien Neighborhood group, and Robert Howell, Robbie Howell, Chestine Edgar, Len Boscarine and Linda Plein. According to documents:

“Petitioners challenged provisions of the City’s public participation process leading up to adoption of the Ordinance, and provisions of the Ordinance relating to, inter alia, zoning density and buffers on the shoreline of Lake Burien for inconsistency with GMA, failure to use best available science, and failure to insure ‘no net loss’ of ecological functions. “The Board determined that Petitioners’ issues were in part a collateral attack on the City’s previously adopted zoning and critical areas ordinance; issues which were dismissed as untimely. The petitioners failed to meet their burden of proof on the remaining issues, and the case was dismissed.”
To read the full decision, click here (PDF file). To read our previous coverage of this issue, click here.]]>

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

21 replies on “Lake Burien group's case against city's Shoreline Master Program dismissed”

  1. We want public access to our lake! The property owners DO NOT own the lake, it is state property and I for one would like to have access to a lake we all own. Burien is wasting one of our best assets by allowing a very small group of property owners dictate how the public enjoys a public lake.

    1. The ecological restrictions which would be imposed with any public access plus the added expense of purchasing and maintaining the access land if it did become available for sale would be on the backs of the taxpayers of Burien.
      In my opinion that investment would not be worth the money it would cost, especially considering that the tax monies for example would be better spent repairing many of the roads and sidewalks in Burien. That is the kind of investment that would benefit the majority of the residents in Burien rather than wasting money on a pet project that a few very vocal special interests keep pushing.

      1. John.
        The city couldn’t add bulkheads, introduce non native species, remove native vegetation, remove shade trees, etc. How is that a burden on the backs of the taxpayers? It is a contrast to the action of the typical provate shoreline owner.
        Purchasing (most of the cost would be from county and state matching funds) and maintaining would be about the same as other parks. If that is an unreasonable burden on the taxpayer do you also favor selling existing parks to reaise money to fix potholes.
        How is a public park for public use on a public lake supporting special interests?

        1. It seems to me that I have seen you blogging about this for years. As someone that has some hair brained plan to open a boating business renting boats to float on a lake that is ill suited for this kind of commercial use.

          1. Linda,
            I am not responsible for what you hear from irresponsible bloggers. I have never had any interest in a business on the lake, renting boats or whatever.
            If you are interested in actual facts, the fact is that I have worked on water quality and public access issues for decades. My “special Interest” is that the public is entitled to access to clean water.

          2. Methinks you protest too much. How “clean” do you think that water would be if public access was allowed. You say you are interested in access to clean water yet you ignore all the environmental concerns related this ecologically sensitive very small lake.
            If you want clean water turn on your tap.

          3. To answer your question (although you don’t answer mine) I think public access would improve water quality by helping educate the public on the importance of water shed protection, invasive species problems, etc..
            You say I am ignoring all the environmental concerns but don’t actually list any. Methinks thou dost manufacture too many facts.

          4. Facts are facts what is manufactured is propaganda.
            You sound like a politician. You pontificate but don’t really say anything.
            I quote:
            “I think public access would improve water quality by helping educate the public on the importance of water shed protection, invasive species problems, etc.”
            I don’t see the connection to improving water quality.
            You advocate opening up the lake to unfettered public access and building a pier which would initiate the very problems you claim to want to educate the public about? Lol

          5. Seahurst Park is public access with interpretive signage and is used by many local schools. The same with The Cove, which is private property, in Normandy Park. Burien even has a nice stormwater/park facility on about SW 136 with signage. The lower Duwamish has increasing public access with interpretive signage, a growing appreciation for the river by the public and a strengthening effort to clean it up.
            However, John, I believe you when you say you don’t see the connection between public access and public appreciation.

        2. I doubt it would be economical or worth it for the city to purchase land and maintain the ecological stability of a fragile eco system. The risks to the property owners and the tax revenue they generate would be a potential boon doggle for the city that could end up costing the tax payers millions. There are plenty of other much more suitable lakes where you can start your boat launching business.

          1. John,
            I guess you are the source of the false statements that Linda refers to. Are you the former John Poitras? He liked to make up his own facts too.

  2. Yes, the lake is indeed state land, however the land around it is owned by private individuals. The only way you could ever create an access point for the public, is if a private land owner decided to sell of gift their land to the city. The Branson family did exactly that and now we have Eagle Landing Park.
    If that ever happened, there was still be limitations on what that park would be. Likely just a pocket park, with no swimming, boating or picnic areas. Simply a view point with perhaps a place to sit and enjoy the lake.

    1. There is no reason there could not be picnicing, swimming and hand launch boating. However, if the acquired property did not have a beach the swimming and boating would have to be from a pier.
      Unfortunately, it is unlikely that property will become available and even less likely that we sill have a city council with the backbone to do what is best for the city.

      1. Just think back….Build a Meal Makers on the Lake. City Hall and the Library could be there in no time. FISH-ON

        1. Heh-heh, better like yellow bellied bullhead,
          They call them catfish here but folks from the midwest
          know better,
          ” thems aint cats, thems bullheads..*lol*”

  3. Otherwise entitled: “Crazy Person Meets the Law, and Hilarity Ensues (all at Taxpayer Expense)”

    1. Hilary? Hilary Clinton? What does she have to do with Lake Burien? Do her and Bill have a place on the lake? I saw she was in town for a book signing.

  4. okay, so in a nutshell, what does all of this mean?
    Like Chris says, regardless of everything else,
    the bottom line is,’all’ of the land ‘around’ the lake is privately owned.

  5. Flash mob swim at lake burien ? If we get a week with the weather in the 90’s and the water is not a green slime pit from all the rich snobs dumping tons chemicals on there precious lawns

    If the land was claimed (read: stolen from Native Americans) after statehood, there must be public access to all parts that are below the mean water mark. If the land was “claimed” before statehood, access can be denied.
    Quite frankly, this lake isn’t worth bothering with. Let’s fund the off leash dog park instead! See B-Town Dog Owners’ Group on Facebook.

Comments are closed.