[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident(s). It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]

I am running for Burien City Positon 7.

Below is a letter I wrote to Burien City Council that is also signed by the local businesses that are in the immediate area of where DESC is proposed to go.

Burien City Council,

We are the businesses in the immediate area of the proposed DESC location in downtown Burien. We do not support the location of this project and we have deep concerns about the impact it will have not only on our businesses but the downtown retail core as a whole. Despite the fact we have expressed those concerns to many of you, it seems very clear there are at least four votes on the city council to allow this project to proceed.

Understanding the reality that we face, we ask that the scope of the project be changed in the following ways so that any negative effects are minimized and the positive ones from this project actually benefit the residents of Burien:

  1. Require commercial retail space on the street level of the proposed building and give our fellow small business owners who are being evicted the first right of refusal to occupy that space at market rates. Street level retail space will ensure DESC maintains the proposed building so that they can lease the commercial retail spaces in the future, provides a possible location for the displaced businesses, and builds a facility that fits the character of the neighborhood.
  2. Set aside 50% of the proposed units as affordable housing for residents of Burien. As currently proposed, there is no guarantee that a single resident of Burien will be housed at DESC. If our community is going to be significantly impacted then the residents of our community who need help should also benefit from this project.
  3. Require adequate parking. The proposed site of DESC is in the downtown retail core. It is both shortsighted and unfair that the parking requirements for DESC do not fit the infrastructure needs of the neighborhood it will be built in. This will place an undue burden on street parking in the area and the parking lots of our businesses. At a minimum, there should be enough parking to accommodate the entire staff of DESC and the same amount of parking the city would require if any other private housing unit were to be built on the same site.

If these suggestions are adopted, we feel DESC can actually benefit the residents of Burien while providing a needed resource for our community.

With Deep Concern,
Stephanie Mora
Jenny and Otto Jimenez
Jeff Green
Beka Atwood
Kathryn Perkins
Mike Seekins
Rudy Zamora
Thomas Fox
Monica Barret
Jeong A Kin
Mark Headley
Peter Gelinas
Mai Trang
Maria Arellano
Gema Lorio
Jose Luis Rangel
David Burke
Magdalena Castro
Aaron Collins
Lindsay White

NOTE: Some businesses didn’t want to sign because of fear of retribution, and there were five businesses who still hadn’t heard about DESC.

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