By Jack Mayne A new budget with thoughts of tax increases and the invasion of low flying and noisy turbojet planes were featured at the special meeting of the Burien City Council Monday night. The meeting (Aug. 22) also featured the physical return for the first half of the meeting of Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz, a phone-speaker voice for most of past eight months. LarryCripe082216Airplane noise before city budget Retired Alaska Airlines pilot Larry Cripe (pictured, left), who lives on 23rd Ave SW, said he has become “extremely concerned over the last four weeks about the new aircraft noise … and spent many hours on the phone with the FAA discussing what is going on.” Before the Council slipped into biennial budget mode, longtime area resident Cripe said low plane flyovers started about three weeks earlier during the rev-up of Seafair with the turning of flights taking off and turning westbound during Blue Angel practices. Cripe says he is tracking on an application on his phone and sees 50 or 60 northbound – primarily turboprop planes – turning over Burien, starting around 4 a.m. “It goes to 10, 11 o’clock at night and sometimes they are every five to 10 minutes,” adding that some of the flights are “as low as 1,500 feet.” He said he discussed the flights with the Federal Aviation Agency locally and “the head guy” says they are “trying to disperse the noise around Puget Sound.” The noise of the turning planes “is significant” Cripe said. “As a community, I can tell you now that if we are not careful and allow this to continue they are going to shove it down our throat and we are going to be impacted in a very big way – we are going to have flight paths that are going straight down to Des Moines.” “As a city, we are going to have to get involved and I am going to be very active in pursuing to terminate this process,” Cripe said. Even at 2 a.m. Nearby resident Robbie Howell said the neighborhood has “become a flight path that is waking me up at 4 or 5 in the morning and before that 2 in the morning and 3.” Howell said a few of the turboprop planes have expelled fuel onto her. “I hope you do what you can to help us,” she said. No increase in property tax Resident Charles Schaefer recommended no increase in the property tax levy, so that it will be easier in later years when the city loses a sales tax payment it receives for annexing part of North Highline. Pick up those #@& chips Byron Richardson lives on a gravel one-lane road serving seven residences, and one new resident has dumped woodchips on the side of the road, chips that have remained for many months. He said he filed a complaint with city staff and complained at a City Council meeting in early June. “I have heard nothing to date, no response,” Richardson said, for the third time of his complaint about the wood chips. “I’m getting quite fed up with it.” And still no reaction from the city, he said. Only one tiny fee hike Finance Director Kim Krause gave the biennial review of the proposed budget, followed by an obligatory public hearing at which since a requested increase – a $10 flat fee per vehicle tab renewal – was proposed. Krause said that most cities allocate all of the property tax income to the general fund, but Burien allocates only 90 percent of property tax to the city’s major fund and the rest to the capital projects expense reserve fund. Most cities have taxes on water and sewage utilities, as does Burien, she said, which are in the “middle range.” Councilmember Nancy Tosta wanted to know when the Council had the opportunity to review and perhaps change the way city money is allocated to human services, and the amount was set at 1.25 percent of the city general fund. Gurol said the Council did see the list. Tosta said maybe, but she didn’t know when. “I wasn’t super happy at how we did it last time,” Tosta said. Berkowitz, attending in person for only the second time this year, said it was a case of the staff coming to us and “saying this is how you are going to spend the money.” She said the same method was done recently when the city staff came up with plan to increase police presence. “It is time to upgrade that direction,” Berkowitz said, adding new directions could order how human services funds were distributed to groups and agencies. Gurol said that could be a problem since agencies applied for money on the basis of the outlines the city sent out earlier in the year. “We would need majority direction” of the Council to change the policies on how human service money is distributed, not simply the suggestions of Tosta and Berkowitz. Mayor Lucy Krakowiak said the Council should be aware of the timing of the cycle so it could contribute changes in a timely fashion. Not so fast, said Berkowitz, who added that when she said she wanted changes last year, she was told it was too late, and here she is again being too late to make changes. “That is a little too disingenuous,” Berkowitz said. No B&O increase asked Gurol said the city staff was not proposing an increase the Business and Occupations (B&O) tax for the coming biennium. Tax rates and the businesses it covered were changed in the last budget. But, the city staff was proposing doubling the city car tab fee to $20 a year, the city manager said. Krause said a $20 fee would raise about $350,000 a year. Another solution would be adopting water and sewer franchise fees, but there are seven different water districts serving Burien, making requiring the districts to identify city residents. Also, Gurol said other cities are eying similar fees – SeaTac just repealed under citizen pressure their franchise fees, but Des Moines and Normandy Park are adopting the fees. The estimated income could be $850,000. The city staff also wants Council approval to spend $2 million to replace major software and telephone systems and the technology in the Council chambers, which features microphones that do not work. The budget timetable is for a final, approved one on Nov. 21 with several budget hearings at meetings until then.]]>

Senior Reporter Jack Mayne passed away in December, 2021. In his honor we have created the Jack Mayne Journalism Scholarship.

34 replies on “Loud planes and a new biennial budget at Monday Burien City Council meeting”

  1. The Planes actually earlier this year turning over Burien heading West, I’ve complained too and am willing to pursue it further if needed. They never have flown over our house, until this year, that’s why we moved to this side of 509. The airport told me it was trying to keep cost down and shorted the length of the flights, BS! The airport needs to stop cutting the fly plans shorter and stick with the original flight patterns.

    So many LOUD planes over our house now! We moved here a year and a half ago and would not have chosen to live in the flight path. Now we get dozens of roaring planes directly overhead every day. So frustrating! Let’s all help Mr. Cripe fight whatever nonsense this is before it gets out of control. (8:37 PM one overhead now)

  3. Increased noise- I was very glad to hear someone speak about the additional airplane noise going over Burien. I too have been awakened at 4 am by low flying planes. Thanks to Mr. Cripe for standing up for Burien.

  4. Good job Larry Cripe. If there is anything we can do to help protest the plane noise, speak up. It’s driving us bonkers. The best part of Burien is the quiet suburban lifestyle, and having these planes fly over the house every 15 minutes is really hurting the peace, quiet and our property values!

  5. Thank you all that have noted the increase in air traffic over Burien. We too have been waken and shaken way past Seafair times. This change is allowed without any input. We must be careful that this does not continue.

  6. Jack, just curious–What does the 1.25 percent of the general fund budget currently allocated to human services come out to in $$? It would be helpful to know how that figure stacks up relative to other potential expenses, like the $2M for software/phones/conf room upgrades and the figures presented recently for additional law enforcement personnel, etc that are under consideration also. Thanks!

  7. On the loud planes, sorry kids, this is just how the port works. They are a bunch of sucker punchers. This is just the first blow, next they will offer you some kind of noise reduction plan, all of the while knowingly reducing your property value, The process takes a few years and you accept the situation for what it is. Then the port start buying up a few homes, and turns part of that property into a park, on the grounds of safety/fewer homes in the flight path? But the airport is way over there… it’s just the noise that you are concerned about…and as the years go buy the port now having devalued your property significantly starts buying up more and more homes leaving the area looking like the after math of a war zone. All of the property values of the homes near by are sliding down the toilet and the port picks and choose what they want to buy and how they want to use it…big parking lots, cold storage, container holding areas. After all, you have paid for their new storm water drainage facility, they are good to go. Your schools are gone, SW Suburban has no reason to increase sewer lines in your area and that home you were buying with your hard earned money turns out to be no way to have invested your money. The sad truth is this, the sooner you move out of the Burien area the better off you and your family will be. No one in authority is looking out for your interest.

    1. I would like to see something done about all the increased homeless population that has shown up in the last 2 years. I have shopping carts, trails of garbage, needles, broken alcohol bottles and other misc stuff making Burien very dirty. When I bought my house 8 years ago it was a lot cleaner neighborhood.

        1. Correction it is $4.6 million. She originally was only asking for $12,000. Jury gave her the big bucks.

  8. What a wonderful time we live in. Where people find anything to complain about. Airplane’s make noise air travel is getting more and more popular. Air port type businesses are moving in.
    Teenager and young adults play a game that has them outside talking to people some in to the late evening. Oh teenagers and young adults tend to use bad language and oh yeah some smoke cannabis in the form of a blunt (cigar paper filled with cannabis) also a wasteful way to consume cannabis and with the cigar paper being made out tobacco leafs it’s not good for your lungs or the rest of your body unlike reglular rolling papers. Which the tobacco leaf’s can leave the smoker addicted to the tobacco leaf’s while they think it’s the cannabis there addicted to .

  9. I wrote the Burein City Council in support of Larry Cripes efforts to raise awareness of this unilateral change of the flight path directly over our town and encourage them to address the issue with the Port of Seattle. There is a growing discussion of the issue on the social network service Nextdoor as well and I encourage anyone impacted by the increased noise (i.e. everyone living in Burien) to follow up with the City Council and the POS to resist this route path change.

  10. I too have been bothered by the significant Increase in airplane noise over Burien due to a change in the flight pattern for the Alaska Air/Horizon turboprops. This has not been a normal flight pattern for these turboprops. I would not think that the FAA is requiring these flights that make the hard left turn and fly over Burien.
    Perhaps, a letter from residents to Alaska Air/Horizon to return their Q400 turboprops to their normal flight paths would help– particularly residents who are Alaska MVP members and could switch to Delta. Delta is not flying turboprops over Burien. I fly over a 100,000 miles a year and am an Alaska Gold MVP so if the noise persists I would consider switching to Delta. I have read that Alaska Air/Horizon will be replacing some of their Q400 turboprops with E175 turbofans which I believe would have a normal flight path and would not be as noisy over Burien. I work in the airline industry and live near the airport so I understand that there will be always be some airplane noise– but this change in flight pattern and resulting noise does not seem reasonable. I would like to see Alaska Air/Horizon return to their normal flight pattern and accelerate the purchase of less noisy aircraft.

  11. This is clearly a relatively new flight path, and the hard (and low) banks to the west are VERY disruptive. Shame on you, Alaska Airlines for not having more respect for your neighbors. I can’t imagine that this change is saving you that much more in (already low) fuel costs. Heads up, city council – take action, dissatisfaction is brewing.

  12. We Live on 8th Ave SO-Planes taking off to the North are Terribly Loud even though The Port of Sea, gave us new Doors & windows–What a Joke–Back then we were told the 3rd Runway would only be used for landing in bad Weather–RU Kidding me??? It’s used ALL the TIme –Either Direction No Matter what time of Year–My Back Yard & Mostly Over the Top of Our House, What Gives-Just More Lies From The GVMNT> & Port-Thank You.

    1. When my husband and I bought our property on the corner of 12th and 120th in Burien in 1988 we it was still in unincorporated King County and was a very quiet, serene neighborhood where we were able to host outdoor BBQ’s and enjoy our large backyard. When the decision was made to expand the airport and add a 3rd runway the Port installed new noise reduction windows for us. We assumed that they were telling us the truth when they claimed that we would not be adversely affected by the new runway as IT WOULD ONLY BE USED FOR OVERFLOW and the PLANES WOULD NOT BE UTILIZING IT CONSTANTLY! What lies spew from the mouths of government officials. Those new noise reducing windows? Great in the winter when it is too cold outside to have windows open, but still of no use in the summer when we open them to provide relief from the hot weather. We have them landing THISCLOSE to our house and very low, at times it seems I could count the rivets used to hold the blasted thing together, THAT’S HOW LOW THEY ARE! Goodbye to the fun outside activities, BBQ’s that we used to have. Unfortunately, as we will be trying to sell our home soon, I am not sure who would be willing to buy in our neighborhood because of the noise. We increased the value of our home with upgrades and additions but thanks to the fine Port of Seattle LIES, that value decreased with the addition of the 3rd runway. My husband is now medically disabled and unable to work so it is up to me to provide for my family and with the noise from the constant utilization of the 3rd runway my sleep has been terribly compromised. Earplugs really aren’t much help at all!

      1. I, for one hear what you are saying Valerie and know it is all true. My prayers to you and your husband that a buyer is soon found and you have a new home with a welcoming yard and new friends to share it.
        You might be interested in listening to this weeks pod cast with it’s info on how the FAA is more responsible than our airport for this change in flight take-offs. It is suggested that contacting Marie Cantwell might be our best chance at getting the FAA’s attention about this matter.
        You bring up such a valid point about the need to open windows in the warmer weather and how that checks any benefit of the noise reducing installations. I have cared for someone at the Vintage Apartments (near Fred Meyers) earlier this year and those people have to open their windows to cool their apartments in warm weather. There is simply no sleeping to be done when the planes are going over so low and frequently. That is a very nice 100 apartment facility for seniors that is really getting a bum deal with all of the loud planes coming and going on the 4th runway.

  13. I am wondering if the change in flight planes is from the current construction work at the airport. Here is a story from back in April but it states this was one of two closure planed over the next few months.
    If they close a runway then the planes taking off or landing would have to change direction a little. Even if there preparing to close a runway.

  14. Alaska’s crop dusters have been banking west over Burien residential for some time now. Was only occasional at first but now consistently annoying.

  15. City of Burien passed a resolution #375 a few months ago addressing many of the issues discussed here and calling on the Port and others to study and mitigate these increased impacts. Many people are unaware of the expected more than doubling of operations the Port is planning to accommodate in the next 18 years or the planned removal of nearly 3,000 trees, presently the only ground noise buffer for Burien. i am very concerned and conversing constantly with other electeds and agencies, asking the state to look for alternatives to this continued bombardment of serious environmental impacts we are expected to shoulder so the region can prosper.

    1. Interesting you bring up the 2,750 trees being cut down over the next the 3 years due to obstruction rules by FAA. But you don’t mention that the port of Seattle is replanting new trees so there’s no vegetation loss. Also you don’t mention the millions of dollars that could be lost by the FAA pulling funding to the airport do to many obstructions.
      Also some of the trees are on private property not just airport property.

      1. Just to be clear there is 1,170 being removed from 27 acres on the port of Seattle property. The rest are from private property and commercial properties.

    2. Appreciate your advocacy for Burien re airport, CM Wagner. The traffic over our neighborhood has gotten markedly louder, too.Can you share the $$figure that the 1.25 percent of general fund proposed for human services comes to? I’m especially interested in comparison to $2M proposed for phones, software, and confeven cell room upgrades. Thank you!

  16. The new flight path is over the bald eagle nest in Eagle Landing Park. Before the “change” we’d have anywhere from 4 to 8 juvenile eagles riding the bluff thermals and up drafts, from Eagle Landing north to Shorewood. Now it’s pretty rare to see or hear an eagle in this “zone”.

    1. Very sad to hear this. The eagles are one of our beautiful natural resources that do not mix well with airport traffic. They are trapped at the airport for safety reasons and driven to other areas and released.
      “Dispersing the noise over a larger area of Puget Sound” does not sound like a well-thought out plan. That means everywhere gets noiser instead of limiting to the noise to planned corridors. And letting people know where those corridors are going to be located.
      People are moving to the area and and expecting to have a good quality of life, and noise is a health consideration. Making everywhere noisier does not seem like a good solution to an airport that is rapidly becoming too small to handle all the traffic that is coming in. People need to know and we need to limit the corridors where airplane noise will be expected to be an issue, when planning where to move to a new home as they come to the area.
      Maybe we need to think about additional airport locations for serving propeller aircraft, maybe in Tacoma since they already have the airforce base? (An existing corridor)
      We used to park and wait under the approach for an incoming plane, because it was exciting to see the landing gear and everything. Now no need to park and wait.
      There is a jet landing every two minutes now it seems.

    2. I’m sorry to hear this. Eagles are one of our most beautiful natural resources, that don’t mix well with airport activity. Thank you for sharing the information. I wasn’t sure whether to click “like” on your comment, because it is important that people hear about this happening. But I don’t like hearing that has happened. I’m sorry to hear that the flight activity that disrupts the eagles has expanded geographically without apparent notice to our local community by the FAA. It sounds like Alaska Airlines is changing to a different kind of plane that wouldn’t make that sharp turn?

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