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The City of Burien plans to replace the playground equipment and associated park furnishings at Lakeview Park this year. Our goal is to replace the equipment within the same footprint and have play features for the 5- to 12-year-old youth age group. The equipment for the 2- to 5-year-old age group was installed in 2019 and is not due for replacement.

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Get Involved

Take a Survey!

The community is invited to watch a video and take a survey to provide feedback on the theme of the primary play feature and secondary play toy options.

Project Contact

 (206) 988-3700

Background Information

This project will replace the existing playground equipment at Lakeview Park (422 SW 160th St in Burien) and park furnishings that are 20 years old and have reached the end of service life.  The new equipment will fit within the existing footprint and have age-appropriate features for the 5- to 12-year-old youth age group. The equipment for the 2- to 5-year-old age group was installed in 2019 and is not due for replacement.

From the community feedback, City staff will work with a playground equipment manufacturer on the final design for the primary play feature and incorporate secondary play toys as space and budget allow.

This project is funded by the City of Burien and King County Community Development Block Grant funding provided though the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.   

Existing Equipment

Existing play equipment at Burien's Lakeview Park for 5- to 12-year-olds features a blue, green, and gray play structure with slides, monkey bars, and other activities. Some benches appear in the foreground.
Existing play equipment for 5- to 12-year-olds at Lakeview Park.

New Equipment Options

Secondary Toy Options

Option A: Swings

Option B: Bucket Spinner

Option C: Standing Spinner

Option D: Net Spinner

Option E: Climber

Option F: Spring Board

Project Timeline

May 2024

Gather community feedback

June 2024

Evaluate community feedback and finalize design

Fall/Winter 2024


Late 2024/Early 2025

Playground re-opens for use

The Burien Neighborhood Grants Program supports community members who want to improve the quality of life in Burien neighborhoods. The program strives to encourage projects that foster connection and create community improvements in an equitable manner. Through this program, the City of Burien will provide up to $5,000 of funding per project which the neighborhood matches with local resources of volunteer labor, donated materials, donated professional services, or cash.

2024 Neighborhood Matching Fund Webinar (YouTube)

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved with this project:

Upcoming Events

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Subscribe to the Neighborhood Grants Program email list.

Project Contact

Yvette Niwa, Planner

Latest News

Background Information

Read about past projects

Project gallery

Project Timeline

February 20, 2024

Initial application round opens

February-April 2024

Application support available

May 1, 2024

Initial application round closes

The first round of applications for Neighborhood Grants will be reviewed starting May 1, 2024 and will be accepted on a rolling basis after May 1 until all funds are allocated.


Applicants work with Burien staff to refine proposals

December 31, 2024

Deadline for project completion

Front and back of a postcard reading "Provide input on the vision plan for Hilltop Park" laid on the top of a wooden table surface.

Did you receive a postcard from the City of Burien?

View the concepts, access the survey, and learn more information here.

The City of Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PaRCS) Department is developing a vision plan for future improvements at Hilltop Park. This planning process builds on the work begun by the Hilltop Park Activation and Reimagination Project, which gathered input on desired improvements from Hilltop Elementary School students and park neighbors through the Green Burien Partnership.  Community input was also sought through the Shape Your City initiative.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Take a survey and provide feedback on the three vision plan alternatives
  • Sign up for the Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services email newsletter for project updates
  • Email your questions or comments to

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Sign up for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services email list.

Project Contact

Contact or call the Burien Community Center at (206) 988-3700.

Latest News

Background Information

The Hilltop Park Vision Plan Project will facilitate future improvements to the park by performing environmental and geotechnical studies and a topographic survey, which will inform the design of park improvements in a vision plan and schematic design (or 30% design documents).

Environmental studies include a critical areas report and buffer mitigation plan for the wetland area, and environmental compliance review. Other work includes site surveying, select geotechnical borings and report, and preparation of land use permits.

Once the design team understands the limitations of the site based on these studies, they will combine that knowledge with the community’s priorities for park improvements and develop three vision plan alternatives and cost estimates. The alternatives will be presented to community members for input, which will be used to refine the alternatives into one final vision plan.

The vision plan will become the basis for 30% schematic design documents. Once, complete, the schematic design and cost estimate will be used in budgetary planning for the long-term capital improvements plan and to seek funding for final construction documents and construction of park improvements. This project is funded by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) and the City of Burien.   

Project Timeline

July 2023

Project kick-off

July-September 2023

Site investigations and environmental studies

August-October 2023

Vision plan alternatives

November 2023

Community feedback on vision plan alternatives

November-December 2023

Preferred vision plan

December 2023-January 2024

Community feedback on preferred vision plan

January -March 2024

Schematic design

On March 18, 2024, the Burien City Council passed Ordinance No. 837, establishing a citywide minimum wage in Burien.

The ordinance defines three levels of employers and creates new minimum wage rates and effective dates by size of employer. Employers with 20 or fewer full-time equivalents (FTEs) are exempt from the ordinance.

Read Ordinance No. 837 online:

English | Español

Icons representing a paycheck and a magnifying glass on a green background.

Latest News

Background Information

Read additional information about discussions related to establishing a minimum wage in Burien.

The City of Burien is developing an economic development action plan. City staff and advisory board members will work together to build consensus on priority actions that will help improve the economic vitality of our community.

The action plan will contain specific economic development goals, strategies, and implementation measures and an implementation plan, outlining the timing, anticipated cost, and funding source of each implementation action.

The preliminary overview and update of the plan was presented at the January 29, 2024 City Council Meeting.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Check out the new online engagement tool [update 1/12/2024: Surveys have now closed].
  • Mark your calendars for one of our upcoming events.
  • Sign up for Burien Economic Development monthly newsletter for project updates
  • Email your questions or comments to

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to Burien Economic Development email newsletter for project updates.

Project Contact

Chris Craig, Economic Development Manager

Latest News

Background Information

Project Timeline

August-November 2023

Opportunities and Challenges

Evaluate current economic conditions and constraints.

September-December 2023

Community Engagement

Community feedback gathered through stakeholder interviews, public meetings, and open house.

December 2023-February 2024

Plan Development

Evaluate community feedback and develop draft plan.

February 2024

Legislative Review

Plan goes to Business and Economic Development Partnership and Burien City Council for review and adoption.

In 2020, the City of Burien and the Burien Arts Commission began to develop Long-range Public Art Planto sets long-range goals for the City’s limited public art funding and future public art projects in Burien. This plan is meant to serve as a guide for the Arts Commission to use for its annual public art planning efforts.

In addition, the Long-range Public Art Plan will accommodate planning for public art projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Cost of creating the project may require allocation of funding for more than one year
  • Project may require more coordination with other projects, programs, or partners
  • Project can be commissioned using information gathered from the community relating to their priorities for locations, themes, media, and more.  

The Arts Commission follows an annual public art planning process, as required by Resolution 399, that is distinct from the long-range public art planning effort. After drafting the annual public art plan, the Arts Commission presents the draft plan to the Burien City Council, who reviews it, provides direction on changes to the plan, and through a public process, votes to adopt the final plan.

What is Public Art and Why Is It Important?

According to Americans for the Arts, “American cities and towns aspire to be places where people want to live and want to visit. Having a particular community identity, especially in terms of what our towns look like, is becoming even more important in a world where every place tends to look like every place else. Places with strong public art expressions break the trend of blandness and sameness, and give communities a stronger sense of place and identity.”

Get Involved

Thank you for providing feedback!

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Sign up for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services email list.

Project Contact

Caroline Bobanick, Recreation Supervisor

Background Information

Project Timeline

October-December 2021

Community feedback gathered


Evaluation of community feedback and plan development

By end of 2023

Plan goes to Burien City Council

Laptop with screenshot of Shape Your City activity.

Explore the online Shape Your City Engagement Activity, which features information, interactive maps, photos, and illustrations (surveys are now closed).

The City of Burien is re-imagining the long-term future of our city through a coordinated planning effort combining major updates to the Comprehensive Plan, a new Transportation Master Plan, and an update to the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan.

Specifically, this planning process focuses on land use, economic development, human services, environmental protection, infrastructure, transportation, parks and open spaces, recreation programs, public art, and cultural services.

Results of this planning effort will guide policymaking, operational plans, and budgets for the next twenty years. It’s vital that community voice guides these important planning processes.

Comprehensive Plan

The City of Burien is embarking on a major update to its Comprehensive Plan. This effort will help Burien plan and build for the next few decades. Planning for this growth helps us build a city with an equitable, sustainable, and healthy future.    

Transportation Master Plan

The Transportation Master Plan helps determine our community’s current and future transportation needs, guiding how we invest in transportation over the next 20 years.

Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan

The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan is a six-year strategic plan for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. The plan will look at the existing conditions, identify gaps in facilities and programs, and offer strategies, projects, and programs to address those gaps.

Economic Development Action Plan

The Economic Development Action Plan will contain specific economic development goals, strategies, and implementation measures and an implementation plan, outlining the timing, anticipated cost, and funding source of each implementation action.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

Project Contact

Jeffrey Watson, Interim Community Development Director, Comprehensive Plan

Maiya Andrews, Public Works Director, Transportation Master Plan

Casey Stanley, PaRCS Director, Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan

Chris Craig, Economic Development Manager, Economic Development Action Plan

Subscribe to Updates

Upcoming Events

Latest News

Project Timeline

August-November 2022

Community Visioning

Develop a shared vision to guide planning and policy development.

November 2022-March 2023

Draft Strategies and Projects

Staff will communicate what we have heard to date and present draft strategies and projects for feedback.

May 2023-November 2023

Plan Development

Community will provide feedback on draft plans.

November 2023-March 2024

Legislative Process

Plans go before Burien City Council for review and approval. Public comment accepted.

March 2024

Plans Adopted

PROS Plan and TMP Plan adopted and incorporated into other updates to the Comprehensive Plan.

The Burien City Council adopted the Burien Climate Action Plan on November 15, 2021.

This community-level Climate Action Plan is the first of its kind for the City of Burien and will act as a roadmap for Burien to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts.

The Burien Climate Action Plan covers climate actions in five focus areas, concentrating efforts on the most impactful opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and increase our community’s ability to adapt to future climate impacts.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

To achieve the goals and vision of the Burien Climate Action Plan, the City will need collective buy-in and collaboration from Burien’s residents, businesses, and City departments and leaders. Sign up to get updates on ways you can get involved.

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to the City of Burien’s Environment News email newsletter:

Project Contact

Liz Wonder, Sustainability Manager

Latest News

Background Information

Project Documents
Project Background

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a shift in regional and global patterns largely attributed to the increased levels of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Climate is the “average” weather for certain areas, whereas weather reflects short-term conditions like day-to-day or season-to-season. For example, the Puget Sound regional climate typically has dry summers, winter rains, and mild temperatures year-round. The Puget Sound is starting to see the effects of climate change through increased air temperatures and larger rainfall events.

Tackling climate change is not only vital for the local environment but our community as well. Climate change amplifies current and historical inequities, putting communities with the least amount of resources at the highest risk from the impacts.

Pie chart showing greenhouse gas emissions sources in Burien.

2019 Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

A greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change effects. Since many of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions are directly or indirectly controlled through local policies, local governments have a strong role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions within their boundaries. The first step toward achieving tangible greenhouse gas emissions reductions requires identifying baseline emissions levels and sources and activities generating emissions in the community. This inventory presents emissions from the Burien community as a whole.

2019 greenhouse gas inventory highlights:

  • Accounting for about 48% of total community-wide emissions, the transportation sector was the largest source of emissions in 2019. Transportation emissions were calculated from daily average vehicle miles traveled (VMT) modeling results provided by Puget Sound Regional Council for cars and trucks.
  • Energy emissions are calculated from electricity and natural gas consumption from both residential homes and commercial buildings in Burien.
  • Solid waste emissions are derived from tonnage reports detailing the amount of waste sent to the regional landfill from Burien.

Read more in Burien Magazine


In late 2019, the Burien City Council adopted the updated King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) joint letter of commitment which establishes GHG emissions reduction targets for county-wide sources by at least 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050, compared to a 2007 baseline.

Background Documents
Community Advisory Group

Staff worked with a group of fifteen community members that provided strategic advice on community engagement and helped foster and build strong relationships with the broader Burien community around the Burien Climate Action Plan. Members of the group served as ambassadors to the Burien Climate Action Plan and supported the dissemination of communication materials around ways to get involved.

The Community Advisory Group provided support to the Burien Climate Action Plan in the following ways:

  • Defined the vision and priorities for the Burien Climate Action Plan.
  • Provided strategic input on draft strategies and actions.
  • Provided strategic input on the implementation of the Climate Action Plan strategies and actions.

Project Timeline


Plan and Analyze

Complete greenhouse gas inventory and set greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Winter 2020-Spring 2021

Community Engagement

Develop community engagement strategy. Assemble community advisory group. Identify top strategies and actions to meet targets.

Winter 2021

Finalize and Adopt Plan

Solicit public feedback on strategies and actions for local climate action. Release draft Climate Action Plan and incorporate feedback. Adopt final Climate Action Plan.

2022 and beyond


Begin implementation of local government and community actions.

The Burien City Council adopted the 2023-2024 budget in December 2022. This budget strives to reflect priorities set by the City’s new Strategic Plan and City’s current financial resources as well as the plan to invest federal pandemic recovery funding. The City Council is continuing discussion of the long-range financial plan, with a focus on addressing a projected budget gap in a few years. They adopted a mid-biennial update on December 4, 2023.

Get Involved

Thank you for providing feedback!

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Project Contact

Eric Christensen, Finance Director

Latest News

Background Information

2023-2024 Budget
Glossary of Terms

Accounting System. The methods and records established to identify, assemble, analyze, classify, record and report a government’s transactions and to maintain accountability for the related assets and liabilities.

Accrual Basis. The recording of the financial effects on a government of transactions and other events and circumstances that have cash consequences for the government in the periods in which those transactions, events, and circumstances occur, rather than only in the periods in which cash is received or paid by the government.

Ad Valorem Tax. A tax based on value (e.g., a property tax).

Annual Budget. A budget applicable to a single fiscal year.

Appropriated Budget. The expenditure authority created by the appropriation bills or ordinances, which are signed into law, and the related estimated revenues. The appropriated budget would include all reserves, transfers, allocations, supplemental appropriations and other legally authorized legislative and executive changes.

Appropriation. A legal authorization granted by a legislative body to make expenditures and to incur obligations for specific purposes. An appropriation usually is limited in amount and time it may be expended.

Assessed Valuation. A valuation set upon real estate or other property by a government as a basis for levying taxes.

BARS. Budgeting, Accounting & Reporting System. Refers to the accounting rules established by the Washington State Auditor’s Office, including a prescribed chart of accounts.

Basis of Accounting. A term used in reference to when revenues, expenditures, expenses and transfers-and the related assets and liabilities-are recognized in the accounts and reported in the financial statements. Specifically, it relates to the timing of the measurements made, regardless of the nature of the measurement, on either the cash or the accrual method.

Benefits. Costs paid by the City on behalf of its employees. Examples include: medical and dental insurance, retirement, deferred compensation, life insurance and worker’s compensation.

Budget. A plan of financial operation embodying an estimate of proposed expenditures for a given period and the proposed means of financing them. Used without any modifier, the term usually indicates a financial plan for a single fiscal year.

Budget Document. The instrument used to present a comprehensive financial program to the appropriating governing body. The budget document usually consists of three parts. The first part contains a message from the budget-making authority, together with a summary of the proposed expenditures and the means of financing them. The second consists of schedules supporting the summary. These schedules show in detail the past years’ actual revenues, expenditures and other data used in making the estimates. The third part is composed of drafts of the appropriation, revenue and borrowing measures necessary to put the budget into effect.

Budget Message. A general discussion of the proposed budget as presented in writing by the budget-making authority to the legislative body. The budget message should contain an explanation of the principal budget items, an outline of the government’s actual financial experience during the past period and its financial status at the time of the message, and recommendations regarding the financial policy for the coming period.

Budgetary Control. The control or management of a government or enterprise in accordance with an approved budget to keep expenditures within the limitations of available appropriations and available revenues.

Capital Assets. Long-term assets, normally exceeding $1,000 in value and having a useful life of more than one or two years, such as major computer equipment, buildings, and land.

Capital Expenditures. Expenditures of current financial resources for constructing or purchasing capital assets. Under the modified accrual basis of accounting, these acquired assets appear as expenditures in the fund statements, however, under the current reporting model these acquired assets are recognized as assets in the basic financial statements

Capital Improvement Plan. A plan for capital expenditures to be incurred each year over a fixed period of years to meet capital needs arising from the long-term work program or other capital needs. It sets forth each project or other contemplated expenditure in which the government is to have a part and specifies the resources estimated to be available to finance the projected expenditures.

Capital Project Fund. A fund created to account for financial resources to be used for the acquisition or construction of major capital facilities.

Debt. An obligation resulting from the borrowing of money or from the purchase of goods and services. Debts of governments include bonds, time warrants, and notes.

Debt Service Fund. A fund established to account for the accumulation of resources for, and the payment of, general long-term debt principal and interest.

Delinquent Taxes. Taxes remaining unpaid on and after the date to which a penalty for nonpayment is attached. Even though the penalty may be subsequently waived and a portion of the taxes may be abated or canceled, the unpaid balances continue to be delinquent taxes until abated, canceled, paid, or converted into tax liens.

Encumbrance. Commitments for unperformed contracts for goods or services.

Expenditures. Decreases in net financial resources. Expenditures include current operating expenses requiring the present or future use of net current assets, debt service, and capital outlays, and intergovernmental grants, entitlement, and shared revenues.

Fiscal Year. A 12 -month period to which the annual operating budget applies and at the end of which a government determines its financial position and the results of its operations.

Fixed Assets. Long-lived tangible assets obtained or controlled as a result of past transactions, events, or circumstances. Fixed assets include buildings, equipment, and improvements other than buildings and land.

Fund. A fiscal and accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts in which cash and other financial resources, and related liabilities and residual equities, or balances, and changes therein, are recorded and segregated to carry on specific activities or attain certain objectives in accordance with special regulations, restrictions or limitations.

Fund Balance. The difference between fund assets and fund liabilities of governmental and similar trust funds.

General Fund. The fund used to account for all financial resources, except those required to be accounted for in another fund.

General Long Term Debt. Long-term debt expected to be repaid from governmental funds

General Obligation Bonds. Bonds issued the repayment of which the full faith and credit of the city is pledged.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Uniform minimum standards and guidelines for financial accounting and reporting. The primary authoritative body on the application of GAAP to state and local governments is the Government Accounting Standards Board.

Governmental Funds. Funds generally used to account for tax-supported activities. There are five different types of governmental funds, of which the city uses four of these. The general fund is the main operating fund of the city. The special revenue funds, are used to account for proceeds from specific sources to be used for legally restricted purposes, but normally not for major capital projects. The debt service fundsare for the accumulation of resources to pay principle and interest on the City’s general long-term debt. The capital project funds are used for the acquisition or construction of major capital facilities.

Legal Level Of Budgetary Control. The level at which spending in excess of budgeted amounts would be a violation of law.

Level Of Budgetary Control. One of the three possible levels of budgetary control and authority to which organizations, programs, activities and functions may be subject. These levels of budgetary control are (a) appropriated budget, (b) legally authorized non-appropriated budget process or (c) non-budgeted financial activities, which are not subject to the appropriated budget and the appropriation process or to any legally authorized non-appropriated budget review and approval process, but still are relevant for sound financial management and oversight.

Levy. (1) (verb) To impose taxes, special assessments or service charges for the support of government activities. (2) (Noun) The total amount of taxes, special assessments or service charges imposed by a government.

Modified Accrual Basis. The basis of accounting associated with the governmental fund-type measurement focus. Under it, revenues and other financial resources are recognized when they become susceptible to accrual that is when they become both “measurable” and “available” to finance expenditures of the current period. Expenditures are recognized when the fund liability is incurred except for inventories of materials and supplies that may be considered expenditures either when purchased or when used. All governmental funds, expendable trust funds and agency funds are accounted for using the modified accrual basis of accounting.

Operating Budget. Plans of current expenditures and the proposed means of financing them. The annual operating budget is the primary means by which most of the financing, acquisition, spending and service delivery activities of a government are controlled. The use of annual operating budgets is usually required by law. Even when not required by law, however, annual operating budgets are essential to sound financial management and should be adopted by every government.

Operating Transfers. All interfund transfers other than residual equity transfers (e.g., legally authorized transfers from a fund receiving revenue to the fund through which the resources are to be expended).

Program Budget. A budget wherein expenditures are based primarily on programs of work and secondarily on character and object class.

Proprietary Fund Types. Sometimes referred to as income determination or commercial-type funds, the classification is used to account for a government’s ongoing organizations and activities that are similar to those often found in the private sector. The GAAP used are generally those applicable to similar businesses in the private sector and the measurement focus is on the determination of net income, financial position, and changes in financial position.

Revenues. (1) Increases in the net current assets of a governmental fund type from other than expenditure refunds and residual equity transfers. Also, general long-term debt proceeds and operating transfers in are classified as “other financing sources” rather than as revenues. (2) Increases in the net total assets of a proprietary fund type from other than expense refunds, capital contributions and residual equity transfers. Also, operating transfers in are classified separately from revenues.

Special Assessments. A compulsory levy made against certain properties to defray all or part of the cost of a specific capital improvement or service deemed to benefit primarily those properties.

Special Revenue Fund. A fund used to account for the proceeds of specific revenue sources (other than expendable trusts or major capital projects) that are legally restricted to expenditure for specified purposes. GAAP only require the use of special revenue funds when legally mandated.

Taxes. Compulsory charges levied by a government to finance services performed for the common benefit. This term does not include specific charges made against particular persons or property for current or permanent benefits, such as special assessments. Neither does the term include charges for services rendered only to those paying such charges (e.g., sewer service charges).

Tax Levy Ordinance. An ordinance through which taxes are levied.

Tax Rate. The amount of tax stated in terms of a unit of the tax base (e.g., specified amount per $1,000 of assessed valuation of taxable property).

Tax Rate Limit. The maximum rate at which a government may levy a tax. The limit may apply to taxes raised for a particular purpose or to taxes imposed for all purposes, and may apply to a single government or to a class of governments operating in a particular area. Overall tax-rate limits usually restrict levies for all purposes and of all governments, state and local, having jurisdiction in a given area.

Project Timeline

July-September 2022

Budget Development

City staff work with with City Manager and Finance Department to develop a proposed budget.

October-November 2022

Council Review and Public Hearings

The City Council reviews proposed budget and holds public hearings.

December 2022

Adopt Budget and Financial Policies

The City Council adopts the final budget ordinance and financial policies. Statutory deadline is December 31, 2022.

October-December 2023

Mid-biennial update

The City Council approves a mid-biennial update to the budget to reflect adjusted revenues and expenditures.

The City of Burien developed a Stormwater Management Action Plan (SMAP) to improve water conditions for fish and wildlife in Miller Creek. The SMAP identifies steps the City can take to reduce the harmful effects of stormwater runoff.

After assessing the conditions of all the streams in Burien and asking the community to help staff and environmental experts prioritize one stream that could benefit most by reducing the harmful effects of stormwater runoff, our focus turned to the Downtown catchment of Miller Creek. Once the community helped to narrow down solutions to improve water quality there, we developed specific solutions and an implementation plan for review.

The final draft plan is now available (large PDF file).

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved with this project:

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Project Contact

Dan O’Brien, Stormwater Engineer

Latest News

Background Information

Burien’s Salmon Creek, Walker Creek, and Miller Creek were once abundant with salmon and trout. Decades of development have led to worsening conditions for fish and wildlife. Environmental conditions in Burien are significantly different today compared to historic conditions that supported large and healthy fish populations.

Historically, forests soaked up rain where it fell. As more people moved to the area, forests were cleared for homes, businesses, and roads. In the past, development worsened water quality due to a lack of stormwater management. Current regulations require development to follow strict stormwater design standards to mimic pre-developed (forested) conditions to manage stormwater runoff.

The Stormwater Management Action Plan (SMAP) will provide a way to prioritize projects and be intentional about which streams are prioritized for protection and restoration. The projects and other improvements developed in this plan will go a long way to restore the water quality and habitat lost from decades of past development.

Developing a stormwater action plan is a new state requirement from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the City to maintain its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Stormwater Permit.  

Miller Creek Key Facts

It’s estimated between 1,000 and 2,000 salmon and cutthroat trout could have spawned each year under historic conditions in Miller and Walker Creeks. Today there are several fish barriers that prevent salmon and trout from reaching the upper portions of Miller Creek. Since spawning salmon monitoring began in 2010, the number of salmon in Miller Creek has dramatically declined from a high of 420 in 2011 to only 32 in 2021.

Key facts:

  • 5.1 square miles, or 69%, of the total watershed is within Burien city limits.
  • The lower portions of Miller Creek are considered moderately important for fish, and the upper portions are designated as low importance as compared to other streams in the Puget Sound region, according to a regional study called the Puget Sound Watershed Characterization.
  • Compared to the other watersheds in Burien, the Miller Creek watershed is not as well served by stormwater management facilities.
  • There are many roads considered to be highly polluting including Ambaum Blvd SW, SW 152nd St, SW 148th St, SW 128th St, 1st Ave S, and SR 509.
  • In the Miller Creek watershed, the Downtown, Evansville, and Sunnydale neighborhoods have fewer parks, fewer trees, and more people who are from communities that have historically been left out of or harmed by urban planning processes, and therefore experience disproportionate environmental harms and risks.
  • Learn more by downloading the receiving water conditions assessment and receiving water prioritization report.
Watershed Map

The SMAP is being developed for the Downtown catchment of the Miller Creek basin, seen below in orange.

Proposed SMAP Solutions for Downtown Burien

The SMAP will guide solutions in Downtown Burien to improve water quality in Miller Creek. In August 2022 the community was asked to provide feedback on the types of solutions proposed for the Downtown catchment. Based on the community feedback and discussions with other City departments seven solutions were developed. Each of the solutions is supported by numerous regional studies and City-wide plans.

Three of the proposed SMAP solutions are stormwater projects, as seen in the map below. These projects either upgrade existing stormwater facilities or add new facilities to manage existing development.

  1. The first project will upgrade Ambaum Regional Pond, which currently holds stagnant and milky water that discharges into Miller Creek (labeled on the map as CIP-1). Nearly all stormwater in the Downtown catchment flows through Ambaum Regional Pond in the southern portion of the catchment. The project will provide enhanced water quality treatment for the polluted runoff from the Downtown catchment and allow the pond to drain more frequently.
  2. The second project will construct a new in-ground planter (bioretention facility) at Dottie Harper Park (CIP-2). This facility will provide water quality treatment and restore flows for stormwater runoff from two roads.
  3. The third project will add small dispersed water quality treatment facilities in the alley between SW 152nd Street and SW 153rd Street (CIP-3). These facilities will provide water quality treatment for stormwater runoff from roadways and commercial parking lots.

Two of the proposed SMAP solutions are land management programs. Both land management programs would be voluntarily implemented on private property. The first program, the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program, would incentivize private property owners to replace impervious surfaces (such as parking stalls), planters, and other features with bioretention facilities, tree planters, or other vegetated stormwater facilities. The second land management program, the Impervious Surface Reduction Program, builds on an existing City program that incentivizes development and redevelopment projects to include public benefits. If the program were to be implemented, development and redevelopment projects would be incentivized to reduce the amount of impervious surface on their site by allowing additional building height. 

An improved approach to stormwater facility maintenance will be outlined in the SMAP for the City’s stormwater program based on asset management principles. Improved data management will help prioritize stormwater facilities that need the most maintenance. Updating maintenance criteria and levels of service by type of stormwater management facility will streamline maintenance.

The final proposed SMAP solution is a water quality monitoring program. The monitoring program would install a permanent water quality monitoring site in the Downtown catchment which would gather continuous data. City staff, or volunteers, would also collect regular samples throughout the year. This program would allow the City to track progress in the Downtown Tributary, ensure the City is maximizing its investments, and would inform adaptive management of Miller Creek.

The SMAP includes an implementation plan for these solutions and more. The implementation plan is divided into short-term actions (years 1-6) and long-term actions (years 7-20). The short-term recommendations are the seven preferred solutions. The long-term recommendations would be implemented as Burien’s urban center redevelops and as opportunities to partner with transportation projects, parks projects, and private landowners arise. Long-term SMAP actions would be guided by water quality monitoring and adaptive management. Adaptive management would allow the City to use resources efficiently in response to new information. Some long-term project locations have been identified and can be seen on the map below.

To learn more about the SMAP, you can review the map and video below. You can also review the results from the community survey.

The draft SMAP for Downtown Burien will be available for review and comment in February 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is stormwater?

Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters (also known as receiving waters).

What is a watershed?

A watershed is an area of land where all rainfall and snow melt drains to a common stream or waterbody, such as a lake or Puget Sound.

What is a catchment (also called subbasin)?

For our purposes, a catchment is a portion of a watershed and is between approximately 400 and 600 acres.    

What is stormwater management?

Stormwater management is the process of controlling stormwater runoff with the goal of detaining stormwater and removing pollutants.

What is a stormwater project?

Stormwater projects reduce stormwater runoff and prevent harmful chemicals, toxins, and wastes from coming into contact with our local bodies of water.

What is stormwater management influence?

How much of an improvement within a specific area the City can make to water quality through the projects and actions developed in this plan. For example, an area with many stormwater treatment facilities and detention ponds would have a LOWER stormwater management influence score than an area without these, since much of the stormwater is already being treated.

What is the Stormwater Management Action Plan?

SMAP is a comprehensive stormwater planning process required by the Washington State Department of Ecology. The SMAP process prioritizes stormwater investments and actions in a selected catchment to accommodate future growth in a way that minimizes impacts on receiving waters. A catchment is typically between 400 and 600 acres.

Why is the City only focusing on one stream?

The goal of this process is to identify several smaller areas (catchments) within one stream basin that would benefit most from the new stormwater management projects and activities. This will help focus our limited budget and staffing to make the best improvements possible. This will not prevent the City from completing projects in other parts of Burien, but it will allow staff to better compare the benefits of one project over another.

How did the City come up with the values and environmental goals for the projects?

The City’s Climate Action Plan, the Green Burien Urban Forest Stewardship Plan, the Comprehensive Plan, the Urban Center Plan, responses to the 2022 Community Assessment Survey, and technical information were reviewed to come up with values and environmental goals for project types that are feasible in the Downtown catchment.

Project Timeline

The stormwater management action plan will be developed through the following steps:

January-March 2022

Phase 1: Assess Streams

Each stream in Burien was assessed to understand fish presence, water quality, and areas where there are opportunities for the City to install water quality improvement projects.

May-June 2022

Phase 2: Prioritize a Stream

With your help, we prioritized the downtown catchment of Miller Creek for protection and restoration.

July-October 2022

Phase 3: Prioritize Projects

The community is being asked what types of stormwater projects and programs they’d like to see in the Downtown neighborhood. Feedback from the community and discussions with other City departments were used to develop projects and programs.

October 2022-March 2023

Phase 4: Develop the Plan

The City is developing the Stormwater Management Action Plan which will help guide investments and actions to water quality in Miller Creek.

March-December 2023

Finalize Plan, Perform Environmental Review

Plan expected to be finalized by January 2024.

The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan (PROS Plan) is a six-year strategic plan for the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. The plan will look at the existing conditions of our facilities and programs, listen to community desires and priorities, identify gaps in facilities and programs, propose strategies, projects and programs to address those gaps, and finalize those strategies and a prioritized capital improvement plan in the final PROS Plan. The PROS Plan was last updated in 2018.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Check out the new online engagement tool [update 1/12/2024: Surveys have now closed].
  • Mark your calendars for one of our upcoming events.
  • Subscribe to email updates using the form on this page.
  • Send your thoughts to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board via email.

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to Shape Your City email updates:

Project Contact

Casey Stanley, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director

Latest News

Background Information

We will be evaluating the location, quality, and barriers to accessing our current parks, recreation programs and facilities, and cultural services programming. The plan will make recommendations for improving existing facilities and services, priorities for public art, and evaluate feasibility of new parks in key neighborhoods.

We will be asking neighbors to provide feedback on all parks, but with a specific focus on needs for a few key parks  including: Hilltop Park, Community Center Annex and garden, Jacob Ambaum Park, Chelsea Park, Puget Sound Park, Hazel Valley Park, Southern Heights Park, Manhattan Park, Moshier Memorial Park, and Salmon Creek Park/Salmon Creek Ravine.

What is a PROS Plan?

A PROS plan is a functional plan that develops strategies to implement the policies adopted in the Comprehensive Plan. The plan evaluates the current inventory of assets and the community’s desired level of service for future assets, then identifies gaps in the system. It also prioritizes capital project investments in the community for use in the City’s budgeting process and to make the City eligible to apply for grants to fund those priority projects.

Key Concepts
  • Park level of service: Level of service (LOS) is a term that describes the amount and quality of park and recreation facilities that are needed to serve the community at a desired and measurable standard.
  • Park Facilities:  This is a general term that refers to the types of recreational amenities in parks or recreation centers such as sport fields, sports courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, or arts classrooms.
Background Documents

Project Timeline

Fall 2022-Winter 2023

Community Visioning

Envision the future of parks, recreation, and cultural services in our community.

Spring-Summer 2023

Strategies Development

Develop and get feedback on proposed strategies to meet community needs.

Summer 2023

Draft Plan

Draft and get feedback on plan with capital project and program priorities.

Summer 2023

Advisory Board and Council Review and Approval

Draft final plan and gather community feedback.

Summer/Fall 2023

Final Plan Development and Adoption

Present plan to Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Arts Commission, and City Council for adoption by January 2024. Public comment encouraged.

January 2024

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office

Submit plan to Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

The Transportation Master Plan helps determine our community’s current and future transportation needs, guiding how we invest in transportation over the next 20 years. The plan was last updated in 2012. We need your ideas about how to keep our transportation network safe, healthy, and efficient.

The updated plan will include recommendations about how to pay for improvements. This plan influences transportation decisions for the next 20 years. 

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Check out the new online engagement tool [update 1/12/2024: Surveys have now closed].
  • Mark your calendars for one of our upcoming events.
  • Subscribe to email updates using the form on this page.
  • Send your thoughts to the Planning Commission via email.

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Sign up for the “Shape Your City” email list.

Project Contact

Maiya Andrews, Public Works Director

Latest News

Background Information

Specifically, the Transportation Master Plan will:

  • Develop transportation networks for all users including drivers, transit riders, and people that walk, roll, or ride a bicycle.
  • Predict how well the system will work in the future and suggest improvements.
  • Establish new goals and policies to guide City decision-making.
  • Develop a prioritized list of transportation projects to support bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, and drivers.

What is a Transportation Master Plan?

The Transportation Master Plan is the City’s long-range plan for establishing a sustainable network for all modes of our transportation. It guides investment decisions in the City’s Capital Improvement Program, coordinates transportation improvements with land uses and development, and plans for transportation infrastructure needed to respond to growth. The Transportation Master Plan is closely coordinated with other city-wide plans and is included as an element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

City of Burien Transportation Plan (Adopted 2012)

The Burien City Council approved Resolution No. 332 adopting the Transportation Master Plan on May 7, 2012. The TMP ensures coordination between transportation decision-making and the adopted Land Use Element of Burien’s Comprehensive Plan and addresses community values as articulated through the City’s Vision Statement. The Transportation Master Plan informs the development of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) by identifying the types of projects that are needed to support future travel trends and providing a framework for evaluating how they fit within community values and fiscal resources.

Beginning in May 2011, transportation consultant Fehr & Peers and the Burien Transportation Master Plan Advisory Committee, representing a broad cross-section of the City’s neighborhoods and transportation interest groups, analyzed Burien’s existing transportation system and reviewed existing comprehensive plan transportation policies to develop a new transportation vision for the City.

2023–2028 Transportation Improvement Program (proposed)

The Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a mid-range planning document that is annually updated based on needs and policies identified through a variety of sources. Project and financial development involve interactions with many groups and agencies at the local, regional, state, and federal levels. It represents the City of Burien’s current list of needed projects that may begin work in the next six years.

The primary importance of the Six Year TIP is to act as a planning tool for the development of transportation facilities within the City. It is used to coordinate transportation projects with our utility districts and other agencies. Staff has evaluated last year’s TIP with respect to the new Transportation Master Plan to ensure that the new TIP is coordinated with the TMP’s goals and the multimodal layered network concept. In most cases, local projects must be included in the TIP to be eligible for state and federal grant programs.

Project Timeline

Fall 2022

Community Visioning

Spring 2023

Develop Transportation Networks and Metrics

Walk and Roll, Bike, Transit, Vehicle, and Freight

Summer 2023

Identify Projects, Programs, and Policies

Summer-Fall 2023

Prioritize Projects, Programs, and Policies

Fall 2023

Draft Plan

Spring 2024

Final Plan Development and Adoption

Featured Project

The City of Burien is embarking on a major update to its Comprehensive Plan. This effort will help Burien plan and build for the next few decades. Planning for this growth helps us build a City with an equitable, sustainable, and healthy future. The Comprehensive Plan covers many topics including land use and zoning, economic development, public services, environmental protection, and infrastructure, meeting the community’s needs and reflecting the community’s vision.   

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Mark your calendars for one of our upcoming events.
  • Subscribe to email updates using the form on this page.
  • Send your thoughts to City staff via email.

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to Shape Your City email updates.

Project Contact

Liz Stead, Community Development Director

Latest News

Background Information

The Comprehensive Plan update will:

  • Identify and implement the community’s vision and priorities
  • Extend Burien’s planning horizon to 2044
  • Comply with the State’s Growth Management Act and regional planning requirements
  • Incorporate updates from Transportation Master Plan and Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, which set infrastructure priorities for the next 6–20 years

Comprehensive Plan Focus Areas

The Comprehensive Plan update will focus on the following:

  • Integration of equity into the planning and engagement process and policy development
  • Housing to meet state requirements and local household needs for affordable ownership and rental housing, especially “missing middle” housing
  • Employment opportunities and jobs capacity to meet growth targets and improve jobs-housing balance
  • Regulations and incentives to realize Burien’s vision for mixed uses, gathering spaces, affordable housing, and job opportunities in Downtown, 1st Ave, Five Corners
  • Avoiding and addressing displacement risks for housing and jobs
  • Equitable access to parks, recreation, and services
  • Supporting transportation by all modes including active transportation like pedestrian and bike facilities, long-term maintenance, and capital investments
  • Airport policies and compatibility
  • Healthy communities promoting clean air and water, trees, and noise management
  • Climate resilience to adapt and protect our places and people from extreme heat, flooding or sea level rise
  • Critical areas (streams, wetlands) restoration and green infrastructure (like rain gardens)
  • Human services and meeting people’s needs
  • Creating effective, streamlined, and implementable plans that guide and direct development and investment
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is a Comprehensive Plan?
    A Comprehensive Plan guides Burien’s physical development over 20 or more years including desires for housing and job growth, community character, capital investments in infrastructure and services, and policies and regulations. The Plan is informed by and addresses community values and needs.
  • How will this affect me?
    An updated Comprehensive Plan can impact housing choices, the location of jobs, walking/biking/car mobility, parks and recreation opportunities, and overall public services. The Comprehensive Plan and updated policies can help all of Burien.
  • Why do we have to accept growth?
    In Washington State laws and policies determine that growth be directed to some areas and away from others. Burien is in an urban area that will always have growth directed to it, and we’re required to accommodate the growth distributed to our city while protecting critical areas and providing for parks and open space.  Growing “up not out” helps protect regional natural resources like farmlands and forests.
  • Why are we updating the Plan now? Why not wait?
    The GMA requires Comprehensive Plans to be updated periodically. The State deadline is December 31, 2024. Also, updating housing, transportation, economic development and other elements can meet critical community needs.
  • When will there be community engagement for the Comprehensive Plan?
    Burien has developed multiple ways for the community to be involved in this update. We are trying to make sure we are reaching people where they are at and making it easy to participate in this process. 
Environmental Impact Statement

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an environmental review of growth alternatives to help guide community discussion on growth options and priorities. The Environmental review for the Comprehensive Plan update will meet the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements and will consist of a number of natural and built environment elements.

The environmental review will be shared with the community in draft and final stages of the Comprehensive Plan.

Burien 2044 Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee

The City of Burien established a committee in early 2023 to help advise City staff on a major update to Burien’s Comprehensive Plan. The advisory committee is one of many groups of stakeholders advising the City on the Burien community’s needs and wishes for its future. Over the course of six meetings, the committee provided recommendations to the Burien City Council. Learn more about the committee.

Project Documents

Project Timeline

Fall 2022

Community Visioning

Winter 2023

Preliminary Plan Development and Environmental Impact Statement

Spring 2023

Preliminary Urban Center Code Development

Summer 2023

Draft Plan and Environmental Impact Statement Comment Period

Winter/Spring 2024

Preferred Alternative and Environmental Impact Statement

Summer/Fall 2024

Final Plan Development and Adoption

Postcards on a table.

Did you receive a postcard from the City of Burien? Read the full letter (English, Español, Tiếng Việt) for more information and view the online map to see if your property may be affected by zoning changes.

How do we make our neighborhoods better for both neighbors and businesses as the city grows and changes over the coming years? To help answer that question, the City of Burien is conducting a community planning process along the Ambaum Blvd corridor and in the Boulevard Park neighborhood.

Read on to learn more about this project and find out how you can get involved. Let’s work together to plan for thriving, transit-friendly neighborhoods and successful business districts in the Ambaum Blvd corridor and Boulevard Park neighborhood.

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved with this project:

  • Mark your calendars for one of our upcoming events.
  • Subscribe to email updates using the form on this page.
  • Send us an email if you have questions or comments.

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Project Contact

Alex Hunt, Planner

Latest News

Background Information

Draft Plan and Environmental Impact Statement
Background Documents
Proposed Study Area Maps

Ambaum Blvd Corridor and Boulevard Park Study Areas

Download detailed PDF. Boundaries of proposed study areas may change.

Key Objectives
  • Articulate a vision and action strategies to meet community and citywide goals.
  • Engage with diverse members of the community, including people typically not engaged in civic processes.
  • Evaluate city regulations with an eye toward walkable business districts to support housing and business district strategies, development feasibility, urban design and public space goals, walkability, cultural expression, and community health.
  • Recommend new land use and zoning standards, and adjustments to city regulations for consideration by the Burien Planning Commission and City Council.
  • Apply a race and social equity lens to all of the work, including engagement, analysis and recommendations.

Project Timeline

Early 2021

Review and Analysis

We will evaluate data and consider environmental and equity factors.


Public Engagement and Plan Development

Community and stakeholder engagement and advisory committee will solicit ideas to create a shared vision.


Plan Development

We will refine and test ideas and proposals and consider urban design. Implementation steps will be presented. Plan will be refined with advisory group and community stakeholders. Plan and zoning code amendments will be drafted. SEPA environmental review will occur.


Plan Adoption

The plan will go before Planning Commision and City Council for review and adoption. Community plans and a zoning ordinance will be adopted.

On October 23, 2023, the Burien City Council adopted a five-year strategic plan to help both the City Council and staff identify areas where we need to focus our efforts. The plan will set the tone for budgeting priorities and staff work planning. The strategic planning process was a collaborative effort between the City Council and City of Burien staff. Feedback from community gathered through public workshops and the Community Survey guided the strategic planning process. Progress will be regularly reviewed by the City Council and the City staff and updates will be shared with the community on this dashboard.

Burien’s Focus for the Next Five Years

Through 2028, the City of Burien will prioritize:

  • Achieving Financial Stability
  • Achieving Racial Equity
  • Centering Community Accountability
  • Reshaping Community Through Smart, Mindful Development

We will continue to strive to deliver core services, meet regulatory requirements, and ensure the community’s key infrastructure needs are met. This strategic plan identifies how the Burien City Council and City of Burien staff will advance these shared commitments through 2028. A forecasted revenue gap, however, may affect our ability to meet community needs. This strategic plan identifies how the City of Burien staff will advance these shared commitments through 2028.

Strategic Direction Progress:

GOAL: Define current and future financial outlook and budget needs

Confirm structural deficit and define long-term budget needsComplete
Evaluate and present councilmanic and voter-approved revenue options, including ballot measures, permit fees, utility taxes, solid waste fees, B&O tax, etc.In progress
Work with the community, City Council, and staff to determine service-level cuts that will be required if voter-approved ballot measures failNot started

GOAL: Implement Councilmanic revenue options

Act on revenue optionsIn progress

GOAL: Implement voter-approved revenue options

Develop a ballot measure plan that involves the development of an advisory committee, gathering community feedback on defining services that new revenues would fund, and creating a community education campaignIn progress
Consider creation of a Metropolitan Parks DistrictNot started

Success Metrics for Achieving Financial Stability

Financial consultant has completed financial outlook

Staff and financial consultants have made presentations to the City Council

Councilmanic options and ballot measure implemented

Strategic Direction Progress:

GOAL: Understand current programs, hiring, and practices through an equity lens

Develop equity impact tool for all departments and City Council to support identification, evaluation, and communication of potential impact, both positive and negative, of a policy, plan, or program on equityIn progress
Audit current programs and practices using an equity impact toolNot started

GOAL: Establish internal framework and structures to support equity goals

Finalize the charter for the Advancing Racial Equity (ARE) CommitteeComplete
Develop an ARE Action Plan with metrics (inclusive of internal and external audit and community engagement)Not started

GOAL: Establish a training program for the City of Burien organization

Implement a training program for the City of Burien organizationNot started

Success Metrics for Advancing Racial Equity

Committee has clarity about focus, goals, roles, and responsibilities

Burien policies, plans, and programs advance opportunity and reduce harm to our community members

All staff have a common understanding of anti-racism and their role in that work

Burien has clarity about a vision and action steps for the 2025-26 biennium

Strategic Direction Progress:

GOAL: Customer service experience improved in prioritized areas

Launch online permit systemComplete
Launch and maintain new community service request system and internal customer service workflow (issue reporting)In progress
Launch external Laserfiche electronic content sharing and management systemIn progress

GOAL: Strengthen citywide community engagement and communications capacity

Internal Community Engagement Committee formedComplete
Community engagement training opportunities offered to staffIn progress
Community engagement and communications plan co-created with community stakeholders developed and implementedNot started
Maintain Burien Community Connectors programIn progress
Contract with community-based organizations to collaborate on engagement activitiesIn progress
City 101 virtual program launchedIn progress

GOAL: Digital engagement infrastructure maintained, expanded, and adapted to meet community need and expectation

New Burien website ( launchedIn progress
Update digital communications and engagement strategyNot started
Launch and maintain capital projects public dashboardNot started

Success Metrics for Centering Community Accountability

Time to respond to issues reduced

People impacted by projects, programs, and policies are more engaged

New and more members of community participating in civic processes

Community can find essential information and access online City services easily in formats that are accessible and meet their needs

Strategic Direction Progress:

GOAL: Achieve major planning and policymaking efforts

Economic Development Action Plan approvedIn progress
Comprehensive Plan update approvedIn progress
Transportation Master Plan approvedIn progress
Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan approvedIn progress
Critical area policy updates approvedNot started
Comprehensive Plan for five-year anniversary underwayNot started

GOAL: New zoning and design standards approved

Ambaum and Boulevard Park zoning code amendments with design standards adoptedIn progress
Expansion of Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) or affordable housing zoning adopted as part of Ambaum Boulevard Park Subarea PlanNot started
Subdivision section of the zoning code amendments adoptedNot started
Citywide middle housing zoning code amendments adoptedNot started
Urban Center/downtown zoning code amendments adoptedNot started
Critical area zoning code amendments adoptedNot started

GOAL: Increase the number and type of affordable housing units

Maintain affordable housing governance partnershipsIn progress
South King Housing and Homelessness Partners (SKHHP) affordable housing monitoring program establishedNot started
Extend or expand the Affordable Housing Demonstration ProgramNot started
Align City policy and planning documents with Washington State Affordable Housing Finance Commission scoring criteria for affordable housing tax credit awardsNot started
Advocacy with state and federal delegations for increased Low Income Housing Tax Credit funding for development of affordable housingNot started
Consider or create an inclusionary affordable housing code standard when market conditions would make such a program feasibleNot started
Deepen the affordability requirements associated with MFTE when market conditions would make such a change feasibleNot started
Create a shared parking program in downtown to reduce the cost of building new parking in new housing developmentsNot started
Attract developments that benefit the local community, including walkable amenities and servicesIn progress

GOAL: Attract new businesses and development

Permit system goes live for improved permit tracking and customer serviceIn progress
First round of targeted investment attraction campaign completeIn progress
Developer and property owner economic development opportunity sessions: Boulevard Park, Urban Center, AmbaumNot started
Outreach to regional developers to consider Urban Center development in advance of rezonesNot started
Boulevard Park targeted development attraction campaign to begin once zoning code amendments are in process or completeNot started
If MFTE program is expanded, a targeted marketing campaign to inform developersNot started
Redesign of Burien’s gateway at 1st Ave S and SW 148th StNot started

GOAL: Optimize opportunity sites

King County issues request for proposals for downtown transit-oriented development siteIn progress
Kinect@Burien development complete and openComplete
Mary’s Place affordable family housing under constructionNot started
Evaluate highest and best use for downtown City-owned propertiesIn progress
DESC permanent supportive housing construction completeIn progress
Port of Seattle issues RFP for a 10+-acre site on S 152nd St and Des Moines Memorial DriveNot started

Success Metrics for Reshaping Community through Smart, Mindful Development

Increase in the quality and diversity of jobs citywide

Increase in housing citywide

Increase in housing affordable to all income bands

Preservation strategies in place for naturally-occurring affordable housing

Comprehensive Plan (Burien 2044), Transportation Master Plan, Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, Economic Development Action Plan approved

Increased development potential for commercially-zoned properties

Middle housing zoning in place

Urban Center and 1st Ave S mixed use/commercial zoning in place

Ambaum and Boulevard Park zoning in place

Design standards for residential/commercial sites in neighborhood centers in place

Affordable housing monitoring staff capacity and systems in place through SKHHP

Integrated, online permit system/customer service system launched and supported

Increase in number and valuation of commercial development permits issued

Increase in sales tax revenue

New housing development that meets community needs

More development for government-owned lands in the pipeline

How was the Strategic Plan developed?

The strategic planning process was a collaborative effort between the Burien City Council and City of Burien staff. Feedback from community gathered through public workshops and the Community Survey guided the strategic planning process. See Background below for more details.

How will the Plan be implemented?

The Strategic Plan will be central in guiding our actions and investments in the coming years, helping us:

  • Stay focused on what is most important, keeping community priorities in front of elected officials and City staff, partners, and community members
  • Establish aligned efforts across the City organization
  • Prioritize the use of resources, guiding staff development on budget proposals and framing the City Council’s adoption of a final budget

Progress will be regularly reviewed by the City Council and the City’s Leadership Team and updates will be shared with the community.

Burien Community Vision

A vibrant and creative community, where the residents embrace diversity, celebrate arts and culture, promote vitality, and treasure the environment.

Our Five-year Vision

In the next five years, as a result of our efforts we will see:

  • Smart, mindful development that equitably accommodates growth
  • Equal access to opportunity and quality of life
  • Resources to meet our community’s level-of-service needs
  • Informed, engaged, connected, diverse community
  • A sustainable budget that accounts for future growth
  • Root causes of homelessness addressed and housing in place for all

Our Obstacles

We recognize that we are blocked from our vision by:

  • Undefined and differing priorities about level-of-service standards
  • Limited public awareness of how government works and the need to partner externally in many areas
  • Ineffective and outdated systems
  • Limited revenue sources, fear about affordability, and honesty about what we need to fund core services
  • Incomplete and outdated approaches to community engagement
  • Ineffective ways of hearing from our diverse community


The City Council adopted a four-year strategic plan in 2016, with updates in 2017 and 2018. The priorities that were identified included nurturing a safe, healthy, and dynamic community and supporting a strong City organization.

In 2021, the City Council approved budget for strategic planning. Creative Strategy Solutions was hired to facilitate the strategic planning process.

City Council Special Meeting Materials