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Environment

Healthy forested parks and green spaces have the power to strengthen neighborhoods, provide safe access to nature, and provide many benefits to the environment. Without a coordinated effort to restore and care for our forests, we are at risk of losing many benefits of these forests and natural areas.

The Green Burien Partnership brings together community members and private and public agency partners to restore and care for Burien’s parks and urban forests. The Partnership’s activities include:

  • Community outreach and engagement to guide project prioritization and implementation.
  • Development of a 20-year plan for restoring forests and increasing the amount of tree canopy across the three cities.
  • Implementation of projects and volunteer programs that organize local neighbors and community groups to plant trees, remove invasive plant species, and meet restoration goals.
People planting.

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Participate and Learn More:


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Project Contact

Gabbi Gonzales, Recreation Coordinator

Maya Klem, Green Burien Partnership Coordinator

parksinfo@burienwa.gov

Latest News

Background Information

Who is in the Green Burien Partnership?

The Green Burien Partnership relies on a network of individuals, organizations, staff, and volunteers. All partners are essential for the success of the project.

Other key partners have played an essential role in defining the goals of the partnership, volunteering in their community, offering their expertise, and increasing canopy cover by planting trees in their yards or patios:

  • City of Burien
  • Port of Seattle
  • Washington State Department of Natural Resources
  • King County Conversation District
  • Highline Public Schools
  • Elected officials
  • Nonprofit, faith-based, and community groups
  • Businesses
  • Youth groups and clubs
  • Landowners
  • Individuals like you

How is it funded?

The Green Burien Partnership receives funding from the City of Burien General Fund and grants.

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.

Get Involved

What would it be like to live, work, play, and shop in Burien in 2044? Let’s start by sharing ideas and developing a shared vision. There are multiple ways you can provide feedback:

Comment Box

Only have a minute? That’s all you need to share an idea of what you’d like to see in Burien over the next 20 years.

Survey

If you have 10-15 minutes to spare, this Burien 2044 Vision Survey builds on themes the community has already identified as important and is a great way to provide deeper feedback.

Interactive Map

Have a specific location in mind when you think about what you’d like to see created or improved in Burien over the next two decades? Share those ideas with us by using the interactive map below. Need help navigating the map? This quick tutorial will help you get started.

Help shape the future of Burien:

  • Mark your calendars for one of our upcoming events.
  • Subscribe to email updates using the form on this page.
  • Tell your friends and neighbors to get involved! Check out the materials below.

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Project Contact

Susan McLain, Community Development Director, Comprehensive Plan

Maiya Andrews, Public Works Director, Transportation Master Plan

Carolyn Hope, PaRCS Director, Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan

SYC@burienwa.gov

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.

Share With Your Neighbors

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

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Project Contact

Paige Morris, Environmental Education Specialist

environment@burienwa.gov

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

K4C

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

2020

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

Monitor

Begin implementation of local government and community actions.

The City of Burien is developing an action plan to improve water conditions for fish and wildlife in Miller Creek. The plan will identify steps the City can take to reduce the harmful effects of stormwater runoff.

The first step in developing the plan was to assess the conditions of all the streams in Burien. The second step was to ask the community to help staff and environmental experts prioritize one stream that could benefit most by reducing the harmful effects of stormwater runoff. We prioritized Miller Creek based on the feedback received this spring.

Get Involved

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


Upcoming Events

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Project Contact

Dan O’Brien, Stormwater Engineer

publicworks@burienwa.gov

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 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.
Watershed Map
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 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 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 neighborhood.

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 Miller Creek for protection and restoration.

July-October 2022

Phase 3: Prioritize Projects

The community is being asked what types of stormwater projects they’d like to see in the Downtown neighborhood. The City is also looking for feedback on criteria to be used for prioritizing projects. Feedback from the community will be used to develop projects and activities which will be brought back to the community in winter, 2022.

October 2022-March 2023

Phase 4: Develop the Plan

The City will use community feedback to help develop a stormwater management action plan to outline the which will help guide investments and actions to control and reduce harmful impacts of stormwater runoff over the next six years.

March 2023

Scheduled Completion Date

The Burien City Council adopted new tree regulations to protect trees on private property in Burien during their October 3, 2022 meeting.

The protection of trees on private properties in Burien is important for many reasons. Studies show that trees help clean air, reduce the effects of global climate change, reduce stress, increase economic activity, increase property values, and make our community more attractive.

Take a deep dive into the proposed regulations.

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 your thoughts to the City of Burien via email.

Upcoming Events

Subscribe to Updates

Project Contact

Joshua Petter, Urban Forest Planner

planning@burienwa.gov

Latest News

Background Information

Project Timeline

Early 2021

Review and Analysis

Review current land use policies and tree code. Solicit community feedback.

Mid-2021

Public Engagement and Code Development

Stakeholder engagement. Solicit ideas. Draft code.

Late 2021

Code Development

Draft land use tree code. Conduct SEPA environmental review. Planning Commission and City Council review.

Mid-2022

Public Engagement Code Revisions

Refine and test land use tree code. Engage stakeholders and community outreach. Conduct SEPA environmental review. Planning Commission reviews code.

Late 2022

Adoption

City Council adopts land use tree code. Outreach and education on new code begins.

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:

  • Provide feedback on the interactive map!
  • 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

Project Contact

Carolyn Hope, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director

SYC@burienwa.gov

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
Maps

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 City of Burien is embarking on a major update to it 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:

  • Provide feedback on the interactive map!
  • 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

Project Contact

Susan McLain, Community Development Director

SYC@burienwa.gov

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.

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

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