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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

Shape your city! Let us know what’s important to you 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:

  • Provide comments on the interactive map.
  • 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!

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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 City of Burien is developing a budget for the 2023-2024 biennium. This budget will strive 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 will also continue discussion of the long-range financial plan, with a focus on addressing a projected budget gap in a few years.

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Provide feedback:


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Project Contact

Eric Christensen, Finance Director

finance@burienwa.gov

Latest News

Background Information

2021-2022 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.

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:


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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 City of Burien is considering zoning code changes to help protect trees on private properties.

The current code regulates tree removal during development and requires replanting when it is necessary to remove trees. However, our tree protections in the zoning code could do more to prioritize retention of large, healthy trees and increase canopy cover throughout the city.

Code changes are being studied to see how the City can protect and preserve large, healthy trees and making sure the trees are replaced when they must be removed. 

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.

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

planning@burienwa.gov

Latest News

Background Information

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.

Mid-2021

Public Engagement and Plan Development

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

Mid-2022

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.

Mid-2023

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.

The Burien City Council is developing a plan to guide the City of Burien government for the next 3–5 years, spanning multiple election and budget cycles. The plan helps both the City Council and staff identify areas where they need to focus their efforts.

The City Council and City staff will engage with the community to learn their priorities for the next few years. They will examine those priorities and develop high-level goals that will set the tone for budgeting priorities and staff work planning. The community, staff, and City Council will use the plan as a guide and a measure of accountability.

Get Involved

Get involved with this project:


Upcoming Events

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Project Contact

Adolfo Bailon, City Manager

adolfob@burienwa.gov

Latest News

Background Information

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

Project Timeline

May-June 2022

Community Visioning

June-July 2022

Public City Council Meetings

August 2022

Adopt Strategic Plan

August-September 2022

City Manager prepares budget for City Council consideration

October-December 2022

2023-2024 Budget deliberated by City Council

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