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.
There are several ways you can get involved:
- We’d like to hear your thoughts on housing, neighborhood centers, middle housing, and economic development. Check out the “ideas wall” to share your story, propose new strategies, and pitch your ideas for helping Burien grow in a way that is sustainable and equitable.
- 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.
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Susan McLain, Community Development Director
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.
Preliminary Plan Development and Environmental Impact Statement
Preliminary Urban Center Code Development
Draft Plan and Environmental Impact Statement Comment Period
Preferred Alternative and Environmental Impact Statement
Final Plan Development and Adoption
Last Updated: April 14, 2023