Land Use Review

Land Use Review determines if certain land uses and projects comply with the City of Burien’s Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan. It also informs community members about projects and provides an opportunity for them to comment on the proposal. 

Applications, fact sheets, fee tables, and checklists related to all land use review projects can be found within the Permit Center.

Service Update

We are going “paperless” to help the environment! 

What this means for our customers: 

  • All Land Use Applications will be submitted digitally. Please use the fillable application forms from our website. 
  • Site plans will be submitted in CAD (Computer Aided Design) format with digital copies of supporting reports and documents. 
  • Assistance may be provided for less complex permit application submittals to be determined on a case by case basis.  

Types of Land Use Review

There are four types of land use reviews. The Zoning Code (BMC 19.15, Use Zone Charts) will indicate which type of land use review is required (if any) for a particular land use or project.

Submittal Requirements

Listed below is information that relates to submittal requirements for various types of land use permit applications. Land use permits are approvals for land development, designs, and uses for future building construction, not permits for construction.

The following list is separated by category of need; however, depending on the project, multiple approvals across categories may be required.

Preliminary Review

A pre-application meeting allows for early feedback and direction from City staff on a development concept. It is structured to help you develop a complete formal application and a project design that is consistent with the Burien’s codes and policies for specific land use permits. The meeting occurs in the preliminary-development phase, before you submit a formal application of the proposed project.

Environmental Impacts

Various environmental regulations such as Critical Areas, Shorelines, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) can impact land use applications. The following is a list containing different categories of land use projects which will enable you to develop property that has one or more environmental factors.

Subdivide Properties or Adjust Boundaries

Land use development, which includes dividing lots or adjusting lot lines between existing lots, requires a land use permit and process occur prior to construction. The following is a list of land use applications which relate specifically to the division of land or adjusting boundaries between legal lots.  

Comprehensive Plan Amendment

The City's Comprehensive Plan establishes a vision and land use designations for all areas in Burien. Amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan to change the underlying land use designation of properties requires a Comprehensive Plan amendment. Applications for an amendment will be accepted from September 1 through November 1 of each year. A Comprehensive Plan amendment has to be approved prior to changing the zoning code or applying for a rezone.

Updated September 27, 2021