Urban Center Plan

The Downtown Burien Regional Growth Center was designated by the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) in June 2005. Roughly centered on the Burien Town Square mixed-use development, the urban center encompasses approximately 353 acres, or 7.4 percent of the total city area. The center offers significant redevelopment opportunities and access to the regional transportation system via State Route 509, State Route 518 and Sea-Tac International Airport.

What is a Center Plan?

The Burien Comprehensive Plan provides the vision, goals, policies, implementation strategies, performance measures, and maps guiding the city’s physical development and the provision of urban services.

A center plan, commonly called a subarea plan, looks at a smaller area of the city and provides development goals and policies specific to the conditions, challenges, and opportunities in that area.

Burien Urban Center

The PSRC identifies a center as an area where significant population and employment growth can be located, a community-wide focal point can be provided, and increased use of transit, bicycling, and walking can be supported. A center is a compact, well-designed area concentrating a variety of land uses in one place, providing living and working places that allow residents to walk to shops and mass transit.

An important component of a center is the public realm, which provides public access to areas intended for informal rest and recreational activities such as walking, sitting, games, and observing nature. The public realm, along with residential and employment uses, defines a sense of place and gives the center an identity.

Why is the Urban Center Plan Important?

Burien will use the Urban Center Plan to develop regulations, programs, and services specific to the center. Some of the topics the center plan will cover include:

  • Land Use, Zoning, and Development Capacity: The location of services and new housing, health, parks and open space, and more.
  • Jobs and Economic Development: Where jobs are located, starting a business, workforce training, educational opportunities, and other factors.
  • Housing: Affordability, proximity to work and services, adequate choices of housing types.
  • Natural Environment: Clean air and water, efficient energy use, preservation of open space, trees, abundant wildlife, health, and more.
  • Transportation: The commute to work, availability of transit, safety of children traveling to and from school, mobility options for seniors, traffic congestion, walkability, and other considerations.
  • Built Environment and Urban Design: What neighborhoods are like, attractiveness of the community, public spaces, placemaking, and more.

Background Documents

In addition to the Burien Comprehensive Plan, the following documents will inform the Urban Center Planning process:

The City and the public will work together to create the Urban Center Plan.

  • The public will provide feedback on its vision for the center.
  • City planners will use this input to draft a plan.
  • The draft Urban Center Plan will include elements required by PSRC.
  • The City then will issue the draft plan and open a public comment period.
  • The City will review the comments, make revisions, and issue a final plan.

Urban Center Plan Status

The City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consultant assistance with creation of the Urban Center Plan and has secured a contract with MIG Design Inc. in collaboration with EcoNorthwest and Fehr & Peers to develop the plan which includes a comprehensive visioning process.

A draft of the Urban Center Plan is available for review below. A joint meeting with City Council and Planning Commission will be held on November 25 to provide a detailed presentation on the Plan. Any questions or comments relating to the draft plan should be forwarded to Thara Johnson, Senior Planner at tharaj@burienwa.gov, 206-436-5574.

Urban Center Plan Documents

How Do I Get Involved?

The City will conduct a number of workshops, open houses and public meetings as the Urban Center Plan is developed. The City has conducted interviews with key stakeholders and also formed a Stakeholder Advisory Committee to assist with the visioning process.

A Community Kickoff and Vision workshop was held on March 6, 2019, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Southgate Masonic Hall located at 1004 SW 152nd Street, Burien, WA 98166. The meeting was a project kick-off event to introduce the project to the broader Burien community. Participating community members assisted with identifying projects goals, opportunities and constraints for the Urban Center. The workshop assisted with gathering community perspectives that will shape the vision, goals, and specific issues to be addressed in the Urban Center Plan.

A joint City Council and Planning Commission meeting was held on April 22, 2019. The meeting included an overview of the community engagement and outreach efforts to date including results from the Community Vision workshop and survey.

An open house was held on June 27, 2019 at Angelo's of Burien at 6 p.m. on the Urban Center Plan. The City heard ideas, concerns, and aspirations for the Urban Center from the community and presented different conceptual alternatives for future growth and development. The Open House provided an opportunity to learn about each potential alternative for the Urban Center future. 

Direct any questions and comments to:

Thara Johnson, Senior Planner
City of Burien
400 SW 152Street, Suite 300
Burien, WA 98166
Phone: (206) 436-5574