Council Roundup: December 17, 2018

Budget, Comprehensive Plan Amendments, Contracts and Revenues, Plastic Bag Ban
Posted on 12/20/2018

Council approved the 2019–2020 budget, approved the 2018 Comprehensive Plan amendments, discussed contracts and revenue, and discussed a potential ban on plastic bags.

2019–2020 budget

Council voted to approve the 2019-2020 budget. Budget highlights include beginning to address structural imbalance by allocating 100 percent of property tax to General Fund, balancing ongoing revenues and expenses, $15 hour minimum wage for City workers, bringing parks maintenance staff in-house, and makes investments and limited one-time expenditures for technology and initiatives.

2019-2020 Public Art Plan and Public Art Maintenance Plan

The Arts Commission presented a proposed public art plan, funded through the Arts in Public Places fund. Highlights of the plan include expanding the utility box project to up to 30 more boxes by 2020, art alley murals, and art displays in the Merrill Gardens and Maverick Apartments downtown galleries. Staff also presented maintenance needs of current public art.

2018 Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Council approved four Comprehensive Plan Map amendment requests. See the table below for a list of the map amendments that were approved.

Map LU-1

File No. Proposed Amendment  Parcel No.
PLA18-0433: Moore Change from Moderate Density Residential Neighborhood to Low Density Multifamily Neighborhood. 336140-0020 11246 8th Avenue South
PLA18-0510: Wu Change from Moderate Density Residential Neighborhood to Moderate Density Multifamily Neighborhood 098500-1040 12419 Des Moines Memorial Drive South
PLA18-0528: Miles & Assefa Change from Office to Moderate Density Multifamily Neighborhood 092304-9455; 092304-9039; 092304-9415; 092304-9405; 092304-9369
Military Road South and S 128th Street
PLA18-0533: Burien Hill LLC Change from Office to High Density Multifamily Neighborhood 783580-0100 - 12845 Ambaum Blvd S

Council also approved text amendments to the land use, housing, and economic development elements of the Comprehensive Plan.

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Council approves new revenue sources

In order to address increased demand for service and a predicted budget shortfall in 2021, Council and staff are analyzing different approaches to reducing expenses and increasing revenues. Council approved an increase in the City’s franchise rate differential from six to eight percent.

This will cost a typical Burien Seattle City Light residential customer between $.20 to $3 more per billing cycle, depending on level of use, and will generate approximately $400,000 in annual revenue for the City.
Council also directed the city manager to explore either a utility tax or franchise rate increase with Burien water and sewer districts. The proposed increases could generate approximately $1 million in revenue.

Council voted to increase the gambling tax on social card rooms to 11 percent, bringing it back up to pre-Recession levels. The tax will generate approximately $130,000 in revenue for the City.

Discussion on an Ordinance to Ban Plastic Bags

Council placed an ordinance banning retail use of plastic bags on the consent agenda for the January 7 Council meeting. Specifically, the proposed ordinance would:

  • Ban plastic bags from being provided at point of sale.
  • Require a minimum 10-cent fee for paper bags.
  • Allow businesses to keep the 10-cent fee.
  • Exempt damp or contaminated items, such as roasted chicken bags.
  • Exempt in-store plastic bags like produce bags, bulk item bags, and bags for meat.
  • Exempt low-income customers who qualify for food assistance programs from paying the 10-cent fee.
  • Provide encouragement to food banks, who will be exempt from the ban, to transition away from plastic bags.

The ordinance would go into effect on January 1, 2020. Staff will be bringing an ordinance on single-use plastics, such as plastic serviceware, to Council in early 2019.

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