Council Roundup: January 6, 2020

New Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Burien Annex, and Compostable Food Service Products
Posted on 01/08/2020
Audience in council chambers.

New councilmembers were sworn in, Jimmy Matta was elected as mayor and Krystal Marx was elected as deputy mayor, and Council discussed the Burien Annex and compostable food service products.

New Mayor and Deputy Mayor

Jimmy Matta was elected for a second term as mayor and Krystal Marx was elected as deputy mayor.

City to Test Pollutants at Burien Annex

City Manager Brian J. Wilson gave an update on the Burien Community Center Annex (the “Annex”). A large number of people provided public comment in support of the organizations that currently occupy the buildings.

Council directed the City Manager to authorize testing for pollutants in the Annex immediately. The City Manager contacted the testing company directly after the meeting to initiate the process. If testing results are negative, the City Manager has been directed to renew leases for up to six months with the tenants of the Annex. If the tests find that the pollutants are at unsafe levels, the City Manager has been directed to not take any action and convene an emergency meeting of City Council as soon as possible to discuss actions.

Economic Development Manager Chris Craig provided an update on the Annex Tenant Support Team. The team, formed in December, has met weekly as a group to coordinate efforts and share information, and has been in ongoing communications with individuals from each of the organizations affected by the Annex closure to assess their needs with the goal of finding new homes for these important Burien organizations.

The search for new locations is focused on both temporary and permanent sites, in order to pursue multiple options in keeping tenant operations running in the short and long term. This search includes outreach, discussions, tours, and meetings with:

  • Private property owners that have buildings available for sale or lease
  •  Existing businesses and/or organizations that may have additional space to sublease
  • Co-location with similar mission-based organizations
  • Outreach to regional property owners including the Port of Seattle, Highline College, and Highline School District
  • Referrals of possible properties received from residents and/or third parties
  • Space at City facilities including the Burien Community Center

There has been progress in finding temporary and/or permanent locations for a few of the organizations, and work continues in connecting several other tenants to viable locations and to the relocation resources and logistical support they require to continue their vital services in the community.

Discussion of Restrictions on Non-compostable Food Service Products

Public Works Director Maiya Andrews presented a draft ordinance that would restrict non-compostable food service products in Burien. Single-use plastic serviceware, such as plastic forks and Styrofoam food containers, would no longer be allowed to be used in Burien businesses. The draft ordinance was reviewed by Burien’s Business and Economic Development Partnership.

The ordinance will be placed on the consent agenda on February 3, 2020. If consent agenda is approved, the new law would go into effect January 1, 2021.