Burien City Council considering 4 possible locations for homeless encampment

BURIEN, Wash. — Homelessness continues to be a hot topic in Burien.

The Burien City Council is considering several locations to place people who are unhoused.

Initially, people were camping outside City Hall, then moved a block away, and then went over to the nearby Dottie Harper Park.

After they were told to leave the park, campers have scattered to different locations around the area, but still do not have an official place to stay.

On Monday night, city council members shared four possible locations where campers could possibly stay long-term. Three sites are in Burien and one is just north of the city’s northern border.

Here are the options:

The Northeast Redevelopment Area, owned by the Port of Seattle. It’s the former site of the Lora Lake Apartments on 15001 Des Moines Memorial Drive.

A city-owned lot on Southwest 150th Street, which is currently leased to Burien Toyota on a month-to-month basis. A City Council memo says the loss of the lot would cut a third of Toyota’s inventory, which could lead to the loss of 20 to 30 jobs.

It’s also in a downtown commercial zone where villages (tiny homes, pallets) and sanctioned camps are not allowed.

The closed Beverly Park School, located 30 feet outside Burien City limits at 11427 Third Avenue South. It’s owned by Highline Public Schools. The field area of the property has been offered as a possible site for a temporary shelter facility.

A lot at South 136th Street and Third Avenue South owned by Seattle City Light. It’s covered with heavy vegetation and is currently being used as a staging area for a construction project. Again, pallet and tiny home villages, and sanctioned camps are not allowed in this zone, which is residential single-family.

Monday night’s City Council meeting was packed as residents sounded off on the issue.

“I was chronically homeless, and it has helped me tremendously to have a place to stay. If you need to have more meetings about this, have meetings about this. If you’re already working behind the scenes, address these problems (and) tell the community what you are doing,” said resident Harriet Saslow.

“The option that I think we should really be looking at — there are many on the table — is coming from the business association talking about a crisis center whether it’s at Lora Lake or another location, there are other options that we need to consider,” said former Burien councilmember Krystal Marx, who is running for Burien City Council again.

Council members also voted on drafting a “no camping on public property” ordinance and discussed a $1 million proposal from King County.

The county wants the city to use the lot on Southwest 150th Street as a sanctioned camp.

Nothing has been decided.

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