(Editor's Note: This update reflects corrections to the previously-posted story.)

The Burien City Council rebuffed Lake Burien residents again April 1 in their efforts to have the city’s land use map changed to show the neighborhood as low-density use.

Mayor Brian Bennett and council members Jack Block Jr., Rose Clark, Gerald Robison and Joan McGilton opposed placing the request on the 2013 comprehensive plan amendments docket. Deputy Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and Councilmember Bob Edgar voted to place it on the docket.

The vote was not on approving the request but just on whether the city should consider the matter further.

‘It’s like the Supreme Court deciding which cases to take,” City Manager Mike Martin noted.

The council is expected to vote on the comprehensive plan amendments at the end of the year.

The City Council has previously rejected the proposal. The proposal is not eligible to be put back on the docket for another three years after rejection unless circumstances have changed.

During public comments a tag team of Lake Burien residents argued the neighborhood has markedly changed since 2010 when the request was on the plan docket.


The stalled Burien Town Square saga continues as the Burien City Council voted unanimously Monday, Feb. 25, to direct Harbor Urban, owner of the still undeveloped parcels at Town Square, to sell those parcels to another real estate developer, Legacy Partners, as permitted under the city agreements with Harbor Urban.

Legacy wants to complete the multi-family housing-retail project in Burien’s city center and has submitted to the city a redevelopment proposal that calls for a mix of upper-scale multi-family housing and retail.

The remaining undeveloped Town Square property is just north of the current Town Square condominiums and Library/City Hall between Southwest 152nd and Southwest 150th streets.

In agreeing to the switch in developers, Councilmember Gerald Robison commented, “Harbor Urban hasn’t come up with anything.”

Councilmember Jack Block Jr. also agreed but urged Legacy Partners to “keep the city’s vision within current market conditions.”

The council and city staff originally envisioned the remaining parcels would be contain condominiums and retail space much like in the first phase.

Update: Burien council votes to change Town Square developers
Photo credit: 
Photo by Jerry Gay

Burien Town Square condo sales representatives Tamea Duckworth, left, and Julie Knutson are as perplexed as everyone else by the twists and turns in the Town Square saga. They are standing on one of the vacant parcels.

The state has informed a for-profit California company that it is illegally operating homes for mentally ill adults in Normandy Park.

The Seattle Times reported Sept. 29 the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) hand-delivered a letter to Hanbleceya, operators of the homes, informing the company it must obtain a license and adhere to state regulations for adult family homes.

The department also is seeking entrance to the homes so it can check on the care the residents are receiving.

The Times reported Hanbleceya officials have replied they will cooperate with DSHS.

Hanbleceya obtained five homes in Normandy Park in addition to opening a treatment clinic at Normandy Park Towne Center.

A Hanbleceya official told the Highline Times it does not plan to open similar facilities in other Highline cities.
Normandy Park residents expressed concern and the city formed a task force after learning about two suicide attempts at the homes. They also say the company has been secretive about its operations.

Decision expected by Nov. 15

Harbor Urban press release:

Harbor Urban, LLC presented new conceptual design plans for the proposed development of Phase II of the Town Square Project to Burien city staff on Sept. 14.

Construction of the proposal put forth by Harbor Urban would begin with a 173-unit high-quality, market-rate apartment community on Parcel 5.

Development of the conceptual plan was a collaborative effort lead by Harbor Urban with input from City staff, property management firms and market study experts.

The development of a residential complex in downtown Burien will contribute to a vibrant Burien Town Square. Harbor Urban’s plans for Parcel 5 reflect decades of experience designing and developing Transit Oriented Developments and urban mixed use projects throughout the Puget Sound region.

Amy Hoffman, development manager for the project with Harbor Urban said, “We feel very good about the direction the design is headed. The conceptual design takes into account features that are important to the City of Burien and to the sophisticated renter of today. It’s a thoughtful, quality building that continues to help activate the Town Square and the City of Burien.”

Expected to be 'business as usual' for Burien, West Seattle offices

Press release:

On Dec. 6, Brookfield Residential Property Services (“Brookfield”), a Brookfield Asset Management Inc. affiliate, announced that it has purchased Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, a recognized leader in global relocation and real estate brokerage from Prudential Financial, Inc. Prudential Relocation Services operates as Pricoa Relocation in Asia and Europe.

(Prudential has local branch real estate offices in Olde Burien and West Seattle.)

“We are thrilled to join Brookfield, a leader in residential real estate franchising and employee relocation services and a brand name that is synonymous with strength, stability and growth,” said Mike Gain, CEO of Prudential Northwest Realty Associates. “Locally, Prudential Northwest is still the same great company, providing the same great service to homebuyers and sellers.”

The addition establishes Brookfield as North America’s third largest residential real estate brokerage business and the world’s second largest global relocation services provider.


Press release:

This past legislative session homeowners fought for and won ground breaking new laws that entitled families to mediation with their mortgage lenders. Homeowners can now “trigger” mediation. They must seek the aid of organization like OUR Washington in order to sign up for mediation.

Mediation is a process where a state mediator helps the homeowner and the lender reach a fair and negotiated agreement. Foreclosure mediation programs have proven very effective in other states.

OUR Washington will conduct weekly intakes at the Burien office (and other locations TBA) to help families sign up and get trained on mediation. Homeowners will also have the opportunity to join a growing network of families for support and advocacy. This will give homeowners strength and confidence needed for what is a very stressful process.

“it gives me hope that I will actually be able to talk to someone at my bank” says Marliza Melzer, of Burien and one of the first to sign up for mediation at the Burien office.


On Saturday, March 5th Hospitality House is having its annual Spring Fling Buffet Dinner.
This year it is being held at Highline Community College Student Union, 2400 S. 240th St. in Des Moines. The doors open at 6 p.m. The tickets are $50. Tickets may be purchased by calling 206-242-1860 or at Hospitality House’s website http://www.hospitalityhousesouthking.org/2011springfling.html.
Hospitality House is a homeless women’s shelter, located at Lake Burien Presbyterian Church in Burien.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Erin Hennessey, news director of KPLU FM radio. Mary Magdalene Choir of Seattle will provide music. The church of Mary Magdalene is a Christian community of homeless and formally homeless people. There will be a silent auction of Beds for Boats as well as a Raise the Paddle auction.
This year marks the shelter’s 10-year anniversary. In the 10 years, over 700 women have been served, and over 45,000 bed nights with an equal number of home-prepared evening meals were delivered. Residents, with staff assistance, prepared detailed weekly plans to take them from homelessness to stable housing and hope.


Normandy Park’s Manhattan Village sub area planning process will begin with the first of several community workshops on Thursday, March 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Normandy Park Recreation Center, 801 S.W. 174th Street.
All city residents and especially those living or working near the Manhattan Village shopping area are encouraged to attend.
The meeting, called a "Vision Workshop," will introduce the sub area project-- a long-range plan for Manhattan Village and adjacent properties –- and ask
participants to discuss and compare city expectations for the site with their own.
Facilitators will lead group exercises to explore a wide range of topics, including future uses, the scale and density of development, and how growth might improve facilities and conditions for neighboring properties.
The evening will begin with presentations by consultant Bill Grimes of Studio
Cascade, a Spokane-based planning firm and Mark Hinshaw of Seattle’s LMN
At least one other community meeting will take place this spring, with additional events anticipated for the fall. The draft plan is expected to be complete by December.


"Who is looking out for our safety?" "Is this a done deal, or can we fight this?"

Those were popular sentiments from most of the three-dozen residents at the Oct. 27 meeting for the Low Income Housing Institute's proposed Ballard project as anger and frustration took over, especially in regard to the project's Urban Rest Stop component.

LIHI's $13 million to $15 million Ballard development would include 40 to 60 units of housing for singles, couples and families earning less than 60 percent of King County's median income, with 20 percent of the units set aside for formerly homeless individuals and families.

The Urban Rest Stop, a facility that would provide free restrooms, showers, laundry and some medical care, would be located on the first floor of the development at 2014 N.W. 57th St. It would be Seattle's second Urban Rest Stop.

Possible Ballard Urban Rest Stop frightens neighbors
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Ronni Gilboa, manager of the downtown Urban Rest Stop, discusses plans for a Ballard facility with neighbors, many of whom came out strongly against the idea, during an Oct. 27 meeting.

A group of Ballard citizens and business is attempting to halt the construction of Urness House, 80-units of housing and two floors of services for formerly homeless men and women, which was scheduled to begin construction this winter.

The group, called the Ballard Preservation Association, filed two separate appeals with the Seattle Office of the Hearing Examiner Oct. 18, the final day for appeals, calling for a full environmental impact statement to be created for the Compass Housing Alliance project at 1753 N.W. 56th St. as well as a reconvening of the Design Review Board for the project.

According to the appeal, the Ballard Preservation Association includes Ballard Partners, Neidler Manufacturing Company and Lew Wong Realestate. Neidler Manufacturing Company gives a Bellevue address, and Lew Wong Realestate gives a Renton address.

Ballard group files appeals over homeless housing
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Weinstein A|U

A group of neighbors and businesses called the Ballard Preservation Association filed two appeals Oct. 18 to halt the construction of Urness House, a development for formerly homeless men and women.

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