Over the objections of Burien resident Chestine Edgar, the Highline School Board voted June 26 to negotiate a sale of the former Navos mental health center site to the city of Burien.

Burien wants to use a portion of the property to build a storm water facility for its Northeast Burien Redevelopment Area (NERA) project.

The old Sunny Terrace Elementary School is located at 1010 S. 146th St, near Sea-Tac Airport’s third runway. Navos occupied the 9.8-acre site from 1979 to Oct. 2012, before moving to its new facility at Southwest 136th Street and Ambaum Boulevard Southwest. The Sunny Terrace site is now vacant.

The site is within the NERA boundaries, which stretch from South 138th Street to South 152nd Street between 8th Avenue South and Des Moines Memorial Drive South.

Because it is next to the airport, the city and Port want to develop the area with warehouses and other airport-related industrial uses. Burien officials have also suggested new car dealerships along First Avenue South could move to an auto mall along Des Moines Drive.


I attended the School board meeting on June 26, 2013 and it was the first time I was allowed to view the information on the surplus school land sale to the City of Burien. What I found especially interesting was Rose Clark/Burien council member standing up and telling the School Board that the approval of this sale was time sensitive as the ground had to be broken for this storm water facility by the City of Burien by this fall.

I regularly attend and follow Council meetings and have never heard about the land deal, the monies that are available for it and how much Burien citizens will have to contribute to this developing this facility.

If this is so urgent of an issue, why hasn't it been discussed at any recent council meetings? Why hasn't there been open public disclosure on what is going on in NERA, and who will really be responsible for this storm water facility and the expense to develop it?

Please see the letter attached I submitted to the Highline School District School board at this meeting.

June 26, 2013
To: The Highline School District School Board/ Highline Schools


The city of Burien has settled its lawsuit with the former developer of the Burien Town Square project. A new company will take over the three parcels that have not been developed.

Burien City Council members approved the settlement 6-0 on June 17 without any comment. Councilmember Joan McGilton was absent.

Under the settlement agreement, RECP/UP will sell the parcels back to Burien or Legacy Partners, the new developer chosen by the city. RECP/UP, includes the developer Urban Ventures Burien and a capital partner that jointly own the properties.

Burien will pay the repurchase price of $2.6 million plus $100,000 for planning and design expenses incurred by RECP/UP over the past year plus an additional $575,846.

It has been a long path to the settlement. Urban Ventures, now RECP/UP, completed the first phase of the Burien Town Square condominiums in 2009. The national economic downturn, especially as related to housing, deeply slowed the condo sales. Four years later, the condos are about 55 percent sold.

The undeveloped parcels are to the north of the condos and Burien City Hall/Burien Library.

City of Burien plans to buy as part of redevelopment project

Press release:

The Board of Directors (the "Board") of Highline School District No. 401 (the "School District") intends to hold a hearing on June 26, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at Highline School District ERAC building; 15675 Ambaum Blvd. S.W., Burien, WA.

The purposes of the hearing will be (a) to declare a portion of real property located at 1010 S. 146th St., in the City of Burien, County of King, Washington (the "Property"), as surplus because it is neither necessary for nor required for school purposes, and (b) to authorize the sale of the Property to the City of Burien pursuant to Chapter 39.33 RCW, the Intergovernmental Disposition of Property Act.

The proposed use of the Property is for development of the Northeast Redevelopment Area (“NERA”).

The Property is legally described as follows:
That portion of the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter lying northwesterly of S. 144th Way and northerly of S. 146th Street.


U.S. Sen. Patty Murray joined other officials on Friday, April 26 in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Angle Lake light-rail station to be built at South 200th Street and 28th Avenue South in SeaTac.

Preliminary construction is already underway at Sea-Tac Airport and project construction is set to begin this month. The station is slated to open in September 2016, four years earlier than originally planned.

The sped-up construction schedule is designed to alleviate parking pressure at the Tukwila International Boulevard Station. The new 200th station will feature a 700 parking garage as well as a temporary surface parking lot. The surface lot may go away when light rail is extended to the Kent/Des Moines Road-Highline Community College area in 2023.

The early opening will also coincide with the opening of the University of Washington light rail station. Officials say UW students will be able to go from the Angle Lake Station to the university in 49 minutes on light rail.

Sen. Murray joins officials in breaking ground for new SeaTac light-rail station
Photo credit: 
Sound Transit

An architectutural rendering of the new Angle Lake transit station slated to open in 2016.

Chip Davis has been appointed Burien’s Community Development director, replacing Scott Greenberg who left for a similar position on Mercer Island.

Davis has been a planner with the city since 2002. Previously, he worked as a consultant for communications companies developing cell phone tower sites in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and upstate New York. He also worked as a Spokane Transit Authority planner for 15 years..

Davis has a bachelor's degree in planning from the University of Washington and conducted graduate work at Eastern Washington University.

At the April 15 Burien City Council meeting, Davis said he is “very energized by the future.

“Based on pre-application meetings, we haven’t seen this level of development in several years.”

Navos Mental Health Solutions CEO David Johnson filled lawmakers in on one of the big new construction projects in Burien.

After merging with Ruth Dykeman Children’s Center and Seattle Children’s Home, Navos has decided to consolidate some programs at the Dykeman campus on Lake Burien.


Unfortunately, the landslide that caused widespread destruction near Coupeville may soon be repeated in Burien if the Westmark Emerald Pointe project continues to move forward.

Westmark recently obtained from the city of Burien a permit to clear ALL but 8 significant trees from 9.62 acres of steeply sloped terrain directly above the Highline School District Puget Sound Skills Center, the Environmental Science Center and its fish hatchery and wetlands at the north end of Seahurst Park.

With hundreds of trees removed and less than 1 significant tree per acre, what will be left is sparse unprotected slopes unable to absorb rainwater and run off. This land in question is clearly marked as landslide area on the City of Burien's own Critical Areas map (

Every year slides occur on or within close proximity of the land in question. In the recent past there has been the Maplewild Avenue Slide, Cove Point Road Slide, Goat Hill Slide, and multiple Three Tree Point Slides. It is the structural and environmental soundness of the Westmark Emerald Pointe project that continues to concern citizens.


(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.


Press release:

After conducting a three-month search period, the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce their selection of a new President/CEO. Carol Kolson will assume the role on Monday, April 8, 2013. She was selected out of more than 40 applicants. 

Carol has been involved with the Southwest King County Chamber for the last 6 years and is excited to help lead the Chamber. She has a 28-year banking career, most recently at HomeStreet Bank for 13 years. She has also worked in Marysville, Camano Island, Everett and Bellevue as a banker. Most of her banking career has focused on building meaningful relationship with clients.

Carol has served on the Southwest King County Chamber Board of Directors in the Chair position, Golf Tournament Chair, Funding and Events Committee and the Ambassador Committee. She believes being an active member at the Southwest King County Chamber resulted in new and long lasting client relationships.

Hotel to be built on scenic Angle Lake waterfront

Press release:
Seattle-based Ariel Development announced today its plan for construction of Hyatt Place at SeaTac to be built at 19518 International Boulevard in the City of SeaTac. Construction is set to begin before end of year.
Scheduled to open in early 2016, the hotel will feature 150 rooms, adjacent to nearby Angle Lake Park. Amenities will include a pool, fitness room and 2,500 to 3,500 square feet of meeting space
“The City of SeaTac is an epicenter for our region, and is an ideal site for this new property,” said Shimon Mizrahi of Ariel Development. “Its central location between Seattle and Tacoma provides an easy access point to freeways and the airport, as well as the city itself. We see a lot of potential on the scenic Angle Lake waterfront and the amenities guests can enjoy. We know the hotel will not only thrive here—it will create employment opportunities for the residents and neighboring communities.”
The estimated $25 million project has enlisted Seattle-based Linardic Design Group Architects, including all construction and soft costs. Hyatt Place plans to recruit 60 to 80 employees.

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