December 2019 Unincorporated Area Newsletter

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December 2019

Share your thoughts about this newsletter



As King County Local Services winds up its first year serving the communities of unincorporated King County, we’d like to know what you think of this monthly email newsletter. Is it too long, too short, or just right? Are there things you’d like us to include — or not? Do you have suggestions for ways we could make it better? Please let us know by taking our online survey!


Take the Survey


(Problems with survey layout? Try this link.)


Planning the future of land use in North Highline

Subarea planning meeting

County planner David Goodman talks about the North Highline Subarea land use planning process at a public meeting in August.

King County Local Services is currently developing the North Highline Subarea Plan, which will guide development in the neighborhoods of White Center, Glendale/Boulevard Park, and the South Park “Sliver by the River” over the next 20 years. The plan will focus on zoning, long-term land use, and issues like housing, commercial and industrial areas, and community character.

County planners are talking with the public to help identify important land use issues and make sure the plan reflects residents’ vision for their community. A number of common themes have emerged so far: residents are proud of their neighborhood’s diversity, inclusiveness, strong local business community, and creative, independent spirit.

Commonly expressed concerns include maintaining housing affordability, preventing displacement, lack of infrastructure like sidewalks and streetlights, and preserving the neighborhood’s distinct character.

In December, county staff will share with the public draft land use proposals that would change development rules in certain residential and commercial areas. Over the following two months, they’ll discuss the potential consequences of those changes with community members and refine the proposals to better reflect the community’s vision and priorities.

A formal Public Review Draft will be released in March 2020 for public comment, and a final plan will be sent to the King County Council in June 2020.

Learn more and subscribe to get email updates

Community members providing feedback

Community members discuss land use in North Highline with county planner Kevin LeClair (second from right).


Stay in the know…

…about legislation that affects permitting in unincorporated King County

King County’s Permitting Division regularly updates, modifies, and distributes public rules, legislation, and policies that affect permitting, land use, and development in unincorporated King County. To get emails about what’s open for public review and comments, visit the division’s website and subscribe.


New building codes go into effect next year

2018 building code books

International Building Codes are updated every three years by the International Code Council. King County Permitting is currently enforcing the 2015 International Building Codes, while the Washington State Building Code Council works to adopt and modify the 2018 International Building Codes. That group of codes includes the building, residential, fire, energy, mechanical, and other codes that make up our state’s building code.

The 2018 state building codes will likely go into effect next July 1. All new permit applications received after that date must comply with the new codes. All jurisdictions are required to enforce the state code as the minimum standard. While King County Code (KCC 16 & 17) currently references the 2012 building and fire codes, the county will enforce the 2018 state building code as of July 1, 2020.

Residential Basics Program: The changes to the 2018 state building codes are significant, and new registered plans will likely be required to confirm compliance. Based on past practice, King County may begin accepting new register plans based on the 2018 code starting in April. The current register plans, based on the 2015 code, would then expire on July 1. During the transition period, from April to July, basic permits may be issued for projects based on either the 2015 or 2018 registered plans.

Learn more about the code adoption process on the Washington State Building Code Council website. To learn about purchasing code books and future training, see the Washington Association of Building Officials website

Road Services

Community takes part in Upper Tokul Creek Bridge design process

photo of people at public meeting

Public participants learn about, and comment on, bridge design options

On Nov. 19, the Road Services bridge design team held a public open house to get feedback on final design alternatives to replace the 54-year-old Upper Tokul Creek Bridge in Snoqualmie. The current bridge is too narrow and is supported in part by decaying timber beams that can't handle the weight of today's heavy trucks.

The final design for a wider, steel and concrete replacement bridge will be chosen next year. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and to last about one year.

Learn more on the project website


Dockton Seawall repairs on Vashon Island finished early

Damaged area of seawall

King County Road Services repaired a section of the seawall along Dockton Road SW in November – and wrapped up the work a few days ahead of schedule, in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Every year, Road Services inspects the 103-year-old seawall and identifies areas that need repair.

The first project from the most recent inspection focused on a part of the seawall that runs from Tramp Harbor Road SW to about 1,000 feet south, just north of the Tramp Harbor public dock.

This work required a full 24/7 closure of Dockton Road SW. The road was scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, Nov. 27, but crews completed the work and reopened the road on Friday, Nov. 22.

The county plans to make more repairs in a second phase as early as spring 2020.

Learn more on the project website


Fairwood gets a new mini-roundabout

Construction of a mini-roundabout at SE 176th Street and SE 171st Way in Fairwood is nearing completion.

Roundabouts are installed at high-collision intersections to improve safety. They slow traffic, are easy to navigate, and create a smooth movement of vehicles into, around, and out of the intersection.

This particular one is a mini-roundabout. At intersections that aren’t large enough for a traditional roundabout, a mini-roundabout offers nearly the same benefits with a smaller footprint.

Paving crew at work on roundabout
  • Mini-roundabouts have no landscaping or artwork in the center island, which is only 8 to 18 inches above the circular roadway.
  • They are designed so that vehicles that are too large or long for all of their wheels to stay within the circular roadway can drive over the center island if needed.
  • Drivers must yield to any vehicle, large or small, that enters the mini-roundabout ahead of them. Use caution and leave extra room when you see a vehicle with wheels tracking on the center island—large vehicles often need more space to maneuver.


Photo: Crews finished paving the mini-roundabout in November and are scheduled to stripe the intersection this month.


Follow King County Road Services on Twitter at

Natural Resources & Parks

You can still volunteer to help out your Big Backyard

Volunteers planting

King County Parks will have many volunteer opportunities in December. If you're interested in helping Your Big Backyard flourish, please visit the King County Parks volunteer web page to learn more and find opportunities near you.

Tools, gloves, snacks, and water are provided, and volunteers don't need prior experience!




Join a work party to help restore Seola Pond in White Center

man holding large plant

A volunteer celebrates victory over an invasive scotch broom.

King County’s new Healthy Lands Project (HeLP) will be controlling invasive plants to support a community-led restoration project at Seola Pond.

You're invited to join a work party at the pond from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. You can get hands-on experience planting native shrubs and trees and removing weeds to help make the green space a better place for people and nature. Plus, volunteers will receive a free native plant to take home. Kids and families welcome!

Seola Pond work party
Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
30th Avenue SW. between SW 104th Street and SW 106th Street, Seattle

For more information, visit or email Marta Olson


Riverpoint neighbors open house in North Bend

Stormwater Services Section engineers will host an open house at the North Bend library (115 East 4th Street) in Thursday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Hear about alternatives—like upgrades to ditches and culverts—to reduce flooding on 470th Ave SE near SE 129th Street and SE 130th Street, and share your thoughts about those options.

For more information, contact Wendy Kara, 206-477-4723.

Community & Human Services

Funding opportunity - understanding community priorities

photo of man holding pen

Funding is available to help organizations conduct community assessment surveys to help King County understand community priorities.

Organizations will conduct a series of two-year community assessment surveys to complement Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy continuous community partnership efforts.

These surveys will commission persons, tribes, and community-based organizations to research and provide back to King County an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, and needs of geographic, cultural, or experiential communities in the county.

Applications are due Dec. 31.


Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy hosts meetings to help inform funding strategies

The Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy (VSHSL) hosts public meetings to gather feedback from the community on VSHSL funding strategies. During community planning sessions, VSHSL staff members share information about upcoming VSHSL funding opportunities and gather feedback from attendees to help inform how the funding opportunity is written.

To register for one of the sessions below, click on the event name/date link.

Senior Virtual Villages – Monday, Dec. 2, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
White Center Library
1409 SW 107th Street, Seattle
Community planning session to inform the investments for Senior Virtual Villages. Designed as a forum to receive feedback from the community before finalizing a funding opportunity.

Senior Health Promotion – Thursday, Dec. 12, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Shoreline Library
345 NE 17th Street, Shoreline
community planning session to inform the investment for Evidence-Based Senior Health Promotion. Designed as a forum to receive feedback from the community before we finalize this funding opportunity.

Caregiver Community Building for Caregivers of Persons with Disabilities – Thursday, Dec. 5, 3-5 p.m.
Mercer island Public Library
4400 88th Avenue SE, Mercer Island
Community planning session to inform the investment for Caregiver Community Building for Caregivers of Persons with Disabilities. Designed as a forum to receive feedback from the community before we finalize this funding opportunity.

Get advice and help with health insurance enrollment

Health insurance Navigators from Public Health-Seattle & King County will be available in early December at several local libraries (see list below). Language assistance available.

Open enrollment for Washington Health Plan Finder continues through Dec. 15. Enrollment for those who qualify for Apple Health is open year-round.

Auburn Library – Dec. 2 & 9, 5-8 p.m.
1102 Auburn Way S, Auburn

Fairwood Library – Dec. 2 & 9, 1-3 p.m.; Dec. 7, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
17009 140th Avenue SE, Renton

Skyway Library – Dec. 9, 5-7 p.m.
12601 76th Avenue S, Seattle

Snoqualmie Library – Dec. 10, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
7824 Center Boulevard SE, Snoqualmie

Foster Library – Dec. 4, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
14380 Tukwila International Boulevard, Tukwila

Vashon Library – Dec. 13, 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
17210 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon

For more information, visit or call 1-800-756-5437.

insurance cards

Local Services

Local Services field office hours

Local Services field office

Economic Development Program Manager Hugo Garcia ready to provide services at the Fall City Library on a recent Friday.

Don’t feel like going downtown to access government services? No problem.

Every week, King County Local Services provides information, technical assistance, and other services in unincorporated communities. During the office hours listed below, you can get information about county services, register to vote, check property assessments, and much more.

Black Diamond Library – Thursdays (except Dec. 5), 10-3
24707 Roberts Drive, Black Diamond

Fairwood Library – Wednesdays, 10-3
17009 140th Avenue SE, Renton

Fall City Library – Fridays, 10-3
33415 SE 42nd Place, Fall City

Skyway Library – Wednesdays, 1-5
12601 76th Avenue S

Vashon Chamber of Commerce – Tuesdays, 10-3
17141 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon

White Center Library – Thursdays, 1-5
1409 SW 107th Street, Seattle

Woodinville Library – Tuesdays, 10-3
17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville


Metro updates web-based Trip Planner for better searching, real-time departure predictions, and more

New lookup screen


Metro has improved its web-based Puget Sound Trip Planner, including upgraded accessibility features and a responsive design for mobile users, along with a list of other notable enhancements.

Read Metro's blog post

Emergency Management

storm cloud graphic

Give the gift of preparedness this holiday season

December brings families and friends together for a variety of holiday festivities. Looking for that perfect gift? What better way to show your love than to equip loved ones with a  winter weather emergency supply kit for their vehicles.

Download a checklist at

Rural Area News

Proposed Adult Beverage Ordinance

The King County Council has proposed an ordinance which seeks to update development regulations for wineries, breweries, and distilleries. On Nov. 21, after a four-month detailed review, several Rural Area unincorporated area councils and associations (Enumclaw Plateau Community Association, Green Valley/Lake Holm Association, Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council, and Upper Bear Creek Unincorporated Area Council) submitted a joint set of comments to the King County Council.

Read the comments

Upcoming community meetings

Community Alliance to Reach Out and Engage

No meetings scheduled for December.
See website for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

Enumclaw Plateau Community Association

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 6:30-8 p.m.
Enumclaw Library
1700 1st Street, Enumclaw

Check the website for the latest meeting information.

Fall City Community Association

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7-8:30 p.m.
Fall City Fire Department
4301 334th Place SE, Fall City

The Fall City Community Association promotes building of community, proactively communicates on local issues, and takes action on selected issues that affect the Fall City community. Open to the public. For more information, visit or email Ashley Glennon

Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7-9 p.m.
Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 78
20720 SE May Valley Road, Issaquah

Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meeting dates and locations.

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Monday, Dec. 2, 7-9:30 p.m.
Maple Valley Fire Station
Southeast corner of SE 231st Street and SR-169 intersection

Guest Speaker: Dr. Richard C. Honour will discuss environmental and health issues related to landfill expansion, as a follow-up to an earlier meeting on the proposed expansion of the Cedar Hills Landfill. Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

Green Valley/Lake Holm Association Meeting

No meetings scheduled for December. Regular association meetings will resume in January 2020, on the last Wednesday of each month.

Regular meeting agenda items include committee updates on transportation, environment, and safety. Questions, concerns, or comments are always welcome and can be submitted to For association updates and information, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Thursday, Dec. 5, 7-9 p.m.
North Highline Fire District
1243 SW 112th Street
White Center
(Parking and entrance are in the back of the station)

Monthly board meetings are open to the public, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from local organizations. For more information, email Liz Giba.

Skyway Solutions Community Development Association

No meeting scheduled for December.

Meetings are open to the public. Skyway Solutions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in unincorporated Skyway. For more information call 206-706-6400.

Upper Bear Creek Community Council

No meeting scheduled for December.
Visit the website or Facebook page for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

West Hill Community Association Board Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 7-9 p.m.
Skyway Fire District 20
12424 76th Avenue S, Seattle

Monthly board meetings are open to the public and often feature guest speakers as well as community reports and information from local organizations. For more information, visit the website or send email to 

Contact King County Local Services

Unincorporated Area Community News is published monthly by the King County Department of Local Services. Please direct questions or comments to Anna Clemenger, or 206-477-3839.

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