April 2020 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

April 2020

Stay informed about COVID-19 guidance and resources

Man viewing laptop

We all want to be safe and informed during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Here’s a list of official sources of information, guidance, and resources for individuals, businesses, workers, community organizations, health care providers, schools, child care providers, and more.

Helpful websites

Donations and volunteering

King County Regional Donations Connectorkingcounty.gov/emergency/donate
This new service, provided by King County Emergency Management, matches donors of money, food, goods, and services with businesses and nonprofits in need of donations.

Call centers for public questions

  • Public Health-Seattle & King County – 206-477-3977
    For King County residents who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, or for health care providers with COVID-19. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Operators are able to connect with a third-party interpreter.
  • Washington State Department of Health – 800-525-0127 and press #
    For general questions about how the virus is spread and what to do if you have symptoms. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
2020 Census - be counted

Have you been counted yet?

Please complete your 2020 Census form online, by phone, or by mail ASAP.

If our community is undercounted now, we'll miss out on political representation and funding for vital services for the next 10 years.


Many permitting services are still available online

Closed sign on Permits office

King County Permits has suspended all lobby and in-person services at the Snoqualmie and Vashon Island offices in compliance with current Public Health guidance. Suspended services include permit application drop-off, permit applications by mail, and payment of fees by cash or check. Fees can be paid online via the King County Permitting Portal (see below).

Most construction activities and inspections have been suspended under the Governor’s order. If you believe your project to be exempt under the order and wish to schedule an exempt inspection, complete this Exempt Inspection Request form and email it to King County Permits.

King County offers a number of permits through the online regional permitting portal, MyBuildingPermit.com. Permits and forms currently available there include:

= Adult Family Home Inspections
= Residential New Single-Family Construction
= Residential Basics Program (limited to licensed contractors)
= Critical Areas Designation and Extension
= Zoning and Historical Certification Letter
= Fuel Tanks, Decommissioning Underground
= Fuel Tanks, Installation and Relocation
= Fire Permit for Commercial and Multi-Family Sprinklers
= Fire, Other Systems and Equipment
= Fire Alarm Systems Permit: Commercial and Multi-Family
= Fire Permit for Residential Sprinklers
= Fire–Fireworks Display
= Fire–Fireworks Stand
= Shoreline Exemption
= Special Event
= Residential Mechanical Permits
= Residential Demolition Permits
= Code Interpretations

Permits staff members will hold pre-application conferences via online video conferencing (i.e., Skype) or conference calls.

For properties in unincorporated King County, there are also online services available through the King County Permitting Portal. These include checking the status of a permit, scheduling inspections, paying fees, and viewing inspection results.

The King County Permits website offers services for property research, information, and more.

For more information or assistance, please contact King County Permits by email or phone (206-296-6600).

Road Services

Road maintenance is an essential service

To report a road issue in unincorporated King County, call the 24/7 Helpline at 206-477-8100, or send email if the issue is not an emergency. To learn more about King County Road Services, visit their website or follow them on Twitter @kcroads.

Public Health

Permit Fee extension for retail food establishments

Recognizing that retail food service establishments have been financially impacted by measures to control the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID‐19), Public Health – Seattle & King County is suspending late fees for annual food etablishment permit renewals through May 31, prorating fees for new food service establishments who open this year, and refunding permit fees for canceled temporary food service events.

Learn more at on the Food Service Business Permits website.

Metro Transit

Changes in Metro service in response to COVID-19

Safety strap on a Metro bus

Metro has canceled several bus routes completely, and canceled trips on many other routes, until further notice in response to the COVID-19 emergency and the drop in ridership as most bus riders stay home. These service reductions are designed to maintain a sustainable transit system until the health emergency subsides and allows for a return to normal service.

Metro has also suspended fare payments on all Metro buses, asking all riders who are able to board and exit the buses through the rear doors. To reinforce this request, and to encourage more space between bus drivers and riders, Metro is installing a temporary divider or "safety strap" (shown in photo) on buses to cordon off the front area of the bus for passengers who need priority seating. Seniors and people with disabilities should continue to use the front door.

To learn more and stay up to date about Metro service, visit the Metro website and/or follow their blog, Metro Matters.

To identify whether a specific trip is operating or canceled, use one of the following tools:

Finally, remember to watch for updates, as conditions are subject to change. You can sign up to receive email or text alerts about Metro service by using the "Sign up for alerts" button on Metro's home page.

Natural Resources & Parks

All King County Parks and trails are closed; volunteer events canceled

Photo: padlocked gate on trail

To protect public health and help curb transmission of COVID-19, King County Parks closed all county parks and trails on Wednesday, March 25. The closure follows Governor Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order and will last at least two weeks. All King County Parks volunteer events have been canceled through April 24.

King County does not have the resources to actively enforce closures and social distancing guidelines, and asks community members to respect parks closures and refrain from using county parks, including regional and backcountry trails. King County also urges visitors to not park illegally on roadways near parks and trails, or block park gates.

Learn more by visiting the King County Parks blog.

Cedar Hills Regional Landfill community meeting postponed

In the interest of public safety, King County’s Solid Waste Division is postponing the community meeting it typically holds in April. The meeting, which provides updates on activities at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill and at Bio Energy Washington’s landfill gas-to-energy facility, will be rescheduled for a later date. In the meantime, you can visit the website and sign up for email updates about the landfill.

Resources for small farms and businesses

The King County Agriculture Program has compiled a list of resources to provide financial support for farmers and food businesses impacted by COVID-19. This list provides resources and information on programs that can help farmers and food businesses access financial support programs through local, state, and federal organizations and agencies.

The local financial support opportunities include the Local Loan programs for Food BusinessesSBDC Business Resiliency Guide, and Amazon's $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund. The state financial support opportunities include financial assistance through the Washington State Department of Revenue and employer and worker assistance through the Washington State Employment Security Department. The state also provides information about insurance assistance, including event cancelation insurance.

Federal financial support opportunities and information includes: 

USDA Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool
Small Business Administration Programs
   Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Crop Insurance through the USDA Risk Management Agency
Non-Insured Disaster Insurance through USDA Farm Service Agency
USDA Farm Service Agency Loans

For the latest information, resources, and guidance related to COVID-19, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website. The Farm King County website will be updated as new programs become available.

Steps the Noxious Weed Program is taking to help slow the spread of COVID-19

Noxious weed

The Noxious Weed Control Program has rescheduled or canceled all program-sponsored classes and other events in March and April. If guidelines change, the program will make additional scheduling adjustments as needed.

Meanwhile, the county's noxious weed specialists are available by phone or email to provide technical assistance and follow up on noxious weed reports. The program website is a great resource for information on noxious weeds, and new infestations can be reported online or using the mobile app King County Connect.

Learn more on the county's Noxious Weeds Blog.

Rural Area news

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

The council submitted to the King County Comprehensive Plan Manager, Ivan Miller, comments on two proposed docket items to modify the comprehensive plan:

(1) D.I. Request #2—Fletcher to change zoning from Neighborhood Business (NB) to Industrial (I) at 18407 Renton-Maple Valley Road (SR-169), just south of the Cedar Grove Road intersection

(2) D.I. Request #5—Rainier Christian School (just northwest of Lake Desire in an unincorporated urban area) to extend sewer lines from the Urban Growth Area into the Rural Area to serve a projected ~41 new home sites. Details can be found on the council’s website (click on the “Correspondence” drop-down menu and select “Letters.”)

—Submitted by Peter Rimbos, Corresponding Secretary

Snoqualmie Valley news

“Love Snoqualmie Valley” website offers local resources

A community-wide resource is now available to bridge the gap on needs across the Snoqualmie Valley with resources to offer support. You can find help, give help, and learn about what's available, like food and medication delivery, rent and utility assistance, programs for kids, and so much more. Visit www.lovesnoqualievalley.com or call the Support Line at 425-888-0096.

website screen shot

Funding opportunities

County creates funds to help support those most affected by COVID-19

COVID-19 Community Response Fund

The King County Office of Equity and Social Justice is offering grants of up to $25,000 to community-based organizations and other stakeholders that serve communities affected by COVID-19. The agency will prioritize funding to support work with communities at the highest risk of immediate and long-term negative health, social, and economic impacts from the virus, with an emphasis on communities located near isolation, quarantine and recovery sites.

Learn more and find application materials on the county's Equity and Social Justice website.

Hate and Bias Response Fund

As the COVID-19 public health emergency intensifies, it's critical to pay attention to the impact the virus and its spread have had on communities of color. In particular, our Chinese and Asian Pacific Islander residents have experienced increased bigotry and discrimination due to a mistaken belief that they are responsible for spreading the virus. In fact, COVID-19 does not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.

King County will invest $50,000 in organizations that can develop community-centered public messaging in response to instances of bias and hate, with priority given to Asian Pacific Islander communities. Funded organizations must agree to participate in regular online meetings and in a series of message development, outreach, and reporting activities that can help inform immediate and future policies to combat hate and bias in King County.

Learn more and find application materials on King County's Equity and Social Justice website.

4Culture offers aid to cultural workers and organizations

Cultural relief fund

Closures, cancellations, and loss of work due to COVID-19 are impacting the King County cultural sector. 4Culture's Cultural Relief Fund will distribute $1 million over the coming months to cultural workers and organizations to help reduce these losses. Funds will also be available to support the creative responses cultural workers offer in times of crisis.

Learn more on 4Culture's website.

Community organizations

NOTE: Although public meetings have been canceled, here's a list of community councils and associations that serve King County's unincorporated Community Service Areas, including their usual (or most recent) meeting sites and contact information where applicable.

:: Community Alliance to Reach Out and Engage

Lord of Life Lutheran Church
12819 160th Avenue SE, Renton

See blog for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

:: Enumclaw Plateau Community Association

Headsworks Brewing
1110 Marshall Avenue, Enumclaw

Newly formed community association. Monthly meetings are open to the public, and may feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information contact Nancy Merrill.

:: Fall City Community Association

Fall City Fire Station
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 fallcity.org or email Angela Donaldson

:: Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council

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

Maple Valley Fire Station
Southeast corner of SE 231st Street and SR-169 intersection

Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

:: Green Valley/Lake Holm Association Meeting

Fire District 44, Station 95
32316 148th Avenue SE, Auburn

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

:: Skywest Tool Library

Skyway Water and Sewer office
6723 S 124th Street, Seattle

Join the SkyWest Tool Library Monthly Meeting to learn more about helping to start a new tool library in Skyway. The purpose of the library will be to share ideas, teach, learn, and borrow tools and more. Contact the library on Facebook.

:: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

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.

:: Upper Bear Creek Community Council

Woodinville Library
17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville

Visit the website or Facebook page for the latest information and to confirm meetings.

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce First Tuesday Networking

Vashon Chamber of Commerce
17141 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon

Contact: Jim Marsh at 206-463-6217 or discover@vashonchamber.com.

:: West Hill Community Association

Skyway Fire District 20
12424 76th Avenue S, Seattle

The organization's website now features a page with information about businesses and restaurants in the community that are still operating during the Governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.

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 emailLearn more on Facebook.

Director's corner

John Taylor, King County Local Services director

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, and it will continue to do so in the weeks ahead.

Our entire community has been affected. At King County Local Services, we’ve been focused on keeping you informed and making sure your concerns are heard. Many Local Services employees have been providing direct support to King County’s Public Health team, keeping everyone—both here and worldwide—updated on the COVID-19 outbreak in our area. As we learn about economic support resources, we’ll share those with you as well.

In this age of social media and rapid sharing, it’s important to have credible, factual information you can rely on to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe. The Public Health - Seattle & King County website is closely linked with state, federal, and other partners to give you the best and most up-to-date information. Public Health has also launched a new data dashboard to help you keep track of the numbers related to this outbreak.

Meanwhile, we’re still providing as many of our basic services as we can. Our road crews are out doing maintenance, Road Services is still staffing its 24/7 Road Helpline (1-800-KC-ROADS) to take your service requests, and engineers are hard at work (teleworking) so projects can continue.

Our Permitting Division has had to shut down its in-person and lobby services in Snoqualmie and Vashon, but—as detailed in the article above—also has many permits and forms available online.

Most, if not all, public meetings have been postponed or canceled. Where possible, we’re using teleconferences and webinars to engage our communities. If you’d like to share ideas or coordinate support, please email us at asklocalservices@kingcounty.gov.

These are historic times, and they require all of us to work together. As information changes, so will our response. If you saw the Governor’s March 26 press conference, you already know that the actions taken by residents, Washington state, and King County seem to be slowing the rate of infection here. As Governor Inslee said, “We have a long way to go, but we are being smart and strategic in our state.”

Thank you for the efforts you, your families, and your communities are making to support each other. Local Services is here as your partner as we all face this together.

Director’s Corner is a column from John Taylor, the director of King County Local Services.To contact John, email AskLocalServices@kingcounty.gov or call 206-477-3800 (Relay 711; language interpreters available).