December 2020 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

December 2020

King County awards nearly $2.8 million in grants to small unincorporated-area businesses hurt by COVID-19

Open sign on door

Candace Jennings, who owns a skin care business on Vashon Island, says King County's Small Business Assistance Program “saved my business.”

More than 630 businesses in unincorporated parts of King County received funding through the program, which launched its first round of grant applications in June.

“I felt like it was a gift from heaven,” Jennings said. “It helped me tremendously...Being self-employed, my unemployment is tiny. Getting a grant without having to repay it took so much of the stress away.”

Among grant recipients who chose to share information about their businesses in their applications, nearly half identified as being owned by person(s) who are Black, Indigenous, or persons of color. The same proportion identified as being woman-owned. These numbers reflect a deliberate effort on the county’s part to reach out to business owners and communities that have struggled with historic inequities.

Here’s a breakdown of grant recipients by area:

» West King County: 229
   -White Center: 99
   -Skyway: 65
   -Fairwood: 48
   -East Federal Way: 15
   -Other: 2
» Bear Creek: 119
» Vashon/Maury Island: 87
» Snoqualmie Valley: 78
» Greater Maple Valley: 44
» Southeast King County: 39
» Four Creeks: 37

Diana Camacho, who owns an event planning business based in the Auburn area, said she used the grant money to recoup up-front fees and other expenses that she paid before the pandemic eliminated most of her business this year.

“When everything started, I was really worried because I knew I had the money spent and it didn’t look like the businesses would open soon,” she said. “It affected me because I work with large gatherings. With the grant, I can recover the money I spent...I was really happy to get the grant.”

December is the final month for businesses in unincorporated King County to get free technical assistance and coaching


Time is running out to get help from King County's Small Business Coaching and Technical Assistance program. Use them for help in  applying for grant funds or dealing with any business issues that have been complicated by COVID-19.

Visit for more information (available in English plus Amharic, Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, and Vietnamese).

Or you can call 206-331-3275 and leave a voicemail with your contact information, the type of assistance you're requesting, and the language you prefer to speak (if not English). A technical services coach will call you back within two business days. Alternatively, you can fill out and submit the Technical Assistance/Coaching Request Form under "Coaching" on the King County Small Business Assistance web page (linked above).

Share your voice on the Skyway-West Hill and North Highline Subarea Plans and Community Needs Lists

King County's subarea planning program is happy to report strong participation on its two online surveys for the Skyway-West Hill and North Highline/White Center subarea plans and community needs lists. The surveys have now been updated to include summaries of what we’ve heard so far. Use the links below to see what others have suggested and to share your opinions with King County.

Skyway-West Hill:
North Highline/White Center:

Each subarea plan includes a vision statement developed by the community, as well as neighborhood-specific policies to support the community’s vision and guide King County’s decision making for the next two decades.

Community needs lists are a range of programs, services, and capital investments requested by the community that the county will use in developing budgets. The goal is to deliver these two completed plans and needs lists to the King County Council by December 2021.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the Skyway-West Hill or North Highline subarea plans or community needs lists, email Kevin LeClair (Skyway-West Hill) or David Goodman (North Highline).

Road Services

School pathways improved in Federal Way School District 

New sidewalk before and after

Most children aren't walking to school now because the COVID-19 pandemic has moved their classes online. When they do go back to in-person learning, some will find their trips safer. In partnership with the Federal Way School District, King County Road Services has used this time to improve walking conditions near two elementary schools.

Near Valhalla Elementary School in the Star Lake area, a new sidewalk section has been added between S. 278th Street and the school's north property line. This "missing link" project added 145 feet of sidewalk along west side of 42nd Avenue S.

Another missing link was added near Camelot Elementary School, where crews paved 260 feet of gravel shoulder and added 390 feet of concrete curb-separated walkway along the north side of S 298th Street between 36th Place S and 39th Place S (see before and after photos above).

Both projects are part of King County's School Pathways Program (learn more).


Flooded road

Flood season is here!

Nothing will keep a large flood away, but you can take action to slow it down and in some cases prevent flood waters from reaching the road and your property. Prepare in advance with free sandbags from King County Water and Land Services, Flood Services.

If you see a drain on your property or nearby roadside that is covered with leaves, clear them away or call the 24/7 Road Helpline at 206-477-8100. Visit the King County roads and flooding website to find out which roads are most prone to flooding in unincorporated King County and get more tips on how to stay prepared.


24/7 Road Helpline

Call Road Services for help with road maintenance and traffic safety issues in unincorporated King County (like downed stop signs, traffic signals that aren't working, or trees over the roadway) — 24 hours a day: 206-477-8100 or toll-free at 1-800-KC-ROADS, or send email.

You can also visit the King County Road Services website or follow Road Services on Twitter @kcroads.

Public Health

COVID-19 update

On Nov. 15, Governor Inslee announced temporary restrictions to be in effect statewide until December 14. Industries and activities not mentioned in the Governor's announcement may continue operating with the existing regulations.

Continued vigilance, including limiting trips outside the home, social distancing, regular hand washing, and wearing face coverings in public, is crucial to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and allow us to resume normal economic activity.

Learn what workplacescommunities and schools, and residents in King County need to know, plus important COVID-19 resources for you or your business.

Where to learn more

Public Health-Seattle & King County
Website | News and BlogFacebook | Twitter

Washington State Department of Health
Website | FacebookTwitter

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Website | Twitter

----- COVID-19 Call Centers -----

Medical questions related to COVID-19
206-477-3977 (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Non-medical questions about COVID-19, including compliance and business issues
King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Line
206-296-1608 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

General questions about COVID-19 in Washington State
Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center

Natural Resources and Parks

The Clean Water Plan questionnaire: staying connected during the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo: woman enjoys a water view

Since 2019, King County has been talking to people about their water quality, environmental health, and economic priorities to develop its Clean Water Plan. It’s critical that the plan reflects people’s priorities and needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone, and on the ways we connect. Please take 5 minutes to tell the Wastewater Treatment Division the best ways to communicate with you during COVID-19.

The questionnaire is available in multiple languages on the Clean Water Plan website.

To learn more, you can subscribe to the agency's mailing list, send email to, or call Erika Peterson at 206-477-5525.

Community and Human Services

New Renter’s Commission is recruiting members 

King County is recruiting renters to serve on the first-ever King County Renter’s Commission. Members will play an important role in developing housing policies and protections for renters of single family homes, apartments, and mobile homes in unincorporated King County.

Seven members will meet monthly for terms of one or two years. Applicants must live in King County, must be renters, and cannot be landlords. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31. Learn more and/or apply online, or contact Xochitl (pronounced So-chi) Maykovich by email or phone (206‑263‑9875).


Cultural buildings grant

Grants can help cultural organizations buy or improve buildings

The world may change, but King County’s cultural facilities always need love and attention. 4Culture’s Cultural Facilities grants help organizations acquire, build, or renovate the bricks and mortar buildings that make cultural experiences possible. The deadline to apply is January 29, 2021.

Learn more

Rural Area news

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Comments on Cedar Hills Regional Landfill draft Environmental Impact Statement Site Development Plan

On Oct. 30, the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council provided a detailed set of comments on the draft Cedar Hills Regional Landfill Environmental Impact Statement Site Development Plan to King County's Solid Waste Division. The council believes the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to be significantly deficient, with major steps needed to move it from a draft to a final state. The comments provided specific recommendations on what the council would like to see included and addressed in the final document to be released in the next year. Learn more on the council's website.

Submitted by Peter Rimbos, Corresponding Secretary, Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

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 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

Monday, Dec. 7, 7-9:30 p.m.—Zoom virtual meeting
Guest speakers will be King County Local Services Director John Taylor and members of his staff.

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

:: Green Valley/Lake Holm Association Meeting

Advocates for citizens who live in unincorporated southeast King County. Primary goals are to maintain the community’s unique historic, agricultural, and rural character; protect the environment, and sustain quality of life in the area. Engages regularly with local governments to address concerns and influence policies on topics of mutual interest, such as growth and development, transportation, public safety, and flood control. For updates and information, visit their website and/or Facebook page.

:: 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

:: Vashon-Maury Island Community Council

Regular virtual meetings on third Mondays, 7-9 p.m.
Visit the website for info on how to attend, or see the Facebook page.

:: 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

As we enter the holiday season in the midst of a pandemic, many of us are facing challenges. Yet we still have many things to be thankful for.

One of the things I’m grateful for is the amazing group of dedicated public servants we have in Local Services and our other King County agencies. The commitment, creativity, professionalism, and high standards shown by our employees have helped soften the blow of this pandemic.

Over the past eight months, Local Services employees have distributed tens of thousands of masks, along with hand sanitizer, to community groups across unincorporated King County. They've administered grant programs that provided more than $3 million to small businesses and gave significant financial assistance to chambers of commerce and other community groups. They personify King County’s values of respecting all people and helping everyone thrive.

More broadly, I'm thankful for all first responders across unincorporated King County who have been reporting to work every day to provide emergency services, tend to patients in medical facilities, keep our utilities and roads open and working, and stock store shelves with the food and other essentials we need. I'm thankful for their willingness to go above and beyond every day.

Finally, I'm thankful to live in a community where people are taking this pandemic seriously—working together to keep each other safe and following public health guidance.

You don't need me to tell you that we’re living through challenging times. But please keep in mind, as I try to do, that we are all in this together. I'm thankful for the strength and resilience shown not only by our employees but also by the people of King County.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season from all of us at Local Services.

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