February 2021 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

February 2021

Severe weather batters King County roads

downed tree across two vehicles

January 13 was an extraordinarily busy weather day for King County Road Services crews. Gusty winds downed trees and power lines, many of which blocked roads—especially on Woodinville-Duvall Road. Working around energized power lines is dangerous, and required county crews to work closely with Puget Sound Energy and other utilities. Debris was scattered so far and wide that Road Services dispatched a snow plow to clear roads in some areas.

flooded road

Along with the winds we had a torrential downpour, and the county's map of the roads most likely to flood proved to be remarkably accurate. As usual, the Snoqualmie Valley area was hit hardest.

Road Services thanks motorists for their patience while the cleanup continues, and also thanks them for serving as the county's eyes and ears in the field by calling our 24/7 Road Helpline (see below) to report downed trees, flooded roads, and other hazards.

Reminder: Do not drive through standing water! In this photo it may appear shallow, but the water was actually 20 inches deep! Watch a video about flood safety in King County. And keep in mind that when flooding or construction closes roads, you can always get the latest on the Road Services MyCommute page.

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: 2064778100 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.

Local Services

What are your priorities for your community?

Community checklist

In 2020, the King County Council directed Local Services to create a Community Needs List for unincorporated areas in King County. This community-identified list includes service, program, and capital improvement projects that the county will implement when funding allows.

The first step in creating the Community Needs List for each area will be to create an initial catalog of community requests. Local Services has set up the following websites where community members can collaborate on their initial catalogs:

Bear Creek/Sammamish
East Federal Way
East Renton Plateau
Four Creeks/Tiger Mountain
Greater Maple Valley/Cedar River
North Highline
Skyway/West Hill
Southeast King County
Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County*
Vashon-Maury Island

*See more details under Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County news, below.

Sheriff's Office

Meet Manny Apostol, new Community Engagement Specialist for the King County Sheriff's Office

Manny Apostol headshot

The King County Sheriff's Office serves the law enforcement needs of more than half a million people in King County's unincorporated areas and in 12 contract cities. They also provide police departments for the Muckleshoot Tribe, Metro Transit, and the King County International Airport–Boeing Field.

Manny Apostol is their new community engagement specialist. His role is an active way for the Sheriff's Office to be available to residents and help address issues before law enforcement needs to become involved.

No stranger to public service, Apostol put in 29 years at the Sheriff's Office 9‑1‑1 Communications Center, “When you work the emergency needs of the community all those years, you learn a lot of insights,” he says. “I hope to take that experience to interact with communities and residents.”

The pandemic has posed a few challenges to his new job. “COVID has been tough on us all, but it’s also given me ways to think outside the box when it comes to serving our communities,” Apostol says. “I hope we can build on what we learned and keep what works to make interaction with me and the county more accessible for everyone.”

“One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is the power of partnerships,” he adds. “Partnering with the Department of Local services has shown what can be achieved when agencies work together towards the mutual goal of dedication of service.”

Learn more on the King County Sheriff's Office website, or contact Officer Apostol by email or phone (206‑477‑2241). You can also follow the Sheriff's Office on Facebook.

Executive Services

Airport seeks Roundtable representative from unincorporated King County

Airport terminal entrance

Are you an aviation geek? Or interested in King County International Airport–Boeing Field? Apply to serve on the Airport Roundtable, an advisory board that makes recommendations to the airport's administrators, the King County Executive, and the King County Council.  

The Roundtable's membership includes representatives of aviation-related businesses and communities interested in airport issues. There are six open positions, including one to represent unincorporated King County. Positions are open until filled.

The board meets on the second Monday of each month. Meetings will be held virtually until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more and/or apply:

Property tax statements are coming soon

House with lit windows

Property tax statements for 2021 will be mailed on Feb. 14. If a mortgage lender pays your taxes, tax statement details are forwarded to them. If you pay your property taxes yourself and you have not received a statement by March 1, request a tax statement online or contact King County Treasury Operations by email or at 206‑263‑2890.

The first half of your 2021 property taxes are due by April 30. King County's in-person services are still suspended due to COVID‑19, but the King County website lists other payment options. You can also use that link to sign up for text and email reminders about your property taxes.

Learn about property tax relief programs for seniors and people with disabilities.

Give the gift of safety

Each year millions of people struggle to find that perfect gift for their loved ones, for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and other occasions. This month, why not give the gift of safety? Preparedness items make pretty cool gifts, and can save a life!

Disaster Danny

Don’t know what to give? Watch this short video to get some suggestions from Disaster Danny for what to include in a disaster kit. Check out additional preparedness tips from Emergency Management. Need more advice? Just give a ring or shoot us an email, and we’d love to schedule a more thorough (virtual) conversation on what you need to prepare for in King County. Email Sophia Lopez with the King County Office of Emergency Management or call 206‑450‑9533. 

Here are some more preparedness resources:

Public Health

Wastemobile set to begin service in February

unloading hazardous waste from a car

First stop: Bothell/Woodinville area

If you live in King County, you can take your household hazardous waste to any of the county's four collection sites or to the traveling Wastemobile. You don’t need to make an appointment, and there’s no fee for this service. In 2019, these sites kept 3,346,500 pounds of hazardous waste out of the environment!

The Wastemobile will kick off 2021 with a three-day visit (Feb. 19-21) to the UW Bothell Campus, 18115 Campus Way NE in Bothell.

Learn more about the program, including the Wastemobile schedule, what to bring (or not) to a hazardous waste collection site, or how to safely transport waste on the Hazardous Waste Management Program website.



COVID-19 update

Updated data on COVID-19 outbreak settings is now available on Public Health’s COVID-19 web page. It provides a snapshot of the number of outbreaks Public Health has identified across various settings such as worksites, long term care facilities, and schools.

The data shows that since the start of the pandemic, Public Health has identified more than 1,000 outbreaks across the county.

In addition, a table shows the number of outbreaks for each month and the average number of COVID-19 cases per setting.

Previously, Public Health published a summary report with outbreak summary information. This dashboard will now provide that data on an ongoing basis.

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

Apply for Conservation Futures funding to add parks and open spaces to your community

Forest trail

King County is seeking applications for funding from the King County Conservation Futures tax levy. Applications are due on Tuesday, March 2.

There may be more than $30 million in funding available this year as bond-backed funding may be available in addition to the fund's annual collections.

These grants can be used to buy parks and open spaces used for low-impact passive recreation, such as urban green spaces, natural areas, forests, community gardens, farms, and trails. Up to 15% of the site can be developed with impervious surfaces for uses like parking, restrooms, or small playgrounds.

The grants can be awarded to cities, the county, park districts, and eligible nonprofit nature conservancies and historic preservation associations.

Typically a dollar-for-dollar match is required, but acquisitions in historically underserved opportunity areas may qualify for a match waiver (meaning the grant can pay 100% of the acquisition cost).

Visit the application webpage for application, schedule, policy guidance, and contact information.

Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County news

What does your community need from King County?

Community members in the Snoqualmie Valley-Northeast King County Community Service Area are identifying needs for county-provided services, programs, facilities, and capital improvements. Check out the survey to see input received to date.

The survey will be open into March. County agencies will then review the requests to consider which ones are feasible for them to implement. Ultimately, a prioritized Community Needs List will be developed with the community and will inform development of the next King County budget.

Email Jacqueline Reid if you would like more information or a presentation for your group. And please share the survey link above, so we can hear from as many community members as possible!

You can also get an information sheet on subarea planning and community needs lists on the county website.

Rural Area news

Unincorporated Area councils/associations & organizations

Countywide Planning Policies—proposed policy changes

The Countywide Planning Policies, currently undergoing a major update, serve as the guiding principles and policies for all comprehensive planning in King County (county, city, and special-purpose district), as well as county and city zoning codes. Members of Rural Area unincorporated area councils and associations jointly reviewed the 2012 (as amended in 2016) countywide planning policies, and submitted proposed changes on Jan. 11 to King County Executive Office's Senior Policy Analyst and Staff Contact to the Growth Management Planning Council, Karen Wolf, and King County Demographer Rebeccah Maskin. The next step will be a complete review of the Countywide Planning Policy Chapters, with proposed changes to be submitted to the County Executive's Office in mid-February.

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 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

Monday, Feb. 1, 7-9:30 p.m.—Zoom virtual meeting

The guest speaker will be Tim O’Connor, hydrogeologist with the State Department of Ecology’s Solid Waste Management Program. Mr. O’Connor will provide an update on the Reserve Silica Reclamation Site in Ravensdale. This will be a Zoom virtual meeting. 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: discover@vashonchamber.com.

:: 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.

An all-volunteer nonprofit that operates as a participatory, nonpartisan forum, sometimes called "town meeting." This council aims to represent the interests of the Vashon-Maury Island community, comply with the spirit of the open public meetings act in all operations, be a strong advocate for island issues at all levels of government (local, county, state, and federal) and other entities, and seek out and consider all sides of issues affecting Vashon and Maury islands while striving for equity and fairness. Community meeting minutes, including videos of the meetings, are posted on the website, or you can subscribe on the website to receive them by email.

:: West Hill Community Association

PO Box 78583
Seattle, WA  98178

An all-volunteer nonprofit committed to creating a more equitable, engaged, informed, and vibrant Skyway-West Hill community through frequent information sharing, effective advocacy, placemaking and beautification projects, and popular local events.

Reach out to them via email for more information about their public monthly board meetings (currently on Zoom) or for any other questions. You can also connect via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for their email newsletter. Access local stories and an events calendar on their website.

Director’s corner

John Taylor, King County Local Services director

The COVID-19 pandemic came to King County on Jan. 21 of last year. A few days ago,  I gave a briefing to the King County Council on Local Services’ response to the pandemic. It was an opportunity to reflect on all the activities of our relatively new department on behalf of Unincorporated King County residents during this past year.

Our staff members have been called upon to support the county’s direct response to the pandemic and to adjust their work to maintain county services when in-person work was challenging or impossible. Among their accomplishments are:

  • Distribution of 60,000 masks and 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer
  • Coordination and staffing of more than 30 mask/hand sanitizer distribution events
  • Distribution of $2.8 million in direct grants to small businesses
  • Provision of $114,000 in direct grants to chambers of commerce and community groups
  • Facilitation of more than 75 online meetings, including our annual Community Service Area Town Hall meetings
  • Movement of all permit applications online, with the majority available through MyBuildingPermit.com (Permitting Division)
  • Responses to weather events, including one major snowstorm and multiple floods  (Road Services Division)

Many of these things would not have happened without the assistance of our community partners.

All of us have faced challenges over the past year. We’ve seen governments and communities tested by the pandemic, civil unrest, and profound political divisions. As I look at what King County has been able to do in this time to respond to the needs of our community, I’m heartened. I’m also reminded of the durability and resilience of our democracy and of our communities, and also of the public employees who work in and for King County.

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).