March 2021 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

March 2021

Long shifts helped keep critical roads open during February snow

Snow plow at work

Most of King County saw more than 12 inches of snow over the three-day Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend. Road Services crews spent the first part of the week getting ready by prepping vehicles and managing schedules. When the flakes started coming down, the snow plows were ready to hit the roads.

Before the snow melted…

More than 160 crew members worked around the clock in two 12-hour shifts
They plowed and treated 7,075 total miles of road
27 plows, 27 support vehicles, and 40 loaders, graders, and trucks were out on the road around the clock

Watch videos with snow and ice tips in English and Spanish on the Road Services Winter Weather website.

(Photo: a county plow manages blowing snow near Enumclaw)

Local Services

What does your community need to make it a better place to live and work?

King County Local Services is working with community members in unincorporated areas to create Community Needs Lists for their areas. The first step is to put together a catalog of community requests. You and your neighbors are invited to take part in this effort online by visiting the site for your community to share ideas:

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

Lunch graphic

Join us for “Local Lunch” on Fridays

If you live or do business in King County and outside a city or town, King County is your local government—and King County Local Services is here to help connect you with government services. If you have questions or comments, or need help with something, you can always send us email or call us at 206-477-3800.

Now you can also join us every Friday during the noon hour to talk over any questions or comments you may have, ask for help, or just to chat. These informal meetings are virtual for now (check our home page for information on how to join), but we plan to keep them going in unincorporated-area restaurants after the pandemic is over.

Road Services

King County bridge repairs – recent, present, and coming soon

The underside of Judd Creek Bridge

Many bridges in King County are more than 70 years old. Like many of us at that age, some are showing signs of wear and tear. Road Services inspects county bridges regularly and prioritizes repair work by need as funding is available.   

Last month, they replaced wooden bridge planks and installed a new pedestrian walkway at the Four Creeks Bridge south of Issaquah and southeast of Squak Mountain State Park. Paving the bridge deck will be next, when the weather allows it.

Work to help restore Patton Bridge, which carries SE Green Valley Road over the Green River, began in mid-February. This 10-week project to strengthen the deck with new steel and concrete includes three total bridge closures, but the bridge will mostly remain open to vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists while work is being done. Learn more

In early March, the county will begin work on Vashon Island’s Judd Creek Bridge (shown in photo). This 23-day project includes replacement of old bearings, concrete, steel, and one expansion joint. The bridge will be closed for up to three weeks, with local access maintained but all through traffic following a signed detour. Because this bridge is on Vashon Highway SW, the island’s main north-south road, bridge closure will be kept as short as possible and crews will work around the clock to finish the work. Learn more

(Photo: The Judd Creek Bridge, built in 1951, carries almost 4,800 vehicle trips each day.)

Should speed limit be lowered on Vashon Highway SW?

Image: driving fast

Residents of the area south of Vashon Island’s Quartermaster Harbor have contacted King County about the speed limit on Vashon Highway SW, a two-lane road with narrow shoulders and no sidewalks. Residents said people often exceed the 45-mph speed limit as they rush to and from the ferry, making it dangerous to walk or bike on the road.

After doing a speed study, county traffic engineers proposed reducing the speed limit in the area to improve safety. They’re asking residents who use this section of road to comment on the proposed change by email no later than March 8. If the change is approved, signs with the new speed limit will be posted on the road by May 31.

Learn more | See a map showing the proposed changes

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.

Metro Transit

Metro seeks community input on route to recovery

Metro bus graphic

King County Metro Transit is making plans to gradually restore suspended service where needed most. In order to make the most informed service decisions for King County residents and Metro customers, Metro is seeking community feedback through a short survey on Metro’s route to recovery. Responses are due by 11:59 p.m. March 8, 2021. Your valuable input will help transit planners identify and recommend priority service changes in September 2021 and beyond. Read more in this Metro Matters blog post.

In addition to English, the survey is also available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic.

Natural Resources & Parks

Trailhead at Black Diamond Open Space

(Photo: trailhead at Black Diamond Open Space)

56 acres added to popular south King County park

King County Parks has added 56 acres to the (currently) 1,240-acre Black Diamond Open Space, a popular south county recreation destination. The new addition, near SE 288th Street and State Route 169, protects the site’s forested wetlands. Adding this acreage to Black Diamond Open Space, which currently offers 17 miles of multi-use trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding, means more protected habitat in a rapidly developing area of the county, and more room for outdoor recreation for the county’s growing population.

The land was acquired through King County’s Four to One Program, which allows a landowner to add 20 percent of their land to the urban growth area if they donate 80 percent to King County’s open space inventory.

Read the news release

County considers four potential sites for new transfer station

King County’s Solid Waste Division has identified four properties in Kirkland, Woodinville and Redmond for further study in its search for a site for the new Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station, which is set to open to the public in 2027.

The sites under consideration are:

  • An undeveloped property at 11811 Willows Rd NE (at the intersection of Willows Road NE and NE 124th Street) in Redmond
  • The Winsome Trading property at 16111 Woodinville-Redmond Road in Woodinville
  • The current Houghton Transfer Station property at 11724 NE 60th Street in Kirkland
  • The Houghton Park-and-Ride property at 7024 116th Avenue NE in Kirkland.

The new facility will have improved transfer and loading systems to reduce truck trips, be enclosed to prevent odors, and will make recycling and waste disposal more accessible and convenient for customers who now must drive more than 30 minutes for these services.

Read the news release

Learn about noxious weeds in a free webinar on March 31

Woman surrounded by English holly

These are not your ordinary weeds! Noxious weeds and invasive plants are tough customers. They’re hard to control and have big impacts—including crowding out beneficial plants. The webinar on March 31 will teach ways to tackle these plants while avoiding unintended consequences to beneficial plants and animals, and show you how to spot the worst offenders before they grow into unruly monsters. Register on Eventbrite

Learn about other upcoming classes offered by the Noxious Weed Program, including professional seminars.

(Photo: Washington Conservation Corps Supervisor Colleen Slater poses with a large stand of English holly, Ilex aquifolium.)

Bike riders at Dockton Forest

Big improvements are coming to Vashon park and forest

Share your opinions about desired features for a new play area at Dockton Park via an online survey available until Sunday, March 7. King County Parks is planning to renovate the play area in the coming months, with re-opening anticipated for this summer.

And if you love mountain biking at Dockton Forest, learn more about proposed trail development at a virtual information session on Tuesday, March 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. This Zoom meeting will cover progress made to date by Parks’ community partner, Vashon Mountain Bike Association, and the next phase of trail improvements. Registration is required—information for attending the virtual meeting will be sent the day before to all registrants.

Executive Services

Airport Roundtable seeks member from unincorporated King County

A jet takes off at King County International Airport/Boeing Field

Are you interested in aviation or King County International Airport–Boeing Field? If so, please consider applying to serve on the Airport Roundtable. This advisory board makes recommendations to the airport's administrators, the King County Executive, and the King County Council.  

The Roundtable’s members represent aviation-related businesses and communities that are interested in airport issues. There are several positions, including one to represent unincorporated King County, that will remain open until filled.

The board meets on the second Monday of each month, virtually until further notice due to COVID‑19.

To learn more and/or apply:

Community & Human Services

Online survey

County seeks input on access to mental health and substance use services in rural areas

King County is asking for input from individuals and groups about the needs, challenges, and opportunities community members face when accessing mental health and substance use services in rural, unincorporated parts of King County. An email survey will open in mid-March. If you’re interested in participating, provide your contact information. Once the survey is available, the county will send a link to the email address you provided.

Lern more about King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) tax and the services it supports on the King County website.

Community planning session for pilot human services program

You’re invited to a virtual community planning session for the upcoming Remote Access from Rural Food Banks Pilot funding opportunity.

The goal of this program to improve access to human services for people in rural areas by helping food banks in those areas provide information about, or connections to, human services available locally. Some rural food banks might even offer direct support or assistance at their locations.

Please register to join us at a community planning session (via Zoom):
Tuesday, March 2, 2020 | 2:30 - 4:30 pm
Meeting ID: 952 1578 7663

Public Health


COVID-19 resources

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

SE King County News

City of ­Enumclaw annexes property on SE 436th Way

Map detail

Last month, the City of Enumclaw officially annexed the Mt. Rainier Christian Center property on SE 436th Way, south of Mahler Park (see map detail at left, or view a larger map).

This annexation will allow the city to extend municipal services, regulations, voting privileges, and taxing authority. The annexation area was approved by the Washington State Boundary Review Board last summer.

For more information about annexation benefits and the process, visit King County's frequently asked questions about annexations or the City of Enumclaw's information about annexations.


Grants available to help fund art, heritage, or preservation projects

4Culture will be accepting applications to fund creative projects in the disciplines of arts, heritage, and historic preservation starting March 17, with a deadline of April 28. For more information, visit the 4Culture website.

Rural Area news

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

On Feb. 8 the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council was invited to speak at the Maple Valley City Council meeting. They gave a presentation on the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. A robust discussion followed with questions and answers. The presentation can be viewed on the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area 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

Headworks Brewing
1110 Marshall Avenue, Enumclaw

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

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


:: 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

At King County Local Services, we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic while also attending to the work of the county. That reality was thrown into sharp relief Feb. 11-15, as our region experienced a significant lowland snow event.

Our Road Services Division had been preparing to manage a major snow during the pandemic, adjusting their operations to observe social distancing and the safety of their workforce while maintaining their ability to move snow effectively. Details about what they were able to achieve—and what resources (human and otherwise) it took to pull that off—are cited in our lead story at the top of this newsletter.

Using the county’s new road tier system, developed after a major snow in 2019, crews were able to effectively clear roads in Tiers 1-4, and even get to the new Tier 5 roads in neighborhoods like Trilogy/Redmond Ridge and Mirrormont. Road Services employees did an amazing job responding to incredibly challenging conditions, while still in the middle of a global pandemic, and they made it look easy. 

Everyone here at King County Local Services is committed to delivering the highest level of service possible to the people of unincorporated King County, and we will meet that standard—even while we're also navigating the continuing challenges of COVID-19.

Stay safe and warm out there.

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).