Sept 2021 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

September 2021

Vashon Island road will honor Mukai family

Historical photo: man and woman in front of building

This photo, taken c. 1929, shows Kuni Mukai and her stepson Masa Mukai in front of the family's home. Used with permission from Mukai Farm & Garden.

A half-mile section of SW 107th Avenue SW will display the honorary designation of “Mukai Way” in tribute to the Mukai Family and the Japanese American immigrant community’s contributions to the island in the 20th Century.

On Aug. 17, the King County Council unanimously approved the designation. It also directed the Road Services Division to post signs recognizing the section of road, which is where the historic Mukai Farm & Garden property is located.

Learn more about the Mukai family in this Local Services blog post.

Community and Human Services

An update on the King County Behavioral Health Rural Needs Survey

Thank you! Over 700 people completed the survey between March and April 2021

young man watching sunset

King County is acting on your input to develop new programs that increase access to mental health and substance-use services in rural communities. County staffers will hold community sessions this fall to share what they learned.

Community members who took the survey asked King County to make services more accessible, make more services available, and make services that people want to use. New services and programs will begin in 2022.

For details, see this Local Services blog post.

Road Services

School in Session: Stops on King County Roads

School bus with stop paddle extended and flashing

Just a quick reminder that school bus stops in unincorporated King County are on busy streets, and not all of them are marked. So it’s important to pay close attention when you find yourself behind a school bus. Remember to obey all laws, and do not, under any circumstances, pass a school bus when the red stop paddle is out. Some kids may not be super aware about traffic yet, so remember to look out for them!

Two more projects before paving season ends

Before photo of cracked road, after photo of smooth road

The Road Services crew will be in northeast King County in mid-September, grinding out the bumps and cracks on SE North Bend Way and SE Preston-Fall City Road before packing up equipment for the year. The crew covered a lot of ground in the SE Petrovitsky Road/140th Avenue SE area in August.

Road Service staffers thank residents and drivers for their patience; they know paving projects can be challenging to drive around. These newly resurfaced roads should last longer and make for a smoother, quieter drive.

Building a bridge between construction and the environment

water edge with fish exclusion netting and orange fencing

Removing and replacing a 70-year-old bridge over Mullen Slough is just part of the story on S 277th Street near W Valley Highway. The other part is likely something you may never see: the work done under and alongside the bridge to protect the environment.

These are small efforts: rocks to prevent erosion, nets to keep even a single fish from entering the area during construction, and a high visibility fence that identifies the project boundary and any potentially hazardous areas to stay away from.

This may look like just another construction project on a stretch of road with a little water underneath, but to Road Services it involves an ecosystem that must be cared for as they do their work. Learn more on the project website.

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

Subarea planning update

Stay tuned! Both the Skyway-West Hill and North Highline community service area subarea plans will be released for public comment on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Subarea plans document each community’s vision for the future and establish policies to support achieving that vision over the next 20 years. If you haven’t already, check out the following interactive sites for more information about the plans for Skyway and/or North Highline.

North Highline Design Standards project seeks input

illustration of urban area with storefronts

King County Local Services is working with the North Highline community to create an urban design framework for new commercial, multi-family, and mixed-use developments. Check out this information sheet to learn more about the project.

To align these new design standards with the community’s values, the project team is gathering input from community members through an online survey and upcoming events.

Do you have ideas to share? Your voice matters—please take the survey!

Local Lunch

Questions? Comments?

Join King County Local Services for “Local Lunch” on Fridays

King County Local Services is here to help connect people in unincorporated communities with government services.

Join us every Friday during the noon hour to share questions or comments, ask for help, or just to chat. See our home page for information on how to join.

You can also send us questions, comments, or requests by email or call us at 206‑477‑3800.

Natural Resources & Parks

Parks wants your input on protecting our highest-value
green spaces

Cedar frond

King County Parks is recommending some park properties be added to the High Conservation Value Property Index. Created in 2009 as an amendment to the King County Charter, the index ensures a higher level of protection for certain existing parks in order to conserve important ecological functions and critical natural or scenic resources.

In 2021, King County Parks is proposing to give some 2,400 acres this level of protection, which must be approved by the King County Council. Visit this interactive map to see the proposed parks, and send your comments by Sept. 30 to

2021 youth sports grants announced

Girls playing soccer

King County Parks recently announced the recipients of nearly $2.4 million in grants to improve the health and well-being of youths in our community. The grants, awarded annually in a competitive application process, fund 40 programs and projects ranging from renovating ballfields and sports courts to teaching bicycling and making recreation more accessible to youths with disabilities.

Volunteer in your local park or trail

A volunteer spreads mulch

King County Parks leads high-quality service experiences in county parks. Together with its partners, Parks leads hundreds of events year-round, restoring and improving parks, building and maintaining trails, and just plain enjoying parks. Staffers weave environmental education into every event to make for a rewarding and productive day in the park. Learn more at the Volunteer - King County website.

Spotlight opportunity: Renton Park Volunteer Event (Fairwood neighborhood in Renton highlands)
Sat, Sept. 18, 9 a.m. - noon

Join King County Parks staff and community members at Renton Park to help remove weeds from around young plants and prepare new areas for future plants. This beautiful neighborhood park is a lush second-growth forest, loaded with cool plants and wildlife. Come learn about this hidden gem and help it thrive! Register here.

Weekend closure of SR-169 during construction this fall

water over roadway

As the primary service provider to the King County Flood Control District, King County will replace two culverts beneath State Route 169 and the county’s Cedar River Trail. The existing culverts are small and restrict runoff during heavy rainfall. The resulting flooding causes hazardous road conditions, isolates nearby residences, and has forced repeated closure of the highway.

Construction to replace the culverts began in late August. New culverts will be installed during the last weekend of September or the first weekend of October, which will require a weekend closure of SR-169 and the neighboring Cedar River Trail. Please see the project website for updates (including confirmed closure dates) and the planned detour route.

Photo shows floodwater over SR-169 in February 2020.

Reminder: sign up by Sept. 15 for new Surface Water Management Fee discount for families with low incomes

After 1 inch of rain...748 gallons of stormwater runs off a 1,200 square foot roof, compared to 27,000 gallons from a 1-acre parking lot

Annual property taxes include a fee for surface water management. That fee helps address flooding, erosion and pollution caused by development.

If you qualify as a low-income household and live on your own property in unincorporated King County, you may be eligible for a 50 percent discount on the annual surface water management fee on your land parcel(s). Learn more on the county website, call 206-477-4800, or send email.

Information Technology

See if you’re eligible for a discount on internet service

Broadband router with person using laptop in background

You may qualify for a new program to help save money on your high-speed Internet bill.

In May, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a temporary program to help families and households afford Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

Learn more on the King County website or check to see if you qualify. You can also check with your internet provider to see if they are participating. Contact the Emergency Broadband Support Center for additional help at or 833-511-0311.

Executive Services

September is National Preparedness Month

Build a kit—Have enough food, water, and other supplies to support your needs for several days.

Emergency kit

Preparedness is a journey. National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones, whether you’re just starting out or have been on the road a while. It’s important to be prepared for natural and human-made emergencies and disasters, which can happen at any time and without warning.

Getting prepared is easy if you break it down. Try focusing on a different step each week...

Week one, Sept. 1-4: Make a plan. An emergency plan helps you and your loved ones think through what you'll do and how you'll communicate during a disaster or emergency. Be sure to include evacuation plans, meet-up points, and important contact numbers.

Week two, Sept. 5-11: Build a kit. Fill a backpack with essential supplies and survival materials to help you though the first few days of a disaster. Consider the needs of your family and pets as you pack food, water, flashlights, first aid, and other key items.

Week three, Sept. 12-18: Learn the hazards in your area. In Western Washington, we should all be prepared for earthquakes, but also take time to consider other potential risks, check your insurance policies, weather proof your home, and sign up for emergency alerts.

Week four, Sept. 19-25: Talk about preparedness with your kids, families, friends, and neighbors. Get to know your community, share resources and ideas, and discuss the preparedness steps you have taken. Informed individuals and connected communities are more resilient when disasters strike.

Visit and to learn more about disaster preparedness and National Preparedness Month.

Metro Transit

Increased mobility options arrive in Othello, Rainier Beach/Skyway, Tukwila, and Renton with expanded Via to Transit

Shuttle waiting at curb

King County Metro has expanded their Via to Transit pilot to provide better connections to frequent transit service and improved mobility for people who live, work, and go to school in Othello, Rainier Beach/Skyway, Tukwila, and Renton Highlands.

Via to Transit is public transportation that comes to you—it’s a pilot service that connects riders to and from transit and community hubs in four service areas. Anyone in the service areas can download the Via app or call to request an on-demand ride. Via to Transit originally launched in 2019 and has continued to expand access to affordable, efficient, and equitable transportation in King County. 

The cost for Via to Transit is the same as riding the bus: $2.75 adult, $1.50 ORCA LIFT and youth, $1.00 Regional Reduced Fare Permit, and free for children 5 and under—and there is no extra cost transferring between your bus or light rail and Via. You can pay using your ORCA card, a Transit GO Ticket, or a credit/debit card in the Via app or call center. Accommodations can be made for riders with disabilities, and bike racks are available by request.

Learn more:

There’s still time for a hike without trailhead parking woes

Trailhead Direct runs on weekends and holidays through Sunday, Sept. 26

Trailhead Direct - Park. Ride. Hike.

The transit-to-trails service, co-led by King County Metro and King County Parks, offers rides to and from the Issaquah Alps and Mount Si. Developed to reduce overcrowding at popular trailhead parking lots, Trailhead Direct has become a popular, eco-friendly way to get out of the city and explore King County’s mountain forests. Both of this year's routes are easily accessible from Sound Transit's Link light rail.

The Issaquah Alps route starts at the Mount Baker Transit Center, with service every 30 minutes serving Margaret’s Way, Squak Mountain, Chirico Trail-Poo Poo Point, High School Trail, and East Sunset Way. The Mount Si route starts at the Capitol Hill Link light rail station and offers service every 15 minutes to Mount Si, Mount Teneriffe, and Little Si.

Learn more on the Trailhead Direct website or read Metro’s May 25 blog post.

Rural Area news

Unincorporated Area Councils/Associations & Organizations

On Aug. 10, a joint team of seven Rural Area unincorporated area councils and unincorporated area associations and organizations submitted written testimony to the King County Council on proposed Ordinance 2021-0163.2, which calls for changing King County Code Title 21A Zoning with regard to the location of Search and Rescue facilities in the Rural Area on parcels over 4.5 acres. On Aug. 17, Soos Creek Area Response President Jeff Guddat provided oral testimony on behalf of the joint team during the King County Council's public hearing on the proposed ordinance.

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

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

Community organizations

NOTE: Although many 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

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, Sept. 13, 7-9:30 p.m.—Zoom meeting (virtual)

Tentative guest speaker is Tahoma School District Superintendent Mike Hanson. Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meetings. An agenda, including a list of any invited guest speakers as well as Zoom link information, will be posted several days before the meeting.

:: Green Valley/Lake Holm Association Meeting

The Green Valley/Lake Holm Association 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. We engage regularly with local government agencies to address concerns and influence policies on topics of mutual interest, such as growth and development, transportation, public safety, and flood control. Stay connected by visiting 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

The council will resume its regular first Thursday meetings on Oct. 7 (7-9 p.m.), either in-person or via Zoom. For more information, email Liz Giba.

Monthly board meetings are open to the public and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from local organizations.

:: 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

Monthly board meetings are open to the public via Webex, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information send email to David Vogel.

:: West Hill Community Association

Meetings are open to the public via Zoom, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information send email. You can also connect via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for the association's email newsletter, or access local stories and an events calendar on its website.

Director’s corner

John Taylor, King County Local Services director

As we move from summer to fall, I’m sure all of us would like to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, fueled by the Delta variant, cases in our communities are spiking.

According to Public Health officials, this variant is about 50% more contagious than previous ones. The CDC estimates that it’s responsible for 93% of all new infections in the U.S.—and most people with new cases, and about 97% of COVID patients hospitalized in the U.S, are unvaccinated.

On Aug. 9, Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a requirement that all public employees be vaccinated. For King County employees, the deadline to be fully vaccinated is Oct. 18 (see the news release). 

At Local Services, we intend to meet the Oct. 18 deadline because we’re doing a lot of work in the communities we serve. Our small business grant program, launched in July, will get much-needed funding into the hands of small business owners across unincorporated King County. We have three community plans—in Skyway, North Highline/White Center, and the Snoqualmie Valley—in different stages of development. We’re facilitating Community Investment Committee meetings in which the committee will decide how to spend $10 million in urban unincorporated communities. And we still have the day-to-day work we do with the communities we serve, year in and year out—such as managing the safety of our roads and providing building permits.

We’re concerned for the health of our workforce and our ability to continue to deliver critical county services—both in-person and remotely. The public often doesn’t have a choice about using our services, and we’re concerned about those who don’t have the option of vaccine protection like children, those with compromised immune systems, and even those who are vaccinated, since we are seeing some breakthrough infections. 

Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to protect your health when we’re out and about in unincorporated King County. 

Please stay safe and healthy in what continues to be a challenging time.

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).