Oct 2021 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

October 2021

Road Services revives intern program in 2021

Interns under bridge

Photo: Interns Isabel and Olivia Yamashita check out the Upper Tokul Creek Bridge with Bridge Engineer Henry Jin. The bridge is scheduled for replacement this fall.

After a nine-year break, King County Road Services brought its paid summer internship program back this year. The 13-week program placed six undergraduate and graduate-level interns in the field and in the office. They’ve since returned to their colleges and universities, but their ideas and energy remain with the seasoned engineers who mentored them. Read more about their contributions and experiences on the King County Local Blog.

Local Services

Community project organizers in unincorporated King County can now apply for 2022 “Alan M. Painter” Community Service Area grants

Are you part of a group in unincorporated King County that’s trying to bring together the community? Your group can now apply for grant money to help your event become a reality, via the county’s Alan M. Painter Grant Program.

These grants—formerly known as Community Service Area grants—fund community projects that allow residents of the unincorporated areas to participate in, and be more connected to, their communities.

Funded projects must demonstrate how activities are accessible to all residents regardless of race, income, or language spoken. They may not be used for political activities.

A total of $90,000 will be reimbursed for projects in 2022, in individual grants of less than $5,000 per project. Funding for projects will begin in March 2022. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, December 3, 2021.

Man with name tag at public open house

Earlier this year, the King County Council approved renaming the grants program to honor Alan M. Painter (pictured at left), the founding director of King County’s Community Service Area Program and a long-time public servant who also worked in the City of Seattle and in communities across King County.

► Learn more about the grant program and Alan Painter in this King County Local blog post.

► Find details about this year’s program and how to apply on the Local Services website. Information and applications are available in English and Spanish (and in other languages and formats on request).

County seeks public comment on subarea plans in North Highline and Skyway-West Hill

Residents in these two unincorporated urban areas are encouraged to review the draft plans at the link below and share comments about them. Subarea plans document each community’s vision for the future and establish policies to support achieving that vision over the next 20 years.

Check out your neighborhood's interactive site via the links below to review your plan and let King County know what you think! The deadline for comments is Thursday, Oct. 28.

North Highline Subarea Plan
Skyway-West Hill Subarea Plan

Metro's Community Van program comes to Skyway

Young woman poses with van

Metro and Local Services are introducing the new Skyway Community Van, which will provide residents with 24/7, reservation-based transportation for group trips. Metro provides the vans, and volunteer drivers are managed by a local Community Van Coordinator.

Fittingly, the program’s first coordinator, Kahdijah Jackson (pictured), is a Skyway native and has worked with several groups and nonprofit organizations that serve the Skyway area. She can speak firsthand to the community’s need for transportation services beyond what’s already there.

You can learn more about the program on this King County Local blog post. Right now, Jackson is especially interested in finding volunteer drivers. “It’s not a fulltime commitment,” she said. “One day a month, twice a week—if you can only give four hours, please sign up because we need those four hours. Let’s build this together.”

To find out how to schedule a trip, contact Jackson by phone at 206-477-7660 or by email at kajackson@kingcounty.gov.

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

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

How are we doing?

Have you talked or interacted with King County Local Services this year? We’d love your feedback. Please take our very brief survey: Local Services Customer Engagement Survey.

King County Permits

Newsletter debuts for plumbing and gas piping professionals

The Seattle and King County Plumbing and Gas Piping Program is launching a P&G Newsletter to help inform those in the industry about code requirements and inspections. The newsletter will provide information to help develop accurate construction schedules, as well as updates on resources and guidance on code and plan submission processes. The newsletter will be sent by email about once a month, and subscribers can unsubscribe at any time.

Subscribe to the newsletter   

And if you have anything you'd like to share with the P&G Program about the newsletter or its content,  use this form to submit your comment.

Executive Services

image: house

Property taxes are due Nov. 1

Do you pay your property taxes directly, instead of through a mortgage lender? Taxpayers have one extra day this year. The usual deadline for the second half payment is Oct. 31, but since that falls on a Sunday, payments must be made or postmarked by Monday, Nov. 1. Late fees will apply after that date. To review current amounts due, please use King County's safe and secure online eCommerce System.

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Treasury Operations is still closed to in-person payments—but there are other options available to make your payment.

Pay online using the King County eCommerce system (linked above). While there, you can also sign up to receive text or email reminders about tax due dates.

Pay by mail at this new address: King County Treasury Operations, 201 S. Jackson St., Suite 710, Seattle WA  98104.

Pay using the secure drop box at our new location, 201 S. Jackson Street in downtown Seattle. Look for a labeled white box on the Second Avenue side of the building, nearer to Jackson Street. There is no payment drop-off option at our old location. As a reminder, never leave cash in the drop box.

Learn more about property taxes on the King County website.

County seeks input for new approach to in-person services

Customer Survey

With COVID-19 infections still a concern across our region, King County will continue to provide most services virtually (largely online, by phone, or by mail) until further notice. This extended pause on in-person services is allowing the county to close the Administration Building in downtown Seattle and move the agencies formerly housed there to other sites.

To help guide plans for a new centralized services site, the county is inviting community members to participate in a survey. This survey, which is 100% anonymous and should take less than 10 minutes, is an opportunity for residents to provide input and help reimagine the customer experience at King County. The new location is expected to include services such as vehicle and vessel licensing, document recording, property assessments, treasury, vital statistics, permitting for taxis and ride-sharing companies, public records, and more.

The survey will be open through October 8. The new centralized services site is planned to open in spring 2022. Details about the facility will be announced as the opening date approaches.

Take the survey

Shake Out, Don't Freak Out

Get ready for the Great Shakeout

Do you know what to do in an earthquake?

The annual Great Shakeout, on Oct. 21 at 10:21 a.m. this year, is a great time to learn and practice Drop, Cover, and Hold on. Review your overall personal preparedness, including a disaster kit, family communication plan, and more. Learn more on how you can participate and get prepared for the unexpected, and read about the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety by the Earthquake Country Alliance.

Natural Resources & Parks

Prepare for flood season and get flood insurance

Home with flooded yard

It’s October, and flood season is here. King County has not had a major flood yet this year, but as our most common natural disaster it’s not a matter of if it will happen but when.

Two of the best ways to protect your home is to learn your flood risk and make sure you have flood insurance. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), just 1 inch of water pooled in a single-story, 1,000 square-foot home can cause close to $11,000 in damage. Standard renters and homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods. Renters can buy coverage for the contents of their homes even if the structure is not insured. It’s wise to consider buying flood insurance even if you aren't required to purchase it. And flood policy holders in unincorporated King County receive a 40% discount on their premiums due to the county’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.  

King County staff members are available to help you understand the flood risk to your property, interpret floodplain maps, and provide technical assistance to help you protect your property from flood damage. To better understand how flood insurance can reduce your flood risk, contact floodplain managers Laura Hendrix or Ken Zweig at 206-477-4727, or visit King County’s website to learn what you can do to prepare for flooding. Visit www.floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance and how to find an insurance agent.

Two women standing in a stream

Help monitor salmon in your local watershed

Fall means that salmon will soon be returning to our local creeks. The annual Community Salmon Investigation (CSI) – driven by community volunteers – has tracked the health of salmon runs in Miller and Walker Creeks for the past 12 years.

The Miller/Walker Stewardship Program is currently recruiting volunteers to conduct regular surveys of spawning salmon. Teams of 2-4 conduct weekly or biweekly surveys from early October through December.

Surveys are completed by walking along/in the creeks in waders, which generally takes 2-3 hours to complete. It's a great opportunity to learn more about salmon and what's being done across the county to help improve watershed conditions for them.

For more information on the program and how to sign up, visit the website or contact Iris Kemp, the Miller/Walker Basin Steward.

Learn to tackle noxious weeds in free Oct. 20 webinar

woman removing ivy from tree

Overwhelmed by weeds? The Noxious Weed Control Program is offering a free webinar on October 20 at 6 p.m. The online class will teach methods to tackle tough invasive weeds that grow everywhere, from backyards to forests and fields.

You can learn to identify noxious weeds so you can catch them early, before they take over. Register here...or, if you can’t attend the class, visit the noxious weed program website to watch recordings of past webinars and register for upcoming classes when they are scheduled.

Roseann Barnhill from Dirt Corps carefully controls ivy vines without hurting the tree. (Photo by Dan Sorensen.)


Puget Sound Starts With Car Care

Check your car, save salmon!

King County Water and Land Resources is part of the Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities (STORM), a coalition of 83 Puget Sound area cities and counties. STORM is sharing how caring for our cars can prevent pollution from entering waterways and Puget Sound – and harming salmon.

Get more information and clean water car care tips from the Puget Sound Starts with Car Care initiative at PugetSoundStartsHere.org. There’s also a new video to help share how to drive and take care of our cars to save Puget Sound, available with Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean captions on the agency's YouTube Channel. Happy cleaner commuting!

Cedar Hills Regional Landfill community meeting Oct. 13

Aerial photo showing Cedar Hills Landfill

Join an online meeting with representatives of the King County Solid Waste Division and Bio Energy Washington to ask questions and learn about the latest activities at the county’s regional landfill and the landfill gas-to-energy facility.

Join the meeting on Wednesday, Oct.13, from 6 to 8 p.m. Learn more and register on the Solid Waste Division website.

King County Farmland Leasing Program accepting proposals


To support the establishment and expansion of farm businesses operated by new and beginning and historically underserved farmers, the King County Farmland Leasing Program works to make farmland and infrastructure accessible to groups who face systemic barriers to accessing land.

Currently, King County has up to 5 acres of farmland available to lease near Kent starting in 2022. We are especially encouraging applicants who work to support business expansion for new and beginning and historically underserved farmers.

Please see the Request for ProposalsDeadline Oct. 17.

For more information, email Melissa Borsting.

Regional Animal Services of King County

Keep your pet safe – prepare for the unexpected

Because we're worth it!

Pet safety checklist

☐ King County pet license
☐ Microchip - keep your contact information current
☐ Leashes, collars, carriers, bedding
☐ Food, water, bowls, can opener
☐ First aid kit
☐ Litter box, cat litter, litter bags, cleaning supplies
☐ Contact information, vet medical records, medications

(For more emergency preparedness information, visit makeitthrough.org

King County pet license benefits

• Faster return of lost pets
• Lost pets found by an Animal Control Officer delivered to your home for free the first time
• Supports the care and adoption of local shelter animals
• Helps protect people and pets in your community

License online at: kingcounty.gov/licensemypet or call 206-296-2712 (interpreter service available).


4Culture Recovery Fund

The 4Culture Recovery Fund is now open to support cultural organizations in King County who have suffered losses due to the pandemic. Apply by November 5.

Rural Area news

Unincorporated Area Councils/Associations & Organizations

On Aug. 25, a joint team of seven Rural Area unincorporated area councils and unincorporated area associations and organizations provided oral testimony to the King County Council’s Mobility and Environment Committee on the proposed amendments to the 2021 Countywide Planning Policies Update.

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

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

Tuesday, Oct. 19 – virtual meeting via Zoom (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

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 email 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, Oct. 4, 7-9:30 p.m. – Zoom meeting (virtual)

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.

Weekend of Oct. 15-17 – Annual Model Train Show (tentative*)
Gracie Hansen Community Center in Ravensdale

*The council is contacting potential exhibitors to see if there is enough interest to make the show a possibility due to COVID protocols. Circumstances relating to COVID could change, affecting whether the show can be held. Please see the Train Show page on the council's website for updates.

:: 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

Thursday, Oct. 7 – virtual meeting via Zoom (7-9 p.m.)

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

Monday, Oct. 18 – Virtual meeting via Webex (7-9 p.m.)

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

:: West Hill Community Association

Board Meeting: Wednesday Oct. 13 – virtual meeting via Zoom (7-9 p.m.)
Quarterly Meeting: Tuesday Oct. 19 – virtual meeting via Zoom (7-9 p.m.)

Monthly and quarterly meetings are open to the public, and often feature guest speakers in addition to community reports and information from a variety of local organizations. For more information, email contact@mywesthill.org.

Director’s corner

John Taylor, King County Local Services director

October brings us changing leaves, cooler days and nights, and the launch of our annual Community Service Area Grant Program. This year, the program's name has changed to honor Alan M. Painter, the former head of the King County Community Service Area Program. Alan passed away this year, and the County Executive and Council decided to honor him by renaming this grant program after him.

The grants program is one legacy from a decades-long career spent in human services and community development. Alan was appointed by Executive Dow Constantine as the county’s Community Service Area Program Manager in 2012, and he led the program until his retirement in 2019. During that time he grew it into a robust program with deep roots in communities across unincorporated King County.

He was everywhere in unincorporated King County, often attending community meetings in Skyway, White Center, and the Snoqualmie Valley on the same day. He never shied away from a challenge and could often be found in the middle of challenging community development issues. Community activists across unincorporated King County remember Alan fondly as someone who worked with and for community, and was always trying to find the “right” solution.

Before being named CSA Program Manager, Alan advised the Executive on human services, health, and housing policy. He was also a former director of the Seattle Department of Human Services.

The grant program that now bears his name supports projects that advance the King County Strategic Plan and achieve the following goals:

• Promote the engagement of unincorporated area residents in community or civic activities
• Educate local residents about issues that affect them
• Implement a community enhancement project
• Identify and gather community needs and priorities
• Meet King County’s equity and social justice goals of increasing fairness and opportunity for all people, particularly people of color and those with low incomes and/or limited English proficiency

King County has awarded nearly $750,000 in grant money to community organizations since the program began. In 2021, community groups in the unincorporated areas competed for a total of $90,000 in grants, with awards ranging from $500 to $4,000 each.

Alan Painter’s legacy will live on in this program that now bears his name, but more significantly, it lives on in all the good work he did over decades in King County communities.

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).