Nov 2021 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

November 2021

Community Investment Budget Committee creates framework for participatory budgeting process, divides funds among five urban unincorporated areas

Zoom meeting screen shot

Photo: Committee members during the group's Oct. 13 Zoom meeting. Top row: Sahle Habte, Trenise Rogers, Yordanos Teferi, and Noni Ervin. Second row: Deborah Eberle, Kayla Knight (consultant), Curtis Taylor, Gloria Briggs (King County Local Services, Group Coordinator), Rebecca Berry. Bottom row: Kimnag Seng, John Taylor (Local Services Director), Jimmy Brown, Marissa Jauregui, Ayanna Brown, David Daw (Local Services). 

The group has created its plan for how to allocate $10 million in capital project funds to the five urban unincorporated areas (East Federal Way, East Renton, Fairwood, North Highline/White Center, and Skyway/West Hill), as well as more than $1.3 million in marijuana tax revenue for Skyway and White Center.

This process—known as “participatory budgeting”—is one of the few of its kind in the country and a first for Washington.

The steering committee, whose 21 members were appointed by King County in June, based its allocation decisions on the values it set in order to help create racial equity in the unincorporated areas while acknowledging King County’s position that racism itself is a public health crisis.

Learn more on this Local Services blog post, or visit the committee's page on the King County website.

Local Services

Deadline to comment on North Highline, Skyway subarea plans extended by an extra month, to Nov. 28

Share your thoughts and ideas

Residents in these two unincorporated urban areas now have extra time 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!

North Highline Subarea Plan
Skyway-West Hill Subarea Plan

Federal Economic Injury declaration opens loans for small businesses hurt by fire in White Center

Interior of burned-out business

After several devastating fires in the core of White Center this summer, the U.S. Small Business Administration has declared an Economic Injury Disaster, opening the door for businesses to apply for loans to help rebuild the local economy.

Local businesses and organizations affected by the July 5 fire in White Center can now apply for low-interest loans of up to $2 million if they've suffered from “substantial economic injury”—which the federal government defines based on whether a business is unable to meet its obligations and pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. Learn more about the federal program

The Washington Small Business Development Center is also offering free, personalized counseling to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses may contact their office at or 833-492-7232 or visiting their website at

Applicants may apply for a loan online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and/or download applications at Applicants may also contact the Small Business Association's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or for more information about the agency's disaster assistance.

The deadline to apply for these economic injury loans is July 26, 2022.

To learn more, see the Oct. 28 King County news release.

Community groups: apply for Alan M. Painter grants by Dec. 3

Community grants

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 show how they are accessible to all residents regardless of race, income, or language spoken. The funds 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.

► 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).

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

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.

Road Services

Watch for flooded roads during and after heavy rains

Barriers closing a flooded road

Much of Unincorporated King County is located in potential flood zones, and our roads are no exception. The best way to prepare for the inevitable is to plan in advance. Find out which roads are most prone to flooding and get tips on what to do if you encounter a flooded roadway, where to get free sandbags to help protect your property, and more on the Road Services flooding website.

Photo: Recent rains closed SE 24th Street and 309th Avenue SE.

Natural Resources & Parks

Volunteer to help out your King County park

Park volunteer with trees in pots

Join the King County Parks Volunteer Program and help out in your local park! The program leads community members in high quality service experiences in King County Parks, with the goal of connection and engagement in the health of the parks.

King County and its partners lead hundreds of events year-round, doing restoration, making improvements, building and maintaining trails, and just plain enjoying the parks.  They weave environmental education into every event, to make for a rewarding and productive day in the park.

Learn more at Volunteer - King County.

Spotlight Opportunity:
Sat, November 13 and Sat, Dec.4
9 a.m.–noon
Lake Geneva Park in East Federal Way—Help enhance this lovely lakeshore park and forest with understory plantings. Register in advance at Parks Volunteer Event Registration Portal.

King County Parks Volunteer Program vaccination update

For the continued health and safety of the community, King County issued an executive order that requires all King County contractors and volunteers working on-site to be fully vaccinated when doing work in person as of Oct. 18, 2021.

Since that date is now past, any volunteer attending events will need to show proof of vaccination at the start of the volunteer event. To learn more, visit the Vaccination Mandate for Contractors web page.

Metro Transit news

Metro routes restored across King County

Metro bus stop sign

Metro has restored bus routes and added trips across King County, improving service on 48 routes. Since the October service change, Metro service is now operating at about 90% of pre-pandemic levels, and the addition of three new light rail stations has expanded the regional transit network with connections to Northgate and the University District. Metro is delivering more than 11,000 trips each day and carrying more than 180,000 riders each weekday. Learn more on Metro's website

West Seattle Water Taxi maintains frequent schedule into winter

The West Seattle route of the King County water taxi continues seven days a week to support travelers while repairs are underway on the West Seattle Bridge. Funding is provided by the City of Seattle, which encourages people to consider transit options when traveling. Learn more on this Water Taxi blog post


Metro seeks members for Access Paratransit Advisory Committee

Access vans

Do you use Access Paratransit? Or are you interested in advising Metro on equal access to public transportation for people with disabilities? Consider joining the Access Paratransit Advisory Committee.

The committee advises Metro, the King County Executive, and the King County Council on transit issues and policy around equal access to transportation for people with disabilities. Metro’s Access Paratransit program serves people who can’t use the conventional bus system, helping them lead more independent lives.

Apply by Dec. 3 to be considered for the 2022 committee.

Learn more on Metro's blog post.

Vashon/Maury Island news

Volunteer drivers wanted for Vashon Community Van

Woman standing in front of van

You can support your neighbors and your community and help the environment at the same time, by becoming a volunteer driver for the Vashon Community Van. Drivers get to choose which trips they drive and how many times they drive each week.

Photo: Community Transportation Coordinator Megan Lockhart helps run the Vashon Community Van program.

Here's how to volunteer:

  1. Download, complete, sign, and email your Community Van Driver Application.
  2. Complete the Driver Orientation
  3. Start driving! Once you become an approved driver, you will be able to use the van.

Learn more about the program on the Local Services blog, or contact Lockhart at 206-773-7003 or

New parking lot ready for business at Maury Island Natural Area

Parking lot surrounded by trees

King County Parks recently finished work on a new parking lot at the 275-acre Maury Island Natural Area (on SW 260th Street on Maury Island).

The development of the parking lot, which caps a former skeet range, is part of an ongoing effort to clean up soil contamination on the property from previous mining and from the park’s location in the Tacoma Smelter Plume.

The gravel lot has space for 21 vehicles and includes two mounting blocks for those using the natural area's four equestrian trails. The lot also serves as a trailhead for other area trails, including Dockton Forest.


Arc Artist Fellowship offers funding to King County artists

2022 ARC Artist Fellowship

4Culture’s Arc Artist Fellowship is back with another year of unrestricted funding for King County artists!

In each grant cycle, the previous year's Fellows determine eligibility for the next round—this year, Indigenous artists are eligible to apply. The deadline is December 15.


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 email Nancy Merrill.

:: Fall City Community Association

Nov. 2, 7-8:30 p.m. – virtual meeting (link will be posted on Nextdoor and emailed)

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. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, and are 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, Nov. 1, 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.

The council held its Annual Model Train Show on the weekend of Oct. 15-17 at Gracie Hansen Community Center in Ravensdale. Over 500 visitors attended, with many expressing how good it was the show returned this year after last year's cancellation due to the pandemic. There were eight displays of operating model trains of various sizes and gauges. A display of historical photographs of the area was provided by the Black Diamond Museum.

:: 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 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

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

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

Director’s corner

John Taylor, King County Local Services director

Fall and winter are storm seasons in the Pacific Northwest, bringing the possibilities of severe rain, wind, flooding, and snow. We were reminded of the very real threat from these weather events a week ago, when high winds toppled a tree onto a car and we lost two community members. 

The threats posed by individual winter storms vary, but they are real and they impact our communities every year. There are a number of simple things you can do to prepare for the coming winter season. According to Take Winter By Storm, an emergency preparedness partnership among King County, Seattle, and other cities across the county, these are the top three simple things you can do:

  • Build a kit. Create an emergency preparedness kit with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your home and office. Kits prepared for vehicle road travel and/or winter weather evacuation are also advised.
  • Make a plan. Make an emergency plan and practice it with your family and those who depend on you.
  • Stay informed. Know what weather is approaching so you can prepare for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. Knowing winter weather hazards and where to find resources to prepare for them is vital to protecting your property and those you love.

Being prepared for severe storms can help us avoid tragedies, and turn an event that can be a huge challenge into a manageable inconvenience. Also, much of the preparation recommended for winter weather will help you respond to other emergency events that are more difficult to predict, like earthquakes. So please take the time to get ready while the sun is shining and your feet are dry. 

Here are some resources:

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).