July 2022 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

July 2022

Celebrating Independence Day without home fireworks

Backyard party with food, flowers, and flags

There are still lots of ways to celebrate Independence Day without the use of consumer fireworks. See below for a few ideas.

This year, for the first time, the private use of fireworks is prohibited by law in unincorporated parts of King County. Instead, people are encouraged to celebrate the July Fourth holiday in ways that don’t endanger residents, pets, or property.

If you want to enjoy fireworks, consider attending a public display. Many of the region’s annual fireworks displays were canceled last year due to the pandemic, but several are back on this year—please follow mask and social distancing recommendations at public events. This list of public events from the Seattle Times includes fireworks shows in Auburn, Carnation, Federal Way, Renton, Snoqualmie, and more.

Alternatives for home celebrations include outdoor lights, glowsticks, or glow-in-the-dark bubbles; an outdoor movie night; themed food; decorating your porch or yard; crafts or games for kids; and dressing up (you, your kids, and maybe even your pets).

July 4 food and fun

In this first year of the new ban, enforcement will be concentrated on education. So most people who violate the ordinance will receive a warning with information about the ban if there’s no immediate danger from their activities. To report a violation, call 206-848-0800 or file a report online at https://kingcounty.gov/ReportFireworks. When using the online form, you'll be asked to sign in or create an account on King County’s customer service system.

To learn more, see this King County Local blog post.

Local Services

Participatory Budgeting update: communities to vote on final projects in August

Community vote

The dates have been set for the community vote to decide which projects will receive funding through King County’s Participatory Budgeting Program.

The Community Investment Budget Committee is narrowing down which of the community-proposed projects will make it to the ballot. The vote is scheduled for Aug. 2-10.

To learn more, visit the Participatory Budgeting outreach website.

Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County Subarea Plan
needs more input for visioning and scoping

Aerial view Snoqualmie Valley farmland

Thanks to all who have contributed to our survey for visioning and scoping of the Subarea Plan. Your contributions will help King County form some draft vision statements, a draft scope, and draft guiding principles for the public to review and critique.

If you live in this area and haven't weighed in yet, please visit the project outreach website, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the green "Continue" button. The survey will close on July 5.

But even after that date, Local Services will continue to accept comments on the Northeast King County Subarea Plan Feedback Map. See the short tutorial video created by Fall City resident Jason Refsland to help navigate the map application on the website linked above.

To learn more or set up a meeting with your group, reach out to Jesse Reynolds via email.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbors and help spread the word!

Road Services

County removes load restrictions on seven bridges

Weight limit sign

Seven bridges in unincorporated King County will soon be open to heavier trucks such as large fire engines and hauling vehicles. Work to remove the posted weight limit signs is expected to be finished by the end of June.

The Federal Highway Administration, which sets the standard for how much weight a bridge can safely carry, revised its standard in 2013. Since then, King County bridge engineers have carefully evaluated all county-maintained bridges, and found that most need to remain load restricted.

However, the seven spans that are supported by “precast concrete channel beams” can handle more weight under the new standard. These include Cottage Lake Bridge and two Bear Creek bridges. See the complete list on this King County Local blog post.


Bridge inspection

UBIT? You bet!

Warmer weather marks the start of King County Road Services' under-bridge inspections.

The county maintains 185 bridges in unincorporated areas, which means doing regular checkups to make sure the bridges are safe.

Crews use an under bridge inspection truck, or UBIT, to examine the bridge's support infrastructure from the bottom up. Often there are two people in the UBIT "bucket" at the same time, as shown in the photo at right (taken June 27 at the Foss River Bridge).

Visit Road Services MyCommute website to learn about upcoming bridge inspections.

Emergency Management

Summer's finally here! Here's how to beat the heat

Summer sun

Remember the record-breaking heat wave in June 2021? By taking steps today, before the next heat wave, residents can stay safe and healthy during extreme heat.

First, know your risks.

• Learn the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke (see an infographic on the Sacramento County website) and know what steps to take.

• Many groups are at higher risk for heat-related illness, including people over age 65, people who work outdoors, people with certain health conditions or who are taking certain medications, and infants and young children.

• Water safety is an associated heat risk, as many flock to rivers and lakes to cool off.

Second, take preparedness actions.

• Prepare your home or living space. Purchase an air conditioner and electric fans. Cover windows to prevent the greenhouse effect.

• Know where to go if you can’t cool off where you live. Many public places have air conditioning; wading pools and public water access points are safe when wearing a life jacket.

Finally, know what to do during extreme heat.

• Stay hydrated. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting protective clothes.

• Limit outdoor activity during the heat of the day and rest often.

• Seek air conditioned or cool indoor spaces. If it’s not possible to keep cool indoors, it is safer to seek shade outside.

• Never leave children or pets in a parked car, even with the windows cracked. If possible, check on family, friends, and neighbors.

Visit www.kingcounty.gov/heat and www.kingcounty.gov/beattheheat to learn more about heat preparedness.

Executive Services

Prepare your pets for summer

Dog with life jacket

Even after our long, cold, wet spring, summer will eventually arrive here in the Pacific Northwest. Make sure your pet is prepared for hot weather: 

• Provide plenty of fresh, cool water and shade from the sun
• Avoid exercising pets during the hottest part of the day
• NEVER leave your pet in a car on a hot day!

And while most areas of King County have now banned personal fireworks, there may still be a few bangs and booms around Independence Day. Here are some tips to help your pet cope: 

• Keep your pet secured indoors in the quietest room of your home during fireworks displays.
• Outdoor pets should be brought inside, or into a well-ventilated garage, shed, or into a basement.
• Make sure your pet is licensed and has an ID tag or microchip in case they do run off.

Find more summer pet safety tips from Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC).


Skyway Youth Transportation Equity Internship applications are due July 5

King County Metro's Skyway Youth Transportation Equity Internship, open to youths aged 15-19, will include field trips, skill-building workshops, and youth-led projects related to public transit, sustainability, city planning, and community advocacy. Participants will be paid $25 per hour for the two-week program (Aug. 1-12).

Learn more and apply online


Funds are available for cultural facilities

Building for equity - cultural facilities

Building for Equity facility grants help organizations buy, build, or renovate the spaces that make cultural experiences possible.

For more information and to apply for a grant, visit this website.

The deadline to apply is July 29.

Rural Area news

Unincorporated Area councils, associations, and organizations

On June 9, the Joint Rural Area Team welcomed the Vashon-Maury Island Community association as its newest member organization. The Joint Team is now comprised of 10 unincorporated area councils, associations, or organizations that cover much of the county's Rural Area. It continues to work on both local and regional issues of importance to the Rural Area and participates in all major Puget Sound Regional Council and King County planning efforts, including the ongoing 2024 King County Comprehensive Plan Major Update. The team has recently reached out to several unincorporated urban organizations in the hope of expanding its regional focus and becoming a joint unincorporated area team.

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

Visit by District 5 State House Representatives

On June 6 at the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council's regular monthly meeting, State Representatives Bill Ramos and Lisa Callan provided a summary of the recent Legislative Session, took questions, and responded to a list of questions sent to them ahead of the meeting. A summary of the meeting can be found on the council's website.

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

Letter to King County Council

On June 13, written testimony to the King County Council was submitted by the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council regarding proposed Ordinance 2022-0147 (Adult Beverage Ordinance (ABO).Key points were: 1. No industrial or manufacturing facilities should be sited in King County's Rural Area on RA-zoned parcels, as doing so would be in violation of the State’s GMA, PSRC’s VISION 2050, King County's Countywide Planning Policies, and the King County Comprehensive Plan, all of which do not allow siting of urban facilities or primarily urban-serving facilities in the Rural Area; and 2. Do not give up the county’s constitutional zoning authority based on a flawed interpretation of RCW 66.08.120  Preemption of field by state—Exception, which only applies to Liquor Licensing and Excise Taxes and does not discuss zoning. King County’s attorneys should seek the opinion of the State Attorney General’s Office on the RCW. The King County Council is expected to hold a vote on a final ABO by the end of June.

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

Community organizations

:: 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, July 19 – virtual meeting via Zoom (6:30-8:30 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 Nancy Merrill.

:: Fall City Community Association

First Tuesdays – Virtual meeting (7-8:30 p.m.)

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 fallcity.org or email send email

:: Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council

No meeting in July or August
Second Tuesdays – Virtual meeting via Zoom 

Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meeting dates and locations.

:: Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council

Monday, July 11, 7-9:30 p.m. — attend in person or via Zoom
Hobart Church, 27524 SE 200th Street, Maple Valley
(NW corner of SE 200th Street and the Issaquah-Hobart Road)

Visit the website for the latest information and to confirm meetings. An agenda, including a list of any invited guest speakers, and Zoom information will be posted several days before the meeting.

:: Green Valley/Lake Holm Association

The Green Valley/Lake Holm Association advocates for those 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

No meeting in July or August

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

Visit the website or Facebook page for the latest information.

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce

Contact: discover@vashonchamber.com.

:: Vashon-Maury Island Community Council

Monday July 18 – hybrid meeting via Zoom and in person (7-9 p.m.)
Vashon Land Trust
10014 SW Bank Road

Monthly board 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 visit vmicc.net or email David Vogel.

:: West Hill Community Association

Wednesday July 13 – hybrid meeting via Zoom and in person (7-9 p.m.)
Skyway Fire District 20 Training Center
12424 76th Avenue S

Monthly board 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, visit the website or send email.

John Taylor, King County Local Services director

Director’s corner

Last June I stood with Executive Constantine and 21 community members from urban unincorporated King County on the steps of the Log Cabin in White Center to announce the formation of the Community Investment Budget Committee. This group of residents from East Federal Way, East Renton Highlands, Fairwood, North Highline/White Center, and Skyway/West Hill was tasked with leading King County’s first foray into participatory budgeting. Their job was to create a way for community members to decide how to allocate $10 million dollars in capital funding among these five communities.

In the past year, the committee has established itself as a leading example of how to approach participatory budgeting. Under the outstanding leadership of Gloria Briggs, the program manager, they’ve made decisions about how to allocate these funds among the five areas, come up with innovative ways to engage communities, worked closely with county staff to determine the feasibility and costs of various community-generated proposals, and developed plans to take a slate of projects to a public vote.

Residents of these urban unincorporated areas have been engaged in this process, and the entire urban unincorporated community will be asked to vote on this slate of projects in early August. Ultimately, the projects that are chosen by the community will be constructed by King County or community partners. These assets will benefit everyone who lives in these communities.

In a time when huge numbers of Americans express significant doubts about “government,” this effort stands as a great example of the role local governments can play in giving residents more control over decisions that affect their lives. It’s a great example of how communities and government can partner to both improve governance and have a tangible positive effect on the community and on people’s lives.

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).