September 2022 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

September 2022

Communities celebrate project winners in King County’s historic participatory budgeting vote

Skyway projects

Members of the Khmer community pose with a sign listing the winning projects in White Center—including a Khmer cultural center.

Just over a year ago, King County and its five urban unincorporated areas came together to create a new program for making improvements in those areas (East Federal Way, East Renton, Fairwood, Skyway, and White Center). In August, members of those communities celebrated 45 projects they had suggested and then approved for the county to carry out.

These residents and other members of the five communities helped create the framework for the participatory budgeting process.

Committee members hug

King County Executive Dow Constantine originally proposed participatory budgeting—a process that allows community members to identify and prioritize public spending—because it would be centered on racial equality and allow residents to directly choose how more than $11 million in county funds will be spent in their communities.

Photo: Ayanna Brown and Trenise Rogers, both members of the Community Investment Budget Committee, hug after the announcement of the winning Participatory Budgeting projects.

Leading the effort were the 21 appointed members of King County’s Community Investment Budget Committee, which met virtually for more than a year. Part of that work involved talking honestly about the effect of racism on urban unincorporated areas.

Ayanna Brown, the committee’s Skyway/West Hill Co-Chair, described being part of this historic process and serving on the group tasked to create a participatory budgeting program without a blueprint as “one of the most educational, hardest, maddening, tiring, liberating, and satisfying experiences” she has had.

Learn more about the program and see a list of the final approved projects on this blog post.

King County launches effort to update its 20-year comprehensive plan

Comprehensive planning

King County is starting a once-in-a-decade update to its comprehensive plan, which guides where people live, work, and play in unincorporated King County.

This update will focus on racial equity, affordable housing, and climate change. There will be many opportunities for the public to provide input on the update. The first of these is a survey where you can share your priorities, hopes, and goals for how King County will address affordable housing and climate change in the unincorporated areas.

The survey will be posted online in early September. In the meantime, you can visit the website to learn more about the plan and sign up for project updates, or send email with any questions.

Road Services

Road repair on 218th Avenue SE

Roadway repair work on 218th Avenue SE (looking south).

Crucial roadway preservation work on 218th Avenue SE to continue through fall

King County Road Services is preparing to rebuild the 1.4-mile stretch of 218th Avenue SE between SE Auburn-Black Diamond Road and SE Green Valley Road from the bare ground up to the pavement. This full restoration will allow travelers to use this road for years to come.

Road Services has closed the southbound lane of 218th Avenue SE (between SE Green Valley Road and SE Auburn Black-Diamond Road) from Aug. 29 through Sept. 13 for essential lane and shoulder construction work. Southbound traffic is detoured via State Route 169 through Black Diamond, while a single northbound lane remains open.

If you're driving through the area, make sure to obey the new speed limit and lane restrictions. The southbound closure is scheduled to end on Sept. 13, but the entire project—with some lane restrictions—will continue through this fall. Find more details about the work on the project web page or check out our Instagram post about driving through the area.

Flood prevention work closes SE 380th Place near Enumclaw through Oct. 4

Road Services is helping prevent floods near Enumclaw. They've closed SE 380th Place between State Route 164 and 160th Place SE through Oct. 4 for a drainage culvert replacement under the road. This is an around-the-clock closure, as crews will need to dig a 20-foot-deep pit near the corner of State Route 164 so they can safely make this necessary replacement.

The new, larger culvert will help prevent flooding in the area if there's a major storm.

Two signed detours offer motorists alternate ways around the work site.

Natural Resources and Parks

Surface Water Management Fee discount

Qualifying income-eligible property owners in unincorporated King County can receive a 50% discount on their annual surface water management fee. The fee funds work to safeguard public health, prevent flooding, and protect habitat.

Property owners whose family income is equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level and who live on their property are eligible for the discount. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15.

Learn more or apply at (information is available online in Chinese, English, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese).

Questions? 206-477-4800  |

County seeks members for Flood Management Plan committee

King County Flood Management Plan

King County will develop a new Flood Management Plan over the next two years. The plan serves as a guide for managing flood risks along rivers, creeks, and shorelines.

To create the next plan, the county is learning about the values and goals of the communities that are most vulnerable to flooding. This will help equitably shape county programs, policies, and infrastructure for years to come.

Public participation is central to the development of the flood plan. Are you interested in joining a Partner Planning Committee that will help? Visit the Partner Planning Committee web page to learn more about the committee and how to join. 

You can also sign up to receive announcements and updates on the flood plan.

Cedar Hills Regional Landfill community meeting Sept. 28

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.

Meeting date and time: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6 – 8 p.m.

Learn more and register on the Solid Waste Division’s website.

WaterWorks Grant Program seeks members for committee

WaterWorks committee

King County’s WaterWorks Grant Program is recruiting eight new members for its Grant Ranking Committee. This volunteer advisory group reviews, ranks, and recommends grant proposals for funding by the program. Committee members are approved by the King County Executive and and the King County Council.

WaterWorks grants provide more than $2 million every two years to projects that improve water quality in King County’s wastewater service area. Committee applicants must live in that service area and have interest or experience in issues related to water quality. There are openings for seven council district representatives and one water quality technical specialist. Appointments are for three year terms. Duties include attending meetings during grant review years and reading grant applications. For more information, visit the King County recruitments page and scroll down to find WaterWorks. 

To apply, download the application, fill it out, and send it to WaterWorks Grant Manager Elizabeth Loudon. You can also send her any questions by email or call her at 206-477-4297. To apply for the council district positions, you may also contact your councilmember's office directly.

The current application deadline is Sunday, Sept. 25.

King County Metro

Youths can ride transit for free on Metro and other systems

Free Youth Transit Pass

Beginning Sept. 1, riders 18 and younger can ride for free on transit systems across Washington, including King County Metro buses, water taxis, Access paratransit and on-demand services, Sound Transit buses and Link light rail, Seattle Streetcar, Pierce Transit, Community Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit, and Snoqualmie Valley Transit.

Young riders can use current classic blue youth and student ORCA cards, show their student identification, or simply board and ride free. New black ORCA cards will also be available soon and distributed through schools and customer services. Any of these options will work, with more innovations on the horizon in 2023—including the ability to “tap” a smartphone or a “smart” sticker on a student ID.

Learn more on the Metro Matters blog.

Emergency management

County seeks to recruit community preparedness specialists


King County Emergency Management is recruiting two AmeriCorps fellows to start in September or October for a 10-month assignment. Selected candidates will focus on public outreach for disaster preparedness and on recruiting, training, and sustaining the King County Trusted Partner Network.

The Trusted Partner Network is an effort to ensure that every resident of King County receives critical lifesaving emergency alerts, regardless of where they live or whether they speak English. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in community engagement and to gain experience in the emergency management field.

Apply at My AmeriCorps - Home Page. If you have questions about the positions, please send email to Sheri Badger.

September is Preparedness Month

Emergency Kit

It's a great time to get prepared for emergencies and disasters. Disaster preparedness does not have to be complicated or expensive; you can do a little bit at a time. Here are some simple steps you can take, courtesy of King County Emergency Management.

• Sign up for emergency alerts through Alert King County to receive timely information and stay safe during emergencies and disasters.

• Attend a Basic Disaster Skills Training Webinar on September 22 to learn steps that individuals and families can take to be prepared.

• Post a preparedness selfie using #emergencykitchallenge and #KingCountyReady to join a disaster ready community on social media!

More resources

King County's Emergency Management website
Seattle and King County Ready (a disaster preparedness website)
Make It Through

Questions? Contact Susanna Trimarco

Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County news

Snoqualmie Valley Transit

Subarea plan begins to take shape

King County staff members are working to finalize the subarea plan vision, guiding principles, and scope, but there are still a few opportunities to participate in this planning phase:

  • Take the Vision and Scope Development survey (open through Sept. 22)
  • Join a virtual community event at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27 to review the draft vision, scope,
    and guiding principles and provide feedback. Find the Zoom information on the public engagement website.
  • If you missed the chance to sign up for a focus group, send email explaining where you live and why you're interested in long-range planning for your area.

Learn more about the plan and find information on how to join the September 27 Zoom meeting on the public engagement website.

Vashon-Maury Island news

Mukai Farm & Garden to host 5th annual Japan Fest Sept. 10

Japan Festival

Celebrate Asian culture at the fifth annual Japan Festival on Saturday, Sept. 10 (11am to 8pm) at Mukai Farm & Garden, 18017 107th Avenue SW on Vashon Island. This free community event will include Bon Odori, a summer dance for everyone; a Children’s Village; food; the nominoichi collectibles market; vendors and nonprofits; and Taiko drumming and other entertainment.

The festival will feature a world premiere of the play Kichi in the Woods of Present Memory, performed by the AIE Taiko Drummers, and a rare performance by keyboardist Philip Woo. The Vashon Bookmobile will host a free book giveaway for young and young adult readers with stories from local and well-known Japanese American and Asian authors. Students can explore Asian culture and experience and select a free book as long as they last.

The day will close with a walk through the Lantern Labyrinth and an 8 p.m. showing of the 1989 film Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Vashon Theater.

Learn more on the Mukai Farm & Garden website.

Forestry management


WSU will host forestry stewardship classes in Preston starting Sept. 6

The Washington State University Extension Forestry program will host a series of in-person classes to help residents maintain healthy forests. The classes, on Tuesday evenings from Sept. 6 through Nov. 1, will help landowners achieve their goals for ecosystem health, harvest income, family ties, and peace and quiet. Details and registration


Unrestricted funding is available for cultural organizations

Sustained Support 2023-2024

4Culture is now offering two-year Sustained Support grants. These provide unrestricted funding as a dependable building block in the annual budgets of cultural organizations that support arts, heritage, and historic preservation. The deadline to apply is October 12.

Learn more on the 4Culture website

Rural Area topics

Unincorporated Area councils, associations, and organizations

Committee to inform community on potential future airport siting

The Enumclaw Plateau Community Association is working to inform the Southeast King County/Enumclaw Plateau community about a suggestion by the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC) that King County and specifically the Enumclaw Plateau can be considered as a potential site for development of a new major airport to supplement or replace SeaTac.

The CACC intends to select a greenfield airport site in our region by October 2022. All are welcome to join the Association's committee on this topic, and to take both online CACC “Town Hall” surveys—one for greenfield sites and one for existing airfields. For more information on the CACC, visit the Washington State Department of Transportation website.

—Submitted by Tim O’Brien, President, Enumclaw Plateau Community Association

Proposed changes to Washington Administrative Code

On July 14, the Joint Rural Area Team submitted comments to the State Department of Commerce on its proposed changes to Washington Administrative Code rule-making related to the Growth Management Act. View the comments

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

Comments to the King County Council

On August 7, the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council submitted comments on proposed Ordinance 2023, which would allow school impact fees to be collected from all nonexempt new residential development in the unincorporated portions of 13 area school districts. View the comments, which were specific to the Tahoma School District Capital Facilities Plan 2022-2027.

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

Letter to NOAA

On August 2, the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council submitted a letter in support of the City of Maple Valley's proposed Jenkins Creek Fish Passage Barrier Removal Project under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal” program. The proposed project will replace multiple culverts that currently prevent fish passage and cause flooding of public roads and homes. View the letter

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, Sept. 20 – Hybrid meeting, in person and via Zoom (6-8 p.m.)
King County Library, 1700 First Street, Enumclaw
Find Zoom information under Events on the group's Facebook page.

This meeting will focus on informing and organizing public comment and input to the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission (CACC) consideration of King County or the Enumclaw Plateau as a site for a new major airport. The Association also focuses on other local growth, land use, and conservation issues.

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 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 or email send email

:: Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council

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, Sept. 12, 7-9:30 p.m. — in person or via Zoom
King County Sheriff's Precinct #3
22300 SE 231st Street, Maple Valley (across from the fire station)

The guest Speaker will be Terry Lavender, a long-time conservation expert, who will discuss King County Proposition 1 to reset Conservation Futures.

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. They 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

Visit the website or Facebook page for the latest information.

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce


:: Vashon-Maury Island Community Council

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 or email David Vogel.

:: West Hill Community Association

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

As summer turns to fall and kids start returning to school, we at King County Local Services are focusing on the year ahead. We just wrapped up the county’s first participatory budgeting process and are getting ready to allocate some $13 million to a slate of community-selected projects and programs. The Executive will transmit his budget to the County Council in September, and it will include a set of community needs lists for unincorporated King County.

We developed these lists over the past two years in collaboration with the communities we serve. They enumerate a long list of community-identified needs, from new parks to road improvements to improved social services. This will be the first King County budget to explicitly identify and speak to community needs in unincorporated areas.

To be clear, including the needs lists in the budget does not mean that every listed need will be addressed in the budget. But the county will make clear what investments it is making to address needs on the list. This represents a significant step toward better reflecting community needs and making the county’s investments in unincorporated areas more transparent to the public.

We’re also working on our third subarea plan for unincorporated King County. The previous two, for West Hill/Skyway and North Highline/White Center, are being considered for adoption by the County Council. Our team is busy working on the plan for the Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County Community Service Area. Over the next several weeks we’ll hold several focus groups on specific policy and geographic areas, and we’ll hold a virtual community event on Tuesday, Sept. 27. You can learn more—including how to join the virtual community event and sign up to receive text or email updates—on the project’s outreach website.

We look forward to seeing you in your community this fall!

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).