May 2023 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

May 2023

County seats new Participatory Budgeting steering committee members

Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee

Photo: The Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee had its first meeting in Skyway last month. The committee will help communities decide how to spend a total of $11.75 million to support projects and improvements.

After a successful first round of community driven funding, King County has launched a second Participatory Budgeting effort by naming more than two dozen residents from its urban unincorporated areas to a new steering committee.

Participatory Budgeting is a community-centered process in which the community decides what improvements and services should receive public funding. King County’s five urban, unincorporated areas (East Federal Way, East Renton, Fairwood, Skyway, and White Center/North Highline) are funded to participate. The program builds on community strengths and addresses specific priorities that these communities have identified.

The steering committee members will design and carry out the process, which will be centered on racial equity.

Learn more from this King County Local blog post or visit the Participatory Budgeting outreach site.


Local Services

Public review period for Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County Subarea Plan will begin in June

Snoqualmie Valley

Do you live in an unincorporated part of the Snoqualmie Valley, Skykomish, or the King County side of Snoqualmie Pass? Are you interested in what your area could be like in 20 years?

Local Services will release a public review draft of the Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County Subarea Plan in early June and seek public feedback on the draft plan, which includes a vision, guiding principles, policies, and land use and zoning amendments.

To receive notification when the draft plan is released for comments, visit the public outreach site and sign up for text or email updates.

Information technology

Work continues to update county website

Local Services landing page

King County is updating its website with a new look that's designed to be simple and easy to use with all of your devices.

It's a big site, and moving everything will take some time—so don't be surprised if you see some pages with the old, familiar look and some with the new one (here's a screenshot of the Local Services landing page in the new design) at the same time.


Make your voice heard! County seeks public input on its payment systems

Tell us what you think

The King County Department of Information Technology and its research partner are holding a series of discussion groups focused on ways to improve the process of making payments for King County services.

You can help the county better serve residents by taking part in a short discussion.

Space is limited. Participants will be compensated for their time and participation. Learn more and sign up at

Road Services

Summer means road work. Here’s how to stay informed about projects that might affect you

My Commute

Road Services crews spread out across unincorporated King County during summer months, when warm, dry weather makes paving and other projects possible.

Before heading out, you can check King County's My Commute website to find out what's happening along your routes, plan for traffic delays, and maybe find an alternate route so you can avoid a slowdown.

You can also get notifications sent straight to your inbox by subscribing to road alerts. And if you need to report something, you can always use the 24/7 Road Helpline (206‑477‑8100) to speak with the Road Services customer care team. 

Natural Resources and Parks


StormFest is seeking volunteers

StormFest is an outdoor learning event for sixth and seventh grade Highline School District students. It uses STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and stormwater lessons for hands-on learning. Students learn about their local watershed, sources of pollution, and engineering solutions to prevent stormwater pollution.

The deadline to apply to volunteer is May 8.

Check out this video from a past StormFest to see how students interact with environmental education. Volunteers gain experience in best practices for environmental education and interacting with students from a variety of cultures. Bilingual station educators and interpreters will be paid stipends. Eligible employees can use leave for volunteer hours.

Learn more.

Apply this month for a 2023 flood reduction grant

Roadside flooding

This year the King County Flood Control District is offering at least $12 million in grant funding for projects that reduce the impact of flooding. The deadline to apply for a 2023 grant is May 25.

The program supports flood reduction projects throughout King County, and is specifically interested in reaching tribes, homeowner associations, nonprofit organizations, schools, special purpose districts, cities, towns, and agencies in King County. Grants awarded in the past have ranged from $10,000 to $1.5 million.

To qualify for funding, projects must directly address existing or potential flooding. Projects that achieve multiple benefits are encouraged.

Learn more on the Flood Reduction Grants web page or contact Kim Harper by email or at 206‑477‑6079 with questions.

Photo: 2015 flooding in Snoqualmie Valley (photo by Eli Brownell, King County Parks)

Plant sale

Plant sale to raise funds for Cemetery Pond protection and restoration

Get outside and make a difference! Shop the C.A.R.E. Annual Plant Sale May 6 & 7, 9 am to 5 pm at 6220 SE 2nd Place in Renton. This sale supports the protection and restoration of Cemetery Pond. Help create natural open space, gain knowledge about wetlands and water quality, and be a part of the solution!

The Community Alliance to Reach out and Engage (C.A.R.E.) plant sale offers Pacific Northwest native plants, trees, mature rescued plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs in many sizes, and ornamental and edible plants.

Volunteers from C.A.R.E. and neighbors are helping restore habitat by removing invasive weeds in the Cemetery Pond wetland. For information about participating in C.A.R.E. maintenance at the wetland, send email to

Learn more about the Cemetery Pond project on the King County website.

Executive Services

Dam Safety Day (May 31) is a reminder to plan for emergencies

Dam failure evacuation route sign

King County has more than 147 dams that serve us well—they store drinking water, improve wildlife habitats, and allow for recreation. But dams can also pose a flood risk if they fail.

In conjunction with National Dam Safety Awareness Day on May 31, King County Emergency Management is planning a workshop for dam owners so they can update their plans. To learn more about the workshop, contact Dam Safety Coordinator Edan Edmonson. For more information about King County dams, visit


License for Love runs through June 30

License for Love!

All cats and dogs living in unincorporated areas of King County are required to be licensed with Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC).

If you've let your pet's license expire, or if you've never licensed them at all, now's your chance! Through June 30, you can license your cat or dog with RASKC and all late fees will be waived. 

Learn more or license online
Or call 206-296-2712


New Customer Service Center opens for county business

Customer Service Center

King County has opened a new Customer Service Center in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. The center combines many of the county's most-requested services in one floor of one building, including vital records, treasury services, assessments, recording, and licensing. The Customer Service Center is on the second floor of the King Street Center building at 201 S. Jackson Street.

Customers using the new service center will be able to "get in line" virtually for many services through a platform called QLess. King County agencies using QLess will have links on their web pages (start at that allow users to make appointments for their in-person visits. Users can also make appointments by downloading the QLess smartphone app from app stores, or they can make them in person at kiosks in the center.

The Customer Service Center will be open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on regular weekdays, though individual agencies may occasionally have adjusted hours.

Community and Human Services

Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy open houses begin this month

The Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy is hosting a series of in-person open houses across King County where community members can learn more about the levy and the services it funds in their communities. These events are open to all King County residents, and registration is not required to attend. 

Open houses in May
• Thursday, May 4, 10:15 am to 11:15 am (virtual)
• Wednesday, May 10: 3 pm to 4:30 pm at Enumclaw Community Center
• Thursday, May 18: 5:30 pm to 7 pm at Auburn Senior Activity Center
• Wednesday, May 24, 3:30 pm to 5 pm at Bethaday Community Learning Center at Thurnau Memorial Park (White Center)
• Wednesday, May 31, 3 pm to 4:30 pm at Greenwood Senior Center

Find a full list of open house events on this Community and Human Services blog post.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is coming to rural communities near you

Just as CPR training prepares people without medical backgrounds to help someone who is having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid trains people to help someone who is at risk of developing a mental health problem or who is going through a mental health crisis. If your community is interested in receiving free Mental Health First Aid trainings for adults, youths, or teens, please see the list of online and in-person trainings currently available at Mental Health First Aid-Valley Cities.

To request in-person trainings in your local community, send email to

Skyway news

Fresh vegetables

Skyway ‘Spring Fling’ Farmers Market & Bazaar set for May 28

Still making your plans for Memorial Day weekend? Consider checking out the Skyway Farmers Market and Bazaar on Sunday, May 28 from 11 am to 2 pm. Rain or shine, this event will bring artisan vendors, fresh produce, handcrafted items, and free resources to the Skyway Resource Center's new home (the old U.S. Bank building) at 12610 76th Avenue S.


Collections Care

Grant helps archivists, librarians, and historians protect the objects that make up history

4Culture is offering grants to nonprofit organizations in King County that care for heritage collections.

Apply by May 31.

Learn more at

Rural area news

2024 King County Comprehensive Plan major update

As part of its work on the current major update to the county's Comprehensive Plan, the joint team of unincorporated area councils, associations, and organizations made the following submissions to Comprehensive Plan Manager Chris Jensen.

1. Proposed King County Code Changes on Title 21A.08.030 Residential Land Uses (submitted March 27)

2. 4:1 Program Change Recommendations (submitted April 17).

Also, on March 17, as part of exploring potential changes to Title 23 Code Compliance, the joint team continued to meet with the Permitting Division.

See Joint Team 2024 KCCP Update Activities for all work on the update.

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

Third Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
 Muckleshoot Library (King County Library branch)
39917 Auburn Enumclaw Road SE, Auburn

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 pm)

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, May 1, 7-9:30 pm – in person or via Zoom
Maple Valley Fire Station
22225 SE 231st St (across from the King County Sheriff’s Precinct #3)

Guest speakers include Puget Sound Fire District #43 Chief to discuss future facility moves and the Mayor and City Manager of Maple Valley to discuss interactions with the Rural Area. Visit the website for the agenda and Zoom information, which 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.

:: 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.

:: Skywest Tool Library

Working 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. To learn more, email

:: Upper Bear Creek Community Council

For information, call Nancy Stafford at 425-788-5841 or visit the Facebook page.

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce

Send email or visit the website.

:: Vashon-Maury Community Council

Thursday, May 4, 7:30-9:30 pm – in person or via Zoom
Vashon Land Trust
10014 SW Bank Road, Vashon

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.

:: West Hill Community Association

Wednesday, May 10, 7-8:30 pm – in person or via Zoom
Skyway Fire District 20 Admin Building
12424 76th Avenue S, Seattle

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, send email or visit the website.

Director’s corner

John Taylor

At King County Local Services we're always trying to improve our connection with the communities we serve. This becomes even more important as we partner with communities on innovative programs like participatory budgeting and community needs lists, where residents play significant roles in guiding the investments King County will make, or work the county will do, in their communities.

This summer, we'll be putting together a list of people who live in unincorporated parts of the county and are interested in hearing about—and taking part in—our initiatives. I would like to ask you, the reader, to help with this effort.

If you've read all the way to the end of our newsletter, you're probably familiar with the work we do at Local Services. Would you be willing to share with us the names and email addresses of 10 friends or neighbors who live in unincorporated King County, who you believe might be interested in learning more about the work we do, and who might be willing to take part in decision making related to our programs?

We would send each person an email with a short survey, which would include the opportunity to opt out, before adding them to our list. And we commit to protecting any and all information we receive from community members.

Please send the names and email addresses of anyone you think might like to work with us in the future (including yourself, if you feel so inclined) to

We cannot succeed in our work to improve service to the communities of unincorporated King County without help from all of you.

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).