July 2024 Unincorporated Area Community News

Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

July 2024

County Executive appoints Leon Richardson to lead Local Services Department

Leon Richardson

King County Executive Dow Constantine has named Leon Richardson as the next director of the county's Local Services Department.

In 2021, as director of the county's Adult Services Division, Richardson oversaw the renewal of the six-year, $550 million Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (see a list of open grant opportunities funded by this levy below).

During the COVID pandemic, Richardson—then deputy director of Adult Services—set up three regional assessment and recovery centers in just two weeks to reduce the strain on hospitals and first responders. He previously worked for the city of Tukwila, and served in the U.S. Army for 20 years. 

Richardson will step into his new role on July 22. His appointment is subject to confirmation by the King County Council.

Learn more on the King County Local blog

Road Services

Road closed signs

Here's an important safety reminder: it's essential for ALL travelers—including those on bicycles and on foot—to respect road closures. Do not pass the closure barricades!

Summer construction updates

Ames Lake-Carnation Road NE – The county is replacing the 100-year-old Ames Lake Trestle Bridge on Ames Lake-Carnation Road NE. It's important for ALL travelers, including cyclists and pedestrians to respect the closure barricades. Learn more

244th Avenue NE – The road will be fully closed for six weeks beginning Monday, July 8, so crews can replace a damaged retaining wall below the north side of 244th Avenue NE near Redmond Fall City Road/SR-202. Learn more

► Duvall Slough Bridge – This bridge on NE Woodinville Duvall Road will close for six weeks, beginning on Monday, July 15. Learn more

King County Permits

Fireworks ban

Remember, consumer fireworks are banned in unincorporated King County

As the July Fourth holiday nears, keep in mind that the use and sale of consumer fireworks are prohibited in the unincorporated areas of King County, including communities such as White Center, Skyway, East Federal Way, Fairwood, and the East Renton area. 

“While the Fourth of July is a time for celebration, King County joins other communities in our region who agree that consumer fireworks pose too great of a danger,” said King County Fire Marshal Eric Urban. “For the safety of our family, friends, neighbors, pets, and personal property, we remind everyone that fireworks are not allowed in unincorporated King County. We encourage residents to instead watch a public fireworks display, attend a community event, or enjoy countless other ways to celebrate safely.”

Learn more on the King County Local blog

Fire Marshal issues Stage 1 Burn Ban, restricting yard debris fires in unincorporated King County

With the dry season approaching, King County Fire Marshal Eric Urban has issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for the unincorporated areas. The ban prohibits yard debris fires as well as fires set to clear land.

The ban, issued in conjunction with the King County Fire Chiefs Association and King County Fire Marshals Association, does not apply to recreational fires or gas/propane appliances, including grills, pellet smokers and charcoal grills.

Expected periods of higher temperatures will increase the amount of dry fuel load, or vegetation, in our communities. This increases the risk of an uncontrolled fire when burning yard debris or a fire set to clear land.

Urban says residents who smoke should use extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. King County asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember that the summer months are a demanding time for first responders.

Learn more on the King County Local blog, or visit King County's Fire Safety Burn Bans page.

Natural Resources and Parks

Take action on plastic—every single use

Sip your drink

Plastics are not just a trash problem, but a personal health and climate concern.

Puget Sound Starts Here has created a simple #EverySingleUse resource to explore a plastic habit to quit and explore alternatives.

Pick a prompt to spark your own path to positive change for our health and habitat, connect or share with others, and discover new ways to save money and the planet! (Image generated by AI)

Hot sun

Emergency preparedness

Are you ready for hot days?

The weather outlook for the summer is warm and dry. Here are some reminders about what to do when things get hot:

► Check on friends, family, and neighbors.
Never leave children or pets in parked cars—even with the windows cracked!
► If you can’t stay cool at home, know some air-conditioned places in your community where you can go to cool down.
► Know where to find shade. Be careful when cooling off around local rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound; wear a life jacket.
► Keep an eye on local weather forecasts and conditions.
► Stay hydrated. Limit exercise and physical activity during the worst heat of the day.

Please also be aware of your own health risks. Certain groups are more sensitive to heat, including:

► Older adults and young children
► People with chronic health conditions or mental illness
► People who are taking certain medications
► People who work or exercise outdoors
► People who are living unsheltered or homeless

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common health risks when temperatures increase. Learn the signs and watch out for these for heat related illnesses. Learn more at KingCounty.gov/heat and KingCounty.gov/BeatTheHeat.


Seven-county "Ready, Set, Go!" evacuation campaign wants communities to get ready for wildfire evacuation

The risk of wildfires on the west side of the Cascades has grown due to climate change, and wildfire is now a yearly threat in Western Washington. The "Ready, Set, Go!" evacuation campaign informs the public about actions they should take at each level when alerted by authorities.

  1. Ready – Be aware of danger in your area and start getting ready for possible evacuation. Monitor local media and check on neighbors. If you do not already have an evacuation plan or Go Kit, assemble these now. Conditions can change suddenly, and you may not receive a Level 2 ("Set") warning before you are ordered to "Go!" (Level 3). Prepare both the inside and outside of your home for fire. Leave if you feel unsafe—do not wait for an official evacuation order.
  2. SetBe ready for sudden evacuation. People who need help or more time to evacuate, such as those with disabilities, small children, medical conditions, or large animals, should evacuate now. Make sure your evacuation plan checklist is complete and your Go Kit is in your vehicle. Stay informed and be aware of alerts from local law enforcement and fire departments. Leave if you feel unsafe—do not wait for an official evacuation order.
  3. Go!Go now! Danger in your area is current or imminent. Follow directions from law enforcement or fire departments and do not return home until officials have decided it is safe.

Learn more about fire emergency preparedness at kingcounty.gov/wildfire

Washington license plate

Records and Licensing

King County seeks new vehicle/
vessel licensing subagent in North Bend area

King County is seeking applications for a vehicle/vessel licensing subagent for the North Bend community. Applications are due no later than 2 p.m. on Monday, July 8.

If the county finds a qualified applicant, a new office could open in a location yet to be determined. The previous vehicle/vessel licensing office in North Bend closed in 2023. The Washington State Department of Licensing provides equal opportunity when appointing subagents. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply, including members of protected groups under applicable state and federal law. Learn more

Metro Transit

Water Taxi adds new sailings to Vashon-Seattle route

Vashon Water Taxi

Starting July 1, the King County Water Taxi has four new round-trip midday sailings to and from Vashon Island. The new sailings expand water taxi service to a total of 10 round-trip sailings every weekday, all year round, and are accompanied by recently upgraded Metro bus service that connects ferry riders with island destinations.

“The King County Water Taxi is a vital part of our transit network, and with travel patterns changing we saw the opportunity to increase sailings beyond traditional ‘commute hours’,” said Metro General Manager Michelle Allison at an event celebrating the new service. “Expanding the midday service not only benefits the residents of Vashon, but also people living in our region who want to explore and visit a truly special place in the Puget Sound.”

Learn more on the King County Water Taxi blog, or visit Metro's Water Taxi page.

Animal services

Two dogs

Foster homes for dogs are urgently needed

Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) urgently needs foster homes for dogs. RASKC provides dog food, supplies, and veterinary care while the animal is being fostered. You provide a caring home to reduce the dog’s stay in a shelter while the dog waits for its “furever" home. Learn more

Donations directly help dogs and cats in need

Regional Animal Services of King County can always use help feeding and caring for abandoned animals waiting for adoption. You can donate online, look at RASKC’s Amazon Wish List which supports their Community Pet Pantry and other efforts, or stop by during regular business hours to drop off donations of pet food and cat litter for the pet food bank at 21615 64th Avenue S in Kent. Learn more

Community and Human Services

Funding opportunities from the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy

Since 2006, the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy has funded a wide range of programs that connect veterans, military service members and their families, and individuals and families in need with affordable housing, employment, behavioral health treatment, and other services. Here are some upcoming funding opportunities.

Community supports for persons with disabilities – King County seeks to provide system navigation and community building to promote and protect the rights of those with visible or invisible disabilities. Applications are due by 2 p.m. on July 12. Learn more and apply or contact Nafiso Egal by email or at 206-477-6927.

Reentry Spanning Services – The county seeks to fund services that support reentry of formerly incarcerated persons in King County. These services include but are not limited to interim housing and systems navigation, family support, employment resources, flexible financial assistance, and access to culturally responsive healing practices. Applications are due by 2 p.m. on July 12. Learn more and apply or contact Kile Beaudry by email or at 206-477-4360.

Veteran civil legal aid clinic or fellowship – The county seeks to fund a program operated by or affiliated with an accredited school of law whose students will provide legal aid for veterans, service members, and their families through a clinic or fellowship model. Applications are due by 2 p.m. on July 18. Learn more and apply or contact Evan Brennan at ebrennan@kingcounty.gov.

Senior villages – The county seeks to fund the ongoing development and operations of geographically based or culturally affiliated senior villages or similar organizations. The goal is to support the ability of diverse and low-income seniors to age well in their communities of choice and remain stably housed. Applications are due by 2 p.m. on July 30. Learn more and apply or contact Claudine Wallace by email or at 206-477-5157.

Learn more about the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy



Catch the Wastemobile at a location near you! Bring your old batteries, oil‑based paint, antifreeze, pesticides, and more to the Wastemobile for safe, no‑cost disposal. Check the website for accepted items, quantity limits, and the complete 2024 schedule.

Rural Area news

Joint Rural Area Team provides input on county comprehensive plan update

On June 5, the Joint Team provided oral testimonies to the King County Council's Local Services and Land Use Committee on the proposed "striker" version of the 2024 King County Comprehensive Plan update, This brought the total number of testimonies provided by the Joint Team in the first half of the year to more than 40. All of these testimonies are posted on the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council website.

Submitted by Peter Rimbos, Coordinator, Joint Rural Area Team

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 – Hybrid meeting (virtual and in-person, 7-8:30 pm)
Fall City Fire Department meeting room
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. 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

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 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)

Visit the website for meeting agendas and Zoom information, which are posted several days before each 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.

:: Skyway Business Collective

The Skyway Business Collective aims to drive economic growth for entrepreneurs and small business owners living or working in Skyway, and to create a supportive and inclusive space for  small businesses to grow, connect, and thrive through free professional services tailored to the business's needs. Learn more at www.skywaybusinesscollective.org

:: Skyway Coalition

See the coalition's website.

:: 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 HNA71@msn.com

:: Upper Bear Creek Community Council

For information about the council, call Nancy Stafford at 425-788-5841 or visit the Facebook page and/or website. (Note: both the Facebook page and the website are currently being updated.)

:: Vashon Chamber of Commerce

Send email or visit the website.

:: Vashon-Maury Community Council

Meetings are open to all and are held on the third Thursday of each month, both online and in-person. Topics include affordable housing, ferries, election candidates, transportation, aviation noise, and more. The council sets up committees and passes resolutions to King County and other organizations as needed. Voting membership is free and open to residents 18 and older. To learn more, visit the website.

:: West Hill Community Association

Meetings are 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.