Unincorporated Area Community News - King County Local Services

August 2022

Urban communities in unincorporated King County are voting now on how to spend money in their areas

Voting in Fairwood

At a pop-up voting event in Fairwood, (L to R) Participatory Budgeting Program Manager Gloria Briggs, Fairwood volunteer Phoebe Gosho, and Local Services Community Liaison Marissa Alegria pose with a community member holding a ballot.

It’s time to vote! Five urban unincorporated communities will get the chance to decide which proposed community projects will happen as part of King County’s first Participatory Budgeting process. 

From Aug. 2-10, anyone age 12 or older who lives, works, owns a business, receives services, goes to school, or worships in the following unincorporated areas can cast their vote to fund projects in their community — projects that were proposed and developed by community members.

Participating communities

East Federal Way • East Renton • Fairwood
North Highline/White Center • Skyway/West Hill

Votes may be cast in one of two ways:

  • Online – find links on the Participatory Budgeting outreach website.
  • At an in-person event – Visit the outreach site linked above, select your community, and find a list of events in your area.

Learn more: King County Local Services news release (Aug. 1, 2022)

Local Services

Focus group

Snoqualmie Valley/Northeast King County Subarea Plan seeks focus group participants

The county's visioning and scoping survey for this subarea plan closed July 6. County planners are reviewing the input received to help form draft vision, scoping, and guiding principle concepts for public review.

In the meantime, King County is forming focus groups and holding one-on-one interviews to help guide the creation of the plan. There will be focus groups for various unincorporated areas, groups for seniors and youths, and groups focused on agriculture, mobility, and human services. To learn more or join a group, send an email with a few sentences about your interest in a particular area and why you would like to join. Group members must commit to attending three one-hour meetings between late summer 2022 and early 2023.

Learn more about this subarea plan on the public outreach website.

Burn ban

County Fire Marshal issues Stage 1 burn ban for unincorporated King County

With high temperatures and dry conditions, King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 1 fire safety burn ban for unincorporated areas. The ban, issued in coordination with the King County Fire Chiefs Association, applies to all outdoor burning except for barbecues and small recreational fires in established burn pits at approved campgrounds or on private property with the owner's permission.

“Extreme heat and especially dry conditions have increased the risk of wildfire dramatically,” Ricketts said. “People in both rural and urban unincorporated areas need to be careful and use caution.”

For more details about what is and isn't allowed under the ban, see King County's Outdoor Burn Bans web page.

Road Services

Newaukum Creek Bridge closure

Rotted support beam forces emergency bridge closure near Enumclaw

King County Road Services closed the 72-year-old Newaukum Creek Bridge on SE 416th Street on July 28 after discovering a rotten timber support beam during a routine bridge inspection earlier in the day. The bridge will remain closed for several months while the county acquires and installs a replacement beam.

The damage appears to have been caused or worsened by an insect infestation deep inside the mid-span beam. County bridge engineers inspect each of the 185 bridges in unincorporated King County every 1-2 years.

Natural Resources and Parks

King County to study three sites for new Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station

King County’s Solid Waste Division has identified three sites plus a no-action alternative that will move forward into an environmental review process for the Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station project.

The study will include two sites in Kirkland and one in Woodinville: 

  • A 12.9 acre-site comprised of six properties in the 15000 block of Woodinville-Redmond Rd. NE in Woodinville.  
  • The current Houghton Transfer Station property at 11724 NE 60th St. in Kirkland.
  • The Houghton Park-and-Ride property at 7024 116th Ave. NE in Kirkland.

The environmental review begins with “scoping” this fall, which will provide opportunity for the public to comment on what the project team should study in the environmental impact statement (EIS), which is scheduled for publication in early 2023. The public will also have the opportunity to submit formal comments on the alternatives proposed in the EIS. The study will evaluate the potential environmental and community effects of the project and propose ways to avoid or reduce any effects.

The three properties were identified after King County’s technical team consulted with representatives from the cities of Redmond, Sammamish, Woodinville, Kirkland, and unincorporated north King County, as well as community members representing diverse interests and backgrounds on a Siting Advisory Group convened in fall 2021. City representatives helped develop the criteria the project team used to narrow the list of sites to the three study site candidates.

For more information, visit the project website or call King County's Solid Waste Division at 206‑477‑4466.

Forestry management


WSU will host Vashon Forest Owners Field Day Aug. 27, classes in Preston starting Sept. 6

The Washington State University Extension Forestry program will host two upcoming events (actually, one event and a series) to help residents maintain healthy forests.

Vashon Forest Owners Field Day – This Aug. 27 event on Vashon Island will offer tips, demonstrations, and hands-on practice. Details and registration

Autumn Preston Forest Stewardship Coached Planning Course – WSU will host in-person classes in Preston on Tuesday evenings from Sept. 6 through Nov. 1. The classes will help landowners achieve their goals for ecosystem health, harvest income, family ties, and peace and quiet. Details and registration

Rural Area news

Unincorporated Area councils, associations, and organizations

2024 King County Comprehensive Plan – Major Update

On July 14, the joint team held a Zoom Meeting with King County Comprehensive Plan Manager Chris Jensen to discuss the remaining milestones for the update. These included ongoing public engagement and preparation of the Public Review Draft and Environmental Impact Statement  through mid 2023. Also discussed were the joint team’s major items for inclusion

Proposed moratorium on new or expanded adult beverage businesses

On July 10 the joint team submitted comments in support of a proposed King County Council ordinance that would impose a one-year moratorium "prohibiting the acceptance of applications for or establishment of new or expansion of existing wineries, breweries, distilleries and remote tasting rooms."

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, August 16 – 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 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

First Mondays, 7-9:30 p.m. — in person or via Zoom
King County Sheriff's Precinct #3 in Maple Valley

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 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: [email protected].

:: 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 vmicc.net 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

Last month I wrote about the amazing work of the Community Investment Budget Committee – the citizen group tasked with advancing King County’s first foray into participatory budgeting. Well, I am going to write about them again, and the effort to get your input into where King County should be investing in urban unincorporated King County. 

As we are publishing this month’s Unincorporated Area News, residents of King County’s five urban unincorporated areas are voting on slates of projects and programs developed by community members to spend $10 million in capital funding and $1.3 million in marijuana tax revenues to benefit the communities of East Federal Way, East Renton, Fairwood, Skyway, and White Center.  Voting started on August 2 and runs through August 10 (see our news release: Communities to decide which projects will receive public funding during Aug. 2-10 voting period - King County).

If you live in one of these areas, this is your opportunity to have a say in how King County should spend public funds to benefit your community. To vote, you need to be 12 years or older and to live, work, play, or worship in one of these areas. Please take a moment to find the link to your community's ballot on our outreach website, vote on projects you'd like to see funded in your area, and help us break new ground on how the community influences the county’s expenditures and budget.

Director’s Corner is a column from John Taylor, the director of King County Local Services. To contact John, email [email protected] or call 206-477-3800 (Relay 711; language interpreters available).