Home Letter To The Editor Letter to the Editor: Grave Concerns About DESC Coming To Burien

Letter to the Editor: Grave Concerns About DESC Coming To Burien


Burien City Council,

I want to remind all of you of a few extremely critical points that are often glossed over or given feigned ignorance when it comes to DESC:

  1. DESC is a private property management company worth over $100,000,000.00
  2. Noah Fay, the housing director of DESC, lied to all of Burien when he promised DESC would house Burien homeless people and Burien homeless veterans.
  3. DESC will pay ZERO taxes.
  4. All types of drugs are allowed on the premises; the staff provides the tools to administer the drugs. Presently, there is zero accountability or measures put in place for what DESC has proven to usher in:  theft and other types of crime to sustain drug use.
  5. Only three parking stalls will be required for ninety-five residents and seven employees which will compete with the retail business in this area;  this is unacceptable!
  6. The Hobson Place, another DESC housing complex, was 5th in 2021 for top community dispatched location with the  Seattle Police Department, http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/Police/Reports/2021_SPD_CRIME_REPORT_FINAL.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

The most confusing point in all of this is that DESC stated they would be coming to Burien regardless of the tax breaks or requirements to follow certain building codes. Why would you say “no” to desperately needed revenue, a building that better reflects our small downtown core, and parking for our already struggling businesses? Burien has 85% free- and- reduced lunches in the Highline School District and our services lack funding.  We are a lower-income community, and foolishly you decide to say“no” to offered tax revenue from a private business; in doing so you shift the tax burden from that business to the citizens of Burien. It is irresponsible at best for all of us living and working in Burien!

I do not know one person who is against building low-income affordable housing in our downtown. The REAL issue is the drug use and crime that has proven to follow this type of housing, (often the same behavior that began and contributed to each individual’s housing situation problem).

There is no longer a partnership between businesses, the Burien city council, and a few city officials. I find this extremely disappointing after spending so much time in collaboration with Burien in recent years. Collectively, you the council, are dangerously close to destroying the years of extremely challenging work our community and businesses have built.

If what I have stated is incorrect or if anyone of you would like to have a thoughtful honest discussion, please let me know. I welcome one or all of the City Council members to come together to explain their decision and calm the fears our community and businesses have expressed.

In closing, I hope this letter will open doors to discussion and understanding within our business community. Unfortunately, my last letter that expressed concerns was met with being told by a City Council member to close my businesses and leave town; to make it worse, shamefully,  none of you spoke up against that type of response by a current sitting council member.

Danny House                                                                                                Business owner and citizen of Burien for 35 years

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