This Monday, November 20th, Burien City Council has a tough two-part decision to make regarding King County’s million dollar start-up funding offered to create a new Tiny Home Village (THV) in Burien. First, should the city Council even accept the offer? Second, if yes, which site will the council choose? According to a Seattle Times article, Mayor Sofia Aragon says they plan to hold a vote on Monday, in advance of the county’s November 27th deadline.
The county is trying to offload its growing homeless problem onto the backs of smaller, much poorer communities like Burien. But according to the election last week, Burien residents have had enough. Taking on the unreasonable responsibilities of sheltering unknown numbers of homeless people is not acceptable to Burien residents. Burien has already seen that crime, drugs, personal safety, and business losses tend to accompany increases in this population. Advocates claim this is kind and welcoming, but enabling poor behavior is not a sustainable fix.
If the council does decide to take the money, here are the top three locations and the main concerns:
1) The Boulevard Park Library parking lot is deemed unsafe and unfit by ALL stakeholders, including residents and homeless advocates.
2) The City Light property is next to Kennedy High School and presents a host of safety, crime and drug concerns; parents have already gathered hundreds of signatures against this location.
3) The lot next to the Toyota dealership in downtown Burien. The city knows this could easily affect Toyota’s business and therefore the hefty tax revenue.
All three options have serious downsides. All will negatively affect Burien. One million dollars sounds like a lot, and many advocates only see it as turning down a “solution,” but King County’s financial incentive will permanently saddle Burien with an unsustainable and unreasonable fiscal burden.
In the past two weeks, there have protests, meetings and escalating community concerns. But the loudest “no” came from the electorate last week when they voted down the unrelenting homeless advocates, Cydney Moore, Krystal Marx and Patricia Hudson.
Burien, if you have not written to your council members or spoken up at a council meeting on this issue, and you have concerns….it’s time. Burien is being viewed as a bellwether city. If they vote in this Tiny Home Village, last week’s vote will be a hollow victory.
Burien City Council meeting 7pm November 20th.