By Mellow DeTray
Here’s our recap of the Des Moines City Council meeting held on Thursday night, Feb. 9, 2024:
According to Mayor Traci Buxton, this meeting had a lighter agenda than normal because a few of the councilmembers had spent the day advocating for Des Moines in the capitol. There will, she said, be a stacked agenda at the next council meeting.
One commenter thanked Council for her appointment to the Citizens Advisory Committee. She also encouraged others in the community to apply to join the committee, or even to reapply if they had previously been rejected. Applications can be found here.
Multiple speakers warned that the plan to remove a 100+ year old retention wall at the Masonic Home will lead to massive flooding issues. They said the plan involves replacing the retention wall with silt fences and hay bales, which won’t stop the millions of pounds of water that can be expected during heavy rains.
City Manager Tim George said that, while people can speak freely about the Masonic Home during public comments, there is a platform on the city website that is for anyone to submit comments on the record for consideration. Information on the planned demolition can be found here. To submit comments for consideration on the historic building demolition project, click here.
One speaker said that 59 days ago he had submitted two code enforcement complaints on the city’s website, and to date no action has been taken. He also said the submission process was awkward. While he recognized his complaint was minor, he said these are the little things that affect how residents feel about the city, so they are worth getting right. The link for code violation complaints is available here.
City Manager Report
According to City Manager Tim George, the new marina bulkhead and parking lot design received an award for engineering excellence at a recent engineering gala. He also reminded the community about the meeting at that new bulkhead, to present the latest updates on the Marina Steps Project. The meeting will be from 6 to 8pm on Tuesday February 13th. During this meeting, there will be a presentation with renderings of the steps design, as well as construction timelines. George hopes to see the Marina Steps Project receive an award for engineering excellence in the future.
New Projects for Affordable Housing
South King Housing & Homelessness Partners (SKHHP) Executive Manager Claire Goodwin gave an annual update to Council on this year’s affordable housing projects. SKHHP was created by interlocal agreement between several cities and King County with the goal of pooling resources to increase and protect existing affordable housing throughout South King County.
In 2023, SKHHP chose to fund two projects, both of which happened to be in Burien. One of those, a Habitat for Humanity development, is currently underway. The second will begin next year.
This year, the four projects selected are a bit more dispersed throughout the region. Mercy Housing Northwest will receive $1 Million to build a 199-unit dwelling adjacent to the light rail station in Kent. The units will be available for families earning between 30-80% Area Median Income (AMI). 20% of the units are reserved for those with disabilities.
The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) will receive $2.8 Million to build a 55-unit development in Skyway for those earning 30-50% AMI, with 70% of the units reserved for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
TWG Pandion at Star Lake will also be near a light rail station. This 168-unit development will serve those earning 30-60% AMI, and those at risk of homelessness. They are being given $1.17 Million by SKHHP.
Victoria’s Place in Des Moines is an existing establishment that is in need of rehab and preservation in order to remain safe and livable. This project, which houses 20 families earning 35-50% AMI, is being awarded $777,306.
Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in Burien. She has volunteered at many local establishments over the years, including the Burien Library, Burien Actors Theatre, and Hot Feet Fitness. After working for 10 years at Burien Community Center, she moved on to teaching fitness classes and to work the front desk of a Burien yoga studio. For many years Mellow kept a moderately popular cooking & lifestyle blog, and she had a brief stint in political journalism during a local election. Clear and informative writing has always been a side hobby of Mellow’s and she looks forward to bringing you unbiased coverage of City Council meetings.