HAPPY BIRTHDAY BURIEN! – 23 years ago today – Feb. 28, 1993 – the City of Burien was incorporated!
Residents voted to incorporate by a 2-1 margin on March 10, 1992, and on Feb. 28 the next year, Burien officially became the state’s 22nd-largest city – with a population of around 27,700 – behind Lynnwood and ahead of Walla Walla.
Currently, Burien’s population is 49,858, since adding around 14,000 residents with annexation in 2010, making it the state’s 20th largest city, just above Kirkland (48,580).
According to Historylink.org:
Although residents had rejected the idea four times before, unchecked growth, plans for a third runway at Sea-Tac Airport, and a proposal to build a floating bridge through the community generated new interest in becoming a city. The new city consists of approximately nine square miles between Seattle and Normandy Park and between the City of Seatac and Puget Sound and has a population of about 27,700.
Burien was named after pioneer Gottlieb Van Boorman, whose name was misspelled to ‘Burien.’ The idea of becoming a city was presented to voters four times including 1954, 1960, and 1984, but in each case they voted the measure down, the last time by a margin of three to one. The only direct political influence the unincorporated area had on local government was through a single member of the King County Council and the county executive.
Here are some historical documents outlining the origins of our fine city (click images to see larger versions):