City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
As we approach the end of June, it seems our community is at yet another significant “tipping point” in our response to the impacts from COVID-19. We are roughly 100 days into our experiences with this emergency, and are poised to enter “Phase 3” of re-opening activities along with the rest of Kitsap County, once the application to do so is approved by the Governor’s Office.

This next phase is particularly meaningful for many island businesses that are working hard to problem solve for the requirements to operate safely and be ready for the return of customers and increased activity. It is also a time when everyone must fully commit to safe practices like wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent hand washing. The requirement to wear a mask in most public settings is now the law across Washington State, and I encourage all Bainbridge residents and visitors to comply fully and work to keep one another safe.

The efforts to reopen and the efforts to maintain safety work in tangent. Economic recovery cannot proceed without positive public health outcomes. I know most islanders understand this critical link, and are working to make choices every day to support one another. Please continue to do what you can, individually and collectively, to keep our community safe and to help our local businesses respond and recover.

This week, the City Council held a special, joint meeting with the Planning Commission to review affordable housing initiatives and establish priorities for future efforts. The Council also held a separate business meeting that covered a wide range of topics, including City funding for masks to support local businesses, the upcoming search for a new City Manager, the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) amendment, appointments to the Design Review Board and Planning Commission, and several Public Works projects.

For more information on some of these topics and other items, please see below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Facial coverings now required in Washington State
Beginning today (June 26), every person in Washington State must wear a facial covering that covers their nose and mouth when in any indoor or outdoor public setting.  Order 20-03 was issued in response to reports of cases increasing throughout the state. 

The order applies to anyone inside of or in line to enter an indoor public space, waiting for or riding public transportation, and anyone outdoors and unable to keep six feet away from others not in their households.

"This is about saving lives. It’s about reopening our businesses. And it’s about showing respect and care for one another. Mask up, Washington. Let’s beat this virus," read a post on Gov. Jay Inslee’s Twitter page following the announcement earlier this week.

For more information on face mask guidelines, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website.
City Council to discuss statewide mask mandate next week
The City Council was scheduled to discuss a proposed ordinance requiring face coverings during the June 23 business meeting. However, Governor Inslee announced that same day that he would be issuing the statewide mandate on masks that would take effect on June 26. Due to the Governor’s action, the Council pulled the ordinance and instead forwarded discussion of the statewide order to its June 30 meeting.

In a previous action, the Council approved Resolution No. 2020-12 on June 9 to strongly encourage people to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The resolution applies to properties that adjoin Winslow Way, from the Washington State Ferry Terminal to Grow Avenue. 
Kitsap County Phase 3 status still pending
As of June 25 at 2 p.m., Kitsap County's application to move to Phase 3 of Safe Start was still under review.

The Kitsap Public Health District will share the state's decision as soon as it is announced.

Learn more about the county status and Safe Start application process here.
Council to discuss CARES Act funding options
Staff will present a briefing to City Council on June 30 to discuss the spending options for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant. The City was awarded $735,600 in monies as part of the $2.2 trillion federal aid package that was signed into law March 27.

This package provides aid to families, governments, and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Possible options for the aid include support of the City’s eligible unplanned expenses related to the impacts of COVID-19 and sharing the funding through collaboration with local government and/or other partners and small businesses who are not otherwise eligible for the grant funding.
Police Updates
Learn about use of force policies
Please see the message below from Chief of Police Joe Clark.

As a result of the incidents happening across the nation, the Bainbridge Island Police Department has received inquiries related to our policies and practices. Most often those questions relate to officer conduct and use of force. To reach as many community members as possible, I would like to share those responses.

Do Bainbridge Island Police officers utilize Body-worn Cameras?

BIPD first obtained and began using a limited number of body-worn cameras in 2010. In 2018, a new comprehensive system was purchased that included updated body-worn cameras and added in-car cameras to the marked patrol vehicles. This system features automatic activation of cameras whenever emergency lights are used or a firearm or Taser is unholstered. The system also activates the cameras of other officers in the vicinity to ensure the greatest opportunity to capture video during an incident. Video captured by the cameras is automatically labeled and stored to a secure server.

The equipment was received by December 2018 with installation beginning the following year. Because of the advanced capabilities of the system, there were technology issues to overcome while merging the new system’s functions with the existing computer and dispatch systems. Officers were able to utilize the cameras during the installation and testing period. While there were challenges, the department worked closely with Kitsap 911 and the vendor to find solutions.

Final implementation of the system was completed in June. Uniformed officers assigned to patrol are now required to wear and activate their camera systems to record interactions with people when performing official duties. Recordings are retained in accordance with State records requirements.

Are officers required to intervene when witnessing another officer using excessive force?
BIPD policy states that any officer present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances shall, when in a position to do so, intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force. An officer who observes another employee use force that exceeds the degree of force permitted by law or policy should promptly report these observations to a supervisor.

How is use of force reported?
Officers are required to notify a supervisor and submit written reports anytime force is used to control or restrain an individual in the performance of their duties. This does not include the routine use of handcuffs during an arrest with a compliant individual.
All force incidents are investigated by the supervisor and written reports reviewed for accuracy. Officers must explain the circumstances leading to the use of force and why that force was necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. A state certified instructor is consulted if needed to determine compliance with training standards.

The findings are reviewed by the Deputy Chief and a recommendation is made to the Chief of Police. The Chief makes the final determination as to whether the officer’s actions were within policy or if additional training or discipline is appropriate.

Does the Bainbridge Island Police department publish use of force data?
BIPD publishes annually a report that includes data on use of force, traffic stops, and officer complaints. The data includes information on race and gender of the individuals involved. Those reports may be found here.

Thank you,

Chief of Police Joe Clark
Project Updates
City Council approves Eagle Harbor project grant funds
The City Council this week accepted federal grant funds and selected a design alternative for the Eagle Harbor Drive Non-Motorized Improvements Phase II project. The project design was influenced by a strong desire from the Council that all, or some portion, of the improvements include bike lanes that are separated from vehicles by a vegetated buffer.

The staff presented, and the Council approved, an alternative that includes a separated 5-foot-wide bike lane on the southbound (mostly uphill) stretch of the road, with the northbound stretch (mostly downhill) consisting of a standard 5-foot-wide paved bike lane shoulder. The cost of the project, which was recently awarded federal grant funds in the amount of $700,000, is anticipated to be $925,000 with the City contributing the difference as a match to the grant.

The grant funds were awarded from the regional “contingency” list, which requires that the project plans and documentation be ready for review by the grant agencies by July 15, 2020. The staff is anticipating being able to meet that deadline, after which the schedule for construction within the next year will be determined.
City Council Updates
Deets selected to serve as Deputy Mayor
Councilmember Joe Deets will serve as Deputy Mayor beginning in July.

The Deputy Mayor serves for six months and chairs the study sessions.

Councilmember Rasham Nassar served as Deputy Mayor during January through June of this year.
Update on Shoreline Master Program
The City Council directed staff to move forward with the preparation of an ordinance related to the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) that incorporates changes from City staff and the Department of Ecology to make regulations consistent for those within and outside of shoreline jurisdiction and to make changes to the nonconforming regulations.

The changes would amend the critical areas ordinance and amend nonconforming uses, structures and lots sections of the SMP.

This combined amendment was approved by City Council via Resolution No. 2019-05 on Jan. 8, 2019 and transmitted to the WA Department of Ecology (Ecology) on April 22, 2019. On Dec. 9, 2019, Ecology provided the City with a Determination of Initial Concurrence, meaning the amendment has been generally approved with the exception of a few required and recommended changes.

Staff anticipates returning to the City Council with an ordinance at a public hearing in July. Following a public hearing and local adoption by the City Council, staff will transmit the SMP Amendment to Ecology in accordance with WAC 173-26-110. The SMP Amendment will become effective 14 days after final approval by Ecology.
Subcommittee created to address land use, affordable housing topics
During a joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission this week to discuss land use code review and affordable housing initiatives, the members decided to form a subcommittee to further address the topics.

Councilmembers Christy Carr, Kirsten Hytopoulos, and Michael Pollock will serve as the Council liaisons.

The Planning Commioners to serve on the subcommittee will include Bill Chester,
Kimberly McCormick Osmond, and Jon Quitslund.

The subcommittee will provide recommendations to the Council on a process to clarify an approach for affordable housing initiatives and develop a process for undertaking work on land use code priorities.

The June 22 joint meeting included discussion on the following topics:
  • Inclusionary zoning (IZ)
  • Multifamily tax exemption (MFTE)
  • Transfer of development rights (TDR)
  • Floor area ratio development standard

The meeting allowed members to discuss and understand each program, how they relate, and confirm prioritization. Watch the meeting here.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the June 30 meeting.

  • Monthly update on 2020 revenue and expenses forecasts
  • 2020 1st quarter budget and updated Capital Improvement Plan amendments
  • Financial policies presentation
  • Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Grant briefing and grant acceptance
  • Feedback on Governor Inslee's order related to face coverings
  • Discussion on the Code of Conduct and Ethics Program
  • Appointments to fill Planning Commission vacancies

If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, sign up on the Council Agendas webpage.

Ways to Watch
  • Zoom
  • City website livestream (visit the Agendas & Minutes page, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts).
  • You can also watch the meetings on BKAT (Channel 12 on Comcast & Channel 3 on WAVE).
City Advisory Group Updates
Council considers Planning Commission appointments
The City Council this week moved forward two appointments to fill vacant Planning Commission positions.

Earlier this month, Mayor Leslie Schneider, Councilmember Kirsten Hytopoulos and Planning Commission Chair Bill Chester interviewed six applicants for two Planning Commission vacancies (Position 1 and Position 2).

During the June 16 Council meeting, members approved the appointment of Kimberly McCormick Osmond, a current Planning Commissioner, to Position 1 and Sarah Blossom, a former Councilmember who represented the south ward, to Position 2. The appointments were approved and forwarded to the June 23 consent agenda for formal approval.

During the June 23 meeting, the Council pulled the Planning Commission appointment item from the consent agenda for discussion.

In addition, during the public comment portion of the June 23 meeting, Bainbridge Island resident Ashley Mathews expressed a desire to fill Position 2 on the Planning Commission. Mathews, who did not apply for the vacant Planning Commission position during the recruitment period, was a previous applicant for the vacant south ward City Council seat that was filled by Councilmember Carr. She also filed as a candidate for the City Council during the November 2019 election and later dropped out.

Following discussion at the June 23 meeting, the Council moved to forward the appointments of Mathews and McCormick Osmond to the June 30 meeting for final approval. Watch the June 23 discussion here.
Council approves Design Review Board appointments
The City Council this week approved two appointments to fill vacant Design Review Board positions.

Earlier this month, Mayor Leslie Schneider, Councilmember Christy Carr and Design Review Board Chair Joe Dunstan conducted interviews for the Design Review Board vacancies. Three applications were received for the upcoming vacant positions, including current member Laurel Wilson.

Laurel Wilson was reappointed to Position 2. Bob Russell was appointed to serve Position 1 and will fill the position previously served by Jane Rein.

The Design Review Board serves as an advisory body to the Planning and Community Development director, Hearing Examiner and Planning Commission, as applicable, regarding site plan and design reviews and conditional use permits. The Design Review Board is composed of seven members with expertise in the following disciplines and/or groups: landscape architecture; urban design; public art committee or local artist; developers; at large community members and at least two architects.

Formal approval of the appointments will be considered during the Council’s July 14 meeting.
Other Updates
Update on Harbor Square fence, Bainbridge Landing path
In January and February, the City received extensive public comment from residents of the Harbor Square condominiums related to a path segment being installed on the neighboring Bainbridge Landing project property. In response, the City provided information to the community via the weekly City Manager's report and several "News Flash" updates. The City has not sought, and is not seeking, removal or alteration of the Harbor Square fence. However, at the Council meeting on Feb. 11, the Council requested that the City Manager review this issue to clarify any legal concerns or issues related to the Harbor Square fence, and then bring those results to a future Council meeting.

The results of City staff review were provided at the June 23 Council meeting, and can be found in this June 19 background memo.

At this time, City staff remains unclear as to why residents of Harbor Square believe the City is seeking removal of their fence. The City has not received any complaints about the Harbor Square fence and has not provided any communication to the property owners or residents about this fence.

As the memo indicates, both the Bainbridge Landing and Harbor Square projects received bonus FAR in exchange for their provision of open space. The Bainbridge Landing project had a 2017 SEPA condition to provide a trail connection to the adjoining open space at Harbor Square. While the Winslow Master Plan encourages a continuous network of non-motorized connections, there was and is no condition to require that the two open spaces connect, nor that prevents such a connection in the future. In the event that Harbor Square chooses to allow uninterrupted movement between the open spaces, then Bainbridge Landing has constructed a trail to allow it.
WSF to host virtual community meeting
Join Washington State Ferries (WSF) for a virtual community meeting to hear the latest information on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting WSF and how it's moving forward.

On Tuesday, June 30 at 6 p.m. the public is invited to hear a brief presentation and participate in a Q&A with WSF staff.

Click here to learn more about the meeting and to register online.
2020 Fourth of July marks final year for consumer fireworks
The upcoming Fourth of July holiday will be the last opportunity for people to use consumer fireworks on Bainbridge Island. The City Council approved a ban on the sale and use of consumer fireworks following concerns related to wildfire risk, noise, safety and environmental impacts.

On Oct. 8, 2019, the Council adopted Ordinance No. 2019-21, Banning the Use of Consumer Fireworks on Bainbridge Island. Under state law, the ordinance takes effect Oct. 11, 2020 (one year after the ordinance was published). Chapter 8.28 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code, as amended by Ordinance No. 2019-21, recognizes four types of fireworks:

  • “Consumer Fireworks” – Small fireworks intended for use by consumers, such as: roman candles, mine and shell devices, aerial shell kits, and cone fountains. 
  • “Display Fireworks” – Large fireworks intended for professional use containing more explosive materials than consumer fireworks. 
  • “Special effects” – Combinations of chemical elements used for effects in motion picture, radio, television, or theatrical productions. 
  • “Trick or Novelty Devices” – Very small fireworks not otherwise classified as consumer or display fireworks, such as: snakes, toy caps, and toy smoke devices. 

What is currently allowed? 

  • Consumer Fireworks
  • May be sold by licensed vendors within the City between the hours of 12:00 PM and 11:00 PM from July 1 through July 4 each year. 
  • May be discharged within the City between the hours of 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM on July 4 of each year. 
  • Display Fireworks
  • Permit required from Fire Marshal prior to transfer, purchase, possession, use, or discharge within the City.
  • Special Effects
  • Permit required from Fire Marshal prior to transfer, purchase, possession, use, or discharge within the City. 
  • Trick or Novelty Devices
  • No restrictions under City Code. 

What changes on Oct. 11, 2020?
  • Consumer Fireworks
  • Transfer, sale, possession, use, or discharge of consumer fireworks is prohibited within the City. 
  • No changes for Display Fireworks, Special Effects, and Trick or Novelty Devices.
Important Dates
Friday, July 3: City closed for federal holiday.
Thursday, July 9: Race Equity Task Force meeting
Thursday, July 9: Planning Commission meeting
July 31:
Deadline to apply for City Advisory Groups.
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Contact Information

280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: 206-842-7633