City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
While summer weather is still lingering, the increased pace of projects at the City definitely makes it feel as if fall is here. The City Council continues to tackle a number of significant and complex issues related to land use policies, including the development of a new green building code, options for floor area ratio (FAR), rules related to self-storage facilities, and changes to the shoreline regulations. The City’s next biennial budget (for 2021-2022) is being finalized for presentation to Council later this month. The community-wide discussion on sustainable transportation is ongoing, and work is nearly complete on a Climate Action Plan for the City. 

Islanders continue to engage and share across this wide range of important topics so that we can achieve local action and plans that will continue to make Bainbridge Island a sustainable and unique community. The fact that residents are investing time and resources in these efforts while also navigating the ongoing challenges from COVID closures and restrictions is particularly noteworthy. While our public health concerns remain front and center, I’m pleased to see our community is continuing to find ways to push forward with other work and projects rather than standing still.

The next City Council meeting is a study session scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15. Please see below for more information on some of the topics that are scheduled for discussion at that time, as well as other items of community interest.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Wildfire Safety Updates
Crews contain brush fire near Fletcher Bay Rd
Fire crews are monitoring an area in the 7000 block of Fletcher Bay Road where a brush fire broke out yesterday evening. 

Crews from nearby agencies responded to assist with the fire that was reported around 5:30. During the response, some residents in the area were told to prepare for evacuation, but the evacuation notices were later lifted.

There was no damage to structures or any injuries reported.

Fletcher Bay Road has reopened to traffic. 

Any additional information regarding the incident will be provided by the Bainbridge Island Fire Department

Wildfire Response
At this time, the City's Emergency Operations Center remains on standby to support any wildfire response efforts.

Emergency notifications, including wildfire response and evacuation orders, will be shared with the public by text or email messaging via Nixle. To register for free Nixle alerts, text 98110 to 888777 or visit the Nixle website at

During a wildfire on Bainbridge Island, community members may be told to “prepare to evacuate” or be provided with “voluntary evacuation” or “mandatory evacuation” orders.  
  • A "voluntary evacuation" order means that the threat to lives is not yet imminent but conditions exist or such circumstances may exist in the near future. It is “recommended” that people relocate to a safer location. 
  • A "mandatory evacuation" order means that there is an imminent threat to life and property. People and their pets in the mandatory evacuation order zone(s) should evacuate as soon as they receive the order. 

Bainbridge Island is divided into 12 evacuation zones; making it extremely important for every resident to "Know Your Zone". Real time information will be used to determine which evacuation zones need to be evacuated. Please see our Wildfire Response webpage to learn more about your zone and preparedness.
Air quality forecast update from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is expecting significant smoke from Oregon to reach our region today (Friday, Sept. 11).

By this morning, much of the region could reach "unhealthy for sensitive groups" or "unhealthy". Expect to see poor air quality this weekend.

See the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's website for more information on how to be prepared for wildfire smoke.
Kitsap County Fire Marshal expands burn ban due to fire danger
Due to rising fire danger and stretched resources, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal this week expanded the burn ban to prohibit all outdoor fires. The ban is effective until further notice.

The move was prompted by several factors. Hot and dry weather made conditions ripe for ignition and fast fire spread, and forecasts predict more of the same. Multiple, local brush fires broke out over the weekend, underscoring the danger. Large fires in progress across the state have depleted all but local firefighting resources. "Escaped outdoor fires are a leading cause of wildland fires," notes Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam. "Given these circumstances, the best way to prevent a big incident in our county right now is by preventing it from starting in the first place."

Under a Stage II Fire Danger Burn Ban, no open burning is allowed. All outdoor burning permits remain suspended, recreational fires are prohibited, and only propane or natural gas-fueled cooking fires are allowed.

While outdoor fires are to blame for many dangerous brush fires, there are other causes as well and Lynam says, "The situation is serious, and we really need everyone’s help limiting all ignition sources." Dispose of smoking materials properly. Secure trailer chains to prevent sparks. Practice fire-safe target shooting (where target shooting is allowed). Defer mowing until conditions improve and avoid using gas-powered lawn care items while the burn ban is in effect.

For burn ban status updates, contact the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-337-5777 or the Bainbridge Island Fire Department.
COVID-19 Updates
Update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and planning progress in Washington State
Please see the update below from the Washington State Department of Health.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts.

Our federal government is leading the planning efforts around the release of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, including who the initial doses would be offered to and how it would be distributed. They have shared their planning assumptions with the states and are planning to release more detailed guidance to states this month.

While we still do not know when a vaccine might be available, when a safe and effective vaccine is available, we will be prepared to deploy it in a manner that is equitable and timely for the people of Washington.

Continue reading the update here.
City receives additional CARES funding for COVID-19 expenses
Last week, the City was notified that Washington State will allocate an additional $367,800 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to the City. This increases the City’s total allocation from roughly $736,000 to more than $1.1 million. The State also extended the deadline for eligible expenses to Nov. 30.

The City expects to submit more than $900,000 in eligible expenses due to COVID. These expenses include labor costs, expenses related to retrofits to City facilities, purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE), and other items. The City will also seek reimbursement for roughly $175,000 in eligible costs incurred by community partners, including:
  • $91,000 for the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD) emergency operations and unplanned community services.
  • $60,000 for expanded rental assistance via Helpline House.
  • $20,000 for the “Save Our Stores” local marketing program launched by the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association (BIDA) and the Chamber of Commerce.
  • $5,000 for BIDA for COVID response expenses. 

An update on the City’s CARES funding will be provided to City Council at the Sept. 22 business meeting, as part of the scheduled monthly update on COVID impacts to the City’s budget and workplan.
Project Updates
Council begins discussion on 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan
The City Council this week held a first reading of the 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), a document that lays out all of the proposed spending for capital projects over the next six years.

The Plan, which will be included as a foundational element of the City Manager’s 2021-22 Biennial Budget when presented to the Council on Sept. 22, includes spending on transportation and non-motorized improvements, as well as investments in utility and facility upgrades and fleet replacement. A copy of the presentation provided to the Council can be found here.

Overall, the CIP proposes $72.9 million in capital spending during the six-year period, with an almost even split between general government and utility investments. Additionally, the City is working to procure a little over $8 million in grants to support transportation and non-motorized projects around the Island.

The Council will continue discussion and propose changes to the CIP as part of the deliberations on the Biennial Budget this October and November.
Update on WSDOT's SR 305 safety and mobility improvements project
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) State Route 305 Working Group met this week to discuss the status of the safety improvements planned for the 305 corridor between the Winslow ferry terminal and Hostmark Street in Poulsbo. The group, which is made up of tribal and elected officials as well as leadership staff from local governments along the route, had not met since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in late winter. The meeting focused on how financial impacts related to the pandemic-related recession and unanticipated cost increases have placed limitations on the improvements that will be made over the next several years.

Several projects along the corridor will still be going forward, including the roundabout and pedestrian tunnel at the Johnson Road intersection in Poulsbo, which will start construction this fall. The roundabouts planned for the West Port Madison and Adas Will/Agatewood intersections on Bainbridge Island are also still planned for construction in late 2021.

The future of two other roundabout projects, at the intersections of Totten Road and Suquamish Way are less certain at this time, with design and construction stretching out into 2023, assuming that funding remains available.

The Day Road roundabout project, which was slated only for design as part of this funding package, was removed entirely from the plan, but will be included in requests for future funding.

A separate project funding source is supporting the replacement of existing drainage culverts with fish passage improvements along the corridor at Murden Creek on Bainbridge Island, and Klebeal Creek and Sam Snyder Creek in Suquamish. Each of those projects has a completed preliminary design and are expected to proceed to construction in the next 2-3 years.
City Council Updates
Council seeks to eliminate new self-service storage facilities
The City Council this week directed the City Manager to work with staff to develop an ordinance to eliminate self-storage as a conditional use in Neighborhood Service Centers and as an allowed use in the Business/Industrial Zone.

During the Sept. 8 Council meeting, staff provided the Council with information and analysis on existing self-service storage facilities on Bainbridge Island and code regulations from surrounding west sound jurisdictions. The purpose of the presentation was to follow the workplan for the self-service storage facilities moratorium (Ordinance 2020-12), provide further information on this topic based on staff's research and analysis in response to the Council's request, and receive direction from the Council on how they want to regulate self-service storage facilities on Bainbridge Island. Some of the analysis provided to the Council included:
  • Bainbridge Island has 8 existing self-service storage facilities totaling approximately 285,729 square feet. 
  • The City is aware of two proposed additional facilities (one an expansion and one new) that could add an additional 109,300 square feet. 
  • City staff gathered information from 7 of the 8 existing storage facilities and found: 
  • The vacancy rates range from 0 to 15%, with an average of 5%.
  • The tenants are split between residential and commercial businesses with residential use at approximately 78%.
  • The average amount of self-service storage facility space on Bainbridge is 9 square feet per person, and factoring in the proposed facilities the average would be 13 square feet. The average rentable storage space per person in the United States is 5.4 square feet per person (Self-Storage Almanac, 2019). 
  • The total amount of jobs provided are slightly above one per facility, for a total of 9.5 jobs for 7 facilities. 

Council directed the City Manager to work with staff to prohibit new self-service storage facilities while potentially allowing existing facilities to expand and remodel.

Staff will begin drafting an ordinance based on Council direction and take it through the legislative process, beginning with a meeting with the Planning Commission.

Staff is attempting to complete this work before the expiration of the self-service storage facilities moratorium on Nov. 26 (unless extended by the Council).

Watch the Council discussion here.
Public hearings scheduled for Sept. 22 City Council meeting
The City Council this week scheduled two public hearings for Sept. 22 to hear public comment and consider approval of integrating the critical areas ordinance into the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) and to consider extending the development moratorium an additional six months (Council will consider terminating the moratorium if the workplan is completed sooner than six months).

City staff is working on an amendment to its SMP to integrate the recently updated critical areas regulations, which became effective on April 23, 2018. Critical areas within the shoreline jurisdiction are regulated by the City's SMP -- not the critical areas ordinance (CAO). Therefore, these updated regulations are not currently effective within the City's shoreline jurisdiction.

The draft SMP amendment also focuses on the integration of the updated critical areas regulations into the existing SMP and amendments related to nonconforming uses, structures, and lots.

Following Council approval, Ordinance No. 2020-17 will be sent to the Washington State Department of Ecology for final review and approval. The changes are anticipated to complete the legislative process and be in effect by mid-November.

The Council will consider extending the development moratorium, which has been in place since January 2018 and is currently set to expire Oct. 3, for six months to allow City staff time to complete integration of the CAO into the SMP, which is the final workplan item for the moratorium. If the CAO integration work is completed prior to six months, then the Council will vote to terminate the moratorium.

The moratorium applies only within the Winslow Master Plan Study Area (excluding projects in the Central Core Overlay District, which is already exempt from the moratorium as a result of Council action in 2018; and projects that provide 10% of the total residential units as affordable housing).

The Council previously requested that affordable housing efforts not be included in the extended moratorium workplan.

Watch the Sept. 8 Council discussion here.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the Sept. 15 City Council meeting.

  • Position profile for City Manager search process
  • Sustainable Transportation Plan update
  • Update from joint City Council and Planning Commission Land Use Subcommittee
  • Recommendation from Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Recovery
  • Follow-up tasks for Planning Commission vacancy
  • Interim Green Building Program

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
Volunteer to serve on the Planning Commission
The City of Bainbridge Island is seeking a volunteer to serve on the Planning Commission to complete a term ending in June 2021.

The City is committed to promoting diversity on the commission. The commission shall reflect the diverse perspectives, work experiences and backgrounds represented in the community. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, younger persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply to serve on the commission. Each commissioner shall endeavor to understand and agree to uphold the City’s adopted Comprehensive Plan.

The commission meets twice monthly from 6 to 8 p.m. (second and fourth Thursday). Other duties may in include attendance at subcommittee meetings to study topics more in depth.

Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Oct. 9. Interviews will be held in October.

To complete the online application, please visit:
Other Updates
September 11: A Day of Service and Remembrance
The annual September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance event hosted by American Legion Colin Hyde Post 172 is canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through a proclamation, the City Council this week declared September 11, 2020, as “A Day of Service and Remembrance" in the City of Bainbridge Island and call upon the people of Bainbridge Island to honor the lives and memories of those lost through participation in community service and remembrance ceremonies on this
day and throughout the year. Watch the proclamation reading here.
City to auction derelict 26-foot sailboat
As part of the City's work to manage the removal of derelict and abandoned vessels in island harbors, the City of Bainbridge Island is auctioning a 1974 26-foot San Juan sailboat that includes an outboard motor and sails.

The bidder must have authorized moorage to bid. The minimum bid is $500. The highest bidder will be selected at noon on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The vessel will be open for inspection at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the City Dock at Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park, located at 301 Shannon Dr. SE. Bids can be made in person, but you do not need to be present to win. Bids can be submitted ahead of time by email to Harbormaster Tami Allen at

Payment will be collected Monday, Sept. 14 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Bainbridge Island Police station, located at 625 Winslow Way E. The payment can be made with cash, check or credit card with a fee. The winning bid must remove the boat from the City’s dock by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14.

For more information, contact Harbormaster Tami Allen at or by phone at 206-786-7627. Click here to learn more about the auction process.
Volunteer for the annual beach cleanup
Help keep our shorelines clean - join volunteers Saturday, Sept. 20 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the annual Bainbridge Island Beach Cleanup. Visit a public beach, walk along your own property, or even clean up along the roadsides (it all flows downhill to the Sound).

Volunteers last year collected large quantities of Styrofoam, a dinghy, tarps, tires, and more.

Harbormaster Tami Allen has participated in the event since it began five years ago.

"We know that microplastics are a problem all over the world," Allen said. "This is an opportunity to prevent plastics, foam products, rubber and debris from entering our shared waters. What you do in your neighborhood has a global impact on marine water quality."

During this year's event, Allen will coordinate water operations (vessels) for debris that's too large or heavy to carry up the bank, or too far offshore to collect.

For everyone’s safety, this year’s event will be consistent with all COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time of the event, including limiting group sizes and requiring appropriate personal protective equipment.

Click here for more information about the event and to sign up to join the effort and keep our waterfront clean!
Important Dates
Monday, Sept. 14: Joint City Council & Planning Commission Land Use Subcommittee meeting; 12 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26: Day of Preparedness; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Zoom
Wednesday, Sept. 30: Virtual Police Town Hall; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Wednesday, Sept. 30: Deadline to submit responses in Comcast cable TV franchise renewal survey. Learn more here.
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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