City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
I am greatly saddened to write this message at the conclusion of a tragic week on our Island. Our community grieves the sudden loss of three students at our high school who died in a car accident on Tuesday evening. As a small community, this sad event touches many.

Please join me in offering support and condolences to all who knew these young women, in particular to their families and closest friends.

Please join me in showing gratitude for the first responders who were at the scene that evening, and continue to serve our community.

Please take care of yourselves and others during these challenging times.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Critical workers now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
The vaccine clinic at Commodore is now administering vaccines for critical workers.

People who work in jobs that require them to interact with the public (e.g., offices, retail, grocery stores, food service, etc.) are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. This includes all City of Bainbridge Island staff.

In anticipation of the move to Phase 3 of "Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery" (which begins Monday, March 22), plans are in process for reopening City facilities on a limited basis next month. Expect more details soon.

The COVID Response Team coordinated with the Chamber of Commerce and Bainbridge Island Downtown Association to ensure that eligible individuals on Bainbridge Island are aware of the opportunity to sign up for an appointment at the Commodore vaccine clinic this weekend.

Details on the Commodore vaccine clinic are available at

Future clinics
When we receive shipments of first-dose vaccines, we will notify the community with a Nixle alert.

Register for Nixle alerts
City to close COVID-19 test site at City Hall March 31
As the COVID-19 case rates have decreased, the demand for COVID testing has dropped in recent weeks. Accordingly, the City will close its test site at City Hall. The last day of testing will be offered Wednesday, March 31.

The City will be able to offer testing on an as-needed basis in other locations, should an outbreak occur and City support is necessary.

The planned closure of the testing site at City Hall will allow emergency management staff and volunteers to focus entirely on supporting vaccine distribution on Bainbridge Island.

Since November 2019, the COVID test site at City Hall has collected 2,146 tests and there were16 positive cases.

A list of Kitsap County COVID-19 test providers can be found here.
State moves to Phase 3 of recovery plan next Monday
The entire state will enter Phase 3 of "Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery" on Monday, March 22.

Sports guidance will change in Phase 3 to allow in-person spectators at events for the first time in a year. Spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor venues with permanent seating with capacity capped at 25%. The change effects both professional and high school sports, as well as motorsports, rodeos, and other outdoor spectator events. Social distancing and facial covering are still required.

The new phase also allows for up to 400 people maximum to attend outdoor activities, as well as events in indoor facilities — so long as 400 people does not exceed 50% capacity for the location, and physical distancing and masking protocols are enforced. Larger venue events are capped at 25% occupancy, or up to 9,000 people, whichever is less, and must follow spectator guidelines.

Additionally, Phase 3 will allow up to 50% occupancy or 400 people maximum, whichever is lower, for all indoor spaces. This applies to all industries and indoor activities currently allowed; restaurants, gyms and fitness centers and movie theaters, among others, may all increase their capacity.

As of Friday morning, the state had not yet released a full list of industry-level changes for phase three on its guidelines page.
Small business recovery grants application process open until March 28
The application process for a grant program to support the recovery of Bainbridge Island small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will close at 11 p.m. Sunday, March 28.

The City of Bainbridge Island is partnering with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) to administer the $200,000 grant program. Businesses may receive between $5,000 and $10,000 based upon their COVID-19 financial impacts and the number of total applications received by the City.

Applications will be accepted through an online portal administered by KEDA. Awards are expected to be disbursed in April.

Please visit the KEDA website at for detailed information on the grant requirements and application process.
Project Updates
'Let's build communities for everyone' says transportation expert
The City Council devoted its study session this week to a sustainable transportation presentation by Gil Penalosa, an international leader in helping communities become healthier and happier by serving the needs of all community members. Penalosa believes that if our transportation system is great for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old, then it's good for everyone.

“It's important for a city to view walking and biking as a basic human right, which should be safe, easy and pleasurable for everyone," Penalosa said during the 90-minute discussion.

The Council was joined by the leadership from other island partners, including the school district, park district, parks foundation and land trust.

"I'm so grateful for their participation," Councilmember Leslie Schneider said. "Gil helped us see what is possible and, together, I know we can find creative ways to reduce our carbon footprint, elevate equity, and improve livability for all islanders."

Watch the discussion here.
Update on Wyatt Way reconstruction project
The Wyatt Way Reconstruction Project made progress with the good weather during the past two weeks, completing a majority of the curbs and sidewalks around the Madison Avenue and Wyatt Way intersection. The accessible ramps and remaining sidewalk will be completed over the next few days. In the next two weeks, weather permitting, the crew anticipates completion of the asphalt paving for the roadway. Once that work is completed, the last remaining elements of the project will be road striping, landscaping and general cleanup.

Separate from the Wyatt Reconstruction contract work, but contiguous with the project location, near the end of April the contractor will likely be starting the replacement of existing drainage facilities further east along Wyatt Way. That work, which is part of the City’s annual drainage program, will alleviate flooding of the public right of way and private property in the vicinity.

This work will include the removal of a large willow tree at the eastern end of the work area, the roots of which have contributed to failures of the existing drainage system. The tree is not a landmark or heritage tree, and has been reviewed and approved for removal by the City’s arborist due to its distressed condition and contributions to ongoing drainage and flooding issues.
City Council Updates
Council to consider ban on new hotels in some downtown districts
The City Council next week will consider approval of an ordinance that would ban new hotels in some downtown districts. The proposed ordinance is part of a series of recommendations developed by a joint City Council and Planning Commission land use subcommittee that was formed in June 2020 to clarify an approach for affordable housing initiatives and to prioritize and develop a process for land use code revisions.

The proposed Ordinance No. 2021-03 relates to what is being referred to as Triage Phase 1 code changes. In summary, the proposed changes:

  • Prohibit new hotels in the Central Core, Gateway and Ferry Terminal Districts of the Mixed-Use Town Center. These districts have red, brown, and blue boundaries, respectively, on the adjacent map. Hotels are currently allowed as “conditional uses” in these districts.

  • Continue to allow hotels in the High School Road 1 and 2 zoning districts. These districts have green and purple boundaries, respectively, on the map. The ordinance would allow the Planning Commission and the Council to review the City’s regulations, including use standards, to determine if and how new hotels within these zoning districts could be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

  • Continue to prohibit hotels in the Madison Avenue and Ericksen Avenue zoning districts, shown with yellow and orange boundaries.

  • Clarify that the Planning Director and Hearing Examiner should give substantial weight to the Planning Commission recommendations on land use permits, including recommendations of denial.

There will be opportunity for public comment during the beginning of the business meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The Council agenda will be available later today at
City Council and Ethics Board to hold joint meeting next week
The City Council and Ethics Board will participate in a joint meeting next Wednesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

The purpose of the joint meeting is to review the annual report that was prepared by the Ethics Board, consider various requests from the Ethics Board for Council feedback and administrative support, and to consider potential changes to the Operating Rules of the Ethics Board and to the Ethics Program more generally.
Upcoming City Council agenda
The March 23 City Council meeting will include the following items:

  • Ordinance No. 2021-03 relating to land use code revisions
  • Review scope of work and work plans for the Joint Land Use Subcommittee, Affordable Housing Council Ad Hoc Committee, and Hazard Pay Council Ad Hoc Committee
  • Ordinance No. 2021-13 relating to hazard pay for grocery workers
  • Funding recommendations from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC)
  • Discussion on the Police-Court facility

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)

  • BKAT (Channel 12 on Comcast & Channel 3 on WAVE)
City Advisory Group Updates
Last call: Ethics Board seeks two volunteers
The Ethics Board is seeking two volunteers to complete three-year terms expiring in June 2022.

The board, which reviews complaints alleging violations of the Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics, meets the third Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.

Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Applicants must be available in April for interviews. Applications are due by 4 p.m. today (Friday, March 19).

If you previously applied to serve on the Ethics Board, you will need to reapply as there is an updated application form.

Terms begin immediately following City Council appointment. For more information on the Ethics Board and to complete the online application, please visit

Questions? Please contact Executive Assistant Roz Lassoff
at 206-580-6735 or
Climate Action Plan
US greenhouse gas emissions fell over 10% in 2020
Below is an update related to the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. The information was submitted by Michael Cox on behalf of the City's Climate Change Advisory Committee. Learn more about the CAP here.

A 10.3% drop in 2020 US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions might be considered one silver lining of this terrible pandemic. According to Rhodium Group, this is the single largest drop in annual emissions since World War II, outpacing the Great Recession of 2009 when GHG emissions dipped 6.3%. These reductions include reduced emissions related to energy use (fueled by a collapse in the coal use) and transportation (as people stayed at home due to Covid-19).

Unfortunately, 2020 is likely to be a pause in GHG emissions, rather than a meaningful contribution toward the US meeting our 2025 Paris Climate Agreement commitment of reducing GHG emissions by 26-28% compared to the 2005 level.

With COVID-19 vaccines now in distribution, economic activity is expected to pick up in 2021. Without meaningful structural changes in the energy and transportation sectors of the US economy, emissions will likely rise again.

The goal established by the Bainbridge Island City Council is to reduce our Community GHG emissions by 90% by 2045 compared to 2014 with interim targets of 25% reduction by 2025 and 60% by 2035 compared to 2014 levels. In order to reach this goal, we will need to reduce our GHG emissions more than 3% per year between now and 2045. The Climate Action Plan approved by Council in November 2020 establishes a road map for how we as a community can take structural, meaningful actions to meet our goals and to do our part to reduce to emissions and address climate change.
Proposed Land Use Actions
Upcoming public participation meeting on proposed Wyatt Way & Madison Avenue apartments project
A public participation meeting on the proposed Wyatt Way and Madison Avenue Apartments project is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 25.

This project proposal includes the construction of approximately 82 apartments in multiple buildings, including 3 or 4 townhouses with associated parking, pedestrian circulation, parking and landscaping. The project is a combination of affordable housing managed by Housing Resources Bainbridge and market-rate dwellings.

A public participation meeting provides an opportunity for the community to learn about a proposed project, ask questions and provide comments before the applicant has filed for an official land use permit. The public participation meetings are held at Planning Commission meetings, which begin at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

Learn more about the project here.
Other Updates
Important Dates
Friday, March 19: Deadline to apply to serve on Ethics Board; 4 p.m.
Tuesday, March 23: Virtual 'Lunch with Chief Clark' event; 12 p.m. on Zoom
Wednesday, March 24: Joint City Council and Ethics Board meeting; 6 p.m. on Zoom
Thursday, March 25: Public participation meeting on the proposed Wyatt Way & Madison Avenue apartments project; 6 p.m. on Zoom
Friday, March 26: Deadline to complete surveys on aquaculture, future flood risk from sea level rise and SMP improvements
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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