City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

The effort to conduct daily activities within COVID restrictions and public health guidance remains front and center for Bainbridge Island households and businesses. And it is  an effort, since so many of the normal patterns of daily life at work and at home are now disrupted. Increasingly, it sometimes feels harder to get less accomplished. I know that our community benefits from a clear understanding of the importance of the rules we are asked to follow. But I also know that there is a sense of fatigue that is adding to the daily challenges during this period.

I hope islanders can use this time, while we remain at Phase 2, to rededicate themselves to both social distancing and the use of face coverings. These elements are critical tools to avoid unnecessary community spread of the coronavirus, and so they are also our best tools in the work to support re-opening of our businesses and schools.

I hope we can all also remain fully engaged in the important work to support our friends and neighbors. This support can emerge through so many small, but meaningful daily initiatives. Be kind to one another. Show patience and compassion with the innumerable small frustrations we are each experiencing. Slow down when driving on island roads, and be as accommodating as possible to walkers, bicyclists, and other travelers. Share your resources with one another. Whether that is something fresh from your garden, a wave from the mailbox, or the simple act of stepping aside for a moment to let someone else go ahead first.

At the Business Meeting this week, the City Council received a briefing from Police Chief Joe Clark on the City’s “use of force” policies. The Council also considered changes to rules for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), acceptance of a State grant to support watershed planning for Springbrook Creek and Manzanita Creek, and several items related to Public Works and internal services.

For more information on these topics and other items, please see below. Please note that the Council meeting for July 21 is cancelled. The next meeting will be a Business Meeting on July 28.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
City uses CARES Act funds to provide free masks to businesses
To support local businesses, the City of Bainbridge Island will dedicate $10,000 of CARES Act funding to purchase 16,000 masks to provide at no cost to local stores, non-profits, and other island businesses.

The City has partnered with the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce to facilitate the distribution of these masks, and both disposable and reusable masks are available. Businesses interested in receiving a supply of masks should contact Kevin Dwyer at the Chamber via email:

Kitsap County remains at Phase 2 of "Safe Start"

At a press conference on July 14 th, Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington State's "Safe Start" re-opening plan will pause all counties at their current status until at least July 28 th.

This means that Kitsap County will remain at Phase 2, and the County's request for approval to move to Phase 3 is on hold until at least July 28.

Additionally, Kitsap Public Health District data indicates that Kitsap County is not currently meeting the metrics necessary to move into Phase 3. Visit the KPHD risk assessment dashboard for additional information:!/vizhome/KitsapCountyCOVID-19-RiskAssessmentDashboard/MetricsDashboard  
Police Updates
Briefing on Use of Force Policies
Please see the message below from Chief of Police Joe Clark.

Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to present to City Council my plans to update the use of force policies for the department . There are important conversations occurring in our country and our community. It is equally important that we are a part of that conversation and review our practices within the department. Our goal is to align with community expectations and best practices. This is one of the reasons I looked to Campaign Zero as a resource for information.

Campaign Zero has focused on police reform since 2015. Their work provides a viewpoint through a community lens to add to the perspective of professional organizations such as the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Their 8 Can’t Wait campaign to reduce police use of force is based on an analysis of data from 2015 and 2016. Their recommendations are considered best practices by many professional organizations. By incorporating their viewpoint in our review as outlined in my presentation, I believe we establish policies and practices that meet the expectations of our residents.

Through our continued efforts to serve the community, we have implemented a policy that requires the use and activation of body worn cameras. The intent of this policy is to record contacts with citizens during the performance of official duties. This is also a recommendation of Campaign Zero. I have also begun the process for Bainbridge Island to participate in the National Use of Force Data Collection operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Participation by as many agencies as possible adds to the value of the data collected and will lead to a better understanding of these encounters.

Review of policy and practice within the department is an on-going process. As a new member of this agency, it takes on additional significance as I learn about our community and department. I will continue to review our operations and investigative practices. This includes critical areas such as how we investigate sexual assaults. I will be meeting with community groups to hear feedback on how we perform and where we can improve. Part of that review process includes keeping the community informed.

Our BIPD webpage includes links to annual reports of department activities as well as statistics on use of force, complaints, pursuits, and calls for service data. We have now added our BIPD Policy Manual to the webpage. As policy changes occur, the posted manual will be updated and available to the community.

As discussed during Tuesday's Council meeting, I am planning a Town Hall inSeptember to continue this conversation and to continue to engage with -- and hear from -- the community. Serving the interests of the community is a shared goal and I want to actively partner with Bainbridge Islanders to ensure that your Police Department is providing the best services possible.

Thank you,

Chief of Police Joe Clark
Project Updates
Wyatt Way intersection improvements move forward
The City’s contractor will continue work on the Wyatt Way Reconstruction Project the week of July 20 with the replacement of the stormwater collection system between Lovell and Grow Avenue. 

This work requires a complete street closure in this location, with detour routes focused on the use of Weaver Avenue and Madison Avenue for access around the closure area. A fully detailed detour map can be found on the City’s project page website .  

Changes to the detour route will occur as the project moves east along the Wyatt corridor, and the phase of work moves from utility to street and sidewalk improvements.
Summer Paving Repairs will begin July 28th
The City’s annual asphalt repair project will commence the week of July 28 th , with work starting first on the lower portion of Lovell Avenue in the Winslow area. 

The remainder of the work across the Island is expected to be ongoing through the second week of August in accordance with the attached schedule and map. Residents near each of the work sites can expect to receive information via regular mail prior to the work starting in their area, and can also receive information from the City’s website and on-site signage. Some traffic delays, detours or flagging can be expected in the areas where work will be performed. 

Each year, the City invests an average of $500,000 in asphalt repair work. Regular maintenance keeps roads from reaching the point where they need costly reconstruction. In coming years, the City will need to consider the source of funding for these reoccurring investments, as the previous source– vehicle license fees levied by the City’s Transportation Benefit District (TBD) – is likely to be eliminated as a result of a voter-approved initiative impacting the state TBD regulations.
City Council Updates
Reminder: July 21 Study Session is Cancelled
Next meeting is July 28 Business Meeting

Council to Continue Discussion of Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Regulations on August 11

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), sometimes called mother-in-law units, are second, small dwelling units on properties with a single-family residence. City regulations limit ADUs to a maximum size of 900 square feet, and this size limit and other regulations are codified in BIMC Section 18.09.030.I.5 .

On July 14, the City Council discussed Ordinance 2020-02, which modifies the Use Specific Standards/ regulations for ADUs BIMC Section 18.09.030.I.5 by proposing the following changes to the ADU regulations:
  • Adds a “Common Ownership” requirement that the single-family home and the ADU remain owned by the same persons or legal entity.
  • Added “shops” and “barns” as types of detached buildings that are appropriate to construct an ADU above (current regulations only refer to detached garages).
  • Prohibits ADUs from being used as short-term rentals in the future.

The City Council had a robust discussion of Ordinance 2020-02 and the 2019 City Council policy direction on ADUs to the Planning Commission. The City Council decided to continue to discuss ADUs at the August 11 City Council business meeting. That discussion will focus on three specific topics:
  • The proposed “Common Ownership” requirement for new ADUs;
  • Reconsider the 2019 City Council policy direction to remove the “lot coverage” standard as a barrier to constructing ADUs for properties that are less than 40,000 square feet in size in residential zones. The Planning Commission recommendation retained the lot coverage standard.
  • Whether or not to allow the use of ADUs for short-term rentals. The City currently does not limit short-term rentals as a use, but does require the operator of this type of business to obtain a business license. The Planning Commission recommendation included a prohibition on the use of ADUs for short-term rentals.

The August 11 discussion will include a representative from the Planning Commission to assist the Council in understanding the intent and purpose for some of the changes recommended by the Planning Commission in Ordinance 2020-02 .

The staff memorandum for the July 14 agenda item includes a history of the City Council 2018-2019 ADU policy discussion and summary of Planning Commission review of the ordinance. The Council agenda materials can be viewed on the City’s website here
City Advisory Group Updates
Planning Commission recommendation on Bonus FAR
At the Planning Commission meeting on July 9, the Commission directed staff to draft an ordinance and prepare for a public hearing on changes to limit the bonus Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
program to use related to affordable housing only. This decision followed a series of recent Planning Commission discussions, beginning on February 27, 2020.

In addition, the Planning Commission recommended that the City purchase the unused FAR currently owned by the Islander Mobile Home Park, and that historic structures continue to be excluded from the FAR calculation. This recommendation was based on direction by the City Council on February 25, 2020 for the Planning Commission to bring back an ordinance that reforms the City’s bonus FAR program so as to only allow bonus FAR in relation to Affordable Housing, Historic Preservation, and Transfer of Development Rights.

Subsequent to Council’s direction, the Council passed an interim control (Ordinance 2020-10) that is in effect until September 10, 2020 that allows the use bonus density under the following circumstances:
  • Providing affordable housing as defined in Chapter 18.36 BIMC in accordance with BIMC 18.12.030.E.1.;
  • Transferring unused FAR from the Islander Mobile Home Park to another parcel or parcels in the Mixed Use Town Center District for residential development in accordance with BIMC 18.12.030.E.1.; or
  • Preserving an historic structure located on a state, local, or federal register in accordance with BIMC 18.12.030.E.6. such that, when an historic structure is preserved, the square footage of that structure will not count toward the FAR calculation.

The Planning Commission intends to hold a public hearing on the proposed changes to revise the Bonus FAR program at a meeting in August, 2020. 
Apply to City and Regional Advisory Groups
The City is currently accepting applications for volunteers to serve on a number of City and regional groups. There are roughly a dozen groups for which we are seeking volunteers, with topics ranging from climate change to historic preservation to utility matters. Most groups meet monthly and address items on their work plans and provide advice to the City Council or to County boards.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, July 31. Applicants must be available in August for interviews. Terms begin September 1, 2020.  

For more information, please visit the City  webpage for advisory groups .
Other Updates
Litigants Drop Public Records Lawsuit against City 

On June 24, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Kevin Hull entered a Stipulation and Order of Dismissal of a public records lawsuit brought against the City in 2019. The Order dismisses the lawsuit in its entirety. The litigants alleged that the City violated the state law Public Records Act based on requests for records they had made related to City Councilmember Rasham Nassar.
The dismissal is a further example of the City’s ongoing commitment to fully comply with the Public Records Act. The City’s Public Records Officer, City Attorney’s Office, Information Technology staff, other staff members, and Councilmember Nassar devoted significant time and effort into fully responding to the records requests at issue, and the dismissal of the lawsuit is recognition of that effort.
Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site: Upland Field Investigation

Upland Field Investigation Coming Soon
On July 27, EPA plans to oversee an upland field investigation at the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site, on the east side of Bainbridge Island. The investigation will take place mostly within the fenced-in former process area. Limited work may take place along the west beach, next to the sheet pile wall. EPA is coordinating the investigation to find out how much and what types of buried debris exist at the site, and to collect soil samples. The results of the field investigation will inform the perimeter wall replacement design. We expect the field investigation will wrap up in early September.
During the field investigation, there may be a temporary release of creosote-related odors while crews dig test pits. The EPA contractor has prepared a plan to address noxious odors, including using odor-suppressing foam. The test pits will be quickly backfilled, and any related vapors should quickly disperse.
Update on Creosote Place N.E.
The realignment of Creosote Place N.E. is ahead of schedule and nearly complete. The road opened to the public on July 3. The realignment was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under EPA’s oversight, and constructed by their contractor. Many thanks to the local community for its patience while this work took place! Tree planting and gate installation will occur later this fall. The trees will help with revegetation of the old road. The gate will be used to control access to the site during future construction, for health and safety considerations.

For more information please see the EPA project website or contact Jacob Moersen, P roject Manager, at 206-553-0542 or .
Important Dates
Friday, July 17:
Sustainable Transportation Task Force meeting
Monday, July 20:
Design Review Board meeting
Tuesday, July 21:
Green Building Task Force meeting
Wednesday, July 22:
Utility Advisory Committee meeting
Thursday, July 23:
Historic Preservation Commission meeting
Thursday, July 23:
Planning Commission meeting
Thursday, July 23:
Race Equity Task Force Meeting
Friday, 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