City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
The City’s Sustainable Transportation Plan livestream event is coming up next week (Thursday, Aug. 20), and we are already receiving some exciting and original “Big Ideas” from islanders about their transportation priorities. Thanks to all for sharing your feedback, and please plan to join the online meeting Aug. 20; details are below.

At the business meeting this week, the City Council discussed community concerns related to sexual assault investigations, and moved forward appointments to the Ethics Board and the Historic Preservation Commission. The Council also adopted changes to the process that is used to fill Planning Commission vacancies, and agreed the City should resume enforcement of the existing ban on single-use plastic bags. Watch the business meeting here.

There is no City Council meeting next week. The next meeting will be the Council business meeting on Aug. 25.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
City to resume enforcement of bag ordinance
The City Council this week voted to resume the City’s enforcement of the single-use plastic bag ban that was paused in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to lift the ordinance during the pandemic was made because there were public health concerns around the use of reusable shopping bags and paper bags were difficult for retailers to acquire.

The City implemented the plastic bag ban in 2012 to reduce pollution created by the product and help the environment.

"We are an island in the Puget Sound and every single plastic bag that makes it into the Puget Sound is a tragedy," Councilmember Kirsten Hytopoulos said during Tuesday night's discussion. "For me, going into our grocery stores and seeing plastic bags available again at the counter has been - quite frankly - shocking."

Enforcement of the ordinance will resume Sept. 1.

Paper bags are now more readily available for stores to purchase and use.

When ordering packaging, local businesses selling food should also keep in the mind the requirements of Chapter 8.24 BIMC, which requires the use of biodegradable packaging when selling or conveying food directly to ultimate consumers within the City. 
Save Our Stores: Shop Local First!
Please see the message below from the BI Downtown Association and BI Chamber of Commerce.

COVID-19 continues to take a heavy toll on many Bainbridge Island businesses. Islanders can help our business community. The BI Downtown Association and BI Chamber of Commerce are asking Islanders to Shop Local First.

Island businesses are safe, open and welcome your business. They meet and exceed state health and safety guidance, and have implemented creative delivery, takeout and touchless payment options. Bainbridge Islanders are great to rally when times are tough and now more than ever our businesses need your help.

For more information and current business updates, hours and offerings, go to SOS Bainbridge Island.
Governor announces updates to Safe Start guidance
Gov. Jay Inslee issued additional guidance as part of Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan for agricultural events, indoor fitness, and religious and faith-based services.

  • Agricultural events: These guidelines apply to livestock and horse exhibitions/shows/sales/auctions, companion animal (dog, cats, rabbits, etc.) shows, or any substantially similar event. Read the governor's memo for more information.
  • Indoor fitness: Gov. Jay Inslee released additional FAQ clarification related to indoor fitness guidance. The updated FAQs clarify guidance for larger indoor fitness and training facilities where adequate social distancing and sanitation protocols can be followed.
  • Religious and faith-based services: Updated guidance reduces restrictions for some religious and faith-based services.

The Kitsap Pathway to Recovery Playbook, developed by the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, has been modified to include these updates. This comprehensive collection contains all industry-specific guidance for individuals, employers, and businesses related to the state's Safe Start recovery plan.
Project Updates
Police-Court project goes before Hearing Examiner for review
The City Hearing Examiner held a public hearing yesterday (Aug. 13) to consider the Police Station and Municipal Court Building project application materials and the Planning Director’s recommendation.

The Hearing Examiner will issue a decision on the project recommendation within 10 working days, after which there will a 21-day period to allow for any appeals, before the decision is final.
Join us: Sustainable Transportation Plan livestream event next week
Join us Thursday, August 20 at 7 p.m. for a virtual event to learn about the Sustainable Transportation Plan and share your feedback.

The City Council set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 90% by 2045 and improve safety and mobility for all. To accomplish this, we need your input as we create our Sustainable Transportation Plan.

During the Aug. 20 livestream event, the project team will provide an overview of the work so far on the Sustainable Transportation Plan, and you’ll have a chance to ask questions and share your ideas.

Register to attend the Zoom session or stream it online at

Please make sure to visit our online open house during the month of August to share your transportation priorities and experiences, including how COVID-19 has changed the way you travel.
Sustainable Transportation efforts to be discussed in Senior/Community Center live chat
The Sustainable Transportation Plan Project Manager Mark Epstein will join the Senior/Community Center’s "Something to Talk About" live chat on Monday, Aug. 17 at 11:30 a.m. to share information about the Sustainable Transportation Plan process and how the City is planning for the future of transportation on the island.

Epstein will be joined by Ruth Flanagan who serves on the Sustainable Transportation Task Force and is also a Senior/Community Center board member. Learn how to join the conversation here.
City Council Updates
City Council seeks public input on City Manager search
The City Council last month began the process of hiring a new City Manager. The City engaged Strategic Government Resources, Inc. (SGR) to conduct a national recruitment for candidates.

The City Council will work with SGR to develop a position profile to describe the ideal candidate and qualifications, and to convey the key community values and long-range goals of Bainbridge Island. This profile will be used to publicize the opening to potential candidates regionally and nationally.

How to get involved

The City Council is seeking public input to inform the development of the position profile. If you have suggestions relating to desirable qualities for applicants, or ideas about what you think candidates should know about Bainbridge Island, please share this feedback with the City Council.

To provide comments and suggestions, please email City Clerk Christine Brown by Aug. 26, 2020, with the subject line “City Manager Search” at

Note: All emails are public records, and may be published in a future City Council meeting packet.

Later, the candidate review process will include additional opportunities for the public to participate and provide feedback. Learn more about the City Manager search process here:
City Council adopts change to encourage Planning Commission diversity
The City Council this week reviewed several recommendations for changes to the process used to consider applicants for Planning Commission vacancies. Previously, the Council had asked the Joint Subcommittee on Land Use, which includes members from both the Council and Planning Commission, to develop suggestions for potential changes to the process for Planning Commission vacancies.

The Joint Subcommittee developed five suggestions, all of which were adopted by the Council:
  1. Add one additional planning commissioner and one additional councilmember to the interview panel.
  2. Have a separate announcement/advertisement for the Planning Commission.
  3. Extend an invitation to the chair of the Race Equity Task Force (RETF), or another member to be chosen by the task force, to participate in the personal interviews of Planning Commission candidates.
  4. Schedule longer interviews.
  5. Expand the outreach/distribution of the announcement/advertisement.

In addition, the Council decided to formalize its commitment to promoting diversity among Planning Commission members by amending the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code to include language that indicates that the City seeks Planning Commission membership that includes women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants. This language is based on a similar statement used by the City of Seattle to promote diversity among its various boards and commissions.

The Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance on Aug. 25 that will insert the new language into BIMC 2.14.020.
Public hearing scheduled to consider extension of interim zoning control for density bonus
The City Council will hold a public hearing Aug. 25 to hear public comment on the proposal to extend the interim zoning control related to Floor Area Ratio (FAR) density bonus options for six months, or until March 10, 2021.

The interim zoning control was originally passed on March 10, 2020 (Ordinance No. 2020-10). The interim control paused the use of bonus FAR (which increases density) for some types of projects in some instances. The ordinance limits the options to pursue density bonus for affordable housing, including the purchase of bonus FAR from the Islander Mobile home park and for the preservation of historic structures.
Other Updates
Neighbors helping neighbors: Join a Zoom discussion on Map Your Neighborhood
What's your neighborhood doing to help each other when there's an emergency? A group of Bainbridge Islanders on Phelps Road used their neighborhood email distribution list in March to collect food donations for the Helpline House pantry and to help make grocery & pharmacy runs during the pandemic for vulnerable neighbors.

Join Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage next Wednesday, Aug. 19 to learn how your neighborhood can form its own Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) group to help each other when there’s an emergency—whether it’s a pandemic, storm, or wildfire. Learn more here.
Important Dates
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Introduction to Map Your Neighborhood Zoom session; 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 28: Deadline to submit proposal for City Dock small boat concessionaire. Learn more here.
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