City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
After a busy week with a series of meetings, the City pivoted to snow response as the island experienced its first snow event of the year starting last Friday evening. I know at my house we enjoyed nearly a foot of snow, with sledding on the driveway and cross-country skiing on the trails near Gazzam Lake.

I want to acknowledge and thank the City crews who worked 12-hour shifts over several days to clear the roads and allow our community to move safely from one place to another. I also want to acknowledge and thank those of you who stayed home, making this snow event one with few accidents on the roads.

While the weather dictated closing the COVID-19 vaccine clinic for one day, we were able to reschedule the appointments and those doses were administered to community members. It is an ongoing process to work with the County and State on the vaccine – I have heard from many who are frustrated that they can’t schedule an appointment. We continue to work to obtain as many vaccine doses as possible, and will continue to provide our most current information on this topic on the City’s website.
At the Council business meeting this week, the Public Art Committee presented information about its 2021 plans, including the fourth rotation of the Something New public art program, an established program with three current sites in Winslow. As previously approved, the next rotation of Something New artwork will expand to five sites, with two new sites in Waterfront Park. In addition, PAC received approval for an Art Call, through which artists can suggest ideas for new public art installations on Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Performing Arts also provided a presentation to the Council this week to share an update on the planned expansion to the facility, which is located on City-owned property where BPA holds a long-term lease. Staff provided an overview of the plan for the negotiation of the next franchise agreement with Puget Sound Energy. This process will include opportunities for public input, which we’ll begin to share more information about in the coming months.

Next week, please tune into the Council meeting for topics including consideration of a grant program for island businesses affected by COVID and for a Council discussion of requiring businesses to provide hazard pay for employees in grocery stores. The Council will also address land use items, including changes to the Municipal Code that would prohibit hotels in certain areas of the island.

For more information on some of next week's topics and other items, please see below.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 vaccine distribution on Bainbridge Island
We understand the frustration of trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on Bainbridge Island – we are frustrated, too. The simple fact is that the vaccine supply remains limited. Last week, there were thousands of individuals online at the same time, trying to get one of 300 appointments at the Bainbridge Island vaccine clinic. This week, the same thing happened – and we only had 80 appointments.

Kitsap County is only receiving 1.9% of the state’s allocation, and providers on Bainbridge have received anywhere from 100 to 500 doses per week; and some weeks we have not received any doses. We continue to advocate for Bainbridge Island and request 1,000 doses each week from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). The DOH sends 36% of the state’s allocation directly to mass vaccination sites across the state, which means there are fewer doses available for smaller cities and counties.

Thank you for your patience as we continue efforts to get our community vaccinated.

Follow the City's vaccine page at for updates on vaccine distribution efforts.
Kitsap Public Health report highlights progress and gaps in COVID-19 vaccine rollout 
Kitsap Public Health released a new demographic report this week highlighting progress and gaps in the local vaccine rollout. Read the announcement here.
COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health
Please see the message below that was sent by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) on Feb. 18

Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
More vaccine will be coming to Washington starting next week through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Due to the allocation increase, three more pharmacies will be added to the program: Walmart, Rite Aid, and Kroger (Fred Meyer and QFC). These pharmacies will join Safeway/Albertsons, Costco, and Health Mart Independent Pharmacies. Program allocations for next week have not been released, but the federal government announced the nationwide program is doubling in size. This week, Washington received about 22,500 doses.

Vaccine shipment delays
Winter storms are causing vaccine shipment delays across the nation. DOH estimates more than 90% of this week’s allocation will arrive late due to weather out east. Moderna vaccines have not shipped yet this week. Pfizer vaccines did not ship Monday, and only a limited number of vaccine shipments were processed Tuesday and Wednesday. These shipment delays may force providers to reschedule appointments. If you have a vaccine appointment this week, please contact your provider for an update.

Allocation forecast and focus
Washington’s 3-week forecast from the federal government is gradually increasing. This information allows us to develop a multi-week strategy that helps with consistency and predictability. The forecast is subject to change as vaccine availability from the federal government may change.

  • Week of February 21: 263,570 total doses (146,110 first doses, 117,460 second doses)

  • Week of February 28: 269,270 total doses (146,110 first doses, 123,160 second doses)

  • Week of March 7: 292,220 total doses (146,110 first doses, 146,110 second doses)

Although the increase is encouraging, allocations still do not meet the number of doses providers requested. For the week of February 21, Washington state providers requested 436,720 total doses of vaccine, which is 173,150 more doses than the state will receive from the federal government. DOH will honor provider’s second dose requests and prioritize vaccine series completion.

To guarantee eligible communities receive vaccine, DOH will begin allocating more doses to counties with larger populations that qualify under Phases 1A and 1B1. This may mean some counties get more vaccine than others. This statewide approach ensures everyone who is eligible has equal access to vaccine no matter where they live. Any vaccine that gets into our state helps protect us all by building community immunity.

Read the full DOH update here.
Council to consider approval of business recovery grant program
On Feb. 23, the City Council will consider approval of a business recovery grant program that would provide $210,000 to support Bainbridge Island businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Jan. 19 study session, the Council directed Interim City Manager Ellen Schroer to develop the necessary elements of a small business recovery grants program based on the guidelines presented by a subcommittee and modeled after similar programs enacted in other cities in Kitsap County, including Bremerton, Poulsbo, and Port Orchard. These programs utilized grant resources provided by the Federal CARES grant program, which started on March 1, 2020 and ended Dec. 31, 2020. The City intends to enact a similar program that will utilize $210,000 of general fund balance reserves in lieu of federal grant monies to fund the program.

This program is intended to provide relief for certain necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and to provide short-term economic stability via monetary grants to qualifying businesses physically located within City limits. In exchange for grants, qualified small businesses will be able to remain open and provide the City's residents with jobs, services, and/or goods. Since the City has limited resources, including limited available personnel to administer the program, the City will partner with the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) to serve as grant administrator, selected due to its unique qualifications for the performance of this service.

To be eligible for this grant program, applicants must:
  • Be actively licensed and in good standing with the City of Bainbridge of Island.
  • Have a physical commercial location in the City of Bainbridge of Island established on/or before March 1, 2020.
  • Have no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees (defined as 40 hours weekly) and annual gross revenues of up to $5,000,000.
  • Be (and have been) in compliance with Gov. Jay Inslee's Healthy Washington recovery plan and previous similar Safe Start and other COVID-19 related guidelines.
  • Demonstrate negative financial impact due to COVID-19.

If approved by the Council, the business grant application and instruction materials will be available at the KEDA, with a link from the City of Bainbridge Island's website from March 1 to March 17, 2021.
Project Updates
Sustainable Transportation Task Force to meet next week
On Feb. 26 at 9:30 a.m. the City will host the next Sustainable Transportation Task Force meeting. At that meeting, the task force will discuss the list of potential projects, policies, and programs assembled from previous plans, community input, consultant recommendations, and task force analysis.

The current work of the task force is to review the projects, policies, and programs list for errors or omissions. Task force members will also discuss the proposed Evaluation Framework that will eventually group identified projects and programs based on community values. The meeting may be viewed live via Zoom here.

Last Friday, the Sustainable Transportation Task Force hosted the fourth and final education session, which focused on how we can make the value proposition of sustainable transportation in a way that convinces people to try something new.

The discussion was led by Gil Penalosa, a speaker with decades of experience moving towns and cities toward sustainable transportation. He’s worked in over 300 cities across the world and is a senior advisor to Vision Zero Network, Children & Nature Network, and America Walks, all organizations that share the goals of our Sustainable Transportation Plan. You can view this session and all the education sessions under the Task Force tab on the project webpage.
Wyatt Way project update
Despite some weather delays these last two weeks, progress continues on the Wyatt Way Reconstruction project.

Concrete retaining walls were poured this week alongside the Blue Canary building to allow for new sidewalks.

Additionally, clearing and asphalt removal at the intersection is ongoing and will continue for the next week. Once that work is complete, survey staking for the new curbs and sidewalks can begin.

With regards to utilities, the project’s water main replacement at the Wyatt Way-Madison Avenue intersection is complete, and the replacement of storm drainage pipes will continue east along Wyatt Way for the next couple of weeks.

The current detour route configuration will remain in place for the next two weeks. Please remember to “Go Slow on Grow” when using that leg of the detour route.
PSE franchise negotiation process to begin in March
At the study session this week, the City Council discussed and agreed upon a process for kicking off the Puget Sound Energy Franchise negotiation process.

The current 15-year franchise, which will expire in April 2022, covers a host of inter-agency service agreements and other issues related to the use of City right of way for overhead and underground electric facilities.

The Council agreed that the upcoming process, which will begin in March, will include opportunities for public participation, as well as input from a joint subcommittee of the Climate Change Advisory Committee and the Utility Advisory Committee.
City Council Updates
Council to continue discussion on changes to land use regulations and processes next week
A joint City Council and Planning Commission Land Use Subcommittee was formed in June 2020 to begin working on land use code changes to clarify an approach for affordable housing initiatives and to develop a process and list for undertaking priority work on land use code revisions.

The joint subcommittee presented a list of recommended priority code changes to the Council during the Oct. 13 business meeting. The Council then forwarded the list to the Planning Commission for immediate legislative work.

Below is the status of the land use code revisions.

Ordinance 2021-03 (previously 2020-40) “Triage” Phase 1 Code Changes

The City Council next week will consider a proposed ordinance related to what is being referred to as Triage Phase 1 code changes. In summary, the proposed changes include the following:

  • Prohibits new hotels in the Mixed-Use Town Center, Central Core, Gateway, and Ferry Terminal Districts. Hotels are currently allowed as “conditional uses” in these districts. Under this proposed ordinance, hotels would still be allowed in the High School Road 1 and 2 zoning districts.

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

Looking forward, the Planning Commission is planning to discuss changes to the City’s preapplication process in March as part of Phase 2 triage code changes, as originally recommended by the Joint Land Use subcommittee. Representatives from the Planning Commission and Design Review Board have been collaborating on developing the proposed code changes.

Ordinance 2021-11 Increasing Duration for Required Affordable Housing

As part of the land use code change recommendations, the City Council approved on a priority basis Ordinance 2021-11 at a special meeting on Feb. 11. The ordinance increases the duration of required affordability for designated affordable housing units from 30 years to 50 years for rentals, and to 99 years for home ownership.

Previously, the City’s regulations did not have a duration for home ownership units except related to the first purchaser, meaning that upon first sale of such an affordable unit it could be offered for sale at market rate. The City’s Comprehensive Plan supports the increase of affordability for rental units to 50 years, and the 2018 Affordable Housing Task Force report recommended permanent affordability for designated affordable housing units.

Next steps for land use subcommittees

This week, the Council created a new Joint Land Use Subcommittee (which replaces the previous joint subcommittee created in June 2020) to identify inconsistencies in and recommend areas for further clarification in the Municipal Code, including related to Title 16 (environment), Title 17 (subdivisions and boundary line adjustments), and Title 18 (zoning). The consistency analysis is planned to include a review of the Municipal Code for internal consistency, as well as consistency related to the City’s design guidelines (“Design for Bainbridge”).

The joint subcommittee will be comprised of two members each from the City Council, Planning Commission, and Design Review Board. The committee will include Councilmember Christy Carr and Deputy Mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos.

The joint subcommittee is planning to provide a set of recommendations to the Council for its consideration and approval on a quarterly basis.

The Council this week also created an Affordable Housing Ad Hoc Committee comprised of Deputy Mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos, Councilmember Christy Carr, and Councilmember Leslie Schneider. The purpose of the ad hoc committee is to recommend to the full Council next steps to initiate a Housing Action Plan or other approach for affordable housing initiatives, including a recommendation for the most appropriate working group to move this work forward.

Watch the Feb. 16 discussion here.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Feb. 23 City Council meeting.

  • Recommendation from the Climate Change Advisory Committee and Utility Advisory Committee on the Puget Sound Energy franchise agreement process
  • Public hearing on Ordinance No. 2021-09 to extend interim control of bonus floor area ratio
  • Council to consider Ordinance 2021-03 related to land use regulation changes
  • Race equity welcoming sign approval and budget amendment
  • Farm housing proposal at Morales property
  • Feedback on proposed changes to the Governance Manual

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)
'Walk the Ward' with Councilmember Carr
Please see the message below from Councilmember Christy Carr.

I can’t take one more Zoom meeting! But I would love to connect with islanders to listen and learn about what matters most to you. Or just to get outside and enjoy our many island trails and scenic roads. For the time being, appropriately masked and socially-distanced, of course.

Join me for Walk the Ward - let’s explore the south ward!

  • Saturday, March 6 at 10 a.m.

  • I will post the location (meeting spot) and details about the walk (distance, terrain, notable features, suggested topics for discussion, etc.) Thursday, March 4 on Instagram. If you are not on Instagram, please email me at for Walk the Ward details. 

Can't make the March 6 walk? Join me for the next one. I plan to host Walk the Ward during the first Saturday of each month, and the location will vary.

Learn more about Councilmember Carr on her City Council page here.
Climate Action Plan Updates
Current state legislation related to climate change
The information below was submitted by Michael Cox of the City's Climate Change Advisory Committee.

We plan to include regular updates in this e-newsletter on the status of the Climate Action Plan implementation and ways that you can help with these efforts to achieve our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 90% by 2045. Learn more about the CAP here.

Several bills in the current session of the Washington State Legislature would help us achieve the ambitious goals outlined in the Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and prepare our community and natural systems for the current and future impacts of climate change.

  • House Bill 1084 (Healthy Homes/Clean Buildings): This legislation is critical to help us reduce GHG emissions from our residential buildings. The legislation would allow cities, like Bainbridge Island, to adopt residential energy codes that are more stringent than the State energy code. Currently, cities are not allowed to exceed the State energy code.

  • House Bill 1091 (Clean Fuels Standard): This legislation would implement a low-carbon fuel standard that would reduce GHG emissions from vehicles by requiring the production and use of low-carbon fuels. The legislation will also help create jobs in Washington and ensure healthier air for current and future generations.

  • House Bill 1204 (Clean Cars 2030): This legislation is critical to reduce our GHG emissions from the transportation system by moving us toward all electric cars. The legislation would require all new cars registered in Washington to be electric beginning in 2030. People can buy, drive and sell gas-powered cars from model-year 2029 and earlier as long as they wish. Representative Simmons is a co-sponsor of this bill.

  • House Bill 1099 (Comprehensive Plan Updates): This legislation would require the addition of new elements in comprehensive plans related to climate change and resiliency. The changes would result in reductions in overall GHG emissions, avoid the adverse impacts of climate change, and enhance resiliency.

Learn more about the status of the bills at If you are in support of these bills, please contact your representatives to voice your opinion.
City Advisory Group Updates
Apply now: Race Equity Advisory Committee seeks two volunteers
The City of Bainbridge Island is seeking two volunteers to serve on the Race Equity Advisory Committee (REAC) for three-year terms.

The REAC, which meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, advises the City Council on race equity issues within local government and in the community.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, February 26.

Terms begin immediately following City Council appointment and expire in June 2024.

For more information on the REAC and to complete the online application, please see the City's News Flash.
Proposed Land Use Actions
Upcoming Public Participation meetings
Below are upcoming public participation meetings as part of the proposed land use actions process.

A public participation meeting provides an opportunity for the community to learn about a proposed project. The public participation meetings are held at Planning Commission meetings, which begin at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

  • Thursday, Feb. 25
  • AT&T Telecommunications Facility; 6 p.m.
  • The AT&T Telecommunications Facility project proposes to install an unmanned telecom facility on a KPUD water tower located on NE Baker Hill Road. Learn more about the project proposal here.

  • Wintergreen Townhomes; 6:30 p.m.
  • The Wintergreen Townhomes proposal is a 74-townhome long subdivision proposal that incorporates affordable housing (as defined in the Municipal Code) on two lots totaling 2.94 acres. The project site is located at 1332 Wintergreen Lane. Learn more about the project proposal here.

Sign up to get email notifications on proposed land use actions, which includes legal notices for permit applications and related activities at
Other Updates
Update on City Manager selection process
The City Council met in Executive Session to further discuss the qualifications of finalist candidate Blair King.

The City’s search firm, SGR, will begin contract negotiations with Mr. King.

A final contract, when negotiated, will be presented and approved by the Council in a public meeting.
City’s vendor reports ransomware attack
On the afternoon of Feb. 11, 2021, the City of Bainbridge Island was made aware of a potential security/data incident related to its vendor, Automatic Funds Transfer Services, Inc (AFTS), that possibly exposed customers’ information. The City contracts with AFTS to handle water and sewer billing, including debit/credit card payments, and Business & Occupation (B&O) tax return mailing, processing, and receipt and deposit of paper check payments.

The AFTS servers were encrypted by ransomware sometime between the evening of Feb. 3 and the morning of Feb. 4, 2021. There is no direct threat to the City’s network as a result of this incident.

AFTS has hired a forensic company to address the ransomware attack and is attempting to retrieve all of its information. It has reported the ransomware attack and potential breach of customer information to the local police and FBI.

Please see the City's News Flash to learn how the ransomware attack may affect the City's utility and business and occupation tax customers.
Snyder to speak at ABC Environmental Conference
City arborist Nick Snyder will present on 'Forest Stewardship and Bainbridge Island Tree Regulations' during the annual Association of Bainbridge Communities Environmental Conference.

Each Sunday throughout March, organizers will be hosting a community conversation on the research and best practices for stewarding our natural environment in the face of climate change.

Snyder's presentation, scheduled for Sunday, March 14, will outline the City's tree and vegetation regulations and how they intersect with forest stewardship planning for the future of our community forest.

The sessions will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. You will need to register for each session individually. Register for the virtual conference (which is free) and learn more about the sessions at
Reminder: Agate Pass Bridge work begins next week
Please see the message below from WSDOT.

Travelers are encouraged to plan for several days of significant daytime congestion approaching the State Route 305 Agate Pass Bridge. Washington State Department of Transportation crews will reduce the span to one-way alternating traffic during daytime hours for 5 consecutive days beginning Monday, Feb. 22.

Bridge maintenance crews will conduct an in-depth bridge inspection and perform maintenance.

8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Feb. 22-26
  • Agate Pass Bridge will be reduced to one alternating lane of traffic.
  • Expect at least 30-minute delays in each direction.
  • Law enforcement officers will direct traffic at the intersection of SR 305 and Suquamish Way Northeast.

WSDOT needs help from travelers
  • Add extra travel time to help prevent delays
  • Consider postponing discretionary trips
  • Travel early in the morning or later at night

WSDOT does a lot of work at night to reduce congestion. This work requires daylight to allow crews to conduct the inspection safely. Crews maneuver a large mechanical arm of an Under Bridge Inspection Truck (UBIT) through, over and under the bridge.
Important Dates
Monday, Feb. 22: Ethics Board meeting; 6:30 p.m. on Zoom
Thursday, Feb. 25: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m. on Zoom
Friday, Feb. 26: Sustainable Transportation Task Force meeting; 9:30 a.m. on Zoom.
Friday, Feb. 26: Deadline to apply for Race Equity Advisory Committee; applications are due by 4 p.m.
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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