City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
With the start of September, we now have managed together through six full months of COVID-19 impacts and changes. Our community continues to perform very well in terms of compliance with public health guidelines, and our outcomes in terms of hospitalizations and transmission are relatively stable. It will be important in the coming weeks to do what is needed to continue islanders’ commitments to keeping one another safe and healthy, despite an understandable “fatigue” around the many ways in which our work, schedules, and activities are challenging within the new normal.

Our economic challenges are also still front and center. Job loss and issues of housing and food insecurity will continue to affect many island residents in the coming months. The work to stabilize our local business and help with economic recovery is something we can all find ways to support. The current “Save Our Stores” campaign, led by the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association and the Chamber of Commerce, highlights how Bainbridge Islanders can help our local economy. As you take time to enjoy this weekend’s Labor Day holiday, please consider whether you can make support for our local businesses part of your activities and plans.

The next City Council business meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8. 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
COVID-19 Updates
Health Officer encourages everyone to safely celebrate this Labor Day weekend
Please see the message below from the Kitsap Public Health District Health Officer Dr. Gib Morrow that was posted on the Health District website.

Labor Day weekend is a time to celebrate the changing of seasons, the return of school, and our united strength as a country. But like so many traditions, our Labor Day festivities need to look different this year. Why?

We have already seen what happens when we do not rein in our holiday celebrations during the time of COVID-19, and it isn’t pretty.

Earlier this year, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and Fourth of July gatherings contributed to spikes in COVID-19 cases. Kitsap Public Health District case investigators noted a
marked increase in cases linked to social events, family get-togethers, crosscountry trips, and crowded bars. As cases surged through July and into August, we reported more hospitalizations and, sadly, more deaths.

The rate of new COVID-19 cases reported in Kitsap is now declining — a sign that the hard work we are all putting in to slow the spread of the virus is making a difference. We need to keep that momentum rolling into fall. By preventing more people from getting sick and pushing our case numbers lower, we will create the opportunity to open more businesses and classrooms. A new spike in cases could further delay returning our children to in-person learning, or force closures for schools that have already chosen to resume in-person instruction.

We hope you celebrate this Labor Day, but celebrate safely. Keep your backyard BBQ limited to your close family or a couple of friends. Pick a picnic spot that’s close to home and not too crowded. Take a rain check on that big reunion.

Let’s labor together to keep our county on the right track so we can save lives and get back to doing the things we want to be doing. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community healthy!
Project Updates
Update on Wyatt Way Reconstruction project
The City’s contractor is taking advantage of the good weather and making progress on the Wyatt Way Reconstruction project.

The current work is still focused on the west side of the project limits between Grow Avenue and Nicholson Place, where the water main installation is almost complete, and testing will begin next week. Also within this zone of the project, the contractor has almost completed the forms for the concrete retaining wall along the east side of the street, with concrete pours expected today (Friday, Sept. 4) The retaining wall will facilitate the construction of the sidewalk on that side of the street.

Also within the work zone east of the Grow Avenue intersection, the contractor has started clearing for the street and sidewalk work. The installation of new storm drain pipes will start in this area next week.

The current project schedule still has the majority of the work being completed by the end of November (weather permitting).
City Council Updates
Council approves updated Shoreline Master Program periodic review outreach program, workplan
The City Council this week approved an updated public participation plan and workplan for the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) periodic review. The plan was revised due to timeline constraints and public health requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the goal of the plan has not changed, the process has changed to use online tools for public engagement.

The SMP is the City’s comprehensive plan for our shorelines, which contains goals, policies, regulations, and programs regarding shoreline use, development, conservation, and restoration. A “periodic review” is not a comprehensive update (like the update adopted by the City in 2014); rather, the “periodic review” is a state mandate to keep the SMP current and effective.

The primary purpose of the periodic review is to clarify and improve the implementation of the SMP and make substantive revisions necessary to keep the SMP consistent with any changes in policy or law since its adoption in 2014.

Only a few new substantive topics will be addressed in the periodic review, including flood risk from sea level rise, aquaculture, and possibly updating aquatic shoreline designations and procedures.

The periodic review of the SMP is just beginning and the State's deadline for City adoption is June 30, 2021.

Additional information about the project and a general timeline for the public engagement process is on the City’s Shoreline Master Program webpage. The project is partially funded by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Green Building Task Force presents interim green building recommendations
The City Council this week expressed support for the Green Building Task Force recommendations and requested that staff complete its review of the recommendations and prepare a draft ordinance.  

The Green Building Task Force presented and discussed the following recommendations with City Council:
  • A three-phase “Road Map” for developing a comprehensive green building program for Bainbridge Island; and
  • Interim green building requirements that represent the “First Steps” along the Road Map.

Green buildings reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water, reduce operating costs, improve indoor air quality, and provide other health, social, and environmental benefits.

Under the recommendations, mandatory green building requirements and third party certifications would be required for all new construction and remodels except for repairs, smaller remodels, and state funded affordable housing projects.

The Council will continue to study the recommendations during the Sept.15 study session and may schedule a public hearing in October.  

For more information about the recommendations, please see this week's Council discussion here.
Staff to provide update on self-service storage moratorium
Planning staff next week will present to City Council findings on the research they conducted on existing self-service storage facilities on the island.

The research is part of the approved workplan for the self-service storage facilities moratorium, which has been in effect since November 2019. City Council previously requested this research in order to inform potential policy decisions related to self-service storage facilities.

Options for potential changes Council may consider include:
  • Limit self-service storage to the existing, or different, and/or few zoning designations; 
  • Develop use-specific standards for self-service storage (i.e., design character, require market demand analysis, increased landscape buffers);
  • Eliminate self-service storage as an allowed use; or
  • Require self-service storage to obtain a conditional use permit in existing or other zoning districts. 

Following Council’s policy direction, staff will draft an ordinance to provide to the Planning Commission for consideration and discussion at a public hearing, potentially planned for October.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the Sept. 8 City Council meeting.

  • Emergency management briefing
  • First reading of the 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan Ordinance
  • Self-service storage moratorium update
  • Set public hearing for Shoreline Master Program (SMP) amendment for Critical Areas Ordinance
  • Set public hearing to extend moratorium on certain development activities
  • Discussion on City Manager profile brochure
  • Update on AT&T discussions related to cell coverage and service gaps
  • Appointment of Salary Commission members

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).
Deputy Mayor Deets to host virtual office hours this fall
Deputy Mayor Joe Deets invites you to join him this fall for virtual office hours on Zoom. Please see below for a list of dates and times.

  • Sept. 5, 2020 10:00 AM
  • Sept. 19, 2020 10:00 AM
  • Oct. 3, 2020 10:00 AM
  • Oct. 17, 2020 10:00 AM
  • Oct. 31, 2020 10:00 AM
  • Nov. 14, 2020 10:00 AM

For information on how to join the Zoom office hours, please visit Deputy Mayor Deets' City Council page.
City Advisory Group Updates
Planning Commission to begin review of tree and vegetation regulations
The Planning Commission next week will begin reviewing a proposal to revise tree and vegetation regulations to make it easier for the public to understand the City’s laws.

City Arborist Nick Snyder will bring forward the proposal to revise and update vegetation management language found in three chapters of the City’s Municipal Code:

The proposal aims to improve clarity of code requirements, update old terminology, and address existing loopholes and oversights to better protect our natural environment.

In 2019, the City Council directed staff to move forward with developing a new tree ordinance following review of a consulting arborists’ report of the City’s current tree regulation codes, staff response and Council discussion.

Once the Planning Commission completes its review and recommendations of the tree regulations proposal, the proposal will move forward to City Council for consideration of approval.

The Planning Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Watch the meeting on the Agendas & Minutes page (click on “In Progress” when the meeting starts).
Other Updates
Take part in the 'Puget Sound Starts Here' month
See information below from the City's Water Resources Team on the 'Puget Sound Starts Here' campaign.

Every year, the City recognizes and celebrates the significance of the lands and waters of Puget Sound by proclaiming Puget Sound Starts Here Month. Puget Sound Starts Here Month is a public awareness campaign connecting local, state, and federal agencies, tribes, and organizations to engage residents in Puget Sound’s recovery by protecting and improving local and regional water quality. Puget Sound Starts Here Month is usually in May, but 2020 is a little different, so this year it is September.

Puget Sound is the third largest saltwater estuary in the United States and is home to countless species, and many threatened species, including orca and gray whales, sea lions, shellfish, and salmon. Puget Sound region is also home to an estimated 4.5 million people, with 25,000 residing on Bainbridge Island. Islanders know very well how Puget Sound contributes to our exceptional quality of life, offering economic, recreation, and sustenance opportunities worth protecting.

While Puget Sound appears pristine above the surface, beneath the surface the Sound is in deep trouble. Pollution from a variety of activities and sources enter Puget Sound every day, destroying habitat, creating dead zones with dangerously low oxygen levels, and poisoning the wildlife we embrace as symbols of the region. Pollution in Puget Sound threatens our food, our water, and our livelihoods.

Individual actions can make a big difference, and together we have the power to fix our streams and Puget Sound. How will you do your part?

Here are few simple actions you can do today:

Read the Puget Sound Starts Here Month 2020 proclamation here.
Save the Date: Virtual Day of Preparedness
Our Annual “Three Days of Preparedness” event is turning into a virtual “Day of Preparedness” for 2020.
Please join us Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a series of presentations about our newest threat, COVID-19, along with information about risks from earthquakes, wildfires, power outages, and more.

Our featured presentation, “A History of Earthquakes on Bainbridge Island,” will be given by U.S. Geological Survey researchers, Dr. Stephen Angster and Dr. Jessie Pearl. 

Check back often at for detailed schedules, speaker bios, and additional information. Register online here.
Are you "Bainbridge Prepared"?
Preparedness starts with you! Take our "Bainbridge Prepared" household assessment and see how you stack up with your fellow islanders.

If you score more than 90 points, you are "Bainbridge Prepared"! If you score less than 90 points, don’t worry, there are numerous resources in the community to help you better prepare. You can take classes on personal preparedness, building a go-bag, how to prepare for power outages, CPR, fire extinguisher safety, how to participate in the Map Your Neighborhood program, and more.

If you complete the assessment and score more than 90 points, email Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage at to receive a sticker and certificate of recognition. Our goal is to identify at least 100 households each year that meet this standard of excellence in preparedness.

Learn more about preparedness here.
Important Dates
Monday, Sept. 7: City Hall closed for Labor Day
Thursday, Sept. 10: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26: Day of Preparedness; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 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