City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
As February draws to a close, with an extra Leap Year bonus day this coming weekend, the City is looking ahead on a couple of current topics that highlight the significance of community resilience and engagement.

First, the focus is accelerating on the importance of preparing for potential local impacts from the new, or “novel,” coronavirus strain known as COVID-19. The City will be working proactively to partner with Bainbridge Island School District, Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District and regional health resources to collaborate and share information and plans. The Bainbridge Island community looks to Kitsap Public Health District to lead local efforts to prepare and respond to community health concerns like COVID-19, and the City will be working to make sure to connect island residents with the latest information from KPHD and other agencies.

Also, it’s now time for Bainbridge Island residents to expect activity to begin related to the 2020 Census. There are important changes in how this census will be completed, and the results will have real impacts at the local, regional and national level. Please be alert to this important national effort, and to the people working in our community to help us complete this project as accurately and thoroughly as possible.

At this week’s meeting, the City Council directed City staff to work with the Planning Commission to develop reforms to the City’s use of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) density bonuses that would limit the use of FAR bonus to cases related to affordable housing, historic preservation or the transfer of development rights. The Council also received an update on the Sustainable Transportation Plan (STP) project and appointed 20 residents as members of the STP task force.

For more information on these topics and other items, please see below.  
Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Hearing Examiner decision on Winslow Hotel project expected today
Hearing Examiner Ted Hunter is expected to issue a decision on the Site Plan Review and Conditional Use Permit applications for the proposed Winslow Hotel project by 4 p.m. today (Friday, Feb. 28). The decision will be posted on the City’s Hearing Examiner webpage and an email notification will be sent to the Proposed Land Use Action Notify Me distribution group.

The Winslow Hotel project proposal, located at 251 Winslow Way W, includes an 87-room hotel with banquet and meeting rooms, restaurant and bar, and spa. There is a landscaped courtyard, reflecting pond and bandshell, and both under-building and surface parking totaling 136 spaces.

The Hearing Examiner public hearing on the proposed project was held Jan. 23 in the Council Chamber. An audio recording of the hearing is available on the City’s Hearing Examiner  webpage.
Crews to begin water main flushing next week
Public Works crews will begin flushing water mains in the Winslow and Fletcher Bay areas Monday, March 9. This is annual work that's done to improve water quality by removing naturally occurring sediments from the lines.

Signs will be posted in neighborhoods prior to flushing. If customers experience low water pressure or discolored water during flushing operations, they are advised to avoid running water or doing laundry for one hour. After one hour has passed, customers should run cold water for approximately five minutes until it's clear. The City anticipates the annual flushing process to be completed within approximately two months.

For more information, please contact the City of Bainbridge Island Public Works Operations & Maintenance Division at 206.842.1212 or send an email.
Census takers on Bainbridge Island needed to help with 2020 count
Earn extra income and help your community by applying for a temporary part-time job knocking on doors of those who have not completed the 2020 census.  

Census takers in Kitsap County earn $18-20 per hour (hourly pay increases after 6 p.m. and on Sunday) and get to pick the hours and days that they work. Census takers also receive reimbursement for work-related mileage and expenses, where applicable. 

“We are the last line of defense when it comes to getting everybody counted,” said Recruiting Assistant Ulysses Galvez.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. Census statistics help determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to state and local communities for the next 10 years (e.g., roads and infrastructure, school lunches, homeless programs, etc.).

Candidates must complete an online job application, which includes assessment questions about your education, work and other experience. Every applicant selected for a job goes through an independent background check. Apply here.

Between March 12 and March 20, invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will start arriving in your mailbox. Learn more here.
Update on EPA tree removal at Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site
We shared information in last week’s newsletter about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) upcoming project near Creosote Place NE to accommodate the realignment of the road that is used to access the clean-up site. The changes to the road are needed to accommodate equipment that is needed to continue the site’s remediation. The road realignment will result in the removal of about 45 trees.

The work being done on the site related to the road realignment project is a necessary component of important remediation work that the EPA will be doing on this Superfund Site. Based on federal law requirements regarding this Superfund Site, City permits are not required for this work, including related to tree and vegetation removal. However, the EPA has indicated to the City that it is committed to working with the City to meet general purposes regarding City permitting and to keep the City informed about planned activities for the site. Recently, the EPA indicated to the City that the agency is taking extra precaution to preserve as many trees as possible regarding the work that will be occurring in the coming months related to the road realignment project. 

The EPA expects tree removal will wrap up around March 31. The realignment of Creosote Place NE will start in mid-May and continue into August. The EPA will keep the community informed as work moves forward.

Click here to learn more about the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site.
Get informed on coronavirus
Below is information from the Kitsap Public Health District regarding the novel coronavirus.

Public health officials continue to respond to an international outbreak of novel coronavirus, called COVID-19. No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kitsap County and there is no evidence that novel coronavirus is spreading in our state at this time. 

The Kitsap Public Health District is collaborating with partner agencies to respond to this rapidly changing situation.  

Public health officials believe COVID-19 will eventually spread in parts of the United States. Our community should be ready in case COVID-19 spreads locally in the future. 

Health care providers, employers, schools and other organizations can all take steps to prepare. 
  • Everyone should practice healthy habits to prevent spread of respiratory illnesses. Steps include washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick. 
  • If COVID-19 were to spread in our area, public health might recommend additional prevention strategies. These could include telecommuting, avoiding large public gatherings and school closures. 
  • While we don’t know what strategies would be implemented, people should plan for how they would modify their routines to accommodate these changes. They should also think about the people in their lives who might need extra help.  
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health have special guidance for schools, employers, travelers and other groups.  

The best resources for updates and information on COVID-19 can be found here:

The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.
Project Updates
City Council to consider final approval of Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn Roads intersection improvements project
Staff will provide an update on the Sportsman Club Road-New Brooklyn Road Intersection Improvements Project at the March 3 City Council study session.

As congestion increases, the City of Bainbridge Island is considering a roundabout at the intersection that would enhance facilities for those who walk and bike, and serve as a hub for connecting sidewalks and walking paths in the vicinity.

The proposed design includes:
  • Improved multi-use paths: An expanded, 10-foot wide multi-use sidewalk (or separated trail) with ramps for bicyclists who choose not to travel with vehicles in the right of way of the roundabout
  • Raised crosswalks: ADA accessible ramps and raised concrete crosswalks with rapid-flashing beacons for safe crossings
  • Upgraded shoulders: Wide, paved shoulders for bicyclists on both sides of the road within the City right of way 
  • Traffic calming approaches: Curved approaches with narrowed lanes to slow down vehicles to the 20-mph design speed 
  • Hardscaped improvements: Enhanced lighting and separation between the crosswalks and the roundabout to improve pedestrian visibility and traffic flow

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $2.3 million. The City has $860,000 in federal grants and $360,000 in City funds in the current approved budget. The project will need an additional $1.1 million of City funds to complete the design and construction.

City Council will consider approval of the final design of the project at the March 3 meeting. If the project is approved by Council, a design contract and budget amendment will be presented to Council at a later meeting and construction will begin in summer 2021. If the Council does not approve the project, the City will be required to repay approximately $150,000 in federal funds that were used for the initial design phases. Learn more about the project here.
Police add 'calls for service' log to website
Have you ever wondered what your police officers do? What types of calls we get? Which crimes are the most prevalent on Bainbridge Island? If so, we invite you to look at a new feature we’ve added to our website showing a breakdown of calls for service each month.

If you have questions about what a call type means (or any other topic), please feel free to get in touch!

Review the January 2020 calls for service log here.
City Council Updates
Council directs staff, Planning Commission to work on bonus density reforms
This week, the City Council continued discussion on whether to change the current regulations related to Floor Area Ratio (FAR) density bonuses. Currently, the City Code allows some developments to increase in size in exchange for certain specific public benefits, such as affordable housing, public amenities and/or infrastructure, the purchase of development rights, historic preservation, and the preservation of open space. 

A section of the City’s current code ( BIMC 18.12.030.E.) describes the ways in which some projects can obtain bonus FAR in the Winslow Mixed Use and High School Road Districts. In these areas, eligible projects can obtain bonus FAR in the following ways: 
  • by providing affordable housing;

  • by purchasing FAR (by the square foot) in an amount that is set by resolution as part of the City’s fee schedule;

  • by making monetary contributions toward public amenities and/or infrastructure beyond what is required for State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) mitigation in an amount established by resolution of the City Council;

  • by constructing public amenities and/or infrastructure beyond what is required to mitigate the impacts of development;

  • by transferring development rights to create permanent open space; and

  • by a few other specific means applicable only in the Ferry District. 

The bonus FAR works as an incentive program to achieve a broad range of community benefits, and was originally added to the municipal code to implement the Comprehensive Plan and Winslow Master Plan. When an applicant elects to purchase bonus FAR from the City, the proceeds are typically divided as follows: 60% is put toward the preservation of agricultural land on the island, and 40% is put toward the purchase of public amenities (like traffic calming, pocket parks, street trees, or pedestrian connections). In some circumstances, 100% of the fees are designated for the preservation of agricultural land (Resolution No. 2001-54). 

At the Feb. 25 meeting, the Council directed City staff to work with the Planning Commission to develop reforms to the current Code that would only allow the use of bonus FAR for the purposes of providing affordable housing, historic preservation or via the transfer of development rights. That effort will result in a proposed ordinance that will then return to the City Council for consideration and final approval.
Council discusses option of using existing lodging tax for affordable housing
At the Feb. 25 City Council meeting, the Council discussed the possibility of using hotel-motel tax revenue for affordable housing, as provided by state law. Hotel-motel tax, also known as lodging tax or LTAC, is a consumer tax on lodging charges for hotels, motels, rooming houses, private campgrounds and similar structures.

State law allows, in limited circumstances, for cities and counties to use LTAC funds to pay debt service for bonds issued for eligible affordable housing within a half-mile of a transit station. The City may not make direct grants of LTAC funds to individuals or organizations for affordable housing programming. According to several professional municipal associations, there are no cities in the state that have used this provision to support affordable housing.

The City currently receives roughly $250,000 a year in LTAC funds. The City's current use of LTAC revenues is to support eligible tourism-related activities. LTAC funds are awarded annually through a competitive process reviewed by a committee comprised of one voting Councilmember and four community representatives.

On Feb. 25, the Council decided to include more discussion of how LTAC might be used for affordable housing on Bainbridge Island during future discussions of the City’s efforts to provide more affordable housing, including potentially at the Council retreat scheduled for March 6. Watch the Feb. 25 discussion here
Recognition of service for Matt Tirman
A recognition of service was held for Matt Tirman during the business meeting Tuesday night. Tirman announced earlier this month that he would be resigning from his City Council seat Feb. 28. 

“The one thing this job has taught me is that it’s so integral to whatever you do -- is to try to put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to be as empathetic as possible,” said Tirman Tuesday evening.

Tirman, who represented the South Ward, began his term in 2018.

“I think we should be really proud of what we were able to achieve,” said Tirman. “I will look back on these two years with a great deal of fondness.”

Tirman was recognized for his efforts related to affordable housing, LGBTQ rights and non-motorized transportation initiatives. 

Council will discuss the process to fill the vacancy during next week's March 3 meeting.
Upcoming City Council Agenda
Below are some of the topics to be discussed at the March 3 study session.

  • Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection improvements project. 

  • Review of Resolution 2018-03 and goals for Suzuki property affordable housing project.

  • Discussion on the process to fill City Council vacancy. 

  • Update on development moratorium.

  • Update on green building code.

  • Update on Sustainable Transportation Plan.

If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, click  here  to sign up on the Council Agendas webpage.

The meetings are live-streamed on the  City website . Visit the  Agendas & Minutes  section, then click on "In Progress" when the meeting starts. You can also watch the meetings on BKAT (Ch. 12 on Comcast & Ch. 3 on WAVE).
City Advisory Groups Updates
Council approves Design Review Board appointment
The City Council appointed Vicki Clayton to fill a vacancy on the Design Review Board (DRB). Clayton, who is retired, previously served as Vice President of Special Projects at Cornish College of the Arts. She also served 12 years on the Bainbridge Island School District board, including five terms as Board Chair.

Clayton will complete an existing term through June 30, 2021.

The DRB serves as an advisory body to the Planning and Community Development Director, Hearing Examiner and Planning Commission, as applicable, regarding site plan and design reviews and conditional use permits. 

The DRB meets the first and third Monday of every month 2 to 5 p.m. at City Hall.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Friday, March 6:
Deadline to submit Capital Improvement Plan projects.
Friday, March 6:
City Council retreat at City Hall.
Thursday, March 12: PCD & Public Works-Engineering counters closed for process improvements.
Tuesday, March 31:
Deadline to apply for Salary Commission.
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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