City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
Recognizing that time outside is an important component of physical and mental health, City of Bainbridge Island employees are participating this month in a wellness walking program sponsored by our health insurance administrator. Employees are encouraged to walk during lunch breaks or before or after work, with teams competing internally and across jurisdictions. As someone who is always ready to walk or wander, I’m looking forward to finding some new trails and sidewalks near City Hall, my home, and other parts of the island. As Kitsap County continues in Phase 3 of the governor’s Roadmap to Recovery plan, I encourage you to look for new outdoor gems on Bainbridge. Try a new trail, visit a new (or old favorite) restaurant or store, have a socially distanced chat with a neighbor, but continue to be vigilant about public health. If you have a recommendation for a walk to try or a story to share, I’d love to hear it. 

I want to continue to acknowledge our fantastic volunteers who support the COVID vaccine partnership. We expect to administer our 25,000th vaccine dose this weekend!   

The May 4 study session centered on land use and housing. Members of the Planning Commission joined the discussion at times to provide Council with their perspectives and preparation. Topics at the Study Session included a presentation on a multifamily housing incentive program (known as the multifamily property tax exemption program, or MFTE), intended to support development of new affordable housing, and an update on the Shoreline Master Program.  

Next week’s business meeting on May 11 will include actions to schedule a public hearing related to the MFTE program discussed on May 4. This public hearing will be one of several points in the process of implementing the MFTE program at which public input is important. Also, Council will review ordinances next week which will make changes to the municipal code sections related to City advisory committees. 

 I hope that you can join us. 

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Interim City Manager
COVID-19 Updates
Vaccine appointments available this weekend
There are still appointments available this Saturday, May 8 for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

The clinic will be held at the Commodore Options School Gym. Sign up online at

Johnson and Johnson is only approved for individuals 18 and over.

Member Plus Family Health
  • Member Plus Family Health, located at 123 Bjune Dr. SE, is offering Moderna vaccine appointments on May 13, 18 and 20. Sign up online at

Learn more about vaccine distribution at
Lose your vaccination record card?
If you lost your Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 vaccination record card, the best way to get a copy of your immunization record is to visit or email to obtain proof of vaccination.

Please do not request a replacement card from the vaccine provider.

The federal government did not provide extra vaccination record cards and vaccine providers are not able to provide a duplicate.
Eligibility may soon expand to everyone 12 and older
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be authorized for kids as young as 12 years old as early as next week. The company applied to expand Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its vaccine for teens and children ages 12 to 15 after a clinical trial showed the vaccine is safe and extremely effective for the age group. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing the data and would need to amend the EUA for the Pfizer vaccine, which is currently authorized for people 16 and older. Following the FDA’s decision, the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) will schedule a meeting. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup will also meet to review the findings and offer guidance.

Expanding vaccine eligibility to adolescents 12 to 15 will help us slow the spread of the virus, protect kids and teens in the classroom, at sporting events, during summer activities, and more.

Read the full vaccine distribution update from the Washington State Department of Health.
Inslee announces two-week pause on recovery plan phases
Gov. Jay Inslee announced this week that all counties will remain in their current phases of the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan for two weeks. The pause was prompted by signs of a statewide plateau in COVID-19 activity.

At the end of two weeks, each county will be re-evaluated. Read the full announcement.

Kitsap County remains in Phase 3 of the plan.
Kitsap Public Health launches COVID-19 community survey
Kitsap Public Health District has launched a survey to better understand local impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and perceptions of COVID-19 vaccination.

The survey will be open through May 16. All Kitsap County residents are invited to participate. Responses are anonymous.

After completing the survey, respondents will have the option of entering to win one of six $25 gift cards. Kitsap Public Health will choose winners at random.
City Council Updates
Council continues development of affordable housing incentive program
The City Council this week directed staff to continue creating a program that would encourage developers to build multifamily and affordable housing in Winslow and Lynwood Center in exchange for a partial property tax relief for 12 or 20 years.

The program, known as Multifamily Property Tax Exemption (MFTE), is a financial incentive to encourage development and redevelopment of multifamily and affordable housing by exempting qualifying new housing development from property taxes on the residential improvement value. The amount of the tax exemption would then be shifted to and divided among other property taxpayers on Bainbridge Island.

The program does not modify or reduce any development standards or permitting requirements, such as setbacks, density or building heights.

On May 4, the Council chose to begin development of 12-year and 20-year MFTE programs.
  • 12-year program
  • The 12-year MFTE program requires that, for rental projects, a minimum of 20% of housing units rent to low- or moderate-income households or below and, for home-ownership projects (e.g., condominiums), 100% of housing units are sold to moderate-income households or below.
  • 20-year program
  • The 20-year exemption, adopted in late April by the Washington State Legislature (SB 5287) requires at least 25% of the units to be sold to a qualified nonprofit or local government partner and requires those units to provide permanent affordability. Permanent affordable homeownership units or rental units must be sold or rented to low-income households. Under the MFTE state law, Chapter 84.14 RCW, a household with income up to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) qualifies as a low-income household, and a household with income up to 115% of AMI qualifies as a moderate-income household.

See the May 4 presentation to the City Council for more detailed information, including the 2020 AMI table.

What does approval of the MFTE program mean for taxpayers? 
If the City adopts this program, qualifying multifamily projects would be exempt from property taxation on the residential improvement value for a period of 12 or 20 years after construction is complete. The tax levy would be shifted to other property taxpayers through a slight tax increase divided among property owners islandwide. In Bremerton, for example, there are four developments enrolled in the MFTE program, resulting in about a $24 per year increase for a home valued at $300,000 during the time of the tax exemption.

Where would a City MFTE program apply?
The Council is considering applying the program to the following areas of Bainbridge Island, as recommended by the Planning Commission:

During the May 11 business meeting, the Council will schedule a public hearing for June 8 to gather input from the community on the proposed MFTE eligibility locations.

Watch the May 4 presentation and Council discussion.
Council discusses SMP periodic review
The City Council this week approved four motions to revise the Shoreline Master Program periodic review process and work plan. The clarifications and changes include:

  • It was clarified that the periodic review continues to include the guiding themes and review topics originally adopted in the 2019 work plan and staff will proceed as planned. The Council also confirmed that the Planning Department will not be proposing amendments to address other substantive legal issues currently under appeal.

  • Council requested further scientific and technical information to support the ongoing amendment on the topic of aquaculture. Staff will bring a revised timeline and budget back to Council for approval.

  • Council directed the Planning Department to cease working on a sea level rise amendment.

  • Council directed a change in process that will now have the Planning Commission complete its review prior to the joint public hearing and public comment period.

Periodic reviews are required by state law every eight years to ensure consistency with state regulations and City codes.

The Department will be posting updated project information to the Engage Bainbridge SMP Periodic Review page in the coming weeks.
Upcoming City Council agenda
The May 11 City Council meeting will include the following items:

  • Annual proclamation declaring May 9-15 as "Bainbridge Island Police Week"
  • Annual proclamation declaring May 16-22 as "Public Works Week"
  • Set public hearing for Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) designation areas
  • Resolution No. 2021-08 updating the Governance Manual
  • Ordinance No. 2021-16 updating the member selection and appointment process for City Advisory Groups

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)
City Advisory Group Updates
Island Center Subarea Planning Steering Committee completes Subarea Plan recommendation
The Island Center Subarea Planning Steering Committee on May 5 completed its recommendation for the Island Center Subarea Plan following three years of extensive discussion, outreach, review and analysis. The draft Subarea Plan (Plan) includes recommendations for land use alternatives, traffic calming, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and trail connections. Some of the proposed improvements include:

  • Transportation safety
  • Add new bicycle and pedestrian facilities and trail connections. 

  • Public improvements
  • New outdoor public space: The Plan proposes to improve a four-acre City-owned property on Miller Road to create a new flexible outdoor public space with connections to a trail network. The plan envisions incorporating some permanent recreational elements, such as seating and play areas, while allowing for different uses at different times of day and seasons, with parking available for nearby uses and events. 

  • Expand public and/or visual access to the Fletcher Bay waterfront in Island Center in partnership with private property owners and recreation and conservation organizations.
  • Land use and zoning
  • This includes changes to development standards and permitted/conditional uses that serves to differentiate the Island Center Neighborhood Center area from Lynwood Center and Rolling Bay Neighborhood Centers.  

  • The committee voted to recommend Land Use Alternative 3 in its draft plan (see pages 18-23 of the draft plan). Alternative 3 proposes adding three separate areas to the Island Center Neighborhood Center Zone, in part to support commercial development and to allow for more affordable housing; the areas are currently zoned residential.

At the May 5 meeting, the committee made several changes that would enhance policies in the plan related to non-conforming uses, supporting agriculture, and improving the City’s Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program, in response to committee member proposals.

The Steering Committee focused its May 5 discussion on what should be the residential density and bonus density for affordable housing in a future Island Center zone.

The draft Subarea Plan discussed at the May 5 meeting can be viewed here, and you can watch the meeting here. Once the updates approved by the committee on May 5 are integrated, the final recommended draft plan will be published on the City’s website.

The draft plan will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for review. The Planning Commission dates have not been set. The City Council will have final consideration of the plan. There will be opportunities for public comment throughout the process.

Sign up for project updates at
Volunteer to serve on a City Advisory Group
Please consider volunteering your time to serve on one of the following committees that assist and advise the City Council:

  • Cultural Funding (short term)    
  • Human Services Funding (short term)
  • Lodging Tax (short term)
  • Environmental Technical Advisory Committee
  • Historic Preservation Commission 
  • Utility Advisory Committee 

Learn more about the committee openings and apply at

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, May 14. Applicants must be available in May for interviews. Terms begin July 1, 2021.

Questions? Contact Executive Assistant Roz Lassoff at 206-580-6735 or
Former Salary Commission issues press release on City Council salary determination
The City of Bainbridge Island former Salary Commission made a determination April 12 to increase salaries for City Council members.

The six-member commission, consisting of all community volunteers, was appointed by the mayor with approval of the City Council in October 2020 and met six times to discuss compensation for the City Council. The commission reviewed the history of Bainbridge Island City Council salaries, salary information for other Washington cities, and cost of living adjustment schedules.

The commission approved the following salary schedule:
  • $3,000 per month for council members or an annual salary of $36,000 per year
  • $4,000 per month for the mayor or an annual salary of $48,000 per year

On April 19, the commission filed the new salary schedule in the form of a report provided to the City Clerk.

On April 30, the former commission provided a press release to the City on its determination.

As of 2019, per Ordinance No. 2019-23, a new Salary Commission is appointed every seven years to perform a salary review of the City Council. The determination of the Salary Commission is not subject to approval by the City Council or City staff.
Other Updates
Additional WSF service changes to begin next week
Washington State Ferries announced additional service changes due to the Wenatchee fire and pandemic-related crewing challenges.

Beginning Thursday, May 13, Bainbridge and Bremerton will temporarily switch slips (where passengers load and unload) at Colman Dock for about seven weeks.

This will also mean a change for vehicle holding areas at Colman Dock-- make sure you get in the correct line!

Other service changes:

  • Seattle/Bainbridge
  • Smaller 188-vehicle Walla Walla, 144-vehicle Kaleetan or 124-vehicle Issaquah on route through at least July 25.
  • Seattle/Bremerton
  • Slower and smaller 64-vehicle Salish on route starting Thursday, May 13, requiring a schedule adjustment that eliminates an early afternoon round trip until at least June 27.

Sign up to receive WSF rider alerts to stay informed on route changes.
Filing fee increases for Bainbridge Island positions
Please see the message below posted on the Kitsap County Auditor Facebook page on May 3.

Increased salaries for Bainbridge Island City Council members will result in an increase in the filing fee for those positions.

State law, RCW 29A.24.091, states, “A filing fee equal to one percent of the annual salary of the office at the time of filing (emphasis added) shall accompany the declaration of candidacy for any office with a fixed annual salary of more than one thousand dollars per annum.”

The salary increases for council members took effect in April. Filing week is May 17-21. Candidates running for a council position on Bainbridge will pay a fee of $360.

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Thank you for your interest!
Important Dates
Wednesday, May 12: Utility Advisory Committee meeting; 5:30 on Zoom
Thursday, May 13: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m. on Zoom. Topics to include: update on the tree and vegetation regulations; update on Triage Phase II; and update on the SMP Periodic Review.
Thursday, May 20: Planning & Community Development Department closed for process improvement day.
Wednesday, May 26: Joint City Council & Ethics Board meeting
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Contact Information

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