City Manager's Report
Bainbridge Islanders,
Kitsap Public Health encourages us to “Spread Joy, Not COVID” this holiday season, and has provided tips to keep our community health. As we turn to the last month of the year and prepare for more holiday celebrations, let’s look for new ways to celebrate and stay safe and healthy. If your plans find you with more time than usual close to home, please consider island activities, including walking, shopping, visiting our local trails and parks, and supporting our restaurants through outdoor dining or takeout.

This week, the City Council dedicated a significant amount of meeting time to leadership transition. At the Dec. 1 study session, five candidates interviewed for the vacant north ward seat. At the meeting next week, two finalists will again participate in a discussion with the Council, after which time the Council will select a new member. In addition, the Council held two special meetings this week to review semifinalist candidates for the City Manager position. In the coming weeks, the Council will identify finalists and hold a virtual event in January for the community to meet and hear directly from those seeking to become the next City Manager.

The City Council this week also reviewed plans for the transition of the Race Equity Task Force to a standing committee, received an update from the joint subcommittee on land use and heard recommendations for operating support to Friends of the Farms from the Ad Hoc Committee on Public Farmland.

Next week, at its last business meeting of 2020, the Council will make a final decision to appoint a new Council member, receive a presentation from the Utility Advisory Committee regarding small water systems, hear the annual winter weather update and an update on the community COVID testing site. Council will also hold a public hearing related to an extension of the Landmark Tree Ordinance, consider an ordinance to establish a standing Race Equity Advisory Committee, and consider a trail easement, among other topics.

For more information about some of these topics and other items of interest, please see below.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Deputy City Manager
City Council narrows north ward vacancy to two finalists
The City Council this week narrowed the number of north ward candidates from five to two. During next week's Dec. 8 virtual business meeting, the two finalists will participate in a discussion with the Council, then a new member will be selected.

The two finalists are:

Brenda Fantroy-Johnson
Brenda Fantroy-Johnson, a 14-year resident, serves on the City’s Race Equity Task Force and Sustainable Transportation Task Force. She is also involved in Kitsap ERACE (Equity Race and Community Engagement), NAACP, YWCA and Kitsap SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). She works in information security.

Her top priorities are low-income housing, sustainable transportation and racial equity.

Fantroy-Johnson is married with five children. She loves writing and is an avid hiker and mountaineer.

Jane Lindley
Jane Lindley, a 28-year resident, is the co-founder of Act 4 Climate, an organization that lobbies for environmental conservation. Lindley is a member of the Sierra Club and former president of Sustainable Bainbridge.

Her top priorities are implementing the Comprehensive Plan, implementing the Climate Action Plan and helping to make Bainbridge a welcoming and diversified community.

Lindley worked on the City's Comprehensive Plan update and "would like the opportunity to contribute to the Comprehensive Plan's implementation."

Lindley was one of the first women to become a member of the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club. She loves the outdoors and is a competitive swimmer.

Learn more about the candidate backgrounds here. Watch the Dec. 1 interviews here.
COVID-19 Updates
Staff to provide test site update to City Council next week
Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage will provide an update to the City Council on the City's COVID-19 test site during next week's Dec. 8 business meeting.

The test site opened at Town Square Nov. 4 to support public health goals and the reopening of schools and businesses in our community.

As of Nov. 25, the City's site has tested 357 people and there were seven positive test results (less than 2% positivity rate).

The City test site is now only allowing appointments to be booked up to two weeks in advance. This is to help limit people booking solely for travel and ensure availability for people who need to be tested because they are symptomatic or a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

The test site, which operates 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, started with 24 appointments and has now increased to 44 appointments per day.

The City testing site should not be used for pre-travel clearance and is not an approved site for travel to Hawaii.

We regularly assess our operations and will post an update on the test site webpage if other changes are made.
Washington state adopting CDC’s new quarantine guidelines
Please see the message below from the Washington State Department of Health.

The Washington State Department of Health is adopting the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to reduce quarantine for people who have been exposed to COVID-19.
Although both the Washington State Department of Health and CDC currently recommend a quarantine period of 14 days, there are circumstances that allow for a shortened quarantine. These include:

  • If a person who is in quarantine has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 10.
  • If a person who is in quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 test and has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 7. Get tested within 48 hours before ending quarantine.

There is a small chance that people who choose to shorten their quarantine period may transmit the infection to others post-quarantine. Therefore, it is critical that the person who has been in quarantine continues to monitor their symptoms and wear a mask through Day 14. If they develop symptoms, they should isolate themselves to avoid infecting others and get tested.

Quarantine is used to reduce the risk that infected people might unknowingly transmit infection to others. It also ensures that people who become symptomatic during quarantine can rapidly be tested.

Both Washington state officials and the CDC recognize that a 14-day quarantine can impose personal burdens that may affect physical and mental health as well as cause economic hardship. This change in guidelines is meant to help reduce that burden, while continuing to keep our community safe.

These recommendations are based on the best information available in November 2020 and reflect the realities of an evolving pandemic. The Washington State Department of Health and CDC will continue to closely monitor the evolving science for information that would warrant reconsideration of these recommendations.
Spread joy, not COVID this holiday season
COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in Kitsap County. Get tips on celebrating the holidays safely with this factsheet from the Kitsap Public Health District.

Help the "Spread Joy, Not COVID!" campaign by sharing the graphics on your own social media pages. The toolkits include posters and graphics formatted for social media posts and can be found at
Biennial Budget
City Council approves 2021-2022 budget
At the Nov. 24 business meeting, the City Council approved the 2021-2022 budget with climate change response as its top priority.

The $87 million citywide biennial budget reflects an annual reduction in overall tax-supported revenues of approximately 8% ($4.1 million) across the biennium compared to levels of growth typical before the economic fallout of COVID-19. Utility revenues remain largely unchanged.

The budget was developed to adjust to the City’s reduced revenue while still maintaining the City’s ongoing commitment to its highest priority goals and core services.

Key highlights in the approved budget:
  • Provides $500,000 to support the City’s implementation of the Climate Action Plan.
  • Adds a Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Officer who will coordinate the priorities of the Climate Action Plan.
  • Sets aside $600,000 from Transportation Benefit funds for future high priority short-term projects resulting from Sustainable Transportation planning.
  • Adds a Behavioral Health Navigator position in the Police Department. This position will allow a more integrated approach between law enforcement and social services.
  • Includes $100,000 to support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives.
  • Maintains the current funding levels of $2.0 million to support community partners and programs for human services, cultural element funding, and other support including economic development. 
  • Maintains the City emphasis on effective stewardship of existing and planned infrastructure. The approved budget funds new capital projects in the coming biennium of about $5.1 million for utility projects and $3.7 million for tax-supported projects. This amount does not include support from state and federal grants. 
  • Tax-supported major projects include Madison Avenue sidewalk reconstruction, Senior Center improvements, and the Visconsi Trail.
  • Major utility projects include Winslow fire flow improvements, Winslow water tank replacement, and Village Basin sewer improvements.
  • Adds a Natural Resource Senior Planner position.
  • Eliminates four regular positions (Police Officer, Senior Judicial Specialist, Senior Plan Check Engineer, Planner) and two term-limited positions (Public Records Analyst, Senior Planner); all of which are currently vacant.

Click here to learn more about the approved budget.
Project Updates
City to host Dec. 14 online meeting to discuss Comcast Cable TV services
The City will host an online meeting to discuss Comcast cable television services at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14. The meeting was initially scheduled for Nov. 18 but was rescheduled due to an extensive power outage on the island.

The purpose of the Dec. 14 meeting is to hear the community’s views on the cable television service they receive from Comcast to help the City understand the needs of the community as the City reviews Comcast’s franchise agreement. If you are a City resident or the owner of a business located on Bainbridge Island, please join us for the Zoom meeting to share your thoughts.

The online meeting will include a presentation from the City’s consultant team, River Oaks Communications Corporation, on current cable communications policies and the Cable TV franchise renewal process.

How to watch and participate:
  • Zoom (Webinar ID: 948 9698 0773): 
  • To join the meeting on Zoom and participate in the discussion, please use this link (registration is not required):
  • Join by telephone: Dial +1 253-215-8782

Click here to learn more about the project.
Crews complete sidewalk paving along Wyatt Way, new detours expected to begin next week
The contractor working on the Wyatt Way Reconstruction Project completed paving on the Wyatt Way sidewalks this week marking a significant milestone on the west side of the project. The road striping is anticipated to happen next week (weather permitting). The landscaping, which will be installed throughout all areas of the project, will occur in late winter.

Challenges with the water line installation on the west side of the project, which caused delays to the overall project schedule, are mostly resolved.

Detours anticipated to begin next week

It’s expected that during the week of Dec. 7, the contractor will begin work on the east side of the project along Wyatt Way between Ambrose Lane and Madison Avenue and the Wyatt Way-Madison Avenue intersection.

The work will start on Madison Avenue, south of the Wyatt-Madison intersection, with the replacement of stormwater drainage pipes. The drainage work will then continue closer to the intersection.

As the contractor moves to the east side of the project, drivers can expect revisions to the detour routes as follows (map below):

  • Drivers heading to Winslow from the south end of the island will continue to use Finch Road/Sportsman Club Road or Weaver Road as a detour to High School Road;
  • Drivers heading to the south end of the island from Winslow can use Madison Avenue (heading north) and Wyatt Way (heading west), or Ericksen Avenue (north);
  • Drivers using Madison Avenue in either direction can expect periodic flagging of traffic through or nearby the Wyatt Way intersection;
  • There will likely be some isolated times when the Madison Avenue-Wyatt Way intersection will need to be closed to southbound traffic. In those instances, drivers will be directed to Knechtel Way and Ericksen Avenue.
  • Local access along Wyatt Way and all intersecting streets will remain open.

Wyatt Way is limited to westbound and local traffic only to minimize congestion at the Wyatt Way-Madison Avenue intersection.

The City’s project management staff anticipates that the project will be substantially completed in March. Learn more about the project here.
City Council Updates
Council approves Shoreline Master Program amendment
On Nov. 24, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 2020-17 to amend the City's Shoreline Master Program related to critical areas regulations and nonconforming structures, uses, and lots.

The Washington State Department of Ecology must give final approval for the amendment. The amendment will become effective 14 days after final approval by the Department of Ecology.

The integration of the updated critical areas ordinance (CAO) into the Shoreline Master Program is the final workplan item for the development moratorium, which has been in place since January 2018.
Applicant withdraws land use code amendment request
An applicant seeking a legislative review of land use regulations to to allow for a composting facility at a site known as the "Triangle Property", located at the intersection of Fletcher Bay Road and Lynwood Center Road, has withdrawn the application after learning that the City Council intended to reject the proposal.

The proposal included amending BIMC 18.09.030.G.3 to exclude the Triangle Property lots from a 500' setback that applies to waste transfer facilities, and to create a provision for greater lot coverage. If the amendment was approved, the applicant intended to apply for permits to locate a compost facility on the Triangle Property.
Council approves $65,000 payment in 2021 to Friends of the Farms
At the City Council meeting on Dec. 1, the City Council decided to provide $65,000 in funding to Friends of the Farms (FOF) to support FOF in its management of the City’s farmland in 2021. 

The $65,000 will come from the Council’s contingency fund, a $200,000 budget set aside which Council uses to support projects that were not included in the originally-adopted budget. 

FOF, a local nonprofit organization, and the City of Bainbridge Island signed a Master Lease in 2011 which provides for FOF to manage the City's 60 acres of farmland.
Council expected to approve ordinance prohibiting new self-service storage facilities
The City Council next week will consider approval of Ordinance 2020-34 to prohibit the construction of new self-service storage facilities on Bainbridge Island to preserve commercial areas for activities with the greatest potential for job creation and business enterprise.

The Council has also addressed concerns that the average amount of self-service storage facility space per person on Bainbridge exceeds the national average.

In October, the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of Ordinance No. 2020-34 to prohibit new self-service storage facilities to the Council.

If the ordinance is approved, existing facilities would be allowed to expand and remodel.
Council expected to approve Race Equity Advisory Committee next week
The City Council next week will consider approval of an ordinance to establish a standing Race Equity Advisory Committee (REAC).

The City Council established a Race Equity Task Force, made up of seven community members, in 2018 to seek suggestions on how the City can help Bainbridge Island be an open and welcoming community for all. As a task force, the work of the group was intended to be of limited duration and focused on specific tasks.

If the Council approves the ordinance as drafted, the number of positions would increase from seven to nine.

The REAC will work to provide informed recommendations to the City Council on programmatic, community, and legislative options to address and rectify systemic and structural racism and bias within government and law enforcement.
Council to hold public hearing on landmark tree ordinance extension
The City Council on Dec. 8 will hold a public hearing to consider a six-month extension of the landmark tree ordinance. Without an extension, the interim official control regulations that are currently in place related to the preservation of landmark trees will expire on Dec. 26.

The extension is being proposed to allow staff and the Planning Commission time to complete the legislative process to adopt regulations for the City Council's consideration regarding amendments to the City's tree and vegetation regulations.

The Council adopted the landmark tree regulations in 2018 to protect landmark trees after hearing from concerned residents about the loss of landmark trees on Bainbridge Island due to land clearing and development activities. The ordinance designates landmark trees based on size and species, requires a permit to remove any landmark tree, and imposes fines if a landmark tree is removed without a permit. The landmark tree ordinance applies only within the Winslow Master Plan study area.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Dec. 8 City Council meeting.

  • Utility Advisory Committee recommendations on small water systems and 2021 workplan update
  • Update on COVID-19 test site
  • Winter weather briefing
  • Public hearing to consider extension of Landmark Tree Ordinance
  • Council to consider ordinance prohibiting self-service storage
  • Council to consider creation of standing Race Equity Advisory Committee
  • Discussion on request from Race Equity Task Force for the Council to endorse GARE open letter opposing Executive Order banning systemic racism training

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).
City Advisory Group Updates
Planning Commission to hold public participation meeting on BPA addition proposal
The Planning Commission will hold a public participation meeting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 to provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the Buxton Center for Bainbridge Performing Arts proposal, which includes a 5,000 square foot addition to the existing building that will house a new lobby and multi-purpose room.

Learn more about the proposal here.
Planning Commission proposes to prohibit new hotels in downtown districts
The Planning Commission on Dec. 10 will hold a public hearing on Ordinance 2020-40 that addresses priority code changes and a proposal to prohibit new hotels in downtown districts.

Most of the changes proposed by the ordinance fall into the following categories:
  • Clarifies that the Planning Director and Hearing Examiner should give substantial weight to to Planning Commission recommendations on land use permits, including recommendations of denial.  
  • 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 zones. Under this ordinance, hotels would still be allowed in the High School Road zones.
  • Increases the duration of required affordability for designated affordable housing units from 30 years to 50 years for rentals and 99 years for homeownership.

This ordinance originates from priority land use code changes that were identified from the joint City Council-Planning Commission land use subcommittee. The subcommittee presented a list of recommended priority code changes to the Council on Oct. 13. The City Council forwarded the list of priority code changes to the Planning Commission for immediate legislative work.

The Planning Commission discussed the code changes on Oct. 29. The Planning Commission recommended separating the list of changes into two categories:
  1. Disparate Code changes identified by the joint subcommittee as "Triage" or housekeeping changes will move forward with Planning Commission review in a first phase "Triage" ordinance. Code changes are described by the joint subcommittee in the attached Planning Commission work plan. Draft Ordinance No. 2020-40 makes these phase 1 changes.
  2. Code changes that relate to the nature and order of meetings and requirements that occur prior to applying for a land use permit (i.e. conceptual meeting, design guidance, preapplication conference) and how and when the Design Review Board and Planning Commission are involved in these early meetings. The Planning Commission indicated that the Commission or representatives from the Commission will discuss these issues with the Design Review Board. This work would then be integrated into a second "triage" ordinance. The Planning Commission will discuss this work at its Dec. 17 meeting.

The Commission discussed the two-phase workplan again at the Nov. 12 Planning Commission meeting, and confirmed that the Phase 1 changes should be integrated into a draft ordinance. The Commission then reviewed DRAFT Ordinance No. 2020-40 on Nov. 19 and forwarded the ordinance to a public hearing on Dec. 10.

The Dec. 10 meeting begins at 6 p.m. and will be held on Zoom. The Zoom meeting link will be at the top of the Dec. 10 Planning Commission agenda. When the agenda is published, it will be posted here.

You may provide comment during the public hearing or send an email to the Department of Planning and Community Development at The written comments must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 10.
Island Center subarea planning update
The Island Center subarea planning committee at its Nov. 23 meeting discussed potential development standards, such as maximum building footprint, density, setbacks and parking.

The agenda for the next meeting (date to be determined) will include discussion of options to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility.

The committee is working to complete a draft Island Center Subarea Plan in the next few months. The draft Subarea Plan will then be forwarded to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation, then forwarded to the City Council for approval.

Additional information on the Island Center Subarea Planning effort can be found on the project webpage.

You can sign up to get email or text notifications about the Island Center Subarea Planning effort here.
Other updates
Kitsap County postpones recycling event
Please see the message below from the Kitsap County Solid Waste Division.

The Styrofoam Roundup Event previously planned for January 2, 2021 has been postponed until Spring/Summer 2021.

The safety of our residents and volunteers is important to us. The recent increase in COVID-19 cases in our community and the new safety measures put in place on Monday, November 16 are good reminders to practice extra caution to protect everyone in the community.
We have high participation in recycling events, so we know that many residents care about recycling and our environment.

What else can you do?
  • Store it! Store the Styrofoam for our next STYRO-Roundup if you have space.
  • Haul it! Year-round recycling at Styro Recycle in Kent 
  • Toss it! If you can’t store it, foam can go in your trash. Be sure to follow your curbside guidelines and bag it, so the fragile foam beads don’t become litter. 

Holiday Recycling
Use our helpful Holiday Recycle Guide as you unpack those decorations.
  • Consider using recyclable materials, free from glitter and foil, when you shop for supplies. 
  • Donate unwanted decorations to family, friends, or second hand stores.
  • Make your own decorations from nature: pine cones, branches, and berries.

Visit our Holiday Recycling and Waste page for more on recycling trees and lights.
Important Dates
Monday, Dec. 7: Design Review Board meeting; 2 p.m.; Zoom
Thursday, Dec. 10: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom; Public participation meeting on BPA proposal
Monday, Dec. 14: Comcast Franchise Agreement community meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Tuesday, Dec. 15: Final City Council meeting of 2020; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Wednesday, Dec. 16: Joint City Council and Race Equity Task Force meeting on "Threats to a Welcoming Kitsap: Xenophobia, White Nationalism and Racism in Kitsap County"; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Wednesday, Dec. 16: Climate Change Advisory Committee meeting; 6:30 p.m.; Zoom
Thursday, Dec. 17: Planning Commission meeting; 6 p.m.; Zoom
Friday, Dec. 18: Sustainable Transportation Task Force meeting; 9:30 a.m.; Zoom
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Contact Information

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