City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

This week the City Council continued its consideration of two areas of regulation that may be of interest to many Islanders.

The first topic is the City's Sign Code, which includes rules about the "sandwich board" advertising placed in Winslow and other areas. The Council agreed to hold a follow-up study session to discuss these rules in more detail, using our current rules as a starting point. That study session is scheduled to happen in early May.

The Council also received a set of recommendations from the Kitsap Humane Society (KHS) on their requested changes to the City's Animal Control Code. Several of these recommendations are intended to make our Bainbridge Island code more consistent with the rest of Kitsap County. One key example is the KHS recommendation to require a pet license for Bainbridge cats as well as dogs (currently, cat licenses are optional). KHS believes that one benefit from mandatory licensing for pet cats is that lost animals may be recovered by their owners more quickly. The Council's next review of the proposed changes will be in May.

Looking ahead, our work on a wide range of significant topics is in full swing. Next week the Council will discuss whether to extend the development moratorium for another six months, rate changes for City water and sewer customers, planning for Sustainable Transportation, and proposed changes to our subdivision regulations. The following week  (March 26), the Council will consider whether to approve the formal purchase and sale agreement for the Harrison Medical Building, which the City plans to renovate into a new Police Station and Municipal Court. 

These are complex and interesting discussions. If you would like to learn more, please join the Council's weekly meetings in person, or visit the City's website and use our online tools to view Council meetings via live streaming, or at a later time via our video archive.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
City Council to discuss proposed utility rate increase 

The City Council will begin discussion on a proposed utility rate increase during next week's March 19 study session.    An increase would pay for rising operating costs, maintenance of facilities, and capital projects.
Last year, the City hired a consultant, Financial Consulting Solutions Group, to evaluate the rates of the water and sewer utilities and, if necessary, to make recommendations to adjust the rates.
The Utility Advisory Committee (UAC) - which provides recommendations to City Council on matters related to the City's water, sanitary sewer, storm water and other utilities - has regularly been meeting with the consultant to discuss the proposed rate changes.
During its March 7 meeting, the UAC recommended adoption of the consultant-proposed sewer and water rates. Some of the proposed rates include a proposed decrease for single-family and multi-family accounts in the Winslow sewer system and proposed increases for commercial accounts in the Winslow sewer system (e.g. restaurants, businesses, churches, schools) and all accounts in the South Island system.
See the UAC's March 7 agenda on the City's website for details on the proposed rate increase. There will also be information in the Council agenda that is published later today. If you have questions or comments, please email Public Works at .  
Apply Now: Kitsap Transit seeking BI resident to serve on Citizen Advisory Committee

Kitsap Transit is looking for a Bainbridge Island resident to fill a vacancy on its Citizen Advisory Committee for a two-year appointment. 

As part of its role, the Committee recommends plans, policies and procedures to the Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners; and provides a communication link between Bainbridge Island residents and Kitsap Transit's Directors.

The Committee meets once a month on the last Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Kitsap Transit's Administrative Office, located at 60 Washington Avenue, Suite 200 in Bremerton.

You can apply or be nominated by an existing committee member. New members must then be approved by a majority of the Transit Board at a regular meeting before beginning full participation. If you'd like to apply, contact Kitsap Transit's Executive Assistant Charlotte Sampson at  360-478-5494 or charlottesa@kitsaptransit.comLearn more here .
Council Discussion: Sandwich Board Signs

The City Council started a discussion this week about sandwich boards as part of a sign code update process.

The sign code update is in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert that states a sign code cannot regulate noncommercial signs based on the message conveyed on the sign (e.g., political signs, ideological signs, event signs, etc.). 
The Council directed staff to revise a draft ordinance (on sign code updates required by the recent court decisions) to include the City's current sandwich board regulations and then return to the Council at a future study session in early May for discussion. At that point, the Council will discuss future approaches for sandwich boards, including a public outreach process to seek feedback from the community.
The City's current sign code allows the following types of sandwich board signs:
  • Temporary off-site noncommercial sandwich board signs without a sign permit;
  • Temporary off-site commercial sandwich board signs, with a sign permit, displayed for a maximum of 36 days in a 12-month period; and
  • One on-site commercial sandwich board sign per business with a sign permit.
While the proposed update to the sign code is being considered, the City will continue to respond to health and safety complaints related to sandwich board signs.  Watch the March 12 discussion here.  
Sculpture near City Hall entrance to be removed

An art piece that has adorned the entrance to City Hall for nearly 20 years will soon be removed after showing damage due to weathering over the years. 
The City acquired the concrete sculpture from artist Gayle Bard who created the art piece when City Hall was under construction.
Bard, City staff, and the Public Art Committee (PAC) evaluated the artwork and researched options for repair.  Given the age of the piece, and the expected life cycle  for the materials, PAC and Bard recommended that the artwork be removed and destroyed.  There are several companion pieces around City Hall that appear to be sound and will remain in place.
Staff and the PAC recommended to the City Council that the site currently occupied by the damaged sculpture be used to host rotating artwork as part of an expansion of the the number of sites for the  Something New public art program.  Look for a new installation to appear in this spot, along with two additional Winslow locations, in Spring 2020.
Get Involved: Washington State Boundary Review Board seeking volunteer to fill vacancy

Are you interested in land use, boundaries, and county laws? The Washington State Boundary Review Board for Kitsap County is looking for a volunteer to fill a City-appointed seat in Kitsap County.
The Boundary Review Board reviews proposals (Notice of Intent) to annex unincorporated areas in Kitsap County into the local cities, water districts, water-sewer district, fire protection district, drainage improvement district, drainage and diking improvement district, flood control zone district, irrigation district, metropolitan park district, or public utility district engaged in water distribution within Kitsap County.
What a possible board member will need to know:
  • The position is a three-year term.
  • Meetings are held the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m., as needed. The board meets in the Kitsap County Commissioners Chamber, located at 619 Division Street in Port Orchard. No annexation requests - no meeting.
  • There is an annual conference that members must attend (usually held in the Fall)
  • There is a stipend when attending the meeting:
    • $55 & paid mileage.
    • The cost of the annual Boundary Review Board conference is also covered.
  • Candidates should have some sort of familiarity with county laws, an understanding of land use, boundaries, county code and land development.
If you're interested in applying, please send an email to
The candidate will be selected through a voting process by the cities of Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard and Poulsbo.
Boaters: Take a safety education course

As boating season approaches, the Bainbridge Island Police Department wants boaters to be prepared by taking a safety education course.
BIPD officers are participating in the annual " Spring Aboard" campaign, which is a nationally coordinated effort during the week of March 17-23 that aims to inform and motivate boaters to get educated in boating safety before boating season begins.
In Washington state, boaters who operate a vessel with a 15-horsepower engine - or greater - must be certified and carry a boater education card to prove they passed an accredited boating safety education course.  If boaters apply directly with the Boating Program, the one-time fee for the card is $10. More information about courses and the boater education card can be found here.
This weekend: WSP hosts free hazardous materials disposal day

Do you have any ammunition, expired flares or other hazardous materials to throw away?  WSP is hosting a free disposal day this Sunday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at WSP's district headquarters in Bremerton, located at 4811 Werner Way.

  • Ammunition, expired and/or damaged marine flares, expired and/or damaged road flares, consumer grade fireworks and reloading powders.
Not accepted:
  • Homemade bombs of any kind, homemade pipe bombs, sparkler bombs and military ordnance items of any kind. If you are in possession of any such items, please call 911. Household chemicals and paints are not among the accepted items.
BIPD gets calls all the time from people trying to dispose ammunition, so please take advantage of this event and spread the word!
City Council: On the agenda for March 19

Below are some of the topics that will be discussed during the March 19 City Council study session:
  • Update on Moratorium: Staff will present an ordinance to Council regarding a six-month moratorium extension to allow more time to complete the work plan items.
  • Subdivision update: As part of the moratorium work plan, the City is updating its subdivision regulations. The City Council will review and discuss a recommendation from the Planning Commission regarding changes to subdivision regulations. 
  • Emergency Management Briefing: Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage will provide an update to the Council on the current state of emergency preparedness on the island, and her vision for the future. 
Did you know you can receive the  Council agenda every week when it's published? Sign up for  Notify Me on the City's website-- select "City Council Meeting Notifications." You can get the updates by text or email.
City's water resources staff participate in environmental conference

More than 100 people attended the environmental conference last weekend at IslandWood, hosted by Association of Bainbridge Communities (ABC), that focused on water resources. 

Below is a brief summary of the event from the City's Water Resources Technician Christian Berg:

The conference went very well and was an important opportunity for the City to partner with ABC and to work toward our joint goals of improving water quality and protecting water quantity on Bainbridge Island. 

As City representatives, Stella (Collier) and I were able to share our expertise and educate the public as well as allowing time to listen to public questions and concerns about water quality on Bainbridge Island. It is important to be able to reflect the values of the community as we perform our duties, and events like this gives us the time and space to absorb those ideas.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this important discussion.
Upcoming Events
  • Monday, March 18: Ethics Board 6:30-8 p.m. @ Council Conference Room
  • Tuesday, March 19: City Council Study Session; 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 20: Climate Change Advisory Committee; 6:15-7:30 p.m. @ Council Conference Room
  • Thursday, March 21: Environmental Technical Advisory Committee; 3-5 p.m. @ Council Conference Room
See the full calendar list here
City of Bainbridge Island