City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

This week, City employees across all departments took some time to share lunch together and hold our annual recognition for staff who have reached milestones in years of service. Overall, nearly 70% of City employees have been with the City for less than 10 years, and another 20% have worked with the organization for 20 years or longer.

This year, a fair number of folks were recognized for reaching five or 10 years with the City. We also celebrated these significant achievements:
  • 20 years - Christy Shipman (Finance), Ben Sias (Police), Carla Sias (Police),
  • 25 years - Dave Erbes (Planning), Telma de Groen (Court)
  • 35 years - Dale Johnson (Police & Public Works), Delbert Frantz (Public Works).
The City currently has 131 staff positions. This is 15% lower than the staffing we had in 2008, just prior to the significant personnel reductions necessitated by the economic downturn. Now, roughly ten years later, the island is home to 8% more residents (24,846 now compared to 22,925 in 2008) and has, I believe, increased standards for service delivery and responsiveness. We want to continue to do our work well, to be good stewards of public infrastructure and natural resources, and to meet our community's expectations for communication and timely response. To meet these goals, we need to be realistic about staffing, capacity, and priorities.

In the coming months, as we prepare to begin the next City budget cycle (for 2021 and 2022), I will be working to develop a clear message about where our most pressing needs exist, and how much we can accomplish with our existing resources. In the meantime, I hope you will share my appreciation for the great work performed by City staff throughout the year. Nearly 40% of City employees also live on Bainbridge Island, and so are friends and neighbors in addition to being public servants. Together we are all working hard to care for this community and prepare for the future.

At the business meeting this week, the Council approved new design guidelines and changes to subdivision regulations, and as a result also approved significant adjustments to narrow the development moratorium. The Council also forwarded Sign Code changes to the Planning Commission and agreed to consider approval of a proposed ban on fireworks in October.

At the study session next week, the Council will discuss next steps for the Suzuki property affordable housing project, consider a proposal from the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD) related to management of the City Dock at Waterfront Park, and will continue previous discussion on the impact of a shade covenant on the City's Crawford farm property.

Please see below for additional details on these items and other topics.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Olympic Drive project completion delayed (again)

The wet weather and delayed delivery of traffic signal equipment has set back the Olympic Drive project completion. We now anticipate completion will be in November. 

In the meantime,  crews were able to begin painting the green bike boxes and other pavement markings this week during a break from the rain, but the bike facilities will remain closed until project completion. 

Please take a few minutes to learn how to use the new facilities. Click here to watch our animated video on the improvements, and help us spread the word on Facebook to reach the passengers commuting outside of Bainbridge Island.

Once the project is complete, the City will be monitoring the area and seeking feedback from all users.
Three Days of Preparedness begins tonight with speaker series

Three Days of Preparedness begins tonight with a speaker series on wildfires and earthquakes. Dr. Erin Wirth of the U.S. Geological Survey will be joined by Chuck Turley, who is the Wildfire Division Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. 

We regret to inform you that we learned yesterday Hilary Franz will not be able to attend due to a scheduling conflict. 

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Click here for a full schedule of events throughout the weekend.
Council to discuss Suzuki project at Oct. 1 study session

The City Council will discuss the next steps for the Suzuki affordable housing project during the Oct. 1 study session.
During the Aug. 27 business meeting, the City Council approved a site plan that includes approximately 100 affordable housing units for the  Suzuki property (60 rental units, 39 units for sale and 1 management unit).  
The City owns a 14-acre property, commonly referred to as the Suzuki property, at the intersection of New Brooklyn Road and Sportsman Club Road and intends to develop a 100 percent affordable housing project. 
The Oct. 1 study session will focus on next steps and decision points related to this project. This discussion will address the implications of the City's Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) on the selected site plan, a review of the project's financial status, and an overview of the City's process to transfer ownership of real property. 
Council approves six-month moratorium extension

The City Council voted during the Sept. 24 meeting to extend the development moratorium for six months to allow City staff time to complete training on the new design guidelines and subdivision rules and conduct outreach on the changes. The extension will also give Council additional time to complete affordable housing tasks.

If Council completes the affordable housing tasks before the April 3, 2020 deadline, then the moratorium could be lifted early.

During the Sept. 24 business meeting, the Council completed moratorium workplan items for design guidelines and subdivisions.

Before finalizing the new subdivision rules, the Council discussed the issue of homesite size limits for the R-0.4 and R-1 zoning districts, which is an issue that had been previously considered. Following additional discussion at the Sept. 24 meeting, the Council decided to include a limit on maximum homesite size for these zones. Earlier this summer, the Council agreed to remove the homesite size limit for these areas. The subdivision ordinance will become effective Oct. 24.  Click here to watch the discussion.
Council moves forward proposed fireworks ban

Following public concerns this summer related to wildfire risk, noise, safety and environmental impacts, the City Council is considering a ban on the use and sale of consumer fireworks on Bainbridge Island. 

During the Sept. 24 meeting, Council voted to move the topic forward to the Oct. 8 business meeting and will consider final approval at that time. The Oct. 8 meeting will include the opportunity for additional public comment.
While the proposed ordinance bans the use and sale of consumer fireworks (firecrackers, bottle rockets, etc.), people would still be able to request a permit from the fire marshal for a public display of fireworks. If the ban is approved Oct. 8, the ordinance would take effect one year after the adoption (October 2020).
Currently, City code allows the sale of consumer fireworks within the City between the hours of 12 p.m. and 11 p.m. July 1 through July 4 each year and allows the discharge of consumer fireworks within the City for a six-hour period on July 4 of each year.
Sign code moves to Planning Commission for review

A revised ordinance with proposed rules about signs across the Island will move forward to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation.
Since September 2018, the City Council has discussed how to address signs on Bainbridge Island -- including the proliferation of sandwich boards -- during at least eight Council meetings.
Under the proposed rules,  sandwich boards in Winslow and outside Winslow in the right-of-way are allowed but must be brought in at night.
"I don't think that just limiting the hours of the sandwich board signs does anything to change the situation today and that's what we were trying to do," said Sarah Blossom who voted against the sign code ordinance. "I don't think the changes that have been made address the problem that people have come to us with."

Councilmember Joe Deets, however, said he believes the revised ordinance would help small businesses and voted to proceed with the current draft ordinance. "Let's not make life difficult for (small businesses)," Deets said. "I think this is an adequate regulation to support a core part of our community here."

City staff developed a proposal to expand wayfinding signage in Winslow as an alternative to the use of individual sandwich boards.This proposal was submitted to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) for 2020 funding consideration.

The dates for the Planning Commission's review have not been set. There will be opportunity for public comment during the Planning Commission meetings.
Advisory committee seeks input on climate change

What do you know about  the local impacts of climate change? What's your level of concern? Are you willing to support local action by the City and broader community? These are among the questions in a new survey t he City's Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) has put together to help prepare our community for a changing climate.
The CCAC, made up of community members with expertise in climate science, atmospheric science, environmental law, and more, advises the City Council on the climate-related goals and policies contained in the Comprehensive Plan.

The CCAC is working to create the City's first Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help prepare residents, businesses, and City services for a changing climate. The plan will establish a clear road map of priority actions and projects that make sense for Bainbridge Island.
Your survey input will help the CCAC determine goals, vision, targets, focus areas, and implementation strategies. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey -- click here to start now. 

The survey is open until Oct. 14.  

The CCAC will host a workshop Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall to provide the community an opportunity to learn about the climate impacts on Bainbridge Island and provide input on the CAP.  A second workshop is scheduled for Wednesday Dec. 11 at Bainbridge High School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the library reading room. 
Need a passport? Apply for one this weekend

Join Municipal Court staff for a special Passport Saturday event tomorrow! The Court (located in Rolling Bay) will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accept passport applications. NO appointment needed. Click here for the details. 
New sign along Winslow ravine

If you've walked along Winslow Way near the ravine recently, we hope you noticed a new sign sharing information about the Winslow ravine's history. 

The new sign has been a couple years in the making. In 2017, Bainbridge Islander Maradel Gale noticed the ravine sign was worn and needed to be replaced, so Water Resources Technician Christian Berg worked with a committee to design and install a new one. 

The new sign shares  interesting information about our City's geology, ecology and human history. Stop by to see it next time you're in the area!
BIPD to host 'Coffee with a Cop' Oct. 2

Join BIPD officers for a cup of coffee and conversation next Wednesday, Oct. 2 at McDonald's. 

No agenda - just get to know our officers, ask questions, or share concerns. 

The officers look forward to seeing you there!
Mark your calendar: West Sound Ecosystem Fair

Celebrate and learn about opportunities to help conserve the ecosystem that makes the West Sound a special place to live during an ecosystem fair Saturday, Oct. 12. 
Families, homeowners, and people of all ages are invited. Attendees will learn about opportunities to help conserve the West Sound's interconnected natural lands, wildlife, waterways, and aquatic species.
  • Enjoy interactive environmental education activities for all ages
  • Explore booths hosted by West Sound recovery and conservation organizations
  • Learn about challenges the community faces in protecting the ecosystem
  • Learn about programs that support property owners taking conservation actions on private land
  • Learn about conservation and citizen science volunteer opportunities
The event will be held 1-5 p.m. at South Kitsap High School, located at 425 Mitchell Ave. in 
Port Orchard. Click  here  for more details. 
Looking Ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Oct. 1 City Council study session:
  • Suzuki Affordable Housing Project
  • Discussion on Initiative 976
  • Crawford property shade covenant
  • Update on the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP)
  • BI Metro Park and Recreation proposal on management of the City Dock and boat concession
If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, click here to sign up on the City's 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).
Staff gathered for an employee appreciation luncheon at the Operations & Maintenance facility Sept. 25. City Manager Morgan Smith recognized 20 staff who have more than five years of service at the City. Of those 20 people, seven have 20 or more years of service. 

Deputy Mayor Matt Tirman and Det. Erik Peffer rank their favorite pies during the Sept. 22 Harvest Fair pie contest. 
Water Resources Technician Christian Berg shares information about the island during Harvest Fair.

Mayor Kol Medina presenting during the Sept. 21 Drive Electric Kitsap event hosted by the Climate and Energy Forum.

Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Central Ward Meeting at City Hall; 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 2: South Ward Meeting at Island Center Hall; 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 9: North Ward Meeting at Seabold Hall; 10 a.m.
Click  here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island