City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

By now, island residents who are registered to vote should have received Voters Pamphlets and ballots from the Kitsap County Auditor's Office. It's an important election year for our community. Four of our seven City Council positions are on the ballot, along with several important State measures.
One of these measures is Initiative 976, which concerns motor vehicle taxes and fees, often known as "car-tab" fees. I hope all Bainbridge voters will take the time to educate themselves on the local significance of I-976. If I-976 is approved, the impact to the City of Bainbridge Island will be a loss of $400,000 in annual funding that we use to support annual maintenance of the island's extensive road network. Passage of I-976 will also mean that the City will lose an additional $200,000 per year that is intended to support expanded Kitsap Transit services via the BI Ride Program, smaller neighborhood traffic calming projects, and projects to encourage climate-friendly transportation options.
The City's website provides some additional factual information on the impact to our local services from this measure, as well as the potential impact I-976 would have on regional transportation including the Washington State Ferries system and State highways and bridges. Please click here or read below to learn more.
More generally, please remember how important it is that you do vote. In the both the November 2015 and November 2017 general elections, the voter turnout for Bainbridge Island was significantly higher than overall turnout in Kitsap County. The countywide turnout was just under 40% in both years, while the Bainbridge Island turnout was 55% in 2015 and 53% in 2017. Having said that, I think we can do better. Past community surveys have indicated that -- compared to other similar cities across the US -- Bainbridge Island is a community that demonstrates an exceptionally high level of volunteerism and civic engagement. It's a distinction of which we should all be proud. Please take the opportunity to extend that energy to your November ballot and the chance to weigh in on important issues and races.
At the business meeting this week, the Council completed new rules for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and tiny houses, and forwarded these to the Planning Commission for review. The Council also identified changes to extend the City's Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program through 2021, and to remove the requirement that HDDP only apply to projects with 100% affordable housing units. These changes will now move to the Planning Commission for review. The Council continued its review of proposed changes to the City's Ethics Program, discussed the planned process for renewal of the City's electricity franchise agreement with PSE, and approved a $72,000 funding request from Friends of the Farms for operating support for activities in 2020. Please see below for more information on these items and other topics of interest.
There is no Council meeting scheduled for next week. Council will hold its next meeting on Nov. 5.
Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Get the facts on Initiative 976

If you've had a chance to look over your ballot, then you've likely seen statewide Initiative 976 among the many initiatives that you'll decide. 

We want to make sure people in our community are aware of the facts on I-976 and how it would affect Bainbridge Island. 

I-976, described as the "$30 car-tab initiative," is a ballot measure that would cause the City of Bainbridge Island to lose about $600,000 per year if passed by statewide voters during the November election. If I-976 is approved, it would result in the repeal of all local Transportation Benefit District (TBD) fees. 

For Bainbridge Island, the fees provide $400,000 for annual pavement repairs (asphalt repairs, chip sealing) and $200,000 per year in funding for traffic calming measures and expanding public transit services. Click  here to learn more how I-976 would affect Bainbridge Island.

Ballots must be received at the ballot drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in order to be counted. If you send your ballot by mail, make sure it's postmarked no later than Nov. 5.  No postage is required. Click here to read the Kitsap County local voters pamphlet and more. 
Council forwards new rules for ADUs, tiny houses to Planning Commission

Photo Courtesy: American Tiny House Association
The Planning Commission will soon begin review of the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) rules.

The new regulations (Ordinance 2019-09), discussed at the Oct. 22 City Council business meeting, require common ownership of the primary residence and ADU, and remove the ADU from lot coverage calculations for properties less than 40,000 square feet.

If approved, the new regulations would also allow one tiny house, a dwelling that does not exceed 400 square feet, in lieu of one traditional-sized ADU.

Tiny houses will need to meet the same requirements as ADUs for parking spaces, placement, and access. T he municipal code requires one parking space be provided for an ADU in addition to one or two parking spaces required for the primary dwelling. 

The Planning Commission will begin review of Ordinance 2019-09 at its Nov. 7 meeting. Once the Planning Commission completes its review and recommendation, then the ordinance will return to the Council for final approval.  Click here to watch the Oct. 22 City Council discussion.
Mark your calendar: Moratorium workshops

Staff will host two open houses to share information on the development moratorium workplan items and common questions about planning and building. The workshops will be held Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at City Hall
  • First Hour: Staff will provide an overview of the development moratorium workplan and presentation on the new subdivision regulations and design guidelines.
  • Second Hour: Staff will explain how to navigate the Planning & Community Development Department. They'll briefly explain the permit process, how to research the status of a permit and your own property, how to stay informed on PCD projects, and more.
  • Final Hour: There will be booths with staff available for the public to ask questions, including information on tree regulations, permits, committees, moratorium topics, and more.
If you have questions about the moratorium or upcoming workshops, please contact PCD staff at
City Council approves changes to affordable housing program

During the Oct. 22 business meeting, City Council moved forward two changes to the Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program ordinance. The changes are proposed to support the selected site plan for the affordable housing project the City intends to develop at the Suzuki site, a 14-acre property at the intersection of New Brooklyn and Sportsman Club Road.

The changes include extending the HDDP program through 2021 and removing a requirement that HDDP projects must be 100% affordable. 

The ability to move forward with 100 units on the Suzuki property is dependent on the project's HDDP eligibility, which would allow additional development above base zoning.

The HDDP program promotes development of innovative residential housing projects to provide a greater diversity of housing options and affordability while utilizing progressive sustainable development practices. The HDDP program is only available within the Winslow Study Area of the Winslow Master Plan and the Winslow Sanitary Sewer System Service Area.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the the HDDP ordinance Nov. 7 and will develop a recommendation for Council.

Click here to watch the Oct. 22 discussion.
City Council approves Friends of Farms funding request

At the Oct. 22 business meeting, the City Council approved the Friends of the Farms request for $72,000 in funding to support activities in 2020. Friends of the Farms manages 60 acres of City-owned farmland and undertakes associated activities related to local agriculture. Popular programs provided and managed by FOF include the p-patch program, housing for eight farming interns, and support for the sublessees on the public farmland. Friends of the Farms also organizes the annual Harvest Fair and advocates for local food availability. 
In addition to the support paid to Friends of the Farms, the City also budgets $40,000 for annual repair and maintenance as well as one-time projects on the farms.  Average City spending on the farmland over the past four years has been roughly $120,000 per year, which does not include any payment to the Friends of the Farms.

The 2020 payment continues financial support to Friends, which started in 2019. 

The Council also decided to form an Ad Hoc committee to discuss possible future changes to the relationship between the City and Friends of the Farms, which may include revising or replacing the Master Lease signed in 2011. The Council will identify members of the Ad Hoc committee later in 2019 and expects the work of the committee to take place in the first half of 2020, in anticipation of more discussion and planning ahead of the next biennial budget process.

Click here to watch the Oct. 22 discussion.
DNR investigating incident at Cooke Aquaculture net pen facility

A Bainbridge Island resident brought to our attention that staff from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were on site this week at Cooke Aquaculture's net pen facility on the south end of Bainbridge Island.

Below is information from the DNR regarding the response:
  • DNR was notified pontoons that supported part of the Orchard Rocks net pens malfunctioned Sunday, and sent someone out to oversee the response on behalf of DNR, Department of Ecology and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • Cooke brought in contractors to repair the pontoons.They found a dime-sized hole in one of the pontoons and repairs were completed Tuesday.
  • The net pen structure features 10 cages, arranged in two rows. There were salmon in two of the 10 cages at the north end of the array, but no salmon in the other eight cages.
  • The pontoon malfunction was on the southeast corner.
  • DNR hasn't seen any evidence that Atlantic salmon escaped.
  • DNR is now investigating the incident, including ultrasound scans of the pontoons, as well as Cooke's response. 
City staff will continue to work with DNR to stay apprised of the status of the repairs, and will share information as it becomes available.
Looking Ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Nov. 5 City Council study session. Please note that this meeting will begin at 5 p.m. due to the election.
  • Green Building Code
  • Race Equity Task Force workplan update
  • Moratorium update
  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).
Volunteers complete emergency response team training

Thirty-five community members have joined the ranks as emergency management volunteers following extensive training for the Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs. The new members now join a team of 260 volunteers who serve on emergency response teams, which are integral in the aftermath of a disaster.
"I have so much respect for the difficult work that emergency medical providers do, and I feel ready to use the skills taught in this course to serve alongside them," said Councilmember Joe Deets who completed the WFR training.
Deets was among 20 people who participated in the two-week WFR program, joining the Bainbridge Island Emergency Medical Responders (BIEMR) team. BIEMR team members are trained in advanced first aid and help provide medical care at Hubs (emergency shelters) after a disaster. They help provide care when first responders are overwhelmed and also assist those who don't necessarily need to go to a hospital or to the disaster medical clinic. BIEMR team members are also active in the community throughout the year; providing first aid support at numerous community events.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the WFR course and recommend anyone who is seriously interested in learning how to help another person who is experiencing a medical issue to take it," said Deets. "No prior medical knowledge or training is needed, just an enthusiasm to learn and willingness to get your hands dirty."
Graduates of the Community Emergency Response Team.
Fifteen people graduated from the recent CERT training. CERT members help in their immediate neighborhood and are trained to assist with light search and rescue and basic first aid. CERT members may also help connect people, who need additional assistance, to their local Hub, provide crowd control and traffic control support to law enforcement, and other key tasks following a disaster.
The other emergency teams include: Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Bainbridge Island Emergency Auxiliary Radio Service (BEARS), Flotilla, Child Safety and Family Reunification, Psychological First Aid, Domestic Animal Care, Interpretation, and Wellness.
For more information on any of these teams or upcoming training, contact Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, Oct. 26: Drug Take Back Day at Police Station, located at 625 Winslow Way E; 10 a.m. to 2 p.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