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News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

This past week included a couple of milestones on the calendar with the start of October. First, as we mark the turn into the last quarter of the year, City staff are taking stock of remaining priorities for 2019. In Public Works, staff are working to organize the last three months of the year to make the best use of our weather windows to complete outdoor projects like the Olympic Drive improvements, the installation of new buoys in the Dave Ullin Open Water Marina (DUOWM), and some last parts of the annual road striping and chip seal work. Similarly, we are organizing the remaining Council meeting schedules to make sure the highest priority policy tasks remain in focus. It will be a busy run from here until year end, but we are heading into this period having accomplished a great deal already and with our sights on crossing off a few more items of significance.

This week also marks the end of my first year as City Manager. It has been twelve months that spun past, with a tremendous amount of help and extra effort from the other members of your excellent City leadership team, many of whom were themselves also learning new roles. Throughout the organization this past year, I have had many hands always ready to pitch in as I learned my new job, and to provide an extra lift (or a laugh) when needed. You have a hard-working and engaged City staff. I am very proud of their level of commitment and I feel lucky to share my days with such a top-notch work family.

I also want to express my thanks for the many kind words and positive feedback I receive when I am out in the community. Whether I am grocery shopping in my weekend "mom clothes" or walking through the City Hall parking lot, I often hear from residents who want to share their appreciation for the City's work. It's my sense that this kind of personal connection happens on Bainbridge Island more than in other places. It makes me as proud of our community as I am of our City. Please know that I do my best to pass along your comments to other staff, since I am rarely the person who actually deserves the appreciation you are taking the time to share.

At the study session this week, the Council discussed next steps for the Suzuki property affordable housing project, agreed to consider options to resolve an existing shade covenant on the City's Crawford farm property, and reviewed a proposal from the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD) related to management of the City Dock at Waterfront Park.

At the business meeting next week, the Council will cover a wide range of topics, including the proposed ban on consumer fireworks, legislation to access new affordable housing funds from the State, and a design contract for the project to replace the City's water storage tank near Bainbridge High School.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Council considers changes related to Suzuki Project

The City Council discussed next steps for the Suzuki affordable housing project during the Oct. 1 study session.
The discussion addressed the intersection between the City's Housing Design Demonstration Project (HDDP) program and the project's selected site plan.  In August, 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).  Since that time, it has been clarified that the ability to move forward with 100 units on the property is dependent on the project receiving approval for additional development above base zoning through the City's HDDP program. The City's 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.
As part of the Oct. 1 discussion, City Council directed City Manager Morgan Smith to prepare an ordinance extending the HDDP, currently set to expire Dec. 31, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2021. The Council also requested the draft ordinance remove the existing requirement that a project must include 100% affordable units (pricing at or below 120% of area median income (AMI)) in order to apply for HDDP incentives. These changes are intended to allow the Suzuki project to be eligible to receive increased development density in return for providing at least 50% of the project's units as affordable housing.
Staff will return to the Oct. 22 business meeting with the draft ordinance for Council review and opportunity for public comment. If Council approves the proposed changes, the draft ordinance will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation. The Planning Commission will also schedule a public hearing on the topic.
During the Oct. 1 meeting, Council also authorized the City Manager to move forward with the process to formally "surplus" the Suzuki property. This is the procedure used by public agencies, like the City, to transfer ownership of real property and other assets. A memo outlining the steps in the surplus process was provided to the Council in the Oct. 1 agenda packet. The first step would be to hold a public hearing on whether to surplus the Suzuki property. Additional steps include the approval of a formal surplus resolution and the completion of an appraisal to determine the property's value. The Council indicated their intent to initiate the surplus process in the coming weeks.

Watch the Oct. 1 discussion here.
Get the facts: Initiative 976 and how it affects Bainbridge Island

As the Nov. 5 election nears, we want to make sure voters in our community are aware of the facts on statewide Initiative 976 (I-976) and how it affects 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 Transp ortation 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 w ould affect Bainbridge Island.
Join Us: Central Ward meeting scheduled for Saturday

If you're free Saturday morning, then consider joining your Council representatives for the quarterly Central Ward meeting. This includes Council members Rasham Nassar and Leslie Schneider and at-large representative Ron Peltier. 

The Ward meetings are an opportunity for you to meet with your elected Council members to ask questions, share concerns, and hear what your neighbors have on their mind. 

The Central Ward meeting will be held 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall. 
Council considers options for managing trees on City-owned parcel

The City Council directed staff to negotiate a financial settlement as a possible solution to address trees on a City-owned parcel that are shading an adjacent property and potentially affecting a farmer's grape harvest.

There is a legal agreement, a shade covenant signed in 2004, which limits the height of trees and vegetation to 30 feet in the northernmost 100 feet of the City-owned parcel, known as the Crawford property, located near Day Road. The neighboring property owner to the north has requested that the City comply with this agreement by removing or topping the trees that are taller than the height limit of 30 feet.
Staff worked with a professional arborist and provided Council with cost estimates for three options ( see options here) to consider how to comply with the shade covenant. The Council, however, suggested an additional option that would include a financial settlement to extinguish the shade covenant. If a settlement can't be reached between the parties, then the Council would like to pursue "Option 1" which would include the removal of 93 trees over 30 feet tall from the buffer area that is roughly 30% of the 2.3 acre Crawford parcel. The estimated one-time cost is $80,000-$96,000 and could require an estimated additional $15,000 for consulting and permitting. The ongoing costs will vary with the level of maintenance. Other trees at the site will need to be removed in future years at additional expense.
The City's Crawford property is included in the master lease with the Friends of the Farm. While the parcel is currently forested, the long-term policy for this property included in the master lease calls for agricultural use of the parcel.

The shade covenant also applies to the City's neighboring M&E property. Staff is seeking guidance related to potential future application of the shade covenant to this property, which also contains a number of large trees.
Council considers Park District proposal to manage City Dock

The City Council is considering a proposal from the BI Metro Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD) to manage the City Dock and small boat concession.

At the Oct. 1 study session, the Council discussed a proposal that BIMPRD provided earlier this year. Under the proposal, the BIMPRD would assume more general responsibilities at the City Dock, including expanded dock host services, moorage supervision, light maintenance and cleaning, and management of the small boat concession. BIMPRD proposed to add designated staff for these responsibilities in order to provide expanded services and a more consistent level of support to boaters using the City Dock. 

Some level of support is currently provided at the City Dock through seasonal volunteer "dock hosts." Maintenance of the City Dock is handled by Public Works staff. 

The BIMPRD proposal assumes that BIMPRD would retain dock moorage fees as revenue towards these operational expenses. Currently, the City receives roughly $35,000-$40,000 annually from fees related to transient moorage, trailer parking, launch ramp use, and annual trailer passes.

The City currently has a concession agreement with a local company, Exotic Aquatics, to provide small boat rentals at the Dock during the boating season . That agreement is set to expire Dec. 31, 2019 but is eligible to be renewed for an additional year. Additional discussion on this topic is planned for a future Council agenda.
Next week: Council to consider additional funding request for pre-design of water tank replacement

The City Council will consider an additional funding request to support pre-design work on the Winslow water tank replacement project.

The tank, one of two located near the Commodore neighborhood (shown in black circle), was built in 1973 and needs to be replaced due to structural and capacity issues. The City is exploring options to replace the tank.

In September 2017, the Council approved a Professional Services Agreement (PSA) for $84,600 to begin work evaluating the conditions of the existing water storage tanks and alternatives for addressing the tank's replacement. The contract work also included evaluation of three alternatives for storage tank replacement types. The additional funding request is $55,100 from the water fund to develop a pre-design concept and report that will be reviewed by the Washington State Department of Health before moving ahead with the final design.
Next week: Council considers final approval of fireworks ban 

If you have any thoughts on the Council's proposed fireworks ban, then next week's Oct. 8 business meeting will be your final opportunity to share your opinion. The Council will consider final approval of the fireworks ban during the Oct. 8 meeting.

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

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Oct. 8 City Council business meeting:
  • Proclamations recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day & National Community Planning Month
  • Final consideration on banning the sale and use of fireworks
  • Collective bargaining agreement between the City and Police Guild
  • Consideration of funding request on design contract for the water tank replacement project

 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).
Court staff processed 45 passports during the Sept. 28 Passport Saturday event. If you couldn't make it, then schedule an appointment for your passport application. Click here for details.

Harbormaster Tami Allen worked with a team of volunteers at Hawley Cove Park on Saturday during the Bainbridge Beach Cleanup. The group found a dinghy, tarps, at least three tires, lots of Styrofoam, and more. Thanks to all helping to keep our shorelines clean! 

Approximately 350 people attended Expo Day at City Hall Sept. 28 as part of Three Days of Preparedness.

Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Central Ward Meeting at City Hall; 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 10: Planning & Community Development counter closed for process improvement day
  • Thursday, Oct. 17: ShakeOut Earthquake Drill; at 10:17 a.m., all Nixle subscribers will get an alert to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" as part of an earthquake drill
  • 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