City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

I hope you are all looking forward to an extended weekend with extra time to visit with friends and family. Please note that City Hall and other City facilities will be closed Thursday and Friday this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Our Police Officers will still be on duty 24/7 as usual, as will our Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators.  A special thanks to these members of the City staff, whose critical work keeps them at their post while the rest of us enjoy a short break.

At the business meeting this week, the Council approved the Race Equity Task Force recommendation to engage the Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) for a series of technical assistance workshops. The Council also approved changes to the City's Ethics Program, and moved forward the Cultural Funding Advisory Committee's recommendation for $300,000 in City funding to local nonprofits to support cultural activities in 2020-2021. The Council discussed changes to extend an element of the City's Housing Design Demonstration Project (HDDP) program, and moved this item forward for approval at the Dec. 10 business meeting.  A number of other topics were also discussed, including the upcoming removal of several dead or hazardous trees at Waterfront Park, options related to a Shade Covenant on the City's Crawford farm property, and a resolution relating to clean fuel standards.

At the study session next week, the Council will receive the results of a greenhouse gas inventory for the community, and will discuss goals for the Climate Action Plan that is being developed by the City's Climate Change Advisory Committee. The Council will also consider an option to cover the Town Square area used by the Farmers Market, and will discuss a proposed Community Bill of Rights.

For more information on some of these items and other topics, please read below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Council approves six-month moratorium on storage facilities

The City Council has approved a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of applications for self-service storage facilities. 

The moratorium applies to areas zoned as Business/Industrial and Neighborhood Centers (Lynwood Center, Island Center, and Rolling Bay). Self-service storage facilities are already prohibited in other zones. When discussing the moratorium, Council cited concerns about preserving these zoning areas for activities with the greatest potential for job creation and business enterprise.
The moratorium, approved at the Nov. 26 business meeting, is effective immediately and will remain in effect for six months unless terminated early, or extended, by further Council action. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held in the next 60 days.

here  to watch the Nov. 26 discussion.
Scope of development moratorium to narrow next week

On Dec. 4, the scope of the development moratorium, which has been in place since Jan. 9 2018, will significantly narrow. From that point forward, the moratorium will apply only within the Winslow Master Plan Study Area (WMPSA), excluding:
  • Central Core Overlay District (red area in map)
  • Projects that provide 10% of the total residential units as affordable
  • Subdivisions
Development projects in the WMPSA that already completed a pre-application meeting before Jan. 9, 2018 are also not subject to the moratorium. 
The moratorium will remain in effect until April 3, 2020. The remaining four months of the moratorium will allow City Council to continue work to develop new incentives for affordable housing, including possible inclusionary zoning and multifamily tax exemption programs. If Council completes the remaining affordable housing tasks before the April deadline, then the moratorium could be lifted early.
Staff will provide an update on the moratorium workplan to City Council during the Dec. 3 study session.
Click here for more information on the development moratorium.
Public hearing on Winslow Hotel set for Dec. 19

A public hearing on the Winslow Hotel is scheduled before the Hearing Examiner Thursday, Dec.19 at 10 a.m. at the Council Chambers. 

On Monday, the City of Bainbridge Island issued its State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) decision on the Winslow Hotel project. Click here to read the attached decision with conditions (see Notice of Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance 112519).   Please note that this  represents only the SEPA conditions.  The Planning & Community Development Director's recommendation to the Hearing Examiner may include additional proposed conditions that may be imposed if the project receives approval by the Hearing Examiner.  

The SEPA decision has a 14-day appeal period, which ends Monday, Dec. 9. If the project is appealed, the appeal and project hearing will be heard by the Hearing Examiner at the Dec. 19 public hearing.

The Director's recommendation will be included in the Staff report to the Hearing Examiner, which is available the Friday before the hearing (Dec.13).

The Hearing Examiner provides a written finding within 10 working days of the public hearing, unless a longer period is agreed upon by the Hearing Examiner and the applicant. The Hearing Examiner is the final decision of the City, and does include an appeal period.
Climate report: energy use accounts for top community, City emissions

A greenhouse gas emissions report performed for the City of Bainbridge Island has revealed that consumption of electricity in our homes and commercial buildings accounts for 55% of the Bainbridge Island community's overall emissions and 66% of the City's emissions.

The City of Bainbridge Island worked with Cascadia Consulting Group to complete a comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory as part of the City's commitment to reduce emissions and lead on climate action. Greenhouse gases , such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases, trap heat in the atmosphere. The report, which used a wide variety of data compiled by City staff and analyzed by the consultants, quantifies the amount of climate pollution produced by an entity. As the City and Bainbridge Island community consider how to understand and reduce its GHG emissions, this information will help track progress and inform decisions.

The City Council launched the project to develop a Bainbridge Island GHG inventory in 2017, as part of a series of climate change initiatives that included the creation of a Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the request for that committee to develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP), a City policy document that will guide the City's planning and analysis for future projects.

Community Emissions

The GHG inventory found that from 2014 to 2018, building energy use had the highest greenhouse gas emissions for the overall community. Residential energy (37%) was responsible for the greatest proportion of communitywide emissions, followed by non-residential energy (14%), air travel (13%), and on-road vehicles (12%).

The 2018 emissions results showed a 9% overall increase over 2014 emissions, with a primary reason being changes in electricity fuel sources (e.g., proportion of coal in the utility fuel mix) and growth in population and employment. Improvements in vehicle fuel economy, reductions in the distance each person drives, and declining per-household and per-business energy consumption on Bainbridge Island softened the extent of those increases.

City Emissions

Emissions from the City of Bainbridge Island activities - which only make up about 1% of the total community emissions - increased 11% from 2014 to 2018. The emissions are largely from energy needed to power municipal buildings, equipment and vehicles. The City did see small reductions in streetlight and traffic signal use and fleet vehicle fuel economy. The City will consider actions for reducing emissions from increasing sources, such as transferring to a low-carbon electricity fuel mix and decreasing the amount of vehicle travel.

Next steps

The City will use the report to focus climate action efforts. This will include the development of the CAP to establish goals for the City's municipal carbon emissions, or reductions, and provide input to other aspects of community leadership such as development regulations and planning for capital projects.

Cascadia Consulting Group will present the GHG inventory findings to City Council during the Dec. 3 study session.

In addition, the CCAC will host two workshops to provide the community an opportunity to learn about the climate impact study and to provide input on a draft CAP for the City. The workshops will be held:
  • Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall 
  • Wednesday Dec. 11 at Bainbridge High School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the library reading room.
"This first report represents an important outcome of work started by the City Council, the City's Climate Change Advisory Committee, and City staff more than a year ago," said Deputy City Manager Ellen Schroer. "The report is a valuable tool to help engage the community in thinking about local climate change impacts."

Click here to read the full report (scroll down to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory section).
Police Sergeant to receive award for mental illness work

Sgt. Trevor Ziemba was selected to receive the 2019 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Washington Criminal Justice Public Service Award.

According to a letter from NAMI Washington Executive Director Lauren Simonds, Ziemba was nominated by Kimberly Hendrickson, City of Poulsbo Housing, Health & Human Services Program Manager, for his "tireless dedication in advocating for better mental health care and crisis intervention and de-escalation services in Kitsap County."
The Criminal Justice Public Service Award recognizes an individual or group in the area of criminal justice who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the decriminalization of mental illness as well as leadership in seeking change and improving the mental health system, the letter added.
"I am honored and humbled to be recognized by an organization that strives to support and embrace those with mental illness," Ziemba said. "I am just one of thousands of officers and deputies in this state who partner with NAMI to diminish the stigma of mental illness and increase the resources to support those with mental illness in our community."

Click here to learn more about Sgt. Ziemba's efforts. 
Council considers extension of HDDP affordable housing incentive program

This week, City Council continued consideration of an extension for the City's Housing Design Demonstration Project (HDDP) program, an affordable housing incentive program that is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2019. The proposed extenstion of the HDDP program is related to planning for the City's  Suzuki affordable housing project. The Suzuki project may use the HDDP program to access density bonuses to allow an increased number of housing units. 

At the Nov. 26 meeting, Council revised the proposed HDDP extension in several ways. First, the extension would now only apply to Tier 3 projects.  The remaining components (Tier 1, 2 and 4) would expire as scheduled on Dec. 31.  Second, affordable housing units provided under the HDDP program must now be structured to be permanently affordable.  Currently, affordable units within HDDP program are required to maintain affordability for 20 years.
The next step will be for Council to consider approval of the HDDP program extension for Tier 3 only at the Dec. 10 business meeting.


In October, Council decided to extend the City's HDDP program through Dec. 31, 2021 and to remove a requirement that HDDP projects must be 100% affordable. The proposed changes (Ordinance 2019-32) were then referred to the Planning Commission for a recommendation.
During the  Nov. 7 public hearing, the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of Ordinance 2019-32. Additionally, the Commission recommended that Council direct the Planning Commission and staff to draft an interim affordable housing ordinance that includes density incentives to promote affordable housing and green building.
Currently, the HDDP program ( BIMC 2.16.020.S) promotes development of green 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 HDDP program includes a three-tier structure that pegs incentives to higher levels of green building, sustainable development, and housing diversity. Tier 2 HDDP development projects must integrate 10% of units as affordable housing, and Tier 3 HDDP development projects require at least 50% of units to be designated as affordable housing. The three tiers of the HDDP program have been in place since the program's inception in 2009. The decision to limit projects to those with 100% in affordable housing was added in 2018 while the City was in the process of updating its subdivision design standards.
The Council's changes to the HDDP program 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. In late August, the Council approved moving forward with a site plan that includes 100 housing units.  The ability to move forward with 100 units on the Suzuki property is dependent on the project's HDDP Tier 3 eligibility, which would allow additional development above base zoning. 
In addition to consideration of the HDDP extension, Council is also considering whether to evaluate other site plan options that would reduce the number of housing units.  Additional discussion on Suzuki site plan options is scheduled for the Council business meeting on Dec. 10.
Council discusses Shade Covenant on public farmland

During the Nov. 26 business meeting, City Council continued discussion on moving forward with options to comply with the terms of a long-standing shade covenant on one of the City's public farmland sites. If a compromise can't be reached with the neighboring property owner, the Council has approved the removal of approximately 93 trees over 30 feet tall from a buffer area, in lieu of either topping these trees, or undertaking a more extensive clearing effort.
The City of Bainbridge Island and an adjacent property owner have 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.
In early 2018, the neighboring property owners requested that the City comply with the terms of the S hade C ovenant. Since then, the City and neighbors have been discussing options for complying with the Shade Covenant, including removing or topping certain trees on the Crawford Property and other scenarios.
In October, the Council directed staff to offer a financial settlement to the adjacent property owner as a possible solution to address the trees, but the neighboring property owner declined a financial settlement in lieu of tree removal and has raised additional issues for discussion. A final alternative is still under development. If mutally agreeable alternatives to the planned tree removal can be identified, the City will consider th ese options as well. 
The work to remove all trees over 30 feet tall in the buffer area has an estimated cost of $80,000 to $90,000 (ongoing costs will vary with level of maintenance). In future years, other trees will need to be removed, pruned, or otherwise managed in future years at additional expense to ensure continued compliance with the requirements of the Shade Covenant.

City staff and Council discussed options for complying with the Shade Covenant on  July 16, Oct. 1, and Nov. 26. Click here to watch the latest discussion.
Council approves six-month landmark tree extension

The City Council approved a six-month extension of the landmark tree ordinance that is currently set to expire Dec. 26. The extension will allow staff time to draft additional regulations for the Council's consideration regarding the preservation of trees.  

Currently, the landmark tree regulations apply only to the Winslow Master Plan Study Area (WMPSA), which includes the downtown core and nearby residential areas. The Council narrowed the ordinance in June 2019 to apply only in the WMPSA in response to public comment from property owners and Puget Sound Energy about the difficulty meeting the requirements of the regulations. Overall, the WMPSA is more urbanized and less forested than the rest of the island. 

Council will consider final approval of the extension during the Dec. 10 business meeting.
Learn more  here
Staff to discuss traffic safety project options

Earlier this year, the City Council earmarked a portion of the City's   Transportation Benefit Fund (TBF) fees, or car tabs, for the implementation of a traffic calming program and enhancement of Kitsap Transit's BI Ride service by increasing the car-tab fees from $20 to $30. The passage of Initiative 976 discontinues the City's ability to collect car-tab fees after December 2019, so staff is preparing to make a recommendation to the Council on how to best use the $66,000 of one-time funds collected to implement a limited number of traffic calming measures.
During the Dec. 3 study session, staff will discuss with Council two potential investments in traffic calming. The first will include installation of four radar-feedback signs around the island to reinforce recently lowered speed limits and slow traffic entering congested areas. These signs, which have been implemented successfully in front of Bainbridge High School, have a proven record of reducing traffic speeds. 
Staff is also recommending implementing a pilot project for artistic street painting modeled after a program adopted successfully in Seattle. Neighborhood volunteers and community members could make suggestions for street painting designs and locations, and implement their projects with support from the City. See the Council agenda for more information when it's published later today.
Council to consider option for Town Square cover

The City Council will consider a retractable shade as an option for a cover over Town Square - the area where the Farmers Market is located between City Hall and Bainbridge Performing Arts  - that would allow the space to be more suitable for year-round social events, and keep Farmers Market patrons dry in the early spring and late fall. 
When the Council adopted the 2019-2020 budget, one of the improvements on the capital projects list was the investigation into a rain cover for the Town Square.
One of the complexities of the project is that stormwater facilities are located in the area below the ground at Town Square. This makes installing foundations for structures somewhat difficult.
Another issue that has emerged in the project planning phase is cost. The estimated cost of a permanent cover, even those made with lower cost materials such as tented fabric, is considerably higher than the $65,000 provided in the City's budget. 
During the Dec. 3 study session, City staff will present to Council a retractable shade option that - while still costing more than the available funds - is a reasonable alternative that could be feasibly constructed on the site. 
New staff on the COBI team and a promotion

Please help us welcome new staff to the COBI team and congratulate one on a promotion! Pictured clockwise from top left:

Melanie Dalton joined the team this month as the new Information Technology Manager. Melanie previously worked with Kitsap Public Health in various IT roles for many years - as a systems analyst, with significant network and public records roles, and as the IT manager. She's also held IT roles in the private sector, including running her own business and serving as an adjunct professor. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree from Chapman University and a master's degree in engineering management from City University.

Arborist Nick Snyder joined the Planning & Community Development team in October.  Nick comes to the City with approximately eight years of experience as an arborist performing duties such as educating clients about the best course of action on their trees, performing inspections, risk assessments and offering strategic pruning advice. He  reviews permit applications for compliance with the City's various tree regulations while providing education and outreach about best practices for tree care and maintenance. Nick earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington.

Ofc. Zach Burnham joined the Police Department in October. Zach worked as an officer with the Roswell Police Department in Georgia for two years. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Point Loma Nazarene University in California.

Dave Greetham was promoted in October from Interim Planning Manager to  Planning Manager for the Planning & Community Development Department. Dave joined the City of Bainbridge Island as a Senior Planner in 2017. He previously worked for Kitsap County as an Environmental Planner and Planning Supervisor, and Jefferson County as a Planning Manager. Dave graduated from the University of Washington and grew up in the Gig Harbor area. 
Help bring joy to seriously ill children this holiday season 

We're accepting donations at City Hall for the Kidzz Helping Kidzz toy drive. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and place it in the collection box in the lobby. 

Kidzz Helping Kidzz is a nonprofit organization that was created by 10-year-old Zachary Darner of Bremerton to help bring joy, hope and celebration to children in their time of need. 

When Zach's younger brother, Noah, was seriously ill and hospitalized a few years ago, Zach realized that some kids have very little to look forward to during the holiday season and wanted to help them feel less scared. In an effort to help, Zach and his family created the Kidzz Helping Kidzz organization, which aims to provide toys for at least 5,000 sick children spending the holidays at Harrison Hospital, Seattle Children's Hospital and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. 

The organization is looking for new toys appropriate for kids ages 2 to 16 (new books, tables, games, sports equipment, etc.).  Gifts will be picked up Thursday, Dec. 19.  Thank you in advance for your generous contribution!
Looking Ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Dec. 3 study session. 
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory report
  • Traffic Calming Program next steps
  • Update on the development moratorium
  • Review option for Town Square cover
  • Discuss Community Bill of Rights
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).

Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Thursday, Nov. 28 & Friday, Nov. 29: City Hall closed for Thanksgiving holiday
  • Saturday, Nov. 30: S'mores with the Squad; 7 to 8 p.m. at Waterfront Park
  • Thursday, Dec. 12: Planning & Community Development and Public Works-Engineering counters will be closed for process improvements 
  • Saturday, Dec. 7: Community Climate Workshop; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall
  • Wednesday Dec. 11: Community Climate Workshop; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge High School library reading room
Click  here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island