City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

As the City starts off the new year of 2020, staff are playing a role in all manner of topics and concerns, ranging from global impacts to very local, hands-on tasks. We are working towards key initiatives related to climate change, while also preparing for the possibility of ice and snow on our roads next week. We are launching an ambitious Sustainable Transportation Plan project and, at the same time, checking the painted pavement markings on the island's roads. We are beginning the work to develop a new Green Building Code, while also setting up workspaces for new employees. The variety and significance of the City's business makes this a unique place to work at any time, and our expectations for an interesting 2020 are high.

One of the most important areas of focus this year will be the work with Council, community and staff to build the next biennial budget, which will cover activities in 2021 and 2022. Roughly ten years ago, the City moved to a two-year, biennial budget cycle. This biennial approach is more efficient than having a budget process every year. It also makes the budget process in alternating years particularly significant.

Budget development in our organization takes a full year to complete and begins in Q1 with direction from the City Council about high-level policy priorities and initiatives. That direction guides decisions about what to include or change with the City's capital plans, which constitutes a major part of our discretionary spending. The Council's direction is also critical as we examine City staffing, so we can understand whether we have the capacity to deliver on the projects and activities that are highest priority, alongside the City's day-to-day service delivery. City staffing makes up roughly two-thirds of the General Fund budget. If we hire additional staff, we have more hands available to deliver the projects and services that we provide to the community. However, we have to balance this desire for increased capacity against the City's revenue realities. At the end of 2019, several of the City's General Fund revenue categories are either flat or trending downward, and overall revenue growth is currently expected to roughly match inflation. These are the realities that will make our next budget both interesting and challenging.

The new City Council held its first meeting this week and continued work on several important topics already in progress. Later in Q1, the Council will hold an annual planning retreat, during which they will provide guidance on what key areas of focus will be going forward. This information will be used to inform budget development, so we can plan together how to best use the City's resources to deliver high-quality service and continue to move forward with key community priorities.

The Council study session this week began with the oath of office for Councilmembers Hytopoulos, Medina, Pollock and Schneider. The Council then selected Leslie Schneider as the Mayor and Rasham Nassar as the Deputy Mayor. The Council discussed next steps for the Suzuki affordable housing project, reviewed Council liaison assignments, affirmed the Council's top priorities for the coming year and reviewed the City staff 2020 workplan priorities. Click here to watch the discussion.

For more information on next week's topics and other items, please see below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Residents urged to prepare for expected winter storm

The National Weather Service is forecasting subfreezing temperatures beginning Sunday through most of next week. Snowfall is also expected during that time. 

City emergency management is planning to activate the Severe Weather Shelter at the Senior Center Sunday through Thursday. Activation information will be shared daily via Nixle (City's emergency alert system).  You can sign up for the free service on the  Nixle website  or by texting 98110 to 888777.

The Public Works Streets/Facilities crew is preparing equipment for the upcoming snow and cold weather event. Public Works has additional people on standby today through the weekend to respond if needed.

Please use this weekend to check your emergency supplies and stock up on food and water. 

Click here to learn more about the City's winter weather preparedness and response.
Planning Commission to create ADU subcommittee

During its Jan. 9 meeting, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and discussed proposed rules for accessory dwelling units (ADU), which include provisions for tiny houses.

During the discussion, the Planning Commission decided to form a temporary subcommittee to further discuss lot coverage, affordability, owner occupancy and zoning for ADUs. The temporary subcommittee will also discuss options for tiny house and short-term rental regulations. The subcommittee work will be brought back to the full Planning Commission for further consideration. 
The proposed new regulations (Ordinance 2020-02) 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. 

Additionally, the new regulations would allow tiny houses (400 square feet or less) as a type of legal dwelling. The Washington State Building Code Council published updated building code requirements for tiny houses at the end of 2019.
The City Council worked throughout 2019 to develop proposed changes related to ADUs and tiny houses. The Council approved an ordinance to send to Planning Commission at the Council's  Oct. 22, 2019 business meeting .

Once the Planning Commission completes its review and recommendation, then the ordinance will return to the Council for final approval. 
City Council to continue discussion on Suzuki project options

During the Jan. 7 study session, t he City Council agreed to schedule additional discussion on the Suzuki affordable housing project for a future study session. At that time, Council will review the goals for the project that were captured in Resolution 2018-03 and will discuss what current goals should be.
City seeking green building experts for new task force

We're looking for nine qualified people to serve on the Green Building Task Force, a newly formed committee designed by the City Council to recommend green building initiatives (including what should be mandatory and voluntary) and suggest a model green building ordinance.
Applicants should have demonstrated experience in the application of green building codes in the following areas:
  • Design sector
  • Material and component manufacturing and supply
  • Construction sector
  • Research sector
  • Green roof industry sector
  • Renewable energy industry sector
  • Energy efficiency industry sector
  • Water quality/capture requirements
The Council identified the effort to develop Green Building policies as a top priority to implement the Comprehensive Plan. The changes are intended to encourage an increased use of sustainable materials and environmentally efficient design elements. Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by efficiently using energy, water and other resources.
Task Force members will be appointed by the City Council and will serve for at least six months. Councilmember Joe Deets will serve as a liaison.
Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31. Interviews will be held in February.

Click here to apply.
Staff to request budget amendment for Wyatt Way safety improvement project

City staff will update the City Council on the Wyatt Way reconstruction and safety improvement  project during the Jan. 14 business meeting and request a roughly $440,000 project budget amendment. The additional funds will cover water system improvements and allow for project contingency costs that could be needed during construction. 

A central component of the project is a mini roundabout at the intersection of Wyatt Way and Madison Avenue to improve the level of service. Other improvements at the intersection include sidewalk construction and additional lighting. Bicyclists approaching the intersection will have the choice of entering the roundabout or using ramps to access the multi-use sidewalks and crosswalks. The large existing trees on Wyatt Way, just west of the Madison Avenue intersection, will be preserved.

Other improvements include 5-foot wide bicycle lanes and new sidewalks reaching west along Wyatt Way, on the north and south sides, to Lovell Avenue.

There will also be improvements to the water and storm drainage systems along the corridor, including water quality improvements.  

The total project budget is estimated to be $4.3 million, of which $2.5 million is provided by state grant funds. The remaining project funding is primarily from the City's General Fund, with a small portion coming from the Water Utility Fund. During the Jan. 14 meeting, staff will request an additional $308,251 from the General Fund and $127,500 from the Water Utility Fund.

If the Council approves the budget amendment, staff anticipates advertising the project for construction in early spring of 2020 and beginning construction in early summer of 2020.
Apply Now: Serve on the Sustainable Transportation Task Force

We're looking for 15 to 20 community members to serve on the newly formed Sustainable Transportation Task Force. Volunteers should have interest and/or expertise in how we can innovate to make transportation more convenient on the island and reduce our carbon footprint.

The Task Force, which will represent a cross section of the community, will guide development of the  Sustainable Transportation Plan and ensure that the project benefits from strong support, input, and stewardship throughout the planning process. 

Learn more about the Sustainable Transportation planning effort and how to apply here.
Kitsap County Fix-It Fairs scheduled for January, April

Have a missing button on your shirt? A broken lamp? Damaged jewelry? Get the items repaired at an upcoming Kitsap County Fix-It Fair! 

Fix-It Fairs are free, family-friendly events where you can get your household stuff fixed by skilled community fixers! Kitsap County has two Fix-It Fairs currently scheduled:
  • Saturday, Jan. 25: Givens Community and Senior Center in Port Orchard from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; register here
  • Saturday, April 25: Village Green Community Center in Kingston from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; register here
Organizers would like you to register so they know what broken items you plan to bring.  Fixers can repair mendable clothing and textiles, lamps, small appliances, small electronics, furniture, jewelry, bicycles, toys, outdoor equipment, and more. 

Only bring small items that can be easily carried by one person. Do not bring items that are leaking, dangerous, contain gasoline/fuel, or have a strong odor. Other restrictions may apply. Wash clothing/textiles before bringing them. If an item needs a specialized part, bring the part with you. Repairs are not guaranteed.

Fix-It Fairs are a pilot project of Zero Waste Washington, Kitsap County, and members of the Kitsap County community.  Funding is provided through a Public Participation Grant from the Department of Ecology.  Click here to learn more.
Looking Ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics scheduled for the Jan. 14 business meeting:
  • Proclamation recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 
  • Public hearing on the six-month storage facilities moratorium
  • Discussion on whether the City should use existing fund balance to support the 2020 workplan for maintaining and repairing the City's roads following the passage of Initiative 976
  • Wyatt Way safety improvement project
Following the completion of the business meeting, the Council will hold a separate special meeting to discuss topics related to Council procedures, roles of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and planning for the Council's annual retreat and  Ward meetings.

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).

Municipal Court Judge Sara McCulloch administers the oath of office to new Councilmember Kirsten Hytopoulos during a swearing-in ceremony for the new Bainbridge Island City Council at City Hall Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Municipal Court Judge Sara McCulloch administers the oath of office to new Councilmember Michael Pollock.

Upcoming Events & Meetings  
  • Saturday, Jan. 11 & Sunday, Jan. 12:
    BI Zero Waste Styrofoam & CD/DVD Recycling Collection at Bay Hay and Feed barn; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Details  here .
  • Sunday, Jan. 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art; Details here
Click here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island