City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

This week, our Planning and Community Development Director Gary Christensen announced his resignation with plans to retire and return to his Montana roots. Gary has led the department since 2016. Since that time, the City took on a wide range of significant and high-profile initiatives on land use policy and community planning. Gary has an extensive public sector career, spanning roughly 40 years. I appreciate his many contributions to our organization and I wish him much future success. Gary's last day will be May 24, after which the City will begin next steps to transition the leadership of the department. Thank you, Gary, very much for your service to the City and to the community.
At the Council meeting this week, one important topic was our review of the City's sign code, and possible changes to the rules for sandwich boards and other signs. There will be a public hearing later this month (we expect on May 28). At that time, the Council will consider what rules the City will enforce going forward. This is a topic that should be of interest to our business community, but should also be important to anyone concerned with promoting events and fundraising since the sign code will have rules about those types of signs as well. Signs can have a real impact on our shared spaces. I hope that islanders who want to provide feedback on this issue will look below for more details on the proposed changes, the upcoming public hearing, and how to share your input.
Next week, the Council meeting will start with a swearing-in ceremony to recognize the promotion of our new Police Corporals: Joseph Fastaia, Gary Koon, Cameron Lewis, and William Shields. We will also "swear-in" the department's newest officer, K9 Whitney (a one-year-old bloodhound trained to assist with searches and other work). After that recognition, the Council will take up a number of topics including options for a workshop focused on youth mental health, a plan to provide dedicated City staff for affordable housing initiatives, a proposal to lower the speed limit to 25 mph on Fletcher Bay Rd. (between High School Road and New Brooklyn Road), and a public hearing on new rates for City water and sewer customers.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
City Council considers ban on sandwich boards

During the May 7 City Council study session, the Council discussed a ban on sandwich boards, or A-frame signs, and will hold a public hearing later this month to get feedback from the community on the proposal.
Ordinance No. 2019-04, which the Council discussed during the May 7 meeting, would prohibit the use of sandwich boards on Bainbridge Island.
If the proposed ordinance is adopted, then people would be given a grace-period to comply with the new sign code. The amount of time and details would be determined later by Council.
The City Council chose to address the growing issue of sandwich boards on Bainbridge Island in conjunction with a sign code update required by a United States Supreme Court ruling.
During the May 14 business meeting, the Council is expected to set a public hearing for May 28 regarding the sandwich board discussion. The Council welcomes your comments and feedback on the proposal.
Watch the May 7 discussion  here
Construction alert: sidewalk closure on Winslow Way begins May 20 

It's expected that on Monday, May 20, the sidewalk on the south side of Winslow Way between Olympic Drive and Bjune Drive will close for construction related to the Olympic Drive non-motorized improvements project. People who walk or use wheelchairs should use the sidewalk on the north side of Winslow Way.
The sidewalk on the west side of Olympic Drive (near Waypoint Park) will remain closed.

On Monday, May 13, crews will begin installing underground utilities on Harborview Drive. Harborview Drive will be reduced to one lane with flaggers. 
The Olympic Drive non-motorized improvements project is designed to improve safety for all users and to improve efficiency for loading and unloading of all ferry passengers. Construction is expected to be completed in August 2019. If you'd like to get updates on the project, please sign up for the Notify Me list. 
Next Week: hearing to discuss proposed utility rate increases

The City Council is considering a change in water and sewer utility rates during the next several years and wants to hear from you. A public hearing is scheduled during next week's Council business meeting on Tuesday, May 14. 

The City's water and sewer utility rates have not changed since 2013. A consultant, Financial Consulting Solutions Group (FCS), led a study of the City's water and sewer utilities and developed a recommendation for rate adjustments to ensure the financial health of the utilities. The City's Utility Advisory Committee (UAC) has provided significant review and input to the FCS report and recommendations. 

A postcard about the  proposed rate increases and upcoming hearing  was mailed to ratepayers.

Learn more here
Navy security exercises on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Tuesday, May 14

Naval Security Forces will conduct training exercises Tuesday, May 14 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Local residents and base personnel working on NBK-Bangor should expect loud noises and increased activity by emergency responders in support of the training, including firing of blank ammunition, simulated explosive devices, and smoke.
Nonparticipants are advised to stay away from the exercise areas during the training period. Drivers on NBK-Bangor should prepare for potential roadblocks or traffic diversions. However, training maneuvers should not affect normal operations.
The Navy routinely conducts these types of security exercises, which ensures readiness and verifies response procedures.
Traffic alert: WSDOT to begin painting project along SR 305 Agate Pass Bridge

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will soon begin a two-year painting project of the SR 305 Agate Pass Bridge.

As soon as Wednesday, May 15, WSDOT contractor crews will begin bringing equipment to the bridge. This large effort will strip the Agate Pass Bridge to bare metal. Crews will then repaint the structure.

WSDOT will keep both lanes of the bridge open during most of the work. Drivers can expect occasional evening one-way alternating traffic. The speed limit will be reduced to 35 mph. One sidewalk will remain open.

The solid coat of paint will extend the life of the steel truss bridges by protecting against rust.
"The Agate Pass Bridge hasn't had a full-scale paint job since 1991," said WSDOT Project Engineer Michele Britton. "It's a big project to help protect this key transportation link against wind, rain and marine air for years to come."

Painting requires mostly dry and warm weather. The work will occur during the warm months over two years. The project is anticipated to be complete in fall 2020.
The bridge will keep its existing green color.
Read more here.
Kitsap County: Candle-caused fires a growing concern 

Candles are a great way to liven up a room by adding fresh scent or light, but can also create devastation if they are not used properly. The Kitsap County Fire Marshal's Office is now urging residents to take proper precautions due to recent fires.

"The number of fires caused by candles has more than doubled from last year within the unincorporated Kitsap County area," according to Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam. "A candle is an open flame, which means it can quickly ignite anything that can burn."

According to the National Fire Protection Assocation (NFPA), roughly one-third 
of home candle fires started in bedrooms and are often the result of someone falling asleep while the candle is still burning. 

Learn more about candle safety and alternatives here.
Share your thoughts: one-year review of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) update

What sections of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) are the most challenging to read, understand, and use? Trees and vegetation? Wetlands? Existing development? Staff is doing a one-year review of the CAO update - and we'd like your feedback in a brief survey. Details here.

Results will be summarized in an assessment report provided to the Planning Commission and City Council.

If you have any questions about the survey, please send an  email to Senior Planner Christy Carr.
Water Resources Team celebrates Drinking Water Week

Do you know which aquifer your drinking water comes from? What's the pH level of water from your aquifer? How many aquifers are there, anyway? Learn the answers to these questions and more tomorrow (Saturday, May 11) at the Farmers Market.

The City's Water Resources team and the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council will be honoring National Drinking Water Week at the Farmers Market with a booth and display of water from multiple aquifers, including a 3d model of our aquifer system. 

Members of the Environmental Technical Advisory Committee (ETAC) will also be joining staff at the booth. Get a chance to interact with our scientific experts and learn more about the City's groundwater management plan.
Looking ahead: May 14 City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the May 14 City Council business meeting.

  • An update on a youth mental health workshop
  • A public hearing on water and sewer utility rates
  • Set public hearing date on the City's sign code update
  • A resolution to consider lowering the speed limit on Fletcher Bay Road from New Brooklyn Road to High School Road
You can  receive the Council agenda every week when it's published -- sign up for  Notify Me on the City's website-- select "City Council Meeting Notifications" from the list. You can get the updates by text or email.

The meetings are livestreamed 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
See the full calendar list here.
City of Bainbridge Island