City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

I spent much of this week assembling updates from all City departments to report where things stand on our Citywide workplan priorities for 2019. We typically report out on status at both midyear (as of June 30) and at year-end (December 31). This helps us to monitor our efforts, share progress with City Council and the community, and understand what challenges have emerged since our workplans were launched. I'll be presenting this report to Council next week and will speak in more detail to our results at that time.

In terms of structure, there are two improvements we are adding to our reporting process. First, we will provide the workplan report in two formats. One is the usual format with all our tasks sorted by department (Finance, Public Works, etc.). This format helps us to track status and capacity internally. This year we will also provide the workplan report in a format where each task is sorted into a high-level "goal." These goals are: Safety, Environment, Livability, Community, and Accountability. This perspective helps us to share the "why" behind the work that we are doing. The hope is that this format may be more meaningful to other, external readers since it groups the City's efforts according to areas of focus rather than according to who within staff is responsible.

The second improvement in reporting is the publication of a midyear report on progress to implement the actions identified within the Comprehensive Plan. When the current Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2017, it identified 54 "implementing actions" that were envisioned as necessary to meet the objectives described in the Comprehensive Plan. These actions are wide-ranging, and many actions will themselves require multiple steps to achieve completion. The City's set of implementing actions represents an ambitious level of effort, and implementation of these tasks will guide our work for the next 5-10 years.

The Council and staff worked together throughout 2018 to understand how the City could effectively connect our day-to-day workplans, legislation, and projects to the sometimes-aspirational vision presented by the 54 implementing actions. The result is a commitment to develop - and use - a platform to track progress on this work and to communicate routinely about how this effort is moving forward. To meet this commitment, City staff will report out on Comprehensive Plan Implementation twice a year, in conjunction with the established midyear and year-end reporting on annual workplans. The reporting that Council will receive next week will be our first iteration of this process. The 2019 midyear reports are now posted to a new webpage on the City's website. 
In the next six months, we will be working to transition this information to the same reporting format that we use for the annual workplan. We expect this will create a more readable, user-friendly result, and will also help to solidify the connection between the vision of the Comprehensive Plan and the day-to-day operations of the City. Please look for that enhancement to arrive when the year-end update is provided.

At the study session this week, the Council discussed a request from Friends of the Farms for ongoing funding to support their management of public farmland, continued work to revise rules for sandwich boards and other signs, and considered options related to an existing shade covenant that may require tree removal on the City's Crawford farmland parcel.

At the business meeting next week, the Council will consider several significant topics, including continued discussion on changes related to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), tiny homes and RVs, new rules for subdivisions, the administrative review of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), the upcoming funding cycle for cultural activities in 2020-2021, and additional discussion on potential changes to the Ethics Program.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Council identifies proposed rules for sign code

City Council completed work at the study session this week to identify a proposed set of rules for various types of signs in Winslow and other areas.

A sign is "noncommercial" if the sign relates to more than just the economic interests of the sign's owner and her/his audience (e.g. Little League sign ups, children's theatre, etc.). A sign is "commercial" if it relates solely to the economic interests of the sign's owner and her/his audience (e.g. realtor, garage sale, etc.).

The proposed rules include: 

  • In Winslow and Neighborhood Centers: sandwich boards in the right of way (both commercial and noncommercial) are allowed but must be brought in at night. Other, non-durable signs (smaller signs with stakes) are allowed if noncommercial (nonprofit events, etc.) but are not allowed if commercial.
  • Outside Winslow: sandwich boards in the right of way (both commercial and noncommercial) are allowed but must be brought in at night.  Other, non-durable signs are allowed for both commercial and noncommercial uses. Commercial non-durable signs will require a City-issued permit to control the number of days, display times, etc.  
Staff is also developing a proposal to expand wayfinding signage in Winslow as an alternative to the use of individual sandwich boards. This proposal will be submitted later this fall for consideration by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) for 2020 funding.

The next step for sign code will be Council review of a draft ordinance with these new proposed rules at a business meeting, with the opportunity for public comment. The Planning Commission will also review the proposed ordinance before final adoption. Please see the July 16 study session video and agenda for more information.

Traffic Alert: Sidewalk closure on Olympic Drive

During the next couple of weeks, the sidewalk on the east side of Olympic Drive (next to the police station) will be closed intermittently for construction. Pedestrians will be rerouted to the west side of Olympic Drive where crews will create a temporary path to Winslow Way.

We now anticipate the Olympic Drive project will be complete in September due to delays with coordination of underground utilities. Most of the underground utility work has been completed, which will allow construction crews to soon begin sidewalk construction.
Thank you for your patience as we work to improve safety for people biking, walking and driving to and from the ferry.  Click here for more information about the project.
Council considers public farmland lease

As follow-up to the budget process last fall, the City Council is considering a request from Friends of the Farms (Friends) for ongoing annual funding and changes to the master lease for public farmland. The Council continued this discussion at the July 16 study session.

The City owns 60 acres of farmland in seven parcels across the Island. In 2011, Friends and the City signed a master lease related to management of the City's farmland.

Friends requested an annual payment of $65,000 in 2019 with continuing support in future years. This amount was calculated to cover roughly half of the personnel costs of two positions, the Executive Director and the Project Manager, and a share of general operating costs for the Friends nonprofit organization. For 2019, the Council decided to fund Friends for one year at the amount of their request, with the commitment to discuss the question of ongoing operating support in 2019.

The 2020 Adopted Budget does not currently include operating support for Friends of the Farms. Friends is requesting that Council provide $72,000 in 2020, and that the lease be revised to provide that amount going forward as an annual payment (with adjustments for CPI).

In addition to the question of ongoing funding, Friends is requesting the City consider several revisions to the lease.
  • Scope: Friends would like to narrow the lease to reflect solely the property management responsibilities of the organization. The current lease includes language related to overall City goals related to agriculture on the island and programming to support those goals. Friends is not performing these general tasks in the context of its property management.
  • Repair and Maintenance: Friends recommends new language to carefully delineate the responsibilities for repair and maintenance and capital investments for the property covered by this lease.
  • Budget: Friends would like ongoing operating financial support from the City to be added to the lease.
At the conclusion of the July 16 briefing, the Council requested additional information from staff and Friends. The next discussion on this topic is currently planned for the September 3 study session. Click here to watch the July 16 discussion.
Council to launch cultural funding award process

In 2019, the City will award $300,000 in grants to community organizations to support activities in 2020 and 2021 which implement the cultural element implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.
The City will seek proposals for cultural projects and activities that benefit Bainbridge Island residents and visitors in 2020 and 2021. Special consideration is given to organizations and projects that will use City funds to advance the community objectives identified within the Cultural Element and/or Economic Element of the City's Comprehensive Plan. In the past, some of these activities have included  support for the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, and Bainbridge Chorale.
The City intends to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit ideas from community organizations about areas that could be supported by City funding. The Cultural Funding Advisory Committee (CFAC) will review the submitted proposals.
The City intends to issue the RFP following Council approval in early September. Proposals would be due in early October. The CFAC would review submitted proposals using the criteria and framework identified within the RFP. The CFAC will develop a funding recommendation for Council consideration and approval. Funding awards will be for activities that occur from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021.
During the July 23 study session, Council will consider the draft RFP, which was developed for the previous cycle and has been updated based on feedback from participants, applicants, and the facilitator. Click here for more information about the City-funded cultural activities.

Looking ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics expected to be discussed during the July 23 City Council business meeting:
  • Midyear Report on 2019 Workplan Priorities and Comprehensive Plan Implementation
  • Discussion on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
  • Continue review of new Subdivision regulations
  • Discussion on potential changes to the Ethics program

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).
Emergency Preparedness: Are you two weeks ready?

The latest batch of earthquakes hitting Washington and California are a good reminder to take a few minutes to check your emergency supplies, make sure your contact lists are up to date, and verify that you are signed up to receive emergency alerts from the City via Nixle. Sign up by visiting the Nixle website or by texting 98110 to 888777. 

The City, in partnership with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Bainbridge Prepares, has numerous training opportunities available to the community throughout the year to help you get prepared. Click here for more information on the training schedule.
This weekend: Styrofoam & CD/DVD Recycling Event

Have any Styrofoam to get rid of? Bainbridge Island Zero Waste, a program of Sustainable Bainbridge, and Bay Hay and Feed are co-hosting a Styrofoam and CD/DVD Recycling Collection this weekend at Bay Hay, located at 10355 NE Valley Rd. The collection event is scheduled 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21 at Bay Hay. 

Styrofoam must be clean, dry, white, and snappable (EPS #6). All stickers and tape must be removed. Peanuts, free of debris, are okay to drop off. CD and DVD disks only - no cases. Click here for more details.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, July 20: North Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Seabold Hall 
  • Saturday, July 27: South Ward Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Island Center Hall 

Click here for the full calendar list.

City of Bainbridge Island