City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

There were a couple of events this week at the City worth noting. First, the City's Finance team completed the final steps to issue more than $11 million in bonds that City Council approved this fall. The bond issue covered two elements: $8 million in financing for the Police Station-Municipal Court Replacement Project, and refunding (aka "refinancing") of roughly $3 million in existing Open Space debt. The refinancing of the existing Open Space debt was a cost-saving opportunity to move the balance of that debt to a lower interest rate, and resulted in a savings to the City of $332,000 over the next nine years. An additional savings of $53,000 was achieved as a result of the City's recent credit rating increase to Aaa. Including these new bonds, the City's total level of debt remains very low, and is less than 10% of our total debt capacity.

Also this week, City staff met for our fourth quarter "All Hands" meeting. A few times a year, we work to bring all City employees together to share updates on current projects, highlight upcoming priorities, and recognize colleagues who lead by example within the organization. It can be challenging to find a time for more than 100 staff to meet together while minimizing the impact on City customers and service. But as with any business, it is important to do so because it helps to affirm our high-level focus and customer service goals, and keeps our shared mission and team connection strong.

At the business meeting this week, the Council recognized the service of two outgoing Councilmembers: Sarah Blossom and Ron Peltier. The Council also approved the 2020 workplan proposed by the Race Equity Task Force, finalized the workplan to develop Green Building Code options, requested staff analysis on LEED certification for the Police-Court replacement project, approved an extension to Tier 3 of the Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program, and moved forward an agreement to launch the Sustainable Transportation Plan project.

For more information on some of these items and other topics, please read below. The next Council meeting will be a study session on Jan. 7, 2020.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Council sets public hearing on self-service storage facilities moratorium

A public hearing on the self-service storage facilities moratorium is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2020.

The City Council approved a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of applications for self-service storage facilities during the Nov. 26 business meeting

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.
Public hearing on Winslow Hotel postponed to Jan. 23

A public hearing on the Winslow Hotel is now scheduled before the Hearing Examiner Thursday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. at the Council Chambers. This is a change from the previous schedule, which anticipated a public hearing next week (Dec. 19).  
Earlier this week, the City received one State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) appeal related to the project. As a result, the schedule has been changed to allow that appeal to be heard by the Hearing Examiner at the Jan. 23 public hearing along with the project proposal. 
Last month, the City of Bainbridge Island issued its SEPA determination on the Winslow Hotel project,  located at 251 Winslow Way W. Click  here to read the determination with conditions (see Notice of Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance 112519).  As previously noted, 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 Director's recommendation will be included in the staff report to the Hearing Examiner, which will be available at least one week before the hearing (now scheduled for Jan. 23).
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's finding is the final decision of the City and does include an appeal period.  Additional information about the  Winslow Hotel project proposal is available on the City's website.
Council requests analysis on Police-Court project budget increase for green building features

City Council continued discussion at the Dec. 10 meeting on green building features for the new Police Station-Municipal Court replacement project.
The project has a current approved budget of $20 million, which includes design, site acquisition, construction, and project management. Of this total budget, roughly $10 million has already been committed to the purchase of the property and existing building, and previous work on site selection, feasibility and design. That leaves roughly $10 million in remaining budget for construction and outfitting.
The project's current design includes significant sustainability features, including re-use of an existing facility and plans to meet Washington State 2015 Energy Code requirements. These features were reviewed in a Council briefing during the Oct.15 study session. Achieving LEED certification for the building may significantly increase design and construction costs beyond the current budget. An initial estimate suggests the additional cost to achieve LEED certification may be approximately $800,000, which was not included in the current project budget.
At the Dec. 10 meeting, Council directed staff to return to a future meeting with an analysis for increasing the project budget to achieve LEED certification and a proposal for funding the increased project budget within the City's overall budget. Staff plans to continue the green building discussion with City Council at the Jan. 21, 2020 meeting.

Meanwhile, the project continues to move forward through the required review and permitting steps. The Design Review Board reviewed and approved the project at its Dec. 2 meeting and the project will be presented to the Planning Commission on Jan. 23. The Hearing Examiner is tentatively scheduled to conduct a hearing on the project on Feb. 13.
CHI Franciscan Health plans to vacate the existing building by the end of January, and the City will finalize the purchase at that time.
Council to create Green Building Task Force

The City Council continued its discussion on the Green Building Code during the Dec. 10 meeting and agreed to form a Green Building Task Force to develop recommendations for a Green Building Code. The Task Force will be comprised of 9 green building experts, with a City Council member serving as liaison. The City anticipates recruiting for task force members will begin in January 2020.
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.
Police Sergeant accepts award for mental illness work

Sgt. Trevor Ziemba accepted the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Washington Criminal Justice Public Service Award Tuesday, Dec. 10 for his dedication to advocating for better mental health care and crisis intervention and de-escalation services in Kitsap County. 

Interim Police Chief Scott Weiss also attended the event. 

Click here to learn more. 

Council extends Race Equity Task Force

On Dec. 10, the City Council approved an extension of the Race Equity Task Force (RETF) for 2020. The Council also approved the RETF's proposed workplan for next year. The workplan identifies a range of community outreach and engagement events throughout 2020, including partnerships with other community organizations.

The Council established the RETF earlier this year to seek suggestions on how the City can help Bainbridge Island to be an open and welcoming community for all.
The RETF includes two Councilmembers as liaisons: Joe Deets and Rasham Nassar. The task force includes seven community members appointed by the City Council earlier in 2019. 
Council approves additional funding for wayfinding signs

The City Council approved $24,000 in  additional funding to move forward the wayfinding sign project in downtown Winslow. The new signs will direct people to businesses, attractions and other facilities. 

The total cost to create and install the signs is $36,000. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) approved $12,000 in funding and the Council approved the remaining $24,000 from the Council contingency fund. 

City staff will work with the Chamber of Commerce and Bainbridge Island Downtown Association to determine what is written on the signs and where the signs will direct people. 

The goal is to have signs in place before the 2020 summer tourist season. 
Council approves support for trail segment improvements

The City Council approved the City's support of a proposal from Squeaky Wheels to pursue improvements along a connection known as "Dana's Trail." The City's support is contingent on the support of the Bainbridge Island School District.

The Squeaky Wheels proposal relates to requested improvements to a trail segment that crosses Bainbridge Island School District (BISD) property between Ordway Elementary School and the Aquatics Center, and is intended to improve access in this area for students and other users traveling within the school corridor. 

The Squeaky Wheels proposal requests the City provide matching funds and Public Works support for the proposed improvements.The improvements would include signage, striping and pavement markings, addition of a curb and completion of a sidewalk, and optional paving.

City staff will meet with BISD representatives to discuss next steps and get BISD feedback on the proposal.

The "Dana's Trail" project is named for Dana Berg, a community leader in non-motorized planning who died in 2015.
Outgoing Council members recognized this week

Outgoing Council members Ron Peltier and Sarah Blossom were recognized for their achievements Tuesday evening during a ceremony at the beginning of the business meeting.

Blossom served from 2012 to 2019 and Peltier served from 2016 to 2019.

During the recognition, Blossom and Peltier took a few minutes to reflect and share a few words about their service.  Click here to watch.
Council approves extension of HDDP affordable housing incentive program

During the Dec. 10 business meeting, City Council approved an extension for the affordable housing portion of the City's Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program . This extension will maintain the City's affordable housing incentive program, which was previously scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2019. 

The HDDP program includes a three-tier structure that pegs incentives to higher levels of green building, sustainable development, and housing diversity.  

Following the Council's Dec. 10 action, the affordable housing component of HDDP - known as "Tier 3" -- will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2021. The other components of HDDP (Tier 1, 2, and 4) will expire Dec. 31, 2019. Tier 3 HDDP development projects require at least 50% of units to be designated as affordable housing. 
The extension 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. 
In addition to extending the HDDP incentive for two years, the Council also agreed to increase the length of time for which HDDP projects will be required to maintain affordability. Previously, affordable units within HDDP projects were required to maintain affordability for 50 years.This week, the Council increased that requirement to 99 years. 
When the new Council members are seated in January 2020, Council intends to take up additional discussion on Suzuki site plan options and next steps for project planning.
SR 305 Agate Pass Bridge painting pauses for winter   

Please see the message below from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) regarding an update on the State Route 305 Agate Pass Bridge painting project. 

Crews will temporarily suspend a large-scale painting project on the State Route 305 Agate Pass Bridge. Work on the bridge is complete for this year with painting to continue once warm dry weather returns in 2020.
Both sidewalks are now open for pedestrians. The 45 mph speed limit has been restored. Temporary commercial vehicle restrictions for oversize/overweight vehicles are no longer necessary. The bridge is now subject to standard restrictions.
During the work that began last summer, crews set up a large containment system where workers stripped away old paint to bare metal and laid down a fresh coat. Workers so far have repainted about 25% of the key span between Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap Peninsula. 
The painting project extends the life of the bridge and protects against rust.
What's next
The project will likely resume in early 2020 when consistently warm and dry weather returns. At that time, the Washington State Department of Transportation will again need to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph, close one of two sidewalks and prohibit oversized loads.
The project is anticipated to be complete fall 2020.
More information about this project and work on state highways in Kitsap County is available on the Kitsap & Mason County construction and travel updates webpage.

Bainbridge Island Police officers joined other law enforcement agencies throughout Kitsap County to help make the holidays a little brighter for children in our community during the Kitsap Shop with a Cop Dec. 7 event. Organizers said this was the largest Shop with a Cop event in the United States with 127 children!  

More than 150 people attended two workshops hosted by the City's Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) to learn about a recent climate impact study and offer input on the Climate Action Plan. 

Upcoming Events & Meetings  
  • Tuesday, Dec. 24 & Wednesday, Dec. 25: City Hall closed for Christmas holiday
  • Saturday, Dec. 28: Kitsap Solid Waste Styrofoam Recycling Collection Event at Kitsap County Fairgrounds; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Details here.
  • 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
Click here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island