City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

I'd like to begin with thanks to the many members of our community who participated this week as we hosted three finalists for the position of Police Chief. On Wednesday, we had a great turnout for the community meet and greet, and I heard a lot of thoughtful questions about how we can continue to keep the connection strong between the community and Police Department personnel.

On Thursday, we had four separate interview panels, including representatives of a dozen organizations. The panels included leadership from other Kitsap County law enforcement agencies, Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD), Bainbridge Island School District (BISD), Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD), and Kitsap Mental Health Services. We also had representatives from island organizations whose work intersects with the Police Department, such as Helpline House, Housing Resources Bainbridge, Bainbridge Youth Services, the BI Senior Community Center, and the BISD Multicultural Advisory Council. Thank you very much to all these individuals who shared a significant amount of time to assist in this process and lend their thinking to our review.

The finalists also met with personnel from the Police Department and a panel of City staff, and had an individual interview with me (City Manager). It was a robust process, which is appropriate given that the role of Police Chief represents a critical intersection between community and City values and expectations. I appreciate all the extra effort and attention to detail from the City staff who helped with each step in this important process. We expect to announce the results from these interviews soon.

At the study session this week, the Council reviewed the scope of work for the Sustainable Transportation planning initiative and agreed to consider approval of a contract for this work at the Dec. 10 business meeting. The Council also discussed whether to revisit the selected site plan for the Suzuki property affordable housing project and agreed to consider additional analysis on lower number of housing units at the Dec. 10 meeting. Finally, the Council reviewed the planned process for next year's update to the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The Council affirmed support for the process and agreed to decide in January whether to provide Council engagement through an ad hoc committee of three councilmembers, or whether to instead develop the proposed CIP through engagement with the full Council.

At the business meeting next week, the Council will consider approval of the Race Equity Task Force recommendation to engage the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) for a series of technical assistance workshops, review proposed changes to the City's Ethics Program, and consider an extension to the City's Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program. A number of other topics are also planned, including an update on removal of dead/hazardous trees at Waterfront Park, options related to a shade covenant on the City's Crawford farm property, and review of the Cultural Funding Advisory Committee's recommendation for $300,000 in City funding for nonprofits to support activities in 2020-2021.
For more information on some of these items and other topics, please read below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Council to consider Suzuki site plan options, HDDP extension

City Council will continue discussion on  potential options to revise the number and type of housing units for the Suzuki affordable housing project  during the Dec. 10 business meeting. 

In August, Council approved a site plan that includes approximately 100 affordable housing units for the Suzuki property (60 rental units, 39 units for sale and 1 management unit). At the Nov.19 meeting, Councilmember Sarah Blossom provided some preliminary notes on options for Council to consider that includes 65 units on 45 lots (some lots would include accessory dwelling units). This option proposes a scenario that is intended to address community concerns about the wildlife corridor, pond, parking, number of total housing units and level of affordability.  This scenario attempts to address concerns raised by the community about project impacts and financial feasibility. Council agreed to formally consider whether to evaluate this option at the Dec. 10 business meeting.

Click here to watch the Nov. 19 discussion. 

HDDP Discussion

During the Nov. 26 meeting, Council will give final consideration to the extension of an affordable housing incentive program that would allow  the Suzuki affordable housing project to move forward with 100 units.

In October, Council decided to extend the City's Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program (Ordinance 2019-32), set to expire Dec. 31, 2019, 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 recommends 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. 
Final tasks expected soon on Olympic Drive

Crews will resume work along Olympic Drive Monday, Dec. 2.  The final tasks include completion of pavement markings, installation of a railing along the west side of Olympic Drive, and installation of a bicycle signal and push buttons in the southbound bicycle lane.

Both sidewalks on Olympic Drive are now open for pedestrians.

The new center bicycle lane (heading north from the ferry) and the southbound bicycle lane will remain closed until completion of the project.  It's anticipated the work will be complete by year-end if weather permits.

Still not sure what the new pavement markings mean? Watch our animated video of the improvements on the project webpage.
City to remove hazardous trees in Waterfront Park

Fifteen trees in Waterfront Park will be removed because they have been deemed hazardous by the City's arborist and create a risk to public safety.
A hazard tree is a tree with structural defects likely to cause failure of all or part of the tree, which could strike a building or place where people gather, such as the park.
During an assessment of 76 trees, City Arborist Nick Snyder identified 74 trees that need some type of action and two trees with no needs at this time. In his assessment, Snyder identified various types of intervention for each tree, from no action to pruning, removal of dead or dying branches, removal of most of the tree leaving only a habitat snag, or removal of the entire tree.
Snyder identified 52 trees that are at high or medium risk of causing injury or property damage. Of those 52 trees, 15 will be removed and the remainder will be pruned or have dead branches removed to make them safe. An additional two trees, identified as low risk but invasive or dead, will be also be removed. All the trees to be removed are either dead, high-risk hazard trees, or invasive.
A shoreline clearing permit is required for the recommended work, which will require mitigation in the form of leaving habitat snags and branches on site and replanting of additional trees and shrubs in the park.
The work to resolve the hazard issues will be split between this year and 2020, and the 20 highest priority trees will be addressed first. The total cost to complete the project is estimated to be $77,180.
Staff will provide information on the Waterfront Park tree removal process to City Council during the Nov. 26 business meeting. For more information, see the Nov. 26 agenda packet when it's published later today.
Public hearing on proposed landmark tree extension set for Nov. 26

The City Council has scheduled a public hearing for Nov. 26 to consider a six-month extension of the landmark tree ordinance that is currently set to expire Dec. 26. The extension would allow staff time to draft additional regulations for the City 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. 

The Council adopted the regulations last year to protect landmark trees after hearing from concerned residents about the loss of landmark trees on Bainbridge Island due to land clearing and development activities. The ordinance designates landmark trees based on size and species, requires a permit to remove any landmark tree, and imposes fines if a landmark tree is removed without a permit.

The ordinance only allows the removal of a landmark tree in limited circumstances ---  if the tree is dead or hazardous, if removal is necessary to maintain utilities, or to allow construction when there's no feasible alternative.

Applicants whose landmark tree permits are approved for removal because of construction will be required to replant trees and possibly pay a fee to the City's tree fund.

Learn more  here
Committee to host Climate Action Plan workshops

The City's Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) is hosting two workshops to provide the community an opportunity to learn about a recent climate impact study on Bainbridge Island and to provide input on its Climate Action Plan (CAP).

The CCAC, made up of community members with expertise in climate science, atmospheric science, environmental law, and more, advises the City Council on the climate-related goals and policies contained in the Comprehensive Plan.

The CCAC is working with the community to create the City's first Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help prepare residents, businesses, and City services for a changing climate. The plan will establish a clear road map of priority actions and projects that make sense for Bainbridge Island.

The workshops will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall and Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge High School library reading room. 
  • First 45 minutes: CCAC members will provide an overview of the climate impacts observed and projected for Bainbridge Island, including sea level rise, the results of the Island's first greenhouse gas inventory, and an overview of the CAP.
  • Remainder of time: There will be multiple breakout sessions to solicit ideas from the community on each element of the CAP (energy supply, transportation, land use, buildings, waste, forests, shorelines, and agriculture).
Click here for more information.
Looking Ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Nov. 26 City Council study session. 
  • Public hearing to consider six-month extension of the landmark tree ordinance
  • Race Equity Task Force recommendations
  • Housing Design Demonstrations Project (HDDP)
  • Ethics Program
  • Staff update on options related to the Crawford property shade covenant
  • 2020-2021 funding recommendation from the Cultural Funding Advisory Committee
  • Briefing on Waterfront Park tree removal 
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