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News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

I hope you are all "leaning in" to the long Labor Day weekend and the official wrap up of Summer 2019. Having myself returned to the island this week after an extended time away, I am particularly appreciative of how beautiful and unique our community is. We are working together on important challenges like growth and climate, and I saw other communities - large and small - struggling with those same issues in the places I visited. But I came home to a city where a friendly wave is still the norm between someone walking on the roadside and the driver in a passing car as they move over. And where it isn't unusual to exchange a glad handshake or even a hug with a shop owner or clerk you haven't seen for a while. Spending time in other places renewed my appreciation for the ways in which lovely Bainbridge Island is also "pretty on the inside." This is an aspect of our community that we can all work to preserve and promote on a daily basis.

This week, I want to highlight a new area of emphasis for our community, as the City and Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) have been collaborating for several months to expand our preparedness and planning related to wildfire risk. While we have been training for earthquake risk for a generation, wildfires are a more recent emerging issue for communities on this side of Puget Sound. As one part of this work, the City and BIFD hosted a "tabletop" wildfire response exercise in August. The exercise brought together 45 participants representing various City departments and community partners and was a first test of our newly-developed (and still evolving) plans for response and evacuation. There is important new information that all island households should understand, so that you are prepared to respond quickly in the event of a wildfire. With winter storm events and earthquakes, our overall request is for islanders to be prepared to stay safely in place. With wildfire risk, the community needs to be alert and ready for the potential need to move quickly to other areas. We will be providing increased wildfire information to the public through September's Emergency Preparedness Month activities. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with key information on the City's website and stay tuned for more details going forward.

At the business meeting this week, the Council received extensive public comment related to the City's planned affordable housing project for the Suzuki property on New Brooklyn Road. After additional discussion, the Council approved moving forward with a site plan to include 100 housing units, which will all be designated as affordable, in a mix of rental and for sale units. The selection of the number of housing units was an important decision that was needed before additional site development on the property could continue. With this direction, the site development team (Olympic Property Group) will now move forward with remaining work to complete designs, plan for infrastructure, and prepare for permitting.
The Council also continued work to complete new regulations for subdivisions, approved a City application for lodging tax funds to support wayfinding signs in downtown Winslow, and approved expanded work on noxious weed removal that will be completed by the Kitsap County Weed Board.

At the study session next week, the Council will receive a briefing on the 2020 Census, review the timeline and requirements for the planned $8 million bond issue for the Police Station/Municipal Court project, discuss the City's midyear financial results, and consider a new state funding option for affordable housing via the HB 1406 program.

Next week, please remember that City Hall will be closed Monday, Sept. 2 for the Labor Day holiday. Please also stay alert to the start of school and do your part to help kids, bikes and buses all share the road safely.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
City Council approves 100 housing units on Suzuki property

The City Council approved a site plan that includes approximately 100 affordable housing units for the Suzuki property .
During the August 27 business meeting, the Council approved " Option 4B" that includes 100 units: 60 rental units; 39 units for sale and 1 management unit.

The City owns a 14-acre property, commonly referred to as the Suzuki property, at the intersection of New Brooklyn Road and Sportsman Club Road and intends to develop a 100 percent affordable housing project. 

At the  August 6 study session, the Council reviewed a feasibility study presented by Housing Resources Bainbridge (HRB) and discussed various options for the scale of the project.

Now that a preferred site plan has been selected, Olympic Property Group (OPG) will continue work on site development tasks. The remaining Council decisions will be to select a stormwater treatment approach, to select an ownership approach for the project, to select a development partner, to decide whether to donate more than 50 percent of the property's value to the project, and to complete the process to formally surplus the property and transfer ownership.

Additional information about the project can be found on the Olympic Property Group website .
Council approves purchase of Wyatt Way easement

During the August 27 business meeting, City Council approved the $180,000 purchase of an easement necessary for the  Wyatt Way improvement project

The proposed improvements include a roundabout and sidewalk construction at the intersection of Wyatt Way and Madison Avenue. Other improvements include bicycle facilities on both sides of the street, reconstruction of roadway surfacing and drainage improvements.

The formal approval of the purchase is scheduled for the September 10 business meeting. 

The total project budget is estimated to be $3,850,000, of which $2,516,000 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.
Council continues Subdivision Update public hearing

A public hearing was held during the August 27 business meeting on the subdivision update.

Following public comment and discussion, the City Council directed staff to make several changes to the current draft Ordinance 2019-03.
Council requested to remove garages from the calculation of the 1,600 square foot maximum home size proposed for the R-8, R-14, Neighborhood Center (NC), Mixed Use Town Center (MUTC), High School 1 & High School II zones
Council also decided to exclude from the subdivision process any division of land dedicated from a qualified open space entity, which includes the conservation and preservation of open space and park lands on Bainbridge Island.  

The Council continued the public hearing to the September 24 business meeting and will consider final approval at that time. The public is welcome to provide comments.
Kitsap County seeks input on hazard mitigation plan

Kitsap County is in the process of updating its Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and is seeking feedback from the community before it's finalized.
A hazard mitigation plan aims to reduce the loss of life and property from natural disasters by diminishing the impact of disasters in our communities. An approved mitigation plan, which is required by the federal government, allows the County to be eligible for mitigation funding.
For the plan to be effective, our whole community needs to take action now- before the next disaster- to lessen negative consequences later.
Disasters can happen at any time and any place. If the community is not prepared, the consequences can be catastrophic. Effective mitigation requires that all stakeholders participate in the decision-making process to identify activities that help ensure long-term community well-being.

To do this, we need your input on what you feel are the greatest threats and risks to you and our community. Please take some time to review the draft plan (the Bainbridge Island-specific appendix begins on page 141) then provide your input in an online survey. The deadline is September 6.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Monday, September 2: City Hall closed for Labor Day
  • Thursday, September 5: Planning Commission Meeting: Design Guidelines Public Hearing & Public Participation Meeting on Police-Court Facility Pre-application
  • Thursday, September 12: Planning Commission Meeting
Click  here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island