City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

This week, I am sharing the news that our Public Works Director, Barry Loveless, has let me know that he is ready to retire from the position of Director. I have enjoyed the chance to work closely with Barry during these past six years, and I am very appreciative of how much progress has been made under his leadership.  With Barry's guidance, the City's Public Works department has completed numerous important and high-profile projects and c ontinued to emphasize professionalism and problem-solving.  We have benefited a great deal from his contributions.

Although Barry has decided he is ready to step down from the Director's role, he has agreed to lead the City's project to complete the new Police-Court Facility and he will work in that role on a part-time basis for the next 18 months.  This is great news, since it allows us to benefit from Barry's experience with this complex, milestone project while also meeting his desire to transition to a different level of effort. Barry will move to this new position effective September 1, and I am looking forward to having his help with one last significant project. 

Going forward, the position of Public Works Director will be held by Chris Wierzbicki, who has more than 20 years of engineering and planning experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Chris is an island resident and a licensed engineer, and previously worked at COBI for six years as the Deputy Planning Director and City Engineer. He is currently the Executive Director of Futurewise, an organization that advocates for sustainable and equitable land-use and transportation policy throughout Washington State. Chris also previously served as the Deputy Director of King County Road Services. Chris' first day of work will be July 31. 

At the study session this week, the City Council worked on a number of significant issues, including changes to the sign code, new rules for ADUs and "tiny homes," the planned project on Sustainable Transportation, recommendations from the Utility Advisory Committee, and discussion with the Climate Change Advisory Committee related to their work to develop a Climate Action Plan for the City.

At the business meeting next week, the Council will consider options to use some of the Housing Trust Fund, and whether to extend the Landmark Tree Ordinance for an additional six-months in the Winslow area, thus removing this rule for other areas of the island. The Council will also discuss the Council's position on Initiative 976 which, if approved by voters in November, would eliminate the City's revenue from car-tab fees (expected to provide roughly $600,000 to the City in 2020).

I hope you will continue to stay engaged as we work through these issues and other interesting topics during the summer.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Planning Commission continues review of Winslow Hotel project

The Planning Commission continued its review of the Winslow Hotel project last night during a special meeting. The Commission and the applicant agreed to hold a study session on the project for July 11. The Commission will use that meeting to determine the modifications they would like the applicant to pursue to make the project compatible with the Comprehensive Plan and the surrounding neighborhood.
The  Winslow Hotel project proposal, located at 251 Winslow Way W, includes an 87-room hotel with banquet and meeting rooms, restaurant and bar, and spa. There is a landscaped courtyard, reflecting pond and bandshell, and both under-building and surface parking totaling 136 spaces.

The  Design Review Board (DRB) reviewed the Winslow Hotel project proposal during five meetings, with its last review on  June 3. The project proposal is now being reviewed by the  Planning Commission, which will develop a recommendation. The Director of Planning and Community Development will then make a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner. The final project decision-maker is the  Hearing Examiner.
The City Council does not have a role in the review process.
Council to consider changes to ADU regulations

During the June 18 study session, the City Council discussed several potential changes to accessory dwelling unit (ADU) regulations. An ADU, also known as a mother-in-law suite or backyard cottage, is a separate living space that is either attached to or located on the same lot as a single-family home. ADUs are often cited as an important source of affordable housing units. In its final report, the Affordable Housing Task Force recommended the City seek ways to encourage more ADUs on the island. 

At the June 18 meeting, the Council directed staff to draft an ordinance to reflect these new rules:
  • Common ownership for ADUs and the primary dwelling will be required unless the ADU is dedicated to affordable housing.
  • "Tiny homes" on a foundation or on wheels will be permitted as permanent housing, as either a primary dwelling or as an ADU. The City hopes to incorporate recent changes in State law to allow more flexibility for tiny homes.
  • An RV that meets Health District and other utility requirements for water and septic will be allowed for use as permanent housing. Most jurisdictions prohibit this use due to safety concerns.
  • In some areas, properties will be allowed to support two tiny homes or RVs, in addition to the main dwelling.
  • In some areas, ADU building footprints will not contribute to a property's lot coverage limit.
Discussion of the proposed changes will continue at the July 23 business meeting. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and provide comment or please email your comments to the Council.  Watch the June 18 discussion here.
Business community joins sandwich board discussion

City Council discussed proposed changes to the City's sign code during this week's study session and was joined by Chamber of Commerce President Rex Oliver. 

The Council is reviewing options to change the City's sign code to address the proliferation of sandwich boards and other signs across the island.

Last month, Council discussed a ban on sandwich boards and directed staff to revise a proposed ordinance. Since then, the Council has taken a step back to consider whether to move toward a set of sign rules that apply different requirements in different locations. For example, rules for sandwich boards may be different in Winslow than in outlying residential areas.  

Once the Council has reached consensus on the structure of the new rules they would like to consider, a new proposed ordinance will be drafted for Council review and approval.

The next discussion is scheduled for the July 16 study session. At that time, staff will return with a set of proposed rules for various types of signs in different locations, to be applied in Winslow and other areas. Watch the June 18 discussion here.
Traffic alert: Delays expected during n ighttime work next week on SR 305 Agate Pass Bridge 

Nighttime travelers using the State Route 305 Agate Pass Bridge can expect possible delays next week. Starting the evening of Tuesday, June 25, one-way alternating traffic will allow contractor crews to install a work platform and containment system that crews will use to repaint the Agate Pass Bridge.

One-way alternating traffic:
  • 10 p.m. Tuesday June 25 to Friday, June 28 to 5 a.m. each following day.
  • 9 p.m. Sunday, June 30 to 5 a.m. Monday, July 1
Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead to help prevent delays and stay alert inside the work zone.
This Weekend: Celebrate Bainbridge Pride

Bainbridge Pride is hosting its third Bainbridge Pride Festival this Sunday, June 23 at Waterfront Park for a celebration of diversity and inclusion. All are welcome to attend 12-6 p.m. to enjoy live music, vendor booths, food trucks, and more. 

Brien Drive will be closed noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday to accommodate the event.  Learn more here .
Looking ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the June 25 City Council business meeting:

  • Consider potential uses for Housing Trust Fund, including Helpline House request for rental assistance
  • Discuss City Council position on Initiative 976
  • Consider six-month extension of the interim Landmark Trees Ordinance for Winslow area, and allow rules to expire in other areas

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).
Join the Discussion: Planning Commission begins review of Shoreline Master Program (SMP)

The City has started its review of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP) and the public is invited to share any comments on this topic during next week's Planning Commission meeting (Thursday, June 27). During the meeting, members will  discuss vegetation management.  The purpose of vegetation management is to protect and enhance the island's natural character, water quality, native plant communities, and wildlife habitat within the shoreline jurisdiction. 

The SMP guides development within our shoreline and is designed to balance appropriate private uses, preservation of natural resources, and public access.   
The Washington State Shoreline Management Act requires communities to review their SMP every eight years. This review includes evaluation of the City's current SMP, and development of recommended amendments. 

This review is not a major update of the SMP like the City adopted in 2014. It is a more limited update that is intended to ensure the SMP is consistent with changes in state law and addresses errors, omissions, and opportunities for improved clarity and readability.

The other opportunity for public comment at a Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 11.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the draft amendments in fall 2019.  The proposal will be refined based on those public comments and provided to the City Council in early 2020 for review, amendment, and adoption by the end of June 2020. 

Learn more here
BIFD considers July 4 fireworks ban due to fire danger

Please see the message below from the Bainbridge Island Fire Department regarding consumer fireworks.

We have received numerous calls and emails concerning this year's use or ban of consumer fireworks on July 4 in our community. Currently, consumer fireworks are only allowed to be discharged on the Island on July 4 between the hours of 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. -- ALL OTHER TIMES THEY ARE ILLEGAL.

The Fire Department also has the ability, through the City's Municipal Code, to ban all fireworks during times of extreme fire danger. We are currently assessing whether conditions exi st to meet that criteria by the 4th of July, and will make a determination as soon as possible.

Regardless of an extreme fire danger status and a formal fireworks ban, BIFD strongly urges you to avoid using consumer fireworks. Despite occasional misty mornings and overcast days, fireworks can still start fires and cause injuries! As the holiday nears, please check BIFD's website for more information.
Mark Your Calendar: July Ward Meetings

Central Ward Saturday, July 13 10 a.m. -12 p.m. @ City Hall  
North Ward: Saturday, July 20 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ Seabold Hall  
South Ward: Saturday, July 27 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ Island Center Hall  

Don't know your Ward? Click here.
Temporary schedule changes on ferry route July 13-15 for construction

Due to construction at Colman Dock, all Bremerton and Bainbridge Island sailings will share a single slip from the first sailing Saturday, July 13 through the last sailing Monday, July 15 and sailings on all routes will be on a temporary sailing schedule.

During this change, vessels will operate slower to avoid landing in the single slip at the same time.

The sailing schedule changes are necessary as WSDOT prepares to close the existing 53-year-old terminal building and open the new temporary terminal building. In August, all walk-on operations and ticketing will begin in the temporary building. The entire Colman Dock Project is expected to be complete in early 2023.

See the schedule here.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
See the full calendar list here.
City of Bainbridge Island