City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

As you read this, we are winding down the month of May, and so also wrapping up the City's month-long celebration of "Building Safety Month." Led by our Building Division staff, this was an opportunity to learn a bit more about the important ways in which our Building Code provides for safety in the daily lives of our community members.

The City's Building Code is derived from the Washington State Code. The purpose is to ensure that new construction and redevelopment projects reflect current standards for how built spaces can be better designed to keep occupants safe and healthy. In addition to central concepts like structural engineering and fire protection, our Building Code addresses accessibility for people with disabilities, proper separation between different occupants (for example, a daycare shouldn't be placed near a hazardous lab), site drainage, soil evaluation, and energy use/conservation. This is a complex and challenging part of the City's responsibilities and is managed by a small team of eight staff. Last year, this team worked together to review roughly $150,000,000 of building activity, approve nearly 800 building plans and complete more than 4,500 site inspections. While the result of their efforts isn't always visible, the work of the Building Division is critical to a wide range of projects and to our shared community health and safety.

At the business meeting this week, the City Council continued to refine new rules for subdivisions, considered a range of public comment related to proposed changes to the City's Sign Code, and discussed options for changes in the structure of the Ethics Program. 

At the study session next week, topics will include detailed discussion on financing for the Police Station and Municipal Court Building project, options for spending the Council's housing trust funds, review of staff's proposal for a new annual program to develop neighborhood traffic calming projects, and a briefing on the update in progress for the City's design guidelines.

Please see below for information about other items of community interest.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Traffic Alert: WSDOT t ree trimming next week to cause delays on SR 305 

Drivers on State Route 305 should expect delays up to 20 minutes 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, June 3 through Thursday, June 6 for tree trimming. The work will occur in several locations between High School Road and W Port Madison Road.

W ashington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) maintenance crews will trim trees to help improve sight distance and reduce the potential for collisions. Crews also will remove select trees that are dead or decaying.  

This type of work requires occasional traffic stops or one-way alternating traffic.
Drivers are advised to add travel time to reach their destinations, especially if they are going to the ferry terminal.
Get WSDOT construction and travel updates here
Council to continue sandwich board discussion at June 18 study session

The City Council will continue the sandwich board discussion at 
the June 18 study session and invited staff from the Chamber of Commerce and Bainbridge Island Downtown Association to participate.

The Deputy City Attorney provided a memo to City Council in the May 28 agenda packet to provide the community with a better understanding of how Ordinance No. 2019-04, as currently drafted, would affect sandwich board signs and temporary signs on Bainbridge Island.  Ordinance No. 2019-04  proposes changes to how sandwich board signs and temporary signs are regulated under the City's sign code. 

Earlier this year, t he Council began discussion on the proliferation of sandwich boards on Bainbridge Island as part of a sign code update required by the United States Supreme Court ruling  Reed v. Town of Gilber t that states a sign code cannot regulate noncommercial signs based on the message conveyed on the sign.

For background on the sign code update, please see the Council agendas and discussion on the following dates:
The public is invited to attend the June 18 study session, but there is no public comment during study sessions. We anticipate there will be more opportunities for public input at a future business meeting. You may also email your comments to City Council here
Council sets public hearing for landmark tree ordinance extension 

A public hearing to consider a six-month extension of the interim landmark tree ordinance ( Ordinance No. 2019-07) i s scheduled for the June 11 City Council business meeting. This is an opportunity for the community to share any thoughts about the landmark tree ordinance and its requirements. 

The six-month extension would allow staff and the Council more time to consider and potentially adopt revisions  to Chapter 16.32 BIMC (Protection of Landmark Trees). The potential revisions come after the May 7 City Council study session where Council discussed a report from a team of arborists regarding City regulations on tree and vegetation removal. 

The City Council adopted an ordinance in June 2018 to protect landmark trees after numerous public comments expressing concern regarding 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.
PCD's new appointment and walk-in hours begin next week

Beginning Monday, June 3, the Planning & Community Development (PCD) Department is changing its walk-in counter hours and extending appointment service hours to better serve the community and our customers.
PCD has developed an appointment-based approach to reduce waiting in line and to ensure an efficient process. People can now schedule an appointment online to meet with staff at City Hall 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday to submit a land use or building permit application. Previously, this service was limited and PCD was closed for public business on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

In addition, the walk-in counter will be open 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday-Friday to discuss a project with a permit specialist, planner or building representative or get answers to general questions about planning and development services. People can still submit permits during this time but are encouraged to make an appointment.

The expanded hours will include:
  • Walk-in customers
    • 8 a.m. - 12p.m. Monday-Friday
  • Appointments
    • Building Permits
      • 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., 1-3 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Land Use
      • 1-3 p.m. Tuesday
      • 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday
    • Consultation
      • 8:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Read about future improvements here

Bainbridge featured in 'healthy communities' walking tour

Bainbridge Island was featured in a three-day walking tour of cities in and around Seattle earlier this month to highlight the connection between transportation and land use decisions and the well-being of communities.

COBI's Public Works and Planning & Community Development staff led a  group of planning and transportation professionals and elected leaders from Hawaii around Bainbridge. 

They walked around Winslow to showcase our downtown neighborhoods, including the Grow Community. They also toured Waterfront Park and stopped by our multimodal street projects, including Olympic Drive (ongoing), the Sound to Olympics Trail, and Winslow Way.

This is the third time City staff has participated in Blue Zones' Designing for Healthier Communities Mobile Tour. The walk is organized by Dan Burden who is considered the nation's top walkability expert.  Burden describes Bainbridge as a "motherlode of small-town achievements" and "an important study area for people from around the nation."

Burden added that the Bainbridge tour was a top highlight for most of the participants. He said, "Please share with your community that the tough issues you face here are helpful guidance to the state that is taking on high levels of environmental stewardship and sustainability."
BIPD participates in Special Olympics torch run

The Special Olympics Washington Spring Games begin tonight and the torch symbolizing the annual event made its way through Bainbridge yesterday morning during a relay across Kitsap County and beyond.
Bainbridge Island Police Department runners carried the torch from the station headquarters on Winslow Way to Suquamish. The Bainbridge team handed over the torch to Suquamish Police after crossing the Agate Pass Bridge. The relay continued to Hood Canal and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is designed to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. The run will converge tonight at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma to kickoff the Special Olympics Washington State Spring Games with more than 1,800 athletes. The lighting of the cauldron from the torch indicates the start of the games.
Bainbridge celebrates Pride Month

The City Council has issued a proclamation declaring the month of June 2019 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Pride Month to encourage all residents to celebrate the progress within our culture towards justice, equality, and full civic recognition for LGBTQ persons. 

Throughout June, Bainbridge Pride is hosting several events to recognize Pride month. On Saturday June 1, the group is hosting Stonewall to Bainbridge, which recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York that began the gay rights movement. The event is scheduled 1-4 p.m. at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and will feature a panel of speakers and a musical guest to discuss their journeys and what the events of 1969 mean to them.
On Sunday, June 23, join the fun at Waterfront Park for a celebration of diversity and inclusion. Families and friends will come together 12-6 p.m. to enjoy live music, vendor booths, food trucks and more.   
Looking ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the June 4 City Council study session:

  • Use of Housing Trust Fund
  • Informational briefing on the Winslow Hotel project
  • Traffic Calming Program
  • Design Guidelines Update
  • Funding options for the new Police Station and Municipal Court Building

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).
City to host vessel auction during June 8 Boaters Fair

The City of Bainbridge Island will host a public auction of three kayaks at Boaters Fair on Saturday June 8. The event is scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Waterfront Park City Dock, located at 301 Shannon Drive. 

Harbormaster Tami Allen will do an open bid process for each item and the highest eligible bidder wins. The items must be picked up the following week at the Bainbridge Island Police Department, located at 625 Winslow Way E. The winning bidder will make the payment at the police station and will need to show identification.
The City will auction the following vessels:
  • 2-person Equinox Kayak (no paddle)
  • Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable (includes one paddle)
  • Wooden Kayak (no paddle)
For additional information, please call Harbormaster Tami Allen at 206-786-7627.
BIPD to host expired flare & fireworks collection event

Have any expired fireworks and flares to get rid of? Bring them to the Bainbridge Island Police headquarters, located at 625 Winslow Way E. The items will be accepted  8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 1-12 (except Saturday, Sunday and July 4).

What will be accepted:
  • Highway flares
  • Marine hand-held flares
  • Marine hand-launched rockets
  • Marine pistol-fired flares
  • Category 1.4 consumer fireworks (e.g. firecrackers, smoke bombs, fountains)
  • NO ammunition
Questions? Contact BIPD at 842-5211. 

Listen: Staff discusses sandwich board proposal, affordable housing in podcast

City Manager Morgan Smith and Code Compliance Officer Aaron Pool joined Bainbridge Community Broadcasting (BCB) Host Christina Hulet to discuss the proposed sign code changes, affordable housing, new Planning & Community Development (PCD) hours, the upcoming City Council retreat, and more. 

This is a podcast series to share information with the community about what's happening at City Hall - from projects to City Council meetings. 

Listen here.

Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Saturday, June 8: Boaters Fair; Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
See the full calendar list here.
City of Bainbridge Island