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News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

As we begin the fun and sunshine of Memorial Day weekend, I would also like to acknowledge the significance of this important holiday. Please join me in recognizing the sacrifice made by members of the military who have lost their lives in service, the trauma and physical impacts that affect many other veterans, and the ways in which these events forever change these veterans' families, friends and neighbors. 

The American Legion Colin Hyde Post 172 will host a ceremony at 10:45 a.m. on Monday, May 27 at Bainbridge High School. Please meet at the community veterans memorial, which is located outdoors near the south edge of the 100 Building.

Next week, the City Council will resume consideration of a full slate of significant issues. The Council business meeting on Tuesday will include discussion related to sign code changes, proposed rules for subdivisions, and suggestions related to the Ethics Program. Next Friday, May 31, the Council will participate in a day-long planning retreat. The purpose of the retreat is to continue discussion of long-range topics raised at the Council's annual session in January, and to achieve a calendar pivot that places this yearly planning discussion in the second quarter of each year. The shift in timing was recommended at the January session, and will help to ensure that Council input and priorities are discussed at the front end of City budget and workplan development calendars.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
PCD expands hours for planning and building appointments

Need to submit a permit application? New hours are coming soon!

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.

These expanded appointment hours will increase weekly land use application appointments from six to nine. Weekly building permit application appointments will increase from 21 to 35. These changes allow PCD to be timelier and more responsive during the peak construction season.

The new hours also will improve staff capacity to respond to email and phone inquiries.  We understand that our department's response to all types of inquiries needs to be timely. In our current counter schedule, staff is challenged to find downtime to return questions that arrive via phone or email. Now, we expect to be able to provide a better level of service across the board.

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

Council to continue sandwich board discussion at May 28 meeting

The City Council will continue the discussion about temporary signs and a possible ban on sandwich boards at next week's meeting on Tuesday, May 28. 

During the May 7 study session, Council discussed Ordinance No. 2019-04, which  proposes changes to how sandwich board signs and temporary signs are regulated under the City's sign code. 

The discussion was continued to the May 14 business meeting. At the May 14 meeting, Council requested additional information about sandwich boards and continued the discussion to May 28 to allow staff more time to gather information regarding the sign code update. 

In March, the 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 Gilbert 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:
More information about the sign code update is expected to be in the Council agenda packet when it is published later today.  The information will provide the community with a better understanding of how Ordinance No. 2019-04, as currently drafted, would affect sandwich board signs and temporary signs. 

 Sign up to receive the Council agenda when it's published -- select "City Council Meeting Notifications" from the Notify Me list. You can get the updates by text or email.
Bear sightings reported on Bainbridge Island

Photo Courtesy: National Park Service
There have been several recent reports of bear sightings on Bainbridge Island received by the Bainbridge Island Police Department (BIPD) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The last reported sighting of the bear was around 11:45 Wednesday night near Bainbridge High School. School administrators have been notified. The bear also has been seen recently near Grow Avenue.

At this time, there have not been any reports of aggressive behavior by the animal.

WDFW suggests Islanders remove attractants, such as suet and bird feeders, and keep garbage can lids tightly secured.

Please do not shoot the bear, as it would be unlawful. If you observe aggressive behavior during a bear encounter, please call 911.

If you spot the bear on Bainbridge Island, call WDFW dispatch at 360-902-2936. They are collecting information to establish the bear's movements, so they can plan a safe and humane way to trap it and remove it from the island.

For information about staying safe around bears, please see the National Park Service  website.
City begins periodic review of Shoreline Master Program (SMP)

Do you have experience with the City's Shoreline Master Program (SMP)? Do you have suggestions for improvements? The City is seeking input to support the periodic review of its SMP.
Bainbridge Island has 53 miles of shorelines along the Puget Sound. These shorelines provide habitat for fish and wildlife, places for public enjoyment, and space for a wide range of waterfront land uses. The SMP guides development within these shorelines 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. Its purpose is to ensure the SMP is consistent with changes in state law and address errors, omissions, and opportunities for improved clarity and readability.

The Planning Commission has already started the periodic review process. There will be public outreach and engagement throughout the process, including opportunities to comment on the proposed amendments. There are two upcoming opportunities for comment at the Planning Commission meetings (please check the Planning Commission agendas for times):  
  • Thursday, June 27
  • Thursday, July 11
A public comment period and public hearing on the draft amendments will be held 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. The Council's process will include additional public comment opportunities, including a formal public hearing on the proposed amendments.
Updated information about the periodic review, including schedules and opportunities for involvement, will be posted on the City's website.

A postcard will be mailed to all shoreline property owners about the upcoming meetings.
City's first class of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers complete program

Twelve Bainbridge Islanders were recognized on Sunday, May 19 for completing the City's first Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.

Participants go through 24 hours of training covering topics such as disaster preparedness, fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, psychological first aid, incident command and team organization, and terrorism awareness. The class concludes with a hands-on disaster response drill where participants apply the skills they have learned throughout the class.
CERT members play an important role in the moments immediately following an emergency.  They provide first aid support and light search and rescue response in their own neighborhoods. They can also be activated by the City to support disaster response operations through traffic control, crowd management, search and rescue, first aid, and care and shelter support.  
More than 80 Islanders have participated in the Kitsap County CERT program, but the Sunday, May 19 graduation marked the end of the City's first CERT training program.
City Manager Morgan Smith, Interim Police Chief Jeff Horn, and Fire Battalion Chief Chris Schmit assisted with the graduation ceremony and took time to recognize the group for their dedication to disaster preparedness on the island.
The next course will be offered in September. If you're interested, please email Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage.

'Iris Flare' wins Something New People's Choice Award

The outdoor sculpture, Iris Flare by Lin McJunkin and Milo White, has won the Public Art Committee's (PAC) Something New People's Choice Award.

Iris Flare, with its distinctive purple steel and green glass,  sits just outside of Town & Country Market at the corner of Winslow Way and Ericksen Avenue. The piece will remain in its current location until June 7. 
Metal sculptor Milo White and glass artist Lin McJunkin have collaborated on many pieces of outdoor public work that can be seen around the Pacific Northwest. The artists will be honored at an official award ceremony on Friday, June 7, just prior to the First Friday Art Walk. The event will take place along Winslow Way, near the winning piece. Attendees will be addressed by Lin McJunkin and by representatives of the PAC. Additionally, the $1,000 People's Choice Award honorarium will be presented to the artists at the event.
Iris Flare is one of three pieces that was part of the inaugural round of the Something New outdoor sculpture exhibit. Something New aims to provide a dynamic public art experience and an ongoing opportunity for sculptors from around the Pacific Northwest to exhibit their work. Each year, the project brings a collection of sculptures on loan to three outdoor sites around Winslow. The infrastructure at each site is permanent. However, the artwork on display is not. After each yearlong exhibition, new art is selected and rotated into place, bringing "something new" to Bainbridge Island year after year.
Following a recommendation by PAC, the City will purchase one of the inaugural sculptures, Hand in Hand, by Will Robinson, to add to the City's permanent public art portfolio.  Hand in Hand will remain on permanent display in its current location in Waterfront Park.  Both Iris Flare and the third scultpure, Three Color Spires, by Gerry Newcomb, remain available for purchase. Contact Arts & Humanities Bainbridge at 206.842.7901 or by email  with interest.

New works will be installed at the sites vacated by Iris Flare and Three Color Spires in July.
Get on board: Boaters Fair is Saturday, June 8 

Join us at Boaters Fair Saturday, June 8! We have lots of activities on deck at this FREE event for you and your family. Learn how to do knot-tying, watch a helicopter rescue demonstration and kayak in Eagle Harbor!

New this year -- a nautical swap meet; a 2.5-mile fun race by paddle board, kayak, or canoe; and a giant canoe pull.

"This hands-on event is the gateway to get Islanders into boating," said Harbormaster Tami Allen.

The City has hosted Boaters Fair for nearly 20 years to teach people about boating safety - and the event continues to grow. The event is held as part of National Marina Day. Visitors will be able to tour all kinds of boats and learn about cruising, marine careers, and the local boating community.

"I always enjoy seeing families at the event because the kids are our future boaters," said Allen.

Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike, or paddle to this event as parking is limited.  Learn more here .
Boaters: New pay station at Waterfront Park City Dock

Boating this weekend? If you or anyone you know uses the Waterfront Park City dock or trailer parking, please spread the word that our pay station is now automated. We are accepting credit and debit cards only - cash can be paid to City Hall during business hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

The new pay station is located behind the kiosk and has signage directing boaters to it.   

The new system will allow the Finance Department to track every transaction made to the pay station through a software portal. The Harbormaster will have access to develop reports to check that boaters have paid for moorage or trailer parking.  

Learn more here
Apply now: Utility Advisory Committee (UAC) 

The Utility Advisory Committee (UAC) is looking for two applicants. 

The UAC serves as an  advisory body to the City Council on issues related to the operation and management policies of the City's water, sewer, stormwater and other utilities. 

The UAC most recently worked on the water and sewer rate adjustments with City staff and a consultant.

The group meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month 5-7 p.m. at City Hall. 

The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Friday, May 31.  Apply here.  
Traffic Alert: WSDOT crews working along SR 305 next week

Please be aware of slow-moving vehicles along Highway 305 next week. WSDOT crews will be working on vegetative management along the shoulder of the highway. The work is expected 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 28 to Thursday, May 30.

Get WSDOT construction and travel updates here

Looking ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the May 28 City Council business meeting.

  • A Proclamation declaring June 2019 as LGBTQ Pride Month
  • A discussion on the subdivision update
  • An update on the City's sign code (sandwich boards)
  • A discussion on the Ethics program

 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).
Upcoming Events & Meetings
  • Monday, May 27: City Hall closed in observance of Memorial Day
See the full calendar list here.
City of Bainbridge Island