City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

As Labor Day approaches and summer nears the end, the change of season is also a reminder that some City projects are marking transitions, too.

The significant non-motorized project on Olympic Drive is reaching the end of its construction phase and will soon be put into use by Bainbridge Island pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and transit riders. I hope you were able to review the map in the August edition of COBI Connects that staff developed to introduce the concept of bike boxes to Bainbridge.

The annual roads maintenance program is also in progress, with refreshed bright yellow and white pavement lane markings completed this week and chip seal resurfacing on several Island roads coming soon.

Upcoming meeting agendas include items to move other  projects forward, such as the intersection project at Wyatt Way and Madison Avenue (scheduled for discussion at next week's August 27 business meeting).

At the August 20 City Council study session, we took up several issues of Council and community interest. Public Works briefed the Council on traffic concurrency, or the concept of expanding infrastructure if new development causes the existing situation to worsen beyond our targeted levels. This concept is important to long-term planning for both transportation and utilities. We also discussed the regional population forecast and how our city and neighboring communities begin to plan for increased population over the next 30 years. And, Council continued its discussion of the City's Ethics Program. Finally, Council introduced a discussion of the Rights of Nature and planned to begin a more complete discussion of this topic in October.

As the summer wraps up and the school year begins, please take extra care on the roads as students, teachers and staff return to the school buildings for school activities and classes. The Bainbridge Island School District's first day of school is September 4.

Best wishes,

Ellen Schroer
Acting City Manager
City launches formal search for new Police Chief

The City of Bainbridge Island launched its formal search for a new Police Chief.

The cutoff for the first review of applications is Monday, September 30 and the City seeks to complete the hiring process by the end of the year.
The City has engaged Strategic Government Resources (SGR) to lead the nationwide search. SGR specializes in public sector executive recruitment.
The position became vacant in February when Police Chief Matt Hamner resigned. Deputy Chief Jeff Horn was appointed Interim Police Chief and will continue to serve in that role until a replacement Police Chief is hired. At that time, Chief Horn will resume his role as Deputy Chief for the department.

Click here for more information about the opening and to apply.
City Council to decide number of Suzuki affordable housing units 

The City Council will consider formal approval on the number of Suzuki housing units at its August 27 business meeting.

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. 

The Council will consider formal approval of either Option 4 (91 housing units) or the Alternative Option (100 housing units).  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, considering a range of housing units from 30 to 100.

Once the project's site plan is determined, the City will resume work on site development tasks. 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 .

There will be opportunity for public comment at the August 27 Council meeting.
Public Hearing on Subdivision Update scheduled for August 27 Council meeting

The City Council will hold a public hearing to seek comments on the subdivision update ( Ordinance 2019-03) during the August 27 business meeting.
The City Council continued discussion related to the  subdivision update during the  July 23 business meeting and directed staff to make several changes to the current draft  Ordinance 2019-03, including c larifying how aquifer recharge protection areas (ARPAs) are designated in subdivisions.  ARPAs require up to 65 percent of the native vegetation to be preserved, but the primary natural area (PNA) requirements are less than 65 percent. Currently, ARPAs are included as part of the primary natural area. Due to the difference in the PNA and ARPA requirements, it was suggested that ARPAs be removed from the primary natural areas and handled separately.

The City Council also requested that there be no maximum homesite size requirement in the  R-0.4 and R-1 zoning districts but requested further analysis regarding the overall role of homesites in the subdivision update. 

The August 27 Council meeting agenda will be published later today and will include a draft of the ordinance to be discussed at the public hearing.
Council continues discussion on ADUs, tiny homes 

The City Council will continue the discussion about tiny home communities and allowing recreational vehicles (RVs) as permanent residences during the September 10 business meeting. 

During the July 23 business meeting, the City Council confirmed that the City should work to make the following code changes related to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs):
  • New ADUs will not be sold separately from the primary single-family dwelling.
  • In Residential zones, the City should create a process for tiny homes and recreational vehicles (RVs) to be considered permanent residences, and they could be allowed as types of ADUs. A property could also have a tiny home or RV serve as the primary dwelling on a property.
  • A property could have two tiny homes or RVs serving as ADUs, in contrast with allowing only one traditionally-sized ADU.
  • For properties less than 40,000 square feet in size (just under an acre), ADUs won't count towards a property's lot coverage limit.
Ultimately, policy direction from the Council will be integrated into a  draft ordinance that will be reviewed by the Planning Commission. 

Please note: There was an error in the July 26 City Manager's Report that incorrectly stated information about ADUs and a property's lot coverage limit.The correct number is 40,000 square feet (as written above). 
Council votes to oppose Initiative 976

During the August 13 business meeting, the City Council voted to oppose Initiative 976, a statewide ballot measure that would limit the City's authority to collect car-tab fees.  The ballot measure would cost the City about $600,000 per year if passed by voters during the November election.

Initiative 976 (I-976), which is often described as the $30 car-tab initiative, would repeal the City's authority to impose a vehicle license fee and would significantly change how the City generates revenue to fund the preservation of roads on Bainbridge Island. The current car-tab fees provide $400,000 per year to support annual pavement repairs (asphalt repairs, chip sealing, and stabilization of embankments) to the City's 140-mile road network-- that's about 60 percent of the total spending for the City's annual road maintenance program.

If I-976 is approved, it would also remove $200,000 per year in funding for traffic calming and climate change mitigation projects that City Council approved earlier this year, increasing car-tab fees from $20 to $30 (this took effect August 1). At this time, planning for traffic calming and climate change mitigation projects are on hold pending the outcome of the November election.

If the initiative passes, then the City would need to seek new revenue sources, divert funds from other City activities, or reduce the scale of the annual roads preservation program, traffic calming, and climate change mitigation projects and programs.
Staff to continue work on design standards for wireless facilities

The City Council authorized Mayor Kol Medina to sign and send a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on behalf of the Council expressing concern with federal regulations relating to small wireless facilities (SWFs) on Bainbridge Island.

In 2018, the FCC adopted new regulations governing the roll out of SWFs, which includes telecommunications equipment mounted on poles, wires, buildings, etc. meant to facilitate cell phone reception and the transfer of wireless data. The Council is concerned that the new federal regulations unreasonably restrict the City's authority to regulate use of the City right-of-way. The Council is also concerned with the lack of scientific study on the environmental and health impacts of 5G technology, which is the latest generation of SWFs. 
Due to broad federal preemption, the City is limited in how it can regulate the rollout of SWFs on Bainbridge Island. While limited by federal law, the City does retain some authority over SWFs, including design standards. However, if the City doesn't adopt permanent design standards then it loses what ability it has to regulate what SWFs will look like and where they can be placed on the island.

During the August 13 business meeting, Council directed staff to continue work on permanent design standards for the wireless facilities and referred the matter to the Planning Commission for its review and recommendation. The Planning Commission will discuss the topic during its September 12 study session.
There will be opportunity for public comment during a future Planning Commission public hearing and during a future City Council business meeting (dates to be determined).
City issues Request for Proposals for cultural funding

The City  is seeking proposals for cultural projects and activities that will benefit Bainbridge Island residents and visitors during 2020-2021. A total of $300,000 will be available for distribution through a two-year funding cycle. 

Awards may range in size from $5,000 to $30,000 and may be used to support activities during 2020 and 2021. Special consideration will be given to organizations and projects that will use City funds to advance the community objectives identified within the  Cultural Element  and/or  Economic Element  of the City's Comprehensive Plan . Special consideration will also be given to organizations and projects that involve robust community participation; create access to cultural activities for underserved/underrepresented communities; strengthen organizational capacity; and foster opportunities for collaboration within the cultural sector.
Applicant and project requirements are included in the RFP, which is available on the  City's  website. To be eligible, applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. Monday, September 30.
Applications will be reviewed by the  Cultural Funding Advisory Committee (CFAC), which is comprised of seven community members and chaired by Councilmember Leslie Schneider. After reviewing the applications, the Committee will make funding recommendations to the City Council for approval.

Click  here to learn more and apply. 
New staff on the COBI team

Please help us welcome new staff to the COBI team!  Pictured clockwise from top left:

Brenda Landolt joined the Finance team as Payroll Specialist in July. Brenda previously worked in the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office for five years processing payroll for more than 200 employees. She also held positions in the State's emergency management division and with a private school. She earned a degree in math from Pacific Lutheran University.  

Nick Patton joined Public Works Operations & Maintenance earlier this month as a Maintenance Technician I. Nick previously worked for Kitsap County Public Works for three years and will work with water, sewer and stormwater utilities for the City.
Ofc. Bobbie Noel comes to the Police Department from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) where she served as an analyst. She also previously worked for a defense contractor overseas and served in the U.S. Army. She will attend the Academy starting in November. 
Ofc. Eric Huska most recently served with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and has previous law enforcement experience with an agency in Colorado. He started the department's field training program this week.
Kitty Hall returns to City Hall

The Kitsap Humane Society (KHS) is returning to City Hall for Kitty Hall!  On Tuesday, August 27, from noon to 3:00 p.m., the Council Chamber will be taken over by all things kitty, including adoptable cats and kittens looking for homes.

KHS will be giving out Kitty Hall-themed giveaways and have booths with information on low-cost spay/neuter opportunities for cats; barn cats; how to foster kittens; volunteer opportunities; and cat behavior. KHS will also be accepting donated items from its wish list to support the cats and kittens in their care, including wet and dry cat food, cat toys, and cat litter.

During last year's Kitty Hall event, 11 kittens were adopted.  In addition to Bainbridge, the Kitsap Humane Society also hosted Kitty Hall events last year at Poulsbo and Port Orchard. In all, 32 kittens were adopted. We hope to see you there!

Click here to learn more about the event. 
City seeking volunteers for emergency response training

After a catastrophic earthquake, experts predict that Bainbridge Island will be cut off from the rest of the world for at least 30 days. In an effort to enhance our local resiliency, City Emergency Management, in partnership with Bainbridge Prepares and the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, have developed a layered approach to meet the needs of the community. One component to this is addressing the medical needs of the community, post-disaster, with volunteers trained in Wilderness First Response (WFR). After receiving WFR training, volunteers become a part of the Bainbridge Island Emergency Medical Response (BIEMR) team. The BIEMR team is responsible for providing basic medical care at Hub (shelter) locations across the island. We know that our first responders will be overwhelmed and need volunteers to help supplement their resources.
In an effort to reinforce the medical skills learned in the WFR course, City Emergency Management and Bainbridge Prepares facilitated a disaster preparedness exercise at Manzanita Park. The exercise simulated a mass casualty response after an airplane was struck by lightning and came crashing down in the park. 22 members of the BIEMR team practiced their medical assessment, triage and treatment skills on 15 patients (volunteers). Halfway through the scenario, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department arrived on scene to coordinate patient transportation to local hospitals. 

If this type of volunteer work interests you, please join us for the next WFR class in October. Please contact Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage at for more information.
Kitsap Public Health seeking input on breastfeeding

What are your thoughts on breastfeeding?  Kitsap Public Health (KPH) has launched a survey to assess how breastfeeding is viewed in Kitsap County. The r esults will guide an upcoming campaign to promote breastfeeding and enhance support for breastfeeding mothers. 

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey here.  
Looking ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics expected to be discussed during the August 27 City Council business meeting:
  • Public Hearing on Subdivision Update
  • Suzuki affordable housing project decision on number of housing units
  • Set public hearing on Design Guidelines
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 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
  • Tuesday, August 27: Kitty Hall, Council Chambers, 12-3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 27: Public Hearing on Subdivision Regulations, City Council Business Meeting
  • Monday, September 2: City Hall closed for Labor Day
Click  here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island