City News You Can Use. 

News from City Hall 
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,

This week, City staff returned from the long Thanksgiving weekend with a renewed focus on completing our year-end business and prepared to enter 2020 at full speed. With only two Council meetings remaining in December, there is a good deal of content to cover on both legislative and administrative fronts. Around the island, Public Works staff are working to take advantage of the continued dry weather to keep at the never-ending maintenance of the island's roads, signs, and vegetation, as well as making progress on other outdoor repairs.

Inside City Hall, we took a "wellness" break during lunch on Thursday to celebrate an annual tradition that has become a staff favorite in the last few years. Every December, our staff Wellness Committee coordinates the "City Swap," an in-house, free rummage exchange where useful (and often funny!) household items pass from owner to the next. Items that don't find a new home are donated to charity at the end of the day. Along with our holiday toy donations and food drive, this is part of how the City family connects to one another and to the community during the holiday season. It's also nice to begin December with a sustainable/buy nothing perspective, and to share stories about some of the most special City Swap "treasures."

At the study session this week, the Council received the results of the City's first greenhouse gas inventory for the community, and discussed goals for the Climate Action Plan that is being developed by the City's Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC). The Council also reviewed options for a cover for the Town Square area used by the Farmers Market, considered a proposal from Squeaky Wheels related to City support for a segment of "Dana's Trail," and discussed a proposed Community Bill of Rights.

At the business meeting next week, the Council will begin with recognition of two outgoing Councilmembers: Sarah Blossom and Ron Peltier. The remainder of the meeting will cover a number of topics, including a proposed work plan from the Race Equity Task Force for 2020 activities, the work plan for Green Building Code options, consideration of an extension to the Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program, approval of an agreement to launch the Sustainable Transportation Plan, and a briefing on the City's updated Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP).

For more information on these items and other topics, please read below.

Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
This weekend: Join the discussion on climate change

Any plans this Saturday? Join the City's Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) for a workshop on reducing our carbon footprint. 

The workshop, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall, will include  information about the findings of a recent climate impact study and will be an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The workshop will help the CCAC gather information for the City's first  Climate Action Plan (CAP).

If you can't attend the Saturday workshop, then consider attending the workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Bainbridge High School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the library reading room.


Click here to read the full climate impact report (scroll down to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory section).

Council adds Point White, Manitou Beach to traffic calming project list

The City Council has requested that Point White Drive (near Schel Chelb Park) and Manitou Beach Drive be added to the list of locations for traffic calming measures. 

Staff is proposing to install radar-feedback signs at strategic locations around the island t o reinforce recently lowered speed limits and slow traffic entering congested areas - at both ends of the 25 miles per hour speed zone on Fletcher Bay and Miller Roads, and also on Sportsman Club Road and Valley Road. 

Council and staff discussed the projects during the Dec. 3 study session as part of an update to the traffic calming program. Earlier this year, the Council earmarked a portion of the City's  Transportation Benefit Fund (TBF)  fees, or car tabs, for the implementation of a traffic calming program by increasing the car-tab fees from $20 to $30. The passage of Initiative 976 discontinues the City's ability to collect car-tab fees after December 2019, so staff has made a recommendation to the Council on how to best use the $66,000 of one-time funds collected to implement a limited number of traffic calming measures.*

During the Dec. 3 study session, staff provided a briefing on the criteria used to prioritize the  sites. Council requested that staff consider including the Point White Drive and Manitou Beach Drive locations for radar-feedback signs. City staff will take a closer look at the construction costs to determine if all the sites can be accommodated. 

Originally, staff proposed that additional funding remaining after the determination regarding the radar-feedback signs could be used for the creation of a pilot program for neighborhood street painting, which other cities have used to successfully slow down drivers.  Given the Council's support for additional radar-feedback signs, and other complexities with the proposed street painting, the one-time money will now be entirely allocated to new sign installation.

Click here to watch the Dec. 3 discussion. 

*The elimination of the Transportation Benefit Fund (TBF) is currently on hold due to a legal challenge of Initiative 976.
Council requests more options for Town Square cover

The City Council has requested that staff continue looking at options for a cover over Town Square - the area between City Hall and Bainbridge Performing Arts where the Farmers Market is held. The cover would allow the space to be more suitable for year-round events and keep Farmers Market visitors dry in the early spring and late fall. 

Staff investigated a number of options and came to the conclusion that a retractable shade option would likely be the most cost effective option. The retractable cover, however, will cost $170,000, which is considerably more than the available budget of $65,000.  

The Council was interested in the retractable option, but also suggested that the timber-framed cover at the Vashon Farmers Market might be another design option to consider. Staff will be working over the next couple of months to refine the design options and the project costs based on comments from the Council, with the expectation of further discussion in the first quarter of 2020. 

There will be opportunities for the public to comment on any proposals before the Council picks an option. Click here to watch the Dec. 3 discussion.
City to auction 27-foot sailboat

As part of the City's work to manage the removal of derelict and abandoned vessels in island harbors, the City of Bainbridge Island is auctioning a 1975 Catalina 27 sailboat. The bidder must have authorized moorage to bid. The minimum bid is $400. The highest bidder will be selected at noon on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The vessel will be open for inspection at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the City Dock at Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park, located at 301 Shannon Dr. SE. Bids can be made in person, but you do not need to be present to win. Bids can be submitted ahead of time by email to Harbormaster Tami Allen at  
Payment will be collected Monday, Dec. 9 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Bainbridge Island Police station, located at 625 Winslow Way E.  The payment can be made with cash, check or credit card with a fee.
For more information, contact Harbormaster Tami Allen at or by phone at 206-780-3733 or 206-786-7627. Click here to learn more about the vessel.
Council considers extension of HDDP affordable housing incentive program

Next week, City Council will consider approval of an extension for the City's Housing Design Demonstration Projects (HDDP) program, an affordable housing incentive program that is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2019. The proposed extension of the HDDP program is related to planning for the City's Suzuki affordable housing project. The Suzuki project may use the HDDP program to access density bonuses to allow an increased number of housing units. 

At the Nov. 26 meeting, Council revised the proposed HDDP extension in two ways. First, the extension would now apply only to Tier 3 projects.The remaining components (Tier 1, 2 and 4) would expire as scheduled Dec. 31. Second, affordable housing units provided under the HDDP program must now be structured to be affordable in perpetuity (forever). Currently, affordable units within the HDDP program are required to maintain affordability for 50 years.*

At the Dec. 10 meeting, Council will consider approval of the HDDP program extension for Tier 3 only.

When the new Council members are seated in January 2020, Council intends to take up additional discussion on Suzuki site plan options.

In October, Council decided to extend the City's HDDP program through Dec. 31, 2021 and to remove a requirement that HDDP projects must be 100% affordable. The proposed changes (Ordinance 2019-32) were then referred to the Planning Commission for a recommendation.

During the  Nov. 7 public hearing, the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of Ordinance 2019-32. Additionally, the Commission recommended that Council direct the Planning Commission and staff to draft an interim affordable housing ordinance that includes density incentives to promote affordable housing and green building.

Currently, the HDDP program ( BIMC 2.16.020.S) promotes development of green residential housing projects to provide a greater diversity of housing options and affordability while utilizing progressive sustainable development practices. The HDDP program is only available within the Winslow Study Area of the Winslow Master Plan and the Winslow Sanitary Sewer System Service Area. 

The HDDP program includes a three-tier structure that pegs incentives to higher levels of green building, sustainable development, and housing diversity. Tier 2 HDDP development projects must integrate 10% of units as affordable housing, and Tier 3 HDDP development projects require at least 50% of units to be designated as affordable housing. The three tiers of the HDDP program have been in place since the program's inception in 2009. The decision to limit projects to those with 100% in affordable housing was added in 2018 while the City was in the process of updating its subdivision design standards.

The Council's changes to the HDDP program are proposed to support the selected site plan for the affordable housing project the City intends to develop at the Suzuki site, a 14-acre property at the intersection of New Brooklyn and Sportsman Club Road. In late August, the Council approved moving forward with a site plan that includes 100 housing units.  The ability to move forward with 100 units on the Suzuki property is dependent on the project's HDDP Tier 3 eligibility, which would allow additional development above base zoning. 
*The Nov. 27 City Manager's Report incorrectly stated that current affordable units within the HDDP program are required to maintain affordability for 20 years. The correct number is 50 years (as written above).
Council considers funding request for trail segment

At the Dec. 3 study session, the City Council discussed a proposal from Squeaky Wheels to pursue improvements related to a project known as "Dana's Trail."  

The Squeaky Wheels proposal relates to requested improvements to a trail segment that crosses Bainbridge Island School District (BISD) property between Ordway Elementary School and the Aquatics Center, and is intended to improve access in this area for students and other users traveling within the school corridor. 

The Squeaky Wheels proposal requests the City provide matching funds and Public Works support for the proposed improvements.The improvements would include signage, striping and pavement markings, addition of a curb and completion of a sidewalk, and optional paving.

During the Dec. 3 meeting, Council discussed that City participation in the project would be contingent on BISD support for the project.  On Dec. 10, Council is scheduled to consider approval of City support for the project.  

The "Dana's Trail" project is named for Dana Berg, a community leader in non-motorized planning who died in 2015.

Council to consider additional funding for wayfinding signs

At the Dec. 10 business meeting, the City Council will consider  additional funding to move forward the wayfinding sign project in downtown. These signs will direct people to businesses, attractions and other facilities. 

The total cost to create and install the signs is $36,000. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) approved $12,000 in funding and the Council is expected to approve the remaining $24,000 from the Council contingency fund. 

The goal is to have signs in place before the 2020 summer tourist season. 
Join City staff, PSE to learn about power line safety 

Do you know what to do when power lines are on the ground during a storm? What do you do if you see an arcing power line? Who do you notify? 

Join City staff and Puget Sound Energy for a demonstration and discussion on how to be safe around electricity. Through slides and a dramatic display, you'll learn what high voltage electricity can do and how to stay safe. 

The workshop will be held Dec. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Bainbridge Island library's main meeting room.

Help bring joy to seriously ill children this holiday season 

We're accepting donations at City Hall for the Kidzz Helping Kidzz toy drive. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and place it in the collection box in the lobby. 

Kidzz Helping Kidzz is a nonprofit organization that was created by 10-year-old Zachary Darner of Bremerton to help bring joy, hope and celebration to children in their time of need. 

When Zach's younger brother, Noah, was seriously ill and hospitalized a few years ago, Zach realized that some kids have very little to look forward to during the holiday season and wanted to help them feel less scared. In an effort to help, Zach and his family created the Kidzz Helping Kidzz organization, which aims to provide toys for at least 5,000 sick children spending the holidays at Harrison Hospital, Seattle Children's Hospital and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. 

The organization is looking for new toys appropriate for kids ages 2 to 16 (new books, tables, games, sports equipment, etc.).  Gifts will be picked up Thursday, Dec. 19.  Thank you in advance for your generous contribution!
Looking Ahead: City Council agenda

Below are some of the topics to be discussed during the Dec. 10 business meeting. 
  • Recognition of outgoing Councilmembers Sarah Blossom & Ron Peltier
  • Continuing discussion on the Green Building Code work plan
  • Extension of some aspects of the Housing Design Demonstration Project (HDDP) program
  • Follow-up on Police-Court project sustainability features
  • Winslow Wayfinding signage funding request
  • Winter weather preparedness briefing
  • Proposed 2020 work plan for the Race Equity Task Force (RETF)
If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, click here to sign up on the City's Council Agendas webpage.

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).

The Bainbridge Island Police Department hosted S'mores with the Squad at Waterfront Park Nov. 30

Members of the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) spoke with ferry passengers during the Wednesday evening commute to inform people of the Dec. 7 & Dec. 11 workshops on the Climate Action Plan.

Staff hosted a Fix-it Fair as part of the annual City Swap lunch hour on Thursday to help co-workers mend buttons, repair bikes and fix vacuums! Click here to learn how to get your household items repaired for FREE. 

Upcoming Events & Meetings  
  • Saturday, Dec. 7: Community Climate Workshop; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall
  • Wednesday Dec. 11: Community Climate Workshop; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge High School library reading room
  • Thursday, Dec. 12: Planning & Community Development and Public Works-Engineering counters will be closed for process improvements 
  • Thursday, Dec. 12: Electricity Safety Demonstration Workshop; 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Bainbridge Island library meeting room
  • Tuesday, Dec. 24 & Wednesday, Dec. 25: City Hall closed for Christmas holiday
Click  here  for the full calendar list.
City of Bainbridge Island