City Manager's Report

City Manager Morgan Smith is out of the office.
COVID-19 Updates
Kitsap County is now in Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan for COVID-19 recovery
The Kitsap Public Health District received notification yesterday morning (Thursday, May 28) that Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved Kitsap County’s request for a variance to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 under the state’s Safe Start plan for COVID-19 recovery.

Approval is effective immediately, meaning Kitsap County is now in Phase 2.

Washington’s Safe Start plan outlines a four-phase approach to gradually resuming business and social activities that have been restricted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase 2 of the plan allows some new business sectors and activities to resume, with limitations and safety measures in place.

Businesses and activities authorized under Phase 2 include (full list here ):
  • Remaining manufacturing
  • Additional construction phases
  • In-home/domestic services
  • Retail
  • Real estate
  • Professional services/office-based businesses
  • Hair and nail salons/barbers
  • Pet grooming
  • Restaurants and taverns (at <50% capacity)
  • Gatherings with up to five people from outside your household per week
  • Outdoor recreation with five or fewer people from outside your household (camping, beaches, etc.)

Per the Secretary of Health's approval letter, "an individual business is only allowed to reopen after it can implement the state guidelines for a safe start."

Guidance for businesses and additional resources can be found in the Kitsap County Pathway to Recovery Playbook at the Kitsap County Coronavirus Resources and Information page and on the governor’s Safe Start page.

Read the full Kitsap Public Health District update here.
City dock reopens to recreational guest moorage
The City has reopened its dock to recreational guest moorage, including overnight stays, as part of Kitsap County’s transition into Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan for COVID-19 recovery

What guests need to know:
  • The moorage is assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis. 
  • At this time, rafting (to accommodate additional boats) will not be allowed. 
  • The showers remain closed to guests.  
  • The sewage pumpout station remains available. 

All City dock visitors are urged to follow public health guidance, which includes wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet of distance from others in public 
whenever possible. 

The launch ramp and boat trailer parking at Waterfront Park reopened May 5.

Information on the Waterfront Park & City dock, located at 301 Shannon Drive SE, can be found here.

Please visit the City's COVID-19 page for the latest updates on the City's response and status of City operations.
City Council to form Economic Recovery Ad Hoc Committee
The City Council plans to formally approve the creation of an Economic Recovery Ad Hoc Committee to support an economic recovery plan for Bainbridge Island due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ad hoc committee will consist of Mayor Leslie Schneider (a small business owner) and Councilmembers Joe Deets and Kol Medina. The group will work with the business community to identify ways to help the business community recover from the economic losses suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe it’s imperative that we, as a City, do what we can do to roll up our sleeves and provide some plans to help our businesses recover…,” said Councilmember Deets who proposed the idea to form a committee during the May 26 Council meeting.

The City Council is expected to consider formal approval of the committee during its June 9 meeting. Watch the May 26 discussion here.
Project Updates
Safety improvements to begin soon along Wyatt Way
We anticipate that the Wyatt Way Reconstruction Project will begin construction on Monday, June 8. The project will improve safety for all users (people walking, bicycling or driving) by constructing a “complete street” with sidewalks and bike lanes on Wyatt Way between Madison Avenue and Lovell Avenue.

The levels of service and connections for all users will be maintained and improved, and poor pavement and drainage features will be replaced. The project also includes the replacement of water mains that have reached the end of their useful life.

The project, which will cost approximately $4.3 million ($2.5 million of which is coming from state grants), will include many improvements:

  • A mini roundabout at the Wyatt Way-Madison Avenue intersection to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety
  • Widened, multi-use sidewalks with ramp access for bicyclists
  • Improved ADA ramps and street crossings
  • New sidewalks on both sides of Wyatt Way between Madison Avenue and Lovell Avenue
  • Drainage and water main replacements
  • Lighting, landscaping and rainwater quality improvements

People walking and driving should expect detours in and around the project area. More information about the project schedule and detour routes will be posted on the project webpage and traffic notifications webpage as needed.
City to receive federal funds for shoulder improvements along section of Eagle Harbor Drive
The City learned this week that it is expected to receive federal grant funding to support shoulder improvements along a section of Eagle Harbor Drive.

The Eagle Harbor Phase II non-motorized improvement project, which is included in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan, will receive $700,000 with a required City match of $100,000 to build wider shoulders on both sides of Eagle Harbor Drive, from McDonald Avenue to approximately one mile west (just before Bucklin Hill Road).

City staff is in the process of developing the project design, which will likely include 5-foot-wide paved shoulders with a 2-foot-wide visually separated buffer. In order to meet the grant requirement, the project needs to be submitted to the granting agency by July 15 and constructed in summer/fall of 2020.

Federal grant contingency projects, which are funded with leftover or unused regional or countywide grant funds, are identified in advance by the eligible jurisdictions and agencies. When funds become available, the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council and Committees review the eligible projects, and prioritize the list according to their “shovel-readiness.”

The City submitted and prepared for the Eagle Harbor Drive Phase II project several years ago by grading and graveling shoulders in the area, and ensuring they could be easily paved on short notice if funding became available.

The City Council will discuss accepting the grant, and making the required budget adjustment at the June 9 Council meeting.
Update on Capital Improvement Plan discussion
During the City Council meeting this week, the Council discussed with staff the development of the next six-year (2021-26) Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP is required as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, as it provides a list of capital improvements that are required to maintain and improve transportation, non-motorized, utility, fleet and facility infrastructure to meet the needs of current and future residents. The CIP is also a foundational element of the 2021-2022 biennial budget, which the Council will begin discussing this fall.

The staff presentation on the CIP included some history of the City’s budgeting for capital projects, as well as background on the capacity of the City to deliver the projects that are promised in the plan. Overall, the staff recommendations for the next six years included trimming the overall spending in the plan by 12% from the previous plan, due in large part to a reduction in expected grant funding, while maintaining focus on critical transportation and utility projects.

The Council will continue the discussion at its June 16 meeting, during which they will have an opportunity to hear more about a potential project to improve the Town Square (the location of the Farmers Market), and make decisions about transportation and non-motorized projects that have pending or potential opportunities for supporting grants.

Watch the May 26 discussion here.
City Council to continue sustainability discussion for Police-Court project
The City Council will continue discussion on the sustainability features of the Police Station and Municipal Court Facility project during the June 2 City Council meeting.

In February, the City Council directed staff to complete an analysis and construction estimate to help assess whether to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the project.

In January, the City finalized its $9 million purchase of the Harrison Medical Center building, located at 8804 Madison Avenue N. The building will be renovated to support completion of a new police station and municipal court.

The project has a current approved budget of $20 million, which includes design, site acquisition, construction, and project management.

The Design Review Board recommended approval of the Police-Court project at its meeting last week.

The Police-Court project will return to the Planning Commission for additional review at an upcoming meeting (date to be determined), then will require Hearing Examiner approval for the proposed Conditional Use Permit Major Adjustment and Site Plan Review Major Adjustment.
City Council Updates
Council marks 'Pride Month' with proclamation
The City Council has declared the month of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Pride Month with an annual proclamation.

The proclamation is a way for the City to commemorate the Stonewall events that happened in June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBTQ Americans.

In previous years, Bainbridge Pride has organized a large festival at Waterfront Park to celebrate Pride Month and the LGBTQ community, but it was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm just so sad that we're not going to have this pride celebration this (year). I went last year and it was just so much fun. The spirit was amazing," said Mayor Leslie Schneider after reading the proclamation during the May 26 City Council meeting. "I will miss it."
City Council to consider six-month extension of landmark tree ordinance
The City Council will hold a public hearing June 9 to consider extending the Landmark Tree Ordinance (LTO) for six months. The LTO, set to expire June 26, has been in effect since June 26, 2018, and the extension is proposed until Dec. 26, 2020. The six-month extension will allow staff time to work on code revisions that were delayed due to COVID-19.

Currently, the landmark tree regulations apply only to the Winslow Master Plan Study Area (WMPSA), which includes the downtown core and nearby residential areas. The Council narrowed the ordinance in June 2019 to apply only in the WMPSA in response to public comment from property owners and Puget Sound Energy about the difficulty meeting the requirements of the regulations. Overall, the WMPSA is more urbanized and less forested than the rest of the island.

The Council adopted the regulations in 2018 to protect landmark trees after hearing from concerned residents about 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.

The ordinance only allows the removal of a landmark tree in limited circumstances --- if the tree is dead or hazardous, if removal is necessary to maintain utilities, or to allow construction when there's no feasible alternative.

Applicants whose landmark tree permits are approved for removal will be required to replant trees and possibly pay a fee to the City's tree fund.

Learn more here.
Upcoming City Council agenda
Below are the topics to be discussed during the June 2 meeting.

  • Update on COVID-19 response
  • Update on the Development Moratorium
  • Discussion on the sustainability features of the Police-Court facility project
  • Discussion on the next steps for the Sustainable Transportation Plan

If you would like to receive the City Council agenda by email when it's published, click  here to sign up on the 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).
Updates on City Advisory Groups
Committee presents update on Climate Action Plan
Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) Co-Chair Mike Cox delivered a briefing on the goals and strategies of the draft Climate Action Plan (CAP) to the City Council at the May 26 business meeting.

The CAP provides specific goals and approaches to guide the City as it works towards the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the island in 2045 by 90% as compared to 2014 levels. The briefing stepped through six focus areas related to climate change, with specific goals and identified strategies for each. The Council approved the goals and strategies by motion.

Next steps will include the finalization of the draft CAP by the CCAC, likely in June. When the draft is final, City staff will review the draft document and provide feedback about the cost, code and other implications of the implementation of the plan. The CCAC and staff can then review the plan together and provide a final draft to Council. Delivery of the final draft is expected later in 2020.

Watch the May 26 presentation here.
Other Updates
Business owners, residents may see reduced insurance rates due to improved fire rating
Please see the message below from the Bainbridge Island Fire Department regarding its improved fire protection classification rating. 

The Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB) notified the Bainbridge Island Fire Department that the Fire Protection Class rating for Bainbridge Island has improved from a Class 5 to a Class 4, effective June 1, 2020. Fire Protection Class ratings are used by insurance companies to help determine fire insurance premiums for properties. This improved rating is great news for our community, as it may reduce insurance rates for businesses and homeowners. It is recommended that parties contact their insurance company to determine the effect of this new protection classification and the potential impact on their insurance premiums.
The WSRB determines the Protection Class of communities and fire protection districts by evaluating their fire protection and suppression capabilities using a schedule approved by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

“The Bainbridge Island Fire Department has significantly improved its Fire Protection Class ratings over the last thirteen years from a Fire Protection Class 7 to a Class 4. Thanks to the community’s support, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department has made significant improvements to enhance staffing, facilities, operations, training, and fire prevention programs. The Department is pleased to announce that Island residents and business owners may benefit from our new rating classification," said Fire Chief Hank Teran.
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Contact Information

280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: 206-842-7633