City Manager's Report
Dear Bainbridge Islanders,
This week, the City focused on planning and preparation related to the regional COVID-19 events. As of 11 a.m. yesterday (March 5), there were no reported cases in Kitsap County, but we want to be ready if that changes. We also want to take steps now to reduce the chances that COVID-19 will spread in the community, and to reduce the potential pace of transmission.

For the City, this means working to share current and useful information from Kitsap Public Health District (KPHD) and other public health agencies. It also means monitoring guidance on the use of public spaces and public events. We are actively coordinating with community partners like Bainbridge Island School District (BISD), Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD), and Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD). Our community plans and resiliency benefit from the strong degree of cooperation that exists between our local public agencies. Because our island agencies work well together, and have made significant previous commitments to emergency preparedness, we are better positioned to respond in a coordinated way during events like COVID-19.  

The City’s Emergency Management Coordinator, Anne LeSage, acts as the hub of ongoing communication, coordination and planning. Anne holds a master’s degree in Public Health, and previously held positions in both Dallas County Health and Human Services and the Washington State Department of Health Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program. Her background has been particularly helpful as we work through response preparations for COVID-19. 

Please be aware that Kitsap County has indicated that they may decide to issue a countywide emergency proclamation. In that event, the City of Bainbridge is likely to also issue a local emergency proclamation. It is helpful to understand the purpose of that action. A local emergency proclamation allows the City the greatest degree of flexibility in our response efforts. Specifically, the ability to adjust City policies and operations if needed. The other purpose is to ensure that the City has the ability to access state and federal funding (and other resources) if needed. Our ability to seek reimbursement for any costs associated with response efforts begins when we issue a proclamation of emergency. It is not an action that we will take lightly, but it is also not something that should cause additional alarm.

When there are any significant updates on COVID-19, we will send out notifications via Nixle and News Flash (select News Flash/Press Releases).

At this week’s meeting, the City Council requested City staff draft an interim zoning control to pause the use of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) density bonuses, except in cases related to affordable housing or historic preservation. The Council also received a briefing on the proposed improvements to the intersection at Sportsman Club and New Brooklyn Roads and held a discussion on the City’s affordable housing project planned for the Suzuki property.

For more information on these topics and other items, please see below. And please remember to note the change this weekend to begin daylight saving time, as we set our clocks forward one hour at 2:00 Sunday morning (March 8).
Best wishes,

Morgan Smith
City Manager
Stay informed on the coronavirus outbreak
The City of Bainbridge Island continues to work with the Kitsap Public Health District (KPHD) to respond to an international outbreak of novel coronavirus, called COVID-19. The Bainbridge Island community looks to the KPHD to lead local efforts to prepare and respond to community health concerns like COVID-19.

As of 11:00 a.m. on March 5, the Kitsap Public Health District reports that 10 Kitsap County residents are being tested for COVID-19 through the state public health laboratory. No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kitsap County.

Kitsap Public Health will update its website at 11:00 each morning to reflect tests submitted from the previous day. Pending tests only include tests submitted to the state public health lab in Shoreline. Kitsap Public Health is not involved in facilitating testing at the University of Washington. 

Learn more here on the City response. 
Hearing Examiner approves Winslow Hotel proposal
Hearing Examiner Ted Hunter approved the Winslow Hotel proposal with a list of 86 conditions.

The Winslow Hotel project proposal, located on Winslow Way W (across from Winslow Green), includes an 87-room hotel with banquet and meeting rooms, restaurant and bar, and spa. There is a landscaped courtyard, reflecting pond and bandshell, and both under-building and surface parking.

Click here to read the 63-page determination that was issued Feb. 28. 

The Hearing Examiner’s approval gives the applicant the opportunity to apply for a building permit or any other required development permits.  
City seeking communications professionals for project support
Do you enjoy storytelling? Can you simplify complex topics for a diverse audience? Have experience in photography and video? We’re seeking qualified communications professionals for project support through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. The City Council identified expanded communications as a high priority to enhance public engagement, and we are looking for fresh ideas and enthusiastic expertise to support COBI Connects and photography/video projects.

As you're likely aware, COBI Connects is a monthly newsletter printed and mailed to all households within the City. The newsletter was launched in 2019 as a top priority by the Council to inform the community about significant City topics. The consultant(s) will lead in the writing, editing, design, development and implementation of the newsletter layout with review and approval by City staff.

We also are seeking a consultant, with an eye for storytelling, to shoot photos and videos supporting City communications. The consultant will create an archive of photographs for, but not limited to, use on the City’s website, social media, COBI Connects, City Manager’s Report and outreach materials. The professional should also have demonstrated expertise in video storytelling to support the development and production of videos for communications, education and marketing efforts.

Learn more about the scope of work and submission requirements here:

If you have any questions, please contact Communications Coordinator Kristen Drew at or 206-780-3741.
Update: Triangle Property
City staff continues to coordinate with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Ecology (DOE) to assess concerns raised by Bainbridge Island residents related to the sand mining operation at the “Triangle Property” site near the intersection of Lynwood Center Road and Fletcher Bay Road. Previous information was posted on the City website Feb. 7 and Feb. 21.  

Based on information provided to the City by DNR and DOE, key information includes:
  • The site operator, Liden Land Development and Excavation Inc. (“Liden”), is required to provide DNR with a Clean Soils Report for incoming fill, and that reporting is in progress.
  • The site operator has also agreed to arrange for soil testing of fill that has already been placed at the site. Onsite soil testing will be done according to DNR specifications and results will be available in several weeks. When available, test results will be provided to DNR, the City, DOE and the public.
  • DNR previously confirmed its assessment that the depth of the site mining activities did not exceed the allowed depth of 148 feet mean sea level (MSL).
  • At this time, DNR has not identified any other violations at the site.

On Feb. 25, City staff and DNR representatives participated in a phone conference to review site concerns and next steps. The City is working independently and with DNR to complete follow-up on several items that were discussed related to groundwater resources at the site, plans for future site activities, and the applicability of certain SEPA conditions. Additional updates will be provided as those follow-up tasks are completed. 

As has been the case since neighbors brought their concerns to the City regarding this site, the City is not aware of a direct or imminent threat to health or safety related to operations on the site.
Census invitations to begin arriving in mailboxes next week
Invitations to complete the 2020 Census will start arriving in mailboxes next week.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. Census statistics help determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to state and local communities for the next 10 years (e.g., roads and infrastructure, school lunches, homeless programs, etc.).

Households can respond to the census online, by phone and email. Beginning in May, Census takers will begin to follow up in person at households that have not responded. Learn more here.
EPA tree removal at Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site begins next week
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin work next week near Creosote Place NE to accommodate the realignment of the road that is used to access the Superfund Site. The changes to the road are needed to accommodate equipment that is needed to continue the site’s remediation. 

The road realignment will result in the removal of about 45 trees. Recently, the EPA indicated to the City that the agency is taking extra precaution to preserve as many trees as possible regarding the work that will be occurring in the coming months related to the road realignment project. The EPA expects tree removal will wrap up around March 31. The realignment of Creosote Place NE will start in mid-May and continue into August. The EPA will keep the community informed as work moves forward.

Click here to learn more about the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund Site.
Project Updates
Council directs staff to seek new non-motorized alternatives at Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection
At the study session this week, the City Council discussed the future of the Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection improvements. The current project design includes a roundabout, sidewalks, bicycle lanes and extensions of separated paths. However, the design would require an additional $1.1 million of City funds to complete and is also facing a deadline for the use of $700,000 in federal grant funds.  

During the study session, the Council received a staff briefing on the work to date on the project, including information about current and future congestion at the intersection, as well as the intent of planned improvements to safety and pedestrian and bicycle connections. The Council expressed that they were not in favor of pursuing a roundabout project at the intersection, in part, due to the timing for project design that is occurring ahead of the significant community planning exercise that has been launched via the City’s Sustainable Transportation Plan effort.  

As a next step, the Council asked staff to further investigate the potential for extending the federal grant deadline, in order to consider whether to pursue smaller scale non-motorized improvements at the intersection. These might include sidewalks, separated path extensions or other options to support safety for youth and other non-motorized users at this site.

The next discussion on this topic is scheduled for the March 24 business meeting.
Council continues discussion on Suzuki affordable housing project
This week, the Council discussed the Suzuki property affordable housing project and considered next steps. The purpose of the discussion was, in part, to review the project goals previously established by Council in 2018, which are captured in Resolution No. 2018-03
In August 2019, the City Council approved a project site plan that included approximately 100 housing units for the Suzuki property (60 affordable rental units, 39 subsidized for-sale units, and 1 management unit). After subsequent analysis of the project’s financial challenges during October, the Council decided in November 2019 to revisit the selected site plan and to consider additional analysis on a lower number of housing units. Following the November 2019 election, the Council agreed to delay additional discussion of this topic until the new Council members were seated in 2020.

At the Jan. 7 study session, the Council discussed the project and agreed to continue the topic at the March 3 study session. 

During the discussion this week, the Council referred to recent analysis provided by interested residents about the feasibility of several scenarios for a lower number of housing units. Each of those scenarios identified significant funding gaps.

The Council concluded that additional discussion on next steps for the project will be scheduled for a future meeting date.
City Council Updates
Council directs staff to prepare interim zoning control ordinance to reduce bonus density
At the study session this week, the Council added a new item to their agenda to discuss an interim zoning control related to Floor Area Ratio (FAR). The effect of this interim control would be to pause the use of FAR (to increase density) for some types of projects in some instances.

Following discussion, the Council approved a motion to direct the City Manager to prepare an interim zoning control ordinance for consideration at the Council’s March 10 meeting. The proposed interim zoning control will address BIMC 18.12.030.E (dimensional standards). The intent of the proposed interim zoning control is to suspend the applicability and use of BIMC 18.12.030.E., except for subsections E.1. (related to Optional Affordable Housing) and E.6. (related to Historic Structure Preservation).

Currently, the City Code allows some developments to increase in size in exchange for certain specific public benefits, such as affordable housing, public amenities and/or infrastructure, the purchase of development rights, historic preservation, and the preservation of open space. 

A section of the City’s current code ( BIMC 18.12.030.E.) describes the ways in which some projects can obtain bonus FAR in the Winslow Mixed Use and High School Road Districts. In these areas, eligible projects can obtain bonus FAR in the following ways: 

  • by providing affordable housing;
  • by purchasing FAR (by the square foot) in an amount that is set by resolution as part of the City’s fee schedule;
  • by making monetary contributions toward public amenities and/or infrastructure beyond what is required for State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) mitigation in an amount established by resolution of the City Council;
  • by constructing public amenities and/or infrastructure beyond what is required to mitigate the impacts of development;
  • by transferring development rights to create permanent open space; and
  • by a few other specific means applicable only in the Ferry District. 

The bonus FAR works as an incentive program to achieve a broad range of community benefits, and was originally added to the municipal code to implement the Comprehensive Plan and Winslow Master Plan. When an applicant elects to purchase bonus FAR from the City, the proceeds are typically divided as follows: 60% is put toward the preservation of agricultural land on the island, and 40% is put toward the purchase of public amenities (like traffic calming, pocket parks, street trees, or pedestrian connections). In some circumstances, 100% of the fees are designated for the preservation of agricultural land (Resolution No. 2001-54). 

Previously, at the Feb. 25 business meeting, the Council requested City staff to work with the Planning Commission to develop reforms to the current Code that would allow only the use of bonus FAR for the purposes of providing affordable housing, historic preservation, or via the transfer of development rights. That effort will result in a proposed ordinance that will then return to the Council for consideration and final approval.
Upcoming City Council Agenda
Below are some of the topics scheduled for the March 10 business meeting.

  • Interim zoning control for use of Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
  • Schedule public hearing on development moratorium
  • Wyatt Way Reconstruction Project contract award
  • Appointment of members to the new Green Building Task Force
  • Appointment of a new member to the Race Equity Task Force (to fill a vacancy)

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).
Traffic Notifications
WSDOT bridge painting project to resume soon
WSDOT crews could restart work on the SR 305 Agate Pass Bridge painting project as soon as next Monday, March 9.

During the evening, travelers can expect one-way alternating traffic. Get the details here.
Upcoming Events & Meetings
Friday, March 6:
Deadline to submit Capital Improvement Plan projects.
Friday, March 6:
City Council retreat at City Hall.
Monday, March 9:
Crews begin water main flushing. Details here.
Thursday, March 12:
Planning Commission public hearing on ADU/Tiny Home Ordinance. The agenda is posted no later than 24 hours before the meeting.
Thursday, March 12:
PCD & Public Works-Engineering counters closed for process improvements.
Tuesday, March 17:
Department of Ecology will host a webinar to discuss the Blakely Harbor Park cleanup site. Details here.
Wednesday, March 18:
Tuesday, March 31:
Deadline to apply for Salary Commission.
Stay Connected
Contact Information

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