Update on Bainbridge Island’s Temporary Six-Month Moratorium

We would like to share a Public announcement from the City of Bainbridge Island facebook page:  


Bainbridge Island Imposes Temporary Six-Month Emergency Moratorium on Certain Development

The City Council passed Ordinance 2018-02, a temporary six-month moratorium on the acceptance of certain development applications, during their meeting on Tuesday, January 9.
Citing a desire to have additional time to review regulations and policies to ensure the vision, guiding principles, goals and policies of the City’s Comprehensive Plan are being met to the Council’s satisfaction, the Council passed a six-month moratorium on all building permit applications or land use applications included or otherwise described in Table 2.16.010-1 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code. One of the key concerns expressed by the Council in adopting the moratorium is the Council’s ongoing consideration of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) Update. Given the significance of the update to those regulations, the Council expressed a need for a temporary “timeout” to allow for additional public outreach in determining how best to protect the Island’s unique environment.

The moratorium does not apply to building or land use applications that are already vested or specifically excluded in the “Exclusions” section of the ordinance. Those exclusions include, but aren’t limited to, the following (a full list of exclusions will be available on the City website):

1) City Council legislative actions.
2) Permits and approvals for government facilities and structures, including for facilities and structures of municipal corporations and special purpose districts.
3) Permits and approvals for alterations or remodels to existing buildings that do not require a Site Assessment Review.
4) Permits and approvals for emergency repair or construction necessitated by a hazardous event or natural disaster.
5) Permits and approvals for Affordable Housing projects.
6) Permits and approvals for septic maintenance and repairs, hazardous tree or invasive plant species removal, demolition, boundary line adjustments, wireless communication facilities, and overwater structures allowed under the City’s Shoreline Master Program.
7) Building permit applications for complete site plan applications and other complete land use applications that had been submitted prior to January 9, 2018.
8) Building permit applications for single family residences in the R-0.4, R-1, and R-2 zones, for single family residences that are not part of an approved subdivision, provided that the applicant owned the property as of January 9, 2018. The applicant can only use this exclusion once.
9) Building permit applications for a single-family residence in a zone other than zones R-0.4, R-1, and R-2, provided that the building permit application for the single-family residence is not for a permit that is part of an approved subdivision.
10) Building permit applications for single family residences that in addition to fully complying with the current critical areas ordinance, certify that they will also voluntarily comply with the [proposed] critical areas ordinance, 2018-01 (January 9, 2018), specifically in regard to BIMC 16.20.100.E., Native Vegetation Protection Area Requirement. Certain conditions must be met to be eligible for this exclusion.
A Public Hearing will be held at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 13 during the regular City Council meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. For more information on how the moratorium may impact your project, stop by the Permit Counter at City Hall, or email pcd@bainbridgewa.gov.



COBI Chooses Developer for Suzuki Land

From the Kitsap Sun:

“The Bainbridge Island City Council voted 5-2 to move forward in developing the Suzuki property with Olympic Property Group, one of four groups that submitted proposals.

Olympic Property Group is working with Housing Kitsap, Housing Resources Bainbridge and Friends of the Farm to create a proposal for city-owned land at Sportsman Club and New Brooklyn roads. The proposed development the group presented to the council and public is called the Suzuki Farm.

The council’s decision to work with Olympic Property Group comes after months of public and council debate on whether to use the land as a park, for affordable housing or to leave it undeveloped.

The Suzuki Farm plan includes 52 housing units, with 18 affordable homes. The development also includes a community center, Boys & Girls Club, rain garden, orchard and farm. Building the Boys & Girls Club would require a separate fundraising effort, led by the club.

The Suzuki Farm proposal calls for preserving 6 acres and potentially enlarging a pond on the property. It would include 14 to 123 parking spaces, depending on the size of the community center.

Under the proposal, the 13.83-acre property would be purchased for $2.4 million. The city has said it will use proceeds from the sale to fund a new police station.

City Manager Doug Schulze will begin discussions with the developers on a final plan, which could differ from the proposal submitted to the city.

Councilmen Ron Peltier and Kol Medina voted against selecting Olympic Property Group.

Peltier noted that the Suzuki Farm offered less affordable housing than other proposals. The New Brooklyn Glen development offered about 60 affordable town houses in a mixed-use development, while Blue Architects offered a 60-unit, all-affordable housing option.

Peltier said he was “mystified” as to why the council would work with the Suzuki Farm developers.

Councilwoman Sarah Blossom said she was not a fan of the Suzuki Farm proposal and the amount of affordable housing offered, but added that Olympic Property Group has a history of community engagement.

Earlier in Tuesday’s meeting, Medina made a motion to preserve Suzuki without development beyond what a park would have. It was voted down 4-3, with Peltier, Medina and Blossom in favor.

Councilman Michael Scott said he believed a balance could be struck between preserving environmental aspects of the property and developing affordable housing.


City Council Gets First Look at Interim Tree Ordinance

The Bainbridge Island City Council got its hands on a revised set of rules to protect and retain trees as land is developed for new commercial, industrial and multifamily housing projects.

While council members were presented with a 24-page set of regulations at their meeting Wednesday night, the new rules are not complete.

Planning Director Kathy Cook told the council that when the city recently updated its codes, the tree ordinance was purposely omitted as more time was needed to finish the retention regulations. But an interim ordinance was produced to bridge the gap until a permanent set of regulations can be formed and approved.

The council gave the initial thumbs up for interim regulations that protect and retain trees while work continues on a more complete set of standards.

Eventually, the revised regulations may include tree retention requirements to lower density developments of single-family homes, stormwater-fee credits for developers who plant more trees than are required, and the establishment of a “tree account” where builders could deposit funds for tree plantings when they can’t comply with the city’s tree-retention requirements on their development sites.

Final approval, and a public hearing, for the interim ordinance is scheduled for Oct. 24.