Appeal of Rolling Bay Taxi decision denied

Taxi parking in Rolling Bay. - Brad Camp/ Staff Photo
Taxi parking in Rolling Bay.
— image credit: Brad Camp/ Staff Photo

City Hearing Examiner Margaret Klockars has denied an appeal by a group of Rolling Bay residents challenging the classification of Bainbridge Island Taxi as a personal service business.

The decision, issued Friday, upholds the taxi company's right to operate out of a Rolling Bay office space and use up to 11 spaces for parking taxis and associated vehicles.

The decision upheld the city's determination that Bainbridge Island Taxi is a personal service and, because taxi businesses were not specifically listed in the code, the city has the right to determine how to classify the business.

Klockars said the taxi service did not fit into other zoning classifications such as residential or light manufacturing.

Residents calling themselves the Rolling Bay Neighborhood Association challenged an administrative determination made last year that allowed the taxi service to operate from the location near the corner of Sunrise Drive and Valley Road. The group said the business did not fit within city's definition of a Neighborhood Service Center and that taxi parking clashed with the character of the neighborhood.

The Bainbridge Island comprehensive plan describes service centers as “areas with small-scale, island-wide, commercial, mixed-use and residential development outside Winslow.”

The group's complaints that taxi parking altered the character and aesthetic of the neighborhood were also declared unjustified by the hearing examiner.

The taxi company has been based in Rolling Bay since July 2008. It leases a 1,600 square-foot space from Rolling Bay Jiffy Mart owner, Soon Hong.

Tim and Jana Wilkins, owners of the business, have made plans to stripe their portion of the parking lot and improve vegetative buffers around the taxi parking area.

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