Bainbridge staff lay out restrictions on Winslow Hotel: Shuttle for hotel guests, bicycle program, monitoring of special events, staggered check-in times

The proposed Winslow Hotel will not need a comprehensive environmental study before its review by Bainbridge Island’s hearing examiner, the city’s planning staff said Monday.

The city’s Planning & Community Development Department issued a “mitigated determination of nonsignificance” for the proposal Monday, Nov. 25.

The determination means the hotel project “does not have a probable significant impact on the environment if measures to mitigate the proposal are used.”

In the four-page decision, the city set out 20 mitigation measures for the hotel project.

The hotel project has generated considerable controversy on Bainbridge, with some islanders claiming the hotel will add to existing traffic and parking problems in downtown Winslow. Others have said the project will ruin the “small town” atmosphere of the downtown.

Proponents of the project have repeatedly noted that the hotel will bring less traffic to downtown that the previous businesses on the land, which included a bar and barbecue restaurant.

Mitigation measures proposed by the city include a new crosswalk on Winslow Way West between the crosswalks at Wood Avenue Southwest and Finch Place Southwest.

The developers will also have to repave the right of way on Winslow Way West in front of the hotel property and the property to the east.

Mitigation measures to lessen traffic impacts include a requirement for a shuttle to bring guests from the Bainbridge ferry terminal and local destinations, as well as a shared bicycle program, with a minimum of 36 bicycles and bike parking spaces.

The hotel will also be required to advise guests of its shuttle and bike programs.

The hotel must also adopt staggered check-in times that coincide with the Bainbridge ferry schedule.

To guarantee traffic, parking and noise impacts will be mitigated, the hotel will also have to submit a professional monitoring report during the first two years after the hotel gets its occupancy permit.

The monitoring report will also study the impacts of a minimum of six events in the hotel’s banquet room and courtyard, including room occupancy during the events, how guests traveled to the hotel, the number of parking spaces used, and the number of attendees at events. The hotel will also have to measure noise levels during the six events that are analyzed.

The city said it will use the monitoring reports to determine if additional conditions must be placed on the property, include limits on room occupancy and the frequency, size and hours of events.

To lessen noise impacts, the hotel must notify neighbors of events on site.

The city has also mandated that additional vegetation be planted along the property’s boundary.

A public hearing for the hotel has been scheduled before the city’s hearing examiner — who will issue a final decision on the project — for 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19 in council chambers at city hall.

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