BI to look at Grow development change

Many other issues also on Tuesday’s council agenda

The Bainbridge Island City Council will hold a public hearing March 22 on an alternate version of the Grow Community subdivision.

The subdivision was approved in 2014 for 22 residential units, consisting of 18 multi-family units and four single-family units. Instead, the applicant is proposing 14 single-family units.

The final phase fronts the north side of Shepard Way, east of Grow Avenue.

The meeting will be in-person for the first time in two years at City Hall, or on Zoom.

Sustainable transportation

Another public hearing will take place on the city’s Sustainable Transportation Plan that will guide efforts over the next 10 years. The council has been presented with three options with different programs and funding. Council seemed to favor the middle-priced one that would connect Winslow, Rolling Bay, Lynwood Center and Island Center and be useable by people of all ages and abilities.

Water tank

The city is planning to design and construct a new 2-million-gallon water tank to replace two existing tanks located on an easement near Bainbridge High School. The council will consider approval of a contract with Murraysmith, Inc. for roughly $1.4 million to complete the design. The new tank will be constructed at a sufficient elevation to correct several deficiencies with the existing tank, including significant dead storage, pressure zone deficiencies, water-quality issues, and seismic/safety issues. The city is considering two styles: a hydropillar/fluted column or composite tank. The larger of the two existing tanks will be retrofitted with seismic upgrades and placed on standby. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2023.

Roundabout safety

Representatives from state Department of Transportation will join the council to provide an update on the Highway 305 safety improvements planned for Bainbridge. WSDOT is planning to build two roundabouts on BI along the Highway 305 corridor at the West Port Madison and Adas Will intersections. According to the WSDOT project page, its projects on BI are expected to begin this fall and be completed spring 2024.

Reacquire property

The council will hold a public hearing to get input on a request from WSDOT to reacquire property from the city at the intersection of Highway 305 and NE Seabold Road to support the highway’s roundabout safety improvement project. The property was originally deeded to the city in 2017 from WSDOT at no cost. The city recommends a surplus and transfer of the parcel. WSDOT is offering landscape enhancements (specifically larger trees) along the proposed project periphery. The tree upsizing includes increasing the size of about 70% of the trees on the project from 1 foot to 2 foot tall to 3 foot to 4 foot tall. The increase would cost $16,200. The land exchange is valued at $15,830.

Up building fees

The council will consider a resolution to increase fees for building, planning and engineering permits. The fees have not been updated since 2006. The council in 2019 directed staff to amend the fees to account for 100% cost recovery. The city recovers only about 89% of building permit fee services, 32% of land use planning fee services and 3% of development engineering services. The resolution would also direct King to bring back to the council a proposed policy to address fees that would reduce barriers related to affordable housing.

Other topics

The council also will:

  • Receive presentation of BI welcome signs
  • Review terms of $2 million American Rescue Plan Act funds to Housing Resources Bainbridge for the development of affordable housing units at 550 Madison
  • Consider process for reappointments to City Advisory Groups

Talks continue

The Planning Commission on March 24 will hold a second public participation meeting on the Hyla High School project, a proposal to renovate four office buildings into a new educational facility on Ericksen Avenue. The applicant also operates private Hyla Middle School on Bucklin Hill Road. The proposal involves a change in use to an educational facility, which is a permitted use in the district. The project is proposed in phases. The goal is to have one building completed per year, with the addition of staff/students as building conversion (and program success) dictate. The commission also will continue discussion on an affordable housing density bonus pilot program for religious facilities at the Bethany Lutheran site. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

More ferries

Washington State Ferries announced that the Seattle/Bainbridge route will be on full two-boat service for a trial period starting March 22. The route is moving to the trial stage based on the metrics outlined in the COVID-19 Service Restoration Plan. If the two-boat service is reliably available 95% of the time for three weeks the restoration will become permanent. WSF has prioritized ferry routes based on ridership, service performance, availability and directness of travel alternatives, and vessel and crew availability.

Water mains

The city’s water mains are being flushed over the next two months to improve water quality. Signs will be posted in neighborhoods so you know when it will happen. When work is done, run cold water for five minutes until water is clear.