Updated Design Standards & Guidelines


On September 24, 2019, the City Council held a public hearing and approved Ordinance 2019-25, updating the City’s design guidelines. The new design guidelines- Design for Bainbridgeare in effect now.



The City of Bainbridge Island recently updated its design guidelines. The purpose of the design guidelines is to produce higher-quality development that reflects the Island’s values and character. 

The City's design guidelines are a method of guiding development and enhancing the quality of buildings, sites and the public realm. Some of the guidelines include: streetscape design, public space (plazas and courtyards), and building design (proximity to street, materials, roof appearance, etc.). The design guidelines are used by the Design Review Board to assess the merits of a project's design.

Objectives for update included:

  • Assess community preferences and appropriate aesthetic and design standards through public education and outreach efforts.
  • Analyze the existing design guidelines and develop a recommended outline of reorganized and updated guidelines that serves the entire island community and individual commercial, mixed use, and neighborhood districts.
  • Produce an adoptable set of new or updated design guidelines that will preserve and enhance the Island’s special character and ensure sustainability, and appropriateness for the community, neighborhoods, and the environment while allowing for variety and creativity.
  • Maximize the effectiveness of the guidelines as a tool for encouraging better design while keeping the guidelines clear and easy to use by applicants, Design Review Board members, City staff, and the public.
  • Identify ways to improve administration of the design guidelines.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact: 

Jennifer Sutton, AICP
Senior Planner

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