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A franchise agreement is a contract between the City and a public or private utility or telecoms provider who needs access to the City’s rights of way (ROWs) to deliver its services. The City negotiates and executes franchise agreements, which grant the private company or other public agency the right to use the City’s ROW for the installation, maintenance, and repair of their facilities–typically underground pipes and conduits or above-ground cables and lights on poles. A franchise typically covers a wide range of topics, such as permitting procedures, notice requirements before digging in the ROW, insurance and indemnification, length of the franchise, and any applicable costs, fees, or tax arrangements.
Under the current franchise agreement, residents receive the following benefits:
Federal Law and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit the City from regulating rates in Bainbridge Island, except to the extent of ensuring they are non-discriminatory. Cable companies determine what they charge in various cities and regions of the country.
As part of the franchise negotiation process with Comcast, the City will review the existing customer service standards, the penalties for violating such standards, and Comcast’s performance with those standards. Importantly, feedback on Comcast’s performance will be solicited from residents. If the quality of cable service provided by Comcast has been inadequate, the City will pursue higher customer service standards and consider what other actions may be taken under federal law to improve the quality of cable services provided.
Federal Law and FCC regulations limit what the City can do to attract companies since the City must maintain parity between Comcast and potential other wireline cable television providers. For most companies, expanding onto Bainbridge Island would require major financial investment which could be financially unfeasible. There can be negative consequences to overbuilding, and as cord-cutting increases, those potential downsides also increase.
In accordance with Federal Law, the City drafts its cable franchise agreement to be non-exclusive. This means that other cable companies can choose to build out a cable system on Bainbridge Island, but building a cable network is expensive. Dish, and Direct TV are direct broadcast satellite providers and are available alternatives. Additionally, services such as Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix now provide alternatives to traditional cable service.
The current franchise agreement requires Comcast to obtain all required permits under the City Code before engaging in any tree trimming or pruning of trees in the City’s right of way that interferes with operation of its cable system.
Unfortunately, no. Federal Law and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit the City from regulating non-cable services provided by Comcast through its cable system, including Broadband Internet access service. Therefore, the franchise agreement does not address broadband internet and the City cannot, as a condition of franchise renewal, make requirements for Internet Service or Telecommunication Service part of a renewed Comcast Cable Franchise.
If you need assistance, please contact Arlene Harris
The Bainbridge Island Municipal Code states "every person who engages in business activities within the City shall apply for and obtain from the director a license for the privilege of engaging in business within the City for each calendar year or portion thereof." Engaging in business means commencing, conducting, or continuing in business, and also the exercise of corporate or franchise powers and liquidating a business (Ord. 2018-35). For online and cloud-based businesses, engaging in business is defined as the physical address of the business as listed with the Washington State Department of Revenue. Without being all-inclusive yet bringing specific awareness to the public, engaging in business includes:
A more comprehensive list encompassing the definition is available within Chapter 5.05 of the Municipal Code as modified by City Ordinance No. 2018-35. The City definition meets the State of Washington model threshold definition as mandated by RCW 35.90.080.
Business Licensing Exemptions
The City recognizes the following exemptions related to business licensing:
Fee-Exempt Business License. The City recognizes two types of businesses as eligible for a Fee-Exempt License. A Fee-Exempt Business License allows businesses to register with the City and obtain a City Business License; however, the business is exempt from paying the general business license fee of $65. To apply for a Fee-Exempt license:
Business owners will be contacted by the City to ensure the application meets the qualifications for fee exemption. Fee-exempt applications are subject to the same zoning and code compliance review and approval as a general or home occupancy license application. Be aware, the City will attempt to reach a business owner twice to discuss fee-exempt qualifications and acquire necessary information for zoning and code compliance review. If no response is received, the application will automatically be denied for failure to provide required information. Applications failing to provide valid contact information (i.e., phone number and/or email address) will be automatically denied.
The two types of businesses eligible for fee exemption are:
Full License Exemption. The following businesses do not require a business license and are exempt from licensing per BIMC 5.04.080:
The City's contract with the State of Washington Business Licensing Service (BLS) ensures businesses a "one-stop shopping" portal for obtaining individual city licenses throughout the State. The City continues to oversee, regulate, and maintain its business licensing according to City Code. The City maintains the responsibility for the approval, denial, and payment collection for business licenses.
If your business is located off the island, your business license will be granted automatically unless the business applies for a fee-exempt license. If a non-resident business applies for a fee-exempt business license, the City will contact you to determine if the business meets qualifications for fee exemption.
If your business is located on the island, your license application will be reviewed by the City for compliance with legal, zoning, and signage requirements. More than likely, business owners will be contacted by the City by phone to provide additional information pertaining to code and zoning compliance as part of the application review. If the application is approved, an endorsement will appear on your Washington State Business License. (NOTE: The City no longer provides Business License Certificates.) The approval process could take up to two weeks, or longer should compliance questions arise.
Certain businesses require additional information or permissions. It is the responsibility of the business owner or primary agent to provide the additional information and/or secure any and all approvals required by the City, County, and State. Common businesses requiring additional information or permissions include but are not limited to:
Yes. The Washington State Department of Revenue issues a "Uniform Business Identification" (UBI) number. The State UBI registers a business entity for tax purposes and is mandatory to obtain a a Bainbridge Island Business License. Only a City Business License entities a business entity to engage in business. Visit the State of Washington Business Licensing Service website to obtain your UBI number.
A City Business License costs $65. You will pay an initial $65 at the time of your application (the fee must be included with your application for your application to be processed) and $65 each anniversary year to maintain your license.
Nonprofit Organizations are exempt from the cost of a Business License.
BLS adds an additional $11 processing fee to cover license processing, postage, and other costs.
Your City Business License must be posted in clear public view in the place of business for which it is issued.
Approximately six (6) weeks before your current City business license expires, BLS will send you a license renewal letter with instructions to renew through BLS. Payment is easily accepted online with E-check or credit card. If you prefer to renew your license by mail using the BLS renewal form, the form and a check, made payable to the Washington Department of Revenue, must reach BLS before the license expiration date. A late filing fee will be assessed for renewals received after the expiration date.
Nonprofit organizations are exempt from the Business License Renewal Fee.
As an incorporated city, one way Bainbridge Island raises revenue is through its Business & Occupation (B&O) Tax levied on businesses doing business on the island. Businesses with gross receipts of more than $150,000 earned on Bainbridge Island are subject to the City's Business and Occupation Tax set at 1/10 of 1%. The tax is filed annually reporting gross revenue for the prior calendar year. This B&O Tax is separate from and in addition to the Washington State B&O Tax.
The City mails a personalized B&O Tax Report to our businesses the first week of January of each year. A generic report is provided below for your convenience. B&O Tax Reports and tax payments are due by the last day of February each calendar year. See the Fee Schedule to calculate penalties for reports received after the due date.
Please Note: Nonprofit organizations are only subject to Business and Occupation Taxes as a result of undertaking for-profit activities.
Please Note: Certain businesses are subject to separate taxes in lieu of B&O Taxes:
If you have questions about the City's B&O Tax, please contact the Finance Department at (206)780-8668.
You are required to notify the City of changes in the business physical and/or mailing address. Please notify:
When your request for a physical address change is received, and the business is located on Bainbridge Island, the change will be reviewed for compliance with legal, zoning, and signage requirements. If there is a compliance-related question or problem, or if further information is required, the business will be contacted. This process could take up to two weeks, or longer should compliance issues arise. Owners will be notified of outcome. Approved changes will appear on your Washington State Business License.
To cancel or close your City Business License contact:
The Business License issued is personal and non-transferable. No license shall allow another person to operate a business under the seller's license. The new owner must apply for a new license. To notify the City of sale of business, contact:
With an outdoor unit buried in the ground, you will not hear it at all if you are 10 or 15 feet away. If you are standing on top of it, it sounds like your washing machine when it’s running — just a hum (69 dB at 6 feet).
Typical operation is a total of 10 to 30 minutes per day for single-family residential homes. It is designed to turn on several times throughout the day (20 to 40 times for a single-family home), for 1 to 2 minutes each time. This will vary with water usage — the more water you use, the more often the pump will turn on.
A typical single-family home uses approximately 250 gallons of water per day. The E/One pump for this home will consume about 200 KWh of electricity per year. Check your utility bill for the cost per kilowatt hour in your area. For example, if you pay 11 cents per kilowatt hour: $0.11 KWh x 120 KWh = $13.00 per year cost of electricity to operate the E/One pump.
The only items that should be going down your drains are water, regular toilet paper, and human waste. The following items should not be introduced into the grinder pump station (or any sewer system); they can damage or cause premature problems (parts wearing out) with your pump, or build up in the tank and block your pump from working properly.
Shirts and shoes are necessary and respectable clothing is recommended. Hats are to be removed upon entering the courtroom. No smoking, food or drink will be allowed. Children may be present in the courtroom, but if they disturb the proceedings you may be requested to remove them. The Court does not provide childcare.
Check in with the Clerk and Court Security Officer upon your arrival at Court. After your check-in is complete, you may then enter the courtroom. Please turn off your cell phone. Find a seat and wait until your name is called. When your name is called, come forward and be seated at the table with the defense attorney.
The arraignment is generally your first appearance in court on the citation or charge. If you were summoned to court, you will appear in person at the court. If you were arrested, you will remain at the Kitsap County Jail and will see the Judge through the jail video system.
The Judge will inform you of the charge and explain it. Next it will be confirmed that you understand your constitutional rights as explained by the document you were given when you checked in with the Court Security Officer, and finally the maximum punishment and mandatory minimum punishment, if any, will be stated. Bail and conditions of release will be discussed and set by the court. For a person charged with a non-violent offense with little to no criminal history, it is not uncommon to be released on personal recognizance ("PR") and other conditions such as a no-contact order or a requirement not to drink alcohol or use drugs. However, if the offense involves behavior that endangers others, bail and other more stringent conditions may be imposed as a condition of any release to the community.
All persons accused of any crime or traffic offense that might result in a jail sentence have the following rights:
The law requires that the police impound your car when you are arrested for DUI. There are three towing companies used for impounds in Kitsap County - you must contact these companies to locate your car and pay the necessary towing fees.
If you are charged with DUI, the Judge may order you to install ignition interlock on your car as a condition of your release. Department of Licensing may also require this as a condition of getting your license back. You must use a provider that is certified in the state of Washington. The Washington State Patrol maintains a list of certified providers.
The following companies are certified providers in Kitsap County:
Printable Ignition Interlock Providers - Kitsap County Brochure (PDF)
It is recommended that you discuss your case with a lawyer before entering a guilty plea. The public defender will be present at the arraignment and represent all defendants for that hearing. Most defendants appearing in custody haven't had a chance to hire private council prior to arraignment. You will be given time to hire an attorney before your next hearing if you do not qualify for the public defender.
At the arraignment, ask to screen for the public defender. The Judge will request that you fill out a financial affidavit and call you up to discuss whether you qualify for appointed counsel. If the public defender is appointed to represent you, the clerk will give you a form with the address and phone number of the public defender. It is your responsibility to contact the public defender to schedule an appointment and to be available for all meetings requested by the lawyer.
At an arraignment hearing, most people charged with a criminal offense enter a not guilty plea. This allows more time to acquire an attorney, review the police reports, investigate the charge, and consider possible diversion options or sentencing recommendation of the prosecutor. Once more information is provided, a person may decide to enter a guilty plea- typically at a later pre-trial hearing.
If you plead guilty it means you admit the charge and elements to prove the charge. By pleading guilty you waive your constitutional rights and in most cases will be sentenced right then. However, you may speak on your behalf at sentencing. The Judge will then usually review the police report, if available, and sentence you.
A not guilty plea is a denial of the charge and none of your constitutional rights are waived unless you expressly wish to do so. You are presumed innocent and the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at a subsequent trial.
After your arraignment, the next hearing will be a pre-trial hearing where the prosecutor will be present. You and your lawyer are required to be present. It is not uncommon for a defense attorney to continue this hearing once or more to allow sufficient time to investigate your case and negotiate with the prosecutor. This also allows the attorney to find out more information about possible diversion options that could help you keep the crime off of your record. At a pre-trial hearing, motions may be heard and a jury or bench trial may be set. Information about all evidence in the case and witnesses names is exchanged.
In most cases, you will not be taken directly to jail. Instead you will be given a period of time in which to complete your commitment. Jail alternatives such as electronic home detention and community service are commonly imposed instead of jail if you do not have criminal history.
There are several alternatives to serving time in jail. In some cases, jail time may be converted into community service. You may also be allowed to serve your time on home detention. The court also utilizes technology such as a skin-alcohol monitoring ("SCRAM") device, GPS device, and drug testing to ensure that the community is protected and electronic home detention time is served appropriately.
If you can’t pay your fine in full at the time of the hearing you will be able to set up a payment plan. Failure to pay fines may result in late fees, a possible suspension of your driver’s license and assignment of the account to a collection agency. Review the court's information about Fines and Payment Options to learn more.
The State of Washington courts has created a helpful guide regarding this issue. You may also contact an attorney to seek advice on this topic. Please see the following resources in guiding you:
Bench warrant quash hearings are held on Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact the court at least the day before to be confirm court is being held on the day you plan to come. Arrive by 8:30 AM so the clerk may pull your file and prepare it for court. Your bench warrant quash hearing will be held on the 9 AM calendar, which typically is finished by 11 AM.
The DRC does not provide legal advice, counseling services or tell people how to resolve their conflict in mediation services.
Mediation is an excellent choice for clients who wish to have a say in the outcome of the conflict. Typical cases the DRC hearings involve;
The DRC office staff will be glad to help you determine if mediation is appropriate in your case. Clients that choose to use mediation still have the option of using the court system should the outcome of mediation not meet their needs. There may be some cases that are inappropriate for mediation such as cases involving domestic abuse, violent acts, or significant mental health issues.
The court allows mitigation hearings in person and by mail. You may use the Mitigation by Mail Form (PDF) to mitigate your parking ticket. If you would like to contest your ticket, you must appear in person. Review the frequently asked questions about infractions to learn more about the difference between a mitigation and contested hearing.
Be sure to bring in a copy of your employee parking pass to your hearing or send in a copy with your mitigation by mail request. The court does take into consideration the fact that you possessed an employee parking pass at the time of your ticket.
Bring in or send in a copy of your valid handicap parking pass, your handicap parking ID card, and fill out the mitigation form below explaining the circumstances. RCW 46.19.050 requires that you sign a statement that establishes that the person operating the vehicle or being transported at the time of the infraction had a valid placard, special license plate, or special year tab at the time of infraction. Assuming these requirements are met, the court will dismiss your ticket.
Mitigation by Mail Form (PDF)Request for Hearing Form (PDF) (Parking Ticket)
Access to judicial records is governed by court rules and not the Public Records Act (PRA) under RCW 42.56. There are two types of judicial records addressed by court rules: (1) "court (or case) records" (records filed with the court in a judicial proceeding that are usually maintained by the court clerk); and (2) "administrative records" (any record pertaining to the management, supervision or administration of the judicial branch).
Access to court/case records in the municipal court is governed by the following court General Rules (GR): GR 31 (Access to Court Records), GR 15 (Destruction, Sealing and Redaction of Court Records).
Access to judicial administrative is governed by GR 31.1 (effective January 1, 2016). The judicial branch is committed to openness, transparency, and the belief that the public should have access to most court records and administrative public records. These FAQs address GR 31.1, access to judicial administrative records. For information regarding access to records contained in court case files (court or case records), please consult GR 31.
The form for requesting records from a case file is located on the court website under Records Request. It is best to request records in person from the court to make sure the clerk fully understands your request. However, you may also mail or email the records request form to the court. It is your responsibility to make sure it is properly received by the court by calling the court at 206-842-5641 to confirm.
GR 31.1 ensures the public's right to access to judicial administrative records, clarifies the responsibilities of judicial agency officials with regard to providing access to these records, and assists in identifying exceptions to public access.
Judicial administrative records in Washington State are generally accessible to the public. These records may be written or recorded information related to the management of the court, its business with the public, or the carrying out of its administrative functions. These records include copies of records made by, used by, or received by a court in connections with its administrative functions.
The form for requesting administrative records is located on the court website under Records Request. You may mail or email the request form to the court or drop it off in person during regular business hours. It is your responsibility to make sure it is properly received by the court by calling to confirm. You may contact the Court Public Records Officer at 206-842-5641.
State and federal law require judicial branch agencies and courts to keep some records confidential. Confidential records are not available to the public. Access to some records containing sensitive personal information is restricted by law to protect peoples' right to privacy and to protect them from possible harm or harassment. Records maintained or created by a judge or the judge's staff are called "chamber records" and are not subject to disclosure.
While most administrative records will be provided in their entirety, some records may contain sensitive or private information. This sensitive or private information may be removed or blocked out of a record. This is called a redaction. Examples of information that will be redacted include social security numbers, some financial information, home addresses, medical records and health care information. The request will be notified when information has been redacted from a record along with the reason for that redaction.
Administrative records are subject to a retention schedule. Most administrative records are retained for six years.
All requests to inspect or obtain administrative public records must be submitted in writing.
Please send the completed form to the Public Records Officer at the court. You must provide your legal name and physical address when you submit the request. If you need assistance due to disability, please contact the court Public Records Officer at 206-842-5641.
Within five days of receipt of your administrative records request, the court PRO will confirm that your request was received and, when possible, will estimate the time it may take to locate and send the records to you. Although the judicial branch is not penalized if confirmation is not made within the five day period, every effort is made to ensure that receipt of your request is properly confirmed. Please see the Municipal Court's Policy and Procedures (PDF) for more information.
The court is not required to create a new public record to respond to your request if the request you submitted is for a record that does not exist. If the request is not specific enough to understand, or if the request is very broad and costly, we may call or write you for clarification so that we can avoid unnecessary expenses to you and the court or judicial branch agency.
If you are notified that the record you requested cannot be disclosed or that the record you received has been redacted and you disagree with the decision, you may seek review of the decision. GR 31.1(d). There are two separate review processes to follow, internal and the external review.
To view original or stored paper copies of administrative public records by completing the records request form and indicating you wish to view the records in-person. You will then need to make an appointment with the Public Records Officer to view the records at the court. While there are no charges or fees associated with viewing administrative records, there may be costs associated with the research necessary to find these records. See GR 31.1(h)(4) and cost discussion below.
You will need to complete the Records Request form and note that you would like paper copies. There will be fees for copying the records or completing any extensive research related to your request, and you will be informed the amount that is due.
GR 31.1(h)(2) allows the court to recoup its cost for copying and scanning records. If extensive research (more than one hour) is required to respond to your request, there will be charges for the time involved at $30 per hour. GR 31.1(h)(4). You will be required to pay the fees in advance of research and prior to the copies being given to you. If you do not pay the amount due for records, you will not be able to obtain additional records until that debt is paid.
Fee Structure for Administrative Records (pursuant to GR 31.1, RCW 3.62.060):
The public records officer maintain records of requests and the manner in which the requests are filled.
The court cannot control the use of the public records it provides to the public and cannot be responsible for any problems that result. However, the court will not provide any administrative record if it determines that: the request was made to harass or intimidate the court or judicial agency or its employees; fulfilling the request would likely threaten the safety or security of judicial officers, staff, family members of judicial officers or staff, or any other person; or fulfilling the request may assist criminal activity. GR 31.1(c)(7).
Read the entire front and back of your ticket. You should note that you must respond within 15 days from the date the ticket was issued. An infraction is not a criminal offense, but failure to respond can result in the suspension of your driver's license. You can respond by either mailing the ticket to the court or bringing it in person to the court office. Select one of the boxes on the ticket (payment or request for a mitigation or contested hearing) and verify your address. If you have lost your copy of the ticket, you may use the infraction response form.
A mitigation hearing is where you admit you committed the violation, but wish to explain the circumstances of the infraction and ask the Judge to consider reducing the penalty. The Judge, depending on the explanation and your record, may adjust the penalty. However, the judge will not dismiss your ticket. As the Court is required to forward all committed traffic tickets to the Department of Licensing, it will appear on your driving record.
If you would like to contest your ticket, you must mail in your ticket within 15 days and select a contested hearing. Unless you request the officer to be subpoenaed, the officer will not be present. The Judge will read the sworn statement of the officer. Then you may testify or present any evidence or witnesses that you wish. If you want to have the officer or any technician present, please advise the court clerk at the time you present your ticket or as soon as possible so the hearing can be appropriately scheduled. (Requests must be made in writing and received in the court office no later than 30 days before your hearing.)
As a result of a contested hearing, the penalty will either stay the same or the ticket will be dismissed. In the event you subpoenaed witnesses, you may be required to pay costs incurred by that party. A contested infraction hearing is a civil case and the Judge will decide the case based on the preponderance of the evidence.
You may, at your own expense, have a lawyer appear and represent you at your hearing. If you are represented by counsel, the lawyer is required to file a Notice of Appearance with the court and the Prosecutor prior to the hearing date.
You may mitigate your ticket by mail by filing out and sending in the mitigation form prior to your hearing or with your initial response to the ticket. However, you must appear in person if you would like to contest your ticket.
You must respond to the court about whether you would like to mitigate, contest or pay your ticket within 15 days of the date that the ticket was issued. An infraction is not a crime, but failure to respond can result in your fines going to collections and the suspension of your driver's license.
Mitigation by Mail Form (PDF)
If you have received a traffic infraction, you may be eligible for a Deferred Finding. You may qualify for a Deferred Finding under RCW 46.63.070 if you have not taken this option on a traffic ticket within the last seven years. Upon successful completion of the deferral conditions your ticket will be dismissed. You may defer only one moving infraction and one non-moving infraction every seven years.
The Judge cannot grant a Deferred Finding if you have a commercial driver's license or were operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the violation. The Judge also may not grant a Deferred Finding if the infraction is Negligent Driving in the Second Degree.
You must fill out and return the request for a Deferred Finding form (PDF), or request a court hearing, within 15 days from the date your ticket was issued if you want to request a Deferred Finding.
If you request a court hearing and then decide to pay the ticket, the court clerk will cancel your court hearing upon payment of the ticket or you signing a payment plan.
When you pay the penalty, mitigate, or if the Judge finds you have committed a traffic infraction at a contested hearing, the state law requires that the infraction be reported to the Department of Licensing. The infraction will then appear on your driving record. Neither the court clerk, nor the Judge, has the authority to keep the infraction off your record. If you successfully complete a deferred finding agreement or the infraction is dismissed at a contested hearing, it is not reported to the Department of Licensing and will not appear on your driving record.
Failure to pay or respond to the ticket within 15 days results in an order that the infraction was committed. If you ask for a hearing and do not appear your payment is due immediately. When an infraction is not paid in a timely manner, a hearing is missed, or you did not respond within the 15 days to request a hearing or make payment arrangements, a $52 late penalty is added to the amount shown on the ticket. Your license may be suspended if the penalty is not paid following a notice to pay the increased penalty, and the account may be assigned to a collection agency.
Note: Driving on a suspended driver's license is a criminal offense.
If you receive a ticket for no insurance and you had insurance at the time of the ticket, you may file proof of insurance with the court clerk and pay a $25 administrative fee pursuant to RCW 46.30.020(2). The ticket and proof of insurance will then be reviewed by the judge and dismissed. It will not go on your driving record. However, you must respond within the 15 day response time.
If you did not have liability insurance at the time of the ticket, the court is still interested to know if you obtained liability insurance since that time. Provide proof of liability insurance at your mitigation hearing or with your mail mitigation request.
If you cannot pay all of your penalty at once, the court clerk will explain the process for a time payment agreement with Signal Credit Agency. If you don't pay and don't set up a time payment agreement, your account is turned over to a collection agency. Once this occurs, you will have to deal directly with the collection agency in regards to payment. Failure to pay fines can also result in the suspension of your driver's license. Driving on a suspended driver's license is a criminal offense.
Preserve Responsible Shoreline Management (PRSM), et al, and Kitsap County Association of Realtors (KCAR) filed an appeal of the City’s SMP in October 2014. In April 2015, the Growth Management Hearings Board concluded that the Petitioners failed to provide clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the City’s SMP was inconsistent, or failed to comply, with the Shoreline Management Act or applicable guidelines. The Growth Management Hearings Board ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the City, denied the appeal and dismissed the case. The same petitioners subsequently filed a Petition for Review with the Kitsap County Superior Court in May 2015. A briefing schedule has not been set.
No. The U.S Constitution allows state and local governments to limit private property activities provided the limitations serve a legitimate public benefit and they do not deprive the landowner of all reasonable use of the property. The SMP regulations protect shorelines of the state, a public resource. In most cases, buffers do not deprive landowners of all reasonable use of their property and, generally speaking, all property tends to benefit from reasonable setbacks and buffers. In those limited instances where a buffer or setback precludes or significantly interferes with reasonable use, the property owner may apply for a variance.
No. During the SMP update process, we heard numerous concerns about how the new SMP regulations might affect shoreline property values. However, Kitsap County Assessor’s data indicate that for the one-year period following the effective date of the SMP (August 2014 through July 2015), the median sale value of waterfront homes slightly increased over the one-year period prior (August 2013 through July 2014). And while complete 2015 sales data is not yet available, the total number of waterfront sales for 2015 (currently 41) appears to be on pace to equal or exceed 2014 sales (53).
Enforcement provisions are not applicable to everyday activities such as mowing your lawn, weeding or washing your car. There are enforcement provisions in the SMP that allow the City to fine individuals that fail to comply with regulations. The enforcement provisions, including fines, are consistent with the authority provided to the City in the Washington State Shoreline Management Act. However, it is City policy that staff first work with individuals to come into voluntary compliance. A fine would only be issued if an individual failed to comply after working with City staff.
No. Maintenance of existing residential landscaping is not regulated by the SMP. Vegetation management standards in the SMP do not apply retroactively to existing lawfully established uses and developments, including maintenance of existing residential landscaping, such as lawns and gardens. Property owners are strongly encouraged to voluntarily improve shoreline vegetation conditions over the long term.
Yes. The SMP states, “any changes from the existing landscape to a different landscaping use or activity will require that the modified area comply with the provisions of 4.1.3, Vegetation Management, and the intent of providing native vegetation to maintain ecological functions and processes.” Making changes within an existing garden - such as switching from tulips to daffodils or tomatoes to potatoes - would not be considered a change from the existing landscape and would not be regulated by the SMP. Larger-scale changes would need to meet the intent of providing native vegetation. For example, if you wanted to get rid of a large area of ornamental rose bushes within the shoreline buffer because they are difficult to maintain, the City would require that you replace the roses with native plants. Removal of non-native vegetation outside the shoreline buffer is permitted. The City recognizes that “any changes” is broad language and will clarify its meaning as part of the anticipated limited amendment.
It depends. There are provisions within the SMP that allow for pruning without permission. Vegetation management standards do not apply to maintenance of existing residential landscaping. Maintenance trimming of vegetation that has a main stem or supporting structure less than three inches in diameter - except for tree topping - is specifically exempt from vegetation management standards. Minor pruning within the shoreline buffer, including thinning of larger branches to enhance views, is allowed with a clearing permit. A clearing permit can be obtained for no cost - in many cases over-the-counter - from the Department of Planning and Community Development at City Hall.
Yes. Unless it remains as a wildlife snag (left upright at a safe height), a dead tree that is taken down within the shoreline jurisdiction must be retained on site to provide or enhance wildlife or marine habitat. The City does not have an approved list of replacement trees, but does offer a list of recommended plants for mitigation and revegetation.
No. There is no stated goal in the SMP to phase out all single-family docks over time. The regulations in the SMP - not the goals or policies - are part of the City’s development regulations. The goals are not regulations in themselves and, therefore, do not impose requirements beyond those set forth in the regulations. While the SMP does have provisions that limit areas where docks may be constructed, the Cumulative Impacts Analysis completed for the SMP (2012) determined that a total of 155 new docks could be constructed based on existing site conditions and proposed SMP regulations.
No. The stated over-arching goal of the SMP is to “ensure that future use and development of the City’s shoreline maintain a balance between competing uses, results in no net loss of shoreline ecological functions, and achieves a net ecosystem improvement over time.” Residential use - homes and appurtenant structures - are a preferred use of the shoreline.
Yes. If property owners can clearly demonstrate a need to protect their residence from loss or damage, they can replace their bulkhead using the approach that has the least impact on the natural shoreline.
No. In an analysis completed for the SMP update, approximately 225 existing shoreline homes were identified as potentially “non-conforming” with the proposed (2014) SMP regulations. Nearly double that number were already non-conforming with the existing (1996) SMP regulations. Existing shoreline homes that were legally established, but which do not meet the present regulations or standards of the SMP, are allowed to remain in place and may be repaired, maintained and remodeled and, in some cases, expanded.
Existing homes are “grandfathered” under the Shoreline Management Act and the local shoreline program and may remain in place unaffected by the new shoreline buffers. Existing homes located within the shoreline buffer may be repaired, maintained and remodeled and, in some cases, expanded following provisions for existing development in the SMP. New houses built under the updated SMP are subject to the new buffer standards.
In most cases, yes. The SMP states, “If an existing primary structure is damaged or destroyed by fire, explosion, earthquake, flooding or other casualty, it may be reconstructed to the bulk dimension existing immediately prior to the catastrophic event.” However, if the structure is located on a property with a steep slope, the size and location of the new structure may need to be modified to meet factor of safety standards.
No. You do not forfeit the right to live in your house if it is unoccupied 12 months in a row, or for any amount of time. We believe this concern may be based in a misunderstanding of the term “non-conforming use.” A non-conforming use is one that is not permitted in the underlying shoreline designation. For example, a commercial amusement facility is not permitted in the Island Conservancy designation but may be present because it was established prior to effective date of the current regulations. As a non-conforming use, the commercial facility would be allowed to remain until such time the use is discontinued for 12 consecutive months. On the other hand, single-family residential use is a permitted use in all shoreline designations except Natural and is not subject to non-conforming use regulations in the SMP.
The administrative offices of the Bainbridge Island Police Department are open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but police officers are on duty around the clock. If you want to speak to a police officer for any reason, even during regular business hours, please dial 911 regardless of whether the situation is an emergency or not. Officers are usually out on the road and are dispatched through the radio call center at Kitsap911. If you are calling from outside the county, dial 360-308-5400.
To request a copy of a police report or to make any other public records request, simply visit the City of Bainbridge Island's public records request portal and follow the prompts.
To pick up evidence, found property, or items we have for safekeeping, you must make an appointment. Call 206-780-4673 or email our Evidence Technician to arrange one.
Unfortunately scams of all kinds are on the rise and criminals use every means imaginable. If you have been defrauded, there is no shame in it - crooks are getting very savvy. Call 911 and tell the dispatcher it's not an emergency. Your call will be prioritized accordingly and a BIPD officer will contact you to take a report.
If you were lucky enough or savvy enough to avoid being scammed, the BIPD cannot take a report because there was no loss, but you can still report the incident by contacting Attorney General’s Office. They collect the data and use it in their efforts to combat fraud.
To report a collision in Kitsap County, you have one of three options:
1) Call 911 when it happens;
2) Call 911 after the fact and dispatch will attempt to send an officer to meet you at home or work (if on-island) to get the details and write a report. Tell the dispatcher it's not an emergency. This is not always a good option, because on-duty officers need to prioritize calls for service and an after-the-fact collision is not high priority.
3) Report the collision online through Washington State Patrol. Visit http://www.wsp.wa.gov/driver/collision-records/
The BIPD established a Traffic Emphasis program to help combat speeding in residential neighborhoods. All you have to do is call the station at 206-842-5211 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to request help. Based on the information you provide, we will install a mobile speed reader sign to monitor the traffic and officers will pay special attention to that area when they are able. In general, they only have the opportunity to focus on speeding or distracted drivers when there are no urgent calls pending, but they do what they can. Someone from our department will follow up with you in about 30 days to discuss the results of our efforts.
Backflow prevention assemblies are installed to protect our drinking water from potential source of contamination. The Washington State Administrative Code requires testing by a certified Backflow Assembly Tester ( BAT ) to ensure that they are functioning as designed.
Only a State of Washington certified Backflow Assembly Tester (BAT) can perform the test. Certified testers can be found on websites and in publications such as the yellow pages. An Official listing of certified testers is kept by Washington Certification Services.Each tester is responsible for providing the City with copies of their current State certification and test equipment calibration certificates. We cannot accept test reports from testers that have not provided this information.
View the Forms page for
To ensure that your backflow prevention assemblies are functioning as designed, it is important to the City's water system to have testing performed annually. Failure to test an assembly increases the risk that the assembly will fail to protect our water supply.The City of Bainbridge Island send out reminder notifications about backflow assembly testing requirements to it's water customers. However, it is the water service customer who is responsible for ensuring that the assemblies are tested on time.
It is not necessary to call for an inspection. However, we do require that you contact us when work is complete, please see page 3 of your application "Permit Conditions" :
"Upon completion of the work, the applicant will request that the City make an inspection to determine if the work has been completed and that the City facilities have been restored and no damage has occurred."
Follow this link : https://paygov.us/
Please call 206.780.8591 to pay over the phone. To complete your payment you must provide the correct payment code and fee. If you are unsure of your code please email : email@example.com to request the code associated with your specific permit.
No, but it is highly recommended that you confirm the road is private by checking with the Public Works Department first.
State law requires that underground utilities to be located in advance of ANY digging within the right of way. This is to protect public health and safety as well as to prevent any disruption of vital underground utility services. You are seeing the results of an excavator’s request for "locates" within the general area of proposed work. The lines may be for planning purposes to identify possible areas for new utility installation or for maintenance purposes. Each color reflects the presence of a specific type of utility and its general running direction.