BI to go over Housing Action Plan Tuesday

The Bainbridge Island City Council will receive a presentation on the Housing Action Plan at its meeting June 4.

The council approved HAP almost a year ago. It is structured with guiding principles and strategies that include partnerships, new programs, code changes, city funding decisions, and more, all focused on improving housing availability, accessibility and affordability on BI.

The first implementation recommendation directed staff to prepare a bi-annual scorecard to evaluate the city’s progress toward accomplishing the strategies and actions. The presentation will show two of the 30 HAP actions are complete, 20 are in progress and eight are categorized as near-future work. As described in the report, the city is supporting construction of new affordable housing units directly and is facilitating housing production in other ways through financial, policy and property-related actions.

Throughout the 2022-2023 HAP work, there were presentations to City Council; a project web page; project listserv; a community survey; and several community workshops and stakeholder meetings. Half of the actions are related in some ways to updates in the Comprehensive and Winslow Subarea plans.

Also at the 6 p.m. meeting at City Hall and on Zoom, the council will consider a new process for unlisted land uses.

Th presentation shows “uses” to mean anywhere from single family to light manufacturing in residential and commercial zones. Specific designs and standards need to be considered before a “use” is allowed in a zone. Some can be prohibited and others permitted conditionally.

The Powerpoint shows some “uses” are not listed at all, including: general manufacturing, health care facilities, outdoor storage, recreation parks, research and development, and animal agriculture and retail. Since 2018, a city code says the city’s planning director can decide what permit to administer for an “unlisted use.”

That process was criticized by the public recently in relation to a crematorium. So the city is looking at other options. Some suggestions include: a new type of permit for “unlisted uses” and review by the Planning Commission.

The final item on the agenda is the monthly update on the Comp and Winslow plans.