Chapter 17.12
SUBDIVISION DESIGN STANDARDS

Sections:

17.12.010    Applicability.

17.12.020    Flexible lot design requirement for single-family subdivisions.

17.12.030    Open space/cluster standards and homesite locations for single-family residential subdivisions.

17.12.040    General residential subdivision standards.

17.12.050    Multifamily and nonresidential subdivisions.

17.12.060    Special requirements for sensitive areas.

17.12.010 Applicability.

This section sets forth standards for (A) short subdivisions, (B) long subdivisions, (C) large lot subdivisions, and (D) nonresidential and multifamily subdivisions. These requirements are summarized in Table 17.12-1. Procedures for boundary line adjustments are set forth in BIMC Title 2.

Table 17.12-1: Subdivision Requirements by Type of Subdivision 

Subdivision Standards

Open Space Flexible Lot Standards (BIMC 17.12.030.A)

Cluster Flexible Lot Standards (BIMC 17.12.030.B)

General Subdivision Standards (BIMC 17.12.040)

Multifamily and Nonresidential Standards (BIMC 17.12.050)

Type of Subdivision

Short Subdivision (2 to 4 Lots) [1]

 

 

 

 

Open Space Option

 

 

Cluster Option

 

 

Long Subdivision (5+ Lots)

 

 

 

 

Open Space Option

 

 

Cluster Option

 

 

Large Lot Subdivisions

 

 

 

Commercial and Multifamily Subdivisions

 

 

 

[1]    BIMC 17.28.020.49 defines the number of lots permitted in a short subdivision.

(Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.12.020 Flexible lot design requirement for single-family subdivisions.

A. Requirement.

1. All single-family residential short and long subdivisions within the city shall be designed in accordance with the city’s adopted flexible lot (flexlot) design requirements. If, due to site or design constraints, no homesite with supporting infrastructure can be located on a subject property, no division of land is permitted.

2. Some of the flexible lot design requirements are outlined in this title and in BIMC Title 18.

B. Pre-Existing Lots. Lots that have previously received final approval from the city, or that have previously received final approval from Kitsap County prior to inclusion within the city boundaries, and that do not comply with the adopted flexible lot design requirements shall be considered existing nonconforming lots, but any future resubdivision of any such lots shall comply with adopted flexible lot design requirements.

C. Two Types of Flexible Lot Design Available. Applicants for a short or long subdivision or resubdivision shall comply with the standards in this title applicable to open space design or the standards applicable to cluster design. If an applicant does not notify the city of his or her intention to submit a cluster design, the open space design standards shall apply. In some cases, however, site constraints such as the size and shape of the parcel or the presence of areas subject to Chapter 16.12 BIMC (Shoreline Master Program) or Chapter 16.20 BIMC (Critical Areas) result in only one of the options being feasible. The cluster design option is not available to properties located in the R-2.9, R-3.5, R-4.3, R-5, R-6, R-8, and R-14 zoning districts.

D. Large Lot Subdivisions. As authorized by RCW 58.17.040(2) or its successors, the city regulates the division of land into large lots. Large lot subdivisions shall comply with the requirements of BIMC 17.12.040 (General residential subdivision standards), the requirements of BIMC 17.12.060 (Special requirements for sensitive areas), if applicable, and the requirements of BIMC Title 18 for the zone district in which the property is located. Large lot subdivisions are not a form of flexlot and therefore are not subject to cluster or open space design requirements. (Ord. 2017-02 § 17, 2017: Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.12.030 Open space/cluster standards and homesite locations for single-family residential subdivisions.

All short and long subdivisions, except large lot subdivisions, shall comply with the standards in either subsection A or B of this section, and shall also comply with the standards of BIMC 17.12.040 (General residential subdivision standards) and with the standards of BIMC 17.12.060 (Special requirements for sensitive areas) as applicable. In the case of an application for a housing design demonstration program pursuant to BIMC 2.16.020.Q, the open space requirements of this section shall not be used, and the open space provided in the subdivision shall be evaluated pursuant to BIMC 2.16.020.Q.

A. Open Space Short or Long Subdivisions. All short and long subdivisions shall comply with the standards of this subsection A unless the applicant chooses to instead comply with the standards of subsection B of this section (Cluster Short and Long Subdivisions).

1. Open Space Objectives. Open space shall accomplish one or more of the following objectives:

a. Conservation and enhancement of natural or scenic resources, including wildlife habitat;

b. Protection of streams and/or the water supply;

c. Conservation of soils, wetlands, beaches or tidal marshes;

d. Enhancement of the value to abutting or neighboring parks, forests, wild preserves, nature reservations or sanctuaries;

e. Enhancement of recreational and community agricultural opportunities;

f. Preservation of farmland and historic sites;

g. Preservation of unique natural land or rock features;

h. Preservation of visual qualities along highway, road and street corridors or scenic vistas.

2. Open Space Design Guidelines. The area designated for open space preservation shall be configured in a manner that enhances and promotes the natural character of the island and open space characteristics of the property. Open space configuration shall satisfy the following guidelines:

a. Open space should be concentrated in large, consolidated, usable areas; and

b. Open space should connect to adjacent off-site open space areas, designated greenways and/or critical areas; and

c. Open space should be designed to preserve views from off site of the subject property; and

d. Open space should enhance or retain Island character through the minimization of roadside disturbance of roadside vegetation; and

e. The area of the open space should be delineated with a low perimeter-to-area ratio as shown by the examples in Table 17.12.030-1.

Table 17.12.030-1 Configuration of Open Space 

Consolidated open space with a low perimeter to area ratio

Open space with a high perimeter to area ratio

Unconsolidated open space

(PREFERRED)

(NOT ACCEPTABLE)

(ACCEPTABLE)

3. Prioritization of Valued Open Space. The relative desirability of different types of open space is ranked in Table 17.12.030-2, and proposed open space subdivisions shall design open spaces to include areas with higher priority rankings if possible. If a subdivision site contains a particularly exceptional or rare open space feature that is lower in priority, the applicant and/or city may choose to preserve that feature over those higher in the table. Where valued open space features are present and some portion of those features is adjacent to the same or other listed valued features in Table 17.12.030-2, the protected open space should be designed to include those areas contiguous to valued open space features on adjacent properties.

Table 17.12.030-2: Valued Open Space Features for Open Space Short and Long Subdivisions 

Priority

Open Space Feature

Notes

1.

Critical Areas (as defined in Chapter 16.20 BIMC), Areas Contiguous with Critical Areas and Their Buffers

All critical areas and their associated buffers shall be preserved.

2.

Native Forests and Significant Trees

Significant trees identified consistent with the standards of the landscaping ordinance (BIMC 18.15.010) should be preserved.

3.

Trails and Greenways

Trails and greenways should be preserved.

4.

Pastures, Meadows, Orchards, and Farmland

Pastures, farmland and land areas currently or traditionally used in agriculture should be preserved. Where possible, the size and configuration of pasture and farmland areas should permit commercially viable farming.

5.

Shoreline View Areas

Shoreline areas identified consistent with the provisions of the shoreline management plan (Chapter 16.12 BIMC) that are suitable for public access and habitat area should be considered.

6.

Mature Vegetation on Ridgelines

Mature vegetation found on ridgelines of community significance (as viewed from off site) should be preserved.

7.

Wildlife Corridors

Designated wildlife corridors as adopted by Resolution No. 2001-12 should be preserved.

4. Amount of Open Space Required.

a. Basis. In determining the open space area requirement stated in subsection A.4.b of this section, the city has relied on the “Analysis of Open Space Report” dated July 15, 2003, and amended April 30, 2004, and the other reports, statutes and documents referenced in the recitals to the ordinance codified in this section (“open space documentation”). The open space documentation shall be incorporated into the record of every short or long subdivision application. In reviewing a short or long subdivision application, the city shall consider the open space documentation as presumptively valid and applicable to the short or long subdivision application.

b. Amount Required.

i. The area provided for open space shall be based on and consistent with the existing valued open space features (listed in Table 17.12.030-2) on the subject property, up to a maximum of 25 percent of the area of the property being subdivided, unless additional open space area is otherwise provided pursuant to subsection A.5 of this section.

ii. All lands subject to critical area regulations by Chapter 16.20 BIMC shall remain subject to those regulations regardless of whether they are included in the required open space designation.

iii. If a property being subdivided contains valued open space features as described in Table 17.12.030-2 that exceed 25 percent of the gross land area, the maximum required area for open space designation is still 25 percent, unless it includes protected critical area as regulated by Chapter 16.20 BIMC.

iv. If the gross land area contains less than 25 percent in open space features, then the designated open space is identified accordingly. Designated open space areas shall not be required to be dedicated to the public, and the owner shall not be required to permit public access to designated open space areas. Landscape buffers may be included in the open space calculation as specified in Tables 18.15.010-3 and 18.15.010-4.

5. Open Space Incentives.

a. Short Subdivisions. If an applicant provides an additional 15 percent of permanently protected open space above the maximum 25 percent required by subsection A.4 of this section, then a short subdivision may include the division or redivision of two or more existing lots, up to nine lots consistent with the procedures and standards contained in this title.

b. Long Subdivisions. If an applicant provides an additional 15 percent of permanently protected open space above the maximum 25 percent required by subsection A.4 of this section, then lots within the subdivision that are served by public sewer service may have reduced minimum lot areas below 5,000 square feet in size. Accessory dwelling units shall not be permitted on any lot that is below 5,000 square feet in size as approved by this open space incentive option.

6. Open Space Ownership. Ownership of open space area shall be established consistent with one of the following forms of ownership:

a. Private Ownership. Open space may be held in private ownership if established by easements, restrictive covenants, open space management plan, or other similar legal means; or

b. Common Ownership. Open space may be held in common by a home or property owners’ association or other similar organization. For the purposes of this title, ownership of and/or conservation easement being held by a land trust, or other similar conservancy organization, shall be considered common ownership. If this ownership pattern is selected, covenant, conditions, and/or restrictions shall be required; or

c. Public Ownership. Designated open space areas shall not be required to be dedicated to the city or other public agency, and the owner shall not be required to permit public access to designated open space areas. However, if the owner offers to dedicate, the city or other public agency may choose to accept ownership of open space. Consequently, upon approval and acceptance by the city council, open space shall be dedicated to the public.

7. Uses Allowed in Open Space. The following uses are allowed in those designated open space areas that are not part of a required landscape buffer (unless zoning regulations of BIMC Title 18, provisions of the shoreline master program per Chapter 16.12 BIMC, or critical areas regulations of Chapter 16.20 BIMC restrict that use):

a. Passive recreation, including pervious trails;

b. Agricultural uses and fencing necessary for animal control, excepting those agricultural uses that require buildings;

c. Potable water wells and well houses;

d. Low impact fencing or signs marking the open space boundary or critical area boundary;

e. On-site sewage treatment system use approved by the director for all residential zones, if the applicant can demonstrate that (i) the proposed use will not adversely affect the function or characteristics of the specific open space, (ii) the system is approved by the Kitsap County health district, and (iii) construction of the system will not require the removal of significant trees, native forests, vegetation within a required buffer for designated critical areas subject to Chapter 16.20 BIMC, or vegetation within areas designated for protection under the shoreline master program pursuant to Chapter 16.12 BIMC;

f. Storm drainage system use approved by the director for all residential zones if the applicant can demonstrate that (i) enhanced vegetation will be provided so that the facility appears as a natural feature, (ii) the proposed use will not adversely affect the function or characteristics of the specific open space, (iii) the system meets the design standards of Chapters 15.20 and 15.21 BIMC, including low impact development designs, and (iv) the system design must contribute to the function and characteristics of the open space feature by providing the following:

i. The design will include natural contours with slopes no greater than 2:1 for any above-ground storm detention facilities; and

ii. Enhanced vegetation will be provided in conjunction with the storm drainage facility in order to make it a more natural feature; and

iii. Pedestrian trails should be considered as part of the design; and

iv. While fencing of designated open spaces or critical areas may be required by the director pursuant to subsection A.8.a of this section, separate fencing of storm drainage facilities or areas shall only be installed if necessary to protect public safety. Where fencing is required, low impact fencing shall be used, and chain-link fences are prohibited unless superseded by state law.

g. Playgrounds and tot lots, picnic shelters and benches, community gardens, bus shelters, community art, or fountains may be allowed within a designated open space area, provided the proposed use will not adversely affect the function or characteristics of the specific open space.

h. Solar panels, small wind energy generators, composting bins, rainwater harvesting barrels, cisterns, and rain gardens/swales, as defined in Chapter 18.36 BIMC, may be allowed within a designated open space area, provided the proposed feature will not result in the damage or removal of significant trees.

8. Open Space/Critical Area Fencing, Signage and Management Standards. The following fencing and management standards apply to designated open space areas. In addition to the standards listed in this subsection, designated open spaces containing sensitive areas shall comply with any additional management standards required to protect those areas pursuant to BIMC 17.12.060 (Special requirements for sensitive areas), Chapter 16.12 BIMC (Shoreline Master Program) and Chapter 16.20 BIMC (Critical Areas) as applicable.

a. Either fences and/or signs delineating open space and critical area buffers are required. The director shall determine which option (fence or sign) is required, based on the likelihood of encroachment into designated open space areas.

i. If fencing is required:

(A) Low-impact fences are preferred and must be constructed in accordance with the definition in BIMC 17.28.020.30; and

(B) The director has the authority to raise the maximum height of fencing to ensure that the fence is adequate to exclude livestock while allowing passage for intended wildlife species.

ii. If signs are required:

(A) They shall be constructed in accordance with the definition in BIMC 17.28.020.37; and

(B) They shall be generally spaced at intervals of 50 feet, unless otherwise approved by the director due to reasons such as topography, configuration of open space, distance from other features, etc.

iii. If signage is required and encroachments into the designated open space occur, the director may require that the owner install fencing and/or additional signage to prevent future encroachments. Required fencing and signs must be maintained in good repair, with repair or replacement to occur within 60 days of notification from the city that repair or replacement is required.

b. Open Space Management Plan Required. An applicant shall submit a draft open space management plan (OSMP) as described in the Bainbridge Island administrative manual, for review as part of the preliminary plat application. Final approval of the OSMP will occur at the time of final plat approval. The open space management plan shall include:

i. A list of all approved uses for the open space areas. Where uses in separate open space areas vary, the specific location of each use shall be depicted graphically.

ii. A maintenance plan for open space areas that clearly describes the frequency and scope of maintenance activities for open space areas and that meets all requirements set forth in the Bainbridge Island administrative manual.

c. The approved OSMP must be filed with the Kitsap County Auditor. In the event that the open space area is not maintained consistent with the open space management plan, the city shall have the right to provide the maintenance of the open space and bill the owner for the cost of maintenance.

B. Cluster Short and Long Subdivisions. If an applicant chooses to apply for a cluster short or long subdivision, the open space provisions of subsection A of this section shall not apply. Clustering shall be accomplished through the design standards of BIMC Title 17 and Chapter 18.12 BIMC. The cluster design option is not available to properties located in the R-2.9, R-3.5, R-4.3, R-5, R-6, R-8 and R-14 zoning districts. The following requirements shall apply to cluster short and long subdivisions:

1. Homesite Clustering. The purpose of clustering is to facilitate the efficient use of land by reducing disturbed areas, impervious surfaces, utility extensions and roadways. Homesites shall be located in cluster groupings and the efficient location of infrastructure shall be used to maximize the undeveloped area. Four or more homesites shall constitute a cluster grouping in a long subdivision, and two or more homesites shall constitute a cluster grouping in a short subdivision.

a. All homesites in a cluster grouping shall adjoin or be located a maximum of 25 feet apart from another homesite.

b. The city encourages design of homesite cluster groups that create open areas large enough to accommodate crop agriculture, when such areas are created. The applicant shall record covenants making it clear to lot buyers that crop agriculture may take place on the open areas.

c. The location of homesite cluster groups is not required to be located near any existing home on the property.

2. Homesite Area.

a. The homesite area is for development of the primary residential dwelling and accessory buildings for each lot within the subdivision.

b. In the R-0.4 and R-1 zoning districts, a homesite area with a maximum area of 10,000 square feet shall be provided for each lot and shall be depicted on the face of the plat. In the R-2 zoning district, a homesite area with a maximum area of 7,500 square feet shall be provided for each lot and shall be depicted on the face of the plat.

c. Repealed by Ord. 2017-02.

d. Repealed by Ord. 2017-02.

e. Other allowed uses and structures, including well houses, may be located within the lot and outside the homesite area; provided, that all other applicable requirements of the BIMC are satisfied.

f. Designated homesites shall not include designated critical areas or their buffers.

g. Fencing or signage of designated critical areas shall be required pursuant to subsection A.8.a of this section. (Ord. 2017-02 §§ 18, 19, 2017; Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.12.040 General residential subdivision standards.

All residential short, long, and large lot subdivisions shall comply with the following standards.

A. Compliance with BIMC Titles 16 and 18 and RCW Title 58. Lot areas, dimensions, and other characteristics shall comply with the requirements of BIMC Title 18 applicable to the zone district where the land is located, including landscaping and/or vegetated buffers. In addition, each subdivision plat shall comply with all applicable provisions of RCW Title 58 (Boundaries and Plats) or its successors. Subdivisions including sensitive areas or their required buffers shall also comply with the provisions of BIMC 17.12.060.

B. Homesites. Residential homesites shall be located consistent with the design standards of BIMC Title 17 and Chapter 18.12 BIMC.

C. Water Supply Systems. Locations of individual or community water supply systems and associated wellhead protection areas required by the health district shall comply with all applicable standards established by the health district.

D. Septic Systems. Locations of individual or community drainfields and associated reserve drainfields shall comply with all applicable standards established by the health district.

E. Roads and Pedestrian Access.

1. Roads and access complying with the “City of Bainbridge Island Design and Construction Standards and Specifications,” and all applicable requirements of the BIMC, shall be provided to all proposed lots consistent with the standards contained within this subsection.

2. A variation from the road requirements and standards contained within the “City of Bainbridge Island Design and Construction Standards and Specifications” may be approved by the city engineer through the minor variance process described in BIMC Title 2.

3. Existing roadway character shall be maintained where practical. This may be accomplished through the reduction of roadway width consistent with subsection E.2 of this section, the minimization of curb cuts, and the preservation of roadside vegetation. To minimize impervious surfaces, public rights-of-way, access easements and roadways shall not be greater than the minimum required to meet standards unless the city engineer agrees that the additional size is justified.

4. Connections to existing off-site roads that abut the subject property shall be required where practicable, except through critical areas and/or their buffers.

5. Street names and traffic regulatory signs shall be provided, and their locations shall be indicated on the plat/plan. The location of mailboxes and traffic regulatory signs is only required to be indicated on the plat/plan when other public improvements are required.

6. Transit stops shall be provided as recommended by Kitsap Transit.

7. Pedestrian and bicycle circulation and access within a subdivision and onto the site shall be provided through walkways, paths, sidewalks, or trails and shall be consistent with the Island-Wide Transportation Plan. Pursuant to RCW 58.17.110(1) sidewalks shall be provided, where necessary, to assure safe walking conditions for students who walk to and from school. Special emphasis shall be placed on providing pedestrian access to proposed recreational and/or open space areas.

F. No City Maintenance of Streets in Short Subdivisions. Streets within a short subdivision shall not be maintained by the city unless such streets have been dedicated as a right-of-way, improved to current city standards, and accepted as part of the approved short subdivision. Therefore, unless accepted, the responsibility for maintenance shall lie with the owners of the lots.

G. Improvements.

1. Where the buildout of a subdivision is divided into phases, land dedications and infrastructure development will be required on a pro rata basis as each phase is developed unless the applicant negotiates an alternative phasing schedule with the city. This will be required to be documented on a plat note.

2. On any approved large lot, no further lot divisions shall be approved until the required improvements are installed by the applicant and approved by the city.

3. All large lot subdivisions shall have the following improvements developed and/or installed prior to recording:

a. Streets shall be cleared, grubbed, and rocked or graveled to provide adequate year-round passage.

b. Appropriate drainage, including erosion control, facilities shall be provided consistent with a plan approved by the city engineer prior to clearing and construction of any plat improvements. (Ord. 2017-02 § 20, 2017; Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.12.050 Multifamily and nonresidential subdivisions.

Subdivisions established for multifamily and nonresidential uses are not subject to open space or cluster flexlot provisions, and shall comply with each of the following:

A. All provisions of BIMC Title 18 (Zoning) applicable to the zone district where the property is located and the type of development anticipated. This requirement shall include, without limitation, compliance with lot areas, dimensions, and design, mobility and access, landscaping, screening, and vegetative buffers.

B. All provisions of BIMC Title 16 (Environment) applicable to the area where the property is located and the type of development anticipated.

C. All applicable provisions of RCW Title 58 (Boundaries and Plats) or its successors.

D. As an option, nonresidential and multifamily residential subdivisions may provide open space pursuant to BIMC 17.12.030.A. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

17.12.060 Special requirements for sensitive areas.

A. Critical Areas.

1. Any portion of a short or long subdivision, large lot subdivision, nonresidential or multifamily subdivision that contains a critical area as defined in Chapter 16.20 BIMC must conform to all requirements of that chapter.

2. Any portion of a short or long subdivision, large lot subdivision, or a nonresidential or multifamily subdivision shall comply with the fencing and signage requirements of BIMC 17.12.030.A.8.a or B.2.g, as applicable.

3. When required by RCW 36.70A.060 or its successors, the final short or long subdivision, large lot subdivision, nonresidential or multifamily subdivision must contain a notice that the subject property is on or within 300 feet of lands designated agricultural lands, forest lands or mineral resource lands.

B. Shoreline Master Program Areas. Any portion of a short or long subdivision, large lot subdivision, nonresidential or multifamily subdivision located within the jurisdiction of the shoreline master program, as defined in Chapter 16.12 BIMC, must conform to all requirements of that chapter. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)