Chapter 18.03


Part I. General Provisions

18.03.010    How to use this code.

18.03.020    Short title.

18.03.030    Amendments to code, zoning map or comprehensive plan.

18.03.040    Intent and purpose.

18.03.050    Consistency with the comprehensive plan.

18.03.060    Applicability of regulations.

Part II. Interpretation of Regulations

18.03.070    Minimum requirements.

18.03.080    Private agreements, covenants, and restrictions.

18.03.090    Interpretation by the director.

Part III. Zoning Map

18.03.100    Official zoning map.

Part I. General Provisions

18.03.010 How to use this code.

This title sets forth the permitted uses of land and structures and the types of development that are permitted on platted lots and legal tracts of land in the city of Bainbridge Island. However, it must be read together with additional regulations regarding the use of land and structures in BIMC Titles 2 (Administration and Personnel), 15 (Buildings and Construction), 16 (Environment), and 17 (Subdivisions and Boundary Line Adjustments). In many cases the information in this title is qualified by the regulations in those other Titles because of the characteristics of the land or the way in which lots were subdivided in the past. Perhaps most commonly, the provisions of this title are qualified by additional regulations that apply to critical areas (see Chapter 16.20 BIMC) and to lands covered by the shoreline management program (see Chapter 16.12 BIMC), both of which are governed by state law. In addition, the provisions of this title are subject to the requirements of the Washington State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA).

In order to determine what types of land uses or development are permitted on a specific parcel of land, it is necessary to review:

A. What zone district the property is located in, as shown on the official zoning map;

B. Whether the land is subject to regulation under the shoreline management program in Chapter 16.12 BIMC;

C. Whether the land contains a critical area (such as a wetland) regulated by Chapter 16.20 BIMC;

D. Whether the desired use of land is a permitted or conditional use of land under the use regulations of Chapter 18.09 BIMC. If the use is neither a permitted nor a conditional use, then that use is not allowed;

E. Whether the desired structures are sized and located to meet the dimensional standards in Chapter 18.12 BIMC;

F. Whether the proposed location of the structure on the lot will allow stormwater to be managed as required by Chapters 15.20 and 15.21 BIMC;

G. Whether the proposed project design complies with the development standards in Chapter 18.15 BIMC and any related design guidelines cross-referenced in Chapter 18.18 BIMC; and

H. What types of approvals from the city are required pursuant to BIMC Title 2. Specific forms and application requirements are available in the administrative manual. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

18.03.020 Short title.

This title and amendments to it, along with Chapters 2.14 and 2.16 BIMC and BIMC Title 17, shall be cited as the “Bainbridge Island land use code” or the “land use code” and may be referred to in this document as the “code.” (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

18.03.030 Amendments to code, zoning map or comprehensive plan.

All proposals to amend this land use code, the official zoning map, or the comprehensive plan shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of BIMC Title 2 and this title. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

18.03.040 Intent and purpose.

The Bainbridge Island land use code, as set forth in the text of this title, BIMC Title 17, Chapters 2.14 and 2.16 BIMC, and the official zoning map, is adopted with the purpose of improving and protecting the public health, safety, comfort, convenience, and general welfare of the people, the aesthetic quality of the city, and implementing the goals and policies of the Bainbridge Island comprehensive plan. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

18.03.050 Consistency with the comprehensive plan.

The standards and requirements contained in this code, and the district mapping reflected on the official zoning map, have all been made in accordance with the comprehensive plan for the city. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

18.03.060 Applicability of regulations.

A. Territorial Application. This code shall apply to all structures, land, and uses within the city limits of Bainbridge Island, Washington, unless specifically prohibited by state and/or federal law.

B. General Application. After the effective date of this code, (1) all buildings and structures erected, (2) all uses of land or buildings established, (3) all alterations or relocations of existing structures occurring, and (4) all enlargements of, additions to, changes in, and relocations of existing uses shall be subject to all regulations of this code. Existing buildings, structures and uses that do not comply with the regulations of this code shall be allowed to continue subject to the provisions of Chapter 18.30 BIMC, Nonconforming Lots, Uses, and Structures.

C. Conversion of Use or Building. The conversion of any use or building either to another use or to increase the size or area of the existing use, including the conversion of any building or the conversion of any dwelling to accommodate an increased number of dwelling units, families, or residents, shall be permitted only within a district in which a new building for similar occupancy would be permitted under this code, and only when the resulting occupancy will comply with the requirements in such districts, with respect to minimum lot size, lot area per dwelling unit, percentage of lot coverage, dimensions of yards and other open spaces, height, floor area ratio, off-street parking and any other applicable requirements, except as may be allowed by the provisions of Chapter 18.30 BIMC, Nonconforming Lots, Uses, and Structures; BIMC 2.16.060, Minor Variances; or BIMC 2.16.120, Major Variances.

D. General Prohibition. No building or structure, no use of any building, structure or land, and no lot of record or zoning lot, now or later existing, shall be established, altered, moved, divided, or maintained in any manner except in accord with the provisions of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code (BIMC).

E. Conditional Uses. Conditional uses for each zone district are indicated in Table 18.09.020 and may be permitted pursuant to BIMC Title 2. However, any use lawfully established prior to the effective date of this code that is shown in Table 18.09.020 as a conditional use in the district where that use is located shall be considered a lawful conditional use. However, any expansion or addition of structures, parking areas or driveways shall be subject, at a minimum, to the approval through the minor or major conditional use procedures in BIMC 2.16.050 or 2.16.110 prior to issuance of a building permit or expansion of use.

F. Applicability to Combinations of Platted Lots or Parcels. If a property owner owns two or more contiguous parcels or lots and wants to have this land use code applied to them as a single unit, rather than individually, the owner must complete a replat or boundary line adjustment as described in BIMC Title 2. Except as otherwise noted, this land use code will be applied to each lot or parcel individually.

G. Compliance with Other Applicable Regulations. All development and redevelopment shall comply with all other applicable regulations of the BIMC, including without limitation to applicable regulations of BIMC Title 2, Administration and Personnel; BIMC Title 15, Buildings and Construction; BIMC Title 16, Environment (including noise standards in Chapter 16.16 BIMC) and BIMC Title 17, Subdivisions. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

Part II. Interpretation of Regulations

18.03.070 Minimum requirements.

In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this code shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, morals, comfort, convenience, prosperity, and general welfare. Where the conditions imposed by any provision of this code upon the use of land or buildings or upon the bulk of buildings are either more restrictive or less restrictive than comparable conditions imposed by any other provision of this code or of any other law, ordinance, resolution, rule, or regulation of any kind, the regulations that are more restrictive or that impose higher standards or requirements shall govern. When one title of the BIMC is silent on the issue and another title contains explicit regulations, the explicit regulations shall govern. When one title of the BIMC contains general regulations and another contains more detailed regulations on the same topic, the more detailed regulations shall govern. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

18.03.080 Private agreements, covenants, and restrictions.

This code is not intended to abrogate, annul or otherwise interfere with any easement, covenant, or other private agreement or legal relationship; provided, however, that where the regulations of this code are more restrictive or impose higher standards or requirements than such easements, covenants or other private agreements or legal relationships, the regulations of this code shall govern. The city is not responsible for enforcing private easements, covenants, or other similar restrictions. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

18.03.090 Interpretation by the director.

The director has the authority to provide interpretations of provisions, uses, or definitions in BIMC Titles 16, 17 and 18 and related provisions in BIMC Title 2, and will make these interpretations available to the public. Any person may apply to the director for an interpretation of any provision in these titles. The director shall provide the interpretation taking into account consistency with the comprehensive plan, the nature of the definition or use, and its relationship to the code and its potential impacts, such as:

A. Whether it involves dwelling units; sales; processing; type of product, storage and amount;

B. Enclosed or open storage;

C. Anticipated employment;

D. Transportation requirements;

E. Excessive noise, odor, fumes, dust, toxic material, light, glare, and vibration likely to be generated; and

F. The general requirements for public utilities such as water and sanitary sewer.

The authority to provide an interpretation does not include the authority to add a new permitted (“P”) or conditional (“C”) use to the use table in BIMC 18.09.020. The director’s interpretation is subject to appeal pursuant to BIMC 2.16.020.R.1. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)

Part III. Zoning Map

18.03.100 Official zoning map.

The official zoning map shall be identified by signatures of the city council and shall carry the following words:

This is to certify that this is the Official Zoning Map referred to in the Land Use Code of the City of Bainbridge Island, Washington, adopted March 1, 1992. If, in accordance with the provisions of this Code, changes are made in zoning district boundaries or other matter portrayed on the Official Zoning Map, such changes shall be made on the Official Zoning Map promptly after the amendment has been adopted, together with an entry on, or attached to, the Official Zoning Map, as follows: “On (date) by official action of the City Council, the following change was (changes were) made in the Official Zoning Map (brief description of nature of change),” which entry shall be signed by the mayor and attested to by the city clerk.

The official zoning map that shall be located in the office of the city clerk shall be the final authority as to the current zoning status of land in the city. (Ord. 2011-02 § 2 (Exh. A), 2011)