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Subdivision Guidelines

The subdivision guidelines in this chapter and green street guidelines in the previous chapter support implementation of the City’s subdivision standards contained in BIMC 17.12. Only the guidelines in this chapter and those relating to green streets in the previous chapter apply to subdivisions.


The subdivision guidelines provide additional guidance and flexibility in meeting the subdivision standards based on the site and surrounding context.


INTENT: Preserve and maintain Island character.

GUIDELINE: Subdivisions should advance Design for Bainbridge's values and guiding principles and reflect the special character of the island which includes downtown Winslow’s small town atmosphere and function, neighborhood centers, historic buildings, extensive forested areas, meadows, farms, marine views and access, and scenic and winding roads supporting all forms of transportation. 


INTENT: To reflect and/or enhance the context provided by existing roadway character and neighboring properties.

GUIDELINE: Site design should be informed by the context analysis and  support the purpose of the zoning district in which the development is located, complement the existing character of specific neighborhoods, provide continuity with adjoining properties and, where necessary, provide transition between land uses and protect privacy of residents on adjacent properties. 


INTENT: To incorporate forested and/or other natural areas into site design in such a way that ecological and aesthetic integrity, qualities, and values are preserved or restored.

GUIDELINE: The required natural area shall be treated as a feature intrinsic to the subdivision design in order to maintain existing on- and off-site ecological processes and provide an asset of value to subdivision residents.


INTENT: To preserve and integrate existing natural site patterns and features throughout the site.

GUIDELINE: Site development should be designed to preserve and integrate the natural conditions of the site, including existing topography, native trees and vegetation, drainage patterns, and ecological features based on an inventory and analysis of existing conditions. Homesite and infrastructure placement should complement natural topography and retain native vegetation to the maximum extent feasible. 


INTENT: To preserve important historic and cultural resources.

GUIDELINE: Site design should maximize opportunities for preserving historic and cultural structures, and retain historic landscape features and connections.


INTENT: Integrate stormwater facilities in site design with emphasis on infiltration and dispersion practices.

GUIDELINE: Stormwater facilities should utilize existing drainage patterns and be designed as a site amenity, where feasible. Low impact development practices should be used throughout the site to minimize the size of ponds or vaults. Open stormwater facilities (ponds and bioswales) should provide a natural appearance through layout, design and landscape treatment, including shallow side slopes, curvilinear configuration, and use of native vegetation. 


INTENT: To minimize impact of septic facilities.

GUIDELINE: Design and locate sewage facilities to minimize site disturbance and native vegetation removal and utilize shared systems where feasible.


INTENT: To protect the Island’s finite groundwater resources and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.

GUIDELINE: Water conservation measures shall be considered in site design including use of native and drought tolerant vegetation, rainwater capture, and water reuse.


INTENT: To promote a shared sense of community.

GUIDELINE: Community spaces should function as an integral part of the development.


INTENT: To promote interaction within the community and facilitate the efficient use of land by reducing disturbed areas, impervious surfaces, utility extensions and roadways. 

GUIDELINE: Homesites in long subdivisions should be grouped together unless the lay of the land and designation of the natural area suggest a dispersed homesite design.  


INTENT: To provide solar access for wellbeing and energy production.

GUIDELINE: Site design, including street, lot, and homesite layout and orientation, should allow for passive and active solar access. Massing of buildings, tree retention, and introduced vegetation should take into account the effects of shade.


INTENT: To provide a practical and pleasant network of multi-modal circulation.

GUIDELINE: Pedestrian and bicycle connections to various parts of the development, the surrounding road or trail network, and adjacent parcels should be included in site design.  Where possible these connections should take advantage of significant views.


INTENT: To minimize the prominence of motor vehicle use and storage.

GUIDELINE: Site design and features related to motor vehicle use and storage should be minimized. Site design should consider shared driveways, minimum road widths, traffic calming measures such as Woonerfs and chicanes, and shared or clustered parking areas or structures. 


INTENT: To efficiently configure building footprint(s) and allowed uses within homesites.

GUIDELINE: Homesite configuration should consider compact and energy-efficient home and site design with massive houses on small lots strongly discouraged.


INTENT: To provide a range of home sizes and designs to achieve diversity in visual appearance and affordability.

GUIDELINE: House designs should be varied in size, massing, and frontage character using methods such as varied floor plans, staggered front yard setbacks, building modulation, and changes in exterior materials. Houses should display shared architectural features to establish continuity and harmony.


INTENT: To reinforce neighborliness of homes along a public street. 

GUIDELINE: Houses along interior public streets should orient the entry toward the street and avoid the use of solid walls and fences. Garages along the front façade should be de-emphasized by recessing vehicular entrances or locating the garage behind or on the side of the house.

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