22 single-family homes
1-4 bedrooms
800-1,400 square feet

Bordered by Finch Road, Sportsman Club Road, and High School Road

Davis Studio Architecture + Design

Late 2027

History and vision

Almost 75 years ago, Bethany Lutheran Church received a gift of land from a generous benefactor—8 acres on which to build a sanctuary. It was more than it needed, inspiring the congregation to consider how it might share this gift with the community. In the 1990s, as congregants saw the high price of housing on Bainbridge Island displace longtime residents, deter young families, and exclude essential workers from the community, they identified affordable housing as the most compelling use. In 2019, Washington state passed a law requiring cities and towns to grant religious organizations an increased density bonus to build affordable housing on their land, making possible a financially viable project at meaningful scale on the grounds of Bethany Lutheran Church. Soon after, the church created a separate nonprofit, Finch Green LLC, to see the project through.

Early 2024, Finch Green LLC and HRB entered a partnership in which the church will donate a portion of its land to HRB and HRB will develop the homes in collaboration with Finch Green LLC. The homes will become part of the HRB community land trust where they will be kept permanently affordable. The project, also named Finch Green, has no religious affiliation.

This small, green-built community is inspired by the land it will inhabit and the community spirit in which it was conceived. It will feature shared greenspaces with native vegetation and two clusters of small homes in a diversity of styles to encourage social connection among neighbors and sustainable living.


March 2024, Finch Green appeared before Planning Commission in a public participation meeting. The project was well received by planning commissioners and community members alike.

The project is in predevelopment.

Q&A with architect Jonathan Davis

How will Finch Green minimize its environmental impact?

Every decision—from the siting of the buildings to the use of healthy materials—is made with the environment in mind. The homes at Finch Green will have a small footprint and be clustered close together so that they cover less than 20% of the 8-acre site. Parking will be consolidated on the existing church lot, eliminating the need for driveways and reducing stormwater runoff. This judicious land use will allow us to preserve undeveloped land for community greenspace and rain gardens and optimize stormwater infiltration to replenish the aquifers.

The homes will be well-insulated, to comply with the most stringent Washington state code, and have energy-efficient heating/cooling systems and appliances, solar panels to offset electricity usage, and electric vehicle charging stations.

How does the design respond to the site, both its natural features and the presence of existing structures, and the surrounding neighborhood context?

By working with the site’s existing landscape and infrastructure, Finch Green will fit into the surrounding neighborhood beautifully. The site was cleared years ago and then landscaped around the perimeter when the church was built. More recently, the Boy Scouts planted a small Christmas tree farm. A good portion of property is paved for parking. We will keep this tree buffer, build about half the development on the oversized parking lot, and work with the two existing entry/exit points to the site, all of which will give the development a rather subtle neighborhood presence. Like the surrounding area, Finch Green will be made up of single-family homes. And like the most appealing of Bainbridge neighborhoods, it will have beautiful landscaping, inviting paths, and places to gather.

Creating community is an essential piece of the project. Describe how the site design and building features facilitate this goal.

At Finch Green, we are essentially building the archetypal village. There is a church and a school; we are adding homes and a village green. Research shows that if you want to achieve social cohesion, the sweet spot is a community of 20-30 homes. Finch Green will have 22. The data also tells us that if you want truly meaningful and supportive relationships with one’s neighbors, the number drops to 10-12. We are dividing Finch Green into what we call “microhoods,” 10-12 homes arranged around a common greenspace. This design encourages casual interactions among neighbors as they walk to and from their cars and the bus stop and make use of the shared spaces. But of course, there are ample places for privacy too. The range of home sizes, from 800 – 1,400 square feet with 2 to 4 bedrooms, will accommodate people at all stages of life and living in a variety of household compositions, from single people to intergenerational families. The physical design will make Finch Green a place of welcome. That the homes are affordable will make it all the more so.