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Bainbridge park board worried about updated shoreline plan

Bainbridge parks officials will discuss sending a second letter of concern it to the city of Bainbridge Island about the city’s updated Shoreline Management Plan at their next board meeting.

Officials with the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District are worried that the updated plan designates the west end of the Port Blakely Park Log Pond as a “natural area.”

District officials discovered the change when the April 10 draft of the updated Shoreline Management Plan was released by the city.

“The designation had not been vetted with either our staff or commissioners and caught us completely by surprise,” commissioners told the city council in a May 7 letter.

The park board unanimously disagrees with the designation.

“This is a disturbed post-industrial site which still has remnants of the world’s largest sawmill,” the board wrote. “None of the area from the shoreline to the roads within the park’s boundaries is natural.”

Parks officials said the proposed “natural area” designation would “severely limit our ability to fulfill our mandate to allow public use and enjoyment of the park,” according to the letter.

The district has previously met with city officials to share their concerns about the added restrictions in the updated plan.

The new letter follows a meeting with Councilman Steve Bonkowski, who suggested the board should state its concerns in a letter to the city.

The parks board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17 at Strawberry Hill Center.

Community Events, April 2014

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