Harbor policy to be rewritten

With its marinas and bustling waterfront, Eagle Harbor is the center of maritime attention on Bainbridge Island.

The city’s Land Use Committee is mulling a management plan that would bring tighter controls to buoys, floats and boats bobbing in harbors from Madison to Blakely.

“When people think of harbors, they tend to think of Eagle Harbor,” Bainbridge Harbormaster Tami Allen said. “They need to know that this will have an impact on all island waters.”

The committee is revising a harbor ordinance, which will set the framework used to regulate the use of island waters. When it has finished devising a broad harbor policy, the committee will consider options for allowing long-term public mooring options for Eagle Harbor, and regulations custom tailored to each island anchorage.

“The regulations will be island wide,” said committee chair Debbie Vancil, “but each bay and harbor will be recognized for its distinct properties. Some have more docks than others, some have more buoys. Blakely is deep, Manzanita is not. So we will take that into account.”

It’s the first major effort to redefine Bainbridge’s harbor policy since the city extended its authority in 1999 beyond the shores of Waterfront Park to encompass all waters surrounding the island.

Harbor Commission and harbormaster positions were created in the summer of the same year and an initial Harbor Management Plan was created.

In 2006, the City Council approved a long list of amendments to the original management plan, developed by the

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