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Ecology announces hearing on Bainbridge SMP

The Washington State Department of Ecology will hold a public hearing on the city of Bainbridge Island’s proposed update to its Shoreline Master Program at the end of July at Bainbridge Island City Hall.

The hearing is Wednesday, July 31. An open house will be held at 6, followed by the public hearing at 7 p.m.

Ecology has also announced the public comment period on the updated shoreline program will open July 22 and end Aug. 23.

Comments and questions can be submitted to the department via email to Barbara Nightingale at Barbara.Nightingale@ecy.wa.gov. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 23.

Ecology officials said the agency will compare Bainbridge Island’s proposed program to the requirements of the Shoreline Management Act and the Shoreline Master Program guidelines. Based on the comparison, Ecology will decide whether to approve the program as is or with recommended changes, or send the proposed program back to the city with required changes to meet statutory and rule requirements. Officials said recommended changes may also be included with the required changes.

The Bainbridge Island City Council adopted the update to the city's Shoreline Master Program in May on a 4-3 vote after more than three years of work by the city and citizens on the plan.

The update was highly controversial, as some shoreline property owners said the regulations were extreme and warned that the city would face significant legal expenses in defending the plan, while others supported the revisions because they would help protect the environment from further damage.

 

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