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SMP adoption process approved, to be done this year
The Bainbridge Island City Council approved an adoption process for the city’s Shoreline Master Program at its meeting this week.
Council members also agreed on a schedule that would adopt the program by December of this year.
“This council is the council that has worked on the SMP and approved the draft,” said Councilman Bob Scales.
“I know that those who don’t support it would love to wait until next year, but the majority of the council passed it, and we need to get it done this year,” he said.
The adoption process proposed by city staff was itemized into five parts.
The first step to adopting the new ordinance, explained Planning Director Kathy Cook, is to receive feedback from the Department of Ecology. In a conditional approval letter, Ecology will outline the required and suggested amendments to the city’s draft program.
Once the city receives this feedback, the second step would be for council to schedule a public hearing and a first reading to take place at the Oct. 23 council session.
A draft ordinance that incorporates Ecology’s suggested and required amendments would also be made available 10 days prior to the public hearing.
This is an unusual method, since typically a public hearing coincides with the second reading.
“The reason is to give us as much time in the process to respond to whatever public comments you get,” Cook explained to the council.
After hearing from the public, the council will have the opportunity to deliberate community and Ecology feedback.
At the Nov. 6 study session, the council will decide which amendments suggested or required by Ecology will be approved and which alternative amendments it would like Ecology to consider.
Upon receiving Ecology’s final approval letter, the council will conduct a second reading and consider its adoption at the following council session.
City staff hopes to adopt an ordinance at the
Dec. 11 council meeting.
Still, even with an aggressive schedule, the adoption first depends on how quickly Ecology submits its conditional approval letter to city staff.
“The ball is in Ecology’s court,” Cook said.
Scales responded by motioning that city staff draft a letter to Ecology on behalf of the council that will encourage them to send their feedback as soon as possible. His motion passed 4-3.
The adoption process outlined by city staff was also passed unanimously.