Ericson leaves city planning job for Futurewise post

Ryan Ericson has left his position as an associate planner with the city of Bainbridge Island to become the director of Futurewise Whatcom.

Futurewise describes itself as a statewide public interest group that encourages "smart growth" policies and works to promote healthy communities and cities while protecting farmland, forests and shorelines. It was founded in 1990 as 1000 Friends of Washington and changed its name in 2005 to Futurewise.

Futurewise Whatcom is the local chapter of the statewide organization.

Ericson's last day with Bainbridge was Friday, March 7.

During his time with Bainbridge, he was a natural resource specialist and shoreline planner and before that, worked at a marine science consulting firm and toxicology laboratory.

Most recently, Ericson helped lead the city of Bainbridge Island's update to its Shoreline Master Program.

The SMP update was highly controversial, with some shoreline property owners claiming the new plan was too restrictive and too complex, while other islanders said the new regulations were necessary to properly protect shoreline habitat and access.

The city council approved the updated plan late last year and sent it to the state Department of Ecology for review.

The city is still awaiting the final response from the state on the update. Bainbridge officials will host a Shoreline Master Program meeting to talk about the most recent recommended changes for aquaculture issues in a staff intensive workshop on Monday, March 24.

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