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Bainbridge youth plan candlelight vigil at proposed site of Visconsi development
Island youth will be gathering for a candlelight vigil this weekend in opposition to the planned shopping center development on High School Road and Highway 305.
The gathering comes just after the developer for the controversial shopping complex received a permit from the city of Bainbridge Island to begin clearing and grading the forested property.
"It's time for the youth of this Island to step up, speak our truth and create the world that we collectively want to see," said Chiara D'Angelo, a 2013 BHS graduate and community organizer, in an email.
Ohio-based developer Visconsi will soon begin building a nearly 62,000-square-foot shopping center on High School Road directly across from Ace Hardware.
The development plans to bring a Bartell Drugs, a KeyBank branch, restaurants, professional services and health care facilities to the island.
Some critics, though, have said the new business is unnecessary and will compete with downtown Winslow establishments.
Over the last year, the opposition has also fought to stop the removal of more than 800 trees in the construction.
The development plan was approved by the city's hearing examiner, however, after it was determined the proposal complied with zoning and municipal code.
"We are hoping for a long and hard-hitting campaign," D'Angelo wrote.
The vigil will start at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 in the KeyBank parking lot.
Signs are welcome, and there will be an open forum for speaking, D'Angelo said.
Participants and those interested in the cause are also being asked to pledge to boycott the shopping center at environmentalbainbridge.org/stop-unwanted-development-on-bi.