Opinion

City’s update process will start with ‘Comprehensive Plan 101’ | GUEST COLUMN

Bainbridge Island City Manager Doug Schulze - Photo courtesy of the city of Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island City Manager Doug Schulze
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the city of Bainbridge Island

BY DOUG SCHULZE

The city of Bainbridge Island is about to undertake our Comprehensive Plan update in accordance with the Washington state Growth Management Act governed by RCW 36.70A.

Comprehensive Plans establish the vision for how a community wishes to grow, and the features it wishes to preserve for the next 20 years.

The city of Bainbridge Island’s periodic update is required to be adopted by June 30, 2016. During this process our community will be challenged to address difficult questions such as how do we preserve the character of our city while also adapting to the changing realities in the world around us? We are calling this process Navigate Bainbridge: Charting Our Future Together to reflect our desire to develop a path forward that incorporates the values of the entire Bainbridge Island community.

Navigate Bainbridge’s first public meeting, “Comprehensive Plan 101,” will occur from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, at Bainbridge High School.

“Comprehensive Plan 101” will be an introduction to the Comprehensive Plan update process and requirements, and an overview of the Growth Management Act.

The evening will begin with a presentation by Joseph Tovar, FAICP, followed by a presentation from the city Planning Commission and a facilitated panel discussion.

Joseph Tovar has an extensive background in the Comprehensive Plan process including contributing to the development of the Growth Management Act, drafting several successful amendments to the act, and spending 12 years interpreting its provisions as a member of the Growth Management Hearings Board. Tovar also served as planning director for the cities of Shoreline, Covington and Kirkland.

After his presentation, Tovar will facilitate a panel discussion including myself, Katherine Cook, director of Planning and Community Development, Barry Loveless, director of Public Works, and Ellen Schroer, director of Finance. There will be opportunities for the public to submit questions for the discussion prior to the meeting to pcd@bainbridgewa.gov, or at the beginning of the meeting.

All residents are invited, and highly encouraged, to partake in the Comprehensive Plan update.

If you have any questions about Comprehensive Plan 101, please contact the Planning Department at 206-842-2252.

I look forward to working with you to Navigate Bainbridge.

Doug Schulze is the city manager for Bainbridge Island.

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