To the editor:
One of the basic Shoreline Property Owners complaints about the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) update process on Bainbridge Island is a claim of underrepresentation of shoreline property owners in the various stakeholders and community members workgroups formed to inform and recommend shoreline management policy.
Their representation was about one-third of each workgroup. If representation was 50 percent or more, then that one group would be a majority and be able to control all decisions since the workshops were essentially a democratic process — a group majority decision advances to the planning commission review of the proposed SMP.
Every shoreline homeowner’s property has a abutting property line that is located geographically lower than that of the upland shoreline property owner. Puget Sound is a navigable waterway. The waters of Puget Sound are owned by all United State citizens, and that means shoreline property owners share a common property line with about 315 million citizens.
And since Newton explained the basis of gravity, what shoreline property owners do with their more elevated properties has a scientific effect from gravity alone on Puget Sound.
Using a “property rights” ownership basis, the shoreline property owners were not underrepresented in the SMP process as they have 315 million citizens as their immediate legal Puget Sound neighbors on the water side of each of their individual property lines.