To the editor:
Washington state law — the Shoreline Management Act and Department of Ecology regulations — told us at least a dozen times not to violate the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws. It even pointed out the specific areas of greatest risk. But the city of Bainbridge Island did it anyway. The state will not help defend the city when it specifically said, “Don’t do this.”
As a retired attorney who has reviewed all these documents, I can say that the Shoreline Management Program violates the Shoreline Management Act, Department of Ecology regulations and federal law by failing to “recognize and protect” the constitutional and other federal rights of private property owners.
The SMP is supposed to balance environmental regulations with private property rights. It doesn’t; there is no balance.
Instead, this very extreme city-prepared SMP is doing precisely what federal and state laws all said not to do. To expect the state help in this situation reflects either a failure to read the entire SMP, a failure to understand the SMP, or a reckless disregard for state and federal law.