To the editor:
In April, islanders observed “Celebrate Trees! Earth Month Bainbridge Island,” even though trees are falling all around us.
Did you know that the Bainbridge Island code provides only minimal protections for trees and forests, and that Seattle, Lynnwood, Lacey, Olympia, Mercer Island, Medina and Wall Walla all have stronger tree preservation ordinances?
Did you know that almost any piece of Bainbridge property can be clear cut, scraped clean of native vegetation, and re-graded, even if that development causes wind and water damage and destroys wildlife habitat on adjacent parcels?
Did you know that illegal clearing is frequently “remedied” with an after-the-fact permit from the city?
Developers appreciate our lax protection, and they are taking advantage of it to monetize our forests and cash in on a hot housing market. Our beautiful island is in danger of becoming just another suburb with a nice forest in the middle.
If this bothers you, please tell your city council representative that you want stronger regulations to protect our trees, forests, native soils and vegetation. Demand that individual property development rights be balanced against the rights of neighbors, neighborhoods and our community conservation values.
JULIE AND MICHAEL SMITH