An Island Perspective by Bainbridge Shoreline Homeowners
During this week’s Land Use Committee meeting, we learned that Kitsap County has signed an agreement with the Department of Ecology (DOE) to postpone its Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update for one year — from December 2011 to 2012.
We also learned that the Bainbridge Island Planning Director will be asking the council to approve a similar delay to facilitate coordination with the County and that DOE has said they would approve it with no effect on recently approved grant money.
Other sources tell us that a number of legislators plan to propose a two-year deferral of deadlines for SMP updates during coming legislative session. They say that the proposal has support from the Association of Washington Cities.
The current economic downturn and falling tax revenues make it particularly hard for cities and counties to cope with SMP updates at this time. An extension seems reasonable since it would take a bit of budgetary pressure off local jurisdictions.
It is unclear at this point is how such a delay might effect the Puget Sound Partnership’s plan to request a shoreline moratorium that would halt construction of bulkheads and docks in “sensitive areas” until new rules are approved. However, it would push back a predicted COBI moratorium, authorized in last year’s legislative session, to July 1, 2011.