Open Letter From Candidate Bonkowski, Bainbridge Island

Dear concerned shoreline citizens,

My name is Steven Bonkowski and I am running for the “at large” position on Bainbridge Island and I have always been a strong property rights advocate. Thatʼs the reason that Gary Tripp endorsed two candidates, Steven Bonkowswki and Barry Peters for City Council.

My website is and since the formation of my website it has stated that I support private property rights and that I believe the city must NOT go further in mandating even more stringent and costly regulations than the department of ecology requires by law.

I was at the Shoreline Homeowners Candidates Forum and stated that evening that I was a strong property rights advocate, that I supported “grandfathering” in all shoreline residential property as “conforming” and said shoreline home owners had the right to have access to their beaches with stairs, and should be allowed to build docks and floats so they could enjoy the recreational use of their property.

My position is clear, all the private property on our island is “private and is owned by its residents”. The intended use of that property is established when the owner purchases that property or gets approval to change its use.The city should not over reach its authority either by zoning changes or updates to its Shoreline Master Plan to cause the owner not to be able to use their property for its owners intended purpose.

I believe the cityʼs current SMP attempts to over reach its authority. Its designation strategy is flawed.

1)Designating our tidal lagoons as Aquatic Conservancy requiring restoration and therefore the removal of all over water structures is WRONG.

2)Requiring larger buffer zones because a residential property is near island conservancy owned by the city is WRONG.

3)Buffers depths that are overly conservative and too deep in an attempt to mitigate now for some unknown future event is WRONG.

4)60% of the shoreline has bulkheads, they need to be maintained NOT removed, and new bulkheads need to be permitted in a timely way when shoreline residents
structures and property are threatened.

The state requires best SCIENCE to be used in preparing its SMP, not fear of what could happen in the future.

The SMP needs to reflect the reality of what exists on this island, which is a shoreline that is 80% privately owned and populated with predominately residential stuctures.

Property owners respect and accept the concept of “no net loss”. They will NOT accept an SMP that attempts to move their property back to its natural state.

Steven Bonkowski



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