Official Protest of SMP Update Submission by the City of Bainbridge Island to the DOE, When Substantive Changes Were Made to it Without Public Notice or Hearings; Procedural Violations of State Law Render This SMP Invalid.
The purpose of this letter is to hereby make an Official Protest of the action by the City of Bainbridge Island in submitting to the Department of Ecology an SMP Update (“SMP”), parts of which were never made available to the public and with respect to which parts no public hearings were ever held.
That the City Council was aware of State requirements regarding public notice and hearings in advance of substantive changes to regulations and that their actions were, therefore, unlawful is evidenced by the City’s own video recording of the May 15, 2013 City Council Meeting. In this meeting the propriety of making substantive changes without public notice or input was discussed by the Council; nevertheless, following such discussion, the City Council enacted the SMP, with the inclusion of many substantive changes made after the last public hearing on May 8, 2013 and with no notice to the public. In addition, perhaps even without the knowledge of the City Council, City staff made yet more substantive changes to the SMP after its enactment and submitted them to the DOE on June 10, 2013 as if they had been enacted by the City Council.
Attached hereto is our Official Protest of such submission, together with precise references to at least some of the substantive provisions altered by the City Council and City staff members without public knowledge. The undersigned citizens of the City of Bainbridge Island only became aware of these unpublicized alterations to the SMP draft only after their enactment and/or after their submission to the DOE.
Given these facts, we request that the DOE return the SMP Update to the City of Bainbridge Island for such further action as shall include public notice of such changes and public hearings with regard to those changes, and any additional governmental action as shall be required to comply with State law.
Should you require any additional information with respect to these issues, please feel free to contact either of the undersigned.