Opinion: Serious Concerns with Island’s SMP

I received a letter from Department of Ecology about the Bainbridge Island Shoreline Master Plan recently approved by our City Council.

Many people, including myself, spent time documenting serious SMP issues for DOE who promised to seriously address each. They did not.

The SMP was cleverly and methodically planned by a three City Council people a few years ago. One of them had an agenda. The trio became a duet and then the duet became a one-person show. Three subcommittees were tasked to formulate a plan based on public opinion. The summary evaluation was notably biased and flawed. This was documented to both Ecology and City Council and ignored. It is public record.

So why did Ecology and City Council embrace a flawed process? Ecology seems to cultivate the strictest possible environmental interpretation and turns a blind eye to how it was accomplished. Our SMP reflects that.

Here is how our seven council members behaved. They were divided three against and four pro-SMP. One of the four did not do their own thinking, two were blatantly closed minded and one was just stubborn. One council person told me directly they did not read nor could understand the cumbersome SMP. But they voted for it anyway.

So there we have it. A ridiculous SMP that does little for the environment nor does it address our biggest ecology problem which is stormwater runoff supported by a $2-million tax-based budget that goes, shall we say, down the drain.

Dick Haugan, Bainbridge Island

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