Review Bainbridge Island
BEAT FEET: Spartans, both new and old, are ready for track-andfield season. A9
FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014 | Vol. 114, No. 14 | www.BAINBRIDGEREVIEW.com | 75¢
Locals look at impacts of oil trains on Puget Sound
Examiner gives OK to controversial shopping center
Smith on Visconsi project: ‘This is not a replay of Safeway’
Sen. Rolfes and policy analyst engage Bainbridge residents
BY BRIAN KELLY
BY CECILIA GARZA
Bainbridge Island Review
Bainbridge Island Review
In what has been referred to as the “thin green line” by opponents, Washington, British Columbia and Oregon currently stand between a fossil fuel export to the Orient that could put up to 11 miles of trains on the Pacific Northwest railway system per day. According to Sightline Institute — a policy research center focused on environmental, social and economic news in the Northwest — at full capacity, that is 785,000 barrels of oil traveling through Washington cities and along the Puget Sound daily filled with tar sands oil from Alberta, Bakken shale oil from North Dakota and coal from Wyoming and Montana. Bainbridge residents will have an opportunity to learn more about the 10 proposed and already-on-the-way crude oil-by-rail projects in Washington Tuesday, April 8 in a speaking event with state Sen. Christine Rolfes and Sightline policy director Eric De Place. “Washington has been at the forefront of climate issues, but we are right now in the midst of a transition centered in fossil fuel,” de Place said. The speaking event is the first step for Bainbridge Island to join other cities in taking a stand against oil-by-rail projects, and follows a resolution made by the Seattle city council in March that called for a statewide moratorium on oil-by-rail shipping. Similar to resolutions made by Spokane, Bellingham and other Washington cities, the Seattle resolution asks Gov. Jay Inslee to freeze all pending oil-by-rail projects until environmental and safety concerns have been addressed. turn to oil | A19
Bainbridge Island’s hearing examiner has rejected an appeal to a proposed shopping center on High School Road, and called the project “a praiseworthy movement in the right direction.” In a 58-page decision issued Thursday, Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith said the conditional use permit for the Visconsi shopping center should be granted, subject to conditions of approval. Smith also upheld the city’s environmental review of the project.
Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review
A magical spring break The Boys & Girls Club hosted a week-long Harry Potter-themed spring break day camp this week, where young island witches and wizards divided up into their own Hogwarts houses, crafted unique wands and practiced their magic abilities. Above, Eden Michael, 10, hones her levitation ability on a practice balloon Monday, March 31. At right, Devin Kim, 12, tries his luck in an Every Flavor Beans blind guessing game
Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review
Wednesday, April 2. Little did he know that his chosen bean was soap-flavored, an unpleasant taste he was unable to identify.
Opponents were not pleased with the ruling, or Smith. “Basically he’s doing the city’s and the developer’s bidding. Mr. Smith is getting paid a lot of money to do the hearing and writing the decision. He knows where his bread is buttered,” said Ron Peltier of Islanders for Responsible Development, the group that challenged the city’s environmental review of the project and asked that the permits be rejected. Peltier said dDevelopment is “all corrupted by money and the influence of money,” and said the planning department has an urban agenda. He also said citizens now need to turn their attention to this year’s update of the city’s comprehensive plan, the document that guides growth and development on the island. “Visconsi is happening, but we still have the issue
MORE INSIDE Opponents react to decision: A7 Hearing examiner imposes conditions for permits: A7 of ongoing development,” Peltier said. Visconsi, an Ohio-based developer, has been planning to build a nearly 62,000-square-foot shopping center on High School Road, directly across from the Ace Hardware, for nearly two years. The proposal includes space for retail, restaurants, professional services and health care facilities. Visconsi representatives declined to comment on the project, noting that it is subject to an appeal via a lawsuit in Superior Court.
Better than before Smith said the project would be much better than the existing development along High School Road, which already includes a large shopping center anchored by a Safeway grocery on one side of Highway 305, and an Ace Hardware and McDonald’s on the other. The Safeway shopping complex — built under Kitsap County regulations — was highly controversial when it was built, and was a main issue during the island’s march toward incorporation. “Whatever else it may be, this is not a replay of Safeway,” Smith wrote. Smith noted the widespread community turn to shopping | A17