REVIEW BAINBRIDGE ISLAND
FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2014 | Vol. 114, No. 27 | WWW.BAINBRIDGEREVIEW.COM | 75¢
City’s embattled SMP gets critical OK from Ecology
Bainbridge police chief looks back on first year
Bainbridge schedules last public hearing on plan
Chief Hamner prioritizes accountability and stronger ties with the community
BY BRIAN KELLY
Bainbridge Island Review
Washington’s Department of Ecology has given its seal of approval to the city of Bainbridge Island’s revamped Shoreline Master Program. Bainbridge’s Shoreline Master Program — long the center of debate, derision, confusion and controversy — received a critical OK from the state last week and is now on the verge of final adoption. The program, a complex regulatory scheme that guides the development of shoreside properties while protecting the natural environment, has been reviled by critics who have claimed it is unconstitutional, intrusive and unfair to shoreline property owners. Officials with the Department of Ecology, however, praised the rewritten shoreline program as a thoughtful and reasonable approach to regulating waterside properties, and noted the regulations were flexible for property owners who wanted to develop their land. The updated SMP did not escape from the state’s review unscathed, however. Ecology had asked the city to adopt changes to the plan, most in the area of aquaculture, and also removed a ban imposed by the city on allowing docks in areas that have high wind, high waves and high currents. State officials said the city had not done enough to map such areas, and could not impose the regulations until additional data is collected. City officials were officially notified last week that the city’s update to its Shoreline Master Program had received conditional approval from the state. “I would like to take this opportunity to commend the city of Bainbridge Island in developing the proposed comprehensive Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update. It is obvious that a significant effort was invested in this update,” Ecology Director Maia D. Bellon said in a June 23 letter to Bainbridge
BY CECILIA GARZA Bainbridge Island Review
Despite having one of the smallest departments in Washington and being down four officers in recent months, Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner’s first year has included everything from improved training and policies to countless community outreach events to restoring the department’s depleted roster. In other words, nothing short of success. “I’m a big believer in servant leadership,” Hamner said. “When you serve the people who work for you and the citizens, you get the support. I am overwhelmed by the support that I have received this first year from the community.” Hamner was sworn in as Bainbridge’s chief of police June 20, 2013. He arrived after several tumultuous years of forced resignations and TURN TO CHIEF | A18
Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner explains the improvements and changes the department has undergone in the past year during a press conference Wednesday. Cecilia Garza | Bainbridge Island Review
TURN TO SMP | A18
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