Shoreline Master Program - Frequently Asked Questions

The City of Bainbridge Island’s current Shoreline Master Program (SMP) took effect July 30, 2014. Since then, the Department of Planning and Community Development has received over 70 shoreline permit applications, 30 of which have been issued, in the midst of two appeals to the Growth Management Hearings Board and a Petition for Review to Kitsap County Superior Court. Permitted development activity on the shoreline over this time period includes new residential construction, residential alteration and expansion, new and repaired docks, tree removal, and public and private utilities.

Updated Shoreline Master Plan

The updated SMP presented staff with new rules, new expectations and the need for revised applications and internal protocols. Staff recognizes that the SMP includes complex and potentially confusing code language. What was intended as innovative and flexible in theory has proven somewhat difficult to implement in practice. As a result, the City is preparing to undertake a limited amendment to address many of these issues. Additionally, the City is revising its aquaculture regulations to better reflect local conditions and community input.

Staff-Developed FAQs for Your Better Understanding

City staff developed the following FAQ to help shoreline property owners better understand the SMP in general and as it may specifically relate to their property. The application of most regulations is site-specific; that is, how a regulation is applied depends on the location and existing conditions of a property. Given the site-specific nature of most regulations, the City encourages you to contact the Department of Planning and Community Development if you have specific questions about how the SMP may affect your property and/or any plans you may have for changes.