City of Bainbridge Island Shoreline Management Plan

Shoreline Designations and Highlights of Policies
(Matrix for Shoreline use and modification for each designation to be developed)

EXISTING SHORELINE DESIGNATION HIGHLIGHTS URBAN High Intensity land uses within already urbanized areas: water-oriented commercial, transportation, industrial, mixed-use, multi-family residential and recreational, port uses. Should not contain biophysical limitations to development. Priority to water dependent, water related, water enjoyment. Uses should be compatible with adjacent designations. Restoration for net ecosystem improvement is encouraged. SEMI RURAL Low to medium density residential. Intended to be compatible with agricultural uses on non-shoreline properties. Transitional between Urban and Rural. Intended to protect natural resources. Intended for areas developed or platted for residential development with physical ability to support low to medium density residential uses. Public access for multi-family residences, and large subdivisions. Common access for small, single family subdivisions.

PROPOSED SHORELINE DESIGNATIONS SIGNIFICANT CHANGES URBAN Reasonable, long range projections of regional economic need should guide the amount of shoreline designated Urban. (Deleted) Use incentives to provide public access and recreational uses. Assure no net loss of ecological function and establish cleanup.

SHORELINE RESIDENTIAL (Name change, not allowed to use “rural” in an Urban Growth Area.) Allows residential structures and appurtenant structures that protect existing natural resources and ecological functions in previously degraded areas. Must provide public access and recreational use. Minimum frontage width, setbacks, lot coverage, buffers, shoreline stabilization, vegetation conservation for development and new uses to assure no net loss. (Standards will be recommended to CC at a later date.) New developments must provide open space and maintain shoreline vegetation buffers. Encourage restoration of shoreline ecology through non-regulatory programs.


EXISTING SHORELINE DESIGNATION HIGHLIGHTS RURAL Natural features dominate, human activity results in light modification of natural environment. Purpose to limit development along undeveloped shorelines, serve as a native vegetation zone between different environments, maintain open space and opts for passive recreational use. Low density residential development due to biological features. Protect, conserve and restore ecological functions. Development compatible with ecological restoration. CONSERVANCY Existing natural character is maintained and protected from consumptive uses. Appropriate in areas with severe biophysical limitations -- steep slopes, severe erosion, feeder bluffs, flood-prone, soils with poor drainage, accretion beaches, spits, point bars, areas rich in quality and quantity of life forms, wetlands, estuaries, riparian corridors, areas with historic or cultural resources, areas free from extensive development. Areas with high scenic or recreational value. NATURAL Preserve area existing in natural state. Allow only very low intensity uses. Wildlife habitats, scientific or educational value, unique scenic feature, undisturbed natural areas, wilderness. Areas with restoration potential. Severe restrictions on intensity and type of uses to maintain shoreline integrity.

PROPOSED SHORELINE DESIGNATIONS SIGNIFICANT CHANGES ISLAND CONSERVANCY RESIDENTIAL (Incorporates RURAL AND CONSERVANCY) Incorporates much of the designation criteria and management policies from old plan’s CONSERVANCY designation. This is a significant tightening of the rules. Minimum frontage width, setbacks, lot coverage, buffers, shoreline stabilization, vegetation conservation, critical area protection to assure no net loss. New development should not require extensive alteration of land-water interface or structural shoreline stabilization. A higher level of regulation. Designation intended for areas where intensive use would interfere with natural process and result in significant damage to other resources. Uses that preserve natural character or preservation of open space are primary allowed uses. Development should reflect the character of surrounding area through open space, buffers. NATURAL Irreplaceable shoreline eco. Functions that would be damaged by human activity- wetlands, estuaries, unstable bluffs, dunes, spits, shoreline habitat. Areas with restoration potential. New uses not allowed: residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial, non-water oriented, roads, utility corridors, parking areas. Subdivision only allowed if extensive vegetation removal is not required.


EXISTING SHORELINE DESIGNATION HIGHLIGHTS AQUATIC All marine waters seaward of OHWM that are not Aquatic conservancy including estuarine channels, sloughs, marshes, bogs, swamps. Public access, aquaculture, fishing, water recreation encouraged. All allowed uses should allow for safe, unhindered passage of fish and animals. AQUATIC CONSERVANCY Areas seaward of OHWM that contain unique ecological features: Free of human influence, or sensitive to human activity, tidal lagoons, salt marshes and mud flats in tidal inlets, marine vegetation at least 4000 square feet. Prohibit uses that would degrade areas, physical alterations allowed only to protect features. Uses that consume physical, visual and biological resources prohibited. Adjacent upland uses must not compromise the integrity of AC designation. Native vegetation zones to protect function and characteristics of AC. Do a study to refine boundaries. (Apparently they haven’t done this.)

PROPOSED SHORELINE DESIGNATIONS SIGNIFICANT CHANGES AQUATIC Uses that adversely impact ecological function of habitats not allowed. New over water structures limited to minimum size to support intended use. Aquaculture must demonstrate that significant impacts will not result. Development must be designed to minimize impact on public views. Safe, unobstructed passage of fish and wildlife must be protected. AQUATIC CONSERVANCY Restore aquatic areas of sensitive ecological value. (Who?) Significant community of marine vegetation (used to require 4000 sq ft. now no quantity is specified, just “significant”.) Uses allowed only if no net loss is assured. Physical alteration allowed only in conjunction with an Island-wide restoration plan. Shoreline uplands adjacent to AC will have more stringent rules for any kind of use or structure.


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