Shoreline Master Program

The Shoreline Master Program (SMP) establishes goals, policies and regulations for the shoreline jurisdiction of Bainbridge Island. The current SMP became effective in July 2014 after a comprehensive update process. The SMP is available in two versions:

Official shoreline designations are mapped (PDF).

SMP Amendment

The City is proposing revisions to its SMP largely in these sections:

  • Section 4.1.5, Critical Areas
  • Section 4.2.1, Nonconforming Uses, Structures, and Lots
  • Section 8.0, Definitions

The City completed its state-mandated update to its critical areas ordinance in April 2018. The updated critical areas regulations cannot be applied within the shoreline jurisdiction until an amendment to the SMP integrating these regulations is locally adopted by City Council and approved by the Washington Department of Ecology. The intent of the amendment is simply to integrate recently updated critical areas regulations into the SMP and improve implementation effectiveness by clarifying regulations and removing duplication. 

The majority of draft revisions related to nonconforming structures, uses, and lots are intended to improve clarity and eliminate vagueness, repetition, and/or internal conflict. In addition, the Planning Commission’s draft revisions include a number of changes to allowed actions for nonconforming structures, including replacement and expansion of intentionally demolished structures.

The City Council is currently considering the draft SMP Amendment. Check City Council agendas for more information:

Background Information and Draft Documents

SMP Draft Amendments – September 11, 2018 Public Hearing Draft (Entire SMP**)

**The majority of changes are located in Section 4.1.5, Critical Areas; 4.2.1, Nonconforming Uses, Nonconforming Structures, and Nonconforming Lots; and 8.0, Definitions. Please see Reader’s Guide on the first page of the draft amendment.

Existing Section 4.2.1 – Existing SMP section on nonconforming uses, lots, and existing development provided for background.

Nonconforming Structures Summary Table – Summarizes proposed allowed actions for different types of nonconforming structures.

Critical Areas Summary Sheet – Summarizes purpose of amendment and major changes related to critical areas.

Summary of Planning Commission Recommendations – September 11, 2018 memo provided to City Council.

Summary of Planning Commission Recommendations – October 2, 2018 presentation at City Council study session.

Additional information – nonconforming structures and ARPA  – October 8, 2018 memo provided to City Council.

Planning Commission rationale for nonconforming structures recommendation  – Provided to City Council on November 27, 2018.

Additional information – nonconforming structures – November 27, 2018 memo provided to City Council.

Additional information – nonconforming structures  – December 11, 2018 memo provided to City Council.

Summary of Public Comments


Aquaculture Limited Amendment 

The City of Bainbridge Island adopted the proposed limited amendment on October 11, 2016.  The City is currently coordinating with the Department of Ecology on next steps for the limited amendment.

As part of the requirements for processing a limited amendment, the City prepared a submittal package that was transmitted to the Department of Ecology for review on February 17, 2017. Ecology held a public comment period ending June 9, 2017. The City has until January 2, 2018 to respond to comments. Ecology will then make a decision on the City's limited amendment. Pending Ecology approval, the existing aquaculture policies and regulations remain in effect.

Other Shoreline Master Program Information

If you have questions or comments regarding this project please contact Senior City Planner Christy Carr at 206-780-3719 or email.