A wave of shoreline regulation news

Lots of news on island shoreline protections at the tail end of last week.

The prospect of new development restrictions along waterfront properties brought out the largest crowd I’ve ever seen at City Hall (and I’ve been covering City Hall for over four years) last Wednesday.

Based on the applause during public testimony, the room (and the throng spilling out the door) was pretty evenly divided between waterfront property owners opposed to the new regs and residents (some of whom also live on the water) who want tougher shoreline habitat and water quality protections. That’s the crowd pictured above.

Read my story on that event here.

A day later, on Thursday, the state Supreme Court issued a decision that, in island marine habitat specialist Jim Brennan words, “sent a shock wave across Puget Sound.” The ruling effectively halted the city’s update of its shoreline regs, and may delay their implementation until 2011. Environmentalists booed. Many waterfront property owners cheered.

Read my story on the court’s ruling impact on Bainbridge here.

And for even more on the ruling’s wider implications, check out this story.