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August 18, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Bainbridge teen staging tree sit-in to protest planned development

Protester Chiara D'Angelo fixes a banner hanging down from her platform in a tree off Highway 305 and High School Rd. in Bainbridge Island on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. The tree she is in is one of 830 to be cut for the KeyBank/Visconsi Mall. (Larry Steagall / Kitsap Sun)

Protester Chiara D’Angelo fixes a banner hanging down from her platform in a tree off Highway 305 and High School Road. (Larry Steagall / Kitsap Sun)

A Bainbridge Island teen is staging a sit-in on a platform 70 feet up in a tree to protest the planned development of a commercial complex on the island.

Chiara D’Angelo, 19, climbed the tree Monday morning at the future construction site of the 62,000 square foot mixed-use development. Opponents say the tree is one of 830 that will be clear-cut to make way for the complex being built by Ohio-based developer Visconsi Companies. The development, planned for Highway 305 and High School Road, will likely include a Key Bank, Bartell Drugs and a medical office facility.

The city of Bainbridge Island and the Bainbridge Island Police Department said in a statement that they are “hoping for a peaceful resolution to this situation.”

“We would prefer to avoid making an arrest, and would encourage the parties involved to find a way to express their beliefs within the limits of the law.”

D’Angelo’s supporters said the sit-in is an effort to add more time for the community to voice their opposition to the development and lead to expanded dialogue about the island’s future, according to a news release.

“It feels very right to be here,” D’Angelo wrote to her supporters from her platform in the Douglas fir.

Comments | More in Environment, General news | Topics: Bainbridge Island, Bainbridge Island Police Department, Visconsi Companies

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