Chapter 2.54
HEARING EXAMINER

Sections:

2.54.010    Purpose.

2.54.020    Creation of hearing examiner.

2.54.030    Appointment and term.

2.54.040    Qualifications.

2.54.050    Removal.

2.54.060    Freedom from improper influence.

2.54.070    Conflict of interest.

2.54.080    Rules.

2.54.090    Powers.

2.54.100    Applications.

2.54.110    Report of department.

2.54.120    Public hearings.

2.54.130    Examiner report to council.

2.54.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a quasi-judicial hearing system which will ensure procedural due process and appearance of fairness in regulatory hearings and will provide an alternative hearing process for quasi-judicial matters. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.020 Creation of hearing examiner.

The office of the city of Bothell hearing examiner, hereinafter referred to as examiner, is hereby created. The examiner shall interpret, review and implement land use regulations as provided by ordinance and may perform such other quasi-judicial functions as are delegated by ordinance. Unless the context requires otherwise, the term examiner as used herein shall include deputy examiners and examiners pro tem. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.030 Appointment and term.

Subject to the city council confirmation, the city manager shall appoint as the manager deems necessary, by professional service contract, an examiner, pro tem examiner or any deputy examiners for such terms and functions deemed appropriate. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.040 Qualifications.

Examiners shall be appointed solely with regard to their qualifications for the duties of their office and will have such training and experience as will qualify them to conduct administrative or quasi-judicial hearings on regulatory enactments and to discharge such other functions conferred upon them. Examiners shall hold no other elective or appointive office or position in county government. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.050 Removal.

An examiner may be removed from office for cause by the affirmative vote of the majority of the city council. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.060 Freedom from improper influence.

No person, including city officials, elected or appointed, shall attempt to influence an examiner in any matter pending before him, except at a public hearing duly called for such purpose, or to interfere with an examiner in the performance of his duties in any other way; provided, that this section shall not prohibit the city attorney from rendering legal service to the examiner upon request. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.070 Conflict of interest.

No examiner shall conduct or participate in any hearing, decision or recommendation in which the examiner has a direct or indirect substantial financial or familial interest or concerning which the examiner has had substantial prehearing contacts with proponents or opponents. Nor, on appeal from an examiner decision, shall any member of the city council who has such an interest or has had such contacts participate in consideration thereof. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.080 Rules.

The examiner shall have the power to prescribe rules for the scheduling and conduct of hearings and other procedural matters related to the duties of his office. Such rules may provide for cross examination of witnesses. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.090 Powers.

The examiner shall have authority to:

A.    Receive and examine available information;

B.    Conduct public hearings and prepare a record thereof;

C.    Administer oaths and affirmations;

D.    Examine witnesses; provided, that no person shall be compelled to divulge information which he or she could not be compelled to divulge in a court of law;

E.    Regulate the course of the hearing;

F.    Make and enter decisions;

G.    At the examiner’s discretion, hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues;

H.    Dispose of procedural requests or similar matters;

I.    Issue summary orders in supplementary proceedings; and

J.    Take any other action authorized by or necessary to carry out this chapter.

The above authorities may be exercised on all matters for which jurisdiction is assigned either by city ordinance or by other legal action of the city or its elected officials. The nature of the examiner’s decision shall be as specified in this chapter and in each ordinance which grants jurisdiction. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.100 Applications.

Applications for permits, approvals or appeals within the jurisdiction of the examiner shall be presented to the appropriate director responsible for administration of the Bothell Municipal Code title out of which the permit, approval or appeal arises. The director shall be responsible for assigning and/or coordinating hearing dates and assuring that due notice of public hearing is given for each application, which notice shall be in accordance with the statute, ordinance or Bothell Municipal Code chapter governing the application. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.110 Report of department.

A.    The department of community development shall coordinate and assemble the reviews of the other county departments and governmental agencies having an interest in the subject application when the application deals with a land use matter and shall prepare a report summarizing the factors involved and the department’s findings and recommendations.

B.    Where the hearing to be conducted before the examiner concerns a matter evolving from a statute or ordinance other than one dealing with land use matters, the department involved shall be responsible for preparing a report summarizing the factors involved and the department’s findings and recommendations.

C.    At least 10 calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing, the report shall be filed with the examiner and copies thereof shall be mailed to the applicant and made available for public inspection. Copies thereof shall be provided to interested parties upon payment of reproduction costs. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.120 Public hearings.

On land use matters, where a public hearing is required, the examiner shall hold a public hearing in accordance with Chapters 11.12 and 11.14 BMC as applicable. All testimony at any such hearing shall be taken under oath. Notice of time and place of the public hearing shall be given as required by Chapter 11.19 BMC. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000; Ord. 1626 § 1, 1996).

2.54.130 Examiner report to council.

The examiner shall provide a quarterly report to the city council. Such report shall contain a list of the land use hearings conducted during the preceding quarter, the type of land use application(s), the action(s) taken by the examiner and discussion concerning issues or inadequacies with the development regulations or administrative procedures identified during the processing of the land use applications. (Ord. 1813 § 1, 2000).