Chapter 2.06
HEARING EXAMINER

Sections:

2.06.010    Purpose.

2.06.020    Hearing examiner authorized.

2.06.030    Appointments and terms.

2.06.040    Conflict of interest.

2.06.050    Powers and duties.

2.06.060    Findings.

2.06.070    Appeal of hearing examiner decision.

2.06.080    Designation of board of appeals.

2.06.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to separate land use planning from land use regulation; insure due process and fairness in land use regulation; and efficiently regulate land use by integrating the public hearing and decision-making processes. (Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).

2.06.020 Hearing examiner authorized.

There is created the office of hearing examiner as an independent office of the city for the conduct of hearings on matters delegated to the hearing examiner by ordinance. (Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).

2.06.030 Appointments and terms.

A. The mayor shall appoint the hearing examiner. The mayor is also authorized to appoint hearing examiners pro tempore to serve in the absence, unavailability, or disqualification of the hearing examiner.

B. The hearing examiner shall have demonstrated expertise and local and state land use matters, and in the conduct of administrative and quasi judicial hearings. Examiners shall hold no other elective or appointive office or position in the city government. (Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).

2.06.040 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 pre-hearing contacts with proponents or opponents. (Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).

2.06.050 Powers and duties.

The hearing examiner is authorized to:

A. Administer all oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, rule upon offers of proof, receive evidence and conduct discovery procedures which may include propounding interrogatories and taking oral depositions; provided, that no person shall be compelled to produce information which the person could not be compelled to produce to a court of law;

B. Upon the written request of a city officer or any party, or upon the hearing examiner’s own volition, issue and witness subpoenas; provided, that any subpoena shall state the name and address of the witness sought, and if for the production of books, documents, or other things, shall specifically identify the requested item and the item’s relevance to the issues involved;

C. Regulate hearings in accordance with applicable ordinances and other laws;

D. Hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the party;

E. Dispose of procedural requests or similar matters;

F. Make decisions and recommendations as authorized by ordinances of the city of Pacific;

G. Make rules for the conduct of hearings, notices, and other procedures not inconsistent with ordinances of the city of Pacific. An audio or video record of the hearing proceedings shall be maintained and shall be made available for public review;

H. Make recommendations for revisions of relevant codes and ordinances to clarify or otherwise improve the development review or hearings process;

I. Take any other action authorized by ordinance;

J. Consider requests for reconsideration submitted by the applicant, the appellant, or the city when submitted within 14 working days of the date on which the decision is postmarked when the requesting party sets forth in writing the specific error(s) of law or fact, error in judgment, or new information (which could not reasonably be available at the previous hearing) which is the basis for the reconsideration. There shall be only one reconsideration per application. (Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).

2.06.060 Findings.

Each final decision of the hearing examiner shall be in writing and shall be based on findings, based on the record, as to conformance to the applicable criteria. (Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).

2.06.070 Appeal of hearing examiner decision.

Decisions of the hearing examiner regarding Pacific development regulations, as defined in PMC 16.06.010, shall be a final and conclusive action unless within 21 calendar days from the date of issuance of the examiner’s decision an aggrieved person files an appeal in superior court, state of Washington, for the purpose of review of the action taken; provided, no development or related action may occur during the 21-day appeal period; provided further, that the 21-day appeal period from examiner decisions on appeals of threshold determinations or the adequacy of a final EIS shall not commence until final action on the underlying proposal. (Ord. 1512 § 1, 2001; Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).

2.06.080 Designation of board of appeals.

The hearing examiner is designated to act as the city’s board of appeals for purposes of the following codes, as adopted by the city:

A. Uniform Building Code;

B. Uniform Mechanical Code;

C. Uniform Plumbing Code;

D. Uniform Fire Code;

E. Uniform Code for Abatement of Dangerous Buildings; and

F. Uniform Housing Code. (Ord. 1505 § 2, 2001).