Chapter 2.20


2.20.010    Scope.

2.20.020    Filing of appeal.

2.20.030    City response.

2.20.040    Conduct of hearing.

2.20.050    Deposits.

2.20.060    Hearing officer.

2.20.070    Hearing procedure.

2.20.080    Hearing officer’s decision.

2.20.090    Right to judicial review.

2.20.010 Scope.

Except for personnel matters, legal determinations, and as expressly otherwise provided to the contrary in this code, any interested person may appeal the final decision of any City officer, board, committee, commission, department director or department subordinate to the hearing officer in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any appeal of the final decision of any City officer, board, committee, commission, department director or department subordinate that is made pursuant to any provision of PMC Title 16 or 17 shall be heard by the City Council.

The procedures set forth in PMC 2.20.030 through 2.20.090 only apply to appeals heard by the hearing officer. The procedure for appeals to the City Council shall be consistent with the procedures for other matters considered at regular City Council meetings. (Ord. 845 § 3, 2020; Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019; Ord. 334 § 1, 1991)

2.20.020 Filing of appeal.

A. To be sufficient for filing, the written appeal must be delivered to the City Clerk, together with the fee established by resolution and any other amount due pursuant to PMC 2.20.050, within 10 calendar days following the decision for which a review is sought. If the day falls on Saturday, Sunday or other day when City Hall is closed, the deadline shall be extended to 5:00 p.m. of the next working day.

The appeal must be legible and set forth:

1. The appellant’s full name, address and phone number;

2. The subordinate entity;

3. The date of the determination;

4. The determination for which review is sought;

5. The appellant’s interest in the appealed determination;

6. Each reason why the appellant appeals the determination including, if applicable, the Poway Municipal Code sections that are to be appealed; and

7. Be accompanied by the appeal fee established by resolution.

B. An insufficient appeal shall be returned to the appellant.

C. If the appeal is sufficient, the City Clerk shall set the matter for consideration by the hearing officer to be held in accordance with PMC 2.20.070, or as applicable, by the City Council, to be held at a regularly scheduled public meeting.

D. The City Clerk shall mail the appeal document to the applicant, if appropriate, or other real party in interest, with notice of the time, date and location of the hearing and notice of the opportunity to submit a written response to the appeal request at least 14 calendar days prior to the initial consideration by the hearing officer or City Council, as applicable. The City reserves the right to reschedule the hearing date as needed. In such cases, notice of the change will immediately be communicated to the appellant.

E. The City Clerk shall deliver a copy of the appeal document to the appropriate City department which will prepare a City response to the request for the appeal. In the case of appeals to the City Council, the response will take the form of an agenda report. (Ord. 845 § 4, 2020; Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019; Ord. 492 § 1, 1998; Ord. 334 § 1, 1991)

2.20.030 City response.

The City’s response to the appeal document and any written position submitted by the applicant or real party in interest shall be made available to the public, at City Hall, no less than seven calendar days prior to the date set for consideration by the hearing officer if received by the City Clerk by that date. (Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019; Ord. 334 § 1, 1991)

2.20.040 Conduct of hearing.

The hearing officer shall hear all facts and testimony deemed appropriate and consider the appeal, the written position of the applicant or real party in interest, the City response, and any other written or oral comments from members of the public. No noticed public hearing shall be required unless specifically required by this code. The appeal hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter and constitutional due process. The hearing officer may grant in whole or in part or may deny the appeal. The determination of the hearing officer shall constitute a final decision. The hearing officer’s decision shall be issued in writing within 60 days of the hearing. (Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019; Ord. 334 § 1, 1991)

2.20.050 Deposits.

A. The request for hearing shall be accompanied by a deposit in the full amount of any required or past due fee or fine. Any deposit shall be refunded within 10 days of a determination, after a hearing, that the responsible person charged was not responsible for the amount due as charged in the final decision.

B. Upon the submittal of a hardship waiver affidavit by a responsible person within the appeal period requesting a waiver of any fee or fine, the City Manager shall issue a letter granting or denying the request. If waiver is denied, the appeal shall be dismissed unless the full amount of the fine is deposited and unless any outstanding fees and fines are paid within five days of the date of the letter. The determination of the City Manager shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal or judicial review. (Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019)

2.20.060 Hearing officer.

The Poway City Manager shall designate the hearing officer for the appeal hearing. The compensation of the hearing officer, if any, shall be paid by the City in accordance with the adopted master fee schedule. Compensation shall not be directly or indirectly conditioned upon whether or not appeals are upheld by the hearing officer.

Any person, firm or corporation designated to serve as a hearing officer is subject to disqualification for bias, prejudice, interest, or for any other reason for which a judge may be disqualified pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 170.1. The appellant may challenge the hearing officer’s impartiality prior to the hearing by filing a statement with the City Manager objecting to the hearing before the hearing officer and setting forth the grounds for disqualification. The question of disqualification shall be heard and determined in writing by the City Manager within 10 days following the date on which the disqualification statement is filed. If a disqualification statement is filed, all time periods set forth in PMC 2.20.070 and 2.20.080 shall be extended by 10 days. (Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019)

2.20.070 Hearing procedure.

A. No appeal hearing before a hearing officer shall be held unless and until an appeal request has been completed and submitted in accordance with PMC 2.20.020, and the deposit has been made pursuant to PMC 2.20.050 or hardship waiver granted.

B. A hearing before the hearing officer shall be set for a date that is not sooner than 15 and not more than 90 days from the date that the request for hearing is filed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The appellant shall be notified of the time and place set for the hearing, and the name of the hearing officer, at least 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.

C. The hearing officer shall only consider evidence that is relevant to the matters on appeal. Courtroom rules of evidence shall not apply. Relevant hearsay evidence and written reports may be admitted whether or not the speaker or author is present to testify on condition that the hearing officer determines that the evidence is reliable. Admission of evidence and the conduct of the hearing shall be controlled by the hearing officer in accordance with the fundamentals of due process.

D. The appellant shall be given the opportunity to testify and present witnesses and evidence concerning the administrative citation. The City’s case shall be presented by the Development Services Director or designee, an enforcement officer or by the City Attorney. The appellant may be represented by counsel, but the City shall be notified in writing of such representation at least seven days prior to the appeal hearing.

E. The failure of the appellant to appear at the hearing shall constitute a forfeiture of appeal rights described in this chapter and the appellant will forfeit the deposit described in PMC 2.20.050 as payment associated with the final decision. Upon a showing of good cause by the appellant in writing to the hearing officer and prior to the hearing, the hearing officer may excuse the offender’s failure to appear at the hearing and reschedule the hearing. Under no circumstances shall the hearing be rescheduled more than one time. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to mean the offender is excused from the requirement of paying the fees and/or fines or appearing at a hearing.

F. Any documents prepared by the City in connection with the final decision shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained in those documents.

G. If the appellant submits to the City a written request, the City shall provide to the appellant copies of all documents that it intends to introduce at the hearing. Such copies shall be provided to the appellant within five days prior to the hearing or a lesser period upon a showing of cause. If, after copies of documents have been provided to appellant, the City determines to submit to the hearing officer additional documents then, whenever possible, a copy of such documents shall be provided to the appellant prior to the hearing.

H. The hearing is intended to be informal in nature. Formal rules of the California Evidence Code and discovery shall not apply, except that irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded at the hearing officer’s discretion.

I. Each party shall have the opportunity to offer testimony and evidence and cross-examine witnesses in support of his or her case.

J. The hearing officer may continue the hearing and request additional information from the enforcement officer or the appellant prior to issuing a written decision. (Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019)

2.20.080 Hearing officer’s decision.

A. After considering all of the testimony and evidence submitted at the hearing, the hearing officer may announce a decision orally, but, in any event, shall prepare a written decision. The decision shall be provided to the parties within 10 days of the hearing and shall either affirm, amend or dismiss the final decision. The decision shall briefly state the reasons for the conclusion of the hearing officer. The City shall serve the decision on the appellant in accordance with PMC 1.10.040.

B. If the hearing officer upholds the citation issuance, then the deposit with the City shall be retained by the City. If a hardship waiver was granted, the decision shall set forth a payment schedule for the fine.

C. If the hearing officer dismisses the final decision, then the City shall promptly refund the deposit or fees as applicable to the final decision. This shall not include other fines or fees that were not directly associated with the appeal.

D. The hearing officer shall not have the power to reduce fees or the fine. (Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019)

2.20.090 Right to judicial review.

Either the City or the appellant aggrieved by a decision of a hearing officer on an administrative citation may obtain review of the decision by filing a petition for review with the San Diego Superior Court in accordance with the timelines and provisions as set forth in California Government Code Section 53069.4(b). Said procedure shall be available for all judicial review under this chapter, notwithstanding that the term or condition being enforced pursuant to this chapter may not be a matter covered by Section 53069.4(a). Judicial review of a citation shall not be available without first participating in a hearing as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 827 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2019)