Chapter 14.08


14.08.010    Hearing Examiner appointment.

14.08.020    Conduct of hearings.

14.08.030    Decision powers.

14.08.040    Appeals of building administrative codes or fees.

14.08.050    Applications to Hearing Examiner – Fee – Objections.

14.08.060    Hearing notice.

14.08.070    Hearing – Generally.

14.08.080    Hearing Examiner – Findings and decision.

14.08.090    Appeals.

14.08.100    Records.

14.08.110    Stay.

14.08.120    Severability.

14.08.130    Computation of time.

14.08.010 Hearing Examiner appointment.

A. There is created the position of Hearing Examiner who shall be appointed by the City Manager and confirmed by the City Council.

1. Examiner Pro-Tem – Qualifications and Duties. The Examiner Pro-Tem shall, in the event of the absence or the inability of the examiner to act, have all the duties and powers of the examiner.

2. Hearing Examiner – Conflict of Interest and Freedom from Improper Influence. The Hearing Examiner shall not conduct or participate in any hearing or decision in which the Hearing Examiner has a direct or indirect personal interest which might exert such influence upon the Hearing Examiner that might interfere with his or her decision-making process. Any actual or potential conflict of interest shall be disclosed to the parties immediately upon discovery of such conflict. The hearing shall then be conducted by the Examiner Pro-Tem.

Participants in the land use regulatory process have the right, insofar as possible, to have the Hearing Examiner free from personal interest or prehearing contacts on land use regulatory matters considered by him or her. It is recognized that there is a countervailing public right to free access to public officials on any matter. If such personal or prehearing interest contact impairs the Hearing Examiner’s ability to act on the matter, such person shall so state and shall abstain therefrom to the end that the proceeding is fair and has the appearance of fairness.

3. Freedom from Improper Influence. No Council Member, City official, or any other person shall attempt to interfere with or improperly influence the Hearing Examiner in the performance of his or her designated duties.

B. The decisions of the Hearing Examiner shall be final. All decisions of the Hearing Examiner shall be in writing and shall include findings and conclusions based on the record to support the decision. Said findings and conclusions shall also set forth the manner in which the decision would carry out and conform to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the City’s development regulations. The final decision of the Hearing Examiner, unless a longer period is mutually agreed upon between the applicant and the Hearing Examiner, shall be rendered within 10 working days following the conclusion of all testimony, hearings and continuances. (Ord. C-661 § 51, 2007)

14.08.020 Conduct of hearings.

All hearings of the Hearing Examiner shall be held in City Hall at such times as may be established by notice as set forth in AHMC 14.08.060. The Municipal Court Clerk shall act as the clerk and secretary of the Hearing Examiner. (Ord. C-661 § 52, 2007)

14.08.030 Decision powers.

The Hearing Examiner conducts open record hearings on matters set forth in AHMC 14.02.050, and other matters referred or delegated by the City Council. (Ord. C-661 § 53, 2007)

14.08.040 Appeals of building administrative codes or fees.

Any appeal from the building code or other building administrative codes adopted by the City shall be first filed with the Building Official or his/her designee. The Building Official or his/her designee shall review the recommendation and make a decision thereon. The decision of the Building Official or his/her designee shall be final unless, within 14 days from the date of the decision, the applicant files a petition for review with the Hearing Examiner. Upon receipt of any petition for review of a decision of the Building Official or his/her designee, the Hearing Examiner shall determine whether or not the matter requires a public hearing either because of its nature (whether controversial or of major importance) or required by the provisions of a particular administrative code from which the appeal was taken, and if the hearing is to be held, the Hearing Examiner shall conduct a public hearing on the matter. The hearing and procedures shall be in the same form and manner as provided in AHMC 14.08.060 and 14.08.070. (Ord. C-661 § 54, 2007)

14.08.050 Applications to Hearing Examiner – Fee – Objections.

A. Persons desiring consideration by the Hearing Examiner shall apply to the Planning Department and shall supply such information as the Hearing Examiner and Planning Department may require to identify the land and determine the reason for the appeal.

B. Each application by a property owner shall be accompanied by a receipt for a fee, amount determined by City Council, to the Clerk-Treasurer to cover the City’s costs of handling the application, no part of which fee is returnable.

C. Persons objecting to the relief sought by the applicant shall likewise set forth their views and actual evidence in writing and the same shall be signed by the objectors. The application or objection shall be submitted to the Hearing Examiner within the time provided in its rules or procedure.

D. The Hearing Examiner or Planning Department shall be responsible for assigning a date of public hearing for each application, which date shall not be more than 45 working days after the applicant has complied with all requirements and furnished all necessary data to the Planning Department.

E. When such application has been set for public hearing, the Planning Department or Hearing Examiner shall coordinate and assemble the comments and recommendations of other City departments and governmental agencies having an interest in the subject application and shall prepare a report summarizing the factors involved and the Planning Department’s findings and supportive recommendations. At least seven working days prior to the scheduled hearing, the report shall be filed with the Hearing Examiner and copies thereof shall be mailed to the applicant and shall be made available for use by an interested party for the cost of reproduction. (Ord. C-661 § 55, 2007)

14.08.060 Hearing notice.

A notice of a pending hearing of the Hearing Examiner upon an application affecting the use of land or buildings shall be posted within the vicinity of the land or building in question at least 14 working days prior to the hearing. Additional advertisement may be made through the press at the discretion of the Hearing Examiner. (Ord. C-661 § 56, 2007)

14.08.070 Hearing – Generally.

Before rendering a decision or recommendation on any matter, the Hearing Examiner shall hold at least one public hearing thereon. The Hearing Examiner shall examine official maps, photos, development plans, calculations, etc., relating to the conditions of the affected land or property. The Hearing Examiner shall have the power to prescribe rules and regulations for the conduct of hearings under the ordinance codified in this chapter, including continuances, and also to administer oaths and preserve order. (Ord. C-661 § 57, 2007)

14.08.080 Hearing Examiner – Findings and decision.

A. When the Hearing Examiner renders a decision or recommendation, the Hearing Examiner shall make and enter written findings from the record and conclusions which support such decision, which decision shall be rendered on the tenth working day, or after continuances, following the conclusion of the hearing. The copy of such decision including findings and conclusions shall be transmitted by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the applicant and other parties of record requesting the same.

B. Reconsideration. Any aggrieved person feeling that the decision of the Hearing Examiner is based on erroneous procedures, errors of law or fact, error in judgment or the discovery of new evidence which could not be reasonably available at the prior hearing may make a written request for reconsideration by the Hearing Examiner within 10 working days of the date the decision or continuance is rendered. This request shall set forth the specific errors or new information relied upon by such appellant, and the Hearing Examiner may, after review of the record, take further action as he or she deems proper. (Ord. C-661 § 58, 2007)

14.08.090 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Hearing Examiner may appeal the Hearing Examiner’s decision to the City Council 15 days after the date of the decision. (Ord. C-661 § 59, 2007)

14.08.100 Records.

The Hearing Examiner shall keep a record of its proceedings, findings and action in each case, giving specific reasons for its action and for any deviation from policy which may have been established in past cases. All records of the Hearing Examiner shall be open to the public. (Ord. C-661 § 60, 2007)

14.08.110 Stay.

During an appeal to the City Council, the applicant shall stay any grading, construction or alteration on the property. (Ord. C-661 § 61, 2007)

14.08.120 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable. If any word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part in or of this chapter, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is declared invalid, the remaining provisions and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby, but shall remain in full force and effect, the Mayor and City Council declaring that they would have ordained the remaining provisions of this chapter without the word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part, or the application thereof, so held invalid. (Ord. C-661 § 62, 2007)

14.08.130 Computation of time.

Computation of any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules shall begin with the first calendar day following that on which the act or event initiating such period of time shall have occurred. When the last day of the period so computed is a Saturday, Sunday or national or state holiday, the period shall run until the end of the next following business day. (Ord. C-661 § 63, 2007)