Chapter 2.15


2.15.010    Creation of office.

2.15.020    Appointment and terms.

2.15.030    Qualifications.

2.15.040    Examiner pro tem.

2.15.050    Conflict of interest – Appearance of fairness.

2.15.060    Freedom from improper influence.

2.15.070    Duties of the examiner.

2.15.080    Examiner’s decision or recommendation.

2.15.090    Applications.

2.15.100    Report by department of community development.

2.15.110    Appeals.

2.15.120    Public hearing.

2.15.130    Consolidation of hearings.

2.15.140    Rules and regulations.

2.15.150    Examiner’s findings.

2.15.160    Reconsideration.

2.15.170    Appeal of examiner’s decision.

2.15.180    Council action.

2.15.010 Creation of office.

The office of the hearing examiner, hereinafter referred to as “examiner,” is created. The term examiner shall likewise include any examiner pro tem. [Ord. 61 § 1, 1993]

2.15.020 Appointment and terms.

The examiner shall be appointed by the city manager and shall serve on such terms and conditions as shall be mutually agreed upon. [Ord. 61 § 2, 1993]

2.15.030 Qualifications.

The examiner shall be appointed solely with regard to his or her qualifications for the duties of the office and will have such training and experience as will qualify the examiner to conduct administrative and quasi-judicial hearings on regulatory enactments and to discharge such other functions conferred upon the examiner by the city council. The examiner shall hold no other elective or appointive office or position in the city government. [Ord. 61 § 3, 1993]

2.15.040 Examiner pro tem.

Any examiner pro tem shall be appointed by the city manager after consultation with the examiner and shall, in the event of the absence or the inability of the examiner to act, have all the duties and powers of the examiner. [Ord. 61 § 4, 1993]

2.15.050 Conflict of interest – Appearance of fairness.

(1) Participants in the land use regulatory process have the right, insofar as possible, to have the examiner free from personal interest or prehearing contacts on 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 interest or prehearing contact impairs the examiner’s ability to act on the matter, the examiner shall recuse himself from such matter, unless all parties agree in writing to have the matter heard by said examiner.

(2) The examiner shall not conduct or participate in any hearing or decision in which the examiner has direct or indirect personal interest which 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. [Ord. 61 § 5, 1993]

2.15.060 Freedom from improper influence.

No council member, city official or any other person shall attempt to interfere with, or improperly influence the examiner in the performance of his or her designated duties. [Ord. 61 § 6, 1993]

2.15.070 Duties of the examiner.

The examiner shall consider the matters set forth below.

(1) Applications and Appeals – Final Decision. The examiner shall receive and examine available information, conduct public hearings, prepare a record thereof, and enter findings of fact and conclusions based upon those facts, which conclusions shall represent the final action on the application, unless appealed, as specified herein, for the following type of applications and appeals:

(a) Applications.

(i) Applications for residential condominium binding site plan;

(ii) Applications for shoreline substantial development permits when combined with other land use applications.

(b) Appeals.

(i) Appeals from the decision of the director regarding short subdivisions;

(ii) Appeal of administrative decision on building permits, grading permits and temporary use permit pursuant to review of the zoning code;

(iii) Appeal from decisions of the director on requests for rate adjustments to surface and storm water management rates and charges.

(2) Applications – Recommendation to Council. Until such time as the planning commission is created and its duties and procedures are adopted, the examiner shall receive and examine available information, conduct public hearings, prepare a record thereof and enter findings of fact and conclusions, based upon those facts, together with a recommendation to the city council, for the following applications:

(a) Applications for preliminary plats;

(b) Applications for shoreline environment redesignation.

(3) The examiner shall act as the board of appeals and the hearing examiner for the purposes of the building and construction codes adopted in BMC Title 15.

(4) Other applications or appeals which the council may prescribe by ordinance.

(5) Hearings related to Chapter 1.15 BMC. [Ord. 561 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 520 § 1, 2009; Ord. 312 § 1, 2000; Ord. 61 § 7, 1993]

2.15.080 Examiner’s decision or recommendation.

(1) The examiner’s recommendations or decision may be to grant or deny the application, or the examiner may recommend or require of the applicant such conditions, modifications and restrictions as the examiner finds necessary to make the subject of the application consistent with the objectives and goals of the comprehensive plan, zoning code, subdivision code and other codes and ordinances of the city of Burien.

(2) In cases of recommendations, the examiner’s findings and conclusions shall be submitted to the city council, which shall have the final authority. The hearing by the examiner shall constitute the public hearing by the city council unless the city council chooses to hold one or more additional public hearings. [Ord. 61 § 8, 1993]

2.15.090 Applications.

Applications for all matters to be heard by the examiner shall be first submitted to the department of community development, which shall accept complete applications. The department shall be responsible for assigning a date of public hearing for each application which date shall be scheduled in a timely manner after the applicant has complied with all requirements and furnished all necessary data to the department. [Ord. 61 § 9, 1993]

2.15.100 Report by department of community development.

When such application has been set for public hearing, the department shall coordinate and assemble the comments and recommendations of other city departments and governmental agencies having an interest or authority in the subject application and shall prepare a report summarizing the factors involved and the department’s findings and recommendations. At least seven 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 shall be made available for use by any interested party for the cost or reproduction. In the event the applicant is unable to attend the scheduled hearing, the examiner may grant a continuance. [Ord. 61 § 10, 1993]

2.15.110 Appeals.

Other than matters arising under Chapter 1.15 BMC, when an appeal has been filed with the director or city clerk as prescribed by ordinance, the hearing shall be scheduled pursuant to the appeal procedures set forth in Chapter 2.20 BMC. [Ord. 561 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 61 § 11, 1993]

2.15.120 Public hearing.

(1) Before rendering a decision or recommendation on any application or appeal, other than one arising under Chapter 1.15 BMC, the examiner shall hold at least one public hearing thereon.

(2) Notification of the time and place of the public hearing shall be given as provided in the ordinance governing the application. If none is specifically set forth, such notice shall be given as follows:

(a) Published and posted notice at least 10 days prior to scheduled hearing; and

(b) Mailed notice to all parties of record at least 10 days prior to scheduled hearing. [Ord. 561 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 61 § 12, 1993]

2.15.130 Consolidation of hearings.

Whenever a project requires more than one permit or approval, the examiner may order a consolidation of and conduct the required public hearings to avoid unnecessary costs or delays. Decisions of the examiner to order and conduct consolidated hearings shall be final in all cases. [Ord. 61 § 13, 1993]

2.15.140 Rules and regulations.

The examiner shall have the authority to prescribe rules and regulation for the conduct of hearings under this chapter, to administer oaths, and to preserve order. [Ord. 61 § 14, 1993]

2.15.150 Examiner’s findings.

When the examiner renders a decision or recommendation, the examiner shall make and enter written findings and conclusions which support such decision. The findings and conclusions shall set forth and demonstrate the manner in which the decision or recommendation is consistent with applicable laws, regulations and policies of the city of Burien. The decision or recommendation shall be rendered as soon as possible but in all events within 20 working days of the conclusion of the hearing. [Ord. 61 § 15, 1993]

2.15.160 Reconsideration.

Any aggrieved person who feels that the decision of the examiner is based on erroneous procedures, errors of law or fact, 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 examiner within 10 days of the date the decision is rendered. This request shall set forth the specific errors or new information relied upon by such appellant, and the examiner may, after review of the record, take further action as he or she deems proper. There may be only one reconsideration request per application. This section does not apply to applications subject to the provisions of RCW 36.70B.060. [Ord. 312 § 2, 2000; Ord. 61 § 16, 1993]

2.15.170 Appeal of examiner’s decision.

The decision of the examiner, approving, modifying, or denying an application or an appeal shall be final and conclusive unless a written appeal is filed according to the city’s appeal procedures as set forth in Chapter 2.20 BMC, or as otherwise specifically provided. [Ord. 312 § 3, 2000; Ord. 61 § 17, 1993]

2.15.180 Council action.

Any matter requiring action by the city council shall be taken by the adoption of a resolution or ordinance by the council. When taking any such final action, the council shall make and enter findings of fact from the record and conclusions therefrom which support its action. The city council may adopt all or portions of the examiner’s findings and conclusions. The city council is expressly authorized to condition its approval of any matter, including but not limited to conditions requiring the dedication of land, public improvements, and payment of impact fees authorized by Chapter 82.020 RCW or any other law or agreement. [Ord. 61 § 18, 1993]


Prior legislation: Ord. 38.