Chapter 14.45


14.45.010    Decisions final unless appealed.

14.45.020    Appeals of administrative decisions.

14.45.030    Procedures.

14.45.040    Judicial appeal.

14.45.050    Procedural irregularity.

14.45.010 Decisions final unless appealed.

All administrative decisions shall be final unless the applicant or an aggrieved party files an appeal as set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 02-09 § 5)

14.45.020 Appeals of administrative decisions.

The procedures set forth in this chapter shall apply to all appeals to the Hearing Examiner or to the City Council that are authorized by the Covington Municipal Code, unless a conflicting procedure or action is required by the code provision authorizing the appeal. (Ord. 02-09 § 5)

14.45.030 Procedures.

(1) An administrative appeal of a Type 2, 3, or 4 project decision and of any environmental determination issued at the same time as the project decision shall be filed with the City Clerk within 14 days after the notice of the decision or after other notice that the decision has been made and is appealable. The appeal fee as set forth in the current fee resolution shall also be filed with the City within this time frame. The appeal period shall be extended for an additional seven days if public comment is allowed on a determination of nonsignificance issued as part of the appealable project permit decision.

(2) Content of Appeal. Appeals shall be in writing, be accompanied by the required appeal fee, and contain the following information:

(a) Appellant’s name, address and phone number;

(b) Appellant’s statement describing his or her standing to appeal;

(c) Identification of the application which is the subject of the appeal;

(d) Appellant’s statement of grounds for appeal and the facts upon which the appeal is based;

(e) The relief sought, including the specific nature and extent;

(f) A statement that the appellant has read the appeal and believes the contents to be true, followed by the appellant’s signature.

(3) Upon timely receipt of a notice of appeal and fee, the City Clerk shall set the matter for a hearing before the Hearing Examiner.

(4) The City Clerk shall provide notice of the hearing at which the appeal shall be considered at least 14 calendar days prior to the hearing, or as otherwise provided by law. The hearing notice shall be provided by:

(a) Posting notice as provided in CMC 14.40.040(1);

(b) Publishing notice as provided in CMC 14.40.040(2);

(c) Mailing notice to the appellant, to the applicant, and to any person who requested notice of decision or submitted substantial comments on the application.

(5) The time period for considering and deciding an appeal shall not exceed 90 days for an open record appeal hearing or 60 days for a closed record appeal. The parties to an appeal may agree to extend these time periods.

(6) The Hearing Examiner shall render a decision based upon testimony presented by the parties, evidence admitted, information of which judicial notice is taken, and written and oral argument by the parties. The Hearing Examiner may affirm the decision, reverse the decision, affirm the decision with modification, or remand the decision to the decisionmaker for further consideration. The Hearing Examiner shall affirm the decision unless it is determined the decision being appealed meets one of the following criteria:

(a) The body or officer that made the decision engaged in unlawful procedure or failed to follow a prescribed process, unless the error was harmless;

(b) The decision is an erroneous interpretation of the law, after allowing for such deference as is due the construction of a law by a local jurisdiction with expertise;

(c) The decision is not supported by evidence that is substantial when viewed in light of the whole record;

(d) The decision is a clearly erroneous application of the law to the facts;

(e) The decision is outside the authority or jurisdiction of the body or officer making the decision;

(f) The decision violates the constitutional rights of the party seeking relief.

(7) The Hearing Examiner shall issue a written decision on the appeal containing:

(a) A statement of the decision on appeal, including any conditions;

(b) A statement of the facts upon which the decision is based and the conclusions of law derived from these facts; and

(c) A statement of the right of an affected party to appeal the decision of the Hearing Examiner.

(8) If a permit is granted, the City official administering the permit may allow the applicant to begin all or a portion of the construction or commence all or a portion of the operations during the pendency of any appeal; provided, that such construction or operation is begun at the applicant’s own risk. If the decision being appealed is reversed or modified, the applicant may be required to remove or alter any development or action inconsistent with the final decision and/or restore the environment to its pre-existing condition. (Ord. 07-19 § 2; Ord. 17-16 § 14; Ord. 02-09 § 5)

14.45.040 Judicial appeal.

An appeal from the decision of the Hearing Examiner for which no other administrative appeal is provided shall be filed and served within 21 days of the issuance of the decision in accordance with Chapter 36.70C RCW. (Ord. 02-09 § 5)

14.45.050 Procedural irregularity.

No procedural irregularity or informality in the notice, consideration, hearing or other matter relating to the decision or the appeal shall affect the final decision, or any other action leading to the final decision, unless substantial rights of a person with demonstrable beneficial interests are adversely affected and unless objection is made to the City at the earliest possible time after discovery. (Ord. 02-09 § 5)