Chapter 2.12


2.12.010    Established—Creation of commission to assist department.

2.12.020    Members.

2.12.030    Meetings.

2.12.040    Planning director—Appointment.

2.12.050    Planning director—Zoning adjustor duties.

2.12.010 Established—Creation of commission to assist department.

A.    Established. Pursuant to and by authority of RCW 36.70.040, there is established a county planning commission to be known as the Douglas County planning commission.

B.    Purpose. Consistent with RCW 36.70.040, the purpose of the planning commission is to “…assist the planning department in carrying out its duties, including assistance in the preparation and execution of the comprehensive plan and recommendations to the department for the adoption of official controls and/or amendments thereto. To this end, the planning commission shall conduct such hearings as are required by this chapter and shall make findings and conclusions therefrom which shall be transmitted to the department which shall transmit the same on to the board with such comments and recommendations it deems necessary.”

C.    Authority. The planning commission is authorized and required to assist the planning department and make recommendations on proposed land use plans, policies, regulations, and amendments, and conduct public hearings as required and assigned by the board of county commissioners. The planning commission may also perform such other duties as are assigned by the board and not inconsistent with its purpose and authority.

D.    The Douglas County planning director, or his/her designee(s), shall be the executive secretary of the planning commission. (Ord. TLS 14-07-25B Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 07‑17 (part): prior code § 2.12.010)

2.12.020 Members.

A.    Membership. Pursuant to RCW 36.70.070, the planning commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the board of county commissioners in accordance with RCW 36.70.080. Two members shall be appointed from each of the three board of county commissioner districts. A member shall be resident within and a registered voter of the board of county commissioner district from which the member is appointed. One member shall be appointed as an at-large member and shall be a resident within and a registered voter of Douglas County.

B.    Term of Appointment. The terms of the planning commission members shall be four years. Membership shall be limited to three terms or twelve consecutive years.

C.    Qualities. The board of commissioners should appoint planning commission members who:

1.    Represent varying geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic perspectives and varying zoning districts throughout the county;

2.    Ensure effective representation of unincorporated areas of the county;

3.    Collectively, represent a broad range of local opinion, experience, and expertise, and are entrusted to make recommendations reflecting the broad interests of the community;

4.    Are free of incompatibility and conflict of interests with other municipal organizations, agencies, and entities within Douglas County;

5.    Are able to comply at all times with county policies on ethics and conflicts of interest; and

6.    Are able to receive meeting materials electronically.

D.    Duties. Each planning commission member must:

1.    Attend all regular meetings, unless unavailable due to unavoidable conflicts or illness;

2.    Notify the planning department in advance when unavailable to attend a meeting;

3.    Be prepared to participate in meetings by reading proposals, staff reports, and other provided materials in advance;

4.    Comply at all times with the following laws, rules and policies:

a.    County policies on ethics and conflicts of interest;

b.    The Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW;

c.    The Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 RCW; and

5.    For quasi-judicial actions, comply with the Appearance of Fairness Doctrine, Chapter 42.36 RCW.

E.    Conflict of Interest. If a planning commission member is an applicant; is currently a paid or unpaid advocate, agent, or representative of an applicant; or has a direct pecuniary interest in or for a site-specific comprehensive plan map amendment, zoning district reclassification or any other non-areawide application before the planning commission, the planning commission member may not directly participate in any decision or recommendation on the application, and may not be present in the meeting room during any discussion or hearing held on the application.

F.    Legal Advisor. The prosecuting attorney is the sole legal advisor for the planning commission. Requests for opinions and advice shall be made by the planning commission through the planning department. (Ord. TLS 14-07-25B Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 07‑17 (part): prior code § 2.12.020)

2.12.030 Meetings.

A.    Meetings. Regular meetings of the planning commission are held on the second Wednesday of each month beginning at five-thirty p.m. in the Hearing Room of the Douglas County Public Services Building. Special meetings may be held when requested by a majority of the current membership of the planning commission, by the board of county commissioners, or by the planning department. Meetings shall be held once per month, unless canceled by the planning department when there are only administrative matters for the planning commission to consider, with the concurrence of the board of county commissioners.

B.    Procedures. The planning commission may adopt rules for transaction of its business, provided those rules are consistent with the county code and state law. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised govern the planning commission in all other cases. Rules, bylaws and procedures are not effective until they are approved and confirmed by the board of county commissioners.

C.    Public Votes. All votes must be public, not secret, and not by ballot, pursuant to Chapter 42.30 RCW, the Open Public Meetings Act. (Ord. TLS 14-07-25B Exh. A (part))

2.12.040 Planning director—Appointment.

The planning director shall be appointed by the board as provided by Chapter 36.70 RCW. (Prior code § 2.12.040)

2.12.050 Planning director—Zoning adjustor duties.

A.    The planning director shall be the zoning adjustor as provided in RCW 36.70.220.

B.    The planning director and his staff shall be the responsible agency in the county for determining whether any proposed project would have a significant impact on the environment. (Prior code § 2.12.060)