Chapter 2.23


2.23.010    Title.

2.23.020    Purpose.

2.23.030    Hearing examiner—Office created.

2.23.040    Hearing examiner and examiner pro tem—Appointment—Terms.

2.23.050    Hearing examiner and examiner pro tem—Removal from office.

2.23.060    Hearing examiner and examiner pro tem—Qualifications.

2.23.070    Examiner pro tem—Powers and duties.

2.23.080    Hearing examiner—Conflict of interest and freedom from improper influence.

2.23.090    Hearing examiner—Improper influence by city officials prohibited.

2.23.100    Hearing examiner—Administrative supervision of office.

2.23.110    Hearing examiner—Power to prescribe rules.

2.23.120    Hearing examiner—Duties.

2.23.210    Repealed.

2.23.220    Hearing examiner’s semiannual report.

2.23.230    Repealed.

2.23.240    Conflicting ordinances and rules of procedure.

2.23.010 Title.

The ordinance codified in this chapter shall be known as the “land use hearing examiner ordinance,” or “hearing examiner ordinance,” may be cited as such, and will hereinafter be referred to as “this chapter.” (Ord. 692-80 § 1, 1980)

2.23.020 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an administrative land use regulatory system which will best satisfy the following needs:

A.    Provide a single, efficient, integrated land use regulatory hearing system;

B.    Render land use regulatory decisions;

C.    Render land use regulatory recommendations to the city council;

D.    Provide a greater degree of fairness and due process in land use regulatory hearings;

E.    Separate the city’s land use planning program from the land use regulatory process;

F.    Protect the community’s general health, safety and welfare as provided for in Chapter 35.63 RCW. (Ord. 2137-96 § 1, 1996; Ord. 692-80 § 2, 1980)

2.23.030 Hearing examiner—Office created.

The office of the land use hearing examiner referred to in this chapter as examiner, is created. The examiner shall interpret, analyze, review, and implement land use regulations as provided in this chapter and other ordinances; provided also, that the examiner does not have the power to create new ordinances. The term examiner shall likewise include the examiner pro tem. It is further provided that to the maximum extent feasible, the office of the hearing examiner shall be financially self supporting through reliance upon application and related user fees. (Ord. 692-80 § 3, 1980)

2.23.040 Hearing examiner and examiner pro tem—Appointment—Terms.

The mayor shall appoint with concurrence of not less than four members of the city council, the examiner, and examiner pro tem, said offices for a term which shall initially expire one year following the date of original appointment and thereafter expire four years following the date of each reappointment. (Ord. 692-80 § 4, 1980)

2.23.050 Hearing examiner and examiner pro tem—Removal from office.

The examiner or the examiner pro tem may be removed from office at any time by the mayor with the concurring vote of not less than four members of the city council for just cause. (Ord. 692-80 § 5, 1980)

2.23.060 Hearing examiner and examiner pro tem—Qualifications.

The examiner and the examiner pro tem shall be appointed solely with regard to their qualifications for the duties of the office which shall include persons with appropriate experience, such as land use planner, or public administrator, persons who have extensive experience in land use planning work in a responsible capacity, and persons with legal experience, particularly where that experience is in the area of land use management or administrative law. (Ord. 692-80 § 6, 1980)

2.23.070 Examiner pro tem—Powers 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. (Ord. 692-80 § 7, 1980)

2.23.080 Hearing examiner—Conflict of interest and freedom from improper influence.

The examiner shall not conduct or participate in any hearing or decision in which the examiner has a direct or indirect personal business, financial or other, which might exert such influence upon the examiner that might interfere with his decision making process. Any actual or potential conflict of interest shall be disclosed to the parties immediately upon discovery of such conflict. 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 land use regulatory matters considered by him. 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 examiner’s ability to act on the matter, the examiner shall so state and shall abstain therefrom to the end that the proceeding is fair and has the appearance of fairness, unless all parties agree in writing to have the matter heard by said examiner. (Ord. 692-80 § 8, 1980)

2.23.090 Hearing examiner—Improper influence by city officials prohibited.

No council member, city official, or any other person shall attempt to interfere with, or improperly influence the examiner in the performance of his designated duties. (Ord. 692-80 § 9, 1980)

2.23.100 Hearing examiner—Administrative supervision of office.

The office of the examiner shall be under the administrative supervision of the examiner and shall be separate and not a part of any other city department. (Ord. 692-80 § 10, 1980)

2.23.110 Hearing examiner—Power to prescribe rules.

The examiner shall have the power to prescribe rules and regulations for the scheduling and conduct of hearings and other procedural matters related to the duties of his office. Such rules may provide for cross-examination of witnesses. (Ord. 692-80 § 11, 1980)

2.23.120 Hearing examiner—Duties.

The duties of the examiner shall be as set forth in Title 15, Local Project Review Procedures. (Ord. 2535-01 § 1, 2001: Ord. 2331-98 § 1, 1998: Ord. 2137-96 § 2, 1996; Ord. 1969-93 § 1, 1993; Ord. 1323-87 § 1, 1987; Ord. 1121-85 § 1, 1985; Ord. 952-83 § 1, 1983; Ord. 819-81 § 1, 1981; Ord. 692-80 § 12, 1980)

2.23.210 Council action on examiner’s recommendation and appeals of examiner’s decision.

Repealed by Ord. 2137-96. (Ord. 1532-88 § 2, 1988; Ord. 1121-85 § 4, 1985; Ord. 952-83 § 3, 1983; Ord. 819-81 § 8, 1981; Ord. 692-80 § 21, 1980)

2.23.220 Hearing examiner’s semiannual report.

The examiner shall report in writing to and meet with both the city council and planning commission semiannually (first and third quarters of the calendar year) for the purpose of reviewing the administration of the city’s land use policies and regulatory ordinances. Such report shall include a summary of the examiner’s decisions since the last examiner’s report. (Ord. 1121-85 § 5, 1985; Ord. 692-80 § 22, 1980)

2.23.230 Delegation of hearing examiner’s authority.

Repealed by Ord. 2137-96. (Ord. 692-80 § 23, 1980)

2.23.240 Conflicting ordinances and rules of procedure.

Unless provided otherwise in this chapter, any and all ordinances or parts of ordinances of the city in conflict with this chapter are superseded by this chapter; provided, in the event there is a conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of this chapter and Title 15, Local Project Review Procedures, implementing Chapters 36.70B and 36.70C RCW, the provisions of Title 15, Local Project Review Procedures, shall supersede this chapter. (Ord. 2535-01 § 11, 2001: Ord. 2137-96 § 12, 1996; Ord. 819-81 § 9, 1981; Ord. 692-80 § 25, 1980)


For provisions on land use development fees, see Ch. 16.72 of this code.