Chapter 2.14


2.14.010    Purpose.

2.14.020    Position established.

2.14.030    Appointment.

2.14.040    Appointment of hearing examiners pro tempore.

2.14.050    Function and jurisdiction.

2.14.060    Authority of hearing examiner over local improvement districts (LIDs).

2.14.070    Hearing examiner – Conflict of interest and freedom from improper influence.

2.14.080    Rules of procedure.

2.14.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an administrative appeal and hearing system which will best satisfy the following basic needs:

A. The need to separate the city’s land use appeal function in certain types of permits from its land use planning function;

B. The need to ensure and expand the principles of fairness and due process in public appeal hearings;

C. The need to provide an expeditious system for appeals of city land use code enforcement actions which ensures the due process rights of appellants and affected residents; and

D. The need to provide an efficient and effective administrative appeal system for certain types of permits and actions. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).

2.14.020 Position established.

Pursuant to RCW 35A.63.170, the position of hearing examiner (“examiner”) is hereby created. The role of the examiner shall be to conduct appeals hearings and to interpret, review, and implement regulations as provided in this chapter. Unless the context requires otherwise, the term “hearing examiner” used in this chapter shall include hearing examiners pro tempore. The office of the examiner shall be under the administrative supervision of the examiner and shall be separate and distinct from any city officer or department. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).

2.14.030 Appointment.

A. The hearing examiner shall be appointed by the city council with regard only for qualifications for the duties of the office.

B. The qualifications for the office of the hearing examiner are expertise in land use law and planning and the training and experience necessary to conduct administrative or quasi-judicial hearings and issue decisions and recommendations on land use planning and regulatory matters.

C. The hearing examiner shall be retained as an independent contractor pursuant to a contract approved by the city council. The term of appointment, compensation and other requirements shall be as established pursuant to contract. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).

2.14.040 Appointment of hearing examiners pro tempore.

The city council may appoint one or more hearing examiners pro tempore to act prior to the appointment of and/or in the absence of the regular hearing examiner. Such appointment shall be from qualified applicants. Hearing examiners pro tempore, when acting in such capacity, shall have all powers and duties of the hearing examiner as prescribed in this code or elsewhere. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).

2.14.050 Function and jurisdiction.

The hearing examiner shall hear and decide the following matters:

A. Appeals of all administrative decisions as defined in PTMC 1.14.020;

B. Local improvement district hearings as provided herein, provided, the city council may select a hearing examiner pro tempore who is a specialist or expert in local improvement districts for such hearings;

C. Appeals of declarations of dogs as dangerous as provided in Chapter 8.04 PTMC, Article V; and

D. All Type III land use decisions. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2697 § 1, 1999; Ord. 2650 § 1, 1998; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).

2.14.060 Authority of hearing examiner over local improvement districts (LIDs).

The authority and responsibility of the city council as legislative authority to hold hearings for the establishment and assessment of local improvement districts, as provided in RCW 35.43.140 and 35.44.070, is delegated to the hearing examiner. Specifically, the hearing examiner is authorized and directed to:

A. Hold all required hearings on the formation of a local improvement district initiated by resolution and issue a recommendation to the city council to:

1. Form or not form the district; or

2. Add property to or delete property from the district;

B. Hold all required hearings pertaining to the following:

1. The assessment roll for a local improvement district and to confirm, correct, revise, raise, lower, change, or modify the roll, or any part thereof, or to set aside the roll and order the assessment to be made anew; and

2. Any assessment upon the roll that is raised or changed to include omitted property. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).

2.14.070 Hearing examiner – Conflict of interest and freedom from improper influence.

A. The examiner shall not conduct or participate in any hearing or decision in which the examiner has a direct or substantial financial interest.

B. The examiner shall not be an elected or appointed official or employee of the city.

C. No councilmember, city official, or any other person shall attempt to influence or in any way interfere with the examiner in the performance of his or her designated duties. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).

2.14.080 Rules of procedure.

The hearing examiner shall be authorized to adopt rules of procedure. Such rules shall be confirmed by the city council by resolution. Such rules shall be consistent with PTMC 20.01.240, Procedures for public hearings. (Ord. 3026 § 1 (Exh. A-2), 2010; Ord. 2584 § 1, 1997).