Chapter 2.55


2.55.010    Chapter intent.

2.55.020    Definitions.

2.55.025    Application.

2.55.030    Statements filed with City clerk.

2.55.040    Index of department records, reports, and manuals required.

2.55.050    Information exempt from public inspection.

2.55.060    Rules change notice filing.

2.55.070    Emergency rules or amendments.

2.55.080    Effective date of rules.

2.55.010 Chapter intent.

Within the City of Sammamish government, the rulemaking process shall consist of the establishment of formal procedures through which ordinances adopted by the City council and implemented by the City manager are translated into sets of specific requirements to be carried out and enforced by City departments. It is the intent of the City council to adopt a policy with regard to rulemaking by departments of City government that will be consistent with the spirit and law of the “Public Disclosure Act” (Chapter 42.17 RCW) specifically those sections pertaining to public records. It is the further intent of the council that rules adopted by City government shall be consistent with the “Open Public Meetings Act” (Chapter 42.30 RCW). Finally, it is the intent of the council that rules shall be adopted by City government in such a manner as to promote efficiency of government and also afford citizens fair notice and due process. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter:

(1) “Department” means any City administrative office, executive department, officer, or other organizational unit of the City authorized by law to make rules or to adjudicate contested cases, except those in the legislative branch.

(2) “Contested case” means a proceeding before a department in which an opportunity for a hearing before such department is required by law or constitutional right prior or subsequent to the determination by the department of the legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties. Contested cases shall also include cases in which the granting of an application is contested by a person having standing to contest under the law or department rules.

(3) “Penalty” means a punishment established by law or ordinance imposed as a consequence of failing to abide by or comply with lawful orders, rules or regulations. A penalty may be in the form of a sum of money, imprisonment, loss of privilege or status, or administrative sanction appropriate to the nature of the offense.

(4) “Rule” means any department order, directive or regulation of general applicability:

(a) The violation of which subjects a person outside City employment to a penalty;

(b) Which subjects a person outside of City employment to the payment of a fee;

(c) Which establishes, alters, or revokes any procedure, practice, or requirement relating to department hearings;

(d) Which establishes, alters, or revokes any qualifications or standards for the issuance, suspension, or revocation of licenses to pursue any commercial activity, trade, or profession. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.025 Application.

(1) In keeping with the intent of this chapter, the policy promulgated herein shall apply only to rules involving matters other than the internal management of City departments.

(2) The following shall not apply to rules, penalties, or fees set pursuant to state law. Rules shall apply to the implementation of policy established by ordinance or state law. Any rule that is in conflict with such a policy shall be null and void. Penalties shall be established only by ordinance. Fees and the amount of fees shall be authorized as set forth in the policies and procedures established in the City code and by resolution. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.030 Statements filed with City clerk.

(1) Each department shall adopt rules, as defined in SMC 2.55.020, and shall file such rules with the City clerk.

(2) In addition, each department shall file with the City clerk and shall prominently display and make available for inspection and copying at the central office of such department, for guidance of the public:

(a) Descriptions of its central and field organization and the established places at which the employees from whom, and the methods whereby, the public may obtain information, make submittals or requests, or obtain copies of department decisions;

(b) Statements of the general course and method by which its operations are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal procedures available;

(c) Rules of procedure;

(d) Substantive rules of general applicability adopted as authorized by law, statements of general policy, or interpretations of general applicability formulated and adopted by the department;

(e) Each amendment, revision, or repeal of any of the foregoing.

(3) Except to the extent that a person has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof, a person may not in any manner be required to resort to, or be adversely affected by, a matter required to be published or displayed and not so published or displayed.

(4) Rules adopted by departments and prepared for filing, distribution, and display shall as a minimum comply with the following format requirements:

(a) Rules shall be reproduced on eight-and-one-half-inch by 11-inch white paper.

(b) Each set of rules shall contain a cover sheet on which shall be displayed in capitalized letters the title of the department issuing the rules, the subject or title of the rules, and the date the rules become effective.

(c) There shall be displayed on the top of each subsequent page the title of the issuing department and the effective date of the rules.

(d) Reference shall be made, either in a foreword to the rules or within the rules themselves, to the law or ordinance upon which the rules are based.

(5) Changes to rules shall follow the same format as used in preparing the initial issue. Each change shall be sequentially numbered. All changes shall be prepared as replacements or insert pages, and shall include an insertion guide providing instructions for the addition or deletion of affected pages. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.040 Index of department records, reports, and manuals required.

(1) Each department shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current index providing identifying information as to the following records issued, adopted, or promulgated after September 1, 1999:

(a) Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;

(b) Those statements of policy and interpretations of policy, statute, and the constitution that have been adopted by the department;

(c) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;

(d) Planning policies and goals, and interim and final planning decisions;

(e) Factual staff reports and studies, factual consultant’s reports and studies, scientific reports and studies, and any other factual information derived from tests, studies, reports, or surveys, whether conducted by public employees or others; and

(f) Correspondence, and materials referred to therein, by and with the department relating to any regulatory, supervisory, or enforcement responsibilities of the department whereby the department determines, opines upon, or is asked to determine or opine upon the rights of the state, the public, a subdivision of state government, or of any private party.

(2) A department need not maintain such an index if to do so would be unduly burdensome, but it shall in that event:

(a) Issue and publish a formal order specifying the reasons why and the extent to which compliance would unduly burden or interfere with department operations; and

(b) Make available for public inspection and copying all indexes maintained for department use. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.050 Information exempt from public inspection.

(1) The following shall be exempt from public inspection and copying:

(a) Personal information in any files;

(b) Personal information in files maintained for employees, appointees, or elected officials of any public agency to the extent that disclosure would violate their right to privacy;

(c) Information required of any taxpayer in connection with the assessment or collection of any tax if the disclosure of the information to other persons would violate the taxpayer’s right to privacy or would result in unfair competitive disadvantage to such taxpayer;

(d) Specific intelligence information and specific investigative files compiled by investigative, law enforcement, and penology departments vested with the responsibility to discipline members of any profession, the nondisclosure of which is essential to effective law enforcement or for the protection of any person’s right to privacy;

(e) Information revealing the identity of persons who file complaints with investigative, law enforcement, or penology departments, except as the complainant may authorize;

(f) Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to administer a license, employment, or academic examination;

(g) Except as provided by Chapter 8.26 RCW, the contents of real estate appraisals, made for or by any agency relative to the acquisition of property, until the project is abandoned or until such time as all of the property has been acquired, but in no event shall disclosure be denied for more than three years after the appraisal;

(h) Valuable formulae, designs, drawings, and research data obtained by any department within five years of the request for disclosure when disclosure would produce private gain and public loss;

(i) Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, and memorandums in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended except that a specific record shall not be exempt when publicly cited by the City in connection with any City action;

(j) Records that are relevant to a controversy to which the City is a party but which records would not be available to another party under the rules or pretrial discovery for causes pending in the superior courts.

(2) The exemptions of this section shall be inapplicable to the extent that information, the disclosure of which would violate personal privacy or vital governmental interests, can be deleted from the specific records sought. No exemption shall be construed to permit the nondisclosure of statistical information not descriptive of any readily identifiable person or persons. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.060 Rules change notice filing.

(1) Prior to the adoption, amendment or repeal of any rule, each department shall give at least 20 days’ notice of its intended action by filing the notice with the City clerk, mailing the notice to all persons or agencies who have made timely request of the department for advance notice of its rulemaking proceedings on a specific topic, and giving public notice by one publication in the official newspaper of the City of Sammamish. Such notice shall include:

(a) Reference to the authority under which the rule is proposed;

(b) A statement of either the terms or substance of the proposed rule or a description of the subjects and issues involved; and

(c) The time when, the place where, and the manner in which interested persons may present their views thereon.

(2) No rule hereafter adopted is valid unless adopted in substantial compliance with this section, or, if an emergency rule designated as such, adopted in substantial compliance with SMC 2.55.070, as now or hereafter amended. In any proceeding a rule cannot be contested on the ground of noncompliance with the procedural requirements of this section, or of SMC 2.55.070, as now or hereafter amended, after two years have elapsed from the effective date of the rule. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.070 Emergency rules or amendments.

If the department finds that immediate adoption or amendment of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observance of the requirements of notice and opportunity to present views on the proposed action would be contrary to the public interest, the department may dispense with such requirements and adopt the rule or amendment as an emergency rule or amendment. The department’s finding and a brief statement of the reasons for its finding shall be incorporated in the emergency rule or amendment as filed with the City clerk. An emergency rule or amendment shall not remain in effect for longer than 90 days. This section does not relieve any department from compliance with any law requiring that its rules be approved by designated persons or bodies before they become effective. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

2.55.080 Effective date of rules.

(1) Emergency rules adopted under SMC 2.55.070 shall become effective upon filing with the City clerk. All other rules hereafter adopted shall become effective upon the expiration of 30 days after the date of filing, unless a later date is required by statute or specified in the rule.

(2) The City clerk shall, as soon as practicable after the effective date of this chapter, compile and index all rules adopted by each department.

(3) To continue effective, all rules adopted prior to the passage of the ordinance codified in this chapter must be filed with the City clerk within 60 days of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)