Chapter 20.10
HEARING EXAMINER Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

Sections:

20.10.010    Chapter purpose. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.020    Office created. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.030    Appointment and terms. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.040    Removal. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.050    Qualifications. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.060    Pro tem examiners. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.070    Jurisdiction of the hearing examiner. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.080    Appeal to examiner – Filing. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.090    Dismissal of untimely appeals. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.100    Expeditious processing. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.110    Time limits. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.120    Condition, modification and restriction examples. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.130    Quasi-judicial powers. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.140    Freedom from improper influence. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.150    Public hearing. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.160    Consolidation of hearings. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.170    Prehearing conference. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.180    Notice. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.190    Rules and conduct of hearings. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.200    Examiner findings. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.210    Additional examiner findings – Reclassifications. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.220    Additional examiner findings – Preliminary plats. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.230    Additional examiner findings and recommendations – School capacities. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.240    Written recommendation or decision. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.250    Judicial review of final decisions of the hearing examiner. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.260    Reconsideration of final action. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.270    Citizen’s guide. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.280    Semi-annual report. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.290    Site-specific land use map amendment. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

20.10.010 Chapter purpose. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a system of considering and applying regulatory devices that will best satisfy the following basic needs:

(1) The need to separate the application of regulatory controls to the land from planning;

(2) The need to better protect and promote the interests of the public and private elements of the community;

(3) The need to expand the principles of fairness and due process in public hearings. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.020 Office created. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The office of hearing examiner is created. The examiner shall act on behalf of the City council in considering and applying adopted City policies and regulations as provided herein. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.030 Appointment and terms. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The City council shall appoint the examiner to serve in said office for a term of four years. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.040 Removal. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The examiner may be removed from office at any time by the affirmative vote of not less than four members of the City council for just cause. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.050 Qualifications. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The examiner shall be appointed solely with regard to his or her qualifications for the duties of the office and shall have such training or experience as will qualify him or her to conduct administrative or quasi-judicial hearings on regulatory enactments and to discharge the other functions conferred upon him or her, and shall hold no other appointive or elective public office or position in the City government except as provided herein. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.060 Pro tem examiners. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The City council may appoint qualified persons to serve as hearing examiner pro tempore, as needed, to expeditiously hear pending applications and appeals. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.070 Jurisdiction of the hearing examiner. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) The examiner shall receive and examine available information, conduct open record public hearings, prepare records and reports thereof, and issue final decisions, including findings and conclusions, based on the issues and evidence in the record, which shall be appealable to superior court as provided by SMC 20.10.250, in the following cases:

(a) Appeals from the decisions of the director for short subdivisions, including those variance decisions of the City engineer made pursuant to the public works standards as adopted in Chapter 14A.01 SMC with regard to circulation in the subject short subdivisions;

(b) Appeals of all Type 2 land use decisions with the exception of appeals of shoreline permits including shoreline variances and conditional uses that are appealable to the State Shoreline Hearings Board;

(c) Appeals from notices and orders and stop work orders issued pursuant to SMC Title 23;

(d) Appeals from decisions regarding the abatement of a nonconformance;

(e) Type 3 and Type 4 decisions;

(f) Appeals from public safety seizures and intended forfeitures, when properly designated by the chief law enforcement officer of the department as provided in RCW 69.50.505;

(g) Appeals from the department’s final decisions regarding transportation concurrency, mitigation payment system and intersection standards provisions of SMC Title 14A;

(h) Other applications or appeals that the City council may prescribe by ordinance.

(2) The examiner’s decision may be to grant or deny the application or appeal, or the examiner may grant the application or appeal with such conditions, modifications, and restrictions as the examiner finds necessary to make the application or appeal compatible with the environment and carry out applicable state laws and regulations, including Chapter 43.21C RCW and the regulations, policies, objectives, and goals of the interim comprehensive plan or neighborhood plans, the development code, the subdivision code, and other official laws, policies and objectives of the City of Sammamish. (Ord. O2018-466 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O2000-63 § 6; Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.080 Appeal to examiner – Filing. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) Except as otherwise provided herein, all appeals to the examiner shall be filed with the City department issuing the original decision with a copy provided by the department to the hearing examiner. Except as otherwise provided herein, an appeal, together with the required appeal fee, shall be filed within 21 calendar days from the date of issuance of such decisions.

(2) Department staff shall:

(a) Be available within a reasonable time to persons wishing to file an appeal subsequent to an agency ruling, and to respond to queries concerning the facts and process of the City decision; and

(b) Make available within a reasonable time a complete set of files detailing the facts of the department ruling in question to persons wishing to file an appeal, subsequent to an agency ruling. If a department is unable to comply with these provisions, the hearing examiner may authorize amendments to an appeal to reflect information not made available to an appellant within a reasonable time due to a failure by the department to meet the foregoing requirements. The appeal shall identify the decision being appealed and the alleged errors in that decision. Further, the appeal shall state specific reasons why the decision should be reversed or modified, the harm suffered or anticipated by the appellant, and the relief sought. The scope of an appeal shall be based principally on matters or issues raised in the appeal. Failure to timely file an appeal or appeal fee deprives the examiner of jurisdiction to consider the appeal. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.090 Dismissal of untimely appeals. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

On its own motion or on the motion of a party, the examiner shall dismiss an appeal for untimeliness or lack of jurisdiction. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.100 Expeditious processing. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) Hearings shall be scheduled by the examiner to ensure that final decisions are issued within the time periods provided in SMC 20.05.100. During periods of time when the volume of permit activity is high, the City shall retain one or more pro tem examiners to ensure that the 120-day time period for final decisions is met.

(2) Appeals shall be processed by the examiner as expeditiously as possible, giving appropriate consideration to the procedural due process rights of the parties. Unless a longer period is agreed to by the parties, or the examiner determines that the size and scope of the project is so compelling that a longer period is required, a prehearing conference or a public hearing shall occur within 45 days from the date the office of the hearing examiner is notified that a complete statement of appeal has been filed. In such cases where the examiner has determined that the size and scope warrant such an extension, the reason for the deferral shall be stated in the examiner’s recommendation or decision. The time period may be extended by the examiner at the examiner’s discretion for not more than 30 days. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.110 Time limits. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

In all matters where the examiner holds a hearing on applications, the hearing shall be completed and the examiner’s written report and recommendations issued within 21 days from the date the hearing opens, excluding any time required by the applicant or the department to obtain and provide additional information requested by the hearing examiner and necessary for final action on the application consistent with applicable laws and regulations. In every appeal heard by the examiner pursuant to SMC 20.10.070, the appeal process, including a written decision, shall be completed within 90 days from the date the examiner’s office is notified of the filing of a notice of appeal pursuant to SMC 20.10.080. When reasonably required to enable the attendance of all necessary parties at the hearing, or the production of evidence, or to otherwise assure that due process is afforded and the objectives of this chapter are met, these time periods may be extended by the examiner at the examiner’s discretion for an additional 30 days. With the consent of all parties, the time periods may be extended indefinitely. In all such cases, the reason for such deferral shall be stated in the examiner’s recommendation or decision. Failure to complete the hearing process within the stated time shall not terminate the jurisdiction of the examiner.

“Days” shall be calendar days unless specified otherwise. “Days” in SMC 20.10.240 shall be working days. (Ord. O2013-352 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.120 Condition, modification and restriction examples. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The examiner is authorized to impose conditions, modifications, and restrictions, including but not limited to setbacks, screenings in the form of landscaping or fencing, covenants, easements, street improvements, dedications of additional street right-of-way, and performance bonds as authorized by City ordinances. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.130 Quasi-judicial powers. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The examiner may also exercise administrative powers and such other quasi-judicial powers as may be granted by City ordinance. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.140 Freedom from improper influence. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

Individual councilmembers, City officials, or any other person shall not interfere with or attempt to interfere with the examiner in the performance of his or her designated duties. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.150 Public hearing. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) When it is found that an application meets the filing requirements of the responsible City department, it shall be accepted and a date assigned for public hearing.

(2) When it is found that an appeal meets the filing requirements of the responsible City department, it shall be accepted and a date assigned for an appeal hearing. (Ord. O2017-435 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.160 Consolidation of hearings. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

Whenever a project application includes more than one City permit, approval, or determination for which a public hearing is required or for which an appeal is provided pursuant to this chapter, the hearings and any such appeals may be consolidated into a single proceeding before the hearing examiner pursuant to SMC 20.05.020. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.170 Prehearing conference. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) A prehearing conference may be called by the examiner pursuant to this chapter upon the request of a party or on the examiner’s own motion. A prehearing conference shall be held in every appeal brought pursuant to this chapter if timely requested by any party. The prehearing conference shall be held at such time as ordered by the examiner, but not less than 14 days prior to the scheduled hearing on not less than seven days’ notice to those who are then parties of record to the proceeding. The purpose of a prehearing conference shall be to identify, to the extent possible, the facts in dispute, issues, laws, parties, and witnesses in the case. In addition the prehearing conference is intended to establish a timeline for the presentation of the case. The examiner shall establish rules for the conduct of prehearing conferences.

(2) Any party who does not attend the prehearing conference, or anyone who becomes a party of record after notice of the prehearing conference has been sent to the parties, shall nevertheless be entitled to present testimony and evidence to the examiner at the hearing. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.180 Notice. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) Notice of the time and place of any hearing on an application before the hearing examiner set pursuant to this chapter shall be provided in the following manner:

(a) Published by the department in the official City newspaper no less than 30 calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing date; and

(b) Posted at the project site as provided in SMC 20.05.060(6) and (9) no less than 30 days prior to the scheduled hearing date; and

(c) Mailed by first class mail at least 14 calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing date to all persons who would be entitled to receive notice under SMC 20.05.060(7) and to all persons who commented or requested notice of the hearing; and

The hearing notice required by this section may be combined with the notice of decision or recommendation required by SMC 20.05.090, as applicable.

(2) Notice of the time and place of any appeal hearing before the hearing examiner pursuant to this chapter shall be mailed to all parties of record by first class mail at least 30 calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing date.

(3) If testimony cannot be completed prior to adjournment on the date set for a public hearing or appeal hearing, the examiner shall announce prior to adjournment the time and place said hearing will be continued. A matter should be heard, to the extent practicable, on consecutive days until it is concluded. (Ord. O2017-435 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2016-415 § 6 (Att. E); Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.190 Rules and conduct of hearings. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) The examiner shall adopt rules for the conduct of hearings and for any mediation process consistent with this chapter. The rules shall be reviewed by the City council, and remain in effect during this review. Any modifications made by the council by motion shall be incorporated by the hearing examiner, and shall become effective 10 days after adoption of the motion. Such rules shall be published and available upon request to all interested parties. The examiner shall have the power to issue summons and subpoena to compel the appearance of witnesses and production of documents and materials, to order discovery, to administer oaths, and to preserve order.

(2) To avoid unnecessary delay and to promote efficiency of the hearing process, the examiner shall limit testimony, including cross examination, to that which is relevant to the matter being heard, in light of adopted City policies and regulations, and shall exclude evidence and cross examination that is irrelevant, cumulative or unduly repetitious. The examiner may establish reasonable time limits for the presentation of direct oral testimony, cross examination, and argument. Any written submittals will be admitted only when authorized by the examiner under pertinent and promulgated administrative rules. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.200 Examiner findings. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

When the examiner renders a decision or recommendation, he or she shall make and enter findings of fact and conclusions from the record that support the decision, said findings and conclusions shall set forth and demonstrate the manner in which the decision or recommendation is consistent with, carries out, and helps implement applicable state laws and regulations and the regulations, policies, objectives, and goals of the interim comprehensive plan, the development code, and other official laws, policies, and objectives of the City of Sammamish, and that the recommendation or decision will not be unreasonably incompatible with or detrimental to affected properties and the general public. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.210 Additional examiner findings – Reclassifications. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

When the examiner issues a decision regarding an application for a reclassification of property or for a shoreline environment redesignation, the decision shall include additional findings that support the conclusion that at least one of the following circumstances applies:

(1) The property is potentially zoned for the reclassification being requested and conditions have been met that indicate the reclassification is appropriate; or

(2) The adopted interim comprehensive plan or zoning specifies that the property shall be subsequently considered through an individual reclassification application; or

(3) The applicant has demonstrated with substantial evidence that:

(a) Since the last previous area zoning of the subject property, authorized public improvements, permitted private development or other conditions or circumstances affecting the subject property have undergone substantial and material change not anticipated or contemplated in the plan or zoning;

(b) The impacts from the changed conditions or circumstances affect the subject property in a manner and to a degree different than other properties in the vicinity such that area rezoning is not appropriate; and

(c) The requested reclassification is required in the public interest. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.220 Additional examiner findings – Preliminary plats. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

When the examiner makes a decision regarding an application for a proposed preliminary plat, the decision shall include additional findings as to whether:

(1) Appropriate provisions are made for the public health, safety, and general welfare and for such open spaces, drainage ways, streets or roads, alleys, other public ways, transit stops, potable water supplies, sanitary wastes, parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools and school grounds and all other relevant facts, including sidewalks and other planning features that assure safe walking conditions for students who only walk to and from school; and

(2) The public use and interest will be served by the platting of such subdivision and dedication. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.230 Additional examiner findings and recommendations – School capacities. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

Whenever the examiner in the course of conducting hearings or reviewing preliminary plat applications or actualization of potential multifamily zoning, receives documentation that the public schools in the district where the development is proposed would not meet the standards set out in SMC 21A.60.140 if the development were approved, the examiner shall remand to the department to require or recommend phasing or provision of the needed facilities and sites as appropriate to address the deficiency, or deny the proposal if required by the provisions of this chapter. The examiner shall prepare findings to document the facts that support the action taken. The examiner shall recommend such phasing as may be necessary to coordinate the development of the housing with the provision of sufficient school facilities, or in the alternative shall require the provision of the needed facilities. An offer of payment of a school impact fee as required by ordinance shall not be a substitute for such phasing, but the fee is still assessable. The examiner shall recommend a payment schedule for the fee to coordinate the payment with the phasing of an impact mitigation fee if such provision or payment is satisfactory to the district. The examiner must determine independently that the conditions of approval and assessable fees will provide for adequate schools. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.240 Written recommendation or decision. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) Within 10 days of the conclusion of a hearing or rehearing, the examiner shall render a written recommendation or decision and shall transmit a copy thereof to all persons of record. The examiner’s decision shall identify the applicant and/or the owner by name and address.

(2) Decisions of the examiner in cases identified in SMC 20.10.070 shall be final and reviewable pursuant to SMC 20.10.250(1). (Ord. O2009-249 § 1; Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.250 Judicial review of final decisions of the hearing examiner. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) Decisions of the examiner in cases identified in SMC 20.10.070 shall be a final and conclusive action unless within 21 calendar days from the date of issuance of the examiner’s decision an aggrieved person files an appeal in superior court, state of Washington, for the purpose of review of the action taken; provided, no development or related action may occur during the 21-day appeal period; provided further, that the 21-day appeal period from examiner decisions on appeals of threshold determinations or the adequacy of a final EIS shall not commence until final action on the underlying proposal.

(2) Prior to filing an appeal of a final decision for a conditional use permit or special use permit, requested by a party that is licensed or certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services or the Washington State Department of Corrections, an aggrieved party (other than a county, city or town) must comply with the mediation requirements of Chapter 35.63 RCW (Chapter 119, Laws of 1998). The time limits for appealing a final decision are tolled during the mediation process. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.260 Reconsideration of final action. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

(1) Any final action by the hearing examiner may be reconsidered by the examiner, if:

(a) The action was based in whole or in part on erroneous facts or information;

(b) The action when taken failed to comply with existing laws or regulations applicable thereto; or

(c) An error of procedure occurred that prevented consideration of the interests of persons directly affected by the action.

(2) The examiner shall reconsider a final decision pursuant to the rules of the hearing examiner.

(3) Authority of the examiner to reconsider does not affect the finality of a decision when made. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.270 Citizen’s guide. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The department shall issue a citizen’s guide on the office of hearing examiner including making an appeal or participating in a hearing. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.280 Semi-annual report. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

The hearing examiner shall prepare a semi-annual report to the City council detailing the length of time required for hearings in the previous six months, categorized both on average and by type of proceeding. The report shall provide commentary on examiner operations and identify any need for clarification of City policy or development regulations. The semi-annual report shall be presented to the council by March 1st and September 1st of each year. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)

20.10.290 Site-specific land use map amendment. Repealed Ord. O2021-540 SeeTitle 21: Sammamish Development Code

Upon initiation of a site-specific land use map amendment to the interim comprehensive plan pursuant to SMC 20.30.050, the hearing examiner shall conduct a public hearing to consider the report and recommendation of the department and to take testimony and evidence relating to the proposed amendment. The hearing examiner may consolidate hearings pursuant to SMC 20.10.160 to the extent practical. Following the public hearing, the hearing examiner shall complete a report within 30 days that contains written findings and conclusions regarding the proposed amendment’s qualification for annual review consideration and consistency or lack of consistency with the applicable review criteria. An annual report containing all site specific land use map amendment reports that have been completed shall be compiled by the hearing examiner and submitted to the council by January 15th of the following year. (Ord. O99-29 § 1)