Chapter 14.06
CLOSED RECORD MEETINGS AND APPEALS

Sections:

14.06.010    Appeals of decisions.

14.06.020    Consolidated appeals.

14.06.030    Standing to initiate an administrative appeal.

14.06.040    Appeals of recommendations and decisions.

14.06.050    Procedure for closed record decision/appeal.

14.06.060    Judicial appeals.

14.06.070    Resubmission of application.

14.06.010 Appeals of decisions.

The right of appeal for all project permit applications and Type VII land use decisions shall be as described in the matrix set forth in WRMC 14.01.030. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.06.020 Consolidated appeals.

All appeals of project permit application decisions, other than appeals of determinations of significance (“DS”), and exempt permits and approvals under WRMC 14.01.070, shall be considered together in a consolidated appeal using the appeal procedure for the highest type permit application. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.06.030 Standing to initiate an administrative appeal.

A. Limited to Parties of Record. Only parties of record may file an administrative appeal.

B. Definition. The term “parties of record,” for the purposes of this chapter, shall mean:

1. The applicant;

2. Any person who testified at the open record public hearing on the application;

3. Any person who submitted written comments concerning the application at the open record public hearing (excluding persons who have only signed petitions or mechanically produced form letters); and/or

4. The West Richland city council. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.06.040 Appeals of recommendations and decisions.

A. Permit Decisions or Recommendations. Appeals of a hearing body’s recommendation or decision or recommendation and project permit application shall be governed by the following:

1. Standing. Only parties of record have standing to appeal the hearing body’s decision.

2. Time to File. An appeal must be filed within 10 working days of the issuance of the hearing body’s written decision. Appeals shall be delivered to the director by mail, by personal delivery or by fax before 5:00 p.m. on the last business day of the appeal period. Appeals received by mail after 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the appeal period will not be accepted, no matter when such appeals were mailed or postmarked.

3. Computation of Time. For the purposes of computing the time for filing an appeal, the day the hearing body’s decision is issued shall not be counted. If the last day of the appeal period is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday designated by RCW 1.16.050 or by a city ordinance, then the appeal must be filed on the next business day.

4. Content of Appeal. Appeals shall be in writing, be accompanied by the required appeal fee, and contain the following information:

a. Appellant’s name, address and phone number;

b. A statement describing appellant’s standing to appeal;

c. Identification of the application which is the subject of the appeal;

d. Appellant’s statement of grounds for appeal and the facts upon which the appeal is based with specific references to the facts in the record;

e. The specific relief sought;

f. A statement that the appellant has read the appeal and believes the contents to be true, followed by the appellant’s signature.

5. Effect. The timely filing of an appeal shall stay the hearing body’s decision until such time as the appeal is concluded or withdrawn.

6. Notice of Appeal. The director shall provide mailed notice of the appeal to all parties of record as defined in WRMC 14.06.030. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.06.050 Procedure for closed record decision/appeal.

A. Closed record appeals and closed record hearings shall be on the record established at the open record hearing before the hearing body/officer whose decision is appealed, which shall include the written decision of the hearing body/officer, a transcript or recording of the proceedings, and copies of any exhibits admitted into the record.

B. No new testimony or other evidence will be accepted by the appeal body/officer except: (1) new information that was unknown to the parties at the time of the hearing which could not reasonably have been discovered by the parties and is necessary for a just resolution of the appeal; and (2) relevant information that, in the opinion of the appeal body/officer, was improperly excluded by the hearing body/officer. Appellants who believe that information was improperly excluded must specifically request, in writing prior to the closed record appeal hearing, that the information be made part of the record. The request shall describe the information excluded, its relevance to the issues appealed, the reason(s) that the information was excluded by the hearing body/officer, and why the hearing body/officer erred in excluding the information. No reference to excluded information shall be made in any presentation to the appeal body/officer on the merits, written or oral, until the appeal body/officer has determined that the information should be admitted.

C. Parties to the appeal may present written and/or oral arguments to the appeal body/officer. Argument shall describe particular errors committed by the hearing body/officer with specific references to the administrative record. The appellant shall bear the burden to demonstrate that substantial evidence does not exist in the administrative record to support the decision of the hearing body/officer.

D. The hearing shall commence with a presentation by the director or the director’s designee of the general background of the proposed development and issues in dispute. After the director’s presentation, the appellant shall first present oral argument and then other parties of record shall make their arguments. The appeal body/officer may question any party concerning disputed issues but shall not request information not in administrative record.

E. The appeal body/officer shall determine whether there is substantial evidence in the administrative record to support the decision of the hearing body/officer. The appeal body/officer may affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the hearing body/officer. Upon written agreement by the applicant to waive the requirement for a decision within the time periods set forth in RCW 36.70B.080, as allowed by RCW 36.70B.080(3), the appeal body/officer may remand the decision to the hearing body for additional information.

F. Open Record Appeal Hearings. An open record appeal hearing shall be conducted in the manner set forth in Chapter 14.05 WRMC. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.06.060 Judicial appeals.

The city’s final decision on an application may be appealed by a party of record with standing to file a land use petition in Benton County superior court. Such petition must be filed within 21 days after issuance of the decision, as provided in Chapter 36.70C RCW. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].

14.06.070 Resubmission of application.

Any permit application or other request for approval submitted pursuant to this chapter that is denied shall not be resubmitted or accepted by the director for reconsideration for a period of 12 months from the date of the last action by the city on the application or request unless, in the opinion of the director, there has been a significant change in the application or a significant change in conditions related to the impacts of the proposed project. [Ord. 38-07 § 1, 2007].