Chapter 16B.08
OPEN RECORD PUBLIC HEARINGS

Sections:

16B.08.010    Generally.

16B.08.020    Responsibility of Administrative Official for Hearing.

16B.08.030    Order of Proceedings.

16B.08.040    Burden of Proof – Open Record Hearings.

16B.08.050    Hearing Examiner Decisions and Recommendations.

16B.08.060    Site View of Subject Property.

16B.08.070    Joint Public Hearings.

16B.08.010 Generally.

Open record public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with this Chapter.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012: Ord. 14-1998 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 4-1996 § 1 (part), 1996).

16B.08.020 Responsibility of Administrative Official for Hearing.

Upon the filing of a project permit application requiring a public hearing, the Administrative Official shall set the time and place for the public hearing and shall provide notice of the hearing as set forth in Chapter 16B.05. The Administrative Official shall also prepare a staff report on the application and present this staff report at the public hearing. This staff report will incorporate recommendations on the project permit application, any mitigation measures recommended under the County’s development regulations or under the authority of SEPA, and the County’s final SEPA determination on the project permit application, if applicable.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012: Ord. 14-1998 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 4-1996 § 1 (part), 1996).

16B.08.030 Order of Proceedings.

Public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the Hearing Examiner’s rules of procedure and shall serve to create or supplement an evidentiary record upon which the Hearing Examiner will base his or her decision. The Hearing Examiner shall open the public hearing and, in general, observe the following sequence of events:

(1)    Staff presentation, including submittal of any administrative reports. The Hearing Examiner may ask questions of the staff.

(2)    Applicant presentation, including submittal of any materials. The Hearing Examiner may ask questions of the applicant.

(3)    Testimony or comments by the public relative to the matter being heard. Questions directed to the staff or the applicant shall be posed by the Hearing Examiner at his/her discretion.

(4)    Rebuttal, response or clarifying statements by the staff and the applicant. The Hearing Examiner may further question a person submitting information or the staff if opportunity for rebuttal is provided.

(5)    The public hearing portion of the hearing shall be closed and the Hearing Examiner may deliberate on the matter.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012: Ord. 14-1998 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 4-1996 § 1 (part), 1996).

16B.08.040 Burden of Proof – Open Record Hearings.

The burden of proof is on the applicant for Type 3 and 4 applications, or, in the case of an open record appeal on the appellant.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012: Ord. 14-1998 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 4-1996 § 1 (part), 1996).

16B.08.050 Hearing Examiner Decisions and Recommendations.

(1)    Following the open record public hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny the application, or recommend approval or denial of the application. The Hearing Examiner shall approve a project or approve with modifications if the applicant has demonstrated that the proposal complies with the applicable decision criteria of the Yakima County Code. The applicant carries the burden of proof and must demonstrate that a preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that the application merits approval or approval with modifications. In all other cases, the Hearing Examiner shall deny the application.

(2)    Each final decision of the Hearing Examiner body shall be in writing and shall include findings and conclusions, based on the record, to support the decision. Such findings and conclusions shall also set forth the manner in which the decision would carry out and conform to the County’s comprehensive plan(s) and development regulations.

(3)    Each final decision of the Hearing Examiner, unless a longer period is mutually agreed to in writing by the applicant and the hearing body, shall be rendered within fourteen days following the conclusion of all testimony and the hearing on the project permit application.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exhs. A, B) (part), 2012: Ord. 14-1998 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 4-1996 § 1 (part), 1996).

16B.08.060 Site View of Subject Property.

The Hearing Examiner may view the subject property with or without notification to the parties, but the circumstances of such site view shall be placed on the record.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012: Ord. 14-1998 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 4-1996 § 1 (part), 1996).

16B.08.070 Joint Public Hearings.

(1)    The Administrative Official may combine any public hearing on a project permit application with any hearing that may be held by another local, state, regional, federal, or other agency with jurisdiction on the proposed action. Hearings shall be combined if requested by an applicant, provided that:

(a)    The hearing is held within the geographic boundaries of Yakima County;

(b)    Each agency is not expressly prohibited by statute from doing so;

(c)    Sufficient notice of the hearing is given to meet each of the agencies’ adopted notice requirements as set forth in statute, ordinance, or rule;

(d)    Each agency has received the necessary information about the proposed project from the applicant in enough time to hold its hearing at the same time as the local government hearing; and

(e)    The joint hearing can be held within the required time periods or the applicant may agree to a particular schedule in the event that additional time is needed in order to combine the hearings.

(2)    All agencies participating in a combined hearing may issue joint hearing notices and develop a joint format, select a mutually acceptable hearing body or officer, or take such other actions as may be necessary to hold joint hearings consistent with each of their respective statutory obligations.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012: Ord. 14-1998 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 4-1996 § 1 (part), 1996).