Chapter 16B.09
ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS, CLOSED RECORD HEARINGS, AND JUDICIAL APPEALS

Sections:

16B.09.010    Administrative Appeal of Project Permits and Environmental Determinations.

16B.09.020    Standing to Initiate Administrative Appeals.

16B.09.030    Notice of Appeal.

16B.09.040    Open Record Appeals.

16B.09.045    Open Record Appeal Procedures.

16B.09.050    Closed Record Decisions.

16B.09.055    Reserved.

16B.09.060    Judicial Appeals.

16B.09.070    Appeals Standards and Criteria.

16B.09.010 Administrative Appeal of Project Permits and Environmental Determinations.

(1)    An appeal of a Type 1, 2, or 3 project decision or an appeal of a final environmental determination (SEPA) shall be filed with the Planning Division within fourteen calendar days of the mailing of the final decision or environmental determination issued under SEPA. If the decision does not require mailing, the appeal shall be filed within fourteen calendar days following the issuance of the final decision. Appeals shall be delivered to the Planning Division by mail or personal delivery before close of business on the last day of the appeal period. Project permit applications shall be appealable to the appeal body designated in Table 3-1. For appeals of SEPA threshold determinations, see also Section 16B.06.070 of this Title.

(a)    If the final decision incorporates the SEPA threshold determination subject to a fourteen-day comment period, a joint twenty-one calendar day appeal period shall be provided on both the project decision and the SEPA threshold determination.

(b)    If the optional process is exercised, and the County determines that no additional comment period is warranted, the appeal process for SEPA and the underlying decision shall be fourteen calendar days from the date of issuance of the SEPA threshold determination.

(2)    All appeals shall be in writing, accompanied by an appeal fee, and contain the following information:

(a)    Appellant’s name, address, and phone number;

(b)    Appellant’s statement establishing standing to initiate the appeal under Section 16B.09.020 of this Chapter;

(c)    An identification of the specific proposal and specific actions, omissions, conditions or determinations for which appeal is sought;

(d)    Appellant’s statement of the particular grounds for the appeal, setting forth the principal points of appeal and addressing why the appellant believes the decision to be wrong; and

(e)    The desired outcome or relief sought by the appellant.

(f)    SEPA appeals shall additionally contain the information required by YCC 16B.06.070(4).

(3)    The appellant shall bear the burden of proving the decision was made in error.

(4)    Upon the timely filing of a completed appeal, the Administrative Official shall set the time and place for the matter to be considered by the appeal body.

(5)    The timely filing of an appeal shall stay all actions by the Administrative Official or the Building Official on pending applications for development permits associated with the action or decision being appealed. The filing of an appeal shall not stay the effectiveness or effective date of any enforcement action or decision of violation including cancellations and revocations of permits or approvals.

(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.09.020 Standing to Initiate Administrative Appeals.

Standing to initiate an Administrative Appeal is limited to:

(1)    The applicant or owner of the property in which the project permit is proposed;

(2)    The Planning Division, Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney or Board of Yakima County Commissioners; and

(3)    Parties of record aggrieved by the final decision and who will suffer direct and substantial impacts from approval or denial of the project.

(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.09.030 Notice of Appeal.

In the case of an open record appeal hearing of a Type 1 or Type 2 project permit, public notice will be provided by the Administrative Official to property owners in accordance with the public notice requirements in Section 16B.05.030.

(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.09.040 Open Record Appeals.

(1)    Open record appeals on Type 1 and 2 project permits and environmental determinations (SEPA) shall be heard by the Hearing Examiner. Open record appeals shall be conducted in accordance with Sections 16B.08.030 – 16B.08.060 and 16B.09.045 of this Code for open record public hearings and the adopted rules and procedures of the Hearing Examiner. New evidence or testimony may be given or received at this public hearing. Written argument or memoranda of authority may only be submitted pursuant to YCC 16B.09.045.

(2)    The decision of the Hearing Examiner on any SEPA appeal or on any Type 1, 2, and 3 project permit appeal shall be final and not subject to further administrative appeal.

(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.09.045 Open Record Appeal Procedures.

The following procedures (Subsections 1 through 3) shall apply to any appeal heard by the Examiner under this Title unless the Examiner holds a prehearing conference under Subsection 4 of this Section and issues an order establishing the appeal procedure.

(1)    Memorandum to Examiner. Within ten days of filing the appeal, the appellant shall file with the Planning Division a memorandum setting forth the appellant’s arguments and authority. The appellant’s memorandum to the Hearing Examiner shall clearly identify whether the subjects of the appeal are concerned either with procedural issues or substantive determinations, or both, as defined in YCC 16.04.040. Such arguments and authority shall be restricted to those issues set forth in appellant’s written appeal statement;

(2)    Staff Report. At least twenty days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing before the Examiner, County staff shall file with the office of the Hearing Examiner and provide the appellant with a staff report responding to the appellant’s memorandum concerning the appeal; and

(3)    Reply Memorandum. At least ten days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing before the Examiner, the appellant or landowner may file with the Planning Division any reply memorandum which the appellant or landowner desires to file. The scope of the reply memorandum shall be restricted to responding to issues raised in the staff report.

(4)    Prehearing Conference. Any party may request a prehearing conference not later than ten days following the filing of appeal. The prehearing conference may be held at the discretion of the Examiner, in consultation with the Administrative Official. If the Examiner exercises his discretion to hold a prehearing conference on an appeal the Examiner may issue an order establishing the procedure and schedule for the hearing and for the submittal of reports by County staff, applicant, and appellant, not inconsistent with this Title. The Examiner’s order shall provide for the submittal of appellant’s memorandum setting forth the appellant’s arguments and authority, a County staff report responding to appellant’s memorandum, applicant’s memorandum responding to the appellant’s memorandum, and appellant’s reply memorandum. All written reports shall be submitted prior to the appeal hearing, consistent with the terms of the order. The parties shall provide copies of all submitted material to the other parties.

(5)    Failure to Comply. Failure to comply with the requirements of this Section may result in the Examiner taking such action in regard to the failure as is appropriate including, but not limited to dismissing the matter, continuing the hearing, postponing the hearing or limiting testimony at the hearing. The Hearing Examiner or Yakima County may require any appellant(s) who cause(s) a delay in the proceedings by not adhering to the submittal schedule to pay all additional fees associated with rescheduling meetings, including Hearing Examiner fees.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012).

16B.09.050 Closed Record Decisions.

(1)    Closed record hearings shall be on the evidentiary record established at the prior open record hearing. The record before the Board shall include all materials received in evidence at any previous stage of the review, audio/visual tapes of the prior hearing, the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation, and argument by the parties at the Examiner’s hearing.

(2)    Oral argument at a closed record public hearing is limited to parties of record. Oral argument is allowed on a Type 4 recommendation of the Hearing Examiner.

(3)    The Board’s action on a closed record hearing shall be as follows:

Following the Board’s closed record hearing on a Type 4 recommendation of the Hearing Examiner, the Board may affirm the recommendation of the Hearing Examiner, or may reverse or modify the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation.

(4)    If the Board renders a decision different from the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation, the Board shall adopt amended findings and conclusions accordingly. If the Board affirms the Examiner’s determination or recommendation, it may adopt the findings and determinations or recommendations of the Examiner as the final decision.

(5)     The Board’s final written decision shall constitute a final administrative action for the purposes of Chapter 36.70C RCW.

(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.09.055 Reserved.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012).

16B.09.060 Judicial Appeals.

A final determination by the County (which includes final administrative appeals and decisions) on an application may be appealed as provided in Chapter 36.70C RCW.

(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.09.070 Appeals Standards and Criteria.

The Hearing Examiner shall issue a decision to grant, grant with modifications, or deny the appeal in accordance with YCC 16B.08.050 for open record appeals and this Section. The Hearing Examiner shall accord substantial weight to the decision of the applicable Administrative Official and the SEPA Responsible Official.

(1)    If the Hearing Examiner determines that the challenged decision is supported by substantial evidence in the record and is a correct application of the law, then the decision shall be upheld.

(2)    If the Hearing Examiner determines that the challenged decision is not supported by substantial evidence, then the decision shall be reversed or remanded.

(3)    If the Hearing Examiner determines that the challenged decision is an incorrect application of the law, then the decision shall be reversed or remanded.

(Ord. 7-2017 § 2 (Exh. A)(part), 2017: Ord. 5-2012 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2012).