Hearing Examiner Process and Participation

Notice of Public and Appeal Hearings

Notice of a public hearing on a land development proposal is given by posting the property affected with information signs giving details of the proposal and contact information; publication in the City of Redmond's official newspaper, the Seattle Times; and mailing the notice to owners of adjacent and nearby property lying within a 500-foot radius of the subject property; no less than 21 days prior to the date of the hearing. Notice of an appeal hearing shall be provided to all parties of record no less than 14 days prior to the date on which the Hearing Examiner will hold the appeal hearing.

Staff Reports and Project Files

A Technical Committee Report to the Hearing Examiner is ordinarily available 21 days prior to the date of a public hearing; and 14 days prior to an appeal hearing. If you do not obtain a copy in advance from the Developmental Services Center, or the Office of the Hearing Examiner, copies are available in hearing chambers on the day of the hearing. The report contains a general summary of the facts, as interpreted by the Technical Committee, and a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner.

The Development Services Center maintains a separate file for every application or appeal. This file is available to the Hearing Examiner and the public. The file normally includes, as pertains to the particular matter: the application; an environmental checklist; Declaration of Significance of Non-Significance; Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statement (if required); records of public notice; and all correspondence received concerning the matter. With few exceptions, these files are public records. Persons interested in a matter are encouraged to review the file in advance of the hearing.

Parties of Record, Public Hearing

All persons who would like to become a Party of Record, are invited to testify at the public hearing to express their views, or to submit written testimony at the hearing. Only Parties of Record will have the right to request reconsideration of the Hearing Examiner's decision and/or appeal to the City Council. You may also submit written comments (email is acceptable) prior to the hearing and not later than 5:00 PM the day of the hearing, by contacting the specific Planner for the project.

Parties to an Appeal

The appellant, applicant, owner(s) of property subject to the application, and the City shall be designated parties to the appeal. Only designated parties may participate in the appeal hearing by presenting testimony or calling witnesses to present testimony and by providing exhibits. Interested persons, groups, associations, or other entities who have not appealed may participate only if called by one of the parties to present information, provided that the Examiner may allow nonparties to present relevant testimony if allowed under the Examiner’s rules of procedure.

Ex Parte Contacts

Private contact with a decision maker such as the Hearing Examiner or an elected official is termed "ex parte contact". The Office of the Hearing Examiner staff screens all correspondence and telephone calls to the Hearing Examiner to ensure that prohibited contacts are not made. Similarly, ex parte contact with a member of the Council for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the case on appeal can lead to that Councilmember disqualifying themselves, or could invalidate the proceeding.

Hearings by the Hearing Examiner are quasi-judicial proceedings. They are defined by state statute to be "...those actions of a legislative body, planning commission, Hearing Examiner, zoning adjuster, board of adjustment, which determine the legal rights, duties, or privileges of specific parties in a hearing or other contested case proceeding." RCW 42.36.010. Quasi-judicial hearings have a partly judicial character by possession of the right to hold hearings on and conduct investigations into disputed claims and alleged infraction of rules and regulations and to make decisions in the manner of courts.

Testimony and Participation

All City of Redmond public hearings are open to the public and anyone may participate. In appeal hearings, only parties directly involved with the appeal may testify or participate.

All testimony is required to be under oath or affirmation. Testimony at hearings conducted by the Hearing Examiner is not as formal as in a judicial proceeding. Individuals are sworn in either individually or as a group.

To present information at a hearing:

  • simply state directly and succinctly, relevant information or argument
  • speak to the specific issues of the project
  • if you have alternative ideas, suggest them
  • focus on how the project meets or does not meet City standards or codes
  • submit and provide any evidence you have prepared (bring extra copies to submit into the record)

Hearing Examiner's Recommendations and Decisions

The Hearing Examiner does not make a recommendation or decision at the time of the hearing. The Hearing Examiner's recommendation or decision will be made in the form of a written report, which will include Findings of Fact, and Conclusions of Law that will be drawn from those findings. The report will normally be issued within 10 business days after the close of a public or an appeal hearing; and distributed to the parties of record, or the parties to the appeal.

Continuances

A hearing may be continued by the Hearing Examiner to another date and time for completion of all testimony and rebuttal, or to allow for the introduction of evidence not available on the date of the hearing. Alternatively, a hearing my be deemed 'closed' while the record is held open to allow for additional written evidence or written argument. New information cannot be presented after the hearing and the record is officially closed.

Requests for Reconsideration and Appeals of the Decision

For a public hearing, any Party of Record may file a written Request for Reconsideration with the Office of the Hearing Examiner; within 10 business days of the date of the Hearing Examiner recommendation or decision. For an appeal hearing, only the parties to the appeal may file a written Request for Reconsideration. A Request for Reconsideration shall explicitly set forth alleged errors of procedure or fact.

Appeals of a Hearing Examiner's decision may be appealed to City Council. Appeal procedures are governed by RZC 21.76.060(M). An appeal of the Hearing Examiner's decision must be based only on the record made before the Hearing Examiner at the hearing. A recommendation may not be appealed to City Council.

 

Redmond Hearing Examiner Rules of Procedure

Redmond Hearing Examiner Brochure - Coming soon!