Hearing Examiner

The County Council appoints the administrator of the Office of Hearings Administration who also serves as the county hearing examiner. The hearing examiner provides an independent fact-finding and decision-making service for county government.

Responsibilities
The hearing examiner's primary responsibility is to provide a fair, impartial, and independent fact-finding and decision-making service within county government. The hearing examiner has jurisdiction over a wide range of subject matter, including many types of land use applications and appeals, such as:
  • Most rezones
  • Subdivisions
  • Planned residential developments
  • Conditional use permits
  • Code enforcement appeals
  • Administrative permit appeals
  • State Environmental Policy Act appeals
  • False alarm notice appeals
  • Business and animal license appeals
Land Use Division
The Land Use Division of the Planning and Development Services Department reviews and processes applications for most major land development proposals including subdivisions, rezones, conditional use permits, variances, and shoreline permits which require a hearing before the hearing examiner.

Rules of Procedure
Proceedings before the hearing examiner are governed by a combination of county code provisions and a set of Rules of Procedure. The rules cover topics such as pre-hearing procedural requirements, exhibit handling, hearing procedures, withdrawal of applications / appeals, etc.

Persons unfamiliar with the hearing examiner system who will be involved in a case before the examiner would benefit from reading the rules. Read the important notice to hearing participants for more information.