Hearing Examiner

HEARING EXAMINER NEWS AND INFORMATION 

During most of the pandemic, hearings and proceedings by the Hearing Examiner were not conducted in-person, but electronically on the Zoom platform. Conducting proceedings in this way not only allowed hearings to be conducted safely from a public health perspective, but also allowed witnesses and community members to participate or view the proceedings more conveniently, without having to travel to the hearing room, taking time off from work to travel, or arranging for child-care.


As soon as practicable, the Hearing Examiner will conduct hearings in a hybrid format. In other words, proceedings will be conducted simultaneously in-person and on Zoom. This hybrid format will maximize the public’s opportunity to view or participate in the proceedings.


We do not yet have a schedule for when we will begin hybrid hearings. The hearing room requires upgrades to its audio/visual systems to implement hybrid hearings. A contractor has begun work, but current technology supply-chain issues have affected the availability of some equipment and parts.


Until further notice (on this page and in notices issued for specific proceedings), we will continue with Zoom proceedings. Switching back to in-person only hearings would lose the convenience and ease of participation currently allowed by using an electronic platform.

We hope to begin hybrid hearings soon and will update this page when we know when we can start.

 

If you have suggestions or ideas, please let us know by dropping a note to Hearing.Examiner@snoco.org or calling 425.388.3538. Thank you for your patience!


UPCOMING HEARINGS

Webinar links for each hearing will be posted one week prior to the scheduled hearing.


July 7, 2022, 9AM: 22-102631 REZO Harvest Rd.


About the process for public comment:

Public comments may be made by email or at the Zoom hearing. 

Emailed comments should be sent to hearing.examiner@snoco.org.


The Hearing Examiner reads and listens carefully to all public comments. Comments repeating points made by others should be brief (e.g., “what they said about this issue—me too!” is sufficient.) This is not an election, comments are not votes, and the decision will not turn on how many public comments support a particular position. Commenters should be considerate of other people wishing to comment by keeping their comments brief and to the point. A few minutes should be sufficient for the vast majority of speakers. The Hearing Examiner prefers not to establish a hard time limit for all parties, but will manage the time to maximize public participation without repetition.


Anyone interested in testifying can send an email ahead of time to the Clerk at hearing.examiner@snoco.org and request to be put on a list to testify and you will be added in the order received. You do not have to sign up in advance of the hearing in order to testify. The Hearing Examiner will call witness from this list first then call others who have indicated they wish to testify (“raised their hand”) during the Zoom hearing. There will be plenty of time for everyone to be heard.


IMPORTANT: Only emails and attachments sent to Hearing.Examiner@snoco.org will be added to the record. Emails and attachments will NOT be added to the record if sent to an individual clerk. Emails and attachments sent to individual clerks are difficult to track and process efficiently and accurately. Thank you.

Until further notice, we are available by email at hearing.examiner@snoco.org or phone 425-388-3538 to serve you!

Email the clerk with questions or to make an appointment.


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

Rules of Procedure

Proceedings before the hearing examiner are governed by a combination of county code provisions and a set of Rules of Procedure (PDF). 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.