The appearance of fairness doctrine restricts county council members from discussing the merits of certain types of land use matters that will or could be heard by the council on appeal from the county Hearing Examiner.
In hearing such land use appeals, the county council acts in a quasi-judicial capacity, that is like a court, and the council is therefore required to follow certain Constitutional due-process rules. Specifically, the courts have ruled that discussions about a pending case should occur only at a formal public hearing where all interested parties have an equal opportunity to participate.
Citizens, however, are welcome to discuss any issue with the county council’s staff. Please call 425-388-3494.