Land use hearings conducted by the Hearing Examiner are guided by the Hearing Examiner Rules of Procedure, adopted by County Resolution No. 96-0294. In a land use application hearing, the Hearing Examiner holds a public hearing to receive information and evidence both in favor of or opposed to the application. These hearings provide the public with an opportunity to provide testimony and comment on a proposal, and to obtain responses to questions about a proposal.
The hearing procedure for a land use application will typically be as follows:
1. Introduction of hearing by Hearing Examiner.
2. Report of County Department.
3. Presentation by Applicant.
4. Testimony of Public concerning the application (for or against).
5. Rebuttal, if any, by Applicant and County Department.
6. Final arguments (optional).
7. Adjournment of the hearing.
All hearings are open to the public. Except in appeal hearings, any member of the public may participate. In appeal hearings, participation is generally limited to the witnesses called by the parties to the appeal, and the appealing party will make their presentation before the applicant.
Testimony will usually be taken under oath. An electronic recording is made of the hearing proceedings, a copy of which may be obtained by request or used to produce transcripts for the appellate body on appeal. To be heard on the recording, each person must speak into the microphone. When first testifying, please spell your last name and provide your mailing address for the record. When speaking again, simply provide your name.
Testimony at public hearings is less formal than in a court proceeding. The cross-examination of witnesses is usually allowed on expert testimony or key evidentiary points. To communicate most effectively:
• Testify or submit written evidence on specific project issues.
• Focus on how the project does or does not meet applicable standards or codes.
• Offer alternatives.
Presenting information directly and succinctly, and avoiding repetition, is preferred. Written statements and reports, and visual aids may be used. If agreeing with testimony previously given, a brief statement of support is preferred over a restatement of the testimony. If you have a power point or numerous exhibits to present, please contact the Hearing Examiner's staff assistant on how to use audio visual equipment in the hearing room and to premark exhibits.