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A. Process Described.

1. Applicable Code Section. This section contains procedures the City will use in processing a Shoreline Process I decision. The specific Shoreline Process I procedures are in addition to the general procedures applicable to all shoreline project decisions contained in LUC 20.25E.100.

2. Type of Decision. Decisions on a Shoreline Process I application are quasi-judicial decisions made by the City Hearing Examiner based on a recommendation from the Director. This process begins with a complete application, followed by notice to the public of the application and a public comment period, during which time a public meeting will be held. The Director then makes a recommendation based upon the decision criteria set forth in the code for the applicable shoreline permit.

3. Incorporation of SEPA Threshold Determination. If required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), a threshold determination associated with a Shoreline Process I decision shall be issued by the Environmental Coordinator as a Land Use Process II decision pursuant to LUC 20.35.230 with an opportunity for appeal to the Hearing Examiner pursuant to LUC 20.35.250. The threshold determination should be issued in conjunction with issuance of the Director’s recommendation on the application. If an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required, however, the threshold determination will be issued early and the EIS will be completed before issuance of the Director’s recommendation. If the requirement to prepare an EIS or a supplemental EIS is appealed by the applicant, that appeal will be resolved prior to issuance of the Director’s recommendation.

4. Hearing Examiner Public Hearing. Following issuance of the Director’s recommendation, a public hearing will be held before the City Hearing Examiner. If a SEPA Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) was issued (no EIS required) pursuant to LUC 20.35.230 and an appeal of the DNS filed pursuant to LUC 20.35.250, the appeal hearing on the DNS will be combined with the public hearing on the Director’s recommendation. Following the public hearing, the Hearing Examiner will issue a written report which will set forth a decision to approve, approve with modifications, or deny the Shoreline Process I application. The Examiner’s report will also include a final City decision on any DNS or other nonshoreline appeal consolidated with the Shoreline Process I permit as described in LUC 20.25E.100.C.8.

5. Shoreline Process I Decision – When the City Decision Is Final. When a decision is made to approve, conditionally approve, or deny an application, the applicant shall be notified. Shoreline Process I decisions are final upon issuance of the Hearing Examiner’s written decision on the application.

B. Public Meetings. A public meeting is required for all Shoreline Process I applications. The applicant shall participate in the meeting to inform citizens about the proposal. Public meetings shall be held as early in the review process as possible for Shoreline Process I applications. Notice of the public meeting shall be provided in the same manner as required for notice of the application pursuant to LUC 20.25E.100.D. The public meeting notice will be combined with the notice of application whenever possible.

C. Director’s Recommendation on a Process I Application. A written report of the Director making a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner for approval, approval with conditions or with modifications, or for denial shall be prepared.

D. Notice of Recommendation, SEPA Determination, and Hearing Examiner Hearing.

1. Notice Distribution. Public notice of the availability of the Director’s recommendation shall be published and mailed in the same manner as required for notice of the application pursuant to LUC 20.25E.100.D. Public notice of the availability of the Director’s recommendation shall also be mailed to the applicant and each person who submitted comments during the comment period or at any time prior to the publication of the notice of recommendation.

2. Notice Content. The following content shall be provided in addition to the content required pursuant to LUC 20.25E.100.D.1:

a. SEPA Threshold Determination. If a Determination of Significance (DS) was issued by the Environmental Coordinator, the notice shall state whether an EIS or Supplemental EIS was prepared or whether existing environmental documents were adopted. If a Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) was issued, the notice shall state the deadline for appeal of the DNS to the Hearing Examiner pursuant to LUC 20.35.250. The DNS should be issued and published in conjunction with the Director’s recommendation except as provided in the Environmental Procedures Code, BCC 22.02.160.

b. Hearing Examiner Public Hearing. The notice shall also include the date of the Hearing Examiner public hearing for the application, which shall be scheduled no sooner than 15 days following the date of publication of the notice.

E. Hearing Examiner Public Hearing.

1. Participation in Hearing. Any person may participate in the Hearing Examiner public hearing on the Director’s recommendation by submitting written comments to the Director before the hearing or by submitting written comments or making oral comments at the hearing.

2. Transmittal of File. The Director shall transmit to the Hearing Examiner a copy of the Department file on the application, including all written comments received prior to the hearing, and information reviewed by or relied upon by the Director or the Environmental Coordinator. The file shall also include information to verify that the requirements for notice to the public (notice of application, notice of SEPA determination, and notice of Director’s recommendation) have been met.

3. Hearing Record. The Hearing Examiner shall create a complete record of the public hearing including all exhibits introduced at the hearing and an electronic sound recording of each hearing.

F. Hearing Examiner Decision on Shoreline Process I Applications.

1. Decision. The Hearing Examiner shall approve a project or approve with modifications if the applicant has demonstrated that the proposal complies with the decision criteria for the applicable shoreline permit. The applicant carries the burden of proof and must demonstrate that a preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that the application merits approval or approval with modifications. In all other cases, the Hearing Examiner shall deny the application.

2. Limitation on Modification. If the Hearing Examiner requires a modification which results in a proposal not reasonably foreseeable from the description of the proposal contained in the public notice provided pursuant to LUC 20.25E.100.D, the Hearing Examiner shall conduct a new hearing on the proposal as modified.

3. Conditions. The Hearing Examiner may include conditions to ensure that a proposal conforms to the relevant decision criteria.

4. Written Decision of the Hearing Examiner. The Hearing Examiner shall within 10 working days following the close of the record distribute a written report supporting the decision. The report shall contain the following:

a. The decision of the Hearing Examiner on the Shoreline Process I Permit and any nonshoreline appeals consolidated with the permit; and

b. Any conditions included as part of the decision; and

c. Findings of fact upon which the decision, including any conditions, was based and the conclusions derived from those facts.

5. Distribution. The Office of the Hearing Examiner shall mail the written decision, bearing the date it is mailed, to each person who participated in the public hearing.

6. Effect of Hearing Examiner Decision. The decision of the Hearing Examiner on the application is the final decision of the City and shall be filed with the state pursuant to LUC 20.25E.150.D. (Ord. 6731, 3-13-23, § 2; Ord. 6416, 5-21-18, § 2)