“Hearing Examiner” means an independent hearing, advisory, and decision-making body for various land use applications, appeals of administrative determinations and interpretations, and other actions as designated in the Monroe Municipal Code to provide an efficient and effective process for integrating the public hearing and decision-making processes. The hearing examiner shall have all the powers to perform each of the duties specified in this code. (Ord. 003/2008 (Ex. A)
Local governments in Washington State have the option of hiring or contracting with a hearing examiner to conduct required quasi-judicial hearings, usually in place of local bodies such as the planning commission, the board of adjustment, the board of county commissioners, or the city council. A hearing examiner is an appointive officer who acts in a manner similar to a judge and typically is an attorney. The basic purpose of having a hearing examiner conduct these hearings is to have a professionally-trained individual make objective quasi-judicial decisions that are supported by an adequate record and that are free from political influences. Using a hearing examiner system allows local legislative and advisory bodies that might otherwise conduct these hearings to better concentrate on policy-making, and it can reduce local government liability exposure. The City of Monroe utilizes the hearing examiner system for certain land use decisions, such as formal subdivisions, variances, and conditional use permits as well as appeals and various other decisions.
How to Participate
To participate in a public hearing, you can attend the hearing, which is typically held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Hearing times and formats (either remotely via Zoom or hybrid) will be posted on the Notice of Public Hearing. Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. All hearings are open for the public to attend; however, comment at some hearings is limited to only parties of record. You may contact the Planning Division prior to the hearing if you have any questions on whether or not you will be able to participate in the hearing. For projects that are open to public comment, you may submit written comments prior to the hearing if you are unable to attend the hearing or if you do not wish to provide verbal comments during the hearing. Please contact the Planning Division for deadlines for written comment related to the proposal you are interested in.
If you wish to provide verbal comments during a hearing that is open for public comment, please write your contact information (name and email address) on the sign-in sheet applicable to the project you wish to comment on. The reason your email address is necessary is because all those who provide verbal comment during a public hearing will become parties of record to the decision, and a copy of the decision will be sent to you. All comments made during the hearing must be made at the podium. When the Hearing Examiner opens the public comment portion of the hearing, proceed to the podium and clearly speak into the microphone so that your comments become part of the taped record. In order for all participants to have an opportunity to speak, the Hearing Examiner may limit the amount of time permitted each speaker. The public hearing may be continued to another date to take additional testimony if the existing available time is not sufficient.