Buckley City Council gives permanent power to hearing examiner

The city of Buckley's hearing examiner received permanently-expanded powers and responsibilities during the May 11 meeting of the Buckley City Council.

The hearing examiner deals with land use and zoning applications and development regulations. The change to the city's municipal code delegates duties to the hearing examiner that are traditionally within the realm of the planning commission.

The examiner will now be responsible for conducting hearings on and adjudicating quasi-judicial cases involving a variety of complex land use and regulatory compliance issues and other issues which the city council may designate. The examiner will be responsible for hosting hearings on all preliminary subdivisions in excess of four lots, all industrial site plans and binding site plans and then make the final decision.

"In other words, he will deal with things that may affect neighborhoods and communities as opposed to individual properties," Councilman Randy Reed said.

In all cases, the examiner will report back to the council, which will have final say on land use issues.

The new ordinances stepped beyond two interim ordinances passed in 2009 that made the hearing examiner responsible for overseeing plats greater than 50 lots.

In other action May 11, the council:

• approved a fireworks stand permit for Extreme Mini Quads Northwest.

• awarded a bid to repair the raw water transmission main and access road outside the city limits to Hoffman Construction Inc.

• granted a waiver on frontage improvements to a single-family residence being constructed at 181 South C St.

• approved a formal ecological evaluation of the South Prairie Creek and Spiketon Ditch to re-route overflow water from the creek to the ditch.

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