Okanogan County is currently soliciting proposals from qualified individuals or firms interested in serving as the Okanogan County Hearings Examiner.
The County seeks to retain a Hearings Examiner to hear certain land use appeals, development proposals, and related matters within the unincorporated areas of Okanogan County. Examiners shall be appointed solely with regard to their qualifications for the duties of their office and will have such training and experience as will qualify them to conduct administrative or quasi-judicial hearings on regulatory enactments and to discharge the other functions conferred upon them.
The Board of Okanogan County Commissioners, may appoint one (1) or more examiners for terms which shall initially expire twelve (12) months following the date of original appointment and one (1) additional year. Such appointments may be by professional service contract. Any Examiner may be removed by the Board for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance.
Public hearings and appeal hearings are scheduled on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Typically, an Examiner can expect to hear ten (10) to fifteen (15) cases per year and all hearings are conducted during daytime hours. The Examiner will be required to issue a decision within ten (10) calendar days of the close of the record in each hearing.
Scope of Services
In general, Okanogan County’s Hearings Examiner holds public hearings and decides matters related to land development shown below:
- Permit applications and requests pursuant to Okanogan County environmental code, OCC Title 14:
- Final determinations on quasi-judicial applications.
- Threshold determinations of significance on quasi-judicial applications;
- Appeals of administrative decisions issued by the designated building official pursuant to OCC Title 15;
- Land division applications pursuant to OCC Title 16:
- Appeals of administrative decisions issued by the department;
- Applications for preliminary plats;
- Land Use applications pursuant to Okanogan County zoning code, OCC Title 17A:
- Any appeal of an administrative decision issued by the department;
- Applications for zone changes;
- Review of preliminary plat of proposed subdivisions and dedications of land;
- Plat vacations, non-administrative plat amendments and modifications, and plat alterations;
- Replat approval, replat vacation, replat amendments and modifications and replat alterations;
- Applications for non-administrative variances and conditional use permits;
- Applications for shoreline conditional use permits;
- Appeals of zoning code interpretations;
- Interpretation of zoning boundaries;
- Appeals from planning department’s interpretation of flood insurance rate map (FIRM);
- Any other matters specifically assigned to the examiner by the commission.
Interested parties are required to submit the following:
- Letter of interest – no more the one (1) page in length and include contact information and signature. The letter or attachment to the letter should state all proposed rates and charges.
- Summary of qualifications, experience, and availability – this must be no more than four (4) pages in length. It should summarize the applicant’s qualifications to be a hearing examiner, his/her relevant experience, and availability to provide services to the County.
- Method of approach – one (1) or two (2) page summary of the applicant’s approach to providing hearings examiner services.
- Example of written work – at least two (2) examples of the applicant’s written decisions.
- Example of Rules of Procedure – The County’s Hearings Examiner is authorized to adopt rules of procedure. The proposal shall include an example of rules of procedure that the Hearings Examiner has previously used.
- Professional references – at least two (2) professional references, including phone numbers and contact information.
Process for selection
An interview panel will rate each proponent based on the selection criteria, quality of the interview, and budget. The county will then enter into contract discussions with the top-ranked respondent. If the county is unable to reach a satisfactory agreement with the top-ranked respondent, contract discussions will terminate and the county may select another respondent. The Board of Okanogan County Commissioners will have the final authority on contract terms and the selection of the Examiner.
Instructions to Respondents
The deadline for submission of qualifications is February 23, 2024. Submittals received after the deadline will not be considered.
Submittals may be sent via mail to:
Okanogan County Planning
123 5th Ave N. STE 130
Okanogan, WA 98840
For questions about this RFQ please contact Director Pete Palmer, Okanogan County Office of Planning & Development: