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20.05.130 General procedures for land use appeal hearings.
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A. Standing to Appeal. Any applicant for a land use permit or other approval, including a petition for rezoning, and any interested party in any such application or petition shall have the right to file an appeal to the Board of Supervisors on any decision of the Planning Commission. In the event that a decision of the Planning Director is appealed to the Planning Commission, the appeal shall follow the same procedures otherwise established for appeals of Planning Commission decision, except that the Planning Commission shall discharge those duties otherwise assigned to the County Clerk.

B. Time Within to Appeal. Unless otherwise expressly provided for by any law, any appeal of any decision of the Planning Commission shall be filed with and actually received by the County Clerk, in the manner specified in this title, within 10 calendar days from the date of the Planning Commission’s action. Any such appeal shall be accompanied by such fees and deposit as established by the latest adopted resolution, which shall be paid to the County Clerk at the time of and as a condition to the filing of an appeal.

C. Filing of Appeal and Stay of Commission’s Action. The filing of such an appeal within the above stated time limits shall stay the effective date of the Planning Commission’s action until the Board of Supervisors has acted upon the appeal or the appeal has been withdrawn. Any entitlements and approvals shall not be effective while an appeal is pending.

D. Requirements for Statement on Appeal and Project Applicant’s Response Thereto. An appeal shall be filed with the County Clerk on the form provided by the County Clerk and shall include a brief statement of the appeal, identifying the project and the decision of the Planning Commission which is the basis of the appeal. The appeal shall also include a brief statement of the reasons for the appeal and the specific action that the appellant desires to be taken by the county.

E. Review of Notice of Appeal by County Clerk. Upon the filing of an appeal the County Clerk shall determine if the appeal was filed within the applicable time limits and shall summarily reject any appeal, which is filed beyond the time limits.

F. Notice Requirement for Appeal Hearings. Any public hearing on an appeal before the Board of Supervisors shall be held only after notice of the time and place of such hearing, including a general explanation of the matter to be considered is given in the matter required by state law.

G. Hearing Procedures. At the time and place set for any hearing, as provided for herein, the Board of Supervisors shall conduct any such appeal hearing as a full hearing de novo on the subject project, without limitation as to the issues that may be raised, or as to the evidence that may be received. (The administrative record and all exhibits shall be duly marked for identification as part of the record of the proceedings of the Board’s hearing.) Appeal hearings shall be conducted as follows:

1. Staff presentation;

2. Presentation by appellant shall be limited to 15 minutes;

3. Presentation by project proponent (if different party from the appellant) shall be limited to 15 minutes;

4. Public hearing: Members of the public should be allowed five minutes each to give testimony;

5. Summation by project proponent – 10 minutes (total);

6. Summation by appellant – 10 minutes (total);

7. Rebuttal by members of the public – two minutes each; and

8. Staff summation.

In the event that anyone desiring to testify before the Board of Supervisors desires to present more information to the Board than may be accomplished within the time limits set forth above, such person shall be permitted to present such information to the Board in writing, within five working days prior to the date set for the appeal hearing. Any such information shall be submitted to the County Clerk no later than the end of the fifth working day prior to the date of the hearing.

The Board of Supervisors shall endeavor, in the interest of time and fairness, to adhere to the time limits set forth herein, although may deviate from these hearing procedures when determined to be in the public interest.

It will be policy of the Board of Supervisors to orally review the provisions of this section with all parties in attendance prior to beginning any public hearing.

H. Action by the Board.

1. At the conclusion of the appeal hearing by the Board of Supervisors, the Board shall base its decision on the information and evidence submitted during the hearing and as part of the record. The Board may sustain, overrule or modify any action of the Planning Commission, without referring the matter back to the Planning Commission (unless such referral is required under state law for zoning and general plan amendments). The power of the Board to modify shall include the authority to change, delete or add to the conditions of approval of any land use application as set out by the Planning Commission. The Board shall be required to prepare and adopt legally adequate findings as required by law to support the Board’s decision. Any action by the Board shall be by not less than three affirmative votes; provided, however, that in the event that the Board’s action culminates in a two-to-two or two-to-one vote, such vote shall constitute action by the Board which shall be deemed to be a denial of the appeal and which shall result in a reinstatement of the Planning Commission’s action on the project, unless the Board expressly continues the item for further deliberation or hearing.

2. Any appeal hearing set before the Board as required pursuant to Cal. Gov’t. Code § 66452.5 must be held within 30 days from the date of filing the appeal. The Board may continue the appeal hearing as it deems necessary or appropriate. Within 10 days following the conclusion of the hearing, the Board of Supervisors shall render its decision on the appeal. All other appeals shall be set for hearing within 60 days of the date of the filing of the appeal and the hearing may be continued at the Board’s discretion. The time limits set forth herein may be extended with the consent of the project applicant.

I. Statute of Limitations.

1. The decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be final on all matters unless an appeal therefrom is filed with the Superior Court of Sierra County within 30 days after the decision of the Board of Supervisors.

2. In the event litigation is filed contesting any action or decision of the Board of Supervisors for which an appeal has been heard, under the provisions of this section, the Board shall be deemed to have reserved jurisdiction over the matter that was the subject of the appeal and shall have the right to readdress its decision in order to consider the issues raised in the litigation. It is the intent of this provision to allow the Board the discretion to control and to settle any such litigation when it is necessary to do so in the public interest. In the event that the Board believes that there is a need to readdress its decision, the Board shall provide written notice of same to the appellant and to any other interested party that appears at the hearing (where such person was identified at the hearing by a name and address), giving the time, date and location where the matter will be placed back on the Board’s agenda for further consideration or action. At the time that the matter is re-agendized, the Board may: (a) without taking further evidence, announce its decision to reverse or modify its prior action; or (b) elect to reopen the public hearing in order to receive additional evidence or argument on the subject matter of the appeal that is being contested by the litigation. (Ord. 979, eff. 10/19/06. Formerly 20.13)

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