Hearing Examiner

The Hearing Examiner’s primary responsibility is to provide a fair, impartial, and independent fact-finding and decision-making service within county government. The Hearing Examiner has jurisdiction over a wide range of subject matter, including many types of land use applications and appeals. Common types of applications reviewed by the Hearing Examiner are:

  • Conditional Use Permits
  • Variances
  • Subdivisions
  • Binding Site Plans
  • Shoreline Substantial Development Permits
  • Shoreline Conditional Use and Variances
  • Appeal of Administrative Decisions


The Hearing Examiner will conduct most hearings in a hybrid format.  Proceedings will be conducted in-person and via Teams simultaneously. This hybrid format will maximize the public's opportunity to view or participate in proceedings.  Hearings will usually proceed in the following manner:

  • Presentation by country staff to describe the application and summarize issues presented
  • Presentation by the applicant or the applicant's authorized representative
  • Presentations, questions or statements by members of the public
  • Rebuttals by staff and applicants
  • Final statement from applicant
Please be advised that per RCW 42.56 all documents submitted to the Hearing Examiner are subject to Public Record Disclosure.

Process for public comment

Public comments may be made by email or presented during the hearing. Emailed comments should be directed to the Clerk.

Please note that all public comments are public records subject to disclosure per the Public Records Act. Commenters’ contact information is also a public record and may be subject to disclosure upon request.


No oral decision is rendered at the hearing. The Hearing Examiner takes the case under advisement and prepares a decision in a written report within 10 working days of the close of the hearing. The decision includes findings of fact and conclusions of law. 

The decision by the Hearing Examiner pursuant to this section shall be final on the date issued unless an appeal shall be made in accordance with State law, including Chapter 36.70C RCW.

See Rules & Procedures for the Island County Hearing Examiner, Chapter 16.13 - Hearing Examiner