2024-002 RFP Land Use Hearing Examiner

Agency: Kitsap County
State: Washington
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541620 - Environmental Consulting Services
Posted Date: Jan 5, 2024
Due Date: Jan 26, 2024
Solicitation No: 2024-002
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2024-002 RFP Land Use Hearing Examiner Closes 01/26/2024 @2:00 PM

2024-002 RFP Land Use Hearing Examiner

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RFP# 2024 -002
Project Title:
Estimated Contract Period:
Proposal Due Date:
Submit Proposal To:
Land Use Hearing Examiner
March 25, 2024 – March 23, 2025
Upon reappointment the term of office shall be up to three years.
Amendments extending the period of performance, if any, shall be at the sole
discretion of Kitsap County.
All responses must be e-mailed to Glen McNeill, Procurement Coordinator at
gsmcneill@kitsap.gov by 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time, on January 26, 2024.
Glen McNeill, Procurement Coordinator
Department of Administrative Services
E-Mail: gmcneill@kitsap.gov
Phone: (360) 337.4410
Response Deadline: January 26, 2024, at 2:00 PM
Kitsap County’s Request for Proposals (RFP) invites Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) from
qualified individuals, firms and organizations who can provide the professional services for land use
hearing examiner services for Kitsap County. Kitsap County intends to select one or more hearing
examiners, enabling additional flexibility and capacity for matters that require decisions from the
hearing examiner. Successful candidates shall be appointed initially for a one-year term. Thereafter,
upon reappointment and through contract amendment in mutual agreement with the County and
Contractor, the term of office shall be for up to three years. Terms among multiple chief examiners
may be staggered.
With a population of close to 270,000 residents and founded in 1857, Kitsap County is located on
the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State across the Puget Sound from Seattle. It comprises a total
land mass of 393 square miles. Kitsap County occupies a unique portion of the State of
Washington, directly between the urban areas of Seattle and Tacoma and the Olympic
Mountains. It is bounded by Hood Canal on the west, Puget Sound on the east, and Mason and
Pierce Counties to the south. The county seat is in the City of Port Orchard. While Kitsap is
ranked as the 36th largest county in Washington by land mass, it is the 3rd most densely populated
county in the state. Kitsap is governed by a three‐member Board of County
Chapter 2.10 Kitsap County Code (KCC) establishes Kitsap County’s Hearing Examiner System
and provides the duties and role of the hearing examiner. As further detailed below in the
scope of work, hearing examiner duties include, but are not limited to:
Hearing cases as assigned and preparing clear, defensible written decisions,
Preparing an annual summary of decisions,
Updating Rules of Procedure that govern the conduct of proceedings,
Providing recommendations for improving the Hearing Examiner System; and
Providing other observations and recommendations pertaining to land use policies or
The hearing examiner is an objective, third-party reviewer. The Hearing Examiner convenes public
hearings to decide certain land use and code enforcement matters and takes evidence in the form
of testimony and exhibits and then applies the county code to make a decision. Parties appearing
before the hearing examiner may engage a lawyer to represent them, although many parties choose
to represent themselves. Regardless of whether a party has engaged a lawyer, the Hearing Examiner
is committed to providing a fair, impartial, and respectful hearing for everyone involved.
The Department of Community Development (Department) is charged with the administration and
enforcement of all land use, site development and environmental rules and regulations in
Kitsap County Code, and relies on the Hearing Examiner to provide independent review and
approval of certain permits. In this regard, the Department provides clerk assistance in
preparation of case files and records, and staff support during hearings; sets agendas in
consultation with the Examiner; prepares legal notices; provides reproduction, electronic mailing
and distribution of notices and decisions; and provides a staff recommendation for each permit
before the Examiner. Electronic copies of staff recommendations and records are provided for the
Examiner’s use, via email in electronic format. Staff will also facilitate hearing audio/visual
Kitsap County is seeking multiple Hearing Examiners to perform the duties of the Kitsap County
Hearing Examiner as defined in Kitsap County Code Chapter 2.10. The department or office in
charge of the subject matter or appeal shall assign hearing examiners to regularly scheduled
hearings on a rotating basis with limited exceptions, as needed for workload or conflicts. The
Hearing Examiner is an independent contractor and not an employee of Kitsap County.
For land use permits within the jurisdiction of unincorporated Kitsap County, the Hearing
Examiner shall conduct hearings on the following permit applications and permit appeals:
Type III and certain Type II land use, subdivision and environmental applications outlined
in KCC Titles 12, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 22,
Chapter 18.04, KCC State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination appeals; and
Type I and II Administrative Decision appeals.
Regular public hearings will be scheduled on the second and fourth Thursday of each month,
between the hours of 9 am and 5pm. Additional hearings may be scheduled by the
Department, as necessary. Hearings must be conducted consistent with the requirements of
due process and the appearance of fairness doctrine.
The Examiner shall render decisions on such matters or provide recommendations to the Kitsap
County Board of Commissioners consistent with Title 21 and Title 2, Kitsap County Code. Such
decisions shall be clear, defensible written decisions that set forth the applicable law with
cogent analysis and citations to the record.
In the future, the Examiner may also hear and render decisions or provide recommendations on
public nuisances pursuant to Chapter 9.56 Kitsap County Code at the request of the
Department. A contract amendment would be initiated to determine scope of work, process,
and fee considerations.
To obtain copies of applicable ordinances and existing rules of procedure, or for questions,
please contact the Department of Community Development at 360‐337‐5777 or visit the
County website at https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/Pages/HearingExaminer.aspx
In addition to the review and issuance of decisions, Hearing Examiner duties include:
Administrative responsibility over Deputy Hearing Examiner and any Pro Tempore
Hearing Examiner.
Production of a written annual report, which shall contain a summary of decisions
rendered and recommendations for improving the Hearing Examiner System.
Pursuant to KCC Title 2 and the Kitsap County Hearing Examiner Rules of Procedure
(Resolution 116‐2009), the Examiner is required to render decisions or
recommendations within 10 business days of the close of the record on each matter. A
copy of the decision must be sent to the Department, shall be in an electronic format,
and transmitted via email.
It may be necessary for the Examiner to visit proposed development sites prior to
rendering a decision or recommendation. Mileage is paid on a reimbursement basis at
the normal County rate.
Initiate, recommend, and assist with revisions to the Kitsap County Hearing Examiner
Rules of Procedure (Resolution 116‐2009) and related KCC Chapter 2.10 related to
duties of the Hearing Examiner.
Hearing Examiner’s may also provide for deputy Hearing Examiner services. Duties for deputy
Hearing Examiners include:
Review and issuance of decisions when the Chief Hearing Examiner is unavailable.
In such situations, the Deputy Hearing Examiner has all the duties and powers of the Chief
Hearing Examiner to conduct public hearings and exercise authority to interpret, review
and implement land use regulations, hear appeals, and issue decisions or determinations
as set forth in this scope of work.
Any deputy hearing examiner must be free of improper influences and conflict of interest. Deputy
hearing examiners will be held to the same standards as a chief hearing examiner and will be
expected to issue timely, well‐written, and fair decisions.
Other Requirements:
The Department utilizes a paperless, online permitting process.
All permit files, documents, and hearing records are processed and transmitted
electronically, including electronic document transfers to the Hearing Examiner.
The Hearing Examiner must have adequate technology and equipment to receive large
volumes of records in electronic form. No paper copies of permit files, hearing records, or
submitted exhibits will be provided to the Hearing Examiner from the department.
Hearings may be held in‐person, virtually, or remotely. Hearing Examiner must have
adequate technology and equipment required for successful audio and video connection
The contract will contain a conflict‐of‐interest statement, and the applicant (including any
Deputy Hearing Examiner) shall be prepared to recuse him or herself from any case where
a potential conflict of interest exists.
1) Proposal should include the applicant’s and any proposed deputy hearing examiners’ relevant
experience as a hearing examiner, including as a deputy or pro‐tempore hearing examiner or
other type of administrative judge with substantial experience with land use and zoning law,
environmental law, shoreline law and building code and related hearing processes.
a. For judicial or quasi‐judicial experience, please list jurisdictions, types of cases, number
of cases and approximate dates such work was performed.
b. Applicant must have a Juris Doctor degree and be licensed to practice law in the State
of Washington.
2) Proposal should demonstrate the extent of the applicant’s familiarity with Kitsap County’s land
use regulations and processes and geographic knowledge of the area.
3) Proposal should provide examples of hearing format for appeals and both contested and
uncontested permit decisions and recommendations.
4) Proposals should provide a summary or examples of how the applicant plans to address contested
exhibits and testimony for both parties represented by attorneys and pro‐se parties.
5) Proposal should indicate the applicant’s support staff and ability to meet deadlines required by
Kitsap County Code.
6) Applicants shall disclose if they have ever been the subject of a complaint to a professional
organization or regulatory body and describe the nature of the complaint and the outcome.
7) Applicant shall disclose if he or she has ever been the subject of a legal claim for liability arising
out of professional services provided, or the applicant’s role as an employer or employee.
8) Proposal should indicate the proposed fees based on the below outline of tasks. The County
requires two pricing structures in the proposal: an hourly rate or fixed rate using the Tier 1, 2 or 3
permit application approach (see Exhibit A). The County seeks fees that can be flexible among
multiple hearing examiners so that permit applicants pay a consistent rate. An itemized list of
services shall include:
a. Regular Scheduled Hearings (held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month)
b. Continued Hearings (if hearings are continued and fall outside the two standard monthly
hearing dates)
c. Supplemental Hearings (dependent on application volumes, additional monthly hearings
may be needed)
d. Hearing Examiner’s Decision
e. Prehearing Conferences
f. Pre/Post Hearing Orders (including but not limited to orders on requests for clarification,
requests for reconsideration, requests for additional exhibits to be added to the record)
g. Administrative Appeals
h. SEPA Appeals
9) Proposal should indicate the applicant’s ability to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act,
EEO, and any other applicable County, State or Federal laws.
10) The proposal shall be accompanied by:
a. A list of professional references who can attest to the applicant’s abilities (Exhibit C); and
b. Three writing samples, consisting of administrative decisions written by the Applicant.
(a) If the applicant has no experience as a hearing examiner or administrative law judge,
concise opinion memos or staff reports may be substituted for the administrative
11) The applicant shall sign and date the proposal.
Statement of Qualifications (SOQ)
The applicant’s SOQ should include, at a minimum, a coversheet that contains pertinent contact
information (i.e., applicant name, address, phone and fax numbers, and name of
manager). The nature and form of response are at the discretion of the applicant, but at a minimum,
must include the following required and desired experiences.
1) Applicant Background
a) General information about the applicant, including a description of the applicant’s history,
the names and number of years the applicant has been in business, and current or previous
names, or additional assumed business names, and any other pertinent applicant
b) Proof that the applicant and any proposed deputy are licensed to do business and practice
law in Washington state.
2) Organization and Staffing

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