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Quasi-Judicial Hearings (TC-18-20)

Quasi-Judicial Hearings (TC-18-20)

This text change moves the review authority for certain projects from the City Council to the Board of Adjustment. Read the full TC-18-20 draft ordinance

Background Information:

This ordinance amends multiple sections of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to give the Board of Adjustment review authority over stormwater-related variances and appeals of administrative decisions, and Metro-Park Overlay District subdivisions (other than single-unit living). This authority currently resides with the City Council.

These variances, appeals, and hearings are all categorized as “quasi-judicial” decisions as defined by state law. Quasi-judicial decisions require that the decision-making board hold an “evidentiary hearing.” An “evidentiary hearing” is a “hearing to gather competent, material, and substantial evidence in order to make findings for a quasi-judicial decision.” The decision-making board must apply the evidence to subjective, discretionary ordinance standards and adopt written findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Unlike a legislative decision where Council has substantial discretion to allow or deny a request, in a quasi-judicial case, the Council is legally obligated to grant an application if there is evidence to support it, even though there may be significant opposition and the Councilmembers are also opposed to the proposed project. The Board of Adjustment currently makes other quasi-judicial decisions for other UDO standards, including zoning variances and issuing special use permits, and is therefore better suited than the City Council to hold these evidentiary hearings.

Current Rules:

Stormwater-related variances and appeals of administrative decisions and subdivisions in the Metro-Park Overlay District subdivisions (other than single-unit living) are heard by the City Council.

Proposed Text Changes:

Stormwater-related variances and appeals of administrative decisions and subdivisions in the Metro-Park Overlay District subdivisions (other than single-unit living) will be heard by the Board of Adjustment.

Public Meeting Schedule:

This text change is scheduled for the Planning Commission  meeting on January 12, 2021. The Commission may act on that date or refer to their Text Change Committee for further discussion. We will be collecting comments here through December 30, 2020. Comments after this date should be submitted directly to the Planning Commission via email.

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