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A. The town will hold no more than one open record hearing in relation to a given project permit application, including a consolidated permit application.

B. An open record hearing pertaining to project permit application can only occur 15 or more days after any threshold SEPA determination related to the application is issued.

C. The town may combine a hearing on a project permit with a hearing that may be held by another local, state, regional, federal, or other agency; provided, that the joint hearing is held within the town. The applicant may request that hearings be combined as long as the joint hearing can be held within the time periods specified in SPMC 15.08.130. Alternatively, the applicant may agree to a different schedule if additional time is needed in order to combine the hearings.

D. At least 15 days before a public hearing, the town planner must:

1. Publish notice of the hearing in the newspaper of legal record; and

2. Mail notice of the hearing to the neighboring real property owners within 300 feet.

E. Notices of public hearings under subsection D of this section must include:

1. A brief description of the project;

2. The project location;

3. The permit(s) required;

4. The time, date, and place of the hearing, and closing date for comments;

5. The location where further information can be obtained; and

6. A statement of the right of any person to submit oral or written comments at the hearing.

F. Public hearings must be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:

1. The town council is subject to the procedures defined in Chapter 35.27 RCW, prohibitions on conflict of interest (Chapter 42.23 RCW), the Open Public Meetings Act (Chapter 42.30 RCW), and the Appearance of Fairness Doctrine (Chapter 42.36 RCW), the same as now exist or may later be amended;

2. The applicant bears the burden of proof and must demonstrate that the application conforms to the applicable elements of the town’s development regulations and comprehensive plan and that any significant adverse environmental impacts have been adequately addressed.

G. The agenda of the public hearing will generally observe the following sequence of events:

1. Determination of disqualification(s) of members of the hearing body. A member of the hearing body who is disqualified must be counted for purposes of forming a quorum. A disqualified member must make full disclosure on the record, must not participate in discussion of the matter, and must abstain from voting on the proposal;

2. Town planner’s presentation, including submittal of any administrative reports. Members of the hearing body may ask questions of the town planner;

3. Reading of the town planner’s findings of fact;

4. Reading of the planning commission’s findings of fact on legislative matters as detailed in SPMC 15.06.040;

5. Applicant’s presentation, including submittal of any materials supplementary to the application. Members of the hearing body may ask questions of the applicant;

6. Testimony or comments by the public relevant to the matter. The chair will prohibit anonymous public comment. The chair, at its discretion, will pose questions from the public directed to the town planner or the applicant;

7. Rebuttal, response, or clarifying statements by the applicant and the town planner.

H. For those members of the public who are unable to attend the public hearing but wish to comment certified letters might be submitted for the record before the public hearing. [Ord. 378 § 2 (Exh. 1), 1999.]