Hearing Examiner

About the Hearing Examiner

In recent years, municipalities have trended towards establishing a hearing examiner system for land use permits, as the permit process has become increasingly complicated from a legal and procedural standpoint. The hearing examiner system is considered superior to appointed or legislative bodies rendering recommended and final land use decisions from a liability perspective. The Pasco Municipal Code contains roles for a hearing examiner including:

  • Variances;
  • review of administrative actions;
  • waiver of violations;
  • extension on use of borders of zoning districts and administrative exceptions;
  • Appeals of administrative decisions;
  • SEPA appeals;
  • Vehicle impounds; and
  • Business license revocations, appeals and reinstatement.

The basic purpose of having a hearing examiner is to have a professionally trained individual with expertise in land use law, usually an attorney, make objective recommendations and/or quasi-judicial decisions or recommendations that are supported by an adequate record and that are free from popular emotion or political influences. It can also reduce the City’s liability exposure through more consistent and legally sustainable quasi-judicial decisions. Pasco’s Hearing Examiner system conducts hearings and renders decisions on quasi-judicial land use permits and applications which include special/conditional use permits and preliminary plats. The Hearing Examiner also conducts hearings and makes recommendation to City Council on rezone requests.

Using a hearing examiner system allows the City Council and Planning Commission to concentrate on land use policies such as Comprehensive Plan development and review; Master Plans/special planning projects or design standard developments; Code Amendments and Block Grant and HOME Advisory Committee recommendations.


  • Second Wednesday of the month (when needed)
  • 6:00 pm
  • City Hall, Council Chambers
    First Floor
    525 N.Third Avenue
    Pasco, WA 99301
    • Note: To enter City Hall for a meeting, please use the doors on the east side (parking lot side) of the building.
  • If you wish to participate in the virtual hearing, please register at least 2 hours prior to the meeting HERE.
  • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    Hearing Packets and Determinations

    Hearing packets and determinations of the Hearing Examiner are available online via this link.

    Hearing Video

    Hearing Examiner meetings are available to watch live via PSC-TV Channel 191 on Charter Cable in Pasco, or online via streaming video. Previous meetings are available online via Pasco City Television On-Demand.

    More Information

    Contact the Community & Economic Development Department at (509) 545-3441 for more information on the Hearing Examiner.