PORT TOWNSEND: Hearings examiner to review some land-use plans

PORT TOWNSEND — An impartial third-party hearings examiner will take the place of the Port Townsend City Council and Planning Commission to review more land-use applications.

The planning board and City Council will continue to review Type IV and V issues — site-specific rezones, planned unit developments, development regulations and annexations.

The hearings examiner will review Type III issues — subdivisions, plat alterations, shoreline management permits and major conditional use permits.

The council approved the change Monday on a unanimous 5-0 vote with two council members absent.

City Planner Jon McDonagh said a hearing examiner’s review would have a firmer basis in law than a review by the Planning Commission and City Council. The change could also shorten the permit process by two to four weeks because public hearings by the council and commission would no longer be required.

For the complete story see Wednesday’s Peninsula Daily News, on sale in Jefferson County.

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