§ 158.299  PROCEDURE.
   (A)   General. The Hearing Officer shall act in accordance with the procedure specified by law and by this chapter. All appeals and applications to the Hearing Officer shall be in writing. Every appeal or application shall refer to the specific provision of the ordinance involved, and shall exactly set forth the interpretation that is claimed, the use for which the variance or special permit is sought, or the details of the variance that is applied for and the grounds on which it is claimed that the variance should be granted, as the case may be. The city may appear by any designated official of the City Council and be heard as a party in interest in any hearing before the Hearing Officer, and the city may appeal any decision of the Hearing Officer to a court of competent jurisdiction.
   (B)   Notice of hearing. No action of the Hearing Officer shall be taken on any petition for variance until after notice has been given therefor in accordance with applicable state law and including newspaper notice as required for zoning text amendments as provided for in § 158.255 of this chapter and any specific statutory requirements.
The Hearing Officer shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or application and shall give due notice thereof to the parties and decide the matter within a reasonable time.
   (C)   Hearings procedure. All hearings conducted by the Hearing Officer shall be open to the public, held at the call of the Hearing Officer and at such times as he or she may determine. At hearings conducted by the Hearing Officer, any interested person may appear in person or by duly authorized agent or attorney. All testimony before the Hearing Officer shall be given under oath. The Hearing Officer shall administer oaths and may compel attendance of witnesses. The Hearing Officer shall keep minutes of his or her proceedings and other official actions. The Hearing Officer shall adopt his or her own rules and procedures, not in conflict with this chapter or applicable state statutes.
   (D)   Decision and findings of fact. Every variation decision shall be accompanied by findings of facts and shall refer to any exhibits containing plans and specifications for the proposed use or variation, which shall remain a part of the permanent records of the Hearing Officer. The findings of facts shall specify the reason or reasons for making the variation. The terms of the relief granted shall be specifically set forth in a conclusion or statement separate from the findings of fact. Property for which relief has been granted shall not be used in violation of the specific terms of the findings of fact, as the case may be, unless its authorized use is changed by subsequent variance or ordinance. Every rule, regulation, decision or determination of the Hearing Officer shall immediately be filed with the Zoning Official and shall be public record.
   (E)   Expiration of variance approval. Any construction or use authorized by a variance approval shall substantially commence not later than six months after the date of the decision granting the variance, or such other time as may be specified in the variance approval.
   (F)   Cost. For any application to the Hearing Officer, a fee shall be charged by the city for processing, plus the cost of advertising of public notice in an amount as established by the Council.
(Ord. 3382, passed 11-7-2005)