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(A) The applicant may appeal any decision of a city official to the city council, including, but not limited to, calculation of the amount of the development fee, the number of development units, reimbursement due, applicability of an exemption, and eligibility for and amount of a credit or refund.
(B) In order to perfect an appeal, the applicant must file a notice of appeal with the city clerk within ten days following the action of the city official that is the basis of the appeal. The notice of appeal shall include, at a minimum:
(1) Name and address of applicant/agent;
(2) Description, location and size of the affected property;
(3) Land use proposed for the affected property;
(4) Number of residential units proposed, by type and/or number of square feet of nonresidential development by type;
(5) The particular circumstances giving rise to the appeal;
(6) The city official whose action is being appealed;
(7) The grounds for the appeal, i.e., why the city official’s decision is erroneous; and
(8) Such other relevant information as may be requested by the city.
(C) The burden of proof shall be on the appellant to establish that the decision of the city official is erroneous pursuant to the express terms or intent of this article and applicable State law, including, but not limited to Cal. Gov’t Code, Sections 66000 et seq.
(D) The city council shall schedule the appeal to be heard at a regular or special meeting to be held not more than 45 days after the filing of the notice of appeal by the appellant. At least 20 days prior to the hearing date, the city shall notify the appellant of the hearing date by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address stated on the notice of appeal.
(E) The hearing on the appeal shall be administrative. Evidence may be submitted by the appellant and by the city. Testimony shall be under oath. The city council shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law after the close of the hearing. However, if the city clerk determines from the notice of appeal or from relevant city documents that the appeal is improper, the city, within 20 days after receipt of the notice of appeal, shall reject the notice of appeal, stating the grounds therefor and notifying the appellant by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(F) A request for a continuance of the hearing may be made by the city council on its own motion or at the request of the appellant. If requested by the appellant, the city council shall determine whether a continuance should be granted.
(G) Within 30 days after the close of the administrative hearing, the city council shall render its decision, in writing, and notify the applicant of such decision by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address listed on the notice of appeal.
(H) The findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be completed not later than 10 days following the decision of the city council and shall be filed with the city clerk. Upon the request of the applicant, the findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be sent to the applicant.
(I) Upon the filing of the findings of fact and conclusions of law with the city clerk, the decision of the city council shall be deemed to be final.
(J) Any petition for judicial review of the city council’s final decision shall be filed not later than 90 days following the date on which the decision becomes final, and shall be made in accordance with Cal. Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 1094.5 and 1094.6.
(K) If the development fee has been paid in full or if the notice of appeal is accompanied by a cash deposit, letter of credit, bond or other surety acceptable to the city attorney, in an amount equal to the development fee calculated to be due, the application for development project approval shall be processed. The filing of a notice of appeal shall not stay the imposition or the collection of the development fee calculated by the city to be due unless sufficient and acceptable surety has been provided.
(L) If, as a result of an appeal pursuant to this section or judicial review pursuant to section 15-180, a development fee is reduced or waived, the city council may determine whether and how such reduction or waiver may affect the development fee calculation methodology. If the city council determines that capital improvement needs are correspondingly reduced, the city council may amend the capital improvement plan, the applicable master plan, the development fee calculation methodology, the applicable development fee, or take such other action as it may deem appropriate. If the city council determines that capital improvement needs remain the same, the city council shall appropriate funds in an amount equal to the reduction or waiver of the development fee and shall deposit same to the applicable development fee account or take such other action as it may deem appropriate.
(`64 Code, Sec. 27-88.14) (Ord. No. 2268, 2979)