(A)   Inspection of premises.  The hearing officer may inspect the premises involved in the hearing at any time prior to a decision, to investigate or confirm the existence of the violation(s) or conditions which are the subject of the appeal, provided that:
      (1)   Consent is granted by a person with the lawful right to grant consent or an inspection warrant is obtained;
      (2)   Reasonable notice of such inspection is given to the owner before the inspection is made;
      (3)   The parties are given an opportunity to be present during the inspection;
      (4)   The hearing officer shall place in the record the material facts and the conclusions drawn from the inspection either orally at the time of the hearing or in writing after the hearing; and
      (5)   Each party then shall have a right to rebut or explain the matters so stated by the hearing officer for the record either at the hearing or by filing a written statement within ten calendar days after the hearing.
   (B)   Oaths.  The hearing officer shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations.
   (C)   Procedures.  The hearing officer shall have the authority to establish procedures before or during a hearing consistent with this subchapter and the code for purposes of efficiency and order.
   (D)   Review authority.  The hearing officer shall sit as the trier of fact and shall rule on questions of law and admissibility of evidence. The hearing officer may affirm, reverse, modify, or set aside the order, citation, decision, or determination appealed from or may delete or impose conditions as the facts and law warrant. The hearing officer may not increase a penalty or impose a harsher remedy beyond the penalty or remedy imposed under the order, citation, decision or determination being appealed.
   (E)   Limitations.  The hearing officer shall not have authority to waive any requirements of code or law.
(Ord. 12-101, passed 11-7-2012)