§ 114.076  VARIANCES AND HEARINGS.
   (A)   Variances.  If a food establishment wishes to implement a special process as defined in § 114.002 or if circumstances exist which make it impractical to achieve full compliance with the requirements of this chapter, an applicant may seek a variance from the Health Authority as follows:
      (1)   Such requests shall be made in writing, and include a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Plan (HACCP) if required, and all pertinent data and information, as stipulated in applicable code(s), to support the requested waiver of the requirements of this chapter as being consistent with the responsibility of the Health Authority to protect and provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the county and of other affected communities.
      (2)   The Health Authority shall review variance requests and shall notify the applicant in writing of its decision to either grant or deny the variance within ten business days of receipt of the variance request provided all conditions of this section are met including payment of fee (see Appendix A), and submission of supporting data.
      (3)   The fee associated with the variance request process is included in Appendix A. Variance fees are non-refundable.
   (B)   Exceptions to variance.  Reduced oxygen packaging utilizing sous vide or the cook/chill method do not require a variance.  However, the food establishment shall submit a HACCP plan prior to commencing these special processes as required in § 114.075.
   (C)   Hearings before the Environmental Health Director.  Any person affected by any order or notice issued by the Health Department in connection with any section of this chapter, may file in the office of the Health Department a written request for a hearing before the Environmental Health Director.  The Environmental Health Director shall hold a hearing at a time and place designated within 30 days from the date on which written request was filed. The petitioner for the hearing shall be notified of the time and place of the hearing not less than five days prior to the date on which the hearing is to be held. If as a result of the hearing, the Environmental Health Director finds that strict compliance with the order, or notice, would cause undue hardship on the petitioner, and that the public health would be adequately protected and substantial justice done by varying or withdrawing the order or notice, the Environmental Health Director may modify or withdraw the order or notice and as a confirmation for such action, may, where deemed necessary, make requirements which are additional to those prescribed in this chapter for the purpose of properly protecting the public health. The Environmental Health Director shall render a decision within ten days after the date of the hearing which shall be reduced to writing and placed in the file in the office of the Health Department as a matter of public record.  Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Environmental Health Director may seek relief therefrom through a hearing before the Executive Director.
   (D)   Hearings before the Executive Director.
      (1)   Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Environmental Health Director rendered as the result of a hearing held in accordance with this section may file in the office of the Health Department a written request for a hearing at a time and place designated by the Executive Director within 30 days of the date on which the written request was filed. The petitioner for the hearing shall be notified of the time and place of the hearing not less than five days prior to the date on which the hearing is to be held. If, as a result of facts elicited as a result of the hearing, the Executive Director finds that strict compliance with the decision of the Environmental Health Director would cause undue hardship on the petitioner, and that the public health would be adequately protected and substantial justice done by granting a variance, the Executive Director may grant a variance and as a condition for such variance, may, where it deems necessary, make requirements or special conditions which are additional to those prescribed by this chapter, all for the purpose of properly protecting the public health.
      (2)   The Executive Director shall render a decision within ten days after the date of the hearing which shall be reduced to writing and placed on file in the office of the Health Department and a copy thereof shall be served on the petitioner personally or by delivery to the petitioner by certified mail.
(Ord. 17-276, passed 10-19-2017; Ord. 18-326, passed 11-15-2018)