After the DPD Director has reviewed a land use permit application, a decision is issued which may be appealed by interested parties. An appeal is an opportunity to contest a DPD decision without having to go to court.
Most land use project activity that requires signs to be posted will also include an opportunity to appeal DPD’s decision to the City’s Hearing Examiner. For shoreline projects, appeals are made to the State Shorelines Hearings Board.
You can search for a particular decision by address, project number, area or date via DPD's online Land Use Information Bulletin. To learn if a decision has been appealed or to obtain more information, contact the project planner or the DPD Public Resource Center, (206) 684-8467 (location and hours).
Hearing Examiner Appeals
Appeals to the City’s Hearing Examiner must be made in writing and delivered to the Office of the Hearing Examiner, P.O. Box 94729, Seattle, WA 98124-4729. Appeals must be received prior to 5 p.m. of the appeal deadline indicated, accompanied by a $50 filing fee in a check payable to the City of Seattle. (The Hearing Examiner may waive the appeal fee if payment would cause financial hardship.)
The appeal must identify all the specific Master Use Permit component(s) being appealed, specify exceptions or objections to the decision, and the relief sought. Appeals to the Hearing Examiner must conform in content and form to the Hearing Examiner’s rules governing appeals.
To be assured of a right to have your views heard, you must be party to an appeal. Do not assume that you will have an opportunity to be heard if someone else has filed an appeal from the decision.
For more information, read the following Hearing Examiner resources:
- Hearing Examiner website
- Hearing Examiner forms
- Rules of Practice and Procedure - rules that govern appeals
- Public Guide to the Office of Hearing Examiner - how to make an appeal and participate in a hearing
- Appeal form
- Filing fees
An appeal of a shoreline decision is made to the State Shorelines Hearings Board. It is NOT made to the City Hearing Examiner. The appeal must be in writing and filed within 21 days of the date the DPD decision is received by the State Department of Ecology (DOE). The DPD decision will be sent to DOE by the close of business on the Friday of the posting week.
If the shoreline decision involves a shoreline variance or shoreline conditional use, the appeal must be filed within 21 days after DOE has made its decision. The information necessary for DOE to make its decision will be sent to DOE by the close of business on the Friday of the posting week. The beginning of the appeal period may also be obtained by calling the DPD Public Resource Center at(206) 684-8467.
Failure to properly file an appeal within the required time period will result in dismissal of the appeal. For instructions on making shoreline appeals, please refer the following resources:
- "Your Right to Be Heard" - an informal guide to your rights and responsibilities in a Shoreline appeal
- DPD Client Assistance Memo 232 - "How to Appeal the Granting, Conditioning or Denial of Shoreline Permits"
- WAC 461-08 - "Practice and Procedure—Review of the Granting, Denying or Rescinding of Substantial Develoment Permits—Hearings"
- RCW 90.58 - the Shorelines Management Act of 1971
- State Shorelines Hearings Board website
Written instructions are available by calling or visiting the DPD Public Resource Center, located on the 20th floor of Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Ave., (206) 684-8467, or by contacting the Shorelines Hearings Board at (360) 459-6327.
NOTE: In cases where a shoreline and environmental decision are the only components, the appeal for both must be filed with the State Shorelines Hearings Board. When a decision has been made on a shoreline application with environmental review and other appealable land use components, the appeal of the environmental review must be filed with both the State Shorelines Hearings Board and the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner.
If a party to an appeal of a DPD decision disagrees with the outcome of the appeal, the appeal decision may be challenged in court.