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How to Appeal a Decision

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What Is It?

An appeal is an opportunity to contest our permitting decisions. There are two types of appeals:

  • Appeals to the Hearing Examiner for land use projects
  • Appeals to the State Shorelines Hearings Board for shoreline projects

You can search our Land Use Information Bulletin for decisions by address, project number, area, or date. You can view issued decisions in our electronic document library. We have public computers you can use to view our decisions, if necessary.

Hearing Examiner Appeals

Most land use decisions include an opportunity to appeal our decision to the City’s Hearing Examiner. Your appeal to the City’s Hearing Examiner may be filed electronically. Please see the Hearing Examiner's website for details. You may also file by sending your appeal to:

Office of the Hearing Examiner
P.O. Box 94729
Seattle, WA 98124-4729

Your appeals must be received before 5:00 p.m. on the appeal deadline, and include a $85 filing fee in a check payable to the City of Seattle. (The Hearing Examiner may waive the fee if payment would cause you financial hardship.) If you send you appeal by mail, it could be delayed by several days. Allow extra time if mailing an appeal.

Your appeal must:

  • Identify all the specific Master Use Permit component(s) you are appealing
  • Specify your exceptions or objections to our decision, and the relief sought
  • Comply with the Hearing Examiner’s rules for appeals

You must be party to an appeal in order to have your views heard. Do not assume you will have an opportunity to be heard if someone else has filed an appeal on our decision. For more information, read the following Hearing Examiner resources:

Shoreline Appeals

You need to appeal shoreline decisions to the State Shorelines Hearings Board. Your appeal must be in writing and filed within 21 days of the date the State Department of Ecology (DOE) receives our decision. We will send our decision to DOE by the close of business on the Friday of the posting week.

Note: The appeal of our decision on a shoreline application with an environmental (SEPA) review must be filed with the State Shorelines Hearings Board. The appeal of our review on other land use components must be filed with the City Hearing Examiner.

If our shoreline decision involves a shoreline variance or shoreline conditional use, your appeal must be filed within 21 days after DOE has made its decision. We will send the material DOE needs to make its decision within two business days of publishing our decision. You can also learn the beginning of the appeal period by calling the DPD Public Resource Center at (206) 684-8467 (message line) or emailing prc@seattle.gov.

If you don’t properly file your shoreline appeal by the deadline, your appeal will be dismissed.

For more information on making shoreline appeals, read the read the following:

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