Land Development Services

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Fairfax, VA 22035
Bill Hicks

Exception Review Committee Hearing Procedures

Rules of Procedure for Hearings before the Chesapeake Bay
Preservation Ordinance Exception Review Committee

The following Rules of Procedure ("Rules") shall apply to all Hearings on Applications for Exceptions pursuant to Chapter 118 (Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance) of the 1976 Code of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, as amended, and, more particularly §118-6-1, et seq.

I.  General

1. Hearings before the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance Exception Review Committee ("ERC" or "Committee") shall be held upon the submission of a completed Application for Exception pursuant to §118-6-5.

2. Notice and advertisement required for such hearing under Chapter 118 and §15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia shall be provided and/or published by the Committee and the Applicant as a condition precedent to commencing any such hearing.

3. Decorum during a Committee hearing shall be maintained by the Chair, who may request such assistance as necessary in maintaining order.

4. The current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall control the conduct of hearings, except as otherwise specifically provided in the Committee's Bylaws or these Rules of Procedure or where Roberts Rules of Order shall conflict with applicable state law or the county Code.

5. All ERC hearings shall be open to the public; provided, however, that the ERC may hold closed sessions of a hearing or part of a hearing, subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, §§2.2-3700, et seq., Code of Virginia, ("VFOIA").

6. Closed sessions of a hearing or a part of a hearing under the VFOIA shall be held upon the recorded, majority vote of the Committee present. Immediately following such closed session, the Committee shall certify that only the matters specifically identified for consideration in the closed session were discussed or considered. No action agreed upon in any closed session shall become effective unless confirmed by the Committee in open session. The Chair, with the approval of the members of the Committee, may invite the presence and participation of any person(s) that the Committee believes will contribute to the discussion of the matter to be considered in closed session.

II. Quorum Required

The conduct of any hearing and the taking of any vote in connection therewith shall require the presence of six (6) members of the ERC, provide, however, that a lesser number shall, by a majority vote of those present, adjourn such hearing having less than a quorum present to a time certain within the following sixty (60) days so that a quorum shall have the opportunity to conduct such hearing.

III. Hearing Record

The Hearing Record shall consist of the Application for Exception, together with all supporting documentation, the report and recommendation of the staff of Land Development Services (LDS), written statements by all witnesses or presenters before the ERC, recordings of oral statements by all parties, witnesses or presenters, recordings of dialogue or questions and answers between/among Members of the ERC and parties, witnesses or presenters,  recordings of the oral debate and discussion of the Members of the ERC, and the findings and decisions of the ERC.

IV. Hearing Procedures

1. The Chair will call the hearing to order and preside at such hearing.

2. Upon calling each case, the Chair shall request disclosures from ERC members for any and all conflicts of interest or any appearance of impropriety with respect to their participation in such hearing.

3. A representative of the LDS staff shall make a short statement summarizing the issues before the Committee in the current matter. (2 minutes)

4. The Applicant, or the Applicant's representative, shall make a statement in support of the Application for Exception. (5 minutes)

5. Other interested persons supporting the application shall present their statements. (3 minutes, each)

6. Other interested persons opposing the application shall present their statements. (3 minutes, each)

7. A representative of the LDS staff shall present the position of the Director of LDS. (5 minutes)

8. Rebuttal by the Applicant. (3 minutes)

9. Surrebuttal by a representative of the LDS staff, at the discretion of the Chair. (2 minutes)

10. The ERC Members shall have the power to question or engage in dialogue relating to relevant issues with any person making a statement or presentation to the ERC, subject to reasonable limitation by the Chair. The time limit for a person to make a statement or presentation shall be extended, as determined by the Chair, to reflect the time used for such questions and/or dialogue.

11. Unless otherwise provided by the Chair, the time limits for the various statements and/or presentations shall be as aforesaid. In the case where there is a significant number of other interested persons wishing to support or oppose an Application for Exception, submission of written statements in lieu of an oral presentation will be encouraged, and the Chair shall have the discretion to limit the number of persons making oral presentations.

12. The Chair closes presentations to the ERC and calls for discussion among the Members of the Committee.

13. The Chair calls for a motion. In the absence of a motion from another member of the ERC, the Chair is empowered to offer a motion.

14. Subject to action upon other motions or amendments to the pending motion, the Chair calls for a vote.

15. The Chair announces the result of the vote and makes an appropriate statement regarding any rights of appeal that Applicant may have to an adverse decision by the ERC.

V. Adjournments

1. Upon the conclusion of the matters before the Committee, and upon motion made, seconded and approved by a majority of the Committee present, the hearing shall be adjourned.

2. In any case where, during the pendency of a matter before the Committee, including during the course of a hearing, an Applicant wishes additional time to modify the Application for Exception, the Committee may move to defer action on the Application until a date certain, not to exceed seventy (70) days; provided, however, that a decision on an Application for Exception shall not be deferred more than two (2) times. Any such motion to defer action shall be voted upon by the Committee following opportunity for discussion of the motion.

VI. Decisions

The Applicant and the Director of LDS shall be sent written confirmation of the decision of the Committee, including any decision to defer action, within five (5) business days following the conclusion of the hearing.

VII. Amendments

These Rules of Procedure may be amended by a majority vote of a quorum of the Committee at a Regular or Special Meeting or Hearing, upon at least fifteen (15) days written notice to each member of the Committee of the full text of the amendments to be proposed. Any such proposed amendment shall be subject to amendment and modification at the meeting or hearing considering such proposed amendments.

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