For appeals from decisions of the Planning Commission, the Zoning Administrator, the Building Inspection Commission, and the Planning and Building Departments, the following procedure shall be followed by staff to ensure that there is adequate legal advocacy on behalf of those departments in matters that involve important public policy or legal significance.
Staff of the Board of Appeals shall send to the Deputy City Attorney who has been designated by the City Attorney to be counsel to the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection a copy of (1) the advance or draft agendas at regular intervals and the final agenda for each meeting as soon as it is prepared, (2) all Notices of Appeal within 5 working days of when they are received by the staff of the Board of Appeals; and (3) any brief submitted to the Board of Appeals immediately upon receipt by the staff of the Board of Appeals.
The Zoning Administrator, Planning Department staff, and the Building Department staff member assigned to the Board of Appeals shall consult with their designated Deputy City Attorney concerning any appeals of decisions involving their respective commissions or departments.
The department staff representative shall determine whether an appeal presents any issues of important public policy and the City Attorney’s Office shall have the discretion to determine whether an appeal presents any issues of legal significance. The City Attorney’s Office shall have the discretion to determine what level of participation by the City Attorney’s Office is appropriate in order to defend the department’s decision before the Board of Appeals. The applicable department will allow for the City Attorney’s Office representation based on that determination.
The criteria used to make these determinations shall include, but not be limited to, whether the appeal:
Challenges a decision of the Planning Commission or Building Inspection Commission;
Challenges a Zoning Administrator interpretation of a provision of the Planning Code;
Involves a matter that is likely to lead to litigation;
Raises novel issues of law.
The services of the City Attorney’s Office in advising and representing the Planning Department, including the Zoning Administrator, and Building Department in matters before the Board of Appeals shall be funded by those departments and not chargeable to the Board of Appeals.
The Zoning Administrator, Planning Department staff, and the Building Department staff member assigned to the Board of Appeals shall ensure that Section 10 of the Business and Tax Regulations Code is complied with such that the complete record from the department whose decision is being appealed from shall be made available to each Commissioner at least one week before the hearing on the appeal. Any staff report that was prepared below shall be included in the packet for each hearing.
(Added by Ord. 253-06, File No. 061212, App. 10/11/2006)