Planning Director recommends replacing hearing examiner with law center

For the first time in more than 30 years, there will be a face settling planning disputes in Island County— a couple new names, in fact.

Last week, Planning Director Hiller West recommended the county contract with Sound Law Center for hearing examiner services to replace Michael Bobbink. Commissioners are expected to sign the agreement at their Oct. 22 regular meeting.

Sound Law Center has two hearing examiners that would be available to the county upon request, according to its application.

The firm works with a more than 30 jurisdictions, including Coupeville and Langley. The position issues decisions in matters such as appeals of building permit approval or denial.

In June, commissioners said they didn’t think Bobbink was fulfilling the obligations in his contract, which expired Sept. 15. He was supposed to use his experience to help fix areas of the code that were inconsistent or erroneous.

A primary hearing examiner at Sound Law Center has said he would regularly provide recommendations for code cleanup “that will enhance its effectiveness and ease of understanding,” West said in an email.

He said he recommended the firm because of its range of experiences gained providing the services across the state and its local experience from working with Langley and Coupeville.

More in News

‘Rogue sheep’ observed | Island Scanner

THURSDAY, JULY 9 At 1:07 a.m., a Goss Lake Road resident reported… Continue reading

Council in a jam over sandwich boards

Langley officials decided to temporarily suspend an ordinance prohibiting the display of… Continue reading

Oak Harbor facing vacancies in key positions

The city of Oak Harbor has recently experienced some major staff turnover… Continue reading

Coupeville woman, 75, injured one-car crash Aug. 2

A 75-year-old Coupeville woman was seriously injured in a crash in Central… Continue reading

Baby deer shot, injured by pellet gun in Coupeville

A baby deer was shot and injured by a pellet gun last… Continue reading

Two Democrats ahead in Dist. 1 commissioner race, two Republicans in Dist. 2

If the first count of primary ballots holds, voters in Island County… Continue reading

Photo by Olivia Vanni/Herald file
                                Cars full of passengers headed to Whidbey Island pull into the ferry lines in Mukilteo on June 26.
Ferry ride isn’t a pleasure cruise in COVID-19 summer of 2020

Fewer boats mean longer waits on weekends. No more frolicking on the boat.

Island Drug moves back to Clinton

Nearly a month after closing the doors to its Ken’s Korner location,… Continue reading

Suspect crashes car while trying to flee State Patrol

An Oak Harbor man is accused of leading a Washington state trooper… Continue reading

Most Read