Whatcom County Hearing Examiner

The health and safety of the community and our employees is a priority. In accordance with guidance from State and local officials, the Hearing Examiner's Office is currently restricted to employees only. Staff will continue to assist the public by mail, email, and phone

  • The Hearing Examiner serves as a quasi-judicial officer. 
  • The Hearing Examiner decides land use issues, disputes, and development proposals.
  • Files are available for public review by appointment.
  • The Hearing Examiner has no legislative function – the Hearing Examiner applies laws and ordinances passed by the County Council.
  • Public hearings are generally held weekly, as needed. Please call for current schedule and hearing location.
  • A non-exclusive list of land use matters heard by the Hearing Examiner includes:
    • Zoning
    • Shoreline conditional use permits
    • Variances
    • Shoreline substantial development permits
    • Preliminary plats
    • Appeals from county determinations regarding whether a project requires an environmental impact statement
    • Appeals of county administrative determinations involving the various land use regulatory codes and policies of the county, including the Shoreline Management Program