§ 3. Hearings  


Latest version.
  • A. Open to the Public: All hearings of the Board shall be open to the public except as provided by Ohio law. The Board may adjourn into executive session to discuss but not to vote on any case before it upon motion and a roll-call vote. The final vote on an appeal shall be taken in open session, recorded, and available for public inspection in the Board's office.

    B. Record of Attendees: A sign-in sheet will be used to record attendance to meetings of the audience, appellants, and witnesses.

    C. Testimony Under Oath: All witnesses at the hearings will be sworn before testifying.

    D. Order of Cases: Appeals shall be heard in the order noticed unless otherwise ordered by the Board.

    E. Stipulation to Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law: Upon motion by the Appellant or a member of the Board, the Board shall have the power to rule that specific findings of fact and conclusions of law can be determined by written stipulation, provided that the following apply:

    a. No witness present disputes an issue of fact, nor could any reasonable person conclude that there is reason to dispute an issue of fact offered for stipulation; or

    b. The very same issue of fact has been previously determined by the Board in another case involving the same Appellant, and no reasonable person could conclude that a change in fact or circumstance could lead to a contradictory finding in the present case; or

    c. The very same issue of law has been previously determined by the Board in another case involving the same Appellant and the same pertinent facts, and no reasonable person could conclude that a change in fact or circumstance could lead to a contradictory finding in the present case.

    The sole purpose of this provision is to prevent unnecessarily repetitious testimony and it shall not be used to deny the right of any witness to testify to relevant matters or to circumvent the Board's duty and power to judge each appeal upon its individual circumstances.

    F. Joinder of Cases: Multiple cases involving the same Appellant may be joined so that witnesses and issues of fact or law that are common to multiple cases can be determined once and applied to multiple cases. The sole purpose of this provision is to prevent unnecessarily repetitious testimony and it shall not be used to deny the right of any witness to testify to relevant matters or to circumvent the Board's duty and power to judge each appeal upon its individual circumstances.

    G. Quorum: A quorum of the board shall be no less than a majority of filled positions. If a quorum is present for a hearing, but recusal of a board member or members due to conflict of interest would be less than a majority of filled positions, the remaining board members present shall constitute a quorum.

    H. Order of Witnesses: Unless altered in a particular case for good cause, witnesses will be heard in the following order:

    a. Appellant. The Appellant may appear in person at the hearing, or may be represented by an attorney or by a duly authorized agent.

    b. City inspectors and other city officials.

    c. Any party other than Appellant who has a direct financial or contractual interest in the property.

    d. Members of a community council or organization whose mission includes the welfare of the neighborhood in which the property is located.

    e. Persons who live in, own, or operate a business in a property that is adjacent to the subject property, is separated from the subject property by no more than a public thoroughfare, or live within a three (3) property radius of the subject property.

    f. Any additional persons who are granted standing to testify by the Cincinnati Municipal Code and wish to present relevant testimony.

    I. Continuance: For good cause, cases may be continued by motion of the Appellant or a member of the board, and affirmed by a majority of members present. A motion to continue may be made by oral or written request at the hearing by the Appellant or an authorized agent, or at any time in advance of the hearing if made by the Appellant or an authorized agent in writing. If made in advance of the hearing, the motion may be made in any written form, including electronic communication, provided that it states the cause for the continuance request. The board will be provided with a copy of any written requests for continuance.

    J. Withdrawal: An appeal may be withdrawn by the appellant any time prior to the merits of the appeal being reached at a hearing, but if a motion is pending to grant or dismiss the appeal, the pending motion shall have precedence over the withdrawal request.

    K. Time Limitations: The Board may impose time limitations, or restrict testimony or the presentation of evidence based upon relevance. "Relevance" shall be determined by the Board Chair, or a majority vote of the Board.