§ 5. Hearing Procedures  

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  • A. Appearances. An applicant may appear in person at the hearing, or may be represented by a duly authorized agent. Any reference herein to the term "applicant" shall be deemed to be inclusive of applicant's authorized agent. In the event that the applicant fails to appear as scheduled before the Board and has not requested a postponement as set forth in Section 3(D) above, then the Board, in its discretion, shall have the right to (i) continue the case until the next regularly scheduled hearing of the Board, or (ii) dismiss the case based on applicant's failure to prosecute the application. If an applicant has made a written request in writing to the Urban Conservator seeking a hearing and determination without the applicant being present, the Board may hear and make a determination on the application. All persons wishing to appear before the Board shall sign in on a sheet provided by the Secretary and located at the entrance to the hearing room. The Board shall have the right to exclude testimony of anyone who has failed to sign in.

    B. Burden of Proof. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant.

    C. Ex Parte Communication. Board members shall refrain from discussing official matters of the Board with the public or with any applicant outside of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. No applicant shall discuss any official matter of the Board with any Board member outside of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. A Board member shall immediately report to the City Solicitor any instances or attempts of bribery, intimidation, retaliation, or obstruction of official business (as those terms are defined by Chapter 29 of the Ohio Revised Code), or any other instances or attempts of ex parte communication or influence by an applicant or any other party.

    D. Oath. All persons providing testimony before the Board shall be sworn by the Assistant City Solicitor present at the hearing, and if none, the Chair, at the beginning of the hearing or prior to testifying. An attorney shall not be sworn unless the attorney is acting as a witness or providing testimony rather than acting as an advocate and providing argument.

    E. Decorum. It shall be the duty of the Chair to maintain decorum at all times during the hearing. Prior to testifying at a hearing before the Board, all persons appearing before the Board shall clearly state their first and last name and their personal address or business address for the record. All parties shall speak clearly into the microphone provided and shall refrain from speaking over other parties. No person shall be permitted to speak from the audience. The Chair shall have the right to expel any person exhibiting a lack of decorum or causing disruptive behavior from the hearing.

    F. Hearing Procedure. The order of business at a regularly scheduled hearing shall be as follows:

    1. The Chair will call the item being considered.

    2. The Chair will ask the Board whether they have any preliminary questions of City staff regarding the item being considered.

    3. [Reserved.]

    4. The Chair will then call the applicant to present its case to the Board. The time limit for applicant's case shall be a total of 30 minutes. If there is more than one applicant, the applicants may determine the length of time each applicant will have to present its arguments; otherwise, the Chair, in their discretion, will divide the allotted time evenly between or among the applicants. Upon the expiration of the allotted time for the applicant to present its case, the Chair, in their discretion, may grant one extension of a combined total of 15 minutes for the applicant to present its case. The Chair may entertain discussion and input from the other Board members regarding any time extension.

    5. After the applicant's presentation, the Chair will next ask those Board members present whether they have any questions of the applicant.

    6. The Chair will then ask the Board whether they have any questions of City staff regarding their report on the item being considered.

    7. The Chair will then ask whether there is anyone else who wishes to speak on the item being considered. The time limits for each speaker shall be a total of two minutes. The applicant shall have the opportunity to cross-examine each speaker for a total of two minutes. The Board may ask questions of any speaker. The Chair shall offer the applicant an opportunity to provide any rebuttal argument for a maximum of five minutes.

    8. The Chair may then entertain a motion. All motions shall be stated clearly and shall list any proposed conditions. All motions require a second by another member of the Board to be eligible for a vote. If a motion is not seconded and is not eligible for a vote of the Board, the Chair shall entertain further discussion of the Board until a motion is made and seconded.

    9. If a motion is on the table for a vote of the Board, the Chair shall request a vote in accordance with the rules set forth herein.

    G. Written Submissions. The Board shall accept written correspondence or documents from any person wishing to be heard on an application. Written documents shall be submitted to the Secretary not later than five (5) business days prior to the date of the hearing or at a time closer to the hearing in the Chair's discretion.