(1) Prior to filing an appeal of a final decision by a hearing examiner involving a conditional or special use permit application requested by a party that is licensed or certified by the department of social and health services or the department of corrections, the aggrieved party must, within five days after the final decision, initiate formal mediation procedures in an attempt to resolve the parties' differences. If, after initial evaluation of the dispute, the parties agree to proceed with a mediation, the mediation shall be conducted by a trained mediator selected by agreement of the parties. The agreement to mediate shall be in writing and subject to chapter 7.07
RCW. If the parties are unable to agree on a mediator, each party shall nominate a mediator and the mediator shall be selected by lot from among the nominees. The mediator must be selected within five days after formal mediation procedures are initiated. The mediation process must be completed within fourteen days from the time the mediator is selected except that the mediation process may extend beyond fourteen days by agreement of the parties. The mediator shall, within the fourteen-day period or within the extension if an extension is agreed to, provide the parties with a written summary of the issues and any agreements reached. If the parties agree, the mediation report shall be made available to the governing jurisdiction. The cost of the mediation shall be shared by the parties.
(2) Any time limits for filing of appeals are tolled during the pendency of the mediation process.
(3) As used in this section, "party" does not include county, city, or town.