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AGO 1954 No. 215 - February 25, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

CAMPUS PARKWAY ‑- STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION ‑- AUTHORITY OF STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION TO TRANSFER TITLE OF CAMPUS PARKWAY TO CITY OF SEATTLE.

The State Highway Commission may transfer title of the campus parkway to the City of Seattle provided it complies with statutory procedure.

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                                                                February 25, 1954

Washington State Highway Commission
Department of Highways
Transportation Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 215

Attention:  Mr. Lorenz Goetz, Secretary

Gentlemen:

            We acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 1, 1954, concerning the campus parkway in Seattle.  You ask our opinion as follows:

            If title in the campus parkway vests in the state, does the State Highway Commission have authority to transfer such title to the City of Seattle?

            In our opinion, the State Highway Commission may transfer such title to the City of Seattle, under RCW 39.33.010 as derived from chapter 133, Laws of 1953.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Chapter 27, Laws of 1945, provides in part as follows:

            "Sec. 2. The Director of Highways is hereby authorized and directed to select and locate a * * * highway approach to the University of Washington campus * * *

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "Sec. 3. The Director of Highways is hereby authorized and directed in the name of the State of Washington to acquire * * * any and all * * * real estate, * * * necessary to locate, construct and maintain * * * the University of Washington approach provided for herein."

            Section 8 provides that the City of Seattle shall construct and maintain the approach

            "* * * in a good state of repair and suitable for public travel and use, which construction and maintenance work the City of Seattle is hereby authorized and empowered to do and perform."

            Since section 3 above quoted (RCW 47.20.600) requires the title to the right of way be acquired "in the name of the State of Washington," we assume for the purposes of this inquiry that the state acquired title prior to the construction of the parkway by Seattle.  Chapter 133, Laws of 1953, provides in part as follows:

            "Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the state * * * may * * * transfer, exchange, lease or otherwise dispose of any property, real or personal, or property rights, including but not limited to the title to real property, to * * * any municipality * * * on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon * * *Provided, That such property is determined by decree of the superior court in the county where such property is located, after publication of notice of hearing is given as fixed and directed by such court, to be either necessary, or surplus or excess to the future foreseeable needs of the state or of such municipality * * * which requests authority to transfer such property."

            The scope of this statute authorizing inter-governmental [[intergovernmental]]transfers is extremely broad, and a procedure for effectuating them is set forth.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            We conclude that the State Highway Commission may authorize the contemplated transfer, provided there is compliance with this statutory procedure.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

WILLIAM C. HALLIN
Assistant Attorney General

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