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AGO 1951 No. 111 - August 28, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

PORT DISTRICTS ‑- AUTHORITY TO SELL LANDS ‑- LAND SALES

Both the words "commercial" and "industrial" are to be taken in their ordinary meanings as defined by Webster, and are not to be limited to uses specifically authorized by statute to a port district.

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                                                                 August 28, 1951

Honorable R. DeWitt Jones
Prosecuting Attorney
Clark County
301 Court House
Vancouver, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 111

Dear Sir:

            In your letter of August 8th you asked our opinion as to the scope of the expression "commercial" or "industrial" purposes as used in section 14, chapter 45, Laws of Washington of 1939.

            You are advised:

            Both the words "commercial" and "industrial" are to be taken in their ordinary meanings as defined by Webster, and are not to be limited to uses specifically authorized by statute to a port district.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 9, chapter 45, Laws of 1939 (sec. 9709-9 Rem. Supp.), authorizes the sale of lands whenever it shall appear to the port commission that the sale is in furtherance of the development and consistent with the general scheme of harbor improvement.

            If such a sale is authorized by the voters, the commission is required to accept bids which must

            "* * * describe the use which the bidder proposes to make of the property if purchased"

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            and the commission has the discretion to consider the proposed uses in determining which is the best bid submitted.  (Section 13, chapter 45, Laws of 1939; sec. 9709-13 Rem. Supp.)

            It follows, therefore, that such lands may be sold for any commercial or industrial purpose which the port commission shall find is in furtherance of, and consistent with, the general scheme of harbor improvement, notwithstanding that section 2, chapter 166, Laws of 1943, specifically authorizes port districts to develop lands for sale or lease as sites for mills, factories, shipyards, and for other industrial and commercial purposes.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

E. P. DONNELLY
Assistant Attorney General

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