Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1999 NO. 1 > Jan 13 1999

1.  A person who is elected to an unexpired term on a city council may not constitutionally receive, during the unexpired term, any changes in compensation previously enacted by the council during that term.

AGO 2000 NO. 1 > Jan 19 2000

A boundary review board has authority, when reviewing a proposal to annex territory to a city by petition, to add additional territory to the proposal beyond that described in the original petition.

AGLO 1980 NO. 1 > Jan 9 1980

Explanation of the interrelationship between § 13.208 of the Uniform Fire Code, 1976 Edition, and the platting of subdivisions or short subdivisions under chapter 58.17 RCW and/or a local short subdivision ordinance; consideration of the respective roles of the original subdivider and subsequent purchasers of building lots in achieving compliance with the access requirements of § 13.208 of the Uniform Fire Code.

AGO 1984 NO. 1 > Jan 12 1984

Lands which are owned by an incorporated city or town (including but not limited to those situated outside the corporate limits of that municipality) are not subject to weed district assessments imposed pursuant to RCW 17.04.240.

AGO 2001 NO. 1 > Jan 17 2001

Cities and towns lack the authority to operate their street lighting as a utility or to impose a charge on the city's utility customers for the cost of furnishing street lighting.

AGO 2000 NO. 2 > Mar 6 2000

RCW 39.34.180 does not obligate a county to enter into a contract with a city or town to handle, through the county’s court system, misdemeanor cases referred from the city or town’s law enforcement officers; however, once a county has agreed to enter into such an agreement, the county must submit to binding arbitration if no agreement is reached concerning the payments to be made under the agreement.

AGO 2014 NO. 2 > Jan 16 2014


  1. Initiative 502, which establishes a licensing and regulatory system for marijuana producers, processors, and retailers, does not preempt counties, cities, and towns from banning such businesses within their jurisdictions.
  2. Local ordinances that do not expressly ban state-licensed marijuana licensees from operating within the jurisdiction but make such operation impractical are valid if they properly exercise the local jurisdiction’s police power.
AGO 1974 NO. 2 > Jan 18 1974

A city operating under the optional municipal code (Title 35A RCW), in ordering a local improvement for which there are to be levied and collected special assessments on property specifically benefited thereby, may provide as a part of the ordinance creating the local improvement district that the collection of any assessments levied therefor may be deferred until a time previous to the dissolution of the district for those economically disadvantaged property owners described in RCW 35.43.250.

AGO 1979 NO. 2 > Jan 11 1979

(1) In the event that a county enters into an interlocal cooperation act agreement with cities of the second, third and fourth class within the county for the operation of a solid waste disposal system, whereby the county is given full authority to manage and operate such system on behalf of the county and the cities, the county would stand in the position of agent for the participating cities and, hence, would be required to comply with the bidding requirements of RCW 35.23.352 and 35.23.353 in making and entering into contracts and purchases for such solid waste disposal system.  (2) The fact that a particular county is not subject to mandatory bidding requirements, generally, does not excuse it from compliance with RCW 36.58.050 which requires a county entering into contracts for the hauling of trailers of solid waste from transfer stations to disposal sites and return to do so either by (a) the normal bidding process or (b) negotiation with the qualified collection company servicing the area under the authority of chapter 81.77 RCW.