Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

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. 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.

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.

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 2007 NO. 2 > Jan 8 2007

Where an air pollution control authority is coterminous with a county, and portions of the county are within an Indian reservation, and the EPA directly sets air quality standards within the reservation pursuant to federal law, cities and towns lying within the reservation are still fully subject to property taxation and statutory assessments for the expenses of the air pollution control authority.

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 1982 NO. 2 > Jan 21 1982

(1)  When a city or other municipality which does not have its own electrical code as provided in RCW 19.28.360 installs, or causes to be installed by contract, electrical wiring to energize traffic control devices, street lights and other associated electrical apparatus, the installation is subject to inspection, as provided in RCW 19.28.210, by a state inspector.(2)  If the city, instead, does have its own electrical ordinance as provided in RCW 19.28.360, the installation is subject to an inspection by a locally authorized inspector of that city who must fully meet the qualifications for inspectors as provided in RCW 19.28.070.

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 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.