Revised Code of Washington - RCW Title 35 Cities And Towns - Section 35.23.440 Specific powers enumerated

§ 35.23.440. Specific powers enumerated

The city council of each second-class city shall have power and authority:

(1) Ordinances: To make and pass all ordinances, orders, and resolutions not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or the state of Washington, or the provisions of this title, necessary for the municipal government and management of the affairs of the city, for the execution of the powers vested in said body corporate, and for the carrying into effect of the provisions of this title.

(2) License of shows: To fix and collect a license tax, for the purposes of revenue and regulation, on theatres, melodeons, balls, concerts, dances, theatrical, circus, or other performances, and all performances where an admission fee is charged, or which may be held in any house or place where wines or liquors are sold to the participators; also all shows, billiard tables, pool tables, bowling alleys, exhibitions, or amusements.

(3) Hotels, etc., licenses: To fix and collect a license tax for the purposes of revenue and regulation on and to regulate all taverns, hotels, restaurants, banks, brokers, manufactories, livery stables, express companies and persons engaged in transmitting letters or packages, railroad, stage, and steamboat companies or owners, whose principal place of business is in such city, or who have an agency therein.

(4) Peddlers', etc., licenses: To license, for the purposes of revenue and regulation, tax, prohibit, suppress, and regulate all raffles, hawkers, peddlers, pawnbrokers, refreshment or coffee stands, booths, or sheds; and to regulate as authorized by state law all tippling houses, dram shops, saloons, bars, and barrooms.

(5) Dance houses: To prohibit or suppress, or to license and regulate all dance houses, fandango houses, or any exhibition or show of any animal or animals.

(6) License vehicles: To license for the purposes of revenue and regulation, and to tax hackney coaches, cabs, omnibuses, drays, market wagons, and all other vehicles used for hire, and to regulate their stands, and to fix the rates to be charged for the transportation of persons, baggage, and property.

(7) Hotel runners: To license or suppress runners for steamboats, taverns, or hotels.

(8) License generally: To fix and collect a license tax for the purposes of revenue and regulation, upon all occupations and trades, and all and every kind of business authorized by law not heretofore specified. However, on any business, trade, or calling not provided by law to be licensed for state and county purposes, the amount of license shall be fixed at the discretion of the city council, as they may deem the interests and good order of the city may require. A city may not require a business to be licensed based solely upon registration under or compliance with the streamlined sales and use tax agreement.

(9) Riots: To prevent and restrain any riot or riotous assemblages, disturbance of the peace, or disorderly conduct in any place, house, or street in the city.

(10) Nuisances: To declare what shall be deemed nuisances; to prevent, remove, and abate nuisances at the expense of the parties creating, causing, or committing or maintaining the same, and to levy a special assessment on the land or premises whereon the nuisance is situated to defray the cost or to reimburse the city for the cost of abating the same.

(11) Stock pound: To establish, maintain, and regulate a common pound for estrays, and to appoint a poundkeeper, who shall be paid out of the fines and fees imposed and collected of the owners of any animals impounded, and from no other source; to prevent and regulate the running at large of any and all domestic animals within the city limits or any parts thereof, and to regulate or prevent the keeping of such animals within any part of the city.

(12) Control of certain trades: To control and regulate slaughterhouses, washhouses, laundries, tanneries, forges, and offensive trades, and to provide for their exclusion or removal from the city limits, or from any part thereof.

(13) Street cleaning: To provide, by regulation, for the prevention and summary removal of all filth and garbage in streets, sloughs, alleys, back yards, or public grounds of such city, or elsewhere therein.

(14) Gambling, etc.: To prohibit and suppress all gaming and all gambling or disorderly houses, and houses of ill fame, and all immoral and indecent amusements, exhibitions, and shows.

(15) Markets: To establish and regulate markets and market places.

(16) Speed of railroad cars: To fix and regulate the speed at which any railroad cars, streetcars, automobiles, or other vehicles may run within the city limits, or any portion thereof.

(17) City commons: To provide for and regulate the commons of the city.

(18) Fast driving: To regulate or prohibit fast driving or riding in any portion of the city.

(19) Combustibles: To regulate or prohibit the loading or storage of gunpowder and combustible or explosive materials in the city, or transporting the same through its streets or over its waters.

(20) Property: To have, purchase, hold, use, and enjoy property of every name or kind whatsoever, and to sell, lease, transfer, mortgage, convey, control, or improve the same; to build, erect, or construct houses, buildings, or structures of any kind needful for the use or purposes of such city.

(21) Fire department: To establish, continue, regulate, and maintain a fire department for such city, to change or reorganize the same, and to disband any company or companies of the said department; also, to discontinue and disband said fire department, and to create, organize, establish, and maintain a paid fire department for such city.

(22) Water supply: To adopt, enter into, and carry out means for securing a supply of water for the use of such city or its inhabitants, or for irrigation purposes therein.

(23) Overflow of water: To prevent the overflow of the city or to secure its drainage, and to assess the cost thereof to the property benefited.

(24) House numbers: To provide for the numbering of houses.

(25) Health board: To establish a board of health; to prevent the introduction and spread of disease; to establish a city infirmary and to provide for the indigent sick; and to provide and enforce regulations for the protection of health, cleanliness, peace, and good order of the city; to establish and maintain hospitals within or without the city limits; to control and regulate interments and to prohibit them within the city limits.

(26) Harbors and wharves: To build, alter, improve, keep in repair, and control the waterfront; to erect, regulate, and repair wharves, and to fix the rate of wharfage and transit of wharf, and levy dues upon vessels and commodities; and to provide for the regulation of berths, landing, stationing, and removing steamboats, sail vessels, rafts, barges, and all other watercraft; to fix the rate of speed at which steamboats and other steam watercraft may run along the waterfront of the city; to build bridges so as not to interfere with navigation; to provide for the removal of obstructions to the navigation of any channel or watercourses or channels.

(27) License of steamers: To license steamers, boats, and vessels used in any watercourse in the city, and to fix and collect a license tax thereon.

(28) Ferry licenses: To license ferries and toll bridges under the law regulating the granting of such license.

(29) Penalty for violation of ordinances: To provide that violations of ordinances with the punishment for any offense not exceeding a fine of five thousand dollars or imprisonment for more than one year, or both fine and imprisonment, but the punishment for any criminal ordinance shall be the same as the punishment provided in state law for the same crime. Alternatively, such a city may provide that a violation of an ordinance constitutes a civil violation subject to monetary penalties or to determine and impose fines for forfeitures and penalties, but no act which is a state crime may be made a civil violation. A violation of an order, regulation, or ordinance relating to traffic including parking, standing, stopping, and pedestrian offenses is a traffic infraction, except that violation of an order, regulation, or ordinance equivalent to those provisions of Title 46 RCW set forth in RCW 46.63.020 remains a misdemeanor.

(30) Police department: To create and establish a city police; to prescribe their duties and their compensation; and to provide for the regulation and government of the same.

(31) Examine official accounts: To examine, either in open session or by committee, the accounts or doings of all officers or other persons having the care, management, or disposition of moneys, property, or business of the city.

(32) Contracts: To make all appropriations, contracts, or agreements for the use or benefit of the city and in the city's name.

(33) Streets and sidewalks: To provide by ordinance for the opening, laying out, altering, extending, repairing, grading, paving, planking, graveling, macadamizing, or otherwise improving of public streets, avenues, and other public ways, or any portion of any thereof; and for the construction, regulation, and repair of sidewalks and other street improvements, all at the expense of the property to be benefited thereby, without any recourse, in any event, upon the city for any portion of the expense of such work, or any delinquency of the property holders or owners, and to provide for the forced sale thereof for such purposes; to establish a uniform grade for streets, avenues, sidewalks, and squares, and to enforce the observance thereof.

(34) Waterways: To clear, cleanse, alter, straighten, widen, fill up, or close any waterway, drain, or sewer, or any watercourse in such city when not declared by law to be navigable, and to assess the expense thereof, in whole or in part, to the property specially benefited.

(35) Sewerage: To adopt, provide for, establish, and maintain a general system of sewerage, draining, or both, and the regulation thereof; to provide funds by local assessments on the property benefited for the purpose aforesaid and to determine the manner, terms, and place of connection with main or central lines of pipes, sewers, or drains established, and compel compliance with and conformity to such general system of sewerage or drainage, or both, and the regulations of said council thereto relating, by the infliction of suitable penalties and forfeitures against persons and property, or either, for nonconformity to, or failure to comply with the provisions of such system and regulations or either.

(36) Buildings and parks: To provide for all public buildings, public parks, or squares, necessary or proper for the use of the city.

(37) Franchises: To permit the use of the streets for railroad or other public service purposes.

(38) Payment of judgments: To order paid any final judgment against such city, but none of its lands or property of any kind or nature, taxes, revenue, franchise, or rights, or interest, shall be attached, levied upon, or sold in or under any process whatsoever.

(39) Weighing of fuel: To regulate the sale of coal and wood in such city, and may appoint a measurer of wood and weigher of coal for the city, and define his duties, and may prescribe his term of office, and the fees he shall receive for his services: PROVIDED, That such fees shall in all cases be paid by the parties requiring such service.

(40) Hospitals, etc.: To erect and establish hospitals and pesthouses and to control and regulate the same.

(41) Waterworks: To provide for the erection, purchase, or otherwise acquiring of waterworks within or without the corporate limits of the city to supply such city and its inhabitants with water, and to regulate and control the use and price of the water so supplied.

(42) City lights: To provide for lighting the streets and all public places of the city and for furnishing the inhabitants of the city with gas, electric, or other light, and for the ownership, purchase or acquisition, construction, or maintenance of such works as may be necessary or convenient therefor: PROVIDED, That no purchase of any such water plant or light plant shall be made without first submitting the question of such purchase to the electors of the city.

(43) Parks: To acquire by purchase or otherwise land for public parks, within or without the limits of the city, and to improve the same.

(44) Bridges: To construct and keep in repair bridges, and to regulate the use thereof.

(45) Power of eminent domain: In the name of and for the use and benefit of the city, to exercise the right of eminent domain, and to condemn lands and property for the purposes of streets, alleys, parks, public grounds, waterworks, or for any other municipal purpose and to acquire by purchase or otherwise such lands and property as may be deemed necessary for any of the corporate uses provided for by this title, as the interests of the city may from time to time require.

(46) To provide for the assessment of taxes: To provide for the assessment, levying, and collecting of taxes on real and personal property for the corporate uses and purposes of the city and to provide for the payment of the debts and expenses of the corporation.

(47) Local improvements: To provide for making local improvements, and to levy and collect special assessments on the property benefited thereby and for paying the same or any portion thereof; to determine what work shall be done or improvements made, at the expense, in whole or in part, of the adjoining, contiguous, or proximate property, and to provide for the manner of making and collecting assessments therefor.

(48) Cemeteries: To regulate the burial of the dead and to establish and regulate cemeteries, within or without the corporate limits, and to acquire lands therefor by purchase or otherwise.

(49) Fire limits: To establish fire limits with proper regulations and to make all needful regulations for the erection and maintenance of buildings or other structures within the corporate limits as safety of persons or property may require, and to cause all such buildings and places as may from any cause be in a dangerous state to be put in a safe condition; to regulate the manner in which stone, brick, and other buildings, party walls, and partition fences shall be constructed and maintained.

(50) Safety and sanitary measures: To require the owners of public halls, theaters, hotels, and other buildings to provide suitable means of exit and proper fire escapes; to provide for the cleaning and purification of watercourses and canals and for the draining and filling up of ponds on private property within its limits when the same shall be offensive to the senses or dangerous to the health, and to charge the expense thereof to the property specially benefited, and to regulate and control and provide for the prevention and punishment of the defilement or pollution of all streams running in or through its corporate limits and a distance of five miles beyond its corporate limits, and of any stream or lake from which the water supply of the city is or may be taken and for a distance of five miles beyond its source of supply, and to make all quarantine and other regulations as may be necessary for the preservation of the public health and to remove all persons afflicted with any contagious disease to some suitable place to be provided for that purpose.

(51) To regulate liquor traffic: To regulate the selling or giving away of intoxicating, spirituous, malt, vinous, mixed, or fermented liquors as authorized by the general laws of the state.

(52) To establish streets on tidelands: To project or extend or establish streets over and across any tidelands within the limits of such city.

(53) To provide for the general welfare.

[2008 c 129 § 2; 1994 c 81 § 19; 1993 c 83 § 5; 1986 c 278 § 4. Prior: 1984 c 258 § 803; 1984 c 189 § 5; 1979 ex.s. c 136 § 28; 1977 ex.s. c 316 § 21; 1965 ex.s. c 116 § 7; 1965 c 7 § 35.23.440; prior: 1907 c 241 § 29; 1890 p 148 § 38; RRS § 9034.]

     Effective date -- 1994 c 81 § 19: "Section 19 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1994." [1994 c 81 § 91.]

     Effective date -- 1993 c 83: See note following RCW 35.21.163.

     Severability -- 1986 c 278: See note following RCW 36.01.010.

     Court Improvement Act of 1984 -- Effective dates -- Severability -- Short title -- 1984 c 258: See notes following RCW 3.30.010.

     Effective date -- Severability -- 1979 ex.s. c 136: See notes following RCW 46.63.010.

     Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 316: See note following RCW 70.48.020.

Sections:  Previous  35.23.351  35.23.352  35.23.371  35.23.380  35.23.410  35.23.420  35.23.430  35.23.440  35.23.442  35.23.443  35.23.444  35.23.445  35.23.452  35.23.454  35.23.455  Next

Last modified: April 7, 2009