Chapter 35.81 RCW

COMMUNITY RENEWAL LAW

Sections

35.81.005Declaration of purpose and necessity.
35.81.015Definitions.
35.81.030Encouragement of private enterprise.
35.81.040Formulation of workable program.
35.81.050Findings by local governing body requiredExercise of community renewal agency powers.
35.81.060Comprehensive planPreparationHearingApprovalModificationEffect.
35.81.070Powers of municipality.
35.81.080Eminent domain.
35.81.090Acquisition, disposal of real property in community renewal area.
35.81.095Selection of person to undertake redevelopment or rehabilitation of real property.
35.81.100BondsIssuanceForm, terms, payment, etc.Fund for excess property tax, excise tax.
35.81.110Bonds as legal investment, security.
35.81.115General obligation bonds authorized.
35.81.120Property of municipality exempt from process and taxes.
35.81.130Powers of public bodies.
35.81.140Conveyance to purchaser, etc., presumed to be in compliance with chapter.
35.81.150Exercise of community renewal project powers.
35.81.160Exercise of community renewal project powersAssignment of powersCommunity renewal agency.
35.81.170Discrimination prohibited.
35.81.180Restrictions against public officials or employees acquiring or owning an interest in project, contract, etc.
35.81.190Local improvement districtsEstablishmentSpecial assessmentsBonds.
35.81.200Local improvement districtsContent of notice.
35.81.910Short title.


Declaration of purpose and necessity.

It is hereby found and declared that blighted areas which constitute a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the state exist in municipalities of the state; that the existence of such areas contributes substantially and increasingly to the spread of disease and crime and depreciation of property values, constitutes an economic and social liability, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of municipalities, retards the provision of housing accommodations, hinders job creation and economic growth, aggravates traffic problems and substantially impairs or arrests the elimination of traffic hazards and the improvement of traffic facilities; and that the prevention and elimination of such areas is a matter of state policy and state concern in order that the state and its municipalities shall not continue to be endangered by areas which are focal centers of disease, promote juvenile delinquency, are conducive to fires, are difficult to police and to provide police protection for, and, while contributing little to the tax income of the state and its municipalities, consume an excessive proportion of its revenues because of the extra services required for police, fire, accident, hospitalization and other forms of public protection, services, and facilities.
It is further found and declared that certain of such areas, or portions thereof, may require acquisition, clearance, and disposition subject to use restrictions, as provided in this chapter, since the prevailing condition of decay may make impracticable the reclamation of the area by rehabilitation; that other areas or portions thereof may, through the means provided in this chapter, be susceptible of rehabilitation in such a manner that the conditions and evils hereinbefore enumerated may be eliminated, remedied or prevented; and that to the extent feasible salvable blighted areas should be rehabilitated through voluntary action and the regulatory process.
It is further found and declared that there is an urgent need to enhance the ability of municipalities to act effectively and expeditiously to revive blighted areas and to prevent further blight due to shocks to the economy of the state and their actual and threatened effects on unemployment, poverty, and the availability of private capital for businesses and projects in the area.
It is further found and declared that the powers conferred by this chapter are for public uses and purposes for which public money may be expended and the power of eminent domain exercised; and that the necessity in the public interest for the provisions herein enacted is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.

NOTES:

Severability2002 c 218: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 2002 c 218 § 28.]
SavingsConstruction2002 c 218: "(1) This act does not impair any authority granted, any actions undertaken, or any liability or obligation incurred under the sections amended in this act or under any rule, order, plan, or project adopted under those sections, nor does it impair any proceedings instituted under those sections.
(2) Any power granted in this act with respect to a community renewal plan, and any process authorized for the exercise of the power, may be used by any municipality in implementing any urban renewal plan or project adopted under chapter 35.81 RCW, to the same extent as if the plan were adopted as a community renewal plan.
(3) This act shall be liberally construed." [ 2002 c 218 § 29.]



Definitions.

The following terms wherever used or referred to in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context:
(1) "Agency" or "community renewal agency" means a public agency created under RCW 35.81.160 or otherwise authorized to serve as a community renewal agency under this chapter.
(2) "Blighted area" means an area which, by reason of the substantial physical dilapidation, deterioration, defective construction, material, and arrangement and/or age or obsolescence of buildings or improvements, whether residential or nonresidential, inadequate provision for ventilation, light, proper sanitary facilities, or open spaces as determined by competent appraisers on the basis of an examination of the building standards of the municipality; inappropriate uses of land or buildings; existence of overcrowding of buildings or structures; defective or inadequate street layout; faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility or usefulness; excessive land coverage; insanitary or unsafe conditions; deterioration of site; existence of hazardous soils, substances, or materials; diversity of ownership; tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land; defective or unusual conditions of title; improper subdivision or obsolete platting; existence of persistent and high levels of unemployment or poverty within the area; or the existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes, or any combination of such factors, is conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency or crime; substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the municipality or its environs, or retards the provision of housing accommodations; constitutes an economic or social liability; and/or is detrimental, or constitutes a menace, to the public health, safety, welfare, or morals in its present condition and use.
(3) "Bonds" means any bonds, notes, or debentures (including refunding obligations) herein authorized to be issued.
(4) "Clerk" means the clerk or other official of the municipality who is the custodian of the official records of such municipality.
(5) "Community renewal area" means a blighted area which the local governing body designates as appropriate for a community renewal project or projects.
(6) "Community renewal plan" means a plan, as it exists from time to time, for a community renewal project or projects, which plan (a) shall be consistent with the comprehensive plan or parts thereof for the municipality as a whole; (b) shall be sufficiently complete to indicate such land acquisition, demolition, and removal of structures, redevelopment, improvements, and rehabilitation as may be proposed to be carried out in the community renewal area; zoning and planning changes, if any, which may include, among other things, changes related to land uses, densities, and building requirements; and the plan's relationship to definite local objectives respecting appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities, and other public improvements; (c) shall address the need for replacement housing, within the municipality, where existing housing is lost as a result of the community renewal project undertaken by the municipality under this chapter; and (d) may include a plan to address any persistent high levels of unemployment or poverty in the community renewal area.
(7) "Community renewal project" includes one or more undertakings or activities of a municipality in a community renewal area: (a) For the elimination and the prevention of the development or spread of blight; (b) for encouraging economic growth through job creation or retention; (c) for redevelopment or rehabilitation in a community renewal area; or (d) any combination or part thereof in accordance with a community renewal plan.
(8) "Federal government" includes the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.
(9) "Local governing body" means the council or other legislative body charged with governing the municipality.
(10) "Mayor" means the chief executive of a city or town, or the elected executive, if any, of any county operating under a charter, or the county legislative authority of any other county.
(11) "Municipality" means any incorporated city or town, or any county, in the state.
(12) "Obligee" includes any bondholder, agent, or trustees for any bondholders, any lessor demising to the municipality property used in connection with a community renewal project, or any assignee or assignees of such lessor's interest or any part thereof, and the federal government when it is a party to any contract with the municipality.
(13) "Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, or school district; and shall include any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other person acting in a similar representative capacity.
(14) "Persons of low income" means an individual with an annual income, at the time of hiring or at the time assistance is provided under this chapter, that does not exceed the higher of either: (a) Eighty percent of the statewide median family income, adjusted for family size; or (b) eighty percent of the median family income for the county or standard metropolitan statistical area, adjusted for family size, where the community renewal area is located.
(15) "Public body" means the state or any municipality, board, commission, district, or any other subdivision or public body of the state or of a municipality.
(16) "Public officer" means any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the municipality relating to health, fire, building regulations, or to other activities concerning dwellings in the municipality.
(17) "Real property" includes all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any nature appurtenant thereto, or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest, right and use, legal or equitable, therein, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise.
(18) "Redevelopment" includes (a) acquisition of a blighted area or portion thereof; (b) demolition and removal of buildings and improvements; (c) installation, construction or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out in the area the community renewal provisions of this chapter in accordance with the community renewal plan; (d) making the land available for development or redevelopment by private enterprise or public bodies (including sale, initial leasing, or retention by the municipality itself) at its fair value for uses in accordance with the community renewal plan; and (e) making loans or grants to a person or public body for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs, a substantial portion of which, as determined by the municipality, shall be for persons of low income.
(19) "Rehabilitation" includes the restoration and renewal of a blighted area or portion thereof, in accordance with a community renewal plan, by (a) carrying out plans for a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements; (b) acquisition of real property and demolition or removal of buildings and improvements thereon where necessary to eliminate unhealthful, insanitary or unsafe conditions, lessen density, reduce traffic hazards, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to the public welfare, or otherwise to remove or prevent the spread of blight or deterioration, or to provide land for needed public facilities; (c) installation, construction or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out in the area the community renewal provisions of this chapter; and (d) the disposition of any property acquired in such community renewal area for uses in accordance with such community renewal plan.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.
PurposeCaptions not law1991 c 363: See notes following RCW 2.32.180.



Encouragement of private enterprise.

A municipality, to the greatest extent it determines to be feasible in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, shall afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the needs of the municipality as a whole, to the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the community renewal area by private enterprise. A municipality shall give consideration to this objective in exercising its powers under this chapter, including the formulation of a workable program, the approval of community renewal plans (consistent with the comprehensive plan or parts thereof for the municipality), the exercise of its zoning powers, the enforcement of other laws, codes and regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements, the disposition of any property acquired, and the provision of necessary public improvements.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Formulation of workable program.

A municipality for the purposes of this chapter may formulate a workable program for using appropriate private and public resources to eliminate, and prevent the development or spread of, blighted areas, to encourage needed community rehabilitation, to provide for the redevelopment of such areas, or to undertake the activities, or other feasible municipal activities as may be suitably employed to achieve the objectives of the workable program. The workable program may include, without limitation, provision for: The prevention of the spread of blight into areas of the municipality which are free from blight through diligent enforcement of housing, zoning, and occupancy controls and standards; the rehabilitation of blighted areas or portions thereof by replanning, removing congestion, providing parks, playgrounds and other public improvements, by encouraging voluntary rehabilitation and by compelling the repair and rehabilitation of deteriorated or deteriorating structures; the replacement of housing that is lost as a result of community renewal activities within a community renewal area; the clearance and redevelopment of blighted areas or portions thereof; and the reduction of unemployment and poverty within the community renewal area by providing financial or technical assistance to a person or public body that is used to create or retain jobs, a substantial portion of which, as determined by the municipality, shall be for persons of low income.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Findings by local governing body requiredExercise of community renewal agency powers.

(1) No municipality shall exercise any of the powers hereafter conferred upon municipalities by this chapter until after its local governing body shall have adopted an ordinance or resolution finding that: (a) One or more blighted areas exist in such municipality; and (b) the rehabilitation, redevelopment, or a combination thereof, of such area or areas is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals, or welfare of the residents of such municipality.
(2) After adoption of the ordinance or resolution making the findings described in subsection (1) of this section, the local governing body of the municipality may elect to have the powers of a community renewal agency under this chapter exercised in one of the following ways:
(a) By appointing a board or commission composed of not less than five members, which board or commission shall include municipal officials and elected officials, selected by the mayor, with approval of the local governing body of the municipality; or
(b) By the local governing body of the municipality directly; or
(c) By the board of a public corporation, commission, or authority under chapter 35.21 RCW, or a public facilities district created under chapter 35.57 or 36.100 RCW, or a public port district created under chapter 53.04 RCW, or a housing authority created under chapter 35.82 RCW, that is authorized to conduct activities as a community renewal agency under this chapter.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Comprehensive planPreparationHearingApprovalModificationEffect.

(1) A municipality shall not approve a community renewal project for a community renewal area unless the local governing body has, by ordinance or resolution, determined such an area to be a blighted area and designated the area as appropriate for a community renewal project. The local governing body shall not approve a community renewal plan until a comprehensive plan or parts of the plan for an area which would include a community renewal area for the municipality have been prepared as provided in chapter 36.70A RCW. For municipalities not subject to the planning requirements of chapter 36.70A RCW, any proposed comprehensive plan must be consistent with a local comprehensive plan adopted under chapter 35.63 or 36.70 RCW, or any other applicable law. A municipality shall not acquire real property for a community renewal project unless the local governing body has approved the community renewal project plan in accordance with subsection (4) of this section.
(2) The municipality may itself prepare or cause to be prepared a community renewal plan, or any person or agency, public or private, may submit such a plan to the municipality. Prior to its approval of a community renewal project, the local governing body shall review and determine the conformity of the community renewal plan with the comprehensive plan or parts thereof for the development of the municipality as a whole. If the community renewal plan is not consistent with the existing comprehensive plan, the local governing body may amend its comprehensive plan or community renewal plan.
(3) Prior to adoption, the local governing body shall hold a public hearing on a community renewal plan after providing public notice. The notice shall be given by publication once each week for two consecutive weeks not less than ten nor more than thirty days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper having a general circulation in the community renewal area of the municipality and by mailing a notice of the hearing not less than ten days prior to the date of the hearing to the persons whose names appear on the county treasurer's tax roll as the owner or reputed owner of the property, at the address shown on the tax roll. The notice shall describe the time, date, place, and purpose of the hearing, shall generally identify the community renewal area affected, and shall outline the general scope of the community renewal plan under consideration.
(4) Following the hearing, the local governing body may approve a community renewal project if it finds that (a) a feasible plan exists for making available adequate housing for the residents who may be displaced by the project; (b) the community renewal plan conforms to the comprehensive plan for the municipality; (c) the community renewal plan will afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the needs of the municipality, for the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the community renewal area by private enterprise; (d) a sound and adequate financial program exists for the financing of the project; and (e) the community renewal project area is a blighted area as defined in RCW 35.81.015(2).
(5) A community renewal project plan may be modified at any time by the local governing body. However, if modified after the lease or sale by the municipality of real property in the community renewal project area, the modification shall be subject to the rights at law or in equity as a lessee or purchaser, or the successor or successors in interest may be entitled to assert.
(6) Unless otherwise expressly stated in an ordinance or resolution of the governing body of the municipality, a community renewal plan shall not be considered a subarea plan or part of a comprehensive plan for purposes of chapter 36.70A RCW. However, a municipality that has adopted a comprehensive plan under chapter 36.70A RCW may adopt all or part of a community renewal plan at any time as a new or amended subarea plan, whether or not any subarea plan has previously been adopted for all or part of the community renewal area. Any community renewal plan so adopted, unless otherwise determined by the growth management hearings board with jurisdiction under a timely appeal in RCW 36.70A.280, shall be conclusively presumed to comply with the requirements in this chapter for consistency with the comprehensive plan.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Powers of municipality.

Every municipality shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to others granted under this chapter:
(1) To undertake and carry out community renewal projects within the municipality, to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its powers under this chapter, and to disseminate blight clearance and community renewal information.
(2) To provide or to arrange or contract for the furnishing or repair by any person or agency, public or private, of services, privileges, works, streets, roads, public utilities or other facilities for, or in connection with, a community renewal project; to install, construct, and reconstruct streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other public improvements; and to agree to any conditions that it may deem reasonable and appropriate attached to federal financial assistance and imposed pursuant to federal law relating to the determination of prevailing salaries or wages or compliance with labor standards, in the undertaking or carrying out of a community renewal project, and to include in any contract let in connection with such a project, provisions to fulfill such of said conditions as it may deem reasonable and appropriate.
(3) To provide financial or technical assistance, using available public or private funds, to a person or public body for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs, a substantial portion of which, as determined by the municipality, shall be for persons of low income.
(4) To make payments, loans, or grants to, provide assistance to, and contract with existing or new owners and tenants of property in the community renewal areas as compensation for any adverse impacts, such as relocation or interruption of business, that may be caused by the implementation of a community renewal project, and/or consideration for commitments to develop, expand, or retain land uses that contribute to the success of the project or plan, including without limitation businesses that will create or retain jobs, a substantial portion of which, as determined by the municipality, shall be for persons of low income.
(5) To contract with a person or public body to provide financial assistance, authorized under this section, to property owners and tenants impacted by the implementation of the community renewal plan and to provide incentives to property owners and tenants to encourage them to locate in the community renewal area after adoption of the community renewal plan.
(6) Within the municipality, to enter upon any building or property in any community renewal area, in order to make surveys and appraisals, provided that such entries shall be made in such a manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession, and to obtain an order for this purpose from a court of competent jurisdiction in the event entry is denied or resisted; to acquire by purchase, lease, option, gift, grant, bequest, devise, eminent domain, or otherwise, any real property and such personal property as may be necessary for the administration of the provisions herein contained, together with any improvements thereon; to hold, improve, clear, or prepare for redevelopment any such property; to dispose of any real property; to insure or provide for the insurance of any real or personal property or operations of the municipality against any risks or hazards, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance: PROVIDED, That no statutory provision with respect to the acquisition, clearance, or disposition of property by public bodies shall restrict a municipality in the exercise of such functions with respect to a community renewal project.
(7) To invest any community renewal project funds held in reserves or sinking funds or any such funds which are not required for immediate disbursement, in property or securities in which mutual savings banks may legally invest funds subject to their control; to redeem such bonds as have been issued pursuant to RCW 35.81.100 at the redemption price established therein or to purchase such bonds at less than redemption price, all such bonds so redeemed or purchased to be canceled.
(8) To borrow money and to apply for, and accept, advances, loans, grants, contributions and any other form of financial assistance from the federal government, the state, county, or other public body, or from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this chapter, and to enter into and carry out contracts in connection therewith. A municipality may include in any application or contract for financial assistance with the federal government for a community renewal project such conditions imposed pursuant to federal laws as the municipality may deem reasonable and appropriate and which are not inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter.
(9) Within the municipality, to make or have made all plans necessary to the carrying out of the purposes of this chapter and to contract with any person, public or private, in making and carrying out such plans and to adopt or approve, modify, and amend such plans. Such plans may include, without limitation: (a) A comprehensive plan or parts thereof for the locality as a whole, (b) community renewal plans, (c) plans for carrying out a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings and improvements, (d) plans for the enforcement of state and local laws, codes, and regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements and to the compulsory repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal of buildings and improvements, (e) appraisals, title searches, surveys, studies, and other preliminary plans and work necessary to prepare for the undertaking of community renewal projects, and (f) plans to provide financial or technical assistance to a person or public body for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs, a substantial portion of which, as determined by the municipality, shall be for persons of low income. The municipality is authorized to develop, test, and report methods and techniques, and carry out demonstrations and other activities, for the prevention and the elimination of blight, for job creation or retention activities, and to apply for, accept, and utilize grants of, funds from the federal government for such purposes.
(10) To prepare plans for the relocation of families displaced from a community renewal area, and to coordinate public and private agencies in such relocation, including requesting such assistance for this purpose as is available from other private and governmental agencies, both for the municipality and other parties.
(11) To appropriate such funds and make such expenditures as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, and in accordance with state law: (a) Levy taxes and assessments for such purposes; (b) acquire land either by negotiation or eminent domain, or both; (c) close, vacate, plan, or replan streets, roads, sidewalks, ways, or other places; (d) plan or replan, zone or rezone any part of the municipality; (e) adopt annual budgets for the operation of a community renewal agency, department, or offices vested with community renewal project powers under RCW 35.81.150; and (f) enter into agreements with such agencies or departments (which agreements may extend over any period) respecting action to be taken by such municipality pursuant to any of the powers granted by this chapter.
(12) Within the municipality, to organize, coordinate, and direct the administration of the provisions of this chapter as they apply to such municipality in order that the objective of remedying blighted areas and preventing the causes thereof within such municipality may be most effectively promoted and achieved, and to establish such new office or offices of the municipality or to reorganize existing offices in order to carry out such purpose most effectively.
(13) To contract with a person or public body to assist in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.
(14) To exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Eminent domain.

A municipality shall have the right to acquire by condemnation, in accordance with the procedure provided for condemnation by such municipality for other purposes, any interest in real property, which it may deem necessary for a community renewal project under this chapter after the adoption by the local governing body of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the real property described therein is necessary for such purpose. Condemnation for community renewal of blighted areas is declared to be a public use, and property already devoted to any other public use or acquired by the owner or a predecessor in interest by eminent domain may be condemned for the purposes of this chapter.
The award of compensation for real property taken for such a project shall not be increased by reason of any increase in the value of the real property caused by the assembly, clearance, or reconstruction, or proposed assembly, clearance, or reconstruction in the project area. No allowance shall be made for the improvements begun on real property after notice to the owner of such property of the institution of proceedings to condemn such property. Evidence shall be admissible bearing upon the insanitary, unsafe, or substandard condition of the premises, or the unlawful use thereof.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.
Eminent domain by cities: Chapter 8.12 RCW.



Acquisition, disposal of real property in community renewal area.

(1) A municipality, with approval of its legislative authority, may acquire real property, or any interest therein, for the purposes of a community renewal project (a) prior to the selection of one or more persons interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate the real property, or (b) after the selection of one or more persons interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate such real property. In either case the municipality may select a redeveloper through a competitive bidding process consistent with this section or through a process consistent with RCW 35.81.095.
(2) A municipality, with approval of its legislative authority, may sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property or any interest therein acquired by it for a community renewal project, in a community renewal area for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, or other uses or for public use, and may enter into contracts with respect thereto, or may retain such a property or interest only for parks and recreation, education, public utilities, public transportation, public safety, health, highways, streets, and alleys, administrative buildings, or civic centers, in accordance with the community renewal project plan, subject to such covenants, conditions, and restrictions, including covenants running with the land, as it may deem to be necessary or desirable to assist in preventing the development or spread of blighted areas or otherwise to carry out the purposes of this chapter. However, such a sale, lease, other transfer, or retention, and any agreement relating thereto, may be made only after the approval of the community renewal plan by the local governing body. The purchasers or lessees and their successors and assigns shall be obligated to devote the real property only to the uses specified in the community renewal plan, and may be obligated to comply with any other requirements as the municipality may determine to be in the public interest, including the obligation to begin and complete, within a reasonable time, any improvements on the real property required by the community renewal plan or promised by the transferee. The real property or interest shall be sold, leased, or otherwise transferred for the consideration the municipality determines adequate. In determining the adequacy of consideration, a municipality may take into account the uses permitted under the community renewal plan; the restrictions upon, and the covenants, conditions, and obligations assumed by, the transferee; and the public benefits to be realized, including furthering of the objectives of the plan for the prevention of the recurrence of blighted areas.
(3) The municipality in any instrument of conveyance to a private purchaser or lessee may provide that the purchaser or lessee shall be without power to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer the real property, or to permit changes in ownership or control of a purchaser or lessee that is not a natural person, in each case without the prior written consent of the municipality until the purchaser or lessee has completed the construction of all improvements that it has obligated itself to construct thereon. The municipality may also retain the right, upon any earlier transfer or change in ownership or control without consent; or any failure or change in ownership or control without consent; or any failure to complete the improvements within the time agreed to terminate the transferee's interest in the property; or to retain or collect on any deposit or instrument provided as security, or both. The enforcement of these restrictions and remedies is declared to be consistent with the public policy of this state. Real property acquired by a municipality that, in accordance with the provisions of the community renewal plan, is to be transferred, shall be transferred as rapidly as feasible, in the public interest, consistent with the carrying out of the provisions of the community renewal plan. The inclusion in any contract or conveyance to a purchaser or lessee of any covenants, restrictions, or conditions (including the incorporation by reference therein of the provisions of a community renewal plan or any part thereof) shall not prevent the recording of such a contract or conveyance in the land records of the auditor or the county in which the city or town is located, in a manner that affords actual or constructive notice thereof.
(4)(a)(i) A municipality may dispose of real property in a community renewal area, acquired by the municipality under this chapter, to any private persons only under those reasonable competitive bidding procedures as it shall prescribe, or by competitive bidding as provided in this subsection, through direct negotiation where authorized under (c) of this subsection, or by a process authorized in RCW 35.81.095.
(ii) A competitive bidding process may occur (A) prior to the purchase of the real property by the municipality, or (B) after the purchase of the real property by the municipality.
(b)(i) A municipality may, by public notice by publication once each week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the community, prior to the execution of any contract or deed to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property and prior to the delivery of any instrument of conveyance with respect thereto under the provisions of this section, invite bids from, and make available all pertinent information to, private redevelopers or any persons interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate a community renewal area, or any part thereof. This notice shall identify the area, or portion thereof, and shall state that further information as is available may be obtained at the office as shall be designated in the notice.
(ii) The municipality shall consider all responsive redevelopment or rehabilitation bids and the financial and legal ability of the persons making the bids to carry them out. The municipality may accept the bids as it deems to be in the public interest and in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter. Thereafter, the municipality may execute, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, and deliver contracts, deeds, leases, and other instruments of transfer.
(c) If the legislative authority of the municipality determines that the sale of real property to a specific person is necessary to the success of a neighborhood revitalization or community renewal project for which the municipality is providing assistance to a nonprofit organization from federal community development block grant funds under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5305(a)(15), or successor provision, under a plan or grant application approved by the United States department of housing and urban development, or successor agency, then the municipality may sell or lease that property to that person through direct negotiation, for consideration determined by the municipality to be adequate consistent with subsection (2) of this section. This direct negotiation may occur, and the municipality may enter into an agreement for sale or lease, either before or after the acquisition of the property by the municipality. Unless the municipality has provided notice to the public of the intent to sell or lease the property by direct negotiation, as part of a citizen participation process adopted under federal regulations for the plan or grant application under which the federal community development block grant funds have been awarded, the municipality shall publish notice of the sale at least fifteen days prior to the conveyance of the property.
(5) A municipality may operate and maintain real property acquired in a community renewal area for a period of three years pending the disposition of the property for redevelopment, without regard to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, for such uses and purposes as may be deemed desirable even though not in conformity with the community renewal plan. However, the municipality may, after a public hearing, extend the time for a period not to exceed three years.
(6) Any covenants, restrictions, promises, undertakings, releases, or waivers in favor of a municipality contained in any deed or other instrument accepted by any transferee of property from the municipality or community renewal agency under this chapter, or contained in any document executed by any owner of property in a community renewal area, shall run with the land to the extent provided in the deed, instrument, or other document, so as to bind, and be enforceable by the municipality against, the person accepting or making the deed, instrument, or other document and that person's heirs, successors in interest, or assigns having actual or constructive notice thereof.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Selection of person to undertake redevelopment or rehabilitation of real property.

(1) The process authorized under this section may occur (a) prior to the purchase of the real property by the municipality, or (b) after the purchase of the real property by the municipality.
(2) A municipality may, by public notice once each week for three consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper in the municipality, or prior to the execution of any contract or deed to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property and prior to the delivery of any instrument of conveyance with respect thereto under the provisions of this section, invite statements of interest and qualifications and, at the municipality's option, proposals from any persons interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate the real property.
(3) The notice required under this section shall identify the area, or portion thereof, the process the municipality will use to evaluate qualifications and, if applicable, proposals submitted by redevelopers or any persons, and other information relevant to the community renewal project. The notice shall also state that further information, as is available, may be obtained at the offices designated in the notice.
(4)(a) Based on its evaluation of qualifications and, if applicable, proposals, the municipality may select a proposer with whom to negotiate or may select two or more finalists to submit proposals, or to submit more detailed or revised proposals. The municipality may, in its sole discretion, reject all responses or proposals, amend any solicitation to allow modification or supplementation of qualifications or proposals, or waive irregularities in the content or timing of any qualifications or proposals.
(b) The municipality may initiate negotiations with the person selected on the basis of qualifications or proposals. If the municipality does not enter into a contract with that person, it may (i) enter into negotiations with the person that submitted the next highest ranked qualifications or proposal, (ii) solicit additional proposals using a process permitted by RCW 35.81.090, or (iii) otherwise dispose of or retain the real property consistent with the provisions of this chapter. A municipality shall not be required to select or enter into a contract with any proposer or to compensate any proposer for the cost of preparing a proposal or negotiating with the municipality.
(c) A municipality, with approval of its legislative authority, may select and enter into a contract with more than one proposer to carry out different aspects or parts of a community renewal plan.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



BondsIssuanceForm, terms, payment, etc.Fund for excess property tax, excise tax.

(1) A municipality shall have the power to issue bonds from time to time in its discretion to finance the undertaking of any community renewal project under this chapter, including, without limiting the generality of this power, the payment of principal and interest upon any advances for surveys and plans for community renewal projects, and shall also have power to issue refunding bonds for the payment or retirement of such bonds previously issued by it. Such bonds shall not pledge the general credit of the municipality and shall be made payable, as to both principal and interest, solely from the income, proceeds, revenues, and funds of the municipality derived from, or held in connection with, its undertaking and carrying out of community renewal projects under this chapter. However, the payment of such bonds, both as to principal and interest, may be further secured by a pledge of any loan, grant, or contribution from the municipality, the federal government, or from other sources, in aid of any community renewal projects of the municipality under this chapter.
(2) Bonds issued under this section shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt limitation or restriction, and shall not be subject to the provisions of any other law or charter relating to the authorization, issuance, or sale of bonds. Bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter are declared to be issued for an essential public and governmental purpose, and together with interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempted from all taxes.
(3) Bonds issued under this section shall be authorized by resolution or ordinance of the local governing body and may be issued in one or more series and shall bear such date or dates, be payable upon demand or mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form either coupon or registered as provided in RCW 39.46.030, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, and be subject to such terms of redemption (with or without premium), be secured in such manner, and have such other characteristics, as may be provided by such resolution or trust indenture or mortgage issued pursuant thereto.
(4) Such bonds may be sold at not less than ninety-eight percent of par at public or private sale, or may be exchanged for other bonds on the basis of par: PROVIDED, That such bonds may be sold to the federal government at private sale at not less than par and, in the event less than all of the authorized principal amount of such bonds is sold to the federal government, the balance may be sold at public or private sale at not less than ninety-eight percent of par at an interest cost to the municipality of not to exceed the interest cost to the municipality of the portion of the bonds sold to the federal government.
(5)(a) The municipality may annually pay into a fund to be established for the benefit of such bonds any and all excess of the taxes received by it from the same property over and above the average of the annual taxes authorized without vote for a five-year period immediately preceding the acquisition of the property by the municipality for renewal purposes, such payment to continue until such time as all bonds payable from the fund are paid in full. Any other taxing unit that receives property tax revenues from property in the community renewal area is authorized to allocate excess taxes, computed in the same manner, to the municipality or municipalities in which it is situated.
(b) In addition to the excess property tax revenues from property in the community renewal area, authorized in this subsection, the municipality may annually pay into the fund, established in this subsection, any and all excess of the excise tax received by it from business activity in the community renewal area over and above the average of the annual excise tax collected for a five-year period immediately preceding the establishment of a community renewal area. The payment may continue until all the bonds payable from the fund are paid in full. Any other taxing unit that receives excise tax from business activity in the community renewal area is authorized to allocate excess excise tax, computed in the same manner, to the municipality or municipalities in which it is situated. As used in this subsection, "excise tax" means a local retail sales and use tax authorized in chapter 82.14 RCW. The legislature declares that it is a proper purpose of a municipality to allocate an excise tax for purposes of a community renewal project under this chapter.
(6) In case any of the public officials of the municipality whose signatures appear on any bonds or any coupons issued under this chapter shall cease to be such officials before the delivery of such bonds, such signatures shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such officials had remained in office until such delivery. Any provision of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, any bonds, issued pursuant to this chapter shall be fully negotiable.
(7) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforceability of any bond issued under this chapter or the security therefor, any such bond reciting in substance that it has been issued by the municipality in connection with a community renewal project, as herein defined, shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose and such project shall be conclusively deemed to have been planned, located, and carried out in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(8) Notwithstanding subsections (1) through (7) of this section, such bonds may be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.
Liberal constructionSeverability1983 c 167: See RCW 39.46.010 and note following.
Purpose1970 ex.s. c 56: See note following RCW 39.52.020.
ValidationSavingSeverability1969 ex.s. c 232: See notes following RCW 39.52.020.



Bonds as legal investment, security.

All banks, trust companies, bankers, savings banks and institutions, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, investment companies, and other persons carrying on a banking or investment business, all insurance companies, insurance associations, and other persons carrying on an insurance business and all executors, administrators, curators, trustees, and other fiduciaries, may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys, or other funds belonging to them or within their control in any bonds or other obligations issued by a municipality under this chapter. Such bonds and other obligations shall be authorized security for all public deposits. It is the purpose of this section to authorize any persons, political subdivisions, and officers, public or private, to use any funds owned or controlled by them for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations. Nothing contained in this section with regard to legal investments shall be construed as relieving any person of any duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting securities.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



General obligation bonds authorized.

For the purposes of this chapter a municipality may (in addition to any authority to issue bonds pursuant to RCW 35.81.100) issue and sell its general obligation bonds. Any bonds issued by a municipality pursuant to this section shall be issued in the manner and within the limitations prescribed by the laws of this state for the issuance and authorization of bonds by such municipality for public purposes generally.



Property of municipality exempt from process and taxes.

(1) All property of a municipality, including funds, owned or held by it for the purposes of this chapter, shall be exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, and no execution or other judicial process shall issue against the same nor shall judgment against a municipality be a charge or lien upon such property: PROVIDED, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to, or limit the right of, obligees to pursue any remedies for the enforcement of any pledge or lien given pursuant to this chapter by a municipality on its rents, fees, grants, or revenues from community renewal projects.
(2) The property of a municipality, acquired or held for the purposes of this chapter, is declared to be public property used for essential public and governmental purposes and such property shall be exempt from all taxes of the municipality, the county, the state, or any political subdivision thereof: PROVIDED, That such tax exemption shall terminate when the municipality sells, leases, or otherwise disposes of such property in a community renewal area to a purchaser or lessee that is not a public body or other organization normally entitled to tax exemption with respect to such property.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Powers of public bodies.

For the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking, or carrying out of a community renewal project located within the area in which it is authorized to act, any public body authorized by law or by this chapter, may, upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine: (1) Dedicate, sell, convey, or lease any of its interest in any property, or grant easements, licenses, or other rights or privileges therein to a municipality or other public body; (2) incur the entire expense of any public improvements made by a public body, in exercising the powers granted in this section; (3) do any and all things necessary to aid or cooperate in the planning or carrying out of a community renewal plan; (4) lend, grant, or contribute funds, including without limitation any funds derived from bonds issued or other borrowings authorized in this chapter, to a municipality or other public body and, subject only to any applicable constitutional limits, to any other person; (5) enter into agreements (which may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary) with a municipality or other public body respecting action to be taken pursuant to any of the powers granted by this chapter, including the furnishing of funds or other assistance in connection with a community renewal project; (6) cause public building and public facilities, including parks, playgrounds, recreational, community, educational, water, sewer, or drainage facilities, or any other works that it is otherwise empowered to undertake to be furnished; furnish, dedicate, close, vacate, pave, install, grade, regrade, plan, or replan streets, roads, sidewalks, ways, or other places; (7) abate environmental problems; (8) plan or replan, zone or rezone any part of the community renewal area; and (9) provide such administrative and other services as may be deemed requisite to the efficient exercise of the powers herein granted.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.
Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development ActAuthority to contract with federal government: RCW 35.21.660.



Conveyance to purchaser, etc., presumed to be in compliance with chapter.

Any instrument executed by a municipality and purporting to convey any right, title, or interest in any property under this chapter shall be conclusively presumed to have been executed in compliance with the provisions of this chapter insofar as title or other interest of any bona fide purchasers, lessees, or transferees of such property is concerned.



Exercise of community renewal project powers.

(1) A municipality may itself exercise its community renewal project powers or may, if the local governing body by ordinance or resolution determines such action to be in the public interest, elect to have such powers exercised by the community renewal agency or a department or other officers of the municipality or by any other public body.
(2) In the event the local governing body determines to have the powers exercised by the community renewal agency, such body may authorize the community renewal agency or department or other officers of the municipality to exercise any of the following community renewal project powers:
(a) To formulate and coordinate a workable program as specified in RCW 35.81.040.
(b) To prepare community renewal plans.
(c) To prepare recommended modifications to a community renewal project plan.
(d) To undertake and carry out community renewal projects as required by the local governing body.
(e) To acquire, own, lease, encumber, and sell real or personal property. The agency may not acquire real or personal property using the eminent domain process, unless authorized independently of this chapter.
(f) To create local improvement districts under RCW 35.81.190 and 35.81.200.
(g) To issue bonds from time to time in its discretion to finance the undertaking of any community renewal project under this chapter. The bonds issued under this section must meet the requirements of RCW 35.81.100.
(h) To make and execute contracts as specified in RCW 35.81.070, with the exception of contracts for the purchase or sale of real or personal property.
(i) To disseminate blight clearance and community renewal information.
(j) To exercise the powers prescribed by RCW 35.81.070(2), except the power to agree to conditions for federal financial assistance and imposed pursuant to federal law relating to salaries and wages, shall be reserved to the local governing body.
(k) To enter any building or property, in any community renewal area, in order to make surveys and appraisals in the manner specified in RCW 35.81.070(6).
(l) To improve, clear, or prepare for redevelopment any real or personal property in a community renewal area.
(m) To insure real or personal property as provided in RCW 35.81.070(6).
(n) To effectuate the plans provided for in RCW 35.81.070(9).
(o) To prepare plans for the relocation of families displaced from a community renewal area and to coordinate public and private agencies in such relocation.
(p) To prepare plans for carrying out a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings and improvements.
(q) To conduct appraisals, title searches, surveys, studies, and other preliminary plans and work necessary to prepare for the undertaking of community renewal projects.
(r) To negotiate for the acquisition of land.
(s) To study the closing, vacating, planning, or replanning of streets, roads, sidewalks, ways, or other places and to make recommendations with respect thereto.
(t) To provide financial and technical assistance to a person or public body, for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs, a substantial portion of which, as determined by the municipality, shall be for persons of low income.
(u) To make payments, grants, and other assistance to, or contract with, existing or new owners and tenants of property in the community renewal area, under RCW 35.81.070.
(v) To organize, coordinate, and direct the administration of the provisions of this chapter.
(w) To perform such duties as the local governing body may direct so as to make the necessary arrangements for the exercise of the powers and the performance of the duties and responsibilities entrusted to the local governing body.
Any powers granted in this chapter that are not included in this subsection (2) as powers of the community renewal agency or a department or other officers of a municipality in lieu thereof may only be exercised by the local governing body or other officers, boards, and commissions as provided by law.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Exercise of community renewal project powersAssignment of powersCommunity renewal agency.

(1) When a municipality has made the finding prescribed in RCW 35.81.050 and has elected to have the community renewal project powers, as specified in RCW 35.81.150, exercised, such community renewal project powers may be assigned to a department or other officers of the municipality or to any existing public body corporate, or the legislative body of a municipality may create a community renewal agency in such municipality to be known as a public body corporate to which such powers may be assigned.
(2) If the community renewal agency is authorized to transact business and exercise powers under this chapter, the mayor, by and with the advice and consent of the local governing body, shall appoint a board of commissioners of the community renewal agency which shall consist of five commissioners. The initial membership shall consist of one commissioner appointed for one year, one for two years, one for three years, and two for four years; and each appointment thereafter shall be for four years, except that in the case of death, incapacity, removal, or resignation of a commissioner, the replacement may be appointed to serve the remainder of the commissioner's term.
(3) A commissioner shall receive no compensation for services but shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including traveling expenses, incurred in the discharge of his or her duties. Each commissioner shall hold office until a successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner.
The powers and responsibilities of a community renewal agency shall be exercised by the commissioners thereof. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business and exercising the powers and responsibilities of the agency and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the agency upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws shall require a larger number. Any persons may be appointed as commissioners if they reside within the municipality.
The community renewal agency or department or officers exercising community renewal project powers shall be staffed with the necessary technical experts and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require. An agency authorized to transact business and exercise powers under this chapter shall file, with the local governing body, on or before March 31st of each year, a report of its activities for the preceding calendar year, which report shall include a complete financial statement setting forth its assets, liabilities, income, and operating expense as of the end of such calendar year. At the time of filing the report, the agency shall publish in a legal newspaper in the community a notice to the effect that such report has been filed with the municipality and that the report is available for inspection during business hours in the office of the clerk of the municipality and in the office of the agency.
(4) For inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office, a commissioner may be removed by the legislative body of the municipality.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Discrimination prohibited.

For all of the purposes of this chapter, no person shall, because of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin, be subjected to any discrimination.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.
DiscriminationHuman rights commission: Chapter 49.60 RCW.



Restrictions against public officials or employees acquiring or owning an interest in project, contract, etc.

No official or department or division head of a municipality or community renewal agency or department or officers with responsibility for making or supervising any decisions in the exercise of community renewal project powers and responsibilities under RCW 35.81.150 shall voluntarily acquire any interest, direct or indirect, in any community renewal project, or in any property included or planned to be included in any community renewal project of such municipality, or in any contract or proposed contract in connection with such community renewal project. Whether or not such an acquisition is voluntary, the person acquiring it shall immediately disclose the interest acquired in writing to the local governing body and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the governing body. If any such official or department or division head owns or controls, or owned or controlled within two years prior to the date of the first public hearing on the community renewal project, any interest, direct or indirect, in any property that he or she knows is included in a community renewal project, he or she shall immediately disclose this fact in writing to the local governing body, and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the governing body, and any such official or department or division head shall not participate in any action on that particular project by the municipality or community renewal agency. Any willful violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute misconduct in office.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Local improvement districtsEstablishmentSpecial assessmentsBonds.

(1) A community renewal agency may establish local improvement districts within the community renewal area, and levy special assessments, in annual installments extending over a period not exceeding twenty years on all property specially benefited by the local improvement, on the basis of special benefits, to pay in whole or in part the damages or costs of the local improvement, and issue local improvement bonds to be paid from local improvement assessments. The formation of the local improvement districts, the determination, levy, and collection of such assessments, and the issuance of such bonds shall be as provided for the formation of local improvement districts, the determination, levy, and collection of local improvement assessments, and the issuance of local improvement bonds by cities and towns, insofar as consistent with this chapter. These bonds may be in any form, including bearer bonds or registered bonds as provided in RCW 39.46.030.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the bonds authorized under subsection (1) of this section may be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Local improvement districtsContent of notice.

Any notice given to the public or to the owners of specific lots, tracts, or parcels of land relating to the formation of a local improvement district created under RCW 35.81.190 shall contain a statement that actual assessments may vary from assessment estimates so long as they do not exceed a figure equal to the increased benefit the improvement adds to the property.

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.



Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "community renewal law."

NOTES:

SeverabilitySavingsConstruction2002 c 218: See notes following RCW 35.81.005.