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Growth Management and Planning Interlocal Agreements


In Washington State, the Interlocal Cooperation Act (Ch. 39.34 RCW) authorizes public agencies to contract with other public agencies via interlocal agreements that enable cooperation among governments to perform governmental activities and deliver public services.

Interlocal agreements between counties and cities for planning and growth management purposes take a variety of forms, including agreements to jointly develop comprehensive plans, agreements to provide or consolidate planning services, agreements regarding annexation that address the transition of service provision from counties to cities and may provide for some revenue sharing, and other agreements for cooperation on planning and growth management issues. For more information on intergovernmental cooperation in Washington and for examples of other types of interlocal agreements, see the MRSC page on Interlocal Cooperation.

Joint Planning and Urban Growth Area Agreements

The following are examples of agreements for cooperative planning within urban growth areas, or other cooperative planning efforts between jurisdictions.

Washington Urban Growth Area Cooperative Planning Agreements

Planning Services and Departmental Consolidation Agreements

An increasing number of jurisdictions are using interlocal agreements when certain planning services may be more efficiently provided by contracting with other jurisdictions. This may work particularly well if one jurisdiction has work that doesn't amount to a full time position or requires special expertise that may be available from another jurisdiction. Some communities, such as Walla Walla, have established joint planning programs to reduce costs or to improve services.

Annexation Agreements

The following sections from MRSC's Annexation webpage provide examples of interlocal agreements that address the transition when portions of urban growth areas are annexed to cities. The second section offers examples of pre-annexation agreements which are adopted to establish zoning that will become effective upon annexation. When a property is annexed at the request of a property owner or developer, a development agreement governing the specific development of the property may accompany the annexation agreement.

Annexation and Growth Management Agreements - Revenue Sharing

These agreements address transition of public service provision from counties to cities and seek to compensate counties, at least on a transitional basis, for lost revenues. Most address allocation of sales and/or property taxes after annexation, but several address other types of revenues. Most address capital expenditure reimbursement to the county for capital improvements prior to annexation. A few are preliminary agreements that set in motion work toward future agreements to share or adjust revenues.

General Information on Intergovernmental Planning and Agreements

Last Modified: August 12, 2020