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Growth Management and Planning Interlocal Agreements

This page provides examples of interlocal agreements in Washington State related to growth management and planning.

It is part of MRSC's series on Interlocal Cooperation.


In Washington State, the Interlocal Cooperation Act (Chapter 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.

Joint Planning and Urban Growth Area Agreements

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

Washington UGA 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

For information and examples, see our series on Annexation in Washington State.

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 kick-off work towards future agreements to share or adjust revenues.

Recommended Resources

Last Modified: February 27, 2024