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AGO 1950 No. 294 - July 05, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

Under the facts submitted, it is the belief of the Attorney General that Irby School District No. 107 is bounded on three or more sides by Odessa School District No. 105, both in Lincoln County, Washington.

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                                                                     July 5, 1950

Honorable Fred G. Campbell
Prosecuting Attorney
Lincoln County
Davenport, Washington                                                                                                   Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 294

Dear Sir:

            You have asked for an opinion on the following statement of facts:

            "The Lincoln County Committee on school district organization has under consideration the question of the annexation of Irby School District No. 107, in which there is no accredited high school maintained, to Odessa School District No. 105 in which there is an accredited high school situated and maintained.  The action of the County Committee is being taken under Section 17, Chapter 266 of the Session Laws of 1947.  I am enclosing a map of Irby District No. 107 and Odessa District No. 105 for the purpose of securing from you an opinion as to whether or not the Irby district is bounded on three or more sides by the Odessa district so as to permit annexation as provided under the Session Laws.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "Some objection has been raised to the authority of the organization committee to consider the question of annexation on the basis that Irby district is not bounded on three sides by the Odessa district.  You will observe upon an examination of the map that the Irby district is irregular in shape and that it is bounded by the Odessa district on three sides and that the Odessa district is adjacent to the Irby district to the extent of three‑fourths of the total boundary of the Irby district.  Apparently the arguments of the objectors consist of their belief that the district is bounded on three or more sides by two districts, namely, Odessa and Marlin."

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            We note from the enclosed map, which shows the boundaries of the Marlin No. 202 School District, the 107 Irby School District and the 105 Odessa School District, that Odessa District is much larger than either of the other two.  No reasonable argument could be made that Odessa School District does not bound Irby School District on at least the east side and the south side.  We further note that on the northeast corner of Irby District that Section 5, Township 22 N, Range 32 E, is in Odessa District and that the boundary of Irby District runs west along the section line between Sections 8 and 5, Township 22, and then turns north along the section line between Sections 5 and 6, Township 22.  We further note that the boundary of Irby School District at the southwest corner, after running west between Sections 2 and 11, Township 21 N, Range 31 E, turns north and runs along the section line between Sections 2 and 3, Township 21 N, and then turns west and runs along the township boundaries between Townships 21 and 22 and directly between Township 3, Section 21, Range 31 E, and Township 34, Section 22, Range 31 E, and then turns north and runs on the section line between Sections 34 and 33, Township 22, and then turns east along the section line between Sections 34 and 27, Township 22.  In other words, Section 34, Township 22 N, Range 31 E, is a section which protrudes out from the general western boundaries of Irby School District 107 to the westerly.  It might therefore be said that Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6, Township 21, Range 31 E, and Sections 31, 32 and 33, Township 22, Range 31 E, are westerly of the Irby District.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            Section 17, chapter 266, Laws of 1947 (4693-36 Rem. Supp. 1947), provides:

            "Whenever all or any part of a school district in which no accredited high school is maintained is bounded on three (3) or more sides by a school district in which an accredited high school is situated and maintained, the County Superintendent shall report said fact to the County Committee, which Committee shall consider the question of the annexation to the aforesaid high school district of the territory so bounded."

            Section 41, chapter 266, Laws of 1947, repealed numerous sections of existing law.  Among the sections repealed was section 4727, Rem. Rev. Stat., which section provided in part:

            "Provided, that whenever any part of a school district of the third class in which no high school is maintained is bounded on three sides by a school district of the second class in which a high school is situated and maintained, the county superintendent of schools may without petition * * *"

 

            The case ofIn re Chelan Electric Company, 152 Wash. 412, 278 Pac. 171, construed section 4727,supra.  It would appear from the opinion that "Certain lands located in school district No. 17 (Chelan County) are bounded on three sides by school district No. 108."  Apparently the situation was somewhat comparable to the factual situation herein in so far as the actual geographical boundaries of the Irby and Odessa School Districts are concerned in that only a part of District 17 was bounded on three sides by District 108.  In theChelan Electric case the court held that a property owner could not as such property owner defeat the transfer of a portion of School District No. 17 to School District No. 108, although the court does not discuss the question of whether District 17 could complain or if any children resided in District 17 might complain, but based its decision solely upon the question that a mere taxpayer could not object to such transfer.  See alsoIn re Consolidated School District No. 25 of Walla Walla County-100 Columbia County, 187 Wash. 270, 59 P. (2d) 1137.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 4]]

            We therefore find from the enclosed map that a "part" of the Irby District, to wit:  Sections 8, 17, 20, 29 and 32, Township 22, Range 32 E, and Section 5, Township 21, Range 32 E, are bounded on the north by Odessa District.  Also that Sections 1 and 2, Township 21, Range 31 E; and Sections 5 and 6, Township 21, Range 32 E; Sections 34, 35 and 36, Township 22, Range 31 E; and Sections 31 and 32, Township 22, Range 32 E, are all bounded on the west by Odessa District.

            Apparently, the legislature in passing section 4693-36 Rem. Supp. 1947,supra, intended to enlarge the scope of the quoted portion of section 4727, Rem. Rev. Stat.,supra, in that the 1947 law provided:

            "Whenever all or any part of a school district * * *"

            It would seem manifest that the above mentioned parts of the Irby School District are bounded on three sides by the Odessa School District.

            We believe, therefore, that Irby School District No. 107 is bounded on three or more sides by Odessa School District No. 105.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

GEORGE DOWNER
Assistant Attorney General

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