1-2-1:    Rules For Construction Of Ordinances And Amendments

1-2-2:    Initiative And Referendum

1-2-3:    Correction of Manifest Errors (Rep. by Ord. 5887)


In the construction of the Compiled, Codified and Revised Ordinances and all ordinances amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto, the following rules shall be observed unless such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the legislative body or repugnant to the context of the ordinance.

A.    Intent to Defraud: Whenever by any of the provisions of this Code, an intent to defraud is required in order to constitute an offense, it is sufficient if an intent appears to defraud any person, association or body politic or any combination of persons.

B.    Title of Sections and Subsections: The title of any section or subsection of these compiled, codified and revised ordinances shall be deemed to in nowise restrict or qualify or to limit the effect of the provisions set forth and contained in such section or subsection.

C.    Constitutionality, Effect of: Should any section, subsection or portion of these Compiled, Codified and Revised Ordinances or of any ordinance which may be hereafter passed, approved and published as required by law, be declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or void, such adjudication shall in no way affect the remaining portion of such section, subsection, part or portion of these compiled, codified and revised ordinances or of any such ordinances hereafter passed.

D.    Definitions:

The singular number includes the plural.

Words used in the present include the future.

Words used in the masculine gender comprehend, as well, the feminine and neuter.

The word “shall” is mandatory.

The word “may” is discretionary.

Words prohibiting anything being done, except in accordance with a license or permit or authority from a board or officer, shall be construed as giving such board or officer power to license or permit or authorize such thing to be done.

DAY: Any twenty four (24) hour period from midnight to midnight; and the word MONTH, a calendar month unless otherwise expressed; and the word QUARTER, any three (3) month period, ending with the last day of March, June, September and December; the word YEAR, any one calendar year.

When any time is specified in these ordinances it shall mean standard time, as distinguished from solar time, and the words MIDNIGHT and NOON shall be taken to be midnight and noon standard time.

KNOWINGLY: Imports only a knowledge that the facts exist which brings the act or omission within the provisions herein contained. It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of such act or omission.

LAND, REAL ESTATE and REAL PROPERTY: Includes lands, tenements, hereditaments, water rights, possessory rights and claims.

OATH: Includes “affirmation”, and the word SWEAR includes the word “affirm”. Every mode of oral statement under oath or affirmation is embraced in the term “testify” and every written one in the term “dispose”.

OWNER: As applied to a building or land shall include any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, joint tenant or lessee of the whole or of a part of such land or building.

PERSON: Includes bodies politic and corporate, partnerships, associations and corporations.

PERSONAL PROPERTY: Includes every description of money, goods, chattels, effects, evidence of rights in action and written instruments by which any pecuniary obligation, right or title of and to property is created, acknowledged, transferred, increased, defeated, discharged or diminished and every right or interest therein.

PROPERTY: Includes both real and personal property.

SIGNATURE: Includes any name, mark or sign written with the intent to authenticate any instrument of writing.

STREET: Includes alleys, lanes, courts, boulevards, public ways, public squares, public places and sidewalks.

TENANT or OCCUPANT: As applied to a building or land, includes any person who occupies the whole or any part of such building or land whether alone or with others.

WILFULLY: When applied to the intent with which an act is done or omitted, implies simply a purpose or willingness to commit the act or make the omission referred to. It does not require any intent to violate law or to injure another to acquire an advantage.

WRITING: Includes printing, writing and typewriting.

E.    Applicability: For the purposes of clarity, brevity and consistency, unless otherwise stated or superseded by state law or case law, any reference to the Renton Municipal Code, or any chapter, section or subsection of the Renton Municipal Code, shall mean and require the application of the most recent amendment, version, or iteration of the Renton Municipal Code or any of its chapters, sections or subsections. The preceding sentence takes the place of and eliminates the need for the use of the phrase, “as it exists or may be amended” or any other phrase that conveys the same or a similar point.

This subsection applies to existing code provisions as well as future code amendments. (1957 Code; Ord. 5725, 10-13-14)


In pursuance of chapter 81, laws of 1973, 1st. Ex. Session (Senate Bill No. 2190) the City of Renton hereby elects to adopt, as a non-charter code city, the powers of initiative and referendum as set forth therein.

Any and all ordinances hereafter passed and adopted by the City shall not go into effect prior to thirty (30) days from the time of final passage and same shall be subject to referendum during the interim except the following ordinances:

A.    Ordinances initiated by petition;

B.    Ordinances necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health and safety or for the support of City government and its existing public institutions which contain a statement of urgency and are passed by unanimous vote of the Council;

C.    Ordinances providing for local improvement districts;

D.    Ordinances appropriating money;

E.    Ordinances providing for or approving collective bargaining agreements;

F.    Ordinances providing for the compensation of or working conditions of City employees and agents;

G.    Ordinances authorizing or repealing the levy of taxes; and all such excepted ordinances shall go into effect as provided by the general law or by applicable sections of title 35A RCW as now existing or as hereafter amended.

All powers of initiative and referendum shall be exercised in the manner set forth for the commission form of government in RCW 35.17.240 to 35.17.360 inclusive, as now or hereafter amended, except as otherwise provided in this Section 1-2-2, and except that the number of registered voters required to sign any petition for an initiative or referendum shall be fifteen percent (15%) of the total number of names or persons listed as registered voters within the City on the day of the last preceding City general election. (Ord. 2798, 9-10-73)


(Rep. by Ord. 5887, 9-17-18)