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4 Gonz. L. Rev. 101 (1968-1969)

handle is hein.journals/gonlr4 and id is 103 raw text is: GOVERNMENT

Constitutional Limitation on Statutory Authority
An applicant, who was not a certified plumbing contractor,
was denied a permit to do some plumbing work in a dwelling be-
cause it was not occupied by him. The applicant argued that he
intended to comply with the code standards' and that the require-
ment that a homeowner must be licensed to do work on his own
premises, merely because he intends to rent rather than occupy the
premises, was not reasonably related to the public health, and there-
fore unduly restricted his lawful activity upon private property,
in violation of the due process provisions of the United States
Constitution and the Washington State Constitution.2
The Washington Supreme Court, in State ex rel. Rhodes v.
Cook, 72 Wash. Dec. 2d 431, 433 P.2d 677 (1967), held that the
refusal of a license was not a violation of the landowner's rights,
and that the denial of the permit was a proper exercise of the
police power, in the interests of public health and safety.3 The
court relied upon the standard position that facts justifying a reg-
ulation are presumed to exist, if such facts can be reasonably pre-
sumed. In effect, the court argued that the ruling was reasonable,
in that homeowners working on dwellings occupied by their own
families would tend to perform their work more carefully than
when doing the same work for strangers. The court discounted
the defendant's counter-argument that he was willing to have an
inspector certify the final work product. The reasoning is that
there is no practical means to perform a thorough check of the
work methods used. If, however, the workman is certified and thus
theoretically qualified, his work methods are more likely to be
consistent with good workmanship. Therefore, it is reasonably re-
lated to the public health and safety to require certification of the
licensee where the work is done on a dwelling unit not that of the
Statutory Authority
Does a municipal ordinance apply to privately owned prop-
erty? In City of Seattle v. Wright, 72 Wash. Dec. 2d 546, 433 P.2d
1 Uniform Plumbing Code, (1961 ed.), promulgated by the Western Plumbing
Officials Association.
2 U.S. CONST. amend. XIV; WASH. CONS'. art. I, § 3.
3 City of Tacoma v. Fox, 158 Wash. 325, 290 P. 1010 (1930).

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