Quantico, Town of
County of Prince William
History of incorporation
Incorporated by order of Circuit Court, October 6, 1927.
Charter, 1934, c. 206.
Amendments to current charter
1973, c. 43 (§ 5)
1999, c. 176 (§ 6)
§ 1. That the town of Quantico, in the county of Prince William, shall continue to be a town corporate, in the name and style of the town of Quantico, and as such shall have and may exercise all powers which are now, and hereafter may be conferred upon or delegated to towns under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as fully and completely as though said powers were specifically enumerated herein, and no enumeration of particular powers by this charter shall be held to be exclusive. (1934, c. 206)
§ 2. The corporate limits of the town of Quantico, Virginia, as heretofore established, are hereby re-established as follows:
Beginning at a point in the low water line of the Potomac river, which said point marks the intersection of the low water line of the Potomac river with the north line of Potomac avenue, as set forth in a plat attached to an order entered in the circuit court of Prince William county, Virginia, incorporating the town of Quantico, in a proceeding for said purpose; thence westerly along the north side of Potomac avenue to an iron pipe, designated as monument one hundred and thirty-four and located one hundred and forty-one and ten one-hundredths, more or less, feet east of the east line of lot twenty-eight, block four, section "A" of the map or plat of Quantico, duly recorded in deed book sixty-eight, in the clerk's office of the circuit court of Prince William county; thence at right angles to the north line of Potomac avenue in a straight line southerly to the center line of Fifth avenue, as shown on said plat, or monument one hundred and thirty-five; thence in a generally westerly direction at right angles to said last mentioned line, along the center line of Fifth avenue to the west side of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railway Company's right of way fourteen hundred and sixty-three and twenty-three one-hundredths feet; thence in a general northwesterly point of intersection with Little creek sixteen hundred and eleven and sixty-three one-hundredths feet, more or less; thence following Little creek toward the Potomac river to monument one hundred and thirty-seven; thence with the same monument one hundred and thirty-eight and thence with said creek to monument one hundred and thirty-nine; thence in a southwesterly direction to monument one hundred and forty; thence in a southeasterly direction, running with monument one hundred and forty-one and one hundred and forty-one-a and to monument one hundred and forty-two at the mouth of said Little creek to mean low water on said Potomac river; and thence with mean low water and the meanders of said river to the point of beginning, save and excepting therefrom lot number one, in block five, in section "A," and a strip of land sixteen feet wide and seven hundred and fifty feet long running from said Potomac avenue to Little creek, heretofore commandeered and taken over by the United States government as part and parcel of a marine corps post. (1934, c. 206)
§ 3. In addition to the powers mentioned in § 1 hereof, the town of Quantico shall have the following powers:
(a) To raise annually, by taxes and assessments in said town, such sums of money as the council thereof shall deem necessary for the purposes of said town, in such manner as said council shall deem expedient in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia and of the United States.
(b) To levy and collect taxes, and assessments on persons, property, subject to local taxation, privileges, amusements, business, professions, and occupations; to issue licenses for the conduct or operation of privileges, amusements, business, professions, and occupations; to make and collect charges and fees therefor.
(c) To impose special or local assessments for local improvements and to enforce payment thereof, subject to such limitations prescribed by the Constitution and laws of Virginia as may be in force at the time of the imposition of such special or local assessments.
(d) To contract debts, borrow money and make and issue evidences of indebtedness, and have a common seal.
(e) To expend the money of the town for all lawful purposes.
(f) To acquire by purchase, gift, devise, condemnation or otherwise property, real or personal, or any estate therein, within or without the town, for any of the purposes thereof; and to hold, improve, sell, lease, mortgage the same or any part thereof, including any property now owned by the town.
(g) To construct, maintain, regulate and operate public improvements of all kinds, including municipal and other buildings, grounds and structures necessary or appropriate for the use and proper operation of the various departments of the town.
(h) To own, operate, and maintain water works, and to acquire in any lawful manner, in any county of the State, or from the United States government, such water, lands, proper rights and riparian rights as the council of said town may deem necessary for the purpose of providing an adequate water supply to said town, and of piping or conducting the same; to lay all necessary mains and service lines within and without the corporate limits of said town; to erect and maintain all necessary dams, pumping stations and other works in connection therewith; to make reasonable rules and regulations for promoting the purity of its said water supply, and for protecting the same from pollution, and, for this purpose to exercise full police powers and sanitary patrol over all lands comprised within the limits of the water shed tributary to any such water supply, wherever such lands may be located in this State; to impose and enforce adequate penalties for the violation of any such rules and regulations, and to prevent by injunction any pollution or threatened pollution of such water supply, and any and all acts likely to impair the purity thereof; and to carry out the powers herein granted, the said town may exercise within the State all powers of eminent domain provided by the laws of this State.
(i) To own, operate, and maintain electric light and gas works either within or without the corporate limits of said town, and to supply gas and electricity, whether the same be generated or purchased by said town, to its customers and consumers both within and without the corporate limits of the said town, at such price and upon such terms as may be prescribed, and to that end it may contract to purchase electricity and gas from the owners thereof upon such terms as it may deem expedient.
(j) To establish, impose, and enforce the collection of water, light, gas, and sewerage rates, and rates and charges for other services, products, or conveniences operated or furnished by the town; and the said council may prescribe a different rate to be paid for such services and conveniences rendered to users or customers without the corporate limits from the charges made to those within the corporate limits of said town.
(k) To establish, enter, open, widen, extend, grade, improve, construct, maintain, light, sprinkle and clean public streets, highways, alleys, parkways and parks, and to alter or close the same; to regulate the weight of loads to be hauled or carried over and upon the streets; to regulate the use of all such highways, parks, streets, alleys, parkways, and public grounds; to prevent the obstruction and destruction, and injury to, any of such streets and highways; to require any railroad company operating a railroad at the place where any highway or street is crossed within the town limits to erect and maintain at such crossing any style of gate deemed proper, and keep a man in charge thereof, or keep a flagman at such crossing during such hours as the council may require in accordance with the general law of the State, and to regulate the length of time such crossings may be closed due to any operations of the railroad; to regulate the operation and speed of all cars and vehicles upon said streets and highways, as well as the speed of all engines, cars, and trains of railroads within the town; to permit or prohibit poles and wires for electric, telephone and telegraph purposes to be erected, and gas lines to be laid in the streets and alleys, and to prescribe and collect an annual charge for such privilege hereafter granted; to require the owner or lessee of any electric light, telephone or telegraph pole or poles or wires now in use or hereafter erected to change the location or move the same.
(l) To acquire by gift, purchase, or by the exercise of the power of eminent domain within this State, land or any interest or estate in lands, rock quarries, gravel pits, sand pits, water and water rights. and the necessary roadways thereto, either within or without the town, and acquire and install machinery and equipment and build the necessary roads and tramways thereto, and operate the same for the purpose of producing materials required for any and all purposes of the said town.
(m) To establish, construct, and maintain sanitary sewers, sewer lines, and cisterns and to require the abutting property owners to connect therewith, and to establish, construct, maintain, and operate sewerage disposal plants, and to acquire by condemnation or otherwise, within or without the town, all lands, rights of way, and other rights and easements necessary for the purposes aforesaid, and to charge and collect reasonable fees and assessments or costs of service for connecting with and using the same.
(n) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution of Virginia and of this charter, to grant franchises for public utilities.
(o) To collect and dispose of sewerage, offal, ashes, garbage. carcasses of dead animals and other refuse, and to make reasonable charges therefor; to acquire and operate reduction or other plants for the utilization or destruction of such materials, or any of them, and to contract for and regulate and collect for the disposal thereof, and to require and regulate the disposal thereof;
(p) To compel the abatement of all nuisances within the town, or upon property owned by the town beyond its limits, at the expense of the person or persons causing the same, or of the owner or occupant of the ground or premises whereon the same may be, and to collect said expense by suit or motion, or by distress and sale; to require all lands, lots and other premises within the town to be kept clean and sanitary and free from stagnant water, weeds, filth, and unsightly deposits, or to make them so at the expense of the owners or occupants thereof, and to collect said expense by suit or motion, or by distress and sale; to regulate or prevent slaughter houses or other noisome or offensive business within the said town, the keeping of hogs, or other animals, poultry or other fowl therein, or the exercise of any dangerous or unwholesome business, trade, or employment therein; to regulate the transportation of all articles through the streets of the town; to compel the abatement of smoke and dust, and prevent unnecessary noise; to regulate the location of stables and the manner in which they shall be kept constructed; to regulate the location, construction and operation and maintenance of bill boards; to provide how, when, and under what conditions awnings may project over the streets and sidewalks from buildings, and sidewalks may be used for advertising and display signs and merchandise; to generally define, prohibit, abate, suppress, and prevent all things detrimental to the health, morals, aesthetics, safety, convenience, and welfare of the inhabitants of the town; and to require all owners or occupants of property having sidewalks in front thereof to keep the same clean and sanitary, and free from all weeds, filth, unsightly deposits, ice, or snow.
(q) The council may, in its discretion, appoint a board of health for the town and invest it with authority for the prompt and efficient performance of its duties.
(r) To inspect, test, measure, and weigh any commodity or article of consumption for use within the town, and to establish, regulate, license, and inspect weights, meters, measures and scales.
(s) To extinguish and prevent fires, and to establish, regulate, and control a fire department or division, to regulate the size, heights, materials and construction of buildings, fences, walls, retaining walls and other structures hereafter erected, in such manner as the public safety and conveniences may require; to remove, or require to be removed or reconstructed any building, structure or addition thereto, which by reason of dilapidation, defect of structure, or other causes, may have become dangerous to life or property, or which may be erected contrary to law; to establish and designate from time to time fire limits, within which limits wooden buildings shall not be constructed, removed to, added to, enlarged, or repaired, and to direct any and all future buildings within such limits shall be constructed of stone, natural or artificial, concrete, brick, iron or other fireproof material; and may enact stringent and efficient laws for securing the safety of persons from fires in halls and buildings used for public assemblies, entertainments or amusements.
(t) To charge and to collect fees for permits to use public facilities and for public service and privileges. Said town shall have the power and right to charge a different rate for any service rendered or convenience furnished to citizens without the corporate limits from the rates charged for similar service to citizens within the corporate limits.
(u) To prevent any person having no visible means of support, paupers, and persons who may be dangerous to the peace and safety of the town, from coming to said town from without the same; and also to expel therefrom any such person who has been in said town less than twelve months.
(v) To provide in or near the town lands to be used as burial places for the dead; providing land for the same may be secured; otherwise to provide same as near as may be to the town; to improve and care for the same and the approaches thereto, and to charge for and regulate the use of ground therein; and to provide for the perpetual upkeep and care of any plot or burial lot therein, the town is authorized to take and receive sums of money by gift, bequest, or otherwise, to be kept invested, and the income therefrom used in and about the perpetual upkeep and care of the said lot or plot, for which the said donation, gift, or bequest shall have been made.
(w) To exercise full police powers and establish and maintain a department or division of police.
(x) To restrain and punish drunkards, vagrants and street beggars; to prevent and quell riots, disturbances, and disorderly assemblages; to suppress houses of ill-fame, and gambling houses; to prevent and punish lewd, indecent and disorderly exhibitions in said town; and to expel therefrom persons guilty of such conduct who have not resided therein as much as one year.
(y) To license and regulate the holding and location of shows, circuses, public exhibitions, carnivals and similar shows or fairs, or prohibit the holding of the same or any of them within the town; to require every owner of a motor vehicle residing in said town, on a date to be designated by the council, to annually register such motor vehicle and obtain a license to operate the same by making application to the treasurer of said town, and to require said owner to pay an annual license fee therefor to be fixed by the council, but said license fee shall not exceed the amount charged by the State on said machine.
(z) To make and enforce ordinances similar to the laws of the State appertaining to ardent spirits.
(aa) To do all things whatsoever necessary or expedient, and lawful to be done, for promoting or maintaining the general welfare, comfort, education, morals, peace, government, health, trade, commerce, or industries of the town, or its inhabitants.
(bb) To prescribe any penalty for the violation of any town ordinance, rule or regulation, or of any provisions of this charter, not exceeding five hundred dollars, or twelve months imprisonment in jail, or both.
(cc) To prohibit and punish mischievous, wanton, or malicious damage to school property, public property, and private property.
(dd) To prohibit and punish minors frequenting, playing in, or loitering in any public poolroom, billiard parlor or tenpin alley, and to punish any proprietor or agent thereof for permitting same.
(ee) To pass and enforce all by-laws, rules, regulations and ordinances which it may deem necessary for the good order and government of the town, the management of its property, the conduct of its affairs, the peace, comfort, convenience, order, morals, health and protection of its citizens or their property, and to do such other things, and pass such other laws as may be necessary or proper to carry into full effect, all power, authority, capacity, or jurisdiction, which is or shall be granted to or vested in said town, or in the council or officers thereof, or which may be necessarily incident to a municipal corporation.
The town of Quantico may maintain a suit to restrain by injunction the violation of any ordinance, notwithstanding punishment may be provided for the violation of such ordinance. (1934, c. 206)
§ 4. The government of said town shall be vested in a town council, which shall be composed of a mayor and five councilmen, each and all of whom shall be residents of, and qualified voters of said town. Vacancies in the office of mayor or councilmen shall be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the remaining members of the council. The mayor shall preside over all meetings of said council, and shall not vote upon any matter before the council except in the case of a tie vote of councilmen voting. The mayor shall be the chief executive officer of the town, and shall have the jurisdiction and authority of a justice of the peace for Prince William county, and shall have exclusive jurisdiction for the trial of offenses arising under the ordinances of said town. In the absence of the mayor the council shall, by majority vote, select one of its members to act as mayor pro tem. (1934, c. 206)
§ 5. The mayor and councilmen in office at the time of the passage of this act shall continue in office until the first day of July, of the year following termination of their respective terms, or until their successors are elected and qualified. The election for mayor and councilmen shall be held on the first Tuesday in May, 1974, and every two years thereafter, and the mayor and councilmen elected under this act shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices the first day of July succeeding their election. (1934, c. 206; 1973, c. 43)
§ 6. The officers of the said town, in addition to the mayor and councilmen, shall be a treasurer, a clerk, and a sergeant. The treasurer, clerk and sergeant may reside within or outside the town boundaries. The council may by ordinance provide for such other officers, agents, and employees as it may deem appropriate, prescribe their duties and fix their compensation. The treasurer, clerk, and sergeant shall be elected by the council for a term of two years coincident with that of the council. The office of treasurer and clerk may be filled by the same person, who may by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the council, be a member of the council. (1934, c. 206; 1999, c. 176)
§ 7. The council shall fix the salaries of the mayor, councilmen, treasurer, clerk, and sergeant, and such other officers or agents as it may employ, which shall not be increased or diminished during their term of office of such officer or agent. (1934, c. 206)
§ 8. The council shall, by ordinance, adopt such rules as it may deem proper for the regulation of its proceedings, and the time of its meetings, and by a three-fourths vote of the whole council may expel a member for good cause. A majority of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but no ordinance or resolution shall be adopted having for its object the levying of taxes or contracting a debt except by a vote of two-thirds of the council. The mayor shall preside at all meetings of the council. All meetings of the council shall be public, unless the council by a recorded affirmative vote of two-thirds of its members shall declare that the public welfare demands an executive session of the council; any citizen may have access to the minutes and records of the council at any reasonable times. (1934, c. 206)
§ 9. The mayor, in addition to his duty in presiding over the council, shall perform such other duties consistent with his office as may be imposed by the council; he shall have and exercise all power and authority conferred by general law on mayors of towns not inconsistent with this charter; he shall be the official head of the town. In times of public danger or emergency he may take command of the police and maintain order and enforce the laws, and for this purpose may deputize such assistant policemen as may be necessary. During his absence or disability his duties shall be performed by another member elected by the council as in this charter set forth. He shall authenticate by his signature such documents and instruments as the council, this charter, or the laws of the State shall require. (1934, c. 206)
§ 10. The town treasurer shall be the disbursing agent of the town and have the custody of all moneys and all evidences of value belonging to the town, or held in trust by the town. He shall receive all money belonging to and received by the town and keep a correct account of all receipts from all sources, and expenditures of all departments. He shall collect all taxes and assessments, water rents, and other charges belonging to and payable to the town, and for that purpose he is hereby vested with any and all powers which are now, or may hereafter be vested in county and State treasurers, for the collection of county, town, and State taxes under the general law. He shall keep and disburse all moneys or funds in such manner and in such places as may be determined by ordinance or the provisions of law applicable thereto. He shall pay no money out of the treasury except in the manner prescribed by ordinance or general law; he shall perform such duties as are usually incident to the office of commissioner of revenue in relation to the assessment of property and the license taxes, and shall have power to administer oaths in the performance of his official duties; and shall make such reports and perform such other duties not inconsistent with the office as may be required by the mayor, or by ordinance or resolution of the council. The treasurer shall not be entitled to any commission for handling the funds of the town but shall be paid such salary as may be provided by the council, and before entering upon the duties of his office shall execute a bond in such amount and with such security as the council by ordinance may prescribe. (1934, c. 206)
§ 11. The town clerk shall be the clerk of the council, shall attend all meetings thereof, and shall keep a record of its proceedings. He shall keep all papers, documents, and records pertaining to the town, the custody of which is not otherwise provided for. He shall be custodian of the town seal and shall affix it to all documents and instruments requiring the seal, and shall attest the same, and shall perform such other duties as are required by general law or by the council by ordinance or resolution. (1934, c. 206)
§ 12. The town sergeant shall have the same powers and discharge the same duties as a constable within the corporate limits of the town; he shall perform such duties as may be required of town sergeants by the general law, and such other duties not inconsistent therewith as may be required of him by ordinance or resolution of the council. (1934, c. 206)
§ 13. The council may, by ordinance, create the office of police justice for the town and such police justice may be granted jurisdiction and powers similar to the jurisdiction and powers of police justices in cities of this State. The term of office of such police justice shall not be for a term extending beyond that of the council by which he may be appointed. (1934, c. 206)
§ 14. Licenses may be imposed by ordinance on business, trades, professions and callings, and upon the persons, firms, associations and corporations engaged therein, or doing, or offering to do, business within the boundaries of said town, whose principal office is, or is not, located in said town, except when prohibited by general law, whether a license may be required therefor by the State or not, and it may exceed the State license if any be required; licenses may also be imposed upon persons, firms, and corporations selling and delivering at the same time at other than a definite place of business goods, wares or merchandise, to licensed dealers or retailers in said town. It is the purpose of this section to give the council of this town the power to tax and license all subjects within its jurisdiction not withheld from taxation by cities and towns by the laws of this State, whether herein specifically enumerated or not.
For every town license issued by the treasurer under this charter he may charge a fee to be prescribed by ordinance, not in excess of seventy-five cents, and for transferring a license the fee shall not be in excess of fifty cents, such fees to be paid by the person obtaining the license or transfer, and the license or transfer may be withheld until the fees are paid into the town treasury for town purposes, should any such fees be prescribed by town ordinance. (1934, c. 206)
§ 15. A lien shall exist on all real estate within the corporate limits for taxes, levies, and assessments in favor of the town, assessed thereon from the commencement of the year for which the same were assessed, and the procedure for collecting said taxes, for selling real estate for town taxes, and for the redemption of real estate sold for town taxes shall be the same as provided in the general law of the State to the same extent as if the provisions of said general law were herein set out at length. The said town and its treasurer shall have the benefit of all other and additional remedies for the collection of town taxes which are now, or hereafter may be granted or permitted under the general law. (1934, c. 206)
§ 16. All ordinances now in force in the town of Quantico, not inconsistent with this charter, shall be and remain in full force until altered, amended, or repealed by the council of said town. (1934, c. 206)
§ 17. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, or part of this act, shall for any reason be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder of said act, but shall be confined in its operations to the clause, sentence, paragraph, or part thereof, directly involved in the controversy in which said judgment shall have been rendered. (1934, c. 206)
§ 18. All contracts and obligations heretofore or hereafter made by the present council and government of the town of Quantico while in office, not inconsistent with this charter, or the Constitution and the general laws of this State, shall be and hereby are declared to be valid and legal. (1934, c. 206)
§ 19. The enumeration of particular powers and authority in this charter shall not be deemed or held to be exclusive but in addition to the powers herein enumerated, implied hereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, the said town shall have and may exercise all other powers which are now or may hereafter be possessed or enjoyed by towns under the Constitution and general laws of this State. (1934, c. 206)
§ 20. An emergency existing, this act shall be in force from its passage. (1934, c. 206)