A. A locality may acquire by purchase, gift, devise, bequest, exchange, lease as lessee, or otherwise, title to, or any interests in, any real property, whether improved or unimproved, within its jurisdiction, for any public use. Acquisition of any interest in real property by condemnation is governed by Chapter 19 (§ 15.2-1901 et seq.). The acquisition of a leasehold or other interest in a telecommunications tower, owned by a nongovernmental source, for the operation of a locality's wireless radio communications systems shall be governed by this chapter.
B. Subject to any applicable requirements of Article VII, Section 9 of the Constitution, any locality may sell, at public or private sale, exchange, lease as lessor, mortgage, pledge, subordinate interest in or otherwise dispose of its real property, which includes the superjacent airspace (except airspace provided for in § 15.2-2030) which may be subdivided and conveyed separate from the subjacent land surface, provided that no such real property, whether improved or unimproved, shall be disposed of until the governing body has held a public hearing concerning such disposal. However, the holding of a public hearing shall not apply to (i) the leasing of real property to another public body, political subdivision or authority of the Commonwealth or (ii) conveyance of site development easements across public property, including, but not limited to, easements for ingress, egress, utilities, cable, telecommunications, storm water management, and other similar conveyances, that are consistent with the local capital improvement program, involving improvement of property owned by the locality. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the vacation of public interests in real property under the provisions of Articles 6 (§ 15.2-2240 et seq.) and 7 (§ 15.2-2280 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of this title.
C. A city or town may also acquire real property for a public use outside its boundaries; a county may acquire real property for a public use outside its boundaries when expressly authorized by law.
D. A locality may construct, insure, and equip buildings, structures and other improvements on real property owned or leased by it.
E. A locality may operate, maintain, and regulate the use of its real property or may contract with other persons to do so.
Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, no locality providing access and opportunity to use its real property, whether improved or unimproved, may deny equal access or a fair opportunity to use such real property to, or otherwise discriminate against, the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require any locality to sponsor the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA, or to exempt any such groups from local policies governing access to and use of a locality's real property. The provisions of this paragraph applicable to a locality shall also apply equally to any local governmental entity, including a department, agency, or authority.
F. This section shall not be construed to deprive the resident judge or judges of the right to control the use of the courthouse.
G. "Public use" as used in this section shall have the same meaning as in § 1-219.1.
Code 1950, § 15-692; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-262; 1968, c. 418; 1974, c. 282; 1977, c. 269; 1979, c. 431; 1980, cc. 212, 559; 1984, c. 241; 1986, cc. 477, 573; 1990, c. 813; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 696; 2005, c. 822; 2006, c. 57; 2007, cc. 882, 901, 926.
The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.