Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
5/28/2017

Article 1. Annexation.

§ 15.2-3200. Boundaries of cities and towns to remain as established until changed.

The boundaries of the cities and towns of this Commonwealth shall be and remain as now established unless changed as provided in this title.

Code 1950, § 15-152.2; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1032; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3201. Temporary restrictions on granting of city charters, filing annexation notices, institutions of annexation proceedings, and county immunity proceedings.

Beginning January 1, 1987, and terminating on the first to occur of (i) July 1, 2024, or (ii) the July 1 next following the expiration of any biennium, other than the 1998-2000, 2000-2002, 2002-2004, 2006-2008, 2008-2010, 2010-2012, 2012-2014, 2014-2016, 2016-2018, 2018-2020, 2020-2022, and 2022-2024 bienniums, during which the General Assembly appropriated for distribution to localities for aid in their law-enforcement expenditures pursuant to Article 8 (§ 9.1-165 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1 an amount that is less than the total amount required to be appropriated for such purpose pursuant to subsection A of § 9.1-169, no city shall file against any county an annexation notice with the Commission on Local Government pursuant to § 15.2-2907, and no city shall institute an annexation court action against any county under any provision of this chapter except a city that filed an annexation notice before the Commission on Local Government prior to January 1, 1987. During the same period, with the exception of a charter for a proposed consolidated city, no city charter shall be granted or come into force and no suit or notice shall be filed to secure a city charter. However, the foregoing shall not prohibit the institution of nor require the stay of an annexation proceeding or the filing of an annexation notice for the purpose of implementing an annexation agreement, the extent, terms and conditions of which have been agreed upon by a county and city; nor shall the foregoing prohibit the institution of or require the stay of an annexation proceeding by a city which, prior to January 1, 1987, commenced a proceeding before the Commission on Local Government to review a proposed voluntary settlement pursuant to § 15.2-3400; nor shall the foregoing prohibit the institution of or require the stay of any annexation proceeding commenced pursuant to § 15.2-2907 or 15.2-3203, except that no such proceeding may be commenced by a city against any county, nor shall any city be a petitioner in any annexation proceeding instituted pursuant to § 15.2-3203.

Beginning January 1, 1988, and terminating on the first to occur of (i) July 1, 2024, or (ii) the July 1 next following the expiration of any biennium, other than the 1998-2000, 2000-2002, 2002-2004, 2006-2008, 2008-2010, 2010-2012, 2012-2014, 2014-2016, 2016-2018, 2018-2020, 2020-2022, and 2022-2024 bienniums, during which the General Assembly appropriated for distribution to localities for aid in their law-enforcement expenditures pursuant to Article 8 (§ 9.1-165 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1 an amount that is less than the total amount required to be appropriated for such purpose pursuant to subsection A of § 9.1-169, no county shall file a notice or petition pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 15.2-2900 et seq.) or Chapter 33 (§ 15.2-3300 et seq.) requesting total or partial immunity from city-initiated annexation and from the incorporation of new cities within its boundaries. However, the foregoing shall not prohibit the institution of nor require the stay of an immunity proceeding or the filing of an immunity notice for the purpose of implementing an immunity agreement, the extent, terms and conditions of which have been agreed upon by a county and city.

1987, c. 216, § 15.1-1032.2; 1988, c. 270; 1989, c. 134; 1990, c. 759; 1991, c. 359; 1993, c. 611; 1994, c. 557; 1996, cc. 225, 572; 1997, c. 587; 1999, cc. 692, 705, 744; 2001, c. 733; 2002, c. 786; 2004, c. 879; 2008, c. 347; 2009, cc. 129, 435, 631; 2012, c. 537; 2014, c. 697; 2016, cc. 158, 364.

§ 15.2-3202. Ordinance for annexation by city or town; appointment of special court.

The council of any city or town may by an ordinance passed by a recorded affirmative vote of a majority of all the members elected to the council, petition the circuit court for the county in which any territory adjacent to the city or town lies, for the annexation of such territory. The circuit court with which the petition is filed shall notify the Supreme Court, which shall appoint a special court to hear the case as prescribed by Chapter 30 (§ 15.2-3000 et seq.) of this title.

The ordinance shall set forth the necessity for or expediency of annexation and shall contain the following detailed information:

1. Metes and bounds and size of area sought;

2. Information, which may be shown on a map annexed to the ordinance, of the area sought to be annexed, indicating generally subdivisions, industrial areas, farm areas, vacant areas and others, together with any other information deemed relevant as to possible future uses of property within the area. If a map is not annexed as part of the ordinance, then such information shall be set forth in the ordinance;

3. A general statement of the terms and conditions upon which annexation is sought, and the provisions planned for the future improvement of the annexed territory, including the provision of public utilities and services therein.

Code 1950, § 15-152.3; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1033; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3203. Petition by voters of adjacent territory, or governing body of adjacent county or town, for annexation; voluntary agreement by governing body to reject annexation.

A. Whenever fifty-one percent of the voters of any territory adjacent to any city or town or fifty-one percent of the owners of real estate in number and land area in a designated area, or the governing body of the county in which such territory is located, or of the town desiring to annex such territory petition the circuit court for the county, stating that it is desirable that such territory be annexed to the city or town and setting forth the metes and bounds thereof, a copy of such petition shall be served on the city or town council, and published in the manner prescribed in § 15.2-3204. The case shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, proceed in all respects as though instituted in the manner prescribed in § 15.2-3202; however, the special court shall not increase the area of the territory described in the petition.

B. Any city or town to which the annexation is proposed may reject such annexation by ordinance, duly adopted by a majority of the elected members of the governing body of the city or town, if such ordinance is adopted either prior to the pretrial conference provided for in § 15.2-3207 or within the time limits set forth in § 15.2-3213.

C. Any county, city or town may enter into a voluntary agreement with any other county, city or town or combination thereof, whereby such city or town agrees to reject any annexations initiated under subsection A. Such agreement may be for such period of time as specified by the parties to such agreement with respect to all or a portion of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-152.4; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1034; 1979, c. 85; 1983, c. 594; 1985, c. 478; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3204. Notice of motion; service and publication.

At least thirty days before instituting any annexation proceeding under this chapter, a city or town shall serve notice and a certified copy of the ordinance on the attorney for the Commonwealth, or on the county attorney, if there is one, and on the chairman of the governing body of the county wherein such territory lies that it will, on a given day, petition the circuit court to grant the annexation requested in the ordinance. A copy of the notice and ordinance, or a descriptive summary of the notice and ordinance and a reference to the place within the city or town where copies of the notice and ordinance may be examined, shall be published at least once a week for four successive weeks in some newspaper published in such city or town, and when there is no newspaper published therein, then in a newspaper having general circulation in the county whose territory is affected. The proof of service or certificate of service of the notice and ordinance shall be returned after service to the clerk of the circuit court. Certification from the owner, editor or manager of the newspaper publishing the notice and ordinance or descriptive summary shall be proof of publication.

Code 1950, § 15-152.5; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1035; 1979, c. 85; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3205. Additional parties.

A. In any proceedings hereunder any qualified voters or property owners in the territory proposed to be annexed or any adjoining city or town may, by petition, become parties to such proceeding as provided in subsection B hereof. Any county whose territory is affected by the proceedings, or any city, town or persons affected thereby, may appear and shall be made parties defendant to the case, and be represented by counsel.

B. The special court shall by order, fix a time within which such additional parties not served may become defendants to such proceeding, and thereafter, no such petition shall be received, except for good cause shown. A copy of the order shall be published at least once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town seeking the territory and in the territory sought to be annexed.

C. The cost of such publication shall be paid by the petitioner or applicant.

Code 1950, § 15-152.6; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1036; 1979, c. 85; 1996, c. 352; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3206. Conflicting petitions for same territory; petition seeking territory lying in two or more counties; procedure.

A. When proceedings for the annexation of territory to a city or town are pending and a petition is filed seeking the annexation of the same territory or a portion thereof to another city or town the case shall be heard by the court in which the original proceedings are pending. The court shall consolidate the cases, hear them together, and make such decision as is just, taking into consideration the interests of all parties to each case.

B. When the territory sought by a city or town lies in two or more counties, all such counties shall be made parties defendant to the case. The motion or petition shall be addressed to the circuit court for the county in which the larger part of the territory is located. The provisions of this article shall apply, mutatis, mutandis, to any such proceedings.

Code 1950, § 15-152.7; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1037; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3207. Pretrial conference; matters considered.

The special court shall, prior to hearing any case under this chapter, direct the attorneys for the parties to appear before it, or in its discretion before a single judge for a conference to consider:

1. Simplification of the issues;

2. Amendment of pleadings and filing of additional pleadings;

3. Stipulations as to facts, documents, records, photographs, plans and like matters, which will dispense with formal proof thereof, including:

a. Assessed values and the ratio of assessed values to true values as determined by the State Department of Taxation in the area sought to be annexed, city or town and county, including real property, personal property, machinery and tools, merchants' capital and public service corporation assessment for each year of the five years immediately preceding;

b. Tax rate for the five years next preceding in the area sought, including any sanitary district therein, and in the city or town;

c. School population and school enrollment in the county, in the area sought, and in the city or town, as shown by the records in the office of the division superintendent of schools; and cost of education per pupil in average daily membership as shown by the last preceding report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction;

4. Estimated population of the county, the area sought and the city or town;

5. Limitation on the number of expert witnesses; each expert witness who will testify shall file a statement of his qualifications;

6. Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the case.

The court, or judge as the case may be, shall make an appropriate order which will control the subsequent conduct of the case unless modified before or at the trial or hearing to prevent manifest injustice.

Code 1950, § 15-152.10; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1040; 1979, c. 85; 1997, c. 587; 2010, cc. 386, 629.

§ 15.2-3208. Assistance of state agencies.

The special court may, in its discretion, direct any appropriate state agency, in addition to the Commission on Local Government, to gather and present evidence, including statistical data and exhibits, for the guidance of the court. The court shall determine the actual expense of preparing such evidence, other than that secured by the Commission on Local Government, and shall tax such expense as costs in this case; the costs shall be paid by the clerk into the general fund of the state treasury, and credited to the appropriation of the agency furnishing the evidence.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1040.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3209. Hearing and decision.

The special court shall hear the case upon the evidence introduced as evidence is introduced in civil cases.

The court shall determine the necessity for and expediency of annexation, considering the best interests of the people of the county and the city or town, services to be rendered and needs of the people of the area proposed to be annexed, the best interests of the people in the remaining portion of the county and the best interests of the Commonwealth in promoting strong and viable units of government.

Related to the best interests of the people of the county and city or town, the court shall consider to the extent relevant:

1. The need for urban services in the area proposed for annexation, the level of services provided in the county, city or town, and the ability of such county, city or town to provide services in the area sought to be annexed, including, but not limited to: sewage treatment, water, solid waste collection and disposal, public planning, subdivision regulation and zoning, crime prevention and detection, fire prevention and protection, public recreational facilities, library facilities, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, storm drains, street lighting, snow removal, and street maintenance;

2. The current relative level of services provided by the county and the city or town;

3. The efforts by the county and the city or town to comply with applicable state policies with respect to environmental protection, public planning, education, public transportation, housing, or other state service policies promulgated by the General Assembly;

4. The community of interest which may exist between the petitioner, the territory sought to be annexed and its citizens as well as the community of interest that exists between such area and its citizens and the county. The term "community of interest" may include, but not be limited to, the consideration of natural neighborhoods, natural and man-made boundaries, and the similarity of needs of the people of the annexing area and the area sought to be annexed;

5. Any arbitrary prior refusal by the governing body of the petitioner or the county whose territory is sought to be annexed to enter into cooperative agreements providing for joint activities which would have benefited citizens of both localities; however, the court shall draw no adverse inference from joint activities undertaken and implemented pursuant to cooperative agreements of the parties. It is the purpose of this subdivision to encourage adjoining localities to enter into such cooperative agreements voluntarily, and without apprehension of prejudice;

6. The need for the city or town seeking to annex to expand its tax resources, including its real estate and personal property tax base;

7. The need for the city or town seeking to annex to obtain land for industrial or commercial use, together with the adverse effect on a county of the loss of areas suitable and developable for industrial or commercial uses;

8. The adverse effect of the loss of tax resources and public facilities on the ability of the county to provide service to the people in the remaining portion of the county; and

9. The adverse impact on agricultural operations in the area proposed for annexation.

If a majority of the court is of the opinion that annexation is not necessary or expedient, the petition for annexation shall be dismissed. If a majority of the court is satisfied of the necessity for and expediency of annexation, it shall determine the terms and conditions upon which annexation is to be had, and shall enter an order granting the petition. The court may in the order awarding annexation of any area, fix terms and conditions, including but not limited to the rights provided in Chapter 3 (§ 3.2-300 et seq.) of Title 3.2, to protect agricultural operations in the area annexed. In all cases, the court shall render a written opinion.

The order granting the petition shall set forth in detail all such terms and conditions upon which the petition is granted. Every annexation order shall be effective on January 1 following the year in which issued or, in the discretion of the court, on the second January 1 following the year in which issued; however, the court, upon joint petition of the parties, may order an annexation effective on any other date. Unless the parties otherwise agree, all taxes assessed in the territory annexed for the year at the end of which annexation becomes effective and for all prior years shall be paid to the county.

In any proceedings instituted by a city or town, no annexation shall be decreed unless the court is satisfied that the city or town has substantially complied with the conditions of the last preceding annexation by such city or town, or that compliance therewith was impossible, or that sufficient time for compliance has not elapsed.

In the event that the court enters an order granting the petition, a copy of the order shall be certified to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The Secretary shall immediately transmit a copy of such order to the State Comptroller for his use in complying with § 4.1-117.

Code 1950, § 15-152.11; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1041; 1970, c. 751; 1978, c. 642; 1979, c. 85; 1985, c. 478; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 345.

§ 15.2-3210. Boundary line where territory fronts on river, bay, etc.

A. In any proceeding under the provisions of this chapter to annex territory, when such territory fronts on a river or creek, the petition may ask that the boundary line be established along the centerline of such river or creek. If any territory is awarded in such proceeding that borders on a river or creek, the decision may order that the boundary line be the centerline of the river or creek that flows beside such territory.

B. If the territory sought to be annexed fronts on a bay, lake or similar type body of water, the boundary line shall be by metes and bounds in such bay, lake or similar type body of water. If a river or creek flows into such bay, lake or similar type body of water and such river or creek fronts all or a portion of the territory sought to be annexed, the metes and bounds shall run only to the point where such river or creek enters the bay, lake or similar type body of water and thereafter the centerline of the river or creek may be the boundary line to the extent applicable.

C. For purposes of this article, if any city is bisected by a river or any branch thereof then such river or branch shall lie within the boundaries of such city to the extent that there are portions of such city on both opposite shores of such river or branch.

D. For purposes of this article, if any river in the Commonwealth is bordered on both sides by cities of a population of 100,000 or more, according to the 1970 census, to the extent that such cities' borders along the river are in opposition, including the border across any branch as provided in subsection C, the boundaries of such cities shall be the centerline of the river and such cities shall be contiguous one to the other, notwithstanding any judicial decree to the contrary entered prior to 1976. Nothing in this subsection shall apply to that body of water known as Hampton Roads, located between Norfolk, Portsmouth and Suffolk on the south and Newport News and Hampton on the north.

1976, c. 662, § 15.1-1041.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3211. Powers of court and rules of decision; terms and conditions.

The special court, in making its decision, shall balance the equities in the case, shall enter an order setting forth what it deems fair and reasonable terms and conditions, and shall direct the annexation in conformity therewith. It shall have power to:

1. Determine the metes and bounds of the territory to be annexed, and may include a greater or smaller area than that described in the ordinance or petition; the court shall so draw the lines of annexation as to have a reasonably compact body of land and so that no land shall be taken into the city which is not adapted to city improvements or which the city will not need in the reasonably near future for development, unless necessarily embraced in such compact body of land;

2. Require the assumption by the city or town of a just proportion of any existing debt of the county or any district therein;

3. Require the payment by the city of a sum to be determined by the court, payable on the effective date of annexation, to compensate the county for the value of public improvements, including but not limited to the paving of public roads and streets, the construction of sidewalks thereon, the installation of water mains, or sewers, garbage disposal systems, fire protection facilities, bridges, public schools and equipment thereof, or any other permanent public improvements owned and maintained by the county at the time of annexation; and further to compensate the county, in not more than five annual installments, for the prospective loss of net tax revenues during the next five years, to such extent as the court in its discretion may determine, because of the annexation of taxable values to the city;

4. Require the payment by a town of a sum to be determined by the court, payable on the effective date of annexation to compensate the county for any such public improvement which becomes the property of the town by annexation; the order may provide that if, within five years after the order, such town becomes a city, it shall, from and after it becomes a city, make such payments as are provided for in subdivision 3 for a period not to exceed five years from the date of such order;

5. In lieu of providing for compensation of the county for any public improvement, provide that any such improvement shall remain the property of the county, or provide for joint use thereof by the county and the city or town under such conditions as the court may prescribe with the consent of the affected localities;

6. Prescribe what capital outlays shall be made by the city in the area after annexation; the court shall require of the city the provision of any capital improvements which in its judgment are essential to meet the needs of the annexed area and to bring the same up to a standard equal to that of the remainder of the city; and the court may, in its discretion, require as a condition of annexation the provision of capital improvements in addition to those specified in the annexation ordinance when the same are required to meet the needs of the area annexed;

7. Require the payment by the city or town to any common carrier of passengers by motor bus, who may become a party to the annexation proceeding, of a sum to be determined by the court to compensate such carrier for any loss or damage such carrier may suffer from the effects of the annexation order upon its operations. However, the city or town may elect to permit the carrier to continue to operate within the annexed area for such period of time, to be determined by the court, as will permit the carrier to liquidate and recover its investment through depreciation.

Code 1950, § 15-152.12; 1952, c. 328; 1960, c. 550; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1042; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3212. Determination of value of public improvements.

In determining the value of any public improvement for the purposes set forth in § 15.2-3211 the special court shall take into consideration the original cost thereof less depreciation, reproduction cost at the time of annexation less depreciation, as well as present value.

The city or town shall receive credit, upon a basis to be determined by the court, for any sums it may have contributed to such public improvement and may in the discretion of the court be allowed credit for any portion of the cost thereof contributed by any federal, state or other agency and not borne by the county. When such improvements consist of a school financed in part from county funds and in part from a state grant, the city or town shall receive such credit only upon that portion of the cost paid for by the state grant and only then upon the ratio that children residing in the area annexed and enrolled in such school therein bears to the total attendance of school children in the county.

The governing body of the county or any town therein, portions of which are proposed to be annexed, shall not between the entry of the decree of annexation and the date when the same becomes effective, make or contract for any permanent public improvements, to be paid for by the city or town seeking annexation, without the consent of the corporate authorities of the city or town and the supervision of the official thereof charged with making similar public improvements within the city or town.

Code 1950, § 15-152.13; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1043; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3213. Declining to accept annexation on terms and conditions imposed by court.

In any annexation proceedings instituted by a city or town, the council thereof may, subject to the approval of the special court in which the case is pending, and prior to twenty-one days after entry of an annexation order, or within twenty-one days after denial of a petition for appeal or within twenty-one days after the entry of the mandate in an appeal which has been granted, by ordinance duly adopted decline to accept annexation on the terms and conditions imposed by such court. In such case the court shall enter an order dismissing the motion to annex, and shall direct the payment of the entire costs of the proceedings by the city or town, including reimbursement of the county of costs incurred by it in defending the suit, including such reasonable attorneys' fees, engineering fees, witness fees and other costs as such court shall determine and allow.

Code 1950, § 15-152.14; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1044; 1979, c. 85; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3214. Costs.

The costs in annexation proceedings shall be paid by the locality instituting the proceedings and shall be the same as in other civil cases; however, in proceedings instituted by a town, in assessing the costs, the special court shall consider the extent to which county revenues are derived from within the town, the relative financial abilities of the parties and the relative merits of the case. The costs shall include the per diem and expenses of the court reporter, if any, and, in the discretion of the court, a reasonable allowance to the court for secretarial services in connection with the preparation of the written opinion. If the proceedings are instituted otherwise than by a city, town or county, such costs shall be paid as the court directs considering the relative merits of the case.

On appeal, the appellate court shall determine by whom the appellate costs shall be paid.

Code 1950, § 15-152.15; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1045; 1979, c. 85; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3215. County reimbursement for town annexation proceedings.

In any annexation proceedings in which a town participates, except those in which a town declines to accept an award by the special court, in which case § 15.2-3213 shall apply, the court may direct the county within which the town is located to reimburse the town, as hereinafter provided, for reasonable costs incurred by it in presenting its case. Such costs shall include attorneys' fees, engineering fees, witness fees, and other reasonable costs as the court shall determine and allow. The court shall hear evidence regarding the costs incurred by the town in presenting its annexation case and may order part payment by the county to the town based upon a consideration of the extent to which county revenues are derived from within the town, the relative financial ability of the town and county, and the relative merits of the case.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1045.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3216. Proceedings not to fail for technical or procedural defects or errors.

No proceedings brought under this chapter shall fail because of a defect, imperfection or omission in the annexation ordinance or the pleadings which does not affect the substantial rights of the parties or any other technical or procedural defect, imperfection or error, but the special court shall at any time allow amendment of the ordinance or the pleadings or make any other order necessary to ensure the hearing of the case on its merits.

Code 1950, § 15-152.16; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1046; 1979, c. 85; 1980, c. 592; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3217. Court granting annexation to exist for ten years.

The special court shall not be dissolved after rendering a decision granting any motion or petition for annexation, but shall remain in existence for a period of ten years from the effective date of any annexation order entered, or from the date of any decision of the Supreme Court affirming such an order. Vacancies occurring in the court during such ten-year period shall be filled as provided in § 15.2-3004.

The court may be reconvened at any time during the ten-year period on its own motion, or on motion of the governing body of the county, or of the city or town, or on petition of not less than fifty registered voters or property owners in the area annexed; however, if the area annexed contains fewer than 100 registered voters or property owners, a majority of such registered voters or property owners may petition for the reconvening of the court.

The court shall have power and it shall be its duty, at any time during such period, to enforce the performance of the terms and conditions under which annexation was granted, and to issue appropriate process to compel such performance. The court may, in its discretion, award attorneys' fees, and court and other reasonable costs to the party or parties on whose motion the court is reconvened.

Any such action of the court shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court in the same manner as is provided with respect to the original decision of the court.

Code 1950, § 15-152.17; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1047; 1979, c. 85; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3218. Continued existence of court under certain conditions.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-3217, if a decision granting any motion or petition for annexation is subjected to collateral attack in any court, state or federal, the special court shall not be dissolved; or, if heretofore or hereafter dissolved at the time such attack is made or is pending, shall be revived. The court shall thereafter continue in existence for one year after all collateral issues have been resolved, and shall have the same powers and duties as set out in § 15.2-3217. In addition, it shall have the power to fully implement any order or decision of any court of competent jurisdiction with respect to such collateral attack.

1975, c. 32, § 15.1-1047.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3219. Reduced taxation on real estate in territory added to corporate limits.

The council of any city or town to which territory has been added may, by ordinance, allow a lower rate of taxation to be imposed for a period not to exceed ten years after the effective date of the annexation upon the real estate or any portion thus added to its corporate limits, than is imposed on similar property within its limits at the time such territory was added.

Such differences in the rate of taxation hereafter shall be established annually and shall bear a reasonable relationship to differences between nonrevenue-producing governmental services giving land urban character which are furnished in the area added as compared to other areas in the city or town.

1970, c. 37, § 15.1-1047.1; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 36; 1985, c. 478; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3220. Mandamus and prohibition.

Mandamus and prohibition shall lie from the Supreme Court or any circuit court to compel a city or town to carry out the provisions of this article or to forbid any violation of the same.

Code 1950, § 15-152.18; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1048; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3221. Appeals; how heard.

An appeal may be granted by the Supreme Court, or any justice thereof. The special court shall certify the facts in the case to the Supreme Court, and the evidence shall be considered as on appeal in proceedings under Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1. In any case, by consent of all parties of record, the motion to annex may be dismissed at any time before final judgment on appeal.

Code 1950, § 15-152.19; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1049; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-3222. What order to be entered by Supreme Court.

If the judgment of the special court is reversed on appeal, or if the judgment is modified, the Supreme Court shall enter such order as the special court should have entered, and such order shall be final. In the event that the Supreme Court enters such order, a copy of the order shall be certified to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-152.20; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1050; 1970, c. 751; 1978, c. 642; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3223. What order and proceedings clerk to certify, and where same shall be recorded; fees.

The clerk of the court wherein an order is entered for the annexation of territory shall make and certify copies of so much of the order and proceedings as shall show the authorization of the transfer of territory from the county or town to the city or town, as the case may be. He shall transmit one copy, along with a full description of the territory so annexed, to the county clerk of the county whose territory is affected, who shall forthwith record the same in the name of the city or town to which the territory is annexed, and one copy to the clerk of the court of such city in which deeds are recorded, who shall likewise record and index the same. The fees of the clerk for such recordation shall be the same as for recording a deed and such fees, as well as the fees of the clerk for making the copies aforesaid, shall be paid by the city or town.

Code 1950, § 15-152.21; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1051; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3224. Commissioner of revenue for the county to certify list of real estate in annexed territory to commissioner of revenue.

The commissioner of the revenue of such county shall forthwith make from the land books and certify to the commissioner of the revenue of the city a list of all real estate within the annexed territory as it appears on such land books, embracing every entry thereon in regard thereto, for which service he shall be paid by such city a reasonable fee.

Code 1950, § 15-152.22; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1052; 1994, c. 539; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3225. County or district officers resident in annexed territory to remain in office; reelection.

If a county or district officer resides in a territory annexed to a city, such officer may continue in office until the end of the term for which he was elected or appointed. The provisions of § 15.2-3823 shall prevail with respect to successive reelections of such officers. Removal of such officer, during his term of office from any such territory, to another part of the city or town to which it is annexed shall not vacate his office, but residence in any part of such city or town shall during his term of office be deemed residence in the county or district.

Code 1950, § 15-152.23; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1053; 1964, c. 202; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3226. Redistricting and elections in city or town following annexation; registration and transfer of registration of voters in annexed territory.

A. Whenever the boundaries of a city or town, which elects its council by wards or districts, have been expanded through annexation, subject to the provisions of § 24.2-304.1, the council of the city or town shall redistrict the municipality into wards or districts, change the boundaries of existing wards or districts, or increase or diminish the number of wards or districts to incorporate the additional territory.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-312, there shall be an election for members of council on the first Tuesday in May following the effective date of annexation for terms to commence on July 1 following the election; however, upon the approval of the governing bodies affected and the special court, such election may be on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November following the effective date of annexation for terms to commence on January 1 following the election. If council members are chosen on an at-large basis the election shall be held for the unexpired portion of the term of each council member whose term extends beyond July 1 immediately following the effective date of annexation. If council members are chosen on a ward basis, the election shall be held for each ward affected by the annexation. However, no such election shall be held as a result of an annexation instituted under § 15.2-3202 or § 15.2-3203, unless the city or town increases its population by more than five percent due to the annexation.

C. The registration records of voters residing in the annexed areas shall be transferred, and the appropriate notice given, in accordance with § 24.2-114. Any person residing in the annexed territory who has not registered shall be entitled to register and vote in the city or town if he would have been entitled to register and vote at the next election of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-152.24; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1054; 1970, c. 172; 1974, c. 401; 1976, c. 9; 1977, c. 307; 1994, c. 293; 1997, c. 587; 2001, Sp. Sess. I, c. 3.

§ 15.2-3227. Annexation proceedings final for ten years.

Except by mutual agreement of the governing bodies affected, no city or town, having instituted proceedings to annex territory of a county, shall again seek to annex territory of such county within the ten years next succeeding the effective date of annexation in any proceeding under this article or previous acts. In the event annexation is denied, such prohibition shall begin with the date of the final order of the court denying annexation or, in the case of an appeal to the Supreme Court, with the date of the final order of the Supreme Court. However, a city or town moving to dismiss the proceedings before a hearing on its merits may file a new petition five years after the filing of the petition in the prior suit. No county shall, except with the consent of its governing body, be made defendant in any annexation proceeding brought by any city within such ten-year period.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, a city shall have the right to file and maintain an annexation proceeding against any county against which it has not filed such a proceeding during the preceding thirteen years.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any petition for annexation brought by a city or town, within such ten-year period, if the previous petition was dismissed due to a procedural defect, lack of jurisdiction, or any defense other than the merits of the case. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a city or town which institutes an annexation proceeding by filing notice with the Commission on Local Government but which subsequently fails to petition the court to grant such annexation. In that event, however, the city or town shall not again institute proceedings for annexation against the county for at least two years after the date the Commission renders its final report on the initial proceeding.

This section shall also apply to any city which was a town at the time of the filing of such petition.

Code 1950, § 15-152.25; 1952, c. 328; 1958, c. 378; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1055; 1979, c. 85; 1985, c. 478; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3228. County not to be reduced to insufficient area, population or sources of revenue.

If, as the result of an annexation, the area remaining in a county (i) would be reduced below sixty square miles, excluding property owned by the United States of America, or (ii) would otherwise be insufficient in area, population, or sources of revenue to adequately support the county government and schools, then the annexation shall not be decreed unless the whole county is annexed.

Code 1950, § 15-152.26; 1952, c. 328; 1960, c. 519; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1056; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3229. Annexation of whole town.

The provisions of this article shall apply to the annexation by a city or town of an adjoining town. No part of a town shall be annexed unless the whole town is annexed. The annexing city or town shall assume all the indebtedness of the town annexed, and shall own all the corporate property, franchises and rights thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-152.27; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1057; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3230. Article not applicable to consolidation of two cities.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to the consolidation of two cities.

Code 1950, § 15-152.28; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1058; 1997, c. 587.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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