Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
3/29/2017

Park Authorities Act

§ 15.2-5700. Short title; application.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Park Authorities Act." The chapter shall apply to all localities of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-714.1; 1950, p. 1244; 1952, c. 401; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1228; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5701. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall mean unless the context shall indicate otherwise:

"Authority" means an authority created under the provisions of § 15.2-5702 or, if any such authority shall be abolished, the entity succeeding to the principal functions thereof.

"Federal agency" means the United States of America and any department or bureau thereof, and any other agency or instrumentality of the United States of America heretofore established or which may be established hereafter.

"Park" means public parks and recreation areas as the terms are generally used.

Code 1950, § 15-714.2; 1950, p. 1244; 1952, c. 401; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1229; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5702. Creation of authorities.

A. A locality may by ordinance or resolution, or two or more localities may by concurrent ordinances or resolutions, signify their intention to create a park authority, under an appropriate name and title, containing the word "authority" which shall be a body politic and corporate.

Whenever an authority has been incorporated by two or more localities, any one or more of the localities may withdraw therefrom, but no locality shall be permitted to withdraw from any authority that has outstanding obligations unless United States securities have been deposited for their payment or without unanimous consent of all holders of the outstanding obligations.

Other localities may join the authority as provided in the ordinances or resolutions.

B. Each ordinance or resolution shall include articles of incorporation setting forth:

1. The name of the authority and the address of its principal office.

2. The name of each incorporating locality, together with the names, addresses and terms of office of the first members of the board of the authority.

3. The purpose or purposes for which the authority is created.

C. Each participating locality shall cause to be published at least one time in a newspaper of general circulation in its locality, a copy of the ordinance or resolution together with a notice stating that on a day certain, not less than ten days after publication of the notice, a public hearing will be held on such ordinance or resolution. If at the hearing substantial opposition to the proposed park authority is heard, the members of the participating localities' governing bodies may in their discretion call for a referendum on the question of establishing such an authority. The request for a referendum shall be initiated by resolution of the governing body and filed with the clerk of the circuit court for the locality. The court shall order the referendum as provided for in § 24.2-681 et seq. Where two or more localities are participating in the formation of an authority the referendum, if any be ordered, shall be held on the same date in all such localities so participating. In any event if ten percent of the registered voters in such locality file a petition with the governing body at the hearing calling for a referendum such governing body shall request a referendum as herein provided.

D. Having specified the initial plan of organization of the authority, and having initiated the program, the localities organizing such authority may, from time to time, by subsequent ordinance or resolution, after public hearing, and with or without referendum, specify further parks to be acquired and maintained by the authority, and no other parks shall be acquired or maintained by the authority than those so specified. However, if the governing bodies of the localities fail to specify any project or projects to be undertaken, and if the governing bodies do not disapprove any project or projects proposed by the authority, then the authority shall be deemed to have all the powers granted by this chapter.

Code 1950, § 15-714.3; 1950, p. 1244; 1952, c. 401; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1230; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5703. Members of authority; appointment, terms, compensation, etc.; officers, quorum.

Each authority created hereunder, whether created by single or multiple localities, shall be governed by a board of not less than six members, but always an even number, appointed by the governing body of the locality. The board members shall be appointed for staggered four-year terms. Members of the governing body may be appointed to the board but shall not comprise a majority thereon.

When an authority is created by participating localities, each shall appoint at least two members, one of whom may be a member of the governing body. One-half of the members first appointed by each governing body shall serve for two years and one-half shall serve for four years. After the first appointment, the term of office of all members shall be four years. When one or more additional localities join an existing authority, each of such participating localities shall have not less than two members on the authority's board. The first members shall be appointed immediately upon the admission of the locality into the authority in the same manner as were the first members of the authority.

The members of the board of the authority shall elect one of their number chairman and shall elect a secretary and a treasurer who need not be members of the board of the authority. The offices of secretary and treasurer may be combined. A majority of the members of the authority shall constitute a quorum and the vote of a majority of such quorum shall be necessary for any action taken by the authority. No vacancy in the membership of the board of the authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the authority.

Localities which created or thereafter joined the authority, by ordinance or resolution or concurrent ordinances or resolutions, may provide for the payment of compensation to the members of the authority; provided no compensation shall be paid for meetings not attended and for the reimbursement to each member of the authority the amount of his actual expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of that member's duties.

Code 1950, § 15-714.4; 1950, p. 1246; 1952, c. 401; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1231; 1978, cc. 37, 717; 1984, cc. 142, 255; 1995, c. 626; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5704. Powers of authority.

Each authority shall be deemed to be performing essential governmental functions providing for the public health and welfare, and is authorized and empowered:

1. To have existence for such term of years as specified by the participating localities;

2. To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;

3. To adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;

4. To maintain an office at such place or places as it may designate;

5. To sue and be sued;

6. To acquire, purchase, lease as lessee, construct, reconstruct, improve, extend, operate and maintain parks within, or partly within and partly outside, one or more of the participating localities; to acquire by gift, purchase or the exercise of the right of eminent domain lands or rights in land or water rights in connection therewith; and to sell, lease as lessor, transfer or dispose of any property or interest therein acquired by it; however, the power of eminent domain shall not extend beyond the geographical limits of the localities composing the authority;

7. To regulate the uses of all lands and facilities under control of the authority;

8. To issue revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds of the authority, such bonds to be payable solely from revenues derived from the use of the facilities or the furnishing of park services;

9. To accept grants and gifts from the localities forming or thereafter joining the authority, the Commonwealth, the federal government or any other governmental bodies or political subdivisions, and from any other person;

10. To enter into contracts with the federal government, the Commonwealth, any political subdivision, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or with any other person providing for or relating to the furnishing of park services or facilities;

11. To contract with any municipality, county, person or any public authority or political subdivision of this or any adjoining state, on such terms as the authority shall deem proper, for the construction, operation and maintenance of any park which is partly in this Commonwealth and partly in such adjoining state;

12. To exercise the same rights for acquiring property for the construction or improvement, maintenance or operation of a park as the locality or localities by which such authority is created may exercise. The governing body of any participating locality, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, is authorized and empowered to transfer jurisdiction over, to lease, lend, grant or convey to the authority, upon the request of the authority, upon such terms and conditions as the governing body of such locality may agree with the authority as reasonable and fair, real or personal property as may be necessary or desirable in connection with the acquisition, construction, improvement, operation or maintenance of a park, including public roads and other property already devoted to public use. Agreements may be entered into by the authority with the Commonwealth, or any agency acting on behalf of the Commonwealth, for the acquisition of any lands or property, owned or controlled by the Commonwealth, for the purposes of construction or improvement, maintenance or operation of a park;

13. In the event of annexation by a municipality not a member of the authority of lands, areas, or territory served by the authority, then such authority may continue to do business, exercise its jurisdiction over properties and facilities in and upon or over such lands, areas or territory as long as any bonds or indebtedness remain outstanding or unpaid, or any contracts or other obligations remain in force;

14. To make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter, including a trust agreement or trust agreements securing any revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds issued hereunder;

15. To do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted by this chapter;

16. To borrow, at such rates of interest as the law authorizes, from the federal government or any agency thereof, individuals, partnerships, or private or municipal corporations, for the purpose of acquiring parklands and improvements thereon; to issue its notes, bonds or other obligations; to secure such obligations by mortgage or pledge of the property and improvements being acquired and the income derived therefrom; and to use any revenues and other income of the authority for payment of interest and retirement of principal of such obligations provided that prior approval of the governing body of the locality shall be obtained by an authority that was created by a single locality. Any locality which has formed or joined an authority may lend money to the authority. The power to borrow set forth in this subdivision shall be in addition to the power to issue revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds set forth in subdivision 8 of this section and § 15.2-5712. Notes, bonds or other obligations issued under this subdivision shall not be deemed to constitute a debt of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth or a pledge of the faith and credit of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth; and

17. To adopt such rules and regulations from time to time, not in conflict with the laws of this Commonwealth, concerning the use of properties under its control as will tend to the protection of such property and the public thereon. No such rule or regulation shall be adopted until after descriptive notice of an intention to propose such rule or regulation for passage has been published in accordance with the procedures required for the adoption of general county ordinances and emergency county ordinances as set forth in § 15.2-1427, mutatis mutandis. The full text of any proposed rule or regulation shall be available for public inspection and copying during regular office hours of the authority at a place designated in the published notice.

Code 1950, § 15-714.5; 1950, p. 1246; 1952, c. 401; 1956, c. 472; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1232; 1968, c. 613; 1976, c. 483; 1977, c. 381; 1981, c. 182; 1996, c. 279; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5705. Violation of rules and regulations.

Any violation of any such rule and regulation adopted pursuant to subdivision 17 of § 15.2-5704 shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

1977, c. 381, § 15.1-1232.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5706. Appointment of special conservators of the peace.

The chairman of the board of any authority created pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may apply to the circuit court for any locality for the appointment of one or more special conservators of the peace under procedures specified by § 19.2-13. Any such special conservator of the peace shall have, within the lands and facilities controlled by such authority, the powers, functions, duties, responsibilities and authority of any other conservator of the peace.

1977, c. 381, § 15.1-1232.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5707. Recordation of conveyances of real estate to park authorities.

No deed purporting to convey real estate to a park authority shall be recorded unless accepted by a person authorized to act on behalf of the park authority, which acceptance shall appear on the face thereof.

1983, c. 52, § 15.1-1232.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5708. Exemption from taxation.

No authority shall be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any park acquired and constructed by it under the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 15-714.6; 1950, p. 1248; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1233; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5709. Rates and charges.

The authority is hereby authorized to fix and revise from time to time rates, fees and other charges for the use of and for the services furnished or to be furnished by any park.

Code 1950, § 15-714.7; 1950, p. 1248; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1234; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5710. Funds.

All moneys received pursuant to the powers granted in this chapter shall be held and applied solely as provided in this chapter. The authority shall provide that any officer or other fiscal agent to which such moneys shall be paid shall hold and apply the same for the purposes hereof, subject to such regulations as the authority may provide.

Code 1950, § 15-714.8; 1950, p. 1248; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1235; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5711. Conveyance or lease of park to authority; contract for park services; when referendum required before certain contracts made.

Each locality and other public body is hereby authorized and empowered:

1. To convey or lease to any authority created hereunder, with or without consideration, any park upon such terms and conditions as the governing body thereof shall determine to be for the best interests of such locality or other public body; and

2. To contract with any authority created hereunder for park services; provided, that no locality shall enter into any contract with an authority involving payments by such locality to such authority for park services which requires the locality to incur an indebtedness extending beyond one fiscal year, unless the question of entering into such contract shall first be submitted to the voters of the locality for approval or rejection by a majority vote. Nothing herein shall prevent any locality from making a voluntary contribution to any authority.

In the event that a locality shall desire to contract with an authority under this subdivision, such governing body shall adopt a resolution stating in brief and general terms the substance of the proposed contract for park services and requesting the circuit court for the locality to order an election upon the question of entering into such contract. A copy of such resolution, certified by the clerk of the governing body, shall be filed with the judge of the circuit court who shall thereupon enter an order in accordance with § 24.2-681 et seq. Notice of such election entered and paid for by the locality shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality at least ten days before the election.

The question to be submitted to the voters for determination shall include the names of the locality and the authority between whom the contract is proposed and the nature, duration and cost of such contract.

Code 1950, § 15-714.9; 1950, p. 1248; 1956, c. 474; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1236; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5712. Revenue bonds.

Each authority is authorized to issue, at one time or from time to time, revenue bonds of the authority for the purpose of acquiring, purchasing, constructing, reconstructing, improving or extending parks and acquiring necessary land or equipment therefor, and revenue refunding bonds of the authority for the purpose of refunding any revenue bonds outstanding. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall mature at such time or times not exceeding forty years from their date or dates and shall bear interest at such rate or rates as authorized by law, as may be determined by the authority. Bonds may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the authority at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the authority prior to the issuance of the bonds. The authority shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and the manner of execution of the bonds, and shall fix the denomination or denominations of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or outside the Commonwealth. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such bonds, such signature or such facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if he had remained in office until such delivery. Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this chapter or any recitals in any bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter, all such bonds shall be deemed to be negotiable instruments under the laws of this Commonwealth. The bonds may be issued in coupon or registered form or both, as the authority may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, and for the reconversion into coupon bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest. The authority may sell such bonds in such manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price, as it may determine to be for the best interests of the authority.

The resolution providing for the issuance of revenue bonds, and any trust agreement securing such bonds, may also contain such limitations upon the issuance of additional revenue bonds as the authority may deem proper, and such additional bonds shall be issued under such restrictions and limitations as may be prescribed by such resolution or trust agreement.

Bonds may be issued under the provisions of this chapter without obtaining the consent of any commission, board, bureau or agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia or of any political subdivision, and without any other proceedings or the happening of other conditions or things than those proceedings, conditions or things which are specifically required by this chapter.

Bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute a debt of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth or a pledge of the faith and credit of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, but such bonds shall be payable solely from revenues of the authority as provided herein.

Code 1950, § 15-714.10; 1956, c. 472; 1958, c. 484; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1237; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5713. Same; for water or sewer systems, etc.

An authority created under the provisions of this chapter is hereby authorized to provide by resolution, at one time or from time to time, for the issuance of revenue bonds of the authority for the purpose of paying the whole or any part of the cost of any water system, sewer system, sewage disposal system, or garbage and refuse collection and disposal system, or any combination of any thereof and for improvement and maintenance of any such system. The principal of and the interest on such bonds shall be payable solely from the funds herein provided for such payment. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at such rate or rates as may be authorized by law, shall mature at such time or times not exceeding twenty years from their date or dates, as may be determined by the authority, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the authority, at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the authority prior to the issuance of the bonds.

Revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute a debt of the Commonwealth or of any incorporating or participating locality, or a pledge of the faith and credit of the Commonwealth or of any incorporating or participating locality.

Code 1950, § 15-714.11; 1954, c. 540; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1238; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5714. Bonds mutilated, lost or destroyed.

Should any bond issued under this chapter become mutilated or be lost or destroyed, the authority may cause a new bond of like date, number and tenor to be executed and delivered in exchange and substitution for, and upon cancellation of, such mutilated bond and its coupons, or in lieu of and in substitution for such lost or destroyed bond and its unmatured coupons. Such new bond or coupon shall not be executed or delivered until the holder of the mutilated, lost or destroyed bond (i) has paid the reasonable expense and charges in connection therewith; (ii) in the case of a lost or destroyed bond, has filed with the authority and its treasurer satisfactory evidence that such bond was lost or destroyed and that the holder was the owner thereof; and (iii) has furnished indemnity satisfactory to its treasurer.

Code 1950, § 15-714.12; 1962, c. 203, § 15.1-1238.1; 1997, c. 587.

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