Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
1/22/2022

Part V. Formal Commission Reviews

1VAC50-20-620. Oral presentations by parties.

A. In the course of its analysis of any issue the commission may schedule oral presentations for purposes of permitting the parties to amplify their submissions, to critique and to offer comment upon the submissions and evidence offered by other parties, and to respond to questions relative to the issue from the commission. The presentations, if scheduled, shall extend for a period of time as the commission may deem appropriate.

B. If oral presentations are scheduled by the commission, the chair shall select, subsequent to the receipt of recommendations from the parties, an appropriate site for the presentations. Recommendations by the parties regarding the sites should be based upon the adequacy of space for the display and movement of exhibits; the adequacy of seating arrangements for the commission, its staff, representatives of the parties, a court reporter, and the public; the adequacy of security at the site to permit materials to be left unattended during recesses; and the adequacy of the acoustical characteristics of the site to facilitate communications or the availability of a public address system.

C. Local governments or other parties desiring to present exhibits or data requiring special equipment should be prepared to provide such.

D. The commission may, where it deems appropriate, consolidate two or more interlocal issues before it for purpose of oral presentations.

E. The commission shall, within the requirements of law, conduct the oral presentations in the manner it considers best suited for reaching a decision in the best interest of the parties and in the best interest of the Commonwealth.

F. The chair, or other member the commission designated to preside during any oral presentations, may allocate time to the various parties as the chair or presiding member deems appropriate. The allocation of time shall be based upon the needs of the commission to review data, to examine witnesses, and to obtain an understanding of the relevant factors affecting the issue under review.

G. The sequence in which testimony will be received by the commission during any oral presentations shall be established by the chair or presiding member but shall generally be as follows:

1. A brief opening statement by each party, if desired;

2. Presentation by the party initiating the issue before the commission;

3. Presentations by the local governments immediately affected by the action proposed by the initiating party, in an order established by the chair or presiding member;

4. Presentations by other parties, in an order established by the chair or presiding member;

5. Rebuttal where requested by a party and agreed to by the chair or presiding member.

H. The chair or presiding member may, to the extent the chair or presiding member deems appropriate, permit parties to question witnesses regarding submissions, their testimony, or other facts relevant to the issues before the commission. Where a party is represented by counsel, such questioning may be conducted by counsel.

Where the parties have prefiled testimony at the commission's request pursuant to 1VAC50-20-390 R, the questioning of individuals whose testimony has been prefiled shall be limited to a cross-examination of such testimony. The commission may accept additional oral testimony from individuals whose testimony has been prefiled during the presentations where good cause is shown. Where additional oral testimony is accepted by the commission, the commission shall provide an opportunity for other parties to respond to the testimony and to cross-examine the individual offering such testimony.

I. The chair or presiding member may, during or at the conclusion of the oral presentations, permit or request oral argument on the issues before the commission.

J. The commission, and its staff, may question any witness or representative of any party during the oral presentations regarding any submission, testimony, or other fact which the commission considers relevant to the issues before it. The chair or presiding member shall endeavor to call for commission questioning in a manner designed to expedite the presentations.

K. The commission may accept depositions from persons unable to attend an oral presentation. Depositions shall only be accepted under conditions deemed acceptable by the commission, including conditions assuring an opportunity for all affected local governments to be present and to examine adequately the witness during the taking of depositions.

L. The parties or their counsel shall be expected to confer in advance of the time and date set for presentations in order to inform one another of their prospective witnesses and the order of their anticipated appearance. All material, data, or exhibits proposed for presentation to the commission during the oral presentations and not previously made available to the other parties shall be exchanged or made available to the parties prior to presentation to the commission, subject to the qualifications in subsection M of this section.

M. The commission requires that all materials, data, and exhibits be presented to it and made available to other parties in advance of the commencement of the onsite component of the commission's review. The commission may accept additional materials, data, and exhibits during the onsite component of its review upon unanimous consent of the members present. Where late submissions are accepted by the commission, the commission shall provide an opportunity for other parties to respond to the filings.

N. The commission may record by mechanical device, unless other recording arrangements are made by the parties, all testimony given during the oral presentations but shall prepare a transcript of the recording only when deemed appropriate. The commission shall provide, upon request, any party a duplicate copy of the transcript or recording, if made, at a price sufficient to cover the expense incurred. In lieu of recording by the commission, the parties may arrange to provide a court reporter at their expense. Where a court reporter is utilized, the commission shall receive one copy of the transcript.

Statutory Authority

§ 15.2-2903 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR445-01-02 § 5.1, eff. November 1, 1984; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 26, eff. October 4, 2006; Volume 35, Issue 1, eff. October 18, 2018.

1VAC50-20-630. Public hearing.

A. In all cases where a public hearing is required by law, the commission shall conduct the public hearing at which any interested person or party may testify. The commission shall generally schedule the public hearing in conjunction with the oral presentations held, if any, with respect to the issue; however, public hearings regarding proposed town incorporations required pursuant to § 15.2-3601 of the Code of Virginia shall be held no sooner than 30 days after receipt of the court request for commission review.

B. Prior to holding the public hearing the commission shall publish notice of the pending hearing as required by law.

In addition to the notice of public hearing required by this subsection, a town that is a party to an agreement defining annexation rights negotiated pursuant to § 15.2-3231 of the Code of Virginia shall give written notice of the commission's hearing at least 10 days before the hearing to the owners or their agent of each parcel of land included in the area proposed for annexation under the terms of the agreement. One notice sent by first-class mail to the last known address of the owners or their agent as shown on the current county real estate tax assessment books or current county real estate tax assessment records shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement, provided that the clerk of the town shall make an affidavit that the mailings have been made and file the affidavit with the commission.

C. The commission shall request the party initiating the issue before it and the other principally affected parties to place on public display in or adjacent to the office of the chief administrative officer of each principally affected local government copies of all materials which are available to them and which have been submitted to the commission for consideration with respect to the issue. The material should be made conveniently available to the public during normal working hours. The commission also encourages the parties to make available to the public other copies of the material at libraries, educational facilities, or other public places in order that the public might have ample opportunity to study the material prior to the public hearing. The commission's advertisements published under subsection B of this section shall announce the availability of the material at the offices of the administrators and at other facilities as may be selected by the parties for display purposes.

D. The commission shall request the chief administrative officer (or other official) of each jurisdiction principally affected by the issue before the commission to make suitable arrangements in or adjacent to their offices for the registration of speakers at the public hearing. The commission shall furnish appropriate registration forms for that purpose. The commission's advertisements under subsection B of this section shall advise the public that registration to speak at the public hearing may be accomplished at the offices of the local administrators or, alternatively, through the offices of the commission in Richmond. The commission may also permit speakers to register at the site and at the time of the public hearing and shall request the assistance of the local administrative officers in making suitable arrangements for such registration.

E. The chair or other member of the commission designated to preside over the proceedings shall select the site for the public hearing subsequent to the receipt of recommendations from the parties. Recommendations from the parties should be based upon a site's accessibility to residents of the areas and jurisdictions principally affected, its seating capacity, the adequacy of parking facilities, the availability of a public address system, and seating arrangements permitting the commission to have proper visual contact with the public.

F. The commission shall request the parties to cooperate in the preparation of the site for the public hearing and shall request that a minimum number of maps and exhibits be placed on display at the site in order that persons testifying may identify their residences, property, businesses, or other concerns in relation to the proposed issue.

G. The commission shall request the local jurisdiction within which the site for the public hearing is situated to make appropriate arrangements in order to assure the security and the orderliness of the proceedings.

H. The chair or the presiding member shall determine the sequence of speakers at a public hearing, but the sequence shall ordinarily conform to the sequence of their registration. The chair or presiding member may, however, vary the sequence of speakers in order that persons from all affected jurisdictions and areas, and those representing different perspectives, might have equal opportunity for the timely presentation of their comments.

I. The commission shall endeavor to allow any person or party wishing to speak at a public hearing an opportunity to do so. The chair or presiding member may establish time limits for the presentation of testimony as the chair or presiding member deems appropriate. The chair or presiding member may also rule testimony irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious. Proponents and opponents of a proposed action are encouraged to designate a chief spokesman for economy of time and for the avoidance of repetitious comment.

J. Any person or party testifying before the commission at the public hearing may extend their remarks in written form for subsequent submission. During the course of the public hearing, the commission shall establish a date by which the extended written comment must be received for consideration.

K. The commission may record by mechanical device, unless other arrangements are made, all testimony given during the public hearing but shall prepare a transcript of the recording only when it deems appropriate. The commission shall provide any person or party with a copy of the transcript or recording, if made, at a price sufficient to cover the expense incurred. The parties may arrange to provide a court reporter, at their expense. Where a court reporter is utilized, the commission shall receive one copy of the transcript.

L. The commission may, where it deems appropriate, consolidate two or more interlocal issues for purposes of a public hearing.

Statutory Authority

§ 15.2-2903 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR445-01-02 § 5.2, eff. November 1, 1984; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 26, eff. October 4, 2006; Volume 35, Issue 1, eff. October 18, 2018.

1VAC50-20-640. Conclusion of mandatory reviews.

A. The commission may request or authorize the parties to an issue to submit, at a time established by the commission, a written concluding argument with proposed findings and recommendations.

B. The commission shall not accept for consideration or for inclusion in the record of a case any document, exhibit, or other material submitted after the date established by it for the close of the record. This regulation shall not preclude the commission's acceptance of data or information from any party at any time which has been solicited by the commission or its staff.

C. The commission shall prepare an official record of all proceedings before it of such a nature and in such a manner as it deems appropriate.

D. The commission shall submit a written report on the issues presented to it in the manner and at such time as provided by law. The reports shall set forth findings of fact and recommendations on both the merits of a proposed action and, where appropriate and feasible, the financial aspects thereof. Copies of reports shall be made available to the parties and to members of the public requesting such. The commission may charge a fee for copies of its reports in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of duplication, shipping, and handling.

E. Subsequent to its review of a petition submitted by a town under the authority of § 15.2-3234 of the Code of Virginia, and based upon the applicable statutory standards, the commission shall enter an order granting annexation rights to the town. The order may grant the town annexation rights upon the terms proposed by the town in its petition or upon some other basis as the commission deems appropriate and consistent with law. The order shall in no event grant the town the right to annex county territory by ordinance more frequently than once every five years.

Statutory Authority

§ 15.2-2903 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR445-01-02 § 5.3, eff. November 1, 1984; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 26, eff. October 4, 2006.

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