Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 35. Consolidation of Localities

§ 15.2-3526. Hearing and decision by court.

A. The court shall order an election to be held as provided in § 15.2-3538 if, after hearing the evidence, it finds that:

1. The proposed consolidation has a minimum population of 20,000 persons and a density of at least 300 persons per square mile, or a minimum population of 50,000 persons and a population density of at least 140 persons per square mile, based on the latest United States census, or on the latest population estimates of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service of the University of Virginia, or on a special census conducted under court supervision; however, where the proposed consolidation includes an existing city, the population and density requirements set forth in this subdivision shall not apply;

2. The proposed consolidation has the fiscal capacity to function as an independent city and is able to provide appropriate services; and

3. After a consideration of the best interests of the parties, the interest of the Commonwealth in the compliance with and the promotion of applicable state policies with respect to environmental protection, public planning, education, public transportation, housing and other state service policies declared by the General Assembly, and the interest of the Commonwealth in promoting strong and viable units of government in the area, the proposed consolidation is eligible for city status.

B. The court shall be limited in its decision to granting or denying eligibility for city status and shall have no authority to impose terms or conditions with respect to a proposed consolidation.

C. If a majority of the court is of the opinion that the criteria set out in subsection A herein have not been met, then eligibility for city status shall be denied.

D. The court shall render a written opinion in every case brought under the provisions of this article.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1130.8; 1997, c. 587.

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.