Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 9. General Powers of Local Governments

§ 15.2-908.1. Authority to require removal, repair, etc., of buildings and other structures harboring a bawdy place.

A. As used in this section:

"Affidavit" means the affidavit prepared by a locality in accordance with subdivision B 1 a hereof.

"Bawdy place" means the same as that term is defined in § 18.2-347.

"Corrective action" means the taking of steps which are reasonably expected to be effective to abate a bawdy place on real property, such as removal, repair or securing of any building, wall or other structure.

"Owner" means the record owner of real property.

"Property" means real property.

B. The governing body of any locality may, by ordinance, provide that:

1. The locality may undertake corrective action with respect to property in accordance with the procedures described herein:

a. The locality shall execute an affidavit, citing this section, to the effect that (i) a bawdy place exists on the property and in the manner described therein; (ii) the locality has used diligence without effect to abate the bawdy place; and (iii) the bawdy place constitutes a present threat to the public's health, safety or welfare.

b. The locality shall then send a notice to the owner of the property, to be sent by regular mail to the last address listed for the owner on the locality's assessment records for the property, together with a copy of such affidavit, advising that (i) the owner has up to thirty days from the date thereof to undertake corrective action to abate the bawdy place described in such affidavit and (ii) the locality will, if requested to do so, assist the owner in determining and coordinating the appropriate corrective action to abate the bawdy place described in such affidavit.

c. If no corrective action is undertaken during such thirty-day period, the locality shall send by regular mail an additional notice to the owner of the property, at the address stated in the preceding subdivision, stating the date on which the locality may commence corrective action to abate the bawdy place on the property, which date shall be no earlier than fifteen days after the date of mailing of the notice. Such additional notice shall also reasonably describe the corrective action contemplated to be taken by the locality. Upon receipt of such notice, the owner shall have a right, upon reasonable notice to the locality, to seek equitable relief, and the locality shall initiate no corrective action while a proper petition for relief is pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.

2. If the locality undertakes corrective action with respect to the property after complying with the provisions of subdivision B 1, the costs and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes and levies are collected.

3. Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property has been assessed and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property with the same priority as liens for unpaid local real estate taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1.

C. If the owner of such property takes timely corrective action pursuant to such ordinance, the locality shall deem the bawdy place abated, shall close the proceeding without any charge or cost to the owner and shall promptly provide written notice to the owner that the proceeding has been terminated satisfactorily. The closing of a proceeding shall not bar the locality from initiating a subsequent proceeding if the bawdy place recurs.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abridge or waive any rights or remedies of an owner of property at law or in equity.

1997, c. 498, § 15.1-11.2:3; 2017, cc. 118, 610.

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.