Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 8. Urban County Executive Form of Government
12/4/2022

§ 15.2-816.1. Underground electric distribution, telecommunications, cable, and other utility facilities.

A. The governing body of any locality operating under the urban county executive form of government may request an electric utility, telecommunications provider, cable provider, or other utility to enter into an agreement with the locality to place underground electric distribution, facilities, telecommunications facilities, cable facilities, or other utility facilities as part of a transportation infrastructure improvement project, a commercial or industrial improvement project, or roads serving any such project that the Commonwealth Transportation Board or such locality identifies that reduce congestion, improve mobility, improve transit system infrastructure, improve safety, or improve service or access to such project.

B. If the parties desire to proceed, the locality operating under the urban county executive form of government shall enter into an agreement with an electric utility, telecommunications provider, cable provider, or other utility that provides that (i) the locality shall pay to the utility or provider its full costs of relocating and converting that portion of the facility located in the locality underground rather than overhead, minus the net of relocation credits; (ii) the utility or provider shall convert, operate, and maintain the agreed portion of the facility underground in cooperation with any other utility or provider with facilities placed underground there; (iii) the agreement is contingent upon the adoption of the levy set forth in subsection C; and (iv) other terms and conditions on which the parties may agree shall be included in the agreement. No agreement shall require any telecommunications provider or cable provider to share conduit.

C. If the locality operating under the urban county executive form of government and the utility enter into an agreement as described in subsection B, the locality may impose an additional levy on electric utility customers in the locality pursuant to § 58.1-3814. The locality shall by ordinance fix the amount of such additional levy, which shall not exceed $1 per month on residential customers and shall not exceed 6.67 percent of the monthly amount charged to nonresidential consumers of the utility service. The initial proceeds of such levy shall be dedicated to a project incorporating bus rapid transit on a road in the National Highway System serving a Metrorail station and an anticipated extension of Metrorail in a designated revitalization area in such locality. The provider of billing services shall bill the tax to all users who are subject to the tax and to whom it bills for electricity service and shall remit such tax to the appropriate locality. Any levy imposed pursuant to this section shall be in addition to the limit for any utility consumer tax prescribed in § 58.1-3814. If the provisions of this section are inconsistent with the provisions of § 58.1-3814, the provisions of this section shall be controlling.

D. The locality may, or the Commissioner of Highways, upon presentation of the agreement to the Commonwealth Transportation Board, shall, be responsible for securing the necessary easements and permits for the utility or provider necessary for the conversion of the existing distribution, telecommunication, cable, or other utility facilities.

E. With the exception of any local zoning ordinances and review under § 15.2-2232 or any cable franchise agreement, if the provisions of this section are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law or local ordinance, the provisions of this section shall be controlling.

F. For purposes of this section, the term "electric utility" includes any cooperative, as that term is defined in § 56-231.15, operating within the locality.

2019, c. 792; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 505.

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.