Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 9. General Powers of Local Governments
12/4/2021

§ 15.2-909. Authority to require removal, repair, etc., of wharves, piers, pilings, bulkheads, vessels or abandoned, obstructing or hazardous property.

Any locality may by ordinance provide:

1. The owners of property therein shall at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe, remove, repair or secure any vessel which has been abandoned or any wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or any other structure or vessel which might endanger the public health or safety of other persons, or which might constitute an obstruction or hazard to the lawful use of the waters within or adjoining such locality. If such property is deemed to be abandoned, the governing body may designate and empower an official to ascertain the lawful owner of such property and to have the owner repair, remove or secure such property;

2. The locality, through its own agents or employees, may remove, repair or secure any vessel which has been abandoned or any wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead, or other structure or vessel which might endanger the public health or safety of other persons or which might constitute a hazard or obstruction to the lawful use of the waters within such locality, if the owner of such property, after reasonable notice and reasonable time to do so, has failed to remove, repair or secure such wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or other structure or vessel;

3. In the event the locality, through its own agents or employees removes, repairs or secures any wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or other structure or vessel after complying with the notice provisions of this section, the cost or expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and to the extent applicable may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected;

4. If the identity or whereabouts of the lawful owner is unknown or not able to be ascertained after a reasonable search and after lawful notice has been made to the last known address of any known owner, the locality, through its own agents or employees, may repair such wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or other structure or vessel or remove such property after giving notice by publication once each week for two weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where such property is located;

5. Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property has been assessed and which remains unpaid, to the extent applicable, shall constitute a lien against the owner's real property, and such lien shall be recorded in the judgment lien docket book in the circuit court for such locality. Such lien may also be reduced to a personal judgment against the owner.

1976, c. 449, § 15.1-11.3; 1997, cc. 548, 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.