Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 25.1. Eminent Domain
Chapter 1. General Provisions

§ 25.1-100. Definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Appraisal" means a written statement independently and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser setting forth an opinion of defined value of an adequately described property as of a specific date, supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information.

"Body determining just compensation" means a panel of commissioners empaneled pursuant to § 25.1-227.2, jury selected pursuant to § 25.1-229, or the court if neither a panel of commissioners nor a jury is appointed or empaneled.

"Court" means the court having jurisdiction as provided in § 25.1-201.

"Date of valuation" means the time of the lawful taking by the petitioner, or the date of the filing of the petition pursuant to § 25.1-205, whichever occurs first.

"Freeholder" means any person owning an interest in land in fee, including a person owning a condominium unit.

"Land" means real estate and all rights and appurtenances thereto, together with the structures and other improvements thereon, and any right, title, interest, estate or claim in or to real estate.

"Locality" or "local government" means a county, city, or town, as the context may require.

"Lost access" means a change of vehicular or pedestrian access to property that is caused by a public use project for which the eminent domain power has been exercised against the property and which results in a diminution in the value of the property.

"Lost profits" means a loss of profits or expected profits suffered by a business or farm operation as a result of a taking or damaging of the property on which the business or farm operation is operated for a period not to exceed three years from the later of (i) the date of valuation or (ii) the date the state agency or its contractor prevents the owner from using the land or any of the owner's other property rights are taken. The business or farm operation claiming lost profits is entitled to compensation whether part of the property or the entire parcel of property is taken or damaged, and bears the burden of proving lost profits in accordance with the requirements of subsection C of § 25.1-230.1.

"Owner" means any person who owns property, provided that the person's ownership of the property is of record in the land records of the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county or city where the property is located. The term "owner" shall not include trustees or beneficiaries under a deed of trust, any person with a security interest in the property, or any person with a judgment or lien against the property. This definition of the term "owner" shall not affect in any way the valuation of property.

"Person" means any individual; firm; cooperative; association; corporation; limited liability company; trust; business trust; syndicate; partnership; limited liability partnership; joint venture; receiver; trustee in bankruptcy or any other person acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, whether appointed by a court or otherwise; club, society or other group or combination acting as a unit; the Commonwealth or any department, agency or instrumentality thereof; any city, county, town, or other political subdivision or any department, agency or instrumentality thereof; or any interstate body to which the Commonwealth is a party.

"Petitioner" or "condemnor" means any person who possesses the power to exercise the right of eminent domain and who seeks to exercise such power. The term "petitioner" or "condemnor" includes a state agency.

"Property" means land and personal property, and any right, title, interest, estate or claim in or to such property.

"State agency" means any (i) department, agency or instrumentality of the Commonwealth; (ii) public authority, municipal corporation, local governmental unit or political subdivision of the Commonwealth or any department, agency or instrumentality thereof; (iii) person who has the authority to acquire property by eminent domain under state law; or (iv) two or more of the aforementioned that carry out projects that cause persons to be displaced.

"State institution" means any (i) institution enumerated in § 23.1-1100 or (ii) state hospital or state training center operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

1962, c. 426, § 25-46.3; 1991, c. 520; 2000, c. 1029; 2002, c. 878; 2003, c. 940; 2006, c. 586; 2009, cc. 813, 840; 2010, c. 835; 2011, cc. 117, 190; 2012, cc. 476, 507, 699, 719; 2015, c. 642; 2017, c. 314; 2018, c. 702; 2022, cc. 734, 735.

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.