Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 33.2. Highways and Other Surface Transportation Systems
Chapter 9. Abandonment and Discontinuance of Highways and Roads
11/30/2022

§ 33.2-902. Abandonment of highway or railroad crossing; procedure.

A. The Commissioner of Highways either on his own motion or upon petition of any interested landowner may cause any section of a highway in the primary state highway system, or any crossing by such highway of the lines of a railroad company or crossing by the lines of a railroad company of such highway, to be abandoned altogether as a public highway or as a public crossing by complying substantially with the procedure provided in this section.

B. The Commissioner of Highways or any interested landowner may file application with the Board setting out the section of the highway or the railroad crossing sought to be abandoned as a public highway or public railroad crossing. The Board shall give notice of the filing of the application (i) by posting a notice of such application at least three days before the first day of a regular term of the circuit court at the front door of the courthouse of the county in which the section of the highway or railroad crossing sought to be abandoned as a public highway or public railroad crossing is located, or if the section of the highway or the railroad crossing is located partly in two or more counties, at the front door of the courthouse of each county, or (ii) by publishing a notice of such application in two or more issues of a newspaper published in the county or one of the counties in which the section of the highway or the crossing is located. The Board shall also send by registered mail a notice of the application to the governing body of the county or counties. If such highway or railroad crossing is in a town with a population of 3,500 or less, the Board shall give notice to the governing body of the town in the same manner as notice is required to be given to the governing body of the county in which the town is located.

C. If one or more landowners in the county or counties affected by such proposed abandonment or the governing body of a county or town in which the highway or railroad crossing is located files a petition with the Board within 30 days after notice is posted or published and mailed as provided in this section, the Board or a representative thereof shall hold a public hearing in the county or one of the counties for consideration of the application and shall give notice of the time and place of the hearing by publishing such information in at least two issues in a newspaper having general circulation in the county or one of the counties and by mailing notice of the hearing to the governing body of the county or counties, and if applicable to the governing body of the town, in which the highway or railroad crossing is located.

D. If a petition for a public hearing is not filed as provided in this section, or if after a public hearing is held a majority of the Board is satisfied that no public necessity exists for the continuance of the section of highway as a public highway or the railroad crossing as a public railroad crossing or that the welfare of the public would be served best by abandoning the section of highway or the railroad crossing as a public highway or public railroad crossing, the Board shall (i) within four months of the 30-day period during which notice was posted where no petition for a public hearing was filed or (ii) within four months after the public hearing enter an order on its minutes abandoning the section of highway as a public highway or the railroad crossing as a public railroad crossing, and with that order the section of highway shall cease to be a public highway, unless the local governing body takes control as provided in this article, or the railroad crossing shall cease to be a public railroad crossing. If the Board is not so satisfied, it shall enter an order dismissing the application within the applicable four months provided in this subsection.

E. In considering the abandonment of any section of highway under the provisions of this section, due consideration shall be given to the historic value, if any, of such highway.

Code 1950, § 33-76.2; 1950, p. 727; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-145; 1978, c. 187; 1980, c. 39; 2014, c. 805.

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.