Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 49. Enterprise Zone Grant Program
12/5/2022

§ 59.1-542. Enterprise zone designation.

A. Upon the Department's announcement of periodic zone designation competitions, the governing body of any county or city may make written application to the Department to have an area or areas declared an enterprise zone. Such application shall include a description of the area or areas to be included, the development potential of these areas, the need for special state incentives, the local incentives that shall be provided to support new economic activity, and other information that the Department deems necessary to assess requests for designation.

B. Two or more adjacent localities may file a joint application for an enterprise zone. Localities applying for a joint zone shall demonstrate a regional need for an enterprise zone and a regional impact that could not be achieved through a single jurisdiction zone. Applicants for a joint zone shall also specify what mechanisms will be used to ensure that the economic benefits of such a zone are shared among the applicant localities.

C. An enterprise zone may consist of no more than three noncontiguous areas. The aggregate size of these noncontiguous zone areas shall be as follows:

1. For cities, the minimum size of an enterprise zone shall be one-quarter square mile and the maximum size of an enterprise zone shall be one square mile or seven percent of the jurisdiction's land area or an area that includes seven percent of the population, whichever is largest.

2. For towns designated as enterprise zones under former §§ 59.1-272 through 59.1-278, 59.1-279.1, or 59.1-280.2 through 59.1-284 of the Enterprise Zone Act (§ 59.1-270 et seq.), the size of an enterprise zone shall conform to the size requirements for cities in subdivision 1.

3. For unincorporated areas of counties, the minimum size of an enterprise zone shall be one-half square mile and the maximum size of an enterprise zone shall be six square miles.

4. For consolidated cities the enterprise zones in cities for which the boundaries were created through the consolidation of a city and county or the consolidation of two cities, the enterprise zone shall conform substantially to the size requirements for unincorporated areas of counties in subdivision 3.

In no instance shall a zone consist only of a site for a single business firm. Localities shall be limited to three enterprise zone designations.

D. A joint enterprise zone shall consist of no more than three noncontiguous zone areas for each participating locality. The aggregate size of these noncontiguous areas shall be specified by regulation.

E. Upon recommendation of the Director of the Department, the Governor may designate up to 30 enterprise zones in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Such designations are to be done in coordination with the expiration of existing zones designated under earlier Enterprise Zone Program provisions. The initial round of six zone designation applications and approval may be conducted prior to adoption of final program regulations provided that the process is consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Enterprise zones shall be designated for an initial 10-year period except as provided for in subsections A and B of § 59.1-546. Upon recommendation of the Director of the Department, the Governor may renew zones designated on or after July 1, 2005, for up to three five-year renewal periods and zones designated prior to July 1, 2005, for one five-year renewal period. Recommendations for five-year renewals shall be based on the locality's performance of its enterprise zone responsibilities, the continued need for such a zone, and its effectiveness in creating jobs and capital investment.

F. Localities that have zone designations are responsible for providing the local incentives specified in their applications, providing timely submission of enterprise zone reports and evaluations as required by regulation, verifying that businesses and properties seeking enterprise zone incentives are physically located within their zones, and implementing an active local enterprise zone program within the context of overall economic development efforts.

2005, cc. 863, 884; 2018, c. 315; 2019, cc. 119, 496.

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.