Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 1. General Provisions
10/15/2021

Chapter 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-100. Charter powers not affected by title.

Except when otherwise expressly provided by the words, "Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special," or words of similar import, the provisions of this title shall not repeal, amend, impair or affect any power, right or privilege conferred on counties, cities and towns by charter.

Code 1950, § 15-2; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-101. Certain laws and ordinances not affected by repeal of Title 15.1; validation of laws and ordinances adopted under § 15.1-522.

A. The repeal of Title 15.1 effective as of December 1, 1997, shall not affect the powers of any locality with respect to any ordinance, resolution or by-law adopted and not repealed or rescinded prior to such date.

B. The repeal of § 15.1-522 by this title shall not affect the exercise, by ordinance or otherwise, of any power conferred by this section upon any county which on November 30, 1997, was vested with such power and on or before such date exercised the power; and every power so conferred, vested and exercised is hereby continued in such cases.

C. For the purposes of this section, all laws and ordinances heretofore adopted by any county authorized to adopt such law or ordinance under former § 15.1-522 are hereby ratified, validated and confirmed, notwithstanding noncompliance with any technical requirement of such section.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-102. Definitions.

As used in this title unless such construction would be inconsistent with the context or manifest intent of the statute:

"Board of supervisors" means the governing body of a county.

"City" means any independent incorporated community which became a city as provided by law before noon on the first day of July, nineteen hundred seventy-one, or which has within defined boundaries a population of 5,000 or more and which has become a city as provided by law.

"Constitutional officer" means an officer provided for pursuant to Article VII, § 4 of the Constitution.

"Council" means the governing body of a city or town.

"Councilman" or "member of the council" means a member of the governing body of a city or town.

"County" means any existing county or such unit hereafter created.

"Governing body" means the board of supervisors of a county, council of a city, or council of a town, as the context may require.

"Locality" or "local government" shall be construed to mean a county, city, or town as the context may require.

"Municipality," "incorporated communities," "municipal corporation," and words or terms of similar import shall be construed to relate only to cities and towns.

"Supervisor" means a member of the board of supervisors of a county.

"Town" means any existing town or an incorporated community within one or more counties which became a town before noon, July one, nineteen hundred seventy-one, as provided by law or which has within defined boundaries a population of 1,000 or more and which has become a town as provided by law.

"Voter" means a qualified voter as defined in § 24.2-101.

Code 1950, § 15-1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-103. Name "Mount Vernon" reserved.

The name "Mount Vernon" is reserved for the home and tomb of the late General George Washington in Fairfax County. The General Assembly shall not grant to any locality the right to use the name "Mount Vernon."

Code 1950, § 15-24.4; 1956, c. 42; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-34; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-104. Liens against real estate.

Notwithstanding any provision contained in this title to the contrary, wherever this title provides for or authorizes a lien upon real estate for a local assessment, fee, rent or charge, other than real estate taxes, not paid when due, such lien shall not bind or affect a subsequent bona fide purchaser of the real estate for valuable consideration without actual notice of the lien unless, at the time of the transfer of record of the real estate to the purchaser, a statement containing the name of the record owner of the real estate and the amount of such unpaid assessments, fees, rents or charges is entered in the judgment lien book in the clerk's office where deeds are recorded or is contained in records maintained by the local treasurer for real estate tax liens pursuant to § 58.1-3930 with respect to the real estate against which the lien is asserted. Any such lien binding on the owner of the real estate at the time of sale or other disposition shall be paid from the sale or other proceeds as real estate taxes assessed thereon are required to be paid. The clerk shall cause such statement to be entered and properly indexed against the record owner of the real estate, for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of two dollars per entry, or such other fee as may be specifically provided for such purpose in this title, to be paid by the locality or other political subdivision asserting the lien and to be added to the amount of the lien. If the amount of such lien and all accrued interest due thereon are paid in full, the locality or other political subdivision asserting the lien shall deliver a certificate evidencing such payment to the person paying the same, and, upon presentation of such certificate, the clerk having record of the lien shall mark the entry of such lien satisfied, for which he shall be entitled to a fee of one dollar, or such other fee as may be specifically provided for such purpose in this title.

1994, c. 525, § 15.1-37.3:13; 1996, c. 612; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-105. Penalty and interest for failure to pay accounts when due.

Any person failing to pay, pursuant to an ordinance, any account due a locality on or before its due date, other than taxes which are provided for in Title 58.1, may, at the option of the locality, incur a penalty thereon of ten dollars or an amount not exceeding ten percent. The penalty shall be added to the amount of the account due from such person. No penalty shall be imposed for failure to pay any account if such failure was not in any way the fault of the debtor.

Interest at the rate of ten percent annually from the first day following the day such account is due may be collected upon the principal and penalty of all such accounts.

1984, c. 520, § 15.1-37.3:6; 1985, c. 342; 1989, c. 366; 1992, c. 229; 1997, cc. 587, 700.

§ 15.2-106. Ordinances providing fee for passing bad checks to localities.

Any locality may by ordinance provide for a fee, not exceeding $50, for the uttering, publishing or passing of any check, draft, or order for payment of taxes or any other sums due, which is subsequently returned for insufficient funds or because there is no account or the account has been closed, or because such check, draft, or order was returned because of a stop-payment order placed in bad faith on the check, draft, or order by the drawer.

1973, c. 103, § 15.1-29.4; 1982, c. 20; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 502; 2004, c. 565; 2010, c. 708; 2011, c. 255.

§ 15.2-107. Advertisement and enactment of certain fees and levies.

All levies and fees imposed or increased by a locality pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 21 (§ 15.2-2100 et seq.) or 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) shall be adopted by ordinance. The advertising requirements of subsection F of § 15.2-1427, or § 15.2-2204, as appropriate, shall apply, except as modified in this section.

The advertisement shall include the following:

1. The time, date, and place of the public hearing.

2. The actual dollar amount or percentage change, if any, of the proposed levy, fee or increase.

3. A specific reference to the Code of Virginia section or other legal authority granting the legal authority for enactment of such proposed levy, fee, or increase.

4. A designation of the place or places where the complete ordinance, and information concerning the documentation for the proposed fee, levy or increase are available for examination by the public no later than the time of the first publication.

1987, c. 389, § 15.1-29.14; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 72.

§ 15.2-107.1. Advertisement of legal notices on web sites.

In addition to any requirements that a locality advertise legal notices in a newspaper having a general circulation in the locality, such notices may also be published on the locality's World Wide Web site.

2000, c. 434.

§ 15.2-107.2. Alternative method for local government to give notice by mail.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, a locality may give notice by regular mail in any instance in which two or more notices are required for the same action, the first notice is required to be sent by certified or registered mail, and at least one notice has previously been sent by certified or registered mail. Such notice shall be sent to the last address available through government records.

2011, c. 127.

§ 15.2-108. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 250, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-108.1. Local fees charged to places of worship.

Localities shall not charge any fee to any church, synagogue, or other place of worship unless authorized by general law or special act of the General Assembly. Nothing in this section shall apply to any fire prevention inspection fees.

2012, c. 804.

§ 15.2-109. Regulations on political campaign signs.

No locality shall have the authority to prohibit the display of political campaign signs on private property if the signs are in compliance with zoning and right-of-way restrictions applicable to temporary nonpolitical signs, if the signs have been posted with the permission of the owner. The provisions of this section shall supersede the provisions of any local ordinance or regulation in conflict with this section. This section shall have no effect upon the regulations of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

2004, c. 388.

§ 15.2-110. Authority to require approval by common interest community association.

No locality shall require, prior to the issuance of any permit, certificate, or license, including a building permit or a license for a business, profession, or child care facility, that the governing board of an association subject to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.), the Virginia Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.), or the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55.1-2100 et seq.) consent to the activity for which the permit, certificate, or license is sought. The provisions of this section shall not be applied to limit or otherwise impinge upon the provisions of a condominium instrument as defined in § 55.1-1900, the declaration of a common interest community as defined in § 54.1-2345, or the declaration of a cooperative as defined in § 55.1-2100.

2016, cc. 254, 458.

§ 15.2-111. Rescheduling or continuing meetings for weather.

By resolution adopted at a regular meeting, any political subdivision, board of zoning appeals, or other local government board, commission, or authority may fix the day or days to which a regular meeting shall be continued if the chairman, or vice-chairman if the chairman is unable to act, finds and declares that weather or other conditions are such that it is hazardous for members to attend the regular meeting. Such findings shall be communicated to the members and the press as promptly as possible. All hearings and other matters previously advertised shall be conducted at the continued meeting, and no further advertising is required.

2020, c. 1143.