Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
6/17/2019

Article 1. Uniform Charter Powers.

§ 15.2-1100. Powers conferred; exercised by council.

A municipal corporation shall have and may exercise any or all powers set forth in this article, regardless of whether such powers are set out or incorporated by reference in a municipal charter. All powers vested in a municipal corporation by this chapter shall be exercised by its governing body.

Code 1950, § 15-77.2; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-838; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1101. Exercise of powers outside boundaries.

If a municipal corporation seeks to exercise the powers set forth in this article outside its boundaries, such powers shall, except as to existing nonconforming use, be subject to the zoning regulations of the locality in which the power is sought to be exercised, provided that, except as to existing nonconforming uses, such locality also observes the zoning regulations of the municipality as to any of such locality's property located within the corporate limits.

Code 1950, § 15-77.2; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-838; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1102. General grant of power; enumeration of powers not exclusive; limitations on exercise of power.

A municipal corporation shall have and may exercise all powers which it now has or which may hereafter be conferred upon or delegated to it under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth and all other powers pertinent to the conduct of the affairs and functions of the municipal government, the exercise of which is not expressly prohibited by the Constitution and the general laws of the Commonwealth, and which are necessary or desirable to secure and promote the general welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality and the safety, health, peace, good order, comfort, convenience, morals, trade, commerce and industry of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and the enumeration of specific powers shall not be construed or held to be exclusive or as a limitation upon any general grant of power, but shall be construed and held to be in addition to any general grant of power. The exercise of the powers conferred under this section is specifically limited to the area within the corporate limits of the municipality, unless otherwise conferred in the applicable sections of the Constitution and general laws, as amended, of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-77.3; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-839; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1103. Charter provisions not affected; conflict between chapter and charter.

A municipal corporation, in addition to the powers granted by § 15.2-1102, shall have all the powers granted to it in its charter; and nothing contained in this article shall be construed to in anywise repeal, amend, impair or affect any provision of any existing charter or of any charter hereafter granted to a municipal corporation or any provision of any other applicable law, unless such amendment or repeal so provides. Whenever there appears to be a conflict between any provision of this article, or any amendment hereof, and that of any charter of a municipal corporation, the provisions of the charter shall be construed and held to take precedence over such conflicting or apparently conflicting provisions of this article or of any amendment hereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.4; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-840; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1104. Taxes and assessments.

A municipal corporation may raise annually by taxes and assessments on property, persons, and other subjects of taxation, which are not prohibited by law, such sums of money as in the judgment of the municipal corporation are necessary to pay the debts, defray the expenses, accomplish the purposes, and perform the functions of the municipal corporation, in such manner as the municipal corporation deems necessary or expedient. A municipal corporation may also establish by ordinance a discount for the early payment of any such taxes or assessments. For purposes of this section, "early payment" may include payment of real property taxes in full on or before the due date of such tax.

Code 1950, § 15-77.5; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-841; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 216; 2012, c. 585.

§ 15.2-1104.1. Tax on admissions to charitable events.

A municipal corporation that generally levies an admissions tax may, by ordinance, elect not to levy an admissions tax on admission to an event, provided that the purpose of the event is solely to raise money for charitable purposes and that the net proceeds derived from the event will be transferred to an entity or entities that are exempt from sales and use tax pursuant to § 58.1-609.11.

1999, c. 986; 2003, cc. 757, 758.

§ 15.2-1105. Borrowing money and issuing evidence of indebtedness.

A municipal corporation may, in the name of and for the use of the municipal corporation, borrow money and issue evidence of indebtedness therefor, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by law.

Code 1950, § 15-77.7; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-843; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1106. Control and management of affairs; books, records, accounts, etc., of agencies.

A municipal corporation shall provide for the control and management of the affairs of the municipality, and may prescribe and require the adoption and keeping of such books, records, accounts and systems of accounting by the departments, boards, commissions, courts or other agencies of the local government as may be necessary to give full and true accounts of the affairs, resources and revenues of the municipal corporation and the handling, use and disposal thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.8; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-844; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1107. Departments, offices, boards, etc.

A municipal corporation may provide for the organization, conduct and operation of all departments, offices, boards, commissions and agencies of the municipal corporation, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by its charter or otherwise by law. A municipal corporation may establish, consolidate, abolish or change departments, offices, boards, commissions and agencies of the municipal corporation and prescribe the powers, duties and functions thereof, except where such departments, offices, boards, commissions and agencies or the powers, duties and functions thereof are specifically established or prescribed by its charter or otherwise by law.

Code 1950, § 15-77.9; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-845; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1108. Gifts, donations, bequests or grants.

A municipal corporation may accept or refuse gifts, donations, bequests or grants from any source, which are related to the powers, duties and functions of the municipal corporation.

Code 1950, § 15-77.12; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-848; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1109. Milk, food and food products.

A municipal corporation may regulate and inspect the production, preparation, storage, distribution and sale of milk and milk products, and other beverages, and food and food products, and the sanitation of establishments in which the same are produced, prepared, processed, handled, distributed, sold or offered for sale, and facilities, equipment and vehicles used for such purposes; provided such regulations are not inconsistent with the provisions of Chapters 52 (§ 3.2-5200 et seq.) and 54 (§ 3.2-5400 et seq.) of Title 3.2; and may condemn, seize and dispose of any adulterated, impure or dangerous milk, milk product, beverage, food or food product, without liability to the owner thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.17; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-853; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1110. Swimming pools, lakes and other waters.

A municipal corporation may regulate and inspect the operation, maintenance, and use of public swimming pools, lakes and other natural or artificial waters and private pools and lakes operated by clubs and associations; and without liability to the owner thereof, may prevent the use thereof when such waters are found to be polluted, adulterated, impure or dangerous or contribute or are likely to contribute to the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious or dangerous diseases.

Code 1950, § 15-77.22; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-858; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1111. Regulation of cemeteries and burials.

A municipal corporation may regulate and inspect cemeteries and burials therein, prescribe records to be kept by the owners thereof, and prohibit burials except in public cemeteries.

Code 1950, § 15-77.24; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-860; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1112. Aid to military units.

A municipal corporation may grant financial aid to military units organized in the municipal corporation pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-77.26; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-862; 1970, c. 225; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1113. Dangerous, etc., business or employment; transportation of offensive substances; explosive or inflammable substances; fireworks.

A municipal corporation may regulate or prohibit the conduct of any dangerous, offensive or unhealthful business, trade or employment; the transportation of any offensive substance; the manufacture, storage, transportation, possession and use of any explosive or inflammable substance; and the use and exhibition of fireworks and the discharge of firearms. A municipal corporation may also require the maintenance of safety devices on storage equipment for such substances or items.

Any municipal corporation that regulates or prohibits the discharge of firearms shall provide an exemption for the killing of deer pursuant to § 29.1-529. Such exemption shall apply on land of at least five acres that is zoned for agricultural use.

Code 1950, § 15-77.29; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-865; 1982, c. 17; 1992, c. 600; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 229.

§ 15.2-1113.1. Prohibiting hunting in certain areas.

Any municipal corporation may by ordinance prohibit all hunting with firearms or other weapons in, or within one-half mile of, any subdivision or other area of such municipal corporation which, in the opinion of the governing body, is so heavily populated as to make such hunting dangerous to the inhabitants thereof. Any such ordinance shall clearly describe each area in which hunting is prohibited and shall further provide that appropriate signs shall be erected designating the boundaries of such area.

2000, c. 289.

§ 15.2-1114. Auctions; pawnshops; secondhand dealers; peddling; fraud and deceit in sales; weights and measures.

A municipal corporation may regulate the sale of property at auction; may regulate the conduct of and prescribe the number of pawnshops and dealers in secondhand goods, wares and merchandise; may regulate or prohibit peddling; may prevent fraud or deceit in the sale of property; may require weighing, measuring, gauging and inspection of goods, wares and merchandise offered for sale; and may provide for the sealing of weights and measures and the inspection and testing thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.30; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-866; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1115. Abatement or removal of nuisances.

A. A municipal corporation may compel the abatement or removal of all nuisances, including but not limited to the removal of weeds from private and public property and snow from sidewalks; the covering or removal of offensive, unwholesome, unsanitary or unhealthy substances allowed to accumulate in or on any place or premises; the filling in to the street level, fencing or protection by other means, of the portion of any lot adjacent to a street where the difference in level between the lot and the street constitutes a danger to life and limb; the raising or draining of grounds subject to be covered by stagnant water; and the razing or repair of all unsafe, dangerous or unsanitary public or private buildings, walls or structures which constitute a menace to the health and safety of the occupants thereof or the public. If after such reasonable notice as the municipal corporation may prescribe the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the property or premises affected by the provisions of this section shall fail to abate or obviate the condition or nuisance, the municipal corporation may do so and charge and collect the cost thereof from the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the property affected in any manner provided by law for the collection of state or local taxes.

B. Every charge authorized by this section in excess of $200 which has been assessed against the owner of any such property and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property. Such liens shall have the same priority as liens for other unpaid local real estate taxes and shall be enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1. A locality may waive such liens in order to facilitate the sale of the property. Such liens may be waived only as to a purchaser who is unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner and who has no business association with the owner. All such liens shall remain a personal obligation of the owner of the property at the time the liens were imposed.

Code 1950, § 15-77.31; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-867; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 533, 968; 2017, cc. 118, 610.

§ 15.2-1116. Smoke; fuel-burning equipment.

A municipal corporation may regulate the emission of smoke, the construction, installation and maintenance of fuel-burning equipment, and the methods of firing and stoking furnaces and boilers.

Code 1950, § 15-77.32; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-868; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1117. Light, ventilation, sanitation and use and occupancy of buildings.

A municipal corporation may regulate the light, ventilation, sanitation and use and occupancy of buildings heretofore or hereafter constructed, altered, remodeled or improved, and the sanitation of premises surrounding the building.

Code 1950, § 15-77.33; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-869; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1118. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 256, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-1119. Hospitals, sanatoria, homes, clinics, etc.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate, within or outside the municipal corporation, hospitals, sanatoria, homes, clinics, institutions and facilities for the care, treatment and maintenance of the sick, of children, the aged, destitute and indigent; may contract with others for supplying such services; and may charge and collect compensation for such care, treatment and maintenance.

Code 1950, § 15-77.45; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-881; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1120. Detentive, correctional and penal institutions.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate, within or outside the municipal corporation, detentive, correctional and penal institutions; or may contract with others for supplying the services and facilities provided at such institutions.

Code 1950, § 15-77.46; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-882; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1121. Cemeteries.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate, within or outside the municipal corporation, cemeteries; may contract for the perpetual care of lots and burial spaces therein; and may charge compensation for lots and burial spaces and services in connection with interments and the maintenance and operation of such cemeteries.

Code 1950, § 15-77.47; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-883; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1122. Parking or storage of vehicles.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate places for, and limited to, the parking or storage of vehicles by the public, which shall include but shall not be limited to parking lots, garages, buildings and other land, structures, equipment and facilities; provide for their management and operation by an agency of the municipality; contract with others for the operation and management thereof upon such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the municipal corporation; and charge or authorize the charging of compensation for the parking or storage of vehicles.

Code 1950, § 15-77.48; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-884; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1123. Airports and facilities.

A. A municipal corporation may provide and operate within or outside the municipal corporation airports and lands, structures, equipment and facilities appurtenant thereto; provide for their management and operation by an agency of the municipality; contract with others for the operation and management thereof upon such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the municipal corporation; and charge or authorize the charging of compensation for the use of the airport or any of its appurtenances or facilities.

B. A municipal corporation located in Planning District 11 or a political subdivision located in Planning District 6 or 7 may apply any deicing agent containing urea for the purpose of deicing an airport that is classified by the Virginia Air Transportation System Plan as a Commercial Service airport or General Aviation Regional airport, provided the application does not exceed Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater permit requirements.

Code 1950, § 15-77.49; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-885; 1997, c. 587; 2013, c. 758.

§ 15.2-1123.1. Lynchburg Regional Airport police department.

The City of Lynchburg may by ordinance establish an airport police department at the Lynchburg Regional Airport. The authority of the airport police department shall be limited to real property owned, leased, or controlled by the Airport. Such authority shall not supersede the authority, duties, or jurisdiction vested by law with the local police department or sheriff's office, including as provided in §§ 15.2-1609 and 15.2-1704. The airport police department and airport police officers shall be subject to and comply with the Constitution of the United States; the Constitution of Virginia; the laws governing municipal police departments, including the provisions of §§ 9.1-600, 15.2-1705 through 15.2-1708, 15.2-1719, 15.2-1721, and 15.2-1722; and any regulations adopted by the Criminal Justice Services Board that the Department of Criminal Justice Services designates as applicable to private police departments. Any person employed as an airport police officer pursuant to this section shall meet all requirements, including the minimum compulsory training requirements, for law-enforcement officers pursuant to Chapter 1 (§ 9.1-100 et seq.) of Title 9.1. An airport police officer is not entitled to benefits under the Line of Duty Act (§ 9.1-400 et seq.) or under the Virginia Retirement System, is not a "qualified law-enforcement officer" or "qualified retired law-enforcement officer" within the meaning of the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, 18 U.S.C. § 926B et seq., and shall not be deemed an employee of the Commonwealth. The airport police department may use the word "police" to describe its sworn officers and may join a regional criminal justice academy created pursuant to Article 5 (§ 15.2-1747 et seq.) of Chapter 17 of Title 15.2.

2015, c. 213.

§ 15.2-1124. Police jurisdiction over lands, buildings and structures; jurisdiction of offenses; appeals; jurisdiction in certain public buildings with magistrate's offices.

A. Lands, buildings or structures provided and operated by a municipality for any purpose defined in this article shall be under the police jurisdiction of the municipal corporation for the enforcement of its regulations respecting the use or occupancy thereof. All police officers of the municipal corporation shall have jurisdiction to make arrests on such land and in such buildings or structures for violations of such regulations. Such criminal case shall be prosecuted in the locality in which the offense was committed.

B. In any public building that is located in Henry County adjoining a municipal corporation and that contains a magistrate's office which serves the municipal corporation, the sheriff, any deputy sheriff, and any police officer of the municipal corporation shall have the same powers which such sheriff, deputy sheriff or police officer would have in the municipal corporation itself. The courts of the municipal corporation and the locality in which such public building is located shall have concurrent jurisdiction of any offense committed against or any escape from any such sheriff, deputy sheriff, or police officer in such public building, provided that the sheriff, deputy sheriff, or police officer was present in the public building while in the performance of his official duties. Such police powers and concurrent jurisdiction shall also apply during travel between the municipal corporation and the public building by such sheriff, deputy sheriffs, and police officers while in the performance of their official duties. For purposes of this subsection, a "public building" shall include the surrounding grounds of such building.

Code 1950, § 15-77.51; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-887; 1997, cc. 587, 739; 2007, c. 813; 2014, c. 543.

§ 15.2-1125. Licenses and permits; fees; bonds or insurance.

Whenever in the judgment of the municipal corporation it is advisable in the exercise of any of its powers or in the enforcement of any ordinance or regulation, it may provide for the issuance of licenses or permits in connection therewith; fix a fee to be charged the licensee or permittee and require from the licensee or permittee a bond or insurance contract of such character and in such amount and upon such terms and conditions as the municipal corporation may determine.

Code 1950, § 15-77.69; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-906; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1126. Posting of bond not prerequisite to exercise of right by municipality.

Whenever the law requires the posting of a bond, with or without surety, as a condition precedent to the exercise of any right, a municipal corporation, without giving such bond, may exercise such right, provided all other conditions precedent are complied with, and no action shall be delayed or refused because the municipal corporation has not filed or executed the bond that might otherwise be required, and the municipal corporation shall be bound to the same extent that it would have been bound had the bond been given.

Code 1950, § 15-77.70; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-907; 1997, c. 587.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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