Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 12. General Powers and Procedures of Counties
12/2/2021

Chapter 12. General Powers and Procedures of Counties.

Article 1. Miscellaneous Powers.

§ 15.2-1200. General powers of counties.

Any county may adopt such measures as it deems expedient to secure and promote the health, safety and general welfare of its inhabitants which are not inconsistent with the general laws of the Commonwealth. Such power shall include, but shall not be limited to, the adoption of quarantine regulations affecting both persons and animals, the adoption of necessary regulations to prevent the spread of contagious diseases among persons or animals and the adoption of regulations for the prevention of the pollution of water which is dangerous to the health or lives of persons residing in the county.

Code 1950, § 15-8; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, c. 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-510; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1201. County boards of supervisors vested with powers and authority of councils of cities and towns; exceptions.

The boards of supervisors of counties are hereby vested with the same powers and authority as the councils of cities and towns by virtue of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia or the acts of the General Assembly passed in pursuance thereof. However, with the exception of ordinances expressly authorized under Chapter 13 of Title 46.2, no ordinance shall be enacted under authority of this section regulating the equipment, operation, lighting or speed of motor-propelled vehicles operated on the public highways of a county unless it is uniform with the general laws of the Commonwealth regulating such equipment, operation, lighting or speed and with the regulations of the Commonwealth Transportation Board adopted pursuant to such laws. Nothing in this section shall be construed to give the boards of supervisors any power to control or exercise supervision over signs, signals, marking or traffic lights on any roads constructed and maintained by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. No powers or authority conferred upon the boards of supervisors of counties solely by this section shall be exercised within the corporate limits of any incorporated town except by agreement with the town council.

In the County of Fairfax an ordinance may be adopted by the board of supervisors under this section after a descriptive notice of intention to propose the same for passage has been published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county. After the enactment of such ordinance by the board of supervisors, no publication of the ordinance shall be required and such ordinance shall become effective upon adoption or upon a date fixed by the board of supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-10; 1950, p. 113; 1958, c. 190; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-522; 1966, cc. 405, 495; 1975, c. 575; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1201.1. Discharging employee for service on board prohibited; civil penalty.

A board member in Buchanan County shall not be discharged from employment as a result of his absence from employment due to attendance at regular board meetings upon giving reasonable notice to his employer of such absence. Any employer violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $2,500.

1997, c. 613, § 15.1-539.1; 2019, c. 632.

§ 15.2-1201.2. Discount for early payment of taxes.

Counties may by ordinance establish a discount for the early payment of any tax or assessment imposed by the county. 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.

2003, c. 216; 2012, c. 585.

§ 15.2-1202. Appropriation of money to incorporated towns.

The governing body of any county may appropriate such sums as it desires to any incorporated town or towns within the boundaries of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-249; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-544; 1966, c. 495; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1203. Governing body may require treasurer to pay claims.

The governing body of any county may require the treasurer of the county to pay all claims or other obligations for which the governing body has appropriated funds. The treasurer of the county shall, before paying any funds as authorized by this section, first comply with § 58.1-3132.

Code 1950, § 15-551.7; 1950, p. 415; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-121; 1964, c. 413; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1204. Appropriations for advertising resources, etc., by counties.

The governing body of any county may appropriate funds for advertising and giving publicity to the resources and advantages of their county, and in securing and promoting economic development of the county. For the purposes set out in this section the county governing body may make such appropriation to chambers of commerce or similar organizations within such county, or to employ suitable persons to secure and promote economic development of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-12; 1962, c. 580, § 15.1-10.1; 1981, c. 77; 1994, c. 594; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1205. Allocation of county funds or property to authorities created by county.

The governing body of any county may give, lend or advance in any manner that it deems proper funds or other county property, not otherwise specifically allocated or obligated, to any authority created by such governing body pursuant to law.

1966, c. 132, § 15.1-511.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1206. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, c. 495, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-1207. Pistols and revolvers; reports of sales.

The power of any governing body of any county to require sellers of pistols and revolvers to furnish the clerk of the circuit court of the county, after sale of any such weapon, with the name and address of the purchaser, the date of purchase, and the number, make and caliber of the weapon sold is hereby repealed. The clerk shall destroy every record of the reports previously received.

Code 1950, § 59-142; 1968, c. 439, § 15.1-524; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 495.

§ 15.2-1208. Same; in certain counties.

Chapter 297 of the Acts of Assembly of 1944, approved March 29, 1944, requiring permits to sell or purchase pistols or revolvers in any county having a density of population of more than 1,000 a square mile, is repealed. Any records or copies thereof that were created pursuant to this section that are in the custody of any county shall be destroyed no later than July 31, 2004. Upon destroying the records, the county shall certify to the circuit court that such destruction has been completed.

Code 1950, § 59-144; 1968, c. 439, § 15.1-525; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 62, 393.

§ 15.2-1209. Prohibiting outdoor shooting of firearms or arrows from bows or arrowguns in certain areas.

Any county may prohibit the outdoor shooting of firearms or arrows from bows or arrowguns in any areas of the county which are in the opinion of the governing body so heavily populated as to make such conduct dangerous to the inhabitants thereof.

For purposes of this section, "bow" includes all compound bows, crossbows, slingbows, longbows, and recurve bows having a peak draw weight of 10 pounds or more. The term "bow" does not include bows that have a peak draw weight of less than 10 pounds or that are designed or intended to be used principally as toys. The term "arrow" means a shaft-like projectile intended to be shot from a bow.

Any county that prohibits the outdoor shooting of firearms or arrows from bows or arrowguns shall provide an exemption for the killing of deer pursuant to § 29.1-529. Such exemption for the shooting of firearms or arrowguns shall apply on land of at least five acres that is zoned for agricultural use. Such exemption for the shooting of arrows from bows shall apply on land of at least two acres that is zoned for agricultural use.

Code 1950, § 15-20.3; 1954, c. 223; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-518; 1968, c. 294; 1992, c. 600; 1993, c. 367; 1995, c. 284; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 229; 2004, c. 930; 2005, c. 564; 2017, c. 530; 2018, cc. 557, 558.

§ 15.2-1209.1. Counties may regulate carrying of loaded firearms on public highways.

The governing body of any county is hereby empowered to adopt ordinances making it unlawful for any person to carry or have in his possession, for the purpose of hunting, while on any part of a public highway within such county a loaded firearm when such person is not authorized to hunt on the private property on both sides of the highway along which he is standing or walking; and to provide a penalty for violation of such ordinance not to exceed a fine of $100. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons carrying loaded firearms in moving vehicles or for purposes other than hunting, or to persons acting at the time in defense of persons or property.

Code 1950, § 18.1-272; 1975, cc. 14, 15, § 18.2-287; 2004, c. 462; 2007, c. 203.

§ 15.2-1210. Prohibiting hunting in certain areas.

Any county 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 county 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.

Code 1950, § 15-20.3:1; 1962, c. 163, § 15.1-518.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1211. Boundaries of magisterial and election districts.

A. County magisterial district boundary lines and names shall be as the governing bodies may establish. Subject to the provisions of § 24.2-304.1, whenever the boundaries of a county have been altered, the governing body shall, as may be necessary, redistrict the county into magisterial districts, change the boundaries of existing districts, change the name of any district, or increase or diminish the number of districts.

B. Whenever redistricting of magisterial or election districts is required as a result of annexation, the governing body of such county shall, within a reasonable time from the effective date of such annexation, not to exceed ninety days, commence the redistricting process which shall be completed within a reasonable time thereafter, not to exceed twelve months.

C. A county may by ordinance provide that the magisterial districts of the county shall remain the same, but that representation on the governing body shall be by election districts, in which event all sections of this Code providing for election or appointment on the basis of magisterial districts shall be construed to provide for election or appointment on the basis of election districts, including appointment to a school board as prescribed by §§ 22.1-36 and 22.1-44.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 200, § 15.1-571.1; 1976, c. 398; 1979, c. 288; 1980, c. 559; 1995, c. 249; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1212. Frederick County; resolution of board of supervisors; referendum; election.

A. Upon resolution passed by the board of supervisors of Frederick County and filed with the circuit court asking for a referendum on the question of Frederick County being governed by a board of supervisors, one or more elected from each magisterial district and a chairman elected from the county at large, the court shall by order entered of record, require the regular election officials at the November 1974 regular election to open a poll and take the sense of the qualified voters of the county on the question submitted as herein provided. The clerk of the county shall cause a notice of such election to be published in a newspaper published in or having a general circulation in the county, once a week for three consecutive weeks, and shall post a copy of such notice at the door of the courthouse of the county.

B. The regular election officers of the county at the time designated in the order authorizing the vote shall open the polls at the various voting places in the county and conduct the election in such manner as is provided by law for other elections, insofar as the same is applicable. The election shall be by ballot, and the ballots shall be prepared by the electoral board and distributed to the various election precincts as in other elections. The ballots used shall be printed to read as follows:

"Do you approve the adoption of the county's board of supervisors being elected by magisterial districts and the chairman elected from the county at large?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The squares to be printed in such ballots shall not be less than one quarter nor more than one-half inch in size.

Any person voting at such election shall place a () or a cross (X) or (+) mark or a line (-) in the square before the appropriate word indicating how he desires to vote on the question submitted.

The ballots shall be counted, returns made and canvassed as in other elections, and the results certified by the commissioners of election to the circuit court, and the circuit court, or the judge thereof in vacation, shall enter of record the results of the election. If it appears by the report of the commissioners of election that a majority of the qualified voters of the county voting approve the adoption of the county's board of supervisors being elected from magisterial districts and the chairman being elected from the county at large, the circuit court of the county, or the judge thereof in vacation, shall enter of record such fact.

C. At the next succeeding election, following approval of the plan provided for herein, at which the county's board of supervisors are to be elected, the form of organization of such county's board of supervisors shall be in accordance with the form provided for herein.

D. All county and district officers of such county, unless otherwise sooner removed, shall continue to hold office until their successors are elected and have qualified.

E. A referendum as described in this section to revert to the former method of electing the chairman and supervisors may be conducted upon a resolution of the board of supervisors as provided in this section. In lieu of such resolution by the board of supervisors, a referendum as described in this section may be conducted upon a petition filed with the circuit court of the county, or the judge thereof in vacation, and signed by 10 percent of the qualified voters of such county requesting such referendum, and the court or the judge shall proceed as in the case of a resolution by the board of supervisors.

1974, c. 398, § 15.1-527.1; 1979, c. 333; 1980, c. 393; 1997, c. 587; 2019, c. 632.

§ 15.2-1213. Referendum in Loudoun County on election of the county chairman from the county at large.

A. The board of supervisors of Loudoun County may by resolution petition the circuit court of the county for a referendum on the question of whether there should be a chairman of the county board of supervisors elected at large. Alternatively, a like referendum may be requested by a petition to the circuit court signed by registered voters equal in number to at least 10 percent of the registered voters of the county as of January 1 of the year in which the petition is filed. Upon the filing of either petition, which shall be filed not less than 90 days before a November general election, the circuit court shall order the election officials at the next November general election held in the county to open the polls and take the sense of the voters on the question set forth in this subsection. The clerk of the court shall publish notice of the referendum to be published once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the referendum in a newspaper having general circulation in the county and shall post a copy of such notice during the same time at the door of the courthouse of the county. The ballot shall be printed as follows:

"Shall the chairman of the county board of supervisors, to be known as the county chairman, be elected by the voters of the county at large?

_Yes

_No"

The election shall be held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684.

B. If a majority of the qualified voters voting in such referendum vote in favor of the election of a county chairman of the board of supervisors from the county at large, beginning at the next general election for the board of supervisors, the county chairman shall be elected for a term of the same length and commencing at the same time as that of other members of the county board of supervisors. The county board of supervisors thereafter shall consist of one member elected from each district of such county and a county chairman elected by voters of the county at large. No person may be a candidate for county chairman at the same time he is a candidate for membership on the county board from any district in the county.

The county chairman shall be the chairman of the county board of supervisors and preside at the meetings thereof. The chairman shall represent the county at official functions and ceremonial events. The chairman shall have all voting and other rights, privileges, and duties of other members of the board and such additional rights, privileges, and duties not in conflict with general law or this article as the board may prescribe. The chairman also shall have the power to set the agenda for board meetings; however, any such agenda may be modified by an affirmative vote of the board. The duties of the chairman during board meetings include but are not limited to (i) enforcement of time limits, as appropriate; (ii) enforcement of the rules relating to debate and the rules relating to order and decorum within the board; and (iii) response to inquiries from board members relating to parliamentary procedure.

In addition, the chairman shall have the power to (a) call special meetings of the board in accordance with the procedures and restrictions of § 15.2-1418, mutatis mutandis; (b) appoint county representatives to regional boards, authorities, and commissions that are authorized in advance by the board; however, any such appointment shall be subject to revocation by an affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the board acting within the 30-day period following that appointment; and (c) create and appoint committees of the board and name presiding members of such committees as authorized by the board. Any such committee or appointment shall be subject to revocation by an affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the board. However, the powers of the chairman themselves may only be modified by unanimous vote of all board members. At the first meeting at the beginning of its term and any time thereafter when necessary, the board of supervisors shall elect a vice chairman from its membership, who shall perform the duties of the chairman in his absence.

1990, c. 895, § 15.1-527.3; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 778.

§ 15.2-1213.1. Referendum in Page County on election of the county chairman from the county at large.

A. On or before August 15, 2004, the circuit court for Page County shall order a referendum to be held on the question of whether the qualified voters of the County shall elect a chairman of the board of supervisors from the county at large to serve as chairman and as an additional member of the board. The referendum shall be held at the time of the 2004 November general election. The question to be placed on the ballot shall be as follows:

"Shall the chairman of the county board of supervisors, to be known as the county chairman, be elected by the voters of the county at large?

_Yes

_No"

The election shall be held and the results certified as provided in §§ 24.2-682 and 24.2-684

B. Following certification of the election results by the electoral board, the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of such election and a duly certified copy of such order shall be transmitted to the board of supervisors of the County and the State Board of Elections. If a majority of the voters voting in the referendum vote in favor of the election of a chairman at large, the first election for a chairman shall be held at the November 2005 general election, and the candidate elected shall serve for a term of four years.

C. The county chairman shall be the chairman of the county board of supervisors and preside at the meetings thereof. The chairman shall represent the County at official functions and ceremonial events. The chairman shall have all voting and other rights, privileges, and duties of other members of the board and additional rights, privileges, and duties not in conflict with general law as the board may prescribe. At the first meeting at the beginning of its term and any time thereafter when necessary, the board of supervisors shall elect a vice chairman from its membership, who shall perform the duties of the chairman in his absence.

2004, cc. 18, 890.

§ 15.2-1214. County may provide motor vehicle liability insurance to protect operators of motor vehicles owned or leased by county, school board, etc.

The governing body of any county may provide motor vehicle liability insurance for the purpose of protecting all operators of motor vehicles owned or leased by the county, the county school board, or any sanitary district, authority, or other governmental unit established by the governing body, and may make such appropriations and expenditures from any available funds for the purpose of paying such insurance. All previous expenditures for any such purpose by any county are ratified.

1966, c. 140, § 15.1-19.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1215. Authority to cut growth of grass or lawn area in counties.

A. Any county may by ordinance require that the owner of occupied residential real property therein cut the grass or lawn area of less than one-half acre on such property or any part thereof at such time or times as the governing body shall prescribe when growth on such grass or lawn area exceeds 12 inches in height; or may whenever the governing body deems it necessary, after reasonable notice, have such grass or lawn area cut by its agents or employees, in which event, the cost and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner of such property and may be collected by the county as taxes and levies are collected. No such ordinance adopted by the county shall have any force and effect within the corporate limits of any town. Violation of such ordinance may be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed $100.

B. No such ordinance shall be applicable to land zoned for or in active farming operation.

1988, c. 625, § 15.1-11.01; 1990, c. 155; 1991, cc. 314, 315; 1997, cc. 587, 614; 1998, cc. 640, 756; 2005, c. 309; 2006, c. 700; 2009, c. 252; 2010, c. 396; 2014, c. 385.

§ 15.2-1216. Provision of information to prospective buyers in planned development units.

Any county having an urban county executive or county executive form of government, or any county adjacent to any two or more such counties, may by ordinance require that the sellers of new homes provide to home buyers access to copies of the approved subdivision plat, all development plans approved as part of the zoning for the planned unit development, proffered conditions accepted pursuant to subsection A of § 15.2-2286 as part of the zoning approval for the development, and the comprehensive plan for the area of the county, all of which documents shall include the property for sale and shall be current as of the date access to such documents is provided. The ordinance may require that, prior to execution of an offer to buy:

1. Such documents be located on the site of the property encompassed by the subdivision, plat, or planned unit development in which the property for sale is located, or at an office in its immediate vicinity; and

2. The seller of the new home notify the prospective home buyers of the location of these documents and provide a reasonable opportunity for such prospective buyers to inspect these documents.

Any violation of such an ordinance shall be punishable by a civil fine of not more than $100.

1983, c. 409, § 15.1-29.10; 1997, cc. 547, 587.

§ 15.2-1217. Regulation of emission of smoke from fuel-burning equipment.

Any county may regulate the emission of smoke and the methods of firing and stoking furnaces and boilers and may charge such reasonable fees for the issuance of permits and the performing of inspections as the governing body may from time to time fix. However, counties shall not apply or enforce such regulations in incorporated towns which have in force ordinances prescribing equal or greater standards in regulating the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings and other structures, the installation, maintenance, operation and repair of plumbing, electrical, heating, elevator, escalator, boiler, unfired pressure vessel and air conditioning installations in or appurtenant to buildings and structures, the emission of smoke, the construction, installation and maintenance of fuel-burning equipment, and the methods of firing and stoking furnaces and boilers, and the light, ventilation, sanitation and use and occupancy of buildings.

1966, c. 290, §§ 15.1-510.1, 15.1-510.4, 15.1-510.6; 1970, cc. 211, 212; 1983, c. 508; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1218. Prevention of trespassing; animals running at large on highways.

Any county may prevent trespassing by persons and animals and prevent animals from running at large upon the public highways, whether such highways are enclosed by a fence or not.

Code 1950, § 15-8; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, c. 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-512; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1219. Prohibiting sale on highways of plants, shrubs or trees.

Any county may prohibit the sale or the offering for sale of any plants, shrubs or trees or any part or parts thereof upon any public highway or right-of-way of any public highway located within such county. However, nothing in this section shall apply to any business in which real property is owned, leased or occupied in any way adjacent to such highway or right-of-way by such business. No penalty for the violation of any ordinance enacted pursuant to this section shall impose a fine exceeding fifty dollars.

Code 1950, § 15-8.1; 1958, c. 620; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-513; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1220. Regulation by certain counties of persons and vehicles.

The Counties of Franklin, Pulaski, and York may by ordinance impose reasonable regulations to provide for the comfort, safety and health of the general public and persons assembled, or traveling to assemble, for any outdoor occasion.

Such regulations may cover the following: (i) hours of operation, (ii) sanitary facility requirements, (iii) security personnel requirements, and (iv) maximum noise levels.

1986, c. 98, § 15.1-514.2; 1988, c. 148; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-1221. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2000, c. 939.

§ 15.2-1222. Regulation of certain motion pictures shown at drive-in theaters.

Any county may, by ordinance, regulate the screening of motion pictures, classified by the motion picture industry as being suitable for display to adult audiences only, in drive-in theaters where such motion pictures are visible to the traveling public from a highway, street or other public way for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.

1979, c. 368, § 15.1-515.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1223. Regulation of horse riding schools.

Any county may by ordinance provide for the licensing, inspection and regulation of horse riding schools for the purpose of preventing any violation of § 3.2-6570 or any local ordinance of similar import.

For the purposes of this section, "horse riding school" means any establishment operated for profit in connection with which one or more horses are let for hire to be ridden or driven, either with or without the furnishing of riding or driving instructions.

Code 1950, § 15-20.4; 1956, c. 461; 1960, c. 359; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-519; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1224. Authority to equip and maintain television transmission and relay facilities.

A. Any county may equip and maintain television transmission and relay facilities in areas which are so remote from regular transmission points of large television stations that television reception is impossible without special equipment and in which adequate, economical and proper television is not available by private sources, if a majority of the voters voting in a referendum held pursuant to subsection B vote in favor thereof.

B. If on or before the fifteenth day of July in any year a petition signed by two hundred or more qualified voters of a county is filed with the circuit court of such county asking that a referendum be held on the question set forth in this subsection, then such court shall, on or before the fifteenth day of August of such year, issue an order requiring the county election officials to open the polls at the regular election to be held in November of each year on the following question:

Shall the governing body be authorized to equip and maintain television transmission and relay facilities?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

The election shall conform in all respects with the requirements of general law.

1970, c. 139, § 15.1-526.1; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1225. Authority to establish hospitals.

The governing body of any county may establish and operate hospitals in such county.

1979, c. 719, § 15.1-526.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1226. Authority of certain counties over Smith Mountain Lake.

A. The governing bodies of Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania Counties may by ordinance regulate the land of their respective counties in and around Smith Mountain Lake below the 800-foot contour concerning the location, size, and length of wharves, piers, boathouses, docks, bulkheads, and similar structures to provide for safe navigation of the lake. Such ordinance shall not conflict with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code or with the rights and responsibilities accorded Appalachian Power Company under its federal license to operate the Smith Mountain Project. The ordinance may include:

1. Procedures for approval of construction of such by the governing body or its designated agent; and

2. Penalties for violation of the ordinance.

B. Such governing bodies may act jointly in the enactment, administration, and enforcement of such an ordinance pursuant to § 15.2-1300.

1988, c. 876, § 15.1-12.1; 1997, c. 587.
§ 15.2-1227. Well covers in Caroline County.

Caroline County may by ordinance provide that owners of property keep covers on water wells and may after reasonable notice cover uncovered water wells by its own agents or employees, in which event the cost or expense thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and may be collected by the county as taxes are collected.

1950, § 15-14; 1962, cc. 400, 623, § 15.1-11; 1964, c. 31; 1968, c. 423; 1974, c. 655; 1978, c. 533; 1983, cc. 192, 390; 1990, c. 177; 1992, c. 649; 1994, c. 167; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1228. Repair of foundation damage in Chesterfield County.

Chesterfield County may by ordinance provide that the county may use public funds to repair existing residential dwellings damaged by foundation failures caused by high clay content soil subject to moisture-related shrinking and swelling. Such ordinance may place conditions on the use or expenditure of such public funds. The expenditure of such public funds by the county under this section during a fiscal year shall not exceed two percent of the county's locally derived revenues from that fiscal year.

For purposes of this section, "public funds" includes only general tax revenues from real and personal property and does not include any special fee assessment, or other tax or charge, however denominated.

The county shall keep funds collected for building permit fees and any funds received from any other fees collected under any special act in separate accounts, and separate from other locally derived revenues, and may not use fees collected for building permits or fees collected under any special act, directly or indirectly, for purposes authorized under this section.

1988, c. 862, § 15.1-37.3:9; 1993, c. 791; 1995, c. 393; 1997, c. 587; 2019, c. 632.

§ 15.2-1229. Petty cash funds.

Whenever the governing body of any county determines that more efficient administration would be promoted thereby, it may by resolution establish one or more petty cash funds not exceeding $5,000 each for the payment of claims arising from commitments made pursuant to law. Any person into whose hands any such fund is placed may pay such claims therefrom, without necessity of prior receipt and audit of the claims by the governing body and without approval and issuance of the warrant of the governing body or the county treasurer. Such person shall render an account of the same and make a settlement thereof annually in form and manner prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. Such person shall give bond with surety in the amount of $10,000; however, additional bond shall not be required of any person already bonded in the required amount.

Code 1950, § 15-254; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-548; 1977, c. 227; 1983, c. 101; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1230. Monthly financial reports of officers and offices.

The governing body of any county may require monthly financial reports from any officer or office of the county or of any district thereof and may investigate bills and receipts of any county or district officer, and for these purposes may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of books, papers and other evidence. Any witness who fails or refuses to obey any such lawful order of the governing body shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-263; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-556; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1231. Centralized competitive purchasing by chief administrative officer.

A. The governing body of any county having a chief administrative officer may provide for the centralized competitive purchasing of all supplies, equipment, materials and commodities for all departments, officers and employees of the county, and for the county school board and the local board of social services. For counties not currently engaged in centralized competitive purchasing, the local governing body and the local school board may create a centralized competitive purchasing system only by mutual agreement. Such purchasing shall be done by the chief administrative officer under the supervision of the governing body of the county and shall be accomplished in accordance with Chapter 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

B. Such governing bodies may establish and maintain such systems of bookkeeping, accounting and controls as are necessary to the proper operation of such system of competitive purchasing and to establish such storage facilities as are necessary therefor.

C. Such governing bodies may require all departments to obtain their supplies, equipment, materials and commodities from the chief administrative officer, on requisitions prescribed by the governing body and to charge such departments therefor.

Code 1950, §§ 15-551.12, 15-551.13, 15-551.14; 1950, pp. 444, 445; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-127, 15.1-128, 15.1-129; 1982, c. 647; 1997, c. 587; 2002, cc. 452, 747.

§ 15.2-1232. Posting of bond not prerequisite to exercise of right by county.

Whenever the law requires the posting of a bond, with or without surety, as a condition precedent to the exercise of any right, a county, 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 county has not filed or executed the bond that might otherwise be required, and the county shall be bound to the same extent that it would have been bound had the bond been given.

1980, c. 298, § 15.1-508.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1232.1. Auctions; pawnshops; secondhand dealers; peddling; fraud and deceit in sales; weights and measures.

A county 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.

2003, c. 448.

§ 15.2-1232.2. Creation of local economic revitalization zones.

A. Any county may establish by ordinance one or more economic revitalization zones for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase real property and interests in real property to assemble parcels suitable for economic development. Each county establishing an economic revitalization zone may grant incentives and provide regulatory flexibility. Such zones shall be reasonably compact, shall not encompass the entire county, and shall constitute one or more tax parcels not commonly owned. Properties that are acquired through the use of eminent domain shall not be eligible for the incentives and regulatory flexibility provided by the ordinance.

B. The incentives may include, but not be limited to, (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax, and (iv) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property.

C. Incentives established pursuant to this section may extend for a period of up to 10 years from the date of initial establishment of the economic revitalization zone; however, the extent and duration of any incentive shall conform to the requirements of applicable federal and state law.

D. The regulatory flexibility provided in an economic revitalization zone may include (i) special zoning for the district; (ii) the use of a special permit process; (iii) exemption from certain specified ordinances, excluding ordinances or provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.); and (iv) any other incentives adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the county for a period of up to 10 years.

E. The governing body may establish a service district for the provision of additional public services pursuant to Chapter 24 (§ 15.2-2400 et seq.).

F. This section shall not authorize any local government powers that are not expressly granted herein.

G. Prior to adopting or amending any ordinance pursuant to this section, a county shall provide for notice and public hearing in accordance with subsection A of § 15.2-2204.

2017, c. 384.

Article 2. County Procurement by a County Purchasing Agent.

§ 15.2-1233. Article not applicable until agent employed.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any county until the governing body employs a county purchasing agent or designates someone to perform such duties, as provided in § 15.2-1543.

Code 1950, § 15-549; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-113; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1234. Definitions.

As used in this article, "supplies" means any articles or things, including equipment, which are used by or furnished to any department, institution, office, board or other agency of county government.

"Contractual services" means any telephone, telegraph, postal, electric light and power service and other similar services.

Code 1950, § 15-542; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-106; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1235. Rules and regulations to govern county purchases.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, any supplies or contractual services needed by one or more departments or agencies of the county government shall be directly purchased or contracted for by the county purchasing agent, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

B. The county purchasing agent, subject to the approval of the governing body of the county, shall promulgate regulations for the following purposes:

1. Prescribing the manner in which supplies shall be purchased, delivered, stored, and distributed;

2. Prescribing the dates for making requisitions and estimates, the future period which they are to cover, the form in which they shall be submitted, the manner of their authentication, and their revision by the county purchasing agent;

3. Providing for the transfer to or between county departments and agencies of supplies which are surplus with one department or agency but which may be needed by another, and for the disposal by sale, after receipt of competitive bids, of supplies which are obsolete and unusable;

4. Prescribing the amount of deposit or bond to be submitted with a bid on a contract and the amount of deposit or bond to be given for the faithful performance of a contract;

5. Prescribing the manner in which claims for supplies and contractual services delivered to the departments and agencies of the county shall be submitted, examined, approved and paid; and

6. Providing for such other matters as may be necessary to give effect to the foregoing rules and the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 15-543; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-107; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1236. Purchases and sales to be based on competition.

A. All purchases of, and contracts for, supplies and contractual services shall be in accordance with Chapter 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

B. All sales of any personal property which has become obsolete and unusable shall be based wherever feasible on competitive bids. If the amount of the sale is estimated by the county purchasing agent to exceed $5,000, sealed bids shall, unless the governing body provides otherwise, be solicited by public notice published at least once in a newspaper of countywide circulation at least five calendar days before the final date of submitting bids.

Code 1950, § 15-544; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-108; 1977, c. 217; 1980, c. 16; 1982, c. 647; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1237. Legal review of contracts; filing.

All contracts shall be approved as to form by the county attorney or other qualified attorney and a copy of each long-term contract shall be filed with the treasurer or other chief financial officer of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-545; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-109; 1977, c. 584; 1982, c. 647; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1238. Certification of sufficient funds.

Except in emergency, no order for delivery on a contract or open market order for supplies or contractual services for any county department or agency shall be awarded until the chief financial officer has certified that the unencumbered balance in the appropriation concerned, in excess of all unpaid obligations, is sufficient to defray the cost of such order.

Code 1950, § 15-546; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-110; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1239. Orders and contracts in violation of article.

If any department or agency of the county government purchases or contracts for any supplies or contractual services contrary to the provisions of this article or the rules and regulations made thereunder, such order or contract shall be void and the head of such department or agency shall be personally liable for the costs of such order or contract.

Code 1950, § 15-546; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-110; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1240. Violation of § 15.2-1238 or § 15.2-1239 a misdemeanor.

Any violation of § 15.2-1238 or § 15.2-1239 shall be a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as provided by § 18.2-12.

Code 1950, § 15-548; 1960, c. 360; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-112; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Procedural Requirements.

§ 15.2-1241. Signing records when chairman has died, moved, etc., before signing them.

When the chairman of any county governing body who should have signed the records of the proceedings of any meeting of the governing body has died, moved from the county, completed his term of office or for any other reason become incapacitated to perform the duties of his office, without having signed such records, the governing body shall have such records read at a regular meeting and if no error appears shall direct its then chairman to sign such record. The governing body shall thereupon enter on its records the fact of such reading and signing. Such records, when so signed, shall be as valid as if they had been signed by the chairman who presided at the time when such order or orders were made.

Code 1950, § 15-235; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-530; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1242. Minutes of meetings and proceedings.

The governing body of every county shall cause to be recorded, in well bound books or by a microphotographic process which complies with standards adopted pursuant to regulations issued under § 42.1-82 for microfilm, microfiche, or such other similar microphotographic process, complete minutes of all their respective meetings and proceedings. All bids submitted on any building, materials, supplies, work, or project to be let to contract by any governing body may be incorporated by reference in such minutes, and the record of such bids shall be retained in a separate file. Such minutes and records of bids shall be kept open to public inspection at all reasonable times for a period of three years after they have been recorded. The minutes of regularly occurring workshop meetings at which no official action is taken may be recorded by tape or sound recording, which shall be retained and available for public inspection in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) and the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 15-248; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-543; 1979, c. 209; 1980, c. 220; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 126.

Article 4. Payment of Claims.

§ 15.2-1243. Governing body to receive, audit and approve claims; warrants.

A. The governing body of every county shall receive and audit all claims against the county, except those required to be received and audited by the county school board, and shall, by resolution or recorded vote, approve and order warrants issued in settlement of those claims that are found to be valid; provided that a county administrator, county executive or county manager may sign and issue orders or warrants under such conditions as the governing body may prescribe. Every warrant issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall bear the date on which the governing body orders it to be issued and shall be made payable on demand, signed by the clerk of the governing body or his deputy, countersigned by the chairman or acting chairman of the governing body, and recorded in the form and manner prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. Such warrant may be converted to a negotiable check by the treasurer, or appropriately designated deputy treasurer, by affixing his signature thereto in conformity with the provisions of § 58.1-3162 and by designating thereon the bank by which it is to be paid.

B. Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection A, the governing body of any county may provide, by resolution, for the drawing of special warrants on the county treasurer, payable out of county funds, in payment of compensation, when such compensation has been earned or is due for (i) all employees and officers under written contract, and all officers elected or appointed for a term of office and their deputies and employees, (ii) upon receipt of certified time sheets or other evidence of services performed, the payment of all other employees whose rates of pay have been established by such governing body or its properly designated agent, or (iii) for payment on contracts for construction projects according to the terms of such contracts. All such special warrants so authorized shall be signed by the clerk of such governing body and countersigned by the chairman of such governing body. Any special warrant may be converted into a negotiable check in the manner provided in subsection A. All such payrolls and contracts so paid shall be reviewed and approved by the governing body at its next regular meeting.

C. The governing body of any county may, in its discretion, destroy the papers constituting any or all claims allowed and paid, upon the expiration of five years after audit in accordance with retention regulations established pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 15-253; 1952, cc. 16, 304; 1954, c. 183; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-547; 1968, c. 269; 1979, c. 206; 1982, c. 493; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1244. Limitations on issuance of warrants.

No county governing body shall order any warrant issued for any purpose other than the payment of a claim received, audited and approved as required by § 15.2-1243. No clerk, deputy clerk, chairman or acting chairman of any county governing body shall sign or countersign any warrant not ordered issued by the governing body pursuant to § 15.2-1243. No county governing body shall expend in any year for any purpose an amount greater than the amount available for such purpose during the year or order issued against any fund at any time any warrant in excess of the amount available in such fund and in the treasurer's possession at the time such warrant is issued, taking into account all previously issued and outstanding warrants payable from such fund. No interest shall be paid on any county warrant. Any clerk, deputy clerk or member of any county governing body who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in addition shall be guilty of malfeasance in office.

Code 1950, § 15-256; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-549; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1245. Procedure for allowance of claims.

A. No account shall be allowed by the governing body of the county unless made out in separate items with the nature of each item specifically stated. When no specific fees are allowed by law, the time actually and necessarily devoted to the performance of any service charged in such account shall be verified by affidavit, which shall be filed with the account. The attorney for the Commonwealth, or the county attorney if there is one, shall represent the county before the board and advise the board of any claim which in his opinion is illegal or not before the board in proper form or upon proper proof, or which for any other reason ought not to be allowed. No such claim shall be denied unless the attorney representing the county has, by certified mail, served written notice on the claimant or his agent of the date that the governing body will consider the claim.

B. If any claim has been allowed by the governing body against the county which in the opinion of such attorney is improper as to form or proof or illegal, the attorney shall seek the advice of the Attorney General as to legality or the State Auditor of Public Accounts as to matters of accounting. If any claim has been allowed by the governing body against the county which, in the opinion of any six owners of land within the county is improper as to form or proof or illegal, such landowners may appeal the decision of the governing body to the circuit court for the county. If either the Attorney General or the State Auditor of Public Accounts is of the opinion the claim is illegal or in improper form, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall appeal from the decision of the governing body to the circuit court for the county. In the event of any such appeal, the moving party shall serve a written notice of the appeal on the clerk of the governing body and the party in whose favor the claim is allowed within 30 days after the making of such decision. If the court finds and states in its order that the claim was improperly allowed but that the consideration received or to be received by the county for payments made or to be made was or will be for value, it shall dismiss the appeal. If the court finds otherwise, it shall remand the claim to the governing body for appropriate action.

C. Whenever any claim allowed by a county governing body is declared illegal by a court of competent jurisdiction, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the county attorney if there is one, in the name of the county, shall institute proper proceedings in the circuit court of his county within two years from the entry of the order declaring the claim illegal, if such amount has already been paid. Such attorney shall be available to the governing body and give his legal opinion when requested.

D. Nothing in this section shall prevent any county governing body from disallowing any account, in whole or in part, when rendered and verified consistent with subsection A, or requiring any other evidence of the truth and propriety of any account as it thinks proper.

Code 1950, §§ 15-257, 15-258; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-550, 15.1-551; 1968, c. 450; 1980, c. 58; 1982, c. 173; 1984, c. 617; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1246. Appeal from disallowance of claim.

When a claim of any person against a county is disallowed in whole or in part by the governing body, if such person is present, he may appeal from the decision of the governing body within 30 days from the date of the decision. If the claimant is not present, the clerk of the governing body shall serve a written notice of the disallowance on him or his agent, and he may appeal from the decision within 30 days after service of such notice. In no case shall the appeal be taken after the lapse of six months from the date of the decision. The appeal shall be filed with the circuit court for the county. No appeal shall be allowed unless the amount disallowed exceeds $10. The disallowance may be appealed by serving written notice on the clerk of the governing body and executing a cash or surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit to the county in the amount of $250, with condition for the faithful prosecution of such appeal, and the payment of all costs imposed on the appellant by the court.

Code 1950, § 15-259; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-552; 1983, c. 114; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 300; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1247. When disallowance of claim final; exception; when no execution to be issued.

The determination of the governing body of any county disallowing a claim, in whole or in part, shall be a bar to any action in any court founded on such claim, unless (i) the decision of the governing body disallowing the claim is appealed; (ii) the governing body consents to the institution of an action by the claimant against the county; or (iii) the governing body fails to act upon any claim within 90 days of the date the claim is received by the governing body or its clerk, provided that such time may be extended by mutual agreement of the claimant and the county. No execution shall be issued upon any judgment recovered against a county, board of supervisors, or against any officer of the county, when the judgment should be paid by the county. Any judgment against the county shall be provided for by the governing body in the next county levy and paid by the treasurer as other county charges.

Code 1950, § 15-260; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-553; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1248. No action against county until claim presented to governing body.

No action shall be maintained by any person against a county upon any claim or demand until such person has presented his claim to the governing body of the county, unless the governing body has entered into a binding arbitration agreement or there is a provision in a written contract with the county to submit to arbitration any controversy thereafter arising. When there exists such a provision in a contract or there is a written agreement to arbitrate, the provisions of the Uniform Arbitration Act, Article 2 (§ 8.01-581.01 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 8.01, shall apply.

Code 1950, § 15-261; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-554; 1987, c. 483; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1249. Amounts allowed endorsed on claim; copies of record and accounts to be furnished.

The clerk shall endorse upon every account on which any sum shall be audited and allowed by the governing body the amount so audited and allowed and the charges for which the same was allowed; every such endorsement, if found to be in order, shall be subscribed by the chairman or acting chairman of the governing body; and the clerk shall deliver to any person who may demand it a certified copy of any record in his office, or of any account therein, on receiving from such person the fees allowed to the clerk of the circuit court for similar services.

Code 1950, § 15-262; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-555; 1997, c. 587.