Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 14. Governing Bodies of Localities
11/28/2021

Article 4. Ordinances and Other Actions by the Local Governing Body.

§ 15.2-1425. Actions by localities.

The governing body of every locality in the performance of its duties, obligations and functions may adopt, as appropriate, ordinances, resolutions and motions.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1426. Form of ordinances.

The object of every ordinance, except an ordinance approving a budget, an annual appropriation ordinance or an ordinance which codifies ordinances, shall be clearly expressed in its title. All ordinances which repeal or amend existing ordinances shall identify by title the section to be repealed or amended.

Code 1950, §§ 15-8, 15-10; 1950, p. 113; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, cc. 190, 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-504; 1966, cc. 405, 612; 1968, c. 625; 1970, c. 581; 1972, cc. 41, 837; 1973, c. 380; 1978, c. 235; 1983, c. 11; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1427. Adoption of ordinances and resolutions generally; amending or repealing ordinances.

A. Unless otherwise specifically provided for by the Constitution or by other general or special law, an ordinance may be adopted by majority vote of those present and voting at any lawful meeting.

B. On final vote on any ordinance or resolution, the name of each member of the governing body voting and how he voted shall be recorded; however, votes on all ordinances and resolutions adopted prior to February 27, 1998, in which an unanimous vote of the governing body was recorded, shall be deemed to have been validly recorded. The governing body may adopt an ordinance or resolution by a recorded voice vote unless otherwise provided by law, or any member calls for a roll call vote. An ordinance shall become effective upon adoption or upon a date fixed by the governing body.

C. All ordinances or resolutions heretofore adopted by a governing body shall be deemed to have been validly adopted, unless some provision of the Constitution of Virginia or the Constitution of the United States has been violated in such adoption.

D. An ordinance may be amended or repealed in the same manner, or by the same procedure, in which, or by which, ordinances are adopted.

E. An amendment or repeal of an ordinance shall be in the form of an ordinance which shall become effective upon adoption or upon a date fixed by the governing body, but, if no effective date is specified, then such ordinance shall become effective upon adoption.

F. In counties, except as otherwise authorized by law, no ordinance shall be passed until after descriptive notice of an intention to propose the ordinance for passage has been published once a week for two successive weeks prior to its passage in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county. The second publication shall not be sooner than one calendar week after the first publication. The publication shall include a statement either that the publication contains the full text of the ordinance or that a copy of the full text of the ordinance is on file in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county or in the office of the county administrator; or in the case of any county organized under the form of government set out in Chapter 5, 7 or 8 of this title, a statement that a copy of the full text of the ordinance is on file in the office of the clerk of the county board. Even if the publication contains the full text of the ordinance, a complete copy shall be available for public inspection in the offices named herein.

In counties, emergency ordinances may be adopted without prior notice; however, no such ordinance shall be enforced for more than sixty days unless readopted in conformity with the provisions of this Code.

G. In towns, no tax shall be imposed except by a two-thirds vote of the council members.

Code 1950, §§ 15-8, 15-10; 1950, p. 113; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, cc. 190, 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-504; 1966, cc. 405, 612; 1968, c. 625; 1970, c. 581; 1972, cc. 41, 837; 1973, c. 380; 1978, c. 235; 1983, c. 11; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 823; 2000, c. 895.

§ 15.2-1428. Procedures for certain acts.

No ordinance or resolution appropriating money exceeding the sum of $500, imposing taxes, or authorizing the borrowing of money shall be passed except by a recorded affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the governing body. In case of the veto of such an ordinance or resolution, where the power of veto exists, it shall require for passage thereafter a recorded affirmative vote of two-thirds of all members elected to the governing body.

Code 1950, § 15-412; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-819; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 35; 1991, c. 668; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1429. Penalties for violation of ordinances.

Any locality may prescribe fines and other punishments for violations of ordinances, which shall be enforced by proceedings as if such violations were misdemeanors. However, no fine or term of confinement for the violation of ordinances shall exceed the penalties provided by general law for the violation of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and such penalties shall not exceed those penalties prescribed by general law for like offenses.

Code 1950, §§ 15-8, 15-77.64; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, cc. 279, 328; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-505, 15.1-901; 1974, c. 598; 1976, c. 582; 1978, c. 150; 1991, cc. 25, 609, 710; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1430. Bonds of persons convicted.

Upon conviction for the violation of any ordinance, the court trying the case may require bond of the person so convicted with proper security in the penalty of not more than $5,000, conditioned not to violate the ordinance for the breach of which he has been convicted for the period of not more than one year.

Code 1950, § 15-77.65; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-902; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1431. Appeals; nonpayment of fine.

An appeal from any fine or imprisonment shall be as in misdemeanor cases. Whenever any fine is imposed but not paid, the court trying the case shall proceed in accordance with Article 4 (§ 19.2-354 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 19.2.

Code 1950, § 15-77.66; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-903; 1973, c. 342; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1432. Injunctive relief against continuing violation of ordinance.

A court of competent jurisdiction, in addition to the penalty imposed for the violation of any ordinance, may enjoin the continuing violation thereof by proceedings for an injunction brought in any court for the county or municipal corporation having jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief.

Code 1950, § 15-77.68; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-905; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1433. Codification and recodification of ordinances.

Any locality may codify or recodify any or all of its ordinances, in permanently bound or loose-leaf form. Such ordinances may be changed, altered or amended by the governing body, and ordinances or portions thereof may be deleted and new material may be added by the governing body. Such changes, alterations, amendments or deletions and such new material shall become effective on the effective date of the codification or recodification.

Ordinances relating to zoning and the subdivision of land may be included in any codification or recodification of ordinances; however, no change, alteration, amendment, deletion or addition of a substantive nature shall be made and no new material of a substantive nature shall be added to such ordinances unless, prior to the date of adoption of such codification or recodification, notice of such proposed changes, alterations, amendments, deletions or additions shall be published as required by the Code of Virginia and public hearings held thereon as provided by the Code of Virginia for adoption and amendment of zoning and subdivision ordinances. Renumbering or rearranging of sections, articles or other divisions of any such ordinance shall not be deemed to be a change, alteration or amendment of a substantive nature.

Any such codification or recodification may be adopted by reference by a single ordinance, without further publication of such codification or recodification or any portions thereof. The ordinance adopting such codification or recodification shall comply with all laws of the Commonwealth and any provision of any city or town charter requiring posting or publication of ordinances or notice of intent to adopt ordinances. At least one copy of such codification or recodification or a complete set of printer's proofs of the text thereof shall be made available for public inspection in the office of the clerk of the governing body in which such codification or recodification is proposed to be adopted.

No ordinance levying or increasing taxes shall be enacted as new material in any such codification or recodification or amended in substance therein unless advertised in accordance with general law.

Supplements for such codifications or recodifications may be prepared from time to time at the direction of the governing body of the locality, either as units or on a replacement page basis; however, where replacement pages are prepared, a distinguishing mark or notation shall be placed on each replacement page to distinguish it from original pages and pages of other supplements. No further adoption procedure shall be required for supplements or replacement pages in which no substantive change is made in ordinances previously and validly adopted by the governing body of the locality. If changes, alterations, amendments, deletions or additions of a substantive nature are made in any such supplement, then such supplement shall be adopted by the governing body in the same manner provided by general or special law.

At least one copy of any codification or recodification adopted hereunder and at least one copy of every supplement thereto shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the governing body and shall there be available for public inspection during normal business hours.

Any codification or recodification adopted hereunder shall be admitted in evidence in all courts without further proof.

1966, c. 269, § 15.1-37.3; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 200.