Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 20. Streets and Alleys

Article 1. Construction of Roads, Streets and Alleys Generally.

§ 15.2-2000. State highway systems excepted; town streets.

A. Nothing contained in this chapter, except as otherwise provided, shall apply to any highway, road, street or other public right-of-way which constitutes a part of any system of state highways; however, any highway for which a locality receives highway maintenance funds pursuant to § 33.2-319 or 33.2-366 shall not, for purposes of this section, be deemed to be a part of any system of state highways.

B. Public rights-of-way subject to local control under this chapter which lie within the boundaries of incorporated towns which receive highway maintenance funds pursuant to § 33.2-319 shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the town council of such town and not the board of supervisors of the county in which such town is located.

C. The term "public right-of-way" as used in this chapter means any area over which the public has a general privilege to travel. It includes, but is not limited to, ways, areas between deeded right-of-way boundary lines, and easements of all descriptions that are available for general travel by the public.

Code 1950, § 15-77.59:1; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-896; 1994, c. 177; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 839.

§ 15.2-2001. Streets, sidewalks and public rights-of-way generally.

Every locality may lay out, open, extend, widen, narrow, establish or change the grade of, close, construct, pave, curb, gutter, plant and maintain shade trees on, improve, maintain, repair, clean and light: streets, limited access highways, express highways, roads, alleys, bridges, viaducts, subways and underpasses. Localities may make, improve and repair sidewalks upon all public rights-of-way and may convert sidewalks to bicycle paths. A locality's power and authority over its public rights-of-way and other public places shall be the same, regardless of whether the public right-of-way or place has been expressly or impliedly dedicated to public use, has been conveyed to the locality by deed, or has been acquired by any other means.

Furthermore, any locality may establish highway user fees for highways that are not part of any system of state highways when such highway's traffic-carrying capacity is increased by construction or improvement.

Code 1950, § 15-77.53; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-889; 1974, c. 407; 1997, c. 587; 2006, c. 924.

§ 15.2-2002. Acquisitions in connection with public right-of-way changes.

Every locality proposing to open or widen any public right-of-way by taking a part of any lot or other subdivision of property in such manner that the remnant thereof would, in the opinion of the governing body, be so small or of such shape as to be unsuited for the erection of appropriate buildings thereon may acquire, as permitted by § 15.2-1800, the whole of the lot or other subdivision of property. Any such acquisition is declared to be for a public use, as the term public uses is used in Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia. The locality may subsequently replat and dispose of the remnant of such property not used for right-of-way purposes in whole or in part, limiting the uses thereof as it may see fit. Nothing in this section shall be construed to give any locality any power to condemn the property of any railroad company or public service corporation which it does not otherwise possess under existing law.

Code 1950, § 15-771; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-372; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2003. Acquisition of land for public rights-of-way outside certain corporate limits.

Whenever the council of any city having a population of more than 100,000 seeks to acquire land for projecting roads, streets and avenues or for extending any of its existing roads, streets and avenues of uniform width into the territory adjacent to such city, it may acquire the necessary lands as permitted by § 15.2-1800; however, no such land shall be acquired except within five miles from the corporate limits, and the proposed location of any such projected or extended roads, streets and avenues shall be approved by the board of supervisors of the county in which such road, street or avenue is located.

Code 1950, § 15-772; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-373; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2004. Streets, highways, etc., outside a city or town.

A city or town may construct, improve and maintain, or aid in the construction, improvement and maintenance of streets, roads, highways, bridges and underpasses outside the city or town in order to facilitate public travel and traffic into and out of the city or town or any property owned by it outside its boundaries.

Code 1950, § 15-77.54; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-890; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2005. Streets, etc., through any lands belonging to Commonwealth.

No street, alley or public highway not now actually improved and open to public travel shall be opened or maintained through, on or over any land lying in any city or town which belongs to the Commonwealth, without first obtaining the consent of the General Assembly, anything in the charter or ordinances of any city or town to the contrary notwithstanding.

Nothing herein shall be construed as interfering in any way with the present or future plans of any cities or towns in regard to the location and maintenance of sewerage and surface drainage on or through such properties when submitted to and approved by the Governor.

Code 1950, § 15-773; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-374; 1997, c. 587.