Code of Virginia

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

Article 2. Vacation, Etc., of Public Rights-of-Way.

§ 15.2-2006. Alteration and vacation of public rights-of-way; appeal from decision.

In addition to (i) the powers contained in the charter of any locality, (ii) any powers now had by such governing bodies under the common law or (iii) powers by other provisions of law, public rights-of-way in localities may be altered or vacated on motion of such governing bodies or on application of any person after notice of intention to do so has been published at least twice, with at least six days elapsing between the first and second publication, in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality. The notice shall specify the time and place of a hearing at which persons affected may appear and be heard. The cost of publishing the notice shall be taxed to the applicant. At the conclusion of the hearing and on application of any person, the governing body may appoint three to five people to view such public right-of-way and report in writing any inconvenience that would result from discontinuing the right-of-way. The governing body may allow the viewers up to fifty dollars each for their services. The sum allowed shall be paid by the person making the application to alter or vacate the public right-of-way. From such report and other evidence, if any, and after the land owners affected thereby, along the public right-of-way proposed to be altered or vacated, have been notified, the governing body may discontinue the public right-of-way. When an applicant requests a vacation to accommodate expansion or development of an existing or proposed business, the governing body may condition the vacation upon commencement of the expansion or development within a specified period of time. Failing to commence within such time may render the vacation, at the option of the governing body, void. A certified copy of the ordinance of vacation shall be recorded as deeds are recorded and indexed in the name of the locality. A conditional vacation shall not be recorded until the condition has been met.

Any appeal shall be filed within sixty days of adoption of the ordinance with the circuit court for the locality in which the public right-of-way is located.

Code 1950, § 15-766; 1950, p. 725; 1952, c. 580; 1956, c. 487; 1958, c. 196; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-364; 1964, c. 13; 1972, c. 357; 1973, c. 71; 1980, c. 236; 1982, c. 381; 1983, c. 33; 1984, c. 175; 1986, c. 41; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2007. Fee for processing application under § 15.2-2006.

The governing body of any locality may prescribe and charge a reasonable fee not exceeding $100 for processing an application pursuant to § 15.2-2006.

1970, c. 161, § 15.1-364.1; 1976, c. 183; 1979, c. 208; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2007.1. Appointment of viewers in certain cities.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-2006, the City of Virginia Beach may by ordinance appoint three to five viewers for terms of one year to view each and every street or alley proposed to be altered or vacated during the term. The notice requirements of § 15.2-2204 shall be complied with for each hearing regarding discontinuance of the street or alley proposed to be altered or vacated. The applicant for closure of streets or alleys in such cities that have appointed viewers pursuant to this section shall not be required to advertise, and the governing body shall not be required to hold a separate hearing, for appointment of viewers for each specific street or alley proposed to be altered or vacated. The applicant and the governing body of such city shall comply with all other provisions of § 15.2-2006.

1997, c. 742, § 15.1-364.2; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-2008. Sale of public rights-of-way, easements, etc., to certain purchasers.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, any locality, as a condition to a vacation or abandonment, may require the fractional portion of its public rights-of-way and easements to be purchased by any abutting property owner. The price shall be no greater than the property's fair market value or its contributory value to the abutting property, whichever is greater, or the amount agreed to by the parties. No such vacation or abandonment shall be concluded until the agreed price has been paid. If any abutting property owner does not pay for such owner's fractional portion within one year, or other time period made a condition of the vacation or abandonment, of the local government action to vacate or abandon, then the vacation or abandonment shall be void as to any such property owner.

1979, c. 241, § 15.1-366; 1985, c. 276; 1992, c. 362; 1993, c. 343; 1997, c. 587.