Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 20. Streets and Alleys
10/7/2022

Article 3. Encroachments on Rights-of-Way, Etc.

§ 15.2-2009. Obstructions or encroachments.

A locality may prevent any unlawful obstruction of or encroachment over, under or in any street, highway, road, alley, bridge, viaduct, subway, underpass or other public right-of-way or place; may provide penalties for maintaining any such unlawful obstruction or encroachment; may remove the same and charge the cost thereof to the owner or occupant of the property so obstructing or encroaching; and may collect the cost in any manner provided by law for the collection of state or local taxes. The locality may require the owner or occupant of the property so obstructing or encroaching to remove the property and, pending such removal, may charge the owner of the property so obstructing or encroaching compensation for the use of such portion of the street, highway, road, alley, bridge, viaduct, subway, underpass or other public right-of-way or place obstructed or encroached upon the equivalent of what would be the tax upon the land so occupied if it were owned by the owner of the property so obstructing or encroaching. If removal is not accomplished within the time ordered, the locality may impose penalties for each day that the obstruction or encroachment is allowed to continue. The locality may authorize encroachments upon such public rights-of-way and places subject to such terms and conditions as the governing body may prescribe. However, owners or occupants shall be liable for negligence on account of such encroachment, and the governing body may institute and prosecute a suit or action in ejectment or other appropriate proceedings to recover possession of any such public right-of-way or place or any other property unlawfully occupied or encroached upon.

Code 1950, § 15-77.57; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-893; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2009.1. Dangerous roadside vegetation.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, any locality may, by ordinance, provide that the owner of any property adjacent to the right-of-way of any street, highway, road, alley, bridge, viaduct, subway, underpass, or other public right-of-way or place shall, at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe, remove therefrom any and all trees, tree limbs, shrubs, high grass, or other substance that might dangerously obstruct the line of sight of a driver, be involved in a collision with a vehicle, or interfere with the safe operation of a vehicle or may, whenever the governing body deems it necessary, after reasonable notice as defined in subdivision 2 of § 15.2-906, have such trees, shrubs, high grass, and other like substances removed by its own agents or employees.

2020, cc. 962, 963.

§ 15.2-2010. Localities may permit awnings, fire escapes, etc., to overhang public rights-of-way.

Any locality may authorize owners or occupants of property abutting upon any public rights-of-way, within such limitations as the locality may prescribe, to construct and maintain in, upon and over such public rights-of-way, awnings, fire escapes, shutters, signs, cornices, gutters, downspouts, bay windows and other appendages to buildings; but such authority or permission shall be deemed to be a license merely and shall be revocable at the pleasure of the localities or of the General Assembly. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to relieve such owners or occupants from liability for negligence on their part.

Code 1950, § 15-775; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-376; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2011. Localities may permit existing encroachments.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, localities may authorize owners of property with roadside vegetation described in § 15.2-2009.1 or buildings or structures encroaching under, upon and over any public rights-of-way therein, within such limitations as the localities may prescribe, to maintain such vegetation or encroachments as they exist, until such vegetation, buildings, or structures are destroyed or removed; however, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to relieve the owners of negligence on their part on account of any such vegetation or encroachment.

Code 1950, § 15-776; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-377; 1966, c. 190; 1986, c. 96; 1997, c. 587; 2020, cc. 962, 963.

§ 15.2-2012. Fee for processing application.

A locality may prescribe and charge a fee up to $150 for processing an application pursuant to § 15.2-2011.

1986, c. 96, § 15.1-377.1; 1997, c. 587.