Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
9/17/2019

Article 7. Miscellaneous Services, Etc., in Certain Localities.

§ 15.2-2157. Onsite sewage systems when sewers not available; civil penalties.

A. Any locality may require the installation, maintenance and operation of, regulate and inspect onsite sewage systems or other means of disposing of sewage when sewers or sewerage disposal facilities are not available; without liability to the owner thereof, may prevent the maintenance and operation of onsite sewage systems or such other means of disposing of sewage when they contribute or are likely to contribute to the pollution of public or private water supplies or the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious and dangerous diseases; and may regulate and inspect the disposal of human excreta.

B. Any locality that (i) has a record of the location of alternative and conventional onsite sewage systems and alternative discharging systems; (ii) has notified owners of their maintenance responsibility for such systems; and (iii) has a method to identify property transfer may adopt an ordinance establishing a uniform schedule of civil penalties for violations of specified provisions for the operation and maintenance of alternative and conventional onsite sewage systems and alternative discharging systems, as defined in § 32.1-163, that are not abated or remedied within 30 days after receipt of notice of violation from the local health director or his designee. No civil action authorized under this section shall proceed while a criminal action is pending and no criminal action shall proceed if the violation has been abated or remedied through civil enforcement.

This schedule of civil penalties shall be uniform for each type of specified violation, and the penalty for any one violation shall be a civil penalty of not more than $100 for the initial summons and not more than $150 for each additional summons. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. However, specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts shall not be charged more frequently than once in any 10-day period, and a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts shall not result in civil penalties exceeding a total of $3,000. If the violation is not abated after the imposition of the maximum fine, the locality may pursue other remedies as provided by law. Designation of a particular ordinance violation for a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall be in lieu of criminal penalties, except for any violation that contributes to or is likely to contribute to the pollution of public or private water supplies or the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious, and dangerous diseases.

The local health director or his designee may issue a civil summons ticket as provided by law for a scheduled violation. Any person summoned or issued a ticket for a scheduled violation may make an appearance in person or in writing by mail to the department of finance or the treasurer of the locality prior to the date fixed for trial in court. Any person so appearing may enter a waiver of trial, admit liability, and pay the civil penalty established for the offense charged.

If a person charged with a scheduled violation does not elect to enter a waiver of trial and admit liability, the violation shall be tried in the general district court in the same manner and with the same right of appeal as provided for by law. In any trial for a scheduled violation, the locality shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence the liability of the alleged violator. An admission of liability or finding of liability under this section shall not be deemed an admission at a criminal proceeding.

This section shall be not interpreted to allow the imposition of civil penalties for activities related to land development.

C. When sewers or sewerage disposal facilities are not available, a locality shall not prohibit the use of alternative onsite sewage systems that have been approved by the Virginia Department of Health for use in the particular circumstances and conditions in which the proposed system is to be operating.

D. A locality shall not require maintenance standards and requirements for alternative onsite sewage systems that exceed those allowed under or established by the State Board of Health pursuant to § 32.1-164.

E. The State Health Commissioner shall require, as a precondition to the issuance of an alternative onsite sewage system permit pursuant to § 32.1-164 to serve a residential structure, that the property owner record an instrument identifying by reference the applicable maintenance regulations for each component of the system in the land records of the clerk of the circuit court in the jurisdiction where all or part of the site or proposed site of the onsite sewage system is to be located, which shall be transferred with the title to the property upon the sale or transfer of the land that is the subject of the permit.

Code 1950, § 15-77.20; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-856; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 814; 2007, c. 924; 2009, cc. 786, 846; 2016, c. 721.

§ 15.2-2157.1. Permit for onsite sewage disposal system installation in certain counties.

Augusta County may require any person desiring to install a septic tank or other onsite sewage disposal system to secure a permit to do so. A reasonable fee may be prescribed, not to exceed $150, for processing an application for such a permit.

2001, c. 204; 2007, cc. 813, 880, 920.

§ 15.2-2158. Fee for street lighting.

A. Frederick County, which provides street lighting service to certain of its residents, may by ordinance charge a fee for the provision of the service, not to exceed the actual cost incurred by the county to procure, develop, and maintain such service, including a reasonable reserve.

B. So long as the benefits of any street lighting can be shown to inure to the specific benefit of identifiable neighborhoods or discrete customers in approximately equivalent amounts, the fee may be calculated by dividing the total amount of the street lighting charge by the number of affected customers.

C. The fee authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property has been charged and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid local taxes and administered and enforced in the same manner as provided in Chapter 39 (§ 58.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 58.1.

1993, c. 402, § 15.1-360.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2159. Fee for solid waste disposal by counties.

A. Accomack, Augusta, Floyd, Highland, Pittsylvania, and Wise Counties may by ordinance, and after a public hearing, levy a fee for the disposal of solid waste not to exceed the actual cost incurred by the county in procuring, developing, maintaining, and improving the landfill and for such reserves as may be necessary for capping and closing such landfill in the future. Southampton County may by ordinance, and after a public hearing, levy a fee for the management of solid waste not to exceed the actual cost incurred by the county in removing and disposing of solid waste. Such fee as collected shall be deposited in a special account to be expended only for the purposes for which it was levied. Except in Floyd, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Wise Counties, such fee shall not be used to purchase or subsidize the purchase of equipment used for the collection of solid waste. In Augusta, Highland, Pittsylvania, and Southampton Counties, such fee (i) may only be levied upon persons whose residential solid waste is disposed of at a county landfill or county solid waste collection or disposal facility and (ii) shall not be levied upon persons whose residential waste is not disposed of in such landfill or facility if such nondisposal is documented by the collector or generator of such waste as required by ordinance of such county. Documentation provided by a collector of such waste pursuant to clause (ii) shall not be disclosed by the county to any other person.

B. Any fee imposed by subsection A when combined with any other fee or charge for disposal of waste shall not exceed the actual cost incurred by the county in procuring, developing, maintaining, and improving its landfill and for such reserves as may be necessary for capping and closing such landfill in the future or, in the case of Southampton County, such fee shall not exceed the costs and fees expended by the county in removing and disposing of solid waste.

C. Any county which imposes the fee allowed under subsection A may enter into a contractual agreement with any water or heat, light, and power company or other corporation coming within the provisions of Chapter 26 (§ 58.1-2600 et seq.) of Title 58.1 except Appalachian Power Company and any cooperative formed under or subject to Article 1 (§ 56-231.15 et seq.) of Chapter 9.1 of Title 56 for the collection of such fee. The agreement may include a commission for such service in the form of a deduction from the fee remitted. The commission shall be provided for by ordinance, which shall set the rate not to exceed five percent of the amount of fees due and collected.

D. Accomack, Highland, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Wise Counties have the following authority regarding collection of said fee:

1. To prorate said fee depending upon the period a resident or business is located in said county during the year of fee levy;

2. To levy penalty for late payment of fee as set forth in § 58.1-3916 of the Code of Virginia;

3. To levy interest on unpaid fees as set forth in § 58.1-3916 of the Code of Virginia;

4. To credit the fee first against the most delinquent use fee account owing;

5. To require payment of the fee prior to approval of an application for rezoning, special exception, variance or other land use permit; and

6. To provide discounts to the standard fee rates for older persons, as defined in § 51.5-135, and disabled persons based on ability to pay.

E. Pittsylvania and Southampton Counties may by ordinance provide an exemption from the fee for the disposal of solid waste to any veteran who has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or its successor agency pursuant to federal law to have a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability in accordance with the standards set forth in § 58.1-3219.5.

1991, c. 541, § 15.1-362.1; 1993, cc. 733, 763; 1995, c. 633; 1996, cc. 313, 621; 1997, cc. 234, 587; 2001, c. 338; 2002, c. 275; 2003, cc. 25, 48; 2006, cc. 102, 743; 2012, cc. 765, 803, 835; 2013, c. 699; 2014, c. 727.

§ 15.2-2160. Provision of telecommunications services.

A. Any locality that operates an electric distribution system may provide telecommunications services, including local exchange telephone service as defined in § 56-1, within or outside its boundaries if the locality obtains a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4. Such locality may provide telecommunications services within any locality in which it has electric distribution system facilities as of March 1, 2002. Any locality providing telecommunications services on March 1, 2002, may provide telecommunications, Internet access, broadband, information, and data transmission services within any locality within 75 miles of the geographic boundaries of its electric distribution system as such system existed on March 1, 2002. The BVU Authority may provide telecommunications, Internet access, broadband, information, and data transmission services as provided in the BVU Authority Act (§ 15.2-7200 et seq.).

B. A locality that has obtained a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4 shall (i) comply with all applicable laws and regulations for the provision of telecommunications services; (ii) make a reasonable estimate of the amount of all federal, state, and local taxes (including income taxes and consumer utility taxes) that would be required to be paid or collected for each fiscal year if the locality were a for-profit provider of telecommunications services, (iii) prepare reasonable estimates of the amount of any franchise fees and other state and local fees (including permit fees and pole rental fees), and right-of-way charges that would be incurred in each fiscal year if the locality were a for-profit provider of telecommunications services, (iv) prepare and publish annually financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles showing the results of operations of its provision of telecommunications services, and (v) maintain records demonstrating compliance with the provisions of this section that shall be made available for inspection and copying pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

C. Each locality that has obtained a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4 shall provide nondiscriminatory access to for-profit providers of telecommunications services on a first-come, first-served basis to rights-of-way, poles, conduits or other permanent distribution facilities owned, leased or operated by the locality unless the facilities have insufficient capacity for such access and additional capacity cannot reasonably be added to the facilities.

D. The prices charged and the revenue received by a locality for providing telecommunications services shall not be cross-subsidized by other revenues of the locality or affiliated entities, except (i) in areas where no offers exist from for-profit providers of such telecommunications services, or (ii) as permitted by the provisions of subdivision B 5 of § 56-265.4:4. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to Internet access, broadband, information, and data transmission services provided by any locality providing telecommunications services on March 1, 2002.

E. No locality providing such services shall acquire by eminent domain the facilities or other property of any telecommunications service provider to offer cable, telephone, data transmission or other information or online programming services.

F. Public records of a locality that has obtained a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4, which records contain confidential proprietary information or trade secrets pertaining to the provision of telecommunications service, shall be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.). As used in this subsection, a public record contains confidential proprietary information or trade secrets if its acquisition by a competing provider of telecommunications services would provide the competing provider with a competitive benefit. However, the exemption provided by this subsection shall not apply to any authority created pursuant to the BVU Authority Act (§ 15.2-7200 et seq.).

G. As used in this section, "locality" shall mean any county, city, town, authority, or other governmental entity which provides or seeks to provide telecommunications services. Every locality shall comply with the requirements of § 56-265.4:4 or 56-484.7:1 unless otherwise specifically exempt. Any locality that has obtained a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4, and which surrenders or transfers such certificate shall continue to remain subject to subsections C, D, and E if any substantial part of its telecommunications assets or operations are transferred to an entity in which the locality has the right to appoint board members, directors, or managers.

2002, cc. 479, 489; 2003, c. 720; 2005, c. 258; 2006, cc. 73, 76; 2010, cc. 117, 210; 2016, cc. 724, 725.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We are unable to assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.

The Code of Virginia online database excludes material copyrighted by the publisher, Michie, a division of Matthew Bender. Copyrighted material includes annotations and revisors' notes, which may be found in the print version of the Code of Virginia. Annotated print copies of the Code of Virginia are available in most Virginia public library systems, from LexisNexis (1-800-446-3410), and from West, a Thomson-Reuters business (1-800-344-5008).