Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
9/23/2020

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-2200. Declaration of legislative intent.

This chapter is intended to encourage localities to improve the public health, safety, convenience, and welfare of their citizens and to plan for the future development of communities to the end that transportation systems be carefully planned; that new community centers be developed with adequate highway, utility, health, educational, and recreational facilities; that the need for mineral resources and the needs of agriculture, industry, and business be recognized in future growth; that the concerns of military installations be recognized and taken into account in consideration of future development of areas immediately surrounding installations and that where practical, installation commanders shall be consulted on such matters by local officials; that residential areas be provided with healthy surroundings for family life; that agricultural and forestal land be preserved; and that the growth of the community be consonant with the efficient and economical use of public funds.

Code 1950, §§ 15-891.1, 15-900, 15-916, 15-961; 1950, pp. 487, 889; 1956, c. 497; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-427; 1975, c. 641; 1981, c. 418; 1996, cc. 585, 600; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 149, 213.

§ 15.2-2201. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Affordable housing" means, as a guideline, housing that is affordable to households with incomes at or below the area median income, provided that the occupant pays no more than thirty percent of his gross income for gross housing costs, including utilities. For the purpose of administering affordable dwelling unit ordinances authorized by this chapter, local governments may establish individual definitions of affordable housing and affordable dwelling units including determination of the appropriate percent of area median income and percent of gross income.

"Conditional zoning" means, as part of classifying land within a locality into areas and districts by legislative action, the allowing of reasonable conditions governing the use of such property, such conditions being in addition to, or modification of the regulations provided for a particular zoning district or zone by the overall zoning ordinance.

"Development" means a tract of land developed or to be developed as a unit under single ownership or unified control which is to be used for any business or industrial purpose or is to contain three or more residential dwelling units. The term "development" shall not be construed to include any tract of land which will be principally devoted to agricultural production.

"Historic area" means an area containing one or more buildings or places in which historic events occurred or having special public value because of notable architectural, archaeological or other features relating to the cultural or artistic heritage of the community, of such significance as to warrant conservation and preservation.

"Incentive zoning" means the use of bonuses in the form of increased project density or other benefits to a developer in return for the developer providing certain features, design elements, uses, services, or amenities desired by the locality, including but not limited to, site design incorporating principles of new urbanism and traditional neighborhood development, environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient building design, affordable housing creation and preservation, and historical preservation, as part of the development.

"Local planning commission" means a municipal planning commission or a county planning commission.

"Military installation" means a base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Defense, including any leased facility, or any land or interest in land owned by the Commonwealth and administered by the Adjutant General of Virginia or the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. "Military installation" does not include any facility used primarily for civil works, rivers and harbors projects, or flood control projects.

"Mixed use development" means property that incorporates two or more different uses, and may include a variety of housing types, within a single development.

"Official map" means a map of legally established and proposed public streets, waterways, and public areas adopted by a locality in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 (§ 15.2-2233 et seq.) hereof.

"Planned unit development" means a form of development characterized by unified site design for a variety of housing types and densities, clustering of buildings, common open space, and a mix of building types and land uses in which project planning and density calculation are performed for the entire development rather than on an individual lot basis.

"Planning district commission" means a regional planning agency chartered under the provisions of Chapter 42 (§ 15.2-4200 et seq.) of this title.

"Plat" or "plat of subdivision" means the schematic representation of land divided or to be divided and information in accordance with the provisions of §§ 15.2-2241, 15.2-2242, 15.2-2258, 15.2-2262, and 15.2-2264, and other applicable statutes.

"Preliminary subdivision plat" means the proposed schematic representation of development or subdivision that establishes how the provisions of §§ 15.2-2241 and 15.2-2242, and other applicable statutes will be achieved.

"Resident curator" means a person, firm, or corporation that leases or otherwise contracts to manage, preserve, maintain, operate, or reside in a historic property in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2306 and other applicable statutes.

"Site plan" means the proposal for a development or a subdivision including all covenants, grants or easements and other conditions relating to use, location and bulk of buildings, density of development, common open space, public facilities and such other information as required by the subdivision ordinance to which the proposed development or subdivision is subject.

"Special exception" means a special use that is a use not permitted in a particular district except by a special use permit granted under the provisions of this chapter and any zoning ordinances adopted herewith.

"Street" means highway, street, avenue, boulevard, road, lane, alley, or any public way.

"Subdivision," unless otherwise defined in an ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2240, means the division of a parcel of land into three or more lots or parcels of less than five acres each for the purpose of transfer of ownership or building development, or, if a new street is involved in such division, any division of a parcel of land. The term includes resubdivision and, when appropriate to the context, shall relate to the process of subdividing or to the land subdivided and solely for the purpose of recordation of any single division of land into two lots or parcels, a plat of such division shall be submitted for approval in accordance with § 15.2-2258.

"Variance" means, in the application of a zoning ordinance, a reasonable deviation from those provisions regulating the shape, size, or area of a lot or parcel of land or the size, height, area, bulk, or location of a building or structure when the strict application of the ordinance would unreasonably restrict the utilization of the property, and such need for a variance would not be shared generally by other properties, and provided such variance is not contrary to the purpose of the ordinance. It shall not include a change in use, which change shall be accomplished by a rezoning or by a conditional zoning.

"Working waterfront" means an area or structure on, over, or adjacent to navigable waters that provides access to the water and is used for water-dependent commercial, industrial, or governmental activities, including commercial and recreational fishing; tourism; aquaculture; boat and ship building, repair, and services; seafood processing and sales; transportation; shipping; marine construction; and military activities.

"Working waterfront development area" means an area containing one or more working waterfronts having economic, cultural, or historic public value of such significance as to warrant development and reparation.

"Zoning" or "to zone" means the process of classifying land within a locality into areas and districts, such areas and districts being generally referred to as "zones," by legislative action and the prescribing and application in each area and district of regulations concerning building and structure designs, building and structure placement and uses to which land, buildings and structures within such designated areas and districts may be put.

Code 1950, § 15-961.3; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-430; 1964, c. 547; 1966, c. 344; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 642; 1977, c. 566; 1978, c. 320; 1987, c. 8; 1989, c. 384; 1990, c. 685; 1993, c. 770; 1995, c. 603; 1997, c. 587; 2008, cc. 635, 718; 2011, c. 237; 2012, c. 554; 2013, cc. 149, 213; 2015, c. 597; 2017, c. 216.

§ 15.2-2202. Duties of state agencies; electric utilities.

A. The Department of Environmental Quality shall distribute a copy of the environmental impact report submitted to the Department for every major state project pursuant to regulations promulgated under § 10.1-1191 to the chief administrative officer of every locality in which each project is proposed to be located. The purpose of the distribution is to enable the locality to evaluate the proposed project for environmental impact, consistency with the locality's comprehensive plan, local ordinances adopted pursuant to this chapter, and other applicable law and to provide the locality with an opportunity to comment. The Department shall distribute the reports to localities, solicit their comments, and consider their responses in substantially the same manner as the Department solicits and receives comments from state agencies.

B. In addition to the information supplied under subsection A, every department, board, bureau, commission, or other agency of the Commonwealth which is responsible for the construction, operation, or maintenance of public facilities within any locality shall, upon the request of the local planning commission having authority to prepare a comprehensive plan, furnish reasonable information requested by the local planning commission relative to the master plans of the state agency which may affect the locality's comprehensive plan. Each state agency shall collaborate and cooperate with the local planning commission, when requested, in the preparation of the comprehensive plan to the end that the local comprehensive plan will coordinate the interests and responsibilities of all concerned. The state agency shall notify the chief administrative officer of the locality when updates to its land use plans are completed and available.

C. Every state agency responsible for the construction, operation or maintenance of public facilities within the Commonwealth shall send a notice addressed to the chief administrative officer of every locality in which the agency intends to undertake a capital project involving new construction costing at least $500,000. The notice shall occur at the initiation of the environmental impact report process. This notice shall include a project description and a point of contact with contact information for the project. A notice shall also be given during the planning phase of the project and prior to preparation of construction and site plans and shall inform localities that preliminary construction and site plans will be available for distribution, upon the request of the locality. Agencies shall not be required to give such notice prior to acquisition of property. The purpose of the notice and distribution is to enable the locality to evaluate the project for consistency with local ordinances other than building codes and to provide the locality with an opportunity to submit comments to the agency during the planning phase of a project. Upon receipt of a request from a locality, the state agency shall transmit a copy of the plans to the locality for comment.

D. Every institution of higher education responsible for the construction, operation or maintenance of public facilities within the Commonwealth shall send a notice addressed to the chief administrative officer of every locality in which the institution intends to undertake a capital project involving new construction costing at least $500,000. The notice shall occur at the initiation of the environmental impact report process. This notice shall include a project description and a point of contact with contact information for the project. A notice shall also be given during the planning phase of the project and prior to preparation of construction and site plans and shall inform the locality that preliminary construction and site plans will be available for distribution, upon request of the locality. Institutions shall not be required to give such notice prior to acquisition of property. The purpose of the notice and distribution is to enable the locality to evaluate the project for consistency with local ordinances other than building codes and to provide the locality with an opportunity to submit comments to the agency during the planning phase of a project. Upon receipt of a request from a locality, the institution shall transmit a copy of the plans to the locality for comment.

E. Every electric utility that is responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of electric transmission lines of 150 kilovolts or more shall furnish reasonable information requested by the local planning commission having authority to prepare a comprehensive plan within the utility's certificated service area relative to any electric transmission line of 150 kilovolts or more that may affect the locality's comprehensive plan. If the locality seeks to include the designation of corridors or routes for electric transmission lines of 150 kilovolts or more in its comprehensive plan, the local planning commission shall give the electric utility a reasonable opportunity for consultation about such corridors or routes. The electric utility shall notify the chief administrative officer of every locality in which the electric utility plans to undertake construction of any electric transmission line of 150 kilovolts or more, prior to the filing of any application for approval of such construction with the State Corporation Commission, of its intention to file any such application and shall give the locality a reasonable opportunity for consultation about such line.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any state agency or electric utility to duplicate any submission required to be made by the agency or the electric utility to a locality under any other provision of law.

G. Nothing herein shall be deemed to abridge the authority of any state agency or the State Corporation Commission regarding the facilities now or hereafter coming under its jurisdiction. However, failure of any state agency to strictly comply with subsection C will justify entry of an injunction on behalf of the locality.

H. The provisions of this section shall not apply to highway, transit or other projects, as provided in subsection B of § 10.1-1188.

I. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the entering of any option by any state agency or electric utility for any projects listed in subsection C, D or E.

1993, c. 786, § 15.1-428.1; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 281; 2007, c. 761; 2011, c. 699.

§ 15.2-2203. Existing planning commissions and boards of zoning appeals; validation of plans previously adopted.

Upon the effective date of this chapter, planning commissions, by whatever name designated, and boards of zoning appeals heretofore established shall continue to operate as though created under the terms of this chapter. All actions lawfully taken by such commissions and boards are hereby validated and continued in effect until amended or repealed in accordance with this chapter.

The adoption of a comprehensive or master plan or any general development plans under the authority of prior acts is hereby validated and shall continue in effect until amended under the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 15-961.2; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-429; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2204. (Effective until July 1, 2022) Advertisement of plans, ordinances, etc.; joint public hearings; written notice of certain amendments.

A. Plans or ordinances, or amendments thereof, recommended or adopted under the powers conferred by this chapter need not be advertised in full, but may be advertised by reference. Every such advertisement shall contain a descriptive summary of the proposed action and a reference to the place or places within the locality where copies of the proposed plans, ordinances or amendments may be examined.

The local planning commission shall not recommend nor the governing body adopt any plan, ordinance or amendment thereof until notice of intention to do so has been published once a week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published or having general circulation in the locality; however, the notice for both the local planning commission and the governing body may be published concurrently. The notice shall specify the time and place of hearing at which persons affected may appear and present their views, not less than five days nor more than 21 days after the second advertisement appears in such newspaper. The local planning commission and governing body may hold a joint public hearing after public notice as set forth hereinabove. If a joint hearing is held, then public notice as set forth above need be given only by the governing body. The term "two successive weeks" as used in this paragraph shall mean that such notice shall be published at least twice in such newspaper with not less than six days elapsing between the first and second publication. In any instance in which a locality in Planning District 23 has submitted a timely notice request to such newspaper and the newspaper fails to publish the notice, such locality shall be deemed to have met the notice requirements of this subsection so long as the notice was published in the next available edition of a newspaper having general circulation in the locality. After enactment of any plan, ordinance or amendment, further publication thereof shall not be required.

B. When a proposed amendment of the zoning ordinance involves a change in the zoning map classification of 25 or fewer parcels of land, then, in addition to the advertising as required by subsection A, written notice shall be given by the local planning commission, or its representative, at least five days before the hearing to the owner or owners, their agent or the occupant, of each parcel involved; to the owners, their agent or the occupant, of all abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, including those parcels which lie in other localities of the Commonwealth; and, if any portion of the affected property is within a planned unit development, then to such incorporated property owner's associations within the planned unit development that have members owning property located within 2,000 feet of the affected property as may be required by the commission or its agent. However, when a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance involves a tract of land not less than 500 acres owned by the Commonwealth or by the federal government, and when the proposed change affects only a portion of the larger tract, notice need be given only to the owners of those properties that are adjacent to the affected area of the larger tract. Notice sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of such owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement. If the hearing is continued, notice shall be remailed. Costs of any notice required under this chapter shall be taxed to the applicant.

When a proposed amendment of the zoning ordinance involves a change in the zoning map classification of more than 25 parcels of land, or a change to the applicable zoning ordinance text regulations that decreases the allowed dwelling unit density of any parcel of land, then, in addition to the advertising as required by subsection A, written notice shall be given by the local planning commission, or its representative, at least five days before the hearing to the owner, owners, or their agent of each parcel of land involved, provided, however, that written notice of such changes to zoning ordinance text regulations shall not have to be mailed to the owner, owners, or their agent of lots shown on a subdivision plat approved and recorded pursuant to the provisions of Article 6 (§ 15.2-2240 et seq.) where such lots are less than 11,500 square feet. One notice sent by first class mail to the last known address of such owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement, provided that a representative of the local commission shall make affidavit that such mailings have been made and file such affidavit with the papers in the case. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as to invalidate any subsequently adopted amendment or ordinance because of the inadvertent failure by the representative of the local commission to give written notice to the owner, owners or their agent of any parcel involved.

The governing body may provide that, in the case of a condominium or a cooperative, the written notice may be mailed to the unit owners' association or proprietary lessees' association, respectively, in lieu of each individual unit owner.

Whenever the notices required hereby are sent by an agency, department or division of the local governing body, or their representative, such notices may be sent by first class mail; however, a representative of such agency, department or division shall make affidavit that such mailings have been made and file such affidavit with the papers in the case.

A party's actual notice of, or active participation in, the proceedings for which the written notice provided by this section is required shall waive the right of that party to challenge the validity of the proceeding due to failure of the party to receive the written notice required by this section.

C. When a proposed comprehensive plan or amendment thereto; a proposed change in zoning map classification; or an application for special exception for a change in use or to increase by greater than 50 percent of the bulk or height of an existing or proposed building, but not including renewals of previously approved special exceptions, involves any parcel of land located within one-half mile of a boundary of an adjoining locality of the Commonwealth, then, in addition to the advertising and written notification as required by this section, written notice shall also be given by the local commission, or its representative, at least 10 days before the hearing to the chief administrative officer, or his designee, of such adjoining locality.

D. When (i) a proposed comprehensive plan or amendment thereto, (ii) a proposed change in zoning map classification, or (iii) an application for special exception for a change in use involves any parcel of land located within 3,000 feet of a boundary of a military base, military installation, military airport, excluding armories operated by the Virginia National Guard, or licensed public-use airport then, in addition to the advertising and written notification as required by this section, written notice shall also be given by the local commission, or its representative, at least 30 days before the hearing to the commander of the military base, military installation, military airport, or owner of such public-use airport, and the notice shall advise the military commander or owner of such public-use airport of the opportunity to submit comments or recommendations.

E. The adoption or amendment prior to July 1, 1996, of any plan or ordinance under the authority of prior acts shall not be declared invalid by reason of a failure to advertise or give notice as may be required by such act or by this chapter, provided a public hearing was conducted by the governing body prior to such adoption or amendment. Every action contesting a decision of a locality based on a failure to advertise or give notice as may be required by this chapter shall be filed within 30 days of such decision with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land affected by the decision. However, any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1996, shall not be affected by the 1996 amendment to this section.

F. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, the City of Richmond may cause such notice to be published in any newspaper of general circulation in the city.

G. When a proposed comprehensive plan or amendment of an existing plan designates or alters previously designated corridors or routes for electric transmission lines of 150 kilovolts or more, written notice shall also be given by the local planning commission, or its representative, at least 10 days before the hearing to each electric utility with a certificated service territory that includes all or any part of such designated electric transmission corridors or routes.

H. When any applicant requesting a written order, requirement, decision, or determination from the zoning administrator, other administrative officer, or a board of zoning appeals that is subject to the appeal provisions contained in § 15.2-2311 or 15.2-2314, is not the owner or the agent of the owner of the real property subject to the written order, requirement, decision or determination, written notice shall be given to the owner of the property within 10 days of the receipt of such request. Such written notice shall be given by the zoning administrator or other administrative officer or, at the direction of the administrator or officer, the requesting applicant shall be required to give the owner such notice and to provide satisfactory evidence to the zoning administrator or other administrative officer that the notice has been given. Written notice mailed to the owner at the last known address of the owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall satisfy the notice requirements of this subsection.

This subsection shall not apply to inquiries from the governing body, planning commission, or employees of the locality made in the normal course of business.

Code 1950, § 15-961.4; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-431; 1964, c. 632; 1968, cc. 354, 714; 1973, cc. 117, 334; 1974, cc. 100, 570; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 642; 1977, c. 65; 1982, c. 291; 1990, c. 61; 1992, cc. 353, 757; 1993, cc. 128, 734; 1994, c. 774; 1995, c. 178; 1996, cc. 613, 667; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 406; 2002, c. 634; 2004, cc. 539, 799; 2005, c. 514; 2007, cc. 761, 813; 2011, c. 457; 2012, c. 548; 2013, cc. 149, 213; 2020, cc. 22, 761.

§ 15.2-2204. (Effective July 1, 2022) Advertisement of plans, ordinances, etc.; joint public hearings; written notice of certain amendments.

A. Plans or ordinances, or amendments thereof, recommended or adopted under the powers conferred by this chapter need not be advertised in full, but may be advertised by reference. Every such advertisement shall contain a descriptive summary of the proposed action and a reference to the place or places within the locality where copies of the proposed plans, ordinances or amendments may be examined.

The local planning commission shall not recommend nor the governing body adopt any plan, ordinance or amendment thereof until notice of intention to do so has been published once a week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published or having general circulation in the locality; however, the notice for both the local planning commission and the governing body may be published concurrently. The notice shall specify the time and place of hearing at which persons affected may appear and present their views, not less than five days nor more than 21 days after the second advertisement appears in such newspaper. The local planning commission and governing body may hold a joint public hearing after public notice as set forth hereinabove. If a joint hearing is held, then public notice as set forth above need be given only by the governing body. The term "two successive weeks" as used in this paragraph shall mean that such notice shall be published at least twice in such newspaper with not less than six days elapsing between the first and second publication. After enactment of any plan, ordinance or amendment, further publication thereof shall not be required.

B. When a proposed amendment of the zoning ordinance involves a change in the zoning map classification of 25 or fewer parcels of land, then, in addition to the advertising as required by subsection A, written notice shall be given by the local planning commission, or its representative, at least five days before the hearing to the owner or owners, their agent or the occupant, of each parcel involved; to the owners, their agent or the occupant, of all abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, including those parcels which lie in other localities of the Commonwealth; and, if any portion of the affected property is within a planned unit development, then to such incorporated property owner's associations within the planned unit development that have members owning property located within 2,000 feet of the affected property as may be required by the commission or its agent. However, when a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance involves a tract of land not less than 500 acres owned by the Commonwealth or by the federal government, and when the proposed change affects only a portion of the larger tract, notice need be given only to the owners of those properties that are adjacent to the affected area of the larger tract. Notice sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of such owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement. If the hearing is continued, notice shall be remailed. Costs of any notice required under this chapter shall be taxed to the applicant.

When a proposed amendment of the zoning ordinance involves a change in the zoning map classification of more than 25 parcels of land, or a change to the applicable zoning ordinance text regulations that decreases the allowed dwelling unit density of any parcel of land, then, in addition to the advertising as required by subsection A, written notice shall be given by the local planning commission, or its representative, at least five days before the hearing to the owner, owners, or their agent of each parcel of land involved, provided, however, that written notice of such changes to zoning ordinance text regulations shall not have to be mailed to the owner, owners, or their agent of lots shown on a subdivision plat approved and recorded pursuant to the provisions of Article 6 (§ 15.2-2240 et seq.) where such lots are less than 11,500 square feet. One notice sent by first class mail to the last known address of such owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement, provided that a representative of the local commission shall make affidavit that such mailings have been made and file such affidavit with the papers in the case. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as to invalidate any subsequently adopted amendment or ordinance because of the inadvertent failure by the representative of the local commission to give written notice to the owner, owners or their agent of any parcel involved.

The governing body may provide that, in the case of a condominium or a cooperative, the written notice may be mailed to the unit owners' association or proprietary lessees' association, respectively, in lieu of each individual unit owner.

Whenever the notices required hereby are sent by an agency, department or division of the local governing body, or their representative, such notices may be sent by first class mail; however, a representative of such agency, department or division shall make affidavit that such mailings have been made and file such affidavit with the papers in the case.

A party's actual notice of, or active participation in, the proceedings for which the written notice provided by this section is required shall waive the right of that party to challenge the validity of the proceeding due to failure of the party to receive the written notice required by this section.

C. When a proposed comprehensive plan or amendment thereto; a proposed change in zoning map classification; or an application for special exception for a change in use or to increase by greater than 50 percent of the bulk or height of an existing or proposed building, but not including renewals of previously approved special exceptions, involves any parcel of land located within one-half mile of a boundary of an adjoining locality of the Commonwealth, then, in addition to the advertising and written notification as required by this section, written notice shall also be given by the local commission, or its representative, at least 10 days before the hearing to the chief administrative officer, or his designee, of such adjoining locality.

D. When (i) a proposed comprehensive plan or amendment thereto, (ii) a proposed change in zoning map classification, or (iii) an application for special exception for a change in use involves any parcel of land located within 3,000 feet of a boundary of a military base, military installation, military airport, excluding armories operated by the Virginia National Guard, or licensed public-use airport then, in addition to the advertising and written notification as required by this section, written notice shall also be given by the local commission, or its representative, at least 30 days before the hearing to the commander of the military base, military installation, military airport, or owner of such public-use airport, and the notice shall advise the military commander or owner of such public-use airport of the opportunity to submit comments or recommendations.

E. The adoption or amendment prior to July 1, 1996, of any plan or ordinance under the authority of prior acts shall not be declared invalid by reason of a failure to advertise or give notice as may be required by such act or by this chapter, provided a public hearing was conducted by the governing body prior to such adoption or amendment. Every action contesting a decision of a locality based on a failure to advertise or give notice as may be required by this chapter shall be filed within 30 days of such decision with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land affected by the decision. However, any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1996, shall not be affected by the 1996 amendment to this section.

F. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, the City of Richmond may cause such notice to be published in any newspaper of general circulation in the city.

G. When a proposed comprehensive plan or amendment of an existing plan designates or alters previously designated corridors or routes for electric transmission lines of 150 kilovolts or more, written notice shall also be given by the local planning commission, or its representative, at least 10 days before the hearing to each electric utility with a certificated service territory that includes all or any part of such designated electric transmission corridors or routes.

H. When any applicant requesting a written order, requirement, decision, or determination from the zoning administrator, other administrative officer, or a board of zoning appeals that is subject to the appeal provisions contained in § 15.2-2311 or 15.2-2314, is not the owner or the agent of the owner of the real property subject to the written order, requirement, decision or determination, written notice shall be given to the owner of the property within 10 days of the receipt of such request. Such written notice shall be given by the zoning administrator or other administrative officer or, at the direction of the administrator or officer, the requesting applicant shall be required to give the owner such notice and to provide satisfactory evidence to the zoning administrator or other administrative officer that the notice has been given. Written notice mailed to the owner at the last known address of the owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall satisfy the notice requirements of this subsection.

This subsection shall not apply to inquiries from the governing body, planning commission, or employees of the locality made in the normal course of business.

Code 1950, § 15-961.4; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-431; 1964, c. 632; 1968, cc. 354, 714; 1973, cc. 117, 334; 1974, cc. 100, 570; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 642; 1977, c. 65; 1982, c. 291; 1990, c. 61; 1992, cc. 353, 757; 1993, cc. 128, 734; 1994, c. 774; 1995, c. 178; 1996, cc. 613, 667; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 406; 2002, c. 634; 2004, cc. 539, 799; 2005, c. 514; 2007, cc. 761, 813; 2011, c. 457; 2012, c. 548; 2013, cc. 149, 213.

§ 15.2-2205. Additional notice of planning or zoning matters.

Any locality may give, in addition to any specific notice required by law, notice by direct mail or any other means of any planning or zoning matter it deems appropriate.

1980, c. 545, § 15.1-33.1; 1981, c. 266; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2206. When locality may require applicant to give notice; how given.

Any locality may by ordinance require that a person applying to the local governing body, local planning commission or board of zoning appeals pursuant to this chapter be responsible for all required notices. The locality shall require that notice be given as provided by § 15.2-2204.

The locality may provide that, in the case of a condominium or of a cooperative, the written notice may be mailed to the unit owners' association or proprietary lessee's association, respectively, in lieu of each individual unit owner.

The applicant may rely upon records of the local real estate assessor's office to ascertain the names of persons entitled to notice.

A certification of notice and a listing of the persons to whom notice has been sent shall be supplied by the applicant as required by the local governing body at least five days prior to the first hearing.

The governing body shall allow any person entitled to notice to waive such right in writing.

Nothing herein shall be construed so as to affect the validity of any ordinance or amendment adopted prior to July 1, 1992.

1992, c. 517, § 15.1-431.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2207. Public notice of juvenile residential care facilities in certain localities.

In any locality without an applicable zoning ordinance, the local governing body may provide by ordinance that any party desiring to establish a public or private detention home, group home or other residential care facility for children in need of services or for delinquent or alleged delinquent youth must first provide public notice and participate in a public hearing in accordance with § 15.2-2204.

1994, c. 372, § 15.1-503.4; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2208. Restraining violations of chapter.

A. Any violation or attempted violation of this chapter, or of any regulation adopted hereunder may be restrained, corrected, or abated as the case may be by injunction or other appropriate proceeding.

B. At any time after the filing of an injunction or other appropriate proceeding to restrain, correct, or abate a zoning ordinance violation and where the owner of the real property is a party to such proceeding, the zoning administrator or governing body may record a memorandum of lis pendens pursuant to § 8.01-268. Any memorandum of lis pendens admitted to record in an action to enforce a zoning ordinance shall expire after 180 days. If the local government has initiated an enforcement proceeding against the owner of the real property and such owner subsequently transfers the ownership of the real property to an entity in which the owner holds an ownership interest greater than 50 percent, the pending enforcement proceeding shall continue to be enforced against the owner.

Code 1950, §§ 15-840, 15-851, 15-969; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-499; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 583.

§ 15.2-2208.1. Damages for unconstitutional grant or denial by locality of certain permits and approvals.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, any applicant aggrieved by the grant or denial by a locality of any approval or permit, however described or delineated, including a special exception, special use permit, conditional use permit, rezoning, site plan, plan of development, and subdivision plan, where such grant included, or denial was based upon, an unconstitutional condition pursuant to the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Virginia, shall be entitled to an award of compensatory damages and to an order remanding the matter to the locality with a direction to grant or issue such permits or approvals without the unconstitutional condition and may be entitled to reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

B. In any proceeding, once an unconstitutional condition has been proven by the aggrieved applicant to have been a factor in the grant or denial of the approval or permit, the court shall presume, absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, that such applicant's acceptance of or refusal to accept the unconstitutional condition was the controlling basis for such impermissible grant or denial provided only that the applicant objected to the condition in writing prior to such grant or denial.

C. Any action brought pursuant to this section shall be filed with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land affected or the greater part thereof, and the court shall hear and determine the case as soon as practical, provided that such action is filed within the time limit set forth in subsection C or D of § 15.2-2259, subsection D or E of § 15.2-2260, or subsection F of § 15.2-2285, as may be applicable.

2014, cc. 671, 717.

§ 15.2-2209. Civil penalties for violations of zoning ordinance.

Notwithstanding subdivision A 5 of § 15.2-2286, any locality may adopt an ordinance which establishes a uniform schedule of civil penalties for violations of specified provisions of the zoning ordinance. The schedule of offenses shall not include any zoning violation resulting in injury to any persons, and the existence of a civil penalty shall not preclude action by the zoning administrator under subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 or action by the governing body under § 15.2-2208.

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 $200 for the initial summons and not more than $500 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 which exceed a total of $5,000. Designation of a particular zoning ordinance violation for a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions, and except for any violation resulting in injury to persons, such designation shall preclude the prosecution of a violation as a criminal misdemeanor, provided, however, that when such civil penalties total $5,000 or more, the violation may be prosecuted as a criminal misdemeanor.

The zoning administrator or his deputy may issue a civil summons 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. Such persons shall be informed of their right to stand trial and that a signature to an admission of liability will have the same force and effect as a judgment of court.

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 authorized by this section, it shall be the burden of the locality to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. If the violation remains uncorrected at the time of the admission of liability or finding of liability, the court may order the violator to abate or remedy the violation in order to comply with the zoning ordinance. Except as otherwise provided by the court for good cause shown, any such violator shall abate or remedy the violation within a period of time as determined by the court, but not later than six months of the date of admission of liability or finding of liability. Each day during which the violation continues after the court-ordered abatement period has ended shall constitute a separate offense. An admission of liability or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose.

No provision herein shall be construed to allow the imposition of civil penalties (i) for activities related to land development or (ii) for violation of any provision of a local zoning ordinance relating to the posting of signs on public property or public rights-of-way.

1985, c. 417, § 15.1-499.1; 1986, c. 97; 1987, cc. 78, 99; 1988, cc. 513, 813, 869, 895; 1989, c. 566; 1990, cc. 473, 495; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 823; 1994, c. 342; 1995, c. 494; 1996, c. 421; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 192; 2006, c. 248; 2008, c. 727.

§ 15.2-2209.1. Extension of approvals to address housing crisis.

A. Notwithstanding the time limits for validity set out in § 15.2-2260 or 15.2-2261, or the provisions of subsection F of § 15.2-2260, any subdivision plat valid under § 15.2-2260 and outstanding as of January 1, 2017, and any recorded plat or final site plan valid under § 15.2-2261 and outstanding as of January 1, 2017, shall remain valid until July 1, 2020, or such later date provided for by the terms of the locality's approval, local ordinance, resolution or regulation, or for a longer period as agreed to by the locality. Any other plan or permit associated with such plat or site plan extended by this subsection shall likewise be extended for the same time period.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, for any valid special exception, special use permit, or conditional use permit outstanding as of January 1, 2017, and related to new residential or commercial development, any deadline in the exception permit, or in the local zoning ordinance that requires the landowner or developer to commence the project or to incur significant expenses related to improvements for the project within a certain time, shall be extended until July 1, 2020, or longer as agreed to by the locality. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any requirement that a use authorized pursuant to a special exception, special use permit, conditional use permit, or other agreement or zoning action be terminated or ended by a certain date or within a set number of years.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, for any rezoning action approved pursuant to § 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298, or 15.2-2303, valid and outstanding as of January 1, 2017, and related to new residential or commercial development, any proffered condition that requires the landowner or developer to incur significant expenses upon an event related to a stage or level of development shall be extended until July 1, 2020, or longer as agreed to by the locality. However, the extensions in this subsection shall not apply (i) to land or right-of-way dedications pursuant to § 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298, or 15.2-2303, (ii) when completion of the event related to the stage or level of development has occurred, or (iii) to events required to occur on a specified date certain or within a specified time period. Any proffered condition included in a special exception, special use permit, or conditional use permit shall only be extended if it satisfies the provisions of this subsection.

D. The extension of validity provided in subsection A and the extension of certain deadlines as provided in subsection B shall not be effective unless any unreleased performance bonds and agreements or other financial guarantees of completion of public improvements in or associated with the proposed development are continued in force; however, if the locality has enacted a bonding moratorium or deferral option, the performance bonds and agreements or other financial guarantees of completion may be waived or modified by the locality, in which case the extension of validity provided in subsection A and the extension of certain deadlines provided in subsection B shall apply. The landowner or developer must comply with the terms of any bonding moratorium or deferral agreement with the locality in order for the extensions referred to in this subsection to be effective.

2009, c. 196; 2011, c. 272; 2012, c. 508; 2017, c. 660.

§ 15.2-2209.2. Public infrastructure maintenance bonds.

In order to protect existing public infrastructure, the City of Charlottesville may by ordinance require public infrastructure maintenance bonds from developers and property owners in conjunction with the construction of single-family and two-family homes in instances where the provisions of a subdivision ordinance are not applicable and all required performance and maintenance bonds have been released. Such maintenance bonds shall not exceed an amount reasonably necessary to maintain and repair publicly owned streets, sidewalks, and infrastructure depicted or provided for in the approved plan, plat, permit application, or similar document for which such bond is applicable, on site or immediately adjacent to the construction, and shall not be used for the purpose of repairing damage to infrastructure that preexisted the construction, unless otherwise agreed upon by the developer, property owner, and the locality. The maximum bond shall not exceed $5,000 and shall only be required at the time of issuance of a certificate of occupancy. The ordinance shall make provision for the inspection of bonded improvements within five business days of completion and the release of any performance guarantee within five business days of such inspection.

2011, cc. 692, 711.

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.

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