Code of Virginia

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

Article 6. Land Subdivision and Development.

§ 15.2-2240. Localities to adopt ordinances regulating subdivision and development of land.

The governing body of every locality shall adopt an ordinance to assure the orderly subdivision of land and its development.

Code 1950, §§ 15-781, 15-967; 1950, p. 183; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-465; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2241. Mandatory provisions of a subdivision ordinance.

A. A subdivision ordinance shall include reasonable regulations and provisions that apply to or provide:

1. For plat details which shall meet the standard for plats as adopted under § 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.);

2. For the coordination of streets within and contiguous to the subdivision with other existing or planned streets within the general area as to location, widths, grades and drainage, including, for ordinances and amendments thereto adopted on or after January 1, 1990, for the coordination of such streets with existing or planned streets in existing or future adjacent or contiguous to adjacent subdivisions;

3. For adequate provisions for drainage and flood control, for adequate provisions related to the failure of impounding structures and impacts within dam break inundation zones, and other public purposes, and for light and air, and for identifying soil characteristics;

4. For the extent to which and the manner in which streets shall be graded, graveled or otherwise improved and water and storm and sanitary sewer and other public utilities or other community facilities are to be installed;

5. For the acceptance of dedication for public use of any right-of-way located within any subdivision or section thereof, which has constructed or proposed to be constructed within the subdivision or section thereof, any street, curb, gutter, sidewalk, bicycle trail, drainage or sewerage system, waterline as part of a public system or other improvement dedicated for public use, and maintained by the locality, the Commonwealth, or other public agency, and for the provision of other site-related improvements required by local ordinances for vehicular ingress and egress, including traffic signalization and control, for public access streets, for structures necessary to ensure stability of critical slopes, and for storm water management facilities, financed or to be financed in whole or in part by private funds only if the owner or developer (i) certifies to the governing body that the construction costs have been paid to the person constructing such facilities or, at the option of the local governing body, presents evidence satisfactory to the governing body that the time for recordation of any mechanics lien has expired or evidence that any debt for said construction that may be due and owing is contested and further provides indemnity with adequate surety in an amount deemed sufficient by the governing body or its designated administrative agency; (ii) furnishes to the governing body a certified check or cash escrow in the amount of the estimated costs of construction or a personal, corporate or property bond, with surety satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency, in an amount sufficient for and conditioned upon the construction of such facilities, or a contract for the construction of such facilities and the contractor's bond, with like surety, in like amount and so conditioned; or (iii) furnishes to the governing body a bank or savings institution's letter of credit on certain designated funds satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency as to the bank or savings institution, the amount and the form. The amount of such certified check, cash escrow, bond, or letter of credit shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost of construction based on unit prices for new public or private sector construction in the locality and a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs, inflation, and potential damage to existing roads or utilities, which shall not exceed 10 percent of the estimated construction costs. If the owner or developer defaults on construction of such facilities, and such facilities are constructed by the surety or with funding from the aforesaid check, cash escrow, bond or letter of credit, the locality shall be entitled to retain or collect the allowance for administrative costs to the extent the costs of such construction do not exceed the total of the originally estimated costs of construction and the allowance for administrative costs. "Such facilities," as used in this section, means those facilities specifically provided for in this section.

If a developer records a final plat which may be a section of a subdivision as shown on an approved preliminary subdivision plat and furnishes to the governing body a certified check, cash escrow, bond, or letter of credit in the amount of the estimated cost of construction of the facilities to be dedicated within said section for public use and maintained by the locality, the Commonwealth, or other public agency, the developer shall have the right to record the remaining sections shown on the preliminary subdivision plat for a period of five years from the recordation date of any section, or for such longer period as the local commission or other agent may, at the approval, determine to be reasonable, taking into consideration the size and phasing of the proposed development, subject to the terms and conditions of this subsection and subject to engineering and construction standards and zoning requirements in effect at the time that each remaining section is recorded. In the event a governing body of a county, wherein the highway system is maintained by the Department of Transportation, has accepted the dedication of a road for public use and such road due to factors other than its quality of construction is not acceptable into the secondary system of state highways, then such governing body may, if so provided by its subdivision ordinance, require the subdivider or developer to furnish the county with a maintenance and indemnifying bond, with surety satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency, in an amount sufficient for and conditioned upon the maintenance of such road until such time as it is accepted into the secondary system of state highways. In lieu of such bond, the governing body or its designated administrative agency may accept a bank or savings institution's letter of credit on certain designated funds satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency as to the bank or savings institution, the amount and the form, or accept payment of a negotiated sum of money sufficient for and conditioned upon the maintenance of such road until such time as it is accepted into the secondary system of state highways and assume the subdivider's or developer's liability for maintenance of such road. "Maintenance of such road" as used in this section, means maintenance of the streets, curb, gutter, drainage facilities, utilities or other street improvements, including the correction of defects or damages and the removal of snow, water or debris, so as to keep such road reasonably open for public usage.

As used in this section, "designated administrative agency" means the planning commission of the locality or an agent designated by the governing body of the locality for such purpose as set forth in §§ 15.2-2258 through 15.2-2261;

6. For conveyance of common or shared easements to franchised cable television operators furnishing cable television and public service corporations furnishing cable television, gas, telephone and electric service to the proposed subdivision. Once a developer conveys an easement that will permit electric, cable or telephone service to be furnished to a subdivision, the developer shall, within 30 days after written request by a cable television operator or telephone service provider, grant an easement to that cable television operator or telephone service provider for the purpose of providing cable television and communications services to that subdivision, which easement shall be geographically coextensive with the electric service easement, or if only a telephone or cable service easement has been granted, then geographically coextensive with that telephone or cable service easement; however, the developer and franchised cable television operator or telephone service provider may mutually agree on an alternate location for an easement. If the final subdivision plat is recorded and does not include conveyance of a common or shared easement as provided herein, the local planning commission or agent designated by the governing body to review and act on submitted subdivision plats shall not be responsible to enforce the requirements of this subdivision;

7. For monuments of specific types to be installed establishing street and property lines;

8. That unless a plat is filed for recordation within six months after final approval thereof or such longer period as may be approved by the governing body, such approval shall be withdrawn and the plat marked void and returned to the approving official; however, in any case where construction of facilities to be dedicated for public use has commenced pursuant to an approved plan or permit with surety approved by the governing body or its designated administrative agency, or where the developer has furnished surety to the governing body or its designated administrative agency by certified check, cash escrow, bond, or letter of credit in the amount of the estimated cost of construction of such facilities, the time for plat recordation shall be extended to one year after final approval or to the time limit specified in the surety agreement approved by the governing body or its designated administrative agency, whichever is greater;

9. For the administration and enforcement of such ordinance, not inconsistent with provisions contained in this chapter, and specifically for the imposition of reasonable fees and charges for the review of plats and plans, and for the inspection of facilities required by any such ordinance to be installed; such fees and charges shall in no instance exceed an amount commensurate with the services rendered taking into consideration the time, skill and administrator's expense involved. All such charges heretofore made are hereby validated;

10. For reasonable provisions permitting a single division of a lot or parcel for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family of the property owner in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2244; and

11. For the periodic partial and final complete release of any bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee required by the governing body under this section in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2245.

B. No locality shall require that any certified check, cash escrow, bond, letter of credit or other performance guarantee furnished pursuant to this chapter apply to, or include the cost of, any facility or improvement unless such facility or improvement is shown or described on the approved plat or plan of the project for which such guarantee is being furnished. Furthermore, the terms, conditions, and specifications contained in any agreement, contract, performance agreement, or similar document, however described or delineated, between a locality or its governing body and an owner or developer of property entered into pursuant to this chapter in conjunction with any performance guarantee, as described in this subsection, shall be limited to those items depicted or provided for in the approved plan, plat, permit application, or similar document for which such performance guarantee is applicable.

Code 1950, §§ 15-781, 15-967.1; 1950, p. 183; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-466; 1970, c. 436; 1973, cc. 169, 480; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 270; 1978, cc. 429, 439, 440; 1979, cc. 183, 188, 395; 1980, cc. 379, 381; 1981, c. 348; 1983, cc. 167, 609; 1984, c. 111; 1985, cc. 422, 455; 1986, c. 54; 1987, c. 717; 1988, cc. 279, 735; 1989, cc. 332, 393, 403, 495; 1990, cc. 170, 176, 287, 708, 973; 1991, cc. 30, 47, 288, 538; 1992, c. 380; 1993, cc. 836, 846, 864; 1994, c. 421; 1995, cc. 386, 388, 389, 452, 457, 474; 1996, cc. 77, 325, 452, 456; 1997, cc. 587, 737; 2002, c. 517; 2004, c. 952; 2006, c. 670; 2008, cc. 491, 718; 2009, cc. 193, 194; 2010, cc. 149, 766; 2011, c. 512; 2012, c. 468.

§ 15.2-2241.1. Bonding requirements for the acceptance of dedication for public use of certain facilities.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-2241, provided the developer and the governing body have agreed on the delineation of sections within a proposed development, the developer shall not be required to furnish to the governing body a certified check, cash escrow, bond or letter of credit in the amount of the estimated cost of construction of facilities to be dedicated for public use within each section of the development until such time as construction plans are submitted for the section in which such facilities are to be located.

2007, c. 420.

§ 15.2-2241.2. Bonding provisions for decommissioning of solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Decommission" means the removal and proper disposal of solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices on real property that has been determined by the locality to be subject to § 15.2-2232 and therefore subject to this section. "Decommission" includes the reasonable restoration of the real property upon which such solar equipment, facilities, or devices are located, including (i) soil stabilization and (ii) revegetation of the ground cover of the real property disturbed by the installation of such equipment, facilities, or devices.

"Solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices" means any personal property designed and used primarily for the purpose of collecting, generating, or transferring electric energy from sunlight.

B. As part of the local legislative approval process or as a condition of approval of a site plan, a locality shall require an owner, lessee, or developer of real property subject to this section to enter into a written agreement to decommission solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices upon the following terms and conditions: (i) if the party that enters into such written agreement with the locality defaults in the obligation to decommission such equipment, facilities, or devices in the timeframe set out in such agreement, the locality has the right to enter the real property of the record title owner of such property without further consent of such owner and to engage in decommissioning, and (ii) such owner, lessee, or developer provides financial assurance of such performance to the locality in the form of certified funds, cash escrow, bond, letter of credit, or parent guarantee, based upon an estimate of a professional engineer licensed in the Commonwealth, who is engaged by the applicant, with experience in preparing decommissioning estimates and approved by the locality; such estimate shall not exceed the total of the projected cost of decommissioning, which may include the net salvage value of such equipment, facilities, or devices, plus a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs related to a default of the owner, lessee, or developer, and an annual inflation factor.

2019, cc. 743, 744.

§ 15.2-2242. Optional provisions of a subdivision ordinance.

A subdivision ordinance may include:

1. Provisions for variations in or exceptions to the general regulations of the subdivision ordinance in cases of unusual situations or when strict adherence to the general regulations would result in substantial injustice or hardship.

2. A requirement (i) for the furnishing of a preliminary opinion from the applicable health official regarding the suitability of a subdivision for installation of subsurface sewage disposal systems where such method of sewage disposal is to be utilized in the development of a subdivision and (ii) that all buildings constructed on lots resulting from subdivision of a larger tract that abuts or adjoins a public water or sewer system or main shall be connected to that public water or sewer system or main subject to the provisions of § 15.2-2121.

3. A requirement that, in the event streets in a subdivision will not be constructed to meet the standards necessary for inclusion in the secondary system of state highways or for state street maintenance moneys paid to municipalities, the subdivision plat and all approved deeds of subdivision, or similar instruments, must contain a statement advising that the streets in the subdivision do not meet state standards and will not be maintained by the Department of Transportation or the localities enacting the ordinances. Grantors of any subdivision lots to which such statement applies must include the statement on each deed of conveyance thereof. However, localities in their ordinances may establish minimum standards for construction of streets that will not be built to state standards.

For streets constructed or to be constructed, as provided for in this subsection, a subdivision ordinance may require that the same procedure be followed as that set forth in provision 5 of § 15.2-2241. Further, the subdivision ordinance may provide that the developer's financial commitment shall continue until such time as the local government releases such financial commitment in accordance with provision 11 of § 15.2-2241.

4. Reasonable provision for the voluntary funding of off-site road improvements and reimbursements of advances by the governing body. If a subdivider or developer makes an advance of payments for or construction of reasonable and necessary road improvements located outside the property limits of the land owned or controlled by him, the need for which is substantially generated and reasonably required by the construction or improvement of his subdivision or development, and such advance is accepted, the governing body may agree to reimburse the subdivider or developer from such funds as the governing body may make available for such purpose from time to time for the cost of such advance together with interest, which shall be excludable from gross income for federal income tax purposes, at a rate equal to the rate of interest on bonds most recently issued by the governing body on the following terms and conditions:

a. The governing body shall determine or confirm that the road improvements were substantially generated and reasonably required by the construction or improvement of the subdivision or development and shall determine or confirm the cost thereof, on the basis of a study or studies conducted by qualified traffic engineers and approved and accepted by the subdivider or developer.

b. The governing body shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, a report accepted and approved by the subdivider or developer, indicating the governmental services required to be furnished to the subdivision or development and an estimate of the annual cost thereof for the period during which the reimbursement is to be made to the subdivider or developer.

c. The governing body may make annual reimbursements to the subdivider or developer from funds made available for such purpose from time to time, including but not limited to real estate taxes assessed and collected against the land and improvements on the property included in the subdivision or development in amounts equal to the amount by which such real estate taxes exceed the annual cost of providing reasonable and necessary governmental services to such subdivision or development.

5. In Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County, in any town located within such counties, in Bedford County, Pittsylvania County, Spotsylvania County, and Stafford County, or in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Hampton, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Portsmouth, provisions for payment by a subdivider or developer of land of a pro rata share of the cost of reasonable and necessary road improvements, located outside the property limits of the land owned or controlled by him but serving an area having related traffic needs to which his subdivision or development will contribute, to reimburse an initial subdivider or developer who has advanced such costs or constructed such road improvements. Such ordinance may apply to road improvements constructed after July 1, 1988, in Fairfax County; in Arlington County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County, in any town located within such counties, in Bedford County, Pittsylvania County, Spotsylvania County, and Stafford County, or in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Hampton, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Portsmouth, such ordinance may only apply to road improvements constructed after the effective date of such ordinance.

Such provisions shall provide for the adoption of a pro rata reimbursement plan which shall include reasonable standards to identify the area having related traffic needs, to determine the total estimated or actual cost of road improvements required to adequately serve the area when fully developed in accordance with the comprehensive plan or as required by proffered conditions, and to determine the proportionate share of such costs to be reimbursed by each subsequent subdivider or developer within the area, with interest (i) at the legal rate or (ii) at an inflation rate prescribed by a generally accepted index of road construction costs, whichever is less.

For any subdivision ordinance adopted pursuant to provision 5 of this section after February 1, 1993, no such payment shall be assessed or imposed upon a subsequent developer or subdivider if (i) prior to the adoption of a pro rata reimbursement plan the subsequent subdivider or developer has proffered conditions pursuant to § 15.2-2303 for offsite road improvements and such proffered conditions have been accepted by the locality, (ii) the locality has assessed or imposed an impact fee on the subsequent development or subdivision pursuant to Article 8 (§ 15.2-2317 et seq.) of Chapter 22, or (iii) the subsequent subdivider or developer has received final site plan, subdivision plan, or plan of development approval from the locality prior to the adoption of a pro rata reimbursement plan for the area having related traffic needs.

The amount of the costs to be reimbursed by a subsequent developer or subdivider shall be determined before or at the time the site plan or subdivision is approved. The ordinance shall specify that such costs are to be collected at the time of the issuance of a temporary or final certificate of occupancy or functional use and occupancy within the development, whichever shall come first. The ordinance also may provide that the required reimbursement may be paid (i) in lump sum, (ii) by agreement of the parties on installment at a reasonable rate of interest or rate of inflation, whichever is less, for a fixed number of years, or (iii) on such terms as otherwise agreed to by the initial and subsequent subdividers and developers.

Such ordinance provisions may provide that no certificate of occupancy shall be issued to a subsequent developer or subdivider until (i) the initial developer certifies to the locality that the subsequent developer has made the required reimbursement directly to him as provided above or (ii) the subsequent developer has deposited the reimbursement amount with the locality for transfer forthwith to the initial developer.

6. Provisions for establishing and maintaining access to solar energy to encourage the use of solar heating and cooling devices in new subdivisions. The provisions shall be applicable to a new subdivision only when so requested by the subdivider.

7. Provisions, in any town with a population between 14,500 and 15,000, granting authority to the governing body, in its discretion, to use funds escrowed pursuant to provision 5 of § 15.2-2241 for improvements similar to but other than those for which the funds were escrowed, if the governing body (i) obtains the written consent of the owner or developer who submitted the escrowed funds; (ii) finds that the facilities for which funds are escrowed are not immediately required; (iii) releases the owner or developer from liability for the construction or for the future cost of constructing those improvements for which the funds were escrowed; and (iv) accepts liability for future construction of these improvements. If such town fails to locate such owner or developer after making a reasonable attempt to do so, the town may proceed as if such consent had been granted. In addition, the escrowed funds to be used for such other improvement may only come from an escrow that does not exceed a principal amount of $30,000 plus any accrued interest and shall have been escrowed for at least five years.

8. Provisions for clustering of single-family dwellings and preservation of open space developments, which provisions shall comply with the requirements and procedures set forth in § 15.2-2286.1.

9. Provisions requiring that where a lot being subdivided or developed fronts on an existing street, and adjacent property on either side has an existing sidewalk or when the provision of a sidewalk, the need for which is substantially generated and reasonably required by the proposed development, is in accordance with the locality's adopted comprehensive plan, a locality may require the dedication of land for, and construction of, a sidewalk on the property being subdivided or developed. Nothing in this paragraph shall alter in any way any authority of localities or the Department of Transportation to require sidewalks on any newly constructed street or highway.

10. Provisions for requiring and considering Phase I environmental site assessments based on the anticipated use of the property proposed for the subdivision or development that meet generally accepted national standards for such assessments, such as those developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials, and Phase II environmental site assessments, that also meet accepted national standards, such as, but not limited to, those developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials, if the locality deems such to be reasonably necessary, based on findings in the Phase I assessment, and in accordance with regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the American Society for Testing and Materials. A reasonable fee may be charged for the review of such environmental assessments. Such fees shall not exceed an amount commensurate with the services rendered, taking into consideration the time, skill, and administrative expense involved in such review.

11. Provisions for requiring disclosure and remediation of contamination and other adverse environmental conditions of the property prior to approval of subdivision and development plans.

12. Provisions, in any town located in the Northern Virginia Transportation District, granting authority to the governing body to require the dedication of land for sidewalk, curb, and gutter improvements on the property being subdivided or developed if the property is designated for such improvements on the locality's adopted pedestrian plan.

Code 1950, §§ 15-781, 15-967.1; 1950, p. 183; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-466; 1970, c. 436; 1973, cc. 169, 480; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 270; 1978, cc. 429, 439, 440; 1979, cc. 183, 188, 395; 1980, cc. 379, 381; 1981, c. 348; 1983, cc. 167, 609; 1984, c. 111; 1985, cc. 422, 455; 1986, c. 54; 1987, c. 717; 1988, cc. 279, 735; 1989, cc. 332, 393, 403, 495; 1990, cc. 170, 176, 287, 708, 973; 1991, cc. 30, 47, 288, 538; 1992, c. 380; 1993, cc. 836, 846, 864; 1994, c. 421; 1995, cc. 386, 388, 389, 452, 457, 474; 1996, cc. 77, 325, 452, 456; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 652, 711; 2002, c. 703; 2005, c. 567; 2006, cc. 421, 514, 533, 903; 2007, c. 813; 2014, c. 619; 2018, c. 550; 2019, cc. 461, 462.

§ 15.2-2243. Payment by subdivider of the pro rata share of the cost of certain facilities.

A. A locality may provide in its subdivision ordinance for payment by a subdivider or developer of land of the pro rata share of the cost of providing reasonable and necessary sewerage, water, and drainage facilities, located outside the property limits of the land owned or controlled by the subdivider or developer but necessitated or required, at least in part, by the construction or improvement of the subdivision or development; however, no such payment shall be required until such time as the governing body or a designated department or agency thereof has established a general sewer, water, and drainage improvement program for an area having related and common sewer, water, and drainage conditions and within which the land owned or controlled by the subdivider or developer is located or the governing body has committed itself by ordinance to the establishment of such a program. Such regulations or ordinance shall set forth and establish reasonable standards to determine the proportionate share of total estimated cost of ultimate sewerage, water, and drainage facilities required to adequately serve a related and common area, when and if fully developed in accord with the adopted comprehensive plan, that shall be borne by each subdivider or developer within the area. Such share shall be limited to the amount necessary to protect water quality based upon the pollutant loading caused by the subdivision or development or to the proportion of such total estimated cost which the increased sewage flow, water flow, and/or increased volume and velocity of storm water runoff to be actually caused by the subdivision or development bears to total estimated volume and velocity of such sewage, water, and/or runoff from such area in its fully developed state. In calculating the pollutant loading caused by the subdivision or development or the volume and velocity of storm water runoff, the governing body shall take into account the effect of all on-site storm water facilities or best management practices constructed or required to be constructed by the subdivider or developer and give appropriate credit therefor.

B. A locality that has adopted an ordinance pursuant to subsection A may also provide in its subdivision ordinance that, when adequate water, sewerage, or drainage facilities are not available to serve a proposed subdivision or development, the subdivider or developer of the property may be permitted to install reasonable and necessary water, sewerage, and drainage facilities, located on or outside the property limits of the land owned or controlled by the subdivider or developer but necessitated or required, at least in part, by the utility needs of the development or subdivision, including reasonably anticipated capacity, extensions, or maintenance considerations of a utility service plan for the service area. The ordinance may provide that such subdivider or developer may be entitled to reimbursement of a portion of its costs by any subsequent subdivider or developer that utilizes the installed water, sewerage or drainage facilities or from connection fees paid for lots within its development, and the ordinance may limit the duration of the reimbursements. The locality is authorized to administer by ordinance and by adopted reasonable policies and procedures standards for installation of such water, sewerage, and drainage facilities and parameters for pro rata reimbursement or connection or capacity fee reimbursement. The provisions of this subsection shall not be deemed to limit the authority of (i) localities that have not adopted an ordinance pursuant to subsection A or (ii) authorities established pursuant to the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) to establish policies for reimbursement or credits from connection fees or to other utility fund sources to subdividers and developers constructing water, sewerage, or drainage facilities.

C. Each payment pursuant to subsection A received shall be expended only for necessary engineering and related studies and the construction of those facilities identified in the established sewer, water, and drainage program; however, in lieu of such payment the governing body may provide for the posting of a personal, corporate or property bond, cash escrow, or other method of performance guarantee satisfactory to it conditioned on payment at commencement of such studies or construction. The payments received shall be kept in a separate account for each of the individual improvement programs until such time as they are expended for the improvement program. All bonds, payments, cash escrows, or other performance guarantees hereunder shall be released and used, with any interest earned, as a tax credit on the real estate taxes on the property if construction of the facilities identified in the established water, sewer, and drainage programs is not commenced within 12 years from the date of the posting of the bond, payment, cash escrow, or other performance guarantee.

D. Any funds collected for pro rata programs under this section prior to July 1, 1990, shall continue to be held in separate, interest bearing accounts for the project or projects for which the funds were collected and any interest from such accounts shall continue to accrue to the benefit of the subdivider or developer until such time as the project or projects are completed or until such time as a general sewer and drainage improvement program is established to replace a prior sewer and drainage improvement program. If such a general improvement program is established, the governing body of any locality may abolish any remaining separate accounts and require the transfer of the assets therein into a separate fund for the support of each of the established sewer, water, and drainage programs. Upon the transfer of such assets, subdividers and developers who had met the terms of any existing agreements made under a previous pro rata program shall receive any outstanding interest which has accrued up to the date of transfer, and such subdividers and developers shall be released from any further obligation under those existing agreements. All bonds, payments, cash escrows, or other performance guarantees hereunder shall be released and used, with any interest earned, as a tax credit on the real estate taxes on the property if construction of the facilities identified in the established water, sewer, and drainage programs is not commenced within 12 years from the date of the posting of the bond, payment, cash escrow, or other performance guarantee.

Code 1950, §§ 15-781, 15-967.1; 1950, p. 183; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-466; 1970, c. 436; 1973, cc. 169, 480; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 270; 1978, cc. 429, 439, 440; 1979, cc. 183, 188, 395; 1980, cc. 379, 381; 1981, c. 348; 1983, cc. 167, 609; 1984, c. 111; 1985, cc. 422, 455; 1986, c. 54; 1987, c. 717; 1988, cc. 279, 735; 1989, cc. 332, 393, 403, 495; 1990, cc. 170, 176, 287, 708, 973; 1991, cc. 30, 47, 288, 538; 1992, c. 380; 1993, cc. 836, 846, 864; 1994, c. 421; 1995, cc. 386, 388, 389, 452, 457, 474; 1996, cc. 77, 325, 452, 456; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 704; 2020, c. 820.

§ 15.2-2243.1. Payment by developer or subdivider.

A. If the Department of Conservation and Recreation determines that a plan of development proposed by a developer or subdivider is wholly or partially within a dam break inundation zone and would change the spillway design flood standards of an impounding structure pursuant to § 10.1-606.3, a locality shall require, prior to its final approval of a subdivision or development, that a developer or subdivider of land submit an engineering study in conformance with the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board's standards under the Virginia Dam Safety Act (§ 10.1-604 et seq.) and the Virginia Impounding Structure Regulations (4VAC50-20). The study shall provide a contract-ready cost estimate for conducting the upgrades. The Department of Conservation and Recreation shall verify that the study conforms to the Board's standards. Following receipt of a study, the Department shall have 15 days to determine whether the study is complete. The Department shall notify the developer or subdivider of any specific deficiencies that cause the study to be determined to be incomplete. Following a determination that a submission is complete, the Department shall notify the developer or subdivider of its approval or denial within 45 days. Any decision shall be communicated in writing and shall state the reasons for any disapproval.

B. Following the completion of the engineering studies in accordance with subsection A, and prior to any development within the dam break inundation zone, a locality shall require that a developer or subdivider of land pay 50 percent of the contract-ready costs for necessary upgrades to an impounding structure attributable to the development or subdivision, together with administrative fees not to exceed one percent of the total amount of payment required or $1,000, whichever is less. Necessary upgrades shall not include costs associated with routine operation, maintenance, and repair, nor shall necessary upgrades include repairs or upgrades to the impounding structure not made necessary by the proposed development or subdivision.

C. Where a payment under subsection B is required, such payment shall be made by the developer or subdivider in accordance with the following provisions:

1. A locality may elect to receive such payment. Upon receipt, payments shall be kept in a separate account by the locality for each individual improvement project until such time as they are expended for the improvement project; however, any funds not committed by the dam owner within six years of the time of deposit shall be refunded to the developer or subdivider. The locality may issue an extension of up to an additional four years for the use of the funds if the dam owner shows that sufficient progress is being made to justify the extension and the extension is approved by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board prior to the expiration of the six-year period. Should the locality be unable to locate the developer or subdivider following a period of 12 months and the exercise of due diligence, the funds shall be deposited in the Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund for the provision of grants and loans. Any locality maintaining an account in accordance with this section may charge an administrative fee, not to exceed one percent of the total amount of payment received or $1,000, whichever is less.

2. If the locality elects not to receive such payment, any payments shall be made to the Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund pursuant to § 10.1-603.19:1. The funds shall be held by the Virginia Resources Authority for each improvement project until such time as they are expended for the improvement project; however, any funds not committed by the dam owner within six years of the time of deposit shall be refunded to the developer or subdivider. The Board may issue an extension of up to an additional four years for the use of the funds if the dam owner shows that sufficient progress is being made. Should the Department of Conservation and Recreation be unable to locate the developer or subdivider following a period of 12 months and the exercise of due diligence, the funds shall be deposited in the Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund for the provision of grants and loans. The Virginia Resources Authority shall not have any liability for the completion of any project associated with the moneys they manage in the Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund.

D. No locality shall be required to assume financial responsibility for upgrades except as an owner of an impounding structure.

E. The owner of the impounding structure shall retain all liability associated with upgrades in accordance with § 10.1-613.4.

2008, c. 491.

§ 15.2-2244. Provisions for subdivision of a lot for conveyance to a family member.

A. In any county a subdivision ordinance shall provide for reasonable provisions permitting a single division of a lot or parcel for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family of the property owner, including the family member's spouse, subject only to any express requirement contained in the Code of Virginia and to any requirement imposed by the local governing body that all lots of less than five acres have reasonable right-of-way of not less than 10 feet or more than 20 feet providing ingress and egress to a dedicated recorded public street or thoroughfare. Only one such division shall be allowed per family member, and shall not be for the purpose of circumventing this section. For the purpose of this subsection, a member of the immediate family is defined as any person who is a natural or legally defined offspring, stepchild, spouse, sibling, grandchild, grandparent, or parent of the owner. In addition, any such locality may include aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews in its definition of immediate family.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, in a county having the urban county executive form of government, a subdivision ordinance shall provide for reasonable provisions permitting a single division of a lot or parcel for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family of the property owner, subject only to any express requirement contained in the Code of Virginia and to any requirement imposed by the local governing body that all lots of less than five acres have frontage of not less than 10 feet or more than 20 feet on a dedicated recorded public street or thoroughfare. Only one such division shall be allowed per family member, and the division shall not be for the purpose of circumventing a local subdivision ordinance. For the purpose of this subsection, a member of the immediate family is defined as any person who is a natural or legally defined offspring or parent of the owner.

C. Notwithstanding subsections A and B, a subdivision ordinance may include reasonable provisions permitting divisions of lots or parcels for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family of the property owner in (i) any county or city which has had population growth of 10 percent or more from the next-to-latest to latest decennial census year, based on population reported by the United States Bureau of the Census; (ii) any city or county adjoining such city or county; (iii) any towns located within such county; and (iv) any county contiguous with at least three such counties, and any town located in that county. Such divisions shall be subject to all requirements of the Code of Virginia and to any requirements imposed by the local governing body.

Code 1950, §§ 15-781, 15-967.1; 1950, p. 183; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-466; 1970, c. 436; 1973, cc. 169, 480; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 270; 1978, cc. 429, 439, 440; 1979, cc. 183, 188, 395; 1980, cc. 379, 381; 1981, c. 348; 1983, cc. 167, 609; 1984, c. 111; 1985, cc. 422, 455; 1986, c. 54; 1987, c. 717; 1988, cc. 279, 735; 1989, cc. 332, 393, 403, 495; 1990, cc. 170, 176, 287, 708, 973; 1991, cc. 30, 47, 288, 538; 1992, c. 380; 1993, cc. 836, 846, 864; 1994, c. 421; 1995, cc. 386, 388, 389, 452, 457, 474; 1996, cc. 77, 325, 452, 456; 1997, cc. 587, 718; 1998, c. 457; 2008, cc. 340, 717; 2009, cc. 283, 465; 2010, c. 216.

§ 15.2-2244.1. Additional method for subdivision of a lot for conveyance to a family member.

In addition to § 15.2-2244, a locality may include in its subdivision ordinance provisions permitting a single division of a lot or parcel for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family, as defined in § 15.2-2244, of the property owner, if (i) the property has been owned for at least 15 consecutive years by the current owner or member of the immediate family and (ii) the property owner agrees to place a restrictive covenant on the subdivided property that would prohibit the transfer of the property to a nonmember of the immediate family for a period of 15 years. Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (ii), a locality may reduce or provide exceptions to the period of years prescribed in such clause when changed circumstances so require. Upon such modification of a restrictive covenant, a locality shall execute a writing reflecting such modification, which writing shall be recorded in accordance with § 17.1-227. The locality may require that the subdivided lot is no more than one acre and otherwise meets any other express requirement contained in the Code of Virginia or imposed by the local governing body.

2006, c. 456; 2007, c. 856.

§ 15.2-2244.2. Subdivision of a lot of property held in trust for a family member.

In addition to §§ 15.2-2244 and 15.2-2244.1, a locality may include in its subdivision ordinance provisions permitting a single division of a lot or parcel for the purpose of sale or gift to a member of the immediate family, as defined in § 15.2-2244, of beneficiaries of a trust, of land held in trust. All trust beneficiaries must (i) be immediate family members as defined in § 15.2-2244, (ii) agree that the property should be subdivided, and (iii) agree to place a restrictive covenant on the subdivided property that would prohibit the transfer of the property to a nonmember of the immediate family for a period of 15 years. Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (iii), a locality may reduce or provide exceptions to the period of years prescribed in such clause when changed circumstances so require. Upon such modification of a restrictive covenant, a locality shall execute a writing reflecting such modification, which writing shall be recorded in accordance with § 17.1-227. The locality may require that the subdivided lot is no more than one acre and otherwise meets any other express requirement contained in the Code of Virginia or imposed by the local governing body.

2011, c. 141.

§ 15.2-2245. Provisions for periodic partial and final release of certain performance guarantees.

A. A subdivision ordinance shall provide for the periodic partial and final complete release of any bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee required by the governing body under this article within thirty days after receipt of written notice by the subdivider or developer of completion of part or all of any public facilities required to be constructed hereunder unless the governing body or its designated administrative agency notifies the subdivider or developer in writing of nonreceipt of approval by an applicable state agency, or of any specified defects or deficiencies in construction and suggested corrective measures prior to the expiration of the thirty-day period. Any inspection of such public facilities shall be based solely upon conformance with the terms and conditions of the performance agreement and the approved design plan and specifications for the facilities for which the performance guarantee is applicable, and shall not include the approval of any person other than an employee of the governing body, its administrative agency, the Virginia Department of Transportation or other political subdivision or a person who has contracted with the governing body, its administrative agency, the Virginia Department of Transportation or other political subdivision.

B. If no such action is taken by the governing body or administrative agency within the time specified above, the request shall be deemed approved, and a partial release granted to the subdivider or developer. No final release shall be granted until after expiration of such thirty-day period and there is an additional request in writing sent by certified mail return receipt to the chief administrative officer of such governing body. The governing body or its designated administrative agency shall act within ten working days of receipt of the request; then if no action is taken the request shall be deemed approved and final release granted to the subdivider or developer.

C. After receipt of the written notices required above, if the governing body or administrative agency takes no action within the times specified above and the subdivider or developer files suit in the local circuit court to obtain partial or final release of a bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee, as the case may be, the circuit court, upon finding the governing body or its administrative agency was without good cause in failing to act, shall award such subdivider or developer his reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.

D. No governing body or administrative agency shall refuse to make a periodic partial or final release of a bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee for any reason not directly related to the specified defects or deficiencies in construction of the public facilities covered by said bond, escrow, letter of credit or other performance guarantee.

E. Upon written request by the subdivider or developer, the governing body or its designated administrative agency shall be required to make periodic partial releases of such bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee in a cumulative amount equal to no less than ninety percent of the original amount for which the bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee was taken, and may make partial releases to such lower amounts as may be authorized by the governing body or its designated administrative agency based upon the percentage of public facilities completed and approved by the governing body, local administrative agency, or state agency having jurisdiction. Periodic partial releases may not occur before the completion of at least thirty percent of the public facilities covered by any bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee. The governing body or administrative agency shall not be required to execute more than three periodic partial releases in any twelve-month period. Upon final completion and acceptance of the public facilities, the governing body or administrative agency shall release any remaining bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee to the subdivider or developer. For the purpose of final release, the term "acceptance" means: when the public facility is accepted by and taken over for operation and maintenance by the state agency, local government department or agency, or other public authority which is responsible for maintaining and operating such public facility upon acceptance.

F. For the purposes of this section, a certificate of partial or final completion of such public facilities from either a duly licensed professional engineer or land surveyor, as defined in and limited to § 54.1-400, or from a department or agency designated by the locality may be accepted without requiring further inspection of such public facilities.

Code 1950, §§ 15-781, 15-967.1; 1950, p. 183; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-466; 1970, c. 436; 1973, cc. 169, 480; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 270; 1978, cc. 429, 439, 440; 1979, cc. 183, 188, 395; 1980, cc. 379, 381; 1981, c. 348; 1983, cc. 167, 609; 1984, c. 111; 1985, cc. 422, 455; 1986, c. 54; 1987, c. 717; 1988, cc. 279, 735; 1989, cc. 332, 393, 403, 495; 1990, cc. 170, 176, 287, 708, 973; 1991, cc. 30, 47, 288, 538; 1992, c. 380; 1993, cc. 836, 846, 864; 1994, c. 421; 1995, cc. 386, 388, 389, 452, 457, 474; 1996, cc. 77, 325, 452, 456; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 779.

§ 15.2-2245.1. Stormwater management ponds; removal of trees.

A locality shall not require, but may permit, the removal of trees to create stormwater management ponds or facilities if the minimum adequate outfall requirements and the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) can otherwise be met.

1998, c. 221.

§ 15.2-2246. Site plans submitted in accordance with zoning ordinance.

Site plans or plans of development which are required to be submitted and approved in accordance with subdivision A 8 of § 15.2-2286 shall be subject to the provisions of §§ 15.2-2241 through 15.2-2245, mutatis mutandis.

Code 1950, §§ 15-781, 15-967.1; 1950, p. 183; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-466; 1970, c. 436; 1973, cc. 169, 480; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 270; 1978, cc. 429, 439, 440; 1979, cc. 183, 188, 395; 1980, cc. 379, 381; 1981, c. 348; 1983, cc. 167, 609; 1984, c. 111; 1985, cc. 422, 455; 1986, c. 54; 1987, c. 717; 1988, cc. 279, 735; 1989, cc. 332, 393, 403, 495; 1990, cc. 170, 176, 287, 708, 973; 1991, cc. 30, 47, 288, 538; 1992, c. 380; 1993, cc. 836, 846, 864; 1994, c. 421; 1995, cc. 386, 388, 389, 452, 457, 474; 1996, cc. 77, 325, 452, 456; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2247. Applicability of subdivision ordinance to manufactured homes.

Any locality may designate by ordinance the areas within its jurisdiction in which manufactured homes may be located or manufactured home parks may be established, notwithstanding the absence of a zoning ordinance in such locality. Such ordinance may also apply to any of the provisions of §§ 15.2-2241 through 15.2-2245 in the regulation and governing of the location, establishment, and operation of manufactured homes or manufactured home parks. The ordinance may apply to any park or portion thereof licensed as a campground pursuant to Title 35.1 of this Code. In the event of irreconcilable conflict between the ordinance and state law, the state law shall supersede the ordinance.

1980, c. 539, § 15.1-466.1; 1981, c. 467; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 77.

§ 15.2-2248. Application of certain municipal subdivision regulations beyond corporate limits of municipality.

The subdivision regulations adopted by a municipality within the counties of Giles, Clarke, Culpeper, Loudoun or Mecklenburg shall apply within the corporate limits and may apply beyond, if the municipal ordinance so provides, within the distance therefrom set out below:

1. Within a distance of five miles from the corporate limits of cities having a population of one hundred thousand or more;

2. Within a distance of three miles from the corporate limits of cities having a population of less than one hundred thousand; and

3. Within a distance of two miles from the corporate limits of incorporated towns.

Where the corporate limits of two municipalities are closer together than the sum of the distances from their respective corporate limits as above set forth, the dividing line of jurisdiction shall be halfway between the limits of the overlapping boundaries.

The foregoing distances may be modified by mutual agreement between the governing bodies concerned, depending upon their respective areas of interest, provided such modified limits bear a reasonable relationship to natural geographic considerations or to the comprehensive plans for the area. Any such modification shall be set forth in the respective subdivision ordinances, by map or description or both.

No such regulations or amendments thereto shall be finally adopted by any such municipality until the governing body of the county in which such area is located shall have been duly notified in writing by the governing body of the municipality or its designated agent of such proposed regulations, and requested to review and approve or disapprove the same; and if such county fail to notify the governing body of such municipality of its disapproval of such plan within forty-five days after the giving of such notice, such plan shall be considered approved. Provided, however, that in any county which has a duly appointed planning commission, the governing body or the council shall send a copy of such proposed regulations or amendments thereof to such commission which shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the same. The county commission shall not take any such action until notice has been given and a hearing held as prescribed by § 15.2-2204. Such hearing shall be held by the county commission within sixty days after the giving of notice by the municipality or its agent. Such commission shall forthwith after such hearing make its recommendations to the governing body of the county which shall within thirty days after such hearing notify the municipality of its approval or disapproval of such regulations and no regulations effective beyond the corporate limits shall be finally adopted by the municipality until notification by the governing body of the county, except that if the county fails to notify the governing body of the municipality of its disapproval of such regulations within ninety days after copy of the regulations or amendments thereof are received by the county commission, the regulations shall be deemed to have been approved.

Code 1950, §§ 15-786, 15-967.2; 1954, c. 584; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-467; 1975, c. 641; 1977, c. 524; 1979, c. 251; 1980, c. 47; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2249. Application of county subdivision regulations in area subject to municipal jurisdiction.

The subdivision regulations adopted by the counties of Giles, Clarke, Culpeper, Loudoun or Mecklenburg shall apply in all the unincorporated territory of the county; provided, that no such regulations to be effective in the area of the county subject to municipal jurisdiction shall be finally adopted by the county until the governing body of the municipality shall have been notified in writing of such proposed regulations, and requested to review and approve or disapprove the same, and if such municipality fails to notify the governing body of the county of its disapproval of such regulations within forty-five days after the giving of such notice, the same shall be considered approved; and provided further, that if the municipality has a duly appointed planning commission, the governing body of the county or its agent shall give such notice to such commission as is required to be given the county planning commission by § 15.2-2248, and the provisions of that section shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the actions of such commission and the governing bodies of the county and city, respectively.

Code 1950, §§ 15-787, 15-967.3; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-468; 1979, c. 251; 1980, c. 47; 1982, c. 293, § 15.1-466.01; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2250. Disagreement between county and municipality as to regulations.

When a disagreement arises between the counties of Giles, Clarke, Culpeper, Loudoun or Mecklenburg and a municipality as to what regulations should be adopted for the area, and such difference cannot be amicably settled, then after ten days' prior written notice by either to the other, either or both parties may petition the circuit court for the county wherein the area or a major part thereof lies to decide what regulations are to be adopted. The court shall hear the matter and enter an appropriate order.

Code 1950, §§ 15-788, 15-967.4; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-469; 1979, c. 251; 1980, c. 47; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2251. Local planning commission shall prepare and recommend ordinance; notice and hearing on ordinance.

In every locality the local planning commission shall prepare and recommend the subdivision ordinance and transmit it to the governing body. The governing body of every locality shall approve and adopt a subdivision ordinance only after notice has been published, and a public hearing held, in accordance with § 15.2-2204.

Code 1950, §§ 15-782, 15-967.5; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-470; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2252. Filing and recording of ordinance and amendments thereto.

When a subdivision ordinance has been adopted, or amended, a certified copy of the ordinance and any and all amendments thereto shall be filed in the office of an official of the locality, designated in the ordinance, and in the clerk's office of the circuit court for each locality in which the ordinance is applicable.

Code 1950, §§ 15-783, 15-967.6; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-471; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2253. Preparation and adoption of amendments to ordinance.

A local planning commission on its own initiative may or at the request of the governing body of the locality shall prepare and recommend amendments to the subdivision ordinance. The procedure for amendments shall be the same as for the preparation and recommendation and approval and adoption of the original ordinance; provided that no amendment shall be adopted by the governing body of a locality without a reference of the proposed amendment to the commission for recommendation, nor until sixty days after such reference, if no recommendation is made by the commission.

Code 1950, § 15-967.7; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-472; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2254. Statutory provisions effective after ordinance adopted.

After the adoption of a subdivision ordinance in accordance with this chapter, the following provisions shall be effective in the territory to which the ordinance applies:

1. No person shall subdivide land without making and recording a plat of the subdivision and without fully complying with the provisions of this article and of the subdivision ordinance.

2. No plat of any subdivision shall be recorded unless and until it has been submitted to and approved by the local planning commission or by the governing body or its duly authorized agent, of the locality wherein the land to be subdivided is located; or by the commissions, governing bodies or agents, as the case may be, of each locality having a subdivision ordinance, in which any part of the land lies.

3. No person shall sell or transfer any land of a subdivision, before a plat has been duly approved and recorded as provided herein, unless the subdivision was lawfully created prior to the adoption of a subdivision ordinance applicable thereto. However, nothing herein contained shall be construed as preventing the recordation of the instrument by which such land is transferred or the passage of title as between the parties to the instrument.

4. Any person violating the foregoing provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each lot or parcel of land so subdivided, transferred or sold and shall be required to comply with all provisions of this article and the subdivision ordinance. The description of the lot or parcel by metes and bounds in the instrument of transfer or other document used in the process of selling or transferring shall not exempt the transaction from the penalties or remedies herein provided.

5. No clerk of any court shall file or record a plat of a subdivision required by this article to be recorded until the plat has been approved as required herein. The penalties provided by § 17.1-223 shall apply to any failure to comply with the provisions of this subsection.

Code 1950, §§ 15-784, 15-785, 15-794.1, 15-967.8; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-473; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 408.

§ 15.2-2255. Administration and enforcement of regulations.

The administration and enforcement of subdivision regulations insofar as they pertain to public improvements as authorized in §§ 15.2-2241 through 15.2-2245 shall be vested in the governing body of the locality in which the improvements are or will be located.

Except as provided above, the governing body shall be responsible for administering and enforcing the provisions of the subdivision regulations through its local planning commission or otherwise.

Code 1950, §§ 15-788.1, 15-967.9; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-474; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2256. Procedure to account for fees for common improvements.

Upon a verified petition signed by the owners, other than the original subdivider, of ten percent of the lots in any subdivision, the board of directors or other governing body of the subdivision charged with collection of fees and the maintenance of common improvements shall render an annual report with a statement of account of all fees collected and the disposition of all funds derived from any fees assessed for the maintenance of common improvements to the lot owners. The board of directors or other governing body of the subdivision may charge the lot owners for the actual cost of copying the annual report.

1987, c. 501, § 15.1-474.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2257. Procedure to modify certain covenants in Shenandoah County.

Upon a verified petition signed by the owners, other than the original subdivider, of 10 percent of the lots in any subdivision previously recorded, the circuit court for Shenandoah County, in which such subdivision lies, shall have authority to conduct a hearing and modify any and all covenant provisions of any previously recorded deed of dedication or other document relating to road maintenance fees as to any roads located within the subdivision. Upon receipt of the petition, the court shall, if all owners of lots within such subdivision are not before the court, enter an order of publication under the provisions of subdivision A 3 of § 8.01-316, making the owners of all lots not owned by petitioners parties to the cause, which shall then be docketed and set for trial on the chancery side of the court. Should the court, after hearing evidence and argument of counsel, find that the streets and roads in the subdivision require maintenance in excess of that provided for with the road maintenance funds specified in the covenants to permit emergency vehicles ready access to the residents of the subdivision to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare, the court may increase the fees required for road maintenance to the extent reasonably necessary to permit emergency vehicles ready access to the residents of the subdivision. The funds collected shall be accounted for as provided in § 15.2-2256. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the members of a subdivision association from proceeding under the provisions of § 55.1-1825 or subsection C of § 55.1-2305, as applicable.

1987, c. 501, § 15.1- 474.2; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 623; 2019, c. 632.

§ 15.2-2258. Plat of proposed subdivision and site plans to be submitted for approval.

Whenever the owner or proprietor of any tract of land located within any territory to which a subdivision ordinance applies desires to subdivide the tract, he shall submit a plat of the proposed subdivision to the planning commission of the locality, or an agent designated by the governing body thereof for such purpose. When any part of the land proposed for subdivision lies in a drainage district such fact shall be set forth on the plat of the proposed subdivision. When any part of the land proposed for subdivision lies in a mapped dam break inundation zone such fact shall be set forth on the plat of the proposed subdivision. When any grave, object or structure marking a place of burial is located on the land proposed for subdivision, such grave, object or structure shall be identified on any plans or site plans required by this article. When the land involved lies wholly or partly within an area subject to the joint control of more than one locality, the plat shall be submitted to the planning commission or other designated agent of the locality in which the tract of land is located. Site plans or plans of development required by subdivision A 8 of § 15.2-2286 shall also be subject to the provisions of §§ 15.2-2258 through 15.2-2261, mutatis mutandis.

Code 1950, §§ 15-789, 15-967.10; 1952, c. 333; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-475; 1964, c. 498; 1975, c. 641; 1977, c. 10; 1978, c. 283; 1979, c. 111; 1980, c. 73; 1986, c. 483; 1989, cc. 471, 495; 1990, c. 171; 1992, c. 843; 1993, c. 846; 1996, c. 353; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 491.

§ 15.2-2259. Local planning commission to act on proposed plat.

A. 1. Except as otherwise provided in subdivisions 2 and 3, the local planning commission or other agent shall act on any proposed plat within 60 days after it has been officially submitted for approval by either approving or disapproving the plat in writing, and giving with the latter specific reasons therefor. The Commission or agent shall thoroughly review the plat and shall make a good faith effort to identify all deficiencies, if any, with the initial submission. However, if approval of a feature or features of the plat by a state agency or public authority authorized by state law is necessary, the commission or agent shall forward the plat to the appropriate state agency or agencies for review within 10 business days of receipt of such plat. The state agency shall respond in accord with the requirements set forth in § 15.2-2222.1, which shall extend the time for action by the local planning commission or other agent, as set forth in subsection B. Specific reasons for disapproval shall be contained either in a separate document or on the plat itself. The reasons for disapproval shall identify deficiencies in the plat that cause the disapproval by reference to specific duly adopted ordinances, regulations, or policies and shall identify modifications or corrections as will permit approval of the plat. The local planning commission or other agent shall act on any proposed plat that it has previously disapproved within 45 days after the plat has been modified, corrected and resubmitted for approval.

2. The approval of plats, site plans, and plans of development solely involving parcels of commercial real estate by a local planning commission or other agent shall be governed by subdivision 3 and subsections B, C, and D. For the purposes of this section, the term "commercial" means all real property used for commercial or industrial uses.

3. The local planning commission or other agent shall act on any proposed plat, site plan or plan of development within 60 days after it has been officially submitted for approval by either approving or disapproving the plat in writing, and giving with the latter specific reasons therefor. The local planning commission or other agent shall not delay the official submission of any proposed plat, site plan, or plan of development by requiring presubmission conferences, meetings, or reviews. The Commission or agent shall thoroughly review the plat or plan and shall in good faith identify, to the greatest extent practicable, all deficiencies, if any, with the initial submission. However, if approval of a feature or features of the plat or plan by a state agency or public authority authorized by state law is necessary, the commission or agent shall forward the plat or plan to the appropriate state agency or agencies for review within 10 business days of receipt of such plat or plan. The state agency shall respond in accord with the requirements set forth in § 15.2-2222.1, which shall extend the time for action by the local planning commission or other agent, as set forth in subsection B. Specific reasons for disapproval shall be contained either in a separate document or on the plat or plan itself. The reasons for disapproval shall identify deficiencies in the plat or plan that caused the disapproval by reference to specific duly adopted ordinances, regulations, or policies and shall identify, to the greatest extent practicable, modifications or corrections that will permit approval of the plat or plan.

In the review of a resubmitted proposed plat, site plan or plan of development that has been previously disapproved, the local planning commission or other agent shall consider only deficiencies it had identified in its review of the initial submission of the plat or plan that have not been corrected in such resubmission and any deficiencies that arise as a result of the corrections made to address deficiencies identified in the initial submission. In the review of the resubmission of a plat or plan, the local planning commission or other agent shall identify all deficiencies with the proposed plat or plan that caused the disapproval by reference to specific duly adopted ordinances, regulations or policies and shall identify modifications or corrections that will permit approval of the plat or plan. Upon the second resubmission of such disapproved plat or plan, the local planning commission or other agent's review shall be limited solely to the previously identified deficiencies that caused its disapproval.

The local planning commission or other agent shall act on any proposed plat, site plan or plan of development that it has previously disapproved within 45 days after the plat or plan has been modified, corrected and resubmitted for approval. The failure of a local planning commission or other agent to approve or disapprove a resubmitted plat or plan within the time periods required by this section shall cause the plat or plan to be deemed approved.

Notwithstanding the approval or deemed approval of any proposed plat, site plan or plan of development, any deficiency in any proposed plat or plan, that if left uncorrected, would violate local, state or federal law, regulations, mandatory Department of Transportation engineering and safety requirements, and other mandatory engineering and safety requirements, shall not be considered, treated or deemed as having been approved by the local planning commission or other agent. Should any resubmission include a material revision of infrastructure or physical improvements from the earlier submission or if a material revision in the resubmission creates a new required review by the Virginia Department of Transportation or by a state agency or public authority authorized by state law, then the local planning commission or other agent's review shall not be limited to only the previously identified deficiencies identified in the prior submittals and may consider deficiencies initially appearing in the resubmission because of such material revision.

B. Any state agency or public authority authorized by state law making a review of a plat forwarded to it under this article, including, without limitation, the Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.), shall complete its review within 45 days of receipt of the plat upon first submission and within 45 days for any proposed plat that has previously been disapproved, provided, however, that the time periods set forth in § 15.2-2222.1 shall apply to plats triggering the applicability of said section. The Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) shall allow use of public rights-of-way dedicated for public street purposes for placement of utilities by permit when practical and shall not unreasonably deny plat approval. If a state agency or public authority authorized by state law does not approve the plat, it shall comply with the requirements, and be subject to the restrictions, set forth in subsection A, with the exception of the time period therein specified. Upon receipt of the approvals from all state agencies and other agencies, the local agent shall act upon a plat within 35 days.

C. If the commission or other agent fails to approve or disapprove the plat within 60 days after it has been officially submitted for approval, or within 45 days after it has been officially resubmitted after a previous disapproval or within 35 days of receipt of any agency response pursuant to subsection B, the subdivider, after 10-days' written notice to the commission, or agent, may petition the circuit court for the locality in which the land involved, or the major part thereof, is located, to decide whether the plat should or should not be approved. The court shall give the petition priority on the civil docket, hear the matter expeditiously in accordance with the procedures prescribed in Article 2 (§ 8.01-644 et seq.) of Chapter 25 of Title 8.01 and make and enter an order with respect thereto as it deems proper, which may include directing approval of the plat.

D. If a commission or other agent disapproves a plat and the subdivider contends that the disapproval was not properly based on the ordinance applicable thereto, or was arbitrary or capricious, he may appeal to the circuit court having jurisdiction of such land and the court shall hear and determine the case as soon as may be, provided that his appeal is filed with the circuit court within 60 days of the written disapproval by the commission or other agent.

Code 1950, §§ 15-789, 15-967.10; 1952, c. 333; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-475; 1964, c. 498; 1975, c. 641; 1977, c. 10; 1978, c. 283; 1979, c. 111; 1980, c. 73; 1986, c. 483; 1989, cc. 471, 495; 1990, c. 171; 1992, c. 843; 1993, c. 846; 1996, c. 353; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 716; 2007, c. 202; 2008, c. 855; 2015, c. 420; 2018, c. 670.

§ 15.2-2260. Localities may provide for submission of preliminary subdivision plats; how long valid.

A. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to prohibit the local governing body from providing in its ordinance for the mandatory submission of preliminary subdivision plats for tentative approval for plats involving more than 50 lots, provided that any such ordinance provides for the submission of a preliminary subdivision plat for tentative approval at the option of the landowner for plats involving 50 or fewer lots. The local planning commission, or an agent designated by the commission or by the governing body to review preliminary subdivision plats shall complete action on the preliminary subdivision plats within 60 days of submission. However, if approval of a feature or features of the preliminary subdivision plat by a state agency or public authority authorized by state law is necessary, the commission or agent shall forward the preliminary subdivision plat to the appropriate state agency or agencies for review within 10 business days of receipt of such preliminary subdivision plat.

B. Any state agency or public authority authorized by state law making a review of a preliminary subdivision plat forwarded to it under this section, including, without limitation, the Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.), shall complete its review within 45 days of receipt of the preliminary subdivision plat upon first submission and within 45 days for any proposed plat that has previously been disapproved, provided, however, that the time period set forth in § 15.2-2222.1 shall apply to plats triggering the applicability of said section. The Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) shall allow use of public rights-of-way for public street purposes for placement of utilities by permit when practical and shall not unreasonably deny plat approval. If a state agency or public authority authorized by state law does not approve the plat, it shall comply with the requirements, and be subject to the restrictions, set forth in subsection A of § 15.2-2259 with the exception of the time period therein specified. Upon receipt of the approvals from all state agencies, the local agent shall act upon a preliminary subdivision plat within 35 days.

C. If a commission has the responsibility of review of preliminary subdivision plats and conducts a public hearing, it shall act on the plat within 45 days after receiving approval from all state agencies. If the local agent or commission does not approve the preliminary subdivision plat, the local agent or commission shall set forth in writing the reasons for such denial and shall state what corrections or modifications will permit approval by such agent or commission. With regard to plats involving commercial property, as that term is defined in subdivision A 2 of § 15.2-2259, the review process for such plats shall be the same as provided in subdivisions A 2 and A 3 of § 15.2-2259. However, no commission or agent shall be required to approve a preliminary subdivision plat in less than 60 days from the date of its original submission to the commission or agent, and all actions on preliminary subdivision plats shall be completed by the agent or commission and, if necessary, state agencies, within a total of 90 days of submission to the local agent or commission.

D. If the commission or other agent fails to approve or disapprove the preliminary subdivision plat within 90 days after it has been officially submitted for approval, the subdivider after 10 days' written notice to the commission, or agent, may petition the circuit court for the locality in which the land involved, or the major part thereof, is located to enter an order with respect thereto as it deems proper, which may include directing approval of the plat.

E. If a commission or other agent disapproves a preliminary subdivision plat and the subdivider contends that the disapproval was not properly based on the ordinance applicable thereto, or was arbitrary or capricious, he may appeal to the circuit court having jurisdiction of such land and the court shall hear and determine the case as soon as may be, provided that his appeal is filed with the circuit court within 60 days of the written disapproval by the commission or other agent.

F. Once a preliminary subdivision plat is approved, it shall be valid for a period of five years, provided the subdivider (i) submits a final subdivision plat for all or a portion of the property within one year of such approval or such longer period as may be prescribed by local ordinance, and (ii) thereafter diligently pursues approval of the final subdivision plat. "Diligent pursuit of approval" means that the subdivider has incurred extensive obligations or substantial expenses relating to the submitted final subdivision plat or modifications thereto. However, no sooner than three years following such preliminary subdivision plat approval, and upon 90 days' written notice by certified mail to the subdivider, the commission or other agent may revoke such approval upon a specific finding of facts that the subdivider has not diligently pursued approval of the final subdivision plat.

G. Once an approved final subdivision plat for all or a portion of the property is recorded pursuant to § 15.2-2261, the underlying preliminary plat shall remain valid for a period of five years from the date of the latest recorded plat of subdivision for the property. The five year period of validity shall extend from the date of the last recorded plat.

Code 1950, §§ 15-789, 15-967.10; 1952, c. 333; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-475; 1964, c. 498; 1975, c. 641; 1977, c. 10; 1978, c. 283; 1979, c. 111; 1980, c. 73; 1986, c. 483; 1989, cc. 471, 495; 1990, c. 171; 1992, c. 843; 1993, c. 846; 1996, c. 353; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 530; 2006, c. 461; 2007, c. 202; 2008, cc. 426, 718, 855; 2009, c. 194; 2014, c. 393.

§ 15.2-2261. Recorded plats or final site plans to be valid for not less than five years.

A. An approved final subdivision plat which has been recorded or an approved final site plan, hereinafter referred to as "recorded plat or final site plan," shall be valid for a period of not less than five years from the date of approval thereof or for such longer period as the local planning commission or other agent may, at the time of approval, determine to be reasonable, taking into consideration the size and phasing of the proposed development. A site plan shall be deemed final once it has been reviewed and approved by the locality if the only requirements remaining to be satisfied in order to obtain a building permit are the posting of any bonds and escrows or the submission of any other administrative documents, agreements, deposits, or fees required by the locality in order to obtain the permit. However, any fees that are customarily due and owing at the time of the agency review of the site plan shall be paid in a timely manner.

B. 1. Upon application of the subdivider or developer filed prior to expiration of a recorded plat or final site plan, the local planning commission or other agent may grant one or more extensions of such approval for additional periods as the commission or other agent may, at the time the extension is granted, determine to be reasonable, taking into consideration the size and phasing of the proposed development, the laws, ordinances and regulations in effect at the time of the request for an extension.

2. If the commission or other agent denies an extension requested as provided herein and the subdivider or developer contends that such denial was not properly based on the ordinance applicable thereto, the foregoing considerations for granting an extension, or was arbitrary or capricious, he may appeal to the circuit court having jurisdiction of land subject to the recorded plat or final site plan, provided that such appeal is filed with the circuit court within sixty days of the written denial by the commission or other agency.

C. For so long as the final site plan remains valid in accordance with the provisions of this section, or in the case of a recorded plat for five years after approval, no change or amendment to any local ordinance, map, resolution, rule, regulation, policy or plan adopted subsequent to the date of approval of the recorded plat or final site plan shall adversely affect the right of the subdivider or developer or his successor in interest to commence and complete an approved development in accordance with the lawful terms of the recorded plat or site plan unless the change or amendment is required to comply with state law or there has been a mistake, fraud or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety or welfare.

D. Application for minor modifications to recorded plats or final site plans made during the periods of validity of such plats or plans established in accordance with this section shall not constitute a waiver of the provisions hereof nor shall the approval of minor modifications extend the period of validity of such plats or plans.

E. The provisions of this section shall be applicable to all recorded plats and final site plans valid on or after January 1, 1992. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to affect (i) any litigation concerning the validity of a site plan pending prior to January 1, 1992, or any such litigation nonsuited and thereafter refiled; (ii) the authority of a governing body to impose valid conditions upon approval of any special use permit, conditional use permit or special exception; (iii) the application to individual lots on recorded plats or parcels of land subject to final site plans, to the greatest extent possible, of the provisions of any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.); or (iv) the application to individual lots on recorded plats or parcels of land subject to final site plans of the provisions of any local ordinance adopted to comply with the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act, Section 402 (p.) of the Stormwater Program and regulations promulgated thereunder by the Environmental Protection Agency.

F. An approved final subdivision plat that has been recorded, from which any part of the property subdivided has been conveyed to third parties (other than to the developer or local jurisdiction), or a recorded plat dedicating real property to the local jurisdiction or public body that has been accepted by such grantee, shall remain valid for an indefinite period of time unless and until any portion of the property is subject to a vacation action as set forth in §§ 15.2-2270 through 15.2-2278.

Code 1950, §§ 15-789, 15-967.10; 1952, c. 333; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-475; 1964, c. 498; 1975, c. 641; 1977, c. 10; 1978, c. 283; 1979, c. 111; 1980, c. 73; 1986, c. 483; 1989, cc. 471, 495; 1990, c. 171; 1992, c. 843; 1993, c. 846; 1996, c. 353; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 426; 2013, c. 509; 2020, c. 138.

§ 15.2-2261.1. Recorded plat or final site plans; conflicting zoning conditions.

If the provisions of a recorded plat or final site plan, which was specifically determined by the governing body and not its designee, to be in accordance with the zoning conditions previously approved pursuant to §§ 15.2-2296 through 15.2-2303, conflict with any underlying zoning conditions of such previous rezoning approval, the provisions of the recorded plat or final site plan shall control, and the zoning amendment notice requirements of § 15.2-2204 shall be deemed to have been satisfied.

2002, c. 551.

§ 15.2-2262. Requisites of plat.

Every subdivision plat which is intended for recording shall be prepared by a certified professional engineer or land surveyor, who shall endorse upon each plat a certificate signed by him setting forth the source of title of the owner of the land subdivided and the place of record of the last instrument in the chain of title. When the plat is of land acquired from more than one source of title, the outlines of the several tracts shall be indicated upon the plat. However, nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit the preparation of preliminary studies, plans or plats of a proposed subdivision by the owner of the land, city planners, land planners, architects, landscape architects or others having training or experience in subdivision planning or design.

Code 1950, §§ 15-790, 15-967.11; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-476; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2263. Expedited land development review procedure.

A. The Counties of Hanover, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince William, and Roanoke, and the Town of Leesburg, may establish, by ordinance, a separate processing procedure for the review of preliminary and final subdivision and site plans and other development plans certified by licensed professional engineers, licensed architects, licensed land surveyors, and landscape architects who are also licensed pursuant to § 54.1-408 and recommended for submission by persons who have received special training in the locality's land development ordinances and regulations. The purpose of the separate review procedure is to provide a procedure to expedite the locality's review of certain qualified land development plans. If a separate procedure is established, the locality shall establish within the adopted ordinance the criteria for qualification of persons and whose work is eligible to use the separate procedure as well as a procedure for determining if the qualifications are met by persons applying to use the separate procedure. Persons who satisfy the criteria of subsection B below shall qualify as plans examiners. Plans reviewed and recommended for submission by plans examiners and certified by the appropriately licensed professional engineer, licensed architect, licensed land surveyor, or landscape architect shall qualify for the separate processing procedure.

B. The qualifications of those persons who may participate in this program shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. A bachelor of science degree in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture or related science or equivalent experience or a licensed land surveyor pursuant to § 54.1-408.

2. Successful completion of an educational program specified by the locality.

3. A minimum of two years of land development engineering design experience acceptable to the locality.

4. Attendance at continuing educational courses specified by the locality.

5. Consistent preparation and submission of plans which meet all applicable ordinances and regulations.

C. If an expedited review procedure is adopted by the board of supervisors or town council pursuant to the authority granted by this section, the board of supervisors or town council shall establish an advisory plans examiner board, which shall make recommendations to the board of supervisors or town council on the general operation of the program, on the general qualifications of those who may participate in the expedited processing procedure, on initial and continuing educational programs needed to qualify and maintain qualification for such a program and on the general administration and operation of the program. In addition, the plans examiner board shall submit recommendations to the board of supervisors or town council as to those persons who meet the established qualifications for participation in the program, and the plans examiner board shall submit recommendations as to whether those persons who have previously qualified to participate in the program should be disqualified, suspended or otherwise disciplined. The plans examiner board shall consist of six members who shall be appointed by the board of supervisors or town council for staggered four-year terms. Initial terms may be less than four years so as to provide for staggered terms. The plans examiner board shall consist of three persons in private practice as licensed professional engineers or licensed land surveyors pursuant to § 54.1-408, at least one of whom shall be a licensed land surveyor; one person employed by the government of the locality; one person employed by the Virginia Department of Transportation who shall serve as a nonvoting advisory member; and one citizen member. All members of the board who serve as licensed engineers or as licensed surveyors must maintain their professional license as a condition of holding office and shall have at least two years of experience in land development procedures of the locality. The citizen member of the board shall meet the qualifications provided in § 54.1-107 and, notwithstanding the proscription of clause (i) of § 54.1-107, shall have training as an engineer or surveyor and may be currently licensed or practicing his profession.

D. The expedited land development program shall include an educational program conducted under the auspices of a public institution of higher education. The instructors in the educational program shall consist of persons in the private and public sectors who are qualified to prepare land development plans. The educational program shall include the comprehensive and detailed study of local ordinances and regulations relating to plans and how they are applied.

E. The separate processing system may include a review of selected or random aspects of plans rather than a detailed review of all aspects; however, it shall also include a periodic detailed review of plans prepared by persons who qualify for the system.

F. In no event shall this section relieve persons who prepare and submit plans of the responsibilities and obligations that they would otherwise have with regard to the preparation of plans, nor shall it relieve the locality of its obligation to review other plans in the time periods and manner prescribed by law.

1991, c. 444, § 15.1-501.1; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 813; 2009, cc. 214, 309, 518.

§ 15.2-2264. Statement of consent to subdivision; execution; acknowledgment and recordation; notice to commissioner of the revenue or board of real estate assessors.

Every plat, or deed of dedication to which the plat is attached, shall contain in addition to the professional engineer's or land surveyor's certificate a statement as follows: "The platting or dedication of the following described land (here insert a correct description of the land subdivided) is with the free consent and in accordance with the desire of the undersigned owners, proprietors, and trustees, if any." The statement shall be signed and duly acknowledged before an officer authorized to take acknowledgment of deeds. When thus executed and acknowledged, the plat, subject to the provisions herein, shall be filed and recorded in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the lands contained in the plat, and indexed in the general index to deeds under the names of the owners of lands signing the statement, and under the name of the subdivision. Owners shall notify the appropriate commissioner of the revenue of improvements to real property situated in platted subdivisions.

Code 1950, §§ 15-791, 15-967.12; 1954, c. 421; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-477; 1992, c. 581; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2265. Recordation of approved plat as transfer of streets, termination of easements and rights-of-way, etc.

The recordation of an approved plat shall operate to transfer, in fee simple, to the respective localities in which the land lies the portion of the premises platted as is on the plat set apart for streets, alleys or other public use and to transfer to the locality any easement indicated on the plat to create a public right of passage over the land. The recordation of such plat shall operate to transfer to the locality, or to such association or public authority as the locality may provide, such easements shown on the plat for the conveyance of stormwater, domestic water and sewage, including the installation and maintenance of any facilities utilized for such purposes, as the locality may require. Nothing contained in this article shall affect any right of a subdivider of land heretofore validly reserved. The clerk shall index in the name of all the owners of property affected by the recordation in the grantor's index any plat recorded under this section. Nothing in this section shall obligate the locality, association or authority to install or maintain such facilities unless otherwise agreed to by the locality, association or authority.

When the authorized officials of a locality within which land is located, approve in accordance with the subdivision ordinances of the locality a plat or replat of land therein, then upon the recording of the plat or replat in the circuit court clerk's office, all rights-of-way, easements or other interest of the locality in the land included on the plat or replat, except as shown thereon, shall be terminated and extinguished, except that an interest acquired by the locality by condemnation, by purchase for valuable consideration and evidenced by a separate instrument of record, or streets, alleys or easements for public passage subject to the provisions of § 15.2-2271 or 15.2-2272 shall not be affected thereby. All public easements, except those for public passage, easements containing improvements, those that contain private utility facilities, common or shared easements for the use of franchised cable operators and public service corporations, may be relocated by recordation of plat or replat signed by the owner of the real property, approved by an authorized official of a locality, regardless of the manner of acquisition or the type of instrument used to dedicate the original easement. In the event the purpose of the easement is to convey stormwater drainage from a public roadway, the entity responsible for the operation of the roadway shall first determine that the relocation does not threaten either the integrity of the roadway or public passage. The clerk shall index the locality as grantor of any easement or portion thereof terminated and extinguished under this section.

Code 1950, §§ 15-792, 15-967.13; 1958, c. 460; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-478; 1964, c. 564; 1974, c. 530; 1978, c. 590; 1995, cc. 431, 662; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 165; 2005, c. 937.

§ 15.2-2266. Validation of certain plats recorded before January 1, 1975.

Any subdivision plat recorded prior to January 1, 1975, if otherwise valid, is hereby validated and declared effective even though the technical requirements for recordation existing at the time such plat was recorded were not complied with.

1968, c. 279, § 15.1-478.1; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 279.

§ 15.2-2267. Petition to restrict access to certain public streets.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-2265, when the streets in a subdivision have not been accepted into the highway system and serve only, or are primarily for, the general welfare of the inhabitants of the subdivision and do not serve as a connector to other public rights-of-way, then upon petition to the governing body of the locality, signed by the owners of two-thirds of the subdivision lots, including the subdivider if he has an interest in the subdivision, requesting that they be allowed to restrict ingress and egress to the subdivision, the governing body may permit the restriction subject to the following conditions:

1. The restriction may be abolished at any time in the sole discretion of the governing body,

2. The restriction shall not be asserted in opposition to the public ownership,

3. The streets shall not be blocked to ingress and egress of government or public service company vehicles,

4. Necessary maintenance of the streets will be paid for by the owners, and

5. Such other conditions as may be imposed by the governing body.

1980, c. 358, § 15.1-478.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2268. Localities not obligated to pay for grading, paving, etc.

Nothing herein shall be construed as creating an obligation upon any locality to pay for grading or paving, or for sidewalk, sewer, curb and gutter improvements or construction.

Code 1950, § 15-967.14; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-479; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2269. Plans and specifications for utility fixtures and systems to be submitted for approval.

A. If the owners of any such subdivision desire to construct in, on, under, or adjacent to any streets or alleys located in such subdivision any gas, water, sewer or electric light or power works, pipes, wires, fixtures or systems, they shall present plans or specifications therefor to the governing body of the locality in which the subdivision is located or its authorized agent, for approval. If the subdivision is located beyond the corporate limits of a municipality but within the limits set forth in § 15.2-2248, such plans and specifications shall be presented for approval to the governing body of such municipality, or its authorized agent, if the county has not adopted a subdivision ordinance. The governing body, or agent, shall have 45 days in which to approve or disapprove the same. In event of the failure of any governing body, or its agent, to act within such period, such plans and specifications may be submitted, after ten days' notice to the locality, to the circuit court for such locality for its approval or disapproval, and its approval thereof shall, for all purposes of this article be treated and considered as approval by the locality or its authorized agent.

B. Any state agency or public authority authorized by state law making a review of any plat forwarded to it under this article, including, without limitation, the Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.), shall complete its review within 45 days of receipt of the plans, provided, however, that the time periods set forth in § 15.2-2222.1 shall apply to plats triggering the applicability of said section. The Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) shall allow use of public rights-of-way dedicated for public street purposes for placement of utilities by permit when practical and shall not unreasonably deny plan approval. If a state agency or public authority by state law does not approve the plan, it shall comply with the requirements, and be subject to the restrictions, set forth in subsection A of § 15.2-2259, with respect to the exception of the time period therein specified. Upon receipt of the approvals from all state agencies, the local agent shall act upon a preliminary subdivision plat within 35 days.

Code 1950, § 15-967.15; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-480; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 202; 2008, c. 718.

§ 15.2-2270. Vacation of interests granted to a locality as a condition of site plan approval.

Any interest in streets, alleys, easements for public rights of passage, easements for drainage, and easements for a public utility granted to a locality as a condition of the approval of a site plan may be vacated according to either of the following methods:

1. By a duly executed and acknowledged written instrument of the owner of the land which has been or is to be developed in accordance with the site plan, declaring the interest or interests to be vacated, provided the governing body or authorized agent of the locality where the land lies consents to the vacation. The instrument shall be recorded in the same clerk's office wherein is recorded the written instrument describing the interest in real property to be vacated. The execution and recordation of the instrument shall operate to divest all public rights in, and to reinvest the owner with the title to the interests which formerly were held by the governing body; or

2. By ordinance of the governing body in the locality in which the property which is the subject of an approved site plan lies, provided that no interest shall be vacated in an area in which facilities, for which bonding is required pursuant to §§ 15.2-2241 through 15.2-2245, have been constructed.

The ordinance shall not be adopted until after notice has been given as required by § 15.2-2204. The notice shall clearly describe the interest of the governing body to be vacated by reference to the recorded instrument on which it was created and state the time and place of the meeting of the governing body at which the adoption of the ordinance will be voted upon. Any person may appear at the meeting for the purpose of objecting to the adoption of the ordinance. An appeal from the adoption of the ordinance may be filed within thirty days of the adoption of the ordinance with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land over which the governing body's interest is located. Upon appeal, the court may nullify the ordinance if it finds that the owner of the property, which has been developed or is to be developed in accordance with the approved site plan, will be irreparably damaged. If no appeal from the adoption of the ordinance is filed within the time above provided or if the ordinance is upheld on appeal, a certified copy of the ordinance of vacation may be recorded in the clerk's office of any court in which the instrument creating the governing body's interest is recorded.

The execution and recordation of an ordinance of vacation shall operate to destroy the effect of the instrument which created the governing body's interest so vacated and to divest all public rights in and to the property and vest title in the streets, alleys, easements for public rights of passage, easements for drainage, and easements for a public utility as may be described in, and in accordance with, the ordinance of vacation.

1990, c. 813, § 15.1-480.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2271. Vacation of plat before sale of lot therein; ordinance of vacation.

Where no lot has been sold, the recorded plat, or part thereof, may be vacated according to either of the following methods:

1. With the consent of the governing body, or its authorized agent, of the locality where the land lies, by the owners, proprietors and trustees, if any, who signed the statement required by § 15.2-2264 at any time before the sale of any lot therein, by a written instrument, declaring the plat to be vacated, duly executed, acknowledged or proved and recorded in the same clerk's office wherein the plat to be vacated is recorded and the execution and recordation of such writing shall operate to destroy the force and effect of the recording of the plat so vacated and to divest all public rights in, and to reinvest the owners, proprietors and trustees, if any, with the title to the streets, alleys, easements for public passage and other public areas laid out or described in the plat; or

2. By ordinance of the governing body of the locality in which the property shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated lies, provided that no facilities for which bonding is required pursuant to §§ 15.2-2241 through 15.2-2245 have been constructed on the property and no facilities have been constructed on any related section of the property located in the subdivision within five years of the date on which the plat was first recorded.

The ordinance shall not be adopted until after notice has been given as required by § 15.2-2204. The notice shall clearly describe the plat or portion thereof to be vacated and state the time and place of the meeting of the governing body at which the adoption of the ordinance will be voted upon. Any person may appear at the meeting for the purpose of objecting to the adoption of the ordinance. An appeal from the adoption of the ordinance may be filed within thirty days of the adoption of the ordinance with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated. Upon appeal the court may nullify the ordinance if it finds that the owner of the property shown on the plat will be irreparably damaged. If no appeal from the adoption of the ordinance is filed within the time above provided or if the ordinance is upheld on appeal, a certified copy of the ordinance of vacation may be recorded in the clerk's office of any court in which the plat is recorded.

The execution and recordation of the ordinance of vacation shall operate to destroy the force and effect of the recording of the plat, or any portion thereof, so vacated, and to divest all public rights in and to the property and reinvest the owners, proprietors and trustees, if any, with the title to the streets, alleys, and easements for public passage and other public areas laid out or described in the plat.

Code 1950, §§ 15-793, 15-967.16; 1950, p. 722; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-481; 1964, c. 564; 1987, c. 404; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2272. Vacation of plat after sale of lot.

In cases where any lot has been sold, the plat or part thereof may be vacated according to either of the following methods:

1. By instrument in writing agreeing to the vacation signed by all the owners of lots shown on the plat and also signed on behalf of the governing body of the locality in which the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated lies for the purpose of showing the approval of the vacation by the governing body. In cases involving drainage easements or street rights-of-way where the vacation does not impede or alter drainage or access for any lot owners other than those lot owners immediately adjoining or contiguous to the vacated area, the governing body shall only be required to obtain the signatures of the lot owners immediately adjoining or contiguous to the vacated area. The word "owners" shall not include lien creditors except those whose debts are secured by a recorded deed of trust or mortgage and shall not include any consort of an owner. The instrument of vacation shall be acknowledged in the manner of a deed and filed for record in the clerk's office of any court in which the plat is recorded.

2. By ordinance of the governing body of the locality in which the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated lies on motion of one of its members or on application of any interested person. The ordinance shall not be adopted until after notice has been given as required by § 15.2-2204. The notice shall clearly describe the plat or portion thereof to be vacated and state the time and place of the meeting of the governing body at which the adoption of the ordinance will be voted upon. Any person may appear at the meeting for the purpose of objecting to the adoption of the ordinance. An appeal from the adoption of the ordinance may be filed within thirty days with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated. Upon appeal the court may nullify the ordinance if it finds that the owner of any lot shown on the plat will be irreparably damaged. If no appeal from the adoption of the ordinance is filed within the time above provided or if the ordinance is upheld on appeal, a certified copy of the ordinance of vacation may be recorded in the clerk's office of any court in which the plat is recorded.

Roads within the secondary system of highways may be vacated under either of the preceding methods and the action will constitute abandonment of the road, provided the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated has been the subject of a rezoning or special exception application approved following public hearings required by § 15.2-2204 and provided the Commissioner of Highways or his agent is notified in writing prior to the public hearing, and provided further that the vacation is necessary in order to implement a proffered condition accepted by the governing body pursuant to §§ 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298 or 15.2-2303 or to implement a condition of special exception approval. All abandonments of roads within the secondary system of highways sought to be effected according to either of the preceding methods before July 1, 1994, are hereby validated, notwithstanding any defects or deficiencies in the proceeding; however, property rights which have vested subsequent to the attempted vacation are not impaired by such validation. The manner of reversion shall not be affected by this section.

Code 1950, §§ 15-793, 15-967.17; 1950, p. 722; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-482; 1975, c. 641; 1990, c. 719; 1994, c. 341; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2273. Fee for processing application under § 15.2-2271 or § 15.2-2272.

Any locality may prescribe and charge a reasonable fee not exceeding $150 for processing an application pursuant to § 15.2-2271 or § 15.2-2272 for the vacating of any plat.

1970, c. 161, § 15.1-482.1; 1975, c. 641; 1978, c. 554; 1984, c. 285; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2274. Effect of vacation under § 15.2-2272.

The recordation of the instrument as provided under subdivision 1 of § 15.2-2272 or of the ordinance as provided under subdivision 2 of § 15.2-2272 shall operate to destroy the force and effect of the recording of the plat or part thereof so vacated, and to vest fee simple title to the centerline of any streets, alleys or easements for public passage so vacated in the owners of abutting lots free and clear of any rights of the public or other owners of lots shown on the plat, but subject to the rights of the owners of any public utility installations which have been previously erected therein. If any street, alley or easement for public passage is located on the periphery of the plat, the title for the entire width thereof shall vest in the abutting lot owners. The fee simple title to any portion of the plat so vacated as was set apart for other public use shall be revested in the owners, proprietors and trustees, if any, who signed the statement required by § 15.2-2264 free and clear of any rights of public use in the same.

Code 1950, §§ 15-793, 15-967.18; 1950, p. 722; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-483; 1964, c. 564; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2275. Relocation or vacation of boundary lines.

Any locality may provide, as a part of its subdivision ordinance, that the boundary lines of any lot or parcel of land may be vacated, relocated or otherwise altered as a part of an otherwise valid and properly recorded plat of subdivision or resubdivision (i) approved as provided in the subdivision ordinance or (ii) properly recorded prior to the applicability of a subdivision ordinance, and executed by the owner or owners of the land as provided in § 15.2-2264. The action shall not involve the relocation or alteration of streets, alleys, easements for public passage, or other public areas. No easements or utility rights-of-way shall be relocated or altered without the express consent of all persons holding any interest therein.

Alternatively, a locality may allow the vacating of lot lines by recordation of a deed providing that no easements or utility rights-of-way located along any lot lines to be vacated shall be extinguished or altered without the express consent of all persons holding any interest therein. The deed shall be approved in writing, on its face, by the local governing body or its designee. The deed shall reference the recorded plat by which the lot line was originally created.

1982, c. 294, § 15.1-483.1; 1993, c. 121; 1997, cc. 524, 545, 587; 2005, c. 338.

§ 15.2-2276. Duty of clerk when plat vacated.

The clerk in whose office any plat so vacated has been recorded shall write in plain legible letters across such plat, or the part thereof so vacated, the word "vacated," and also make a reference on the plat to the volume and page in which the instrument of vacation is recorded.

Code 1950, §§ 15-794, 15-967.20; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-485; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2277. Franklin County may require that notice be given to deed grantees of certain disclaimers regarding responsibility for roads; county eligible to have certain streets taken into secondary system.

Franklin County may by ordinance require that the clerk of the circuit court for the county, when a division of land creates any parcels equal to or greater than five acres, notify every grantee shown on the recorded deed for such parcel (i) that any roads constructed to serve parcels of five acres or more will not be accepted by the Virginia Department of Transportation or by the county unless the roads meet applicable subdivision street standards of the Department and (ii) that neither the Department nor the county will maintain such roads until such time as the roads are brought into compliance with applicable subdivision street standards of the Department in effect at the time and without cost to funds administered by the Department or the county. The notice shall be by first-class mail to the address shown on the recorded deed.

The county shall be deemed to have met the definition of "county" pursuant to § 33.2-335 upon adoption of such ordinance and shall be eligible to have certain streets taken into the secondary system pursuant to § 33.2-335 without additional action being necessitated with regard to subdivision ordinances.

1990, c. 906, § 15.1-465.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2278. Vacating plat of subdivision.

Any plat of subdivision recorded in any clerk's office, whether or not pursuant to this article, may be vacated in the manner prescribed by § 15.2-2272 and the provisions of §§ 15.2-2274 and 15.2-2276 shall be applicable to such vacation.

1964, c. 564, § 15.1-365; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2279. Ordinances regulating the building of houses and establishing setback lines.

Any locality may by ordinance regulate the building of houses in the locality including the adoption of off-street parking requirements, minimum setbacks and side yards and the establishment of minimum lot sizes.

Any locality may by ordinance require that no building be constructed within thirty-five feet of any street or roadway and may provide for exceptions to such requirement whenever a large portion of existing buildings along a section of street or roadway is within thirty-five feet of such street or roadway. The provisions of such an ordinance shall not apply within the limits of any town which has enacted a zoning ordinance or has adopted an ordinance establishing minimum setbacks.

1970, c. 452, § 15.1-29.2; 1987, c. 399; 1997, c. 587.

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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