Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
8/20/2019

Article 7. Zoning.

§ 15.2-2280. Zoning ordinances generally.

Any locality may, by ordinance, classify the territory under its jurisdiction or any substantial portion thereof into districts of such number, shape and size as it may deem best suited to carry out the purposes of this article, and in each district it may regulate, restrict, permit, prohibit, and determine the following:

1. The use of land, buildings, structures and other premises for agricultural, business, industrial, residential, flood plain and other specific uses;

2. The size, height, area, bulk, location, erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, maintenance, razing, or removal of structures;

3. The areas and dimensions of land, water, and air space to be occupied by buildings, structures and uses, and of courts, yards, and other open spaces to be left unoccupied by uses and structures, including variations in the sizes of lots based on whether a public or community water supply or sewer system is available and used; or

4. The excavation or mining of soil or other natural resources.

Code 1950, §§ 15-819, 15-844, 15-968; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-486; 1966, c. 344; 1969, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1972, c. 789; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2281. Jurisdiction of localities.

For the purpose of zoning, the governing body of a county shall have jurisdiction over all the unincorporated territory in the county, and the governing body of a municipality shall have jurisdiction over the incorporated area of the municipality.

Code 1950, §§ 15-819, 15-844, 15-968; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-486; 1966, c. 344; 1969, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1972, c. 789; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2282. Regulations to be uniform.

All zoning regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of buildings and uses throughout each district, but the regulations in one district may differ from those in other districts.

Code 1950, §§ 15-820, 15-845, 15-968.2; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-488; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2283. Purpose of zoning ordinances.

Zoning ordinances shall be for the general purpose of promoting the health, safety or general welfare of the public and of further accomplishing the objectives of § 15.2-2200. To these ends, such ordinances shall be designed to give reasonable consideration to each of the following purposes, where applicable: (i) to provide for adequate light, air, convenience of access, and safety from fire, flood, impounding structure failure, crime and other dangers; (ii) to reduce or prevent congestion in the public streets; (iii) to facilitate the creation of a convenient, attractive and harmonious community; (iv) to facilitate the provision of adequate police and fire protection, disaster evacuation, civil defense, transportation, water, sewerage, flood protection, schools, parks, forests, playgrounds, recreational facilities, airports and other public requirements; (v) to protect against destruction of or encroachment upon historic areas and working waterfront development areas; (vi) to protect against one or more of the following: overcrowding of land, undue density of population in relation to the community facilities existing or available, obstruction of light and air, danger and congestion in travel and transportation, or loss of life, health, or property from fire, flood, impounding structure failure, panic or other dangers; (vii) to encourage economic development activities that provide desirable employment and enlarge the tax base; (viii) to provide for the preservation of agricultural and forestal lands and other lands of significance for the protection of the natural environment; (ix) to protect approach slopes and other safety areas of licensed airports, including United States government and military air facilities; (x) to promote the creation and preservation of affordable housing suitable for meeting the current and future needs of the locality as well as a reasonable proportion of the current and future needs of the planning district within which the locality is situated; (xi) to provide reasonable protection against encroachment upon military bases, military installations, and military airports and their adjacent safety areas, excluding armories operated by the Virginia National Guard; and (xii) to provide reasonable modifications in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.) or state and federal fair housing laws, as applicable. Such ordinance may also include reasonable provisions, not inconsistent with applicable state water quality standards, to protect surface water and ground water as defined in § 62.1-255.

Code 1950, §§ 15-821, 15-968.3; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-489; 1966, c. 344; 1968, c. 407; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 642; 1980, c. 321; 1983, c. 439; 1988, c. 439; 1989, cc. 447, 449; 1990, cc. 19, 169, 384; 1992, c. 812; 1993, cc. 758, 884; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 799; 2008, c. 491; 2017, c. 216; 2018, c. 757.

§ 15.2-2283.1. Prohibition of sexual offender treatment office in residentially zoned subdivision.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual shall knowingly provide sex offender treatment services to a convicted sex offender in an office or similar facility located in a residentially zoned subdivision.

2007, c. 878.

§ 15.2-2284. Matters to be considered in drawing and applying zoning ordinances and districts.

Zoning ordinances and districts shall be drawn and applied with reasonable consideration for the existing use and character of property, the comprehensive plan, the suitability of property for various uses, the trends of growth or change, the current and future requirements of the community as to land for various purposes as determined by population and economic studies and other studies, the transportation requirements of the community, the requirements for airports, housing, schools, parks, playgrounds, recreation areas and other public services, the conservation of natural resources, the preservation of flood plains, the protection of life and property from impounding structure failures, the preservation of agricultural and forestal land, the conservation of properties and their values and the encouragement of the most appropriate use of land throughout the locality.

Code 1950, §§ 15-821, 15-968.4; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-490; 1966, c. 344; 1974, c. 526; 1978, c. 279; 1981, c. 418; 1983, c. 530; 1989, cc. 447, 449; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 491.

§ 15.2-2285. Preparation and adoption of zoning ordinance and map and amendments thereto; appeal.

A. The planning commission of each locality may, and at the direction of the governing body shall, prepare a proposed zoning ordinance including a map or maps showing the division of the territory into districts and a text setting forth the regulations applying in each district. The commission shall hold at least one public hearing on a proposed ordinance or any amendment of an ordinance, after notice as required by § 15.2-2204, and may make appropriate changes in the proposed ordinance or amendment as a result of the hearing. Upon the completion of its work, the commission shall present the proposed ordinance or amendment including the district maps to the governing body together with its recommendations and appropriate explanatory materials.

B. No zoning ordinance shall be amended or reenacted unless the governing body has referred the proposed amendment or reenactment to the local planning commission for its recommendations. Failure of the commission to report 100 days after the first meeting of the commission after the proposed amendment or reenactment has been referred to the commission, or such shorter period as may be prescribed by the governing body, shall be deemed approval, unless the proposed amendment or reenactment has been withdrawn by the applicant prior to the expiration of the time period. The governing body shall hold at least one public hearing on a proposed reduction of the commission's review period. The governing body shall publish a notice of the public hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality at least two weeks prior to the public hearing date and shall also publish the notice on the locality's website, if one exists. In the event of and upon such withdrawal, processing of the proposed amendment or reenactment shall cease without further action as otherwise would be required by this subsection.

C. Before approving and adopting any zoning ordinance or amendment thereof, the governing body shall hold at least one public hearing thereon, pursuant to public notice as required by § 15.2-2204, after which the governing body may make appropriate changes or corrections in the ordinance or proposed amendment. In the case of a proposed amendment to the zoning map, the public notice shall state the general usage and density range of the proposed amendment and the general usage and density range, if any, set forth in the applicable part of the comprehensive plan. However, no land may be zoned to a more intensive use classification than was contained in the public notice without an additional public hearing after notice required by § 15.2-2204. Zoning ordinances shall be enacted in the same manner as all other ordinances.

D. Any county which has adopted an urban county executive form of government provided for under Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) may provide by ordinance for use of plans, profiles, elevations, and other such demonstrative materials in the presentation of requests for amendments to the zoning ordinance.

E. The adoption or amendment prior to March 1, 1968, of any plan or ordinance under the authority of prior acts shall not be declared invalid by reason of a failure to advertise, give notice or conduct more than one public hearing as may be required by such act or by this chapter, provided a public hearing was conducted by the governing body prior to the adoption or amendment.

F. Every action contesting a decision of the local governing body adopting or failing to adopt a proposed zoning ordinance or amendment thereto or granting or failing to grant a special exception shall be filed within thirty days of the decision with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land affected by the decision. However, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to create any new right to contest the action of a local governing body.

Code 1950, §§ 15-822, 15-846, 15-968.7; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-493; 1964, c. 279; 1968, c. 652; 1970, c. 216; 1972, c. 818; 1975, c. 641; 1984, c. 175; 1988, cc. 573, 733, 856; 1989, c. 359; 1990, c. 475; 1991, c. 235; 1996, c. 867; 1997, c. 587; 2019, c. 483.

§ 15.2-2286. (Effective October 1, 2019) Permitted provisions in zoning ordinances; amendments; applicant to pay delinquent taxes; penalties.

A. A zoning ordinance may include, among other things, reasonable regulations and provisions as to any or all of the following matters:

1. For variances or special exceptions, as defined in § 15.2-2201, to the general regulations in any district.

2. For the temporary application of the ordinance to any property coming into the territorial jurisdiction of the governing body by annexation or otherwise, subsequent to the adoption of the zoning ordinance, and pending the orderly amendment of the ordinance.

3. For the granting of special exceptions under suitable regulations and safeguards; notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, the governing body of any locality may reserve unto itself the right to issue such special exceptions. Conditions imposed in connection with residential special use permits, wherein the applicant proposes affordable housing, shall be consistent with the objective of providing affordable housing. When imposing conditions on residential projects specifying materials and methods of construction or specific design features, the approving body shall consider the impact of the conditions upon the affordability of housing.

The governing body or the board of zoning appeals of the City of Norfolk may impose a condition upon any special exception relating to retail alcoholic beverage control licensees which provides that such special exception will automatically expire upon a change of ownership of the property, a change in possession, a change in the operation or management of a facility or upon the passage of a specific period of time.

The governing body of the City of Richmond may impose a condition upon any special use permit issued after July 1, 2000, relating to retail alcoholic beverage licensees which provides that such special use permit shall be subject to an automatic review by the governing body upon a change in possession, a change in the owner of the business, or a transfer of majority control of the business entity. Upon review by the governing body, it may either amend or revoke the special use permit after notice and a public hearing as required by § 15.2-2206.

4. For the administration and enforcement of the ordinance including the appointment or designation of a zoning administrator who may also hold another office in the locality. The zoning administrator shall have all necessary authority on behalf of the governing body to administer and enforce the zoning ordinance. His authority shall include (i) ordering in writing the remedying of any condition found in violation of the ordinance; (ii) insuring compliance with the ordinance, bringing legal action, including injunction, abatement, or other appropriate action or proceeding subject to appeal pursuant to § 15.2-2311; and (iii) in specific cases, making findings of fact and, with concurrence of the attorney for the governing body, conclusions of law regarding determinations of rights accruing under § 15.2-2307 or subsection C of § 15.2-2311.

Whenever the zoning administrator has reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in or is engaging in any violation of a zoning ordinance that limits occupancy in a residential dwelling unit, which is subject to a civil penalty that may be imposed in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2209, and the zoning administrator, after a good faith effort to obtain the data or information necessary to determine whether a violation has occurred, has been unable to obtain such information, he may request that the attorney for the locality petition the judge of the general district court for his jurisdiction for a subpoena duces tecum against any such person refusing to produce such data or information. The judge of the court, upon good cause shown, may cause the subpoena to be issued. Any person failing to comply with such subpoena shall be subject to punishment for contempt by the court issuing the subpoena. Any person so subpoenaed may apply to the judge who issued the subpoena to quash it.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-2311, a zoning ordinance may prescribe an appeal period of less than 30 days, but not less than 10 days, for a notice of violation involving temporary or seasonal commercial uses, parking of commercial trucks in residential zoning districts, maximum occupancy limitations of a residential dwelling unit, or similar short-term, recurring violations.

Where provided by ordinance, the zoning administrator may be authorized to grant a modification from any provision contained in the zoning ordinance with respect to physical requirements on a lot or parcel of land, including but not limited to size, height, location or features of or related to any building, structure, or improvements, if the administrator finds in writing that: (i) the strict application of the ordinance would produce undue hardship; (ii) such hardship is not shared generally by other properties in the same zoning district and the same vicinity; and (iii) the authorization of the modification will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property and the character of the zoning district will not be changed by the granting of the modification. Prior to the granting of a modification, the zoning administrator shall give, or require the applicant to give, all adjoining property owners written notice of the request for modification, and an opportunity to respond to the request within 21 days of the date of the notice. The zoning administrator shall make a decision on the application for modification and issue a written decision with a copy provided to the applicant and any adjoining landowner who responded in writing to the notice sent pursuant to this paragraph. The decision of the zoning administrator shall constitute a decision within the purview of § 15.2-2311, and may be appealed to the board of zoning appeals as provided by that section. Decisions of the board of zoning appeals may be appealed to the circuit court as provided by § 15.2-2314.

The zoning administrator shall respond within 90 days of a request for a decision or determination on zoning matters within the scope of his authority unless the requester has agreed to a longer period.

5. For the imposition of penalties upon conviction of any violation of the zoning ordinance. Any such violation shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000. If the violation is uncorrected at the time of the conviction, the court shall order the violator to abate or remedy the violation in compliance with the zoning ordinance, within a time period established by the court. Failure to remove or abate a zoning violation within the specified time period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000; any such failure during a succeeding 10-day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,500; and any such failure during any succeeding 10-day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense for each 10-day period punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000.

However, any conviction resulting from a violation of provisions regulating the number of unrelated persons in single-family residential dwellings shall be punishable by a fine of up to $2,000. Failure to abate the violation within the specified time period shall be punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, and any such failure during any succeeding 10-day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense for each 10-day period punishable by a fine of up to $7,500. However, no such fine shall accrue against an owner or managing agent of a single-family residential dwelling unit during the pendency of any legal action commenced by such owner or managing agent of such dwelling unit against a tenant to eliminate an overcrowding condition in accordance with the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (§ 55.1-1200 et seq.). A conviction resulting from a violation of provisions regulating the number of unrelated persons in single-family residential dwellings shall not be punishable by a jail term.

6. For the collection of fees to cover the cost of making inspections, issuing permits, advertising of notices and other expenses incident to the administration of a zoning ordinance or to the filing or processing of any appeal or amendment thereto.

7. For the amendment of the regulations or district maps from time to time, or for their repeal. Whenever the public necessity, convenience, general welfare, or good zoning practice requires, the governing body may by ordinance amend, supplement, or change the regulations, district boundaries, or classifications of property. Any such amendment may be initiated (i) by resolution of the governing body; (ii) by motion of the local planning commission; or (iii) by petition of the owner, contract purchaser with the owner's written consent, or the owner's agent therefor, of the property which is the subject of the proposed zoning map amendment, addressed to the governing body or the local planning commission, who shall forward such petition to the governing body; however, the ordinance may provide for the consideration of proposed amendments only at specified intervals of time, and may further provide that substantially the same petition will not be reconsidered within a specific period, not exceeding one year. Any such resolution or motion by such governing body or commission proposing the rezoning shall state the above public purposes therefor.

In any county having adopted such zoning ordinance, all motions, resolutions or petitions for amendment to the zoning ordinance, and/or map shall be acted upon and a decision made within such reasonable time as may be necessary which shall not exceed 12 months unless the applicant requests or consents to action beyond such period or unless the applicant withdraws his motion, resolution or petition for amendment to the zoning ordinance or map, or both. In the event of and upon such withdrawal, processing of the motion, resolution or petition shall cease without further action as otherwise would be required by this subdivision.

8. For the submission and approval of a plan of development prior to the issuance of building permits to assure compliance with regulations contained in such zoning ordinance.

9. For areas and districts designated for mixed use developments or planned unit developments as defined in § 15.2-2201.

10. For the administration of incentive zoning as defined in § 15.2-2201.

11. For provisions allowing the locality to enter into a voluntary agreement with a landowner that would result in the downzoning of the landowner's undeveloped or underdeveloped property in exchange for a tax credit equal to the amount of excess real estate taxes that the landowner has paid due to the higher zoning classification. The locality may establish reasonable guidelines for determining the amount of excess real estate tax collected and the method and duration for applying the tax credit. For purposes of this section, "downzoning" means a zoning action by a locality that results in a reduction in a formerly permitted land use intensity or density.

12. 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.

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

14. For the enforcement of provisions of the zoning ordinance that regulate the number of persons permitted to occupy a single-family residential dwelling unit, provided such enforcement is in compliance with applicable local, state and federal fair housing laws.

15. For the issuance of inspection warrants by a magistrate or court of competent jurisdiction. The zoning administrator or his agent may make an affidavit under oath before a magistrate or court of competent jurisdiction and, if such affidavit establishes probable cause that a zoning ordinance violation has occurred, request that the magistrate or court grant the zoning administrator or his agent an inspection warrant to enable the zoning administrator or his agent to enter the subject dwelling for the purpose of determining whether violations of the zoning ordinance exist. After issuing a warrant under this section, the magistrate or judge shall file the affidavit in the manner prescribed by § 19.2-54. After executing the warrant, the zoning administrator or his agents shall return the warrant to the clerk of the circuit court of the city or county wherein the inspection was made. The zoning administrator or his agent shall make a reasonable effort to obtain consent from the owner or tenant of the subject dwelling prior to seeking the issuance of an inspection warrant under this section.

B. Prior to the initiation of an application by the owner of the subject property, the owner's agent, or any entity in which the owner holds an ownership interest greater than 50 percent, for a special exception, special use permit, variance, rezoning or other land disturbing permit, including building permits and erosion and sediment control permits, or prior to the issuance of final approval, the authorizing body may require the applicant to produce satisfactory evidence that any delinquent real estate taxes, nuisance charges, stormwater management utility fees, and any other charges that constitute a lien on the subject property, that are owed to the locality and have been properly assessed against the subject property, have been paid, unless otherwise authorized by the treasurer.

Code 1950, § 15-968.5; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-491; 1964, c. 564; 1966, c. 455; 1968, cc. 543, 595; 1973, c. 286; 1974, c. 547; 1975, cc. 99, 575, 579, 582, 641; 1976, cc. 71, 409, 470, 683; 1977, c. 177; 1978, c. 543; 1979, c. 182; 1982, c. 44; 1983, c. 392; 1984, c. 238; 1987, c. 8; 1988, cc. 481, 856; 1989, cc. 359, 384; 1990, cc. 672, 868; 1992, c. 380; 1993, c. 672; 1994, c. 802; 1995, cc. 351, 475, 584, 603; 1996, c. 451; 1997, cc. 529, 543, 587; 1998, c. 385; 1999, c. 792; 2000, cc. 764, 817; 2001, c. 240; 2002, cc. 547, 703; 2005, cc. 625, 677; 2006, cc. 304, 514, 533, 903; 2007, cc. 821, 937; 2008, cc. 297, 317, 343, 581, 593, 720, 777; 2009, c. 721; 2012, cc. 304, 318; 2014, c. 354; 2017, c. 398; 2018, c. 726.

§ 15.2-2286. (Effective until October 1, 2019) Permitted provisions in zoning ordinances; amendments; applicant to pay delinquent taxes; penalties.

A. A zoning ordinance may include, among other things, reasonable regulations and provisions as to any or all of the following matters:

1. For variances or special exceptions, as defined in § 15.2-2201, to the general regulations in any district.

2. For the temporary application of the ordinance to any property coming into the territorial jurisdiction of the governing body by annexation or otherwise, subsequent to the adoption of the zoning ordinance, and pending the orderly amendment of the ordinance.

3. For the granting of special exceptions under suitable regulations and safeguards; notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, the governing body of any locality may reserve unto itself the right to issue such special exceptions. Conditions imposed in connection with residential special use permits, wherein the applicant proposes affordable housing, shall be consistent with the objective of providing affordable housing. When imposing conditions on residential projects specifying materials and methods of construction or specific design features, the approving body shall consider the impact of the conditions upon the affordability of housing.

The governing body or the board of zoning appeals of the City of Norfolk may impose a condition upon any special exception relating to retail alcoholic beverage control licensees which provides that such special exception will automatically expire upon a change of ownership of the property, a change in possession, a change in the operation or management of a facility or upon the passage of a specific period of time.

The governing body of the City of Richmond may impose a condition upon any special use permit issued after July 1, 2000, relating to retail alcoholic beverage licensees which provides that such special use permit shall be subject to an automatic review by the governing body upon a change in possession, a change in the owner of the business, or a transfer of majority control of the business entity. Upon review by the governing body, it may either amend or revoke the special use permit after notice and a public hearing as required by § 15.2-2206.

4. For the administration and enforcement of the ordinance including the appointment or designation of a zoning administrator who may also hold another office in the locality. The zoning administrator shall have all necessary authority on behalf of the governing body to administer and enforce the zoning ordinance. His authority shall include (i) ordering in writing the remedying of any condition found in violation of the ordinance; (ii) insuring compliance with the ordinance, bringing legal action, including injunction, abatement, or other appropriate action or proceeding subject to appeal pursuant to § 15.2-2311; and (iii) in specific cases, making findings of fact and, with concurrence of the attorney for the governing body, conclusions of law regarding determinations of rights accruing under § 15.2-2307 or subsection C of § 15.2-2311.

Whenever the zoning administrator has reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in or is engaging in any violation of a zoning ordinance that limits occupancy in a residential dwelling unit, which is subject to a civil penalty that may be imposed in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2209, and the zoning administrator, after a good faith effort to obtain the data or information necessary to determine whether a violation has occurred, has been unable to obtain such information, he may request that the attorney for the locality petition the judge of the general district court for his jurisdiction for a subpoena duces tecum against any such person refusing to produce such data or information. The judge of the court, upon good cause shown, may cause the subpoena to be issued. Any person failing to comply with such subpoena shall be subject to punishment for contempt by the court issuing the subpoena. Any person so subpoenaed may apply to the judge who issued the subpoena to quash it.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-2311, a zoning ordinance may prescribe an appeal period of less than 30 days, but not less than 10 days, for a notice of violation involving temporary or seasonal commercial uses, parking of commercial trucks in residential zoning districts, maximum occupancy limitations of a residential dwelling unit, or similar short-term, recurring violations.

Where provided by ordinance, the zoning administrator may be authorized to grant a modification from any provision contained in the zoning ordinance with respect to physical requirements on a lot or parcel of land, including but not limited to size, height, location or features of or related to any building, structure, or improvements, if the administrator finds in writing that: (i) the strict application of the ordinance would produce undue hardship; (ii) such hardship is not shared generally by other properties in the same zoning district and the same vicinity; and (iii) the authorization of the modification will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property and the character of the zoning district will not be changed by the granting of the modification. Prior to the granting of a modification, the zoning administrator shall give, or require the applicant to give, all adjoining property owners written notice of the request for modification, and an opportunity to respond to the request within 21 days of the date of the notice. The zoning administrator shall make a decision on the application for modification and issue a written decision with a copy provided to the applicant and any adjoining landowner who responded in writing to the notice sent pursuant to this paragraph. The decision of the zoning administrator shall constitute a decision within the purview of § 15.2-2311, and may be appealed to the board of zoning appeals as provided by that section. Decisions of the board of zoning appeals may be appealed to the circuit court as provided by § 15.2-2314.

The zoning administrator shall respond within 90 days of a request for a decision or determination on zoning matters within the scope of his authority unless the requester has agreed to a longer period.

5. For the imposition of penalties upon conviction of any violation of the zoning ordinance. Any such violation shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000. If the violation is uncorrected at the time of the conviction, the court shall order the violator to abate or remedy the violation in compliance with the zoning ordinance, within a time period established by the court. Failure to remove or abate a zoning violation within the specified time period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000; any such failure during a succeeding 10-day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,500; and any such failure during any succeeding 10-day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense for each 10-day period punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000.

However, any conviction resulting from a violation of provisions regulating the number of unrelated persons in single-family residential dwellings shall be punishable by a fine of up to $2,000. Failure to abate the violation within the specified time period shall be punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, and any such failure during any succeeding 10-day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense for each 10-day period punishable by a fine of up to $7,500. However, no such fine shall accrue against an owner or managing agent of a single-family residential dwelling unit during the pendency of any legal action commenced by such owner or managing agent of such dwelling unit against a tenant to eliminate an overcrowding condition in accordance with Chapter 13 or Chapter 13.2 of Title 55, as applicable. A conviction resulting from a violation of provisions regulating the number of unrelated persons in single-family residential dwellings shall not be punishable by a jail term.

6. For the collection of fees to cover the cost of making inspections, issuing permits, advertising of notices and other expenses incident to the administration of a zoning ordinance or to the filing or processing of any appeal or amendment thereto.

7. For the amendment of the regulations or district maps from time to time, or for their repeal. Whenever the public necessity, convenience, general welfare, or good zoning practice requires, the governing body may by ordinance amend, supplement, or change the regulations, district boundaries, or classifications of property. Any such amendment may be initiated (i) by resolution of the governing body; (ii) by motion of the local planning commission; or (iii) by petition of the owner, contract purchaser with the owner's written consent, or the owner's agent therefor, of the property which is the subject of the proposed zoning map amendment, addressed to the governing body or the local planning commission, who shall forward such petition to the governing body; however, the ordinance may provide for the consideration of proposed amendments only at specified intervals of time, and may further provide that substantially the same petition will not be reconsidered within a specific period, not exceeding one year. Any such resolution or motion by such governing body or commission proposing the rezoning shall state the above public purposes therefor.

In any county having adopted such zoning ordinance, all motions, resolutions or petitions for amendment to the zoning ordinance, and/or map shall be acted upon and a decision made within such reasonable time as may be necessary which shall not exceed 12 months unless the applicant requests or consents to action beyond such period or unless the applicant withdraws his motion, resolution or petition for amendment to the zoning ordinance or map, or both. In the event of and upon such withdrawal, processing of the motion, resolution or petition shall cease without further action as otherwise would be required by this subdivision.

8. For the submission and approval of a plan of development prior to the issuance of building permits to assure compliance with regulations contained in such zoning ordinance.

9. For areas and districts designated for mixed use developments or planned unit developments as defined in § 15.2-2201.

10. For the administration of incentive zoning as defined in § 15.2-2201.

11. For provisions allowing the locality to enter into a voluntary agreement with a landowner that would result in the downzoning of the landowner's undeveloped or underdeveloped property in exchange for a tax credit equal to the amount of excess real estate taxes that the landowner has paid due to the higher zoning classification. The locality may establish reasonable guidelines for determining the amount of excess real estate tax collected and the method and duration for applying the tax credit. For purposes of this section, "downzoning" means a zoning action by a locality that results in a reduction in a formerly permitted land use intensity or density.

12. 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.

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

14. For the enforcement of provisions of the zoning ordinance that regulate the number of persons permitted to occupy a single-family residential dwelling unit, provided such enforcement is in compliance with applicable local, state and federal fair housing laws.

15. For the issuance of inspection warrants by a magistrate or court of competent jurisdiction. The zoning administrator or his agent may make an affidavit under oath before a magistrate or court of competent jurisdiction and, if such affidavit establishes probable cause that a zoning ordinance violation has occurred, request that the magistrate or court grant the zoning administrator or his agent an inspection warrant to enable the zoning administrator or his agent to enter the subject dwelling for the purpose of determining whether violations of the zoning ordinance exist. After issuing a warrant under this section, the magistrate or judge shall file the affidavit in the manner prescribed by § 19.2-54. After executing the warrant, the zoning administrator or his agents shall return the warrant to the clerk of the circuit court of the city or county wherein the inspection was made. The zoning administrator or his agent shall make a reasonable effort to obtain consent from the owner or tenant of the subject dwelling prior to seeking the issuance of an inspection warrant under this section.

B. Prior to the initiation of an application by the owner of the subject property, the owner's agent, or any entity in which the owner holds an ownership interest greater than 50 percent, for a special exception, special use permit, variance, rezoning or other land disturbing permit, including building permits and erosion and sediment control permits, or prior to the issuance of final approval, the authorizing body may require the applicant to produce satisfactory evidence that any delinquent real estate taxes, nuisance charges, stormwater management utility fees, and any other charges that constitute a lien on the subject property, that are owed to the locality and have been properly assessed against the subject property, have been paid, unless otherwise authorized by the treasurer.

Code 1950, § 15-968.5; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-491; 1964, c. 564; 1966, c. 455; 1968, cc. 543, 595; 1973, c. 286; 1974, c. 547; 1975, cc. 99, 575, 579, 582, 641; 1976, cc. 71, 409, 470, 683; 1977, c. 177; 1978, c. 543; 1979, c. 182; 1982, c. 44; 1983, c. 392; 1984, c. 238; 1987, c. 8; 1988, cc. 481, 856; 1989, cc. 359, 384; 1990, cc. 672, 868; 1992, c. 380; 1993, c. 672; 1994, c. 802; 1995, cc. 351, 475, 584, 603; 1996, c. 451; 1997, cc. 529, 543, 587; 1998, c. 385; 1999, c. 792; 2000, cc. 764, 817; 2001, c. 240; 2002, cc. 547, 703; 2005, cc. 625, 677; 2006, cc. 304, 514, 533, 903; 2007, cc. 821, 937; 2008, cc. 297, 317, 343, 581, 593, 720, 777; 2009, c. 721; 2012, cc. 304, 318; 2014, c. 354; 2017, c. 398; 2018, c. 726.

§ 15.2-2286.1. Provisions for clustering of single-family dwellings so as to preserve open space.

A. The provisions of this section shall apply to any county or city that had a population growth rate of 10% or more from the next-to-latest to latest decennial census year, based on population reported by the United States Bureau of the Census. However, the requirements of this section shall not apply to any such county or city that has a population density of more than 2,000 people per square mile, according to the most recent report of the United States Bureau of the Census.

B. Any such locality shall provide in its zoning or subdivision ordinances, applicable to a minimum of 40% of the unimproved land contained in residential and agricultural zoning district classifications, standards, conditions, and criteria for the clustering of single-family dwellings and the preservation of open space developments. In establishing such standards, conditions, and criteria, the governing body may, in its discretion, include any provisions it determines appropriate to ensure quality development, preservation of open space, and compliance with its comprehensive plan and land use ordinances. A cluster development is otherwise subject to applicable land use ordinances of the locality; however, the locality shall not impose more stringent land use requirements for such cluster development.

The locality shall not prohibit extension of water or sewer from an adjacent property to a cluster development provided the cluster development is located within an area designated for water and sewer service by a county, city, or town or public service authority.

For any "open space" or "conservation areas" established in a cluster development, the locality shall not (i) require in such areas identification of slopes, species of woodlands or vegetation and whether any of such species are diseased, the locations of species listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern, or riparian zones or require the applicant to provide a property resource map showing such matters in any conservation areas, other than that which may be required to comply with an ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-961 or 15.2-961.1 or applicable state law; (ii) require such areas be excluded from the calculation of density in a cluster development or exclude land in such areas because of prior land-disturbing activities; (iii) prohibit roads from being located in such areas for purposes of access to the cluster development, but the locality may require such roads be designed to mitigate the impact on such areas; (iv) prohibit stormwater management areas from being located in such areas; or (v) require that lots in the cluster development directly abut such areas or a developed pathway providing direct access to such areas.

For purposes of this section, "open space" or "conservation areas" shall mean the same as "open-space land" in § 10.1-1700.

The density calculation of the cluster development shall be based upon the same criteria for the property as would otherwise be permitted by applicable land use ordinances. As a locality provides for the clustering of single-family dwellings and the preservation of open space developments, it may vary provisions for such developments for each different residential zoning classification within the locality. For purposes of this section, "unimproved land" shall not include land owned or controlled by the locality, the Commonwealth or the federal government, or any instrumentality thereof or land subject to a conservation easement.

If proposals for the clustering of single-family dwellings and the preservation of open space developments comply with the locality's adopted standards, conditions, and criteria, the development and open space preservation shall be permitted by right under the local subdivision ordinance. The implementation and approval of the cluster development and open space preservation shall be done administratively by the locality's staff and without a public hearing. No local ordinance shall require that a special exception, special use, or conditional use permit be obtained for such developments. However, any such ordinance may exempt (a) developments of two acres or less and (b) property located in an Air Installation Compatible Use Zone from the provisions of this subdivision.

C. Additionally, a locality may, at its option, provide for the clustering of single-family dwellings and the preservation of open space at a density calculation greater than the density permitted in the applicable land use ordinance. To implement and approve such increased density development, the locality may, at its option, (i) establish and provide, in its zoning or subdivision ordinances, standards, conditions, and criteria for such development, and if the proposed development complies with those standards, conditions, and criteria, it shall be permitted by right and approved administratively by the locality's staff in the same manner provided in subsection A, or (ii) approve the increased density development upon approval of a special exception, special use permit, conditional use permit, or rezoning.

D. Notwithstanding any of the requirements of this section to the contrary, any local government land use ordinance in effect as of June 1, 2004, that provides for the clustering of single-family dwellings and preservation of open space development by right in at least one residential zoning classification without requiring either a special exception, special use permit, conditional use permit, or other discretionary approval may remain in effect at the option of the locality and will be deemed to be in compliance with this section. Any other locality may adopt provisions for the clustering of single-family dwellings, following the procedures set out in this section, in its discretion.

2006, c. 903; 2011, cc. 519, 549.

§ 15.2-2287. Localities may require oath regarding property interest of local officials.

A zoning ordinance may provide that petitions brought by property owners, contract purchasers or the agents thereof, shall be sworn to under oath before a notary public or other official before whom oaths may be taken, stating whether or not any member of the local planning commission or governing body has any interest in such property, either individually, by ownership of stock in a corporation owning such land, partnership, as the beneficiary of a trust, or the settlor of a revocable trust or whether a member of the immediate household of any member of the planning commission or governing body has any such interest.

Code 1950, § 15-968.5; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-491; 1964, c. 564; 1966, c. 455; 1968, cc. 543, 595; 1973, c. 286; 1974, c. 547; 1975, cc. 99, 575, 579, 582, 641; 1976, cc. 71, 409, 470, 683; 1977, c. 177; 1978, c. 543; 1979, c. 182; 1982, c. 44; 1983, c. 392; 1984, c. 238; 1987, c. 8; 1988, cc. 481, 856; 1989, cc. 359, 384; 1990, cc. 672, 868; 1992, c. 380; 1993, c. 672; 1994, c. 802; 1995, cc. 351, 475, 584, 603; 1996, c. 451; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2287.1. Disclosures in land use proceedings.

A. The provisions of this section shall apply in their entirety to the County of Loudoun.

B. Each individual member of the board of supervisors, the planning commission, and the board of zoning appeals in any proceeding before each such body involving an application for a special exception or variance or involving an application for amendment of a zoning ordinance map, which does not constitute the adoption of a comprehensive zoning plan, an ordinance applicable throughout the locality, or an application filed by the board of supervisors that involves more than 10 parcels that are owned by different individuals, trusts, corporations, or other entities, shall, prior to any hearing on the matter or at such hearing, make a full public disclosure of any business or financial relationship that such member has, or has had within the 12-month period prior to such hearing, (i) with the applicant in such case; or (ii) with the title owner, contract purchaser or lessee of the land that is the subject of the application, except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10 percent or more of the units in the condominium; or (iii) if any of the foregoing is a trustee (other than a trustee under a corporate mortgage or deed of trust securing one or more issues of corporate mortgage bonds), with any trust beneficiary having an interest in such land; or (iv) with the agent, attorney or real estate broker of any of the foregoing. For the purpose of this subsection, "business or financial relationship" means any relationship (other than any ordinary customer or depositor relationship with a retail establishment, public utility, or bank) such member, or any member of the member's immediate household, either directly or by way of a partnership in which any of them is a partner, employee, agent, or attorney, or through a partner of any of them, or through a corporation in which any of them is an officer, director, employee, agent, or attorney or holds 10 percent or more of the outstanding bonds or shares of stock of a particular class, has, or has had within the 12-month period prior to such hearing, with the applicant in the case, or with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of the subject land, except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10 percent or more of the units in the condominium, or with any of the other persons above specified. For the purpose of this subsection "business or financial relationship" also means the receipt by the member, or by any person, firm, corporation, or committee in his behalf, from the applicant in the case or from the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of the subject land, except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10 percent or more of the units in the condominium, or from any of the other persons above specified, during the 12-month period prior to the hearing in such case, of any gift or donation having a value of more than $100, singularly or in the aggregate.

If at the time of the hearing in any such case such member has a relationship of employee-employer, agent-principal, or attorney-client with the applicant in the case or with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of the subject land except, in the case of a condominium, with the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee of 10 percent or more of the units in the condominium, or with any of the other persons above specified, that member shall, prior to any hearing on the matter or at such hearing, make a full public disclosure of such employee-employer, agent-principal, or attorney-client relationship and shall be ineligible to vote or participate in any way in such case or in any hearing thereon.

C. In any case described in subsection B pending before the board of supervisors, planning commission, or board of zoning appeals, the applicant in the case shall, prior to any hearing on the matter, file with the board or commission a statement in writing and under oath identifying by name and last known address each person, corporation, partnership, or other association specified in the first paragraph of subsection B. The requirements of this section shall be applicable only with respect to those so identified.

D. Any person knowingly and willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

2008, c. 532; 2014, c. 743.

§ 15.2-2288. Localities may not require a special use permit for certain agricultural activities.

A zoning ordinance shall not require that a special exception or special use permit be obtained for any production agriculture or silviculture activity in an area that is zoned as an agricultural district or classification. For the purposes of this section, production agriculture and silviculture is the bona fide production or harvesting of agricultural products as defined in § 3.2-6400, including silviculture products, but shall not include the processing of agricultural or silviculture products, the above ground application or storage of sewage sludge, or the storage or disposal of nonagricultural excavation material, waste and debris if the excavation material, waste and debris are not generated on the farm, subject to the provisions of the Virginia Waste Management Act. However, localities may adopt setback requirements, minimum area requirements and other requirements that apply to land used for agriculture or silviculture activity within the locality that is zoned as an agricultural district or classification. Nothing herein shall require agencies of the Commonwealth or its contractors to obtain a special exception or a special use permit under this section.

Code 1950, § 15-968.5; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-491; 1964, c. 564; 1966, c. 455; 1968, cc. 543, 595; 1973, c. 286; 1974, c. 547; 1975, cc. 99, 575, 579, 582, 641; 1976, cc. 71, 409, 470, 683; 1977, c. 177; 1978, c. 543; 1979, c. 182; 1982, c. 44; 1983, c. 392; 1984, c. 238; 1987, c. 8; 1988, cc. 481, 856; 1989, cc. 359, 384; 1990, cc. 672, 868; 1992, c. 380; 1993, c. 672; 1994, c. 802; 1995, cc. 351, 475, 584, 603; 1996, c. 451; 1997, c. 587; 2012, c. 455; 2014, c. 435.

§ 15.2-2288.01. Localities shall not require a special use permit for certain small-scale conversion of biomass to alternative fuel.

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

"Biomass" means agricultural-related materials including vineyard, grain or crop residues; straws; aquatic plants; and crops and trees planted for energy production.

"Small-scale conversion of biomass" means the conversion of any renewable biomass into heat, power, or biofuels.

B. A zoning ordinance shall not require that a special exception or special use permit be obtained for the small-scale conversion of biomass if: (i) at least 50 percent of the feedstock is produced either on site or by the owner of the conversion equipment; (ii) any structure used for the processing of the feedstock into energy occupies less than 4,000 square feet, not including the space required for storage of feedstock; and (iii) the owner of the farm notifies the administrative head of the locality in which the processing occurs. Localities may adopt reasonable requirements for setback, minimum lot area, and restrictions on the hours of operation and maximum noise levels applicable to the small-scale conversion of biomass. No setback, lot area, hours of operation or noise requirements may be more restrictive than similar provisions for other agricultural structures or activities.

2009, c. 363.

§ 15.2-2288.1. Localities may not require a special use permit for certain residential uses.

No local ordinance shall require as a condition of approval of a subdivision plat, site plan, or plan of development, or issuance of a building permit, that a special exception, special use, or conditional use permit be obtained for the development and construction of residential dwellings at the use, height and density permitted by right under the local zoning ordinance. Nothing herein shall restrict the use of the special exception, special use, or conditional use permit process on application of a property owner for (i) a cluster or town center as an optional form of residential development at a density greater than that permitted by right, or otherwise permitted by local ordinance; (ii) use in an area designated for steep slope mountain development; (iii) use as a utility facility to serve a residential development; or (iv) nonresidential uses including but not limited to home businesses, home occupations, day care centers, bed and breakfast inns, lodging houses, private boarding schools, and shelters established for the purpose of providing human services to the occupants thereof.

1999, c. 1041; 2002, c. 703.

§ 15.2-2288.2. Localities may not require special use permit for certain temporary structures.

A zoning ordinance shall not require that a special exception or special use permit be obtained in order to erect a tent on private property (i) intended to serve as a temporary structure for a period of three days or less and (ii) that will be used primarily for private or family-related events including, but not limited to, weddings and estate sales.

2006, c. 249.

§ 15.2-2288.3. Licensed farm wineries; local regulation of certain activities.

A. It is the policy of the Commonwealth to preserve the economic vitality of the Virginia wine industry while maintaining appropriate land use authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth, and to permit the reasonable expectation of uses in specific zoning categories. Local restriction upon such activities and events of farm wineries licensed in accordance with Title 4.1 to market and sell their products shall be reasonable and shall take into account the economic impact on the farm winery of such restriction, the agricultural nature of such activities and events, and whether such activities and events are usual and customary for farm wineries throughout the Commonwealth. Usual and customary activities and events at farm wineries shall be permitted without local regulation unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety, or welfare of the public. No local ordinance regulating noise, other than outdoor amplified music, arising from activities and events at farm wineries shall be more restrictive than that in the general noise ordinance. In authorizing outdoor amplified music at a farm winery, the locality shall consider the effect on adjacent property owners and nearby residents.

B, C. [Expired.]

D. No locality may treat private personal gatherings held by the owner of a licensed farm winery who resides at the farm winery or on property adjacent thereto that is owned or controlled by such owner at which gatherings wine is not sold or marketed and for which no consideration is received by the farm winery or its agents differently from private personal gatherings by other citizens.

E. No locality shall regulate any of the following activities of a farm winery licensed in accordance with subdivision 5 of § 4.1-207:

1. The production and harvesting of fruit and other agricultural products and the manufacturing of wine;

2. The on-premises sale, tasting, or consumption of wine during regular business hours within the normal course of business of the licensed farm winery;

3. The direct sale and shipment of wine by common carrier to consumers in accordance with Title 4.1 and regulations of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority;

4. The sale and shipment of wine to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, licensed wholesalers, and out-of-state purchasers in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, and federal law;

5. The storage, warehousing, and wholesaling of wine in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, and federal law; or

6. The sale of wine-related items that are incidental to the sale of wine.

2006, c. 794; 2007, cc. 611, 657; 2009, cc. 416, 546; 2015, cc. 38, 730.

§ 15.2-2288.3:1. Limited brewery license; local regulation of certain activities.

A. It is the policy of the Commonwealth to preserve the economic vitality of the Virginia beer industry while maintaining appropriate land use authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth and to permit the reasonable expectation of uses in specific zoning categories. Local restriction upon such activities and public events of breweries licensed pursuant to subdivision 2 of § 4.1-208 to market and sell their products shall be reasonable and shall take into account the economic impact on such licensed brewery of such restriction, the agricultural nature of such activities and events, and whether such activities and events are usual and customary for such licensed breweries. Usual and customary activities and events at such licensed breweries shall be permitted unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety, or welfare of the public. No local ordinance regulating noise, other than outdoor amplified music, arising from activities and events at such licensed breweries shall be more restrictive than that in the general noise ordinance. In authorizing outdoor amplified music at such licensed brewery, the locality shall consider the effect on adjacent property owners and nearby residents.

B. No locality shall regulate any of the following activities of a brewery licensed under subdivision 2 of § 4.1-208:

1. The production and harvesting of barley, other grains, hops, fruit, or other agricultural products and the manufacturing of beer;

2. The on-premises sale, tasting, or consumption of beer during regular business hours within the normal course of business of such licensed brewery;

3. The direct sale and shipment of beer in accordance with Title 4.1 and regulations of the Board of Directors of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority;

4. The sale and shipment of beer to licensed wholesalers and out-of-state purchasers in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Board of Directors of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, and federal law;

5. The storage and warehousing of beer in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Board of Directors of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, and federal law; or

6. The sale of beer-related items that are incidental to the sale of beer.

C. Any locality may exempt any brewery licensed in accordance with subdivision 2 of § 4.1-208 on land zoned agricultural from any local regulation of minimum parking, road access, or road upgrade requirements.

2014, c. 365; 2015, cc. 38, 730.

§ 15.2-2288.3:2. Limited distiller's license; local regulation of certain activities.

A. Local restriction upon activities of distilleries licensed pursuant to subdivision 2 of § 4.1-206 to market and sell their products shall be reasonable and shall take into account the economic impact on such licensed distillery of such restriction, the agricultural nature of such activities and events, and whether such activities and events are usual and customary for such licensed distilleries. Usual and customary activities and events at such licensed distilleries shall be permitted unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety, or welfare of the public.

B. No locality shall regulate any of the following activities of a distillery licensed under subdivision 2 of § 4.1-206:

1. The production and harvesting of agricultural products and the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages other than wine or beer;

2. The on-premises sale, tasting, or consumption of alcoholic beverages other than wine or beer during regular business hours in accordance with a contract between a distillery and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board pursuant to the provisions of subsection D of § 4.1-119;

3. The sale and shipment of alcoholic beverages other than wine or beer to licensed wholesalers and out-of-state purchasers in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, and federal law;

4. The storage and warehousing of alcoholic beverages other than wine or beer in accordance with Title 4.1, regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, and federal law; or

5. The sale of items related to alcoholic beverages other than wine or beer that are incidental to the sale of such alcoholic beverages.

C. Any locality may exempt any distillery licensed in accordance with subdivision 2 of § 4.1-206 on land zoned agricultural from any local regulation of minimum parking, road access, or road upgrade requirements.

2015, c. 695.

§ 15.2-2288.4. Extension of expiration dates for special use permits.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any special use permit that was valid and outstanding as of January 1, 2009, is extended to July 1, 2011, regardless of whether such expiration or schedule exists by operation of statute, proffer, permit, local ordinance, or local custom. Nothing in this section shall impair the ability of any person to apply for additional extensions of time beyond the period specified in this section where permitted by other law.

2009, c. 636.

§ 15.2-2288.5. Meaning of "cemetery" for purposes of zoning.

A. A "cemetery" for purposes of this chapter shall have the meaning set forth in § 54.1-2310.

B. Nothing in this section shall exempt a licensed funeral home or cemetery from any applicable zoning regulation.

C. The following uses shall be included in the approval of a cemetery without further zoning approval being required: all uses necessarily or customarily associated with interment of human remains, benches, ledges, walls, graves, roads, paths, landscaping, and soil storage consistent with federal, state, and local laws on erosion sediment control.

D. Mausoleums, columbaria, chapels, administrative offices, and maintenance and storage areas that are shown in a legislative approval for the specific cemetery obtained at the request of the owner shall not require additional local legislative approval provided such structures and uses are developed in accordance with the original local legislative approval. This subsection shall not supersede any permission required by an ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 relative to historic districts.

2012, cc. 414, 478.

§ 15.2-2288.6. Agricultural operations; local regulation of certain activities.

A. No locality shall regulate the carrying out of any of the following activities at an agricultural operation, as defined in § 3.2-300, unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety, or general welfare of the public:

1. Agritourism activities as defined in § 3.2-6400;

2. The sale of agricultural or silvicultural products, or the sale of agricultural-related or silvicultural-related items incidental to the agricultural operation;

3. The preparation, processing, or sale of food products in compliance with subdivisions A 3, 4, and 5 of § 3.2-5130 or related state laws and regulations; or

4. Other activities or events that are usual and customary at Virginia agricultural operations.

Any local restriction placed on an activity listed in this subsection shall be reasonable and shall take into account the economic impact of the restriction on the agricultural operation and the agricultural nature of the activity.

B. No locality shall require a special exception, administrative permit not required by state law, or special use permit for any activity listed in subsection A on property that is zoned as an agricultural district or classification unless there is a substantial impact on the health, safety, or general welfare of the public.

C. Except regarding the sound generated by outdoor amplified music, no local ordinance regulating the sound generated by any activity listed in subsection A shall be more restrictive than the general noise ordinance of the locality. In permitting outdoor amplified music at an agricultural operation, the locality shall consider the effect on adjoining property owners and nearby residents.

D. The provisions of this section shall not affect any entity licensed in accordance with Chapter 2 (§ 4.1-200 et seq.) of Title 4.1. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the provisions of Chapter 3 (§ 3.2-300 et seq.) of Title 3.2, to alter the provisions of § 15.2-2288.3, or to restrict the authority of any locality under Title 58.1.

2014, cc. 153, 494.

§ 15.2-2288.7. (Effective October 1, 2019) Local regulation of solar facilities.

A. An owner of a residential dwelling unit may install a solar facility on the roof of such dwelling to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that dwelling, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned residential shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned residential, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

B. An owner of real property zoned agricultural may install a solar facility on the roof of a residential dwelling on such property, or on the roof of another building or structure on such property, to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that property upon which such facilities are located, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned agricultural and to be operated under § 56-594 or 56-594.2 shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as otherwise provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned agricultural, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

C. An owner of real property zoned commercial, industrial, or institutional may install a solar facility on the roof of one or more buildings located on such property to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that property upon which such facilities are located, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned commercial, industrial, or institutional shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as otherwise provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned commercial, industrial, or institutional, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

D. An owner of real property zoned mixed-use may install a solar facility on the roof of one or more buildings located on such property to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that property upon which such facilities are located, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned mixed-use shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned mixed-use, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede or limit contracts or agreements between or among individuals or private entities related to the use of real property, including recorded declarations and covenants, the provisions of condominium instruments of a condominium created pursuant to the Virginia Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.), the declaration of a common interest community as defined in § 54.1-2345, the cooperative instruments of a cooperative created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55.1-2100 et seq.), or any declaration of a property owners' association created pursuant to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.).

F. A locality, by ordinance, may provide by-right authority for installation of solar facilities in any zoning classification in addition to that provided in this section. A locality may also, by ordinance, require a property owner or an applicant for a permit pursuant to the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) who removes solar panels to dispose of such panels in accordance with such ordinance in addition to other applicable laws and regulations affecting such disposal.

2018, cc. 495, 496.

§ 15.2-2288.7. (Effective until October 1, 2019) Local regulation of solar facilities.

A. An owner of a residential dwelling unit may install a solar facility on the roof of such dwelling to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that dwelling, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned residential shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned residential, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

B. An owner of real property zoned agricultural may install a solar facility on the roof of a residential dwelling on such property, or on the roof of another building or structure on such property, to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that property upon which such facilities are located, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned agricultural and to be operated under § 56-594 or 56-594.2 shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as otherwise provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned agricultural, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

C. An owner of real property zoned commercial, industrial, or institutional may install a solar facility on the roof of one or more buildings located on such property to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that property upon which such facilities are located, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned commercial, industrial, or institutional shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as otherwise provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned commercial, industrial, or institutional, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

D. An owner of real property zoned mixed-use may install a solar facility on the roof of one or more buildings located on such property to serve the electricity or thermal needs of that property upon which such facilities are located, provided that such installation is (i) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (ii) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Unless a local ordinance provides otherwise, a ground-mounted solar energy generation facility to be located on property zoned mixed-use shall be permitted, provided that such installation is (a) in compliance with any height and setback requirements in the zoning district where such property is located and (b) in compliance with any provisions pertaining to any local historic, architectural preservation, or corridor protection district adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 where such property is located. Except as provided herein, any other solar facility proposed on property zoned mixed-use, including any solar facility that is designed to serve, or serves, the electricity or thermal needs of any property other than the property where such facilities are located, shall be subject to any applicable zoning regulations of the locality.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede or limit contracts or agreements between or among individuals or private entities related to the use of real property, including recorded declarations and covenants, the provisions of condominium instruments of a condominium created pursuant to the Condominium Act (§ 55-79.39 et seq.), the declaration of a common interest community as defined in § 55-528, the cooperative instruments of a cooperative created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55-424 et seq.), or any declaration of a property owners' association created pursuant to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55-508 et seq.).

F. A locality, by ordinance, may provide by-right authority for installation of solar facilities in any zoning classification in addition to that provided in this section. A locality may also, by ordinance, require a property owner or an applicant for a permit pursuant to the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) who removes solar panels to dispose of such panels in accordance with such ordinance in addition to other applicable laws and regulations affecting such disposal.

2018, cc. 495, 496.

§ 15.2-2289. Localities may provide by ordinance for disclosure of real parties in interest.

In addition to the powers granted by this chapter, localities may provide by ordinance that the local planning commission, governing body or zoning appeals board may require any applicant for a special exception, or a special use permit, amendment to the zoning ordinance or variance to make complete disclosure of the equitable ownership of the real estate to be affected including, in the case of corporate ownership, the name of stockholders, officers and directors and in any case the names and addresses of all of the real parties of interest. However, the requirement of listing names of stockholders, officers and directors shall not apply to a corporation whose stock is traded on a national or local stock exchange and having more than 500 shareholders. In the case of a condominium, the requirement shall apply only to the title owner, contract purchaser, or lessee if they own 10% or more of the units in the condominium.

1970, c. 573, § 15.1-486.1; 1975, cc. 575, 641; 1976, c. 370; 1980, c. 604; 1986, c. 173; 1988, c. 408; 1989, cc. 25, 232; 1992, c. 596; 1993, c. 288; 1994, c. 192; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 9, 317.

§ 15.2-2290. Uniform regulations for manufactured housing.

A. Localities adopting and enforcing zoning ordinances under the provisions of this article shall provide that, in all agricultural zoning districts or districts having similar classifications regardless of name or designation where agricultural, horticultural, or forest uses such as but not limited to those described in § 58.1-3230 are the dominant use, the placement of manufactured houses that are on a permanent foundation and on individual lots shall be permitted, subject to development standards that are equivalent to those applicable to site-built single family dwellings within the same or equivalent zoning district.

B. Localities adopting and enforcing zoning regulations under the provisions of this article may, to provide for the general purposes of zoning ordinances, adopt uniform standards, so long as they apply to all residential structures erected within the agricultural zoning district or other districts identified in subsection A of this section incorporating such standards. The standards shall not have the effect of excluding manufactured housing.

C. Local zoning ordinances adopting provisions consistent with this section shall not relieve lots or parcels from the obligations relating to manufactured housing units imposed by the terms of a restrictive covenant.

1990, c. 840, § 15.1-486.4; 1991, c. 198; 1995, cc. 540, 583; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2291. Assisted living facilities and group homes of eight or fewer; single-family residence.

A. Zoning ordinances for all purposes shall consider a residential facility in which no more than eight individuals with mental illness, intellectual disability, or developmental disabilities reside, with one or more resident or nonresident staff persons, as residential occupancy by a single family. For the purposes of this subsection, mental illness and developmental disability shall not include current illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance as defined in § 54.1-3401. No conditions more restrictive than those imposed on residences occupied by persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption shall be imposed on such facility. For purposes of this subsection, "residential facility" means any group home or other residential facility for which the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services is the licensing authority pursuant to this Code.

B. Zoning ordinances for all purposes shall consider a residential facility in which no more than eight aged, infirm or disabled persons reside, with one or more resident counselors or other staff persons, as residential occupancy by a single family. No conditions more restrictive than those imposed on residences occupied by persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption shall be imposed on such facility. For purposes of this subsection, "residential facility" means any assisted living facility or residential facility in which aged, infirm or disabled persons reside with one or more resident counselors or other staff persons and for which the Department of Social Services is the licensing authority pursuant to this Code.

1990, c. 814, § 15.1-486.3; 1993, c. 373; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 585; 2007, c. 813; 2008, c. 601; 2009, cc. 813, 840; 2010, cc. 796, 847; 2012, cc. 476, 507; 2014, c. 238.

§ 15.2-2292. Zoning provisions for family day homes.

A. Zoning ordinances for all purposes shall consider a family day home as defined in § 63.2-100 serving one through four children, exclusive of the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home as residential occupancy by a single family. No conditions more restrictive than those imposed on residences occupied by persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption shall be imposed upon such a home. Nothing in this section shall apply to any county or city which is subject to § 15.2-741 or 15.2-914.

B. A local governing body may by ordinance allow a zoning administrator to use an administrative process to issue zoning permits for a family day home as defined in § 63.2-100 serving five through 12 children, exclusive of the provider's own children and any children who reside in the home. The ordinance may contain such standards as the local governing body deems appropriate and shall include a requirement that notification be sent by registered or certified letter to the last known address of each adjacent property owner. If the zoning administrator receives no written objection from a person so notified within 30 days of the date of sending the letter and determines that the family day home otherwise complies with the provisions of the ordinance and all other applicable local ordinances, the zoning administrator shall issue the permit sought. If the zoning administrator receives a written objection from a person so notified within 30 days of the date of sending the letter and determines that the family day home otherwise complies with the provisions of the ordinance, the zoning administrator shall consider such objection and may (i) issue or deny the permit sought or (ii) if required by the ordinance, refer the permit to the local governing body for consideration. The ordinance shall provide a process whereby an applicant for a family day home that is denied a permit through the administrative process may request that its application be considered after a hearing following public notice as provided in § 15.2-2204. Upon such hearing, the local governing body may, in its discretion, approve the permit, subject to such conditions as agreed upon by the applicant and the locality, or deny the permit. The provisions of this subsection shall not prohibit a local governing body from exercising its authority, if at all, under subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286.

1994, cc. 781, 798, § 15.1-486.5; 1997, c. 587; 2014, c. 771; 2015, cc. 758, 770; 2019, cc. 380, 442.

§ 15.2-2292.1. Zoning provisions for temporary family health care structures.

A. Zoning ordinances for all purposes shall consider temporary family health care structures (i) for use by a caregiver in providing care for a mentally or physically impaired person and (ii) on property owned or occupied by the caregiver as his residence as a permitted accessory use in any single-family residential zoning district on lots zoned for single-family detached dwellings. Such structures shall not require a special use permit or be subjected to any other local requirements beyond those imposed upon other authorized accessory structures, except as otherwise provided in this section. Such structures shall comply with all setback requirements that apply to the primary structure and with any maximum floor area ratio limitations that may apply to the primary structure. Only one family health care structure shall be allowed on a lot or parcel of land.

B. For purposes of this section:

"Caregiver" means an adult who provides care for a mentally or physically impaired person within the Commonwealth. A caregiver shall be either related by blood, marriage, or adoption to or the legally appointed guardian of the mentally or physically impaired person for whom he is caring.

"Mentally or physically impaired person" means a person who is a resident of Virginia and who requires assistance with two or more activities of daily living, as defined in § 63.2-2200, as certified in a writing provided by a physician licensed by the Commonwealth.

"Temporary family health care structure" means a transportable residential structure, providing an environment facilitating a caregiver's provision of care for a mentally or physically impaired person, that (i) is primarily assembled at a location other than its site of installation; (ii) is limited to one occupant who shall be the mentally or physically impaired person or, in the case of a married couple, two occupants, one of whom is a mentally or physically impaired person, and the other requires assistance with one or more activities of daily living as defined in § 63.2-2200, as certified in writing by a physician licensed in the Commonwealth; (iii) has no more than 300 gross square feet; and (iv) complies with applicable provisions of the Industrialized Building Safety Law (§ 36-70 et seq.) and the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.). Placing the temporary family health care structure on a permanent foundation shall not be required or permitted.

C. Any person proposing to install a temporary family health care structure shall first obtain a permit from the local governing body, for which the locality may charge a fee of up to $100. The locality may not withhold such permit if the applicant provides sufficient proof of compliance with this section. The locality may require that the applicant provide evidence of compliance with this section on an annual basis as long as the temporary family health care structure remains on the property. Such evidence may involve the inspection by the locality of the temporary family health care structure at reasonable times convenient to the caregiver, not limited to any annual compliance confirmation.

D. Any temporary family health care structure installed pursuant to this section may be required to connect to any water, sewer, and electric utilities that are serving the primary residence on the property and shall comply with all applicable requirements of the Virginia Department of Health.

E. No signage advertising or otherwise promoting the existence of the structure shall be permitted either on the exterior of the temporary family health care structure or elsewhere on the property.

F. Any temporary family health care structure installed pursuant to this section shall be removed within 60 days of the date on which the temporary family health care structure was last occupied by a mentally or physically impaired person receiving services or in need of the assistance provided for in this section.

G. The local governing body, or the zoning administrator on its behalf, may revoke the permit granted pursuant to subsection C if the permit holder violates any provision of this section. Additionally, the local governing body may seek injunctive relief or other appropriate actions or proceedings in the circuit court of that locality to ensure compliance with this section. The zoning administrator is vested with all necessary authority on behalf of the governing body of the locality to ensure compliance with this section.

2010, c. 296; 2013, c. 178.

§ 15.2-2293. Airspace subject to zoning ordinances.

A. A zoning ordinance shall be applicable to the superjacent airspace of any nonpublic-owned land area.

B. Airspace superjacent or subjacent to any public highway, street, lane, alley or other way in this Commonwealth not required for the purpose of travel, or other public use, by the Commonwealth or other political jurisdiction owning it, shall be subject to the zoning ordinance of the locality in which the airspace is located.

C. Airspace not provided for in subsection B herein that is superjacent to any land owned by the Commonwealth or other political jurisdiction and occupied by a nonpolitical entity or person shall be subject to the zoning ordinance that would be applicable if the land were owned by a private person.

1979, c. 431, § 15.1-491.01; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2293.1. Placement of amateur radio antennas.

Any ordinance involving the placement, screening or height of antennas shall reasonably accommodate amateur radio antennas and shall impose the minimum regulation necessary to accomplish the locality's legitimate purpose. In localities having a population density of 120 persons or less per square mile according to the 1990 United States census, no local ordinance shall (i) restrict amateur radio antenna height to less than 200 feet above ground level as permitted by the Federal Communications Commission or (ii) restrict the number of support structures. In localities having a population density of more than 120 persons per square mile according to the 1990 United States census, no local ordinance shall (i) restrict amateur radio antenna height to less than 75 feet above ground level or (ii) restrict the number of support structures. Reasonable and customary engineering practices shall be followed in the erection of amateur radio antennas. This section shall not preclude any locality, by ordinance, from regulating amateur radio antennas with regard to reasonable requirements relating to the use of screening, setback, placement, and health and safety requirements.

1998, c. 642.

§ 15.2-2293.2. Regulation of helicopter use.

No local zoning ordinance shall impose a total ban on departures and landings within the locality by non-commercial helicopters for personal use, but local zoning ordinances may require a special exception, special use permit, or conditional use permit for repetitive helicopter landings and departures on the same parcel of land in some or all zoning districts. Special exceptions or special use permits may be made subject to reasonable conditions for the protection or benefit of owners and occupants of neighboring parcels, including but not limited to conditions related to compliance with applicable regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration.

2012, c. 506.

§ 15.2-2294. Airport safety zoning.

Every locality (i) in whose jurisdiction a licensed airport or United States government or military air facility is located or (ii) over whose jurisdiction the approach slopes and other safety zones of a licensed airport, including United States government or military air facility extend shall, by ordinance, provide for the regulation of the height of structures and natural growth for the purpose of protecting the safety of air navigation and the public investment in air navigation facilities. The ordinance may be adopted regardless of whether the local governing body has adopted a zoning ordinance applicable to other land uses in the locality. The ordinance may be designed and adopted by the locality as an overlay zone superimposed on any preexisting base zone.

The provisions of the airport safety zoning ordinance shall be in compliance with the rules of the Virginia Aviation Board.

1989, cc. 447, 449, § 15.1-491.02; 1990, c. 384; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2295. Aircraft noise attenuation features in buildings and structures within airport noise zones.

Any locality in whose jurisdiction, or adjacent jurisdiction, is located a licensed airport or United States government or military air facility, may enforce building regulations relating to the provision or installation of acoustical treatment measures in residential buildings and structures, or portions thereof, other than farm structures, for which building permits are issued after January 1, 2003, in areas affected by above average noise levels from aircraft due to their proximity to flight operations at nearby airports. Any locality in whose jurisdiction, or adjacent jurisdiction, is located a United States Master Jet Base, a licensed airport or United States government or military air facility, may, in addition, adopt and enforce building regulations relating to the provision or installation of acoustical treatment measures applicable to buildings and structures, or portions thereof, in Assembly, Business, Educational, Institutional, and Mercantile groups, as defined in the International Building Code.

In establishing the regulations, the locality may adopt one or more noise overlay zones as an amendment to its zoning map and may establish different measures to be provided or installed within each zone, taking into account the severity of the impact of aircraft noise upon buildings and structures within each zone. Any such regulations or amendments to a zoning map shall provide a process for reasonable notice to affected property owners. Any regulations or amendments to a zoning map shall be adopted in accordance with this chapter. A statement shall be placed on all recorded surveys, subdivision plats and all final site plans approved after January 1, 2003, giving notice that a parcel of real property either partially or wholly lies within an airport noise overlay zone. No existing use of property which is affected by the adoption of such regulations or amendments to a zoning map shall be considered a nonconforming use solely because of the regulations or amendments. The provisions of this section shall not affect any local aircraft noise attenuation regulations or ordinances adopted prior to the effective date of this act, and such regulations and ordinances may be amended provided the amendments shall not alter building materials, construction methods, plan submission requirements or inspection practices specified in the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

1994, c. 745, § 15.1-491.03; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 180; 2005, c. 509; 2011, c. 135.

§ 15.2-2295.1. Regulation of mountain ridge construction.

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

"Construction" means the building, alteration, repair, or improvement of any building or structure.

"Crest" means the uppermost line of a mountain or chain of mountains from which the land falls away on at least two sides to a lower elevation or elevations.

"Protected mountain ridge" means a ridge with (i) an elevation of 2,000 feet or more and (ii) an elevation of 500 feet or more above the elevation of an adjacent valley floor.

"Ridge" means the elongated crest or series of crests at the apex or uppermost point of intersection between two opposite slopes or sides of a mountain and includes all land within 100 feet below the elevation of any portion of such line or surface along the crest.

"Tall buildings or structures" means any building, structure or unit within a multi-unit building with a vertical height of more than 40 feet, as determined by ordinance, measured from the top of the natural finished grade of the crest or the natural finished grade of the high side of the slope of a ridge to the uppermost point of the building, structure or unit. "Tall buildings or structures" does not include (i) water, radio, telecommunications or television towers or any equipment for the transmission of electricity, telephone or cable television; (ii) structures of a relatively slender nature and minor vertical projections of a parent building, including, but not limited to, chimneys, flagpoles, flues, spires, steeples, belfries, cupolas, antennas, poles, wires or windmills; or (iii) any building or structure designated as a historic landmark, building or structure by the United States or by the Board of Historic Resources.

B. Determinations by the governing body of heights and elevations under this section shall be conclusive.

C. Any locality in which a protected mountain ridge is located may, by ordinance, provide for the regulation of the height and location of tall buildings or structures on protected mountain ridges. The ordinance may be designed and adopted by the locality as an overlay zone superimposed on any preexisting base zone.

D. An ordinance adopted under this section may include criteria for the granting or denial of permits for the construction of tall buildings or structures on protected mountain ridges. Any such ordinance shall provide that permit applications shall be denied if a permit application fails to provide for (i) adequate sewerage, water, and drainage facilities, including, but not limited to, facilities for drinking water and the adequate supply of water for fire protection and (ii) compliance with the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.).

E. Any locality that adopts an ordinance providing for the regulation of the height and location of tall buildings or structures on protected mountain ridges shall send a copy of the ordinance to the Secretary of Natural Resources.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair a governing body's authority under this chapter to define and regulate uses in any existing zoning district or to adopt overlay districts regulating uses on mountainous areas as defined by the governing body.

2000, c. 732; 2013, cc. 516, 756, 793.

§ 15.2-2295.2. Dam break inundation zones.

A locality may by ordinance require the modification of an application for zoning modification, a conditional use permit, or a special exception for the area of a development that is proposed within a mapped dam break inundation zone.

2008, c. 491.

§ 15.2-2296. Conditional zoning; declaration of legislative policy and findings; purpose.

It is the general policy of the Commonwealth in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2283 to provide for the orderly development of land, for all purposes, through zoning and other land development legislation. Frequently, where competing and incompatible uses conflict, traditional zoning methods and procedures are inadequate. In these cases, more flexible and adaptable zoning methods are needed to permit differing land uses and the same time to recognize effects of change. It is the purpose of §§ 15.2-2296 through 15.2-2300 to provide a more flexible and adaptable zoning method to cope with situations found in such zones through conditional zoning, whereby a zoning reclassification may be allowed subject to certain conditions proffered by the zoning applicant for the protection of the community that are not generally applicable to land similarly zoned. The exercise of authority granted pursuant to §§ 15.2-2296 through 15.2-2302 shall not be construed to limit or restrict powers otherwise granted to any locality, nor to affect the validity of any ordinance adopted by any such locality which would be valid without regard to this section. The provisions of this section and the following six sections shall not be used for the purpose of discrimination in housing.

1978, c. 320, § 15.1-491.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2297. (Effective October 1, 2019) Same; conditions as part of a rezoning or amendment to zoning map.

A. A zoning ordinance may include and provide for the voluntary proffering in writing, by the owner, of reasonable conditions, prior to a public hearing before the governing body, in addition to the regulations provided for the zoning district or zone by the ordinance, as a part of a rezoning or amendment to a zoning map; provided that (i) the rezoning itself must give rise for the need for the conditions; (ii) the conditions shall have a reasonable relation to the rezoning; (iii) the conditions shall not include a cash contribution to the locality; (iv) the conditions shall not include mandatory dedication of real or personal property for open space, parks, schools, fire departments or other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; (v) the conditions shall not include a requirement that the applicant create a property owners' association under the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.) which includes an express further condition that members of a property owners' association pay an assessment for the maintenance of public facilities owned in fee by a public entity, including open space, parks, schools, fire departments and other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; however, such facilities shall not include sidewalks, special street signs or markers, or special street lighting in public rights-of-way not maintained by the Department of Transportation; (vi) the conditions shall not include payment for or construction of off-site improvements except those provided for in § 15.2-2241; (vii) no condition shall be proffered that is not related to the physical development or physical operation of the property; and (viii) all such conditions shall be in conformity with the comprehensive plan as defined in § 15.2-2223. The governing body may also accept amended proffers once the public hearing has begun if the amended proffers do not materially affect the overall proposal. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, the conditions shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property covered by the conditions. However, the conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

B. In the event proffered conditions include a requirement for the dedication of real property of substantial value or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, then no amendments to the zoning map for the property subject to such conditions, nor the conditions themselves, nor any amendments to the text of the zoning ordinance with respect to the zoning district applicable thereto initiated by the governing body, which eliminate, or materially restrict, reduce, or modify the uses, the floor area ratio, or the density of use permitted in the zoning district applicable to such property, shall be effective with respect to such property unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare.

C. Any landowner who has prior to July 1, 1990, proffered the dedication of real property of substantial value or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, but who has not substantially implemented such proffers prior to July 1, 1990, shall advise the local governing body by certified mail prior to July 1, 1991, that he intends to proceed with the implementation of such proffers. The notice shall identify the property to be developed, the zoning district, and the proffers applicable thereto. Thereafter, any landowner giving such notice shall have until July 1, 1995, substantially to implement the proffers, or such later time as the governing body may allow. Thereafter, the landowner in good faith shall diligently pursue the completion of the development of the property.

Any landowner who complies with the requirements of this subsection shall be entitled to the protection against action initiated by the governing body affecting use, floor area ratio, and density set out in subsection B, unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare, but any landowner failing to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall acquire no rights pursuant to this section.

D. The provisions of subsections B and C of this section shall be effective prospectively only, and not retroactively, and shall not apply to any zoning ordinance text amendments which may have been enacted prior to March 10, 1990. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1990, or any such litigation nonsuited and thereafter refiled.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair the authority of a governing body to:

1. Accept proffered conditions which include provisions for timing or phasing of dedications, payments, or improvements; or

2. Accept or impose valid conditions pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286 or other provision of law.

1978, c. 320, § 15.1-491.2; 1982, c. 293; 1990, c. 868; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 703; 2006, c. 450.

§ 15.2-2297. (Effective until October 1, 2019) Same; conditions as part of a rezoning or amendment to zoning map.

A. A zoning ordinance may include and provide for the voluntary proffering in writing, by the owner, of reasonable conditions, prior to a public hearing before the governing body, in addition to the regulations provided for the zoning district or zone by the ordinance, as a part of a rezoning or amendment to a zoning map; provided that (i) the rezoning itself must give rise for the need for the conditions; (ii) the conditions shall have a reasonable relation to the rezoning; (iii) the conditions shall not include a cash contribution to the locality; (iv) the conditions shall not include mandatory dedication of real or personal property for open space, parks, schools, fire departments or other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; (v) the conditions shall not include a requirement that the applicant create a property owners' association under Chapter 26 (§ 55-508 et seq.) of Title 55 which includes an express further condition that members of a property owners' association pay an assessment for the maintenance of public facilities owned in fee by a public entity, including open space, parks, schools, fire departments and other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; however, such facilities shall not include sidewalks, special street signs or markers, or special street lighting in public rights-of-way not maintained by the Department of Transportation; (vi) the conditions shall not include payment for or construction of off-site improvements except those provided for in § 15.2-2241; (vii) no condition shall be proffered that is not related to the physical development or physical operation of the property; and (viii) all such conditions shall be in conformity with the comprehensive plan as defined in § 15.2-2223. The governing body may also accept amended proffers once the public hearing has begun if the amended proffers do not materially affect the overall proposal. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, the conditions shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property covered by the conditions. However, the conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

B. In the event proffered conditions include a requirement for the dedication of real property of substantial value or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, then no amendments to the zoning map for the property subject to such conditions, nor the conditions themselves, nor any amendments to the text of the zoning ordinance with respect to the zoning district applicable thereto initiated by the governing body, which eliminate, or materially restrict, reduce, or modify the uses, the floor area ratio, or the density of use permitted in the zoning district applicable to such property, shall be effective with respect to such property unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare.

C. Any landowner who has prior to July 1, 1990, proffered the dedication of real property of substantial value or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, but who has not substantially implemented such proffers prior to July 1, 1990, shall advise the local governing body by certified mail prior to July 1, 1991, that he intends to proceed with the implementation of such proffers. The notice shall identify the property to be developed, the zoning district, and the proffers applicable thereto. Thereafter, any landowner giving such notice shall have until July 1, 1995, substantially to implement the proffers, or such later time as the governing body may allow. Thereafter, the landowner in good faith shall diligently pursue the completion of the development of the property.

Any landowner who complies with the requirements of this subsection shall be entitled to the protection against action initiated by the governing body affecting use, floor area ratio, and density set out in subsection B, unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare, but any landowner failing to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall acquire no rights pursuant to this section.

D. The provisions of subsections B and C of this section shall be effective prospectively only, and not retroactively, and shall not apply to any zoning ordinance text amendments which may have been enacted prior to March 10, 1990. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1990, or any such litigation nonsuited and thereafter refiled.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair the authority of a governing body to:

1. Accept proffered conditions which include provisions for timing or phasing of dedications, payments, or improvements; or

2. Accept or impose valid conditions pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286 or other provision of law.

1978, c. 320, § 15.1-491.2; 1982, c. 293; 1990, c. 868; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 703; 2006, c. 450.

§ 15.2-2298. (Effective October 1, 2019) Same; additional conditions as a part of rezoning or zoning map amendment in certain high-growth localities.

A. Except for those localities to which § 15.2-2303 is applicable, this section shall apply to (i) any locality which has had population growth of 5% 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 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. However, any such locality may by ordinance choose to utilize the conditional zoning authority granted under § 15.2-2303 rather than this section.

In any such locality, notwithstanding any contrary provisions of § 15.2-2297, a zoning ordinance may include and provide for the voluntary proffering in writing, by the owner, of reasonable conditions, prior to a public hearing before the governing body, in addition to the regulations provided for the zoning district or zone by the ordinance, as a part of a rezoning or amendment to a zoning map, provided that (i) the rezoning itself gives rise to the need for the conditions; (ii) the conditions have a reasonable relation to the rezoning; and (iii) all conditions are in conformity with the comprehensive plan as defined in § 15.2-2223.

Reasonable conditions may include the payment of cash for any off-site road improvement or any off-site transportation improvement that is adopted as an amendment to the required comprehensive plan and incorporated into the capital improvements program, provided that nothing herein shall prevent a locality from accepting proffered conditions which are not normally included in a capital improvement program. For purposes of this section, "road improvement" includes construction of new roads or improvement or expansion of existing roads as required by applicable construction standards of the Virginia Department of Transportation to meet increased demand attributable to new development. For purposes of this section, "transportation improvement" means any real or personal property acquired, constructed, improved, or used for constructing, improving, or operating any (i) public mass transit system or (ii) highway, or portion or interchange thereof, including parking facilities located within a district created pursuant to this title. Such improvements shall include, without limitation, public mass transit systems, public highways, and all buildings, structures, approaches, and facilities thereof and appurtenances thereto, rights-of-way, bridges, tunnels, stations, terminals, and all related equipment and fixtures.

Reasonable conditions shall not include, however, conditions that impose upon the applicant the requirement to create a property owners' association under the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.) which includes an express further condition that members of a property association pay an assessment for the maintenance of public facilities owned in fee by a public entity, including open space, parks, schools, fire departments, and other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; however, such facilities shall not include sidewalks, special street signs or markers, or special street lighting in public rights-of-way not maintained by the Department of Transportation. The governing body may also accept amended proffers once the public hearing has begun if the amended proffers do not materially affect the overall proposal. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, the conditions shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property covered by the conditions; however, the conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

No proffer shall be accepted by a locality unless it has adopted a capital improvement program pursuant to § 15.2-2239 or local charter. In the event proffered conditions include the dedication of real property or payment of cash, the property shall not transfer and the payment of cash shall not be made until the facilities for which the property is dedicated or cash is tendered are included in the capital improvement program, provided that nothing herein shall prevent a locality from accepting proffered conditions which are not normally included in a capital improvement program. If proffered conditions include the dedication of real property or the payment of cash, the proffered conditions shall provide for the disposition of the property or cash payment in the event the property or cash payment is not used for the purpose for which proffered.

B. In the event proffered conditions include a requirement for the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, then no amendment to the zoning map for the property subject to such conditions, nor the conditions themselves, nor any amendments to the text of the zoning ordinance with respect to the zoning district applicable thereto initiated by the governing body, which eliminate, or materially restrict, reduce, or modify the uses, the floor area ratio, or the density of use permitted in the zoning district applicable to the property, shall be effective with respect to the property unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare.

C. Any landowner who has prior to July 1, 1990, proffered the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, but who has not substantially implemented such proffers prior to July 1, 1990, shall advise the local governing body by certified mail prior to July 1, 1991, that he intends to proceed with the implementation of such proffers. The notice shall identify the property to be developed, the zoning district, and the proffers applicable thereto. Thereafter, any landowner giving such notice shall have until July 1, 1995, substantially to implement the proffers, or such later time as the governing body may allow. Thereafter, the landowner in good faith shall diligently pursue the completion of the development of the property. Any landowner who complies with the requirements of this subsection shall be entitled to the protection against action initiated by the governing body affecting use, floor area ratio, and density set out in subsection B above, unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare, but any landowner failing to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall acquire no rights pursuant to this section.

D. The provisions of subsections B and C of this section shall be effective prospectively only, and not retroactively, and shall not apply to any zoning ordinance text amendments which may have been enacted prior to March 10, 1990. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1990, or any such litigation nonsuited and thereafter refiled.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair the authority of a governing body to:

1. Accept proffered conditions which include provisions for timing or phasing of dedications, payments, or improvements; or

2. Accept or impose valid conditions pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286 or other provision of law.

1989, c. 697, § 15.1-492.2:1; 1990, c. 868; 1991, c. 233; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 703; 2006, cc. 450, 882; 2007, c. 324.

§ 15.2-2298. (Effective until October 1, 2019) Same; additional conditions as a part of rezoning or zoning map amendment in certain high-growth localities.

A. Except for those localities to which § 15.2-2303 is applicable, this section shall apply to (i) any locality which has had population growth of 5% 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 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. However, any such locality may by ordinance choose to utilize the conditional zoning authority granted under § 15.2-2303 rather than this section.

In any such locality, notwithstanding any contrary provisions of § 15.2-2297, a zoning ordinance may include and provide for the voluntary proffering in writing, by the owner, of reasonable conditions, prior to a public hearing before the governing body, in addition to the regulations provided for the zoning district or zone by the ordinance, as a part of a rezoning or amendment to a zoning map, provided that (i) the rezoning itself gives rise to the need for the conditions; (ii) the conditions have a reasonable relation to the rezoning; and (iii) all conditions are in conformity with the comprehensive plan as defined in § 15.2-2223.

Reasonable conditions may include the payment of cash for any off-site road improvement or any off-site transportation improvement that is adopted as an amendment to the required comprehensive plan and incorporated into the capital improvements program, provided that nothing herein shall prevent a locality from accepting proffered conditions which are not normally included in a capital improvement program. For purposes of this section, "road improvement" includes construction of new roads or improvement or expansion of existing roads as required by applicable construction standards of the Virginia Department of Transportation to meet increased demand attributable to new development. For purposes of this section, "transportation improvement" means any real or personal property acquired, constructed, improved, or used for constructing, improving, or operating any (i) public mass transit system or (ii) highway, or portion or interchange thereof, including parking facilities located within a district created pursuant to this title. Such improvements shall include, without limitation, public mass transit systems, public highways, and all buildings, structures, approaches, and facilities thereof and appurtenances thereto, rights-of-way, bridges, tunnels, stations, terminals, and all related equipment and fixtures.

Reasonable conditions shall not include, however, conditions that impose upon the applicant the requirement to create a property owners' association under Chapter 26 (§ 55-508 et seq.) of Title 55 which includes an express further condition that members of a property association pay an assessment for the maintenance of public facilities owned in fee by a public entity, including open space, parks, schools, fire departments, and other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; however, such facilities shall not include sidewalks, special street signs or markers, or special street lighting in public rights-of-way not maintained by the Department of Transportation. The governing body may also accept amended proffers once the public hearing has begun if the amended proffers do not materially affect the overall proposal. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, the conditions shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property covered by the conditions; however, the conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

No proffer shall be accepted by a locality unless it has adopted a capital improvement program pursuant to § 15.2-2239 or local charter. In the event proffered conditions include the dedication of real property or payment of cash, the property shall not transfer and the payment of cash shall not be made until the facilities for which the property is dedicated or cash is tendered are included in the capital improvement program, provided that nothing herein shall prevent a locality from accepting proffered conditions which are not normally included in a capital improvement program. If proffered conditions include the dedication of real property or the payment of cash, the proffered conditions shall provide for the disposition of the property or cash payment in the event the property or cash payment is not used for the purpose for which proffered.

B. In the event proffered conditions include a requirement for the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, then no amendment to the zoning map for the property subject to such conditions, nor the conditions themselves, nor any amendments to the text of the zoning ordinance with respect to the zoning district applicable thereto initiated by the governing body, which eliminate, or materially restrict, reduce, or modify the uses, the floor area ratio, or the density of use permitted in the zoning district applicable to the property, shall be effective with respect to the property unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare.

C. Any landowner who has prior to July 1, 1990, proffered the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, but who has not substantially implemented such proffers prior to July 1, 1990, shall advise the local governing body by certified mail prior to July 1, 1991, that he intends to proceed with the implementation of such proffers. The notice shall identify the property to be developed, the zoning district, and the proffers applicable thereto. Thereafter, any landowner giving such notice shall have until July 1, 1995, substantially to implement the proffers, or such later time as the governing body may allow. Thereafter, the landowner in good faith shall diligently pursue the completion of the development of the property. Any landowner who complies with the requirements of this subsection shall be entitled to the protection against action initiated by the governing body affecting use, floor area ratio, and density set out in subsection B above, unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare, but any landowner failing to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall acquire no rights pursuant to this section.

D. The provisions of subsections B and C of this section shall be effective prospectively only, and not retroactively, and shall not apply to any zoning ordinance text amendments which may have been enacted prior to March 10, 1990. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1990, or any such litigation nonsuited and thereafter refiled.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair the authority of a governing body to:

1. Accept proffered conditions which include provisions for timing or phasing of dedications, payments, or improvements; or

2. Accept or impose valid conditions pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286 or other provision of law.

1989, c. 697, § 15.1-492.2:1; 1990, c. 868; 1991, c. 233; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 703; 2006, cc. 450, 882; 2007, c. 324.

§ 15.2-2299. Same; enforcement and guarantees.

The zoning administrator is vested with all necessary authority on behalf of the governing body of the locality to administer and enforce conditions attached to a rezoning or amendment to a zoning map, including (i) the ordering in writing of the remedy of any noncompliance with the conditions; (ii) the bringing of legal action to insure compliance with the conditions, including injunction, abatement, or other appropriate action or proceeding; and (iii) requiring a guarantee, satisfactory to the governing body, in an amount sufficient for and conditioned upon the construction of any physical improvements required by the conditions, or a contract for the construction of the improvements and the contractor's guarantee, in like amount and so conditioned, which guarantee shall be reduced or released by the governing body, or agent thereof, upon the submission of satisfactory evidence that construction of the improvements has been completed in whole or in part. Failure to meet all conditions shall constitute cause to deny the issuance of any of the required use, occupancy, or building permits, as may be appropriate.

1978, c. 320, § 15.1-491.3; 1983, c. 221; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2300. Same; records.

The zoning map shall show by an appropriate symbol on the map the existence of conditions attaching to the zoning on the map. The zoning administrator shall keep in his office and make available for public inspection a Conditional Zoning Index. The Index shall provide ready access to the ordinance creating conditions in addition to the regulations provided for in a particular zoning district or zone. The Index shall also provide ready access to all proffered cash payments and expenditures disclosure reports prepared by the local governing body pursuant to § 15.2-2303.2. The zoning administrator shall update the Index annually and no later than November 30 of each year.

1978, c. 320, § 15.1-491.4; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 531.

§ 15.2-2301. Same; petition for review of decision.

Any zoning applicant or any other person who is aggrieved by a decision of the zoning administrator made pursuant to the provisions of § 15.2-2299 may petition the governing body for review of the decision of the zoning administrator. All petitions for review shall be filed with the zoning administrator and with the clerk of the governing body within 30 days from the date of the decision for which review is sought and shall specify the grounds upon which the petitioner is aggrieved. A decision by the governing body on an appeal taken pursuant to this section shall be binding upon the owner of the property which is the subject of such appeal only if the owner of such property has been provided written notice of the zoning violation, written determination, or other appealable decision.

An aggrieved party may petition the circuit court for review of the decision of the governing body on an appeal taken pursuant to this section. The provisions of subsection F of § 15.2-2285 shall apply to such petitions to the circuit court, mutatis mutandis.

1978, c. 320, § 15.1-491.5; 1988, c. 856; 1997, c. 587; 2011, c. 457; 2012, c. 401.

§ 15.2-2302. Same; amendments and variations of conditions.

A. Subject to any applicable public notice or hearing requirement of subsection B but notwithstanding any other provision of law, any landowner subject to conditions proffered pursuant to § 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 may apply to the governing body for amendments to or variations of such proffered conditions provided only that written notice of such application be provided in the manner prescribed by subsection B of § 15.2-2204. Further, the approval of such an amendment or variation by the governing body shall not in itself cause the use of any other property to be determined a nonconforming use.

B. There shall be no such amendment or variation of any conditions proffered pursuant to § 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 until after a public hearing before the governing body advertised pursuant to the provisions of § 15.2-2204. However, where an amendment to such proffered conditions is requested pursuant to subsection A, and where such amendment does not affect conditions of use or density, a local governing body may waive the requirement for a public hearing (i) under this section and (ii) under any other statute, ordinance, or proffer requiring a public hearing prior to amendment of such proffered conditions.

C. Once amended pursuant to this section, the proffered conditions shall continue to be an amendment to the zoning ordinance and may be enforced by the zoning administrator pursuant to the applicable provisions of this chapter.

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no claim of any right derived from any condition proffered pursuant to § 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 shall impair the right of any landowner subject to such a proffered condition to secure amendments to or variations of such proffered conditions.

E. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body may waive the written notice requirement of subsection A in order to reduce, suspend, or eliminate outstanding cash proffer payments for residential construction calculated on a per-dwelling-unit or per-home basis that have been agreed to, but unpaid, by any landowner.

1978, c. 320, § 15.1-491.6; 1997, c. 587; 2009, c. 315; 2012, cc. 415, 465; 2013, c. 513; 2017, c. 379.

§ 15.2-2303. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conditional zoning in certain localities.

A. A zoning ordinance may include reasonable regulations and provisions for conditional zoning as defined in § 15.2-2201 and for the adoption, in counties, or towns therein which have planning commissions, wherein the urban county executive form of government is in effect, or in a city adjacent to or completely surrounded by such a county, or in a county contiguous to any such county, or in a city adjacent to or completely surrounded by such a contiguous county, or in any town within such contiguous county, and in the counties east of the Chesapeake Bay as a part of an amendment to the zoning map of reasonable conditions, in addition to the regulations provided for the zoning district by the ordinance, when such conditions shall have been proffered in writing, in advance of the public hearing before the governing body required by § 15.2-2285 by the owner of the property which is the subject of the proposed zoning map amendment. Reasonable conditions shall not include, however, conditions that impose upon the applicant the requirement to create a property owners' association under the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.) which includes an express further condition that members of a property owners' association pay an assessment for the maintenance of public facilities owned in fee by a public entity, including open space, parks, schools, fire departments, and other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; however, such facilities shall not include sidewalks, special street signs or markers, or special street lighting in public rights-of-way not maintained by the Department of Transportation. The governing body may also accept amended proffers once the public hearing has begun if the amended proffers do not materially affect the overall proposal. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, such conditions shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property covered by such conditions. However, such conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

B. In the event proffered conditions include a requirement for the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, then no amendment to the zoning map for the property subject to such conditions, nor the conditions themselves, nor any amendments to the text of the zoning ordinance with respect to the zoning district applicable thereto initiated by the governing body, which eliminate, or materially restrict, reduce, or modify the uses, the floor area ratio, or the density of use permitted in the zoning district applicable to such property, shall be effective with respect to such property unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare.

C. Any landowner who has prior to July 1, 1990, proffered the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, but who has not substantially implemented such proffers prior to July 1, 1990, shall advise the local governing body by certified mail prior to July 1, 1991, that he intends to proceed with the implementation of such proffers. Such notice shall identify the property to be developed, the zoning district, and the proffers applicable thereto. Thereafter, any landowner giving such notice shall have until July 1, 1995, substantially to implement such proffers, or such later time as the governing body may allow. Thereafter, the landowner in good faith shall diligently pursue the completion of the development of the property. Any landowner who complies with the requirements of this subsection shall be entitled to the protection against action initiated by the governing body affecting use, floor area ratio, and density set out in subsection B, unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare, but any landowner failing to comply with the requirements of this subdivision shall acquire no rights pursuant to this section.

D. Subsections B and C of this section shall be effective prospectively only, and not retroactively, and shall not apply to any zoning ordinance text amendments which may have been enacted prior to March 10, 1990. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1990, or any such litigation nonsuited and thereafter refiled.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair the authority of a governing body to (i) accept proffered conditions which include provisions for timing or phasing of dedications, payments, or improvements; or (ii) accept or impose valid conditions pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286, subdivision 5 of § 15.2-2242, or other provision of law.

F. In any instance in which a locality has accepted proffered conditions that include pedestrian improvements, and the Virginia Department of Transportation has reviewed and not objected to the proposed pedestrian improvements during the processing of the rezoning, the Virginia Department of Transportation shall allow the proffered improvements to be constructed, except when such improvements will violate local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or mandated engineering and safety standards.

G. In addition to the powers granted by the preceding subsections, a zoning ordinance may include reasonable regulations to implement, in whole or in part, the provisions of §§ 15.2-2296 through 15.2-2302.

Code 1950, § 15-968.5; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-491; 1964, c. 564; 1966, c. 455; 1968, cc. 543, 595; 1973, c. 286; 1974, c. 547; 1975, cc. 99, 575, 579, 582, 641; 1976, cc. 71, 409, 470, 683; 1977, c. 177; 1978, c. 543; 1979, c. 182; 1982, c. 44; 1983, c. 392; 1984, c. 238; 1987, c. 8; 1988, cc. 481, 856; 1989, cc. 359, 384; 1990, cc. 672, 868; 1992, c. 380; 1993, c. 672; 1994, c. 802; 1995, cc. 351, 475, 584, 603; 1996, c. 451; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 703; 2006, c. 450; 2008, c. 733.

§ 15.2-2303. (Effective until October 1, 2019) Conditional zoning in certain localities.

A. A zoning ordinance may include reasonable regulations and provisions for conditional zoning as defined in § 15.2-2201 and for the adoption, in counties, or towns therein which have planning commissions, wherein the urban county executive form of government is in effect, or in a city adjacent to or completely surrounded by such a county, or in a county contiguous to any such county, or in a city adjacent to or completely surrounded by such a contiguous county, or in any town within such contiguous county, and in the counties east of the Chesapeake Bay as a part of an amendment to the zoning map of reasonable conditions, in addition to the regulations provided for the zoning district by the ordinance, when such conditions shall have been proffered in writing, in advance of the public hearing before the governing body required by § 15.2-2285 by the owner of the property which is the subject of the proposed zoning map amendment. Reasonable conditions shall not include, however, conditions that impose upon the applicant the requirement to create a property owners' association under Chapter 26 (§ 55-508 et seq.) of Title 55 which includes an express further condition that members of a property owners' association pay an assessment for the maintenance of public facilities owned in fee by a public entity, including open space, parks, schools, fire departments, and other public facilities not otherwise provided for in § 15.2-2241; however, such facilities shall not include sidewalks, special street signs or markers, or special street lighting in public rights-of-way not maintained by the Department of Transportation. The governing body may also accept amended proffers once the public hearing has begun if the amended proffers do not materially affect the overall proposal. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, such conditions shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property covered by such conditions. However, such conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

B. In the event proffered conditions include a requirement for the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, then no amendment to the zoning map for the property subject to such conditions, nor the conditions themselves, nor any amendments to the text of the zoning ordinance with respect to the zoning district applicable thereto initiated by the governing body, which eliminate, or materially restrict, reduce, or modify the uses, the floor area ratio, or the density of use permitted in the zoning district applicable to such property, shall be effective with respect to such property unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare.

C. Any landowner who has prior to July 1, 1990, proffered the dedication of real property of substantial value, or substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the rezoning itself, but who has not substantially implemented such proffers prior to July 1, 1990, shall advise the local governing body by certified mail prior to July 1, 1991, that he intends to proceed with the implementation of such proffers. Such notice shall identify the property to be developed, the zoning district, and the proffers applicable thereto. Thereafter, any landowner giving such notice shall have until July 1, 1995, substantially to implement such proffers, or such later time as the governing body may allow. Thereafter, the landowner in good faith shall diligently pursue the completion of the development of the property. Any landowner who complies with the requirements of this subsection shall be entitled to the protection against action initiated by the governing body affecting use, floor area ratio, and density set out in subsection B, unless there has been mistake, fraud, or a change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety, or welfare, but any landowner failing to comply with the requirements of this subdivision shall acquire no rights pursuant to this section.

D. Subsections B and C of this section shall be effective prospectively only, and not retroactively, and shall not apply to any zoning ordinance text amendments which may have been enacted prior to March 10, 1990. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect any litigation pending prior to July 1, 1990, or any such litigation nonsuited and thereafter refiled.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair the authority of a governing body to (i) accept proffered conditions which include provisions for timing or phasing of dedications, payments, or improvements; or (ii) accept or impose valid conditions pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286, subdivision 5 of § 15.2-2242, or other provision of law.

F. In any instance in which a locality has accepted proffered conditions that include pedestrian improvements, and the Virginia Department of Transportation has reviewed and not objected to the proposed pedestrian improvements during the processing of the rezoning, the Virginia Department of Transportation shall allow the proffered improvements to be constructed, except when such improvements will violate local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or mandated engineering and safety standards.

G. In addition to the powers granted by the preceding subsections, a zoning ordinance may include reasonable regulations to implement, in whole or in part, the provisions of §§ 15.2-2296 through 15.2-2302.

Code 1950, § 15-968.5; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-491; 1964, c. 564; 1966, c. 455; 1968, cc. 543, 595; 1973, c. 286; 1974, c. 547; 1975, cc. 99, 575, 579, 582, 641; 1976, cc. 71, 409, 470, 683; 1977, c. 177; 1978, c. 543; 1979, c. 182; 1982, c. 44; 1983, c. 392; 1984, c. 238; 1987, c. 8; 1988, cc. 481, 856; 1989, cc. 359, 384; 1990, cc. 672, 868; 1992, c. 380; 1993, c. 672; 1994, c. 802; 1995, cc. 351, 475, 584, 603; 1996, c. 451; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 703; 2006, c. 450; 2008, c. 733.

§ 15.2-2303.1. Development agreements in certain counties.

A. In order to promote the public health, safety and welfare and to encourage economic development consistent with careful planning, New Kent County may include in its zoning ordinance provisions for the governing body to enter into binding development agreements with any persons owning legal or equitable interests in real property in the county if the property to be developed contains at least one thousand acres.

B. Any such agreements shall be for the purpose of stimulating and facilitating economic growth in the county; shall not be inconsistent with the comprehensive plan at the time of the agreement's adoption, except as may have been authorized by existing zoning ordinances; and shall not authorize any use or condition inconsistent with the zoning ordinance or other ordinances in effect at the time the agreement is made, except as may be authorized by a variance, special exception or similar authorization. The agreement shall be authorized by ordinance, shall be for a term not to exceed fifteen years, and may be renewed by mutual agreement of the parties for successive terms of not more than ten years each. It may provide, among other things, for uses; the density or intensity of uses; the maximum height, size, setback and/or location of buildings; the number of parking spaces required; the location of streets and other public improvements; the measures required to control stormwater; the phasing or timing of construction or development; or any other land use matters. It may authorize the property owner to transfer to the county land, public improvements, money or anything of value to further the purposes of the agreement or other public purposes set forth in the county's comprehensive plan, but not as a condition to obtaining any permitted use or zoning. The development agreement shall not run with the land except to the extent provided therein, and the agreement may be amended or canceled in whole or in part by the mutual consent of the parties thereto or their successors in interest and assigns.

C. If, pursuant to the agreement, a property owner who is a party thereto and is not in breach thereof, (i) dedicates or is required to dedicate real property to the county, the Commonwealth or any other political subdivision or to the federal government or any agency thereof, (ii) makes or is required to make cash payments to the county, the Commonwealth or any other political subdivision or to the federal government or any agency thereof, or (iii) makes or is required to make public improvements for the county, the Commonwealth or any other political subdivision or for the federal government or any agency thereof, such dedication, payment or construction therefor shall vest the property owner's rights under the agreement. If a property owner's rights have vested, neither any amendment to the zoning map for the subject property nor any amendment to the text of the zoning ordinance with respect to the zoning district applicable to the property which eliminates or restricts, reduces, or modifies the use; the density or intensity of uses; the maximum height, size, setback or location of buildings; the number of parking spaces required; the location of streets and other public improvements; the measures required to control stormwater; the phasing or timing of construction or development; or any other land use or other matters provided for in such agreement shall be effective with respect to such property during the term of the agreement unless there has been a mistake, fraud or change in circumstances substantially affecting the public health, safety or welfare.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude, limit or alter the vesting of rights in accordance with existing law; authorize the impairment of such rights; or invalidate any similar agreements entered into pursuant to existing law.

1997, c. 738, § 15.1-491.001; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-2303.1:1. When certain cash proffers collected or accepted.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of any cash proffer requested, offered, or accepted pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 for residential construction on a per-dwelling unit or per-home basis, cash payment made pursuant to such a cash proffer shall be collected or accepted by any locality only after completion of the final inspection and prior to the time of the issuance of any certificate of occupancy for the subject property.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of any proffer to the contrary, the assertion of a right to delayed payment of cash proffers pursuant to this section shall not constitute cause for any action pursuant to § 15.2-2299.

C. In addition to any other relief provided, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to any person, group, or entity that prevails in an action successfully challenging an ordinance, administrative or other action as being in conflict with this section.

2010, cc. 549, 613; 2011, c. 173; 2012, cc. 508, 798; 2015, c. 346.

§ 15.2-2303.2. Proffered cash payments and expenditures.

A. The governing body of any locality accepting cash payments voluntarily proffered on or after July 1, 2005, pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 shall, within 12 years of receiving full payment of all cash proffered pursuant to an approved rezoning application, begin, or cause to begin (i) construction, (ii) site work, (iii) engineering, (iv) right-of-way acquisition, (v) surveying, or (vi) utility relocation on the improvements for which the cash payments were proffered. A locality that does not comply with the above requirement, or does not begin alternative improvements as provided for in subsection C, shall forward the amount of the proffered cash payments to the Commonwealth Transportation Board no later than December 31 following the fiscal year in which such forfeiture occurred for direct allocation to the secondary system construction program or the urban system construction program for the locality in which the proffered cash payments were collected. The funds to which any locality may be entitled under the provisions of Title 33.2 for construction, improvement, or maintenance of primary, secondary, or urban roads shall not be diminished by reason of any funds remitted pursuant to this subsection by such locality, regardless of whether such contributions are matched by state or federal funds.

B. The governing body of any locality eligible to accept any proffered cash payments pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 shall, for each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year 2007, (i) include in its capital improvement program created pursuant to § 15.2-2239, or as an appendix thereto, the amount of all proffered cash payments received during the most recent fiscal year for which a report has been filed pursuant to subsection E, and (ii) include in its annual capital budget the amount of proffered cash payments projected to be used for expenditures or appropriated for capital improvements in the ensuing year.

C. Regardless of the date of rezoning approval, unless prohibited by the proffer agreement accepted by the governing body of a locality pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1, a locality may utilize any cash payments proffered for any road improvement or any transportation improvement that is incorporated into the capital improvements program as its matching contribution under § 33.2-357. For purposes of this section, "road improvement" includes construction of new roads or improvement or expansion of existing roads as required by applicable construction standards of the Virginia Department of Transportation to meet increased demand attributable to new development. For purposes of this section, "transportation improvement" means any real or personal property acquired, constructed, improved, or used for constructing, improving, or operating any (i) public mass transit system or (ii) highway, or portion or interchange thereof, including parking facilities located within a district created pursuant to this title. Such improvements shall include, without limitation, public mass transit systems, public highways, and all buildings, structures, approaches, and facilities thereof and appurtenances thereto, rights-of-way, bridges, tunnels, stations, terminals, and all related equipment and fixtures.

Regardless of the date of rezoning approval, unless prohibited by the proffer agreement accepted by the governing body of a locality pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1, a locality may utilize any cash payments proffered for capital improvements for alternative improvements of the same category within the locality in the vicinity of the improvements for which the cash payments were originally made. Prior to utilization of such cash payments for the alternative improvements, the governing body of the locality shall give at least 30 days' written notice of the proposed alternative improvements to the entity who paid such cash payment mailed to the last known address of such entity, or if proffer payment records no longer exist, then to the original zoning applicant, and conduct a public hearing on such proposal advertised as provided in subsection F of § 15.2-1427. The governing body of the locality prior to the use of such cash payments for alternative improvements shall, following such public hearing, find: (a) the improvements for which the cash payments were proffered cannot occur in a timely manner or the functional purpose for which the cash payment was made no longer exists; (b) the alternative improvements are within the vicinity of the proposed improvements for which the cash payments were proffered; and (c) the alternative improvements are in the public interest. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act, the governing body may negotiate and award a contract without competition to an entity that is constructing road improvements pursuant to a proffered zoning condition or special exception condition in order to expand the scope of the road improvements by utilizing cash proffers of others or other available locally generated funds. The local governing body shall adopt a resolution stating the basis for awarding the construction contract to extend the scope of the road improvements. All road improvements to be included in the state primary or secondary system of highways must conform to the adopted standards of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

D. Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any other provision of law, general or special, no cash payment proffered pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 shall be used for any capital improvement to an existing facility, such as a renovation or technology upgrade, that does not expand the capacity of such facility or for any operating expense of any existing facility such as ordinary maintenance or repair.

E. The governing body of any locality with a population in excess of 3,500 persons accepting a cash payment voluntarily proffered pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 shall within three months of the close of each fiscal year, beginning in fiscal year 2002 and for each fiscal year thereafter, report to the Commission on Local Government the following information for the preceding fiscal year:

1. The aggregate dollar amount of proffered cash payments collected by the locality;

2. The estimated aggregate dollar amount of proffered cash payments that have been pledged to the locality and which pledges are not conditioned on any event other than time; and

3. The total dollar amount of proffered cash payments expended by the locality, and the aggregate dollar amount expended in each of the following categories:

aSchools$________
bRoad and other Transportation Improvements$________
cFire and Rescue/Public Safety$________
dLibraries$________
eParks, Recreation, and Open Space$________
fWater and Sewer Service Extension$________
gCommunity Centers$________
hStormwater Management$________
iSpecial Needs Housing$________
jAffordable Housing$________
kMiscellaneous$________
lTotal dollar amount expended$________

F. The governing body of any locality with a population in excess of 3,500 persons eligible to accept any proffered cash payments pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 but that did not accept any proffered cash payments during the preceding fiscal year shall within three months of the close of each fiscal year, beginning in 2001 and for each fiscal year thereafter, so notify the Commission on Local Government.

G. The Commission on Local Government shall by November 30, 2001, and by November 30 of each fiscal year thereafter, prepare and make available to the public and the chairmen of the Senate Local Government Committee and the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee an annual report containing the information made available to it pursuant to subsections E and F.

2001, c. 282; 2003, c. 522; 2005, c. 855; 2006, cc. 583, 872, 882; 2007, c. 321; 2012, c. 521; 2013, cc. 510, 541.

§ 15.2-2303.3. Cash proffers requested or accepted by a locality.

A. No locality may require payment of a cash proffer prior to payment of any fees for the issuance of a building permit for construction on property that is the subject of a rezoning. However, a landowner petitioning for a zoning change may voluntarily agree to an earlier payment, pursuant to §§ 15.2-2298 and 15.2-2303. If the petitioner voluntarily agrees to an earlier payment, the proffered condition may be enforced as to the petitioner and any successor in interest according to its terms as part of an approved rezoning.

B. No locality shall either request or accept a cash proffer whose amount is scheduled to increase annually, from the time of proffer until tender of payment, by a percentage greater than the annual rate of inflation, as calculated by referring to the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U), 1982-1984=100 (not seasonally adjusted) as reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Marshall and Swift Building Cost Index.

C. No locality shall request or accept any provision of any proffer entered pursuant to § 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1 in which the profferor purports to waive future legal rights against the locality or its agents. Any such proffer provision contained in a proffer entered and enacted on or after January 1, 2012, shall be severable from the remainder of the proffer and shall be void ab initio. In the event that a proffer containing such a provision is entered and enacted on or after January 1, 2012, the rezoning to which the proffer containing such provision is attached shall not be nullified, rescinded, or repealed, however described or delineated, by reason of any alleged breach of such a provision by the profferor, notwithstanding any provisions of the proffer to the contrary.

2005, c. 552; 2012, c. 798.

§ 15.2-2303.4. Provisions applicable to certain conditional rezoning proffers.

A. For purposes of this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"New residential development" means any construction or building expansion on residentially zoned property, including a residential component of a mixed-use development, that results in either one or more additional residential dwelling units or, otherwise, fewer residential dwelling units, beyond what may be permitted by right under the then-existing zoning of the property, when such new residential development requires a rezoning or proffer condition amendment.

"New residential use" means any use of residentially zoned property that requires a rezoning or that requires a proffer condition amendment to allow for new residential development.

"Offsite proffer" means a proffer addressing an impact outside the boundaries of the property to be developed and shall include all cash proffers.

"Onsite proffer" means a proffer addressing an impact within the boundaries of the property to be developed and shall not include any cash proffers.

"Proffer condition amendment" means an amendment to an existing proffer statement applicable to a property or properties.

"Public facilities" means public transportation facilities, public safety facilities, public school facilities, or public parks.

"Public facility improvement" means an offsite public transportation facility improvement, a public safety facility improvement, a public school facility improvement, or an improvement to or construction of a public park. No public facility improvement shall include any operating expense of an existing public facility, such as ordinary maintenance or repair, or any capital improvement to an existing public facility, such as a renovation or technology upgrade, that does not expand the capacity of such facility. For purposes of this section, the term "public park" shall include playgrounds and other recreational facilities.

"Public safety facility improvement" means construction of new law-enforcement, fire, emergency medical, and rescue facilities or expansion of existing public safety facilities, to include all buildings, structures, parking, and other costs directly related thereto.

"Public school facility improvement" means construction of new primary and secondary public schools or expansion of existing primary and secondary public schools, to include all buildings, structures, parking, and other costs directly related thereto.

"Public transportation facility improvement" means (i) construction of new roads; (ii) improvement or expansion of existing roads and related appurtenances as required by applicable standards of the Virginia Department of Transportation, or the applicable standards of a locality; and (iii) construction, improvement, or expansion of buildings, structures, parking, and other facilities directly related to transit.

"Residentially zoned property" means property zoned or proposed to be zoned for either single-family or multifamily housing.

"Small area comprehensive plan" means that portion of a comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2223 that is specifically applicable to a delineated area within a locality rather than the locality as a whole.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, no local governing body shall (i) require any unreasonable proffer, as described in subsection C, in connection with a rezoning or a proffer condition amendment as a condition of approval of a new residential development or new residential use or (ii) deny any rezoning application or proffer condition amendment for a new residential development or new residential use where such denial is based in whole or in part on an applicant's failure or refusal to submit an unreasonable proffer or proffer condition amendment.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, as used in this chapter, a proffer, or proffer condition amendment, whether onsite or offsite, offered voluntarily pursuant to § 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298, 15.2-2303, or 15.2-2303.1, shall be deemed unreasonable unless:

1. It addresses an impact that is specifically attributable to a proposed new residential development or other new residential use applied for; and

2. If an offsite proffer, it addresses an impact to an offsite public facility, such that (i) the new residential development or new residential use creates a need, or an identifiable portion of a need, for one or more public facility improvements in excess of existing public facility capacity at the time of the rezoning or proffer condition amendment and (ii) each such new residential development or new residential use applied for receives a direct and material benefit from a proffer made with respect to any such public facility improvements. A locality may base its assessment of public facility capacity on the projected impacts specifically attributable to the new residential development or new residential use.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C:

1. An applicant or owner may, at the time of filing an application pursuant to this section or during the development review process, submit any onsite or offsite proffer that the owner and applicant deem reasonable and appropriate, as conclusively evidenced by the signed proffers.

2. Failure to submit proffers as set forth in subdivision 1 shall not be a basis for the denial of any rezoning or proffer condition amendment application.

E. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special:

1. Actions brought to contest the action of a local governing body in violation of this section shall be brought only by the aggrieved applicant or the owner of the property subject to a rezoning or proffer condition amendment pursuant to subsection F of § 15.2-2285, provided that the applicant objected in writing to the governing body regarding a proposed condition prior to the governing body's grant or denial of the rezoning application.

2. In any action in which a local governing body has denied a rezoning or an amendment to an existing proffer and the aggrieved applicant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that it refused or failed to submit an unreasonable proffer or proffer condition amendment that was requested in writing by the local governing body in violation of this section, the court shall presume, absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, that such refusal or failure was the controlling basis for the denial.

3. In any successful action brought pursuant to this section contesting an action of a local governing body in violation of this section, the applicant may be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs and to an order remanding the matter to the governing body with a direction to approve the rezoning or proffer condition amendment without the inclusion of any unreasonable proffer or to amend the proffer to bring it into compliance with this section. If the local governing body fails or refuses to approve the rezoning or proffer condition amendment, or fails or refuses to amend the proffer to bring it into compliance with this section, within a reasonable time not to exceed 90 days from the date of the court's order to do so, the court shall enjoin the local governing body from interfering with the use of the property as applied for without the unreasonable proffer. Upon remand to the local governing body pursuant to this subsection, the requirements of § 15.2-2204 shall not apply.

F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any new residential development or new residential use occurring within any of the following areas: (i) an approved small area comprehensive plan in which the delineated area is designated as a revitalization area, encompasses mass transit as defined in § 33.2-100, includes mixed use development, and allows a density of at least 3.0 floor area ratio in a portion thereof; (ii) an approved small area comprehensive plan that encompasses an existing or planned Metrorail station, or is adjacent to a Metrorail station located in a neighboring locality, and allows additional density within the vicinity of such existing or planned station; or (iii) an approved service district created pursuant to § 15.2-2400 that encompasses an existing or planned Metrorail station.

G. This section shall be construed as supplementary to any existing provisions limiting or curtailing proffers or proffer condition amendments for new residential development or new residential use that are consistent with its terms and shall be construed to supersede any existing statutory provision with respect to proffers or proffer condition amendments for new residential development or new residential use that are inconsistent with its terms.

H. Notwithstanding any provision in this section to the contrary, nothing contained herein shall be deemed or interpreted to prohibit or to require communications between an applicant or owner and the locality. The applicant, owner, and locality may engage in pre-filing and post-filing discussions regarding the potential impacts of a proposed new residential development or new residential use on public facilities as defined in subsection A and on other public facilities of the locality, and potential voluntary onsite or offsite proffers, permitted under subsections C and D, that might address those impacts. Such verbal discussions shall not be used as the basis that an unreasonable proffer or proffer condition amendment was required by the locality. Furthermore, notwithstanding any provision in this section to the contrary, nothing contained herein shall be deemed or interpreted to prohibit or to require presentation, analysis, or discussion of the potential impacts of new residential development or new residential use on the locality's public facilities.

2016, c. 322; 2019, cc. 129, 245.

§ 15.2-2304. Affordable dwelling unit ordinances in certain localities.

In furtherance of the purpose of providing affordable shelter for all residents of the Commonwealth, the governing body of any county where the urban county executive form of government or the county manager plan of government is in effect, the Counties of Albemarle and Loudoun, and the Cities of Alexandria and Fairfax may by amendment to the zoning ordinances of such locality provide for an affordable housing dwelling unit program. The program shall address housing needs, promote a full range of housing choices, and encourage the construction and continued existence of moderately priced housing by providing for optional increases in density in order to reduce land costs for such moderately priced housing. Any project that is subject to an affordable housing dwelling unit program adopted pursuant to this section shall not be subject to an additional requirement outside of such program to contribute to a county or city housing fund.

Any local ordinance of any other locality providing optional increases in density for provision of low and moderate income housing adopted before December 31, 1988, shall continue in full force and effect.

1989, cc. 634, 748, § 15.1-491.8; 1990, cc. 591, 834; 1991, c. 599; 1997, cc. 587, 607; 2001, cc. 18, 313; 2002, c. 151; 2004, c. 543; 2015, cc. 390, 605.

§ 15.2-2305. Affordable dwelling unit ordinances.

A. In furtherance of the purpose of providing affordable shelter for all residents of the Commonwealth, the governing body of any locality, other than localities to which § 15.2-2304 applies, may by amendment to the zoning ordinances of such locality provide for an affordable housing dwelling unit program. Such program shall address housing needs, promote a full range of housing choices, and encourage the construction and continued existence of housing affordable to low and moderate income citizens, determined in accordance with the locality's definition of affordable housing, by providing for increases in density to the applicant in exchange for the applicant providing such affordable housing. Any local ordinance providing optional increases in density for provision of low and moderate income housing adopted before December 31, 1988, shall continue in full force and effect. Any local ordinance may authorize the governing body to (i) establish qualifying jurisdiction-wide affordable dwelling unit sales prices based on local market conditions, (ii) establish jurisdiction-wide affordable dwelling unit qualifying income guidelines, and (iii) offer incentives other than density increases, such as reductions or waiver of permit, development, and infrastructure fees, as the governing body deems appropriate to encourage the provision of affordable housing. Counties to which § 15.2-2304 applies shall be governed by the provisions of § 15.2-2304 for purposes of the adoption of an affordable dwelling unit ordinance.

B. Any zoning ordinance establishing an affordable housing dwelling unit program may include, among other things, reasonable regulations and provisions as to any or all of the following:

1. A definition of affordable housing and affordable dwelling units.

2. For application of the requirements of an affordable housing dwelling unit program to any site, as defined by the locality, or a portion thereof at one location which is the subject of an application for rezoning or special exception or, at the discretion of the local governing body, site plan or subdivision plat which yields, as submitted by the applicant, at an equivalent density greater than one unit per acre and which is located within an approved sewer area.

3. For an increase of up to 30 percent in the developable density of each site subject to the ordinance and for a provision requiring up to 17 percent of the total units approved, including the optional density increase, to be affordable dwelling units, as defined in the ordinance. In the event a 30 percent increase is not achieved, the percentage of affordable dwelling units required shall maintain the same ratio of 30 percent to 17 percent.

4. For increases by up to 30 percent of the density or of the lower and upper end of the density range set forth in the comprehensive plan of such locality applicable to rezoning and special exception applications that request approval of single family detached dwelling units or single family attached dwelling units, when such applications are approved after the effective date of a local affordable housing zoning ordinance amendment.

5. For a requirement that not less than 17 percent of the total number of dwelling units approved pursuant to a zoning ordinance amendment enacted pursuant to subdivision B 4 of this section shall be affordable dwelling units, as defined by the local zoning ordinance unless reduced by the 30 to 17 percent ratio pursuant to subdivision B 3 of this section.

6. For establishment of a local housing fund as part of its affordable housing dwelling unit program to assist in achieving the affordable housing goals of the locality pursuant to this section. The local housing fund may be a dedicated fund within the other funds of the locality, but any funds received pursuant to this section shall be used for achieving the affordable housing goals of the locality.

7. For reasonable regulations requiring the affordable dwelling units to be built and offered for sale or rental concurrently with the construction and certificate of occupancy of a reasonable proportion of the market rate units.

8. For standards of compliance with the provisions of an affordable housing dwelling unit program and for the authority of the local governing body or its designee to enforce compliance with such standards and impose reasonable penalties for noncompliance, provided that a local zoning ordinance provide for an appeal process for any party aggrieved by a decision of the local governing body.

C. For any building which is four stories or above and has an elevator, the applicant may request, and the locality shall consider, the unique ancillary costs associated with living in such a building in determining whether such housing will be affordable under the definition established by the locality in its ordinance adopted pursuant to this section. However, for localities under this section in Planning District Eight, nothing in this section shall apply to any elevator structure four stories or above.

D. Any ordinance adopted hereunder shall provide that the local governing body shall have no more than 280 days in which to process site or subdivision plans proposing the development or construction of affordable housing or affordable dwelling units under such ordinance. The calculation of such period of review shall include only the time that plans are in review by the local governing body and shall not include such time as may be required for revision or modification in order to comply with lawful requirements set forth in applicable ordinances and regulations.

E. A locality establishing an affordable housing dwelling unit program in any ordinance shall establish in its general ordinances, adopted in accordance with the requirements of subsection B of § 15.2-1427, reasonable regulations and provisions as to any or all of the following:

1. For administration and regulation by a local housing authority or by the local governing body or its designee of the sale and rental of affordable units.

2. For a local housing authority or local governing body or its designee to have an exclusive right to purchase up to one-third of the for-sale affordable housing dwelling units within a development within ninety days of a dwelling unit being completed and ready for purchase, provided that the remaining two-thirds of such units be offered for sale exclusively for a ninety-day period to persons who meet the income criteria established by the local housing authority or local governing body or the latter's designee.

3. For a local housing authority or local governing body or its designee to have an exclusive right to lease up to a specified percentage of the rental affordable dwelling units within a development within a controlled period determined by the housing authority or local governing body or its designee, provided that the remaining for-rental affordable dwelling units within a development be offered to persons who meet the income criteria established by the local housing authority or local governing body or its designee.

4. For the establishment of jurisdiction-wide affordable dwelling unit sales prices by the local housing authority or local governing body or the latter's designee, initially and adjusted semiannually, based on a determination of all ordinary, necessary and reasonable costs required to construct the affordable dwelling unit prototype dwellings by private industry after considering written comment by the public, local housing authority or advisory body to the local governing body, and other information such as the area's current general market and economic conditions, provided that sales prices not include the cost of land, on-site sales commissions and marketing expenses, but may include, among other costs, builder-paid permanent mortgage placement costs and buy-down fees and closing costs except prepaid expenses required at settlement.

5. For the establishment of jurisdiction-wide affordable dwelling unit rental prices by a local housing authority or local governing body or its designee, initially and adjusted semiannually, based on a determination of all ordinary, necessary and reasonable costs required to construct and market the required number of affordable dwelling rental units by private industry in the area, after considering written comment by the public, local housing authority, or advisory body to the local governing body, and other information such as the area's current general market and economic conditions.

6. For a requirement that the prices for resales and rerentals be controlled by the local housing authority or local governing body or designee for a period of not less than 15 years nor more than 50 years after the initial sale or rental transaction for each affordable dwelling unit, provided that the ordinance further provide for reasonable rules and regulations to implement a price control provision.

7. For establishment of an affordable dwelling unit advisory board which shall, among other things, advise the jurisdiction on sales and rental prices of affordable dwelling units; advise the housing authority or local governing body or its designees on requests for modifications of the requirements of an affordable dwelling unit program; adopt regulations concerning its recommendations of sales and rental prices of affordable dwelling units; and adopt procedures concerning requests for modifications of an affordable housing dwelling unit program. Members of the board, to be ten in number and to be appointed by the governing body, shall be qualified as follows: two members shall be either civil engineers or architects, each of whom shall be registered or certified with the relevant agency of the Commonwealth, or planners, all of whom shall have extensive experience in practice in the locality; one member shall be a real estate salesperson or broker, licensed in accordance with Chapter 21 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Title 54.1; one member shall be a representative of a lending institution which finances residential development in the locality; four members shall consist of a representative from a local housing authority or local governing body or its designee, a residential builder with extensive experience in producing single-family detached and attached dwelling units, a residential builder with extensive experience in producing multiple-family dwelling units, and a representative from either the public works or planning department of the locality; one member may be a representative of a nonprofit housing organization which provides services in the locality; and one citizen of the locality. At least four members of the advisory board shall be employed in the locality.

F. A locality establishing an affordable housing dwelling unit program in any ordinance shall establish in its general ordinances, adopted in accordance with the requirements of subsection B of § 15.2-1427, reasonable regulations and provisions as to the following:

The sales and rental price for affordable dwelling units within a development shall be established such that the owner/applicant shall not suffer economic loss as a result of providing the required affordable dwelling units. "Economic loss" for sales units means that result when the owner or applicant of a development fails to recoup the cost of construction and certain allowances as may be determined by the designee of the governing body for the affordable dwelling units, exclusive of the cost of land acquisition and cost voluntarily incurred but not authorized by the ordinance, upon the sale of an affordable dwelling unit.

1990, c. 834, § 15.1-491.9; 1991, c. 599; 1992, c. 244; 1993, c. 437; 1994, cc. 88, 679; 1996, cc. 233, 426; 1997, cc. 587, 607; 2007, cc. 695, 713; 2008, c. 790.

§ 15.2-2306. Preservation of historical sites and architectural areas.

A. 1. Any locality may adopt an ordinance setting forth the historic landmarks within the locality as established by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, and any other buildings or structures within the locality having an important historic, architectural, archaeological or cultural interest, any historic areas within the locality as defined by § 15.2-2201, and areas of unique architectural value located within designated conservation, rehabilitation or redevelopment districts, amending the existing zoning ordinance and delineating one or more historic districts, adjacent to such landmarks, buildings and structures, or encompassing such areas, or encompassing parcels of land contiguous to arterial streets or highways (as designated pursuant to Title 33.2, including § 33.2-319 of that title) found by the governing body to be significant routes of tourist access to the locality or to designated historic landmarks, buildings, structures or districts therein or in a contiguous locality. A governing body may provide in the ordinance that the applicant must submit documentation that any development in an area of the locality of known historical or archaeological significance will preserve or accommodate the historical or archaeological resources. An amendment of the zoning ordinance and the establishment of a district or districts shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 (§ 15.2-2280 et seq.) of this chapter. The governing body may provide for a review board to administer the ordinance and may provide compensation to the board. The ordinance may include a provision that no building or structure, including signs, shall be erected, reconstructed, altered or restored within any such district unless approved by the review board or, on appeal, by the governing body of the locality as being architecturally compatible with the historic landmarks, buildings or structures therein.

2. Subject to the provisions of subdivision 3 of this subsection the governing body may provide in the ordinance that no historic landmark, building or structure within any district shall be razed, demolished or moved until the razing, demolition or moving thereof is approved by the review board, or, on appeal, by the governing body after consultation with the review board.

3. The governing body shall provide by ordinance for appeals to the circuit court for such locality from any final decision of the governing body pursuant to subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection and shall specify therein the parties entitled to appeal the decisions, which parties shall have the right to appeal to the circuit court for review by filing a petition at law, setting forth the alleged illegality of the action of the governing body, provided the petition is filed within thirty days after the final decision is rendered by the governing body. The filing of the petition shall stay the decision of the governing body pending the outcome of the appeal to the court, except that the filing of the petition shall not stay the decision of the governing body if the decision denies the right to raze or demolish a historic landmark, building or structure. The court may reverse or modify the decision of the governing body, in whole or in part, if it finds upon review that the decision of the governing body is contrary to law or that its decision is arbitrary and constitutes an abuse of discretion, or it may affirm the decision of the governing body.

In addition to the right of appeal hereinabove set forth, the owner of a historic landmark, building or structure, the razing or demolition of which is subject to the provisions of subdivision 2 of this subsection, shall, as a matter of right, be entitled to raze or demolish such landmark, building or structure provided that: (i) he has applied to the governing body for such right, (ii) the owner has for the period of time set forth in the same schedule hereinafter contained and at a price reasonably related to its fair market value, made a bona fide offer to sell the landmark, building or structure, and the land pertaining thereto, to the locality or to any person, firm, corporation, government or agency thereof, or political subdivision or agency thereof, which gives reasonable assurance that it is willing to preserve and restore the landmark, building or structure and the land pertaining thereto, and (iii) no bona fide contract, binding upon all parties thereto, shall have been executed for the sale of any such landmark, building or structure, and the land pertaining thereto, prior to the expiration of the applicable time period set forth in the time schedule hereinafter contained. Any appeal which may be taken to the court from the decision of the governing body, whether instituted by the owner or by any other proper party, notwithstanding the provisions heretofore stated relating to a stay of the decision appealed from shall not affect the right of the owner to make the bona fide offer to sell referred to above. No offer to sell shall be made more than one year after a final decision by the governing body, but thereafter the owner may renew his request to the governing body to approve the razing or demolition of the historic landmark, building or structure. The time schedule for offers to sell shall be as follows: three months when the offering price is less than $25,000; four months when the offering price is $25,000 or more but less than $40,000; five months when the offering price is $40,000 or more but less than $55,000; six months when the offering price is $55,000 or more but less than $75,000; seven months when the offering price is $75,000 or more but less than $90,000; and twelve months when the offering price is $90,000 or more.

4. The governing body is authorized to acquire in any legal manner any historic area, landmark, building or structure, land pertaining thereto, or any estate or interest therein which, in the opinion of the governing body should be acquired, preserved and maintained for the use, observation, education, pleasure and welfare of the people; provide for their renovation, preservation, maintenance, management and control as places of historic interest by a department of the locality or by a board, commission or agency specially established by ordinance for the purpose; charge or authorize the charging of compensation for the use thereof or admission thereto; lease, subject to such regulations as may be established by ordinance, any such area, property, lands or estate or interest therein so acquired upon the condition that the historic character of the area, landmark, building, structure or land shall be preserved and maintained; or to enter into contracts with any person, firm or corporation for the management, preservation, maintenance or operation of any such area, landmark, building, structure, land pertaining thereto or interest therein so acquired as a place of historic interest; however, the locality shall not use the right of condemnation under this subsection unless the historic value of such area, landmark, building, structure, land pertaining thereto, or estate or interest therein is about to be destroyed.

The authority to enter into contracts with any person, firm or corporation as stated above may include the creation, by ordinance, of a resident curator program such that private entities through lease or other contract may be engaged to manage, preserve, maintain, or operate, including the option to reside in, any such historic area, property, lands, or estate owned or leased by the locality. Any leases or contracts entered into under this provision shall require that all maintenance and improvement be conducted in accordance with established treatment standards for historic landmarks, areas, buildings, and structures. For purposes of this section, leases or contracts that preserve historic landmarks, buildings, structures, or areas are deemed to be consistent with the purposes of use, observation, education, pleasure, and welfare of the people as stated above so long as the lease or contract provides for reasonable public access consistent with the property's nature and use. The Department of Historic Resources shall provide technical assistance to local governments, at their request, to assist in developing resident curator programs.

B. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, in the City of Portsmouth no approval of any governmental agency or review board shall be required for the construction of a ramp to serve the handicapped at any structure designated pursuant to the provisions of this section.

C. Any locality that establishes or expands a local historic district pursuant to this section shall identify and inventory all landmarks, buildings, or structures in the areas being considered for inclusion within the proposed district. Prior to adoption of an ordinance establishing or expanding a local historic district, the locality shall (i) provide for public input from the community and affected property owners in accordance with § 15.2-2204; (ii) establish written criteria to be used to determine which properties should be included within a local historic district; and (iii) review the inventory and the criteria to determine which properties in the areas being considered for inclusion within the proposed district meet the criteria to be included in a local historic district. Local historic district boundaries may be adjusted to exclude properties along the perimeter that do not meet the criteria. The locality shall include only the geographical areas in a local historic district where a majority of the properties meet the criteria established by the locality in accordance with this section. However, parcels of land contiguous to arterial streets or highways found by the governing body to be significant routes of tourist access to the locality or to designated historic landmarks, buildings, structures, or districts therein, or in a contiguous locality may be included in a local historic district notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection.

1973, c. 270, § 15.1-503.2; 1974, c. 90; 1975, cc. 98, 574, 575, 641; 1977, c. 473; 1987, c. 563; 1988, c. 700; 1989, c. 174; 1993, c. 770; 1996, c. 424; 1997, cc. 587, 676; 2009, c. 290; 2011, c. 237; 2012, c. 790.

§ 15.2-2306.1. Creation of working waterfront development areas.

A. Any locality may establish by ordinance one or more working waterfront development areas for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase real property and interests in real property to assemble parcels suitable for working waterfront development. Each locality establishing a working waterfront development area may grant such incentives and provide regulatory flexibility. Such zones shall be reasonably compact, shall not encompass the entire locality, and shall constitute one or more tax parcels not commonly owned. Properties that are acquired through the use of eminent domain shall not be eligible for the incentives and regulatory flexibility provided by the ordinance.

B. Incentives granted by a locality pursuant to subsection A may include, but not be limited to, (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax, and (iv) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property.

C. Incentives granted pursuant to this section may extend for a period of up to 10 years from the date of initial establishment of the working waterfront development area; however, the extent and duration of any incentive shall conform to the requirements of applicable federal and state law.

D. The regulatory flexibility provided in a working waterfront development area may include (i) special zoning for the district, (ii) the use of a special permit process, (iii) exemption from certain specified ordinances, excluding ordinances or provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), and (iv) any other incentives adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the locality for a period of up to 10 years.

E. This section shall not authorize any local government powers that are not expressly granted herein.

F. Prior to adopting or amending any ordinance pursuant to this section, a locality shall provide for notice and public hearing in accordance with subsection A of § 15.2-2204.

2017, c. 216.

§ 15.2-2307. Vested rights not impaired; nonconforming uses.

A. Nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize the impairment of any vested right. Without limiting the time when rights might otherwise vest, a landowner's rights shall be deemed vested in a land use and such vesting shall not be affected by a subsequent amendment to a zoning ordinance when the landowner (i) obtains or is the beneficiary of a significant affirmative governmental act which remains in effect allowing development of a specific project, (ii) relies in good faith on the significant affirmative governmental act, and (iii) incurs extensive obligations or substantial expenses in diligent pursuit of the specific project in reliance on the significant affirmative governmental act.

B. For purposes of this section and without limitation, the following are deemed to be significant affirmative governmental acts allowing development of a specific project: (i) the governing body has accepted proffers or proffered conditions which specify use related to a zoning amendment; (ii) the governing body has approved an application for a rezoning for a specific use or density; (iii) the governing body or board of zoning appeals has granted a special exception or use permit with conditions; (iv) the board of zoning appeals has approved a variance; (v) the governing body or its designated agent has approved a preliminary subdivision plat, site plan or plan of development for the landowner's property and the applicant diligently pursues approval of the final plat or plan within a reasonable period of time under the circumstances; (vi) the governing body or its designated agent has approved a final subdivision plat, site plan or plan of development for the landowner's property; or (vii) the zoning administrator or other administrative officer has issued a written order, requirement, decision or determination regarding the permissibility of a specific use or density of the landowner's property that is no longer subject to appeal and no longer subject to change, modification or reversal under subsection C of § 15.2-2311.

C. A zoning ordinance may provide that land, buildings, and structures and the uses thereof which do not conform to the zoning prescribed for the district in which they are situated may be continued only so long as the then existing or a more restricted use continues and such use is not discontinued for more than two years, and so long as the buildings or structures are maintained in their then structural condition; and that the uses of such buildings or structures shall conform to such regulations whenever, with respect to the building or structure, the square footage of a building or structure is enlarged, or the building or structure is structurally altered as provided in the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.). If a use does not conform to the zoning prescribed for the district in which such use is situated, and if (i) a business license was issued by the locality for such use and (ii) the holder of such business license has operated continuously in the same location for at least 15 years and has paid all local taxes related to such use, the locality shall permit the holder of such business license to apply for a rezoning or a special use permit without charge by the locality or any agency affiliated with the locality for fees associated with such filing. Further, a zoning ordinance may provide that no nonconforming use may be expanded, or that no nonconforming building or structure may be moved on the same lot or to any other lot which is not properly zoned to permit such nonconforming use.

D. Notwithstanding any local ordinance to the contrary, if (i) the local government has issued a building permit, the building or structure was thereafter constructed in accordance with the building permit, and upon completion of construction, the local government issued a certificate of occupancy or a use permit therefor, or (ii) the owner of the building or structure has paid taxes to the locality for such building or structure for a period of more than the previous 15 years, a zoning ordinance shall not provide that such building or structure is illegal and subject to removal solely due to such nonconformity. Such building or structure shall be nonconforming. A zoning ordinance may provide that such building or structure be brought in compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code, provided that to do so shall not affect the nonconforming status of such building or structure. If the local government has issued a permit, other than a building permit, that authorized construction of an improvement to real property and the improvement was thereafter constructed in accordance with such permit, the ordinance may provide that the improvements are nonconforming, but not illegal. If the structure is one that requires no permit, and an authorized local government official informs the property owner that the structure will comply with the zoning ordinance, and the improvement was thereafter constructed, a zoning ordinance may provide that the structure is nonconforming but shall not provide that such structure is illegal and subject to removal solely due to such nonconformity. In any proceeding when the authorized government official is deceased or is otherwise unavailable to testify, uncorroborated testimony of the oral statement of such official shall not be sufficient evidence to prove that the authorized government official made such statement.

E. A zoning ordinance shall permit the owner of any residential or commercial building damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster or other act of God to repair, rebuild, or replace such building to eliminate or reduce the nonconforming features to the extent possible, without the need to obtain a variance as provided in § 15.2-2310. If such building is damaged greater than 50 percent and cannot be repaired, rebuilt or replaced except to restore it to its original nonconforming condition, the owner shall have the right to do so. The owner shall apply for a building permit and any work done to repair, rebuild or replace such building shall be in compliance with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) and any work done to repair, rebuild or replace such building shall be in compliance with the provisions of the local flood plain regulations adopted as a condition of participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. Unless such building is repaired, rebuilt or replaced within two years of the date of the natural disaster or other act of God, such building shall only be repaired, rebuilt or replaced in accordance with the provisions of the zoning ordinance of the locality. However, if the nonconforming building is in an area under a federal disaster declaration and the building has been damaged or destroyed as a direct result of conditions that gave rise to the declaration, then the zoning ordinance shall provide for an additional two years for the building to be repaired, rebuilt or replaced as otherwise provided in this paragraph. For purposes of this section, "act of God" shall include any natural disaster or phenomena including a hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake or fire caused by lightning or wildfire. For purposes of this section, owners of property damaged by an accidental fire have the same rights to rebuild such property as if it were damaged by an act of God. Nothing herein shall be construed to enable the property owner to commit an arson under § 18.2-77 or 18.2-80, and obtain vested rights under this section.

F. Notwithstanding any local ordinance to the contrary, an owner of real property shall be permitted to replace an existing on-site sewage system for any existing building in the same general location on the property even if a new on-site sewage system would not otherwise be permitted in that location, unless access to a public sanitary sewer is available to the property. If access to a sanitary sewer system is available, then the connection to such system shall be required. Any new on-site system shall be installed in compliance with applicable regulations of the Department of Health in effect at the time of the installation.

G. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a locality, after making a reasonable attempt to notify such property owner, from ordering the removal of a nonconforming sign that has been abandoned. For purposes of this section, a sign shall be considered abandoned if the business for which the sign was erected has not been in operation for a period of at least two years. Any locality may, by ordinance, provide that following the expiration of the two-year period any abandoned nonconforming sign shall be removed by the owner of the property on which the sign is located, if notified by the locality to do so. If, following such two-year period, the locality has made a reasonable attempt to notify the property owner, the locality through its own agents or employees may enter the property upon which the sign is located and remove any such sign whenever the owner has refused to do so. The cost of such removal shall be chargeable to the owner of the property. Nothing herein shall prevent the locality from applying to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order requiring the removal of such abandoned nonconforming sign by the owner by means of injunction or other appropriate remedy.

H. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the land owner or home owner from removing a valid nonconforming manufactured home from a mobile or manufactured home park and replacing that home with another comparable manufactured home that meets the current HUD manufactured housing code. In such mobile or manufactured home park, a single-section home may replace a single-section home and a multi-section home may replace a multi-section home. The owner of a valid nonconforming mobile or manufactured home not located in a mobile or manufactured home park may replace that home with a newer manufactured home, either single- or multi-section, that meets the current HUD manufactured housing code. Any such replacement home shall retain the valid nonconforming status of the prior home.

Code 1950, §§ 15-843, 15-848, 15-968.6; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-492; 1966, c. 202; 1975, c. 641; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 801; 2002, c. 823; 2003, cc. 21, 53, 189; 2004, c. 538; 2006, c. 244; 2008, cc. 377, 411; 2009, c. 782; 2010, cc. 315, 698; 2014, c. 648; 2016, c. 584; 2017, c. 404.

§ 15.2-2307.1. Protection of established commercial fishing operations.

Registered commercial fishermen and seafood buyers who operate their businesses from their waterfront residences shall not be prohibited by a locality from continuing their businesses, notwithstanding the provisions of any local zoning ordinance. This section shall only apply to businesses that have been in operation by the current owner, or a family member of the current owner, for at least 20 years at the location in question. The protection granted by this section shall continue so long as the property is owned by the current owner or a family member of the owner.

2005, c. 194.

§ 15.2-2308. Boards of zoning appeals to be created; membership, organization, etc.

A. Every locality that has enacted or enacts a zoning ordinance pursuant to this chapter or prior enabling laws shall establish a board of zoning appeals that shall consist of either five or seven residents of the locality, or in a town with a population of 3,500 or less, either three, five, or seven residents of the locality, appointed by the circuit court for the locality. Boards of zoning appeals for a locality within the fifteenth or nineteenth judicial circuit may be appointed by the chief judge or his designated judge or judges in their respective circuit, upon concurrence of such locality. Their terms of office shall be for five years each except that original appointments shall be made for such terms that the term of one member shall expire each year. The secretary of the board shall notify the court at least thirty days in advance of the expiration of any term of office, and shall also notify the court promptly if any vacancy occurs. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term. Members may be reappointed to succeed themselves. Members of the board shall hold no other public office in the locality except that one may be a member of the local planning commission. A member whose term expires shall continue to serve until his successor is appointed and qualifies. The circuit court for the City of Chesapeake and the Circuit Court for the City of Hampton shall appoint at least one but not more than three alternates to the board of zoning appeals. At the request of the local governing body, the circuit court for any other locality may appoint not more than three alternates to the board of zoning appeals. The qualifications, terms and compensation of alternate members shall be the same as those of regular members. A regular member when he knows he will be absent from or will have to abstain from any application at a meeting shall notify the chairman twenty-four hours prior to the meeting of such fact. The chairman shall select an alternate to serve in the absent or abstaining member's place and the records of the board shall so note. Such alternate member may vote on any application in which a regular member abstains.

B. Localities may, by ordinances enacted in each jurisdiction, create a joint board of zoning appeals that shall consist of two members appointed from among the residents of each participating jurisdiction by the circuit court for each county or city, plus one member from the area at large to be appointed by the circuit court or jointly by such courts if more than one, having jurisdiction in the area. The term of office of each member shall be five years except that of the two members first appointed from each jurisdiction, the term of one shall be for two years and of the other, four years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms. In other respects, joint boards of zoning appeals shall be governed by all other provisions of this article.

C. With the exception of its secretary and the alternates, the board shall elect from its own membership its officers who shall serve annual terms as such and may succeed themselves. The board may elect as its secretary either one of its members or a qualified individual who is not a member of the board, excluding the alternate members. A secretary who is not a member of the board shall not be entitled to vote on matters before the board. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, for the conduct of any hearing, a quorum shall be not less than a majority of all the members of the board and the board shall offer an equal amount of time in a hearing on the case to the applicant, appellant or other person aggrieved under § 15.2-2314, and the staff of the local governing body. Except for matters governed by § 15.2-2312, no action of the board shall be valid unless authorized by a majority vote of those present and voting. The board may make, alter and rescind rules and forms for its procedures, consistent with ordinances of the locality and general laws of the Commonwealth. The board shall keep a full public record of its proceedings and shall submit a report of its activities to the governing body or bodies at least once each year.

D. Within the limits of funds appropriated by the governing body, the board may employ or contract for secretaries, clerks, legal counsel, consultants, and other technical and clerical services. Members of the board may receive such compensation as may be authorized by the respective governing bodies. Any board member or alternate may be removed for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office, or for other just cause, by the court that appointed him, after a hearing held after at least fifteen days' notice.

E. Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this section, in the Cities of Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, members of the board shall be appointed by the governing body. The governing body shall also appoint at least one but not more than three alternates to the board.

Code 1950, §§ 15-825, 15-850, 15-968.8; 1950, pp. 176, 489; 1952, c. 688; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-494; 1975, c. 641; 1976, c. 642; 1977, c. 172; 1982, c. 3; 1989, c. 27; 1992, c. 47; 1997, cc. 570, 587; 1998, cc. 346, 520, 528; 1999, c. 838; 2002, cc. 205, 545; 2007, c. 813; 2009, c. 734; 2010, c. 705; 2015, cc. 406, 407, 597; 2019, c. 703.

§ 15.2-2308.1. Boards of zoning appeals, ex parte communications, proceedings.

A. The non-legal staff of the governing body may have ex parte communications with a member of the board prior to the hearing but may not discuss the facts or law relative to a particular case. The applicant, landowner or his agent or attorney may have ex parte communications with a member of the board prior to the hearing but may not discuss the facts or law relative to a particular case. If any ex parte discussion of facts or law in fact occurs, the party engaging in such communication shall inform the other party as soon as practicable and advise the other party of the substance of such communication. For purposes of this section, regardless of whether all parties participate, ex parte communications shall not include (i) discussions as part of a public meeting or (ii) discussions prior to a public meeting to which staff of the governing body, the applicant, landowner or his agent or attorney are all invited.

B. Any materials relating to a particular case, including a staff recommendation or report furnished to a member of the board, shall be made available without cost to such applicant, appellant or other person aggrieved under § 15.2-2314, as soon as practicable thereafter, but in no event more than three business days of providing such materials to a member of the board. If the applicant, appellant or other person aggrieved under § 15.2-2314 requests additional documents or materials be provided by the locality other than those materials provided to the board, such request shall be made pursuant to § 2.2-3704. Any such materials furnished to a member of the board shall also be made available for public inspection pursuant to subsection F of § 2.2-3707.

C. For the purposes of this section, "non-legal staff of the governing body" means any staff who is not in the office of the attorney for the locality, or for the board, or who is appointed by special law or pursuant to § 15.2-1542. Nothing in this section shall preclude the board from having ex parte communications with any attorney or staff of any attorney where such communication is protected by the attorney-client privilege or other similar privilege or protection of confidentiality.

D. This section shall not apply to cases where an application for a special exception has been filed pursuant to subdivision 6 of § 15.2-2309.

2015, c. 597.

§ 15.2-2309. Powers and duties of boards of zoning appeals.

Boards of zoning appeals shall have the following powers and duties:

1. To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative officer in the administration or enforcement of this article or of any ordinance adopted pursuant thereto. The decision on such appeal shall be based on the board's judgment of whether the administrative officer was correct. The determination of the administrative officer shall be presumed to be correct. At a hearing on an appeal, the administrative officer shall explain the basis for his determination after which the appellant has the burden of proof to rebut such presumption of correctness by a preponderance of the evidence. The board shall consider any applicable ordinances, laws, and regulations in making its decision. For purposes of this section, determination means any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative officer. Any appeal of a determination to the board shall be in compliance with this section, notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, to grant upon appeal or original application in specific cases a variance as defined in § 15.2-2201, provided that the burden of proof shall be on the applicant for a variance to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his application meets the standard for a variance as defined in § 15.2-2201 and the criteria set out in this section.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, a variance shall be granted if the evidence shows that the strict application of the terms of the ordinance would unreasonably restrict the utilization of the property or that the granting of the variance would alleviate a hardship due to a physical condition relating to the property or improvements thereon at the time of the effective date of the ordinance, or alleviate a hardship by granting a reasonable modification to a property or improvements thereon requested by, or on behalf of, a person with a disability, and (i) the property interest for which the variance is being requested was acquired in good faith and any hardship was not created by the applicant for the variance; (ii) the granting of the variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property and nearby properties in the proximity of that geographical area; (iii) the condition or situation of the property concerned is not of so general or recurring a nature as to make reasonably practicable the formulation of a general regulation to be adopted as an amendment to the ordinance; (iv) the granting of the variance does not result in a use that is not otherwise permitted on such property or a change in the zoning classification of the property; and (v) the relief or remedy sought by the variance application is not available through a special exception process that is authorized in the ordinance pursuant to subdivision 6 of § 15.2-2309 or the process for modification of a zoning ordinance pursuant to subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 at the time of the filing of the variance application. Any variance granted to provide a reasonable modification to a property or improvements thereon requested by, or on behalf of, a person with a disability may expire when the person benefited by it is no longer in need of the modification to such property or improvements provided by the variance, subject to the provisions of state and federal fair housing laws, or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.), as applicable. If a request for a reasonable modification is made to a locality and is appropriate under the provisions of state and federal fair housing laws, or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.), as applicable, such request shall be granted by the locality unless a variance from the board of zoning appeals under this section is required in order for such request to be granted.

No variance shall be considered except after notice and hearing as required by § 15.2-2204. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the board may give such notice by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail.

In granting a variance, the board may impose such conditions regarding the location, character, and other features of the proposed structure or use as it may deem necessary in the public interest and may require a guarantee or bond to ensure that the conditions imposed are being and will continue to be complied with. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, the property upon which a property owner has been granted a variance shall be treated as conforming for all purposes under state law and local ordinance; however, the structure permitted by the variance may not be expanded unless the expansion is within an area of the site or part of the structure for which no variance is required under the ordinance. Where the expansion is proposed within an area of the site or part of the structure for which a variance is required, the approval of an additional variance shall be required.

3. To hear and decide appeals from the decision of the zoning administrator after notice and hearing as provided by § 15.2-2204. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the board may give such notice by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail.

4. To hear and decide applications for interpretation of the district map where there is any uncertainty as to the location of a district boundary. After notice to the owners of the property affected by the question, and after public hearing with notice as required by § 15.2-2204, the board may interpret the map in such way as to carry out the intent and purpose of the ordinance for the particular section or district in question. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the board may give such notice by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail. The board shall not have the power to change substantially the locations of district boundaries as established by ordinance.

5. No provision of this section shall be construed as granting any board the power to rezone property or to base board decisions on the merits of the purpose and intent of local ordinances duly adopted by the governing body.

6. To hear and decide applications for special exceptions as may be authorized in the ordinance. The board may impose such conditions relating to the use for which a permit is granted as it may deem necessary in the public interest, including limiting the duration of a permit, and may require a guarantee or bond to ensure that the conditions imposed are being and will continue to be complied with.

No special exception may be granted except after notice and hearing as provided by § 15.2-2204. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the board may give such notice by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail.

7. To revoke a special exception previously granted by the board of zoning appeals if the board determines that there has not been compliance with the terms or conditions of the permit. No special exception may be revoked except after notice and hearing as provided by § 15.2-2204. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the board may give such notice by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail. If a governing body reserves unto itself the right to issue special exceptions pursuant to § 15.2-2286, and, if the governing body determines that there has not been compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, then it may also revoke special exceptions in the manner provided by this subdivision.

8. The board by resolution may fix a schedule of regular meetings, and may also fix the day or days to which any meeting shall be continued if the chairman, or vice-chairman if the chairman is unable to act, finds and declares that weather or other conditions are such that it is hazardous for members to attend the meeting. Such finding shall be communicated to the members and the press as promptly as possible. All hearings and other matters previously advertised for such meeting in accordance with § 15.2-2312 shall be conducted at the continued meeting and no further advertisement is required.

Code 1950, §§ 15-831, 15-850, 15-968.9; 1950, p. 176; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-495; 1964, c. 535; 1972, c. 695; 1975, cc. 521, 641; 1987, c. 8; 1991, c. 513; 1996, c. 555; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 1050; 2002, c. 546; 2003, c. 403; 2006, c. 264; 2008, c. 318; 2009, c. 206; 2015, c. 597; 2018, c. 757.

§ 15.2-2310. Applications for special exceptions and variances.

Applications for special exceptions and variances may be made by any property owner, tenant, government official, department, board or bureau. Applications shall be made to the zoning administrator in accordance with rules adopted by the board. The application and accompanying maps, plans or other information shall be transmitted promptly to the secretary of the board who shall place the matter on the docket to be acted upon by the board. No special exceptions or variances shall be authorized except after notice and hearing as required by § 15.2-2204. The zoning administrator shall also transmit a copy of the application to the local planning commission which may send a recommendation to the board or appear as a party at the hearing. Any locality may provide by ordinance that substantially the same application will not be considered by the board within a specified period, not exceeding one year.

Code 1950, §§ 15-828 through 15-830, 15-832, 15-833, 15-850, 15-968.10; 1950, p. 176; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-496; 1966, c. 256; 1975, cc. 521, 641; 1989, c. 407; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2311. Appeals to board.

A. An appeal to the board may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the locality affected by any decision of the zoning administrator or from any order, requirement, decision or determination made by any other administrative officer in the administration or enforcement of this article, any ordinance adopted pursuant to this article, or any modification of zoning requirements pursuant to § 15.2-2286. Notwithstanding any charter provision to the contrary, any written notice of a zoning violation or a written order of the zoning administrator dated on or after July 1, 1993, shall include a statement informing the recipient that he may have a right to appeal the notice of a zoning violation or a written order within 30 days in accordance with this section, and that the decision shall be final and unappealable if not appealed within 30 days. The zoning violation or written order shall include the applicable appeal fee and a reference to where additional information may be obtained regarding the filing of an appeal. The appeal period shall not commence until the statement is given and the zoning administrator's written order is sent by registered or certified mail to, or posted at, the last known address or usual place of abode of the property owner or its registered agent, if any. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the property owner's last known address is that shown on the current real estate tax assessment records, or the address of a registered agent that is shown in the records of the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission. The appeal shall be taken within 30 days after the decision appealed from by filing with the zoning administrator, and with the board, a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. The zoning administrator shall forthwith transmit to the board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. The fee for filing an appeal shall not exceed the costs of advertising the appeal for public hearing and reasonable costs. A decision by the board on an appeal taken pursuant to this section shall be binding upon the owner of the property which is the subject of such appeal only if the owner of such property has been provided notice of the zoning violation or written order of the zoning administrator in accordance with this section. The owner's actual notice of such notice of zoning violation or written order or active participation in the appeal hearing shall waive the owner's right to challenge the validity of the board's decision due to failure of the owner to receive the notice of zoning violation or written order. For jurisdictions that impose civil penalties for violations of the zoning ordinance, any such civil penalty shall not be assessed by a court having jurisdiction during the pendency of the 30-day appeal period.

B. An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the zoning administrator certifies to the board that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would in his opinion cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order granted by the board or by a court of record, on application and on notice to the zoning administrator and for good cause shown.

C. In no event shall a written order, requirement, decision or determination made by the zoning administrator or other administrative officer be subject to change, modification or reversal by any zoning administrator or other administrative officer after 60 days have elapsed from the date of the written order, requirement, decision or determination where the person aggrieved has materially changed his position in good faith reliance on the action of the zoning administrator or other administrative officer unless it is proven that such written order, requirement, decision or determination was obtained through malfeasance of the zoning administrator or other administrative officer or through fraud. The 60-day limitation period shall not apply in any case where, with the concurrence of the attorney for the governing body, modification is required to correct clerical errors.

D. In any appeal taken pursuant to this section, if the board's attempt to reach a decision results in a tie vote, the matter may be carried over until the next scheduled meeting at the request of the person filing the appeal.

1975, c. 521, § 15.1-496.1; 1983, c. 12; 1993, c. 780; 1995, c. 424; 1997, c. 587; 2005, cc. 625, 677; 2008, c. 378; 2010, c. 241; 2011, c. 457; 2012, cc. 400, 550, 606; 2017, c. 665; 2019, c. 387.

§ 15.2-2312. Procedure on appeal.

The board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of an application or appeal, give public notice thereof as well as due notice to the parties in interest and make its decision within ninety days of the filing of the application or appeal. In exercising its powers the board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify, an order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from. The concurring vote of a majority of the membership of the board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of an administrative officer or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under the ordinance or to effect any variance from the ordinance. The board shall keep minutes of its proceedings and other official actions which shall be filed in the office of the board and shall be public records. The chairman of the board, or in his absence the acting chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.

1975, c. 521, § 15.1-496.2; 1983, c. 444; 1986, c. 483; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2313. Proceedings to prevent construction of building in violation of zoning ordinance.

Where a building permit has been issued and the construction of the building for which the permit was issued is subsequently sought to be prevented, restrained, corrected or abated as a violation of the zoning ordinance, by suit filed within fifteen days after the start of construction by a person who had no actual notice of the issuance of the permit, the court may hear and determine the issues raised in the litigation even though no appeal was taken from the decision of the administrative officer to the board of zoning appeals.

1975, c. 521, § 15.1-496.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2314. Certiorari to review decision of board.

Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the board of zoning appeals, or any aggrieved taxpayer or any officer, department, board or bureau of the locality, may file with the clerk of the circuit court for the county or city a petition that shall be styled "In Re: date Decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals of [locality name]" specifying the grounds on which aggrieved within 30 days after the final decision of the board.

Upon the presentation of such petition, the court shall allow a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the board of zoning appeals and shall prescribe therein the time within which a return thereto must be made and served upon the secretary of the board of zoning appeals or, if no secretary exists, the chair of the board of zoning appeals, which shall not be less than 10 days and may be extended by the court. The allowance of the writ shall not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from, but the court may, on application, on notice to the board and on due cause shown, grant a restraining order.

Any review of a decision of the board shall not be considered an action against the board and the board shall not be a party to the proceedings; however, the board shall participate in the proceedings to the extent required by this section. The governing body, the landowner, and the applicant before the board of zoning appeals shall be necessary parties to the proceedings in the circuit court. The court may permit intervention by any other person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the board of zoning appeals.

The board of zoning appeals shall not be required to return the original papers acted upon by it but it shall be sufficient to return certified or sworn copies thereof or of the portions thereof as may be called for by the writ. The return shall concisely set forth such other facts as may be pertinent and material to show the grounds of the decision appealed from and shall be verified.

The court may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the decision brought up for review.

In the case of an appeal from the board of zoning appeals to the circuit court of an order, requirement, decision or determination of a zoning administrator or other administrative officer in the administration or enforcement of any ordinance or provision of state law, or any modification of zoning requirements pursuant to § 15.2-2286, the findings and conclusions of the board of zoning appeals on questions of fact shall be presumed to be correct. The appealing party may rebut that presumption by proving by a preponderance of the evidence, including the record before the board of zoning appeals, that the board of zoning appeals erred in its decision. Any party may introduce evidence in the proceedings in the court. The court shall hear any arguments on questions of law de novo.

In the case of an appeal by a person of any decision of the board of zoning appeals that denied or granted an application for a variance, the decision of the board of zoning appeals shall be presumed to be correct. The petitioner may rebut that presumption by proving by a preponderance of the evidence, including the record before the board of zoning appeals, that the board of zoning appeals erred in its decision.

In the case of an appeal by a person of any decision of the board of zoning appeals that denied or granted application for a special exception, the decision of the board of zoning appeals shall be presumed to be correct. The petitioner may rebut that presumption by showing to the satisfaction of the court that the board of zoning appeals applied erroneous principles of law, or where the discretion of the board of zoning appeals is involved, the decision of the board of zoning appeals was plainly wrong, was in violation of the purpose and intent of the zoning ordinance, and is not fairly debatable.

In the case of an appeal from the board of zoning appeals to the circuit court of a decision of the board, any party may introduce evidence in the proceedings in the court in accordance with the Rules of Evidence of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Costs shall not be allowed against the locality or the governing body, unless it shall appear to the court that the locality or the governing body acted in bad faith or with malice. In the event the decision of the board is affirmed and the court finds that the appeal was frivolous, the court may order the person or persons who requested the issuance of the writ of certiorari to pay the costs incurred in making the return of the record pursuant to the writ of certiorari. If the petition is withdrawn subsequent to the filing of the return, the locality or the governing body may request that the court hear the matter on the question of whether the appeal was frivolous.

Code 1950, §§ 15-834 through 15-839, 15-850, 15-958.11; 1950, p. 176; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-497; 1975, c. 641; 1988, c. 856; 1994, c. 705; 1996, c. 450; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 422; 2003, c. 568; 2005, cc. 625, 677; 2006, c. 446; 2010, c. 241; 2015, c. 597; 2017, c. 661.

§ 15.2-2315. Conflict with statutes, local ordinances or regulations.

Whenever the regulations made under authority of this article require a greater width or size of yards, courts or other open spaces, require a lower height of building or less number of stories, require a greater percentage of lot to be left unoccupied or impose other higher standards than are required in any other statute or local ordinance or regulation, the provisions of the regulations made under authority of this article shall govern. Whenever the provisions of any other statute or local ordinance or regulation require a greater width or size of yards, courts or other open spaces, require a lower height of building or a less number of stories, require a greater percentage of lot to be left unoccupied or impose other higher standards than are required by the regulations made under authority of this article, the provisions of such statute or local ordinance or regulation shall govern.

Code 1950, §§ 15-842, 15-968.12; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-498; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2316. Validation of zoning ordinances prior to 1971.

All proceedings had in the preparation, certification and adoption of zoning ordinances by every locality prior to January 1, 1971, which shall have been in substantial compliance with the provisions of this chapter are validated and confirmed, and all such zoning ordinances adopted or attempted to be adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter are declared to be validly adopted and enacted, notwithstanding any defects or irregularities in the adoption thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-854.2; 1962, c. 583, § 15.1-503; 1984, c. 380; 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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