Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 3. Optional Forms of County Government; General Provisions
5/22/2022

Chapter 3. Optional Forms of County Government; General Provisions.

§ 15.2-300. Adoption of optional forms of county government; inconsistent provisions of law.

A. Any county may adopt an optional form of county government in accordance with the referendum provisions of § 15.2-301, subject to the limitations specified in Chapters 3 through 8 of this title.

B. Other provisions of law in conflict with Chapters 3 through 8 of this title shall not apply to a county which has adopted an applicable form of county government pursuant to this chapter, unless such provision expressly provides otherwise.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-301. Petition or resolution asking for referendum; notice; conduct of election.

A. A county may adopt one of the optional forms of government provided for in Chapters 4 through 8 of this title only after approval by voter referendum. The referendum shall be initiated by (i) a petition filed with the circuit court for the county signed by at least ten percent of the voters of the county, asking that a referendum be held on the question of adopting one of the forms of government or (ii) a resolution passed by the board of supervisors and filed with the circuit court asking for a referendum. The petition or resolution shall specify which of the forms of government provided for in Chapters 4 through 8 is to be placed on the ballot for consideration. Only one form may be placed on the ballot for consideration.

B. Notice of the election shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county once a week for three consecutive weeks and shall be posted at the door of the county courthouse.

C. The election shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of § 24.2-684. In addition to the certifications required by such section, the secretary of the appropriate electoral board shall certify the results to the Commission on Local Government.

D. Prior to adopting an optional form of government provided for in Chapter 5 or Chapter 6, a county shall also comply with the referendum requirements of § 24.2-686.

1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 741.

§ 15.2-302. When form of government to become effective.

A form of government approved by the voters in accordance with § 15.2-301 shall become effective on January 1 following the election of members of the governing body under the provisions of § 15.2-303.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-303. When new supervisors elected.

If voters approve the adoption of an optional form of government in accordance with § 15.2-301, the members of the governing body shall be elected at the next succeeding November general election. The members' terms shall commence on January 1 following the election.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-304. Effect of change on other county officers.

All other officers of such county shall continue to hold office until their successors are appointed and have qualified. The term of office of any person who holds an office abolished by the form of government adopted shall terminate as soon as his powers and duties have been transferred to some other officer or employee, or are abolished.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-305. Changing from one form to another.

A county may change from one optional form to another optional form, or to any other form of county government prescribed by Article VII of the Constitution, only by following the procedures set out in § 15.2-301, subject to any limitations specified in Chapters 3 through 8 of this title.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-306. Limitation as to frequency of elections.

If any election has been held in a county to determine whether such county shall adopt a form of county government provided for in Chapters 4 through 8 of this title, or if any election has been held in a county which has adopted such form of county government to determine whether such county shall change to another form of county government or to determine whether such county shall change to some other form of county government provided for by Article VII of the Constitution of Virginia and the other provisions of general law of the Commonwealth, no further election of the nature referred to in this section shall be held in the county within three years thereafter.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-307. County forms of government adopted under prior acts.

Any county which has adopted an optional form of government under the authority of prior acts shall continue to operate as though created under the terms of this chapter.

1997, c. 587.