Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 32. Boundary Changes of Towns and Cities

Article 2. Agreements Defining Annexation Rights.

§ 15.2-3231. Agreements between towns and counties authorized; effect; provisions.

Towns in counties, or parts of counties, not immune from annexation may voluntarily enter into agreements with such counties for the purpose of defining the town's annexation rights in the future. Upon the execution of such an agreement by both the town and the county, the town shall permanently renounce its right to become a city. Any such agreement shall provide for the regular and orderly growth of the town in conjunction with the county and for an equitable sharing of resources and liabilities. It shall also provide that the town may annex at regular intervals by the adoption of an ordinance.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1058.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3232. Hearing before Commission on Local Government required; notice.

A. Once the town and county governing bodies have decided upon the terms of an agreement pursuant to § 15.2-3231, the proposed agreement shall be presented to the Commission on Local Government. The Commission shall conduct a public hearing at some location in the town or the county and interested parties may appear and offer evidence or comments. The hearing shall be duly advertised in some newspaper having general circulation in the county and the town once a week for two successive weeks, stating the time and place of the hearing, and summarizing the terms of the proposed agreement. The second advertisement shall appear not less than six days nor more than 21 days prior to the hearing. The Commission shall then determine whether the proposed agreement provides for the orderly and regular growth of the town and county together, for an equitable sharing of the resources and liabilities of the town and the county, and whether the agreement is in the best interest of the community at large, and shall so advise the governing bodies in a written opinion.

B. In addition to the advertising required in subsection A, written notice of the Commission on Local Government's hearing shall be given by the town at least 10 days before the hearing to the owner, owners, or their agent of each parcel of land included in the area proposed for annexation under the terms of the agreement. One notice sent by first-class mail to the last known address of such owner, owners, or their agent as shown on the current county real estate tax assessment books or current county real estate tax assessment records shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement, provided that the clerk of the town shall make an affidavit that such mailings have been made and file such affidavit with the Commission. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as to invalidate any subsequently adopted agreement because of the inadvertent failure by the town to give written notice to the owner, owners, their agent or the occupant of any parcel in the area proposed for annexation.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1058.2; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 173.

§ 15.2-3233. Adoption of agreement.

After the Commission has advised the governing bodies of the two jurisdictions of its determination, and regardless of whether its determination is favorable, such bodies may adopt the agreement. If the Commission's determination is unfavorable, however, the governing bodies shall first conduct an additional joint public hearing advertised as provided in § 15.2-3232. Adoption of the agreement by both governing bodies will operate permanently to divest the town of its right to become a city.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1058.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3234. Inability to agree; petition to Commission on Local Government.

In the event the governing bodies of the town and county cannot reach a voluntary agreement as to future annexation rights, the town may, by ordinance duly adopted by a majority vote of its governing body, petition the Commission on Local Government for an order establishing the rights of the town to annex territory by ordinance under specified agreed terms. A copy of such petition and ordinance shall be served on the attorney for the Commonwealth, or county attorney, if there is one, and on the chairman of the board of supervisors of the county. The county shall file its response to such petition with the Commission within sixty days after receipt of service thereof.

After the time for filing of a response by the county has elapsed, the Commission shall establish a date, time and place for a hearing, to be conducted in the county or the town, at which the parties, and any resident or property owner of either the county or the town may appear and present evidence or comment on the rights petitioned for by the town. After receiving such evidence, and making such further investigation as it deems appropriate, and based upon the criteria set forth in § 15.2-3209, the Commission shall enter an order which grants such rights to the town, either upon the terms set forth in the petition or upon some modified basis. The order shall in no event grant to the town the right to annex county territory by ordinance more frequently than once every five years.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1058.4; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-3235. Appeal.

Any order of the Commission regarding future annexation rights of a town shall become final unless either the town or the county or five percent of the registered voters in either jurisdiction, within thirty days of the entry of the order, petition the circuit court to review such order. The circuit court with which the petition is filed shall notify the Supreme Court, which shall appoint a special court to hear the case as provided by Chapter 30 (§ 15.2-3000 et seq.) of this title. The special court shall review such decision and enter any order it deems appropriate. A final order of either the Commission or the court granting the town the right to future annexation through the periodic adoption of ordinances shall operate permanently to divest the town of its rights to become a city.

1979, c. 85, § 15.1-1058.5; 1997, c. 587.