Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 7. County Manager Plan of Government
12/7/2022

Article 2. General Powers; County Manager Plan.

§ 15.2-702. County board; membership, terms, chairman, etc.

Under the county manager plan all of the legislative powers of the county, however conferred or possessed by it, shall be vested in a board of five members to be known as the county board ("the board"). The members of the board shall be elected in the manner hereinafter provided for terms of four years. The board shall elect one of its members as chairman, who shall preside over its meetings. The chairman shall be elected by the board annually and any vacancy in the office shall be filled by the board for the unexpired term. The chairman has the same powers and duties as other members of the board with a vote but no veto and is the official head of the county. With the exception of those officers whose election is provided for by popular vote in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, board members shall be the only elective county officials. The board shall be a body corporate and as such has the right to sue and be sued in the same manner as is now provided by law for boards of supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-350; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-674; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-702.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2006, c. 126, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-703. Interference by members of board in appointments and removals of personnel.

Neither the board nor any of its members shall in any manner dictate the appointment or removal of any county administrative officers or employees who are appointed by the manager or any of his subordinates. However, the board may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the manager anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees. Except for the purposes of inquiry and investigation, the board and its members shall deal with county officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the manager solely through the county manager, and neither the board nor any member thereof shall give orders either publicly or privately to any such county officer or employee.

Code 1950, § 15-350.1; 1952, c. 443; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-675; 1982, c. 108; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-704. Appointment of clerk of board; powers and duties; obligations and penalties.

The clerk of the board shall be such qualified person as the board designates. He shall be compensated in an amount set by the board and may employ such deputies and assistants as the board authorizes. He shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon such officers by general law and shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law. He shall also perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

Code 1950, § 15-350.2; 1962, c. 19, § 15.1-675.1; 1982, c. 108; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-705. Election of members of board; filling vacancies.

A. In any county operating as of December 1, 1993, under the county manager plan provided for in this chapter, the members of the board shall be elected and vacancies on the board shall be filled as provided in this section. The members of the board shall be elected from the county at large.

B. Two board members shall be elected at the November 1995 election to succeed the members whose terms are expiring, and one member each shall be elected at the 1994, 1996, and 1997 November elections to succeed the members whose terms respectively are expiring. Thereafter at each regular November election one or more board members shall be elected to succeed the members whose terms expire on or before January 1 next succeeding such election. The members so elected shall be elected for terms of four years each, shall take office on January 1 next succeeding their election, and shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualify. The board may provide, by ordinance, for the nomination or election of candidates by instant runoff voting pursuant to § 15.2-705.1.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-226, when any vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, the judge of the circuit court of the county shall call a special election for the remainder of the unexpired term to be held not less than 60 days and not more than 80 days thereafter, and the local electoral board shall determine and announce within three business days after such call the candidate filing deadline for that special election. However, if any vacancy occurs within 180 days before the expiration of a term of office, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by a majority vote of the remaining members of the board within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy after holding a public hearing on the appointment. The appointment shall be for the duration of the unexpired term.

Code 1950, § 15-351; 1952, c. 591; 1954, c. 151; 1958, c. 207; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-676; 1975, cc. 517, 636; 1993, c. 731; 1997, c. 587; 1998, cc. 345, 369; 2014, c. 573; 2020, c. 713.

§ 15.2-705.1. Instant runoff voting.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Instant runoff voting" means a method of casting and tabulating votes in which (i) voters rank candidates in order of preference, (ii) tabulation proceeds in rounds such that in each round either a candidate or candidates are elected or the last-place candidate is defeated, (iii) votes for voters' next-ranked candidates are transferred from elected or defeated candidates, and (iv) tabulation ends when the number of candidates elected equals the number of offices to be filled. "Instant runoff voting" is also known as "ranked choice voting."

"Ranking" means the ordinal number assigned on a ballot by a voter to a candidate to express the voter's preference for that candidate. Ranking number one is the highest ranking, ranking number two is the next-highest ranking, and so on, consecutively, up to the number of candidates indicated on the ballot.

B. Elections to nominate candidates for and to elect members to the board of supervisors in a county operating under the county manager plan may be conducted by instant runoff voting pursuant to this section.

C. The State Board may promulgate regulations for the proper and efficient administration of elections determined by instant runoff voting, including (i) procedures for tabulating votes in rounds, (ii) procedures for determining winners in elections for offices to which only one candidate is being elected and for offices to which more than one candidate is being elected, and (iii) standards for ballots pursuant to § 24.2-613, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection E of that section.

D. The State Board may administer or prescribe standards for a voter outreach and public information program for use by any locality conducting instant runoff voting pursuant to this section.

2020, c. 713.

§ 15.2-706. Duties of county manager; compensation; appointment of officers and employees.

The administrative and executive powers of the county, including the power of appointment of all officers and employees whose appointment or election is not otherwise provided by law, are vested in the county manager, who shall be appointed by the board at its first meeting or as soon thereafter as practicable. The county manager need not be a resident of the county or of the Commonwealth. He shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the board. The officers whose election by popular vote is provided for in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, the school board and the superintendent of schools shall not be subject to appointment but shall be selected in the manner prescribed by law. The heads of all departments other than those hereinbefore referred to and excepted from the provisions of this section shall be selected by the county board. However, if a majority of the qualified voters voting in the election required by § 15.2-716 vote in favor thereof, then the heads of the several county departments, other than those hereinbefore referred to and excepted from the provisions of this section shall be appointed by the county manager.

Code 1950, § 15-352; 1952, c. 198; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-677; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-707. Bonds of county officers and employees.

The county officers shall give such bonds as are now required by general law, except that the bond of the treasurer shall be in such penalty as the court or judge requires, but not less than fifteen percent of the amount to be received annually by him. In addition, the board may fix and require bonds in excess of the amounts so required, and may require bonds of other county officers and employees in the board's discretion, conditioned on the faithful discharge of their duties and the proper accounting for all funds coming into their possession.

Code 1950, § 15-352.1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-678; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-708. Term of office of county manager; salary and performance of duties; acting manager in case of temporary absence or disability; removal or suspension.

The term of office of the county manager shall expire on June 30 of each year. Except as hereinafter provided, he shall be notified at least sixty days before the expiration of his term if his services are not desired for the ensuing twelve-month period. He shall receive such annual salary as the board may prescribe payable from county funds. He shall devote his full time to the performance of the duties imposed on him by law, and the performance of such other duties as the board directs.

To perform his duties during his temporary absence or disability the manager may designate by letter filed with the clerk of the board a qualified administrative officer of the county to be acting manager. If the manager fails to make such designation, the board may, by resolution, appoint an officer of the county to perform the duties of the manager until he returns or his disability ceases.

The board may at any time remove the county manager for neglect of duty, malfeasance or misfeasance in office, or incompetency. If a majority of the qualified voters voting in the election required by § 15.2-301 vote in favor thereof, the county manager shall be appointed for an indefinite period and be subject to removal by the county board at any time, any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. If the board determines to remove the county manager, he shall be given, if he so requests, a written statement of the reasons alleged for the proposed removal and the right of a hearing thereon at a public meeting of the board prior to the date on which his final removal takes effect. Pending and during such hearing the board may suspend him from office, provided that the period of suspension be limited to thirty days. The action of the board in suspending or removing the county manager shall not be subject to review.

Code 1950, § 15-352.2; 1952, c. 198; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-679; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 136.

§ 15.2-709. Investigation of county officers or employees.

The board may inquire into the official conduct of any office, officer or employee under its control, and investigate the accounts, receipts, disbursements and expenses of any such office, officer or employee. For these purposes it may subpoena county employees as witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of books, papers and other evidence in their control. If any such witness fails or refuses to obey any such lawful board order, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-352.4; 1952, c. 162; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-681; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-709.1. Applicant preemployment information in Arlington County.

Arlington County, having a local ordinance adopted in accordance with § 19.2-389, shall require applicants for employment with the county to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such applicant. Such applicants shall, if required by ordinance, pay the cost of the fingerprinting or criminal records check or both.

The Central Criminal Records Exchange, upon receipt of an applicant's record or notification that no record exists, shall make a report to the county manager or his designee, who must belong to a governmental entity. In determining whether a criminal conviction directly relates to a position, the locality shall consider the following criteria: (i) the nature and seriousness of the crime; (ii) the relationship of the crime to the work to be performed in the position applied for; (iii) the extent to which the position applied for might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the person had been involved; (iv) the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity or fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of the position being sought; (v) the extent and nature of the person's past criminal activity; (vi) the age of the person at the time of the commission of the crime; (vii) the amount of time that has elapsed since the person's last involvement in the commission of a crime; (viii) the conduct and work activity of the person prior to and following the criminal activity; and (ix) evidence of the person's rehabilitation or rehabilitative effort while incarcerated or following release.

If an applicant is denied employment because of information appearing in his criminal history record, the county shall notify the applicant that information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange contributed to such denial. The information shall not be disseminated except as provided for in this section.

2002, cc. 670, 730; 2003, c. 739.

§ 15.2-709.2. County auditor.

The board may appoint a county auditor for the audit and review of county agencies and county-funded functions. The county auditor shall have the power to make performance reviews of operations of county agencies or county-funded programs to ascertain that sums appropriated are expended for the purposes for which such appropriations were made and to evaluate the effectiveness of those agencies and programs. The county auditor shall make such special studies and reports as the board directs.

The board may provide staff assistance to the county auditor that may be independent of the administrative staff of the county. The county auditor and any such staff shall be hired on the basis of merit and shall be paid in conformity with existing pay scales. The county auditor shall serve at the pleasure of the board, and if removed, such removal shall not be subject to review by any other employee, agency, board, or commission of the county or under the grievance procedure adopted pursuant to § 15.2-1506.

2015, c. 282.

§ 15.2-710. Budget; county manager to be executive and administrative officer; financial condition of county.

In addition to such other duties as are or may be prescribed by law or directed by the board, the county manager shall each year on or before April 15 prepare and submit to the board a tentative budget for informative and fiscal planning purposes. The budget shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of law in effect governing the preparation of the county budget and shall show in detail the recommendations of the county manager for expenditures on each road and bridge or for other purposes.

The county manager shall be the executive and administrative officer of the county in all matters relating to the public roads and bridges of the county, and other public work and business in the county, except public schools. He shall have general supervision and charge of construction and maintenance of the public roads, bridges and landings of the county, and of public work and business of the county, except public schools, and of the purchase of supplies, equipment and materials for the roads, bridges and landings and other public work and business of the county, and the employment of all superintendents, foremen and labor therefor. However, the board may, by ordinance, prescribe rules and regulations for the purchase of all supplies, equipment and materials for the roads, bridges and landings and other public work and business of the county.

The county manager shall keep the board advised as to the county's financial condition, and shall periodically, and upon board request, provide a report to the board on the status of expenditures and revenues for the current fiscal year. On or before October 31 of each year, he shall provide a report to the board at a regular board meeting on expenses and revenue for the preceding year, ending June 30.

Code 1950, § 15-353; 1952, c. 198; 1954, c. 102; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 69; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-682; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 22, 510.

§ 15.2-711. Certification and payment of payrolls.

The board by resolution may require the county manager to certify to the treasurer the payroll of the regular employees of the county for the successive payroll periods, and vouchers for the payment of bills for materials and supplies which have been received and for which discounts are allowed. Upon receipt thereof the treasurer shall pay the same as if they had been approved by the board. No payment shall be made hereunder when at any meeting of the county board a resolution opposing such method of payment has been adopted.

Code 1950, § 15-353.1; 1952, c. 610; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-683; 1976, c. 175; 1982, c. 108; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-712. Certification and payment of certain vouchers.

The board may by resolution authorize the county manager to sign and issue an order or authorization to the treasurer for payment of vouchers for materials, supplies and services which have been received and the treasurer shall pay the same. The provisions of § 15.2-711 shall apply to actions hereunder.

Code 1950, § 15-353.2; 1954, c. 124; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-684; 1976, c. 175; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-713. Means of transferring funds.

The treasurer or his duly authorized deputies may transfer public funds from one depository to another by wire. Such officers may also draw any of the county's money by check, by an electronic fund wire or payment system, or by any means deemed appropriate and sound by the county treasurer and approved by the governing body, drawn upon a warrant issued by the governing body. If any money is knowingly paid otherwise than upon the county treasurer's check, electronic fund wire or payment system or by alternative means specifically approved by the county treasurer and the governing body, drawn upon such warrant, the payment shall be invalid against the county.

1978, c. 460, § 15.1-684.1; 1986, c. 293; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-714. Depository for county funds.

The board may designate one or more banks or trust companies as collecting or receiving agencies for county funds, which funds shall be deposited to the county's credit and be subject to the control of the county treasurer.

1978, c. 460, § 15.1-684.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-715. Abolition of offices and distribution of duties.

The board, by a majority vote of all the members elected, may abolish any board, commission, or office of such county except the school board and school superintendent, and the officers elected by popular vote provided for in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, and may delegate and distribute the duties, authority and powers of the boards, commissions, or offices abolished to the county manager or to any other officer of the county it may think proper. If any such board, commission, or office is abolished, those to whom the duties thereof are delegated or distributed shall discharge the duties and exercise the powers and authorities of the abolished entity. Both they and the county for which they were appointed, or by whom they were employed, shall enjoy the immunities and exemptions from liability or otherwise that were enjoyed by the abolished boards, commissions, or offices, prior to the adoption of the county manager plan of government, except insofar as such duties, powers, authority, immunities and exemptions have been or hereafter may be changed according to law.

Code 1950, § 15-354; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-685; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 839.

§ 15.2-716. Referendum for establishment of department of real estate assessments; board of equalization; general reassessments in county where department established.

A referendum may be initiated by a petition signed by 200 or more qualified voters of the county filed with the circuit court, asking that a referendum be held on the question of whether the county shall have a department of real estate assessments. The court shall on or before August 1 enter of record an order requiring the county election officials to open the polls at the regular election to be held in November of such year on the question stated in such order. If the petition seeks the holding of a special election on the question, then the petition hereinabove referred to shall be signed by 1,000 or more qualified voters of the county and the court shall within fifteen days of the date such petition is filed enter an order, in accordance with § 24.2-684, requiring the election officials to open the polls on a date fixed in the order and take the sense of the qualified voters of the county. The clerk of the county shall cause a notice of such election to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the county once a week for three successive weeks, and shall post a copy of such notice at the door of the county courthouse.

If a majority of the voters voting in the referendum vote for the establishment of a department of real estate assessments, the board shall by ordinance establish such department, provide for the compensation of the department head and employees therein, and decide such other matters in relation to the powers and duties of the department, the department head and the employees, as the board deems proper. As used in this section the term "department" refers to the department of real estate assessments and where proper the department head thereof.

Upon the establishment of the department, the county manager shall select the head thereof and provide for such employees and assistants as required. Such department shall be vested with the powers and duties conferred or imposed upon commissioners of the revenue by general law to the extent that such duties and powers are consistent with this section, in relation to the assessment of real estate. All real estate shall be assessed at its fair market value as of January 1 of each year by the department and taxes for each year on such real estate shall be entered on the land book by the department in the name of the owner thereof. Whenever any such assessment is increased over the last assessment made prior to such year, the department shall give written notice to the owner of such real estate or of any interest therein, by mailing such notice to the last known post-office address of such owner. However, the validity of such assessment shall not be affected by any failure to receive such notice.

If a department of real estate assessments is appointed as above provided, a board of equalization of real estate assessments shall be appointed pursuant to § 15.2-716.1. Any person aggrieved by any assessment made under the provisions of this section may apply for relief to such board as therein provided.

When a department of real estate assessments is appointed, the county shall not be required to undertake general reassessments of real estate every six years, but the governing body of the county may, but shall not be required to, request the circuit court of such county to order a general reassessment at such times as the governing body deems proper. Such court shall then enter an order directing a reassessment of real estate in the manner provided by law.

The department of real estate assessments may require that the owners of income-producing real estate in the county subject to local taxation, except property producing income solely from the rental of no more than four dwelling units, furnish to the department on or before a time specified by the director of the department statements of the income and expenses attributable over a specified period of time to each such parcel of real estate. If there is a willful failure to furnish statements of income and expenses in a timely manner to the director, the owner of such parcel of real estate shall be deemed to have waived his right in any proceeding contesting the assessment to utilize such income and expenses as evidence of fair market value. Each such statement shall be certified as to its accuracy by an owner of the real estate for which the statement is furnished, or a duly authorized agent thereof. Any statement required by this section shall be kept confidential as required by § 58.1-3.

Code 1950, § 15-354.1; 1952, c. 611; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-686; 1973, c. 274; 1975, c. 517; 1978, c. 460; 1979, c. 158; 1983, c. 364; 1997, c. 587; 2010, cc. 154, 199; 2017, c. 435.

§ 15.2-716.1. Board of Equalization.

A. The membership of the board of equalization of real estate assessments shall be composed of an odd number of not less than three nor more than 11 members, as determined by the governing body of the county. The circuit court of the county shall appoint a number of members equal to the lowest number that constitutes a majority of members, and the governing body shall appoint the remainder. In making appointments, the circuit court shall consider recommendations from interested entities, including but not limited to the chamber of commerce for the county, and from other representatives of the business community. After the initial appointments, vacancies on the board shall be filled by the appointing authority that appointed the person vacating the position.

The governing body may provide for terms varying in duration not to exceed four years. Such equalization board shall have the powers and duties provided by, and be subject to, the provisions of Article 14 (§ 58.1-3370 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1. Any person aggrieved by any assessment made under the provisions of this section may apply for relief to such board as therein provided. The provisions of this section shall not, however, apply to any real estate assessable under the law by the State Corporation Commission.

B. The board of equalization may sit in panels of at least three members each under the following terms and conditions:

1. The presence of all members of the panel shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.

2. The chairman of the board of equalization shall assign the members to panels and, insofar as practicable, rotate the membership of the panels.

3. The chairman of the board of equalization shall preside over any panel of which he is a member and shall designate the presiding member of the other panels.

4. Each panel shall perform its duties independently of the others.

5. The board of equalization shall sit en banc (i) when there is a dissent in the panel to which the matter was originally assigned and an aggrieved party requests an en banc hearing or (ii) upon its own motion at any time, in any matter in which a majority of the board of equalization determines it is appropriate to do so. The board of equalization sitting en banc shall consider and decide the matter and may affirm, reverse, overrule or modify any previous decision by any panel.

2010, cc. 154, 199; 2017, c. 435.

§ 15.2-717. Time in which to contest real property assessments.

Any person aggrieved by an assessment of real estate made by the department of real estate assessments may apply for relief to the circuit court of the county within one year from December 31 of the year in which such assessment is made for assessments made prior to January 1, 2005; within two years from December 31 of the year in which such assessment is made for assessments made on and after January 1, 2005, but prior to January 1, 2007; and within the time frame as provided by general law pursuant to § 58.1-3984 for assessments made on and after January 1, 2007. No person may make such application for a year other than the current year unless such person has provided to the assessor, commissioner of the revenue, or the governing body, written notice of disagreement with the assessment, during the applicable tax year. The application shall be before the court when it is filed in the clerk's office. In such proceeding the burden of proof shall be on the taxpayer to show that the property in question is valued at more than its fair market value or that the assessment is not uniform in its application, or that the assessment is otherwise invalid or illegal, but it shall not be necessary for the taxpayer to show that intentional, systematic and willful discrimination has taken place. The proceedings shall be conducted as an action at law before the court, sitting without a jury, and the court shall act with the authority granted by §§ 58.1-3987 and 58.1-3988.

1991, c. 143, § 15.1-686.01; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 1036.

§ 15.2-718. Postponement of payment of certain assessments.

The board may provide for the postponement of the payment of assessments made pursuant to the provisions of Article 2 (§ 15.2-2404 et seq.) of Chapter 24 of this title by any property owner at the election of the property owner. Full payment of the assessment plus accrued interest shall become due and payable at the time of the death of the owner or the last surviving joint owner who made such an election or at the time the property or any divided part is sold, devised, subdivided, or transferred in any way. The board may impose interest on the unpaid balance of such assessments at a rate not to exceed the judgment rate, but at a rate which may be different from that imposed on property owners making installment payments under § 15.2-2413.

1988, c. 532, § 15.1-686.5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-719. Immobilization, etc., of certain vehicles.

The board may by ordinance place reasonable limits on the removal or immobilization of trespassing vehicles.

1988, c. 532, § 15.1-686.6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-719.1. Naming U.S. Route 29.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-2019 or 33.2-213, the board may by ordinance name any section of U.S. Route 29 located within the boundaries of the locality. The Department of Transportation shall place and maintain appropriate signs indicating the name of such highway, and the costs of producing, placing, and maintaining these signs shall be paid by the locality.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 261.

§ 15.2-720. Employee salary reduction agreements.

In connection with some or all of its employee benefit programs, the board is authorized to enter into voluntary salary reduction agreements with its officers and employees when such agreements are authorized under the laws of the United States relating to federal income taxes. Any such voluntary salary reduction agreements entered into prior to July 1, 1988, are hereby validated.

1988, c. 532, § 15.1-686.7; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-720.1. Employee benefits; residence in county.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the county board, in order to ensure its competitiveness as an employer, may by ordinance provide for the use of funds, other than state funds, to provide grants for county and school board employees, as well as employees of local constitutional officers, to purchase or rent residences, for use as the employee's principal residence, within the county.

2002, c. 330; 2004, cc. 22, 510.

§ 15.2-721. Civil service commission.

The board, in addition to any other powers granted by general or special law may appoint a civil service commission ("the commission"), to be composed of five persons who shall receive such compensation as the board prescribes. The initial terms of office of commission members shall be staggered so that the terms of no more than two commissioners expire at one time. At the expiration of the term of each such member, his successor shall be appointed for a term of four years.

The commission, subject to the control of the board, shall establish and operate a classified civil service system for any or all classes of county employees, as designated by the board, which system shall provide for appointment, promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, reinstatement, retirement and discharge of such employees. To this end it may establish a personnel administration and promulgate rules and regulations for the furtherance of the matters herein set out. The commission may appoint such employees and staff as it deems necessary subject to prior authorization of the board.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission may establish its own rules, regulations, or procedures to govern the conduct of hearings before the commission, including whether to permit rehearings.

Code 1950, § 15-355; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-687; 1964, c. 64; 1978, c. 460; 1980, c. 79; 1989, c. 622; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-722. Personnel studies.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any questionnaires, audit or interview notes, scoring keys, scoring sheets or similar documents pertaining to a classification and compensation study for county employees shall not be considered to be public or official records, except that any employee may inspect and copy any document which the employee has signed or filled out.

1989, c. 622, § 15.1-687.01; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-723. Grievances by police officers.

In any county for which a trial board for police officers is provided by state statute, police officers may elect the remedy provided by Chapter 5 (§ 9.1-500 et seq.) of Title 9.1 in lieu of appealing to the trial board, but such election shall bar the right of appeal to the trial board or the right to employ any other grievance procedure with regard to the matters for which the provisions of such chapter are involved.

1980, c. 79, § 15.1-687.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-724. Choice of powers where sanitary district involved.

Any county which has a sanitary district which includes the entire county, may exercise all of the powers granted to the sanitary district in the name of the county or in the name of the sanitary district, or both. If the board elects to exercise any of the powers of the sanitary district, it may expend funds from unrestricted county revenue sources, or from bonds issued pursuant to the Public Finance Act (Chapter 25 (§ 15.2-2500 et seq.) of this title), or from restricted use funds, as appropriate to exercise the powers granted the sanitary district.

1980, c. 79, § 15.1-687.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-725. Commission on human rights; subpoena requests.

A. The board may, by ordinance, establish a local commission on human rights which shall have the following duties:

1. To promote policies to ensure that all persons be afforded equal opportunity;

2. To serve as an agency for receiving, investigating and assisting in the resolution of complaints from citizens of the county regarding discriminatory practices and, with the board's approval, to seek, through appropriate enforcement authorities, prevention of or relief from such practices.

B. The board may by ordinance provide that whenever the commission has reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in or is engaging in a violation of an authorized local human rights ordinance, and after making a good faith effort to obtain, voluntarily, the attendance of witnesses necessary to determine whether such violation occurred, the commission is unable to obtain such attendance, it may request the county attorney, with the approval of the board, to apply to the judge of the circuit court for the locality in which the witness resides or is doing business for a subpoena against such person refusing to appear as a witness, and the judge of such court may, upon good cause shown, cause the subpoena to be issued. Such ordinance shall provide that any witness subpoena so issued shall include a statement that any statements made will be under oath and the witness is entitled to be represented by an attorney. Such ordinance shall further provide that any person failing to comply with such subpoena so issued shall be subject to punishment for contempt by the court issuing the subpoena, and that any person so subpoenaed may apply to the judge who issued a subpoena to quash it.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, whenever a county has adopted an ordinance prohibiting discrimination as authorized by this section, such county may also in its ordinance prohibit discrimination in commercial real estate transactions.

1982, c. 108, § 15.1-687.3; 1991, c. 143, § 15.1-687.20; 1996, c. 877, § 15.1-687.24; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-726. Acquisition of easements.

A. The board is hereby authorized, without limiting its authority to acquire by other means, to acquire by gift or purchase easements in gross or such other interest in real estate as are designed to maintain (i) the character and use of improved real property as rental property and not in a cooperative or condominium form of ownership or (ii) the market rents of a portion of the units in any multi-family residential property at a percentage of the market rent for the remaining units in the multi-family residential property, such percentages to be defined and stated in the easement; however, no property or interest therein shall be acquired by eminent domain by any public body for the purposes of provision (ii). However, this provision shall not limit the power of eminent domain as it was possessed by any public body prior to passage of provision (ii). Any such interest shall be for the minimum period specified by the county board and may be perpetual.

B. The county manager is hereby authorized to acquire, on behalf of the board, temporary construction easements, provided that such easements are (i) required for a construction project authorized by the board; (ii) of a duration that will end before or upon the completion of the project; and (iii) for nominal consideration.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.4; 1991, c. 143; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 22, 510.

§ 15.2-727. Payment of certain assessments.

The board may provide that the persons, firms or corporations against whom assessments have finally been made under Article 2 (§ 15.2-2404 et seq.) of Chapter 23 of this title may pay such assessments in equal installments over a period not exceeding ten years together with interest at a rate not to exceed ten percent per year on the unpaid balance. Such installments may become due at the same time that real estate taxes become due and payable and the amount of each installment, including principal and interest, shall be shown on the tax ticket mailed to each such person, firm or corporation by the treasurer.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-728. Title insurance for county real estate.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever any county purchases real estate for which the consideration paid exceeds $1,000, the county, in lieu of having the title examined and approved by an attorney-at-law, may purchase an insurance policy which insures the county's interest in the title to the property from a company which is authorized to issue such policies in the Commonwealth. Evidence of such insurance shall be filed with the clerk for the circuit court of the county along with the recorded deed or other papers by which the title is conveyed.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-729. Relocation assistance programs.

The board shall provide by local ordinance for the application of Chapter 4 (§ 25.1-400 et seq.) of Title 25.1 to displaced persons as defined in § 25.1-400, in cases of acquisition of real property for use in projects or programs in which only local funds are used.

1983, c. 364, § 15.1-687.7; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 851; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-730. Civil penalties for violations of zoning ordinance.

Notwithstanding subdivision A 5 of § 15.2-2286, a county may adopt an ordinance which establishes a uniform schedule of civil penalties for violations of specified provisions of the zoning ordinances regulating the storage of junk and the repair of motor vehicles. Such schedule of offenses shall not include any zoning violation resulting in injury to any person, and the existence of a civil penalty shall not preclude action by the zoning administrator under subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 or action by the governing body under § 15.2-2208.

This schedule of civil penalties may allow for progressively higher penalties for subsequent offenses whether or not the subsequent offenses arise from the same set of operative facts; however, the penalty for any one violation shall be a fine of not more than fifty dollars. Each day during which the violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. However, in no event shall specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts be charged more frequently than once in any ten-day period, and in no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same operative set of facts result in civil penalties which exceed a total of $250. Designation of a particular zoning ordinance violation for a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions, and except for any violation resulting in injury to any person, such designation shall preclude the prosecution of a violation as a criminal misdemeanor.

Any person summoned for a scheduled violation may make an appearance in person or in writing by mail to the treasurer of the county prior to the date fixed for trial in court. Any person so appearing may enter a waiver of trial, admit liability, and pay the civil penalty established for the offense charged. Such persons shall be informed of their right to stand trial and that a signature to an admission of liability will have the same force and effect as a judgment of court.

If a person charged with a scheduled violation does not elect to enter a waiver of trial and admit liability, the violation shall be tried in the general district court in the same manner and with the same right of appeal as provided for in Title 8.01. In any trial for a scheduled violation authorized by this section, it shall be the burden of the county to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission of liability or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose.

No provision herein shall be construed to allow the imposition of civil penalties: (i) for enforcement of the Uniform Statewide Building Code; (ii) for activities related to land development or activities related to the construction or repair of buildings and other structures; or (iii) for violation of any provision of a local zoning ordinance relating to the posting of signs on public property or public rights-of-way.

1985, c. 415, § 15.1-687.8; 1992, c. 298; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-731. Retirement benefits for part-time employees.

The board may by resolution elect to have those of its officers and employees who are regularly employed part-time on a salary basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, become eligible to participate in the county retirement systems as provided by local ordinance.

1985, c. 415, § 15.1-687.9; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-732. Peddlers; itinerant merchants.

A county may provide by ordinance for the regulation of sales of goods and services by peddlers or itinerant merchants on any public street or sidewalk.

1986, c. 179, § 15.1-687.10; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-733. Summons for violations of litter control ordinances.

The board may adopt by ordinance procedures and a schedule of penalties so that the county manager or his designee may issue notices of violation for litter control ordinances. Before any summons is issued for the prosecution of a violation, the violator shall be notified by mail at his last known address that he may pay the fine, established by county ordinance, within five days of receipt of such notice to the county treasurer, and that the officer issuing the summons shall be notified that the violator has failed to pay such fine within such time. The notice to the violator, required by the provisions of this section, shall be contained in an envelope bearing the words "Law Enforcement Notice" stamped or printed on the face thereof in type at least one-half inch in height. The county manager may delegate the notification responsibility and the authority to make and enforce rules and regulations to the appropriate administrative official or employees.

1986, c. 293, § 15.1-687.11; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-734. Purchase, sale, exchange, or lease of real property.

The board may (i) sell, at public or private sale, or exchange, lease (as lessor or lessee), mortgage, pledge, subordinate its interest in, or otherwise dispose of the real property, which includes the superjacent airspace, except airspace provided for in § 15.2-2030, which may be subdivided and conveyed separate from the subjacent land surface, of the county; and (ii) purchase any real estate as may be necessary for the erection of all necessary county buildings. However, no such land shall be disposed of unless and until the governing body has held a public hearing concerning such disposal.

The board may acquire by purchase, gift, devise, bequest, grant, lease, or otherwise title to, or any interests or rights of less than fee-simple title in, any real property within its jurisdiction, for any public purposes.

The initial term of any lease shall not exceed seventy-five years, provided such lease term is not prohibited by the Constitution of Virginia. The terms and provisions of any lease shall be prescribed by the county board, provided that any lease shall have a clause to the effect that at the termination of such lease it shall not be renewed if required for any of the purposes mentioned in § 15.2-1639, and that upon termination, all improvements thereon shall revert to the county and the real property including all improvements erected thereon shall revert to the county and shall be free from any encumbrance at the time of such reversion. Such real property including all improvements situated thereon may be mortgaged or pledged by the lessee for the term of its lease. If a lease allows a lessee to mortgage or pledge the property, it may also provide that the board has the right to take all action necessary to cure the default if the lessee defaults.

The board may lease real property to private entities under terms which allow the private entities to build office and commercial buildings on the property and to use the office and commercial space itself or lease it to others. The leases by the board to private entities may provide that the rent to be paid the board is to be based in total or in part on a percentage of the profit the private entity gains from the operation of the development on the leased real property; however, the board may not participate in the management or operation of the private commercial activity on the site except during such reasonable period as it is necessary for the board to operate the property in order to protect its interest in the property if the developer defaults on the lease or on a mortgage or pledge of the property. As soon as reasonably possible the county shall provide for management and operation of the property by a private developer.

The board may lease space in the improvements constructed on the land which it leases to the private entities for use by the county government and county constitutional officers, if it pays fair market rent for the use of the space and if the lease of its land is not conditioned on the lease of such space. The lease of such space by the board may be for any terms of years not prohibited by the Virginia Constitution.

This section shall not be construed to in any way affect the requirements of §§ 15.2-1638, 15.2-1643 or § 16.1-69.50.

1986, c. 595, § 15.1-687.12; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-735. Local housing fund and voluntary coordinated housing preservation and development districts.

The board may establish by resolution a housing fund, the purpose of which will be to assist for-profit or nonprofit housing developers or organizations to develop or preserve affordable housing for low and moderate income persons. The fund may be used to assist the developer or organization with such items as acquisition of land and buildings, lighting, sanitary and storm sewers, landscaping, walkways, construction of parking facilities, water-sewer hookup fees, and site improvements, including sidewalks, curbs, and gutters but not street improvements. Developers assisted in this manner shall provide a minimum of twenty percent of the units for low and moderate income persons as defined by the county for a minimum of ten years.

The board may declare by resolution that a portion of the county is eligible for use of the housing fund by designation of a voluntary coordinated housing preservation and development district. Such resolution shall contain a statement that (i) there exists within the county a serious shortage of sanitary and safe residential housing at rentals and prices which persons and families of low and moderate income can afford, and that this shortage has contributed and will contribute to the creation of substandard living conditions and is inimical to the health, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the county; (ii) it is imperative that the supply of rental and other housing for such persons and families be preserved or developed; and (iii) private enterprise is unable, without assistance, to produce the needed development or rehabilitation of sanitary and safe housing which persons or families of low and moderate income can afford.

The resolution shall include a statement that the owner of such rental property, or persons showing evidence of site control by a legally binding agreement, have requested the county to designate the site a voluntary coordinated housing preservation and development district.

The resolution shall also provide a plan for the district which outlines actions to be taken by the owner and by the county to assure that physical improvements to the structures, site and infrastructure are designed to improve the neighborhood, enhance the useful life of the buildings and promote energy conservation. Such plan shall further specify the actions to be taken by the owner and by the county (i) to minimize the displacement of persons or families of low and moderate income residing in the property; (ii) to reserve some units at rents and prices affordable to persons or families of low and moderate income; and (iii) otherwise to serve public purposes.

Upon declaration of an approved district, the county may:

1. Provide for the installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, parking facilities, playgrounds, and other site improvements essential to the development, preservation or rehabilitation planned;

2. Provide encouragement or financial assistance to the owners or occupants for acquisition of land and buildings, developing or preserving and upgrading residential buildings and for improving health and safety, conserving energy, preventing erosion, enhancing the neighborhood, and reducing the displacement of low and moderate income residents of the property;

3. Require that the owner agree to maintain a portion of the property in residential rental or other residential use for a period of not less than ten years and that a portion of the dwelling units in the property be offered at rents and prices affordable to persons or families of low and moderate income; and

4. Provide that the value of assistance given by the county under subdivisions 1 and 2 above be proportionate to the value of considerations rendered by the owner in maintaining a portion of the dwelling units at reduced rents and prices for persons or families of low and moderate income.

1987, c. 29, § 15.1-687.13; 1992, c. 335; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-735.1. Affordable dwelling unit ordinance; permitting certain densities in the comprehensive plan.

A. In a county that provides in its comprehensive plan for the physical development within the county, adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2223, for densities of development ranging between a floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.0 FAR and 10.0 FAR, or greater, the governing body may adopt as part of its zoning ordinance requirements for the provision of (i) on-site or off-site "Affordable Dwelling Units," as defined herein, or (ii) a cash contribution to the county's affordable housing fund, in lieu of such units, in such amounts as set out herein, as a condition of the governing body's approval of a special exception application for residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects with a density equal to or greater than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre. Residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects with a density less than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section and the county's zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section. The county's zoning ordinance requirements shall provide as follows:

1. Upon approval of a special exception application approving a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project with a density equal to or greater than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, the applicant shall provide on-site Affordable Dwelling Units as part of the project the total gross square footage of which units shall be 5% of the amount of the gross floor area of the project that exceeds 1.0 FAR or an equivalent density based on units per acre. For purposes of this section, "applicant" shall mean the person or entity submitting a special exception application for approval of a residential, commercial or mixed-use project in the county and shall include the successors or assigns of the applicant.

2. As an alternative, upon approval of a special exception application approving a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project with a density equal to or greater than 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, the applicant may elect to provide any one of the following:

a. Affordable Dwelling Units shall be provided off-site at a location within one-half mile of any Metrorail Station for projects within a Metro Station Area as defined in the county's comprehensive plan, or within one-half mile of the residential, commercial, or mixed-use project for projects not within a Metro Station Area, as provided in the county's zoning ordinance, the total gross square footage of which units shall be 7.5% of the amount of the gross floor area of the project that is over 1.0 FAR or an equivalent density based on units per acre, or

b. Affordable Dwelling Units shall be provided off-site at any other locations in the county other than those provided in the county's zoning ordinance in accordance with subdivision a, the total gross square footage of which units shall be 10% of the amount of the gross floor area of the project that is over 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, or

c. A cash contribution to the county's affordable housing fund, which contribution shall be calculated as follows for each of the below-described density tiers:

(1) One and one-half dollars per square foot of gross floor area for the first tier of density between zero and 1.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre.

(2) Four dollars per square foot of gross floor area for the tier of density in residential projects between 1.0 FAR and 3.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre, and $4 per square foot of gross floor area for the tier of density in commercial projects above 1.0 FAR.

(3) Eight dollars per square foot of gross floor area for the tier of density in residential projects above 3.0 FAR, or an equivalent density based on units per acre.

(4) For mixed-use projects, cash contributions shall be calculated by applying the proportionate amount of commercial and residential gross floor area to each tier.

The cash contribution shall be indexed to the Consumer Price Index for Housing in the Washington-Baltimore MSA as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and shall be adjusted annually based upon the January changes to such index for that year.

3. The applicant shall provide the county manager or his designee, prior to the issuance of the first certificate of occupancy for the residential, commercial, or mixed-use project, a written plan of how the applicant proposes to address the provision of Affordable Dwelling Units or cash contribution as provided in this section and the provisions of the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section. The county manager or his designee shall approve or disapprove the applicant's plan in writing within 30 days of receipt of the written proposal from the applicant. If the county manager or his designee disapproves of the applicant's plan, specific reasons for such disapproval shall be provided.

4. An applicant may submit a written plan to be considered by the governing body or its designee to address the provision of Affordable Dwelling Units or cash contribution as provided in this section and the provisions of the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section that deviate from the requirements of this section and the ordinance. Any such deviations may be approved in accordance with the procedures established in the county's zoning ordinance, which procedures shall include a provision for an appeal to the governing body of any administrative decision relative to the written plan submitted by the applicant.

5. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section may provide that, in the discretion of the governing body and with the agreement of the applicant, at the time of consideration of the special exception application, the above requirements may be totally or partially substituted for other compelling public priorities established in plans, studies, policies, or other documents of the county.

6. Applications for a special exception approval of a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project that results in the demolition and rebuilding of an existing project shall be subject to the requirements of this section and the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section at the time of redevelopment; however, only density that is replaced or rebuilt and any increased density shall be subject to the requirements. This section and the county's zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall not apply to rehabilitation or renovation of existing residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects.

7. For purposes of this section "Affordable Dwelling Unit" means units committed for a 30-year term as affordable to households with incomes at 60% of the area median income.

B. This section shall apply to an application for a special exception approval for a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project with a density provided for by the County's comprehensive plan designation for the property that is the subject matter of the application. This section shall further apply to such an application that requires rezoning of the property that is the subject matter of the application to permit a use provided for by the county's comprehensive plan designation for the subject property.

C. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section may provide that an application for approval of a special exception for a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project that requests an increase in density that exceeds the density provided for by the county's comprehensive plan designation for the property that is the subject matter of the application shall be subject to an affordable housing requirement in addition to the requirements of this section and the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

D. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section or other provisions of law may provide that an application that requests to amend the county's comprehensive plan designation for the subject property to a higher density designation may be subject to an affordable housing requirement in addition to the requirements of this section and the zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

E. The ordinance adopted by the county pursuant to this section may provide that applications for a special exception approval for residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects that result in the elimination of existing units affordable to households with incomes equal to or below 80% of the area median income address replacement of the eliminated units as a condition of the governing body's approval of the special exception application.

F. With the exception of the authority under § 15.2-2304, this section establishes the legislative authority for the county to obtain Affordable Dwelling Units in exchange for the approval of a special exception application for a residential, commercial, or mixed-use project in the county, and a special exception may not be used in combination with any other provision of law in Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 15.2 to obtain Affordable Dwelling Units from an applicant. Nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal the county's authority under any other provision of law.

2006, c. 481.

§ 15.2-736. State benefits for certain employees.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person who is transferred from state to local employment pursuant to Chapter 816 of the Acts of Assembly of 1988, and who is a member of the Virginia Retirement System at the time of the transfer, shall continue to be a member of the System during the period of local employment. Any such transferred employee shall remain a member of the System under the same terms and conditions as would apply if the transferred employee had remained as a state employee, so long as the employee is employed with a local health department or returns to state employment. For purposes of any employment of the transferred employee as a state employee after local employment, the membership in the System during local employment shall be treated the same as any other membership in the System.

The board shall collect and pay all employee and employer contributions to the Virginia Retirement System for retirement and group life insurance in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) of Title 51.1.

1989, c. 352, § 15.1-687.14; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-737. Tenant relocation payments.

The board may require by ordinance that the county and the owner divide equally the reimbursement of any tenant of a building containing at least four residential units for amounts actually expended to relocate when the tenant has been terminated by 120 days' notice given under § 55.1-1410 in order to carry out the rehabilitation of the building. The reimbursement shall not exceed the amount to which the tenant would have been entitled to receive under §§ 25.1-407 and 25.1-415 if the real estate comprising the units had been condemned by the Department of Transportation.

1989, c. 354, § 15.1-687.15; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-738. Modification of grievance procedure.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 2.2-1202.1, 15.2-1506, and 15.2-1507 to the contrary, in any county which has the county manager plan of government provided for in this chapter, a grievance procedure may be established which permits an Equal Employment Opportunity officer, except the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management appointed pursuant to § 2.2-1200 and any employees thereof, to be present at any step of a grievance procedure established under § 15.2-1506. Such officer shall not be an advocate or representative on behalf of either the grievant or management.

1989, c. 622, § 15.1-687.16; 1991, c. 143; 1995, cc. 770, 818; 1996, cc. 164, 869; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 947, 1006; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 15.2-739. Diversion of certain waters.

With the consent of the property owner, a county may enter private property and, at the county's expense, construct or reconstruct a system to divert water not requiring treatment by the county's sanitary sewer system into the county's storm sewer system.

1989, c. 622, § 15.1-687.17; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-740. Authority to impose assessments for local improvements; purposes.

The board may impose taxes or assessments upon owners of abutting property for making, improving, replacing, or enlarging the walkways upon then existing streets; for improving and paving then existing alleys; and for either the construction or the use of sanitary or storm water sewers including retaining walls, curbs, and gutters. However, such taxes or assessments shall not exceed the peculiar benefits resulting from the improvements to the owners of abutting property and no assessment for retaining walls shall be imposed upon any property owner who does not agree to such assessment.

In addition to the foregoing, the board may impose taxes or assessments upon owners of abutting property for the construction, replacement, or enlargement of sidewalks, waterlines, sanitary sewers, or storm water sewers; for the installation of street lights; for the construction or installation of canopies or other weather protective devices; for the installation of lighting in connection with the foregoing; and for permanent amenities, including, but not limited to, benches or waste receptacles, provided that such taxes or assessments shall not exceed the peculiar benefits resulting from the improvements to such owners of abutting property.

All assessments pursuant to this section shall be subject to the laws pertaining to assessments under Title 15.2, Chapter 24, Article 2 (§ 15.2-2404 et seq.), mutatis mutandis. All assessments pursuant to this section may also be made subject to installment payments and other provisions allowed for local assessments under this article.

As used in this section, "owners of abutting property" includes the owners of property that abuts a state highway when the improvement is funded solely by county revenues.

1990, c. 323, § 15.1-687.18; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-741. Regulation of child-care services and facilities in certain counties.

A. The board may by ordinance provide for the regulation and licensing of (i) persons who provide child-care services for remuneration and (ii) child-care facilities. "Child-care services" includes regular care, protection, or guidance during a part of a day to one or more children, not related by blood or marriage to the provider of services, while they are not attended by their parent, guardian, or person with legal custody. "Child-care facilities" includes any commercial or residential structure which is used to provide child-care services for remuneration. However, such ordinance shall not require the regulation or licensing of any facility operated by a religious institution as exempted from licensure by § 22.1-289.031.

B. Such ordinance may be more restrictive or more extensive in scope than statutes or state regulations that may affect child-care services or child-care facilities, provided that such ordinance shall not impose additional requirements or restrictions on the construction or materials to be used in the erection, alteration, repair, or use of a residential dwelling.

1990, c. 545, § 15.1-687.19; 1997, c. 587; 2020, cc. 860, 861.

§ 15.2-742. Lighting level regulation.

The board may by ordinance provide for the regulation of exterior illumination levels of buildings and property.

1996, c. 567, § 15.1-687.23; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-743. Fee for certain vacations, encroachments, and abandonments.

A county may charge a fee for processing applications for vacations as provided for in § 15.2-2273, applications for encroachments as provided for in § 15.2-2012, and petitions for abandonments under § 33.2-917. The fee for processing such applications and petitions shall be, at the county's discretion, either the amount provided in § 15.2-2273, the amount provided in § 15.2-2012, or an amount not to exceed the county's demonstrable costs for such processing, which costs may include title examination and appraisal of the property that is the subject of the application or petition. In lieu of including such costs in the application fee, the county may require submission of a title examination and appraisal by the applicant or petitioner.

1991, c. 143, § 15.1-687.21; 1997, c. 587; 2005, cc. 40, 84.

§ 15.2-744. Authority of county board to impose civil penalties for wrongful demolition, razing or moving of historic buildings.

The board may adopt an ordinance which establishes a civil penalty for the wrongful demolition, razing or moving of part or all of a building or structure when such building or structure has been designated as an historic structure or landmark or is part of an historic district. The civil penalty shall be imposed on the party deemed by the court to be responsible for the violation and shall not exceed twice the fair market value of the property, as determined by the county real estate tax assessment at the time of the demolition, razing or moving.

An action seeking the imposition of such a penalty shall be instituted by petition filed by the county in circuit court, which shall be tried in the same manner as any action at law. It shall be the burden of the county to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission of liability or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose. The filing of any action pursuant to this section shall preclude a criminal prosecution for the same offense.

The defendant, within twenty-one days after the filing of the petition, shall file an answer and may, without admitting liability, agree to restore the building or structure as it existed prior to demolition, razing or moving. If the restoration is completed within the time agreed upon by the parties, or as established by the court, the petition may be dismissed from the court's docket upon a finding by the court that the building or structure has been restored as it existed prior to demolition, razing or moving.

Nothing in this section shall preclude action by the zoning administrator under subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 or by the county under § 15.2-2208, either by separate action or as a part of the petition seeking a civil penalty.

1991, c. 467, § 15.1-687.22; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-745. Ordinance for installment collection of taxes.

Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the board is empowered to provide by ordinance for the collection of county taxes and levies on property in installments at such times and with such penalties for the delinquent payment thereof as it deems proper.

Code 1950, § 15-355.1; 1952, c. 474; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-688; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-746. Board possesses general power of management.

The board shall have, possess, and exercise the general management of the affairs of the county, and, in addition to such powers and duties as are designated and imposed by this chapter, shall exercise and perform all of the powers and duties now authorized or imposed by general law or special act on the board of supervisors of such county insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter. The board shall also have all the powers conferred by general law on city councils.

Code 1950, § 15-356; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-689; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-747. Board may prohibit and penalize acts which are misdemeanors under state law.

In addition to the powers conferred by § 15.2-746, the board may prohibit any act defined as a misdemeanor and prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth and provide a penalty for violations to the end that such governing body may parallel by ordinance the criminal laws of this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-356.1; 1950, p. 228; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-690; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-748. Annexation by city.

No part of a county's territory may be annexed by any city unless the whole county be annexed. In such latter case the county shall not be annexed until the question of annexation has been first submitted to a referendum of the voters of such county and approved by a majority of those voting thereon.

Code 1950, §§ 15-358, 15-359; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-692; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-749. Certain referenda in certain counties.

If on or before July 15 of any year in which such referendum is provided for by law a petition signed by 200 or more qualified voters of the county is filed with the circuit court of the county asking that a referendum be held on any question upon which a referendum is provided for by any applicable statute, then such court shall on or before August 1 of such year issue and enter of record an order requiring the county election officials to open the polls at the regular election to be held in November of such year on the question stated in such statute. If the statute providing for such referendum shall authorize or require the referendum to be held at a special election, then the petition hereinabove referred to shall be signed by 1,000 or more voters of the county and the court shall within fifteen days of the date such petition is filed enter an order requiring the election officials to open the polls and take the sense of the voters of the county on a date fixed in his order, which shall be in accordance with § 24.2-682. The clerk of the county shall cause a notice of such election to be published in a newspaper published or having general circulation in the county once a week for three successive weeks, and shall post a copy of the notice at the door of the county courthouse.

Code 1950, § 15-360.1; 1952, c. 49; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-695; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-750. Board may accept dedication of rights to develop real property.

The board, in addition to any other zoning powers granted by general or special law, may include a provision for the dedication of density or other rights to develop real property, as defined by the locality, from one or more parcels of property that are not the subject of a development application and are located in the locality to one or more parcels of property that are the subject of a development application and are located elsewhere in the locality. Such dedication shall be subject to such terms as may be provided by zoning regulations, the conditions of a special use permit or special exception, or the proffered conditions of a rezoning application, including that the terms are binding on the owners of such property and on their successors and assigns.

2005, c. 755.