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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Subtitle I. General Provisions; Charters; Other Forms and Organization of Counties
Chapter 8. Urban County Executive Form of Government
12/3/2022

Chapter 8. Urban County Executive Form of Government.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-800. Designation of form of government; applicability of chapter.

The form of county organization and government provided for in this chapter shall be known and designated as the urban county executive form. The provisions of this chapter shall apply only to the counties which have adopted the urban county executive form.

Code 1950, § 15-384.16; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-728; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-801. Adoption of urban county executive form.

Any county with a population of more than 90,000 may adopt the urban county executive form of government in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.) of this title.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-802. Powers of county vested in board of supervisors; membership, election, terms, etc., of board; vacancies; powers of chairman.

The powers of the county as a body politic and corporate shall be vested in an urban county board of supervisors, to consist of one member from each district of such county and to be known as the board of supervisors (the board). Each member shall be a qualified voter of his district and shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof. In addition to the above board members, the voters shall elect a county chairman who shall be a qualified voter of the county. No person may be a candidate for county chairman at the same time he is a candidate for membership on the county board from any district of the county. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the board and the chairman shall be included and counted.

The county chairman shall be the chairman of the board and preside at the meetings thereof. The chairman shall represent the county at official functions and ceremonial events. The chairman shall have all rights, privileges, and duties of other members of the board and such others, not in conflict with this article, as the board may prescribe. In addition, the chairman shall have the power to (i) call special meetings of the board in accordance with the procedures and restrictions of § 15.2-1418, mutatis mutandis; (ii) set the agenda for board meetings; however, any such agenda may be modified by an affirmative vote of the board; (iii) appoint county representatives to regional boards, authorities and commissions which are authorized in advance by the board; however, any such appointment shall be subject to revocation by an affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the board acting within the 30-day period following that appointment; and (iv) create and appoint committees of the board and name presiding members of such committees as authorized by the board; however, any such committee or appointment shall be subject to revocation by an affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the board.

At the first meeting at the beginning of its term and any time thereafter when necessary, the board shall elect a vice-chairman from its membership who shall perform the duties of the chairman in his absence.

The supervisors and chairman first elected under the provisions of this chapter shall hold office until January 1 following the next regular election provided by general law for the election of supervisors. At such election their successors shall be elected for terms of four years each.

If the number of districts in any such county is increased by redistricting or otherwise subsequent to a general election for supervisors, and such supervisors have taken office, then the board shall adopt a resolution requesting a judge of the circuit court for such county to call a special election for an additional supervisor or supervisors in accordance with the increase in the number of districts, such additional supervisor or supervisors to be elected from the county at large, and such election shall be held within 45 days from the date of such request. The qualifications of candidates and the election shall be as at general law applying to special elections. Any supervisors thereby elected shall hold office until January 1 following the next regular election provided by general law for the election of members of the board, and at the next regular election all supervisors of any such county shall be elected from districts as provided by law.

If a vacancy occurs on the board, the chief judge of the circuit court for such county shall call a special election, in the district if the vacancy is of a district supervisor, or in the county at large if the vacancy is of the chairman, to be held not fewer than 45 nor more than 90 days after the occurrence of the vacancy; however, if the vacancy occurs within 150 days prior to a general election, such special election may be held on the general election day; and if the vacancy occurs within 120 days prior to the date of a regular election for the board of supervisors, such vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the board within seven days of the occurrence of the vacancy, which appointment shall be for the duration of the term of office of the person whose absence from the board occasioned such vacancy. The qualification of candidates and the election shall be otherwise as at general law applying to special elections.

Code 1950, § 15-384.17; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-729; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 158; 1972, c. 707; 1985, c. 138; 1994, c. 148; 1997, c. 587; 2012, c. 396.

§ 15.2-803. General powers of board of supervisors.

The board shall be the policy-determining body of the county and shall be vested with all rights and powers conferred on boards of supervisors by general law, not inconsistent with the form of county organization and government herein provided.

The board shall be the governing body of the urban county and of each of the districts established under Article 4 (§ 15.2-855 et seq.) of this chapter for the provision of certain services to residents of such districts.

Code 1950, § 15-384.18; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-730; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-804. Appointment, qualifications and compensation of urban county executive; to devote full time to work.

The board shall appoint an urban county executive and fix his compensation. He shall devote his full time to the work of the county. He shall be appointed with regard to merit only, and need not be a resident of the county at the time of his appointment. No member of the board shall, during the time for which he has been elected, be chosen urban county executive, nor shall such powers be given to a person who at the same time is filling an elective office. The head of one of the departments of the county government may, however, also be appointed urban county executive.

Code 1950, § 15-384.19; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-731; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-805. Tenure of county executive; suspension or removal.

The urban county executive shall not be appointed for a definite tenure, but may be removed at the pleasure of the board. If the board determines to remove the urban county executive, he shall be given, if he so demands, a written statement of the reasons alleged for the proposed removal and the right to 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 board's action in suspending or removing the urban county executive shall not be subject to review by any court.

Code 1950, § 15-384.20; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-732; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-806. Absence or disability of county executive.

In case of the absence or disability of the urban county executive, the board may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office.

Code 1950, § 15-384.21; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-733; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-807. Appointment of county officers and employees; federal employment, etc., not to disqualify; discussions with board.

The board shall appoint, upon the recommendation of the urban county executive, all officers and employees in the administration service of the county, except as the board authorizes the urban county executive to appoint heads of a department or office and except as the board authorizes the heads of a department or office to appoint subordinates in such department or office. However, in appointing the county school board no recommendation by the urban county executive is required. All appointments shall be on the basis of ability, training and experience of the appointees which are relevant to the work which they are to perform.

No person otherwise eligible, shall be disqualified by reason of his accepting or holding employment, an office, post, trust or emolument under the United States government, from serving as a member of any board, commission, authority, committee or agency whose members are appointed by the board.

The county clerk, the attorney for the Commonwealth and the sheriff shall be selected in the manner and for the terms, and vacancies in such offices shall be filled, as provided by general law.

The urban county executive shall have the right to take part in all discussions and to present his views on all matters coming before the board. The attorney for the Commonwealth and the sheriff shall be entitled to present their views on matters relating to their respective departments.

Code 1950, § 15-384.22; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-734; 1968, c. 797; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-808. Tenure of county officers and employees; suspension or removal.

All such appointments shall be without definite term, unless for limited term appointments for temporary services not to exceed one year in duration, except as otherwise specifically provided for herein.

Any county officer or employee appointed pursuant to § 15.2-807 may be suspended or removed from office or employment either by the board or the officer who appointed or employed him. In case of the absence or disability of any such officer, the board or other appointing power may designate some responsible person to perform the duties of the office.

Code 1950, § 15-384.23; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-735; 1968, c. 797; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-809. Compensation of officers and employees.

The board shall, subject to the limitations of general law, fix the compensation of all county officers and employees, except as it may authorize the head of some department or office to fix the compensation of subordinates and employees in such department or office.

Code 1950, § 15-384.24; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-736; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-810. Restrictions on activities of former officers and employees.

The board, by ordinance, may prohibit former officers and employees, for one year after their terms of office have ended or employment ceased, from assisting for remuneration a party, other than a governmental agency, in connection with any proceeding, application, case, contract, or other particular matter involving the urban county or an agency thereof, if that matter is one in which the former officer or employee participated personally and substantially as an urban county officer or employee through decision, approval, or recommendation.

The term "officer or employee," as used in this section, includes members of the board, county officers and employees, and individuals who receive monetary compensation for service on or employment by agencies, boards, authorities, sanitary districts, commissions, committees, and task forces appointed by the board.

1987, c. 419, § 15.1-736.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-811. Powers and duties of county executive.

The urban county executive shall be the administrative head of the county. He shall attend all meetings of the board and recommend such action as he may deem expedient. He shall be responsible to the board for the proper administration of all county affairs which the board has authority to control.

He shall also:

1. Make monthly reports to the board on administrative matters, and keep the board fully advised as to the county's financial condition.

2. Submit to the board a proposed annual budget, with his recommendations, and execute the budget as finally adopted.

3. Execute and enforce all board resolutions and orders and shall see that all laws of the Commonwealth required to be enforced through the board or some other county officer subject to the board's control are faithfully executed.

4. Examine regularly the books and papers of every officer and department of the county and report to the board the condition in which he finds them.

5. Perform such other duties as the board requires of him.

Code 1950, § 15-384.26; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-738; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-812. County executive may act as director or head of department.

The urban county executive may, if the board requires, act as the director or head of any department, the director or head of which is appointed by the board, provided he is otherwise eligible to head such department.

Code 1950, § 15-384.27; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-739; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-813. Certain officers not affected by adoption of plan.

The following officers shall not, except as herein otherwise provided, be affected by the adoption of the urban county executive form:

1. Jury commissioners,

2. County electoral boards,

3. Registrars,

4. Judges and clerks of elections, and

5. Magistrates.

Code 1950, § 15-384.43; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-755; 1973, c. 545; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-814. Inquiries and investigations by board of supervisors.

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

Code 1950, § 15-384.49; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-762; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-815. Regulation of garbage, trash and refuse pickup and disposal services; contracting for such services in certain counties.

The board may adopt an ordinance requiring the delivery of all or any portion of the garbage, trash and refuse generated or disposed of within such county to waste disposal facilities located therein or to waste disposal facilities located outside of such county if the county has contracted for capacity at or service from such facilities.

Such ordinances may provide that it is unlawful for any person to dispose of his garbage, trash and refuse in or at any other place. No such ordinance shall apply to the occupants of single-family residences or family farms disposing of their own garbage, trash or refuse if such occupants have paid the fees, rates and charges of other single-family residences and family farms in the same service area.

Such ordinance shall not apply to garbage, trash and refuse generated, purchased or utilized by an entity engaged in the business of manufacturing, mining, processing, refining or conversion except for an entity engaged in the production of energy or refuse-derived fuels for sale to a person other than any entity controlling, controlled by or under the same control as the manufacturer, miner, processor, refiner or converter. Nor shall such ordinance apply to (i) recyclable materials, which are those materials that have been source-separated by any person or materials that have been separated from garbage, trash and refuse by any person for utilization in both cases as a raw material to be manufactured into a new product other than fuel or energy, (ii) construction debris to be disposed of in a landfill, or (iii) waste oil. Such ordinances may provide penalties, fines and other punishment for violations.

Such county may contract with any person, whether profit or nonprofit, for garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services and enter into contracts relating to waste disposal facilities which recover energy or materials from garbage, trash and refuse. Such contracts may make provision for, among other things, (i) the purchase by the county of all or a portion of the disposal capacity of a waste disposal facility located within or outside the county for present or future waste disposal requirements; (ii) the operation of such facility by the county; (iii) the delivery by or on behalf of the contracting county of specified quantities of garbage, trash and refuse, whether or not such county collects such garbage, trash and refuse, and the making of payments for such quantities of garbage, trash and refuse whether or not such garbage, trash and refuse are delivered, including payments for revenues lost if garbage, trash and refuse are not delivered; (iv) adjustments to payments made by the county in regard to inflation, changes in energy prices or residue disposal costs, taxes imposed upon the facility owner or operator, or other events beyond the control of the facility operator or owners; (v) the fixing and collection of fees, rates or charges for use of the disposal facility and for any product or service resulting from operation of the facility; and (vi) such other provision as is necessary for the safe and effective construction, maintenance or operation of such facility, whether or not such provision displaces competition in any market. Any such contract shall not be deemed to be a debt or gift of the county within the meaning of any law, charter provision or debt limitation. Nothing in the foregoing powers granted such county shall include the authority to pledge the full faith and credit of such local government in violation of Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

1985, c. 581, § 15.1-730.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-816. Maintenance of certain sewer lines.

Upon petition of a majority of the affected property owners or members of an affected owners' association, (i) the county may take over the maintenance of undersized sewer lines installed as a result of the county's waiver of its adopted requirements developed under this title or Title 62.1; and (ii) the county shall be granted the right to convert the undersized sewer lines to county standards at its expense, if the county deems the conversion to be in its best interests for health or economic reasons; or (iii) if the property owners or their associations elect to convert the undersized sewer lines to county standards, the county may take over and maintain at county expense the converted sewer lines.

The cost for the maintenance of such lines shall be borne by the county general fund; or the county, at its discretion, may incorporate the sewer lines into an existing sanitary district for uniformity of maintenance and cost/budget allocations.

If the county determines that the builder/developer installed the undersized lines without the express permission of the appropriate county agency, then the county may collect the cost of conversion from the builder/developer; however, the county shall bear the ongoing cost of maintenance.

This section applies only to sewer lines installed on or before January 1, 1987.

1987, c. 253, § 15.1-730.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-816.1. Underground electric distribution, telecommunications, cable, and other utility facilities.

A. The governing body of any locality operating under the urban county executive form of government may request an electric utility, telecommunications provider, cable provider, or other utility to enter into an agreement with the locality to place underground electric distribution, facilities, telecommunications facilities, cable facilities, or other utility facilities as part of a transportation infrastructure improvement project, a commercial or industrial improvement project, or roads serving any such project that the Commonwealth Transportation Board or such locality identifies that reduce congestion, improve mobility, improve transit system infrastructure, improve safety, or improve service or access to such project.

B. If the parties desire to proceed, the locality operating under the urban county executive form of government shall enter into an agreement with an electric utility, telecommunications provider, cable provider, or other utility that provides that (i) the locality shall pay to the utility or provider its full costs of relocating and converting that portion of the facility located in the locality underground rather than overhead, minus the net of relocation credits; (ii) the utility or provider shall convert, operate, and maintain the agreed portion of the facility underground in cooperation with any other utility or provider with facilities placed underground there; (iii) the agreement is contingent upon the adoption of the levy set forth in subsection C; and (iv) other terms and conditions on which the parties may agree shall be included in the agreement. No agreement shall require any telecommunications provider or cable provider to share conduit.

C. If the locality operating under the urban county executive form of government and the utility enter into an agreement as described in subsection B, the locality may impose an additional levy on electric utility customers in the locality pursuant to § 58.1-3814. The locality shall by ordinance fix the amount of such additional levy, which shall not exceed $1 per month on residential customers and shall not exceed 6.67 percent of the monthly amount charged to nonresidential consumers of the utility service. The initial proceeds of such levy shall be dedicated to a project incorporating bus rapid transit on a road in the National Highway System serving a Metrorail station and an anticipated extension of Metrorail in a designated revitalization area in such locality. The provider of billing services shall bill the tax to all users who are subject to the tax and to whom it bills for electricity service and shall remit such tax to the appropriate locality. Any levy imposed pursuant to this section shall be in addition to the limit for any utility consumer tax prescribed in § 58.1-3814. If the provisions of this section are inconsistent with the provisions of § 58.1-3814, the provisions of this section shall be controlling.

D. The locality may, or the Commissioner of Highways, upon presentation of the agreement to the Commonwealth Transportation Board, shall, be responsible for securing the necessary easements and permits for the utility or provider necessary for the conversion of the existing distribution, telecommunication, cable, or other utility facilities.

E. With the exception of any local zoning ordinances and review under § 15.2-2232 or any cable franchise agreement, if the provisions of this section are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law or local ordinance, the provisions of this section shall be controlling.

F. For purposes of this section, the term "electric utility" includes any cooperative, as that term is defined in § 56-231.15, operating within the locality.

2019, c. 792; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 505.

§ 15.2-817. No unincorporated area to be incorporated after adoption of urban county form of government.

After the date of adoption of the urban county executive form of government, no unincorporated area within the limits of such county shall be incorporated as a separate town or city within the limits of such county, whether by judicial proceedings or otherwise.

Code 1950, § 15-384.72; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-785; 1968, c. 797; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-818. City may petition to become part of county.

After the date of adoption of the urban county executive form of government, a city contiguous to or within the limits of such a county may petition, by action of its governing body, to become a part of the county on terms set forth in a resolution adopted by the board. Passage of a referendum within the petitioning city shall constitute approval of the city becoming a district of the county or a part or parts of one or more districts and action of the board shall constitute final approval thereof by the county.

Code 1950, § 15-384.73; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-786; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-819. Demolition of historic structures; civil penalty.

A county may adopt an ordinance which establishes a civil penalty for the demolition, razing or moving of a building or structure which is located in an historic district or which has been designated by the governing body as an historic structure or landmark without the prior approval from either the architectural review board or the governing body as provided by subdivision A 2 of § 15.2-2306.

The civil penalty imposed for a violation of such an ordinance shall not exceed the market value of the property as determined by the assessed value of the property at the time of the destruction or removal of the building or structure. Such value shall include the value of any structures and the value of the real property upon which any such structure or structures were located. Such ordinances may be enforced by the county attorney by bringing an action in the name of the county in the circuit court. Such actions shall be brought against the party or parties deemed responsible for the violation. It shall be the burden of the county to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence.

Nothing in this section shall preclude action by the zoning administrator under subdivision A 4 of § 15.2-2286 or action by the board under § 15.2-2208.

1991, c. 201, § 15.1-499.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-820. Donations to legal entities owning recreational facilities.

A county is authorized to make annual appropriations of public funds to any nonprofit legal entity that is not controlled in whole or in part by any church or religious body that has exclusionary membership practices or rules that owns recreational facilities in the county such as, but not limited to, swimming pools, tennis courts, etc., in an amount not to exceed the amount of real estate taxes that is owed on the recreational facilities owned by the legal entity receiving the appropriations.

The provisions of § 15.2-953 are not affected by this section.

1992, c. 866, § 15.1-27.2; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 928.

Article 2. Departments and Commissions.

§ 15.2-821. Board to provide for and set up departments; removal of department head or person assigned to county executive's office; powers of supervisors generally.

The board shall, as soon as its members are elected and take office, provide for the performance of all the governmental functions of the county and to that end shall provide for and set up all necessary departments of government consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Any deputy county executive, assistant county executive, or department head may be removed at the pleasure of the board, except as the board may authorize the urban county executive to remove such employees, and such removal shall not be subject to review by any other county employee, agency, board or commission or under the grievance procedure adopted pursuant to § 15.2-1506. The board shall have all authority and powers provided for by this chapter or by other law and shall have the power to raise annually by taxes and assessments on property, persons and other subjects of taxation, which are not prohibited by law, such sums of money as in the judgment of the board are necessary to pay the debts, defray the expenses, accomplish the purposes and perform the functions of the county.

However, any department head who could grieve his own removal from an office held prior to July 1, 1987, under the law in effect at the time he was appointed to office, shall retain such right to grieve his own removal from that office unless that right is waived in writing in consideration of a payment mutually agreed to by that department head and by the board.

Code 1950, § 15-384.50; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-763; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-822. Designation of officer or employee to exercise power or perform duty.

Whenever it is not designated herein what officer or employee of the county shall exercise any power or perform any duty conferred upon or required of the county, or any officer thereof, by general law, then any such power shall be exercised or duty performed by that officer or employee of the county so designated by ordinance or resolution of the board.

Code 1950, § 15-384.51; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-764; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-823. Departments and commissions of county government.

The activities or functions of the county shall, with the exceptions herein provided, be distributed among the following general divisions or departments:

1. Department of finance.

2. Department of public works.

3. Department of social services.

4. Department of law enforcement.

5. Department of education.

6. Department of records.

7. Department of health.

The board may establish any of the following additional departments and commissions and such other departments and commissions as it deems necessary to the proper conduct of the county's business:

1. Department of assessments.

2. Department of farm and home demonstration.

3. Department of public safety.

4. Department of public utilities.

5. Commission on human rights.

Any activity which is unassigned by this chapter shall, upon recommendation of the urban county executive, be assigned by the board to the appropriate department. The board may, upon recommendations of the urban county executive, reassign, transfer or combine any county functions, activities or departments.

Code 1950, § 15-384.52; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-765; 1972, c. 73; 1980, c. 44; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-824. Appointment of members of certain boards, authorities and commissions.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 15.2-837, 15.2-855, 15.2-2212, 15.2-5113, 15.2-5703 and 36-11, the board may establish different terms of office for initial and subsequent appointments of (i) the commissioners of any county redevelopment and housing authority created pursuant to the Housing Authorities Law (§§ 36-1 through 36-55.6), (ii) the members of any county authority created pursuant to the Park Authorities Act (§ 15.2-5700 et seq.), (iii) the members of the county planning commission, (iv) the members of the county school board, (v) any commissions created pursuant to § 15.2-823 and (vi) the members of any county water or sewer authority created pursuant to § 15.2-5102.

Such different terms of office for such authorities, boards and commissions shall be for fixed terms, and such different terms of office may include, but are not limited to, terms of either two or four years and terms that extend until July 1 of the year following the year in which there is a regular election provided by general law for the election of supervisors. If the board establishes different terms of office pursuant to this section, such new terms shall affect future appointments to such offices and shall not affect the existing terms of any commissioner or member then serving in office. This section shall not affect the removal of any member of an authority, board or commission for incompetency, neglect of duty or misuse of office pursuant to provisions of general law.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 15.2-5113 and 36-11, the board may appoint as many as eleven persons as (i) commissioners of any county redevelopment and housing authority created pursuant to the Housing Authorities Law and (ii) members of any county water or sewer authority created pursuant to § 15.2-5102.

1989, c. 355, § 15.1-765.1; 1992, c. 524; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-825. Committee for legislative audit and review.

The board may establish a committee for the audit and review of county agencies and county-funded functions. The committee shall be composed of not more than eleven members who shall be appointed by the board for a term of two years. The committee 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 committee shall make such special studies and reports as it deems appropriate and as the board requests. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1534, the board may appoint one or more of its members to serve on this committee.

The board may provide staff assistance to the committee which shall be independent of the administrative staff of the county. Any such staff shall be hired on the basis of merit and shall be paid in conformity with existing pay scales. The director of the staff to the committee 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. The director of any such staff shall be known as the auditor of the board.

1992, c. 524, § 15.1-765.2; 1993, cc. 621, 781; 1995, c. 722; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-826. Department of finance; director; general duties.

A. The director of finance shall be the head of the department of finance and as such have charge of (i) the administration of the county's financial affairs, including the budget; (ii) the assessment of property for taxation; (iii) the collection of taxes, license fees and other revenues; (iv) the custody of all public funds belonging to or handled by the county; (v) the supervision of the expenditures of the county and its subdivisions; (vi) the disbursement of county funds; (vii) the purchase, storage and distribution of all supplies, materials, equipment and contractual service needed by any department, office or other using agency of the county unless some other officer or employee is designated for this purpose; (viii) the keeping and supervision of all accounts; and (ix) such other duties as the board requires.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board may enter into an agreement, similar to such agreements as are authorized under § 58.1-3910.1, with any town located partially or wholly within the county for the official responsible for the assessment or collection of taxes to collect and enforce delinquent or non-delinquent real or personal property taxes owed to such town. The responsible official collecting town taxes pursuant to an agreement made under this section shall account for and pay over to the town the amounts collected, as provided by law. Any such agreement shall establish the terms for such collection and enforcement, including payment of reasonable compensation by the town for the services of the director of tax administration or other official and the order in which credit will be given for partial payments between taxes owed to the county and those owed to the town.

C. The board may assign the budget function to the urban county executive or a budget officer.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587; 2020, cc. 504, 505.

§ 15.2-827. Same; expenditures and accounts.

No money shall be drawn from the county treasury, nor shall any obligation for the expenditure of money be incurred, except in pursuance of a legally enacted appropriation resolution, or legally enacted supplement thereto passed by the board. Accounts shall be kept for each item of appropriation made by the board. Each such account shall show in detail the appropriation made thereto, the amount drawn thereon, the unpaid obligations charged against it, and the unencumbered balance in the appropriation account, properly chargeable, sufficient to meet the obligation entailed by contract, agreement or order.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-828. Same; powers of commissioners of revenue; real estate assessments.

A. The director of finance shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed by general law upon commissioners of the revenue, not inconsistent herewith, and shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law.

B. Every general reassessment of real estate in the county, unless some other person is designated for this purpose, shall be made by the director of finance. He shall collect and keep data and devise methods and procedures to be followed in each such general reassessment that will make for uniformity in assessments throughout the county.

In addition to any other method provided by general law or by this chapter, the director of finance may provide for the annual assessment and equalization of real estate and any general reassessment ordered by the board. The director of finance or his designated agent shall collect data, provide maps and charts, and devise methods and procedures to be followed for such assessments that will make for uniformity in assessments throughout the county.

All real estate shall be assessed as of January 1 of each year by the director of finance or other person designated to make such assessment. Such assessment shall provide for the equalization of assessments of real estate, correction of errors in tax assessment records, addition of erroneously omitted properties to the tax rolls, and the removal of properties acquired by owners not subject to taxation.

Any reassessments which change the assessment of real estate shall not be extended for taxation until after a written notice has been mailed to the person in whose name such property is to be assessed at his last known address, setting forth the amount of the new assessment.

C. This section shall not apply to real estate assessable under the law by the State Corporation Commission.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-829. Same; powers of county treasurer; deposit of moneys.

A. The director of finance shall also exercise the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed by general law upon county treasurers, and shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law. All moneys received by any county officer or employee for or in connection with the business of the county shall be paid promptly into the hands of the director of finance. All such money shall be promptly deposited by the director of finance to the credit of the county in such banks or trust companies as the board selects. No money shall be disbursed or paid out by the county except upon check signed by the chairman of the board, or other person the board designates, and countersigned by the director of the department of finance or by an electronic fund wire or payment system, or by any means deemed appropriate and sound by the director of finance and approved by the board drawn upon a warrant issued by the board. If any money is knowingly paid otherwise than upon the director of finance's check, electronic fund wire or payment system or by alternative means specifically approved by the director of finance and the urban county board of supervisors, drawn upon such warrant, this payment shall be invalid against the county.

B. The board may designate one or more banks or trust companies as a receiving or collecting agency under the direction of the department of finance. All funds so collected or received shall be deposited to the credit of the county in such banks or trust companies as the board selects.

C. Every bank or trust company serving as a depository or as a receiving or collecting agency for county funds shall be required by the board to give adequate security therefor, and to meet such interest requirements as the board establishes by ordinance or resolution. All interest on money so deposited shall accrue to the county's benefit. The director of finance or his authorized deputies may transfer funds from one such depository to another by wire.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-830. Same; claims against counties; accounts.

The director of finance shall audit all claims against the county for goods or services. He shall also (i) ascertain that such claims are in accordance with the purchase orders or contracts of employment from which the claims arise; (ii) present such claims to the board for approval after such audit; (iii) draw all checks in settlement of such claims after approval by the board unless the board otherwise provides; (iv) keep a record of the revenues and expenditures of the county; (v) keep such accounts and records of the county's affairs as shall be prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts; and (vi) at the end of each month, prepare and submit to the board statements showing the progress and status of the county's affairs in such form as agreed upon by the Auditor of Public Accounts and the board. Such accounts and records may be kept in such form, including microphotography or other reproductive method, as the board prescribes.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-831. Same; director as purchasing agent.

The director of finance shall act as purchasing agent for the county, unless the board designates some other officer or employee for such purpose. The director of finance or the person designated as purchasing agent shall make all purchases, subject to such exceptions as the board allows. He may transfer supplies, materials or equipment between departments and offices; sell any surplus supplies, materials or equipment; and make such other sales as the board authorizes. He may also, with the board's approval, (i) establish suitable specifications or standards for all supplies, materials and equipment to be purchased for the county; (ii) inspect all deliveries to determine their compliance with such specifications and standards; and (iii) sell supplies, materials and equipment to volunteer emergency medical services agencies and firefighting companies at the same cost of such supplies, materials and equipment to the county. He shall have charge of such storerooms and warehouses of the county as the board provides.

All purchases shall be made in accordance with Chapter 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2 and under such rules and regulations consistent with Chapter 43 of Title 2.2 as the board establishes by ordinance or resolution, which ordinance or resolution may, notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-830, provide for the use of a combination purchase order-check, which check may be made valid for such maximum amount as the board may fix, not to exceed $250. Subject to such exceptions as the board provides, before making any sale the director shall invite competitive bidding under such rules and regulations as the board establishes by ordinance or resolution. He shall not furnish any supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services to any department or office except upon receipt of a properly approved requisition and unless there is an unencumbered appropriation balance sufficient to pay for the supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-832. Same; assistants.

The director may have such deputies or assistants in the performance of his duties as the board allows.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-833. Same; obligations of chief assessing officer.

The chief assessing officer shall be subject to the obligations and penalties imposed by general law upon commissioners of the revenue.

Code 1950, § 15-384.53; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-766; 1972, c. 456; 1982, c. 647; 1987, c. 419; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-834. Department of public works.

The director of public works shall be head of the department of public works. He shall have charge of the construction and maintenance of county drains and all other public works and construction and care of public buildings, storerooms and warehouses. He shall have the custody of such equipment and supplies as the board authorizes. He shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon him by the board.

Code 1950, § 15-384.54; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-767; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-835. Department and board of social services.

The superintendent of social services, who shall be head of the department of social services, shall be chosen from a list of eligibles furnished by the State Department of Social Services. Such person shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed by general law upon the county board of social services, not inconsistent herewith. Such person shall also perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

The board shall select at least five and not more than 11 qualified county citizens, one of whom may be a member of the urban county board of supervisors, who shall constitute the county board of social services. The board shall designate an additional seat on the board for a qualified citizen of each city to which the county is contractually obligated to provide social services. Such board shall advise and cooperate with the department of social services and may adopt necessary rules and regulations not in conflict with law concerning such department.

As provided for in Chapters 2 (§ 63.2-200 et seq.) and 3 (§ 63.2-300 et seq.) of Title 63.2, the urban county board of supervisors in its discretion may designate either the superintendent of social services or the above-mentioned county board of social services as the local board. If the urban county board of supervisors designates the superintendent of social services as constituting the local board, the county board of social services shall serve in an advisory capacity to such officer with respect to the duties and functions imposed upon him by law.

Code 1950, § 15-384.55; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-768; 1972, c. 73; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1980, c. 62; 1981, c. 483; 1992, c. 524; 1997, c. 587; 2020, c. 12.

§ 15.2-836. Department of law enforcement.

The department of law enforcement shall consist of the attorney for the Commonwealth, chief of police, and sheriff, together with their assistants, police officers, deputies and employees. If a department of public safety is created, the chief of police, his police officers and employees shall be a part of such department as hereinafter provided.

The attorney for the Commonwealth shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon such officer by general law and shall be accountable to the board in all matters affecting the county and shall perform such duties, consistent with his office, as the board directs. He shall be selected as provided by general law.

The department of law enforcement may also include a county attorney to be appointed by the board upon the recommendation of the county executive and who shall serve at an annual salary to be set by the board. If a county attorney is appointed, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall be relieved of the duties of advising the board, of drafting or preparing county ordinances, and of defending or bringing civil actions in which the county or any of its officials is a party. All such duties shall be performed by the county attorney, who shall be accountable to the board in all such matters.

The sheriff shall exercise the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon sheriffs by general law except as herein provided. He shall have the custody, feeding and care of all prisoners confined in the county jail. He shall perform such other duties as the board may impose upon him. The sheriff shall be selected as provided by general law. The sheriff and such other deputies and assistants appointed hereunder shall receive such compensation as the board prescribes. Any police officer appointed by the urban county executive or the board shall be under the supervision and control of the board unless such supervision and control are conferred upon the urban county executive. Such police officer shall have such powers as may be provided by general law throughout the county, including all towns therein.

Code 1950, § 15-384.56; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-769; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1978, c. 558; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-836.1. Animal protection police officer.

The department of police, if established in accordance with Chapter 17 (§ 15.2-1700 et seq.), may include an animal protection police officer who shall have all of the powers of an animal control officer, as defined in § 3.2-6500, conferred by general law and one or more deputy animal protection police officers to assist the animal protection police officer in the performance of his duties. An animal protection officer and his deputies also shall have all of the powers vested in law-enforcement officers, as defined in § 9.1-101, if they meet the minimum qualifications and have been certified under §§ 15.2-1705 and 15.2-1706.

2016, c. 498.

§ 15.2-837. Department of education.

The department of education shall consist of the county school board, the division superintendent of schools and the officers and employees thereof. Except as herein otherwise provided, the county school board and the division superintendent of schools shall exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed upon them by general law. In addition the parks and playgrounds shall be under the supervision and control of the department of education unless otherwise provided by the urban county board of supervisors. The county school board shall be composed of not less than five nor more than twelve members, who shall be chosen by the urban county board of supervisors to serve for a term of two years, except that as many as one half of the members of the first such board appointed may be appointed for lesser terms. The exact number of members shall be determined by the urban county board of supervisors. The term of office for any member appointed after July 1, 1972, shall expire on July 1 of the second year after his appointment.

The board of county supervisors may also appoint a county resident to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie vote of the school board as provided in § 22.1-75. The tie breaker, if any, shall be appointed for a four-year term whether appointed to fill a vacancy caused by expiration of a term or otherwise.

The chairman of the county school board, unless some other person in the department is designated by the school board for such purpose, may appear before the urban county board of supervisors and present his views on matters relating to the department of education.

Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this section, a county which has an elected school board shall comply with the applicable provisions of Article 7 (§ 22.1-57.1 et seq.) of Title 22.1.

Code 1950, § 15-384.57; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-770; 1968, c. 797; 1972, c. 162; 1980, c. 559; 1981, c. 246; 1994, c. 445; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-838. Department of records.

The department of records shall be under the supervision and control of the county clerk. He shall be clerk of the circuit court of the county and, if designated by the board, clerk for the county court. The county clerk shall also be clerk of the board unless the board designates some other person for this purpose. 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 the board imposes upon him.

Code 1950, § 15-384.58; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-771; 1966, c. 464; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-839. Department and board of health.

The department of health shall consist of the county health officer, who shall be chosen from a list of eligibles furnished by the State Board of Health and the other officers and employees of such department. The county health officer shall be head of such department and shall exercise the powers conferred and shall perform the duties imposed upon the local health officer and the local board of health by general law, not inconsistent herewith. He shall also perform such other duties as the board imposes upon him.

The board of supervisors may select two qualified county citizens, who, together with the county health officer, shall constitute the county board of health. Such board shall advise and cooperate with the department of health and shall have power to adopt rules and regulations, not in conflict with law, concerning the department. The board of health may at any time be abolished by the board of supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-384.59; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-772; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-840. Department of assessments.

A. The department of assessments, if and when established, shall be headed by a commissioner of the revenue or supervisor of assessments, who shall exercise the power conferred and perform the duties imposed by § 15.2-826 upon the director of finance.

B. In addition to the powers and duties hereinabove conferred, the governing body of any county which has provided for a department of assessments headed by a supervisor of assessments may, in lieu of the method now prescribed by law, provide for the annual assessments and equalization of assessments of real estate by such department. All real estate shall thereafter be assessed as of January 1 of each year. The board of supervisors shall appoint a board of equalization of real estate assessments composed of not less than three nor more than eleven members. The board of supervisors 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.

C. 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 in 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.

Code 1950, § 15-384.60; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-773; 1968, c. 797; 1976, c. 174; 1989, c. 355; 1992, c. 524; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-841. Department of farm and home demonstration.

The department of farm and home demonstration shall consist of the county agricultural agent, who shall be head of the department, a home demonstration agent and such assistants and employees as may be appointed or employed. The county agricultural agent and the home demonstration agent shall be selected from lists of eligibles submitted by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. They shall perform such duties as the board imposes upon them.

Code 1950, § 15-384.61; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-774; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-842. Department of public safety.

The department of public safety, if and when established, shall be under the supervision of a director of public safety. Such department may consist of the following divisions:

1. Division of police, in the charge of a chief of police and consisting of such other police officers and personnel as may be appointed.

2. Division of fire protection, in the charge of a fire chief and consisting of such fire fighters and other personnel as may be appointed.

Code 1950, § 15-384.62; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-775; 1977, c. 326; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-843. Department of public utilities.

The department of public utilities, if and when established, shall be under the supervision of a director of public utilities. Such department shall be in charge of construction, operation, maintenance and administration of all public works coming under the general category of public utilities, owned, operated and controlled by any such county or district or any sanitary district of such county. Such department shall be responsible for the administration of the affairs of the sanitary districts, including but not limited to water systems, sewer systems, sewage disposal systems, garbage and any other sanitary district functions not assigned or administered by other departments or agencies. If the county has a division of fire protection and a fire chief under the provisions of § 15.2-842 then such fire protection shall not be under the department of public utilities.

Code 1950, § 15-384.63; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-776; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-844. Examination and audit of books and accounts.

The board shall require an annual audit of the books of every county officer who handles public funds to be made by a certified public accountant who is not a regular officer or employee of the county and who is thoroughly qualified by training and experience. An audit made by the Auditor of Public Accounts under the provisions of law may be considered as having satisfied the requirements of this paragraph.

Either the board or the urban county executive may at any time order an examination or audit of the accounts of any officer or department of the county government. Upon the death, resignation, removal or expiration of the term of any county officer, the director of finance shall cause an audit and investigation of the accounts of such officer to be made and shall report the results to the executive and the board. In the case of the death, resignation or removal of the director of finance, the board shall cause an audit to be made of his accounts. If as a result of any such audit, an officer is found indebted to the county, the board shall proceed forthwith to collect such indebtedness.

Code 1950, § 15-384.64; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-777; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-845. Schedule of compensation.

The board shall establish a schedule of compensation for officers and employees which shall provide equitable compensation for officers and employees and which shall provide for recognition of length of service and of merit. The compensation prescribed shall be subject to such limitations made by general law.

Code 1950, § 15-384.65; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-778; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-846. Salaries and expenses of board members; administrative staff.

The board shall establish the salaries and allowances of board members in accordance with the provisions of general law provided:

1. A public hearing shall be held on the salaries to be established;

2. No increase in such salaries shall be effective until the expiration of the current term of all board members whose salaries are to be increased; and

3. Any action or procedure necessary to be taken to increase such salaries shall be completed not later than April 15 of any year in which there is an election for board members.

Each board member, in addition to salary and allowances, shall be entitled to reasonable administrative staff support paid by the county in conformity with existing pay scales and whose duty shall be limited exclusively to county business.

1975, c. 143, § 15.1-778.1; 1978, c. 382; 1982, c. 376; 1983, c. 152; 1988, c. 879; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-847. Budget; board to fix salaries and allowances.

Each year at least two weeks before the board must prepare its proposed annual budget, the urban county executive shall prepare and submit to the board a budget presenting a financial plan for conducting the county's affairs for the ensuing year. The budget shall be set up in the manner prescribed by general law. Hearings thereon shall be held and notice thereof given and the budget adopted in accordance with such general law. The board shall establish the salary and allowances of all county employees.

Code 1950, § 15-384.66; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-779; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1975, c. 143; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-848. Compensation of officers and employees; fee system abolished.

All county officers and employees shall be paid regular compensation and the fee system as a method of compensation in the county shall be abolished, except as to those officers not affected by the adoption of this form of county organization and government. All such officers and employees shall, however, continue to collect all fees and charges provided for by general law, shall keep a record thereof, and shall promptly transmit all such fees and charges collected to the director of finance, who shall promptly receipt therefor. Such officers shall also keep such other records as are required by § 17.1-283. All fees and commissions, which but for this section would be paid to such officers by the Commonwealth for services rendered, shall be paid into the county treasury.

The excess, if any, of the fees collected by each of the officers mentioned in § 17.1-283 or collected by anyone exercising the powers of and performing the duties of any such officers, over (i) the allowance to which such officers would be entitled by general law but for the provisions of this section and (ii) expenses in such amount as allowed by the Compensation Board shall be paid, one third into the state treasury and two thirds to the county.

Any county officer or employee who fails or refuses to collect any fee which is collectible and should be collected under the provisions of this section, or who fails or refuses to pay any fee so collected to the county as herein provided, shall upon conviction be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-384.68; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-781; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-849. Establishing times and conditions of employment; personnel management, etc.

A. A county may establish and prescribe for all county employees and, as necessary, for officers thereof, the following provisions:

1. Normal workdays and hours of employment therein;

2. Holidays;

3. Days of vacation allowed;

4. Days of sick leave allowed;

5. Other provisions concerning the hours and conditions of employment;

6. Plans of personnel management and control;

7. Systems of retirement for all or any classes of officers and employees of the county but the adoption of the urban county executive form of government shall in no way affect any retirement system in effect in any such county prior to the date of adoption of such form; and

8. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such employee benefit programs as it deems appropriate. In connection with some or all of such employee benefit programs, the county may 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 January 1, 1988, are hereby validated.

B. Any such county shall have the power to establish, alter, amend or repeal at will any provision adopted under subsection A hereof.

Code 1950, § 15-384.69; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-782; 1988, c. 879; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-850. Bonds of officers.

The urban county executive shall give bond payable to the county in the amount of not less than $5,000. The director of finance shall give bond in the amount of not less than fifteen percent of the amount of money to be received by him annually, but he shall not be required to give a bond in excess of five million dollars except as hereinafter provided. If the urban county executive serves also as director of finance, he shall give bond to the full amount indicated above for the director of finance. The board may fix bonds in excess of these amounts and require bonds of other county officers 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, § 15-384.70; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-783; 1968, cc. 375, 797; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-851. Expedited land development review procedure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1989, c. 735, § 15.1-783.01; 1990, c. 822; 1997, c. 587; 2009, c. 309.

§ 15.2-851.1. Optional provisions of a subdivision ordinance.

A. As an alternative to the requirements of the first paragraph of subdivision 5 of § 15.2-2241, a subdivision ordinance may include reasonable regulations and provisions that apply to or provide for the acceptance of dedication for public use of any right-of-way located within any subdivision or section thereof, which has constructed or proposed to be constructed within the subdivision or section thereof, any street, curb, gutter, sidewalk, bicycle trail, drainage or sewerage system, waterline as part of a public system or other improvement dedicated for public use, and maintained by the locality, the Commonwealth, or other public agency, and for the provision of other site-related improvements required by local ordinances for vehicular ingress and egress, including traffic signalization and control, for public access streets, for structures necessary to ensure stability of critical slopes, and for storm water management facilities, financed or to be financed in whole or in part by private funds only if the owner or developer (i) certifies to the governing body that the construction costs have been paid to the person constructing such facilities; (ii) furnishes to the governing body a certified check or cash escrow in the amount of the estimated costs of construction; (iii) furnishes a personal, corporate, or property bond, with surety satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency, in an amount sufficient for and conditioned upon the construction of such facilities, or a contract for the construction of such facilities and the contractor's bond, with like surety, in like amount and so conditioned; or (iv) furnishes to the governing body a bank or savings institution's letter of credit on certain designated funds satisfactory to the governing body or its designated administrative agency as to the bank or savings institution, the amount, and the form. If the owner or developer has not met all previous land development obligations in accordance with all development agreements with the locality as determined by the governing body or its designated administrative agency for the previous seven years, then a personal, corporate, or property bond may be disallowed by the governing body as security for such facilities, and in such event, security for such facilities shall be restricted to a certified check, cash escrow, or a letter of credit that meets the requirements of clause (iv) herein. The amount of such certified check, cash escrow, bond, or letter of credit shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost of construction based on current unit prices for new public or private sector construction in the locality and a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs, inflation, and potential damage to existing roads or utilities, which shall not exceed 25% of the estimated construction costs. However, if for the previous seven years the owner or developer has not met all previous land development obligations in accordance with all development agreements with the locality as determined by the governing body or its designated administrative agency, the governing body may require that the allowance for estimated administrative costs, inflation, and potential damage to existing roads or utilities be greater than 25% of the estimated construction costs, but not to exceed 50% of the estimated construction costs. "Developer," as used in this section, means any owner, builder, subdivider or other person or entity engaged in the land development process and shall include their principals, officers, members, managers, partners, alter egos, and members of the immediate family related to any of the foregoing. "Such facilities," as used in this section, means those facilities specifically provided for in this section.

B. As an alternative to the requirements of subsection E of § 15.2-2245, a subdivision ordinance may provide that upon written request by the subdivider or developer, the governing body or its designated administrative agency shall be required to make periodic partial releases of such bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee in a cumulative amount equal to no less than 90% of the original amount for which the bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee was taken, and may make partial releases to such lower amounts as may be authorized by the governing body or its designated administrative agency based upon the percentage of public facilities completed and approved by the governing body, local administrative agency, or state agency having jurisdiction. If the subdivider or developer has not met all previous land development obligations in accordance with all development agreements with the locality as determined by the governing body or its designated administrative agency for the previous seven years prior to the written request for partial release, the cumulative amount released may be equal to no less than 80% of the original amount for which the bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee was taken. "Subdivider" and "developer," as used in this section, mean any owner, builder, subdivider, or other person or entity engaged in the land development process and shall include their principals, officers, members, managers, partners, alter egos, and members of the immediate family related to any of the foregoing. Periodic partial releases may not occur before the completion of at least 30% of the public facilities covered by any bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee. The governing body or administrative agency shall not be required to execute more than three periodic partial releases in any 12-month period. Upon final completion and acceptance of the public facilities, the governing body or administrative agency shall release any remaining bond, escrow, letter of credit, or other performance guarantee to the subdivider or developer. For the purpose of final release, the term "acceptance" means when the public facility is accepted by and taken over for operation and maintenance by the state agency, local government department or agency, or other public authority which is responsible for maintaining and operating such public facility upon acceptance.

2006, c. 736.

§ 15.2-852. Disclosures in land use proceedings.

A. 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 county, 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 which 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% 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% 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% 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% 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.

B. In any case described in subsection A 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 A. The requirements of this section shall be applicable only with respect to those so identified.

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

1968, c. 774, § 15.1-73.4; 1970, c. 654; 1988, c. 879; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 498, 552; 2006, cc. 9, 287, 317; 2014, c. 743.

Article 3. Human Rights.

§ 15.2-853. Commission on human rights; human rights ordinance.

A county may enact an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, real estate transactions, employment, public accommodations, credit, and education on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, military status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The board may enact an ordinance establishing a local commission on human rights that shall have the following powers and duties:

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

2. To serve as an agency for receiving, investigating, holding hearings, processing, and assisting in the voluntary resolution of complaints regarding discriminatory practices occurring within the county;

3. With the approval of the county attorney, to seek, through appropriate enforcement authorities, prevention of or relief from a violation of any ordinance prohibiting discrimination; and

4. To exercise such other powers and duties as provided in this article. However, the commission shall have no power itself to issue subpoenas, award damages, or grant injunctive relief.

For the purposes of this article, unless the context requires otherwise:

"Military status" means status as (i) a member of the uniformed forces, as defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(5), of the United States or a reserve component thereof named under 10 U.S.C. § 10101, (ii) a veteran as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101(2), or (iii) a dependent as defined in 50 U.S.C. § 3911(4) except that the support provided by the service member to the individual shall have been provided 180 days immediately preceding an alleged action that if proven true would constitute unlawful discrimination under this section instead of 180 days immediately preceding an application for relief under 50 U.S.C. Chapter 50.

"Person" means one or more individuals, labor unions, partnerships, corporations, associations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, or unincorporated organizations.

"Religion" includes any outward expression of religious faith, including adherence to religious dressing and grooming practices and the carrying or display of religious items or symbols.

1986, c. 495, § 15.1-783.1; 1989, c. 355; 1997, cc. 404, 587; 2020, cc. 1137, 1140; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 477, 478; 2022, c. 799.

§ 15.2-854. Investigations.

Whenever the commission on human rights has a reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in, or is engaging in, any violation of a county ordinance that prohibits discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, military status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, and, after making a good faith effort to obtain the data, information, and attendance of witnesses necessary to determine whether such violation has occurred, is unable to obtain such data, information, or attendance, it may request the county attorney to petition the judge of the general district court for its jurisdiction for a subpoena against any such person refusing to produce such data and information or refusing to appear as a witness, and the judge of such court may, upon good cause shown, cause the subpoena to be issued. Any witness subpoena issued under this section shall include a statement that any statements made will be under oath and that the respondent or other witness is entitled to be represented by an attorney. Any person failing to comply with a subpoena issued under this section shall be subject to punishment for contempt by the court issuing the subpoena. Any person so subpoenaed may apply to the judge who issued a subpoena to quash it.

1986, c. 495, § 15.1-783.2; 1994, c. 873; 1997, cc. 404, 587; 2020, cc. 1137, 1140; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 477, 478.

Article 4. Election Districts.

§ 15.2-855. Division of county into districts; functions of districts; appointees to planning commission and school board.

Within ninety days after the adoption of the urban county executive form of government, the board, after holding a public hearing thereon, shall divide the county into from five to eleven districts. Each district shall be composed of contiguous and compact territory and shall be so constituted as to give, as nearly as is practicable, representation in proportion to the population in the district.

These districts shall serve as the electoral divisions for elections of members of the urban county board of supervisors, and as sanitary districts under the provisions of Article 5 (§ 15.2-858), and shall have such other functions as are specified herein.

Each district shall have at least one of its residents who is a qualified voter of the district appointed to the local planning commission of the county and to the county school board. Each member of the county school board shall be appointed for terms and serve in accordance with all the provisions of § 15.2-837.

Code 1950, § 15-384.74; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-787; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 201; 1973, c. 545; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-856. Changes in boundaries of districts.

After the publication of the official results of each United States decennial census, the board shall make such changes in district boundaries as are required to meet the tests of equitable population distribution among the districts with a minimum disruption of the then existing district pattern of service. In 1971 and every ten years thereafter, and also whenever the boundaries of such districts are changed, the board shall reapportion the representation in the governing body among the districts, and may, within the limits established in § 15.2-855, increase or decrease the number of districts.

Each such reapportionment, other than decennial, shall become effective on January 1 following the year in which it occurs. If such reapportionment, other than decennial, results in the creation of a district or districts in which no member of the governing body resides, such vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided for by § 15.2-802. Each decennial reapportionment shall become effective as provided in § 24.2-311.

Code 1950, § 15-384.75; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-788; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 201; 1972, c. 852; 1981, c. 12; 1990, c. 500; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-857. Judicial review; mandamus.

Whenever the board changes the boundaries, or increases or diminishes the number of districts, or reapportions the representation in the board as prescribed hereinabove, such action shall not be subject to judicial review, except as otherwise provided in § 24.2-304.4. Whenever the board fails to reapportion the representation among the districts of such county, or fails to change the boundaries of districts, mandamus shall lie on behalf of any citizen thereof to compel performance by the board.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 201, § 15.1-788.1; 1997, c. 587.

Article 5. Sanitary Districts within Urban Counties.

§ 15.2-858. Creation, enlargement, contraction, etc., of sanitary districts.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no court shall entertain any petition filed for the creation, enlargement, contraction, merger, consolidation or dissolution of a district authorized to be created in accordance with the provisions of Chapters 2 (§ 21-112.22 et seq.), 6 (§ 21-292 et seq.), 7 (§ 21-427 et seq.), or 8 (§ 21-428 et seq.) of Title 21, Chapter 161, Acts of the Assembly of 1926, as amended, or any other law providing for the creation of those subdivisions referred to generally as sanitary or small districts hereinafter referred to as "sanitary districts." No petition for the creation, enlargement, contraction, merger, consolidation or dissolution of a sanitary district filed by any person or group of persons shall be of any effect and any court in which the petition is filed shall forthwith strike the petition from its dockets and no further proceedings thereon shall be had.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each district created under the provisions of § 15.2-855 shall be a sanitary district with all the rights and powers conferred on sanitary districts by general law. However, no incorporated town shall be included within any sanitary district without the consent of the council of such town.

Every sanitary district and every small and local sanitary district existing in the county shall be dissolved on the date that the form of government herein becomes effective and each shall at that time be recreated as a small district or small districts within the respective sanitary districts. The county shall assume the liabilities of the sanitary district and shall own all its properties and the existing assets less the liabilities assumed of such sanitary district shall be used by the board as a factor in establishing service charges within the small district or small districts. The services provided by the former sanitary districts shall be continued by the county in the new small districts.

Every small and local sanitary district existing in the county on the date that the form of government herein becomes effective shall at that time be continued as small and local sanitary districts, and such small and local districts, and all small and local districts hereafter created pursuant to this article shall be deemed sanitary districts for the purpose of borrowing of funds and issuance of bonds for projects within such small districts as provided for by law for sanitary districts.

Nothing in this section shall affect any sanitary district existing at the time of adoption of this form of government in which bonds of the district have been issued and for as long as such bonds are outstanding.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board shall have the power and authority with regard to the creation, enlargement, contraction, merger, consolidation or dissolution of small districts and local districts within such county that is granted to the circuit court for the county in connection therewith by Title 21 and by Chapter 161 of the Acts of the Assembly of 1926 as amended.

D. The board may create, enlarge, contract, merge, consolidate and dissolve small and local districts, by resolution, after giving notice of its intention to do so by publishing notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the county in the manner specified by § 15.2-1427 for the adoption of county ordinances and after conducting a public hearing on the proposed resolution. Any such district may be described in the resolution either by a metes and bounds description or by a description that uses commonly known landmarks or geographic maps.

Code 1950, § 15-384.78; 1960, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-791; 1966, c. 464; 1968, c. 797; 1970, c. 218; 1977, c. 231; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 561.