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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 9. General Powers of Local Governments
11/27/2021

Chapter 9. General Powers of Local Governments.

Article 1. Public Health and Safety; Nuisances.

§ 15.2-900. Abatement or removal of nuisances by localities; recovery of costs.

In addition to the remedy provided by § 48-5 and any other remedy provided by law, any locality may maintain an action to compel a responsible party to abate, raze, or remove a public nuisance. If the public nuisance presents an imminent and immediate threat to life or property, then the locality may abate, raze, or remove such public nuisance, and a locality may bring an action against the responsible party to recover the necessary costs incurred for the provision of public emergency services reasonably required to abate any such public nuisance.

The term "nuisance" includes, but is not limited to, dangerous or unhealthy substances which have escaped, spilled, been released or which have been allowed to accumulate in or on any place and all unsafe, dangerous, or unsanitary public or private buildings, walls, or structures which constitute a menace to the health and safety of the occupants thereof or the public. The term "responsible party" includes, but is not limited to, the owner, occupier, or possessor of the premises where the nuisance is located, the owner or agent of the owner of the material which escaped, spilled, or was released and the owner or agent of the owner who was transporting or otherwise responsible for such material and whose acts or negligence caused such public nuisance.

1990, c. 674, § 15.1-29.21; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-901. Locality may provide for removal or disposal of trash and clutter, cutting of grass, weeds, and running bamboo; penalty in certain counties; penalty.

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, provide that:

1. The owners of property therein shall, at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe, remove therefrom any and all trash, garbage, refuse, litter, clutter, except on land zoned for or in active farming operation, and other substances that might endanger the health or safety of other residents of such locality, or may, whenever the governing body deems it necessary, after reasonable notice, have such trash, garbage, refuse, litter, clutter, except on land zoned for or in active farming operation, and other like substances that might endanger the health of other residents of the locality removed by its own agents or employees, in which event the cost or expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected. For purposes of this section, "clutter" includes mechanical equipment, household furniture, containers, and similar items that may be detrimental to the well-being of a community when they are left in public view for an extended period or are allowed to accumulate.

2. Trash, garbage, refuse, litter, clutter, except on land zoned for or in active farming operation, and other debris shall be disposed of in personally owned or privately owned receptacles that are provided for such use and for the use of the persons disposing of such matter or in authorized facilities provided for such purpose and in no other manner not authorized by law.

3. The owners of occupied or vacant developed or undeveloped property therein, including such property upon which buildings or other improvements are located, shall cut the grass, weeds, and other foreign growth, including running bamboo as defined in § 15.2-901.1, on such property or any part thereof at such time or times as the governing body shall prescribe, or may, whenever the governing body deems it necessary, after reasonable notice as determined by the locality, have such grass, weeds, or other foreign growth cut by its agents or employees, in which event the cost and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected. For purposes of this provision, one written notice per growing season to the owner of record of the subject property shall be considered reasonable notice. No such ordinance adopted by any county shall have any force and effect within the corporate limits of any town. No such ordinance adopted by any county having a density of population of less than 500 per square mile shall have any force or effect except within the boundaries of platted subdivisions or any other areas zoned for residential, business, commercial, or industrial use. No such ordinance shall be applicable to land zoned for or in active farming operation. However, in any locality located in Planning District 6, no such ordinance shall be applicable to land zoned for agricultural use unless such lot is one acre or less in area and used for a residential purpose. In any locality within Planning District 23, such ordinance may also include provisions for cutting overgrown shrubs, trees, and other such vegetation.

4. The owners of any land, regardless of zoning classification, used for the interment of human remains shall cut the grass, weeds, and other foreign growth, including running bamboo as defined in § 15.2-901.1, on such property or any part thereof at such time or times as the governing body shall prescribe, or may, whenever the governing body deems it necessary, after reasonable notice as determined by the locality, have such grass, weeds, or other foreign growth cut by its agents or employees, in which event the cost and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected. For purposes of this provision, one written notice per growing season to the owner of record of the subject property shall be considered reasonable notice. No such ordinance shall be applicable to land owned by an individual, family, property owners' association as defined in § 55.1-1800, or church.

B. Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property shall have been assessed and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid local real estate taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1. A locality may waive such liens in order to facilitate the sale of the property. Such liens may be waived only as to a purchaser who is unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner and who has no business association with the owner. All such liens shall remain a personal obligation of the owner of the property at the time the liens were imposed.

C. The governing body of any locality may by ordinance provide that violations of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty, not to exceed $50 for the first violation, or violations arising from the same set of operative facts. The civil penalty for subsequent violations not arising from the same set of operative facts within 12 months of the first violation shall not exceed $200. Each business day during which the same violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. In no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same set of operative facts result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $3,000 in a 12-month period.

D. Except as provided in this subsection, adoption of an ordinance pursuant to subsection C shall be in lieu of criminal penalties and shall preclude prosecution of such violation as a misdemeanor. The governing body of any locality may, however, by ordinance provide that such violations shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor in the event three civil penalties have previously been imposed on the same defendant for the same or similar violation, not arising from the same set of operative facts, within a 24-month period. Classifying such subsequent violations as criminal offenses shall preclude the imposition of civil penalties for the same violation.

Code 1950, § 15-14; 1962, cc. 400, 623, § 15.1-11; 1964, c. 31; 1968, c. 423; 1974, c. 655; 1978, c. 533; 1983, cc. 192, 390; 1990, c. 177; 1992, c. 649; 1994, c. 167; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 174; 2000, c. 740; 2001, c. 750; 2003, c. 829; 2006, c. 275; 2009, c. 446; 2010, cc. 161, 403, 641; 2011, cc. 542, 695; 2012, cc. 311, 403, 430, 431; 2013, cc. 189, 490, 508; 2014, cc. 383, 384, 385; 2017, cc. 118, 213, 392, 610; 2020, cc. 13, 136, 399, 597; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 125.

§ 15.2-901.1. Locality may provide for control of running bamboo; civil penalty.

A. For purposes of this section, "running bamboo" means any bamboo that is characterized by aggressive spreading behavior, including species in the genus Phyllostachys.

B. Any locality may, by ordinance, provide that:

1. No landowner shall allow running bamboo to grow without proper upkeep and appropriate containment measures, including barriers or trenching; and

2. No landowner shall allow running bamboo to spread from his property to any public right-of-way or adjoining property not owned by the landowner.

C. A violation of a running bamboo ordinance authorized by this section shall be subject to a civil penalty, not to exceed $50 for the first violation or violations arising from the same set of operative facts. The civil penalty for subsequent violations not arising from the same set of operative facts within 12 months of the first violation shall not exceed $200. Each business day during which the same violation is found to have existed shall constitute a separate offense. In no event shall a series of specified violations arising from the same set of operative facts result in civil penalties that exceed a total of $3,000 in a 12-month period.

D. No violation of a running bamboo ordinance arising from the same set of operative facts shall be subject to a civil penalty under both (i) an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section and (ii) an ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-901.

2017, cc. 213, 392.

§ 15.2-902. Authority of locality to control certain noxious weeds.

A. Any locality may by ordinance prevent, control and abate the growth, importation, spread and contamination of uninfested lands by the species of grass Sorghum halepense, commonly known as Johnson grass or by the woody shrub rosa multiflora, commonly known as multiflora rose.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to provide financial and technical assistance to, and enter into agreements with, any locality which adopts an ordinance for the control of Johnson grass or multiflora rose.

B. Any locality may by ordinance control the growth of musk thistle, the weed designated as Carduus nutans L., a biennial weed of the Compositae family, or curled thistle, the weed designated as Carduus acanthoides L., an annual and biennial weed of the Compositae family. Any such musk thistle or curled thistle growing in the locality may be declared a public nuisance and noxious weed, harmful to plant and grass growth and to pastures, and may be destroyed.

1984, c. 216, § 15.1-28.4; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 860.

§ 15.2-903. Ordinances taxing and regulating "automobile graveyards," "junkyards," and certain vacant and abandoned property.

A. Any locality may adopt ordinances imposing license taxes upon and otherwise regulating the maintenance and operation of places commonly known as automobile graveyards and junkyards and may prescribe fines and other punishment for violations of such ordinances.

No such ordinance shall be adopted until after notice of the proposed ordinance has been published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality. The ordinance need not be advertised in full, but may be advertised by reference. Every such advertisement shall contain a descriptive summary of the proposed ordinance and a reference to the place or places within the locality where copies of the proposed ordinance may be examined.

As used in this section the terms "automobile graveyard" and "junkyard" have the meanings ascribed to them in § 33.2-804.

B. The Counties of Bedford, Campbell, Caroline, Fauquier, Rockbridge, Shenandoah, Tazewell, Warren and York may adopt an ordinance imposing the screening of automobile graveyards and junkyards, unless screening is impractical due to topography, as set forth in § 33.2-804. Any such ordinance may apply to any automobile graveyard or junkyard within the boundaries of such county regardless of the date on which any such automobile graveyard or junkyard may have come into existence, notwithstanding the provisions of § 33.2-804.

C. The City of Newport News may adopt an ordinance imposing screening or landscape screening for retail or commercial properties that have been vacant or abandoned for more than three years within designated areas consistent with the city's comprehensive plan.

Code 1950, § 15-18; 1956, c. 672; 1958, c. 552; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-28; 1968, c. 409; 1993, c. 714; 1995, c. 207; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 180; 2001, c. 10; 2004, c. 493; 2005, c. 702; 2006, cc. 669, 722.

§ 15.2-904. Authority to restrict keeping of inoperable motor vehicles, etc., on residential or commercial property; removal of such vehicles; penalty.

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, provide that it shall be unlawful for any person to keep, except within a fully enclosed building or structure or otherwise shielded or screened from view, on any property zoned for residential or commercial or agricultural purposes any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, as such are defined in § 46.2-100, which is inoperable. Any locality in addition may, by ordinance, limit the number of inoperable motor vehicles which any person may keep outside of a fully enclosed building or structure, but which are shielded or screened from view by covers. As used in this section, an "inoperable motor vehicle" may, at the election of the locality, mean any one or more of the following: (i) any motor vehicle which is not in operating condition; (ii) any motor vehicle which for a period of 60 days or longer has been partially or totally disassembled by the removal of tires and wheels, the engine, or other essential parts required for operation of the vehicle; or (iii) any motor vehicle on which there are displayed neither valid license plates nor a valid inspection decal. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to a licensed business which on June 26, 1970, is regularly engaged in business as an automobile dealer, salvage dealer or scrap processor.

B. Any locality may, by ordinance, further provide that: (i) the owners of property zoned for residential, commercial or agricultural purposes shall, at such time or times as the locality prescribes, remove therefrom any such inoperable motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers that are not kept within a fully enclosed building or structure; (ii) such locality through its own agents or employees may remove any such inoperable motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers, whenever the owner of the premises, after reasonable notice, has failed to do so; (iii) in the event such locality, through its own agents or employees, removes any such motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers, after having given such reasonable notice, such locality may dispose of such motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers after giving additional notice to the owner of the vehicle; (iv) the cost of any such removal and disposal shall be chargeable to the owner of the vehicle or premises and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected; and (v) every cost authorized by this section with which the owner of the premises has been assessed shall constitute a lien against the property from which the vehicle was removed, the lien to continue until actual payment of such costs has been made to the locality. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subsection, if the owner of such vehicle can demonstrate that he is actively restoring or repairing the vehicle, and if it is shielded or screened from view, the vehicle and one additional inoperative motor vehicle that is shielded or screened from view and being used for the restoration or repair may remain on the property.

C. The governing body of any locality may by ordinance provide that violations of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty, which may be imposed in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2209.

D. Except as provided in this subsection, adoption of an ordinance pursuant to subsection C shall be in lieu of criminal penalties and shall preclude prosecution of such violation as a misdemeanor. The governing body of any locality may, however, by ordinance provide that such violations shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor in the event three civil penalties have previously been imposed on the same defendant for the same or similar violation, not arising from the same set of operative facts, within a 24-month period. Classifying such subsequent violations as criminal offenses shall preclude the imposition of civil penalties for the same violation.

E. As used in this section, notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, "shielded or screened from view" means not visible by someone standing at ground level from outside of the property on which the subject vehicle is located.

1966, c. 390, § 15.1-11.1; 1970, c. 196; 1972, c. 572; 1973, c. 395; 1982, c. 368; 1985, c. 289; 1986, c. 245; 1989, c. 404; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 829; 2004, cc. 513, 934; 2005, cc. 465, 775.

§ 15.2-905. Authority to restrict keeping of inoperable motor vehicles, etc., on residential or commercial property; removal of such vehicles.

A. The governing bodies of the Counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, Prince George, and Prince William; any town located, wholly or partly, in such counties; and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Hampton, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Newport News, Petersburg, Portsmouth, Roanoke, and Suffolk may by ordinance prohibit any person from keeping, except within a fully enclosed building or structure or otherwise shielded or screened from view, on any property zoned or used for residential purposes, or on any property zoned for commercial or agricultural purposes, any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, as such are defined in § 46.2-100, which is inoperable.

The locality in addition may by ordinance limit the number of inoperable motor vehicles that any person may keep outside of a fully enclosed building or structure.

As used in this section, notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, "shielded or screened from view" means not visible by someone standing at ground level from outside of the property on which the subject vehicle is located.

As used in this section, an "inoperable motor vehicle" means any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer which is not in operating condition; or does not display valid license plates; or does not display an inspection decal that is valid or does display an inspection decal that has been expired for more than 60 days. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a licensed business that is regularly engaged in business as an automobile dealer, salvage dealer or scrap processor.

B. The locality may, by ordinance, further provide that the owners of property zoned or used for residential purposes, or zoned for commercial or agricultural purposes, shall, at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe, remove therefrom any inoperable motor vehicle that is not kept within a fully enclosed building or structure. The locality may remove the inoperable motor vehicle, whenever the owner of the premises, after reasonable notice, has failed to do so. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subsection, if the owner of such vehicle can demonstrate that he is actively restoring or repairing the vehicle, and if it is shielded or screened from view, the vehicle and one additional inoperative motor vehicle that is shielded or screened from view and being used for the restoration or repair may remain on the property.

In the event the locality removes the inoperable motor vehicle, after having given such reasonable notice, it may dispose of the vehicle after giving additional notice to the owner of the premises. The cost of the removal and disposal may be charged to either the owner of the inoperable vehicle or the owner of the premises and the cost may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected. Every cost authorized by this section with which the owner of the premises has been assessed shall constitute a lien against the property from which the inoperable vehicle was removed, the lien to continue until actual payment of the cost has been made to the locality.

1991, c. 673, § 15.1-11.03; 1992, c. 490; 1995, c. 58; 1997, cc. 587, 741; 1999, c. 901; 2004, cc. 508, 934; 2005, c. 775; 2013, c. 364; 2014, cc. 606, 731.

§ 15.2-906. Authority to require removal, repair, etc., of buildings and other structures.

Any locality may, by ordinance, provide that:

1. The owners of property therein, shall at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe, remove, repair or secure any building, wall or any other structure that might endanger the public health or safety of other residents of such locality;

2. The locality through its own agents or employees may remove, repair or secure any building, wall or any other structure that might endanger the public health or safety of other residents of such locality, if the owner and lienholder of such property, after reasonable notice and a reasonable time to do so, has failed to remove, repair, or secure the building, wall or other structure. For purposes of this section, repair may include maintenance work to the exterior of a building to prevent deterioration of the building or adjacent buildings. For purposes of this section, reasonable notice includes a written notice (i) mailed by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, sent to the last known address of the property owner and (ii) published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality. No action shall be taken by the locality to remove, repair, or secure any building, wall, or other structure for at least 30 days following the later of the return of the receipt or newspaper publication, except that the locality may take action to prevent unauthorized access to the building within seven days of such notice if the structure is deemed to pose a significant threat to public safety and such fact is stated in the notice;

3. In the event that the locality, through its own agents or employees, removes, repairs, or secures any building, wall, or any other structure after complying with the notice provisions of this section or as otherwise permitted under the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code in the event of an emergency, the cost or expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected;

4. Every charge authorized by this section or § 15.2-900 with which the owner of any such property has been assessed and that remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid local real estate taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1. A locality may waive such liens in order to facilitate the sale of the property. Such liens may be waived only as to a purchaser who is unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner and who has no business association with the owner. All such liens shall remain a personal obligation of the owner of the property at the time the liens were imposed;

5. Notwithstanding the foregoing, with the written consent of the property owner, a locality may, through its agents or employees, demolish or remove a derelict nonresidential building or structure provided that such building or structure is neither located within or determined to be a contributing property within a state or local historic district nor individually designated in the Virginia Landmarks Register. The property owner's written consent shall identify whether the property is subject to a first lien evidenced by a recorded deed of trust or mortgage and, if so, shall document the property owner's best reasonable efforts to obtain the consent of the first lienholder or the first lienholder's authorized agent. The costs of such demolition or removal shall constitute a lien against such property. In the event the consent of the first lienholder or the first lienholder's authorized agent is obtained, such lien shall rank on a parity with liens for unpaid local taxes and be enforceable in the same manner as provided in subdivision 4. In the event the consent of the first lienholder or the first lienholder's authorized agent is not obtained, such lien shall be subordinate to that first lien but shall otherwise be subject to subdivision 4; and

6. A locality may prescribe civil penalties, not to exceed a total of $1,000, for violations of any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

1968, c. 423, § 15.1-11.2; 1992, c. 372; 1994, c. 505; 1995, c. 651; 1996, c. 235; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 174; 2003, c. 207; 2004, c. 968; 2006, c. 460; 2013, cc. 734, 770; 2017, cc. 118, 400, 610.

§ 15.2-906.1. Expired.

Expired.

§ 15.2-907. Authority to require removal, repair, etc., of buildings and other structures harboring illegal drug use or other criminal activity.

A. As used in this section:

"Affidavit" means the affidavit sworn to under oath prepared by a locality in accordance with subdivision B 1 a.

"Commercial sex acts" means any specific activities that would constitute a criminal act under Article 3 (§ 18.2-346 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2 or a substantially similar local ordinance if a criminal charge were to be filed against the individual perpetrator of such criminal activity.

"Controlled substance" means illegally obtained controlled substances or marijuana, as defined in § 54.1-3401.

"Corrective action" means (i) taking specific actions with respect to the buildings or structures on property that are reasonably expected to abate criminal blight on such real property, including the removal, repair, or securing of any building, wall, or other structure, or (ii) changing specific policies, practices, and procedures of the real property owner that are reasonably expected to abate criminal blight on real property. A local law-enforcement official shall prepare an affidavit on behalf of the locality that states specific actions to be taken on the part of the property owner that the locality determines are necessary to abate the identified criminal blight on such real property and that do not impose an undue financial burden on the owner.

"Criminal blight" means a condition existing on real property that endangers the public health or safety of residents of a locality and is caused by (i) the regular presence on the property of persons in possession or under the influence of controlled substances; (ii) the regular use of the property for the purpose of illegally possessing, manufacturing, or distributing controlled substances; (iii) the regular use of the property for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts; or (iv) the discharge of a firearm that would constitute a criminal act under Article 4 ( § 18.2-279 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 or a substantially similar local ordinance if a criminal charge were to be filed against the individual perpetrator of such criminal activity.

"Law-enforcement official" means an official designated to enforce criminal laws within a locality, or an agent of such law-enforcement official. The law-enforcement official shall coordinate with the building or fire code official of the locality as otherwise provided under applicable laws and regulations.

"Owner" means the record owner of real property.

"Property" means real property.

B. Any locality may, by ordinance, provide that:

1. The locality may require the owner of real property to undertake corrective action, or the locality may undertake corrective action, with respect to such property in accordance with the procedures described herein:

a. The locality shall execute an affidavit, citing this section, to the effect that (i) criminal blight exists on the property and in the manner described therein; (ii) the locality has used diligence without effect to abate the criminal blight; and (iii) the criminal blight constitutes a present threat to the public's health, safety, or welfare.

b. The locality shall then send a notice to the owner of the property, to be sent by (i) certified mail, return receipt requested; (ii) hand delivery; or (iii) overnight delivery by a commercial service or the United States Postal Service, to the last address listed for the owner on the locality's assessment records for the property, together with a copy of such affidavit, advising that (a) the owner has up to 30 days from the date thereof to undertake corrective action to abate the criminal blight described in such affidavit and (b) the locality will, if requested to do so, assist the owner in determining and coordinating the appropriate corrective action to abate the criminal blight described in such affidavit. If the owner notifies the locality in writing within the 30-day period that additional time to complete the corrective action is needed, the locality shall allow such owner an extension for an additional 30-day period to take such corrective action.

c. If no corrective action is undertaken during such 30-day period, or during the extension if such extension is granted by the locality, the locality shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, an additional notice to the owner of the property, at the address stated in subdivision b, stating (i) the date on which the locality may commence corrective action to abate the criminal blight on the property or (ii) the date on which the locality may commence legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain a court order to require that the owner take such corrective action or, if the owner does not take corrective action, a court order to revoke the certificate of occupancy for such property, which date shall be no earlier than 15 days after the date of mailing of the notice. Such additional notice shall also reasonably describe the corrective action contemplated to be taken by the locality. Upon receipt of such notice, the owner shall have a right, upon reasonable notice to the locality, to seek judicial relief, and the locality shall initiate no corrective action while a proper petition for relief is pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.

2. If the locality undertakes corrective action with respect to the property after complying with the provisions of subdivision 1, the costs and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected.

3. Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property has been assessed and that remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property with the same priority as liens for unpaid local real estate taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1.

4. A criminal blight proceeding pursuant to this section shall be a civil proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction in the Commonwealth.

C. If the owner of real property takes timely corrective action pursuant to the provisions of a local ordinance, the locality shall deem the criminal blight abated, shall close the proceeding without any charge or cost to the owner, and shall promptly provide written notice to the owner that the proceeding has been terminated satisfactorily. The closing of a proceeding shall not bar the locality from initiating a subsequent proceeding if the criminal blight recurs.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abridge, diminish, limit, or waive any rights or remedies of an owner of property at law or any permits or nonconforming rights the owner may have under Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) or under a local ordinance. If an owner in good faith takes corrective action, and despite having taken such action, the specific criminal blight identified in the affidavit of the locality persists, such owner shall be deemed in compliance with this section. Further, if a tenant in a rental dwelling unit, or a tenant on a manufactured home lot, is the cause of criminal blight on such property and the owner in good faith initiates legal action and pursues the same by requesting a final order by a court of competent jurisdiction, as otherwise authorized by this Code, against such tenant to remedy such noncompliance or to terminate the tenancy, such owner shall be deemed in compliance with this section.

1994, c. 701, § 15.1-11.2:1; 1997, c. 587; 2011, cc. 384, 410; 2014, cc. 674, 719; 2017, cc. 118, 610; 2018, cc. 335, 805; 2020, c. 122; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 186.

§ 15.2-907.1. Authority to require removal, repair, etc., of buildings that are declared to be derelict; civil penalty.

Any locality that has a real estate tax abatement program in accordance with this section may, by ordinance, provide that:

1. The owners of property therein shall at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe submit a plan to demolish or renovate any building that has been declared a "derelict building." For purposes of this section, "derelict building" shall mean a residential or nonresidential building or structure, whether or not construction has been completed, that might endanger the public's health, safety, or welfare and for a continuous period in excess of six months, it has been (i) vacant, (ii) boarded up in accordance with the building code, and (iii) not lawfully connected to electric service from a utility service provider or not lawfully connected to any required water or sewer service from a utility service provider.

2. If a building qualifies as a derelict building pursuant to the ordinance, the locality shall notify the owner of the derelict building that the owner is required to submit to the locality a plan, within 90 days, to demolish or renovate the building to address the items that endanger the public's health, safety, or welfare as listed in a written notification provided by the locality. Such plan may be on a form developed by the locality and shall include a proposed time within which the plan will be commenced and completed. The plan may include one or more adjacent properties of the owner, whether or not all of such properties may have been declared derelict buildings. The plan shall be subject to approval by the locality. The locality shall deliver the written notice to the address listed on the real estate tax assessment records of the locality. Written notice sent by first-class mail, with the locality obtaining a U.S. Postal Service Certificate of Mailing shall constitute delivery pursuant to this section.

3. If a locality delivers written notice and the owner of the derelict building has not submitted a plan to the locality within 90 days as provided in subdivision 2, the locality may exercise such remedies as provided in this section or as otherwise provided by law; for residential property, such remedy may include imposition of a civil penalty not exceeding $500 per month until such time as the owner has submitted a plan in accordance with this section; however, the total civil penalty imposed shall not exceed the cost to demolish the derelict building. Any such civil penalty shall be paid into the treasury of the locality.

4. The owner of a building may apply to the locality and request that such building be declared a derelict building for purposes of this section.

5. The locality, upon receipt of the plan to demolish or renovate the building, at the owner's request, shall meet with the owner submitting the plan and provide information to the owner on the land use and permitting requirements for demolition or renovation.

6. If the property owner's plan is to demolish the derelict building, the building permit application of such owner shall be expedited. If the owner has completed the demolition within 90 days of the date of the building permit issuance, the locality shall refund any building and demolition permit fees. This section shall not supersede any ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2306 relative to historic districts.

7. If the property owner's plan is to renovate the derelict building, and no rezoning is required for the owner's intended use of the property, the site plan or subdivision application and the building permit, as applicable, shall be expedited. The site plan or subdivision fees may be refunded, all or in part, but in no event shall the site plan or subdivision fees exceed the lesser of 50 percent of the standard fees established by the ordinance for site plan or subdivision applications for the proposed use of the property, or $5,000 per property. The building permit fees may be refunded, all or in part, but in no event shall the building permit fees exceed the lesser of 50 percent of the standard fees established by the ordinance for building permit applications for the proposed use of the property, or $5,000 per property.

8. Prior to commencement of a plan to demolish or renovate the derelict building, at the request of the property owner, the real estate assessor shall make an assessment of the property in its current derelict condition. On the building permit application, the owner shall declare the costs of demolition, or the costs of materials and labor to complete the renovation. At the request of the property owner, after demolition or renovation of the derelict building, the real estate assessor shall reflect the fair market value of the demolition costs or the fair market value of the renovation improvements, and reflect such value in the real estate tax assessment records. The real estate tax on an amount equal to the costs of demolition or an amount equal to the increase in the fair market value of the renovations shall be abated for a period of not less than 15 years, and is transferable with the property. The abatement of taxes for demolition shall not apply if the structure demolished is a registered Virginia landmark or is determined by the Department of Historic Resources to contribute to the significance of a registered historic district. However, if the locality has an existing tax abatement program for less than 15 years, as of July 1, 2009, the locality may provide for a tax abatement period of not less than five years.

9. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the locality may proceed to make repairs and secure the building under § 15.2-906, or the locality may proceed to abate or remove a nuisance under § 15.2-900. In addition, the locality may exercise such remedies as may exist under the Uniform Statewide Building Code and may exercise such other remedies available under general and special law.

2009, cc. 181, 551; 2020, c. 9.

§ 15.2-907.2. Authority of locality or land bank entity to be appointed to act as a receiver to repair derelict and blighted buildings in certain limited circumstances.

A. Any locality that has adopted an ordinance pursuant to § 15.2-907.1 may petition the circuit court for the appointment of the locality or a land bank entity created pursuant to the Land Bank Entities Act (§ 15.2-7500 et seq.) to act as a receiver to repair real property that contains residential dwelling units only in accordance with all of the following:

1. The locality has properly declared the subject property to be a derelict building in compliance with the provisions of § 15.2-907.1;

2. The property owners are in noncompliance with the provisions of § 15.2-907.1;

3. The locality has properly declared the subject property to be blighted in compliance with the provisions of § 36-49.1:1 for spot blight abatement, and the subject property is itself blighted;

4. The property owners are in noncompliance with the provisions of § 36-49.1:1 requiring abatement of the blighted condition of the property;

5. The locality has made bona fide efforts to ensure compliance by the property owners of the subject property with the requirements of §§ 15.2-907.1 and 36-49.1:1;

6. The repairs to the subject property are necessary to bring the subject property into compliance with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code;

7. The repairs to the subject property necessary to satisfy the requirements of subdivision 6 shall not result in a change of use for zoning purposes of the subject property;

8. Upon appointment by the circuit court to serve as a receiver, the locality or land bank entity shall have the authority to contract for all reasonable repairs necessary to bring the property into compliance with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code, subject to all applicable requirements of state and local procurement laws. Such repairs shall be made in a time period established by the court, but in no event shall a receivership exceed two years;

9. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this section are subject to the requirements of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. § 3901 et seq.); and

10. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the subject property shall be eligible for any real estate abatement programs that exist in the locality.

B. A petition by the locality to be appointed, or to appoint a land bank entity created pursuant to the Land Bank Entities Act (§ 15.2-7500 et seq.), to act as a receiver shall include affirmative statements that the locality has satisfied each of the requirements of this section and further state that the locality has recorded a memorandum of lis pendens simultaneously with the filing of said petition. The costs of the receivership, along with reasonable attorney fees, incurred by the locality or land bank entity as receiver shall constitute a lien in favor of the locality or land bank entity against the subject property in accordance with the provisions of § 58.1-3340, and shall be on par with and collectible in the same manner as delinquent real estate taxes owed to the locality. The judicial proceedings herein shall be held in accordance with the requirements, statutory or arising at common law, relative to effecting the sale of real estate by a creditor's bill in equity to subject real estate to the lien of a judgment creditor.

C. The locality or land bank entity created pursuant to the Land Bank Entities Act (§ 15.2-7500 et seq.) appointed to be a receiver may enforce the receiver's lien by a sale of the property at public auction, but only upon application for and entry of an order of sale by the circuit court. The court shall appoint a special commissioner to conduct the sale, and an attorney employed by the locality may serve as special commissioner. Such sale shall be upon order of the court entered after notice as required by the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia and following publication of notice of the sale once a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. Following such public auction, the special commissioner shall file an accounting with the court and seek confirmation of the sale. Upon confirmation, the special commissioner shall be authorized to execute a deed conveying title, which shall pass free and clear to the purchaser at public auction. Following such sale, the former owner or owners, or any heirs, assignees, devisees, or successors in interest to the property shall be entitled to the surplus received in excess of the receiver's lien, taxes, penalties, interest, reasonable attorney fees, costs, and any recorded liens chargeable against the property. At any time prior to confirmation of the sale provided for herein, the owner shall have the right to redeem the property, as provided for in subsection D. The character of the title acquired by the purchaser of the property at public auction shall be governed by the principles and rules applicable to the titles of purchases at judicial sales of real estate generally.

D. The owner of any property subject to receivership may redeem the property at any time prior to the expiration of the two-year period or prior to confirmation of sale at public auction by paying the receiver's lien in full and the taxes, penalties, interest, reasonable attorney fees, costs, and any recorded liens chargeable against the property. Partial payment shall not be sufficient to redeem the property and shall not operate to suspend the receivership.

E. In lieu of appointment of a receiver, the circuit court shall permit repair by a property owner or a person with an interest in the property secured by a deed of trust properly recorded upon the following conditions:

1. Demonstration of the ability to complete the repair within a reasonable amount of time to be determined by the court; and

2. Entry of a court order setting forth a schedule for such repair.

2012, cc. 220, 761; 2017, c. 381.

§ 15.2-908. Authority of localities to remove or repair the defacement of buildings, walls, fences and other structures.

A. Any locality may by ordinance undertake or contract for the removal or repair of the defacement of any public building, wall, fence or other structure or any private building, wall, fence or other structure where such defacement is visible from any public right-of-way. The ordinance may provide that whenever the property owner, after reasonable notice, fails to remove or repair the defacement, the locality may have such defacement removed or repaired by its agents or employees. Such agents or employees shall have any and all immunity normally provided to an employee of the locality. For purposes of this section, the term "defacement" means the unauthorized application by any means of any writing, painting, drawing, etching, scratching, or marking of an inscription, word, mark, figure, or design of any type.

If the defacement occurs on a public or private building, wall, fence, or other structure located on an unoccupied property, and the locality, through its own agents or employees, removes or repairs the defacement after complying with the notice provisions of this section, the actual cost or expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected. No lien shall be chargeable to the owners of such property unless the locality shall have given a minimum of 15 days notice to the property owner prior to the removal of the defacement.

Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property shall have been assessed and that remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property, ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid local real estate taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1. A locality may waive and release such liens in order to facilitate the sale of the property. Such liens may be waived only as to a purchaser who is unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner and who has no business association with the owner. All such liens shall remain a personal obligation of the owner of the property at the time the liens were imposed.

B. The court may order any person convicted of unlawfully defacing property described in subsection A to pay full or partial restitution to the locality for costs incurred by the locality in removing or repairing the defacement if the locality has adopted an ordinance pursuant to this section.

C. An order of restitution pursuant to this section shall be docketed as provided in § 8.01-446 when so ordered by the court or upon written request of the locality and may be enforced by the locality in the same manner as a judgment in a civil action.

1995, cc. 332, 667, § 15.1-11.2:2; 1997, cc. 587, 874; 2008, c. 582; 2009, cc. 319, 462, 475; 2017, cc. 118, 610.

§ 15.2-908.1. Authority to require removal, repair, etc., of buildings and other structures harboring a bawdy place.

A. As used in this section:

"Affidavit" means the affidavit prepared by a locality in accordance with subdivision B 1 a hereof.

"Bawdy place" means the same as that term is defined in § 18.2-347.

"Corrective action" means the taking of steps which are reasonably expected to be effective to abate a bawdy place on real property, such as removal, repair or securing of any building, wall or other structure.

"Owner" means the record owner of real property.

"Property" means real property.

B. The governing body of any locality may, by ordinance, provide that:

1. The locality may undertake corrective action with respect to property in accordance with the procedures described herein:

a. The locality shall execute an affidavit, citing this section, to the effect that (i) a bawdy place exists on the property and in the manner described therein; (ii) the locality has used diligence without effect to abate the bawdy place; and (iii) the bawdy place constitutes a present threat to the public's health, safety or welfare.

b. The locality shall then send a notice to the owner of the property, to be sent by regular mail to the last address listed for the owner on the locality's assessment records for the property, together with a copy of such affidavit, advising that (i) the owner has up to thirty days from the date thereof to undertake corrective action to abate the bawdy place described in such affidavit and (ii) the locality will, if requested to do so, assist the owner in determining and coordinating the appropriate corrective action to abate the bawdy place described in such affidavit.

c. If no corrective action is undertaken during such thirty-day period, the locality shall send by regular mail an additional notice to the owner of the property, at the address stated in the preceding subdivision, stating the date on which the locality may commence corrective action to abate the bawdy place on the property, which date shall be no earlier than fifteen days after the date of mailing of the notice. Such additional notice shall also reasonably describe the corrective action contemplated to be taken by the locality. Upon receipt of such notice, the owner shall have a right, upon reasonable notice to the locality, to seek equitable relief, and the locality shall initiate no corrective action while a proper petition for relief is pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.

2. If the locality undertakes corrective action with respect to the property after complying with the provisions of subdivision B 1, the costs and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes and levies are collected.

3. Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property has been assessed and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property with the same priority as liens for unpaid local real estate taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1.

C. If the owner of such property takes timely corrective action pursuant to such ordinance, the locality shall deem the bawdy place abated, shall close the proceeding without any charge or cost to the owner and shall promptly provide written notice to the owner that the proceeding has been terminated satisfactorily. The closing of a proceeding shall not bar the locality from initiating a subsequent proceeding if the bawdy place recurs.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abridge or waive any rights or remedies of an owner of property at law or in equity.

1997, c. 498, § 15.1-11.2:3; 2017, cc. 118, 610.

§ 15.2-909. Authority to require removal, repair, etc., of wharves, piers, pilings, bulkheads, vessels or abandoned, obstructing or hazardous property.

Any locality may by ordinance provide:

1. The owners of property therein shall at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe, remove, repair or secure any vessel which has been abandoned or any wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or any other structure or vessel which might endanger the public health or safety of other persons, or which might constitute an obstruction or hazard to the lawful use of the waters within or adjoining such locality. If such property is deemed to be abandoned, the governing body may designate and empower an official to ascertain the lawful owner of such property and to have the owner repair, remove or secure such property;

2. The locality, through its own agents or employees, may remove, repair or secure any vessel which has been abandoned or any wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead, or other structure or vessel which might endanger the public health or safety of other persons or which might constitute a hazard or obstruction to the lawful use of the waters within such locality, if the owner of such property, after reasonable notice and reasonable time to do so, has failed to remove, repair or secure such wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or other structure or vessel;

3. In the event the locality, through its own agents or employees removes, repairs or secures any wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or other structure or vessel after complying with the notice provisions of this section, the cost or expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and to the extent applicable may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected;

4. If the identity or whereabouts of the lawful owner is unknown or not able to be ascertained after a reasonable search and after lawful notice has been made to the last known address of any known owner, the locality, through its own agents or employees, may repair such wharf, pier, piling, bulkhead or other structure or vessel or remove such property after giving notice by publication once each week for two weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where such property is located;

5. Every charge authorized by this section with which the owner of any such property has been assessed and which remains unpaid, to the extent applicable, shall constitute a lien against the owner's real property, and such lien shall be recorded in the judgment lien docket book in the circuit court for such locality. Such lien may also be reduced to a personal judgment against the owner.

1976, c. 449, § 15.1-11.3; 1997, cc. 548, 587.

§ 15.2-910. Ordinance certifying boiler and pressure vessel operators; penalty.

A. Any locality may by ordinance require any person who engages in, or offers to engage in, for the general public for compensation, the operation or maintenance of a boiler or pressure vessel in such locality, to obtain a certificate from the locality.

B. The ordinance shall require the applicant for such certificate to furnish evidence of his ability and proficiency; shall require the examination of every such applicant to determine his qualifications; and shall designate or establish an agent or board for the locality to examine and determine a person's qualifications for certification. A certificate shall not be granted to an applicant found not to be qualified.

C. In accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), the Safety and Health Codes Board shall establish standards to be used in determining an applicant's ability, proficiency and qualifications.

D. No person certified pursuant to this section or certified or licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (§ 40.1-51.5 et seq.) of Title 40.1 shall be required to obtain any other such certificate or to pay a fee, other than the initial certification fee, in any locality in which he practices his trade.

E. Any such ordinance adopted by a locality may provide for penalties not exceeding those applicable to Class 3 misdemeanors.

1989, c. 224, § 15.1-11.6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-911. Regulation of alarm company operators.

A. Any locality may by ordinance regulate the installation and maintenance of alarm systems operated by alarm company operators.

B. As used in this section, an "alarm company operator" means and includes any business operated for profit, engaged in the installation, maintenance, alteration, or servicing of alarm systems or which responds to such alarm systems. Such term, however, shall not include alarm systems maintained by governmental agencies or departments, nor shall it include a business which merely sells from a fixed location or manufactures alarm systems unless such business services, installs, monitors or responds to alarm systems at the protected premises.

C. As used in this section, the term "alarm system" means an assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which police or firefighters are expected to respond. Such system may be installed, maintained, altered or serviced by an alarm company operator in both commercial and residential premises.

1978, c. 587, § 15.1-28.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-912. Regulation of tattoo parlors and body-piercing salons; definition; exception.

A. Any locality may by ordinance regulate the sanitary condition of the personnel, equipment and premises of tattoo parlors and body-piercing salons and specify procedures for enforcement of compliance with the disease control and disclosure requirements of § 18.2-371.3.

B. For the purposes of this section:

"Body-piercing salon" means any place in which a fee is charged for the act of penetrating the skin to make a hole, mark, or scar, generally permanent in nature. "Body piercing" does not include the use of a mechanized, presterilized ear-piercing system that penetrates the outer perimeter or lobe of the ear or both.

"Tattoo parlor" means any place in which is offered or practiced the placing of designs, letters, scrolls, figures, symbols or any other marks upon or under the skin of any person with ink or any other substance, resulting in the permanent coloration of the skin, including permanent make-up or permanent jewelry, by the aid of needles or any other instrument designed to touch or puncture the skin.

C. This section shall not apply to medical doctors, veterinarians, registered nurses or any other medical services personnel licensed pursuant to Title 54.1 in performance of their professional duties.

D. Localities requiring regulation of tattoo parlors and piercing salons by ordinance shall include in such ordinance authorization for unannounced inspections by appropriate personnel of the locality.

1983, c. 429, § 15.1-28.3; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 842; 2001, c. 270.

§ 15.2-912.1. Regulation of martial arts instruction.

A. The Cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk may by ordinance require any person who operates a business providing martial arts instruction to have at the site where instruction is taking place a person who has current certification or, within the last two years, has received training in emergency first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

Any person who violates such an ordinance may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $50 for the first violation and $100 for any subsequent violation.

B. As used in this section, "martial arts instruction" means any course of instruction for self defense, such as judo or karate.

1998, c. 583; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-912.2. Proceeds exempt from local taxation.

No locality may impose a gross receipts, entertainment, admission or any other tax based on revenues of qualified organizations derived from the conduct of charitable gaming.

The definitions set forth in § 18.2-340.16 shall apply to this section.

1995, c. 837, § 18.2-340.32; 1997, cc. 777, 838; 1998, c. 679; 2003, c. 884; 2004, c. 462; 2006, c. 644.

§ 15.2-912.3. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Regulation of dance halls by counties, cities and towns.

For the purposes of this section, "public dance hall" means any place open to the general public where dancing is permitted; however, a restaurant located in any city licensed under § 4.1-210 to serve food and beverages having a dance floor with an area not exceeding 10 percent of the total floor area of the establishment shall not be considered a public dance hall.

Any locality may by ordinance regulate public dance halls in such locality, and prescribe punishment for violation of such ordinance not to exceed that prescribed for a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Such ordinance shall prescribe for: (i) the issuance of permits to operate public dance halls, grounds for revocation and procedure for revocation of such permits; (ii) a license tax not to exceed $600 on every person operating or conducting any such dance hall; and (iii) rules and regulations for the operation of such dance halls. Such ordinances may exempt from their operation dances held for benevolent or charitable purposes and dances conducted under the auspices of religious, educational, civic or military organizations.

No county ordinance adopted under the provisions of this section shall be in effect in any town in which an ordinance adopted under the provisions of this section is in effect.

Code 1950, § 18.1-354; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 620; 1975, cc. 14, 15, § 18.2-433; 1978, c. 661; 1993, c. 866; 2004, c. 462.

§ 15.2-912.3. (Effective January 1, 2022) Regulation of dance halls by counties, cities, and towns.

For the purposes of this section, "public dance hall" means any place open to the general public where dancing is permitted; however, a restaurant located in any city licensed under subsection A of § 4.1-206.3 to serve food and beverages having a dance floor with an area not exceeding 10 percent of the total floor area of the establishment shall not be considered a public dance hall.

Any locality may by ordinance regulate public dance halls in such locality and prescribe punishment for violation of such ordinance not to exceed that prescribed for a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Such ordinance shall prescribe for (i) the issuance of permits to operate public dance halls, grounds for revocation and procedure for revocation of such permits; (ii) a license tax not to exceed $600 on every person operating or conducting any such dance hall; and (iii) rules and regulations for the operation of such dance halls. Such ordinances may exempt from their operation dances held for benevolent or charitable purposes and dances conducted under the auspices of religious, educational, civic, or military organizations.

No county ordinance adopted under the provisions of this section shall be in effect in any town in which an ordinance adopted under the provisions of this section is in effect.

Code 1950, § 18.1-354; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 620; 1975, cc. 14, 15, § 18.2-433; 1978, c. 661; 1993, c. 866; 2004, c. 462; 2020, cc. 1113, 1114.

§ 15.2-913. Ordinances regulating certain vendors.

A. Any locality may by ordinance provide for the regulation of persons not otherwise licensed by the Commonwealth under Title 38.2, offering any item for sale within the locality when such persons go from one place of human habitation to another offering an item, other than newspapers and fresh farm products, for sale. The purpose of such ordinance is to reasonably control the activities of door-to-door vendors for the safety and well-being of the people residing in the locality. However, the locality may in such ordinance exempt such activities when they are conducted on behalf of a nonprofit charitable, civic or religious organization and may provide for other reasonable exemptions in such ordinance.

B. Any locality adopting an ordinance under this section may collect a fee in an amount not to exceed twenty dollars, from each person granted a permit to sell door to door.

1975, c. 378, §§ 15.1-37.3:1, 15.1-37.3:2; 1983, c. 383; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-914. Regulation of child-care services and facilities in cities and certain counties.

Any (i) county that has adopted the urban county executive form of government or (ii) city may by ordinance provide for the regulation and licensing of persons who provide child-care services for compensation and for the regulation and licensing of child-care facilities. "Child-care services" means provision of regular care, protection and guidance to one or more children not related by blood or marriage while such children are separated from their parent, guardian or legal custodian in a dwelling not the residence of the child during a part of the day for at least four days of a calendar week. "Child-care facilities" includes any commercial or residential structure that is used to provide child-care services.

Such local ordinance shall not require the regulation or licensing of any child-care facility that is licensed by the Commonwealth and such ordinance shall not require the regulation or licensing of any facility operated by a religious institution as exempted from licensure by § 22.1-289.031.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, such local ordinances shall not be more extensive in scope than comparable state regulations applicable to family day homes. Such local ordinances may regulate the possession and storage of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof at child-care facilities and may be more extensive in scope than comparable state statutes or regulations applicable to family day homes. Local regulations shall not affect the manner of construction or materials to be used in the erection, alteration, repair or use of a residential dwelling.

Such local ordinances may require that persons who provide child-care services shall provide certification from the Central Criminal Records Exchange and a national criminal background check, in accordance with §§ 19.2-389 and 19.2-392.02, that such persons have not been convicted of any offense involving the sexual molestation of children or the physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child or any barrier crime defined in § 19.2-392.02, and such ordinances may require that persons who provide child-care services shall provide certification from the central registry of the Department of Social Services that such persons have not been the subject of a founded complaint of abuse or neglect. If an applicant is denied licensure because of any adverse information appearing on a record obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange, the national criminal background check, or the Department of Social Services, the applicant shall be provided a copy of the information upon which that denial was based.

1990, cc. 605, 609, § 15.1-37.3:12; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 649; 2011, c. 251; 2017, c. 809; 2020, cc. 860, 861, 910, 911; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 479.

§ 15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.

A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution, or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage, or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof shall not be construed to provide express authorization.

Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from adopting workplace rules relating to terms and conditions of employment of the workforce. However, no locality shall adopt any workplace rule, other than for the purposes of a community services board or behavioral health authority as defined in § 37.2-100, that prevents an employee of that locality from storing at that locality's workplace a lawfully possessed firearm and ammunition in a locked private motor vehicle. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, from acting within the scope of his duties.

The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail, juvenile detention facility, or state-governed entity, department, or agency.

B. Any local ordinance, resolution, or motion adopted prior to July 1, 2004, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, other than those expressly authorized by statute, is invalid.

C. In addition to any other relief provided, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to any person, group, or entity that prevails in an action challenging (i) an ordinance, resolution, or motion as being in conflict with this section or (ii) an administrative action taken in bad faith as being in conflict with this section.

D. For purposes of this section, "workplace" means "workplace of the locality."

E. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a locality may adopt an ordinance that prohibits the possession, carrying, or transportation of any firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof (i) in any building, or part thereof, owned or used by such locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality, for governmental purposes; (ii) in any public park owned or operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; (iii) in any recreation or community center facility operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; or (iv) in any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit. In buildings that are not owned by a locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality, such ordinance shall apply only to the part of the building that is being used for a governmental purpose and when such building, or part thereof, is being used for a governmental purpose.

Any such ordinance may include security measures that are designed to reasonably prevent the unauthorized access of such buildings, parks, recreation or community center facilities, or public streets, roads, alleys, or sidewalks or public rights-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit by a person with any firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, such as the use of metal detectors and increased use of security personnel.

The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the activities of (i) a Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program operated at a public or private institution of higher education in accordance with the provisions of 10 U.S.C. § 2101 et seq. or (ii) any intercollegiate athletics program operated by a public or private institution of higher education and governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association or any club sports team recognized by a public or private institution of higher education where the sport engaged in by such program or team involves the use of a firearm. Such activities shall follow strict guidelines developed by such institutions for these activities and shall be conducted under the supervision of staff officials of such institutions.

F. Notice of any ordinance adopted pursuant to subsection E shall be posted (i) at all entrances of any building, or part thereof, owned or used by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality, for governmental purposes; (ii) at all entrances of any public park owned or operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; (iii) at all entrances of any recreation or community center facilities operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; and (iv) at all entrances or other appropriate places of ingress and egress to any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit.

1987, c. 629, § 15.1-29.15; 1988, c. 392; 1997, cc. 550, 587; 2002, c. 484; 2003, c. 943; 2004, cc. 837, 923; 2009, cc. 735, 772; 2012, c. 757; 2020, cc. 1205, 1247.

§ 15.2-915.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, cc. 1205 and 1247, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-915.2. Regulation of transportation of a loaded rifle or shotgun.

The governing body of any county or city may by ordinance make it unlawful for any person to transport, possess or carry a loaded shotgun or loaded rifle in any vehicle on any public street, road, or highway within such locality. Any violation of such ordinance shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100. Conservation police officers, sheriffs and all other law-enforcement officers shall enforce the provisions of this section. No ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be enforceable unless the governing body adopting such ordinance so notifies the Director of the Department of Wildlife Resources by registered mail prior to May 1 of the year in which such ordinance is to take effect.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to duly authorized law-enforcement officers or military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, nor to any person who reasonably believes that a loaded rifle or shotgun is necessary for his personal safety in the course of his employment or business.

1976, c. 506, § 18.2-287.1; 1977, c. 377; 1989, c. 50; 2004, c. 462; 2020, c. 958.

§ 15.2-915.3. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 175 and 557, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-915.4. Counties, cities and towns authorized to regulate use of pneumatic guns.

A. A locality may prohibit, by ordinance, the shooting of pneumatic guns in any areas of the locality that are in the opinion of the governing body so heavily populated as to make such conduct dangerous to the inhabitants thereof, and may require supervision by a parent, guardian, or other adult supervisor approved by a parent or guardian of any minor below the age of 16 in all uses of pneumatic guns on private or public property. The ordinance may specify that minors above the age of 16 may, with the written consent of a parent or guardian, use a pneumatic gun at any place designated for such use by the local governing body or on private property with the consent of the owner. The ordinance may specify that any minor, whether permitted by a parent or guardian to use a pneumatic gun or not, shall be responsible for obeying all laws, regulations and restrictions governing such use. Any penalty for a pneumatic gun offense set forth in such an ordinance shall not exceed a Class 3 misdemeanor.

B. No such ordinance authorized by subsection A shall prohibit the use of pneumatic guns at facilities approved for shooting ranges, on other property where firearms may be discharged, or on or within private property with permission of the owner or legal possessor thereof when conducted with reasonable care to prevent a projectile from crossing the bounds of the property.

C. Training of minors in the use of pneumatic guns shall be done only under direct supervision of a parent, guardian, Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps instructor, or a certified instructor. Training of minors above the age of 16 may also be done without direct supervision if approved by the minor's instructor, with the permission of and under the responsibility of a parent or guardian, and in compliance with all requirements of this section. Ranges and instructors may be certified by the National Rifle Association, a state or federal agency that has developed a certification program, any service of the Department of Defense, or any person authorized by these authorities to certify ranges and instructors.

D. Commercial or private areas designated for use of pneumatic paintball guns may be established and operated for recreational use. Equipment designed to protect the face and ears shall be provided to participants at such recreational areas, and signs must be posted to warn against entry into the paintball area by persons who are unprotected or unaware that paintball guns are in use.

E. As used in this section, "pneumatic gun" means any implement, designed as a gun, that will expel a BB or a pellet by action of pneumatic pressure. "Pneumatic gun" includes a paintball gun that expels by action of pneumatic pressure plastic balls filled with paint for the purpose of marking the point of impact.

2004, c. 930; 2011, c. 832.

§ 15.2-915.5. Disposition of firearms acquired by localities.

A. No locality or agent of such locality may participate in any program in which individuals are given a thing of value provided by another individual or other entity in exchange for surrendering a firearm to the locality or agent of such locality unless the governing body of the locality has enacted an ordinance, pursuant to § 15.2-1425, authorizing the participation of the locality or agent of such locality in such program.

B. Any ordinance enacted pursuant to this section shall require that any firearm received, except a firearm of the type defined in § 18.2-288 or 18.2-299 or a firearm the transfer for which is prohibited by federal law, shall be destroyed by the locality unless the person surrendering the firearm requests in writing that the firearm be offered for sale by public auction or sealed bids to a person licensed as a dealer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq. Notice of the date, time, and place of any sale conducted pursuant to this subsection shall be given by advertisement in at least two newspapers published and having general circulation in the Commonwealth, at least one of which shall have general circulation in the locality in which the property to be sold is located. At least 30 days shall elapse between publication of the notice and the auction or the date on which sealed bids will be opened. Any firearm remaining in possession of the locality or agent of the locality after attempts to sell at public auction or by sealed bids shall be disposed of in a manner the locality deems proper, which may include destruction of the firearm or, subject to any registration requirements of federal law, sale of the firearm to a licensed dealer.

2012, c. 211; 2020, cc. 1205, 1247.

§ 15.2-916. Prohibiting shooting of compound bows, slingbows, arrowguns, crossbows, longbows, and recurve bows.

Any locality may prohibit the shooting of an arrow from a bow or arrowgun in a manner that can be reasonably expected to result in the impact of the arrow upon the property of another without permission from the owner or tenant of such property. For the purposes of this section, "bow" includes all compound bows, crossbows, slingbows, longbows, and recurve bows having a peak draw weight of 10 pounds or more. The term "bow" does not include bows that have a peak draw weight of less than 10 pounds or that are designed or intended to be used principally as toys. The term "arrow" means a shaft-like projectile intended to be shot from a bow.

1995, c. 284, § 15.1-518.2; 1997, c. 587; 2017, c. 530; 2018, cc. 557, 558.

§ 15.2-917. Applicability of local noise ordinances to certain sport shooting ranges.

A. No local ordinance regulating any noise shall subject a sport shooting range to noise control standards more stringent than those in effect at its effective date. The operation or use of a sport shooting range shall not be enjoined on the basis of noise, nor shall any person be subject to action for nuisance or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise resulting from the operation of the range, if the range is in compliance with all ordinances relating to noise in effect at the time construction or operation of the range was approved, or at the time any application was submitted for the construction or operation of the range.

B. Any sport shooting range operating or approved for construction within the Commonwealth, which has been condemned through an eminent domain proceeding by any condemning entity, and which relocates to another site within the same locality within two years of the final condemnation order, shall not be subjected to any noise control standard more stringent than those in effect at the effective date of such sport shooting range.

C. For purposes of this section, "sport shooting range" means an area or structure designed for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder, or any other similar sport shooting.

For purposes of this section, "effective date" means the time the construction or operation of the sports shooting range initially was approved, or at the time any application was submitted for the construction or operation of the sports shooting range, whichever is earliest.

1990, cc. 541, 577, § 15.1-29.20; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 544; 2006, c. 704.

§ 15.2-918. Locality may prohibit or regulate use of air cannons.

Any locality may by ordinance prohibit or regulate the use within its jurisdiction of certain devices, including air cannons, carbide cannons, or other loud explosive devices which are designed to produce high intensity sound percussions for the purpose of repelling birds.

Such ordinance may prescribe the degree of sound or the decibel level produced by the cannon or device which is unacceptable in that jurisdiction.

In adopting an ordinance pursuant to the provisions of this section, the governing body may provide that any person who violates the provisions of such ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

1986, c. 106, § 15.1-29.13; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-919. Regulation of motorcycle, moped, or motorized skateboard or scooter noise.

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, regulate noise from a motorcycle, moped, or motorized skateboard or scooter, as defined in § 46.2-100, which is not equipped with a muffler and exhaust system conforming to §§ 46.2-1047 and 46.2-1049, if such noise may be hazardous to the health and well-being of its citizens.

B. No law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, shall stop a motorcycle, moped, motorized skateboard, or scooter for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 15.1-29.12; 1974, c. 339; 1985, c. 170; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 529, 538; 2013, c. 783; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 15.2-920. Regulation of outdoor lighting near certain facilities.

In addition to any other authority granted to localities by law, any locality may by ordinance regulate outdoor lighting within an area one-half mile around planetariums, astronomical observatories and meteorological laboratories. This section shall not be construed to affect any ordinance heretofore adopted by a locality.

1980, c. 512, § 15.1-29.8; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-921. Ordinances requiring fencing of swimming pools.

For the purposes of this section:

"Fence" means a close type vertical barrier not less than four feet in height above ground surface. A woven steel wire, chain link, picket or solid board type fence or a fence of similar construction which will prevent the smallest of children from getting through shall be construed as within this definition.

"Swimming pool" includes any outdoor man-made structure constructed from material other than natural earth or soil designed or used to hold water for the purpose of providing a swimming or bathing place for any person or any such structure for the purpose of impounding water therein to a depth of more than two feet.

Any locality may adopt ordinances making it unlawful for any person to construct, maintain, use, possess or control any pool on any property in such locality, without having a fence completely around such swimming pool. Such ordinances also may provide that every gate in such fence shall be capable of being securely fastened at a height of not less than four feet above ground level; that it shall be unlawful for any such gate to be allowed to remain unfastened while the pool is not in use; and that such fence shall be constructed so as to come within two inches of the ground at the bottom and shall be at least five feet from the edge of the pool at any point.

Violation of any such ordinance may be made punishable by a fine of not more than $300 or confinement in jail for not more than thirty days, either or both. Each day's violation may be construed as a separate offense.

Any such ordinance may be made applicable to swimming pools constructed before, as well as those constructed after, the adoption thereof. No such ordinance shall take effect less than ninety days from the adoption thereof, nor shall any such ordinance apply to any swimming pool operated by or in conjunction with any hotel located on a government reservation.

Code 1950, § 15-18.1; 1958, c. 123; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-29; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-922. Smoke alarms in certain buildings.

A. Any locality, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, may by ordinance require that smoke alarms be installed in the following structures or buildings if smoke alarms have not been installed in accordance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.): (i) any building containing one or more dwelling units, (ii) any hotel or motel regularly used, offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations for one or more persons, and (iii) any rooming houses regularly used, offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations. Smoke alarms installed pursuant to this section shall be installed only in conformance with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code and shall be permitted to be either battery operated or AC powered. Such installation shall not require new or additional wiring and shall be maintained in accordance with the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.) and subdivision C 6 of § 36-105, Part III of the Uniform Statewide Building Code. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize a locality to require the upgrading of any smoke alarms provided by the building code in effect at the time of the last renovation of such building, for which a building permit was required, or as otherwise provided in the Uniform Statewide Building Code.

B. The ordinance may require the owner of a rental unit to provide the tenant a certificate that all smoke alarms are present, have been inspected by the owner, his employee, or an independent contractor, and are in good working order. Except for smoke alarms located in public or common areas of multifamily buildings, interim testing, repair, and maintenance of smoke alarms in rented or leased dwelling units shall be the responsibility of the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1227.

1981, c. 324, § 15.1-29.9; 1984, c. 387; 1990, c. 184; 1997, c. 587; 2011, c. 766; 2018, cc. 41, 81.

§ 15.2-922.1. Regulating or prohibiting the making of fires.

A. Any city or town may by ordinance regulate or prohibit the making of fires in streets, alleys, and other public places and regulate the making of fires on private property.

B. In addition to the authority provided under § 27-98, any county may by ordinance regulate or prohibit the making of fires in streets, alleys, and other public places and, when a declared emergency exists, pursuant to § 44-146.21, regulate the making of fires on private property.

2007, c. 256.

§ 15.2-922.2. Special fee for emergency services in certain counties.

A. Any county with a population of less than 3,000 may by ordinance, and after a public hearing and subject to such terms and conditions as set forth in the ordinance, levy a fee to fund the provision of emergency medical services in the county, not to exceed the actual cost incurred by the county in providing such services.

B. The county may enter into a contractual agreement with any water or heat, light, and power company or other corporation coming within the provisions of Chapter 26 (§ 58.1-2600 et seq.) of Title 58.1 for the collection of such fee. The agreement may include a commission for such service in the form of a deduction from the fee remitted. The commission shall be provided for in the ordinance, which shall set the rate not to exceed five percent of the amount of fees due and collected.

2018, c. 660.

§ 15.2-923. Local water-saving ordinances.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, as shall be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, any locality may by ordinance (i) require the installation of water conservation devices in the case of the retrofitting of buildings constructed prior to July 1, 1978, and (ii) restrict the nonessential use of ground water during declared water shortages or water emergencies.

For purposes of this section "nonessential use" shall not include agricultural use.

1978, c. 469, § 15.1-37.2:1; 1992, c. 589; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 402.

§ 15.2-924. Water supply emergency ordinances.

A. Whenever the governing body of any locality finds that a water supply emergency exists or is reasonably likely to occur if water conservation measures are not taken, it may adopt an ordinance restricting the use of water by the citizens of such locality for the duration of such emergency or for a period of time necessary to prevent the occurrence of a water supply emergency. However, such ordinance shall apply only to water supplied by a locality, authority, or company distributing water for a fee or charge. Such ordinance may include appropriate penalties designed to prevent excessive use of water, including, but not limited to, a surcharge on excessive amounts used.

B. After such an emergency has been declared in any locality, any owner of a water supply system serving that locality may apply to the State Water Control Board for assistance. If the State Water Control Board confirms the existence of an emergency, and finds that such owner and such locality have exhausted available means to relieve the emergency and that the owner and locality are applying all feasible water conservation measures, and in addition finds that there is water available in neighboring localities in excess of the reasonable needs of such localities, and that there exists between such neighboring localities interconnections for the transmission of water, the Board shall so inform the Governor. The Governor, if requested jointly by the locality and the owner of the systems supplying the locality, may then appoint a committee consisting of one representative of the locality declaring the emergency, one representative of the system supplying the locality under emergency, and those two representatives shall choose a third representative and failing to choose such third representative within seven days he shall be selected by the Governor. The committee shall have the duty and authority to allocate the water available in such localities for the period of the emergency, provided that the period of the emergency shall not exceed that determined by the locality declaring the emergency or the State Water Control Board whichever period termination is earlier, so that the best water supply possible will be provided to all water users during the emergency as previously described. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the construction of pipeline interconnections between any locality or any water supply system.

C. Any water taken from one water supplier for the benefit of another shall be paid for by using the established rate schedule of the supplier for treated water. Raw water shall be furnished at rates which shall reflect all costs to the supplying locality, including, but not limited to, capital investment costs. Should there be imposed upon the supplier any additional obligation, water production costs or other capital or operating expenditures beyond those normal to the suppliers' system, then the cost of same shall be chargeable to the receiving locality by single payment or by incorporation in a special rate structure, all of the same as shall be reasonable.

D. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any locality to regulate the use of water taken from a river or any flowing stream when such water is used for industrial purposes and the approximate same quantity of water is returned to such river or stream after such industrial usage.

1978, c. 669, § 15.1-37.3:4; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 258.

§ 15.2-924.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2011, cc. 341 and 353, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-925. Regulation, etc., of assemblies or movement of persons or vehicles under certain circumstances.

Any locality may empower the chief law-enforcement officer to regulate, restrict or prohibit any assembly of persons or the movement of persons or vehicles if there exists an imminent threat of any civil commotion or disturbance in the nature of a riot which constitutes a clear and present danger. In such circumstances the governing body may convene immediately in a special meeting and enact an emergency ordinance or ordinances for such purposes, notwithstanding any contrary provisions in any charter or under the general law.

1968, c. 459, § 15.1-514.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-925.1. Local notifications.

Any locality may by ordinance establish a system to deliver notifications to residents by email, phone, text message or other similar means of communication. Such ordinance shall be adopted only after a public hearing and shall contain an opt-in provision for non-emergency notifications.

2015, c. 192.

§ 15.2-926. Prohibiting loitering; frequenting amusements and curfew for minors; penalty.

A. Any locality may by ordinance prohibit loitering in, upon or around any public place, whether on public or private property. Any locality may by ordinance also prohibit minors who are not attended by their parents from frequenting or being in public places, whether on public or private property, at such times, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., as the governing body deems proper.

A violation of such ordinances by a minor shall be disposed of as provided in §§ 16.1-278.4 and 16.1-278.5.

B. A locality may by ordinance regulate the frequenting, playing in or loitering in public places of amusement by minors, and may prescribe punishment for violations of such ordinances not to exceed that prescribed for a Class 3 misdemeanor.

C. Without limiting or restricting the general powers created by this section, the term "public place" shall also include public libraries.

Code 1950, § 15-8; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, c. 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-514; 1968, c. 425; 1983, c. 502, § 15.1-33.4; 1995, cc. 59, 658; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 865; 1999, c. 1023; 2004, c. 462; 2009, c. 481.

§ 15.2-926.1. Bounties for coyotes.

Any locality may by ordinance permit the killing of coyotes within its boundaries at any time and may pay, out of any available funds, a bounty for each coyote killed within its boundaries. The ordinance may prescribe the conditions to be met and the evidence to be submitted before any such payment is made, as well as the amount of the bounty to be paid.

1999, c. 487.

§ 15.2-926.2. Adoption of ordinances prohibiting obscenity.

The locality may adopt ordinances to prohibit obscenity or conduct paralleling the provisions of Article 5 (§ 18.2-372 et seq.) and Article 6 (§ 18.2-390 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2 and prohibiting the dissemination to juveniles of, and their access to, materials deemed harmful to juveniles as defined in subsection (6) of § 18.2-390 in public at places frequented by juveniles or where juveniles are or may be invited as part of the general public. Exceptions as provided in § 18.2-391.1 shall apply thereto. The penalty for violating the provisions of such ordinance shall not be greater than the penalty imposed for a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-236.5; 1970, c. 423; 1975, cc. 14, 15, § 18.2-389; 1977, c. 295; 1982, c. 477; 1991, c. 710; 2004, c. 462.

§ 15.2-926.3. Local regulation of certain aircraft.

A. No political subdivision may regulate the use of a privately owned, unmanned aircraft system as defined in § 19.2-60.1 within its boundaries.

B. Notwithstanding the prohibition of subsection A, a political subdivision may, by ordinance or regulation, regulate the take-off and landing of an unmanned aircraft, as defined in § 19.2-60.1, on property owned by the political subdivision. Such ordinance or regulation shall be developed and authorized in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Aviation (the Department). Such rules and regulations shall be in accordance with federal rules and regulations and shall include a process for adoption of an ordinance or regulation, exemptions to the ordinance or regulation, political subdivision training, and notification requirements. The political subdivision shall report to the Department any ordinance or regulation adopted pursuant to this section, and the Department shall publish and update annually on its website, and any other website the Department deems appropriate, a summary of any such ordinance or regulation adopted.

C. Nothing in this section shall permit a person to go or enter upon land owned by a political subdivision solely because he is in possession of an unmanned aircraft system if he would not otherwise be permitted entry upon such land.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit (i) the take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft by a commercial operator in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, or as deemed reasonable or necessary by private or public entities for emergency or maintenance support functions or services, including the protection and maintenance of public or private critical infrastructure; (ii) the landing of an unmanned aircraft by an operator in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations as deemed reasonable or necessary by the operator in the event of a technical malfunction of an unmanned aircraft system; (iii) the take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft being operated by a sworn public safety officer in the performance of his duties; or (iv) the take-off or landing of an unmanned aircraft owned or operated by the United States government, or any operator under contract with any agency of the United States government, in performance of his assigned duties.

2016, c. 451; 2018, cc. 851, 852; 2020, c. 345.

§ 15.2-926.4. Regulation of smoking in outdoor amphitheater or concert venue; civil penalty.

A. Any locality, by ordinance, may designate reasonable no-smoking areas within an outdoor amphitheater or concert venue owned by that locality.

B. An ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall:

1. Require the locality to install adequate signs within each outdoor amphitheater or concert venue that designate the no-smoking areas within such outdoor amphitheater or concert venue;

2. Provide that no person shall smoke in any area or place designated as a no-smoking area and that any person who continues to smoke in such area or place after having been asked to refrain from smoking shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25; and

3. Provide that any law-enforcement officer may issue a summons regarding a violation of the ordinance.

C. Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid into the treasury of the locality where the offense occurred and shall be expended solely for public health purposes.

2019, c. 713.

Article 2. Waste and Recycling.

§ 15.2-927. Garbage and refuse disposal.

Any locality may collect and dispose of garbage and other refuse; may regulate and inspect incinerators, dumps and other places and facilities for the disposal of garbage and other refuse and the manner in which such incinerators, dumps, places and facilities are operated or maintained; and without liability to the owner thereof may prevent the use thereof for such purposes when they contribute or are likely to contribute to the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious or dangerous diseases.

Code 1950, § 15-77.21; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-857; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-928. Local recycling and waste disposal; powers; penalties.

A. Any locality may (i) provide and operate, within or outside its boundaries, solid waste management facilities and appurtenances for the collection, management, recycling and disposal of solid waste, recyclable materials, and other refuse of the residents and businesses of the locality; (ii) contract with other localities to provide such services jointly; (iii) contract with others for supplying such services; (iv) contract with any locality or agency of the Commonwealth to provide such services for either entity; (v) prohibit the disposal of garbage or recyclable materials in or at any place other than that provided by the public or private sector for the purpose; (vi) charge and collect compensation for such services; (vii) regulate the times and placement of waste and waste containers set out for collection, such regulation to require notice so as to allow removal by the owner of the waste or waste containers prior to imposition of a civil penalty, provided that, in the City of Roanoke, provided the third notice required herein included an opportunity for the owner to be heard, the civil penalty may be imposed without further notice after the third notice for violation; (viii) provide penalties, including either criminal or civil penalties, for the unauthorized use of or failure to use such facilities. Prosecution of either a civil or criminal offense shall preclude prosecution of the other for the same offense; and (ix) grant incentives to encourage recycling.

B. Any locality may by ordinance limit the use of solid waste depositories or receptacles, owned or maintained by the locality, to the disposal of garbage and other solid waste originating from within the boundaries of such locality. Any locality adopting such an ordinance may provide penalties for its violation pursuant to subsection A.

C. For the purposes of this section, recyclable materials shall be those materials identified in a plan adopted pursuant to § 10.1-1411 and regulations promulgated thereunder. Nothing in this section shall invalidate the actions of any locality taken prior to enactment of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting any generator of recyclable materials from selling, conveying or arranging for transportation of such materials to a recycler for reuse or reclamation, nor preventing a recycling company or nonprofit entity from collecting and transporting recyclable materials from a buy-back center, drop box or any generator of recyclable materials.

1991, c. 665, § 15.1-11.5:3; 1997, cc. 236, 587; 2000, c. 231; 2002, cc. 161, 690; 2003, c. 518; 2006, c. 847.

§ 15.2-929. Solid waste management facility siting approval.

A. Any locality may enact an ordinance regulating the siting of solid waste management facilities within its boundaries. The ordinance shall prescribe the criteria, form of application, and procedure, which shall include a public hearing, for siting approval. In establishing the criteria, the locality shall consider the potential effect of the siting of a solid waste management facility on the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the locality. Any person desiring to site a solid waste management facility within the boundaries of any locality which has adopted an ordinance pursuant to this section shall file its application with the governing body of the locality. Within 120 days of the receipt of an application which complies with the provisions of the ordinance, the governing body shall grant or deny siting approval. Failure to act within 120 days shall constitute a granting of siting approval.

B. Whenever any governing body denies siting approval, the applicant shall be entitled to appeal such decision to the circuit court of the jurisdiction denying siting approval.

C. Any person who has already been issued a permit to operate a solid waste management facility by the Department of Environmental Quality or has received zoning or other land use approval for the siting of the facility, prior to July 1, 1989, shall not be required to obtain siting approval for such solid waste management facility pursuant to the provisions of this section.

1989, c. 623, § 15.1-11.02; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-930. Regulation of garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services; contracting for such services.

A. Any locality may by ordinance impose license taxes upon and otherwise regulate the services rendered by any business engaged in the pickup and disposal of garbage, trash or refuse, wherein service will be provided to the residents of any such locality. Such regulation may include the delineation of service areas, the limitation of the number of persons engaged in such service in any such service area, including the creation of one or more exclusive service areas, and the regulation of rates of charge for any such service.

Such locality is authorized to contract with any person, whether profit or nonprofit, for garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services in its respective jurisdiction.

B. Prior to enacting an ordinance pursuant to subsection A which displaces a private company engaged in the provision of pickup and disposal of garbage, trash or refuse in service areas, the governing body shall: (i) hold at least one public hearing seeking comment on the advisability of such ordinance; (ii) provide at least forty-five days' written notice of the hearing, delivered by first class mail to all private companies which provide the service in the locality and which the locality is able to identify through local government records; and (iii) provide public notice of the hearing. Following the final public hearing held pursuant to the preceding sentence, but in no event longer than one year after the hearing, a governing body may enact an ordinance pursuant to subsection A which displaces a private company engaged in the provision of pickup and disposal of garbage, trash or refuse in a service area if the ordinance provides that private companies will not be displaced until five years after its passage. As an alternative to delaying displacement five years, a governing body may pay a company an amount equal to the company's preceding twelve months' gross receipts for the displaced service in the displacement area. Such five-year period shall lapse as to any private company being displaced when such company ceases to provide service within the displacement area.

For purposes of this section, "displace" or "displacement" means an ordinance prohibiting a private company from providing the service it is providing at the time a decision to displace is made. Displace or displacement does not mean: (i) competition between the public sector and private companies for individual contracts; (ii) situations where a locality or combination of localities, at the end of a contract with a private company, does not renew the contract and either awards the contract to another private company or, following a competitive process conducted in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act, decides for any reason to contract with a public service authority established pursuant to the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act, or, following such competitive process, decides for any reason to provide such pickup and disposal service itself; (iii) situations where action is taken against a company because the company has acted in a manner threatening to the health and safety of the locality's citizens or resulting in a substantial public nuisance; (iv) situations where action is taken against a private company because the company has materially breached its contract with the locality or combination of localities; (v) situations where a private company refuses to continue operations under the terms and conditions of its existing agreement during the five-year period; (vi) entering into a contract with a private company to provide pickup and disposal of garbage, trash or refuse in a service area so long as such contract is not entered into pursuant to an ordinance which displaces or authorizes the displacement of another private company providing pickup and disposal of garbage, trash or refuse in such service area; or (vii) situations where at least fifty-five percent of the property owners in the displacement area petition the governing body to take over such collection service.

C. Any county with a population in excess of 800,000 may by ordinance provide civil penalties not exceeding $500 per offense for persons willfully contracting with a solid waste collector or collectors not licensed or permitted to perform refuse collection services within the county. For purposes of this section, evidence of a willful violation is the voluntary contracting by a person with a solid waste collector after having received written notice from the county that the solid waste collector is not licensed or permitted to operate within that county. Written notice may be provided by certified mail or by any appropriate method specified in Article 4 (§ 8.01-296 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 8.01.

D. Fairfax County may by ordinance authorize the local police department to serve a summons to appear in court on solid waste collectors operating within that county without a license or permit. Each day the solid waste collector operates within the county without a license or permit is a separate offense, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

1968, c. 419, § 15.1-28.1; 1970, c. 219; 1978, c. 251; 1984, c. 763; 1994, c. 458; 1995, c. 660; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-931. Regulation of garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services; contracting for such services in certain localities.

A. Localities may adopt ordinances requiring the delivery of all or any portion of the garbage, trash or refuse generated or disposed of within such localities to waste disposal facilities located therein, or to waste disposal facilities located outside of such localities if the localities have contracted for capacity at or service from such facilities.

Such ordinances may not be adopted until the local governing body, following one or more public hearings, has made the following findings:

1. That other waste disposal facilities, including privately owned facilities and regional facilities, are: (i) unavailable; (ii) inadequate; (iii) unreliable; or (iv) not economically feasible, to meet the current and anticipated needs of the locality for waste disposal capacity; and

2. That the ordinance is necessary to ensure the availability of adequate financing for the construction, expansion or closing of the locality's facilities, and the costs incidental or related thereto.

No ordinance adopted by a locality under this subsection shall prevent or prohibit the disposal of garbage, trash or refuse at any facility: (i) which has been issued a solid waste management facility permit by an agency of the Commonwealth on or before July 1, 1991; or (ii) for which a Part A permit application for a new solid waste management facility permit, including local governing body certification, was submitted to the Department of Waste Management in accordance with § 10.1-1408.1 B on or before December 31, 1991.

B. Localities may provide in any ordinance adopted under this section that it is unlawful for any person to dispose of his garbage, trash and refuse in or at any other place. No such ordinance making it unlawful to dispose of garbage, trash and refuse in any other place 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.

No ordinance adopted under this section shall 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 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 localities are authorized to contract with any person, whether profit or nonprofit, for garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services in their respective localities and to 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 localities of all or a portion of the disposal capacity of a waste disposal facility located within or outside the localities for their present or future waste disposal requirements, (ii) the operation of such facility by the localities, (iii) the delivery by or on behalf of the contracting localities of specified quantities of garbage, trash and refuse, whether or not such counties, cities, and towns collect such garbage, trash and refuse, and the making of payments in respect of such quantities of garbage, trash and refuse, whether or not such garbage, trash and refuse are delivered, including payments in respect of revenues lost if garbage, trash and refuse are not delivered, (iv) adjustments to payments made by the localities in respect of 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 localities within the meaning of any law, charter provision or debt limitation. Nothing in the foregoing powers granted such localities includes the authority to pledge the full faith and credit of such localities in violation of Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

It has been and is continuing to be the policy of the Commonwealth to authorize each locality to displace or limit competition in the area of garbage, trash or refuse collection services and garbage, trash or refuse disposal services to provide for the health and safety of its citizens, to control disease, to prevent blight and other environmental degradation, to promote the generation of energy and the recovery of useful resources from garbage, trash and refuse, to protect limited natural resources for the benefit of its citizens, to limit noxious odors and unsightly garbage, trash and refuse and decay and to promote the general health and welfare by providing for adequate garbage, trash and refuse collection services and garbage, trash and refuse disposal services. Accordingly, governing bodies are directed and authorized to exercise all powers regarding garbage, trash and refuse collection and garbage, trash and refuse disposal notwithstanding any anti-competitive effect.

C. The following localities may by ordinance require the delivery of all or any portion of the garbage, trash and refuse generated or disposed of within such localities to waste disposal facilities located therein or to waste disposal facilities located outside of such localities if the localities have contracted for capacity at or service from such facilities: (i) Arlington County or the City of Alexandria, singly or jointly, two or all of such counties and cities; (ii) Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, or Stafford County and any town situated within or city wholly surrounded by any of such counties, singly or jointly, two or more of such localities, that have by resolution of the governing body committed the locality to own or operate a resource recovery waste disposal facility; and (iii) localities which are members of the Richmond Regional Planning District No. 15 or Crater Planning District No. 19, singly or jointly, two or more of such localities, that by ordinance of the governing body after a minimum of two public hearings, and after complying with applicable provisions of the Public Procurement Act (Chapter 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2), have committed the locality to own, operate or contract for the operation of a resource recovery waste disposal facility.

1984, c. 763, § 15.1-28.01; 1987, c. 422; 1988, c. 264; 1991, cc. 521, 615; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-932. Authorization to enter into certain contracts for garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services; waste recovery facilities.

Any locality is authorized to contract with any person, whether profit or nonprofit, for garbage and refuse pickup and disposal services in its locality and to 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 locality of all or a portion of the disposal capacity of a waste disposal facility located within or outside the locality for its present or future waste disposal requirements, (ii) the operation of such facility by the locality, (iii) the delivery by or on behalf of the contracting locality of specified quantities of garbage, trash and refuse, whether or not such locality collects such garbage, trash and refuse, and the making of payments in respect of such quantities of garbage, trash and refuse, for such garbage, trash and refuse delivered, (iv) adjustments to payments made by the locality in respect of 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 localities within the meaning of any law, charter provision or debt limitation. Nothing in the foregoing powers granted such locality shall include the authority to pledge the full faith and credit of such locality in violation of Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

1985, c. 558, § 15.1-28.02; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-933. Ordinances requiring delivery of garbage, trash and refuse to certain facilities; exceptions.

Any ordinance requiring the delivery of all or any portion of the garbage, trash or refuse generated or disposed of within a locality to waste disposal facilities located within or outside the locality, or otherwise prohibiting the disposal of garbage, trash and refuse in or at any other place other than that provided for the purpose, 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.

1985, c. 558, § 15.1-28.03; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-934. Displacement of private waste companies.

No locality or combination of localities shall displace a private company providing garbage, trash or refuse collection service without first: (i) holding at least one public hearing seeking comment on the advisability of the locality or combination of localities providing such service; (ii) providing at least 45 days' written notice of the hearing, delivered by first class mail to all private companies that provide the service in the locality or localities and that the locality or localities are able to identify through local government records; (iii) providing public notice of the hearing; and (iv) making a written finding of at least one of the following: (a) adequate or sufficient privately-owned refuse collection and disposal services are not available; (b) the use of privately-owned and operated services has substantially endangered the public health or created a public nuisance; (c) privately-owned services, although available, are not able to provide needed services in a reasonable and cost-efficient manner; or (d) displacement is necessary to provide for the development or operation of a regional system of refuse collection or disposal for two or more localities. After making the findings required by this section, and not longer than one year after the final public hearing, the locality or combination of localities may proceed to take measures necessary to provide such service. A locality or combination of localities shall provide five years' notice to a private company before the locality or combination of localities engages in the actual provision of the service that displaces the company. As an alternative to delaying displacement five years, a locality or combination of localities may pay a displaced company an amount equal to the company's preceding 12 months' gross receipts for the displaced service in the displacement area. Such five-year period shall lapse as to any private company being displaced when such company ceases to provide service within the displacement area.

For purposes of this section, "displace" or "displacement" means a locality's or a combination of localities' provision of a service which prohibits a private company from providing the same service and which the company is providing at the time the decision to displace is made. Displace or displacement does not mean: (i) competition between the public sector and private companies for individual contracts; (ii) situations where a locality or combination of localities, at the end of a contract with a private company, does not renew the contract and either awards the contract to another private company or, following a competitive process conducted in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act, decides for any reason to contract with a public service authority established pursuant to the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act, or, following such competitive process, decides for any reason to provide such collection service itself; (iii) situations where action is taken against a private company because the company has acted in a manner threatening to the health and safety of a locality's citizens or resulting in a substantial public nuisance; (iv) situations where action is taken against a private company because the company has materially breached its contract with the locality or combination of localities; (v) situations where a private company refuses to continue operations under the terms and conditions of its existing agreement during the five-year notice period; (vi) entering into a contract with a private company to provide garbage, trash or refuse collection so long as such contract is not entered into pursuant to an ordinance which displaces or authorizes the displacement of another private company providing garbage, trash or refuse collection; or (vii) situations where at least 55% of the property owners in the displacement area petition the governing body to take over such collection service.

1995, c. 660, § 15.1-28.04; 1997, c. 587; 2006, c. 74.

§ 15.2-935. Authority to prohibit placement of leaves or grass clippings in landfills.

A. Any locality may by ordinance prohibit the disposal of leaves or grass clippings in any privately operated landfill within its jurisdiction, provided such locality has implemented a composting program which is capable of handling all leaves and grass clippings generated within the jurisdiction. However, no such ordinance shall contain provisions which penalize anyone other than the initial generator of such leaves or grass clippings.

B. For purposes of this section, the term "composting" means the manipulation of the natural aerobic process of decomposition of organic materials to increase the rate of decomposition.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any locality from prohibiting the disposal of leaves and grass clippings in any public landfill which it operates if that locality has implemented a composting program which is capable of handling all leaves and grass clippings generated within its jurisdiction.

1990, c. 172, § 15.1-11.5:1; 1992, c. 638; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-936. Garbage and refuse disposal; fee exemption.

Persons may be exempted, deferred, or charged a lesser amount by a locality from paying any charges and fees authorized by any law for the collection and disposal of garbage and refuse. Ordinances providing for such exemptions, deferrals or charges of lesser amounts may be conditioned upon only the income criteria as provided by § 58.1-3211 as in effect on December 31, 2010.

1992, cc. 197, 458, § 15.1-11.04; 1993, cc. 643, 651; 1997, c. 587; 2011, cc. 438, 496.

§ 15.2-937. Separation of solid waste.

A. Any locality may by ordinance require any person to separate solid waste for collection and recycling. Any such ordinance shall specify the type of materials to be separated. No such ordinance shall affect the right of any person to sell or otherwise dispose of waste material as provided in § 15.2-933 or permitted under any other law of the Commonwealth, nor shall any such ordinance impose any liability upon any apartment or commercial office building owner or manager for failure of tenants to comply with any provisions of the ordinance adopted pursuant to this section or upon any waste hauler for failure of its customers to comply with such ordinance. No such ordinance shall impose criminal penalties for failure to comply with its provisions; however, such ordinance may prescribe civil penalties for violations of the provisions of the ordinance.

B. Any locality may by ordinance provide for the reasonable inspection at any landfill within their jurisdiction of any tractor truck semitrailer combination with five or more axles transporting solid waste to any landfill within their jurisdiction to ensure separation of such solid waste in accordance with all applicable state laws and regulations. In enforcing such ordinance, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that solid waste transported from any jurisdiction which has comparable requirements for waste recycling is in compliance with such ordinance.

C. For purposes of this section, the term "recycling" has the meaning ascribed to it in § 10.1-1414.

1988, c. 373, § 15.1-11.5; 1990, cc. 608, 961; 1992, c. 638; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-938. Preference for purchase of recycled paper and paper products.

A. Any locality may by ordinance require that in determining the award of any contract for paper or paper products to be purchased for use by any division, department, or agency of such locality, the purchasing agent for such locality shall procure using competitive sealed bidding and shall award to the lowest responsible bidder offering recycled paper or paper products of a quality suitable for the purpose intended, so long as the bid price is not more than ten percent greater than the bid price of the low responsive and responsible bidder offering a product that does not qualify under subsection B of this section.

B. For purposes of this section, recycled paper and paper products means any paper and paper products meeting the EPA Recommended Content Standards as defined in former 40 C.F.R. Part 247.

1990, cc. 449, 857, § 15.1-11.5:01; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-939. Ordinances requiring recycling reports.

Any locality may by ordinance require all nonresidential solid waste generators and companies that manage solid waste or recycle materials generated within its jurisdiction to annually report such nonproprietary information regarding waste generation, waste management, and recycling as is necessary to facilitate compliance with regulations adopted pursuant to § 10.1-1411. Any report required under this section shall be based on volume or weight, provided that where such measurements cannot be accurately determined, the report may be based on carefully estimated data.

1990, cc. 540, 563, § 15.1-11.5:2; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Economic Development; Tourism; Historic Preservation.

§ 15.2-940. Expenditures for promoting resources and advantages of locality.

Any locality may, in its discretion, expend funds from the locally derived revenues of the locality for the purpose of promoting the resources and advantages of the locality. Such purpose shall include, without limiting the generality thereof, watershed projects and expenditures in connection therewith.

Code 1950, §§ 15-11 through 15-13; 1952, c. 117; 1956, c. 25; 1960, cc. 168, 176; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-10; 1994, c. 593; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-941. Participation by local government in certain loan programs.

Any locality or other political subdivision may participate in a program known as the "Virginia Shell Building Initiative." It is the intent of the General Assembly that this program, administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, make available moneys to any locality or any other political subdivision for the express purpose of constructing industrial shell buildings, or renovating existing buildings, to be sold or leased at public or private sale to any person that will locate thereon any manufacturing, processing, technology-related or similar establishment.

Prior to filing an application with the Authority to participate in this program, the governing body shall hold a public hearing on the application and disposal of the proposed industrial shell buildings and related real estate. This public hearing process shall fulfill the public hearing requirements for the disposal of property set forth in § 15.2-1800.

1989, c. 285, § 15.1-18.4; 1996, cc. 590, 598; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 66.

§ 15.2-941.1. Creation of abandoned school revitalization zones.

A. Any locality may establish by ordinance one or more abandoned school revitalization zones for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase or develop real property or to assemble parcels suitable for economic development that include an abandoned school site. Each locality establishing an abandoned school revitalization zone may grant incentives and provide regulatory flexibility.

B. The incentives provided for in this section may include, but shall not be limited to, (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax or any other type of local tax as permitted by state law, and (iv) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property, if deemed appropriate.

C. Incentives established pursuant to this section may extend for a period of up to 10 years from the date of initial establishment of the abandoned school revitalization zone; however, the extent and duration of any incentive shall conform to the requirements of applicable federal and state law.

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

E. The governing body may establish a service district for the provision of additional public services pursuant to Chapter 24 (§ 15.2-2400 et seq.).

F. A school located in an abandoned school revitalization zone shall be eligible for participation in the Virginia Shell Building Initiative pursuant to § 15.2-941.

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

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

2018, cc. 498, 499.

§ 15.2-942. Local government participation in certain events.

Any locality may provide for the re-creation and portrayal of important historical or cultural events associated with or which have taken place within the locality. Such locality may:

1. Enter into agreements with public or private nonprofit organizations to stage and promote such events;

2. Charge admission to such events, permit street vending, the sale of food, beverages, and merchandise related to and compatible with the objectives of the public celebration arranged for such events, or to delegate to such organizations the authority to do so;

3. Delegate to such organizations the collection of license fees from vendors;

4. Require a surety bond adequate to protect the public interest;

5. Restrict traffic on designated streets for the duration of the events; and

6. Make gifts by ordinance to such organizations from its treasury in furtherance of the re-creation and portrayal of such important historical or cultural events.

1984, c. 588, § 15.1-28.6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-943. Operation and maintenance of living historical farm museums.

A. The General Assembly finds that there is a public interest in encouraging the development of living historical farm museums to preserve for posterity living examples of earlier farm operation and farm life in Virginia. Such living historical farm museums lead to respect for the past, the education of the young and also serve as tourist attractions in the Commonwealth.

B. A "living historical farm museum," for the purposes of this section, shall be a nonprofit corporation or association dedicating no less than five acres for the sole purpose of portraying by restoration, preservation or reconstruction of farm operation and farm life, including milling, of a selected period in the agricultural history of Virginia. The requirement that the museum shall be nonprofit shall not prevent the museum from charging admittance fees adequate to cover costs of operation and maintenance.

C. Any locality may provide, by appropriate ordinance, that whenever a person dedicates five or more acres to a nonprofit corporation or association dedicated solely for the purpose of organizing, operating, and maintaining a living historical farm museum, such person may be authorized to build and maintain such structures for the living historical farm museum as will be used in the operation, maintenance and support of such museum, subject, however, to any provisions of any zoning or planning ordinance of such locality.

1973, c. 332, § 15.1-18.1:1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-943.1. Creation of arts and cultural districts.

A. Any locality, or combination of localities, may by ordinance, or in the case of multiple localities by substantially similar ordinances, establish within the boundaries of such localities one or more arts and cultural districts for the purpose of increasing awareness and support for the arts and culture in the locality. The locality may provide incentives for the support and creation of arts and cultural venues in each district. The locality may also grant tax incentives and provide certain regulatory flexibility in each arts and cultural district.

B. The tax incentives for each district may be provided for up to 10 years and may include, but not be limited to, (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax, and (iv) rebate of real estate property taxes. The extent and duration of such incentive proposals shall conform to the requirements of the Constitutions of Virginia and of the United States.

C. Each locality may also provide for regulatory flexibility in each district that may include, but not be limited to, (i) special zoning for the district, (ii) permit process reform, (iii) exemption from ordinances, and (iv) any other incentive adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the locality for a period of up to 10 years.

2018, c. 396.

§ 15.2-944. Authority to acquire and preserve places and things of historical interest.

Any locality may acquire, except by condemnation, sites, landmarks, structures and records of historical interest and value to the Commonwealth and may restore and preserve them, or may convey them to a nonstock corporation chartered under Virginia law for the purposes of acquiring and preserving such places and things. A locality may appropriate money to any such corporation.

Code 1950, § 15-7.3; 1962, c. 333, § 15.1-18.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-944.1. Notification prior to sale or transfer of ownership of certain historic properties.

A. Any charitable or civic organization or museum that (i) has been granted tax exempt status under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (ii) owns real property that is designated as historic under a local zoning ordinance or meets the criteria for a historic area under § 15.2-2201; and (iii) is operating that property as a historic attraction open to the public for interpretation for more than 100 days per year, shall notify in writing the locality's chief administrative officer, the Department of Historic Resources, and the Office of Attorney General of its intent to sell or transfer ownership of such property.

B. Such notification shall be provided at least ninety days prior to the public offering for sale of such property, or if no public offering is made, at least ninety days prior to the acceptance of a purchase offer for such property.

C. The notification required pursuant to subsection A shall be waived where (i) only a portion of the property is sold or transferred and the portion that is not sold or transferred remains open to the public at least 100 days a year; (ii) the property is being transferred to another owner who has been granted tax exempt status under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and the property remains open to the public at least 100 days a year; or (iii) an easement, right-of-way, or leasehold interest in the property is being sold or transferred and the property remains open to the public at least 100 days a year.

D. Failure to provide the notification required by this section shall not be the basis for invalidation of any sale, but may subject the terms of the sale to special review by the locality or the Attorney General to ensure that such sale has not resulted in a violation of any public law or charitable trust obligation by the transferring organization or entity.

2001, c. 780.

§ 15.2-945. Acquisition and housing of relics, paintings, carvings, sculpture and other works of art.

The governing body of any locality may enter into agreements with appropriate authorities or agencies, acting under legislation enacted by the Congress of the United States, or with any person to provide and secure for such locality such relics and such paintings, carvings, sculpture and other works of art as may be specified in such agreements and may appropriate buildings to house them. For such purposes the governing body, notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 18 (§ 15.2-1800 et seq.) or this chapter to the contrary, may furnish such materials, services and supplies and appropriate and expend from the general funds of such locality such moneys as the governing body deems proper.

Code 1950, § 15-706; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-281; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-946. Regulation of tour guides and tourist guides.

Any locality may, before issuing any license to do business as a tour guide or tourist guide, require that an applicant for such license take and pass an examination to determine the fitness of such person as to his knowledge of the history of the locality and of the historical and tourist attractions located therein.

1984, c. 675, § 15.1-28.7; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3.1. Governor's Economic Development Grant Fund.

§ 15.2-946.1. Expired.

Expired.

Article 4. Public Transportation.

§ 15.2-947. Systems of public transportation for certain counties or cities.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body of any county or city not a member of a transportation district, upon finding a need for a system of public transportation and the inability of the governing body to reach a reasonable agreement for membership with an existing transportation district, may create, operate, maintain or contract for a system of public transportation to be operated in such county or city for the safety, comfort and convenience of the public. The governing body of any such county or city providing a system of public transportation or desiring to provide such a system may contract with any authority providing public transportation in contiguous localities for transportation services or the interchange of passengers for the purpose of providing continuous service between localities.

1974, c. 325, § 15.1-526.2; 1975, c. 404; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-948. Locality may designate continuing source of revenue for mass transit.

The governing body of any locality may, within the limits permitted by the Constitution, designate any of its continuing sources of revenue, or portions thereof, as a stable and reliable source of revenue to pay its mass transit operating and debt service expenses to the extent that such designation is required by the United States as a prerequisite pursuant to Public Law 96-184 to the provision of funds for mass transit construction and debt service which benefits any such locality.

1980, c. 226, § 15.1-37.3:5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-949. Shared ride taxi systems, etc.; nonprofit vanpools.

As used herein, "shared ride taxi system" means a transportation system which employs taxicab-type vehicles or other motor vehicles which can carry no more than six passengers, and which attempts to arrange for use of such vehicles by more than one passenger per trip.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any locality which is a member of any transportation district may, with the concurrence of the transportation district commission that there is a need for a shared ride taxi system and the unavailability of adequate existing public transportation or public transportation proposed to be available within a reasonable period of time, construct, finance, purchase, operate, maintain or contract for a shared ride taxi system to be operated in such locality for the health, safety, welfare, comfort and convenience of the public. Such system may be financed from general revenues or funds received from the United States government, from the Commonwealth or any other source. Such system or the equipment and property needed for such system may also be constructed or purchased from proceeds of bonds which may be issued pursuant to the Public Finance Act (§ 15.2-2600 et seq.). Rates may be charged for the use of the system in such amount as the governing body of the locality deems reasonable, and different rates may be charged to different reasonable classifications of users.

The need for a shared ride taxi system and the unavailability of adequate existing or proposed public transportation may be based on the lack of such system or on the lack of such system at such user rates as will promote the health, safety, welfare, comfort and convenience of the public. Contracts may be made with existing or proposed shared ride taxi systems, both publicly and privately owned, for the subsidy of all users or groups of users.

In the administration of this section, private carriers are preferred over public ownership or operation; therefore, before any such locality undertakes to establish and operate its own transportation system which uses taxis or other similar vehicles, it shall first make a bona fide attempt to enter into contracts with existing privately owned taxi businesses. If such locality cannot reach a reasonable agreement within an equitable period of time, then it may by ordinance proceed to establish and operate its own system.

In lieu of establishing a shared ride taxi system, such a locality may provide financial subsidies, low-interest or interest-free loans, or tax incentives to assist with the capital costs involved in the establishment of nonprofit vanpools meeting the definition of ridesharing arrangements set forth in § 46.2-1400.

Any such locality shall have all powers necessary or convenient to carry out any of the foregoing powers.

1976, c. 303, § 15.1-37.3:3; 1988, c. 109; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 337.

Article 5. Additional Powers.

§ 15.2-950. Appropriations.

A locality may make appropriations for the purposes for which it is empowered to levy taxes and make assessments, for the support of the locality, for the performance of its functions, and the accomplishment of all other lawful purposes and objectives, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by law.

Code 1950, § 15-77.6; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-842; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-951. Acquisition, disposition and use of personal property by localities generally.

Localities, for the purposes of exercising any of their powers and duties and performing any of their functions, may acquire by gift, bequest, purchase, lease, or installment purchase contract; and may own and make use of and may grant security interests in, sell and otherwise dispose of, within and outside the localities, personal property, including any interest, right or estate therein. In addition, localities may sell and otherwise dispose of surplus materials, as defined in § 2.2-1124, by public sale or auction, including online public auction, provided that such sale or auction conforms with the procedures set forth in subdivisions B 3 through B 5 and subdivision B 8 of § 2.2-1124. In any instance where personal property in any of the following categories: school or transit bus fleet, vehicle fleet, or road construction equipment is sold with the intent to lease back the property, when the value of the proposed sale amount exceeds $2,000,000 approval by the governing body, after notice and a public hearing, shall be required. The public hearing shall be advertised once in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality at least seven days prior to the date set for the hearing. Any debt incurred by a municipality pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be subject to the limitations imposed by Article VII, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

1986, c. 573, § 15.1-526.4; 1988, c. 810; 1989, c. 340, § 15.1-29.17; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 531; 2006, cc. 468, 493.

§ 15.2-952. Political subdivisions may acquire property from United States.

Notwithstanding the provisions of any charter or any ordinance, any locality, sanitary district or other political subdivision may, by ordinance or resolution, authorize the acquisition and purchase from the United States of America, or any agency thereof, whether now existing or hereafter created, of any equipment, supplies, materials or other property, real or personal, in such manner as such governing body may determine.

It is the purpose of this section to enable any political subdivision of this Commonwealth to secure from time to time promptly the benefits of acquisition and purchases as authorized by this section, to aid them in securing advantageous purchases, to prevent unemployment and thereby to assist in promotion of public welfare and to these ends such political subdivisions may do all things necessary or convenient to carry out such purpose, in addition to the expressed power conferred by this section. This section is remedial in nature and the powers hereby granted shall be liberally construed.

Code 1950, § 15-24; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-32; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-953. Donations to charitable institutions and associations, volunteer and nonprofit organizations, chambers of commerce, etc.

A. Any locality may make appropriations of public funds, of personal property or of any real estate and donations to the Virginia Indigent Health Care Trust Fund and to any charitable institution or association, located within their respective limits or outside their limits if such institution or association provides services to residents of the locality; however, such institution or association shall not be controlled in whole or in part by any church or sectarian society. The words "sectarian society" shall not be construed to mean a nondenominational Young Men's Christian Association, a nondenominational Young Women's Christian Association, Habitat for Humanity, or the Salvation Army. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any county or city from making contracts with any sectarian institution for the care of indigent, sick or injured persons.

B. Any locality may make gifts and donations of property, real or personal, or money to (i) any charitable institution or nonprofit or other organization providing housing for persons 60 years of age or older or operating a hospital or nursing home; (ii) any association or other organization furnishing voluntary firefighting services; (iii) any nonprofit or volunteer emergency medical services agency, within or outside the boundaries of the locality; (iv) any nonprofit recreational association or organization; (v) any nonprofit organization providing recreational or daycare services to persons 65 years of age or older; or (vi) any nonprofit association or organization furnishing services to beautify and maintain communities or to prevent neighborhood deterioration. Gifts or donations of property, real or personal, or money by any locality to any nonprofit association, recreational association, or organization described in provision (iv), (v), or (vi) may be made provided the nonprofit association, recreational association, or organization is not controlled in whole or in part by any church or sectarian society. Donations of property or money to any such charitable, nonprofit or other hospital or nursing home, institution or organization or nonprofit recreational associations or organizations may be made for construction purposes, for operating expenses, or both.

A locality may make like gifts and donations to chambers of commerce which are nonprofit and nonsectarian.

A locality may make like gifts, donations and appropriations of money to industrial development authorities for the purposes of promoting economic development.

A locality may make like gifts and donations to any and all public and private nonprofit organizations and agencies engaged in commemorating historical events.

A locality may make like gifts and donations to any nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that is engaged in providing energy efficiency services or promoting energy efficiency within or without the boundaries of the locality.

A locality may make like gifts and donations to any nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that is engaged in providing emergency relief to residents, including providing the repair or replacement of private property damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.

A locality may make like gifts and donations to nonprofit foundations established to support the locality's public parks, libraries, and law enforcement. For the purposes of this paragraph, "donations" to any such foundation shall include the lawful provision of in-kind resources.

A locality may make monetary gifts, donations, and appropriations of money to a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth that provides services to such locality's residents.

Public library materials that are discarded from their collections may be given to nonprofit organizations that support library functions, including, but not limited to, friends of the library, library advisory boards, library foundations, library trusts and library boards of trustees.

C. Any locality may make gifts and donations of personal property and may deliver such gifts and donations to another governmental entity in or outside of the Commonwealth within the United States.

D. Any locality may by ordinance provide for payment to any volunteer emergency medical services agency that meets the required minimum standards for such volunteer emergency medical services agency set forth in the ordinance a sum for each rescue call the volunteer emergency medical services agency makes for an automobile accident in which a person has been injured on any of the highways or streets in the locality. In addition, unless otherwise prohibited by law, any locality may make appropriations of money to volunteer fire companies or any volunteer emergency medical services agency in an amount sufficient to enroll any qualified member of such volunteer fire company or emergency medical services agency in any program available within the locality intended to defray out-of-pocket expenses for transportation by an emergency medical services vehicle.

E. For the purposes of this section, "donations" shall include the lawful provision of in-kind resources for any event sponsored by the donee and, with respect to any association or other organization furnishing voluntary firefighting services or a nonprofit or volunteer emergency medical services agency, the provision of in-kind resources for contract management services for capital projects; assistance in preparing requests for information, bids, or proposals; and budgeting services.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to obligate any locality to appropriate funds to any entity. Such charitable contribution shall be voluntary.

Code 1950, §§ 15-16, 15-16.1, 15-16.2; 1952, c. 381; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 36; 1960, cc. 50, 225, 453; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-24, 15.1-25, 15.1-26; 1964, c. 32; 1974, c. 514; 1994, cc. 254, 317; 1995, c. 333; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 376; 1999, c. 430; 2003, c. 182; 2004, c. 272; 2005, c. 327; 2006, c. 118; 2007, cc. 292, 592, 641; 2008, cc. 612, 632; 2010, cc. 509, 600; 2014, c. 711; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, cc. 439, 440.

§ 15.2-954. Loans to volunteer firefighting and rescue organizations.

Any locality may make loans of money appropriated from public funds to any nonprofit organization furnishing firefighting or rescue services for the construction of facilities or the acquisition of equipment that is to be used for the purpose of providing firefighting or rescue services.

1990, c. 125, § 15.1-24.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-954.1. Volunteer firefighter or volunteer emergency medical services personnel tuition reimbursement.

Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, any locality may by ordinance establish and administer a tuition reimbursement program for eligible volunteer firefighters or volunteer emergency medical services personnel, or both, for the purposes of recruitment and retention.

2003, c. 208; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-955. Approval by local governing body for the establishment of volunteer emergency medical services agencies and firefighting organizations.

A. No volunteer emergency medical services agency or volunteer firefighting organization shall be established in any locality on or after July 1, 1984, without the prior approval by resolution of the governing body.

B. Each locality shall seek to ensure that emergency medical services are maintained throughout the entire locality.

1984, c. 599, § 15.1-26.01; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 418; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-956. Participation in certain federal development programs.

A. Any locality may participate in a program under Title I (Community Development) of the United States Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 or any other federal legislation or program under which the locality may receive and use or administer the use of federal funds for housing, community development or economic development purposes. Any such locality may undertake the community development activities specified in such legislation or programs unless such activities are prohibited by the Constitution of Virginia. Any locality may appropriate its own moneys for the same purposes for which federal funds may be employed under the provisions of such federal legislation or program unless prohibited by the Constitution of Virginia. Any federal funds, or portion thereof, received by a locality under such legislation or programs may be deposited in a special fund which shall be established separate and apart from any other funds, general or special; such funds shall be deemed to be federal funds and shall not be construed to be part of the revenues of such locality.

B. Any city with a population over 100,000 which appropriates local funds pursuant to subsection A may use the income guidelines established by the Virginia Housing Development Authority for its single-family mortgage subsidy program to determine eligibility for home-ownership assistance from its local funds.

1976, c. 251, § 15.1-29.7; 1978, c. 374; 1979, c. 187; 1993, c. 380; 1995, c. 349; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-957. Participation by localities in certain leasing programs.

Any locality may participate in a program under § 8 (Housing Assistance Payments Program) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended, on behalf of eligible families or eligible persons leasing privately owned housing directly from owners or private leaseholders. Any such locality may also appropriate its own money for the same purposes for which federal funds may be employed under the provisions of such federal legislation as well as for the purpose of increasing the payments to eligible families or eligible persons beyond federally approved levels when the fair market rent of the rental unit is greater than that established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

If any power granted in the foregoing paragraph is held invalid, the other remaining power shall not be affected thereby. If the application of the power granted in the foregoing paragraph to any persons or circumstances is held invalid, the application of the power to other persons shall not be affected thereby. Nothing in the foregoing powers granted localities includes the authority to pledge the full faith and credit of such locality in violation of Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.

1975, c. 534, § 15.1-29.6; 1976, c. 154; 1978, c. 592; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-958. Local funding for repair or production of low and moderate income rental property or repair of residential property; other housing experiments.

It is hereby declared that the preservation of existing housing in safe and sanitary condition and the production of new housing for persons of low and moderate income are public purposes and uses for which public money may be spent, and that such preservation and production are governmental functions of concern to the Commonwealth. Therefore, the governing body of any locality may provide by ordinance that such locality may make grants or loans to owners of residential rental property occupied, or to be occupied, following rehabilitation or after construction if new, by persons of low and moderate income, for the purpose of rehabilitating or producing such property. Owners assisted in this manner must provide a minimum of 20 percent of the units for low and moderate income persons as defined by the locality for a minimum of 10 years. Participation by an owner under this section is voluntary.

Any locality in the ordinance herein authorized may:

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

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

3. Require that the owner agree to maintain a portion of the property in residential rental use for a period longer than ten years and that a portion of the dwelling units in the property be offered at rents affordable to persons or families of low and moderate income;

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

5. Make loans or grants of local funds to individuals for the purpose of rehabilitating owner-occupied residences or assisting in the purchase of an owner-occupied residence in designated conservation or rehabilitation districts. The locality shall publish annually a report listing the property purchased or rehabilitated pursuant to this provision and the amounts of any grants or loans made for such purpose. Such ordinance shall require that any such loans or grants be applied using the income guidelines issued by the Virginia Housing Development Authority for use in its single family mortgage loan program financed with bonds on which the interest is exempt from federal income taxation. The locality shall offer financial institutions as defined in § 6.2-604 the opportunity to participate in local loan programs established pursuant to this subsection.

1988, c. 862, § 15.1-37.3:9; 1993, c. 791; 1995, c. 393; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 580.

§ 15.2-958.1. Sale of certain property in certain cities.

A. The City of Richmond may by ordinance provide for the sale of property for the nominal amount of one dollar if such property (i) has been acquired in accordance with § 58.1-3970 or § 58.1-3970.1 or (ii) has been declared a blighted structure and has been acquired by the city in accordance with § 36-49.1:1.

B. If the city sells a property acquired under subsection A, the city shall require any purchaser by covenants in the deed or other security instrument to (i) begin repair or renovation of the property within six months of purchase and (ii) complete all repairs or renovations necessary to bring the property into compliance with the local building code within a period not to exceed two years of the purchase. The city may include any additional reasonable conditions it deems appropriate in order to carry out the intent of this section and assure that the property is repaired or renovated in accordance with applicable codes.

C. A "blighted structure" means a structure as defined in § 36-49. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, such city may exercise within its boundaries any spot blight abatement procedures set forth in § 36-49.1:1. The owner shall have the opportunity to take corrective action or present a reasonable plan to do so in accordance with such section.

2000, c. 364; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-958.2. Grants for homeownership; workforce housing.

A. In order to ensure its competitiveness as an employer, a locality may, by ordinance, provide for the use of funds, other than state funds, to provide homeownership grants to employees of the locality, employees of the school board and employees of constitutional officers, to purchase their primary residences in the locality. The ordinance shall require that individual grants not exceed $25,000 per employee, nor lifetime cumulative grants exceed $25,000 per employee. Any such grants issued shall be subject to the Virginia Housing and Development Authority regional sales price and household income limitations. The ordinance may establish such other terms and conditions to ensure the integrity of the homeownership grant program.

B. In addition to the homeownership grants authorized in subsection A, a locality may by ordinance, and in cooperation with the local school division, offer residential housing assistance grants in amounts not to exceed those permitted in subsection A and, with the local school division, enter into public-private partnerships and other arrangements to provide affordable workforce housing alternatives to school division personnel.

2004, c. 541; 2007, cc. 578, 674; 2009, c. 198.

§ 15.2-958.2:01. Grants for certain corporations and pass-through entities.

A. The counties and cities listed in subsection B may give grants or loans to any eligible company, as defined in § 58.1-405.1.

B. The counties and cities that may give grants pursuant to subsection A are:

1. The Counties of Alleghany, Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Page, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe and the Cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton;

2. The Counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward and the Cities of Danville and Martinsville;

3. The Counties of Accomack, Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland; and

4. The Counties of Brunswick and Dinwiddie and the City of Petersburg.

2018, cc. 801, 802; 2019, cc. 262, 263.

§ 15.2-958.3. (Effective until October 1, 2021) Financing clean energy, resiliency, and stormwater management programs.

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, authorize contracts to provide loans for the initial acquisition and installation of clean energy, resiliency, or stormwater management improvements with free and willing property owners of both existing properties and new construction, provided, however, that such loans may not be used to improve a residential dwelling with fewer than five dwelling units or a residential condominium as defined in § 55.1-2000. Such an ordinance shall include the following:

1. The kinds of renewable energy production and distribution facilities, energy usage efficiency improvements, resiliency improvements, water usage efficiency improvements, or stormwater management improvements for which loans may be offered. Resiliency improvements may include mitigation of flooding or the impacts of flooding or stormwater management improvements with a preference for natural or nature-based features and living shorelines as defined in § 28.2-104.1;

2. The proposed arrangement for such loan program, including (i) a statement concerning the source of funding that will be used to pay for work performed pursuant to the contracts; (ii) the time period during which contracting property owners would repay the loan; and (iii) the method of apportioning all or any portion of the costs incidental to financing, administration, and collection of the arrangement among the consenting property owners and the locality;

3. (i) A minimum dollar amount that may be financed with respect to a property, (ii) if a locality or other public body is originating the loans, a maximum aggregate dollar amount that may be financed with respect to loans originated by the locality or other public body, and (iii) provisions that the loan program may approve a loan application submitted within two years of the locality's issuance of a certificate of occupancy or other evidence that the clean energy, resiliency, or stormwater management improvements comply substantially with the plans and specifications previously approved by the locality and that such loan may refinance or reimburse the property owner for the total costs of such improvements;

4. In the case of a loan program described in clause (ii) of subdivision 3, a method for setting requests from property owners for financing in priority order in the event that requests appear likely to exceed the authorization amount of the loan program. Priority shall be given to those requests from property owners who meet established income or assessed property value eligibility requirements;

5. Identification of a local official authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of the locality. A locality may contract with a third party for professional services to administer such loan program;

6. Identification of any fee that the locality intends to impose on the property owner requesting to participate in the loan program to offset the cost of administering the loan program. The fee may be assessed as a program fee paid by the property owner requesting to participate in the program; and

7. A draft contract specifying the terms and conditions proposed by the locality.

B. The locality may combine the loan payments required by the contracts with billings for water or sewer charges, real property tax assessments, or other billings; in such cases, the locality may establish the order in which loan payments will be applied to the different charges. The locality may not combine its billings for loan payments required by a contract authorized pursuant to this section with billings of another locality or political subdivision, including an authority operating pursuant to Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.), unless such locality or political subdivision has given its consent by duly adopted resolution or ordinance.

C. The locality shall offer private lending institutions the opportunity to participate in local loan programs established pursuant to this section.

D. In order to secure the loan authorized pursuant to this section, the locality shall place a voluntary special assessment lien equal in value to the loan against any property where such clean energy systems, resiliency improvements, or stormwater management improvements are being installed. The locality may bundle or package said loans for transfer to private lenders in such a manner that would allow the voluntary special assessment liens to remain in full force to secure the loans. The placement of a voluntary special assessment lien shall not require a new assessment on the value of the real property that is being improved under the loan program.

E. A voluntary special assessment lien on real property:

1. Shall have the same priority status as a property tax lien against real property, except that such voluntary special assessment lien shall have priority over any previously recorded mortgage or deed of trust lien only if (i) a written subordination agreement, in a form and substance acceptable to each prior lienholder in its sole and exclusive discretion, is executed by the holder of each mortgage or deed of trust lien on the property and recorded with the special assessment lien in the land records where the property is located, and (ii) evidence that the property owner is current on payments on loans secured by a mortgage or deed of trust lien on the property and on property tax payments, that the property owner is not insolvent or in bankruptcy proceedings, and that the title of the benefited property is not in dispute is submitted to the locality prior to recording of the special assessment lien;

2. Shall run with the land, and that portion of the assessment under the assessment contract that has not yet become due is not eliminated by foreclosure of a property tax lien;

3. May be enforceable by the local government in the same manner that a property tax lien against real property may be enforced by the local government. A local government shall be entitled to recover costs and expenses, including attorney fees, in a suit to collect a delinquent installment of an assessment in the same manner as in a suit to collect a delinquent property tax; and

4. May incur interest and penalties for delinquent installments of the assessment in the same manner as delinquent property taxes.

F. Prior to the enactment of an ordinance pursuant to this section, a public hearing shall be held at which interested persons may object to or inquire about the proposed loan program or any of its particulars. The public hearing shall be advertised once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality.

G. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy shall serve as a statewide sponsor for a clean energy financing program that meets the requirements of this section. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy shall engage a private entity through a competitive selection process to develop and administer the program.

2009, c. 773; 2010, c. 141; 2015, cc. 389, 427; 2019, cc. 564, 753; 2020, c. 664; 2021, c. 6.

§ 15.2-958.3. (Effective October 1, 2021) Financing clean energy, resiliency, and stormwater management programs.

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, authorize contracts to provide loans for the initial acquisition and installation of clean energy, resiliency, or stormwater management improvements with free and willing property owners of both existing properties and new construction, provided, however, that such loans may not be used to improve a residential dwelling with fewer than five dwelling units or a residential condominium as defined in § 55.1-2000. Such an ordinance shall include the following:

1. The kinds of renewable energy production and distribution facilities, energy usage efficiency improvements, resiliency improvements, water usage efficiency improvements, or stormwater management improvements for which loans may be offered. Resiliency improvements may include mitigation of flooding or the impacts of flooding or stormwater management improvements with a preference for natural or nature-based features and living shorelines as defined in § 28.2-104.1;

2. The proposed arrangement for such loan program, including (i) a statement concerning the source of funding that will be used to pay for work performed pursuant to the contracts; (ii) the time period during which contracting property owners would repay the loan; and (iii) the method of apportioning all or any portion of the costs incidental to financing, administration, and collection of the arrangement among the consenting property owners and the locality;

3. (i) A minimum dollar amount that may be financed with respect to a property, (ii) if a locality or other public body is originating the loans, a maximum aggregate dollar amount that may be financed with respect to loans originated by the locality or other public body, and (iii) provisions that the loan program may approve a loan application submitted within two years of the locality's issuance of a certificate of occupancy or other evidence that the clean energy, resiliency, or stormwater management improvements comply substantially with the plans and specifications previously approved by the locality and that such loan may refinance or reimburse the property owner for the total costs of such improvements;

4. In the case of a loan program described in clause (ii) of subdivision 3, a method for setting requests from property owners for financing in priority order in the event that requests appear likely to exceed the authorization amount of the loan program. Priority shall be given to those requests from property owners who meet established income or assessed property value eligibility requirements;

5. Identification of a local official authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of the locality. A locality may contract with a third party for professional services to administer such loan program;

6. Identification of any fee that the locality intends to impose on the property owner requesting to participate in the loan program to offset the cost of administering the loan program. The fee may be assessed as a program fee paid by the property owner requesting to participate in the program; and

7. A draft contract specifying the terms and conditions proposed by the locality.

B. The locality may combine the loan payments required by the contracts with billings for water or sewer charges, real property tax assessments, or other billings; in such cases, the locality may establish the order in which loan payments will be applied to the different charges. The locality may not combine its billings for loan payments required by a contract authorized pursuant to this section with billings of another locality or political subdivision, including an authority operating pursuant to Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.), unless such locality or political subdivision has given its consent by duly adopted resolution or ordinance.

C. The locality shall offer private lending institutions the opportunity to participate in local loan programs established pursuant to this section.

D. In order to secure the loan authorized pursuant to this section, the locality shall place a voluntary special assessment lien equal in value to the loan against any property where such clean energy systems, resiliency improvements, or stormwater management improvements are being installed. The locality may bundle or package said loans for transfer to private lenders in such a manner that would allow the voluntary special assessment liens to remain in full force to secure the loans. The placement of a voluntary special assessment lien shall not require a new assessment on the value of the real property that is being improved under the loan program.

E. A voluntary special assessment lien on real property:

1. Shall have the same priority status as a property tax lien against real property, except that such voluntary special assessment lien shall have priority over any previously recorded mortgage or deed of trust lien only if (i) a written subordination agreement, in a form and substance acceptable to each prior lienholder in its sole and exclusive discretion, is executed by the holder of each mortgage or deed of trust lien on the property and recorded with the special assessment lien in the land records where the property is located, and (ii) evidence that the property owner is current on payments on loans secured by a mortgage or deed of trust lien on the property and on property tax payments, that the property owner is not insolvent or in bankruptcy proceedings, and that the title of the benefited property is not in dispute is submitted to the locality prior to recording of the special assessment lien;

2. Shall run with the land, and that portion of the assessment under the assessment contract that has not yet become due is not eliminated by foreclosure of a property tax lien;

3. May be enforceable by the local government in the same manner that a property tax lien against real property may be enforced by the local government. A local government shall be entitled to recover costs and expenses, including attorney fees, in a suit to collect a delinquent installment of an assessment in the same manner as in a suit to collect a delinquent property tax; and

4. May incur interest and penalties for delinquent installments of the assessment in the same manner as delinquent property taxes.

F. Prior to the enactment of an ordinance pursuant to this section, a public hearing shall be held at which interested persons may object to or inquire about the proposed loan program or any of its particulars. The public hearing shall be advertised once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality.

G. The Department of Energy shall serve as a statewide sponsor for a clean energy financing program that meets the requirements of this section. The Department of Energy shall engage a private entity through a competitive selection process to develop and administer the program.

2009, c. 773; 2010, c. 141; 2015, cc. 389, 427; 2019, cc. 564, 753; 2020, c. 664; 2021, c. 6; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 532.

§ 15.2-958.3:1. Local green banks.

A. As used in this section, "clean energy technologies" means energy resources and emerging technologies that have significant potential for commercialization and do not involve (i) the combustion of coal, petroleum or petroleum products, or municipal solid waste or (ii) nuclear fission. "Clean energy technologies" includes renewable energy sources, projects, and infrastructure; energy efficiency projects; alternative fuels used for electricity generation; alternative fuel vehicles and related infrastructure such as electric vehicle charging station infrastructure; and smart grid.

B. Any locality may, by ordinance, establish a green bank to promote the investment in clean energy technologies in its locality and provide financing for clean energy technologies. Such ordinance may include the following functions for a green bank:

1. Finance investment or financial support of investment in clean energy technologies to foster the growth and development of renewable energy sources;

2. Stimulate the demand for renewable energy and the deployment of clean energy technologies that serve end-use customers;

3. Before making any loan, loan guarantee, or other form of financing support for clean energy technologies, develop rules, policies, and procedures to specify borrower eligibility and any other term or condition of financial support;

4. Provide financing or financial support for clean energy technologies;

5. Develop consumer protection standards for investments to ensure that the green bank and its partners are lending in a transparent and responsible manner that is in the financial interests of the borrowers; and

6. Undertake any other activity as needed to support the mission of the green bank.

C. In establishing a green bank, the locality shall determine whether the green bank will be a public entity, quasi-public entity, depository bank, or nonprofit entity.

D. The locality shall offer private lending institutions the opportunity to participate in the green bank established pursuant to this section.

E. Prior to the adoption of any ordinance pursuant to this section, the locality shall conduct a public hearing at which interested persons may object to or inquire about the proposed green bank or any of its particulars. The public hearing shall be advertised once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 405.

§ 15.2-958.4. Waiver of certain fees for affordable housing.

A. A locality may by ordinance provide for the waiver of building permit fees and other local fees associated with the construction, renovation, or rehabilitation of housing by a § 501(c)(3) organization with a primary purpose of assisting with the provision of affordable housing.

B. A locality may by ordinance provide for the waiver of building permit fees and other local fees associated with the construction, renovation, or rehabilitation of housing by a private-sector entity that is pursuing an affordable housing development. For purposes of this subsection, a locality may determine in its ordinance what constitutes affordable housing and may set other conditions on the waiver of fees as it deems appropriate.

2009, c. 799; 2019, c. 393.

§ 15.2-958.5. Local funding for community revitalization.

A. The City of Richmond may by ordinance provide for the creation of a community revitalization fund for the purpose of preventing neighborhood deterioration. The community revitalization fund shall be exclusively comprised of appropriated local moneys.

B. Any such community fund established pursuant to this section shall be used for one or more of the following purposes:

1. Loans or grants to for-profit and nonprofit organizations for the construction, renovation, or demolition of residential structures in the City;

2. Infrastructure improvements; and

3. Acquisition of blighted structures in accordance with § 36-49.1:1.

C. Such ordinance shall establish (i) qualifying income guidelines for participants and the communities in which community revitalization funds may be expended and (ii) criteria for participation by for-profit and nonprofit organizations that may be eligible for loans or grants pursuant to the provisions of this section.

2011, cc. 770, 833.

§ 15.2-958.6. Financing the repair of failed septic systems.

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, authorize contracts with property owners to provide loans for the repair of septic systems. Such an ordinance shall state:

1. The kinds of septic system repairs for which loans may be offered;

2. The proposed arrangement for such loan program, including (i) the interest rate and time period during which contracting property owners shall repay the loan; (ii) the method of apportioning all or any portion of the costs incidental to financing, administration, and collection of the arrangement among the consenting property owners and the locality; and (iii) the possibility that the locality may partner with a planning district commission (PDC) to coordinate and provide financing for the repairs, including the locality's obligation to reimburse the PDC as the loan is repaid;

3. A minimum and maximum aggregate dollar amount that may be financed;

4. A method for setting requests from property owners for financing in priority order in the event that requests appear likely to exceed the authorization amount of the loan program. Priority shall be given to those requests from property owners who meet established income or assessed property value eligibility requirements;

5. Identification of a local official authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of the locality; and

6. A draft contract specifying the terms and conditions proposed by the locality or by a PDC acting on behalf of the locality.

B. The locality may combine the loan payments required by the contracts with billings for water or sewer charges, real property tax assessments, or other billings; in such cases, the locality may establish the order in which loan payments will be applied to the different charges. The locality may not combine its billings for loan payments required by a contract authorized pursuant to this section with billings of another locality or political subdivision, including an authority operating pursuant to Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.), unless such locality or political subdivision has given its consent by duly adopted resolution or ordinance.

C. In cases in which local property records fail to identify all of the individuals having an ownership interest in a property containing a failing septic system, the locality may set a minimum total ownership interest that it will require a property owner or owners to prove before it will allow the owner or owners to participate in the program.

D. The locality or PDC acting on behalf of the locality shall offer private lending institutions the opportunity to participate in local loan programs established pursuant to this section.

E. In order to secure the loan authorized pursuant to this section, the locality is authorized to place a lien equal in value to the loan against any property where such septic system repair is being undertaken. Such liens shall be subordinate to all liens on the property as of the date loans authorized pursuant to this section are made, except that with the prior written consent of the holders of all liens on the property as of the date loans authorized pursuant to this section are made, the liens securing loans authorized pursuant to this section shall be liens on the property ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid local taxes. The locality may bundle or package such loans for transfer to private lenders in such a manner that would allow the liens to remain in full force to secure the loans.

F. Prior to the enactment of an ordinance pursuant to this section, a public hearing shall be held at which interested persons may object to or inquire about the proposed loan program or any of its particulars. The public hearing shall be advertised once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality.

2013, c. 185.

§ 15.2-959. Housing research.

Any locality which does not have a redevelopment and housing authority as authorized by Chapter 1 (§ 36-1 et seq.) of Title 36, shall be authorized to engage in research, studies, and experimentation in housing alternatives, including the rehabilitation of existing housing stock and the construction of additional housing.

1988, c. 862, § 15.1-37.3:9; 1993, c. 791; 1995, c. 393; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-960. Planting of trees destroyed during construction.

Any locality may establish reasonable rules, regulations, and schedules for planting trees in and along areas dedicated for public use where trees have been destroyed in the construction process. This provision shall not affect the validity of any local ordinance adopted pursuant to any other provision of law.

1986, c. 183, § 15.1-14.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-961. Replacement of trees during development process in certain localities.

A. Any locality with a population density of at least 75 persons per square mile or any locality within the Chesapeake Bay watershed may adopt an ordinance providing for the planting and replacement of trees during the development process pursuant to the provisions of this section. Population density shall be based upon the latest population estimates of the Cooper Center for Public Service of the University of Virginia.

B. The ordinance shall require that the site plan for any subdivision or development include the planting or replacement of trees on the site to the extent that, at 20 years, minimum tree canopies or covers will be provided in areas to be designated in the ordinance, as follows:

1. Ten percent tree canopy for a site zoned business, commercial, or industrial;

2. Ten percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned 20 or more units per acre;

3. Fifteen percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned more than 10 but less than 20 units per acre; and

4. Twenty percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned 10 units or less per acre.

However, the City of Williamsburg may require at 10 years the minimum tree canopies or covers set out above.

C. The ordinance shall require that the site plan for any subdivision or development include, at 20 years, that a minimum 10 percent tree canopy will be provided on the site of any cemetery as defined in § 54.1-2310, notwithstanding any other provision of this section. In no event shall any local tree replacement or planting ordinance adopted pursuant to this section exceed the requirements of this subsection.

D. The ordinance shall provide for reasonable provisions for reducing the tree canopy requirements or granting tree cover credit in consideration of the preservation of existing tree cover or for preservation of trees of outstanding age, size or physical characteristics.

E. The ordinance shall provide for reasonable exceptions to or deviations from these requirements to allow for the reasonable development of farm land or other areas devoid of healthy or suitable woody materials, for the preservation of wetlands, or otherwise when the strict application of the requirements would result in unnecessary or unreasonable hardship to the developer. In such instances, the ordinance may provide for a tree canopy bank whereby a portion of a development's tree canopy requirement may be met from off-site planting or replacement of trees at the direction of the locality. The following shall be exempt from the requirements of any tree replacement or planting ordinance promulgated under this section: dedicated school sites, playing fields and other nonwooded recreation areas, and other facilities and uses of a similar nature.

F. The ordinance may designate tree species that cannot be planted to meet minimum tree canopy requirements due to tendencies of such species to (i) negatively impact native plant communities, (ii) cause damage to nearby structures and infrastructure, or (iii) possess inherent physiological traits that cause such trees to structurally fail. All trees to be planted shall meet the specifications of the AmericanHort. The planting of trees shall be done in accordance with either the standardized landscape specifications jointly adopted by the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers and the Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, or the road and bridge specifications of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

G. Existing trees which are to be preserved may be included to meet all or part of the canopy requirements, and may include wooded preserves, if the site plan identifies such trees and the trees meet standards of desirability and life-year expectancy which the locality may establish.

H. For purposes of this section:

"Tree canopy" or "tree cover" includes all areas of coverage by plant material exceeding five feet in height, and the extent of planted tree canopy at 10 or 20 years maturity. Planted canopy at 10 or 20 years maturity shall be based on published reference texts generally accepted by landscape architects, nurserymen, and arborists in the community, and the texts shall be specified in the ordinance.

I. Penalties for violations of ordinances adopted pursuant to this section shall be the same as those applicable to violations of zoning ordinances of the locality.

J. In no event shall any local tree replacement or planting ordinance adopted pursuant to this section exceed the requirements set forth herein.

K. Nothing in this section shall invalidate any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section prior to July 1, 1990, which imposes standards for tree replacement or planting during the development process.

L. Nothing in this section shall invalidate any local ordinance adopted by the City of Williamsburg that imposes standards for 10-year-minimum tree cover replacement or planting during the development process.

M. Nothing in this section shall invalidate any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section after July 1, 1990, which imposes standards for 20-year-minimum tree cover replacement or planting during the development process.

1989, c. 715, § 15.1-14.2; 1990, c. 362; 1994, c. 420; 1997, c. 587; 2002, cc. 191, 226; 2003, c. 875; 2007, c. 813; 2013, c. 248; 2018, c. 399.

§ 15.2-961.1. Conservation of trees during land development process in localities belonging to a nonattainment area for air quality standards.

A. For purposes of this section, "tree canopy" or "tree cover" includes all areas of canopy coverage by self-supporting and healthy woody plant material exceeding five feet in height, and the extent of planted tree canopy at 20-years maturity.

B. Any locality within Planning District 8 that meets the population density criteria of subsection A of § 15.2-961 and is classified as an eight-hour nonattainment area for ozone under the federal Clean Air Act and Amendments of 1990, in effect as of July 1, 2008, may adopt an ordinance providing for the conservation of trees during the land development process pursuant to the provisions of this section. In no event shall any local tree conservation ordinance adopted pursuant to this section also impose the tree replacement provisions of § 15.2-961.

C. The ordinance shall require that the site plan for any subdivision or development provide for the preservation or replacement of trees on the development site such that the minimum tree canopy or tree cover percentage 20 years after development is projected to be as follows:

1. Ten percent tree canopy for a site zoned business, commercial, or industrial;

2. Ten percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned 20 or more units per acre;

3. Fifteen percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned more than eight but less than 20 units per acre;

4. Twenty percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned more than four but not more than eight units per acre;

5. Twenty-five percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned more than two but not more than four units per acre; and

6. Thirty percent tree canopy for a residential site zoned two or fewer units per acre.

In meeting these percentages, (i) the ordinance shall first emphasize the preservation of existing tree canopy where that canopy meets local standards for health and structural condition, and where it is feasible to do so within the framework of design standards and densities allowed by the local zoning and other development ordinances; and (ii) second, where it is not feasible in whole or in part for any of the justifications listed in subsection E to preserve existing canopy in the required percentages listed above, the ordinance shall provide for the planting of new trees to meet the required percentages.

D. Except as provided in subsection E, the percentage of the site covered by tree canopy at the time of plan submission shall equate to the minimum portion of the requirements identified in subsection C that shall be provided through tree preservation. This portion of the canopy requirements shall be identified as the "tree preservation target" and shall be included in site plan calculations or narratives demonstrating how the overall requirements of subsection C have been met.

E. The ordinance shall provide deviations, in whole or in part, from the tree preservation target defined in subsection D under the following conditions:

1. Meeting the preservation target would prevent the development of uses and densities otherwise allowed by the locality's zoning or development ordinance.

2. The predevelopment condition of vegetation does not meet the locality's standards for health and structural condition.

3. Construction activities could be reasonably expected to impact existing trees to the extent that they would not likely survive in a healthy and structurally sound manner. This includes activities that would cause direct physical damage to the trees, including root systems, or cause environmental changes that could result in or predispose the trees to structural and health problems.

If, in the opinion of the developer, the project cannot meet the tree preservation target due to the conditions described in subdivision 1, 2, or 3, the developer may request a deviation from the preservation requirement in subsection D. In the request for deviation, the developer shall provide a letter to the locality that provides justification for the deviation, describes how the deviation is the minimum necessary to afford relief, and describes how the requirements of subsection C will be met through tree planting or a tree canopy bank or fund established by the locality. Proposed deviations shall be reviewed by the locality's urban forester, arborist, or equivalent in consultation with the locality's land development or licensed professional civil engineering review staff. The locality may propose an alternative site design based upon adopted land development practices and sound vegetation management practices that take into account the relationship between the cost of conservation and the benefits of the trees to be preserved as described in ANSI A300 (Part 5) -- 2005 Management: Tree, Shrub, and Other Woody Plant Maintenance -- Standard Practices, Management of Trees and Shrubs During Site Planning, Site Development, and Construction, Annex A, A-1.5, Cost Benefits Analysis (or the latest version of this standard). The developer shall consider the alternative and redesign the plan accordingly, or elect to satisfy the unmet portion of the preservation threshold through on-site tree planting or through the off-site planting mechanisms identified in subsection G, so long as the developer provides the locality with an explanation of why the alternative design recommendations were rejected. Letters of explanation from the developer shall be prepared and certified by a licensed professional engineer as defined in § 54.1-400. If arboricultural issues are part of explanation then the letter shall be signed by a Certified Arborist who has taken and passed the certification examination sponsored by the International Society of Arboriculture and who maintains a valid certification status or by a Registered Consulting Arborist as designated by the American Society of Consulting Arborists. If arboricultural issues are the sole subject of the letter of explanation then certification by a licensed professional engineer shall not be required.

F. The ordinance shall provide for deviations of the overall canopy requirements set forth in subsection C to allow for the preservation of wetlands, the development of farm land or other areas previously devoid of healthy and/or suitable tree canopy, or where the strict application of the requirements would result in unnecessary or unreasonable hardship to the developer.

G. The ordinance shall provide for the establishment of a tree canopy bank or fund whereby any portion of the tree canopy requirement that cannot be met on-site may be met through off-site tree preservation or tree planting efforts. Such provisions may be offered where it can be demonstrated that application of the requirements of subsection C would cause irresolvable conflicts with other local site development requirements, standards, or comprehensive planning goals, where sites or portions of sites lack sufficient space for future tree growth, where planting spaces will not provide adequate space for healthy root development, where trees will cause unavoidable conflicts with underground or overhead utilities, or where it can be demonstrated that trees are likely to cause damage to public infrastructure. The ordinance may utilize any of the following off-site canopy establishment mechanisms:

1. A tree canopy bank may be established in order for the locality to facilitate off-site tree preservation, tree planting, stream bank, and riparian restoration projects. Banking efforts shall provide tree canopy that is preserved in perpetuity through conservation easements, deed restrictions, or similar protective mechanisms acceptable to the locality. Projects used in off-site banking will meet the same ordinance standards established for on-site tree canopy; however, the locality may also require the submission of five-year management plans and funds to ensure the execution of maintenance and management obligations identified in those plans. Any such bank shall occur within the same nonattainment area in which the locality approving the tree banking is situated.

2. A tree canopy fund may be established to act as a fiscal mechanism to collect, manage, and disburse fees collected from developers that cannot provide full canopy requirements on-site. The locality may use this fund directly to plant trees on public property, or the locality may elect to disburse this fund to community-based organizations exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code with tree planting or community beautification missions for tree planting programs that benefit the community at large. For purposes of establishing consistent and predictable fees, the ordinance shall establish cost units that are based on average costs to establish 20-year canopy areas using two-inch caliper nursery stock trees. Any funds collected by localities for these purposes shall be spent within a five-year period established by the collection date, or the locality shall return such funds to the original contributor, or legal successor.

H. The following uses shall be exempt from the requirements of any ordinance promulgated under this section: bona fide silvicultural activity as defined by § 10.1-1181.1 and the areas of sites included in lakes, ponds, and the normal water elevation area of stormwater retention facilities. The ordinance shall modify the canopy requirements of dedicated school sites, playing fields, and other nonwooded active recreation areas by allowing these and other facilities and uses of a similar nature to provide 10 percent tree canopy 20 years after development.

I. 1. In recognition of the added benefits of tree preservation, the ordinance shall provide for an additional tree canopy credit of up to one and one-quarter times the canopy area at the time of plan submission for individual trees or the coalesced canopy of forested areas preserved from the predevelopment tree canopy.

2. The following additional credits may be provided in the ordinance in connection with tree preservation:

a. The ordinance may provide canopy credits of up to one and one-half times the actual canopy area for the preservation of forest communities that achieve environmental, ecological, and wildlife conservation objectives set by the locality. The ordinance may establish minimal area, dimensional and viability standards as prerequisites for the application of credits. Forest communities shall be identified using the nomenclature of either the federal National Vegetation Classification System (FGDC-STD-005, or latest version) or the Natural Communities of Virginia Classification of Ecological Community Groups, Second Approximation (Version 2.2, or latest version).

b. The ordinance may provide canopy credits of up to three times the actual canopy area of trees that are officially designated for preservation in conjunction with local tree conservation ordinances based on the authority granted by § 10.1-1127.1.

J. The following additional credits shall be provided in the ordinance in connection with tree planting:

1. The ordinance shall provide canopy credits of one and one-half the area normally projected for trees planted to absorb or intercept air pollutants, tree species that produce lower levels of reactive volatile organic compounds, or trees that act to reduce air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions by conserving the energy used to cool and heat buildings.

2. The ordinance shall provide canopy credits of one and one-quarter the area normally projected for trees planted for water quality-related reforestation or afforestation projects, and for trees planted in low-impact development and bioretention water quality facilities. The low-impact development practices and designs shall conform to local standards in order for these supplemental credits to apply.

3. The ordinance shall provide canopy credits of one and one-half the area normally projected for native tree species planted to provide food, nesting, habitat, and migration opportunities for wildlife. These canopy credits may also apply to cultivars of native species if the locality determines that such a cultivar is capable of providing the same type and extent of wildlife benefit as the species it is derived from.

4. The ordinance shall provide canopy credits of one and one-half the area normally projected for use of native tree species that are propagated from seed or tissue collected within the mid-Atlantic region.

5. The ordinance shall provide canopy credits of one and one-quarter the area normally projected for the use of cultivars or varieties that develop desirable growth and structural patterns, resist decay organisms and the development of cavities, show high levels of resistance to disease or insect infestations, or exhibit high survival rates in harsh urban environments.

K. Tree preservation areas and individual trees may not receive more than one application of additional canopy credits provided in subsection I. Individual trees planted to meet these requirements may not receive more than two categories of additional canopy credits provided in subsection J. Canopy credits will only be given to trees with trunks that are fully located on the development site, or in the case of tree banking projects only to trees with trunks located fully within easements or other areas protected by deed restrictions listed in subsection G.

L. All trees planted for tree cover credits shall meet the specifications of the American Association of Nurserymen and shall be planted in accordance with the publication entitled "Tree and Shrub Planting Guidelines," published by the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

M. In order to provide higher levels of biodiversity and to minimize the spread of pests and diseases, or to limit the use of species that cause negative impacts to native plant communities, cause damage to nearby structures, or possess inherent physiological traits that prone trees to structural failure, the ordinance may designate species that cannot be used to meet tree canopy requirements or designate species that will only receive partial 20-year tree canopy credits.

N. The locality may allow the use of tree seedlings for meeting tree canopy requirements in large open spaces, low-density residential settings, or in low-impact development reforestation/afforestation projects. In these cases, the ordinance shall allow the ground surface area of seedling planting areas to equate to a 20-year canopy credit area. Tree seedling plantings will be comprised of native species and will be planted in densities that equate to 400 seedlings per acre, or in densities specified by low-impact development designs approved by the locality. The locality may set standards for seedling mortality rates and replacement procedures if unacceptable rates of mortality occur. The locality may elect to allow native woody shrubs or native woody seed mix to substitute for tree species as long as these treatments do not exceed 33 percent of the overall seedling planting area. The number of a single species may not exceed 10 percent of the overall number of trees or shrubs planted to meet the provisions of this subsection.

O. The following process shall be used to demonstrate achievement of the required percentage of tree canopy listed in subsection C:

1. The site plan shall graphically delineate the edges of predevelopment tree canopy, the proposed limits of disturbance on grading or erosion and sedimentation control plans, and the location of tree protective fencing or other tree protective devices allowed in the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook.

2. Site plans proposing modification to tree canopy requirements or claiming supplemental tree canopy credits will require a text narrative.

3. The site plan shall include the 20-year tree canopy calculations on a worksheet provided by the locality.

4. Site plans requiring tree planting shall provide a planting schedule that provides botanical and common names of trees, the number of trees being planted, the total of tree canopy area given to each species, variety or cultivars planted, total of tree canopy area that will be provided by all trees, planting sizes, and associated planting specifications. The site plan will also provide a landscape plan that delineates where the trees shall be planted.

P. The ordinance shall provide a list of commercially available tree species, varieties, and cultivars that are capable of thriving in the locality's climate and ranges of planting environments. The ordinance will also provide a 20-year tree canopy area credit for each tree. The amount of tree canopy area credited to individual tree species, varieties, and cultivars 20 years after they are planted shall be based on references published or endorsed by Virginia academic institutions such as the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and accepted by urban foresters, arborists, and horticulturalists as being accurate for the growing conditions and climate of the locality.

Q. The ordinance shall establish standards of health and structural condition of existing trees and associated plant communities to be preserved. The ordinance may also identify standards for removal of trees or portions of trees that are dead, dying, or hazardous due to construction impacts. Such removal standards may allow for the retention of trunk snags where the locality determines that these may provide habitat or other wildlife benefits and do not represent a hazardous condition. In the event that existing tree canopy proposed to be preserved for tree canopy credits dies or must be removed because it represents a hazard, the locality may require the developer to remove the tree, or a portion of the tree and to replace the missing canopy area by the planting of nursery stock trees, or if a viable alternative, by tree seedlings. Existing trees that have been granted credits will be replaced with canopy area determined using the same supplemental credit multipliers as originally granted for that canopy area.

R. Penalties for violation of ordinances adopted pursuant to this section shall be the same as those applicable to violations of zoning ordinances of the locality.

S. In no event shall any local tree conservation ordinance adopted pursuant to this section exceed the requirements set forth herein; however, any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the provisions of § 15.2-961 prior to July 1, 1990, may adopt the tree conservation provisions of this section based on 10-year minimum tree canopy requirements.

T. Nothing in this section shall invalidate any local ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-961.

2008, cc. 333, 711.

§ 15.2-961.2. Conservation of trees; notice of infill lot grading plan.

An ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-961.1 may allow a locality to post signs on private property that is proposed to be redeveloped with one single-family home that notify the public that an infill lot grading plan is pending for review before the locality. The locality may not require the applicant to be responsible for such posting. The failure to post the property shall not be a ground for denial of such grading plan.

2016, cc. 317, 412.

§ 15.2-962. Authority to require a unified geographic information system for a locality.

Any locality may by ordinance require that any or all of its agencies, departments, authorities, committees, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions participate in one or more unified or centralized systems for geographic information, mapping, surveying, or land information. The ordinance may establish such conditions as may be necessary to develop, maintain, and operate any such system for geographic information, mapping, surveying, or land information.

1992, c. 39, § 15.1-11.7; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-963. Local offices of consumer affairs; establishment; powers and duties.

Any county or city may, by ordinance, establish a local office of consumer affairs that shall have only such powers as may be necessary to perform the following duties:

1. To serve as a central coordinating agency and clearinghouse for receiving and investigating complaints of illegal, fraudulent, deceptive, or dangerous practices occurring in such county or city, and referring such complaints to the local departments or agencies charged with enforcement of consumer laws. The processing of complaints involving statutes or regulations administered by state agencies shall be coordinated, where applicable, with the Division of Consumer Counsel of the Department of Law;

2. To attempt to resolve complaints received pursuant to subdivision 1 by means of voluntary mediation or arbitration that may involve the creation of written agreements to resolve individual complaints between complainants and respondents to complaints;

3. To develop programs of community consumer education and information; and

4. To maintain records of consumer complaints and their eventual disposition, provided that records disclosing the business interests of any person, trade secrets, or the names of customers shall be held confidential except to the extent that disclosures of such matters may be necessary for the enforcement of laws. A copy of all periodic reports compiled by any local office of consumer affairs shall be filed with the Division of Consumer Counsel of the Department of Law.

1974, c. 644, § 15.1-23.2; 1987, c. 463; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 194; 2013, c. 24.

§ 15.2-964. Organization of local human services activities; authorization of reorganization by Governor.

A. Any city or county may prepare and submit to the Governor a plan to reorganize the governmental structures or administrative procedures and systems of human resources agencies should provisions of law or the rules, regulations and standards of any state agency prohibit or restrict the implementation of such a reorganization. The plan shall set forth the proposed reorganization and the provisions of law or the rules, regulations or standards that prohibit or restrict the implementation of such proposed reorganization.

B. The Governor shall prepare, and provide to those counties and cities which request them, guidelines for the preparation and submission to him of reorganization plans by a city or county. The Governor may consider only those reorganization plans adopted by resolution of the governing body of the city or county applying for approval to reorganize its human services agencies.

C. The several state boards and commissions which are empowered to promulgate rules, regulations and guidelines affecting the organization or administration of local human service agencies are hereby authorized to modify their respective rules, regulations and guidelines at the direction of the Governor in furtherance of any reorganization plan approved by him.

D. If a provision or provisions of law prohibit or restrict the implementation of all or part of such reorganization plan the Governor shall transmit such plan or such parts of such plan affected by such laws to each House of the General Assembly at least 45 days prior to the commencement of a regular or special session of the General Assembly. Such plan or portions of such plan so transmitted by the Governor under this section shall not become effective unless it is introduced by bill and enacted into law.

E. The plan or such portions of the plan transmitted by the Governor to the General Assembly shall set forth: (i) the provision or provisions of law that prohibit or restrict the implementation of such plan or parts of such plan; (ii) the changes in governmental structure or administrative procedure system of the human resources agencies affected; and (iii) the anticipated effects of such changes upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the agencies affected.

F. Any reorganization authorized under the provision of this section shall be implemented within appropriations or other funds which may be made available to the city or county requesting such reorganization approval.

G. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to permit a city or county to eliminate the provision of any service required by law or to reduce the level of service below any level required by law.

H. The localities shall be required to maintain financial and statistical records in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Governor so as to allow responsible state agencies to review records and determine costs for programs for which the agency is responsible.

I. For the purposes of this section the term "human resource agencies" means agencies that deliver social, employment, health, mental health and developmental, rehabilitation, nursing, or information and referral services and such other related services.

1978, c. 832, § 15.1-36.2; 1983, c. 352; 1997, c. 587; 2012, cc. 476, 507.

§ 15.2-965. Human rights ordinances and commissions.

A. Any locality may enact an ordinance, not inconsistent with nor more stringent than any applicable state law, prohibiting discrimination in housing, 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.

B. The locality may enact an ordinance establishing a local commission on human rights that shall have the powers and duties granted by the Virginia Human Rights Act (§ 2.2-3900 et seq.).

C. As used in this section:

"Gender identity" means the gender-related identity, appearance, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth.

"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.

"Sexual orientation" means a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality.

1987, c. 569, § 15.1-37.3:8; 1997, cc. 404, 587; 2020, cc. 131, 1137, 1140; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 477, 478.

§ 15.2-965.1. Participation of small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses.

A. Any locality may enact an ordinance providing that whenever there exists (i) a rational basis for small business enhancement, or (ii) a persuasive analysis that documents a statistically significant disparity between the availability and utilization of women-owned and minority-owned businesses, the chief executive of the local governing entity shall be authorized and encouraged to require implementation of appropriate enhancement and remedial measures consistent with prevailing law.

B. A small, women-owned, or minority-owned business that is certified by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity pursuant to § 2.2-1606 shall not be required by any locality to obtain any additional certification to participate in any program designed to enhance the participation of such businesses as vendors or to remedy any documented disparity.

2004, cc. 865, 891; 2006, cc. 831, 921; 2009, c. 869; 2013, c. 482.

§ 15.2-965.2. Enhancement of micro-business participation in local procurement.

A. Any locality may enact an ordinance to enhance micro-business participation in local government procurement practices. Such measures may include special designation of local micro-businesses, providing technical support to micro-businesses, setting target goals for micro-business participation in the local procurement process, and other reasonable measures intended to promote micro-business participation in the locality.

B. For purposes of this section, "micro-business" means a small, women-owned, or minority-owned business with no more than 25 employees.

2020, c. 1123.

§ 15.2-966. Establishment and operation of educational television stations.

Any locality may provide for the establishment, ownership, maintenance and operation of educational television stations within or outside the locality. The operation of any such station shall be under the direction of the school board of the locality establishing the station.

The facilities of any such station may be made available to any educational institution upon terms as may be agreed upon by the operating board of the station and the governing body of the institution.

Code 1950, § 15-15.3; 1960, c. 533; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-23; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-966.1. Establishment of primary health care facility for employees of locality.

Any locality may establish and operate a primary care health care facility for the locality's employees and covered dependents. Such facility may provide vision and dental care in addition to medical services.

2019, c. 505.

§ 15.2-967. Parking facilities.

Any locality may provide off-street automobile parking facilities and open them to the public, with or without charge, and when any locality constructs or has constructed any such facility, it may lease space therein for private commercial purposes which are necessary for sound fiscal management of the parking facility or which space is not suitable for parking.

Code 1950, § 15-6; 1960, c. 528; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-14; 1970, c. 453; 1973, c. 402; 1990, c. 58; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-967.1. Regulation of certain transportation services.

A local transportation service that operates as a nonprofit organization and that primarily serves senior citizens and disabled citizens shall be exempted from any local license tax imposed upon taxicab services and other for-hire transportation services.

2010, c. 556.

§ 15.2-967.2. Electric vehicle charging stations.

Any locality may locate and operate a retail fee-based electric vehicle charging station on property the locality owns or leases. A locality may provide that the use of such station is restricted to employees of the locality and authorized visitors and may install signage that provides notice of such restriction.

2018, cc. 295, 446.

§ 15.2-968. Regulation of parking of vehicles within boundaries of state-supported institutions.

Any county or city may, upon request of the governing body of any state-supported institution lying wholly or partially within the county or city, regulate the parking of motor vehicles and all other vehicles on the roads, streets, alleys, grounds and other areas within such portions of the boundaries of such institution as lie within the county or city.

Any city adopting an ordinance pursuant to this section may provide in the ordinance that regulations made pursuant to this section shall be enforced by persons appointed under § 19.2-13. No penalty for the violation of any such ordinance shall exceed a fine of twenty dollars. Any request from the governing body of any such institution to the governing body of the county or city shall be in writing and signed by the presiding officers of the institution's governing body and shall be accompanied by a certified copy of a resolution of such governing body authorizing the request to be made.

The circuit court for any county or city which has adopted an ordinance pursuant to this section shall have jurisdiction to try cases arising under such ordinance to the same extent as criminal cases arising in the county or city. The provisions of this section shall not affect the application of §§ 46.2-1231 through 46.2-1234.

Code 1950, § 15-6.1; 1952, c. 472; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-516; 1964, c. 245; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-968.01. Parking in certain residential areas.

Notwithstanding any other provision of general law, localities may by ordinance permit the parking of vehicles within residential areas in a public right-of-way that constitutes a part of the state highway system so long as the vehicle does not obstruct the right-of-way.

2015, c. 233.

§ 15.2-968.1. Use of photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals.

A. The governing body of any county, city, or town may provide by ordinance for the establishment of a traffic signal enforcement program imposing monetary liability on the operator of a motor vehicle for failure to comply with traffic light signals in such locality in accordance with the provisions of this section. Each such locality may install and operate traffic light signal photo-monitoring systems at no more than one intersection for every 10,000 residents within each county, city, or town at any one time, provided, however, that within planning District 8, each such locality may install and operate traffic light signal photo-monitoring systems at no more than 10 intersections, or at no more than one intersection for every 10,000 residents within each county, city, or town, whichever is greater, at any one time.

B. The operator of a vehicle shall be liable for a monetary penalty imposed pursuant to this section if such vehicle is found, as evidenced by information obtained from a traffic light signal violation monitoring system, to have failed to comply with a traffic light signal within such locality.

C. Proof of a violation of this section shall be evidenced by information obtained from a traffic light signal violation monitoring system authorized pursuant to this section. A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a law-enforcement officer employed by a locality authorized to impose penalties pursuant to this section, or a facsimile thereof, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images produced by a traffic light signal violation monitoring system, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. Any photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images evidencing such a violation shall be available for inspection in any proceeding to adjudicate the liability for such violation pursuant to an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

D. In the prosecution for a violation of any local ordinance adopted as provided in this section, prima facie evidence that the vehicle described in the summons issued pursuant to this section was operated in violation of such ordinance, together with proof that the defendant was at the time of such violation the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle, shall constitute in evidence a rebuttable presumption that such owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle was the person who committed the violation. Such presumption shall be rebutted if the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle (i) files an affidavit by regular mail with the clerk of the general district court that he was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation or (ii) testifies in open court under oath that he was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation. Such presumption shall also be rebutted if a certified copy of a police report, showing that the vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged violation of this section, is presented, prior to the return date established on the summons issued pursuant to this section, to the court adjudicating the alleged violation.

E. For purposes of this section, "owner" means the registered owner of such vehicle on record with the Department of Motor Vehicles. For purposes of this section, "traffic light signal violation monitoring system" means a vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with a traffic light that automatically produces two or more photographs, two or more microphotographs, video, or other recorded images of each vehicle at the time it is used or operated in violation of § 46.2-833, 46.2-835, or 46.2-836. For each such vehicle, at least one recorded image shall be of the vehicle before it has illegally entered the intersection, and at least one recorded image shall be of the same vehicle after it has illegally entered that intersection.

F. Imposition of a penalty pursuant to this section shall not be deemed a conviction as an operator and shall not be made part of the operating record of the person upon whom such liability is imposed, nor shall it be used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage. No monetary penalty imposed under this section shall exceed $50, nor shall it include court costs. Any finding in a district court that an operator has violated an ordinance adopted as provided in this section shall be appealable to the circuit court in a civil proceeding.

G. A summons for a violation of this section may be executed pursuant to § 19.2-76.2. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-76, a summons for a violation of this section may be executed by mailing by first class mail a copy thereof to the owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle. In the case of a vehicle owner, the copy shall be mailed to the address contained in the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles; in the case of a vehicle lessee or renter, the copy shall be mailed to the address contained in the records of the lessor or renter. Every such mailing shall include, in addition to the summons, a notice of (i) the summoned person's ability to rebut the presumption that he was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation through the filing of an affidavit as provided in subsection D and (ii) instructions for filing such affidavit, including the address to which the affidavit is to be sent. If the summoned person fails to appear on the date of return set out in the summons mailed pursuant to this section, the summons shall be executed in the manner set out in § 19.2-76.3. No proceedings for contempt or arrest of a person summoned by mailing shall be instituted for failure to appear on the return date of the summons. Any summons executed for a violation of this section shall provide to the person summoned at least 30 business days from the mailing of the summons to inspect information collected by a traffic light signal violation monitoring system in connection with the violation.

H. Information collected by a traffic light signal violation monitoring system installed and operated pursuant to subsection A shall be limited exclusively to that information that is necessary for the enforcement of traffic light violations. On behalf of a locality, a private entity that operates a traffic light signal violation monitoring system may enter into an agreement with the Department of Motor Vehicles, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision B 21 of § 46.2-208, to obtain vehicle owner information regarding the registered owners of vehicles that fail to comply with a traffic light signal. Information provided to the operator of a traffic light signal violation monitoring system shall be protected in a database with security comparable to that of the Department of Motor Vehicles' system, and used only for enforcement against individuals who violate the provisions of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all photographs, microphotographs, electronic images, or other personal information collected by a traffic light signal violation monitoring system shall be used exclusively for enforcing traffic light violations and shall not (i) be open to the public; (ii) be sold or used for sales, solicitation, or marketing purposes; (iii) be disclosed to any other entity except as may be necessary for the enforcement of a traffic light violation or to a vehicle owner or operator as part of a challenge to the violation; or (iv) be used in a court in a pending action or proceeding unless the action or proceeding relates to a violation of § 46.2-833, 46.2-835, or 46.2-836 or requested upon order from a court of competent jurisdiction. Information collected under this section pertaining to a specific violation shall be purged and not retained later than 60 days after the collection of any civil penalties. If a locality does not execute a summons for a violation of this section within 10 business days, all information collected pertaining to that suspected violation shall be purged within two business days. Any locality operating a traffic light signal violation monitoring system shall annually certify compliance with this section and make all records pertaining to such system available for inspection and audit by the Commissioner of Highways or the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles or his designee. Any person who discloses personal information in violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per disclosure. Any unauthorized use or disclosure of such personal information shall be grounds for termination of the agreement between the Department of Motor Vehicles and the private entity.

I. A private entity may enter into an agreement with a locality to be compensated for providing the traffic light signal violation monitoring system or equipment, and all related support services, to include consulting, operations and administration. However, only a law-enforcement officer employed by a locality may swear to or affirm the certificate required by subsection C. No locality shall enter into an agreement for compensation based on the number of violations or monetary penalties imposed.

J. When selecting potential intersections for a traffic light signal violation monitoring system, a locality shall consider factors such as (i) the accident rate for the intersection, (ii) the rate of red light violations occurring at the intersection (number of violations per number of vehicles), (iii) the difficulty experienced by law-enforcement officers in patrol cars or on foot in apprehending violators, and (iv) the ability of law-enforcement officers to apprehend violators safely within a reasonable distance from the violation. Localities may consider the risk to pedestrians as a factor, if applicable.

K. Before the implementation of a traffic light signal violation monitoring system at an intersection, the locality shall complete an engineering safety analysis that addresses signal timing and other location-specific safety features. The length of the yellow phase shall be established based on the recommended methodology of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. No traffic light signal violation monitoring system shall be implemented or utilized for a traffic signal having a yellow signal phase length of less than three seconds. All traffic light signal violation monitoring systems shall provide a minimum 0.5-second grace period between the time the signal turns red and the time the first violation is recorded. If recommended by the engineering safety analysis, the locality shall make reasonable location-specific safety improvements, including signs and pavement markings.

L. Any locality that uses a traffic light signal violation monitoring system shall evaluate the system on a monthly basis to ensure all cameras and traffic signals are functioning properly. Evaluation results shall be made available to the public.

M. Any locality that uses a traffic light signal violation monitoring system to enforce traffic light signals shall place conspicuous signs within 500 feet of the intersection approach at which a traffic light signal violation monitoring system is used. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that such signs were in place at the time of the commission of the traffic light signal violation.

N. Prior to or coincident with the implementation or expansion of a traffic light signal violation monitoring system, a locality shall conduct a public awareness program, advising the public that the locality is implementing or expanding a traffic light signal violation monitoring system.

O. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if a vehicle depicted in images recorded by a traffic light signal photo-monitoring system is owned, leased, or rented by a county, city, or town, then the county, city, or town may access and use the recorded images and associated information for employee disciplinary purposes.

2007, cc. 836, 903; 2010, c. 175; 2012, cc. 805, 836; 2014, c. 163; 2015, c. 714.

§ 15.2-969. Ordinances prohibiting resale of tickets to certain public events; penalty.

Any locality may provide, by ordinance, that it is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to resell for profit any ticket for admission to any sporting event, theatrical production, lecture, motion picture or any other event open to the public for which tickets are ordinarily sold, except in the case of religious, charitable, or educational organizations where all or a portion of the admission price reverts to the sponsoring group and the resale for profit of such ticket is authorized by the sponsor of the event and the manager or owner of the facility in which the event is being held. Such ordinance may provide that violators thereof are guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

This section shall not apply to any resale of a ticket that occurs on the Internet.

1970, c. 530, § 15.1-29.3; 1982, c. 279; 1995, c. 339; 1997, c. 587; 2009, cc. 321, 376.

§ 15.2-970. Construction of dams, levees, seawalls, etc.; certain proceedings prohibited.

A. Any locality may construct a dam, levee, seawall or other structure or device, or perform dredging operations hereinafter referred to as "works," the purpose of which is to prevent the tidal erosion, flooding or inundation of such locality, or part thereof. The design, construction, performance, maintenance and operation of any of such works is hereby declared to be a proper governmental function for a public purpose.

B. No person, association or political subdivision shall bring any action at law or suit in equity against any locality because of, or arising out of, the design, maintenance, performance, operation or existence of such works but nothing herein shall prevent any such action or suit based upon a written contract. This provision shall not be construed to authorize the taking of private property without just compensation therefor and provided further that the tidal erosion, flooding or inundation of any lands of any other person by the construction of a dam or levee to impound or control fresh water shall be a taking of such land within the meaning of the foregoing provision.

Code 1950, § 15-20.6; 1960, c. 516; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-31; 1966, c. 270; 1968, c. 793; 1980, c. 460; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-971. Armories and markets; assistance to National Guard.

A. A locality may provide and operate armories and markets, or may contract with others for supplying such facilities.

B. Any locality may appropriate out of the general levy, except the school fund, and expend annually such sums of money as their judgment may warrant to aid and assist in the erection and maintenance of suitable armories for companies of the Virginia National Guard, or otherwise contribute towards the assistance and maintenance of such companies.

Code 1950, §§ 15-77.44, 15-694; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-268, 15.1-880; 1970, c. 225; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-972. Appropriations for the upkeep of certain cemeteries.

Any locality may make appropriations in such sums and at such times as the governing body of the locality deems proper, for the care and upkeep of any cemetery in the locality in which free burial space is provided.

Code 1950, § 15-17; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-511; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-973. Ordinances imposing license taxes on owners of certain motor vehicles.

Any locality may adopt an ordinance imposing a license tax, in an amount not exceeding $100 annually, upon the owners of motor vehicles that do not display current license plates and that are not exempted from the requirements of displaying such license plates under the provisions of Article 6 (§ 46.2-662 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 46.2, §§ 46.2-1554 and 46.2-1555, are not in a public dump, in an "automobile graveyard" as defined in § 33.2-804, or in the possession of a licensed junk dealer or licensed motor vehicle dealer. Nothing in this section shall be applicable to any vehicle being held or stored by or at the direction of any governmental authority, to any vehicle owned by a member of the armed forces on active duty or to any vehicle regularly stored within a structure. Nothing in this section shall be applicable to motor vehicles that are stored on private property for the purpose of restoration or repair or for removing parts for the repair of another vehicle.

1970, c. 380, § 15.1-27.1; 1977, c. 557; 1982, c. 216; 1988, c. 484; 1997, c. 587; 2013, c. 347.

§ 15.2-974. Permits for display of fireworks; use and exhibitions.

The governing bodies of the several counties, cities and towns shall have the power to provide for the issuance of permits for the display of fireworks by fair associations, amusement parks, or by any organization or group of individuals, under the minimum terms and conditions set forth in the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.) and any additional terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the locality. Any association, organization, or group that has been issued a permit may purchase and make use of fireworks under the terms and conditions of such permit.

2002, c. 856.

§ 15.2-975. Use of cash proffers.

Localities which are authorized to accept voluntary cash proffers may also issue bonds under the provisions of the Public Finance Act and other applicable law including local charters, to finance improvements contained in the construction improvement program, to the extent that the costs of such improvements have been pledged by landowners as voluntary cash proffers. Authorized localities may pledge the proceeds of such proffers as a specific undertaking from which revenue is derived pursuant to Article VII, Section 10 (a) (3) of the Constitution of Virginia. The use of pledged cash proffers to finance improvements shall be limited to the improvements or class of improvements for which the proffer was originally pledged, and all or any part of the total amount pledged through the conditional zoning process may be further pledged by the locality to support repayment of any such debt.

2004, c. 927.

§ 15.2-976. Notification of changes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Special Flood Hazard Area map.

Any locality receiving notification from the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that a change in the FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area map concerns or relates to real property within such locality shall provide to each owner of any such property (i) written notification that such change has occurred within that locality and (ii) written notification of the website, address, and telephone number for the National Flood Insurance Program to aid the property owner in determining if there has been a change to the flood risk of the property. Notice sent by bulk or first class mail to the last known address of such owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall be deemed adequate compliance with this requirement.

2007, c. 211.

§ 15.2-977. Green Roof Incentive Programs.

A. For purposes of this section, "green roof" means a roof or partially covered roof consisting of plants, soil, or another lightweight growing medium that is installed on top of a waterproof membrane and designed in accordance with the Virginia Stormwater Management Program's standards and specifications for green roofs, as set forth in the Virginia BMP Clearinghouse.

B. Any locality may establish a rate incentive program designed to encourage the use of green roofs in the construction and remodeling of residential and commercial buildings. If established, the incentives shall be based on the percentage of stormwater runoff reduction the green roof provides.

2009, c. 402.

§ 15.2-978. Registration by locality of cemeteries, graveyards, or other places of burial on private property.

Any locality may adopt an ordinance setting forth a register of identified cemeteries, graveyards, or other places of burial located on private property not belonging to any memorial or monumental association. The official local register may include an official map.

2009, c. 718.

§ 15.2-979. Notice of sale under deed of trust.

A. Notice shall be given to the chief administrative officer or designee of a locality and, if the property is located in a common interest community as defined in § 54.1-2345, to the common interest community association, when residential property located within that locality or common interest community becomes subject to a sale under a deed of trust.

B. The notice required by this section shall:

1. Be made by the trustee or any substitute trustee authorized to conduct the sale under the deed of trust;

2. Be given no later than 60 days after the sale of the residential property under the deed of trust;

3. Include (i) the street address of the residential property, (ii) the name of all property owners whose ownership was subject to the deed of trust, (iii) the name and contact information, including telephone number, of the person filing the notice, and (iv) the name and address of all owners holding the property as a result of the sale.

C. For residential properties described in subsection A, if the mortgage loan secured by the deed of trust has been registered with a national mortgage loan electronic registration system to which the locality has access and which registry includes a unique mortgage identification number specific to the loan and which number is tied to the name of the borrower, the street address of the property, and contact information consisting of the name, telephone number, and electronic address, if any, of the current mortgage lender or mortgage loan service provider and of the current property preservation contact, then the person authorized to conduct the sale under the deed of trust shall not have to give the locality the notice described in this section and shall be deemed to have complied with any such ordinance.

D. For purposes of this section, "residential property" means single-family detached dwellings, single-family attached dwellings, individual residential condominium units, and individual residential lots located in a development subject to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.).

2009, c. 803; 2013, c. 749; 2015, cc. 93, 410.

§ 15.2-980. (Effective until October 1, 2021) Civil penalties for violations of noise ordinances.

Any locality may, by ordinance, adopt a uniform schedule of civil penalties for violations of that locality's noise ordinance. This provision shall not apply to noise generated in connection with the business being performed on industrial property. Civil fines will not exceed $250 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. The locality may authorize the chief law-enforcement officer to enforce any civil penalties adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to railroads. No ordinance of any locality shall apply to sound emanating from any area permitted by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy or any division thereof.

2010, cc. 501 788; 2017, c. 649.

§ 15.2-980. (Effective October 1, 2021) Civil penalties for violations of noise ordinances.

Any locality may, by ordinance, adopt a uniform schedule of civil penalties for violations of that locality's noise ordinance. This provision shall not apply to noise generated in connection with the business being performed on industrial property. Civil fines will not exceed $250 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. The locality may authorize the chief law-enforcement officer to enforce any civil penalties adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to railroads. No ordinance of any locality shall apply to sound emanating from any area permitted by the Virginia Department of Energy or any division thereof.

2010, cc. 501 788; 2017, c. 649; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 532.

§ 15.2-981. Authority to sell dogs trained for police work.

A locality may sell any dog specially trained for police work to the handler who was last in control of such dog, at a price deemed by the locality to be appropriate. Such sale shall not be deemed a violation of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.).

2010, c. 714.

§ 15.2-982. Designation of tourism activity zones.

Any locality may designate one or more tourism activity zones as areas that may be used for special events, including parades, events requiring temporary street closures, and indoor and outdoor entertainment activities. The locality shall include any designated tourism activity zone as an amendment to the locality's zoning map.

2013, c. 246.

§ 15.2-983. Creation of registry for short-term rental of property.

A. As used in this section:

"Operator" means the proprietor of any dwelling, lodging, or sleeping accommodations offered as a short-term rental, whether in the capacity of owner, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, or any other possessory capacity.

"Short-term rental" means the provision of a room or space that is suitable or intended for occupancy for dwelling, sleeping, or lodging purposes, for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days, in exchange for a charge for the occupancy.

B. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, any locality may, by ordinance, establish a short-term rental registry and require operators within the locality to register annually. The registration shall be ministerial in nature and shall require the operator to provide the complete name of the operator and the address of each property in the locality offered for short-term rental by the operator. A locality may charge a reasonable fee for such registration related to the actual costs of establishing and maintaining the registry.

2. No ordinance shall require a person to register pursuant to this section if such person is (i) licensed by the Real Estate Board or is a property owner who is represented by a real estate licensee; (ii) registered pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.); (iii) licensed or registered with the Department of Health, related to the provision of room or space for lodging; or (iv) licensed or registered with the locality, related to the rental or management of real property, including licensed real estate professionals, hotels, motels, campgrounds, and bed and breakfast establishments.

C. 1. If a locality adopts a registry ordinance pursuant to this section, such ordinance may include a penalty not to exceed $500 per violation for an operator required to register who offers for short-term rental a property that is not registered with the locality. Such ordinance may provide that unless and until an operator pays the penalty and registers such property, the operator may not continue to offer such property for short-term rental. Upon repeated violations of a registry ordinance as it relates to a specific property, an operator may be prohibited from registering and offering that property for short-term rental.

2. Such ordinance may further provide that an operator required to register may be prohibited from offering a specific property for short-term rental in the locality upon multiple violations on more than three occasions of applicable state and local laws, ordinances, and regulations, as they relate to the short-term rental.

D. Except as provided in this section, nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit, limit, or otherwise supersede existing local authority to regulate the short-term rental of property through general land use and zoning authority. Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede or limit contracts or agreements between or among individuals or private entities related to the use of real property, including recorded declarations and covenants, the provisions of condominium instruments of a condominium created pursuant to the Virginia Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.), the declaration of a common interest community as defined in § 54.1-2345, the cooperative instruments of a cooperative created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55.1-2100 et seq.), or any declaration of a property owners' association created pursuant to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.).

2017, c. 741.

§ 15.2-984. Adoption of flood plain ordinances.

Any locality may by ordinance regulate the activity on, use of, or development of a flood plain in a manner consistent with any state or federal flood plain management programs and requirements. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit a locality's authority to regulate a flood plain pursuant to § 15.2-2283 or any other provision of law.

2020, c. 166.

§ 15.2-985. Disposition of abandoned shopping carts; unauthorized possession; penalties.

A. The governing body of any locality with a County Manager Plan or Urban County Executive Form may, by ordinance, provide that it shall be unlawful for any person to place, leave, or abandon on any real property in the locality, or within specified districts within the locality, any shopping cart as defined in § 18.2-102.1. The ordinance shall provide that any such shopping cart that remains on real property outside of the premises defined in § 18.2-102.1 at least 15 days after a notice of violation is given to the owner of such shopping cart shall be presumed to be abandoned and subject to removal from the real property by the locality or its agents without further notice.

B. A notice of violation sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the shopping cart's owner or its registered agent reflected in state or locality public records shall satisfy the notice requirement of this section. In the event that any such shopping cart is so removed, the cost of removal, including the cost of disposal, but not to exceed $300 per cart, shall be charged to the owner of the shopping cart. Any such charge that is not paid within 30 days of the date on which it is billed to the owner shall constitute a lien upon the shopping cart and may be collected in any manner provided by law for the collection of taxes.

C. In addition to any other remedy provided herein, the locality or its designee may institute legal action to enjoin the continuing violating of this section.

D. An ordinance adopted pursuant to subsection A may provide that it shall be unlawful for any person, except the owner or his agent, to possess outside of the premises any shopping cart, when the owner has posted notice on the property that removal is unlawful. The locality may provide that a person who violates the ordinance is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500. However, such penalty shall not apply when such person has been found guilty of a violation of § 18.2-102.1 for the removal of such shopping cart from a store premises.

2020, c. 1174, § 15.2-984.

§ 15.2-986. Broadband services; education.

Any locality or other public body of the Commonwealth may appropriate public funds, personal property, real estate, or donations to any local school board, school division, public school, charitable institution or association, or private provider of broadband services for the purposes of promoting, facilitating, and encouraging the development, expansion, provision, and operation of broadband services for educational purposes, as described in § 22.1-79.9, and may promote, encourage, support, and take any action that a local school board is authorized to take under that section.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 496.