Code of Virginia

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

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.