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 5. Additional Powers.

§ 15.2-950. Appropriations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any locality in the ordinance herein authorized may:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

E. A voluntary special assessment lien on real property:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

E. A voluntary special assessment lien on real property:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-958.3:1. Local green banks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-958.5. Local funding for community revitalization.

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

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

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

2. Infrastructure improvements; and

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

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

2011, cc. 770, 833.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013, c. 185.

§ 15.2-959. Housing research.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H. For purposes of this section:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008, cc. 333, 711.

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

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

2016, cc. 317, 412.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-965. Human rights ordinances and commissions.

A. Any locality may enact an ordinance, not inconsistent with nor more stringent than any applicable state law, prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, and education on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, military status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

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

C. As used in this section:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020, c. 1123.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019, c. 505.

§ 15.2-967. Parking facilities.

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

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

§ 15.2-967.1. Regulation of certain transportation services.

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

2010, c. 556.

§ 15.2-967.2. Electric vehicle charging stations.

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

2018, cc. 295, 446.

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-968.01. Parking in certain residential areas.

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

2015, c. 233.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2002, c. 856.

§ 15.2-975. Use of cash proffers.

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

2004, c. 927.

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

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

2007, c. 211.

§ 15.2-977. Green Roof Incentive Programs.

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

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

2009, c. 402.

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

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

2009, c. 718.

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

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

B. The notice required by this section shall:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2010, c. 714.

§ 15.2-982. Designation of tourism activity zones.

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

2013, c. 246.

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

A. As used in this section:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017, c. 741.

§ 15.2-984. Adoption of flood plain ordinances.

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

2020, c. 166.

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

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

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

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

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

2020, c. 1174, § 15.2-984.

§ 15.2-986. Broadband services; education.

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

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