Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
6/25/2018

Subtitle II. Powers of Local Government.

Chapter 9. General Powers of Local Governments.

Article 1. Public Health and Safety; Nuisances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The owners of property therein shall, at such time or times as the governing body may prescribe, remove therefrom any and all trash, garbage, refuse, litter and other substances which might endanger the health or safety of other residents of such locality; or may, whenever the governing body deems it necessary, after reasonable notice, have such trash, garbage, refuse, litter and other like substances which might endanger the health of other residents of the locality, removed by its own agents or employees, in which event the cost or expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and may be collected by the locality as taxes are collected;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017, cc. 213, 392.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any locality may, by ordinance, provide that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-906.1. Expired.

Expired.

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

A. As used in this section:

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

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

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

"Drug blight" means a condition existing on real property which tends to endanger the public health or safety of residents of a locality and is caused by the regular presence on the property of persons under the influence of controlled substances or the regular use of the property for the purpose of illegally possessing, manufacturing or distributing controlled substances.

"Owner" means the record owner of real property.

"Property" means real property.

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

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

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

b. The locality shall then send a notice to the owner of the property, to be sent by regular mail to the last address listed for the owner on the locality's assessment records for the property, together with a copy of such affidavit, advising that (i) the owner has up to 30 days from the date thereof to undertake corrective action to abate the drug blight described in such affidavit and (ii) the locality will, if requested to do so, assist the owner in determining and coordinating the appropriate corrective action to abate the drug blight described in such affidavit.

c. If no corrective action is undertaken during such 30-day period, the locality shall send by regular mail an additional notice to the owner of the property, at the address stated in the preceding subdivision, stating the date on which the locality may commence corrective action to abate the drug blight on the property, which date shall be no earlier than 15 days after the date of mailing of the notice. Such additional notice shall also reasonably describe the corrective action contemplated to be taken by the locality. Upon receipt of such notice, the owner shall have a right, upon reasonable notice to the locality, to seek equitable relief, and the locality shall initiate no corrective action while a proper petition for relief is pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.

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

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

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

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

1994, c. 701, § 15.1-11.2:1; 1997, c. 587; 2011, cc. 384, 410; 2014, cc. 674, 719; 2017, cc. 118, 610.

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

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

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

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

3. If a locality delivers written notice and the owner of the derelict building has not submitted a plan to the locality within 90 days as provided in subdivision 2, the locality may exercise such remedies as provided in this section or as otherwise provided by law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2009, cc. 181, 551.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A. As used in this section:

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

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

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

"Owner" means the record owner of real property.

"Property" means real property.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any locality may by ordinance provide:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-911. Regulation of alarm company operators.

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

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

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

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

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

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

B. For the purposes of this section:

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-912.1. Regulation of martial arts instruction.

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-912.2. Proceeds exempt from local taxation.

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

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

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

§ 15.2-912.3. Regulation of dance halls by counties, cities and towns.

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-913. Ordinances regulating certain vendors.

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

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

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

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

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

Such local ordinance shall not require the regulation or licensing of any child-care facility that is licensed by the Commonwealth and such ordinance shall not require the regulation or licensing of any facility operated by a religious institution as exempted from licensure by § 63.2-1716.

Such local ordinances shall not be more extensive in scope than comparable state regulations applicable to family day homes. Such local ordinances may regulate the possession and storage of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof at child-care facilities so long as such regulation remains no more extensive in scope than comparable state regulations applicable to family day homes. Local regulations shall not affect the manner of construction or materials to be used in the erection, alteration, repair or use of a residential dwelling.

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

1990, cc. 605, 609, § 15.1-37.3:12; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 649; 2011, c. 251; 2017, c. 809.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-915.1. Limitations on authority of localities to bring lawsuits.

No locality shall have the authority to bring suit against a firearms or ammunition marketer, manufacturer, distributor, dealer, seller, or trade association for damages, abatement, injunctive relief or any other remedy resulting from or relating to the lawful design, marketing, manufacture, distribution, sale, or transfer of firearms or ammunition to the public. The right to bring any such action is hereby reserved exclusively to the Commonwealth. Any action brought by the Commonwealth pursuant to this section shall be brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the Commonwealth.

This section shall not prohibit (i) a locality from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition marketer, manufacturer, distributor, dealer, seller, or trade association for breach of contract or warranty or negligence as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the locality or (ii) an action for injuries resulting from negligence or breach of warranty or contract.

The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply equally to any state governmental entity, including a department, agency, or authority.

2000, c. 674.

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-915.3. Repealed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012, c. 211.

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

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

1995, c. 284, § 15.1-518.2; 1997, c. 587; 2017, c. 530.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Code 1950, § 15.1-29.12; 1974, c. 339; 1985, c. 170; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 529, 538; 2013, c. 783.

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

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

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

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

For the purposes of this section:

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-922. Smoke detectors in certain buildings.

Any locality, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, may by ordinance require that smoke detectors be installed in the following structures or buildings: (i) any building containing one or more dwelling units, (ii) any hotel or motel regularly used or offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations for one or more persons, and (iii) rooming houses regularly used, offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations. Smoke detectors installed pursuant to this section shall be installed in conformance with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.), and any locality with an ordinance shall follow a uniform set of standards for maintenance of smoke detectors established in the Uniform Statewide Building Code. The ordinance shall allow the type of smoke detector to be either battery operated or AC powered units. Such ordinance shall require that the owner of any unit which is rented or leased, at the beginning of each tenancy and at least annually thereafter, shall furnish the tenant with a certificate that all required smoke detectors are present, have been inspected, and are in good working order. Except for smoke detectors located in hallways, stairwells, and other public or common areas of multifamily buildings, interim testing, repair, and maintenance of smoke detectors in rented or leased units shall be the responsibility of the tenant; however, the owner shall be obligated to service, repair, or replace any malfunctioning smoke detectors within five days of receipt of written notice from the tenant that such smoke detector is in need of service, repair, or replacement.

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

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

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

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

2007, c. 256.

§ 15.2-923. Local water-saving ordinances.

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

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

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

§ 15.2-924. Water supply emergency ordinances.

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-924.1. Repealed.

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-925.1. Local notifications.

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

2015, c. 192.

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-926.1. Bounties for coyotes.

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

1999, c. 487.

§ 15.2-926.2. Adoption of ordinances prohibiting obscenity.

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

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

§ 15.2-926.3. (Expires July 1, 2019) Local regulation of certain aircraft.

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

2016, c. 451.

Article 2. Waste and Recycling.

§ 15.2-927. Garbage and refuse disposal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No ordinance adopted under this section shall apply to garbage, trash and refuse generated, purchased or utilized by an entity engaged in the business of manufacturing, mining, processing, refining or conversion except for an entity engaged in the production of energy or refuse-derived fuels for sale to a person other than any entity controlling, controlled by or under the same control as the manufacturer, miner, processor, refiner or converter. Nor shall such ordinance apply to (i) recyclable materials, which are those materials that have been source-separated by any person or materials that have been separated from garbage, trash and refuse by any person for utilization in both cases as a raw material to be manufactured into a product other than fuel or energy, (ii) construction debris to be disposed of in a landfill, or (iii) waste oil. Such ordinances may provide penalties, fines and other punishment for violations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any ordinance requiring the delivery of all or any portion of the garbage, trash or refuse generated or disposed of within a locality to waste disposal facilities located within or outside the locality, or otherwise prohibiting the disposal of garbage, trash and refuse in or at any other place other than that provided for the purpose, shall not apply to garbage, trash and refuse generated, purchased or utilized by an entity engaged in the business of manufacturing, mining, processing, refining or conversion except for an entity engaged in the production of energy or refuse-derived fuels for sale to a person other than any entity controlling, controlled by or under the same control as the manufacturer, miner, processor, refiner or converter. Nor shall such ordinance apply to (i) recyclable materials, which are those materials that have been source-separated by any person or materials that have been separated from garbage, trash and refuse by any person for utilization in both cases as a raw material to be manufactured into a new product other than fuel or energy, (ii) construction debris to be disposed of in a landfill or (iii) waste oil.

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

§ 15.2-934. Displacement of private waste companies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

§ 15.2-937. Separation of solid waste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

B. For purposes of this section, recycled paper and paper products means any paper and paper products meeting the EPA Recommended Content Standards as defined in 40 C.F.R. Part 250.

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

§ 15.2-939. Ordinances requiring recycling reports.

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

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

Article 3. Economic Development; Tourism; Historic Preservation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2001, c. 780.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article 3.1. Governor's Economic Development Grant Fund.

§ 15.2-946.1. Expired.

Expired.

Article 4. Public Transportation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article 5. Additional Powers.

§ 15.2-950. Appropriations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

E. For the purposes of this section, "donations" shall include the lawful provision of in-kind resources for any event sponsored by the donee.

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.

§ 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.

§ 15.2-958.3. Financing clean energy programs.

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, authorize contracts to provide loans for the initial acquisition and installation of clean energy improvements with free and willing property owners of both existing properties and new construction. Such an ordinance shall include but not be limited to the following:

1. The kinds of renewable energy production and distribution facilities, energy usage efficiency improvements, or water usage efficiency improvements for which loans may be offered;

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 interest rate and 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. A minimum and maximum aggregate dollar amount which 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. 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 (i) a program application fee paid by the property owner requesting to participate in the program, (ii) a component of the interest rate on the assessment in the written contract between the locality and the property owner, or (iii) a combination of (i) and (ii); 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 be authorized to place a voluntary special assessment lien equal in value to the loan against any property where such clean energy systems 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.

E. A voluntary special assessment lien on real property other than a residential dwelling with fewer than five dwelling units or a condominium project as defined in § 55-79.2:

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 benefitted 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.

2009, c. 773; 2010, c. 141; 2015, cc. 389, 427.

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

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.

2009, c. 799.

§ 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 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;

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

5. Ten percent tree canopy for a cemetery as defined in § 54.1-2310, notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection.

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

C. 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.

D. 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.

E. 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 American Association of Nurserymen. The planting of trees shall be done in accordance with either the standardized landscape specifications jointly adopted by the Virginia Nurserymen's 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.

F. 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.

G. 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.

H. 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.

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

J. 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.

K. 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.

L. 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.

§ 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, age, marital status, or disability.

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

1987, c. 569, § 15.1-37.3:8; 1997, cc. 404, 587.

§ 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.

§ 15.2-966. 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.

§ 15.2-967. 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.

§ 15.2-968. 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 § 55-528, 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 (§ 55-508 et seq.).

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

§ 15.2-980. 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.

§ 15.2-981. 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 (§ 55-360 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 Condominium Act (§ 55-79.39 et seq.), the declaration of a common interest community as defined in § 55-528, the cooperative instruments of a cooperative created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55-424 et seq.), or any declaration of a property owners' association created pursuant to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55-508 et seq.).

2017, c. 741.

Chapter 11. Powers of Cities and Towns.

Article 1. Uniform Charter Powers.

§ 15.2-1100. Powers conferred; exercised by council.

A municipal corporation shall have and may exercise any or all powers set forth in this article, regardless of whether such powers are set out or incorporated by reference in a municipal charter. All powers vested in a municipal corporation by this chapter shall be exercised by its governing body.

Code 1950, § 15-77.2; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-838; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1101. Exercise of powers outside boundaries.

If a municipal corporation seeks to exercise the powers set forth in this article outside its boundaries, such powers shall, except as to existing nonconforming use, be subject to the zoning regulations of the locality in which the power is sought to be exercised, provided that, except as to existing nonconforming uses, such locality also observes the zoning regulations of the municipality as to any of such locality's property located within the corporate limits.

Code 1950, § 15-77.2; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-838; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1102. General grant of power; enumeration of powers not exclusive; limitations on exercise of power.

A municipal corporation shall have and may exercise all powers which it now has or which may hereafter be conferred upon or delegated to it under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth and all other powers pertinent to the conduct of the affairs and functions of the municipal government, the exercise of which is not expressly prohibited by the Constitution and the general laws of the Commonwealth, and which are necessary or desirable to secure and promote the general welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality and the safety, health, peace, good order, comfort, convenience, morals, trade, commerce and industry of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and the enumeration of specific powers shall not be construed or held to be exclusive or as a limitation upon any general grant of power, but shall be construed and held to be in addition to any general grant of power. The exercise of the powers conferred under this section is specifically limited to the area within the corporate limits of the municipality, unless otherwise conferred in the applicable sections of the Constitution and general laws, as amended, of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-77.3; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-839; 1979, c. 297; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1103. Charter provisions not affected; conflict between chapter and charter.

A municipal corporation, in addition to the powers granted by § 15.2-1102, shall have all the powers granted to it in its charter; and nothing contained in this article shall be construed to in anywise repeal, amend, impair or affect any provision of any existing charter or of any charter hereafter granted to a municipal corporation or any provision of any other applicable law, unless such amendment or repeal so provides. Whenever there appears to be a conflict between any provision of this article, or any amendment hereof, and that of any charter of a municipal corporation, the provisions of the charter shall be construed and held to take precedence over such conflicting or apparently conflicting provisions of this article or of any amendment hereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.4; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-840; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1104. Taxes and assessments.

A municipal corporation may raise annually by taxes and assessments on property, persons, and other subjects of taxation, which are not prohibited by law, such sums of money as in the judgment of the municipal corporation are necessary to pay the debts, defray the expenses, accomplish the purposes, and perform the functions of the municipal corporation, in such manner as the municipal corporation deems necessary or expedient. A municipal corporation may also establish by ordinance a discount for the early payment of any such taxes or assessments. For purposes of this section, "early payment" may include payment of real property taxes in full on or before the due date of such tax.

Code 1950, § 15-77.5; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-841; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 216; 2012, c. 585.

§ 15.2-1104.1. Tax on admissions to charitable events.

A municipal corporation that generally levies an admissions tax may, by ordinance, elect not to levy an admissions tax on admission to an event, provided that the purpose of the event is solely to raise money for charitable purposes and that the net proceeds derived from the event will be transferred to an entity or entities that are exempt from sales and use tax pursuant to § 58.1-609.11.

1999, c. 986; 2003, cc. 757, 758.

§ 15.2-1105. Borrowing money and issuing evidence of indebtedness.

A municipal corporation may, in the name of and for the use of the municipal corporation, borrow money and issue evidence of indebtedness therefor, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by law.

Code 1950, § 15-77.7; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-843; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1106. Control and management of affairs; books, records, accounts, etc., of agencies.

A municipal corporation shall provide for the control and management of the affairs of the municipality, and may prescribe and require the adoption and keeping of such books, records, accounts and systems of accounting by the departments, boards, commissions, courts or other agencies of the local government as may be necessary to give full and true accounts of the affairs, resources and revenues of the municipal corporation and the handling, use and disposal thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.8; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-844; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1107. Departments, offices, boards, etc.

A municipal corporation may provide for the organization, conduct and operation of all departments, offices, boards, commissions and agencies of the municipal corporation, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by its charter or otherwise by law. A municipal corporation may establish, consolidate, abolish or change departments, offices, boards, commissions and agencies of the municipal corporation and prescribe the powers, duties and functions thereof, except where such departments, offices, boards, commissions and agencies or the powers, duties and functions thereof are specifically established or prescribed by its charter or otherwise by law.

Code 1950, § 15-77.9; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-845; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1108. Gifts, donations, bequests or grants.

A municipal corporation may accept or refuse gifts, donations, bequests or grants from any source, which are related to the powers, duties and functions of the municipal corporation.

Code 1950, § 15-77.12; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-848; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1109. Milk, food and food products.

A municipal corporation may regulate and inspect the production, preparation, storage, distribution and sale of milk and milk products, and other beverages, and food and food products, and the sanitation of establishments in which the same are produced, prepared, processed, handled, distributed, sold or offered for sale, and facilities, equipment and vehicles used for such purposes; provided such regulations are not inconsistent with the provisions of Chapters 52 (§ 3.2-5200 et seq.) and 54 (§ 3.2-5400 et seq.) of Title 3.2; and may condemn, seize and dispose of any adulterated, impure or dangerous milk, milk product, beverage, food or food product, without liability to the owner thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.17; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-853; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1110. Swimming pools, lakes and other waters.

A municipal corporation may regulate and inspect the operation, maintenance, and use of public swimming pools, lakes and other natural or artificial waters and private pools and lakes operated by clubs and associations; and without liability to the owner thereof, may prevent the use thereof when such waters are found to be polluted, adulterated, impure or dangerous or contribute or are likely to contribute to the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious or dangerous diseases.

Code 1950, § 15-77.22; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-858; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1111. Regulation of cemeteries and burials.

A municipal corporation may regulate and inspect cemeteries and burials therein, prescribe records to be kept by the owners thereof, and prohibit burials except in public cemeteries.

Code 1950, § 15-77.24; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-860; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1112. Aid to military units.

A municipal corporation may grant financial aid to military units organized in the municipal corporation pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 15-77.26; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-862; 1970, c. 225; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1113. Dangerous, etc., business or employment; transportation of offensive substances; explosive or inflammable substances; fireworks.

A municipal corporation may regulate or prohibit the conduct of any dangerous, offensive or unhealthful business, trade or employment; the transportation of any offensive substance; the manufacture, storage, transportation, possession and use of any explosive or inflammable substance; and the use and exhibition of fireworks and the discharge of firearms. A municipal corporation may also require the maintenance of safety devices on storage equipment for such substances or items.

Any municipal corporation that regulates or prohibits the discharge of firearms shall provide an exemption for the killing of deer pursuant to § 29.1-529. Such exemption shall apply on land of at least five acres that is zoned for agricultural use.

Code 1950, § 15-77.29; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-865; 1982, c. 17; 1992, c. 600; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 229.

§ 15.2-1113.1. Prohibiting hunting in certain areas.

Any municipal corporation may by ordinance prohibit all hunting with firearms or other weapons in, or within one-half mile of, any subdivision or other area of such municipal corporation which, in the opinion of the governing body, is so heavily populated as to make such hunting dangerous to the inhabitants thereof. Any such ordinance shall clearly describe each area in which hunting is prohibited and shall further provide that appropriate signs shall be erected designating the boundaries of such area.

2000, c. 289.

§ 15.2-1114. Auctions; pawnshops; secondhand dealers; peddling; fraud and deceit in sales; weights and measures.

A municipal corporation may regulate the sale of property at auction; may regulate the conduct of and prescribe the number of pawnshops and dealers in secondhand goods, wares and merchandise; may regulate or prohibit peddling; may prevent fraud or deceit in the sale of property; may require weighing, measuring, gauging and inspection of goods, wares and merchandise offered for sale; and may provide for the sealing of weights and measures and the inspection and testing thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-77.30; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-866; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1115. Abatement or removal of nuisances.

A. A municipal corporation may compel the abatement or removal of all nuisances, including but not limited to the removal of weeds from private and public property and snow from sidewalks; the covering or removal of offensive, unwholesome, unsanitary or unhealthy substances allowed to accumulate in or on any place or premises; the filling in to the street level, fencing or protection by other means, of the portion of any lot adjacent to a street where the difference in level between the lot and the street constitutes a danger to life and limb; the raising or draining of grounds subject to be covered by stagnant water; and the razing or repair of all unsafe, dangerous or unsanitary public or private buildings, walls or structures which constitute a menace to the health and safety of the occupants thereof or the public. If after such reasonable notice as the municipal corporation may prescribe the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the property or premises affected by the provisions of this section shall fail to abate or obviate the condition or nuisance, the municipal corporation may do so and charge and collect the cost thereof from the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the property affected in any manner provided by law for the collection of state or local taxes.

B. Every charge authorized by this section in excess of $200 which has been assessed against the owner of any such property and which remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property. Such liens shall have the same priority as liens for other unpaid local real estate taxes and shall be enforceable in the same manner as provided in Articles 3 (§ 58.1-3940 et seq.) and 4 (§ 58.1-3965 et seq.) of Chapter 39 of Title 58.1. A locality may waive such liens in order to facilitate the sale of the property. Such liens may be waived only as to a purchaser who is unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner and who has no business association with the owner. All such liens shall remain a personal obligation of the owner of the property at the time the liens were imposed.

Code 1950, § 15-77.31; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-867; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 533, 968; 2017, cc. 118, 610.

§ 15.2-1116. Smoke; fuel-burning equipment.

A municipal corporation may regulate the emission of smoke, the construction, installation and maintenance of fuel-burning equipment, and the methods of firing and stoking furnaces and boilers.

Code 1950, § 15-77.32; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-868; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1117. Light, ventilation, sanitation and use and occupancy of buildings.

A municipal corporation may regulate the light, ventilation, sanitation and use and occupancy of buildings heretofore or hereafter constructed, altered, remodeled or improved, and the sanitation of premises surrounding the building.

Code 1950, § 15-77.33; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-869; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1118. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 256, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-1119. Hospitals, sanatoria, homes, clinics, etc.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate, within or outside the municipal corporation, hospitals, sanatoria, homes, clinics, institutions and facilities for the care, treatment and maintenance of the sick, of children, the aged, destitute and indigent; may contract with others for supplying such services; and may charge and collect compensation for such care, treatment and maintenance.

Code 1950, § 15-77.45; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-881; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1120. Detentive, correctional and penal institutions.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate, within or outside the municipal corporation, detentive, correctional and penal institutions; or may contract with others for supplying the services and facilities provided at such institutions.

Code 1950, § 15-77.46; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-882; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1121. Cemeteries.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate, within or outside the municipal corporation, cemeteries; may contract for the perpetual care of lots and burial spaces therein; and may charge compensation for lots and burial spaces and services in connection with interments and the maintenance and operation of such cemeteries.

Code 1950, § 15-77.47; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-883; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1122. Parking or storage of vehicles.

A municipal corporation may provide and operate places for, and limited to, the parking or storage of vehicles by the public, which shall include but shall not be limited to parking lots, garages, buildings and other land, structures, equipment and facilities; provide for their management and operation by an agency of the municipality; contract with others for the operation and management thereof upon such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the municipal corporation; and charge or authorize the charging of compensation for the parking or storage of vehicles.

Code 1950, § 15-77.48; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-884; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1123. Airports and facilities.

A. A municipal corporation may provide and operate within or outside the municipal corporation airports and lands, structures, equipment and facilities appurtenant thereto; provide for their management and operation by an agency of the municipality; contract with others for the operation and management thereof upon such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the municipal corporation; and charge or authorize the charging of compensation for the use of the airport or any of its appurtenances or facilities.

B. A municipal corporation located in Planning District 11 or a political subdivision located in Planning District 6 or 7 may apply any deicing agent containing urea for the purpose of deicing an airport that is classified by the Virginia Air Transportation System Plan as a Commercial Service airport or General Aviation Regional airport, provided the application does not exceed Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater permit requirements.

Code 1950, § 15-77.49; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-885; 1997, c. 587; 2013, c. 758.

§ 15.2-1123.1. Lynchburg Regional Airport police department.

The City of Lynchburg may by ordinance establish an airport police department at the Lynchburg Regional Airport. The authority of the airport police department shall be limited to real property owned, leased, or controlled by the Airport. Such authority shall not supersede the authority, duties, or jurisdiction vested by law with the local police department or sheriff's office, including as provided in §§ 15.2-1609 and 15.2-1704. The airport police department and airport police officers shall be subject to and comply with the Constitution of the United States; the Constitution of Virginia; the laws governing municipal police departments, including the provisions of §§ 9.1-600, 15.2-1705 through 15.2-1708, 15.2-1719, 15.2-1721, and 15.2-1722; and any regulations adopted by the Criminal Justice Services Board that the Department of Criminal Justice Services designates as applicable to private police departments. Any person employed as an airport police officer pursuant to this section shall meet all requirements, including the minimum compulsory training requirements, for law-enforcement officers pursuant to Chapter 1 (§ 9.1-100 et seq.) of Title 9.1. An airport police officer is not entitled to benefits under the Line of Duty Act (§ 9.1-400 et seq.) or under the Virginia Retirement System, is not a "qualified law-enforcement officer" or "qualified retired law-enforcement officer" within the meaning of the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, 18 U.S.C. § 926B et seq., and shall not be deemed an employee of the Commonwealth. The airport police department may use the word "police" to describe its sworn officers and may join a regional criminal justice academy created pursuant to Article 5 (§ 15.2-1747 et seq.) of Chapter 17 of Title 15.2.

2015, c. 213.

§ 15.2-1124. Police jurisdiction over lands, buildings and structures; jurisdiction of offenses; appeals; jurisdiction in certain public buildings with magistrate's offices.

A. Lands, buildings or structures provided and operated by a municipality for any purpose defined in this article shall be under the police jurisdiction of the municipal corporation for the enforcement of its regulations respecting the use or occupancy thereof. All police officers of the municipal corporation shall have jurisdiction to make arrests on such land and in such buildings or structures for violations of such regulations. Such criminal case shall be prosecuted in the locality in which the offense was committed.

B. In any public building that is located in Henry County adjoining a municipal corporation and that contains a magistrate's office which serves the municipal corporation, the sheriff, any deputy sheriff, and any police officer of the municipal corporation shall have the same powers which such sheriff, deputy sheriff or police officer would have in the municipal corporation itself. The courts of the municipal corporation and the locality in which such public building is located shall have concurrent jurisdiction of any offense committed against or any escape from any such sheriff, deputy sheriff, or police officer in such public building, provided that the sheriff, deputy sheriff, or police officer was present in the public building while in the performance of his official duties. Such police powers and concurrent jurisdiction shall also apply during travel between the municipal corporation and the public building by such sheriff, deputy sheriffs, and police officers while in the performance of their official duties. For purposes of this subsection, a "public building" shall include the surrounding grounds of such building.

Code 1950, § 15-77.51; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-887; 1997, cc. 587, 739; 2007, c. 813; 2014, c. 543.

§ 15.2-1125. Licenses and permits; fees; bonds or insurance.

Whenever in the judgment of the municipal corporation it is advisable in the exercise of any of its powers or in the enforcement of any ordinance or regulation, it may provide for the issuance of licenses or permits in connection therewith; fix a fee to be charged the licensee or permittee and require from the licensee or permittee a bond or insurance contract of such character and in such amount and upon such terms and conditions as the municipal corporation may determine.

Code 1950, § 15-77.69; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-906; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1126. Posting of bond not prerequisite to exercise of right by municipality.

Whenever the law requires the posting of a bond, with or without surety, as a condition precedent to the exercise of any right, a municipal corporation, without giving such bond, may exercise such right, provided all other conditions precedent are complied with, and no action shall be delayed or refused because the municipal corporation has not filed or executed the bond that might otherwise be required, and the municipal corporation shall be bound to the same extent that it would have been bound had the bond been given.

Code 1950, § 15-77.70; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-907; 1997, c. 587.

Article 2. Additional Powers of Cities and Towns.

§ 15.2-1127. Vacant building registration; penalty.

The Town of Clifton Forge, the Town of Pulaski, in a conservation and rehabilitation district of the town, and any city, by ordinance, may require the owner or owners of buildings that have been vacant for a continuous period of 12 months or more, and which meet the definition of "derelict building" under § 15.2-907.1, to register such buildings on an annual basis and may impose an annual registration fee not to exceed $100 to defray the cost of processing such registration. The registration of buildings shall be on forms designated by the locality and filed with the agency designated by the locality. Failure to register shall be a $200 civil penalty; however, failure to register in conservation and rehabilitation districts designated by the governing body, or in other areas designated as blighted pursuant to § 36-49.1:1, shall be punishable by a civil penalty not exceeding $400. Notice shall be mailed to the owner or owners, at the address to which property tax notices are sent, at least 30 days prior to the assessment of the civil penalty.

1993, c. 829, § 15.1-29.24; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 250; 2006, c. 299; 2013, cc. 253, 355, 405.

§ 15.2-1128. Certain cities authorized to exchange information regarding criminal history [Not set out].

(1995, c. 328, § 15.1-29.25; 1997, c. 587.)

§ 15.2-1129. Encouragement of use of city facilities in certain cities.

Any city having a population of more than 75,000 and owning a city auditorium, civic center, coliseum, convention hall, stadium, theater, exhibition hall or combination thereof or other place of public assembly, may, in order to further the best interest of the public and lead to greater use of any such facilities, do all things necessary and proper to encourage the use thereof by arranging or engaging shows, plays, exhibitions, performances and all other entertainments of whatsoever nature, except motion pictures produced expressly for commercial exhibition, exclusively of a motion picture shown as a part of and related to a live program or a show, or a motion picture which has been generally removed from commercial exhibition in motion picture theaters, or a motion picture which is not shown or exhibited in such place more than twice and then only on one day, and exclusive of travelogues, educational or trade show films which are exhibited by educational, civic, trade, or religious organizations, to view which no admission fee is charged or the net proceeds of any admission fee charged are fully utilized for educational, religious or charitable purposes. Such encouragement may, without limitations as to other permissible activities, include the expenditure of city funds to promote such activities and to bring notice to the public of entertainments at such public facilities, engaging persons to bring entertainments thereto from which the city may derive income, and the payment of funds to such persons in advance or out of proceeds derived therefrom for payment therewith; and may include entering into agreements with such other persons guaranteeing minimum sums to be payable to such persons for future performances provided that at no time shall the aggregate amount of all outstanding guarantees be more than such sums as may be fixed by the governing body of such city. Notwithstanding any provision of any city charter, the council of any such city may appropriate funds to a special or revolving account in order to engage, advertise and promote any such entertainment and to operate any of the foregoing facilities, and when such fund is created such person or persons as may be designated by ordinance of such governing body, after providing fidelity bond with corporate surety payable to the city in a penalty not less than the authorized amount of such special or revolving fund, may sign checks against said fund and expend cash therefrom for any of the foregoing purposes.

1964, c. 508, § 15.1-37.2; 1970, c. 505; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1129.1. Creation of arts and cultural districts.

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

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

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

2001, c. 550; 2005, c. 330; 2006, c. 482; 2007, cc. 236, 251, 280; 2008, c. 290; 2009, cc. 300, 637, 738; 2012, c. 516; 2013, cc. 254, 386; 2017, cc. 217, 373.

§ 15.2-1129.2. Creation of local economic revitalization zones.

A. Any city may establish by ordinance one or more economic revitalization zones for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase real property and interests in real property to assemble parcels suitable for economic development. Each city establishing an economic revitalization zone may grant incentives and provide regulatory flexibility. Such zones shall be reasonably compact, shall not encompass the entire city, and shall constitute one or more tax parcels not commonly owned. Properties that are acquired through the use of eminent domain shall not be eligible for the incentives and regulatory flexibility provided by the ordinance.

B. The incentives may include, but not be limited to: (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax, and (iv) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property.

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

D. The regulatory flexibility provided in an economic revitalization zone may include (i) special zoning for the district, (ii) the use of a special permit process, (iii) exemption from certain specified ordinances, excluding ordinances or provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.), and (iv) any other incentives adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the locality for a period of up to 10 years.

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

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

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

2007, c. 262; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 15.2-1130. Liability for failure to provide adequate security or crowd control [Not set out].

(Acts 1995, cc. 291, 408, § 15.1-132.2; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 829, 840.)

§ 15.2-1131. Establishment of personnel system for city administrative officials and employees.

Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of law, general or special, in the Cities of Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach, the city council, upon receiving any recommendations submitted to it by the city manager, may establish a personnel system for the city administrative officials and employees. Such system shall be based on merit and professional ability and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, age, disabilities, political affiliation or marital status. The personnel system shall consist of rules and regulations which provide for the general administration of personnel matters, a classification plan for employees, a uniform pay plan and a procedure for resolving grievances of employees as provided by general law for either local government or state government employees.

1997, c. 211, § 15.1-37.10; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-1132. Volunteer property maintenance and zoning inspectors in certain cities.

The Cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Portsmouth, Richmond and Virginia Beach may provide that the agency charged with the enforcement of local ordinances adopted pursuant to §§ 15.2-901, 15.2-903, 15.2-904, 15.2-905 and 15.2-908 or city charter relating to the external maintenance of property or local zoning ordinances relating to motor vehicles or trailers as defined in § 46.2-100 may utilize supervised, trained and qualified volunteers to issue notices of noncompliance with such ordinances. Such volunteers shall have any and all immunity provided to an employee of the locality doing an identical job.

Acts 2000, c. 673; 2002, cc. 31, 451; 2005, cc. 265, 318; 2010, c. 202.

§ 15.2-1133. Purchase of electric power and energy; duration of contracts; source of payments.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Other party" means any other entity, including but not limited to (i) another municipality or public institution of higher education or any political subdivision, public authority, agency, or instrumentality of the Commonwealth, another state, or the United States of America or (ii) a partnership, limited liability company, not-for-profit corporation, electric cooperative, or investor-owned utility, whether created, incorporated, or otherwise organized and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth or another state or the United States of America.

"Project" means any system or facilities for the generation, transmission, transformation, or supply of electrical power and energy by any means whatsoever, including but not limited to fuel, fuel transportation, and fuel supply resources and other related facilities, any one or more electric generating units situated at a particular site, in the continental United States of America, or any interest in the foregoing, whether an undivided interest as a tenant in common or otherwise, or any right to output, capacity or services thereof.

B. Any municipal corporation in the Commonwealth that on January 1, 2006, owned and operated an electric utility system may contract with any other party to buy power and energy required for its present or future requirements. Such contracts may provide that the source of such power and energy is limited to a specified project or may include provision for replacement power and energy. Any such contract may provide that the municipal corporation so contracting shall be obligated to make payments required by the contract whether or not a project is completed, operable, or operating and notwithstanding the suspension, interruption, interference, reduction, or curtailment of the output of a project or the power and energy contracted for, and that such payments under the contract shall not be subject to any reduction, whether by offset or otherwise, and shall not be conditioned upon the performance or nonperformance by any other party. Such contracts, with respect to any project, may also provide, in the event of default by any municipal corporation or other party that is a party to any such contract for such project in the performance of its obligations thereunder, for any municipal corporation or other party to any such contract for such project to succeed to the rights and interests and assume the obligations of the defaulting party, pro rata or otherwise, as may be agreed upon in such contracts. Such contracts may provide that the other party is not obligated to provide power and energy in the event that the project specified to be the source of power and energy to be purchased and sold under such contracts is inoperable or in the case of the suspension, interference, reduction or curtailment of the output of such project or in events of force majeure.

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law or charter provision to the contrary, any such contract, with respect to the sale or purchase of capacity, output, power, or energy from a project, may extend for a period not exceeding 50 years from the date a project is estimated to be placed in normal continuous operation; and the execution and effectiveness thereof shall not be subject to any authorizations or approvals by the Commonwealth or any agency, commission, instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof except as specifically required by law.

Any such contract shall provide that payments by a municipal corporation under any such contract be made solely from and may be secured by a pledge of and lien upon the revenues derived by such municipal corporation from the ownership and operation of the electric system of such municipal corporation, and such payments shall constitute an operating expense of such electric system. No obligation under such contract shall constitute a legal or equitable pledge, charge, lien, or encumbrance upon any property of the municipal corporation or upon any of its income, receipts, or revenues, except the revenues of its electric system, and neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the municipal corporation are, or may be, pledged for the payment of any obligation under any such contract. A municipal corporation shall be obligated to fix, charge, and collect rents, rates, fees, and charges for electric power and energy and other services, facilities, and commodities sold, furnished, or supplied through its electric system sufficient to provide revenues adequate to meet its obligations under any such contract and to pay any and all other amounts payable from or constituting a charge and lien upon such revenues, including amounts sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on bonds of such municipal corporation heretofore or hereafter issued for purposes related to its electric system. Any pledge made by a municipal corporation pursuant to this paragraph shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth.

2007, cc. 612, 670.

Chapter 12. General Powers and Procedures of Counties.

Article 1. Miscellaneous Powers.

§ 15.2-1200. General powers of counties.

Any county may adopt such measures as it deems expedient to secure and promote the health, safety and general welfare of its inhabitants which are not inconsistent with the general laws of the Commonwealth. Such power shall include, but shall not be limited to, the adoption of quarantine regulations affecting both persons and animals, the adoption of necessary regulations to prevent the spread of contagious diseases among persons or animals and the adoption of regulations for the prevention of the pollution of water which is dangerous to the health or lives of persons residing in the county.

Code 1950, § 15-8; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, c. 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-510; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1201. County boards of supervisors vested with powers and authority of councils of cities and towns; exceptions.

The boards of supervisors of counties are hereby vested with the same powers and authority as the councils of cities and towns by virtue of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia or the acts of the General Assembly passed in pursuance thereof. However, with the exception of ordinances expressly authorized under Chapter 13 of Title 46.2, no ordinance shall be enacted under authority of this section regulating the equipment, operation, lighting or speed of motor-propelled vehicles operated on the public highways of a county unless it is uniform with the general laws of the Commonwealth regulating such equipment, operation, lighting or speed and with the regulations of the Commonwealth Transportation Board adopted pursuant to such laws. Nothing in this section shall be construed to give the boards of supervisors any power to control or exercise supervision over signs, signals, marking or traffic lights on any roads constructed and maintained by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. No powers or authority conferred upon the boards of supervisors of counties solely by this section shall be exercised within the corporate limits of any incorporated town except by agreement with the town council.

In the County of Fairfax an ordinance may be adopted by the board of supervisors under this section after a descriptive notice of intention to propose the same for passage has been published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county. After the enactment of such ordinance by the board of supervisors, no publication of the ordinance shall be required and such ordinance shall become effective upon adoption or upon a date fixed by the board of supervisors.

Code 1950, § 15-10; 1950, p. 113; 1958, c. 190; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-522; 1966, cc. 405, 495; 1975, c. 575; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1201.1. Discharging employee for service on board prohibited; penalty [Not set out].

(1997, c. 613, § 15.1-539.1.)

§ 15.2-1201.2. Discount for early payment of taxes.

Counties may by ordinance establish a discount for the early payment of any tax or assessment imposed by the county. For purposes of this section, "early payment" may include payment of real property taxes in full on or before the due date of such tax.

2003, c. 216; 2012, c. 585.

§ 15.2-1202. Appropriation of money to incorporated towns.

The governing body of any county may appropriate such sums as it desires to any incorporated town or towns within the boundaries of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-249; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-544; 1966, c. 495; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1203. Governing body may require treasurer to pay claims.

The governing body of any county may require the treasurer of the county to pay all claims or other obligations for which the governing body has appropriated funds. The treasurer of the county shall, before paying any funds as authorized by this section, first comply with § 58.1-3132.

Code 1950, § 15-551.7; 1950, p. 415; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-121; 1964, c. 413; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1204. Appropriations for advertising resources, etc., by counties.

The governing body of any county may appropriate funds for advertising and giving publicity to the resources and advantages of their county, and in securing and promoting economic development of the county. For the purposes set out in this section the county governing body may make such appropriation to chambers of commerce or similar organizations within such county, or to employ suitable persons to secure and promote economic development of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-12; 1962, c. 580, § 15.1-10.1; 1981, c. 77; 1994, c. 594; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1205. Allocation of county funds or property to authorities created by county.

The governing body of any county may give, lend or advance in any manner that it deems proper funds or other county property, not otherwise specifically allocated or obligated, to any authority created by such governing body pursuant to law.

1966, c. 132, § 15.1-511.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1206. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, c. 495, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-1207. Pistols and revolvers; reports of sales.

The power of any governing body of any county to require sellers of pistols and revolvers to furnish the clerk of the circuit court of the county, after sale of any such weapon, with the name and address of the purchaser, the date of purchase, and the number, make and caliber of the weapon sold is hereby repealed. The clerk shall destroy every record of the reports previously received.

Code 1950, § 59-142; 1968, c. 439, § 15.1-524; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 495.

§ 15.2-1208. Same; in certain counties.

Chapter 297 of the Acts of Assembly of 1944, approved March 29, 1944, requiring permits to sell or purchase pistols or revolvers in any county having a density of population of more than 1,000 a square mile, is repealed. Any records or copies thereof that were created pursuant to this section that are in the custody of any county shall be destroyed no later than July 31, 2004. Upon destroying the records, the county shall certify to the circuit court that such destruction has been completed.

Code 1950, § 59-144; 1968, c. 439, § 15.1-525; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 62, 393.

§ 15.2-1209. Prohibiting outdoor shooting of firearms or arrows from bows in certain areas.

Any county may prohibit the outdoor shooting of firearms or arrows from bows in any areas of the county which are in the opinion of the governing body so heavily populated as to make such conduct dangerous to the inhabitants thereof.

For purposes of this section, "bow" includes all compound bows, crossbows, slingbows, longbows, and recurve bows having a peak draw weight of 10 pounds or more. The term "bow" does not include bows that have a peak draw weight of less than 10 pounds or that are designed or intended to be used principally as toys. The term "arrow" means a shaft-like projectile intended to be shot from a bow.

Any county that prohibits the outdoor shooting of firearms or arrows from bows shall provide an exemption for the killing of deer pursuant to § 29.1-529. Such exemption for the shooting of firearms shall apply on land of at least five acres that is zoned for agricultural use. Such exemption for the shooting of arrows from bows shall apply on land of at least two acres that is zoned for agricultural use.

Code 1950, § 15-20.3; 1954, c. 223; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-518; 1968, c. 294; 1992, c. 600; 1993, c. 367; 1995, c. 284; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 229; 2004, c. 930; 2005, c. 564; 2017, c. 530.

§ 15.2-1209.1. Counties may regulate carrying of loaded firearms on public highways.

The governing body of any county is hereby empowered to adopt ordinances making it unlawful for any person to carry or have in his possession, for the purpose of hunting, while on any part of a public highway within such county a loaded firearm when such person is not authorized to hunt on the private property on both sides of the highway along which he is standing or walking; and to provide a penalty for violation of such ordinance not to exceed a fine of $100. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons carrying loaded firearms in moving vehicles or for purposes other than hunting, or to persons acting at the time in defense of persons or property.

Code 1950, § 18.1-272; 1975, cc. 14, 15, § 18.2-287; 2004, c. 462; 2007, c. 203.

§ 15.2-1210. Prohibiting hunting in certain areas.

Any county may by ordinance prohibit all hunting with firearms or other weapons in, or within one-half mile of, any subdivision or other area of such county which, in the opinion of the governing body, is so heavily populated as to make such hunting dangerous to the inhabitants thereof. Any such ordinance shall clearly describe each area in which hunting is prohibited, and shall further provide that appropriate signs shall be erected designating the boundaries of such area.

Code 1950, § 15-20.3:1; 1962, c. 163, § 15.1-518.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1211. Boundaries of magisterial and election districts.

A. County magisterial district boundary lines and names shall be as the governing bodies may establish. Subject to the provisions of § 24.2-304.1, whenever the boundaries of a county have been altered, the governing body shall, as may be necessary, redistrict the county into magisterial districts, change the boundaries of existing districts, change the name of any district, or increase or diminish the number of districts.

B. Whenever redistricting of magisterial or election districts is required as a result of annexation, the governing body of such county shall, within a reasonable time from the effective date of such annexation, not to exceed ninety days, commence the redistricting process which shall be completed within a reasonable time thereafter, not to exceed twelve months.

C. A county may by ordinance provide that the magisterial districts of the county shall remain the same, but that representation on the governing body shall be by election districts, in which event all sections of this Code providing for election or appointment on the basis of magisterial districts shall be construed to provide for election or appointment on the basis of election districts, including appointment to a school board as prescribed by §§ 22.1-36 and 22.1-44.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 200, § 15.1-571.1; 1976, c. 398; 1979, c. 288; 1980, c. 559; 1995, c. 249; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1212. Frederick County; resolution of board of supervisors; referendum; election [Not set out].

Not set out. (1974, c. 398, § 15.1-527.1; 1979, c. 333; 1980, c. 393; 1997, c. 587.)

§ 15.2-1213. Referendum in Loudoun County on election of the county chairman from the county at large [Not set out].

(1990, c. 895, § 15.1-527.3; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 778.)

§ 15.2-1213.1. Referendum in Page County on election of the county chairman from the county at large [Not set out].

(2004, cc. 18, 890.)

§ 15.2-1214. County may provide motor vehicle liability insurance to protect operators of motor vehicles owned or leased by county, school board, etc.

The governing body of any county may provide motor vehicle liability insurance for the purpose of protecting all operators of motor vehicles owned or leased by the county, the county school board, or any sanitary district, authority, or other governmental unit established by the governing body, and may make such appropriations and expenditures from any available funds for the purpose of paying such insurance. All previous expenditures for any such purpose by any county are ratified.

1966, c. 140, § 15.1-19.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1215. Authority to cut growth of grass or lawn area in counties.

A. Any county may by ordinance require that the owner of occupied residential real property therein cut the grass or lawn area of less than one-half acre on such property or any part thereof at such time or times as the governing body shall prescribe when growth on such grass or lawn area exceeds 12 inches in height; or may whenever the governing body deems it necessary, after reasonable notice, have such grass or lawn area cut by its agents or employees, in which event, the cost and expenses thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owner of such property and may be collected by the county as taxes and levies are collected. No such ordinance adopted by the county shall have any force and effect within the corporate limits of any town. Violation of such ordinance may be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed $100.

B. No such ordinance shall be applicable to land zoned for or in active farming operation.

1988, c. 625, § 15.1-11.01; 1990, c. 155; 1991, cc. 314, 315; 1997, cc. 587, 614; 1998, cc. 640, 756; 2005, c. 309; 2006, c. 700; 2009, c. 252; 2010, c. 396; 2014, c. 385.

§ 15.2-1216. Provision of information to prospective buyers in planned development units.

Any county having an urban county executive or county executive form of government, or any county adjacent to any two or more such counties, may by ordinance require that the sellers of new homes provide to home buyers access to copies of the approved subdivision plat, all development plans approved as part of the zoning for the planned unit development, proffered conditions accepted pursuant to subsection A of § 15.2-2286 as part of the zoning approval for the development, and the comprehensive plan for the area of the county, all of which documents shall include the property for sale and shall be current as of the date access to such documents is provided. The ordinance may require that, prior to execution of an offer to buy:

1. Such documents be located on the site of the property encompassed by the subdivision, plat, or planned unit development in which the property for sale is located, or at an office in its immediate vicinity; and

2. The seller of the new home notify the prospective home buyers of the location of these documents and provide a reasonable opportunity for such prospective buyers to inspect these documents.

Any violation of such an ordinance shall be punishable by a civil fine of not more than $100.

1983, c. 409, § 15.1-29.10; 1997, cc. 547, 587.

§ 15.2-1217. Regulation of emission of smoke from fuel-burning equipment.

Any county may regulate the emission of smoke and the methods of firing and stoking furnaces and boilers and may charge such reasonable fees for the issuance of permits and the performing of inspections as the governing body may from time to time fix. However, counties shall not apply or enforce such regulations in incorporated towns which have in force ordinances prescribing equal or greater standards in regulating the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings and other structures, the installation, maintenance, operation and repair of plumbing, electrical, heating, elevator, escalator, boiler, unfired pressure vessel and air conditioning installations in or appurtenant to buildings and structures, the emission of smoke, the construction, installation and maintenance of fuel-burning equipment, and the methods of firing and stoking furnaces and boilers, and the light, ventilation, sanitation and use and occupancy of buildings.

1966, c. 290, §§ 15.1-510.1, 15.1-510.4, 15.1-510.6; 1970, cc. 211, 212; 1983, c. 508; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1218. Prevention of trespassing; animals running at large on highways.

Any county may prevent trespassing by persons and animals and prevent animals from running at large upon the public highways, whether such highways are enclosed by a fence or not.

Code 1950, § 15-8; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, c. 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-512; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1219. Prohibiting sale on highways of plants, shrubs or trees.

Any county may prohibit the sale or the offering for sale of any plants, shrubs or trees or any part or parts thereof upon any public highway or right-of-way of any public highway located within such county. However, nothing in this section shall apply to any business in which real property is owned, leased or occupied in any way adjacent to such highway or right-of-way by such business. No penalty for the violation of any ordinance enacted pursuant to this section shall impose a fine exceeding fifty dollars.

Code 1950, § 15-8.1; 1958, c. 620; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-513; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1220. Regulation by certain counties of persons and vehicles.

The Counties of Franklin, Pulaski, and York may by ordinance impose reasonable regulations to provide for the comfort, safety and health of the general public and persons assembled, or traveling to assemble, for any outdoor occasion.

Such regulations may cover the following: (i) hours of operation, (ii) sanitary facility requirements, (iii) security personnel requirements, and (iv) maximum noise levels.

1986, c. 98, § 15.1-514.2; 1988, c. 148; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-1221. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2000, c. 939.

§ 15.2-1222. Regulation of certain motion pictures shown at drive-in theaters.

Any county may, by ordinance, regulate the screening of motion pictures, classified by the motion picture industry as being suitable for display to adult audiences only, in drive-in theaters where such motion pictures are visible to the traveling public from a highway, street or other public way for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.

1979, c. 368, § 15.1-515.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1223. Regulation of horse riding schools.

Any county may by ordinance provide for the licensing, inspection and regulation of horse riding schools for the purpose of preventing any violation of § 3.2-6570 or any local ordinance of similar import.

For the purposes of this section, "horse riding school" means any establishment operated for profit in connection with which one or more horses are let for hire to be ridden or driven, either with or without the furnishing of riding or driving instructions.

Code 1950, § 15-20.4; 1956, c. 461; 1960, c. 359; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-519; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1224. Authority to equip and maintain television transmission and relay facilities.

A. Any county may equip and maintain television transmission and relay facilities in areas which are so remote from regular transmission points of large television stations that television reception is impossible without special equipment and in which adequate, economical and proper television is not available by private sources, if a majority of the voters voting in a referendum held pursuant to subsection B vote in favor thereof.

B. If on or before the fifteenth day of July in any year a petition signed by two hundred or more qualified voters of a county is filed with the circuit court of such county asking that a referendum be held on the question set forth in this subsection, then such court shall, on or before the fifteenth day of August of such year, issue an order requiring the county election officials to open the polls at the regular election to be held in November of each year on the following question:

Shall the governing body be authorized to equip and maintain television transmission and relay facilities?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

The election shall conform in all respects with the requirements of general law.

1970, c. 139, § 15.1-526.1; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1225. Authority to establish hospitals.

The governing body of any county may establish and operate hospitals in such county.

1979, c. 719, § 15.1-526.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1226. Authority of certain counties over Smith Mountain Lake [Not set out].

Not set out. (1988, c. 876, § 15.1-12.1; 1997, c. 587.)

§ 15.2-1227. Well covers in Caroline County [Not set out].

(1950, § 15-14; 1962, cc. 400, 623, § 15.1-11; 1964, c. 31; 1968, c. 423; 1974, c. 655; 1978, c. 533; 1983, cc. 192, 390; 1990, c. 177; 1992, c. 649; 1994, c. 167; 1997, c. 587.)

§ 15.2-1228. Repair of foundation damage in certain counties [Not set out].

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

§ 15.2-1229. Petty cash funds.

Whenever the governing body of any county determines that more efficient administration would be promoted thereby, it may by resolution establish one or more petty cash funds not exceeding $5,000 each for the payment of claims arising from commitments made pursuant to law. Any person into whose hands any such fund is placed may pay such claims therefrom, without necessity of prior receipt and audit of the claims by the governing body and without approval and issuance of the warrant of the governing body or the county treasurer. Such person shall render an account of the same and make a settlement thereof annually in form and manner prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. Such person shall give bond with surety in the amount of $10,000; however, additional bond shall not be required of any person already bonded in the required amount.

Code 1950, § 15-254; 1962, cc. 399, 623, § 15.1-548; 1977, c. 227; 1983, c. 101; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1230. Monthly financial reports of officers and offices.

The governing body of any county may require monthly financial reports from any officer or office of the county or of any district thereof and may investigate bills and receipts of any county or district officer, and for these purposes may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of books, papers and other evidence. Any witness who fails or refuses to obey any such lawful order of the governing body shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 15-263; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-556; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1231. Centralized competitive purchasing by chief administrative officer.

A. The governing body of any county having a chief administrative officer may provide for the centralized competitive purchasing of all supplies, equipment, materials and commodities for all departments, officers and employees of the county, and for the county school board and the local board of social services. For counties not currently engaged in centralized competitive purchasing, the local governing body and the local school board may create a centralized competitive purchasing system only by mutual agreement. Such purchasing shall be done by the chief administrative officer under the supervision of the governing body of the county and shall be accomplished in accordance with Chapter 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

B. Such governing bodies may establish and maintain such systems of bookkeeping, accounting and controls as are necessary to the proper operation of such system of competitive purchasing and to establish such storage facilities as are necessary therefor.

C. Such governing bodies may require all departments to obtain their supplies, equipment, materials and commodities from the chief administrative officer, on requisitions prescribed by the governing body and to charge such departments therefor.

Code 1950, §§ 15-551.12, 15-551.13, 15-551.14; 1950, pp. 444, 445; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-127, 15.1-128, 15.1-129; 1982, c. 647; 1997, c. 587; 2002, cc. 452, 747.

§ 15.2-1232. Posting of bond not prerequisite to exercise of right by county.

Whenever the law requires the posting of a bond, with or without surety, as a condition precedent to the exercise of any right, a county, without giving such bond, may exercise such right, provided all other conditions precedent are complied with, and no action shall be delayed or refused because the county has not filed or executed the bond that might otherwise be required, and the county shall be bound to the same extent that it would have been bound had the bond been given.

1980, c. 298, § 15.1-508.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1232.1. Auctions; pawnshops; secondhand dealers; peddling; fraud and deceit in sales; weights and measures.

A county may regulate the sale of property at auction; may regulate the conduct of and prescribe the number of pawnshops and dealers in secondhand goods, wares and merchandise; may regulate or prohibit peddling; may prevent fraud or deceit in the sale of property; may require weighing, measuring, gauging and inspection of goods, wares and merchandise offered for sale; and may provide for the sealing of weights and measures and the inspection and testing thereof.

2003, c. 448.

§ 15.2-1232.2. Creation of local economic revitalization zones.

A. Any county may establish by ordinance one or more economic revitalization zones for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase real property and interests in real property to assemble parcels suitable for economic development. Each county establishing an economic revitalization zone may grant incentives and provide regulatory flexibility. Such zones shall be reasonably compact, shall not encompass the entire county, and shall constitute one or more tax parcels not commonly owned. Properties that are acquired through the use of eminent domain shall not be eligible for the incentives and regulatory flexibility provided by the ordinance.

B. The incentives may include, but not be limited to, (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax, and (iv) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property.

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

D. The regulatory flexibility provided in an economic revitalization zone may include (i) special zoning for the district; (ii) the use of a special permit process; (iii) exemption from certain specified ordinances, excluding ordinances or provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.), the Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.), and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.); and (iv) any other incentives adopted by ordinance, which shall be binding upon the county for a period of up to 10 years.

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

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

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

2017, c. 384.

Article 2. County Procurement By a County Purchasing Agent.

§ 15.2-1233. Article not applicable until agent employed.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to any county until the governing body employs a county purchasing agent or designates someone to perform such duties, as provided in § 15.2-1543.

Code 1950, § 15-549; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-113; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1234. Definitions.

As used in this article, "supplies" means any articles or things, including equipment, which are used by or furnished to any department, institution, office, board or other agency of county government.

"Contractual services" means any telephone, telegraph, postal, electric light and power service and other similar services.

Code 1950, § 15-542; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-106; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1235. Rules and regulations to govern county purchases.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this article, any supplies or contractual services needed by one or more departments or agencies of the county government shall be directly purchased or contracted for by the county purchasing agent, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

B. The county purchasing agent, subject to the approval of the governing body of the county, shall promulgate regulations for the following purposes:

1. Prescribing the manner in which supplies shall be purchased, delivered, stored, and distributed;

2. Prescribing the dates for making requisitions and estimates, the future period which they are to cover, the form in which they shall be submitted, the manner of their authentication, and their revision by the county purchasing agent;

3. Providing for the transfer to or between county departments and agencies of supplies which are surplus with one department or agency but which may be needed by another, and for the disposal by sale, after receipt of competitive bids, of supplies which are obsolete and unusable;

4. Prescribing the amount of deposit or bond to be submitted with a bid on a contract and the amount of deposit or bond to be given for the faithful performance of a contract;

5. Prescribing the manner in which claims for supplies and contractual services delivered to the departments and agencies of the county shall be submitted, examined, approved and paid; and

6. Providing for such other matters as may be necessary to give effect to the foregoing rules and the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 15-543; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-107; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1236. Purchases and sales to be based on competition.

A. All purchases of, and contracts for, supplies and contractual services shall be in accordance with Chapter 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

B. All sales of any personal property which has become obsolete and unusable shall be based wherever feasible on competitive bids. If the amount of the sale is estimated by the county purchasing agent to exceed $5,000, sealed bids shall, unless the governing body provides otherwise, be solicited by public notice published at least once in a newspaper of countywide circulation at least five calendar days before the final date of submitting bids.

Code 1950, § 15-544; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-108; 1977, c. 217; 1980, c. 16; 1982, c. 647; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1237. Legal review of contracts; filing.

All contracts shall be approved as to form by the county attorney or other qualified attorney and a copy of each long-term contract shall be filed with the treasurer or other chief financial officer of the county.

Code 1950, § 15-545; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-109; 1977, c. 584; 1982, c. 647; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1238. Certification of sufficient funds.

Except in emergency, no order for delivery on a contract or open market order for supplies or contractual services for any county department or agency shall be awarded until the chief financial officer has certified that the unencumbered balance in the appropriation concerned, in excess of all unpaid obligations, is sufficient to defray the cost of such order.

Code 1950, § 15-546; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-110; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1239. Orders and contracts in violation of article.

If any department or agency of the county government purchases or contracts for any supplies or contractual services contrary to the provisions of this article or the rules and regulations made thereunder, such order or contract shall be void and the head of such department or agency shall be personally liable for the costs of such order or contract.

Code 1950, § 15-546; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-110; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1240. Violation of § 15.2-1238 or § 15.2-1239 a misdemeanor.

Any violation of § 15.2-1238 or § 15.2-1239 shall be a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as provided by § 18.2-12.

Code 1950, § 15-548; 1960, c. 360; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-112; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Procedural Requirements.

§ 15.2-1241. Signing records when chairman has died, moved, etc., before signing them.

When the chairman of any county governing body who should have signed the records of the proceedings of any meeting of the governing body has died, moved from the county, completed his term of office or for any other reason become incapacitated to perform the duties of his office, without having signed such records, the governing body shall have such records read at a regular meeting and if no error appears shall direct its then chairman to sign such record. The governing body shall thereupon enter on its records the fact of such reading and signing. Such records, when so signed, shall be as valid as if they had been signed by the chairman who presided at the time when such order or orders were made.

Code 1950, § 15-235; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-530; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1242. Minutes of meetings and proceedings.

The governing body of every county shall cause to be recorded, in well bound books or by a microphotographic process which complies with standards adopted pursuant to regulations issued under § 42.1-82 for microfilm, microfiche, or such other similar microphotographic process, complete minutes of all their respective meetings and proceedings. All bids submitted on any building, materials, supplies, work, or project to be let to contract by any governing body may be incorporated by reference in such minutes, and the record of such bids shall be retained in a separate file. Such minutes and records of bids shall be kept open to public inspection at all reasonable times for a period of three years after they have been recorded. The minutes of regularly occurring workshop meetings at which no official action is taken may be recorded by tape or sound recording, which shall be retained and available for public inspection in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) and the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 15-248; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-543; 1979, c. 209; 1980, c. 220; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 126.

Article 4. Payment of Claims.

§ 15.2-1243. Governing body to receive, audit and approve claims; warrants.

A. The governing body of every county shall receive and audit all claims against the county, except those required to be received and audited by the county school board, and shall, by resolution or recorded vote, approve and order warrants issued in settlement of those claims that are found to be valid; provided that a county administrator, county executive or county manager may sign and issue orders or warrants under such conditions as the governing body may prescribe. Every warrant issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall bear the date on which the governing body orders it to be issued and shall be made payable on demand, signed by the clerk of the governing body or his deputy, countersigned by the chairman or acting chairman of the governing body, and recorded in the form and manner prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. Such warrant may be converted to a negotiable check by the treasurer, or appropriately designated deputy treasurer, by affixing his signature thereto in conformity with the provisions of § 58.1-3162 and by designating thereon the bank by which it is to be paid.

B. Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection A, the governing body of any county may provide, by resolution, for the drawing of special warrants on the county treasurer, payable out of county funds, in payment of compensation, when such compensation has been earned or is due for (i) all employees and officers under written contract, and all officers elected or appointed for a term of office and their deputies and employees, (ii) upon receipt of certified time sheets or other evidence of services performed, the payment of all other employees whose rates of pay have been established by such governing body or its properly designated agent, or (iii) for payment on contracts for construction projects according to the terms of such contracts. All such special warrants so authorized shall be signed by the clerk of such governing body and countersigned by the chairman of such governing body. Any special warrant may be converted into a negotiable check in the manner provided in subsection A. All such payrolls and contracts so paid shall be reviewed and approved by the governing body at its next regular meeting.

C. The governing body of any county may, in its discretion, destroy the papers constituting any or all claims allowed and paid, upon the expiration of five years after audit in accordance with retention regulations established pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 15-253; 1952, cc. 16, 304; 1954, c. 183; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-547; 1968, c. 269; 1979, c. 206; 1982, c. 493; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1244. Limitations on issuance of warrants.

No county governing body shall order any warrant issued for any purpose other than the payment of a claim received, audited and approved as required by § 15.2-1243. No clerk, deputy clerk, chairman or acting chairman of any county governing body shall sign or countersign any warrant not ordered issued by the governing body pursuant to § 15.2-1243. No county governing body shall expend in any year for any purpose an amount greater than the amount available for such purpose during the year or order issued against any fund at any time any warrant in excess of the amount available in such fund and in the treasurer's possession at the time such warrant is issued, taking into account all previously issued and outstanding warrants payable from such fund. No interest shall be paid on any county warrant. Any clerk, deputy clerk or member of any county governing body who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in addition shall be guilty of malfeasance in office.

Code 1950, § 15-256; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-549; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1245. Procedure for allowance of claims.

A. No account shall be allowed by the governing body of the county unless made out in separate items with the nature of each item specifically stated. When no specific fees are allowed by law, the time actually and necessarily devoted to the performance of any service charged in such account shall be verified by affidavit, which shall be filed with the account. The attorney for the Commonwealth, or the county attorney if there is one, shall represent the county before the board and advise the board of any claim which in his opinion is illegal or not before the board in proper form or upon proper proof, or which for any other reason ought not to be allowed. No such claim shall be denied unless the attorney representing the county has, by certified mail, served written notice on the claimant or his agent of the date that the governing body will consider the claim.

B. If any claim has been allowed by the governing body against the county which in the opinion of such attorney is improper as to form or proof or illegal, the attorney shall seek the advice of the Attorney General as to legality or the State Auditor of Public Accounts as to matters of accounting. If any claim has been allowed by the governing body against the county which, in the opinion of any six owners of land within the county is improper as to form or proof or illegal, such landowners may appeal the decision of the governing body to the circuit court for the county. If either the Attorney General or the State Auditor of Public Accounts is of the opinion the claim is illegal or in improper form, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall appeal from the decision of the governing body to the circuit court for the county. In the event of any such appeal, the moving party shall serve a written notice of the appeal on the clerk of the governing body and the party in whose favor the claim is allowed within 30 days after the making of such decision. If the court finds and states in its order that the claim was improperly allowed but that the consideration received or to be received by the county for payments made or to be made was or will be for value, it shall dismiss the appeal. If the court finds otherwise, it shall remand the claim to the governing body for appropriate action.

C. Whenever any claim allowed by a county governing body is declared illegal by a court of competent jurisdiction, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the county attorney if there is one, in the name of the county, shall institute proper proceedings in the circuit court of his county within two years from the entry of the order declaring the claim illegal, if such amount has already been paid. Such attorney shall be available to the governing body and give his legal opinion when requested.

D. Nothing in this section shall prevent any county governing body from disallowing any account, in whole or in part, when rendered and verified consistent with subsection A, or requiring any other evidence of the truth and propriety of any account as it thinks proper.

Code 1950, §§ 15-257, 15-258; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-550, 15.1-551; 1968, c. 450; 1980, c. 58; 1982, c. 173; 1984, c. 617; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1246. Appeal from disallowance of claim.

When a claim of any person against a county is disallowed in whole or in part by the governing body, if such person is present, he may appeal from the decision of the governing body within 30 days from the date of the decision. If the claimant is not present, the clerk of the governing body shall serve a written notice of the disallowance on him or his agent, and he may appeal from the decision within 30 days after service of such notice. In no case shall the appeal be taken after the lapse of six months from the date of the decision. The appeal shall be filed with the circuit court for the county. No appeal shall be allowed unless the amount disallowed exceeds $10. The disallowance may be appealed by serving written notice on the clerk of the governing body and executing a cash or surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit to the county in the amount of $250, with condition for the faithful prosecution of such appeal, and the payment of all costs imposed on the appellant by the court.

Code 1950, § 15-259; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-552; 1983, c. 114; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 300; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1247. When disallowance of claim final; exception; when no execution to be issued.

The determination of the governing body of any county disallowing a claim, in whole or in part, shall be a bar to any action in any court founded on such claim, unless (i) the decision of the governing body disallowing the claim is appealed; (ii) the governing body consents to the institution of an action by the claimant against the county; or (iii) the governing body fails to act upon any claim within 90 days of the date the claim is received by the governing body or its clerk, provided that such time may be extended by mutual agreement of the claimant and the county. No execution shall be issued upon any judgment recovered against a county, board of supervisors, or against any officer of the county, when the judgment should be paid by the county. Any judgment against the county shall be provided for by the governing body in the next county levy and paid by the treasurer as other county charges.

Code 1950, § 15-260; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-553; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1248. No action against county until claim presented to governing body.

No action shall be maintained by any person against a county upon any claim or demand until such person has presented his claim to the governing body of the county, unless the governing body has entered into a binding arbitration agreement or there is a provision in a written contract with the county to submit to arbitration any controversy thereafter arising. When there exists such a provision in a contract or there is a written agreement to arbitrate, the provisions of the Uniform Arbitration Act, Article 2 (§ 8.01-581.01 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 8.01, shall apply.

Code 1950, § 15-261; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-554; 1987, c. 483; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1249. Amounts allowed endorsed on claim; copies of record and accounts to be furnished.

The clerk shall endorse upon every account on which any sum shall be audited and allowed by the governing body the amount so audited and allowed and the charges for which the same was allowed; every such endorsement, if found to be in order, shall be subscribed by the chairman or acting chairman of the governing body; and the clerk shall deliver to any person who may demand it a certified copy of any record in his office, or of any account therein, on receiving from such person the fees allowed to the clerk of the circuit court for similar services.

Code 1950, § 15-262; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-555; 1997, c. 587.

Chapter 13. Joint Actions By Localities.

Article 1. Joint Exercise of Powers.

§ 15.2-1300. Joint exercise of powers by political subdivisions.

A. Any power, privilege or authority exercised or capable of exercise by any political subdivision of this Commonwealth may be exercised and enjoyed jointly with any other political subdivision of this Commonwealth having a similar power, privilege or authority except where an express statutory procedure is otherwise provided for the joint exercise.

B. Any two or more political subdivisions may enter into agreements with one another for joint action pursuant to the provisions of this section. The participating political subdivisions shall approve such agreement before the agreement may enter into force. Localities shall approve such agreements by ordinance. Other political subdivisions shall approve such agreements by resolution.

C. The agreement shall specify the following:

1. Its duration.

2. Its purpose or purposes.

3. The manner of financing the joint undertaking and of establishing and maintaining a budget therefor.

4. The permissible method or methods to be employed in accomplishing the partial or complete termination of the agreement and for disposing of property upon such partial or complete termination.

5. All other necessary and proper matters.

D. The agreement, in addition to the items enumerated in subsection C hereof, may contain the following:

1. Provision for an administrator or a joint board responsible for administering the undertaking. The precise organization, composition, term, powers and duties of any administrator or joint board shall be specified.

2. The manner of acquiring, holding (including how title to such property shall be held) and disposing of real and personal property used in the undertaking.

3. How issues of liability will be dealt with and the types, amounts and coverages of insurance.

E. No agreement made pursuant to this section shall relieve any political subdivision of any obligation or responsibility imposed upon it by law except that to the extent of actual and timely performance thereof by an administrator or joint board created by an agreement made hereunder, such performance may be offered in satisfaction of the obligation or responsibility.

F. Any political subdivision entering into an agreement pursuant to this section may appropriate funds and may sell, lease, give, or otherwise supply the administrator or joint board created to operate the undertaking with such property, personnel or services therefor as may be within its legal power to furnish.

G. Any power, privilege or authority exercised or capable of exercise by any political subdivision of this Commonwealth may be exercised and enjoyed jointly with any political subdivision of any other state or the District of Columbia subject to the provisions of subsections A, B, C, D, E and F above, which shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Code 1950, § 15-13.2; 1958, c. 191; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-21; 1976, c. 583; 1991, c. 28; 1992, c. 370; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1300.1. Joint aid agreements by localities.

A locality may, by ordinance or resolution, authorize its chief administrative officer to arrange for provision of aid to other localities or receipt of aid from other localities in situations where a locality does not declare a local emergency, including approval by the chief administrator of agreements with other localities, subject to availability of resources. In situations where localities declare a local emergency, the provision or receipt of aid may occur pursuant to § 44-146.20. The ordinance or resolution may include terms and conditions deemed necessary by the governing body for participation in such aid and shall set forth the scope of the chief administrator's authority, including the type of aid that may be provided or received, or may generally authorize participation in provision or receipt of any type of aid including personnel, equipment, or other resources for public purposes. Prior to providing or receiving aid, the chief administrator shall conduct an assessment of available resources and shall consider establishing terms for the supervision of personnel, the term of deployment, payment or reimbursement of costs, and verification of insurance coverage.

The ordinance or resolution may allow for the participation of volunteers and, with approval of the constitutional officer, constitutional officers and their staffs. Deployed personnel acting pursuant to the ordinance or resolution of the governing body shall have the same authority and immunity in other localities as in the locality where they are employed or volunteer.

2011, c. 267.

§ 15.2-1301. Voluntary economic growth-sharing agreements.

A. Any county, city or town, or combination thereof, may enter voluntarily into an agreement with any other county, city or town, or combination thereof, whereby the locality may agree for any purpose otherwise permitted, including the provision on a multi-jurisdictional basis of one or more public services or facilities or any type of economic development project, to enter into binding fiscal arrangements for fixed time periods, to exceed one year, to share in the benefits of the economic growth of their localities. However, if any such agreement contains any provision addressing any issue provided for in Chapters 32, 33, 36, 38, 39, or 41 of this title, the agreement shall be subject to the review and implementation process established by Chapter 34 of this title.

B. The terms and conditions of the revenue, tax base or economic growth-sharing agreement as provided in subsection A shall be determined by the affected localities and shall be approved by the governing body of each locality participating in the agreement, provided the governing body of each such locality first holds a public hearing which shall be advertised once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality. However, the public hearing shall not take place until the Commission on Local Government has issued its findings in accordance with subsection D. For purposes of this section, "revenue, tax base, and economic growth-sharing agreements" means any agreement authorized by subsection A which obligates any locality to pay another locality all or any portion of designated taxes or other revenues received by that political subdivision, but shall not include any interlocal service agreement.

C. Any revenue, tax base or economic growth-sharing agreement entered into under the provisions of this section that creates a debt pursuant to Article VII, Section 10 (b) of the Constitution of Virginia, shall require the board of supervisors to hold a special election on the question as provided in § 15.2-3401.

D. Revenue, tax base, and economic growth-sharing agreements drafted under the provisions of this chapter shall be submitted to the Commission on Local Government for review as provided in subdivision 4 of § 15.2-2903. However, no such review shall be required for two or more localities entering into an economic growth-sharing agreement pursuant to this section in order to facilitate the reception of grants for qualified companies in such locality pursuant to the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Fund and Program established pursuant to § 62.1-132.3:2.

1996, cc. 713, 725, 743, § 15.1-21.2; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 578, 612; 2014, c. 470.

§ 15.2-1302. Certain Commonwealth distributions to localities.

Any state funds that were distributed to a locality, including a local school board, in support of a governmental program or function prior to a consolidation of such program or function or the governmental consolidation of the entities providing such programs or functions, shall continue to be distributed to the entity or entities carrying out the program or function after consolidation in accordance with the following schedule:

1. If the consolidation results in the governmental consolidation of the entities into a single locality, the state funds shall not be reduced below the amounts that would have been received by each entity from the Commonwealth for the governmental program or function computed on the premise that no consolidation occurred for a period of twenty fiscal years following the consolidation.

2. If the consolidation results in the consolidation of constitutional officers of the entities and the consolidation of school divisions and local school boards of the entities, the state funds shall not be reduced below the amounts that would have been received by each entity from the Commonwealth for the governmental program or function computed on the premise that no consolidation occurred for a period of fifteen fiscal years following the consolidation.

3. In all other consolidations, the state funds shall not be reduced below the amounts that would have been received by each entity from the Commonwealth for the governmental program or function computed on the premise that no consolidation occurred for a period of five fiscal years following the consolidation.

This section shall not prohibit the Commonwealth from terminating or modifying any program or function under which distribution to a locality, including a local school board, has been made, and if so terminated or modified all obligations hereunder shall cease or be reduced in proportion with such modifications, as the case may be.

If any such consolidations terminate prior to the end of the applicable period set forth above, the Commonwealth's obligation under this section shall cease.

For the purposes of this section, "consolidation" includes the transition of a city to town status.

The provisions of this section shall also apply to consolidations of a governmental program or function and governmental consolidations of entities, providing such consolidations take place after January 1, 1995.

1991, c. 189, § 15.1-21.1; 1994, c. 437; 1995, c. 728; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 708; 2001, c. 14.

Article 2. Local Government Associations.

§ 15.2-1303. Associations to promote welfare of political subdivisions.

The governing bodies of two or more of the political subdivisions of the Commonwealth may, in their discretion, and in addition to powers prescribed in § 15.2-940, form and maintain associations for the purpose of promoting, through investigation, discussion and cooperative effort, the interest and welfare of the several political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, and to promote a closer relation between the several political subdivisions of the Commonwealth. Any such association so formed shall be an instrumentality of the political subdivisions which are members thereof.

The provisions of this section shall be applicable to any such associations created prior to and in existence on June 29, 1956.

Code 1950, § 15-13.1; 1956, c. 246; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-20; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1304. Appropriating funds or supplying goods and services to certain regional organizations.

A. The governing body of any locality which is a member, or hereafter becomes a member, of any organization or association including an organization or association having members outside of the Commonwealth which has as its principal objective one or more of the purposes set forth in subsection B hereof, is authorized to appropriate funds to such organization or to provide goods and services to such organization, all for the purpose of advancing the welfare and economic interests of such locality and the citizens thereof.

B. Funds may be appropriated or goods and services may be provided, only to an organization which has as its objective one or more of the following purposes: identification of problems hindering the growth, development and economic functioning of the region in which such locality is located; development of comprehensive plans for the growth and development of the region as a whole and the promotion of interjurisdictional cooperation; development of appropriate policies and cooperative mechanisms among the participating localities for improving the administration of public services; development of concerted action among participating localities for the benefit thereof and for the benefit of the region as a whole; defense and strengthening of local government; and taking of such other action in connection with the foregoing as will advance the best interests of the entire region and of the participating localities; however, all funds for the development of plans or planning in Virginia shall be expended through commissions created under Article 2 (§ 15.2-2210 et seq.) of Chapter 22 of Title 15.2, and other related or existing agencies authorized by the Commonwealth, to the extent that such commissions or other agencies are authorized by law to develop such plans or planning. Provided further, that no locality shall appropriate funds, unless specifically authorized by the General Assembly, to any organization or association having members outside of the Commonwealth (i) when such association or organization possesses the power of taxation or the right of condemnation and (ii) unless the locality has the right to withdraw from such association or organization at any time.

1964, c. 30, § 15.1-20.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1305. Review of appropriations to certain agencies; providing goods and services to such agencies in lieu of funds.

The governing body of any locality may from time to time require of any board, commission or authority, hereinafter referred to as recipient agency, to which it has power to appropriate public funds and has appropriated such funds in the past or has received a request for appropriations, such information books and records of the recipient agency as the governing body deems necessary in order that it may be assured that an appropriation or proposed appropriation will not result in the dissipation of public funds and in order that it may determine the use of past and the proposed use of future appropriations, the method of management, control and organization of the recipient agency and its present and proposed programs. If the governing body determines that a particular administrative function or activity of the recipient organization duplicates the services provided by the governing body and that public funds may be conserved by combining, consolidating or coordinating the activities of the recipient agency with those of the locality, it may, in lieu of an appropriation of funds for that function or activity, provide the recipient agency with the necessary goods and services. The governing body may assign officers and employees to coordinate the functions and activities of the governing body and those of the various recipient agencies.

1968, c. 554, § 15.1-20.2; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Regional Competitiveness Act.

§ 15.2-1306. Policy of General Assembly.

It shall be the policy of the General Assembly to encourage Virginia's counties, cities and towns to exercise the options provided by law to work together for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the Commonwealth.

1996, cc. 1045, 1055, § 15.1-1227.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1307. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

"Joint activity" means a governmental function which is carried out by, performed on behalf of, or contracted for two or more localities within a region and includes present and future activities.

"Locality" means all counties, cities and towns within a regional partnership.

"Region" means a planning district; however, by agreement of the localities of the planning district, localities which are not part of a planning district may be added to the region if the locality's governing body by vote agrees to become part of the region. In addition, localities may establish, with the approval of the Department of Housing and Community Development, a different regional configuration, provided that at least one of the localities is a city, if a city exists within the planning district, unless the city voluntarily agrees not to participate.

"Regional partnership" means an organization composed of government, business, education and civic leaders approved by the local governing bodies of the region to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The organization may be an existing or newly established regional planning or economic development organization serving the region.

1996, cc. 1045, 1055, § 15.1-1227.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1308. Incentives for certain joint activities by local governments.

A. The General Assembly may establish a fund to be used to encourage regional strategic planning and cooperation. Specifically, the incentive fund shall be used to encourage and reward regional strategic economic development planning and joint activities as described in § 15.2-1309.

B. The fund shall be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development and distributed to the qualifying localities in installments under the terms and conditions of applicable statutes and by procedures adopted by the Department.

C. All departments, agencies, institutions, and local governments of the Commonwealth shall make available such information and assistance as the Department may request in the performance of its responsibilities set forth in this section.

1996, cc. 1045, 1055, § 15.1-1227.3; 1997, c. 587; 2003, cc. 55, 77.

§ 15.2-1309. Eligibility criteria for incentive payments.

The Department of Housing and Community Development, in setting the criteria for eligibility for incentive payments under § 15.2-1308, shall require that:

1. A regional partnership shall exist and effectively function in the applicant region, and membership shall include as broad a representation as is practical of local government, elementary and secondary education, higher education, the business community, and civic groups. The partnership should include as many of the following as is practical: the mayor or chair and the chief administrative officer of each member locality, president of each institution of higher education, corporate leaders of the region, and leaders of local civic associations. The Department shall issue guidelines on the structure and organization of the regional partnership.

2. Each regional partnership shall develop a regional strategic economic development plan which identifies critical issues of economic competitiveness for the region. The plan shall contain, at a minimum, a comparison of the following criteria for the region, and the primary competitor regions in the southeast United States:

a. Median family income;

b. Job creation; and

c. Differences in median family income levels among the localities in the region.

3. Each regional partnership shall issue an annual report, including, at a minimum, the region's progress towards improvement according to the criteria identified in subdivision 2 and its progress in addressing the critical issues of economic competitiveness identified in the regional strategic economic development plan.

4. Each regional partnership shall identify the existing and proposed joint activities within the region, and the joint activities shall have a combined point total of at least twenty points, based on the values established in § 15.2-1310, in order for the region to qualify for any incentive payments.

5. Subject to the provisions of § 15.2-1308, once a region becomes eligible for the annual incentive payments, it shall receive such payments for at least five years, so long as regional partnerships continue to exist and effectively function. The region may reapply before or at the end of the five-year period for requalification to continue to receive annual incentive payments.

6. Joint activities existing prior to the enactment of this section or prior to requalification may be considered by the Department of Housing and Community Development for an award up to the full value established in § 15.2-1310. Existing joint activities which are expanded in scope or number of localities may be considered a new joint activity but shall not receive the full value of points as established in § 15.2-1310. Points for existing activities (those initiated prior to July 1 of the year in which the initial qualification or the requalification is sought) may not constitute more than fifty percent of the total points assigned.

7. The year for incentive payments shall be the Commonwealth's fiscal year following the calendar year in which the region qualifies, with payments made annually by the Comptroller upon certification by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Eligible regions shall receive incentive funds in an amount equal to the percentage of the funds appropriated for incentive payments for such fiscal year that represents the region's percentage of the total population of all eligible regions. Within eligible regions, the incentive funds shall be distributed to the localities on the basis of a formula mutually agreed to by all of the localities of the region.

1996, cc. 1045, 1055, § 15.1-1227.4; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 749.

§ 15.2-1310. Assignment of weights for functional activities.

In determining the eligibility of the region, the Department of Housing and Community Development may assign weights for each joint activity up to the number in parentheses below:

1. Job Creation or Economic Development(10)

2. Regional Revenue Sharing or Growth Sharing Agreements(10)

3. Education(10)

4. Human Services(8)

5. Local Land Use(8)

6. Housing(8)

7. Transportation(5)

8. Law Enforcement(5)

9. Solid Waste(4)

10. Water and Sewer Services(4)

11. Corrections(3)

12. Fire Services and Emergency Medical Services(3)

13. Libraries(2)

14. Parks and Recreation(2)

The assignment of values by the Department to any joint activity may be based upon the significance of the joint activity as measured by the fiscal resources committed to it, the number of regional localities participating, the significance of the activity as measured by the regional effort involved in developing joint activities, the complexity of the activity, the general impact on relations between the affected jurisdictions, or other factors deemed to be appropriate by the Department. A region may petition the Department to adjust the weights of the above criteria to reflect the relative importance of that criteria on the economic competitiveness of the region. Upon receipt of such petition, the Department may adjust the weight of any criteria; however, the weight of any one criteria shall not exceed ten. In addition to the weights listed in § 15.2-1310, the Department of Housing and Community Development may add up to a total of five points for regions that have taken successful actions to make governmental services or functions more efficient or successful actions in reducing the local property tax burden throughout the region.

1996, cc. 1045, 1055, § 15.1-1227.5; 1997, c. 587.

Chapter 14. Governing Bodies of Localities.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-1400. Governing bodies.

A. The qualified voters of every locality shall elect a governing body for such locality. The date, place, number, term and other details of the election shall be as specified by law, general or special. Qualification for office is provided in § 15.2-1522 et seq.

B. The governing body of every locality shall be composed of not fewer than three nor more than eleven members.

C. Chairmen, mayors, supervisors and councilmen are subject to the prohibitions set forth in §§ 15.2-1534 and 15.2-1535.

D. A governing body may punish or fine a member of the governing body for disorderly behavior.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 199, § 15.1-37.4; 1982, c. 297; 1983, c. 595; 1995, c. 249; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1401. Powers granted localities vested in their governing bodies.

Unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context in which the provisions relating thereto are set forth, all powers granted to localities shall be vested in their respective governing bodies.

1962, c. 623, § 15.1-7; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1402. Declared to be body politic of Commonwealth; seal.

Every locality of this Commonwealth is hereby declared to be a body politic of the Commonwealth and may have a seal and alter the same at its pleasure.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1403. Governing body to be continuing body.

Every governing body of a locality shall be a continuing body, and no measure pending before such body shall abate or be discontinued by reason of expiration of the term of office or removal of any or all members of the governing body.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1404. How localities may sue or be sued; arbitration.

Every locality may sue or be sued in its own name in relation to all matters connected with its duties. The process instituting suit against a locality shall be served as provided in § 8.01-300.

The governing body of any locality may enter into a written agreement to submit any existing controversy to arbitration and may execute a contract which contains a provision to submit to arbitration any controversy thereafter arising.

Code 1950, § 15-3; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-508; 1968, c. 422; 1985, c. 416; 1987, c. 483; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1405. Immunity of members of local governmental entities; exception.

The members of the governing bodies of any locality or political subdivision and the members of boards, commissions, agencies and authorities thereof and other governing bodies of any local governmental entity, whether compensated or not, shall be immune from suit arising from the exercise or failure to exercise their discretionary or governmental authority as members of the governing body, board, commission, agency or authority which does not involve the unauthorized appropriation or misappropriation of funds. However, the immunity granted by this section shall not apply to conduct constituting intentional or willful misconduct or gross negligence.

1987, cc. 261, 290, § 15.1-7.01; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1406. Compensation of governing bodies.

The compensation of governing bodies and their chairmen, vice-chairmen, mayors and vice-mayors shall be determined as provided in Article 1.1 (§ 15.2-1414.1 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 15.2.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1407. Administrative leave for certain members of governing bodies.

Any duly elected member of a governing body who is an employee of that locality may receive administrative leave each year in addition to his annual and sick leave.

Code 1950, § 15-5; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-13; 1987, c. 432; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1408. Restrictions on activities of former officers and employees by certain counties and cities.

In the Counties of Bedford, Fauquier, James City, Pittsylvania and Stafford, and the Cities of Charlottesville and Virginia Beach, the governing body, by ordinance, may prohibit former officers and employees, for one year after their terms of office have ended or employment ceased, from providing personal and substantial assistance for remuneration of any kind to any party, in connection with any proceeding, application, case, contract, or other particular matter involving the county or city or an agency thereof, if that matter is one in which the former officer or employee participated personally and substantially as a county or city officer or employee through decision, approval, or recommendation.

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

1991, c. 582, § 15.1-29.22; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 945; 2005, cc. 257, 289.

§ 15.2-1409. Investigations by governing bodies.

The governing body of any locality may make such investigations relating to its government affairs as it deems necessary, may employ financial, legal and other personnel it deems necessary to assist in such investigations, may order the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers and may administer oaths. Such governing bodies may apply to the circuit court for their locality for a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum against any person refusing to appear and testify or refusing to produce books, papers or records as ordered by such governing bodies and the judge of such court shall, upon good cause shown, cause the subpoenas to be issued. Any person failing to comply with any such subpoena shall be subject to punishment for contempt by the court issuing the subpoena.

Code 1950, § 15-394; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-801; 1980, c. 335; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1410. Chairman and mayor may administer oaths.

Every chairman and mayor shall have power to administer an oath to any person concerning any matter submitted to the board or council or connected with their powers or duties.

Code 1950, § 15-234; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-529; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1411. Appointment of advisory boards, committees and commissions; compensation and reimbursement of expenses.

The governing body of any locality may appoint such advisory boards, committees, and commissions as it deems necessary to advise the governing body with regard to any matter of concern to the locality. Members shall be appointed to serve at the pleasure of the governing body.

The governing body may provide for (i) reimbursement of the actual expenses incurred by members while serving on such advisory boards, committees, and commissions and (ii) compensation to members for their services for attendance at regularly scheduled meetings, and for training in an amount determined appropriate by the governing body from available funds.

1981, c. 254, § 15.1-33.2; 1993, c. 894; 1994, c. 165; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 27; 2005, cc. 740, 879.

§ 15.2-1412. Reproductions of records and documents and legal status thereof; destruction of originals.

Any locality may provide for the photographing or microphotographing, or the recording by any other process which accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for reproducing the original of all or any part of the papers, records, documents or other material kept by or in the charge of any department, agency or institution of such locality in accordance with such standards and retention schedules as may be issued in pursuance of § 42.1-82.

A reproduction thereof if substantially the same size as the original, when satisfactorily identified, is as admissible in evidence as the original itself in any judicial or administrative proceeding whether the original is in existence or not, and an enlargement or facsimile of such reproduction is likewise admissible in evidence if the original reproduction is in existence and available for inspection under direction of the court. The introduction of a reproduced record, enlargement or facsimile, does not preclude admission of the original.

Whenever photographs or microphotographs have been made and put in conveniently accessible files, and provision has been made for preserving, examining and using the same, the locality may notify the Librarian of Virginia that it intends to destroy the records and papers so photographed or microphotographed, or any part thereof. If within sixty days the Librarian of Virginia has not notified the locality that such records or papers should be retained, the locality may destroy them. A locality may also, in its discretion, consult with the locality's librarian with reference to the advisability of destroying any such records, papers, documents or other material because of any historical significance or value.

Code 1950, § 15-5.1; 1952, c. 289; 1958, c. 9; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-8; 1966, c. 303; 1970, c. 225; 1979, c. 155; 1983, c. 419; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 427; 2012, c. 802.

§ 15.2-1413. Governing bodies of localities may provide for continuity of government in case of enemy attack, etc.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, any locality may, by ordinance, provide a method to assure continuity in its government, in the event of an enemy attack or other disaster. Such ordinance shall be limited in its effect to a period not exceeding six months after any such attack or disaster and shall provide for a method for the resumption of normal governmental authority by the end of the six-month period.

1964, c. 307, § 15.1-13.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1414. Governing bodies may have a legal enumeration of the population.

Any locality wishing to have a legal enumeration of the population of the locality, or part thereof, may make application therefor to the circuit court for the locality. When the application is made, the judge shall forthwith divide the locality, or part thereof, into such districts, with well-defined boundaries, as may appear advisable and shall appoint for each of the districts one enumerator. Before entering on their duties, such appointees shall take an oath before a notary public or other officer qualified to administer oaths under the laws of this Commonwealth, for the faithful discharge of their duties. The enumerators shall at once proceed to enumerate the actual bona fide inhabitants of their respective districts. They shall report to the judge the result of their enumeration and a list of the persons enumerated by them within a reasonable time after their appointment, and a copy of the list of persons so enumerated by them shall be furnished by the enumerators to the clerk of the court, who shall receive the list and keep it open to public inspection. Upon evidence produced before him, the judge may add to the list the name of any person improperly omitted and may strike from the list the name of any person improperly listed. If it appears advisable to the judge, he may order that the enumeration for any or all of the districts be retaken under all the provisions of this section by other enumerators, who shall be forthwith appointed by him. The judge shall cause to be tabulated and consolidated the lists and return to the governing body the results thereof, in accordance with the application of the governing body. The judge shall allow each enumerator a reasonable fee for each day actually employed by him in making the enumeration. He shall certify the allowance and costs to the governing body for payment out of the local treasury, and the allowance shall be a legal charge upon the governmental unit requesting the enumeration.

Code 1950, § 15-19; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-17; 1997, c. 587.

Article 1.1. Salaries.

§ 15.2-1414.1. Each member to be paid annual salary.

Each member of the board of supervisors of each county shall be allowed and paid out of the county levy an annual salary, to be fixed as herein provided, for his services in attending the meetings of the board and in discharging the duties imposed by law upon him.

Code 1950, § 14-55; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-45; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1414.2. Salaries to be fixed by board; limits; reimbursement in addition to salary.

The annual compensation to be allowed each member of the board of supervisors of a county shall be determined by the board of supervisors of such county but such compensation shall not be more than a maximum determined in the following manner. Prior to July 1 of the year in which members of the board of supervisors are to be elected or, if the board is elected for staggered terms, of any year in which at least forty percent of the members of the board are to be elected, the current board, by a recorded vote of a majority present, shall set a maximum annual compensation which will become effective as of January 1 of the next year.

Until the board is able to set a maximum compensation as provided above, the maximum compensations for the several counties shall be as authorized on July 1, 1981.

Any board of supervisors may fix a higher salary for the chairman, or the vice-chairman, or both, than for the other members of the board without respect to the limits herein set forth.

A member of the board of supervisors of any county may accept in lieu of salary, reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in maintaining an office and secretarial assistance necessary for the proper performance of his duties. Such reimbursement shall be subtracted from the amount of the salary due such official and the remaining sum shall be paid to him at his option; however, such expense shall not exceed the salary. In addition to the salary, members of each governing body may receive the same fringe benefits which are given to county employees generally, and all prior grants of such benefits are validated.

A county may provide a member of its board of supervisors in addition to salary, reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in purchasing, operating, maintaining and using a telephone, including a car telephone or other portable telephone, provided the expenses are attributable directly to the proper performance of the member's official duties.

No increase in the salary of a member of the board of supervisors shall take effect during the incumbent supervisor's term in office; however, this restriction shall not apply to boards of supervisors when the supervisors are elected for staggered terms nor to corrections to the above listed compensation.

1976, c. 590, § 14.1-46.01; 1977, cc. 391, 416; 1978, cc. 319, 435, 572; 1979, c. 256; 1980, cc. 3, 450; 1981, cc. 13, 623; 1982, c. 376; 1990, c. 518; 1996, c. 371; 1998, c. 872; 2000, c. 299.

§ 15.2-1414.3. Alternative procedure for establishing salaries of boards of supervisors; limits; fringe benefits.

In lieu of other provisions of law, the boards of supervisors of the several counties may establish annually, by ordinance, and pay in monthly installments each of their members an annual salary pursuant to the following procedure and schedule:

1. On a date determined by the board of supervisors, not earlier than May 1 nor later than June 30 each year, the board, after public hearing pursuant to notice in the manner and form provided in §§ 15.2-1426 and 15.2-1427, shall establish by ordinance the salary of its members for the ensuing fiscal year not to exceed the maximums herein set out.

2. Counties within the following population brackets shall be allowed to set salaries for board members not to exceed the following amounts:

aPopulationAnnual Salary
b200,000 and over$15,000
c105,000 to 199,99913,000
d80,000 to 104,99911,000
e50,000 to 79,9999,000
f25,000 to 49,9997,000
g15,000 to 24,9995,500
h14,999 and under4,000

The maximum annual salaries herein provided may be adjusted in any year or years, by ordinance as above provided, by an inflation factor not to exceed five percent.

3. Any board of supervisors may fix, by ordinance as above provided, annually an additional sum to be paid as hereinabove provided to the chairman and vice-chairman of the board not to exceed $1,800 and $1,200, respectively, without regard to the maximum salary limits.

4. In addition to and without regard for the salary limits herein set out, any board of supervisors by resolution may grant to its members any or all of the fringe benefits in the manner and form as such benefits are provided for county employees or any of them.

1984, c. 221, § 14.1-46.01:1; 1990, cc. 63, 854; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1414.4. Repealed.

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

§ 15.2-1414.5. Each councilman to be paid annual salary; effect of charter.

Each member of the council of each city shall be allowed and paid out of the city levy an annual salary in equal monthly installments, or in accordance with the payroll cycle of city employees, to be fixed as herein provided, for his services in attending the meetings of the council and in discharging the duties imposed by law upon him. Any city, however, whose charter imposes no limitation on salaries, may continue to pay its councilmen and mayor pursuant to such charter.

1981, c. 358, § 14.1-47.1; 1998, c. 872; 2004, c. 570.

§ 15.2-1414.6. Permitted salaries; salary increases; reimbursement for expenses.

Subject to the exception provided for in § 15.2-1414.5, the annual salary of each member of the council of any city shall be set by its members by ordinance notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special. The setting of such salaries by members of council shall include the salary of the mayor or president of the council whether such official is a member of council or not.

Cities within the following population brackets shall be allowed to set salaries for mayors, which include presidents of council, and council members not to exceed the following:

aPopulationAnnual Salary
b260,000 and over
cMayor$30,000
dCouncil28,000
e175,000 to 259,999
fMayor27,000
gCouncil25,000
h75,000 to 174,999
iMayor25,000
jCouncil23,000
k35,000 to 74,999
lMayor20,000
mCouncil18,000
n20,000 to 34,999
oMayor13,000
pCouncil12,000
q15,000 to 19,999
rMayor12,000
sCouncil11,500
t14,999 and under
uMayor11,500
vCouncil11,000

No increase in the salary of a member of council shall take effect until July 1 after the next regularly scheduled general election of council members.

Every proposed increase in the salary of a member of council shall be adopted at least four months prior to the date of the next municipal election except in the case of a newly created consolidated city when the proposed increase shall be adopted at least two months prior to the date of its first municipal election.

Any member of council shall be eligible to be reimbursed for any personal expenses incurred by him for official business. However, all claims for reimbursement shall be for reasonable expenses to the extent permitted by law incurred in the conduct of official city business and shall be itemized and documented by stamped paid receipts to the extent feasible.

In addition to salary, each member of the council of any city may be compensated with such benefits as are provided city employees by the city.

1981, c. 358, § 14.1-47.2; 1982, c. 125; 1985, c. 111; 1986, cc. 111, 312; 1988, c. 213; 1996, c. 263; 1997, c. 592; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1414.7. Salaries of town council members and mayors.

Notwithstanding any provision of a charter of a town or any other law, a town council may establish the compensation to be paid to council members and the mayor. No increase in salary of a council member or mayor shall take effect during the incumbent council member's or mayor's term in office; however, this restriction shall not apply to councils or mayors when the council members are elected for staggered terms. In addition to salary, each member of the council and the mayor of any town may be compensated with such benefits as are provided town employees by the town.

1975, c. 253, § 15.1-827.1; 1985, c. 63; 1997, c. 587, § 14.1-47.3; 1998, c. 872; 2001, cc. 9, 254.

Article 2. Meetings of Governing Bodies.

§ 15.2-1415. At what meetings governing body may act.

Unless otherwise specially provided, a governing body may exercise any of the powers conferred upon it at any meeting of the governing body, regular, special or adjourned at which a quorum is present. A majority of the governing body shall constitute a quorum except as may be otherwise provided in the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.). Meetings of governing bodies shall be subject to the applicable provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 15-247; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-542; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 613.

§ 15.2-1416. Regular meetings.

The governing body shall assemble at a public place as the governing body may prescribe, in regular session in January for counties and in July for cities and towns. Future meetings shall be held on such days as may be prescribed by resolution of the governing body but in no event shall less than six meetings be held in each fiscal year.

The days, times and places of regular meetings to be held during the ensuing months shall be established at the first meeting which meeting may be referred to as the annual or organizational meeting; however, if the governing body subsequently prescribes any public place other than the initial public meeting place, or any day or time other than that initially established, as a meeting day, place or time, the governing body shall pass a resolution as to such future meeting day, place or time. The governing body shall cause a copy of such resolution to be posted on the door of the courthouse or the initial public meeting place and inserted in a newspaper having general circulation in the county or municipality at least seven days prior to the first such meeting at such other day, place or time. Should the day established by the governing body as the regular meeting day fall on any legal holiday, the meeting shall be held on the next following regular business day, without action of any kind by the governing body.

At its annual meeting the governing body may fix the day or days to which a regular meeting shall be continued if the chairman or mayor, or vice-chairman or vice-mayor if the chairman or mayor is unable to act, finds and declares that weather or other conditions are such that it is hazardous for members to attend the regular meeting. Such finding shall be communicated to the members and the press as promptly as possible. All hearings and other matters previously advertised shall be conducted at the continued meeting and no further advertisement is required.

Regular meetings may be adjourned from day to day or from time to time or from place to place, not beyond the time fixed for the next regular meeting, until the business before the governing body is completed. Notice of any regular meeting continued under this section shall be reasonable under the circumstances and be given as provided in subsection D of § 2.2-3707.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, any city or town that holds an organizational meeting in compliance with its charter or code shall be deemed to be in compliance with this section.

Code 1950, § 15-241; 1950, p. 8; 1954, c. 286; 1958, c. 291; 1960, c. 33; 1962, cc. 218, 623, § 15.1-536; 1964, c. 403; 1980, c. 420; 1994, cc. 371, 591; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 549; 2017, c. 616.

§ 15.2-1416.1. Actions prior to convening of meeting.

During the time prior to the governing body's actual call to order or convening of business, any expressions by members of the governing body or members of the public shall be held consistent with the individual's First Amendment right of freedom of speech.

2005, c. 592.

§ 15.2-1417. Special meetings.

The governing body may also hold such special meetings, as it deems necessary, at such times and places as it finds convenient. It may adjourn such special meetings from time to time as it finds convenient and necessary.

Code 1950, § 15-242; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-537; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1418. Same; how called.

A special meeting of the governing body shall be held when called by the chairman or mayor or requested by two or more of the members of the board of supervisors or council. The call or request shall be made to the clerk, and shall specify the matters to be considered at the meeting. Upon receipt of such call or request, the clerk of the governing body, after consultation with the chairman or mayor, shall immediately notify each member of the governing body and the attorney for the Commonwealth or the county or municipal attorney, as appropriate in writing delivered in person or to his place of residence or business or, if so requested by the member of the governing body, by electronic mail or facsimile to attend such meeting at the time and place stated in the notice. Such notice shall specify the matters to be considered at the meeting. No matter not specified in the notice shall be considered at such meeting, unless all members are present. The notice may be waived if all members of the governing body attend the special meeting or sign a waiver.

Code 1950, § 15-243; 1954, c. 181; 1960, c. 412; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-538; 1964, c. 249; 1966, c. 33; 1975, c. 575; 1979, c. 210; 1983, c. 403; 1994, c. 87; 1997, c. 587; 2011, c. 180.

§ 15.2-1419. Meeting times of certain authorities, boards and commissions.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, the governing body of any locality may establish the regular meeting times (day and hour) of its authorities, boards and commissions so as to prevent conflict with other meetings.

1995, cc. 198, 240, § 15.1-37.3:14; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1420. How questions determined; tie breaker.

All questions submitted to the governing body for decision shall be determined by a majority of the members voting on any such question unless another method of determination is required by the Constitution of Virginia or general law.

In counties which have designated a tie breaker pursuant to § 15.2-1421, in any case in which there is a tie vote of the board upon any question when all the members are not present, the question shall be passed by till the next meeting when it shall again be voted upon even though all members are not present; in any case in which there is a tie vote on any question after complying with the herein above procedure, the clerk shall record the vote and immediately notify the tie breaker elected by the voters as provided in § 15.2-1421, to give the casting vote in case of a tie, if that is practicable, and request his presence at the present meeting of the board; but if that is not practicable then the board may adjourn to a day fixed in the minutes of the board, or in case of a failure to agree on a day, to a day fixed by the clerk and entered by him on the minutes. At the present meeting or on the day named in the minutes the tie breaker shall attend. He shall be entitled to be fully advised as to the matter upon which he is to vote, and if not prepared to cast his vote at the time he may require the clerk to enter an order adjourning the meeting to some future day to be named in the minutes not to exceed thirty days and from time to time he shall have continuances entered until he is ready to vote, not to exceed thirty days. When he casts his vote the clerk shall record his vote and the tie shall be broken, and the question shall be decided as he casts his vote. If a meeting for any reason is not held on the day named in the minutes, the clerk shall enter on the minute book a day within ten days as a substitute day and duly notify all the members, and this shall continue until a meeting is held. After a tie has occurred, the tie breaker shall be considered a member of the board for the purpose of counting a quorum for the sole purpose of breaking the tie. Final votes on any ordinance or resolution shall be in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article VII, Sections 7 and 9 of the Constitution of Virginia.

Code 1950, § 15-245; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-540; 1972, cc. 734, 790; 1974, c. 550; 1980, c. 172; 1994, c. 550; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 833.

§ 15.2-1421. Tie breakers.

The governing body of each county may designate a tie breaker, whose duty it shall be to cast the deciding vote in case of tie, as set forth in § 15.2-1420. The designation of the tie breaker shall be by election by the voters of the county from the county at large. Every tie breaker shall serve for a period of four years from the date of his election and every tie breaker so elected shall serve the same term as a member of the governing body. No person shall be elected or serve as tie breaker who is not a resident of the county; who is not qualified to hold office as supervisor or who is an employee or officer of the county. Tie breakers heretofore appointed or elected shall continue in office until the expiration of the respective terms. Vacancies in the position of tie breaker shall be filled in the same manner as vacancies in the governing body.

Code 1950, § 15-240; 1952, c. 159; 1952, Ex. Sess., c. 10; 1954, c. 91; 1962, cc. 595, 623, § 15.1-535; 1966, c. 280; 1972, c. 593; 1974, c. 550; 1981, c. 261; 1994, c. 550; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 833.

Article 3. Presiding Officers and Vacancies in Certain Offices.

§ 15.2-1422. Electing a chairman and vice-chairman; mayor and vice-mayor.

Unless the chairman or mayor is elected by popular vote, every governing body, at its first meeting after taking office, shall elect one of its number as presiding officer. Such officer shall be called "chairman" if a member of a board of supervisors and "mayor" if a member of a city or town council. Such member, if present, shall preside at the first meeting and all other meetings during the term for which so elected. The governing body also shall elect a vice-chairman or vice-mayor, as the case may be, who shall preside at meetings in the absence of the chairman or mayor and may discharge any duty of the chairman or mayor during his absence or disability. Chairmen and vice-chairmen, mayors and vice-mayors, may be so elected to serve for terms corresponding with their terms as supervisors or councilmen or may be elected for such other period as determined by the governing body. Whenever any board or council at the time of such election, fails to designate the specific term of office for which a chairman or vice-chairman, a mayor or vice-mayor, is elected, it shall be presumed that such officers were elected for a term of one year and shall serve until their successors have been elected and qualify. Chairmen and vice-chairmen, mayors and vice-mayors, may succeed themselves in office. In the case of the absence from any meeting of the chairman and vice-chairman, mayor and vice-mayor, the members present shall choose one of their number as temporary presiding officer.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1423. Powers of chairman or mayor.

In addition to being presiding officer, the chairman or mayor, as the case may be, shall be the head of the local government for all official functions and ceremonial purposes. He shall have a vote but no veto.

In the event that there is no chief administrative officer, it shall be the duty of the chairman or mayor, as the case may be, to see that the functions set forth in § 15.2-1541 are carried out if the governing body has not acted otherwise.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1424. Vacancies in office.

Vacancies in the office of board of supervisors or of council or an elected chairman or mayor, for whatever reason, shall be filled as provided for in Title 24.2. A member of the board or council may be elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of chairman or mayor.

The person appointed or elected to fill the vacancy shall possess the same legal qualifications for the office as did the person whose position he is filling.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of chairman or mayor, the duties of the office of chairman or mayor shall be performed by the vice-chairman or vice-mayor until a chairman or mayor is appointed or elected and qualifies.

Vacancies in the office of vice-chairman or vice-mayor shall be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the appropriate governing body from its membership.

1997, c. 587.

Article 4. Ordinances and Other Actions By the Local Governing Body.

§ 15.2-1425. Actions by localities.

The governing body of every locality in the performance of its duties, obligations and functions may adopt, as appropriate, ordinances, resolutions and motions.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1426. Form of ordinances.

The object of every ordinance, except an ordinance approving a budget, an annual appropriation ordinance or an ordinance which codifies ordinances, shall be clearly expressed in its title. All ordinances which repeal or amend existing ordinances shall identify by title the section to be repealed or amended.

Code 1950, §§ 15-8, 15-10; 1950, p. 113; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, cc. 190, 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-504; 1966, cc. 405, 612; 1968, c. 625; 1970, c. 581; 1972, cc. 41, 837; 1973, c. 380; 1978, c. 235; 1983, c. 11; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1427. Adoption of ordinances and resolutions generally; amending or repealing ordinances.

A. Unless otherwise specifically provided for by the Constitution or by other general or special law, an ordinance may be adopted by majority vote of those present and voting at any lawful meeting.

B. On final vote on any ordinance or resolution, the name of each member of the governing body voting and how he voted shall be recorded; however, votes on all ordinances and resolutions adopted prior to February 27, 1998, in which an unanimous vote of the governing body was recorded, shall be deemed to have been validly recorded. The governing body may adopt an ordinance or resolution by a recorded voice vote unless otherwise provided by law, or any member calls for a roll call vote. An ordinance shall become effective upon adoption or upon a date fixed by the governing body.

C. All ordinances or resolutions heretofore adopted by a governing body shall be deemed to have been validly adopted, unless some provision of the Constitution of Virginia or the Constitution of the United States has been violated in such adoption.

D. An ordinance may be amended or repealed in the same manner, or by the same procedure, in which, or by which, ordinances are adopted.

E. An amendment or repeal of an ordinance shall be in the form of an ordinance which shall become effective upon adoption or upon a date fixed by the governing body, but, if no effective date is specified, then such ordinance shall become effective upon adoption.

F. In counties, except as otherwise authorized by law, no ordinance shall be passed until after descriptive notice of an intention to propose the ordinance for passage has been published once a week for two successive weeks prior to its passage in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county. The second publication shall not be sooner than one calendar week after the first publication. The publication shall include a statement either that the publication contains the full text of the ordinance or that a copy of the full text of the ordinance is on file in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county or in the office of the county administrator; or in the case of any county organized under the form of government set out in Chapter 5, 7 or 8 of this title, a statement that a copy of the full text of the ordinance is on file in the office of the clerk of the county board. Even if the publication contains the full text of the ordinance, a complete copy shall be available for public inspection in the offices named herein.

In counties, emergency ordinances may be adopted without prior notice; however, no such ordinance shall be enforced for more than sixty days unless readopted in conformity with the provisions of this Code.

G. In towns, no tax shall be imposed except by a two-thirds vote of the council members.

Code 1950, §§ 15-8, 15-10; 1950, p. 113; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, cc. 190, 279; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-504; 1966, cc. 405, 612; 1968, c. 625; 1970, c. 581; 1972, cc. 41, 837; 1973, c. 380; 1978, c. 235; 1983, c. 11; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 823; 2000, c. 895.

§ 15.2-1428. Procedures for certain acts.

No ordinance or resolution appropriating money exceeding the sum of $500, imposing taxes, or authorizing the borrowing of money shall be passed except by a recorded affirmative vote of a majority of all members elected to the governing body. In case of the veto of such an ordinance or resolution, where the power of veto exists, it shall require for passage thereafter a recorded affirmative vote of two-thirds of all members elected to the governing body.

Code 1950, § 15-412; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-819; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 35; 1991, c. 668; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1429. Penalties for violation of ordinances.

Any locality may prescribe fines and other punishments for violations of ordinances, which shall be enforced by proceedings as if such violations were misdemeanors. However, no fine or term of confinement for the violation of ordinances shall exceed the penalties provided by general law for the violation of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and such penalties shall not exceed those penalties prescribed by general law for like offenses.

Code 1950, §§ 15-8, 15-77.64; 1954, c. 529; 1956, cc. 218, 664; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 40; 1958, cc. 279, 328; 1960, c. 606; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-505, 15.1-901; 1974, c. 598; 1976, c. 582; 1978, c. 150; 1991, cc. 25, 609, 710; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1430. Bonds of persons convicted.

Upon conviction for the violation of any ordinance, the court trying the case may require bond of the person so convicted with proper security in the penalty of not more than $5,000, conditioned not to violate the ordinance for the breach of which he has been convicted for the period of not more than one year.

Code 1950, § 15-77.65; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-902; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1431. Appeals; nonpayment of fine.

An appeal from any fine or imprisonment shall be as in misdemeanor cases. Whenever any fine is imposed but not paid, the court trying the case shall proceed in accordance with Article 4 (§ 19.2-354 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 19.2.

Code 1950, § 15-77.66; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-903; 1973, c. 342; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1432. Injunctive relief against continuing violation of ordinance.

A court of competent jurisdiction, in addition to the penalty imposed for the violation of any ordinance, may enjoin the continuing violation thereof by proceedings for an injunction brought in any court for the county or municipal corporation having jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief.

Code 1950, § 15-77.68; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-905; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1433. Codification and recodification of ordinances.

Any locality may codify or recodify any or all of its ordinances, in permanently bound or loose-leaf form. Such ordinances may be changed, altered or amended by the governing body, and ordinances or portions thereof may be deleted and new material may be added by the governing body. Such changes, alterations, amendments or deletions and such new material shall become effective on the effective date of the codification or recodification.

Ordinances relating to zoning and the subdivision of land may be included in any codification or recodification of ordinances; however, no change, alteration, amendment, deletion or addition of a substantive nature shall be made and no new material of a substantive nature shall be added to such ordinances unless, prior to the date of adoption of such codification or recodification, notice of such proposed changes, alterations, amendments, deletions or additions shall be published as required by the Code of Virginia and public hearings held thereon as provided by the Code of Virginia for adoption and amendment of zoning and subdivision ordinances. Renumbering or rearranging of sections, articles or other divisions of any such ordinance shall not be deemed to be a change, alteration or amendment of a substantive nature.

Any such codification or recodification may be adopted by reference by a single ordinance, without further publication of such codification or recodification or any portions thereof. The ordinance adopting such codification or recodification shall comply with all laws of the Commonwealth and any provision of any city or town charter requiring posting or publication of ordinances or notice of intent to adopt ordinances. At least one copy of such codification or recodification or a complete set of printer's proofs of the text thereof shall be made available for public inspection in the office of the clerk of the governing body in which such codification or recodification is proposed to be adopted.

No ordinance levying or increasing taxes shall be enacted as new material in any such codification or recodification or amended in substance therein unless advertised in accordance with general law.

Supplements for such codifications or recodifications may be prepared from time to time at the direction of the governing body of the locality, either as units or on a replacement page basis; however, where replacement pages are prepared, a distinguishing mark or notation shall be placed on each replacement page to distinguish it from original pages and pages of other supplements. No further adoption procedure shall be required for supplements or replacement pages in which no substantive change is made in ordinances previously and validly adopted by the governing body of the locality. If changes, alterations, amendments, deletions or additions of a substantive nature are made in any such supplement, then such supplement shall be adopted by the governing body in the same manner provided by general or special law.

At least one copy of any codification or recodification adopted hereunder and at least one copy of every supplement thereto shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the governing body and shall there be available for public inspection during normal business hours.

Any codification or recodification adopted hereunder shall be admitted in evidence in all courts without further proof.

1966, c. 269, § 15.1-37.3; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 200.

Chapter 15. Local Government Personnel, Qualification for Office, Bonds, Dual Office Holding and Certain Local Government Officers.

Article 1. General Provisions for Certain Officers and Employees.

§ 15.2-1500. Organization of local government.

A. Every locality shall provide for all the governmental functions of the locality, including, without limitation, the organization of all departments, offices, boards, commissions and agencies of government, and the organizational structure thereof, which are necessary and the employment of the officers and other employees needed to carry out the functions of government.

B. Except as provided in § 15.2-2160 or Article 5.1 (§ 56-484.7:1 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 56, no locality shall establish any department, office, board, commission, agency or other governmental division or entity which has authority to offer telecommunications equipment, infrastructure, other than pole or tower attachments including antennas or conduit occupancy, or services, other than intragovernmental radio dispatch or paging systems shared by adjoining localities, for sale or lease to any person or entity other than (i) such locality's departments, offices, boards, commissions, agencies or other governmental divisions or entities or (ii) an adjoining locality's departments, offices, boards, commissions, agencies or other governmental divisions or entities, so long as any charges for such telecommunications equipment, infrastructure and services do not exceed the cost to the providing locality of providing such equipment, infrastructure or services. However, any town which is located adjacent to Exit 17 on Interstate 81 and which offered telecommunications services to the public on January 1, 1998, is hereby authorized to continue to offer such telecommunications services, but shall not acquire by eminent domain the facilities or other property of any telephone company or cable operator. Any locality may sell any telecommunications infrastructure, including related equipment, which such locality has constructed, and such locality may receive from the purchaser or purchasers, as full or partial consideration for the sale of such infrastructure, communications services to be used solely for internal use of the locality. The locality shall not be involved in any way in the promotion or marketing of services provided by any purchaser.

C. A locality, electric commission or board, industrial development authority, or economic development authority, may lease dark fiber. For purposes of this section, "dark fiber" means fiber optic cable that is not lighted by lasers or other electronic equipment. The locality, electric commission or board, industrial development authority, or economic development authority, shall not be involved in the promotion or marketing of the lessee as the provider of the services.

1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 906; 1999, c. 916; 2002, cc. 479, 489.

§ 15.2-1501. Designation of officers to perform certain duties.

Whenever it is not designated by general law or special act which officer or employee of the locality shall exercise any power or perform any duty conferred upon or required of the locality, then any such power shall be exercised or duty performed by the officer or employee of the locality so designated by the governing body. The governing body also may authorize the chief administrative officer to designate officers and employees to perform administrative duties and to exercise administrative powers.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1502. Employment of certain deputies and assistants; delegation of powers and duties.

A. Local government officers may employ, when duly authorized by the governing body, deputies and assistants to aid them in carrying out their powers and duties. The provisions of this section and § 15.2-1503 shall not be applicable to the constitutional offices of treasurer, commissioner of the revenue, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth and clerk of the circuit court.

B. "Deputy" means a person who is appointed to act as a substitute for his principal, in the name of the principal and in his behalf, in matters in which the principal himself may act; such person shall be a public officer. Members of governing bodies may not have or appoint deputies for themselves.

C. "Assistant" means a person who is not a public officer or deputy but who aids or helps a public officer.

D. Subject to the limitations and requirements of the preceding subsections, an officer of a locality may delegate, to a person reporting to him, his powers and duties unless it is some power or duty the exercise of which by another person is expressly forbidden by law or requires the exercise of judgment for the public welfare. However, such delegation shall not act to relieve the officer making such delegation of his legal obligations for the exercise of powers and performance of duties of his office.

Persons employed by virtue of this subsection shall be designated either deputy or assistant and shall take such oath and post such bond as may be required by ordinance.

1978, c. 264, §§ 15.1-19.4, 15.1-19.5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1503. Tenure of officers and employees; suspension or removal.

A. All appointments of officers and hiring of other employees by a locality shall be without definite term, unless for temporary services not to exceed one year or except as otherwise provided by general law or special act.

B. Any officer or employee of a locality employed pursuant to subsection A of this section may be suspended or removed from office or employment in accordance with the provisions of §§ 24.2-230 through 24.2-238, if such sections are applicable. Otherwise, any such employee may be suspended or removed in accordance with procedure established by special act or by the governing body, if any.

C. In case of the absence or disability of any officer or employee, the governing body or other appointing power may designate some responsible person to temporarily perform the duties of the office.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1503.1. Background checks required for certain employees and licensees.

Any locality having a local ordinance adopted in accordance with § 19.2-389 (i) shall require any applicant who is offered or accepts employment with the locality, (ii) shall require any prospective licensee for any categories of license designated by ordinance, or (iii) may require any individual who is offered or accepts employment with a contractor or public service corporation that provides public transit services to the locality to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant's or licensee's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such applicant or licensee. The locality may require such applicant or licensee to pay the cost of the fingerprinting or a criminal records check or both.

The Central Criminal Records Exchange, upon receipt of an applicant's or licensee's record or notification that no record exists, shall make a report to the county, city or town manager, or chief law-enforcement officer or his designee, who must belong to a governmental entity. If an applicant is denied employment or a licensee is denied a license because of the information appearing in his criminal history record, the locality shall notify the applicant or licensee that information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange contributed to such denial. The information shall not be disseminated except as provided for in this section.

2003, c. 742; 2004, c. 160; 2010, cc. 189, 563.

§ 15.2-1504. Use of tobacco products by government employees.

No employee of or applicant for employment with a locality or any political subdivision of the Commonwealth shall be required, as a condition of employment, to smoke or use tobacco products on the job, or to abstain from smoking or using tobacco products outside the course of his employment, provided that this section shall not apply to those classes of employees to which § 27-40.1 or § 51.1-813 are applicable.

1989, c. 511, § 15.1-29.18; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1505. Employment based on residency prohibited for certain employees.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of general or special law, no locality, or any agency thereof, including school boards, or any local housing or redevelopment authority created pursuant to § 36-4, that receives any funds from the Commonwealth, shall condition employment or any feature of employment, including promotion, on the basis of residency in a particular locality.

This section shall not apply to (i) appointees of elected groups or individuals, (ii) officials and employees who by charter or other law serve at the will or pleasure of an appointing authority, (iii) deputies and executive assistants to the chief administrative officer of a locality, or (iv) agency heads, department heads or their equivalents or chief executive officers of government operations.

1993, c. 789, § 15.1-29.23; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 375; 2000, c. 276; 2002, c. 37.

§ 15.2-1505.1. Applicant preemployment information.

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

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

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

2003, c. 739.

§ 15.2-1505.2. Personnel policies related to the use of public property.

Every locality, with the exception of towns having a population of less than 3,500 that do not have a personnel policy, shall establish personnel policies covering the use of public property by officers and employees of the locality. Such policies shall address the use of telephones, computers, and related devices and peripheral equipment that are the property of the locality for (i) personal use, to the extent that such use interferes with the employees' productivity or work performance, or (ii) political activities. As used in this section, "political activities" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 15.2-1512.2.

2014, c. 405.

§ 15.2-1506. Establishment of grievance procedure, personnel system and uniform pay plan for employees.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, general or special, every locality which has more than fifteen employees shall have a grievance procedure for its employees that affords an immediate and fair method for the resolution of disputes which may arise between the public employer and its employees and a personnel system including a classification plan for service and a uniform pay plan for all employees excluding employees and deputies of division superintendents of schools.

Notwithstanding the provisions of any local charter, a locality may establish a personnel system for local administrative officials and employees based on merit and professional ability. Such system shall consist of rules and regulations that provide for the general administration of personnel matters, a classification plan for employees, a uniform pay plan, and a procedure for resolving grievances of employees as provided by general law.

1973, c. 256, § 15.1-7.1; 1974, cc. 260, 449; 1975, c. 176; 1976, c. 93; 1978, c. 845; 1979, c. 734; 1984, c. 746; 1985, c. 515; 1988, c. 290; 1991, c. 661; 1996, cc. 164, 869; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 363.

§ 15.2-1507. Provision of grievance procedure; training programs.

A. If a local governing body fails to adopt a grievance procedure required by § 15.2-1506 or fails to certify it as provided in this section, the local governing body shall be deemed to have adopted a grievance procedure which is consistent with the provisions of Chapter 30 (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 and any regulations adopted pursuant thereto for so long as the locality remains in noncompliance. The locality shall provide its employees with copies of the applicable grievance procedure upon request. The term "grievance" as used herein shall not be interpreted to mean negotiations of wages, salaries, or fringe benefits.

Each grievance procedure, and each amendment thereto, in order to comply with this section, shall be certified in writing to be in compliance by the city, town or county attorney, and the chief administrative officer of the locality, and such certification filed with the clerk of the circuit court having jurisdiction in the locality in which the procedure is to apply. Local government grievance procedures in effect as of July 1, 1991, shall remain in full force and effect for 90 days thereafter, unless certified and filed as provided above within a shorter time period.

Each grievance procedure shall include the following components and features:

1. Definition of grievance. A grievance shall be a complaint or dispute by an employee relating to his employment, including but not necessarily limited to (i) disciplinary actions, including dismissals, disciplinary demotions, and suspensions, provided that dismissals shall be grievable whenever resulting from formal discipline or unsatisfactory job performance; (ii) the application of personnel policies, procedures, rules and regulations, including the application of policies involving matters referred to in subdivision 2 (iii) below; (iii) discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, political affiliation, age, disability, national origin or sex; and (iv) acts of retaliation as the result of the use of or participation in the grievance procedure or because the employee has complied with any law of the United States or of the Commonwealth, has reported any violation of such law to a governmental authority, has sought any change in law before the Congress of the United States or the General Assembly, or has reported an incidence of fraud, abuse, or gross mismanagement. For the purposes of clause (iv) there shall be a rebuttable presumption that increasing the penalty that is the subject of the grievance at any level of the grievance shall be an act of retaliation.

2. Local government responsibilities. Local governments shall retain the exclusive right to manage the affairs and operations of government. Accordingly, the following complaints are nongrievable: (i) establishment and revision of wages or salaries, position classification or general benefits; (ii) work activity accepted by the employee as a condition of employment or work activity which may reasonably be expected to be a part of the job content; (iii) the contents of ordinances, statutes or established personnel policies, procedures, rules and regulations; (iv) failure to promote except where the employee can show that established promotional policies or procedures were not followed or applied fairly; (v) the methods, means and personnel by which work activities are to be carried on; (vi) except where such action affects an employee who has been reinstated within the previous six months as the result of the final determination of a grievance, termination, layoff, demotion or suspension from duties because of lack of work, reduction in work force, or job abolition; (vii) the hiring, promotion, transfer, assignment and retention of employees within the local government; and (viii) the relief of employees from duties of the local government in emergencies. In any grievance brought under the exception to clause (vi) of this subdivision, the action shall be upheld upon a showing by the local government that: (i) there was a valid business reason for the action and (ii) the employee was notified of the reason in writing prior to the effective date of the action.

3. Coverage of personnel.

a. Unless otherwise provided by law, all nonprobationary local government permanent full-time and part-time employees are eligible to file grievances with the following exceptions:

(1) Appointees of elected groups or individuals;

(2) Officials and employees who by charter or other law serve at the will or pleasure of an appointing authority;

(3) Deputies and executive assistants to the chief administrative officer of a locality;

(4) Agency heads or chief executive officers of government operations;

(5) Employees whose terms of employment are limited by law;

(6) Temporary, limited term and seasonal employees;

(7) Law-enforcement officers as defined in Chapter 5 (§ 9.1-500 et seq.) of Title 9.1 whose grievance is subject to the provisions of Chapter 10.1 and who have elected to proceed pursuant to those provisions in the resolution of their grievance, or any other employee electing to proceed pursuant to any other existing procedure in the resolution of his grievance.

b. Notwithstanding the exceptions set forth in subdivision 3 a above, local governments, at their sole discretion, may voluntarily include employees in any of the excepted categories within the coverage of their grievance procedures.

c. The chief administrative officer of each local government, or his designee, shall determine the officers and employees excluded from the grievance procedure, and shall be responsible for maintaining an up-to-date list of the affected positions.

4. Grievance procedure availability and coverage for employees of community services boards, redevelopment and housing authorities, and regional housing authorities. Employees of community services boards, redevelopment and housing authorities created pursuant to § 36-4, and regional housing authorities created pursuant to § 36-40 shall be included in (i) a local governing body's grievance procedure or personnel system, if agreed to by the department, board, or authority and the locality or (ii) a grievance procedure established and administered by the department, board or authority which is consistent with the provisions of Chapter 30 (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 and any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. If a department, board or authority fails to establish a grievance procedure pursuant to clause (i) or (ii), it shall be deemed to have adopted a grievance procedure which is consistent with the provisions of Chapter 30 (§ 2.2-3000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 and any regulations adopted pursuant thereto for so long as it remains in noncompliance.

5. General requirements for procedures.

a. Each grievance procedure shall include not more than four steps for airing complaints at successively higher levels of local government management, and a final step providing for a panel hearing or a hearing before an administrative hearing officer upon the agreement of both parties.

b. Grievance procedures shall prescribe reasonable and specific time limitations for the grievant to submit an initial complaint and to appeal each decision through the steps of the grievance procedure.

c. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit a local government from granting its employees rights greater than those contained herein, provided such grant does not exceed or violate the general law or public policy of the Commonwealth.

6. Time periods.

a. It is intended that speedy attention to employee grievances be promoted, consistent with the ability of the parties to prepare for a fair consideration of the issues of concern.

b. The time for submitting an initial complaint shall not be less than 20 calendar days after the event giving rise to the grievance, but local governments may, at their option, allow a longer time period.

c. Limits for steps after initial presentation of grievance shall be the same or greater for the grievant than the time which is allowed for local government response in each comparable situation.

d. Time frames may be extended by mutual agreement of the local government and the grievant.

7. Compliance.

a. After the initial filing of a written grievance, failure of either party to comply with all substantial procedural requirements of the grievance procedure, including the panel or administrative hearing, without just cause shall result in a decision in favor of the other party on any grievable issue, provided the party not in compliance fails to correct the noncompliance within five workdays of receipt of written notification by the other party of the compliance violation. Such written notification by the grievant shall be made to the chief administrative officer, or his designee.

b. The chief administrative officer, or his designee, at his option, may require a clear written explanation of the basis for just cause extensions or exceptions. The chief administrative officer, or his designee, shall determine compliance issues. Compliance determinations made by the chief administrative officer shall be subject to judicial review by filing petition with the circuit court within 30 days of the compliance determination.

8. Management steps.

a. The first step shall provide for an informal, initial processing of employee complaints by the immediate supervisor through a nonwritten, discussion format.

b. Management steps shall provide for a review with higher levels of local government authority following the employee's reduction to writing of the grievance and the relief requested on forms supplied by the local government. Personal face-to-face meetings are required at all of these steps.

c. With the exception of the final management step, the only persons who may normally be present in the management step meetings are the grievant, the appropriate local government official at the level at which the grievance is being heard, and appropriate witnesses for each side. Witnesses shall be present only while actually providing testimony. At the final management step, the grievant, at his option, may have present a representative of his choice. If the grievant is represented by legal counsel, local government likewise has the option of being represented by counsel.

9. Qualification for panel or administrative hearing.

a. Decisions regarding grievability and access to the procedure shall be made by the chief administrative officer of the local government, or his designee, at any time prior to the panel hearing, at the request of the local government or grievant, within 10 calendar days of the request. No city, town, or county attorney, or attorney for the Commonwealth, shall be authorized to decide the question of grievability. A copy of the ruling shall be sent to the grievant. Decisions of the chief administrative officer of the local government, or his designee, may be appealed to the circuit court having jurisdiction in the locality in which the grievant is employed for a hearing on the issue of whether the grievance qualifies for a panel hearing. Proceedings for review of the decision of the chief administrative officer or his designee shall be instituted by the grievant by filing a notice of appeal with the chief administrative officer within 10 calendar days from the date of receipt of the decision and giving a copy thereof to all other parties. Within 10 calendar days thereafter, the chief administrative officer or his designee shall transmit to the clerk of the court to which the appeal is taken: a copy of the decision of the chief administrative officer, a copy of the notice of appeal, and the exhibits. A list of the evidence furnished to the court shall also be furnished to the grievant. The failure of the chief administrative officer or his designee to transmit the record shall not prejudice the rights of the grievant. The court, on motion of the grievant, may issue a writ of certiorari requiring the chief administrative officer to transmit the record on or before a certain date.

b. Within 30 days of receipt of such records by the clerk, the court, sitting without a jury, shall hear the appeal on the record transmitted by the chief administrative officer or his designee and such additional evidence as may be necessary to resolve any controversy as to the correctness of the record. The court, in its discretion, may receive such other evidence as the ends of justice require. The court may affirm the decision of the chief administrative officer or his designee, or may reverse or modify the decision. The decision of the court shall be rendered no later than the fifteenth day from the date of the conclusion of the hearing. The decision of the court is final and is not appealable.

10. Final hearings.

a. Qualifying grievances shall advance to either a panel hearing or a hearing before an administrative hearing officer, as set forth in the locality's grievance procedure, as described below:

(1) If the grievance procedure adopted by the local governing body provides that the final step shall be an impartial panel hearing, the panel may, with the exception of those local governments covered by subdivision a (2) of this subsection, consist of one member appointed by the grievant, one member appointed by the agency head and a third member selected by the first two. In the event that agreement cannot be reached as to the final panel member, the chief judge of the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the dispute arose shall select the third panel member. The panel shall not be composed of any persons having direct involvement with the grievance being heard by the panel, or with the complaint or dispute giving rise to the grievance. Managers who are in a direct line of supervision of a grievant, persons residing in the same household as the grievant and the following relatives of a participant in the grievance process or a participant's spouse are prohibited from serving as panel members: spouse, parent, child, descendants of a child, sibling, niece, nephew and first cousin. No attorney having direct involvement with the subject matter of the grievance, nor a partner, associate, employee or co-employee of the attorney shall serve as a panel member.

(2) If the grievance procedure adopted by the local governing body provides for the final step to be an impartial panel hearing, local governments may retain the panel composition method previously approved by the Department of Human Resource Management and in effect as of the enactment of this statute. Modifications to the panel composition method shall be permitted with regard to the size of the panel and the terms of office for panel members, so long as the basic integrity and independence of panels are maintained. As used in this section, the term "panel" shall include all bodies designated and authorized to make final and binding decisions.

(3) When a local government elects to use an administrative hearing officer rather than a three-person panel for the final step in the grievance procedure, the administrative hearing officer shall be appointed by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The appointment shall be made from the list of administrative hearing officers maintained by the Executive Secretary pursuant to § 2.2-4024 and shall be made from the appropriate geographical region on a rotating basis. In the alternative, the local government may request the appointment of an administrative hearing officer from the Department of Human Resource Management. If a local government elects to use an administrative hearing officer, it shall bear the expense of such officer's services.

(4) When the local government uses a panel in the final step of the procedure, there shall be a chairperson of the panel and, when panels are composed of three persons (one each selected by the respective parties and the third from an impartial source), the third member shall be the chairperson.

(5) Both the grievant and the respondent may call upon appropriate witnesses and be represented by legal counsel or other representatives at the hearing. Such representatives may examine, cross-examine, question and present evidence on behalf of the grievant or respondent before the panel or hearing officer without being in violation of the provisions of § 54.1-3904.

(6) The decision of the panel or hearing officer shall be final and binding and shall be consistent with provisions of law and written policy.

(7) The question of whether the relief granted by a panel or hearing officer is consistent with written policy shall be determined by the chief administrative officer of the local government, or his designee, unless such person has a direct personal involvement with the event or events giving rise to the grievance, in which case the decision shall be made by the attorney for the Commonwealth of the jurisdiction in which the grievance is pending.

b. Rules for panel and administrative hearings.

Unless otherwise provided by law, local governments shall adopt rules for the conduct of panel or administrative hearings as a part of their grievance procedures, or shall adopt separate rules for such hearings. Rules which are promulgated shall include, but need not be limited to the following provisions:

(1) That neither the panels nor the hearing officer have authority to formulate policies or procedures or to alter existing policies or procedures;

(2) That panels and the hearing officer have the discretion to determine the propriety of attendance at the hearing of persons not having a direct interest in the hearing, and, at the request of either party, the hearing shall be private;

(3) That the local government provide the panel or hearing officer with copies of the grievance record prior to the hearing, and provide the grievant with a list of the documents furnished to the panel or hearing officer, and the grievant and his attorney, at least 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing, shall be allowed access to and copies of all relevant files intended to be used in the grievance proceeding;

(4) That panels and hearing officers have the authority to determine the admissibility of evidence without regard to the burden of proof, or the order of presentation of evidence, so long as a full and equal opportunity is afforded to all parties for the presentation of their evidence;

(5) That all evidence be presented in the presence of the panel or hearing officer and the parties, except by mutual consent of the parties;

(6) That documents, exhibits and lists of witnesses be exchanged between the parties or hearing officer in advance of the hearing;

(7) That the majority decision of the panel or the decision of the hearing officer, acting within the scope of its or his authority, be final, subject to existing policies, procedures and law;

(8) That the panel or hearing officer's decision be provided within a specified time to all parties; and

(9) Such other provisions as may facilitate fair and expeditious hearings, with the understanding that the hearings are not intended to be conducted like proceedings in courts, and that rules of evidence do not necessarily apply.

11. Implementation of final hearing decisions.

Either party may petition the circuit court having jurisdiction in the locality in which the grievant is employed for an order requiring implementation of the hearing decision.

B. Notwithstanding the contrary provisions of this section, a final hearing decision rendered under the provisions of this section which would result in the reinstatement of any employee of a sheriff's office, who has been terminated for cause may be reviewed by the circuit court for the locality upon the petition of the locality. The review of the circuit court shall be limited to the question of whether the decision of the panel or hearing officer was consistent with provisions of law and written policy.

1978, c. 845, § 15.1-7.2; 1985, c. 515; 1988, c. 290; 1989, c. 254; 1991, c. 661; 1995, cc. 770, 818; 1996, cc. 164, 440, 579, 869; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 947, 1006; 2001, c. 589; 2005, c. 714; 2009, c. 736; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 15.2-1507.1. Appointment of standing panel in certain counties.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1507, in any county with the county manager form of government, the final step of its grievance procedure shall provide for a hearing before an impartial panel consisting of one member appointed by the grievant, one member appointed by the county manager or his designee, and a third member appointed in a manner determined by the board of supervisors.

2001, c. 601.

§ 15.2-1508. Bonuses for employees of local governments.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, the governing body of any locality may provide for payment of monetary bonuses to its officers and employees. The payment of a bonus shall be authorized by ordinance.

1985, c. 142, § 15.1-7.4; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 204.

§ 15.2-1508.1. Traveling expenses on business of town, city or county.

Any person traveling on business of any locality except as hereinafter provided, wherein no part of the cost is borne by the Commonwealth may be reimbursed by such locality on a basis established by the governing body of such locality; however, the rate of reimbursement per mile for private transportation shall not exceed the standard rate deductible as a business expense pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code and regulations promulgated thereunder.

Code 1950, § 14-5.2; 1954, c. 709; 1956, c. 214; 1960, c. 198; 1962, c. 441; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-7; 1977, c. 517; 1996, c. 700; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1508.2. Same; where Commonwealth bears portion of expenses.

Any person traveling on business of any locality wherein the Commonwealth is required to bear a portion of the expenses may be reimbursed by any such locality on a basis not in excess of that provided in § 2.2-2823 but the portion to be borne by the Commonwealth shall be subject to the approval of the State Compensation Board.

Code 1950, § 14-5.3; 1954, c. 709; 1956, c. 214; 1962, c. 501; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-8; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1508.3. Governing bodies of certain cities and counties may supplement salaries and reimburse traveling expenses of employees of state and local health departments.

The Counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Clarke, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William may, in the discretion of their governing bodies, pay to persons employed by the State Department of Health, within such counties, in addition to the salaries as may be paid to such employees by the State Board of Health, such sum or sums of money as they may deem expedient.

In addition to supplementing the salaries of such employees as provided herein such county may reimburse such employees who travel on business of any such county, who are required to bear a portion of such travel expense in excess of the amount allowed by § 2.2-2823, from the funds of such county, upon such basis and in such manner as its governing body may prescribe.

1964, c. 321, § 14.1-11.1; 1970, c. 142; 1972, c. 314; 1973, c. 415; 1976, c. 688; 1981, c. 206; 1985, c. 80; 1991, c. 27; 1998, c. 872; 2004, c. 157.

§ 15.2-1508.4. Certain counties and cities may supplement salaries and reimburse traveling expenses of employees of state mental health clinics.

The Counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William, or the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, or Roanoke may, in the discretion of its governing body, pay to persons employed in state mental health clinics, within such county, in addition to the salaries as may be paid to such employees by the Commonwealth, such sum or sums of money as it may deem expedient.

In addition to supplementing the salaries of such employees as provided herein, such county may reimburse such employees who travel on business of any such county, who are required to bear a portion of such travel expenses in excess of the amount allowed by § 2.2-2823, from the funds of such county, upon such basis and in such manner as its governing body may prescribe.

1966, c. 95, § 14.1-11.2; 1998, c. 872; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-1509. Preferences for veterans in local government employment.

Consistent with the requirements and obligations to protected classes under federal or state law, any locality shall take into consideration or give preference to an individual's status as an honorably discharged veteran of the armed forces of the United States in its employment hiring policies and practices, provided that such veteran meets all of the knowledge, skills and eligibility requirements for the available position. Additional consideration shall also be given to veterans who have a service connected disability rating fixed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "Veterans" as used in this section refers to the same class as included in § 2.2-2903 with regard to the state service.

1988, c. 648, § 15.1-7.5; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 413.

§ 15.2-1510. Retirement systems.

Any locality may establish a system for the retirement of injured or superannuated officers and employees; the members of the local police and fire departments; the public school teachers and other employees of the local school board; and the judges, clerks, deputy clerks and other employees of the judicial system; or any of them; and may establish a fund or funds for the payment of retirement allowances by making appropriations out of the local treasury, by levying a special tax for the benefit of such fund or funds, by requiring contributions payable from time to time from such officers, employees, members of police and fire departments, teachers, judges, clerks, deputy clerks and other employees of the judicial system, or by any combination of such methods, or by any other method not prohibited by law; provided that the total annual payments into such fund or funds shall be sufficient on sound actuarial principles for the payment of such retirement allowances therefrom. The benefits accrued or accruing to any person under such system shall not be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or any other process whatsoever nor shall any assignment of such benefits be enforceable in any court.

Code 1950, § 15-77.13; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-849; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1510.1. Public announcement of severance packages for certain officials.

Severance benefits provided to any departing official appointed by a local governing body or school board shall be publicly announced by the local governing body or school board, respectively, prior to such departure.

2006, c. 254; 2007, c. 257.

§ 15.2-1511. Allowances to injured officials and employees and their dependents.

The governing body of any locality is authorized in its discretion to make allowances by appropriation of funds, payable in monthly or semimonthly installments, for the relief of any of its officials, employees, police officers, firefighters, sheriffs or deputy sheriffs, town sergeants and town deputy sergeants, or their dependents, who suffer injury or death as defined in Title 65.2, whether such injury was suffered or death occurs before or after June 29, 1948 (which date is the effective date of the section). The allowance shall not exceed the salary or wage being paid such official, employee, police officer, firefighter, sheriff or deputy sheriff, town sergeants and town deputy sergeants, at the time of such injury or death, and the payment of the allowance shall not extend beyond the period of disability resulting from such injury. In case death results from the injury, the allowance may be made for the dependents as defined in Title 65.2. In localities which have established retirement or pension systems for injured, retired or superannuated officials, employees, members of police or fire departments, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, town sergeants and deputy sergeants, or for the dependents of those killed in line of duty, the agencies provided for the administration of such systems shall determine the existence of such injury or cause of death before any appropriation to pay such allowance is made and shall determine the extent of and period of disability resulting from such injury and the cause in case of death. All sums paid to any such official, employee, police officer, firefighter, sheriff or deputy sheriff, town sergeants and deputy sergeants, as compensation under Title 65.2 and all sums paid to the dependents of such official, employee, police officer, firefighter, sheriff or deputy sheriff, town sergeant and deputy sergeant, if he is killed, and all sums paid under any retirement or pension system shall be deducted from the allowance made under this section in such installments as the agency determines. If the agency determines that any official, employee, police officer, firefighter, sheriff or deputy sheriff, town sergeant and deputy sergeant, who suffered injury in the line of duty is engaged or is able to engage in a gainful occupation, then the allowance shall be reduced by the agency to an amount which, together with the amount earnable by him, equals the allowance. Should the earning capacity of the official, employee, police officer, firefighter, sheriff or deputy sheriff, town sergeant and deputy sergeant, be later changed, such allowance may be further modified, up or down, provided the new allowance shall not exceed the amount of the allowance originally made nor an amount which, when added to the amount earnable by him, exceeds such allowance.

The death of, or any condition or impairment of health of, any member of a local police department, or of a sheriff or deputy sheriff, caused by hypertension or heart disease resulting in total or partial disability shall be presumed to have been suffered in the line of duty unless the contrary be shown by competent evidence; provided that prior to making any claim based upon such presumption for retirement, sickness or other benefits on account of such death or total or partial disability, such member, sheriff, or deputy sheriff, shall have been found free from hypertension or heart disease, as the case may be, by a physical examination which shall include such appropriate laboratory and other diagnostic studies as such governing body shall prescribe and which shall have been conducted by physicians whose qualifications shall have been prescribed by such governing body. In the case of a claim for disability, that any such member, sheriff, or deputy sheriff, shall, if requested by such governing body or its authorized representative, submit himself to physical examination by any physician designated by such governing body, such examination to include such tests or studies as may reasonably be prescribed by the physician so designated. Such member, sheriff or deputy sheriff, or claimant shall have the right to have present at such examination, at his own expense, any qualified physician he may designate. In the case of a claim for death benefits, any person entitled to make a claim for such benefits, claiming that such person's death was suffered in the line of duty, shall submit the body of the deceased to a postmortem examination to be performed by the medical examiner for the county, city or town appointed under § 32.1-282.

Code 1950, § 15-555; 1950, p. 315; 1954, c. 246; 1960, c. 487; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-134; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1973, c. 499; 1976, c. 769; 1977, c. 326; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1511.01. Allowances to injured deputy sheriffs.

A. In addition to the allowances provided in § 15.2-1511, any deputy sheriff who suffers injury as defined in Title 65.2 and whose allowance as provided in § 15.2-1511 is less than 100 percent of his regular compensation shall be entitled to use any accrued vacation, compensatory, or sick leave to supplement the allowance so as to receive 100 percent of his regular compensation. In no case shall a deputy sheriff use such accrued leave so as to receive more than 100 percent of his regular compensation.

B. The governing body of a locality shall continue to pay the employer's share of the cost of health insurance to the same extent paid for other employees of the locality covered by the health insurance plan for a deputy sheriff who participates in the employer-provided health plan who suffers a compensable injury as defined under Title 65.2 so long as the deputy sheriff remains employed by the locality.

2008, cc. 335, 766.

§ 15.2-1511.1. Written benefit information to certain employees.

If a local employee develops a life-threatening health condition, the local employer shall provide such employee written notification of all relevant benefit options and programs available to him, within 10 days of the date that the employer was given notice of the serious health condition by the employee or his agent, unless such information is otherwise provided annually by the local employer. The employer shall provide appropriate forms to the employee so that the employee can communicate any election of benefit options to the employer in writing on the forms.

2007, c. 333.

§ 15.2-1512. Oath and bond.

Before entering upon the duties of his office, the person appointed or employed by the governing body, or its delegated representative, (i) shall take the oath of office if required by general law, special act or the governing body, (ii) shall give a bond before the clerk of the circuit court serving such governing body, if required by general law, special act or the governing body, and (iii) shall furnish surety to be approved by such clerk in an amount to be fixed by the governing body, if required by general law, special act or the governing body. The premium for such bond shall be paid by the governing body out of its general fund. The form of oath of office is that prescribed by § 49-1.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1512.1. Disposition of property received by subdivisions as result of conversion of mutual insurance company to stock corporation.

The governing body of each locality that receives cash, shares of stock, or both, as a result of the conversion of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia, doing business as Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield (hereafter referred to as Trigon), from a mutual insurance company to a stock corporation known as Trigon Healthcare, Inc., by reason of its school division's status as a present or former group policyholder of Trigon shall, by appropriate ordinance or resolution, authorize the treasurer of such locality to create two separate funds upon the books of the locality, as hereinafter described. Upon the enactment or adoption of such ordinance or resolution, the treasurer of the locality shall place all such stock, including any proceeds derived from the sale or other conveyance of any such stock, and cash, into these separate funds. The stock or proceeds and cash shall be divided equally between the two separate funds set forth in subsections A and B of this section; however, (i) the local governing body may place a greater proportion or all of the stock or proceeds and cash in the fund described in subsection A, with the consent of the school board and (ii) if on or before January 1, 1997, a school board has requested and the local governing body has approved the allocation of the proceeds from the sale of its stock for a school construction or renovation project, the remainder of such proceeds shall be used to create a fund to offset health insurance premium increases incurred by the present and future employees of the school board and governing body.

A. The first fund shall be known as the "County/City of _________________ Schools Health Insurance Premium Fund." All principal placed into this fund, together with all income arising from or attributable to the fund, shall be used solely to offset health insurance premium expenses incurred by or on behalf of present and future employees of the school division of the locality; however, the governing body of the locality may use a portion of the principal placed into the fund, a portion of the income arising from or attributable to the fund, or both, to compensate present or future retired employees of the school division of the locality for (i) health insurance premium expenses payable by the retired employees, (ii) health insurance premium expenses paid for by such retired employees for periods prior to July 1, 1997, during which the retired employees were insured under a health insurance policy through the school division of the locality as a group policyholder of Trigon, or (iii) both (i) and (ii), in such amounts, if any, as the governing body shall determine appropriate. No disbursement from the fund may be made except upon specific appropriation by the governing body in accordance with applicable law.

B. The second fund, if any, shall be known as the "County/City of _________________ School Construction, Renovation, Maintenance, Capital Outlay, and Debt Service Fund." All principal placed into this fund, together with all income arising from or attributable to the fund, shall be used solely for the purposes of school construction, school renovation, major school maintenance, capital outlay, and debt service in the public schools of the locality. No disbursement from this fund may be made except upon specific appropriation by the governing body in accordance with applicable law.

C. All stock or proceeds and cash placed into separate funds pursuant to the provisions of this act, including all income arising from or attributable to such funds, shall be deemed public funds of the locality and shall be subject to all limitations upon deposit and investment provided by general law, including without limitation the Virginia Security for Public Deposits Act (§ 2.2-4400 et seq.). Income, dividends, distributions and sale proceeds accruing to the separate funds shall be retained in the funds and may be expended only in accordance with the terms of this act.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891, § 15.1-52.1; 1998, c. 256; 2000, cc. 66, 657; 2013, c. 687.

§ 15.2-1512.2. Political activities of employees of localities, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, and law-enforcement officers and certain other officers and employees.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Emergency medical services personnel" means any person who is employed within the fire department or public safety department of a locality whose primary responsibility is the provision of emergency medical care to the sick or injured, using either basic or advanced techniques. Emergency medical services personnel may also provide fire protection services and assist in the enforcement of the fire prevention code.

"Firefighter" means any person who is employed within the fire department or public safety department of a locality whose primary responsibility is the prevention or extinguishment of fires, the protection of life and property, or the enforcement of local or state fire prevention codes or laws pertaining to the prevention or control of fires.

"Law-enforcement officer" means any person who is employed within the police department, bureau, or force of any locality, including the sheriff's department of any city or county, and who is authorized by law to make arrests.

"Locality" means counties, cities, towns, authorities, or special districts.

"Political campaign" means activities engaged in for the purpose of promoting a political issue, for influencing the outcome of an election for local or state office, or for influencing the outcome of a referendum or special election.

"Political candidate" means any person who has made known his or her intention to seek, or campaign for, local or state office in a general, primary, or special election.

"Political party" means any party, organization, or group having as its purpose the promotion of political candidates or political campaigns.

B. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, no locality shall prohibit an employee of the locality, including firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, or law-enforcement officers within its employment, or deputies, appointees, and employees of local constitutional officers as defined in § 15.2-1600, from participating in political activities while these employees are off duty, out of uniform and not on the premises of their employment with the locality.

C. For purposes of this section, the term "political activities" includes, but is not limited to, voting; registering to vote; soliciting votes or endorsements on behalf of a political candidate or political campaign; expressing opinions, privately or publicly, on political subjects and candidates; displaying a political picture, sign, sticker, badge, or button; participating in the activities of, or contributing financially to, a political party, candidate, or campaign or an organization that supports a political candidate or campaign; attending or participating in a political convention, caucus, rally, or other political gathering; initiating, circulating, or signing a political petition; engaging in fund-raising activities for any political party, candidate, or campaign; acting as a recorder, watcher, challenger, or similar officer at the polls on behalf of a political party, candidate, or campaign; or becoming a political candidate.

D. Employees of a locality, including firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law-enforcement officers, and other employees specified in subsection B are prohibited from using their official authority to coerce or attempt to coerce a subordinate employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value to a political party, candidate, or campaign, or to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of that person's political affiliations or political activities, except as such affiliation or activity may be established by law as disqualification for employment.

E. Employees of a locality, including firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law-enforcement officers, and other employees specified in subsection B are prohibited from discriminating in the provision of public services, including but not limited to firefighting, emergency medical, and law-enforcement services, or responding to requests for such services, on the basis of the political affiliations or political activities of the person or organization for which such services are provided or requested.

F. Employees of a locality, including firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law-enforcement officers, and other employees specified in subsection B are prohibited from suggesting or implying that a locality has officially endorsed a political party, candidate, or campaign.

2000, c. 791; 2002, c. 886; 2009, c. 306; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-1512.3. Telecommuting by local government employees.

Each local government is authorized and encouraged to establish and implement a telecommuting policy under which eligible employees of such local government may telecommute to the maximum extent possible without diminished employee performance or service delivery.

2001, c. 405.

§ 15.2-1512.4. Rights of local employees to contact elected officials.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or otherwise restrict the right of any local employee to express opinions to state or local elected officials on matters of public concern, nor shall a local employee be subject to acts of retaliation because the employee has expressed such opinions.

For the purposes of this section, "matters of public concern" means those matters of interest to the community as a whole, whether for social, political, or other reasons, and shall include discussions that disclose any (i) evidence of corruption, impropriety, or other malfeasance on the part of government officials; (ii) violations of law; or (iii) incidence of fraud, abuse, or gross mismanagement.

2006, c. 597.

Article 2. Joint Officers and Other Employees.

§ 15.2-1513. Joint local government employees permitted.

Localities may jointly employ or share the services of any person. Persons so employed may include officers as well as other employees.

1991, c. 234, § 15.1-20.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1514. Exercise of powers and duties.

Every person employed under § 15.2-1513 shall exercise in each of such localities all the powers conferred and duties imposed upon such person by law or by contract.

1991, c. 234, § 15.1-20.5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1515. Compensation, benefits and liability insurance of such persons.

Every person employed under § 15.2-1513, for purposes of salary, retirement, and other employee benefits, public liability insurance and bonds, when required, shall be considered the employee of one locality. The share of the costs of salary, retirement, and other employee benefits and expenses for the jointly employed person shall be paid to the primary employing locality by the other localities using the services of such person in the manner and amount agreed upon.

Such employment may be pursuant to written or unwritten agreement between or among the employing localities containing such other terms and conditions as agreed upon.

1991, c. 234, § 15.1-20.4; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1516. Exceptions.

The provisions of §§ 15.2-1513 through 15.2-1515 shall not be applicable to constitutional officers or their employees or other officers elected by the voters.

1991, c. 234, § 15.1-20.6; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Insurance and Legal Defense.

§ 15.2-1517. Insurance for employees and retired employees of localities and other local governmental entities; participation by certain volunteers.

A. Any locality may provide group life, accident, and health insurance programs for its officers and employees; employees of boards, commissions, agencies, or authorities created by or controlled by such locality; or employees of boards, commissions, agencies, or authorities that are political subdivisions of the Commonwealth and work in close cooperation with such locality. In addition, any locality that provides such a health insurance program may allow eligible members of approved volunteer fire or rescue companies, as determined by the locality, to participate in such a health insurance program. Such programs may be through a program of self-insurance, purchased insurance, or partial self-insurance and purchased insurance, whichever is determined to be the most cost effective. The total cost of such policies or protection may be paid entirely by the locality or shared with the employee. The governing body of any locality may provide for its retired officers and retired employees to be eligible for such group life, accident, and health insurance programs. The cost of such insurance for retired officers and retired employees may be paid in whole or in part by the locality. The governing body of any locality may permit members of approved volunteer fire or rescue companies to participate in its group health insurance programs, subject to the eligibility criteria established by the locality. The cost of a volunteer's participation in such a health insurance program shall be paid for in full by the participating volunteer. Any locality may fund the cost of a volunteer's participation in a mental health treatment and counseling program that is offered to individual members of approved volunteer fire or rescue companies and is comparable to an employee assistance program offered to paid employees of the locality.

B. In the event a county or city elects to provide one or more of such programs for its officers and employees, it shall provide such programs to the constitutional officers and their employees on the same basis as provided to other officers and employees, unless the constitutional officers and employees are covered under a state program, and the cost of such local program shall be borne entirely by the locality or shared with the employee.

C.1. Except as otherwise provided herein, in the event the governing body of any locality elects to provide group accident and health insurance for its officers and employees, including constitutional officers and their employees, such programs shall require that upon retirement, or upon the effective date of this provision for those who have previously retired, any such individual with (i) at least 15 years of continuous employment with the locality or (ii) less than 15 years of continuous employment who has retired due to line-of-duty injuries may choose to continue his coverage with the insurer at the retiree's expense until such individual attains 65 years of age at the insurer's customary premium rate applicable (a) to such policies, (b) to the class of risk to which the person then belongs, and (c) to his age.

2. The governing body, when providing this coverage, may further provide that the retiree be rated separately from the active employees covered under the group plan offered by such governing body.

3. Any locality that has not offered the opportunity to continue group health coverage provided by the locality as required by subdivision 1 to its retirees who had retired on or before June 30, 1993, and who meet the criteria for such coverage as set forth in subdivision 1, shall do so by July 1, 2000. Any retiree from the service of a locality who had retired on or before June 30, 1993, and who meets the criteria to continue his group health coverage from the locality under subdivision 1 who has not yet elected to continue his group health coverage from the locality shall elect whether to do so by July 1, 2000.

4. Nothing herein shall prohibit a locality from providing group accident and health coverage or benefits for its retirees in addition to the coverage required under this section.

D. Any locality that offers group health plans to its employees and the employees of constitutional officers and its retirees, as provided by this section or otherwise, may provide in the plan providing such coverage that any retiree who is participating in a group health plan provided by the locality who subsequently terminates his participation in such plan may not thereafter rejoin a group health plan provided by the locality.

1981, c. 332, § 15.1-7.3; 1984, c. 712; 1987, cc. 435, 564; 1992, c. 750; 1993, c. 782; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 797; 2003, c. 409; 2007, c. 150; 2012, cc. 191, 515; 2016, cc. 207, 417.

§ 15.2-1517.1. Formation of not-for-profit benefits consortium.

A. As used in this section:

"Benefits consortium" means a nonstock corporation formed pursuant to subsection B.

"Benefits plan" means a plan adopted by the board of directors of a benefits consortium to provide health and welfare benefits to employees of localities that are members of the benefits consortium and their dependents.

"Employee welfare benefit plan" has the meaning set forth in § 3(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1002(1).

"Locality" means any city or county or the school board with authority over public schools within the boundaries of a city or county.

B. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the governing bodies of three or more localities that as of December 31, 2014, comprised the membership of a multiple employer welfare arrangement may form a not-for-profit benefits consortium for the purpose of establishing a self-funded employee welfare benefits plan by acting as incorporators of a nonstock corporation pursuant to the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act (§ 13.1-801 et seq.). In addition to provisions required or permitted by the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act, the organizational documents of the benefits consortium shall:

1. Limit membership in the benefits consortium to localities;

2. Set forth the name and address of each of the initial members of the corporation;

3. Set forth requirements for the admission of additional localities to the corporation;

4. Set forth the procedure for admission of additional localities to the corporation;

5. Require that each initial member of the corporation and each additional locality admitted to membership agree to remain a member of the benefits consortium for a period of at least five years from the date the consortium begins operations or the date of the additional locality's admission to membership, as the case may be;

6. Provide that the number of directors of the corporation shall be equal to the number of members;

7. Provide that the board of directors shall have exclusive fiscal control over and be responsible for the operation of the benefits plan and shall govern the benefits consortium in accordance with applicable law;

8. Vest in the board of directors the power to make and collect special assessments against members and, if any assessment is not timely paid, to enforce collection of same in the name of the corporation;

9. State the purposes of the benefits consortium, including the types of risks to be shared by its members;

10. Provide that each member shall be contractually liable for its allocated share of the liabilities of the benefits consortium as determined by the board of directors;

11. Require that the benefits consortium purchase and maintain (i) a bond that satisfies the requirements of applicable law, (ii) fiduciary liability insurance, and (iii) a policy or policies of excess insurance with a retention level determined in accordance with sound actuarial principles from an insurer licensed to transact the business of insurance in the Commonwealth;

12. Require that the benefits consortium be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant engaged by the board of directors; and

13. Not include in the name of the corporation the words "insurance," "insurer," "underwriter," "mutual," or any other word or term or combination of words or terms that is uniquely descriptive of an insurance company or insurance business unless the context of the remaining words or terms clearly indicates that the corporation is not an insurance company and is not carrying on the business of insurance.

C. A benefits consortium shall establish and maintain reserves determined in accordance with sound actuarial principles. Capital may be maintained in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit issued to the benefits consortium by a state or national bank authorized to engage in the banking business in the Commonwealth.

D. A benefits consortium may create a self-funded trust through which the members provide for their employees and their dependents any benefit that a member that is a locality is authorized to provide under an accident and health insurance program authorized by § 15.2-1517.

E. Except to the extent specifically provided in this section, a benefits consortium organized under and operated in conformity with this section, so long as it remains in good standing under the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) and otherwise meets the requirements set forth in this section, shall be exempt from all state taxation, and shall not otherwise be subject to the provisions of Title 38.2, including regulation as a multiple employer welfare arrangement.

2015, c. 136.

§ 15.2-1518. Liability insurance for officers, employees and volunteers of local government and members of its boards and commissions and constitutional officers.

Any locality and any political subdivision thereof may provide liability insurance or self-insurance for its fire department operational medical director, police department operational medical director, operational medical director, physician course director for any licensed emergency medical services agency or emergency medical services training program located therein endorsed by the Office of Emergency Medical Services and for its officers, employees and volunteers, including any commission or board, and employees and members thereof, of any authority created or controlled by the local governing body, or any local agency or public service corporation owned, operated or controlled by such local governing body and constitutional officers and their employees.

The insurance or self-insurance may cover the costs and expenses incident to liability, including those for settlement, suit, or satisfaction of judgment arising from the conduct of such operational medical directors, physician course directors, officers, employees, members or volunteers in the discharge of their official duties.

For the purposes of this section, "physician course director" or "PCD" means an EMS physician who is responsible for the clinical aspects of emergency medical care training programs, including the clinical and field actions of enrolled students.

1987, c. 496, § 15.1-7.3:1; 1988, c. 432; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 151; 2004, c. 648; 2008, c. 118.

§ 15.2-1519. Liability insurance for employees of local departments and boards of welfare and social services; legal representation.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1518, the state Department of Social Services is authorized to obtain liability insurance for officers and employees of local departments and boards of welfare or social services. The attorney for the Commonwealth, city attorney, or county attorney, as appropriate, shall provide whatever legal services are required for any such officers or employees sued as a result of their conduct in the discharge of their official duties.

1974, c. 658, § 15.1-506.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1520. Employment of counsel to defend localities and political subdivisions, governing bodies, officers or employees in certain proceedings; costs and expenses of such proceedings.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, general or special, a locality, or political subdivision of such locality may employ the county, city or town attorney, or the attorney for the Commonwealth, if there be no county, city or town attorney, or other counsel approved by the governing body to defend it, or any member thereof, or any officer of the locality, or political subdivision or employee thereof, or any trustee or member of any board or commission appointed by the governing body in any legal proceeding to which the governing body, or any member thereof, or any of the foregoing named persons may be a defendant, when such proceeding is instituted against it, or them by virtue of any actions in furtherance of their duties in serving the locality or political subdivision as its governing body or as members thereof or the duties or service of any officer or employee of the locality or political subdivision or any trustee or any member of any board or commission appointed by the governing body.

All costs and expenses of such proceedings so defended shall be charged against the treasury of the locality, or political subdivision and shall be paid out of funds provided therefor by the governing body thereof. Further, in the event any settlement is agreed upon or judgment is rendered against any of the foregoing persons or governing body, the governing body may, in its discretion, pay such settlement or judgment from public funds or other funds or in connection with all of the foregoing may expend public or other funds for insurance or to establish and maintain a self-insurance program to cover such risks or liability.

1968, c. 23, § 15.1-19.2; 1976, c. 544; 1977, c. 47; 1978, c. 442; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1521. Providing legal fees and expenses for officer or employee of county, city or town in certain proceedings.

If any officer or employee of any locality is investigated, arrested or indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any criminal charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, and no charges are brought, or the charge is subsequently dismissed, or upon trial he is found not guilty, the governing body of the locality may reimburse the officer or employee for reasonable legal fees and expenses incurred by him in defense of the investigation or charge, the reimbursement to be paid from the treasury of the locality.

1984, c. 394, § 15.1-19.2:1; 1997, c. 587.

Article 4. Qualifications; Eligibility, Etc., of Local Elected Officers.

§ 15.2-1522. When and how officers qualify.

Every elected county, city, town and district officer, unless otherwise provided by law, on or before the day on which his term of office begins, shall qualify by taking the oath prescribed by § 49-1 and give the bond, if any, required by law, before the circuit court for the county or city, having jurisdiction in the county, city, town or district for which he is elected or appointed, or before the clerk of the circuit court for such county, city, town or district. However, members of governing bodies and elected school boards may qualify up to and including the day of the initial meeting of the new governing body or elected school board.

Any such oath of town council members, town mayors or members of Boards of Supervisors may be taken before any officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such oath shall be returned to the clerk of the council of the town, who shall enter the same record on the minute book of the council, or, for members of the Board of Supervisors, returned to the clerk of the circuit court having jurisdiction in the county for which he is elected or appointed, who shall record the same in the order book, on the law side thereof.

Whenever an officer required to give bond is included in a blanket surety bond authorized by § 2.2-1840, such officer shall furnish confirmation by the Division of Risk Management of the inclusion of the officer on such blanket surety bond and the amount of the coverage, which shall be the equivalent of giving the bond for purposes of qualification.

An appointed officer as used in this article means a person appointed to temporarily fill an elected position. District officer as used in this article means a person elected by the people other than national and statewide officers and members of the General Assembly.

Code 1950, § 15-475; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-38; 1972, c. 549; 1979, c. 643; 1993, c. 329; 1996, c. 167; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 293; 2017, c. 598.

§ 15.2-1523. Record of qualification.

When an officer qualifies and gives bond, the judge shall certify the fact and the bond and certificate shall be returned to the clerk of the circuit court, and the certificate shall be entered in the order book of the court on the law side thereof and such bond shall be recorded by the clerk. When the officer qualifies and gives bond before the clerk, the clerk shall enter the fact of such qualification in the order book of the court, on the law side thereof, and record the bond.

Code 1950, § 15-476; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-39; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1524. Failure to qualify vacates office.

If any such officer fails to qualify and give bond, as required by § 15.2-1523, on or before the day on which his term begins, his office shall be deemed vacant. However, members of local governing bodies and elected school boards may qualify up to and including the day of the initial meeting of the new governing body or elected school board.

Code 1950, § 15-477; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-40; 1996, c. 167; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1525. Where officers shall reside.

A. Every county officer shall, at the time of his election or appointment, have resided thirty days next preceding his election or appointment, either in the county for which he is elected or appointed, or in the city wherein the courthouse of the county is or in a city wholly within the boundaries of such county. If no practicing lawyer who has resided in the county or in such city for the period aforesaid offers for election or appointment or if there is not more than one practicing lawyer residing in the jurisdiction who would be qualified to offer for election, it shall be lawful to elect or appoint as attorney for the Commonwealth for such county a nonresident, or one who has not resided in the county, or in such city, for the period above mentioned. Every city and town officer except the town attorney shall, at the time of his election or appointment, have resided thirty days next preceding his election or appointment in such city or town unless otherwise specifically provided by charter. Every district officer shall, at the time of his election or appointment, have resided in the district for which he is elected or appointed thirty days next preceding his election or appointment, and residence in any incorporated town within the district shall be regarded as residence in the district.

B. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, and except as other provisions of law may require otherwise, nonelected officers of any locality, and nonelected deputies of constitutional officers, shall not be required to reside in the jurisdiction in which they are appointed. However, the sheriff of any county or city may for law-enforcement purposes require that deputy sheriffs live within a reasonable distance of the administrative office of the sheriff's department.

Code 1950, § 15-487; 1952, c. 336; 1954, c. 323; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-51; 1966, c. 97; 1968, c. 6; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, cc. 549, 620, 624; 1973, c. 124; 1974, cc. 135, 229, 646; 1975, c. 100; 1976, c. 402; 1977, c. 28; 1978, cc. 106, 113; 1979, c. 362; 1980, cc. 1, 8, 11; 1981, cc. 551, 552, 556, 560, 561; 1982, c. 48; 1983, cc. 51, 76; 1984, cc. 65, 106, 711; 1994, c. 516; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1526. Removal vacates office.

If any officer, required by § 15.2-1525 to be a resident at the time of his election or appointment of the county, city, town or district for which he is elected or appointed, or of the city wherein the courthouse of such county is or in a city wholly within the boundaries of such county, remove therefrom, except from the county to such city or from such city to the county, or in case a nonresident who has been elected attorney for the Commonwealth remove from the county or county seat of the county in which he resided when elected, except to the county in which he is elected, his office shall be deemed vacant.

Code 1950, § 15-488; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-52; 1966, c. 97; 1997, c. 587.

Article 5. Bonds.

§ 15.2-1527. Bonds of officers.

Every treasurer or director of finance, sheriff, clerk of a circuit court, commissioner of the revenue, and other persons in the offices of constitutional officers required to give bond shall, at the time he qualifies, give such bond as is required by § 49-12. Bonds for a treasurer or director of finance, sheriff, clerk of the circuit court and commissioner of the revenue shall be provided through the state Department of the Treasury, Division of Risk Management pursuant to subsection B of § 2.2-1840. The penalty of the bond of each officer shall be determined by the court or clerk before whom he qualifies, within the limits prescribed in §§ 15.2-1528, 15.2-1529 and 15.2-1530.

Code 1950, § 15-478; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-41; 1964, c. 278; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 549; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 618, 632.

§ 15.2-1528. Penalties of bonds of sheriffs, clerks of the circuit court and commissioners of the revenue.

The penalty of the bond of a sheriff shall be $30,000. The bond of the clerk of a circuit court shall not be less than $3,000 and the bond of such clerk shall bind him and his sureties, not only for the faithful discharge of his duties as clerk of the court, but also for the faithful discharge of such other duties as may be imposed upon him by law in like manner or by order of the court and with the same effect as if it were so expressed in the conditions of his bond. The bond of the commissioner of the revenue shall not be less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000.

Code 1950, § 15-479; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-42; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1981, c. 120; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1529. Amount of bond of treasurer or director of finance of counties.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 15.2-416, 15.2-541, 15.2-642, 15.2-707 and 15.2-852 requiring the surety bond given by a county treasurer or director of finance to be in an amount of not less than fifteen percent of the amounts to be received annually by such officers, the court or the governing body responsible for fixing the penalty of the bond may in its discretion exclude the amounts to be received for the county from temporary and long-term loans and federal revenue sharing funds when fixing the required minimum bond, and the amount of the bonds to be given shall not exceed the following maximums based on the population of the respective counties unless, for good cause shown, a greater bond is deemed advisable:

1. In counties having a population of not more than 10,000, the bond shall be limited to $300,000.

2. In counties having a population of more than 10,000 but not more than 30,000, the bond shall be limited to $400,000.

3. In counties having a population of more than 30,000 but not more than 50,000, the bond shall be limited to $500,000.

4. In counties having a population of more than 50,000 but not more than 100,000, the bond shall be limited to $750,000.

5. In counties having a population of more than 100,000, the bond shall be limited to one million dollars.

1973, c. 320, § 15.1-43.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1530. Bonds required of treasurers or directors of finance of cities.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, the penalty of the bond for treasurers or directors of finance of cities shall be not less than fifteen percent of the amount of revenue to be received annually by him but not more than $500,000 for treasurers or directors of finance of cities under 100,000 population nor more than $1,500,000 for treasurers or directors of finance of cities over 100,000.

Code 1950, § 15-481; 1950, p. 411; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-44; 1973, c. 195; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1531. When certain city and county treasurers not required to give additional bond.

Whenever the treasurer for any city or county is appointed finance officer under any regulation of the State Board of Education relating to the operation of jointly owned schools for cities and counties, and such duties do not substantially increase the amount of the revenue to be received annually by him, then no additional bond shall be required of him.

Code 1950, § 15-481.1; 1962, c. 493, § 15.1-44.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1532. Payment of premiums on bonds for more than one year in advance.

Governing bodies are authorized to pay out of their respective treasuries, the premiums on the surety bonds of all local officials who are required to be bonded, for a period of more than one year when a discount for advanced payment of such premiums may be obtained under the rates, rules and regulations promulgated by the State Corporation Commission according to law.

If any such surety bond be cancelled prior to its expiration, the portion of the premiums to be returned shall be calculated on the basis of the regular annual rate of premiums for the duration of the bond as such refunds are prescribed by the rates, rules and regulations promulgated by the State Corporation Commission according to law.

Code 1950, § 15-483; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-46; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1533. Bond plan to be forwarded to clerk and Comptroller.

The state Department of the Treasury, Division of Risk Management shall forward to the clerk of the circuit court for each county and city and the Comptroller of the Commonwealth a copy of the plan promulgated pursuant to subsection B of § 2.2-1840.

Code 1950, § 15-484; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-47; 1979, c. 643; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 618, 632.

Article 6. Prohibition on Dual Office Holding.

§ 15.2-1534. Certain officers not to hold more than one office.

A. Pursuant to Article VII, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia, no person holding the office of treasurer, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of the circuit court, commissioner of the revenue, supervisor, councilman, mayor, board chairman, or other member of the governing body of any locality shall hold more than one such office at the same time.

B. Subsection A shall not be construed to prohibit:

1. A commissioner of the revenue of a county from serving as appointed commissioner of the revenue of a town located in the county;

2. A treasurer of a county from serving as appointed treasurer of a town located in the county;

3. A deputy sheriff of a county from serving as appointed town sergeant of a town located in the county;

4. A person from serving simultaneously as an assistant attorney for the Commonwealth in the City of Winchester and Frederick County;

5. A person from serving as attorney for the Commonwealth for Bland County and assistant attorney for the Commonwealth of Wythe County;

6. The election of deputies of constitutional officers to school board membership, consistent with federal law and regulation; or

7. A person from serving simultaneously as a part-time assistant attorney for the Commonwealth in more than one locality with the consent of the respective attorneys for the Commonwealth and the Compensation Board in accordance with procedures adopted by the Compensation Board.

1993, cc. 621, 781, § 15.1-50.4; 1995, c. 290; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 294.

§ 15.2-1535. Members of governing body not to be elected or appointed by governing body to certain offices.

A. Pursuant to Article VII, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia, no member of a governing body of a locality shall be eligible, during the term of office for which he was elected or appointed, to hold any office filled by the governing body by election or appointment, except that a member of a governing body may be named a member of such other boards, commissions, and bodies as may be permitted by general law and except that a member of a governing body may be named to fill a vacancy in the office of mayor or board chairman if permitted by general or special law.

B. Pursuant to Article VII, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia, and without limiting any other provision of general law, a governing body member may be named by the governing body to one or more of the following positions:

1. Director of emergency management pursuant to § 44-146.19;

2. Member of a planning district commission pursuant to § 15.2-4203;

3. Member of a transportation district commission pursuant to § 33.2-1907;

4. Member of a behavioral health authority board pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 37.2-600 et seq.) of Title 37.2;

5. Member of a hospital or health center commission pursuant to Chapter 52 (§ 15.2-5200 et seq.) of Title 15.2;

6. Member of a community services board pursuant to Chapter 5 (§ 37.2-500 et seq.) of Title 37.2;

7. Member of a park authority pursuant to Chapter 57 (§ 15.2-5700 et seq.) of Title 15.2;

8. Member of a detention or other residential care facilities commission pursuant to Article 13 (§ 16.1-315 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1;

9. Member of a board of directors, governing board or advisory council of an area agency on aging pursuant to § 51.5-135;

10. Member of a regional jail or jail farm board, pursuant to § 53.1-106 or of a regional jail authority or jail authority pursuant to Article 3.1 (§ 53.1-95.2 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 53.1;

11. With respect to members of the governing body of a town under 3,500 population, member of an industrial development authority's board of directors pursuant to Chapter 49 (§ 15.2-4900 et seq.) of Title 15.2;

12. Member of the board of directors, governing board, or advisory council or committee of an airport commission or authority;

13. Member of a Board of Directors of a Regional Industrial Facility Authority pursuant to Chapter 64 (§ 15.2-6400 et seq.) of Title 15.2;

14. Member of a local parks and recreation commission;

15. Member of the Board of the Richmond Ambulance Authority; and

16. Member of the Board of Directors of the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority pursuant to § 33.2-2901.

C. If any governing body member is appointed or elected by the governing body to any office, his qualification in that office shall be void except as provided in subsection B or by other general law.

D. Except as specifically provided in general or special law, no appointed body listed in subsection B shall be comprised of a majority of elected officials as members, nor shall any locality be represented on such appointed body by more than one elected official.

E. For the purposes of this section, "governing body" includes the mayor of a municipality and the county board chairman.

1993, cc. 621, 781, § 15.1-50.5; 1995, cc. 696, 699; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 488; 1999, c. 811; 2001, c. 8; 2009, cc. 400, 649; 2011, cc. 41, 51; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2014, c. 469.

Article 7. Other Officers of Local Governments.

§ 15.2-1536. Required and discretionary officers.

Every locality shall appoint or designate a clerk for the governing body and in its discretion, a chief administrative officer and an attorney.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1537. Financial officer.

Every locality, unless otherwise provided for by general law or special act or unless such functions are performed by the constitutional offices of treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, shall appoint an officer to be responsible for its financial affairs. Such person shall work with the above-mentioned constitutional offices in performing his duties and shall perform such other related duties as may be assigned to him by the governing body.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1537.1. Disposition of state funds locally collected.

All state funds collected by the financial officer shall be paid into the state treasury without deductions on account of their compensation or on account of expenses. The Comptroller shall promptly forward to such officers his warrants on the State Treasurer for the compensation due them and the estimated amount allowed them out of such funds for expenses.

Code 1950, § 14-161; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-161; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1538. Clerk for the governing body.

The governing body of every locality in this Commonwealth shall appoint a qualified person, who shall not be a member of the governing body, to record the official actions of such governing body. The person so appointed shall be called clerk for the board of supervisors or council, as the case may be.

In localities where the clerk of court also serves as clerk of the governing body such person may receive as compensation for his services as clerk of the governing body a salary in an amount determined by the governing body. Such compensation shall be in lieu of, and in satisfaction of, any compensation allowable under § 33.2-721. Such compensation shall not be considered in determining the maximum total annual compensation of officers as set forth in §§ 17.1-283 and 17.1-287.

Code 1950, § 15-238; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-533; 1968, c. 328; 1980, c. 257; 1985, c. 108; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1539. General duties of clerk.

It shall be the clerk's general duty to:

1. Record in a book the proceedings of the governing body;

2. Make regular entries of all its ordinances, resolutions and decisions on all questions concerning the raising of money, and within five days after any order for a levy is made, to deliver a copy thereof to the commissioner of revenue of his locality or the person performing such commissioner's duties, as the case may be;

3. Record the vote of each supervisor or council member on any question submitted to the board or council, as required by law or his governing body; and

4. Preserve and file all accounts acted upon by the governing body, with its actions thereon, for a period of five years after audit and thereafter until the governing body shall authorize their destruction in accordance with retention regulations for records established pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act.

Code 1950, § 15-237; 1956, c. 710; 1960, c. 34; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-532; 1982, c. 493; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1540. Chief administrative officer.

The governing body of any locality may appoint a chief administrative officer, who shall be designated county, city or town administrator or manager or executive, as the case may be.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1541. Administrative head of government.

Every chief administrative officer shall be the administrative head of the local government in which he is employed. He shall be responsible to the governing body for the proper management of all the affairs of the locality which the governing body has authority to control.

He shall, unless it is otherwise provided by general law, charter or by ordinance or resolution of the governing body:

1. See that all ordinances, resolutions, directives and orders of the governing body and all laws of the Commonwealth required to be enforced through the governing body or officers subject to the control of the governing body are faithfully executed;

2. Make reports to the governing body from time to time as required or deemed advisable upon the affairs of the locality under his control and supervision;

3. Receive reports from, and give directions to, all heads of offices, departments and boards of the locality under his control and supervision;

4. Submit to the governing body a proposed annual budget, in accordance with general law, with his recommendations;

5. Execute the budget as finally adopted by the governing body;

6. Keep the governing body fully advised on the locality's financial condition and its future financial needs;

7. Appoint all officers and employees of the locality, except as he may authorize the head of an office, department and board responsible to him to appoint subordinates in such office, department and board;

8. Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the governing body.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1541.1. Authority of county administrator to maintain centralized system of accounting.

A county administrator shall maintain a centralized system of accounting for the county, including the county school board and the local board of social services, when such centralized system of accounting is authorized by the governing body under the provisions of § 30-137.

1998, c. 380; 2002, c. 747.

§ 15.2-1542. Creation of office of county, city or town attorney authorized; appointment, salary and duties.

A. Every county, city or town, not otherwise authorized to create the office, may create the office of county, city or town attorney. Such attorney shall be appointed by the governing body to serve at the pleasure of the governing body. He shall serve at a salary or at an hourly rate to be fixed by the governing body and shall be allowed to recover his reasonable costs expended. Any such attorney serving at an hourly rate shall provide the locality with an itemized list of fees and expenses. In the event of the appointment of such attorney, the attorney for the Commonwealth for such locality shall be relieved of any duty imposed upon him by law in civil matters of advising the governing body and all boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees of the locality, of drafting or preparing ordinances, of defending or bringing actions in which the local government or any of its boards, departments or agencies, or officials or employees, thereof, shall be a party, and in any other manner advising or representing the local government, its boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees, and all such duties shall be performed by the local government attorney. Nothing herein, however, shall relieve such attorney for the Commonwealth from any of the other duties imposed on him by law including those imposed by § 2.2-3126.

B. The county attorney may prosecute violations of the Uniform Statewide Building Code, the Statewide Fire Prevention Code and all other ordinances as may be agreed upon with the attorney for the Commonwealth. Such attorney shall be accountable to the governing body in the performance of his duties.

C. The county attorney of Montgomery, Fairfax or Prince William Counties may prosecute violations of county ordinances, except those ordinances which regulate, in a manner similar to State statute, the operation of motor vehicles on the highway.

D. City and town attorneys, if so authorized by their local governing bodies, and with the concurrence of the attorney for the Commonwealth for the locality, may prosecute criminal cases charging either the violation of city or town ordinances, or the commission of misdemeanors within the city or town, notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1627.

1968, c. 695, § 15.1-9.1:1; 1974, c. 305; 1977, c. 584; 1979, c. 328, § 15.1-9.1:01; 1981, c. 122; 1982, c. 30; 1994, c. 357; 1995, c. 740, § 15.1-9.1:3; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 802.

§ 15.2-1543. Employment of purchasing agent; duties.

A. Any county may employ a county purchasing agent or designate some official or employee of the county to perform the duties herein provided, and provide compensation for such service. The person so employed or designated shall serve at the pleasure of the board and shall give bond in such amount as shall be prescribed by the board.

B. The county purchasing agent shall, under the supervision of the board of supervisors, purchase or contract for all supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services required by any department or agency of the county, subject to the provisions set forth in Article 2 (§ 15.2-1233 et seq.) of Chapter 12; shall draw up, subject to the approval of the county board, and enforce standard specifications which shall apply to all supplies, materials and equipment purchased for the use of the county government; shall have supervision over all central storerooms now operated or hereafter established by the county; and shall transfer to or between county departments and agencies or sell supplies, materials and equipment which are surplus, obsolete, or unused.

Code 1950, §§ 15-539, 15-541; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-103, 15.1-105; 1997, c. 587.

Article 8. Local Trusts to Fund Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions.

§ 15.2-1544. Counties, cities, towns, school divisions, and certain political subdivisions may establish local trusts or equivalent arrangements to fund postemployment benefits other than pensions.

The governing body of any county, city, or town may establish a trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements for the purpose of accumulating and investing assets to fund postemployment benefits other than pensions, as defined herein. Deposits to any such trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements and any earnings on those deposits shall be irrevocable; shall be dedicated to providing benefits to retirees and their beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the plans or programs providing postemployment benefits other than pensions; and shall be exempt from taxation and execution, attachment, garnishment, or any other process. For the purposes of this article, an equivalent arrangement shall mean any fund or similar arrangement established by the governing body pursuant to this article under which funds are irrevocably allocated, segregated, or otherwise dedicated to providing postemployment benefits other than pension benefits to retirees and their beneficiaries. The governing body of any such county, city, or town also may make appropriations to any such trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements, and any such governing body may require active and former employees covered by a postemployment benefit plan or program to contribute to such a trust or equivalent arrangement through payments or deductions from their wages, salaries, or pensions. Officers and employees who are subject to inclusion in the retirement plans described in § 51.1-800 also may be included in any such trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements by the governing body.

The governing body also may authorize the governing body of any other political subdivision that is appointed in whole or in part by the governing body of such county, city, or town, to establish and fund a trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements for its active and former employees. Any appointed or elected school board may establish and fund such a trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements for its active and former employees. The governing body of any county, city, or town also may enter into agreements with the appointed or elected school board that provides public schools within its boundaries or with any other political subdivision, which is appointed in whole or in part by the governing body of any such county, city, or town, to permit any such school board or such other political subdivision to participate in any trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements established by the governing body of any such county, city, or town.

The governing body of any such county, city, or town, the school board of the local school divisions, and the governing body of any other political subdivision that establishes or participates in any such trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements, shall have the right to revise or discontinue its plans or programs providing such postemployment benefits other than pensions for its active and former officers and employees as it may deem necessary or transfer any assets held in any trust or equivalent arrangement established pursuant to this article to any other trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangement established pursuant to this article; provided, however, any amendment, suspension, or revocation of any plans or programs providing such postemployment benefits other than pensions or transfer of assets held in a trust or equivalent arrangement shall not have the effect of diverting the assets of any trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements to purposes other than the exclusive benefit of the active or former employees or their dependents or beneficiaries entitled to such postemployment benefit. If all plans or programs providing such postemployment benefits other than pensions for which a trust or equivalent arrangement is established are repealed or terminated by the governing body that created such trust, trusts or equivalent arrangements, then there shall be no continuing responsibility for that governing body to continue to make appropriations to such trust, trusts or equivalent arrangements, and the assets of any such trust, trusts or equivalent arrangements shall be used to provide any benefits continuing to be due to active or former employees (and their dependents or beneficiaries) under such plans or programs. If there are no active or former employees (or dependents or beneficiaries) due a benefit under any plan or program providing such postemployment benefits other than pensions for which the trust or equivalent arrangement was established, then any remaining assets may revert to the locality.

2007, c. 710.

§ 15.2-1545. Postemployment benefits other than pensions defined.

Postemployment benefits other than pensions covered by the trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangement shall be defined by the governing body of the county, city, or town, by the appointed or elected school board, or by the governing body of any other political subdivision that creates any such program or trust. Such benefits may include but are not limited to medical, dental, and life insurance provided to individuals who have terminated their service and to the dependents of such individuals and may be provided by purchasing insurance, by a program of self-insurance, or by a combination of both. Such postemployment benefits other than pensions may be provided to the officers and employees or to their dependents, estates, or designated beneficiaries. Any benefits arising from any postemployment benefits other than pension plans shall be clearly defined and strictly construed.

2007, c. 710.

§ 15.2-1546. Assets of trusts or equivalent arrangements for postemployment benefits other than pensions.

The assets of any trust or equivalent arrangement for postemployment benefits other than pensions shall be exempt from state and local taxation, and the assets of any such trust or equivalent arrangement shall not be subject to execution, attachment, garnishment, or any other process.

2007, c. 710.

§ 15.2-1547. Creation of local finance boards to manage the assets of postemployment benefits trust or equivalent arrangement; composition of such boards; alternatives to such boards; liability; and removal from office.

Except as otherwise provided herein, the governing body of any county, city, or town that establishes a trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements for postemployment benefits other than pensions pursuant to this article also shall create a finance board to serve as trustee of such a trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements and to manage and invest the assets of that trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements. Such a finance board shall be composed of at least three members who shall include the chief financial officer of the locality, the treasurer of the locality, and at least one other additional person who shall be a citizen of the Commonwealth with proven integrity, business ability, and demonstrated experience in cash management and in investments. If the locality does not have a chief financial officer or a treasurer, then that position may be filled by the chief administrative officer of the locality or by a citizen who meets the qualifications set forth above. The citizen member shall be appointed initially by the governing body of the locality for a term of two years and if more than one citizen is appointed to serve on any such board, then the local governing body may appoint those citizens for staggered terms of one and two years. Subsequent appointments shall be for two-year terms or to fill the balance of any unexpired term. The finance board shall annually elect one of its members as chairman and another as vice-chairman. The finance board shall meet at least four times a year, and a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.

Any school board of a local school division or the governing body of any other political subdivision that establishes its own postemployment benefits trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements pursuant to this article shall create a finance board to serve as trustee of such a trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements and to manage and invest the assets of that trust, trusts, or equivalent arrangements. Such a finance board shall be composed of at least three members consisting of the chief administrative officer of the entity, the chief financial officer of the entity, and at least one additional person who shall be a citizen of the Commonwealth and who meets the qualifications set forth above. The citizen member shall be appointed initially by the governing body of the locality for a term of two years and if more than one citizen is appointed to serve on any such board, then the local governing body may appoint those citizens for staggered terms of one and two years. Subsequent appointments shall be for two-year terms or to fill the balance of any unexpired term. The finance board shall annually elect one of its members as chairman and another as vice-chairman. The finance board shall meet at least four times a year, and a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.

Alternatively, and in lieu of establishing the finance board as described in this section, the governing body of any county, city, or town, school division or other political subdivision that has established a retirement board or deferred compensation board to manage pension benefits provided to or for its active and former employees may designate that retirement board or deferred compensation board to serve as trustee and to manage the assets of a trust or equivalent arrangement established pursuant to this article. Any such retirement board or deferred compensation board shall have all the powers and duties of the finance board described in this article, mutatis mutandis.

Except in the case of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, any member of a finance board established pursuant to this section, any director of finance or another appointed official with a similarly named position, or any member of a retirement board, who is acting in accordance with the provisions of this article, shall not incur any liability for investment losses suffered by a trust established pursuant to this article. Members of any such finance board shall be subject to removal from office as set forth in §§ 24.2-230 through 24.2-238.

2007, c. 710.

§ 15.2-1548. Finance boards or alternatives thereto to manage the assets of trusts or equivalent arrangements to fund postemployment benefits other than pensions and provide annual reports; exemption from Public Procurement Act.

Except as otherwise provided herein, any finance board or any other person or entity serving as an alternative thereto pursuant to § 15.2-1547 shall retain the services of an investment manager, invest its funds in accordance with § 15.2-1549, maintain records of all of its proceedings, make such records available for inspection by the public, invest the assets of the trust or equivalent arrangement in accordance with the provisions of this article, and provide the governing body that created it an annual report on the fund's performance and financial status. In lieu of any finance board or other person or entity serving as an alternative thereto pursuant to § 15.2-1547 serving as trustee, the investment manager may serve as trustee of the funds. The selection of services related to the management, purchase, or sale of authorized investments, including but not limited to actuarial services, shall not be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.).

2007, c. 710.

§ 15.2-1549. Investment of assets of trusts or equivalent arrangement for postemployment benefits other than pensions.

All funds appropriated to a trust or equivalent arrangement for postemployment benefits other than pensions, as defined in § 15.2-1545, and all funds accrued from the investment of any such funds that are on hand at any time and are not necessary for immediate payment of benefits shall be invested by the finance board, by any person or entity serving as an alternative thereto pursuant to § 15.2-1547, or by an investment manager who is serving as a trustee of the funds. All such funds shall be invested in accordance with the prudent person standard established by § 51.1-803 and such investments shall not be limited by Chapter 45 (§ 2.2-4500 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

2007, c. 710.

Chapter 16. Local Constitutional Officers, Courthouses and Supplies.

Article 1. Local Constitutional Officers, Courthouses and Supplies.

§ 15.2-1600. Counties and cities required to elect certain officers; qualifications of attorney for the Commonwealth; duties and compensation of officers; vacancies, certain counties and cities excepted; officer's powers not to be diminished.

A. The voters of each county and city shall elect a treasurer, a sheriff, an attorney for the Commonwealth, a clerk, who shall be clerk of the court in the office of which deeds are recorded, and a commissioner of revenue. To qualify to be elected or hold office, an attorney for the Commonwealth shall be a member of the bar of this Commonwealth. The duties and compensation of such officers shall be prescribed by general law or special act and any vacancy in such office shall be filled, notwithstanding any charter provision to the contrary, by a majority of the circuit judges of the judicial circuit for the county or city pursuant to the provisions of §§ 24.2-226 and 24.2-227. Any county or city not required to have or to elect such officers prior to July 1, 1971, shall not be so required by this section, nor shall the provisions of this section apply to those counties and cities which have heretofore adopted, or may hereafter adopt, a form of government, as provided by law, which does not require such counties or cities to have or elect one or more of such officers.

B. Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize the governing body or the chief administrative officer of a locality to designate an elected constitutional officer to exercise a power or perform a duty which the officer is not required to perform under applicable state law without the consent of such officer, nor by designation to diminish any such officer's powers or duties as provided by applicable state law including the power to organize their offices and to appoint such deputies, assistants and other individuals as are authorized by law upon the terms and conditions specified by such officers.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 223, § 15.1-40.1; 1979, c. 522; 1982, c. 637; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1601. Requirements for officers.

The officers required by § 15.2-1600 are subject to the residency, qualification for office, bonding, dual-office-holding requirements and prohibitions provided for in Chapter 15 of this title.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1602. Sharing of such officers by two or more units of government.

Two or more units of government may share the officer or officers, or any combination of them, required by § 15.2-1600 if (i) a petition, signed by a number of qualified voters equal to fifteen percent of the number of votes cast in such units of government by voters thereof and counted for candidates in the last gubernatorial election in such units of government, and in no event signed by less than 100 voters of such units of government, is filed with a circuit court having jurisdiction in one or more of such units of government, asking that a referendum be held on the question "May the (names of the units of government) share the (officer or officers), as the case may be, (naming such officers if less than all) required by Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia ?"; (ii) following the filing of such petition, the court shall by order entered of record, issued in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, require the regular election officials of the units of government to open the polls and take the sense of the voters on such question and (iii) at the election held on the day designated by order of such court, a majority of the voters voting in such election in each such unit of government shall have voted "Yes." The clerk of the circuit court which entered the order shall publish notice of the election in a newspaper of general circulation in such units of government once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the election.

The regular election officials of the units of government shall open the polls at the various voting places in such units of government on the date specified in the order and conduct the election in the manner provided by law. The election shall be by ballot which shall be prepared by the electoral boards of the units of government and on which shall be printed the following:

"May _______________ share the officer or officers, as the case may be, (naming such officers if less than all) required by Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

In the blank shall be inserted the names of the units of government in which such election is held. The question required by this section may be modified to accommodate the naming of the officer or officers. Any voter desiring to vote "Yes" shall mark a check (✓) mark or a cross (✗ or +) mark or a line (-) in the square provided for such purpose immediately preceding the word "Yes," leaving the square immediately preceding the word "No," unchanged. Any voter desiring to vote "No" shall mark a check (✓) mark or cross (✗ or +) mark or a line (-) in the square provided for such purpose immediately preceding the word "No," leaving the square immediately preceding the word "Yes," unmarked.

The ballots shall be counted, returns made and canvassed as in other elections, and the results certified by the electoral boards to the court ordering such election. Thereupon, the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of the election, and a duly certified copy of the order shall be transmitted to the State Board of Elections and to the governing bodies of the units of government affected.

Thereafter, the officer or officers shall be elected by the voters of the units of government desiring to share such officer or officers; however, the provisions of this section shall not reduce the term of any person holding an office at the time the election provided for in this section is held.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 223, § 15.1-40.2; 1975, c. 517; 1976, c. 301; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1603. Appointment of deputies; their powers; how removed.

The treasurer, the sheriff, the commissioner of the revenue, and the clerk of any circuit court may at the time he qualifies as provided in § 15.2-1522 or thereafter appoint one or more deputies, who may discharge any of the official duties of their principal during his continuance in office, unless it is some duty the performance of which by a deputy is expressly forbidden by law. The sheriff making an appointment of a deputy under the provisions of this section may review the record of the deputy as furnished by the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to certification to the appropriate court as provided hereunder.

The sheriff may appoint as deputies medical and rehabilitation employees as are authorized by the State Compensation Board. Deputies appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall not be considered by the State Compensation Board in fixing the number of full-time or part-time deputies which may be appointed by the sheriff pursuant to § 15.2-1609.1.

The officer making any such appointment shall certify the appointment to the court in the clerk's office of which the oath of the principal of such deputy is filed, and a record thereof shall be entered in the order book of such court. Any such deputy at the time his principal qualifies as provided in § 15.2-1522 or thereafter, and before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take and prescribe the oath now provided for in § 49-1. The oath shall be filed with the clerk of the court in whose office the oath of his principal is filed, and such clerk shall properly label and file all such oaths in his office for preservation. Any such deputy may be removed from office by his principal. The deputy may also be removed by the court as provided by § 24.2-230.

Code 1950, § 15-485; 1952, c. 112; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-48; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 549; 1976, c. 199; 1979, c. 660; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1604. Appointment of deputies and employment of employees; discriminatory practices by certain officers; civil penalty.

A. It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a constitutional officer:

1. To fail or refuse to appoint or hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of appointment or employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex or national origin; or

2. To limit, segregate, or classify his appointees, employees or applicants for appointment or employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of the individual's race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to make it an unlawful employment practice for a constitutional officer to hire or appoint an individual on the basis of his sex or national origin in those instances where sex or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular office. The provisions of this section shall not apply to policy-making positions, confidential or personal staff positions, or undercover positions.

C. With regard to notices and advertisements:

1. Every constitutional officer shall, prior to hiring any employee, advertise such employment position in a newspaper having general circulation or a state or local government job placement service in such constitutional officer's locality except where the vacancy is to be used (i) as a placement opportunity for appointees or employees affected by layoff, (ii) as a transfer opportunity or demotion for an incumbent, (iii) to fill positions that have been advertised within the past 120 days, (iv) to fill positions to be filled by appointees or employees returning from leave with or without pay, (v) to fill temporary positions, temporary employees being those employees hired to work on special projects that have durations of three months or less, or (vi) to fill policy-making positions, confidential or personal staff positions, or special, sensitive law-enforcement positions normally regarded as undercover work.

2. No constitutional officer shall print or publish or cause to be printed or published any notice or advertisement relating to employment by such constitutional officer indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination, based on sex or national origin, except that such notice or advertisement may indicate a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on sex or national origin when sex or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification for employment.

D. Complaints regarding violations of subsection A may be made to the Division of Human Rights of the Department of Law. The Division shall have the authority to exercise its powers as outlined in Article 4 (§ 2.2-520 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 2.2.

E. Any constitutional officer who willfully violates the provisions of subsection C shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000.

1989, c. 718, § 15.1-48.1; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 453; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 15.2-1605. Vacations; sick leave and compensatory time for certain officers and employees.

A. "Employee," as used in this section, means an employee or deputy of the attorney for the Commonwealth, the treasurer, the commissioner of the revenue, the clerk of the circuit court, and the sheriff and shall also include the officers and employees of all courts whose salaries are paid by the Commonwealth.

B. Every county and city for which such employees work shall annually provide for each employee at least two weeks vacation with pay, at least seven days sick leave with pay, and such legal holidays as are provided for in § 2.2-3300. If any employee or deputy is required to work on any legal holiday, he shall receive, in lieu of the holiday, an equal amount of compensatory time with pay in the same calendar year in which such holiday occurs. The county or city may provide that vacation or sick leave may be accumulated or shall terminate within a given period of time; however, such vacation may not be accumulated in excess of six weeks. The cost of providing such benefits shall be borne in the same manner and on the same basis as the costs of the office are shared or as the excess fees therefrom may be shared. When a county or city has entered into an agreement with a constitutional officer to include his employees under the locality's personnel leave policies, then such employee may accrue and accumulate leave pursuant to such policies instead of under this section, as long as such local benefits are not less than the amounts as set out in this section.

C. For the purpose of computing the Commonwealth's financial obligations for accumulated vacation time of an employee under this section, the Commonwealth shall pay the lesser, and in any event only its proportional share, of the amount due to an employee for such time when computed (i) under the applicable counties' or cities' personnel policies, regulations and rules, or (ii) by treating the employee as a Commonwealth employee, under its applicable personnel policies, regulations and rules.

1972, c. 562, § 15.1-19.3; 1974, c. 103; 1977, c. 116; 1980, c. 547; 1984, c. 365; 1997, c. 587; 2017, c. 632.

§ 15.2-1605.1. Supplementing compensation of certain county and city officers and their employees.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body of any county or city, in its discretion, may supplement the compensation of the sheriff, treasurer, commissioner of the revenue, director of finance, clerk of the circuit court, or attorney for the Commonwealth, or any of their deputies or employees, above the salary of any such officer, deputy or employee, in such amounts as it may deem expedient. Such additional compensation shall be wholly payable from the funds of any such county or city.

1970, c. 153, § 14.1-11.4; 1973, c. 437; 1974, c. 423; 1998, c. 872; 1999, c. 283; 2002, c. 832.

§ 15.2-1605.2. Salary increases for constitutional officers.

In every locality of this Commonwealth, whenever the Compensation Board shall provide salary increases, including but not limited to cost-of-living increases, whether specifically for constitutional officers and their assistants or deputies or for the general compensation to be paid in the aggregate to a constitutional officer, pursuant to any statutory or other authority, no locality shall use such reimbursement for any purpose other than salary during the fiscal year. A locality shall distribute such salary in appropriate proportions to its constitutional officers and their assistants or deputies.

As used in this section, "constitutional officer" means the treasurer, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of circuit court, or commissioner of revenue of any locality.

1998, c. 647.

§ 15.2-1606. Defense of constitutional officers; appointment of counsel.

In the event that any treasurer, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of the circuit court or commissioner of the revenue, or any deputy or assistant of any of such officers, is made defendant in any civil action arising out of the performance of his official duties and does not have legal defense provided under the insurance coverage of his office, such officer, or deputy or assistant thereto, may make application to the circuit court for the county or city in which he serves to assign counsel for his defense in such action. The court may, upon good cause shown, make such orders respecting the employment of an attorney or attorneys, including the attorney for the Commonwealth, as may be appropriate, and fix his compensation. Reimbursement of any expenses incurred in the defense of such charge may also be allowed by the court. Such legal fees and expenses shall be paid from the treasury of the county or city, and reimbursement shall be made from the Compensation Board in the proportions set out in § 15.2-1636.14.

1977, c. 554, § 15.1-66.4; 1985, c. 321; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1607. Providing legal fees and expenses for sheriffs and deputies.

If any sheriff or deputy sheriff is arrested or indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, and such charge is subsequently dismissed or there is rendered a verdict of not guilty, such sheriff or deputy sheriff may submit to the governing body of the locality in which he was elected or appointed a statement of legal fees and expenses incurred in his defense of such charge. The governing body may authorize that such legal fees and expenses, or any portion thereof, be paid from the treasury of such locality. If the affected sheriff or deputy sheriff disagrees with the action of the governing body, the officer may petition the circuit court for the county or city to award the fees and cost. The circuit court, sitting without a jury, shall hold a hearing on the matter. The court for good cause shown may order the governing body to pay all or any appropriate portion of the fees and cost.

1975, c. 30, § 15.1-66.3; 1983, c. 232; 1997, c. 587.

Article 2. Treasurer.

§ 15.2-1608. Treasurer.

The voters in every county and city shall elect a treasurer unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The treasurer shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon treasurers by law. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as the governing body may request. The treasurer shall pay from the funds of the local government all properly authorized accounts submitted to him for payment. He shall be elected as provided by general law for a term of four years.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1608.1. Salaries of city treasurers.

The annual salaries of city treasurers or any officers, whether elected or appointed, who hold the combined office of city treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise prescribed in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-8.1, 14-68, 14-68.1, 14-68.2, 14-68.3 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any persons holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-68 through 14-68.3; 1952, c. 479; 1956, cc. 606, 715; 1958, c. 371; 1960, c. 405; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-55; 1966, c. 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, cc. 617, 731; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1979, c. 233; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1608.2. Salaries of county treasurers.

The annual salaries of county treasurers or any officers, whether elected or appointed, who hold the combined office of county treasurer and commissioner of the revenue subject to the provisions of § 15.2-1636.17, shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-68.1, 14-69, 14-69.1, 14-69.2, 14-69.3 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any person holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-69 through 14-69.3; 1952, c. 479; 1956, c. 604; 1960, c. 415; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-56; 1966, cc. 309, 566, 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, c. 617; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1979, c. 233; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

Article 3. Sheriff.

§ 15.2-1609. Sheriff.

The voters in every county and city shall elect a sheriff unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The sheriff shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon sheriffs by general law. He shall enforce the law or see that it is enforced in the locality from which he is elected; assist in the judicial process as provided by general law; and be charged with the custody, feeding and care of all prisoners confined in the county or city jail. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as may be requested of him by the governing body. The sheriff shall be elected as provided by general law for a term of four years.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1609.1. Number of deputies.

Except as provided in § 15.2-1603, the respective number of full-time deputies appointed by the sheriff of a county or city shall be fixed by the Compensation Board after receiving such recommendation of the board of supervisors of the county or the council of the city, as the case may be, as the board of supervisors or city council may desire to make. Such recommendation, if any, shall be made to the Compensation Board on or before April 1 of each year. In any county without a police force or any city without a police force that was created by the consolidation of a city and a county subsequent to July 1, 2011, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 35 (§ 15.2-3500 et seq.), upon the request of the board of supervisors of such county or the council of such city, the number of such law-enforcement deputies shall be fixed at not less than one such deputy for each 1,500 population in such county or city excluding the population served by state educational institution police departments if the sheriff's department does not provide the majority of the law-enforcement activities to such population according to uniform crime reports compiled by the Department of State Police. The Compensation Board shall also consider any agreement the sheriff may have pursuant to § 15.2-1726 and any obligation he may have pursuant to this section to provide law enforcement for towns or townships in fixing the number of deputies. The governing body of any county or city may employ a greater number of law-enforcement deputies than fixed by the Compensation Board, provided that the county or city shall pay the total compensation and all employer costs for such additional deputies.

Code 1950, § 14-83; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-70; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1973, c. 180; 1979, cc. 236, 660; 1980, c. 146; 1983, c. 382; 1989, c. 293; 1998, cc. 276, 290, 305, 307, 327, 872; 2011, cc. 339, 350.

§ 15.2-1609.2. Sheriffs' salaries; salaries of certain full-time deputies; maximum limits.

A. The sheriffs of the counties and the cities of the Commonwealth and their full-time deputies shall be paid salaries for their services and allowances for the necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, to be determined as hereinafter provided.

B. The annual salaries of the sheriffs of the counties and cities of the Commonwealth shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in subsection C.

C. Any sheriff whose salary in the year ending June 30, 1980, included an increase under deleted provisions of former § 14.1-74 shall receive the same amount of such increase for the terms in which he continues in office.

D. The annual salary of each full-time deputy sheriff who is primarily a courtroom security officer, a correctional officer or a law-enforcement officer shall be determined by the sheriff in whose service he is employed and shall be reported to the Compensation Board by the sheriff at the time he files his report for the allowance of the expenses of his office as provided in § 15.2-1636.7 and at any time thereafter when the sheriff effects a change in the salary or employs a new such deputy sheriff. Such salaries as determined by the respective sheriff shall conform to the requirements set forth in subsection E and shall not in the aggregate exceed the aggregate allowance by the Compensation Board for personal services to the respective sheriffs for such deputy sheriffs.

However, notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this section and of § 15.2-1636.8, the salary of any full-time deputy sheriff who, in addition to having primary duties related to courtroom security, corrections or law enforcement, also supervises other deputy sheriffs, or who is designated an investigator by the sheriff in whose services he is employed, shall be fixed and determined by the Compensation Board. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Compensation Board from setting salary levels of civil process officers in localities having a population of more than one hundred thousand at a level equal to salary levels of deputy sheriffs who are primarily courtroom security, correctional, or law-enforcement officers.

E. The salary range of any full-time deputy sheriff who is primarily a courtroom security officer, a correctional officer or a law-enforcement officer and, if employed on or after July 1, 1974, also has a high school education or the equivalent thereof, shall be no less than that of a correctional officer within the classification and pay system for state employees and shall be administered in accordance with regulations for that system administered by the Department of Human Resource Management. The Governor shall provide the Compensation Board the salary range and regulations within that system as of July 1, 1980, and as of any subsequent date on which changes in the salary ranges and regulations may be adopted.

F. The salary of any deputy sheriff shall not exceed ninety percent of the salary of the sheriff by whom he is employed.

Code 1950, §§ 14-81, 14-86, 14-86.1; 1952, c. 331; 1954, c. 683; 1956, c. 609; 1958, c. 349; 1960, c. 505; 1962, cc. 292, 439, 510, 572; 1964, cc. 386, 656, §§ 14.1-73, 14.1-74; 1966, cc. 16, 364, 704; 1970, c. 678; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 617; 1973, c. 519; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 595; 1978, c. 588; 1980, cc. 587, 588, §§ 14.1-73.1:1, 14.1-73.1:2, 14.1-73.1:3; 1981, cc. 383, 406; 1983, c. 600; 1985, c. 406; 1998, c. 872; 2000, cc. 66, 657.

§ 15.2-1609.3. Fees and mileage allowances.

A. Every sheriff, and every sheriff's deputy, shall collect all fees and mileage allowances provided by law for the services of such officer, other than those he is entitled to receive from the Commonwealth or from the county or city for which he is elected or appointed and fees and mileage allowances provided for services in connection with the prosecution of any criminal matter in the circuit courts. However, no fee shall be charged for serving any public orders, for summoning or impaneling grand juries, or for services in elections except as provided under Title 24.2.

B. All fees and mileage allowances accruing in connection with any civil or criminal matter shall be collected by the clerk of the court in which the case is heard and paid by him into the treasury of the county or city in which the case is heard. All fees collected by or for every sheriff and deputy shall be paid into the treasury of the county or city for which he is elected or appointed, on or before the tenth day of the month next succeeding that in which the fees are collected. The treasurer of each county and city shall credit such amounts in excess of such fees received in fiscal year 1994 to the account of the Commonwealth to be remitted to the State Treasurer along with other funds due to the Commonwealth.

C. In any case in which a sheriff makes a levy and advertises property for sale and by reason of a settlement between the parties to the claim or suit he is not permitted to sell under the levy, the sheriff is not entitled to any commissions, but in addition to his fees for making the levy and return, he shall be entitled to recover from the party for whom the services were performed the expenses incurred for advertisement of the proposed sale of the property.

D. When, after distraining or levying on tangible property the officer neither sells nor receives payment and either takes no forthcoming bond or takes one which is not forfeited, he shall, if not in default, have in addition to the $1 for a bond, if one was taken, a fee of $12. If the fee is more than one-half of what his commission would have amounted to if he had received payment, he shall, whether a bond was taken or not, receive a fee of at least $1 and so much more as is necessary to equal the one-half.

Code 1950, §§ 14-82, 14-100, 14-105, 14-106; 1964, c. 386, §§ 14.1-69, 14.1-89, 14.1-94, 14.1-95; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1975, c. 591; 1995, c. 51; 1997, c. 208; 1998, c. 872; 2004, c. 210.

§ 15.2-1609.4. Records of expenses of sheriffs and full-time deputies.

Each sheriff and each full-time deputy shall keep a record of all expenses incurred by him including expenses for traveling, telephone, telegraph, clerical assistance, office facilities and supplies, bond premiums, cook hire, maintenance and repair cost of automobile police radio equipment including radio transmitter system and all accessories thereto, and any other expense incident to his office. Each full-time deputy shall file a monthly report with his principal showing in detail the expenses incurred by him. Each sheriff shall also include in the report the mileage which was incurred for himself and each full-time deputy as a result of patrolling performed at the direction of the sheriff, the mileage to and from the residence of the sheriff or full-time deputy and the place where the sheriff or full-time deputy starts his duty and the mileage shall be an allowable expense of the sheriff's department.

Code 1950, § 14-87, p. 71; 1952, c. 714; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-75; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1978, c. 666; 1983, c. 317; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.5. Submission of statement of expenses.

Each sheriff shall submit a monthly statement of all traveling expenses incurred by him, and by each of his full-time deputies, to his county or city. The county or city shall pay the expenses to the person or vendor entitled thereto and submit same to the Compensation Board for reimbursement if within the sheriff's annual budget approved by the Board. Payments due counties and cities under this section shall be paid to the county or city within ninety days following the receipt by the Compensation Board of a completed statement of monthly expenses.

Code 1950, § 14-88; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-76; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1983, c. 382; 1985, c. 271; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.6. Agreements regarding traveling expenses.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1609.5, the governing body of any county or city may, with the approval of the Compensation Board, enter into such agreement with the sheriff of such county or city with respect to the traveling expenses, including the use of privately owned vehicles, of such sheriff and his deputies as the governing body may deem proper. With the consent of the Compensation Board, in any county having a regular police force authorized by law and in which the jail of another county or city has been adopted as the jail of such county, the police officers, in place of the sheriff, who transport any persons charged with violation of a state law under order of the judge of the circuit court of such county to the jail so adopted, shall receive the same mileage as the sheriff would have received had he transported such persons. Any such police officer transporting any such person shall make claim for mileage on the same forms the sheriff uses for such claims and in the same manner. When any such mileage is collected by any police officer, he shall pay the same into the county treasury and the payment of such mileage shall be made in the manner provided for the payment of mileage to sheriffs.

Code 1950, § 14-89; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-77; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.7. Salaries and expense allowances to be paid by Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth shall pay the salaries and expense allowances of such sheriffs and their full-time deputies, and of the compensation and expense allowances of their part-time deputies, fixed as provided except that beginning July 1, 1982, such payments to any eligible county or newly formed city under the provisions of Chapter 39 (§ 15.2-3900 et seq.) or Chapter 35 (§ 15.2-3500 et seq.) of this title, which elects to receive state law-enforcement assistance in accordance with the terms of Article 8 (§ 9.1-165) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1 shall be reduced by an amount equal to the salaries and expense allowances of its law-enforcement deputy sheriffs or the amount of state assistance to be received by the county or newly formed city under the provisions of Chapter 39 (§ 15.2-3900 et seq.) or Chapter 35 (§ 15.2-3500 et seq.) of this title, pursuant to Article 8 (§ 9.1-165) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, whichever is the lesser. Such salaries shall be paid in equal monthly installments and the expense allowances shall be paid monthly when the amount thereof is established as hereinabove provided, except that the Board may provide advance payments on a monthly pro rata basis to any county or city and adjust subsequent monthly advances based on actual expenditures incurred in the preceding month. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the General Assembly, through the general appropriation act, may allow any locality receiving a 100 percent apportionment of law-enforcement assistance to continue to receive such full apportionments.

Code 1950, § 14-91; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-79; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 564; 1979, c. 83; 1981, c. 485; 1983, c. 326; 1986, c. 235; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.8. Payments to counties having certain optional forms of organization and government.

The Compensation Board shall, in the manner provided by law, determine the compensation and expense allowances for the sheriff, and his deputies, of each county which has adopted or hereafter adopts any form of county organization and government provided for in Chapter 5 (§ 15.2-500 et seq.), Chapter 6 (§ 15.2-600 et seq.) or Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) of this title, so long as such county shall continue such form of county organization and government in effect in such county, as if such county had not adopted any such form of government, but the salaries and expense allowances shall be paid into the general fund of the treasury of such county. The actual compensation and expense allowance to be paid the sheriff, and his deputies, of any such county shall be fixed as provided in the form of county organization and government adopted by such county, without regard to the limits provided for in this article, and shall be paid by such county.

The provisions of this section shall also be applicable to any county which adopts and has in effect in such county any other optional form of county organization and government which may be provided by law, if such form of county organization and government shall provide that the entire compensation of the sheriff of such county shall be fixed by authorities of the county and paid by the county.

Code 1950, § 14-93; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-82; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 236; 1979, c. 83; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.9. Compensation of part-time deputies.

The part-time deputies of sheriffs shall not receive fixed salaries, but shall be entitled to receive reasonable compensation for their services and allowances for their expenses, to be determined and paid as hereinafter provided. Each such part-time deputy shall keep a record of all services performed by him as such, which shall be reported to the sheriff whose deputy he is. The sheriff shall likewise keep a record of all services performed by each part-time deputy. Each sheriff shall file a monthly report with the board of supervisors or other governing body of the county or city council, as the case may be, on or before the fifth day of the month next succeeding that in which such services are performed, showing in detail all services and hours of service rendered by part-time deputies. The board of supervisors or other governing body or the city council shall recommend to the Compensation Board what in its judgment is a fair compensation to pay each individual part-time deputy of a sheriff on the basis of such reports, except that the limit for compensation per hour of service shall not exceed the hourly equivalent of the minimum annual salary paid a full-time deputy sheriff of like rank and experience who performs like services in the same county or city. In addition, mileage and other expenses for rendering the services shall be paid. If in the judgment of the governing body such limit would work a hardship on a particular part-time deputy sheriff, each sum may be increased with the written approval of the judge of the circuit court of the county or city for which such officer is appointed.

Code 1950, § 14-90; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-78; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 225; 1980, c. 550; 1998, c. 872; 2017, c. 337.

§ 15.2-1610. Standard uniforms and motor vehicle markings to be adopted by sheriffs.

A. Except as provided in § 15.2-1611, all uniforms used by sheriffs and their deputies and police officers under the direct control of a sheriff while in the performance of their duties shall (i) easily identify local law-enforcement officers to members of the public, (ii) be of a design and style approved by the sheriff of the locality, and (iii) be worn according to the policies established by the sheriff of the locality.

B. All marked motor vehicles used by sheriffs' offices shall be solid dark brown or some other solid color, with a reflectorized gold, five-point star on each front side door. The lettering on such stars shall say "Sheriff's Office" or "Sheriff" in a half-circle above the Seal of the Commonwealth or the seal of the jurisdiction. The name of the county or city shall be placed in a half-circle below the Seal. The words "Sheriff's Office" or "Sheriff" shall be placed on the rear of the trunk.

C. All sheriffs' offices shall be in full compliance with specifications for uniforms and motor vehicle markings, if the sheriff prescribes that uniforms be worn and marked motor vehicles be utilized.

1988, c. 626, § 15.1-90.3; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 413; 2005, cc. 337, 452; 2008, c. 284; 2015, c. 132; 2016, cc. 176, 462.

§ 15.2-1611. Alternate clothing for sheriff and deputies.

When the duties of a sheriff or deputy sheriff are such that the wearing of the standard sheriff's uniform would adversely limit the effectiveness of the sheriff's or deputy sheriff's ability to perform his prescribed duties, then clothing appropriate for the duties to be performed may be required by the sheriff.

1984, c. 398, § 15.1-90.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1612. Wearing of same or similar uniforms by unauthorized persons; penalty.

Any unauthorized person who wears a uniform identical to or substantially similar to a standard uniform used by an office of sheriff in accordance with § 15.2-1610 with the intent to deceive a casual observer or with the intent to impersonate the office of sheriff is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense is punishable as a Class 6 felony.

For purposes of this section, "substantially similar" means so similar in appearance as to be likely to deceive the casual observer.

1988, c. 626, § 15.1-90.4; 1997, c. 587; 2005, cc. 337, 452; 2013, c. 431.

§ 15.2-1612.1. Deputy sheriffs to complete course of instruction established by Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Any full-time deputy sheriff not employed on July 1, 1971, shall successfully complete a course of instruction established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services as provided in clause (i) of subdivision 2 of § 9.1-102.

1972, c. 716, § 14.1-73.2; 1973, c. 216; 1974, c. 571; 1975, c. 387; 1976, c. 705; 1979, c. 419; 1980, c. 587; 1984, c. 779; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1613. Operation of sheriff's office.

Any county or city may appropriate funds for the operation of the sheriff's office.

In addition to those items listed in § 15.2-1615.1, counties and cities shall provide at their expense in accordance with standards set forth in § 15.2-1610 a reasonable number of uniforms and items of personal equipment required by the sheriff to carry out his official duties.

1986, c. 139, § 15.1-137.3; 1990, c. 68; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1613.1. Processing fee may be imposed on certain individuals.

Any county or city may by ordinance authorize a processing fee not to exceed $25 on any individual admitted to a county, city, or regional jail following conviction. The fee shall be ordered as a part of court costs collected by the clerk, deposited into the account of the treasurer of the county or city and shall be used by the local sheriff's office to defray the costs of processing arrested persons into local or regional jails. If processing costs are incurred by a regional jail rather than a local sheriff's office, the fees collected pursuant to such ordinance may be used by the regional jail to defray the costs of processing arrested persons. Where costs are incurred by a sheriff's office and a regional jail the fees collected pursuant to such ordinance may be divided proportionately as determined by the local governing body or bodies, between the sheriff's office and the regional jail. Where costs are incurred by a police department for booking or fingerprinting services, the fees collected pursuant to such ordinance may be divided proportionately as determined by the local governing body or bodies, between the sheriff's office and the police department.

2002, c. 840; 2003, c. 623; 2011, cc. 300, 664.

§ 15.2-1614. Destruction of receipts.

Every sheriff shall maintain in his office all official receipt books showing receipt of any funds in his custody or that of the court, all cancelled checks showing payments from any such funds, and all statements of bank accounts in which funds of the sheriff's office are deposited. Such books, checks, receipt books and statements shall be maintained for a period of three years after they are audited by any individual or entity authorized by § 15.2-1615 to inspect them and thereafter may be destroyed in accordance with retention regulations established pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

1976, c. 468, § 15.1-84.1; 1982, c. 493; 1993, c. 334; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1614.1. Expense of boarding and lodging jurors.

Whenever it is necessary for a sheriff or sergeant to pay for the board and lodging of juries, he shall obtain a receipt for the funds so spent and on or before the fifth day of the month next succeeding he shall present such bill to the board of supervisors or other governing body of the county or to the city council, as the case may be, which shall, if it is found correct, reimburse the sheriff or sergeant for the amount so spent by him for such purpose. The county or city shall be reimbursed by the Commonwealth for all sums so expended on account of any criminal trial involving an offense against the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 14-94; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-83; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1615. Sheriff to deposit funds, keep account of receipts and disbursements, keep books open for inspection.

A. All money received by the sheriff shall be deposited intact and promptly with the county or city treasurer or Director of Finance, except that the sheriff shall maintain an official account for (i) funds collected for or on account of the Commonwealth or any locality or person pursuant to an order of the court and fees as provided by law and (ii) funds held in trust for prisoners held in local correctional facilities, in accordance with procedures established by the Board of Corrections pursuant to § 53.1-68.

The sheriff's official accounts shall be secured in accordance with the Virginia Security for Public Deposits Act (§ 2.2-4400 et seq.).

B. The sheriff shall keep the books, papers, receipt books and statements pertaining to the receipts and disbursements of his office at all times ready for inspection by the Auditor of Public Accounts or any other certified public accountant authorized by the governing body. Furthermore, the accounts and books of the sheriff shall be included in the audit of the local government conducted pursuant to § 15.2-2511.

1993, c. 334, § 15.1-83.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1615.1. Manner of payment of certain items in budgets of sheriffs.

A. Whenever a sheriff purchases office furniture, office equipment, stationery, office supplies, telephone or telegraph service, postage, or repairs to office furniture and equipment in conformity and within the limits of allowances duly made and contained in the then current budget of any such sheriff under the provisions of this chapter, the invoices therefor, after examination as to their correctness, shall be paid by the county or city directly to the vendors, and the Commonwealth shall monthly reimburse the county or city the cost of such items on submission by such sheriff to the Compensation Board of duplicate invoices and such other information or evidence as the Compensation Board may deem necessary. This procedure shall also apply to the payment of the premiums on the official bonds of such sheriffs, their deputies and employees, to the premiums on burglary and other insurance, and for any physical examinations required pursuant to § 15.2-1705 for a sheriff and each of his full-time deputies at a rate specified by the Compensation Board.

B. The Compensation Board may allow as an expense allowance to the sheriff of any county or city the cost of operation, maintenance and repair of a closed circuit television system and all accessories thereto or of leasing electronic security equipment or making repairs to the same, which system and equipment are installed in any jail under his control for the surveillance of prisoners.

1964, c. 386, § 14.1-80; 1968, c. 607; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1979, c. 83; 1983, c. 382; 1985, c. 271; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1616. When deputy may act in place of sheriff.

When for any cause it is improper for the sheriff of any county or city to serve any process or notice or to summon a jury, such process may be directed to any deputy of the sheriff, and the process or notice may be served and the jury summoned by any such deputy.

Code 1950, § 15-509; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-74; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1617. Deputies of deceased sheriffs.

If any sheriff dies during his term of office, his chief deputy shall have the same right to remove any deputy from office and to appoint another, that the sheriff himself, if alive, would have had; or any such deputy may be removed by order of the circuit court for the county or city of which his principal was sheriff; but unless so removed, the deputies of such sheriff, in office at the time of his death, shall continue in office until the qualification of any new sheriff, and execute the office in the name of the deceased, in like manner as if the sheriff had continued alive until such qualification. Any default or misfeasance in office of any such deputy shall be as much a breach of the condition of the bond of the sheriff, and of the bond of such deputy, as if the sheriff had continued alive and in the exercise of his office.

Code 1950, § 15-510; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-75; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1618. Compensating certain law-enforcement officers disabled in performance of duty.

All counties and cities shall provide for the relief of any sheriff or deputy sheriff who is disabled, totally or partially, by injury or illness as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty, including the presumption under § 51.1-813. Such total disability retirement benefits shall be not less than those provided under the disability retirement provisions of § 51.1-404 of the Virginia Retirement System.

1976, c. 772, § 15.1-75.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1619. When officers not to take obligations.

No officer shall, by color of his office, take any obligation of or for any person in his custody, otherwise than is directed by law.

Code 1950, § 15-513; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-78; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1620. Process, etc., sent to officer by mail.

Any sheriff or other officer may transmit by mail to the proper officer, with his return thereon, any order, warrant or process which came to his hands from beyond his locality and proof that any order, warrant or process was put into the post office, duly addressed to any officer, and that the postage thereon was paid, shall be prima facie evidence of the receipt thereof by the officer to whom the same is addressed, by due course of mail, and this prima facie evidence may be furnished by the receipt taken, at the time the order, warrant or process is put into the post office, from the postmaster, or his deputy, and the certificate of a magistrate of the acknowledgment of the receipt before him. However, an officer may protect himself from a forfeiture or fine upon such proof, by making oath that he did not himself receive the order, warrant or process, so addressed to him, and that he verily believes it was not received by any of his deputies.

Code 1950, § 15-518; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-83; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1621. Receipts to be given by officers.

Every officer shall deliver to each person who pays him, or from whose property he makes taxes, levies, militia fines or officers' fees, a receipt for all that is so paid or made, with a statement showing how much thereof is for taxes, how much for levies, how much for militia fines and how much for officers' fees, and also the bills for such fees. Any officer failing herein shall forfeit to such person four dollars.

Code 1950, § 15-519; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-84; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1622. Judgment against officer for money due from him.

If any officer or his deputy makes a return upon any order, warrant or process by which it appears that he has received any sum of money by virtue of such order, warrant or process or, having received any sum of money by virtue of any warrant, order or process, he fails to make proper return thereof, the person entitled to such sum of money may, by motion to the court to which, or to the clerk's office of which, such order, warrant or process was returnable, recover against such officer and his sureties and against his and their personal representatives the amount so received, with interest thereon at the annual rate of fifteen percent from the time such order, warrant or process was returnable till payment; and, upon such motion, the fact that such order, warrant or process has not been returned, as herein required, shall be prima facie proof that the whole amount required thereby to be made, principal, interest and costs, has been collected. When such collection or return is made by a deputy, there may also be a like motion and judgment against such deputy and his sureties and against his and their personal representatives.

Code 1950, § 15-520; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-85; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1623. Judgment for officer or sureties against deputy, etc., when officer liable for misconduct of deputy.

If any deputy of a sheriff or other officer commits any default or misconduct in office for which his principal or the personal representative of such principal is liable, or for which a judgment or decree shall be recovered against either, the principal or his personal representative may, on motion, obtain a judgment against such deputy and his sureties, and their personal representatives, for the full amount for which such principal or his personal representative may also be so liable or for which such judgment or decree may have been rendered. However, no judgment shall be rendered by virtue of this section for money for which any other judgment or decree has been previously rendered against such deputy or his sureties or their personal representatives.

Code 1950, § 15-521; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-86; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1624. When judgment against officer or sureties has been obtained and paid.

If any judgment or decree is obtained against a sheriff, or other officer, or his sureties, or their personal representatives, for or on account of the default or misconduct of any such deputy and shall be paid in whole or in part by any defendant therein, he or his personal representative may, on motion, obtain a judgment or decree against such deputy and his sureties and their personal representatives for the amount so paid, with interest thereon from the time of such payment and five percent damages on such amount.

Code 1950, § 15-522; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-87; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1625. In what court motions may be made.

Any motion under either § 15.2-1623 or § 15.2-1624 may be made in the circuit court for the county or city in which the default or misconduct of the deputy occurred or was committed.

Code 1950, § 15-523; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-88; 1997, c. 587.

Article 4. Attorney for the Commonwealth.

§ 15.2-1626. Attorney for the Commonwealth.

The voters in every county and city shall elect an attorney for the Commonwealth unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon such officer by general law. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as the governing body may request. He shall be elected as provided by general law for a term of four years. Every county and city may, with the approval of the Compensation Board, provide for employing compensated assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth as in the opinion of the Compensation Board may be required. Such assistant or assistants shall be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth for a term coterminous with his own. The compensation for such assistants to the attorneys for the Commonwealth shall be as provided for assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth under § 15.2-1627.1.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1627. Duties of attorneys for the Commonwealth and their assistants.

A. No attorney for the Commonwealth, or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth, shall be required to carry out any duties as a part of his office in civil matters of advising the governing body and all boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees of his county or city; of drafting or preparing county or city ordinances; of defending or bringing actions in which the county or city, or any of its boards, departments or agencies, or officials and employees thereof, shall be a party; or in any other manner of advising or representing the county or city, its boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees, except in matters involving the enforcement of the criminal law within the county or city.

B. The attorney for the Commonwealth and assistant attorney for the Commonwealth shall be a part of the department of law enforcement of the county or city in which he is elected or appointed, and shall have the duties and powers imposed upon him by general law, including the duty of prosecuting all warrants, indictments or informations charging a felony, and he may in his discretion, prosecute Class 1, 2 and 3 misdemeanors, or any other violation, the conviction of which carries a penalty of confinement in jail, or a fine of $500 or more, or both such confinement and fine. He shall enforce all forfeitures, and carry out all duties imposed upon him by § 2.2-3126. He may enforce the provisions of § 18.2-268.3, 29.1-738.2, or 46.2-341.26:3.

1977, c. 584, § 15.1-8.1; 1978, c. 141; 1988, c. 389; 1997, c. 587; 2011, c. 210; 2017, c. 623.

§ 15.2-1627.1. Salaries of attorneys for the Commonwealth and assistants.

A. The annual salaries of attorneys for the Commonwealth shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

In cities and counties having a population of more than 35,000 inhabitants, the Compensation Board, in determining the salary for the assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth, shall consider the provisions of §§ 15.2-1628 and 15.2-1630 requiring that such attorneys serve on a full-time basis, and shall also consider the amount of the salaries paid to the assistants to the city or county attorney of such city or county.

These same factors shall also be considered in determining the salary for assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth in cities having a population of more than 17,000 inhabitants, and less than 35,000 inhabitants when the council for such city and the Compensation Board shall concur that the attorney for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

Any city served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth on January 1, 1993, under the provisions hereof shall continue to be served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth in the event the population of such city shall have fallen below the 17,000 population threshold in the most recent U.S. census and shall be administered in the same manner as cities with populations in excess of 17,000 but of 35,000 or less. In such jurisdictions, the attorney for the Commonwealth and his assistant attorneys and their successors in office shall be subject to the requirements regarding full-time service and part-time private practice as in effect for such positions on January 1, 1993. No further action by the council of the city or the Compensation Board shall be necessary.

B. Each assistant attorney for the Commonwealth authorized by law, if his services shall be deemed necessary by the Compensation Board, shall receive an annual salary which shall not exceed ninety percent of the salary received by the attorney for the Commonwealth of his county or city. However, after January 1, 1980, in cities having a population of more than 35,000 inhabitants, the Compensation Board shall not provide any compensation for any assistant attorney for the Commonwealth when the attorney for the Commonwealth for any such city does not serve on a full-time basis or engages in the practice of law outside of his duties as attorney for the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 14-66; 1950, p. 637; 1952, c. 566; 1954, cc. 648, 662; 1956, c. 630; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-53; 1966, c. 279; 1970, c. 551; 1972, c. 215; 1973, c. 126; 1974, c. 429; 1976, c. 689; 1977, c. 623; 1980, c. 588; 1981, c. 415; 1983, c. 600; 1989, c. 293; 1993, cc. 446, 620; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1627.2. Disposition of fees of attorneys for the Commonwealth.

Every such attorney for the Commonwealth shall, however, continue to collect all fees which he may be entitled to receive by law, other than from the Commonwealth and any political subdivision, and shall dispose of the same as in this section provided. One-half of all fees to which attorneys for the Commonwealth are entitled for the performance of official duties or functions, shall be paid by them or such official as may collect the same, not later than the tenth day of the month following their receipt, into the treasuries of their respective counties and cities, and the remaining one-half of all such fees shall be paid by such official as may collect the same into the state treasury, not later than the tenth day of the month following their receipt.

Code 1950, § 14-67; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-54; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1627.3. Attorneys for the Commonwealth and city attorneys; in criminal cases; when no costs or fees taxed.

The fees of attorneys for the Commonwealth in all felony and misdemeanor cases in which there is a conviction and sentence not set aside on appeal or a judgment for costs against the prosecutor, and for expenditures made in the discharge of his duties shall be as follows:

For each trial of a single count felony indictment, $40.

For each trial of a multiple count felony indictment, $40 per count.

For each person tried for a misdemeanor in his circuit court, $15, and for each person prosecuted by him before such court of his county or city for a misdemeanor, which he is required by law to prosecute, or upon an indictment found by a grand jury, $15, and in every misdemeanor case so prosecuted the court or judge shall tax in the costs and enter judgment for such misdemeanor fee.

No attorney for the Commonwealth or city attorney shall receive a fee for appearing in misdemeanor cases before a district court notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.

No costs or fees shall be taxed for, or in any way allowed to, an attorney for the Commonwealth of any city or county or a city attorney of any city in any case, unless he in person, or by a duly authorized assistant, actually appears and prosecutes the proceedings before the court.

Code 1950, §§ 14-99, 14-130; 1964, c. 386, §§ 14.1-88, 14.1-121; 1975, c. 591; 1983, c. 229; 1998, c. 872; 1999, c. 9; 2010, c. 874; 2011, c. 890.

§ 15.2-1627.4. Coordination of multidisciplinary response to sexual assault.

The attorney for the Commonwealth in each political subdivision in the Commonwealth shall coordinate the establishment of a multidisciplinary response to criminal sexual assault as set forth in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, and hold a meeting, at least annually, to: (i) discuss implementation of protocols and policies for sexual assault response teams consistent with those established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services pursuant to subdivision 37 d of § 9.1-102; and (ii) establish and review guidelines for the community's response, including the collection, preservation, and secure storage of evidence from Physical Evidence Recovery Kit examinations consistent with § 19.2-165.1. The following persons or their designees shall be invited to participate in the annual meeting: the attorney for the Commonwealth; the sheriff; the director of the local sexual assault crisis center providing services in the jurisdiction, if any; the chief of each police department and the chief of each campus police department of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; a forensic nurse examiner or other health care provider who performs Physical Evidence Recovery Kit examinations in the jurisdiction, if any; the Title IX coordinator of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; representatives from the offices of student affairs, human resources, and counseling services of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; a representative of campus security of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction that has not established a campus police department, if any; and the director of the victim/witness program in the jurisdiction, if any.

2009, c. 817; 2012, cc. 343, 625; 2016, cc. 235, 550.

§ 15.2-1627.5. Coordination of multidisciplinary response to child sexual abuse.

A. The attorney for the Commonwealth in each jurisdiction in the Commonwealth shall establish a multidisciplinary child sexual abuse response team, which may be an existing multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team shall conduct regular reviews of new and ongoing reports of felony sex offenses in the jurisdiction involving a child and the investigations thereof and, at the request of any member of the team, may conduct reviews of any other reports of child abuse and neglect or sex offenses in the jurisdiction involving a child and the investigations thereof. The multidisciplinary team shall meet frequently enough to ensure that no new or ongoing reports go more than 60 days without being reviewed by the team.

B. The following individuals, or their designees, shall participate in review meetings of the multidisciplinary team: the attorney for the Commonwealth; law-enforcement officials responsible for the investigation of sex offenses involving a child in the jurisdiction; a representative of the local child protective services unit; a representative of a child advocacy center serving the jurisdiction, if one exists; and a representative of an Internet Crimes Against Children task force affiliate agency serving the jurisdiction, if one exists. In addition, the attorney for the Commonwealth may invite other individuals, or their designees, including the school superintendent of the jurisdiction; a representative of any sexual assault crisis center serving the jurisdiction, if one exists; the director of the victim/witness program serving the jurisdiction, if one exists; and a health professional knowledgeable in the treatment and provision of services to children who have been sexually abused.

2014, cc. 780, 801.

§ 15.2-1628. (For applicability, see note) Attorneys for the Commonwealth and assistants in certain counties to devote full time to duties; no additional compensation for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant.

A. In counties having a population of more than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

Any attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth shall, however, have a reasonable time, not to exceed thirty days, after assuming such office to provide for his disassociation from the private practice of law, if such attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth was previously engaged in the private practice of law.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply in counties reaching a population of more than 35,000, which had a population of 35,000 or less immediately prior to the commencement of the term for which the attorney for the Commonwealth sought office.

C. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant required to devote full time to his duties shall receive any additional compensation from the Commonwealth or any county or city for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or his assistant in any criminal prosecution or investigation.

D. In any county where, on January 1, 1993, attorneys for the Commonwealth were required to devote full time to their duties in accordance with subsection A of this section, they and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth and their successors shall continue to devote full time to their duties and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

1977, c. 623, § 15.1-50.1; 1981, c. 296; 1982, c. 474; 1983, c. 361; 1991, c. 270; 1993, c. 858; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1628. (For applicability, see note) Attorneys for the Commonwealth and assistants in certain counties to devote full time to duties; no additional compensation for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant.

A. In counties having a population of more than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth, except volunteer assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth, shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

Any attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth shall, however, have a reasonable time, not to exceed thirty days, after assuming such office to provide for his disassociation from the private practice of law, if such attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth was previously engaged in the private practice of law.

B. The provisions of this section requiring all compensated attorneys for the Commonwealth to devote full time to their duties shall not apply in counties reaching a population of more than 35,000, which had a population of 35,000 or less immediately prior to the commencement of the term for which the attorney for the Commonwealth sought office.

C. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant required to devote full time to his duties shall receive any additional compensation from the Commonwealth or any county or city for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or his assistant in any criminal prosecution or investigation.

D. In any county where, on January 1, 1993, attorneys for the Commonwealth were required to devote full time to their duties in accordance with subsection A of this section, they and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth and their successors shall continue to devote full time to their duties and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

1977, c. 623, § 15.1-50.1; 1981, c. 296; 1982, c. 474; 1983, c. 361; 1991, c. 270; 1993, c. 858; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1629. Part-time attorneys for the Commonwealth in certain counties may seek full-time status.

A. Notwithstanding §§ 15.2-1627.1 and 15.2-1628, any attorney for the Commonwealth for a county may, with the consent of the Compensation Board, elect to devote full time to the duties of attorney for the Commonwealth at a salary equal to that for an attorney for the Commonwealth in a county with a population of more than 35,000. Such an election and consent by the Compensation Board shall be binding on the attorney for the Commonwealth and on successors in the office.

B. The Compensation Board shall prepare a list of localities eligible to have a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and shall prioritize the list according to the same workload measures used by the Compensation Board in staffing standards established for assistant attorney for the Commonwealth positions in Commonwealth's Attorneys' offices statewide.

C. Upon electing to become a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and upon receiving additional funding of such office by the Compensation Board, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall not thereafter engage in the private practice of law. No such election shall become effective until the July 1 immediately following the date of election, or until another date as agreed upon by the attorney for the Commonwealth and the Compensation Board.

D. The Compensation Board shall fund such additional full-time offices of the attorney for the Commonwealth according to the priority list established in subsection B of this section, subject to appropriations by the General Assembly.

1993, c. 826, § 15.1-50.3; 1996, c. 561; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 417.

§ 15.2-1630. (For applicability, see note) Attorneys for the Commonwealth for cities; no additional compensation for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant.

The voters in every city shall elect, for a term of four years, an attorney for the Commonwealth. Any city not required to have or to elect such officer prior to July 1, 1971, shall not be so required by this section. Assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth for cities may be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth for such city. Such assistants shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed in the manner provided by law. All assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall perform such duties as are prescribed by their respective attorney for the Commonwealth. In cities having a population of more than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law; however, this provision shall not apply in cities reaching a population of more than 35,000, which had a population of 35,000 or less immediately prior to the commencement of the term for which the attorney for the Commonwealth sought office. In cities having a population of more than 17,000 and less than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law, if the council of the city and the Compensation Board all concur that he shall so serve. The office of assistant attorney for the Commonwealth heretofore created and provided for in the charters of such cities is hereby abolished.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant required to devote full time to his duties shall receive any additional compensation from the Commonwealth or any city or county for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or his assistant in any criminal prosecution or investigation.

Any attorney for the Commonwealth who is serving full time when the population for his city declines to 35,000 or less, according to a new United States census, may elect to continue serving on a full-time basis for the remainder of his current term and any subsequent successive terms. So long as he continues to serve on a full-time basis, he shall be compensated for full-time service on the same basis as an attorney for the Commonwealth in a city having a population of 35,001.

Any city served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth on January 1, 1993, under the provisions hereof shall continue to be served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth in the event the population of such city shall have fallen below the 17,000 population threshold in the most recent U.S. census and shall be administered in the same manner as cities with populations in excess of 17,000 but of 35,000 or less. In such jurisdictions, the attorney for the Commonwealth and his assistant attorneys and their successors in office shall be subject to the requirements regarding full-time service and part-time private practice as in effect for such positions on January 1, 1993. No further action by the council of the city or the Compensation Board shall be necessary.

Code 1950, § 15-414; 1956, c. 590; 1962, cc. 523, 623, § 15.1-821; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 159; 1974, c. 470; 1977, c. 623; 1981, c. 296; 1983, c. 361; 1986, c. 497; 1991, c. 270; 1993, cc. 446, 620; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1630. (For applicability, see note) Attorneys for the Commonwealth for cities; no additional compensation for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant.

The voters in every city shall elect, for a term of four years, an attorney for the Commonwealth. Any city not required to have or to elect such officer prior to July 1, 1971, shall not be so required by this section. Assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth for cities may be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth for such city. Such assistants shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed in the manner provided by law. However, volunteer assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth serving without compensation may be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth without approval of the governing body or the Compensation Board. All assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall perform such duties as are prescribed by their respective attorney for the Commonwealth. In cities having a population of more than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth, except volunteer assistants serving without compensation, shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law; however, this provision shall not apply in cities reaching a population of more than 35,000, which had a population of 35,000 or less immediately prior to the commencement of the term for which the attorney for the Commonwealth sought office. In cities having a population of more than 17,000 and less than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth, except volunteer assistants serving without compensation, shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law, if the council of the city and the Compensation Board all concur that he shall so serve. The office of assistant attorney for the Commonwealth heretofore created and provided for in the charters of such cities is hereby abolished.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant required to devote full time to his duties shall receive any additional compensation from the Commonwealth or any city or county for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or his assistant in any criminal prosecution or investigation.

Any attorney for the Commonwealth who is serving full time when the population for his city declines to 35,000 or less, according to a new United States census, may elect to continue serving on a full-time basis for the remainder of his current term and any subsequent successive terms. So long as he continues to serve on a full-time basis, he shall be compensated for full-time service on the same basis as an attorney for the Commonwealth in a city having a population of 35,001.

Any city served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth on January 1, 1993, under the provisions hereof shall continue to be served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth in the event the population of such city shall have fallen below the 17,000 population threshold in the most recent U.S. census and shall be administered in the same manner as cities with populations in excess of 17,000 but of 35,000 or less. In such jurisdictions, the attorney for the Commonwealth and his assistant attorneys and their successors in office shall be subject to the requirements regarding full-time service and part-time private practice as in effect for such positions on January 1, 1993. No further action by the council of the city or the Compensation Board shall be necessary.

Code 1950, § 15-414; 1956, c. 590; 1962, cc. 523, 623, § 15.1-821; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 159; 1974, c. 470; 1977, c. 623; 1981, c. 296; 1983, c. 361; 1986, c. 497; 1991, c. 270; 1993, cc. 446, 620; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1631. Part-time attorneys for the Commonwealth in certain cities may seek full-time status.

A. Notwithstanding §§ 15.2-1627.1 and 15.2-1630, any attorney for the Commonwealth for a city may, with the consent of the Compensation Board, elect to devote full time to the duties of attorney for the Commonwealth at a salary equal to that for an attorney for the Commonwealth in a city with a population of more than 35,000. Such an election and consent by the Compensation Board shall be binding on the attorney for the Commonwealth and on successors in the office.

B. The Compensation Board shall prepare a list of localities eligible to have a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and shall prioritize the list according to the same workload measures used by the Compensation Board in staffing standards established for assistant attorney for the Commonwealth positions in Commonwealth's Attorneys' offices statewide.

C. Upon electing to become a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and upon receiving additional funding of such office by the Compensation Board, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall not thereafter engage in the private practice of law. No such election shall become effective until the July 1 immediately following the date of election, or until another date as agreed upon by the attorney for the Commonwealth and the Compensation Board.

D. The Compensation Board shall fund such additional full-time offices of the attorney for the Commonwealth according to the priority list established in subsection B of this section, subject to appropriations by the General Assembly.

1993, c. 826, § 15.1-821.1; 1996, c. 561; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 417.

§ 15.2-1632. (For applicability, see note) Employment of assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth, subject to approval of Compensation Board.

Every county and city may, with the approval of the Compensation Board, provide for employing such additional assistant or assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth as in the opinion of the governing body may be required. Such assistant or assistants shall be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth. The compensation for such assistants to the attorneys for the Commonwealth shall be as provided for assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth under § 15.2-1627.1.

Code 1950, §§ 15-9.1, 15-9.2; 1956, cc. 245, 669; 1960, c. 53; 1962, cc. 189, 487, 623, § 15.1-9; 1964, c. 313; 1964, Ex. Sess., c. 3; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1632. (For applicability, see note) Employment of assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth, subject to approval of Compensation Board.

Every county and city may, with the approval of the Compensation Board, provide for employing such additional compensated assistant or assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth as in the opinion of the governing body may be required. Such assistant or assistants shall be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth. The compensation for such assistants to the attorneys for the Commonwealth shall be as provided for assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth under § 15.2-1627.1.

Code 1950, §§ 15-9.1, 15-9.2; 1956, cc. 245, 669; 1960, c. 53; 1962, cc. 189, 487, 623, § 15.1-9; 1964, c. 313; 1964, Ex. Sess., c. 3; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1633. (For applicability, see note) Part-time assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth.

Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of §§ 15.2-1627.1, 15.2-1628 and 15.2-1630, the Compensation Board at the request of the attorney for the Commonwealth may provide for one part-time assistant to a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth.

1983, c. 476, § 15.1-50.2; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1633. (For applicability, see note) Part-time compensated assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth.

Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of §§ 15.2-1627.1, 15.2-1628 and 15.2-1630, the Compensation Board at the request of the attorney for the Commonwealth may provide for one compensated part-time assistant to a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth.

1983, c. 476, § 15.1-50.2; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

Article 5. Clerks of Circuit Courts.

§ 15.2-1634. Clerks of circuit courts.

The voters in every county and in each city which has a circuit court, shall elect for a term of eight years, a clerk of such court unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. He shall be clerk of the circuit court and may also be the clerk of the governing body if the governing body so designates. He shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon such officers by general law and may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as may be requested of him by the governing body.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1635. Appointment of deputy when clerk of circuit court unable to perform duties.

Whenever it is found by the judge of a circuit court that a clerk of such court is, by reason of mental or physical disability, temporarily unable to perform his duties, the judge of the court may, by order entered of record, designate some other person as deputy clerk to perform the duties of such clerk. The person so designated may be the clerk or deputy clerk of another county or city or any other qualified person, and in the event that he is from another county or city, the provisions of §§ 15.2-1525 and 15.2-1534 shall not apply.

The person so designated shall thereby become a deputy of the regular clerk and shall be vested with all the authority of a regular clerk and may perform all acts which are required by law to be performed by such clerk with the same effect as if performed by the clerk for whom he serves as deputy, and shall before entering upon his duties take the oath prescribed in § 49-1, and furnish bond in the same amount as is required of the clerk.

The person so designated shall serve at the pleasure of the court during the disability of the clerk and within the limits of the unexpired term of the clerk.

No compensation out of the state or local treasury shall be paid such person designated under this section for his services while acting in such capacity but any expense incurred shall be paid by the county or city in which such service is performed upon the order of the judge of such court.

Code 1950, § 15-485.1; 1952, c. 187; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-49; 1993, cc. 621, 781; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1635.1. Maximum total compensation for clerk of court in certain counties [Not set out].

(1998, c. 872.)

Article 6. Commissioner of the Revenue.

§ 15.2-1636. Commissioner of the revenue.

The voters in every county and city shall elect a commissioner of the revenue, unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The commissioner of the revenue shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon such officer by general law. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as the governing body may request. He shall be elected for a term of four years as provided by general law.

1997, c. 587.

Article 6.1. Compensation Board Generally.

§ 15.2-1636.1. Salaries of city commissioners of the revenue.

The annual salaries of city commissioners of the revenue under this article shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-8.1, 14-70, 14-70.1, 14-70.2 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any person holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-70 through 14-70.2; 1952, c. 479; 1956, c. 605; 1960, c. 417; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-57; 1966, c. 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, c. 617; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.2. Salaries of county commissioners of the revenue.

The annual salaries of county commissioners of the revenue under this article shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-8.1, 14-71, 14-71.1, 14-71.2, 14-71.3 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any person holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-71 through 14-71.3; 1952, c. 479; 1954, c. 629; 1956, c. 603; 1960, c. 416; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-58; 1966, cc. 501, 565, 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, c. 617; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1980, c. 588; 1981, c. 415; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.3. Real estate transfer and license fees in counties.

The treasurers of the several counties shall hereafter collect the license fees and any other fees of the county commissioners of the revenue and shall pay the county fees into the county treasury and the state fees into the state treasury.

Code 1950, § 14-72; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-59; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.4. Real estate transfer and license fees in cities.

Such officers as may be authorized by law to collect city licenses shall collect all such license fees and apply them to the credit of their respective city treasuries. The treasurers of the several cities shall hereafter collect all state license fees and apply them to the credit of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 14-73; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-60; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.5. Membership; compensation.

The Compensation Board shall consist of the Auditor of Public Accounts, the State Tax Commissioner, as ex officio members, and one member, who may or may not be an officer or employee of the Commonwealth, who shall be appointed and designated as chairman of the Board by the Governor and who shall hold office at the pleasure of the Governor. The ex officio members of the Board shall not receive any compensation for their services as such members. The member designated by the Governor as chairman shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by law.

Code 1950, § 14-60; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-48; 1983, c. 382; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.6. Duties of chairman.

The chairman of the Board shall supervise the administrative work of the Board; receive, file, collate and classify the reports of the respective officers required to report to the Board; call meetings of the Board whenever any matters arise requiring its consideration or action; and have available for and lay before the Board all information necessary for the decision of questions coming before it. He shall conduct all correspondence with the various officers within the jurisdiction of the Board and institute and supervise investigations into the affairs and conduct of all such officers, as and when the Board may direct. He shall preside at all meetings of the Board and cause to be prepared and recorded proper minutes of the action taken at all such meetings, and keep and preserve all papers, books, correspondence and records of the Board.

Code 1950, § 14-61; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-49; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.6:1. Statement of receipts and expenses of officers.

The Compensation Board shall as soon as practicable annually furnish the board of supervisors or other governing body of each county and city with the statement showing receipts and expenses of office and of officers making report under this article.

Code 1950, § 14-158; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-158; 1972, c. 202; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.7. Filing requests for salaries.

At the times hereinafter prescribed, every attorney for the Commonwealth, every city and county treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, or any officer, whether elected or appointed, who holds the combined office of county or city treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, and every sheriff, in addition to all such officers serving two or more local governments who were elected pursuant to § 15.2-1602, shall file with the chairman of the Board, upon forms prescribed by it, a written request for the expense of his office, stating the amount of salaries requested, and itemizing each item of expense for which allowance is sought, and every such officer shall concurrently file a copy of the request with the governing body of the county or city. Such requests shall be filed on or before February 1 preceding the beginning of the fiscal year for which such requests are made.

The chairman of the Board may, at any time, submit to any officer a written questionnaire concerning the affairs of his office, to ascertain all facts relevant to the determination of the proper allowance to be made with respect to the officer's salaries and the expenses of his office. Every officer shall answer fully and completely all questions so propounded and shall return the questionnaire to the chairman within five days.

The provisions of this section shall not affect the powers of any county operating under an optional form of organization and government as provided by Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.) of this title to determine the budgets of the aforementioned officers.

Code 1950, § 14-62; 1962, c. 439; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-50; 1966, c. 688; 1972, c. 731; 1978, c. 431; 1979, c. 233; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 382; 1989, c. 242; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.8. (For applicability, see note) Duties of Board in fixing salaries, expenses, etc.

All salaries of such officers shall be as hereinafter provided. The expenses and other allowances of all such officers shall be fixed and determined on or before May 1 of each year. The Board shall, no later than the fifteenth day following final adjournment of the General Assembly of Virginia in each session, provide to such officers and the local governing body of each city and county he represents, an estimate of expenses and other allowances to be fixed by the Board for the next fiscal year. The Board shall, at meetings duly called by the chairman, carefully consider the questionnaires and written requests filed as required by § 15.2-1636.7 and consider the work involved in the discharge of the duties of the respective officers, the extent to which such duties are imposed by actions of the local governing body, the amount expended or proposed to be expended by each for clerks, deputies and other assistants, the efficiency with which the affairs of each such office are conducted, and such other matters as the Board may deem pertinent and material, including the number of local governments served if more than one, including the pay and compensation plan of each political subdivision, if it has one, and the locality's plans for adjustments of salaries and expenses for the ensuing fiscal year, as well as the plan of the Commonwealth for adjustment of state salaries and expenses for such year. The Board shall fix and determine what constitutes a fair and reasonable budget for the participation of the Commonwealth toward the total cost of the office. Such budgets, in the aggregate, shall not contemplate state expenditures in excess of the appropriation available to the Board. Prior to holding any such meeting for the fixing of salaries and expenses as provided in this article, ten days' written notice of the time, place and purpose of such meeting shall be given every officer affected and to the mayor or city manager of the city or to the chairman of the governing body and administrator, executive or manager of the county affected.

When the salaries, expenses and other allowances for the several counties and cities have been tentatively fixed by the Board they shall notify the governing body of each city and county of the amounts so fixed. Within thirty days thereafter, but not later, the governing body may file with the Compensation Board any objection it may have to such allowances so fixed. When such objection is filed the Board shall fix a time for a hearing on such objection, of which time the governing body as well as the officer affected shall have at least fifteen days' notice. For the purpose of determining the merits of such protest the governing body may designate two members of such body to serve as additional members of the Compensation Board and such additional members shall each have one vote on the Board.

The chairman of the Board shall record the salary of each such officer, his clerks, assistants and deputies, and the allowances made for other items, and shall promptly notify each such officer of the same with respect to his office.

In fixing, determining and recording the salaries of the full-time deputy sheriffs mentioned in § 15.2-1609.2, the Board shall act solely with reference to establishing an aggregate allowance for personal services to the respective sheriffs for such deputy sheriffs. The annual salary of each such full-time deputy sheriff shall be fixed and determined as provided by § 15.2-1609.2.

This section shall be effective on July 1, 1999.

Code 1950, §§ 14-63, 14-64; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-51; 1966, c. 688; 1979, cc. 233, 538; 1980, cc. 587, 588; 1983, c. 382; 1989, c. 242; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.8. (For applicability, see note) Duties of Board in fixing salaries, expenses, etc.

All salaries of such officers shall be as hereinafter provided. The expenses and other allowances of all such officers shall be fixed and determined on or before May 1 of each year. The Board shall, no later than the fifteenth day following final adjournment of the General Assembly of Virginia in each session, provide to such officers and the local governing body of each city and county he represents, an estimate of expenses and other allowances to be fixed by the Board for the next fiscal year. The Board shall, at meetings duly called by the chairman, carefully consider the questionnaires and written requests filed as required by § 15.2-1636.7 and consider the work involved in the discharge of the duties of the respective officers, the extent to which such duties are imposed by actions of the local governing body, the amount expended or proposed to be expended by each for clerks, deputies and other assistants, the efficiency with which the affairs of each such office are conducted, and such other matters as the Board may deem pertinent and material, including the number of local governments served if more than one, including the pay and compensation plan of each political subdivision, if it has one, and the locality's plans for adjustments of salaries and expenses for the ensuing fiscal year, as well as the plan of the Commonwealth for adjustment of state salaries and expenses for such year. The Board shall fix and determine what constitutes a fair and reasonable budget for the participation of the Commonwealth toward the total cost of the office. In its deliberations with respect to any office of an attorney for the Commonwealth, the Board shall not consider whether volunteer assistants are being used in that office. Such budgets, in the aggregate, shall not contemplate state expenditures in excess of the appropriation available to the Board. Prior to holding any such meeting for the fixing of salaries and expenses as provided in this article, ten days' written notice of the time, place and purpose of such meeting shall be given every officer affected and to the mayor or city manager of the city or to the chairman of the governing body and administrator, executive or manager of the county affected.

When the salaries, expenses and other allowances for the several counties and cities have been tentatively fixed by the Board they shall notify the governing body of each city and county of the amounts so fixed. Within thirty days thereafter, but not later, the governing body may file with the Compensation Board any objection it may have to such allowances so fixed. When such objection is filed the Board shall fix a time for a hearing on such objection, of which time the governing body as well as the officer affected shall have at least fifteen days' notice. For the purpose of determining the merits of such protest the governing body may designate two members of such body to serve as additional members of the Compensation Board and such additional members shall each have one vote on the Board.

The chairman of the Board shall record the salary of each such officer, his clerks, assistants and deputies, and the allowances made for other items, and shall promptly notify each such officer of the same with respect to his office.

In fixing, determining and recording the salaries of the full-time deputy sheriffs mentioned in § 15.2-1609.2, the Board shall act solely with reference to establishing an aggregate allowance for personal services to the respective sheriffs for such deputy sheriffs. The annual salary of each such full-time deputy sheriff shall be fixed and determined as provided by § 15.2-1609.2.

Code 1950, §§ 14-63, 14-64; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-51; 1966, c. 688; 1979, cc. 233, 538; 1980, cc. 587, 588; 1983, c. 382; 1989, c. 242; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1998, c. 872; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1636.9. Appeal from decision of Board.

A. Any officer whose budget is affected by a decision of the Board under this article made for the fiscal year pursuant to and at the time designated by §§ 15.2-1636.7 and 15.2-1636.8 and no other, or any county or city affected thereby, or the Attorney General as representative of the Commonwealth, shall have the right to appeal from any such decision of the Board, within forty-five days from the date of such decision. Such appeal shall lie to the circuit court of the county or city wherein the officer making the appeal resides. The court shall be presided over by three judges of circuit courts remote from that to which the appeal is taken. The three judges shall be chosen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from a panel of fifteen active or retired judges selected to hear such matters by the Supreme Court. Such judges shall remain on the panel for a period of time determined by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. No judge may be appointed to hear an appeal involving a jurisdiction in his current or former circuit. Notice of such appeal shall be given within the time above specified by any such officer to the Compensation Board, the county or city affected and the Attorney General. The officer appealing shall, in the appeal, state with specificity what action of the Compensation Board the officer is contesting, the additional services provided to the locality not required by law, and the cost of providing such service. The Compensation Board shall notify the Chief Justice forthwith when all administrative remedies have been exhausted by the appellant and the three-judge court shall be designated upon receipt of the notice by the Chief Justice. The appeal shall be heard within forty-five days from the date such notice is filed by the Board with the Chief Justice. At least fifteen days' notice of the time and place set for the hearing shall be given the officer noting such appeal, the county or city affected, the Compensation Board and the Attorney General. On such appeal all questions involved in said decision shall be heard de novo by the court and its decision on all questions shall be certified by the clerk thereof to the officer affected, to the locality and to the chairman of the Compensation Board.

In making its decision, the court shall give consideration to the amount of funds budgeted and expended by the local government for the constitutional officer which exceeds the amount reimbursed by the Compensation Board, the extent to which the officer provides additional services to the locality not required by law and to what extent, if any, the local government should participate in providing the additional funding requested by the constitutional officer. The court shall also give consideration both to the officer's ability to perform his statutory duties without additional funding and the ability of the Compensation Board and local government to provide additional funding for the officer's functions. The court shall also consider maximum staffing and funding levels set in the general appropriation act and any other statutory provisions which would otherwise prohibit the Compensation Board from granting the officer's request. The burden of proving the necessity of additional funding shall be borne by the officer. After due consideration of Compensation Board and local government statutory authority and the constitutional officer's demonstrated need for additional funding, the court shall determine the extent to which the Compensation Board and local government shall share in the additional funding. Should the court determine that additional funding is necessary for the officer to perform his duties, and that it is the responsibility of the Compensation Board to provide all or part of the additional funds, and that the Compensation Board does not have the ability to provide such additional funding, the Compensation Board shall request the necessary additional funding from the General Assembly at its next occurring regular session.

Should the court determine that additional funding is necessary for the officer to perform his duties and that it is the responsibility of the local government to provide all or part of the additional funds, and that the local government does not have the ability to provide such additional funding, the chief administrative officer of the local government shall include such request in the budget submission to the local governing body.

From the decision of the court there shall be no right of further appeal. The decision of the court shall be within the difference between the amounts originally requested by the appealing officer pursuant to § 15.2-1636.7 and the amounts fixed by the Compensation Board for such fiscal year; however, when the appeal is filed by a county or city such decision shall be within the difference between the prior salaries, expenses and other allowances of such officer and the amounts fixed by the Compensation Board for such fiscal year. In the event an appeal is filed by both the officer affected and the county or city affected, such decision shall be within the difference between the amounts originally requested by the appealing officer pursuant to § 15.2-1636.7 and the prior salaries, expenses and other allowances of such officer.

In pursuing the provisions of this section, constitutional officers may use funds designated by the Compensation Board or appropriated by their local governing body to employ independent counsel, provided that funds have been specifically appropriated for such purpose.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, no appeal of any decision of the Board shall lie to the circuit court from the date of enactment of this subsection until July 1, 1993, at which time the circuit court may consider appeals for all fiscal years affected by this moratorium and for subsequent fiscal years.

Code 1950, § 14-65; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-52; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 156; 1972, c. 390; 1974, c. 465; 1976, c. 673; 1977, c. 80; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 382; 1991, c. 617; 1992, c. 342; 1993, cc. 554, 563; 1995, c. 733; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.10. Appeals from certain decisions affecting expenses, etc., of circuit court clerks.

Any clerk of a circuit court shall have a right to appeal from the annual budget decision of the Board under this article affecting the expenses or allowances of the clerk, or the salary and number of clerk's deputies. In addition, any county or city affected by such decision or the Attorney General as representative of the Commonwealth shall have the right to appeal from the decision. Such appeals shall be taken and heard as provided in § 15.2-1636.9.

1984, c. 654, § 14.1-52.01; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.11. Determination of population.

For the purpose of fixing salaries specified in §§ 15.2-1608.1, 15.2-1608.2, 15.2-1609.2, 15.2-1627.1, 15.2-1636.1, and 15.2-1636.2, the population of each county and city shall be according to the last preceding United States census. If the area of any city has, since the last preceding United States census, been increased by annexation, the population of such city, for such purposes, shall be the population thereof as shown by the last preceding United States census, plus the increase resulting from such annexation. Whenever it appears to the satisfaction of the Compensation Board that the population of any county or city has, since the last preceding United States census, increased so as to entitle such county or city to be placed in a higher salary bracket, such county or city shall be considered within such higher salary brackets.

Code 1950, § 14-74; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-61; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.12. Increase in salaries in certain cases.

Any officer whose salary in the year ending June 30, 1980, included an increase under deleted provisions of former § 14.1-62 shall receive the same amount of such increase for the terms in which he continues in office.

Code 1950, § 14-75; 1956, c. 455; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-62; 1980, c. 588; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.13. Time and manner of payment.

A. The salaries fixed in accordance with this article shall be paid in equal monthly installments. The expenses and other allowances of office within the limits fixed by the Board shall be paid monthly on the submission of satisfactory evidence that such expenses and other allowances were actually incurred. All counties and cities shall pay the entire amount of such salaries, expenses and other allowances and, upon notification to the Board, the Commonwealth shall reimburse all such counties and cities for the Commonwealth's proportionate share of such salaries, compensation, benefits under § 51.1-137, and other expense allowances.

B. In the event a county or city shall fail to make timely payment of the salaries, expenses or other allowances fixed in accordance with the provisions of law applicable thereto, the Board shall withhold all reimbursements for the office or offices affected thereby until such salaries, expenses or other allowances have been paid, unless such county or city has appealed pursuant to § 15.2-1636.8 or § 15.2-1636.9.

C. The Board may provide advance payments on a monthly pro rata basis to any county or city and adjust subsequent monthly advances based on actual expenditures incurred in the preceding month. Should the Board elect to make such advance payments to any locality, then it shall make such advance payments to all localities which request the same.

Code 1950, § 14-76; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-63; 1972, c. 564; 1976, c. 674; 1983, c. 326; 1984, c. 564; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.14. Proportion borne by Commonwealth and by localities.

A. The salaries, expenses and other allowances of attorneys for the Commonwealth in counties and cities as fixed and determined by the Compensation Board shall be paid by the Commonwealth after July 1, 1980.

B. The salaries, expenses and other allowances of treasurers and commissioners, or any officers, whether elected or appointed, who hold the combined office of county or city treasurer and commissioner of the revenue in the counties and cities shall be paid in the proportion of one-half by the respective counties and cities and one-half by the Commonwealth, except as hereafter in this section provided.

C. The salary, expenses and other allowances of any city treasurer who neither collects nor disburses local taxes or revenues shall be paid entirely by the Commonwealth and the salary, expenses and other allowances of any city treasurer who disburses local revenues but does not collect the same shall be paid in the proportion of one-third by the city and two-thirds by the Commonwealth.

D. In no event shall the amount paid by each city and county as its share of the salary of its respective treasurer and commissioner in any fiscal year exceed the actual dollar amount paid by such city and county for such salaries during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1980.

E. In the case of each county and city treasurer except a city treasurer who neither collects nor disburses local taxes or revenues, and in the case of each county and city commissioner of the revenue, the cost of such office furniture, office equipment and office appliances as may be specifically authorized by and included in the then current expense allowance made to such officer under the provisions of this article, shall be paid in the proportion of two-thirds by the county or city and one-third by the Commonwealth. The prices paid for such office furniture, office equipment and office appliances shall not be in excess of the prices available to the Commonwealth if such purchases were made through the Department of General Services' Division of Purchases and Supply. The words "office furniture, office equipment and office appliances," as used in this subsection, mean such items of this character as have a useful life of more than one year; and the word "cost," as used in this subsection, may include a rental cost, in the discretion of the Compensation Board, in any case in which, in the opinion of the Board, such rental cost, in whole or in part, is properly includible in the expense allowance.

F. If any county or city commissioner of the revenue or county or city treasurer uses any forms, sheets or books of any kind for the assessment or collection of state or local taxes or levies, or in connection with the assessment or collection of such taxes or levies, in lieu of the standard forms, sheets or books furnished by the Commonwealth, no part of the cost of such forms, sheets or books shall be paid by the Commonwealth, but their entire cost shall be paid out of the treasury of the county or city whose governing body required, authorized or consented to their use. This subsection shall not be construed as enlarging the existing powers of local governing bodies to require, authorize or consent to the use of such forms, sheets or books.

G. The cost of all forms, sheets and books of all kinds used for the assessment or collection of local license and local excise taxes or used in connection with the assessment or collection of local license and local excise taxes, shall be paid entirely out of the local treasury, including the cost of any tags, stamps, stickers, or other devices intended to evidence the payment of any such local license or local excise taxes.

H. The cost of all forms, sheets and books of all kinds used in the ascertainment, billing or collection of charges for utility or other special services rendered by a county or city, or by any district or agency thereof shall be paid entirely by the locality, although it may be the duty of the treasurer or the commissioner of the revenue to ascertain or collect such charges under applicable provisions of law.

The governing body of each county and city shall provide suitable office space for the treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, together with the necessary heat, light, water and janitorial service. The entire cost of providing such office space, heat, light, water and janitorial service shall be paid out of the local treasury.

The provisions of this section, as amended, shall not affect any county operating under an optional form of organization and government as provided by Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.) of this title.

Code 1950, § 14-77; 1954, c. 652; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-64; 1972, c. 731; 1977, c. 623; 1979, c. 83; 1980, c. 588; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.15. Manner of payment of certain items contained in budgets of county and city attorneys for the Commonwealth, treasurers and commissioners of the revenue.

A. Whenever a county or city attorney for the Commonwealth, treasurer or commissioner of the revenue purchases office furniture, office equipment, office appliances, tax tickets for state and local taxes collectible by county and city treasurers, stationery, office supplies, postage, data processing services, printing, advertising, telephone or telegraph service, or repairs to office furniture and equipment in conformity with and within the limits of allowances duly made and contained in the then current budget of any such officer under the provisions of this article, the invoices therefor, after examination as to their correctness, shall be paid by the county or city directly to the vendors, and the Commonwealth shall monthly pay the county or city the state's proportionate part of the cost of such items on submission by such officer to the Compensation Board of duplicate invoices and such other information or evidence as the Compensation Board may deem necessary. This section shall also apply to the payment of the premiums on the official bonds of such officers, their deputies and employees, and to the premiums on burglary and other insurance, except the premium on the bond of a treasurer the payment of which is governed by other provisions of law.

B. This section shall not apply to any city treasurer whose city is not required to pay any part of the cost of such items, in which event the Board shall pay the vendor upon receipt of the required invoices and other information.

Code 1950, § 14-77.1; 1958, c. 462; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-65; 1983, c. 382; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.16. Appropriations chargeable with Commonwealth's proportion of salaries, etc.

The Commonwealth's proportion of the salaries, expenses and other allowances of the treasurers, commissioners of the revenue, attorneys for the Commonwealth, and sheriffs shall be paid out of the appropriations made for those purposes in the general appropriation act.

The budgets fixed by the Compensation Board may thereafter be amended by the Compensation Board upon the request of the officer or local governing body or when changed circumstances so require. No budget shall be increased if any portion of the increase is payable from local funds without the concurrence of the local governing body.

All provisions of charters of cities and towns inconsistent with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Code 1950, § 14-78; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-66; 1966, c. 688; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 382; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.17. Payments to counties which do not have certain officers.

The Compensation Board shall determine the compensation and expense allowances for the attorney for the Commonwealth, the treasurer and the commissioner of the revenue for each county which adopts any form of county organization and government provided for in Chapter 5 (§ 15.2-500 et seq.) or Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) of this title in the same manner as if such county had not adopted such form of county organization and government and had continued to have all of such officers. Thereafter, the portion of such compensation and such expense allowances payable by the Commonwealth shall be paid into the general fund of the treasury of the county. The actual compensation and expense allowances to be paid the attorney for the Commonwealth, the treasurer and the commissioner of the revenue, or the officers, agents or employees performing the duties and exercising the powers thereof, of any such county shall be fixed and determined as provided in said Chapter 5 (§ 15.2-500 et seq.) or Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) of this title without regard to the limits provided for in this article.

Code 1950, § 14-79; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-67; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 236; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.18. Deputies, office expenses, premiums on bonds, etc.

The Compensation Board shall determine (i) how many deputies and assistants, if any, are necessary to the efficient performance of the duties of the office of the officer filing a report required by § 17.1-283, (ii) what should be the compensation of such deputies and assistants, (iii) what allowance, if any, should be made for office expenses and premiums on official bonds, and (iv) the manner in which such compensation should be paid or such allowance made. Each of such officers shall, on or before the first day of November in each year, report to the Board, on official estimate blanks, furnished for such purpose, an estimate in itemized form showing the amount of expenses expected to be incurred in the operation and maintenance of his office for the ensuing year, and all such expenses must be approved in advance by the Board in order to be deductible under § 17.1-284. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the Compensation Board from increasing at any time in the year allowances for such expenses as provided in § 15.2-1636.19. The Compensation Board shall report annually to the Governor on the expenses of such office.

Code 1950, § 14-151; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-141; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.19. Adjustment of questions of division of compensation, expenses, etc.

The Compensation Board may adjust equitably all questions of the division of compensation, allowances for deputies and assistants, office expenses and premiums on bonds which may arise due to the change of incumbents in any such offices or from any other cause. All adjustments shall be made as nearly as possible in accordance with the intent of this Code. The Board may, on written application from any clerk of a court of record, and for good cause shown, increase the allowance made to such clerks for deputies and assistants, office expenses and premiums on bonds. The governing body of a county or city may, by resolution adopted and certified, make to the Compensation Board any recommendation it may desire to make with respect to the expense account of any clerk of a court of record as to increase or decrease of expense.

Code 1950, § 14-152; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-142; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.20. Payments to localities under the Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998.

Localities shall be reimbursed for the administrative costs associated with the implementation of Chapter 35.1 (§ 58.1-3523 et seq.) of Title 58.1. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1636.14 and Item 70 of Chapter 464 of the Acts of Assembly of 1998, the Compensation Board shall approve and reimburse 100 percent of such costs that it deems fair and reasonable. The manner of submitting and preparing estimates for such costs and for reimbursements shall be as directed by the Compensation Board.

1998, Sp. Sess. I, c. 2; 1999, cc. 148, 185.

Article 7. Sharing of Certain Constitutional Officers.

§ 15.2-1637. Sharing of offices; transfer of jurisdiction.

A. Any attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of a circuit court, or sheriff who performed his duties and had jurisdiction in both a city and a county prior to July 1, 1971, as provided for in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, shall continue to serve both political subdivisions until the city is transferred in accordance with the provisions of §§ 16.1-69.6 and 17.1-506 to a judicial circuit and district which is comprised of a county other than the circuit and district where the city was situated. Until such transfer is made, the voters residing in the city shall be entitled to vote for these officers at the general election for county officers.

B. Upon the effective date of the transfer referred to in subsection A of this section, the city shall have appointed for it by the judges of the circuit court for the county in the judicial circuit to which the city was transferred an attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of the circuit court and sheriff, which constitutional officers shall be those of the adjoining county. In cases where the city has an elected sheriff, such sheriff shall be the only sheriff for the city. The city may contract with the county to which it was transferred for jail facilities.

In any case where the effective date of the transfer is to take place within 120 days after an election for any of these officers in the county to which the city is transferred, the voters of the city shall be entitled to vote in that election for each officer. The voting wards or precincts of the city shall be treated as precincts of the adjoining county, and no candidate for these offices shall be required to qualify separately in the city. The voters of the city shall thereafter be entitled to vote for these officers.

C. In order to complete the transfer of the jurisdiction of the respective circuit courts when the situation in subsection A occurs, the following shall control:

1. As to any crime occurring or civil cause of action arising in the city before the effective date of the transfer, the circuit court of the former judicial circuit shall have jurisdiction.

2. As to any crime occurring or civil cause of action arising in the city on or after the effective date of the transfer involving a matter required by general law to be located in a circuit court, the circuit court of the judicial circuit to which the city was transferred shall have jurisdiction.

D. All writings authorized by law to be recorded in the circuit court for the city transferred pursuant to subsection A of this section shall be recorded in the circuit court to which the city was transferred beginning on the effective date of the transfer.

1980, c. 592, § 15.1-994.1; 1987, c. 624; 1997, c. 587.

Article 8. Courthouses.

§ 15.2-1638. County or city governing body to provide courthouse, clerk's office, jail and suitable facilities for attorney for the Commonwealth; acquisition of land.

The governing body of every county and city shall provide courthouses with suitable space and facilities to accommodate the various courts and officials thereof serving the county or city; within or outside such courthouses, a clerk's office, the record room of which shall be fireproof; a jail; and, upon request therefor, suitable space and facilities for the attorney for the Commonwealth to discharge the duties of his office. The costs thereof and of the land on which they may be, and of keeping the same in good order, shall be chargeable to the county or city. The fee simple of the lands and of the buildings and improvements thereon utilized for such courthouses shall be in the county or city, and the governing body of the county or city may purchase so much of such property, as, with what it has, may be necessary for the purposes enumerated or for any other proper purpose of the county or city. However, any portion of the property owned by a county and located within a city or town and not actually occupied by the courthouse, clerk's office, or jail, may be sold or exchanged and conveyed to such city or town to be used for street or other public purposes. Any such sale or exchange by the governing body of a county shall be made in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-1800.

The amendments contained in Chapter 90 of the 1986 Acts of Assembly shall not apply to the City of Virginia Beach.

Code 1950, §§ 15-686, 15-688; 1954, cc. 49, 264; 1956, c. 329; 1960, c. 145; 1962, cc. 283, 489, 623, § 15.1-257; 1964, c. 241; 1986, c. 90; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-1639. Providing offices for various officers, judges, etc.

The governing body of each county and city shall, if there are offices in the courthouses of the respective counties and cities available for such purposes, provide offices for the treasurer, attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue, commissioner of accounts and division superintendent of schools for such county or city. Any such governing body may, if there are offices in their respective courthouses available for such purposes, provide offices for the judge of any court sitting in the county or city, and any judge of the Court of Appeals or justice of the Supreme Court who may reside in the county or city, and if such offices are not available in the courthouse, offices may be provided by the governing body, if they deem it proper, elsewhere than in the courthouse of the county or city.

Code 1950, § 15-689; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-258; 1984, c. 703; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1640. Renting rooms in courthouse.

With the approval of the judge of the circuit court for the county or for the city, any vacant rooms in the courthouse, after furnishing offices to the officers listed in § 15.2-1639, may be rented for a term of not exceeding one year to other persons for office purposes, and any public room or hall in the building may be hired for compensation for the purpose of giving public entertainments. All moneys received by the counties or cities under this section, shall constitute a fund to maintain and care for such building.

Code 1950, § 15-690; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-259; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1641. Leasing or other use of other buildings.

When the governing body of any county or city, pursuant to § 15.2-1638, has purchased or may hereafter purchase any land, a part of which has valuable buildings thereon, whether when so purchased or since constructed, and that portion of the land so occupied by such buildings, or the buildings thereon is, in the discretion of such governing body, not required for the purposes mentioned in § 15.2-1639, such governing body, if deemed proper by it, may either lease such building or buildings for private or other purposes, or remodel and use the same for other public purposes. However, the lease or use shall be first approved by the judge of the circuit court for the county or for the city, as the case may be, and such lease or use shall be terminated when, in the opinion of such judge, the building or buildings or the land occupied by the same, is needed for any of the purposes enumerated in § 15.2-1638.

Code 1950, § 15-691; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-260; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1642. Certain conveyances of courthouse grounds validated.

Any other provision of law to the contrary, notwithstanding, any conveyance made prior to January 1, 1954, by a county, of a portion of the county courthouse grounds, to a town to be used for public purposes, shall be in all respects valid.

Code 1950, § 15-692.1; 1954, c. 150; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-263; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1643. Circuit courts to order court facilities to be repaired.

A. When it appears to the circuit court for any county or city, from the report of persons appointed to examine the court facilities, or otherwise, that the court facilities of such county or city are insecure, out of repair, or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public, the court shall enter an order, in the name and on behalf of the Commonwealth against the supervisors of the county, or the members of the council of the city, as the case may be, to show cause why a mandamus should not issue, commanding them to cause the court facilities of such county or city to be made secure, or put in good repair, or rendered otherwise safe as the case may be, and to proceed as in other cases of mandamus, to cause the necessary work to be done. The court shall cause a copy of such order to be served upon each supervisor or member of the council, as the case may be.

B. Upon the entry of such order, as provided in subsection A hereof, the chief judge of the circuit shall forthwith notify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the entry thereof. Upon receipt of the notice, the Chief Justice shall assign a judge of a circuit remote from the circuit wherein the repairs are alleged to be necessary to hear and determine whether, after consideration of such matters as set forth in subdivisions 1 through 4, the court facilities are in fact insecure or out of repair or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public and the extent to which repairs, if any, are necessary.

Before a mandamus is issued, if the concerned governing body elects, or if the pleadings allege that the court facilities are in fact insecure or out of repair, or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public, the local governing body shall appoint a five-member panel, three of whom shall be qualified by training and experience as either an architect or a professional engineer, not representing the same firms, to review the court facilities in question and make recommendations to the local governing body and circuit court judge assigned by the Chief Justice concerning the construction or repairs deemed necessary.

In making their recommendations, the panel shall consider matters such as, but not limited to, the following:

1. Security provisions to safeguard court personnel, participants and the public;

2. Efficient layout and circulation patterns to maximize public access, promote efficient operations, and accommodate the diverse users;

3. Provision of administrative and service areas, judges' chambers, hearing rooms, conference rooms, prison holding areas, and public information areas; and

4. Comfort, safety and obsolescence of the existing facility or any part thereof.

The existing facilities shall be considered in relationship to their location and the extent of their use, and their failure to meet any of these general considerations shall not necessarily be deemed a cause for determining them inadequate.

In making their recommendations, the panel may consult recognized national standard works in the field.

All costs, fees and expenses of the five-member panel, after approval by the local governing body, shall be paid by the county or city that appointed the panel.

C. If, after hearing, the court finds that the court facilities are not insecure or out of repair or otherwise unsafe, or having been in such condition, that the necessary repairs have been made, the court shall vacate the order. If the court finds that the court facilities are insecure or out of repair or otherwise unsafe, it shall issue its mandamus as provided in subsection A.

D. Appeals shall be allowed to the Supreme Court of Virginia as appeals from courts of equity are allowed.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a circuit court to require that an additional or replacement courthouse be constructed.

Code 1950, § 15-693.1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-267; 1975, c. 444; 1979, c. 507; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 758; 2012, cc. 805, 836.

§ 15.2-1644. Petition for removal of county courthouse; writ of election.

A. Whenever a number of voters equal to at least one third of the voters of a county registered in the county on the January 1 preceding filing of the petition, petition the circuit court of such county, or whenever the governing body of any county by resolution duly adopted requests the circuit court for such county, for an election in such county on the question of the removal of the courthouse to one or more places specified in the petition or resolution, such court shall issue a writ of election in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, which shall fix the day of holding such election. Such petition shall also state the amount to be appropriated by the board of supervisors for the purchase of land, unless the land is to be donated, and for the erection of necessary buildings and improvements at the new location.

B. If the courthouse is used before and after removal for any city as well as for the county, then the petition shall be signed by a number of voters equal to at least one-third of the total number of voters registered in the locality on the January 1 preceding filing of the petition. The registered voters of such city shall be eligible to sign the petition. The petition shall state the amounts to be appropriated by both the county and city. The voters of such city shall be eligible to vote in any election on the question of relocating the courthouse. The court shall issue a writ of election to such city the same as issued to and for the county.

The votes of such city voters shall be treated as if they were cast by qualified voters of the county for the purposes of these sections (§§ 15.2-1644 through 15.2-1654).

C. In the case of the removal of a county courthouse that is not located in a city or town, and is not being relocated to a city or town, such removal shall not require a petition or approval by the voters.

Code 1950, § 15-43; 1956, c. 95; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-559; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1975, c. 517; 1978, c. 380; 1997, c. 587; 2017, c. 487.

§ 15.2-1645. How election held and conducted.

The election specified in § 15.2-1644 shall be held and conducted as other special elections are held and conducted.

Code 1950, § 15-44; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-560; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1646. Certification of result to board of supervisors; procuring land and buildings; relocation to contiguous land.

If it appears from the returns that a majority of the votes cast at the election specified in § 15.2-1644 are for the removal of the courthouse to one of the places specified in the petition or resolution, the results shall be certified to the board of supervisors of the county, with the amount authorized to be expended for land, if not donated, and for necessary buildings and improvements. If the vote is for removal, the board of supervisors shall at once proceed to acquire the necessary land at the new location, if the same has not been donated, and to erect the necessary buildings and improvements.

The relocation of a courthouse to land contiguous with its present location, including contiguous property directly across a public right-of-way, and within the same county is not such a removal as to require authorization by the electorate.

The provisions of these sections requiring authorization by the electorate shall not apply, in the case of a joint court system, between Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, York County and the City of Poquoson, and Greensville County and the City of Emporia, to the relocation of the courthouse to other land within the localities which it serves, from its present location, if the governing bodies find by concurrent resolutions that the existing courthouse is inadequate and that renovation or expansion of the existing courthouse is not feasible.

Code 1950, § 15-45; 1956, c. 95; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-561; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1975, c. 59; 1976, c. 497; 1994, c. 504; 1997, cc. 587, 598; 2005, c. 36.

§ 15.2-1647. Removal of court.

As soon as the courthouse is completed, the board of supervisors shall certify the fact to the judge of the circuit court for the county, who shall, after sixty days' notice, to be published in a newspaper in the county if any, and if none, then in a newspaper having general circulation in the county, order his court to be held in the new location.

Code 1950, § 15-46; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-562; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1648. Donation of land and money.

Any town or individual may donate to the county the land necessary for its uses at any of the locations named in the petition, which shall not be less than one acre, and may offer as an inducement for such removal such sum of money as may be desired. Any offer to donate the land shall be accompanied by a deed for the land, to be regularly executed and placed in the hands of the clerk of the county. Any offer of money shall be accompanied by a certified check or other satisfactory security to be likewise placed in the hands of the clerk to be delivered by him to the treasurer of the county. If the location stated in the deed or offer of money is selected by the voters, the treasurer shall record the deed and collect and place the fund to the credit of the county to be drawn on by the board of supervisors as hereinafter directed.

Code 1950, § 15-47; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-563; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1649. Town may issue bonds to finance donation; election on bonds.

When any town desires to donate to the county any land or sums of money as an inducement for such removal and the town has not sufficient funds in its treasury as it may desire to offer, the town may borrow the money and issue its bonds therefor. Whenever a number of voters equal to at least twenty-five percent of the voters of such town, registered in the town on the January 1 preceding the filing of the petition, petition the circuit court for the county wherein such town is located for an election to be held on such bond issue, the circuit court shall, in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, issue a writ of election, ordering a special election upon such bond issue, in which the date of holding such election in the town shall be fixed. Such petition shall state the purposes for which the proceeds of such bond issue shall be used, and the amount of such issue. The election shall be held and the vote canvassed and returns made in accordance with the requirements of the general election law, except that the certificate of the electoral board shall be as follows:

"We hereby certify that at the election held in the town of............ on the.......... day of.........., 20....., upon the question of a bond issue of.......... dollars, to be used as a donation to.......... county as an inducement for removal of the courthouse of the county to the town,..... votes were cast for the bond issue and..... votes were cast against the bond issue."

The ballots used in the election shall be as follows:

"Shall the Town of............. issue bonds to the amount of............ dollars to be used as a donation to.......... County, as an inducement for the removal of the courthouse?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The electoral board shall certify in duplicate the vote cast in such elections, for and against the bond issue, one of such certificates to be filed with the clerk of the county and the other with the judge of the circuit court.

Such election shall be subject to inquiry in the manner provided by § 15.2-1654.

Code 1950, § 15-48; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-564; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1650. When and how council to issue bonds; payment of interest; sinking fund.

If a majority of the voters in the town taking part in such election vote in favor of the bond issue, the council of the town may issue its bonds to the amount set out in the petition, either coupon or registered, signed by its mayor, and attested by the town clerk, and deliver the same to the clerk of the county as satisfactory security for the obligations imposed by this section. The council of the town may make annual appropriations out of the revenues of the town to pay the interest on the bonds and to provide a sinking fund for the redemption of the bonds by special levy or otherwise.

Code 1950, § 15-49; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-565; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1651. When supervisors may issue bonds of county.

If the land is not donated, and the fund offered is not sufficient to acquire the land and erect the necessary buildings, or if the land is donated and the fund offered is not sufficient for the purposes aforesaid, the board of supervisors may issue the bonds of the county to an amount which with the fund offered shall be equal to the amount set out in the petition, and the proceeds of the bonds with the amount donated shall constitute the fund out of which the land shall be acquired, if not donated, and the buildings erected and improvements made. If the financial condition of the county is such as to render the issue of bonds unnecessary, the supervisors may decline to issue them. However, the amount expended shall not exceed the amount named in the petition and authorized by the voters.

Code 1950, § 15-50; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-566; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1652. Form of ballots for county election on removal and appropriation; certificate of electoral board.

The ballots used in the election required by § 15.2-1644 shall be as follows:

"Shall the courthouse be removed to........., and shall the Board of Supervisors be permitted to spend $..... therefor?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The manner of ascertaining the vote and making returns thereof shall conform in all respects to the requirements of the general election law, except that the certificate of the electoral board shall be as follows:

"We hereby certify, that at the election held on the.......... day of........., 20....., upon the question of removing the courthouse to.......... and permitting the expenditure of $..... therefor,..... votes were cast Yes; and..... votes were cast No."

Code 1950, § 15-51; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-567; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1977, c. 306; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1653. Ascertaining results.

The electoral board shall ascertain the vote from the returns, and shall certify in duplicate the votes cast for removal and authorizing the expenditure of the amount stated in the petition and against removal. One of the certificates shall be filed with the county clerk and the other with the judge of the circuit court.

Code 1950, § 15-52; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-568; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1654. Contest of election.

Returns in such election shall be subject to the inquiry, determination and judgment of the circuit court for the county in which the election is held, upon complaint of fifteen or more voters of the county of an undue election or false return. The complaint shall fully set out the grounds of contest and, if any votes were improperly received or rejected, shall give a list of such votes, with objections to the action of the election officials in receiving or rejecting the same. Two of the persons making the complaint shall take and subscribe an oath that the facts therein stated are true to the best of their knowledge and belief. The complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which such election is held. Notice of contest, stating that the complaint has been filed in the clerk's office, shall be given by posting the same at the courthouse door and at two or more public places in the county, and by publishing it once a week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published in the county or, if there is none so published, then in some newspaper having general circulation in the county. The time and place of taking depositions, if any, shall be stated in the notice, which shall entitle the parties giving the notice to take the depositions to be read as evidence in the contest. The complaint shall be filed and notice given within ten days after the election, otherwise the complaint shall not be valid. Any one or more persons who voted at such removal election may, within thirty days from the election, file in the circuit court clerk's office an answer to the complaint, in which any of the allegations of the complaint may be denied, and any statement made going to show the regularity of the old election, and the propriety of the action of the election officials in receiving or rejecting the votes set out in the complaint, and a list of the votes he or they will dispute. If the respondents desire to take depositions, notice thereof shall be given to any one or more of the persons signing the complaint. If no answer is filed to the complaint within thirty days from the election, no one shall be heard to deny the allegations of the complaint, but the persons making the same shall prove the allegations thereof to the satisfaction of the court. The circuit court for the county in which the election is held, after the expiration of thirty days from the election, shall proceed to pass upon the complaint without a jury, on such depositions as may have been taken under the notices aforesaid, and upon such other legal testimony as may be adduced by either party at the hearing of the case. In judging such election and return, the court shall proceed on the merits thereof and decide the same on the Constitution and laws and according to the right of the case and shall enter such order as will carry its decision into full and complete effect. The judgment of the court shall be final.

Code 1950, § 15-53; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-569; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1655. No other election held for ten years.

After an election has been held in any county upon the question of the removal of its courthouse, no other such election shall be held within ten years.

Code 1950, § 15-54; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-570; 1997, c. 587.

Article 9. Supplies and Equipment.

§ 15.2-1656. Supplies and equipment to be furnished to clerks of courts of record.

The governing body of each county and city shall, at the expense of the county or city, provide (i) suitable books and stationery, in addition to supplies furnished by the Commonwealth, for the use of clerks of all courts of record, together with appropriate cases and other furniture, for the safe and convenient keeping of all the books, documents and papers, in the custody of such officers; (ii) official seals for such officers; and (iii) such other office equipment, electronic or other systems, and appliances as in their judgment may be reasonably necessary for the proper conduct of such offices.

Code 1950, § 15-10.1; 1954, c. 652; 1956, c. 480; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-19; 1973, c. 544; 1980, c. 549; 1997, c. 587; 2014, cc. 360, 589.

Chapter 17. Police and Public Order.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 15.2-1700. Preservation of peace and good order.

Any locality may provide for the protection of its inhabitants and property and for the preservation of peace and good order therein.

Code 1950, § 15-556; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-137; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1701. Organization of police forces.

Any locality may, by ordinance, provide for the organization of its authorized police forces. Such forces shall include a chief of police, and such officers and other personnel as appropriate.

When a locality provides for a police department, the chief of police shall be the chief law-enforcement officer of that locality. However, in towns, the chief law-enforcement officer may be called the town sergeant.

1979, c. 333, § 15.1-131.7; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1702. Referendum required prior to establishment of county police force.

A. A county shall not establish a police force unless (i) such action is first approved by the voters of the county in accordance with the provisions of this section and (ii) the General Assembly enacts appropriate authorizing legislation.

B. The governing body of any county shall petition the court, by resolution, asking that a referendum be held on the question, "Shall a police force be established in the county and the sheriff's office be relieved of primary law-enforcement responsibilities?" The court, by order entered of record in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, shall require the regular election officials of the county to open the polls and take the sense of the voters on the question as herein provided.

The clerk of the circuit court for the county shall publish notice of the election in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the election. The notice shall contain the ballot question and a statement of not more than 500 words on the proposed question. The explanation shall be presented in plain English, shall be limited to a neutral explanation, and shall not present arguments by either proponents or opponents of the proposal. The attorney for the county or city or, if there is no county or city attorney, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall prepare the explanation. "Plain English" means written in nontechnical, readily understandable language using words of common everyday usage and avoiding legal terms and phrases or other terms and words of art whose usage or special meaning primarily is limited to a particular field or profession.

C. The county may expend public funds to produce and distribute neutral information concerning the referendum; provided, however, public funds may not be used to promote a particular position on the question, either in the notice called for in subsection B, or in any other distribution of information to the public.

D. The regular election officers of the county shall open the polls on the date specified in such order and conduct the election in the manner provided by law. The election shall be by ballot which shall be prepared by the electoral board of the county and on which shall be printed the following:

"Shall a police force be established in the county and the sheriff's office be relieved of primary law-enforcement responsibilities?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The ballots shall be counted, returns made and canvassed as in other elections, and the results certified by the electoral board to the court ordering the election. If a majority of the voters voting in the election vote "Yes," the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of the election and a duly certified copy of such order shall be transmitted to the governing body of the county. The governing body shall proceed to establish a police force following the enactment of authorizing legislation by the General Assembly.

E. After a referendum has been conducted pursuant to this section, no subsequent referendum shall be conducted pursuant to this section in the same county for a period of four years from the date of the prior referendum.

1983, c. 341, § 15.1-131.6:1; 1993, c. 630; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 298.

§ 15.2-1703. Referendum to abolish county police force.

The police force in any county which established the force subsequent to July 1, 1983, may be abolished and its responsibilities assumed by the sheriff's office after a referendum held pursuant to this section.

Either (i) the voters of the county by petition signed by not less than ten percent of the registered voters therein on the January 1 preceding the filing of the petition or (ii) the governing body of the county, by resolution, may petition the circuit court for the county that a referendum be held on the question, "Shall the county police force be abolished and its responsibilities assumed by the county sheriff's office?" The court, by order entered of record in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, shall require the regular election officials of the county at the next general election held in the county to open the polls and take the sense of the voters on the question as herein provided. The clerk of the circuit court for the county shall publish notice of the election in a newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the election.

The ballot shall be printed as follows:

"Shall the county police force be abolished and its responsibilities assumed by the county sheriff's office?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The election shall be held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684. If a majority of the voters voting in the election vote in favor of the question, the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of the election, and a duly certified copy of such order shall be transmitted to the governing body of the county. The governing body shall proceed with the necessary action to abolish the police force and transfer its responsibilities to the sheriff's office, to become effective on July 1 following the referendum.

Once a referendum has been held pursuant to this section, no further referendum shall be held pursuant to this section within four years thereafter.

1988, c. 660, § 15.1-131.6:2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1704. Powers and duties of police force.

A. The police force of a locality is hereby invested with all the power and authority which formerly belonged to the office of constable at common law and is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of criminals, the safeguard of life and property, the preservation of peace and the enforcement of state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.

B. A police officer has no authority in civil matters, except (i) to execute and serve temporary detention and emergency custody orders and any other powers granted to law-enforcement officers in § 16.1-340, 16.1-340.1, 37.2-808, or 37.2-809, (ii) to serve an order of protection pursuant to §§ 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, and 16.1-279.1, (iii) to execute all warrants or summons as may be placed in his hands by any magistrate serving the locality and to make due return thereof, and (iv) to deliver, serve, execute, and enforce orders of isolation and quarantine issued pursuant to §§ 32.1-48.09, 32.1-48.012, and 32.1-48.014 and to deliver, serve, execute, and enforce an emergency custody order issued pursuant to § 32.1-48.02. A town police officer, after receiving training under subdivision 8 of § 9.1-102, may, with the concurrence of the local sheriff, also serve civil papers, and make return thereof, only when the town is the plaintiff and the defendant can be found within the corporate limits of the town.

Code 1950, § 15-557; 1960, c. 167; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-138; 1982, c. 38; 1984, c. 661; 1992, cc. 729, 742; 1995, c. 844; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 425; 1999, c. 495; 2007, c. 724; 2008, cc. 551, 691; 2010, cc. 778, 825.

§ 15.2-1705. Minimum qualifications; waiver.

A. The chief of police and all police officers of any locality, all deputy sheriffs and jail officers in this Commonwealth, and all law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 who enter upon the duties of such office after July 1, 1994, are required to meet the following minimum qualifications for office. Such person shall (i) be a citizen of the United States, (ii) be required to undergo a background investigation including fingerprint-based criminal history records inquiries to both the Central Criminal Records Exchange and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (iii) have a high school education or have passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education, (iv) possess a valid driver's license if required by the duties of office to operate a motor vehicle, (v) undergo a physical examination, subsequent to a conditional offer of employment, conducted under the supervision of a licensed physician, (vi) be at least eighteen years of age, (vii) not have been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony or any offense that would be a felony if committed in the Commonwealth, and (viii) not have produced a positive result on a pre-employment drug screening, if such screening is required by the hiring law-enforcement agency or jail, where the positive result cannot be explained to the law-enforcement agency or jail administrator's satisfaction. In addition, all such officers who enter upon the duties of such office on or after July 1, 2013, shall not have been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to (a) any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, including but not limited to petit larceny under § 18.2-96, or any offense involving moral turpitude that would be a misdemeanor if committed in the Commonwealth, (b) any misdemeanor sex offense in the Commonwealth, another state, or the United States, including but not limited to sexual battery under § 18.2-67.4 or consensual sexual intercourse with a minor 15 or older under clause (ii) of § 18.2-371, or (c) domestic assault under § 18.2-57.2 or any offense that would be domestic assault under the laws of another state or the United States.

B. Upon request of a sheriff or chief of police, or the director or chief executive of any agency or department employing law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101, or jail officers as defined in § 53.1-1, the Department of Criminal Justice Services is hereby authorized to waive the requirements for qualification as set out in subsection A of this section for good cause shown.

1982, c. 442, § 15.1-131.8; 1988, c. 396; 1994, cc. 850, 905; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 307, 468; 2014, c. 84.

§ 15.2-1706. Certification through training required for all law-enforcement officers; waiver of requirements.

A. All law-enforcement officers as defined in § 9.1-101 and all jail officers as defined in § 53.1-1 must be certified through the successful completion of training at an approved criminal justice training academy in order to remain eligible for appointment or employment. In order to obtain such certification, all entry level law-enforcement officers seeking certification on or after July 1, 2003, shall successfully complete statewide certification examinations developed and administered by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The Department may delegate administration of the examinations to an approved criminal justice training academy and may revoke such delegation at its discretion. The appointee's or employee's hiring agency must provide the Department of Criminal Justice Services with verification that law-enforcement or jail officers first hired after July 1, 1994, have met the minimum standards set forth in § 15.2-1705.

B. The requirement for the successful completion of the law-enforcement certification examination may be waived by the Department of Criminal Justice Services based upon previous law-enforcement experience and training. To be eligible for such waiver, the individual must have applied for and been granted an exemption or partial exemption in accordance with § 9.1-116.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:1; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 635; 2002, c. 345; 2004, c. 477.

§ 15.2-1707. Decertification of law-enforcement officers.

A. The sheriff, chief of police, or agency administrator shall notify the Criminal Justice Services Board in writing within 48 hours of becoming aware that any certified law-enforcement or jail officer currently employed by his agency has (i) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony or any offense that would be a felony if committed in the Commonwealth, (ii) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a Class 1 misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or any offense that would be any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, including but not limited to petit larceny under § 18.2-96, or any offense involving moral turpitude that would be a misdemeanor if committed in the Commonwealth, (iii) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to any misdemeanor sex offense in the Commonwealth, another state, or the United States, including but not limited to sexual battery under § 18.2-67.4 or consensual sexual intercourse with a minor 15 or older under clause (ii) of § 18.2-371, (iv) been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to domestic assault under § 18.2-57.2 or any offense that would be domestic assault under the laws of another state or the United States, (v) failed to comply with or maintain compliance with mandated training requirements, or (vi) refused to submit to a drug screening or has produced a positive result on a drug screening reported to the employing agency, where the positive result cannot be explained to the agency administrator's satisfaction. Notification shall also be provided in writing within 48 hours of becoming aware that any employee who resigned or was terminated in advance of being convicted or found guilty of an offense that requires decertification or who resigned or was terminated in advance of a pending drug screening. The notification, where appropriate, shall be accompanied by a copy of the judgment of conviction. Upon receiving such notice from the sheriff, chief of police, or agency administrator, or from an attorney for the Commonwealth, the Criminal Justice Services Board shall immediately decertify such law-enforcement or jail officer. Such officer shall not have the right to serve as a law-enforcement officer within the Commonwealth until his certification has been reinstated by the Board.

B. When a conviction has not become final, the Board may decline to decertify the officer until the conviction becomes final, after considering the likelihood of irreparable damage to the officer if such officer is decertified during the pendency of an ultimately successful appeal, the likelihood of injury or damage to the public if the officer is not decertified, and the seriousness of the offense.

C. The Department of Criminal Justice Services is hereby authorized to waive the requirements for decertification as set out in subsection A for good cause shown.

D. The Criminal Justice Services Board may initiate decertification proceedings against any former law-enforcement or jail officer whom the Board has found to have been convicted of an offense that requires decertification or who has failed to comply with or maintain compliance with mandated training requirements.

E. Any conviction of a misdemeanor that has been appealed to a court of record shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this section unless a final order of conviction is entered.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:2; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 307, 468; 2017, c. 496.

§ 15.2-1708. Notice of decertification.

A. Service of notice. The Board shall, within ten days of decertification, serve notice upon an affected officer, in person or by certified mail, and upon the law-enforcement or jail agency employing said officer, by certified mail, specifying the action taken and remedies available. The Board shall stay final action until the period for requesting a hearing expires.

B. Decertification hearing. Any law-enforcement or jail officer who has been decertified may, within thirty days of receipt of notice served by the Board, request, by certified mail, a hearing which shall be granted by the Board. Upon receipt of such request, the Board shall set a date, time, and place for the hearing within sixty days and serve notice by certified mail upon the affected officer. The Board, or a committee thereof, shall conduct such hearing. The affected officer may be represented by counsel. In the absence of a request for hearing, decertification shall, without further proceedings, become final thirty days after the initial notice.

C. Standard of review. The decertification of a law-enforcement or jail officer under § 15.2-1707 shall be sustained by the Board unless such law-enforcement or jail officer shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, good cause for his certification to be reinstated.

D. Final decision after request for hearing. The Board shall render a final decision within thirty days.

E. Notice of final action. The Board shall notify the officer and the law-enforcement or jail agency involved, by certified mail, of the final action regarding decertification.

F. Reinstatement after decertification. Any officer who is decertified may, after a period of not less than five years, petition the Board to be considered for reinstatement of certification.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:3; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1709. Employer immunity from liability; disclosure of information regarding former deputy sheriffs and law-enforcement officers.

Any sheriff or chief of police, the director or chief executive of any agency or department employing deputy sheriffs or law-enforcement officers as defined § 9.1-101, or jail officers as defined in § 53.1-1, and the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services or his designee who discloses information about a former deputy sheriff's or law-enforcement officer's or jail officer's job performance to a prospective law-enforcement or jail employer of the former appointee or employee is presumed to be acting in good faith and, unless lack of good faith is shown by clear and convincing evidence, is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences. For purposes of this section, the presumption of good faith is rebutted upon a showing that the information disclosed by the former employer was knowingly false or deliberately misleading, was rendered with malicious purpose, or violated any civil right of the former employee or appointee.

1994, cc. 850, 905, § 15.1-131.8:4; 1995, c. 112; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1710. Fees and other compensation.

A police officer shall not receive any fee or other compensation out of the state treasury or the treasury of a locality for any service rendered under the provisions of this chapter other than the salary paid him by the locality and a fee as a witness in cases arising under the criminal laws of the Commonwealth. A police officer shall not receive any fee as a witness in any case arising under the ordinances of his locality, nor for attendance as a witness before any magistrate serving his locality. However, if it is necessary or expedient for him to travel beyond the limits of the locality in his capacity as a police officer, he shall be entitled to his actual expenses, as provided by law for other expenses in criminal cases.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting a police officer of a locality from claiming and receiving any reward which may be offered for the arrest and detention of any offender against the criminal laws of this or any other state or nation.

Code 1950, § 15-557; 1960, c. 167; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-138; 1982, c. 38; 1984, c. 661; 1992, cc. 729, 742; 1995, c. 844; 1997, c. 587; 2008, cc. 551, 691.

§ 15.2-1711. Providing legal fees and expenses for law-enforcement officers; repayment to locality of two-thirds of amount by Compensation Board.

If any law-enforcement officer is investigated, arrested or indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any criminal charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, and no charges are brought, the charge is subsequently dismissed or upon trial he is found not guilty, the governing body of the locality wherein he is appointed may reimburse such officer for reasonable legal fees and expenses incurred by him in defense of such investigation or charge; such reimbursement shall be paid from the treasury of the locality.

When a governing body reimburses its sheriff or a law-enforcement officer in the sheriff's employment for reasonable legal fees and expenses as provided for in this section, then, upon certification of the reimbursement to the Chairman of the Compensation Board by the presiding officer of the governing body, the Compensation Board shall pay to the applicable locality two-thirds of the amount so certified.

1975, c. 31, § 15.1-131.6; 1979, c. 600; 1980, c. 106; 1985, c. 321; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1712. Employment of off-duty officers.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 2.2-3100 through 2.2-3127, any locality may adopt an ordinance which permits law-enforcement officers and deputy sheriffs in such locality to engage in off-duty employment which may occasionally require the use of their police powers in the performance of such employment. Such ordinance may include reasonable rules to apply to such off-duty employment, or it may delegate the promulgation of such reasonable rules to the chief of the respective police departments or the sheriff of the county or city.

1978, c. 537, § 15.1-133.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1713. Localities authorized to offer and pay rewards in felony and misdemeanor cases.

When any felony or misdemeanor has been committed, or there has been any attempt to commit a felony in any locality, the governing body of the locality or its duly authorized agent may offer and pay a reward for the arrest and final conviction of the person or persons who committed the felony or misdemeanor or attempted to commit the felony. The reward may be paid out of the general fund of such locality.

1983, c. 525, § 15.1-137.2; 1984, c. 661; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1713.1. Local "Crime Stoppers" programs; confidentiality.

A. As used in this section, a "Crime Stoppers," "crime solvers," "crime line," or other similarly named organization is defined as a private, nonprofit Virginia corporation governed by a civilian volunteer board of directors that is operated on a local or statewide level that (i) offers anonymity to persons providing information to the organization, (ii) accepts and expends donations for cash rewards to persons who report to the organization information about alleged criminal activity and that the organization forwards to the appropriate law-enforcement agency, and (iii) is established as a cooperative alliance between the news media, the community, and law-enforcement officials.

B. Evidence of a communication or any information contained therein between a person submitting a report of an alleged criminal act to a "Crime Stoppers" organization and the person who accepted the report on behalf of the organization is not admissible in a court proceeding. Law-enforcement agencies receiving information concerning alleged criminal activity from a "Crime Stoppers" organization shall maintain confidentiality pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 2.2-3706.

2003, cc. 754, 760; 2013, c. 695.

§ 15.2-1714. Establishing police lines, perimeters, or barricades.

Whenever fires, accidents, wrecks, explosions, crimes, riots, or other emergency situations where life, limb, or property may be endangered may cause persons to collect on the public streets, alleys, highways, parking lots, or other public area, the chief law-enforcement officer of any locality or that officer's authorized representative who is responsible for the security of the scene may establish such areas, zones, or perimeters by the placement of police lines or barricades as are reasonably necessary to (i) preserve the integrity of evidence at such scenes, (ii) notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-888 through 46.2-891, facilitate the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic into, out of, and around the scene, (iii) permit firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical services personnel to perform necessary operations unimpeded, and (iv) protect persons and property.

Any police line or barricade erected for these purposes shall be clearly identified by wording such as "Police Line -- DO NOT CROSS" or other similar wording. If material or equipment is not available for identifying the prohibited area, then a verbal warning by identifiable law-enforcement officials positioned to indicate a location of a police line or barricade shall be given to any person or persons attempting to cross police lines or barricades without proper authorization.

Such scene may be secured no longer than is reasonably necessary to effect the above-described purposes. Nothing in this section shall limit or otherwise affect the authority of, or be construed to deny access to such scene by, any person charged by law with the responsibility of rendering assistance at or investigating any such fires, accidents, wrecks, explosions, crimes or riots.

Personnel from information services such as press, radio, and television, when gathering news, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section except that it shall be unlawful for such persons to obstruct the police, firefighters, or emergency medical services personnel in the performance of their duties at such scene. Such personnel shall proceed at their own risk.

1984, c. 533, § 15.1-140.1; 1990, c. 327; 1997, c. 587; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-1715. Authority to declare Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdictions; expenditure of funds.

Whenever, in the judgment of the Governor or his designee, a locality or multi-jurisdictional area is confronted with a drug trafficking problem of such a magnitude as to warrant additional resources to supplement the efforts of local officials responsible for the apprehension and prosecution of persons engaged in drug trafficking activities, he may declare such areas Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdictions. Upon such declaration, the Governor, or his designee, may make available funds from the Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdictions Fund provided for in § 9.1-105.

1990, c. 971, § 15.1-131.12; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1716. Reimbursement of expenses incurred in responding to DUI and related incidents.

A. Any locality may provide by ordinance that a person convicted of violating any of the following provisions shall, at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action, be liable to the locality or to any responding volunteer fire company or department or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or both, for restitution of reasonable expenses incurred by the locality for responding law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services, including those incurred by the sheriff's office of such locality, or by any volunteer fire or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or by any combination of the foregoing, when providing an appropriate emergency response to any accident or incident related to such violation. The ordinance may further provide that a person convicted of violating any of the following provisions shall, at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action, be liable to the locality or to any responding volunteer fire or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or both, for restitution of reasonable expenses incurred by the locality when issuing any related arrest warrant or summons, including the expenses incurred by the sheriff's office of such locality, or by any volunteer fire or volunteer emergency medical services agency, or by any combination of the foregoing:

1. The provisions of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, 18.2-266.1, 29.1-738, 29.1-738.02, or 46.2-341.24, or a similar ordinance, when such operation of a motor vehicle, engine, train or watercraft while so impaired is the proximate cause of the accident or incident;

2. The provisions of Article 7 (§ 46.2-852 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 46.2 relating to reckless driving, when such reckless driving is the proximate cause of the accident or incident;

3. The provisions of Article 1 (§ 46.2-300 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 46.2 relating to driving without a license or driving with a suspended or revoked license; and

4. The provisions of § 46.2-894 relating to improperly leaving the scene of an accident.

B. Personal liability under this section for reasonable expenses of an appropriate emergency response pursuant to subsection A shall not exceed $1,000 in the aggregate for a particular accident, arrest, or incident occurring in such locality. In determining the "reasonable expenses," a locality may bill a flat fee of $350 or a minute-by-minute accounting of the actual costs incurred. As used in this section, "appropriate emergency response" includes all costs of providing law-enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services. The court may order as restitution the reasonable expenses incurred by the locality for responding law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services. The provisions of this section shall not preempt or limit any remedy available to the Commonwealth, to the locality, or to any volunteer emergency medical services agency to recover the reasonable expenses of an emergency response to an accident or incident not involving impaired driving, operation of a vehicle, or other conduct as set forth herein.

1994, c. 617, § 15.1-132.1; 1995, cc. 683, 685, 830; 1997, cc. 587, 691; 2001, c. 505; 2003, c. 796; 2004, c. 273; 2005, cc. 148, 366; 2006, c. 679; 2009, c. 245; 2010, c. 343; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 15.2-1716.1. Reimbursement of expenses incurred in responding to terrorism hoax incident, bomb threat, or malicious activation of fire alarm.

Any locality may provide by ordinance that any person who is convicted of a violation of subsection B or C of § 18.2-46.6, a felony violation of § 18.2-83 or 18.2-84, or a violation of § 18.2-212, when his violation of such section is the proximate cause of any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, shall be liable at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action to the locality or to any volunteer emergency medical services agency, or both, which may provide such emergency response for the reasonable expense thereof, in an amount not to exceed $2,500 in the aggregate for a particular incident occurring in such locality. In determining the "reasonable expense," a locality may bill a flat fee of $250 or a minute-by-minute accounting of the actual costs incurred. As used in this section, "appropriate emergency response" includes all costs of providing law-enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services. The provisions of this section shall not preempt or limit any remedy available to the Commonwealth, to the locality, or to any volunteer emergency medical services agency to recover the reasonable expenses of an emergency response to an incident not involving a terroristic hoax or an act undertaken in violation of § 18.2-83, 18.2-84, or 18.2-212 as set forth herein.

2002, cc. 588, 623; 2005, c. 479; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2016, c. 213; 2017, cc. 98, 519.

§ 15.2-1716.2. Methamphetamine lab cleanup costs; localities may charge for reimbursement.

Any locality may provide by ordinance that any person who is convicted of an offense for manufacture of methamphetamine pursuant to § 18.2-248 or 18.2-248.03 shall be liable at the time of sentencing or in a separate civil action to the locality or to any other law-enforcement entity for the expense in cleaning up any methamphetamine lab related to the conviction. The amount charged shall not exceed the actual expenses associated with cleanup, removal, or repair of the affected property or the replacement cost of personal protective equipment used.

2012, cc. 517, 616.

§ 15.2-1717. Preventing interference with pupils at schools.

Localities may adopt any reasonable ordinance necessary to prevent any improper interference with or annoyance of the pupils attending or boarding at any schools situated in such locality.

Code 1950, § 15-558; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-139; 1973, c. 401; 1984, c. 661; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1717.1. Designation of police to enforce trespass violations.

Any locality may by ordinance establish a procedure whereby the owner, lessee, custodian, or person lawfully in charge as those terms are used in § 18.2-119, of real property may designate the local law-enforcement agency as a "person lawfully in charge of the property" for the purpose of forbidding another to go or remain upon the lands, buildings or premises as specified in the designation. The ordinance shall require that any such designation be in writing and on file with the local law-enforcement agency.

1999, c. 275; 2002, c. 328.

§ 15.2-1718. Receipt of missing child reports.

No police or sheriff's department shall establish or maintain any policy which requires the observance of any waiting period before accepting a missing child report as defined in § 52-32. Upon receipt of a missing child report by any police or sheriff's department, the department shall immediately, but in all cases within two hours of receiving the report, enter identifying and descriptive data about the child into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center Systems, forward the report to the Missing Children Information Clearinghouse within the Department of State Police, notify all other law-enforcement agencies in the area, and initiate an investigation of the case.

1985, c. 259, § 15.1-131.9; 1990, c. 239; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 248, 443.

§ 15.2-1718.1. Receipt of missing senior adult reports.

A. No police or sheriff's department shall establish or maintain any policy which requires the observance of any waiting period before accepting a missing senior adult report. Upon receipt of a missing senior adult report by any police or sheriff's department, the department shall immediately, but in all cases within two hours of receiving the report, enter identifying and descriptive data about the senior adult into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center Systems, forward the report to the Department of State Police, notify all other law-enforcement agencies in the area, and initiate an investigation of the case.

B. For purposes of this section:

"Missing senior adult report" means a report prepared in a format prescribed by the Superintendent of State Police for use by law-enforcement agencies to report missing senior adult information and photograph to the Department of State Police.

2007, cc. 486, 723.

§ 15.2-1718.2. Receipt of critically missing adult reports.

A. No police or sheriff's department shall establish or maintain any policy that requires the observance of any waiting period before accepting a critically missing adult report. Upon receipt of a critically missing adult report by any police or sheriff's department, the department shall immediately, but in all cases within two hours of receiving the report, enter identifying and descriptive data about the critically missing adult into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center Systems, forward the report to the Department of State Police, notify all other law-enforcement agencies in the area, and initiate an investigation of the case.

B. For purposes of this section:

"Critically missing adult" means any missing adult 21 years of age or older whose disappearance indicates a credible threat to the health and safety of the adult as determined by a law-enforcement agency and under such other circumstances as deemed appropriate after consideration of all known circumstances.

"Critically missing adult report" means a report prepared in a format prescribed by the Superintendent of State Police for use by law-enforcement agencies to report critically missing adult information, including a photograph, to the Department of State Police.

2015, cc. 205, 223.

§ 15.2-1719. Disposal of unclaimed property in possession of sheriff or police.

Any locality may provide by ordinance for (i) the public sale in accordance with the provisions of this section or (ii) the retention for use by the law-enforcement agency, of any unclaimed personal property which has been in the possession of its law-enforcement agencies and unclaimed for a period of more than 60 days, after payment of a reasonable storage fee to the sheriff or other agency storing such property. No storage fee shall be charged or accounted for if such property has been stored by and is to be retained by the sheriff's office or other law-enforcement agency. As used herein, "unclaimed personal property" shall be any personal property belonging to another which has been acquired by a law-enforcement officer pursuant to his duties, which is not needed in any criminal prosecution, which has not been claimed by its rightful owner and which the State Treasurer has indicated will be declined if remitted under the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (§ 55-210.1 et seq.). Unclaimed bicycles and mopeds may also be disposed of in accordance with § 15.2-1720. Unclaimed firearms may also be disposed of in accordance with § 15.2-1721.

Prior to the sale or retention for use by the law-enforcement agency of any unclaimed item, the chief of police, sheriff or their duly authorized agents shall make reasonable attempts to notify the rightful owner of the property, obtain from the attorney for the Commonwealth in writing a statement advising that the item is not needed in any criminal prosecution, and cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality once a week for two successive weeks, notice that there will be a public display and sale of unclaimed personal property. Such property, including property selected for retention by the law-enforcement agency, shall be described generally in the notice, together with the date, time and place of the sale and shall be made available for public viewing at the sale. The chief of police, sheriff or their duly authorized agents shall pay from the proceeds of sale the costs of advertisement, removal, storage, investigation as to ownership and liens, and notice of sale. The balance of the funds shall be held by such officer for the owner and paid to the owner upon satisfactory proof of ownership. Any unclaimed item retained for use by the law-enforcement agency shall become the property of the locality served by the agency and shall be retained only if, in the opinion of the chief law-enforcement officer, there is a legitimate use for the property by the agency and that retention of the item is a more economical alternative than purchase of a similar or equivalent item.

If no claim has been made by the owner for the property or proceeds of such sale within 60 days of the sale, the remaining funds shall be deposited in the general fund of the locality and the retained property may be placed into use by the law-enforcement agency. Any such owner shall be entitled to apply to the locality within three years from the date of the sale and, if timely application is made therefor and satisfactory proof of ownership of the funds or property is made, the locality shall pay the remaining proceeds of the sale or return the property to the owner without interest or other charges or compensation. No claim shall be made nor any suit, action or proceeding be instituted for the recovery of such funds or property after three years from the date of the sale.

1982, c. 163, § 15.1-133.01; 1994, c. 144; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 333.

§ 15.2-1720. Localities authorized to license bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, and electric personal assistive mobility devices; disposition of unclaimed bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, and electric personal assistive mobility devices.

Any locality may, by ordinance, (i) provide for the public sale or donation to a charitable organization of any bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped that has been in the possession of the police or sheriff's department, unclaimed, for more than thirty days; (ii) require every resident owner of a bicycle, electric power-assisted bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or moped to obtain a license therefor and a license plate, tag, or adhesive license decal of such design and material as the ordinance may prescribe, to be substantially attached to the bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped; (iii) prescribe the license fee, the license application forms and the license form; and (iv) prescribe penalties for operating a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on public roads or streets within the locality without an attached license plate, tag, or adhesive decal. The ordinance shall require the license plates, tags, or adhesive decals to be provided by and at the cost of the locality. Any locality may provide that the license plates, tags, or adhesive decals shall be valid for the life of the bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds to which they are attached or for such other period as it may prescribe and may prescribe such fee therefor as it may deem reasonable. When any town license is required as provided for herein, the license shall be in lieu of any license required by any county ordinance. Any bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped found and delivered to the police or sheriff's department by a private person that thereafter remains unclaimed for thirty days after the final date of publication as required herein may be given to the finder; however, the location and description of the bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped shall be published at least once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the locality. In addition, if there is a license, tag, or adhesive license decal affixed to the bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped, the record owner shall be notified directly.

Code 1950, § 15-554; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-133; 1968, c. 24; 1970, c. 285; 1975, c. 76; 1986, c. 52; 1994, c. 449; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c. 254; 2013, c. 783.

§ 15.2-1721. Disposal of unclaimed firearms or other weapons in possession of sheriff or police.

Any locality may destroy unclaimed firearms and other weapons which have been in the possession of law-enforcement agencies for a period of more than 120 days. For the purposes of this section, "unclaimed firearms and other weapons" means any firearm or other weapon belonging to another which has been acquired by a law-enforcement officer pursuant to his duties, which is not needed in any criminal prosecution, which has not been claimed by its rightful owner and which the State Treasurer has indicated will be declined if remitted under the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (§ 55-210.1 et seq.).

At the discretion of the chief of police, sheriff, or their duly authorized agents, unclaimed firearms and other weapons may be destroyed by any means which renders the firearms and other weapons permanently inoperable. Prior to the destruction of such firearms and other weapons, the chief of police, sheriff, or their duly authorized agents shall comply with the notice provision contained in § 15.2-1719.

In lieu of destroying any such unclaimed firearm, the locality may donate the firearm to the Department of Forensic Science, upon agreement of the Department.

1990, c. 324, § 15.1-133.01:1; 1997, c. 587; 2015, c. 220.

§ 15.2-1722. Certain records to be kept by sheriffs and chiefs of police.

A. It shall be the duty of the sheriff or chief of police of every locality to insure, in addition to other records required by law, the maintenance of adequate personnel, arrest, investigative, reportable incidents, and noncriminal incidents records necessary for the efficient operation of a law-enforcement agency. Failure of a sheriff or a chief of police to maintain such records or failure to relinquish such records to his successor in office shall constitute a misdemeanor. Former sheriffs or chiefs of police shall be allowed access to such files for preparation of a defense in any suit or action arising from the performance of their official duties as sheriff or chief of police. The enforcement of this section shall be the duty of the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city wherein the violation occurs.

B. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

"Arrest records" means a compilation of information, centrally maintained in law-enforcement custody, of any arrest or temporary detention of an individual, including the identity of the person arrested or detained, the nature of the arrest or detention, and the charge, if any.

"Investigative records" means the reports of any systematic inquiries or examinations into criminal or suspected criminal acts which have been committed, are being committed, or are about to be committed.

"Noncriminal incidents records" means compilations of noncriminal occurrences of general interest to law-enforcement agencies, such as missing persons, lost and found property, suicides and accidental deaths.

"Personnel records" means those records maintained on each and every individual employed by a law-enforcement agency which reflect personal data concerning the employee's age, length of service, amount of training, education, compensation level, and other pertinent personal information.

"Reportable incidents records" means a compilation of complaints received by a law-enforcement agency and action taken by the agency in response thereto.

1975, c. 290, § 15.1-135.1; 1979, c. 686; 1981, c. 284; 1997, c. 587; 1999, cc. 703, 726.

§ 15.2-1723. Validation of certain police forces.

Any police force in existence on July 1, 1980, whose existence is authorized or was authorized by any provision of law, general or special, that was repealed by Chapter 333 of the Acts of Assembly of 1979 is hereby validated and shall continue. Any police force in existence on December 1, 1996, whose existence is authorized or was authorized by any provision of law, general or special, that is repealed by this act is hereby validated and shall continue.

1979, c. 333, § 15.1-142.2; 1983, c. 576; 1997, c. 587.

Article 2. Interjurisdictional Law-Enforcement Authority and Agreements.

§ 15.2-1724. Police and other officers may be sent beyond territorial limits.

Whenever the necessity arises (i) for the enforcement of laws designed to control or prohibit the use or sale of controlled drugs as defined in § 54.1-3401 or laws contained in Article 3 (§ 18.2-47 et seq.) of Chapter 4 or Article 3 (§ 18.2-344 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2, (ii) in response to any law-enforcement emergency involving any immediate threat to life or public safety, (iii) during the execution of the provisions of Article 4 (§ 37.2-808 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 37.2 or § 16.1-340 or 16.1-340.1 relating to orders for temporary detention or emergency custody for mental health evaluation or (iv) during any emergency resulting from the existence of a state of war, internal disorder, or fire, flood, epidemic or other public disaster, the police officers and other officers, agents and employees of any locality, the police officers of the Division of Capitol Police, and the police of any state-supported institution of higher learning appointed pursuant to subsection B of § 23.1-812 may, together with all necessary equipment, lawfully go or be sent beyond the territorial limits of such locality, such agency, or such state-supported institution of higher learning to any point within or without the Commonwealth to assist in meeting such emergency or need, or while enroute to a part of the jurisdiction which is only accessible by roads outside the jurisdiction. However, the police of any state-supported institution of higher learning may be sent only to a locality within the Commonwealth, or locality outside the Commonwealth, whose boundaries are contiguous with the locality in which such institution is located. No member of a police force of any state-supported institution of higher learning shall be sent beyond the territorial limits of the locality in which such institution is located unless such member has met the requirements established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services as provided in clause (i) of subdivision 2 of § 9.1-102.

In such event the acts performed for such purpose by such police officers or other officers, agents or employees and the expenditures made for such purpose by such locality, such agency, or a state-supported institution of higher learning shall be deemed conclusively to be for a public and governmental purpose, and all of the immunities from liability enjoyed by a locality, agency, or a state-supported institution of higher learning when acting through its police officers or other officers, agents or employees for a public or governmental purpose within its territorial limits shall be enjoyed by it to the same extent when such locality, agency, or a state-supported institution of higher learning within the Commonwealth is so acting, under this section or under other lawful authority, beyond its territorial limits.

The police officers and other officers, agents and employees of any locality, agency, or a state-supported institution of higher learning when acting hereunder or under other lawful authority beyond the territorial limits of such locality, agency, or such state-supported institution of higher learning shall have all of the immunities from liability and exemptions from laws, ordinances and regulations and shall have all of the pension, relief, disability, workers' compensation and other benefits enjoyed by them while performing their respective duties within the territorial limits of such locality, agency, or such state-supported institution of higher learning.

Code 1950, § 15-552; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-131; 1968, c. 800; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 238; 1976, c. 457; 1977, c. 79; 1979, c. 503; 1984, c. 779; 1992, c. 566; 1993, c. 860; 1995, c. 844; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 437; 2010, cc. 778, 825; 2013, c. 428.

§ 15.2-1725. Extending police power of localities over lands lying beyond boundaries thereof; jurisdiction of courts.

Any locality owning and operating an airport, public hospital, sanitarium, nursing home, public water supply or watershed, public park, recreational area, sewage disposal plant or system, public landing, dock, wharf or canal, public school, public utility, public buildings and other public property located beyond the limits of the locality shall have and may exercise full police power over the property, and over persons using the property, and may, by ordinance, prescribe rules for the operation and use of the property and for the conduct of all persons using the property and may, further, provide penalties for the violation of such rules contained in an ordinance; such penalties, however, shall not exceed those provided by general law for misdemeanors. However, no ordinances in conflict with an ordinance of the jurisdiction wherein the property is located shall be enacted.

Any locality which maintains or operates in whole or in part any property enumerated in this section may lawfully send its law-enforcement officers to the property owned beyond the limits of the locality for the purpose of protecting the property, keeping order therein, or otherwise enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth and ordinances of the locality owning the property as such laws and ordinances may relate to the operation and use thereof. The law-enforcement officer shall have power to make an arrest for a violation of any law or ordinance relating to the operation and use of the property. The district court in the city or town where the offense occurs shall have jurisdiction of all cases arising therein, and the district court of the county where the offense occurs shall have jurisdiction of all cases arising therein.

It shall be the duty of the attorney for the Commonwealth for the locality wherein the offense occurs to prosecute all violators of the ordinances of the locality that pertain to the operation and use of the property enumerated in this section.

Code 1950, § 15-560.1; 1952, c. 382; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-142; 1979, c. 333; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1725.1. Concurrent jurisdiction; limitations.

For the purposes of local public safety regulatory authority and enforcement, the territorial limits of the City of Virginia Beach shall extend from its coastal shorelines, the coastal shorelines of Camp Pendleton, the coastal shorelines of First Landing State Park, and the coastal shorelines of False Cape State Park in a perpendicular direction for three miles into the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay waters. This territorial jurisdiction shall be concurrent with the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth. No ordinance enacted under this authority shall conflict with the laws or regulations promulgated by the Commonwealth or any of its agencies. This authority shall not extend to the regulatory authority held by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission as provided in § 28.2-101.

2012, c. 809.

§ 15.2-1726. Agreements for consolidation of police departments or for cooperation in furnishing police services.

Any locality may, in its discretion, enter into a reciprocal agreement with any other locality, any agency of the federal government exercising police powers, the police of any state-supported institution of higher learning appointed pursuant to subsection B of § 23.1-812, the Division of Capitol Police, any private police department certified by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, or any combination of the foregoing, for such periods and under such conditions as the contracting parties deem advisable, for cooperation in the furnishing of police services. Such agreements may include designation of mutually agreed-upon boundary lines between contiguous localities for purposes of organizing 911 dispatch and response and clarifying issues related to coverage under workers' compensation and risk management laws. Such agreements may also include provisions allowing for the loan of unmarked police vehicles. Such localities also may enter into an agreement for the cooperation in the furnishing of police services with the Department of State Police. The governing body of any locality also may, in its discretion, enter into a reciprocal agreement with any other locality, or combination thereof, for the consolidation of police departments or divisions or departments thereof. Subject to the conditions of the agreement, all police officers, officers, agents and other employees of such consolidated or cooperating police departments shall have the same powers, rights, benefits, privileges and immunities in every jurisdiction subscribing to such agreement, including the authority to make arrests in every such jurisdiction subscribing to the agreement; however, no police officer of any locality shall have authority to enforce federal laws unless specifically empowered to do so by statute, and no federal law-enforcement officer shall have authority to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth unless specifically empowered to do so by statute.

The governing body of a county also may enter into a tripartite contract with the governing body of any town, one or more, in such county and the sheriff for such county for the purpose of having the sheriff furnish law-enforcement services in the town. The contract shall be structured as a service contract and may have such other terms and conditions as the contracting parties deem advisable. The sheriff and any deputy sheriff serving as a town law-enforcement officer shall have authority to enforce such town's ordinances. Likewise, subject to the conditions of the contract, the sheriff and deputy sheriffs while serving as a town's law-enforcement officers shall have the same powers, rights, benefits, privileges and immunities as those of regular town police officers. The sheriff under any such contract shall be the town's chief of police.

1970, c. 271, § 15.1-131.3; 1978, c. 9; 1984, c. 622; 1989, c. 294; 1994, c. 268; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 437; 2013, cc. 250, 472, 594, 775; 2014, c. 581.

§ 15.2-1727. Reciprocal agreements with localities outside the Commonwealth.

A locality, public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth, or private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth may, in its discretion, enter into reciprocal agreements for such periods as it deems advisable with any locality outside the Commonwealth, including the District of Columbia, in order to establish and carry into effect a plan to provide mutual aid through the furnishing of its police and other employees and agents, together with all necessary equipment, in the event of such need or emergency as provided herein. No public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth or private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth shall enter into such agreement unless the agreement provides that each of the parties to such agreement shall: (i) waive any and all claims against all the other parties thereto which may arise out of their activities outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement and (ii) indemnify and save harmless the other parties to such agreement from all claims by third parties for property damage or personal injury which may arise out of the activities of the other parties to such agreement outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement. Parties responding to a reciprocal agreement for mutual aid between localities shall be liable to third parties only to the extent permitted under and in accordance with the laws of the state of the party rendering aid.

The principal law-enforcement officer in any locality or of any public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth or private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth having a reciprocal agreement with a jurisdiction outside the Commonwealth for police mutual aid under the provisions hereof shall be responsible for directing the activities of all police officers and other officers and agents coming into his jurisdiction under the reciprocal agreement. While operating under the terms of the reciprocal agreement, the principal law-enforcement officer is empowered to authorize all police officers and other officers and agents from outside the Commonwealth to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth to the same extent as if they were duly authorized law-enforcement officers of the locality or a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth or private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth.

The governing body of any locality, public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth, or private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth is authorized to procure or extend the necessary public liability insurance to cover claims arising out of mutual aid agreements executed with other localities outside the Commonwealth.

The police officers, and other officers, agents and employees of a locality, public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth, or private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth serving in a jurisdiction outside the Commonwealth under a reciprocal agreement entered into pursuant hereto are authorized to carry out the duties and functions provided for in the agreement under the command and supervision of the chief law-enforcement officer of the jurisdiction outside the Commonwealth.

In counties where no police department has been established and the sheriff is the chief law-enforcement officer, the sheriff may enter into mutual aid agreements and furnish and receive such assistance as provided by this section. Sheriffs and their deputies providing assistance pursuant to such a mutual aid agreement shall enjoy all of the authority, immunities and benefits as provided herein for police officers, including full police powers.

Code 1950, § 15-552; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-131; 1968, c. 800; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 238; 1976, c. 457; 1977, c. 79; 1979, c. 503; 1984, c. 779; 1992, c. 566; 1993, c. 860; 1995, c. 844; 1997, cc. 587, 638, 668; 2004, c. 769; 2007, c. 724.

§ 15.2-1728. Mutual aid agreements between police departments and federal authorities.

In any case where exclusive jurisdiction over any property or territory has been granted by the Commonwealth to the United States government, or to a department or agency thereof, the governing body of any contiguous locality or the Division of Capitol Police may enter into a mutual aid agreement with the appropriate federal authorities to authorize police cooperation and assistance within such property or territory. Subject to the conditions of any such agreement, all police officers and agents of the contracting governing body or agency shall have the same powers, rights, benefits, privileges and immunities while acting in the performance of their duties on the property or territory under federal authority as are lawfully conferred upon them within their own jurisdictions.

1987, c. 33, § 15.1-131.10; 1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 437.

§ 15.2-1729. Agreements for enforcement of state and county laws by federal officers on federal property.

A. The governing body of any county may enter into an agreement with the United States government or a department or agency thereof, under the terms of which agreement law-enforcement officers employed by such government, including but not limited to members of the United States Park Police, may enforce the laws of such county and the Commonwealth on federally owned properties within such county, and on the highways located therein and other public places abutting such properties. In the event such an agreement is entered into, all of the provisions of §§ 15.2-1724 and 15.2-1727 shall be applicable, mutatis mutandis.

B. The governing body of any county governed under the provisions of Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) of Title 15.2 may enter into an agreement with the United States government or a department or agency thereof, under the terms of which agreement law-enforcement officers employed by such government, including but not limited to members of the United States Park Police, may enforce the laws of such county and the Commonwealth on federally owned properties within such county, and on the highways and other public places abutting such properties. In the event such an agreement is entered into, all of the provisions of §§ 15.2-1724 and 15.2-1727 shall be applicable, mutatis mutandis.

1972, c. 743, § 15.1-131.4; 1997, cc. 537, 587.

§ 15.2-1730. Calling upon law-enforcement officers of counties, cities or towns for assistance.

In case of an emergency declared by the chief law-enforcement officer of a locality, such officer may call upon the chief law-enforcement officer of towns within his county and the chief law-enforcement officer of an adjoining county or city, or towns in adjoining counties for assistance from him or his deputies or other police officers, without the necessity for deputizing such deputies or officers. Such deputies or officers shall have full police powers in such locality as are conferred upon them by law during the period of such emergency.

1974, c. 633, § 15.1-131.5; 1976, c. 206; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1730.1. Authority and immunity of sheriffs and deputies.

In counties where no police department has been established and the sheriff is the chief law-enforcement officer, the sheriff may enter into agreements with any other governmental entity providing law-enforcement services in the Commonwealth, and may furnish and receive interjurisdictional law-enforcement assistance for all law-enforcement purposes, including those described in this chapter, and for purposes of Chapter 3.2 (§ 44-146.13 et seq.) of Title 44. Sheriffs and their deputies, providing or receiving such assistance, shall have all the authority, benefits, immunity from liability and exemptions from laws, ordinances and regulations as officers acting within their own jurisdictions.

1999, c. 352.

Article 3. Auxiliary Police Forces in Localities.

§ 15.2-1731. Establishment, etc., authorized; powers, authority and immunities generally.

A. Localities, for the further preservation of the public peace, safety, and good order of the community, may establish, equip, and maintain auxiliary police forces that have all the powers and authority and all the immunities of full-time law-enforcement officers, if all such forces have met the training requirements established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services under § 9.1-102.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an auxiliary officer shall be exempted from any initial training requirement established under § 9.1-102 until a date one year subsequent to the approval by the Criminal Justice Services Board of compulsory minimum training standards for auxiliary police officers, except that (i) any such officer shall not be permitted to carry or use a firearm while serving as an auxiliary police officer unless such officer has met the firearms training requirements established in accordance with in-service training standards for law-enforcement officers as prescribed by the Criminal Justice Services Board, and (ii) any such officer shall have one year following the approval by the Board to comply with the compulsory minimum training standards.

1968, c. 157, § 15.1-159.2; 1987, c. 421; 1988, c. 864; 1997, c. 587; 2012, c. 827.

§ 15.2-1732. Appropriations for equipment and maintenance.

Localities may make such appropriations as may be necessary to arm, equip, uniform and maintain such auxiliary police force.

1968, c. 157, § 15.1-159.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1733. Appointment of auxiliary police officers; revocation of appointment; uniform; organization; rules and regulations.

The governing body of the locality may appoint or provide for the appointment as auxiliary police officers as many persons of good character as it deems necessary, not to exceed the number fixed by ordinance adopted by the governing body, and their appointment shall be revocable at any time by the governing body. The governing body may prescribe the uniform, organization, and such rules as it deems necessary for the operation of the auxiliary police force.

1968, c. 157, § 15.1-159.4; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1734. Calling auxiliary police officers into service; police officers performing service to wear uniform; exception.

A. A locality may call into service or provide for calling into service such auxiliary police officers as may be deemed necessary (i) in time of public emergency, (ii) at such times as there are insufficient numbers of regular police officers to preserve the peace, safety and good order of the community, or (iii) at any time for the purpose of training such auxiliary police officers. At all times when performing such service, the members of the auxiliary police force shall wear the uniform prescribed by the governing body.

B. Members of any auxiliary police force who have been trained in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-1731 may be called into service by the chief of police of any locality to aid and assist regular police officers in the performance of their duties.

C. When the duties of an auxiliary police officer are such that the wearing of the prescribed uniform would adversely limit the effectiveness of the auxiliary police officer's ability to perform his prescribed duties, then clothing appropriate for the duties to be performed may be required by the chief of police.

1968, c. 157, § 15.1-159.5; 1987, c. 421; 1988, c. 190; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1735. Acting beyond limits of jurisdiction of locality.

The members of any such auxiliary police force shall not be required to act beyond the limits of the jurisdiction of any such locality except when called upon to protect any public property belonging to the locality which may be located beyond its boundaries, or as provided in § 15.2-1736.

1968, c. 157, § 15.1-159.6; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1736. Mutual aid agreements among governing bodies of localities.

The governing bodies of localities, institutions of higher learning having a police force appointed pursuant to subsection B of § 23.1-812, and institutions of higher education having a private police force, as well as sheriffs, and the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation with commissioned conservation officers, or any combination thereof may, by proper resolutions, enter in and become a party to contracts or mutual aid agreements for the use of their joint forces, both regular and auxiliary, their equipment and materials to maintain peace and good order. However, no such institution of higher learning shall enter into such agreement with another institution of higher education in a noncontiguous locality without the consent of all localities within which such institutions are located. Any police or other law-enforcement officer, regular or auxiliary, while performing his duty under any such contract or agreement, shall have the same authority in such locality as he has within the locality where he was appointed.

In counties where no police department has been established, the sheriff may, in his discretion, enter into mutual aid agreements as provided by this section.

1968, c. 157, § 15.1-159.7; 1987, c. 421; 1994, c. 268; 1997, cc. 587, 604; 2002, cc. 684, 709, 876; 2005, c. 87; 2006, c. 286; 2009, cc. 461, 609; 2010, c. 523.

Article 4. Special Police Officers in Localities.

§ 15.2-1737. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2014, c. 543, cl. 2.

Article 5. Criminal Justice Training Academies.

§ 15.2-1747. Creation of academies.

A. The governing bodies of two or more localities or other political subdivisions or other public bodies hereinafter collectively referred to as "governmental units," may by ordinance or resolution enter into an agreement which creates a regional criminal justice academy under an appropriate name and title containing the words "criminal justice academy" or "criminal justice training academy" which shall be a public body politic and corporate. Any regional criminal justice training academy created under this article shall also be subject to the requirements of § 9.1-102.

B. The agreement shall set forth (i) the name of the academy, (ii) the governmental subdivision in which its principal office shall be situated, (iii) the effective date of the organization of the academy and the duration of the agreement, (iv) the composition of the board of directors of the academy which may include representation of each locality, political subdivision or governmental entity party to the agreement, the members of which shall be the governing body of the academy, (v) the method for selection and the terms of office of the board of directors, (vi) the voting rights of the directors which need not be equal, (vii) the procedure for amendment of the agreement, and (viii) such other matters as the governmental units creating the academy deem appropriate. Sheriffs and members of the governing bodies of the governmental units as well as other public officials or employees may be members of the board of directors.

C. Any governmental unit not a party to an original agreement creating an academy under this section or § 15.2-1300 may join the academy only by two-thirds vote of the board of directors of the academy. The governing body of the governmental unit seeking to join the academy shall request membership by resolution or ordinance. The board of directors shall provide for the addition of the joining governmental unit to the academy and the number, terms of office, and voting rights of members of the board of directors, if any, to be appointed by the joining governmental unit.

D. A governmental unit may withdraw from an academy created under this section or § 15.2-1300 only by two-thirds vote of the board of directors of the academy. The governing body of the governmental unit seeking to withdraw from the academy shall signify its desire by resolution or ordinance. The board of directors shall consider requests to withdraw in October 2001, and in October of every fifth year thereafter. No requests to withdraw shall be considered at any other time, unless agreed to unanimously. Any withdrawal approved by the board of directors shall be effective on June 30 of the following year. The board of directors shall provide for the conditions of withdrawal.

D1. The Division of Capitol Police may become a party to an agreement creating an academy or may join an existing academy. The Chief of the Capitol Police is authorized to enter into such agreement as necessary to join an academy. The chief or his designee may serve as a member of the board of directors of such academy, and in accordance with the bylaws of the academy, may serve as a member of the executive committee or other committee of the academy.

E. The chairman of the academy board shall serve as a member and as the chairman of an executive committee. The composition of the remaining membership of the executive committee, the term of office of its members and any alternate members, procedures for the conduct of its meetings, and any limitations upon the general authority of the executive committee shall be established in the bylaws of the academy. The bylaws shall also establish any other special standing committees, advisory, technical or otherwise, as the board of directors shall deem desirable for the transaction of its affairs.

1993, c. 935, § 15.1-159.7:1; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 772; 2002, c. 350; 2010, c. 516.

§ 15.2-1748. Powers of the academies.

A. Upon organization of an academy, it shall be a public body corporate and politic, the purposes of which shall be to establish and conduct training for public law-enforcement and correctional officers, those being trained to be public law-enforcement and correctional officers, other personnel who assist or support such officers, and those persons seeking appointments as special conservators of the peace pursuant to § 19.2-13. The persons trained by an academy need not be employed by a locality that has joined in the agreement creating the academy.

B. Criminal justice training academies may:

1. Adopt and have a common seal and alter that seal at the pleasure of the board of directors;

2. Sue and be sued;

3. Adopt bylaws and make rules and regulations for the conduct of its business;

4. Make and enter into all contracts or agreements, as it may determine are necessary, incidental or convenient to the performance of its duties and to the execution of the powers granted under this article;

5. Apply for and accept, disburse and administer for itself or for a member governmental unit any loans or grants of money, materials or property from any private or charitable source, the United States of America, the Commonwealth, any agency or instrumentality thereof, or from any other source;

6. Employ engineers, attorneys, planners and such other professional experts or consultants, and general and clerical employees as may be deemed necessary and prescribe such experts, consultants, and employees' powers, duties, and compensation;

7. Perform any acts authorized under this article through or by means of its own officers, agents and employees, or by contracts with any person, firm or corporation;

8. Acquire, whether by purchase, exchange, gift, lease or otherwise, any interest in real or personal property, and improve, maintain, equip and furnish academy facilities;

9. Lease, sell, exchange, donate and convey any interest in any or all of its projects, property or facilities in furtherance of the purposes of the academy as set forth in this article;

10. Accept contributions, grants and other financial assistance from the United States of America and its agencies or instrumentalities thereof, the Commonwealth, any political subdivision, agency or public instrumentality thereof or from any other source, for or in aid of the construction, acquisition, ownership, maintenance or repair of the academy facilities, for the payment of principal of, or interest on, any bond of the academy, or other costs incident thereto, or make loans in furtherance of the purposes of this article of such money, contributions, grants, and other financial assistance, and comply with such conditions and to execute such agreements, trust indentures, and other legal instruments as may be necessary, convenient or desirable and agree to such terms and conditions as may be imposed;

11. Borrow money from any source for capital purposes or to cover current expenditures in any given year in anticipation of the collection of revenues;

12. Mortgage and pledge any or all of its projects, property or facilities or parts thereof and pledge the revenues therefrom or from any part thereof as security for the payment of principal and premium, if any, and interest on any bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness;

13. Create an executive committee which may exercise the powers and authority of the academy under this article pursuant to authority delegated to it by the board of directors;

14. Establish fees or other charges for the training services provided;

15. Exercise the powers granted in the agreement creating the academy; and

16. Execute any and all instruments and do and perform any and all acts necessary, convenient or desirable for its purposes or to carry out the powers expressly given in this article.

1993, c. 935, § 15.1-159.7:2; 1997, c. 587; 2015, cc. 766, 772.

§ 15.2-1749. Revenue bonds.

A. Each academy is hereby authorized, after a resolution adopted by a majority of its board of directors, to issue, at one time or from time to time, revenue bonds of the academy on a taxable or tax-exempt basis for the purpose of acquiring, purchasing, constructing, reconstructing, or improving training facilities and acquiring necessary land or equipment therefor, and to refund any bonds issued for such purposes. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall mature at such time or times not exceeding forty years from their issue date or dates and shall bear interest at such fixed or variable rate or rates as may be determined by the board of directors, and may be made redeemable before maturity at the option of the board of directors at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the authority prior to the issuance of the bonds. The board of directors shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and the manner of execution of the bonds, and shall affix the denomination or denominations of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or outside the Commonwealth. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons ceases to be such officer before the delivery of such bonds, such signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if he had remained in office until such delivery. Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this article or any recitals in any bonds issued under the provisions of this article, all such bonds shall be deemed to be negotiable instruments under the laws of this Commonwealth. The bonds may be issued in coupon or registered form or both, as the board of directors may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, and for the reconversion into coupon bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest. The board of directors may sell such bonds in such manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interests of the academy.

B. The resolution providing for the issuance of revenue bonds, and any trust agreement securing such bonds, may also contain such limitations upon the issuance of additional revenue bonds as the board of directors may deem proper and such additional bonds as shall be issued under such restriction and limitations as may be prescribed by such resolution or trust agreement.

C. Bonds may be issued under the provisions of this article without obtaining the consent of any commission, board, bureau, or agency of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision and without any other proceedings or conditions as are specifically required by this article.

D. Bonds issued under the provisions of this article shall not be deemed to constitute a debt of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision thereof or a pledge of the faith and credit of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision thereof. The bonds shall be payable solely from revenues or other property of the academy specifically pledged for such purpose.

E. "Bonds" or "revenue bonds" as used in this article shall embrace notes, bonds and other obligations authorized to be issued pursuant to this article.

1993, c. 935, § 15.1-159.7:3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1750. Governmental units authorized to appropriate or lend funds.

The governmental units which are parties of the agreement creating the academy or which arrange to have personnel trained at the academy are authorized to appropriate or lend funds; pay fees or charges for services; convey by sale, lease or gift real or personal property, or any interest therein; provide services to the academy; or enter into such other contracts with the academy as may be appropriate to carry out any other power granted to those localities or the academy.

1993, c. 935, § 15.1-159.7:4; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1751. Exemption from taxation.

Any academy created under the provisions of this article shall not be required to pay taxes or assessments upon any project or upon any property acquired or used by it or upon the income therefrom and income derived from bonds shall be exempt at all times from every kind and nature of taxation by this Commonwealth or by any of its political subdivisions, municipal corporations, or public agencies of any kind.

1993, c. 935, § 15.1-159.7:5; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1752. Governmental immunity.

Any academy created pursuant to this article shall be deemed to be a governmental entity exercising essential governmental powers. Any such academy; its directors, officers, and employees; and any person serving as a trainer at the academy who is certified by the Department of Criminal Justice Services or any person who is a criminal justice academy approved instructor shall be entitled to immunity in any civil action or proceeding for damages or injury to any person or property of any person to the same extent that counties and their officers and employees are immune. Members of the board of directors of the academy shall have the same immunity as members of county boards of supervisors.

1993, c. 935, § 15.1-159.7:6; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 66, 99.

§ 15.2-1753. Liability of board members.

No member of the board of directors of an academy shall be personally liable for any indebtedness, obligation or other liability of an academy, barring willful misconduct.

1993, c. 935, § 15.1-159.7:7; 1997, c. 587.

Chapter 18. Buildings, Monuments and Lands Generally.

Article 1. Purchase, Sale, Etc., of Real Property.

§ 15.2-1800. Purchase, sale, use, etc., of real property.

A. A locality may acquire by purchase, gift, devise, bequest, exchange, lease as lessee, or otherwise, title to, or any interests in, any real property, whether improved or unimproved, within its jurisdiction, for any public use. Acquisition of any interest in real property by condemnation is governed by Chapter 19 (§ 15.2-1901 et seq.). The acquisition of a leasehold or other interest in a telecommunications tower, owned by a nongovernmental source, for the operation of a locality's wireless radio communications systems shall be governed by this chapter.

B. Subject to any applicable requirements of Article VII, Section 9 of the Constitution, any locality may sell, at public or private sale, exchange, lease as lessor, mortgage, pledge, subordinate interest in or otherwise dispose of its real property, which includes the superjacent airspace (except airspace provided for in § 15.2-2030) which may be subdivided and conveyed separate from the subjacent land surface, provided that no such real property, whether improved or unimproved, shall be disposed of until the governing body has held a public hearing concerning such disposal. However, the holding of a public hearing shall not apply to (i) the leasing of real property to another public body, political subdivision or authority of the Commonwealth or (ii) conveyance of site development easements, or utility easements related to transportation projects, across public property, including, but not limited to, easements for ingress, egress, utilities, cable, telecommunications, storm water management, and other similar conveyances, that are consistent with the local capital improvement program, involving improvement of property owned by the locality. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the vacation of public interests in real property under the provisions of Articles 6 (§ 15.2-2240 et seq.) and 7 (§ 15.2-2280 et seq.) of Chapter 22.

C. A city or town may also acquire real property for a public use outside its boundaries; a county may acquire real property for a public use outside its boundaries when expressly authorized by law.

D. A locality may construct, insure, and equip buildings, structures and other improvements on real property owned or leased by it.

E. A locality may operate, maintain, and regulate the use of its real property or may contract with other persons to do so.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, no locality providing access and opportunity to use its real property, whether improved or unimproved, may deny equal access or a fair opportunity to use such real property to, or otherwise discriminate against, the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require any locality to sponsor the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA, or to exempt any such groups from local policies governing access to and use of a locality's real property. The provisions of this paragraph applicable to a locality shall also apply equally to any local governmental entity, including a department, agency, or authority.

F. This section shall not be construed to deprive the resident judge or judges of the right to control the use of the courthouse.

G. "Public use" as used in this section shall have the same meaning as in § 1-219.1.

Code 1950, § 15-692; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-262; 1968, c. 418; 1974, c. 282; 1977, c. 269; 1979, c. 431; 1980, cc. 212, 559; 1984, c. 241; 1986, cc. 477, 573; 1990, c. 813; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 696; 2005, c. 822; 2006, c. 57; 2007, cc. 882, 901, 926; 2017, c. 401.

§ 15.2-1800.1. Tenancy in common with school board for certain property.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 22.1-125 or any other provision of law, whenever a locality has incurred a financial obligation, payable over more than one fiscal year, to fund the acquisition, construction or improvement of public school property, the local governing body of the locality shall be deemed to have acquired title to such school property, as a tenant in common with the local school board, for the term of such financial obligation. Such tenancy in common shall arise by operation of law when such financial obligation is incurred by the local governing body, and shall terminate by operation of law when such financial obligation has been paid in full. Neither the creation nor the termination of this tenancy in common shall require the execution or recordation of any deed of conveyance by either the school board or the governing body. If the school property in question is used by more than one school division, such tenancy in common shall arise and terminate on the same basis in each of the participating localities. Nothing in this section shall alter the authority or responsibility of local school boards to control and regulate the use of the property during the existence of such tenancy in common, nor shall it confer to the local governing body any additional powers over school board decisions relative to school board property, including actions taken pursuant to § 22.1-129 of the Code. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any local governing body may elect not to acquire tenancy in common to some or all of the public school property in its locality, by adopting a resolution declining such tenancy in common for current and future financial obligations.

2002, c. 674.

§ 15.2-1801. Acquisition of real property near parks or other public property.

A locality may acquire pursuant to § 15.2-1800 real property adjoining its parks, land on which its monuments are located, or other land used for public purposes; or real property in the vicinity of such parks, land on which its monuments are located or other public real property, which is used in such manner as to impair the beauty, usefulness or efficiency of such parks, land on which its monuments are located or other public real property. The locality so acquiring any such real property may subsequently dispose of the same, in whole or in part, making such limitations as to the uses thereof as it may see fit.

Code 1950, § 15-703; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-277; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1802. Authority of towns to acquire, lease or sell land for development of business and industry.

A city or county may acquire by contract, with such consideration as is agreed to by the parties, but not by condemnation, land within its boundaries for the development thereon of business and industry. A town may acquire pursuant to § 15.2-1800, but not by condemnation, land within its boundaries or within three miles outside its boundaries, for the development thereon of business and industry. No such land shall be acquired until the governing body has held a public hearing concerning such proposed acquisition. Any land so acquired may be leased or sold at public or private sale to any person, firm or corporation who will locate thereon any business or manufacturing establishment. This section shall constitute the authority for any town to exercise the powers herein conferred notwithstanding any charter provision to the contrary.

If any land so acquired, or any part thereof, is not sold to a person, firm or corporation who will locate thereon any business or manufacturing establishment, and such land is, in the discretion of the governing body, not required for the development thereon of business and industry, the governing body, if deemed proper by it, may dispose of the land so acquired, in whole or in part, making such limitations as to the uses thereof as it may see fit. No such land shall be disposed of until the governing body has held a public hearing concerning such proposed disposal.

Code 1950, § 15-7.2; 1960, c. 545; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-18; 1977, c. 636; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 198; 2012, c. 389.

§ 15.2-1803. Approval and acceptance of conveyances of real estate.

Every deed purporting to convey real estate to a locality shall be in a form approved by the attorney for the locality, or if there is no such attorney, then a qualified attorney-at-law selected by the governing body. No such deed shall be valid unless accepted by the locality, which acceptance shall appear on the face thereof or on a separately recorded instrument and shall be executed by a person authorized to act on behalf of the locality. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any conveyance of real estate to any locality under the provisions of Article 6 (§ 15.2-2240 et seq.) of Chapter 22 or prior to December 1, 1997.

Code 1950, § 15-709.1; 1958, c. 360; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-286; 1968, c. 416; 1977, c. 584; 1980, c. 215; 1984, c. 87; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1804. Building by locality.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, when a locality builds facilities for its own use on real property owned by it but located in another locality's jurisdiction, all building inspections required by law shall be conducted without payment of any fees or costs to the locality within whose boundaries the building occurs; however, the locality within whose boundaries the building occurs may require that such inspections be carried out by the agents of the locality building the facility.

1981, c. 256, § 15.1-33.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1805. Permitting visually handicapped persons to operate stands for sale of newspapers, etc.

A locality, by ordinance or resolution, may authorize any visually handicapped person to construct, maintain and operate, under the supervision of the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, in the county or city courthouse or in any other property of the locality, a stand for the sale of newspapers, periodicals, confections, tobacco products and similar articles and may prescribe rules for the operation of such stand.

Code 1950, § 15-712; 1954, c. 71; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-289; 1997, c. 587.

Article 2. Parks, Recreation Facilities and Playgrounds.

§ 15.2-1806. Parks, recreation facilities, playgrounds, etc.

A. A locality may establish parks, recreation facilities and playgrounds; set apart for such use any land or buildings owned or leased by it; and acquire land, buildings and other facilities pursuant to § 15.2-1800 for the aforesaid purposes.

In regard to its parks, recreation facilities and playgrounds, a locality may:

1. Fix, prescribe, and provide for the collection of fees for their use;

2. Levy and collect an annual tax upon all property in the locality subject to local taxation to pay, in whole or in part, the expenses incident to their maintenance and operation;

3. Operate their use through a department or bureau of recreation or delegate the operation thereof to a recreation board created by it, to a school board, or any other appropriate existing board or commission.

B. A locality may also establish, conduct and regulate a system of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails and may set apart for such use any land or buildings owned or leased by it and may obtain licenses or permits for such use on land not owned or leased by it. A locality may also establish, conduct and regulate a system of trails for all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, or both, as those terms are defined in § 46.2-100, and may set apart for such use any land or buildings owned or leased by it and may obtain licenses, easements, leases, or permits for such use on land not owned or leased by it.

In furtherance of the purposes of this subsection, a locality may provide for the protection of persons whose property interests, or personal liability, may be related to or affected by the use of such trails.

1997, c. 587; 2008, c. 381.

§ 15.2-1807. Recreation, etc., system; petition and election for establishment.

A. Whenever a petition, signed by voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the number of voters registered in the locality on January 1 preceding its filing, is filed with the applicable circuit court, the court shall by order entered of record, in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, require the regular election officials to open the polls and submit to the voters at such election the question of establishing and conducting a system of public recreation and playgrounds and levying a specified annual tax therefor, provided that such tax shall not exceed two cents on each $100 of the assessed valuation of property subject to local taxation.

B. Upon the adoption of such proposition by a majority of the voters voting in the election, the local authorities shall provide for the establishment and conduct of a system of recreation and playgrounds and for the levy and collection of such tax and shall designate the body to be vested with the powers and duties necessary to the conduct thereof.

Code 1950, § 15-700; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-274; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1808. Certain sports facilities.

A locality may provide and operate stadiums and arenas and the lands, structures, equipment and facilities appurtenant thereto; provide for their management and operation by an agency of the locality; contract with others for the operation and management thereof upon such terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the locality; and charge or authorize the charging of compensation for the use of or admission to such stadiums and arenas and their appurtenances.

Code 1950, § 15-77.50; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-886; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1809. Liability of localities in the operation of parks, recreational facilities and playgrounds.

No city or town which operates any park, recreational facility or playground shall be liable in any civil action or proceeding for damages resulting from any injury to the person or from a loss of or damage to the property of any person caused by any act or omission constituting ordinary negligence on the part of any officer or agent of such city or town in the maintenance or operation of any such park, recreational facility or playground. Every such city or town shall, however, be liable in damages for the gross negligence of any of its officers or agents in the maintenance or operation of any such park, recreational facility or playground.

The immunity created by this section is hereby conferred upon counties in addition to, and not limiting on, other immunity existing at common law or by statute.

Code 1950, § 15-714; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-291; 1979, c. 277; 1990, c. 18; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1809.1. Liability of localities for the site of trails for all-terrain vehicles or off-road motorcycles.

A locality which establishes, conducts and regulates a system of trails for all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, or both, as provided in subsection B of § 15.2-1806, and the owner of any property leased or licensed for such use, shall not be liable for damages resulting from any injury to the person or from a loss of or damage to the property of any person arising from the condition of the property used for such trails, in the absence of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

2008, c. 381.

§ 15.2-1810. Leasing land for swimming pool purposes.

Any locality, in its discretion, may lease to any responsible person, firm or corporation any lands owned or held by such locality for the purpose of constructing or erecting thereon a swimming pool and buildings and improvements incident thereto. The terms and provisions of any such lease shall be prescribed by the governing body, provided that any such lease contains a clause to the effect that at the termination of such lease it shall not be renewed and that the land and all improvements thereon shall revert to the locality and shall be free from any encumbrance at the time of such reversion. All moneys received by a locality under this section shall constitute a fund for the development and improvement of recreational facilities within such locality.

Code 1950, § 15-691.1; 1954, c. 410; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-261; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1811. Counties and cities may operate parks, recreational facilities and swimming pools in sanitary districts.

The governing body of any county or city in which a sanitary district has been established under the laws of this Commonwealth may, for the use and benefit of the public in such sanitary district in addition to the other powers and duties granted under other laws:

1. Construct, maintain and operate parks, recreational facilities and swimming pools;

2. Acquire by gift, condemnation, purchase, lease or otherwise and maintain and operate parks, recreational facilities and swimming pools;

3. Contract with any person, firm, corporation or municipality to construct, establish, maintain and operate the parks, recreational facilities and swimming pools;

4. Fix, prescribe and provide for the collection of fees for use of the parks, recreational facilities and swimming pools;

5. Levy and collect an annual tax upon all the property in the district subject to local taxation to pay in whole or in part the expenses and charges incident to maintaining and operating such parks, recreational facilities and swimming pools; and

6. Employ and fix compensation of any technical, clerical or other force or help deemed necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the parks, recreational facilities and swimming pools.

Code 1950, § 15-704; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-278; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Miscellaneous.

§ 15.2-1812. Memorials for war veterans.

A locality may, within the geographical limits of the locality, authorize and permit the erection of monuments or memorials for any war or conflict, or for any engagement of such war or conflict, to include the following monuments or memorials: Algonquin (1622), French and Indian (1754-1763), Revolutionary (1775-1783), War of 1812 (1812-1815), Mexican (1846-1848), Confederate or Union monuments or memorials of the War Between the States (1861-1865), Spanish-American (1898), World War I (1917-1918), World War II (1941-1945), Korean (1950-1953), Vietnam (1965-1973), Operation Desert Shield-Desert Storm (1990-1991), Global War on Terrorism (2000- ), Operation Enduring Freedom (2001- ), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003- ). If such are erected, it shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same. For purposes of this section, "disturb or interfere with" includes removal of, damaging or defacing monuments or memorials, or, in the case of the War Between the States, the placement of Union markings or monuments on previously designated Confederate memorials or the placement of Confederate markings or monuments on previously designated Union memorials.

The governing body may appropriate a sufficient sum of money out of its funds to complete or aid in the erection of monuments or memorials to the veterans of such wars. The governing body may also make a special levy to raise the money necessary for the erection or completion of any such monuments or memorials, or to supplement the funds already raised or that may be raised by private persons, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion or other organizations. It may also appropriate, out of any funds of such locality, a sufficient sum of money to permanently care for, protect and preserve such monuments or memorials and may expend the same thereafter as other funds are expended.

Code 1950, § 15-696; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-270; 1982, c. 19; 1988, c. 284; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 752; 2005, c. 390; 2010, c. 860.

§ 15.2-1812.1. Action for damage to memorials for war veterans.

A. If any monument, marker or memorial for war veterans as designated in §§ 15.2-1812 and 18.2-137 is violated or encroached upon, an action for the recovery of damages may be commenced by the following:

1. For a publicly owned monument, marker or memorial, by the attorney for the locality in which it is located; or, if no such action has commenced within sixty days following any such violation or encroachment, by any person having an interest in the matter; and

2. For a privately owned monument, marker or memorial, by the private organization, society or museum that owns it or any member of such organization, society or museum.

Damages may be awarded in such amounts as necessary for the purposes of rebuilding, repairing, preserving and restoring such memorials or monuments to preencroachment condition. Damages other than those litigation costs recovered from any such action shall be used exclusively for said purposes.

B. Punitive damages may be recovered for reckless, willful or wanton conduct resulting in the defacement of, malicious destruction of, unlawful removal of, or placement of improper markings, monuments or statues on memorials for war veterans.

C. The party who initiates and prevails in an action authorized by this section shall be entitled to an award of the cost of the litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit the rights of any person, organization, society, or museum to pursue any additional civil remedy otherwise allowed by law.

2000, c. 812.

§ 15.2-1812.2. Willful and malicious damage to or defacement of public or private facilities; penalty.

A. Any locality may by ordinance make unlawful the willful and malicious damage to or defacement of any public buildings, facilities and personal property or of any private buildings, facilities and personal property. The penalty for violation of such ordinance is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The punishment for any such violation in which the defacement is (i) more than 20 feet off the ground, (ii) on a railroad or highway overpass, or (iii) committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang, as that term is defined by § 18.2-46.1, shall include a mandatory minimum fine of $500.

B. Upon a finding of guilt under any such ordinance in any case tried before the court without a jury, in the event the violation constitutes a first offense that results in property damage or loss, the court, without entering a judgment of guilt, upon motion of the defendant, may defer further proceedings and place the defendant on probation pending completion of a plan of community service work. If the defendant fails or refuses to complete the community service as ordered by the court, the court may make final disposition of the case and proceed as otherwise provided. If the community service work is completed as the court prescribes, the court may discharge the defendant and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and is a conviction only for the purposes of applying the ordinance in subsequent proceedings.

C. The ordinance shall direct that the community service, to the extent feasible, include the repair, restoration or replacement of any damage or defacement to property within the locality, and may include clean-up, beautification, landscaping or other appropriate community service within the locality. Any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall make provision for a designee of the locality to supervise the performance of any community service work required and to report thereon to the court imposing such requirement. At or before the time of sentencing under the ordinance, the court shall receive and consider any plan for making restitution or performing community service submitted by the defendant. The court shall also receive and consider the recommendations of the supervisor of community service in the locality concerning the plan.

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person convicted of a violation of an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be placed on probation or have his sentence suspended unless such person makes at least partial restitution for such property damage or is compelled to perform community services, or both, as is more particularly set forth in § 19.2-305.1.

E. If a locality seeks to clean or cover the defacement, it shall give notice to the owner and lessee, if any, of any private building or facility that has been defaced that, within 15 days of receipt of such notice, if the owner or lessee does not clean or cover the defacement or object to the removal of the defacement, the locality may clean or cover the defacement at the locality's expense.

1995, c. 251, § 18.2-138.1; 1997, cc. 445, 461; 2004, c. 462; 2005, c. 614.

§ 15.2-1813. Notice when public hearing required.

Any public hearing required by this chapter 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.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1814. Acquisition authorized by chapter declared to be for public use.

Any acquisition of property authorized by any provision of this chapter is hereby declared to be for a public use as the term "public uses" is used in § 1-219.1.

1997, c. 587; 2007, cc. 882, 901, 926.

Chapter 18.1. Local Government Facilities Private Capital Lending.

§ 15.2-1815. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Conduit entity" means an organization described in § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that qualifies as a public charity under § 509(a)(2) or 509(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and the purposes of which entity allow it to perform the functions and obligations of a conduit entity prescribed in a financing agreement.

"Conveyed property" means real and personal property conveyed by a local government to a conduit or other entity pursuant to a financing agreement.

"Costs," as applied to a project or any portion thereof financed under the provisions of this chapter, means all or any part of the cost of construction, acquisition, alteration, enlargement, reconstruction, and remodeling of a project including all lands, structures, real or personal property, rights, rights-of-way, air rights, franchises, easements, and interests acquired or used for or in connection with a project; the cost of demolishing or removing any buildings or structures on land so acquired, including the cost of acquiring any lands to which such buildings or structures may be moved; the cost of all machinery and equipment; financing charges; interest prior to, during, and for a period after completion of such construction and acquisition; provisions for reserves for principal and interest and for extensions, enlargements, additions, replacements, renovations, and improvements; the cost of architectural, engineering, financial, and legal services, plans, specifications, studies, surveys, and estimates of cost and of revenues; administrative expenses; expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of constructing the project; and such other expenses as may be necessary or incident to the construction and acquisition of the project, the financing of such construction and acquisition, and the placing of the project in operation.

"Private capital funding source" means a private entity that enters into a financing agreement, under which that private entity shall purchase a lease of the conveyed property for a consideration to be provided in such agreement, and its successors and assigns.

"Project" means a structure or structures identified in the capital improvement program of the locality or an agency or instrumentality of the locality that is a revenue-producing undertaking as provided in § 15.2-2608.

2011, cc. 562, 660.

§ 15.2-1816. Power to enter into financing agreements.

In addition to other powers granted by law, every local government may, by ordinance, enter into a financing agreement as described in this section and may as part of that financing agreement (i) convey title to any property that is part of a project as defined in this chapter to a conduit or other entity in exchange for consideration provided for under the financing agreement; (ii) assign, pledge to, and create a lien in favor of a conduit or other entity, and permit the conduit or other entity to reassign, pledge to, and create a lien in favor of a private capital funding source, any revenues derived from the project being financed as provided for under the financing agreement; (iii) enter into a lease-leaseback arrangement for a term not to exceed 99 years, under which the private capital funding source will lease from the conduit or other entity, and the conduit or other entity shall lease back from the private capital funding source, the conveyed project. In addition, the conduit or other entity has the power to contribute to the local government any funds received by it in excess of the payments it is required to make to the private capital funding source under the lease-leaseback arrangement and has the power to convey the conveyed property back to the local government when the property is no longer encumbered by any lien or lease in favor of the funding source. The local government and the conduit or other entity may enter into agreements or contracts under which the local government may maintain or administer the conveyed property under the project or may collect rents or fees on behalf of the conduit or other entity. The parties may modify or extend the financing agreement subject to approval by the local government. The local government may enter into a financing agreement under this section either through a competitive selection process or by direct negotiations with a private capital funding source, as determined by the local government or as otherwise provided by law.

2011, cc. 562, 660.

§ 15.2-1817. Real estate taxation.

The conveyed property under the project shall be subject to real property taxation under Chapter 32 (§ 58.1-3200 et seq.) of Title 58.1.

2011, cc. 562, 660.

Chapter 19. Condemnation.

§ 15.2-1900. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, cc. 882, 901 and 926, cl. 2.

§ 15.2-1901. Condemnation authority.

A. In addition to the authority granted to localities pursuant to any applicable charter provision or other provision of law, whenever a locality is authorized to acquire real or personal property or property interests for a public use, it may do so by exercise of the power of eminent domain, except as provided in subsection B.

B. A locality may acquire property or property interests outside its boundaries by exercise of the power of eminent domain only if such authority is expressly conferred by general law or special act. However, cities and towns shall have the right to acquire property outside their boundaries for the purposes set forth in § 15.2-2109 by exercise of the power of eminent domain. The exercise of such condemnation authority by a city or town shall not be construed to exempt the municipality from the provisions of subsection F of § 56-580.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, general or special, no locality shall condition or delay the timely consideration of any application for or grant of any permit or other approval for any real property over which it enjoys jurisdiction for the purpose, expressed or implied, of allowing the locality to condemn or otherwise acquire the property or to commence any process to consider whether to undertake condemnation or acquisition of the property.

1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 538; 2013, c. 581.

§ 15.2-1901.1. Condemnation by localities authorized.

The governing body of any locality may acquire by condemnation title to (i) land, buildings and structures, (ii) any easement thereover or (iii) any sand, earth, gravel, water or other necessary material for the purpose of opening, constructing, repairing or maintaining a road or for any other authorized public undertaking if the terms of purchase cannot be agreed upon or the owner (a) is unknown, (b) cannot with reasonable diligence be found in the Commonwealth or (c) due to incapacity cannot negotiate an agreement. Condemnation proceedings shall be conducted under the provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1 insofar as applicable.

Code 1950, § 25-232; 1964, c. 291, § 25-232.01; 1980, c. 559; 1986, c. 117; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1902. Condemnation proceedings generally.

Except where otherwise authorized by any applicable charter provision, a locality shall exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner, and in accordance with the procedures, set out in Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) or Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1, except that:

1. Only lands or easements for (i) streets and roads, (ii) drainage facilities, (iii) water supply and sewage disposal systems, including pipes and lines, and (iv) water, sewer and governmentally owned gas, electricity, telephone, telegraph and other utility lines and pipes and related facilities, except to the extent otherwise prohibited by law, may be condemned using the procedures in Chapter 3 of Title 25.1, as provided by the applicable provisions of §§ 15.2-1904 and 15.2-1905, because the foregoing enumerated uses are inherently public uses when undertaken by a locality;

2. Existing water and sewage disposal systems in their entirety shall be condemned in accordance with the procedures in § 15.2-1906;

3. Oyster bottoms and grounds may be condemned utilizing the procedures in Chapter 3 of Title 25.1, as required by § 28.2-628; and

4. The provisions of §§ 33.2-1007 through 33.2-1011, 33.2-1014, and 33.2-1017 shall be applicable, mutatis mutandis, with respect to any condemnation by a locality of property for highway purposes.

1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 940; 2012, c. 832.

§ 15.2-1903. Requirements for initiating condemnation; filing of ordinance or resolution with petition; voluntary conveyance.

A. Condemnation proceedings may be instituted when:

1. the locality and owner cannot agree on the compensation to be paid or other terms of purchase or settlement;

2. the owner is legally incapacitated;

3. either the owner or his whereabouts is unknown; or

4. the owner is unable to convey valid title to the property.

B. Prior to initiating condemnation proceedings, the governing body shall, after a public hearing, adopt a resolution or ordinance approving the proposed public use and directing the acquisition of property for the public use by condemnation or other means. The resolution or ordinance shall state the use to which the property shall be put and the necessity therefor. Furthermore, other political subdivisions of the Commonwealth shall also be required to hold a public hearing prior to initiating condemnation proceedings.

C. When a petition for condemnation is filed by or on behalf of the locality, a true copy of the resolution or ordinance duly adopted by the governing body declaring the intended public use of the property, and the necessity therefor, may be filed with the petition, and when so filed constitutes sufficient evidence of such public use and necessity.

D. The fact that no petition has been filed by a locality to condemn any interest conveyed by deed shall not by itself render such conveyance free from the threat of condemnation, nor shall such fact constitute sufficient proof of voluntary conveyance for the purposes of any taxing authority.

1997, c. 587; 2006, c. 927.

§ 15.2-1904. Possession of property prior to condemnation; authority to utilize expedited acquisition procedure conferred.

A. When a condemnation is authorized by § 15.2-1901, a locality may enter upon and take possession of property before the conclusion of condemnation proceedings, using the procedures in Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1, for public purposes of (i) streets and roads, (ii) drainage facilities, (iii) water supply and sewage disposal systems, including pipes and lines, (iv) oyster beds and grounds, and for any of the purposes set out in § 15.2-1901.1. In such proceedings, the procedure may be the same as is prescribed in Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1 or Chapter 3 of Title 25.1. Property may be condemned after the construction of a project, as well as prior thereto. The provisions of Chapter 3 of Title 25.1 shall be used to identify the fund out of which the judgment of the court in condemnation proceedings shall be paid. However, no property of any public service corporation shall be condemned except in accordance with §§ 15.2-1906, 15.2-2146 through 15.2-2148 and 25.1-102.

B. In all other condemnation proceedings authorized by § 15.2-1901, property shall be acquired by condemnation proceedings in accordance with the procedure provided in Chapter 2 of Title 25.1.

C. Before entering and taking possession of any property, the locality shall pay into court or to the clerk thereof, for the property owner's benefit, such sum as the governing body estimates to be the fair value of the property taken and damage, if any, done to the residue. Such payment shall not limit the amount to be allowed under proper proceedings.

D. When a locality enters upon and takes possession of property before the conclusion of condemnation proceedings pursuant to the procedures in Chapter 3 of Title 25.1, a certificate in lieu of payment may be issued by the governing body through its authorized designee, which certificate shall be countersigned by the locality's director of finance or authorized agent for availability of funds.

E. As soon as practicable after the date of payment of the purchase price or the date of deposit into court of funds to satisfy the award of compensation in a condemnation proceeding to acquire real property, whichever is earlier, the locality shall reimburse the property owner, or other person legally obligated to pay the real property taxes, for the pro rata portion of real property taxes paid for the period subsequent to the date of title vesting in the locality or the effective date of possession of the real property by the locality, whichever is earlier.

Code 1950, §§ 15-668.1, 15-668.2; 1954, c. 384; 1958, c. 382; 1960, c. 6; 1962, cc. 494, 511, 623, § 15.1-238; 1964, c. 269; 1979, c. 303; 1983, c. 434; 1989, c. 304; 1990, c. 514; 1997, c. 587; 2003, cc. 680, 940.

§ 15.2-1905. Special provisions for counties.

A. When a county is authorized by subsection A of § 15.2-1904 to use the procedures set forth in Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1, it shall comply either with the requirements of subsection B or subsection C.

B.1. No property shall be entered upon and taken by any county before the conclusion of condemnation proceedings unless, prior to entering upon and taking possession of such property or right-of-way, the governing body of the county notifies the owners of the property by certified mail, that it intends to enter upon and take the property. Such notice shall be sent by the date specified in the resolution or ordinance required by § 15.2-1903 and shall set forth the compensation and damages offered by the county to each property owner;

2. Any property owner given notice as provided in subdivision 1 may, within 30 days following the sending of the notice, institute a proceeding in the circuit court of the county, wherein the condemnation proceedings are to be instituted, to determine whether such taking is of such necessity as to justify resort to entry upon the property prior to an agreement between the county and the property owner as to compensation and damages to be paid therefor. Any other property owner affected may intervene. The county shall be served notice as provided by law and shall be made a party defendant. The proceedings shall be placed upon the privileged docket of the court and shall take precedence over all other civil matters pending therein and shall be speedily heard and disposed of. The issue in any such proceeding shall be whether the circumstances are such as to justify an entry upon and taking possession by the county of the property involved prior to an agreement or award upon compensation and damages therefor. If the court is of the opinion that no such necessity exists, and that such manner of taking would work an undue hardship upon any such owner, it shall enter an order requiring the county to proceed by methods of condemnation providing for the determination of compensation and damages for property to be taken prior to such taking, if the county deems it necessary to proceed with the project for which the property is sought; and

3. At any time after the giving of the notice as provided in subdivision 1, upon the filing of an application by the landowner to such effect in the court having jurisdiction, and, in any event, within 120 days after the completion of the project for which the entry and taking of possession prior to condemnation was undertaken, if the county and the owner of such property have been unable to agree as to compensation and damages, if any, caused thereby, the county shall institute condemnation proceedings, and the amount of such compensation and damages, if any, awarded to the owner in such proceeding shall be paid by the county. The authorities constructing such project under the authority of this section shall use diligence to protect growing crops and pastures and to prevent damage to any property not taken. So far as possible all rights-of-way shall be acquired or contracted for before any condemnation is resorted to.

C. As an alternative to the procedure set forth in subsection B, any other laws to the contrary notwithstanding, upon the passage of an ordinance or resolution following a public hearing by the board of supervisors of any county declaring its intent to enter and take certain specified properties for any of the purposes set out in subsection A of § 15.2-1904, which ordinance or resolution shall also state the compensation and damages, if any, offered each property owner by the county and declare the necessity to enter upon and take such property prior to or during the condemnation proceedings, the county, for such purposes set forth in the resolution or ordinance, shall be authorized to institute and conduct condemnation proceedings in accordance with the procedure set forth in Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1, except that (i) the county may institute and conduct condemnation proceedings in accordance with the procedure set forth in Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1 and (ii) such proceedings shall be instituted by and conducted in the name of the governing body of the county.

Code 1950, §§ 15-668.1, 15-668.2; 1954, c. 384; 1958, c. 382; 1960, c. 6; 1962, cc. 494, 511, 623, § 15.1-238; 1964, c. 269; 1979, c. 303; 1983, c. 434; 1989, c. 304; 1990, c. 514; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1906. Condemnation of existing water or sewage disposal systems.

Condemnation of existing water or sewage disposal systems shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 19.1 (§ 15.2-1908 et seq.) of this title so far as applicable. The provisions of § 25.1-102 shall not apply in the case of condemnation of an existing water or sewage disposal system in its entirety. The circuit court for the city or county wherein the property proposed to be condemned, or any part thereof, is located, shall have jurisdiction of the condemnation proceedings. It shall not be necessary to file with the petition for the condemnation of an existing water or sewage system, in its entirety, a minute inventory and description of the property sought to be condemned, provided the property is described therein generally and with reasonable particularity and in such manner as to disclose the intention of the petitioner that such existing water or sewage system be condemned in its entirety. The court having jurisdiction of the condemnation proceedings shall, as the occasion arises and prior to the filing of the report of the commissioners appointed to determine a just compensation for the property sought to be condemned in its entirety, take such steps as may be necessary and proper to cause to be included in an inventory of the property sought to be condemned full descriptions of any and all such property whenever the exigencies of the case or the ends of justice will be promoted thereby. Such inventory shall be made a part of the record in the proceedings and referred to the commissioners.

Code 1950, § 15-754; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-340; 1997, c. 587; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1907. Condemnation for water supplies and water lines.

Upon compliance with the applicable provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1, cities and towns may acquire by condemnation any lands or rights-of-way necessary for maintaining, protecting, or providing supplies of water for public use or for laying water pipes, and counties may so acquire such lands or rights-of-way within their borders. Any interest acquired under this section by a county, city or town shall be subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102.

Code 1950, § 25-232; 1964, c. 291, § 25-232.01; 1980, c. 559; 1986, c. 117; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1907.1. Condemnation of lands for compensatory mitigation of wetlands.

Notwithstanding any other provision of a local government charter or other special act, when authorization is required by federal or state law for any project affecting wetlands and the authorization is conditioned upon compensatory mitigation for adverse impacts to wetlands, no locality or other political subdivision shall acquire through exercise of the power of eminent domain any property to satisfy such condition unless: (i) the property sought to be acquired is located within the same locality as the project affecting wetlands, or (ii) the governing body of the locality where the property sought to be acquired consents to its acquisition for such purpose.

2005, c. 311.

Chapter 19.1. Acquisition of Waterworks Systems.

§ 15.2-1908. Council or other governing body to file copy of resolution.

In any proceedings instituted by any city or county to acquire a waterworks system by condemnation pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1, as authorized by § 15.2-1906 and §§ 15.2-2146, 15.2-2147, and 15.2-2148, after the body determining just compensation, as defined in § 25.1-100, has filed its report as provided by § 25.1-232, it shall be the duty of its council or other governing body, within such time as may be fixed and allowed by the court, to file in the proceedings a certified copy of a resolution of such council or other governing body stating whether the council or other governing body is of the opinion that it is in the best interest of the city or county to take the property sought to be condemned at the amount fixed by the body determining just compensation as compensation or damages on account of the taking of same. If such copy of the resolution be not filed within the time allowed by the court, or within any extension of such time which may be allowed, the proceedings shall be dismissed on motion of any party thereto.

1938, p. 48; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-47; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1909. Such resolution to contain statement as to issuance of bonds.

If in order to pay the amount fixed by the body determining just compensation it will be necessary for the city or county to issue and sell its bonds, such resolution filed shall so state, and shall further state that the council or other governing body proposes promptly to take the necessary and appropriate action required by law to issue and sell such bonds whenever authorized by § 15.2-1910.

1938, p. 48; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-48; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1910. Prerequisite to issuance and sale of bonds.

The necessary and appropriate action for the issuance and sale of such bonds may be taken: (i) whenever an order, decree or judgment of the court confirming the report of the body determining just compensation has become final and not subject to review by writ of error or appeal; (ii) if appealed, whenever the report shall be finally confirmed by any final appellate court; or (iii) whenever a sole defendant, if there be but one, or all of the defendants, if there be more than one, shall file in the proceedings a statement or statements that such defendant or defendants will accept the report of the body determining just compensation and will not dispute or contest in any manner the amount therein fixed or the legality of the proceedings.

1938, p. 48; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-49; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1911. Statement by defendant precludes appeal.

If a statement, as provided for in § 15.2-1910, is filed by each defendant, no appeal or writ of error shall thereafter be allowed such defendant.

1938, p. 49; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-50; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1912. Time for sale of bonds or payment fixed by court.

When such report is finally confirmed or when such defendant or defendants have filed in such proceedings the statement or statements as provided by § 15.2-1910, the court shall, upon motion of any party to the proceedings, after notice to all other parties thereto, fix a reasonable time within which the city or county must complete the issuance and sale of its bonds, if the sale of bonds is necessary, or pay the money to the party or parties entitled thereto, or pay the same into the court. Such time so fixed may be extended by the court for good cause shown.

1938, p. 49; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-51; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1913. Time for holding election if revenue bonds are to be issued.

If the bonds that any such city or county proposes to issue in order to raise the money necessary to pay the amount fixed in the report of the body determining just compensation will be revenue bonds requiring approval by the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified voters in a referendum election as provided in Article VII, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia, the court shall allow a reasonable time for the holding of the required election.

1938, p. 49; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-52; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1914. Proceedings dismissed if issuance defeated or bonds cannot be sold; resolution of approval of report not deemed contract to purchase.

In the event that such an election is held and the proposed bond issue is not approved therein, or if approved and for any reason the bonds proposed to be issued by any such city or county cannot be sold upon terms which, in the opinion of the city council or other governing body, are reasonably advantageous to such city or county, then, upon motion of such city or county, the proceedings shall be dismissed and there shall be no obligation upon such city or county to take the property or pay the amount fixed by the report of the body determining just compensation, notwithstanding the fact that the council or other governing body may have filed the resolution of approval of the report of the body determining just compensation as provided by § 15.2-1908, nor shall the filing of any such resolution approving the award of the body determining just compensation be deemed to be a contract on the part of any such city or county to purchase or take the property sought to be condemned, or to render any such city or county liable in damages for failure to take same.

1938, p. 49; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-53; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1915. Proceedings dismissed on failure to pay compensation; judgment for fees and costs.

In the event that any such city or county fails to pay the amount fixed and ascertained by the report of the body determining just compensation, as directed by the court and within the time, or any extension thereof, allowed by the court as provided by § 15.2-1912, the proceedings shall be dismissed on motion of any party thereto. If such proceedings be so dismissed, judgment shall be entered against such city or county for all costs and the attorneys' fee or fees actually incurred by the defendant or defendants; provided, however, that the fee or fees shall be so paid only to the extent they are reasonable in the opinion of the court.

1938, p. 49; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-54; 2003, c. 940.

§ 15.2-1916. Right to pay compensation into court and take possession and operate.

A. Notwithstanding any exceptions that may be filed to the report of the body determining just compensation or the pendency of proceedings on the exceptions, or any appeal or writ of error that may be contemplated or may be pending, or the pendency of any other matters in such proceedings, any such city or county shall have the right at any time pending such proceedings, after the filing of the report of the body determining just compensation, to pay into court the amount of the award fixed by the report and take possession of and operate the property sought to be condemned and embraced in such report, and to enlarge the works taken and construct additional works on any property taken and to make any needed repairs to or replacements, or substitutions with respect to the works or any part thereof. No court or judge shall enter any order or decree restraining, prohibiting or enjoining any such city or county from taking such possession of any such waterworks or other property embraced in the report of the body determining just compensation, or from operating same or making replacements, repairs, betterments or additions thereto.

B. If such money is paid and possession taken within 90 days of the time of the filing of the report of the body determining just compensation, no interest on the amount of the award, or any part thereof, shall be allowable to the defendant or defendants, and if such money is paid and possession taken after the lapse of more than 90 days from the date of the filing of the report of the body determining just compensation, the court, upon hearing after due notice, shall adjudicate all claims made by the defendant or defendants for damages claimed to have been sustained and for interest on the value of the property taken, and for additions thereto or replacements during or for the time elapsed since the expiration of the 90 days. If the property taken, or any part thereof, be income producing the court shall take into consideration any income accruing to the property owner during such period, and shall also take into consideration depreciation of an operating water system as well as the cost of additions, betterments, and replacements made by the city or county. If the court finds that the property owner is entitled to receive any additional payment by reason of such matters, it shall render judgment against the city or county for the amount thereof.

1938, p. 50; Michie Code 1942, § 4387a; Code 1950, § 25-55; 2003, c. 940.

Chapter 20. Streets and Alleys.

Article 1. Construction of Roads, Streets and Alleys Generally.

§ 15.2-2000. State highway systems excepted; town streets.

A. Nothing contained in this chapter, except as otherwise provided, shall apply to any highway, road, street or other public right-of-way which constitutes a part of any system of state highways; however, any highway for which a locality receives highway maintenance funds pursuant to § 33.2-319 or 33.2-366 shall not, for purposes of this section, be deemed to be a part of any system of state highways.

B. Public rights-of-way subject to local control under this chapter which lie within the boundaries of incorporated towns which receive highway maintenance funds pursuant to § 33.2-319 shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the town council of such town and not the board of supervisors of the county in which such town is located.

C. The term "public right-of-way" as used in this chapter means any area over which the public has a general privilege to travel. It includes, but is not limited to, ways, areas between deeded right-of-way boundary lines, and easements of all descriptions that are available for general travel by the public.

Code 1950, § 15-77.59:1; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-896; 1994, c. 177; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 839.

§ 15.2-2001. Streets, sidewalks and public rights-of-way generally.

Every locality may lay out, open, extend, widen, narrow, establish or change the grade of, close, construct, pave, curb, gutter, plant and maintain shade trees on, improve, maintain, repair, clean and light: streets, limited access highways, express highways, roads, alleys, bridges, viaducts, subways and underpasses. Localities may make, improve and repair sidewalks upon all public rights-of-way and may convert sidewalks to bicycle paths. A locality's power and authority over its public rights-of-way and other public places shall be the same, regardless of whether the public right-of-way or place has been expressly or impliedly dedicated to public use, has been conveyed to the locality by deed, or has been acquired by any other means.

Furthermore, any locality may establish highway user fees for highways that are not part of any system of state highways when such highway's traffic-carrying capacity is increased by construction or improvement.

Code 1950, § 15-77.53; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-889; 1974, c. 407; 1997, c. 587; 2006, c. 924.

§ 15.2-2002. Acquisitions in connection with public right-of-way changes.

Every locality proposing to open or widen any public right-of-way by taking a part of any lot or other subdivision of property in such manner that the remnant thereof would, in the opinion of the governing body, be so small or of such shape as to be unsuited for the erection of appropriate buildings thereon may acquire, as permitted by § 15.2-1800, the whole of the lot or other subdivision of property. Any such acquisition is declared to be for a public use, as the term public uses is used in Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia. The locality may subsequently replat and dispose of the remnant of such property not used for right-of-way purposes in whole or in part, limiting the uses thereof as it may see fit. Nothing in this section shall be construed to give any locality any power to condemn the property of any railroad company or public service corporation which it does not otherwise possess under existing law.

Code 1950, § 15-771; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-372; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2003. Acquisition of land for public rights-of-way outside certain corporate limits.

Whenever the council of any city having a population of more than 100,000 seeks to acquire land for projecting roads, streets and avenues or for extending any of its existing roads, streets and avenues of uniform width into the territory adjacent to such city, it may acquire the necessary lands as permitted by § 15.2-1800; however, no such land shall be acquired except within five miles from the corporate limits, and the proposed location of any such projected or extended roads, streets and avenues shall be approved by the board of supervisors of the county in which such road, street or avenue is located.

Code 1950, § 15-772; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-373; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2004. Streets, highways, etc., outside a city or town.

A city or town may construct, improve and maintain, or aid in the construction, improvement and maintenance of streets, roads, highways, bridges and underpasses outside the city or town in order to facilitate public travel and traffic into and out of the city or town or any property owned by it outside its boundaries.

Code 1950, § 15-77.54; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-890; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2005. Streets, etc., through any lands belonging to Commonwealth.

No street, alley or public highway not now actually improved and open to public travel shall be opened or maintained through, on or over any land lying in any city or town which belongs to the Commonwealth, without first obtaining the consent of the General Assembly, anything in the charter or ordinances of any city or town to the contrary notwithstanding.

Nothing herein shall be construed as interfering in any way with the present or future plans of any cities or towns in regard to the location and maintenance of sewerage and surface drainage on or through such properties when submitted to and approved by the Governor.

Code 1950, § 15-773; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-374; 1997, c. 587.

Article 2. Vacation, Etc., of Public Rights-of Way.

§ 15.2-2006. Alteration and vacation of public rights-of-way; appeal from decision.

In addition to (i) the powers contained in the charter of any locality, (ii) any powers now had by such governing bodies under the common law or (iii) powers by other provisions of law, public rights-of-way in localities may be altered or vacated on motion of such governing bodies or on application of any person after notice of intention to do so has been published at least twice, with at least six days elapsing between the first and second publication, in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality. The notice shall specify the time and place of a hearing at which persons affected may appear and be heard. The cost of publishing the notice shall be taxed to the applicant. At the conclusion of the hearing and on application of any person, the governing body may appoint three to five people to view such public right-of-way and report in writing any inconvenience that would result from discontinuing the right-of-way. The governing body may allow the viewers up to fifty dollars each for their services. The sum allowed shall be paid by the person making the application to alter or vacate the public right-of-way. From such report and other evidence, if any, and after the land owners affected thereby, along the public right-of-way proposed to be altered or vacated, have been notified, the governing body may discontinue the public right-of-way. When an applicant requests a vacation to accommodate expansion or development of an existing or proposed business, the governing body may condition the vacation upon commencement of the expansion or development within a specified period of time. Failing to commence within such time may render the vacation, at the option of the governing body, void. A certified copy of the ordinance of vacation shall be recorded as deeds are recorded and indexed in the name of the locality. A conditional vacation shall not be recorded until the condition has been met.

Any appeal shall be filed within sixty days of adoption of the ordinance with the circuit court for the locality in which the public right-of-way is located.

Code 1950, § 15-766; 1950, p. 725; 1952, c. 580; 1956, c. 487; 1958, c. 196; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-364; 1964, c. 13; 1972, c. 357; 1973, c. 71; 1980, c. 236; 1982, c. 381; 1983, c. 33; 1984, c. 175; 1986, c. 41; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2007. Fee for processing application under § 15.2-2006.

The governing body of any locality may prescribe and charge a reasonable fee not exceeding $100 for processing an application pursuant to § 15.2-2006.

1970, c. 161, § 15.1-364.1; 1976, c. 183; 1979, c. 208; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2007.1. Appointment of viewers in certain cities.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-2006, the City of Virginia Beach may by ordinance appoint three to five viewers for terms of one year to view each and every street or alley proposed to be altered or vacated during the term. The notice requirements of § 15.2-2204 shall be complied with for each hearing regarding discontinuance of the street or alley proposed to be altered or vacated. The applicant for closure of streets or alleys in such cities that have appointed viewers pursuant to this section shall not be required to advertise, and the governing body shall not be required to hold a separate hearing, for appointment of viewers for each specific street or alley proposed to be altered or vacated. The applicant and the governing body of such city shall comply with all other provisions of § 15.2-2006.

1997, c. 742, § 15.1-364.2; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-2008. Sale of public rights-of-way, easements, etc., to certain purchasers.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, any locality, as a condition to a vacation or abandonment, may require the fractional portion of its public rights-of-way and easements to be purchased by any abutting property owner. The price shall be no greater than the property's fair market value or its contributory value to the abutting property, whichever is greater, or the amount agreed to by the parties. No such vacation or abandonment shall be concluded until the agreed price has been paid. If any abutting property owner does not pay for such owner's fractional portion within one year, or other time period made a condition of the vacation or abandonment, of the local government action to vacate or abandon, then the vacation or abandonment shall be void as to any such property owner.

1979, c. 241, § 15.1-366; 1985, c. 276; 1992, c. 362; 1993, c. 343; 1997, c. 587.

Article 3. Encroachments on Rights-of Way, Etc.

§ 15.2-2009. Obstructions or encroachments.

A locality may prevent any unlawful obstruction of or encroachment over, under or in any street, highway, road, alley, bridge, viaduct, subway, underpass or other public right-of-way or place; may provide penalties for maintaining any such unlawful obstruction or encroachment; may remove the same and charge the cost thereof to the owner or occupant of the property so obstructing or encroaching; and may collect the cost in any manner provided by law for the collection of state or local taxes. The locality may require the owner or occupant of the property so obstructing or encroaching to remove the property and, pending such removal, may charge the owner of the property so obstructing or encroaching compensation for the use of such portion of the street, highway, road, alley, bridge, viaduct, subway, underpass or other public right-of-way or place obstructed or encroached upon the equivalent of what would be the tax upon the land so occupied if it were owned by the owner of the property so obstructing or encroaching. If removal is not accomplished within the time ordered, the locality may impose penalties for each day that the obstruction or encroachment is allowed to continue. The locality may authorize encroachments upon such public rights-of-way and places subject to such terms and conditions as the governing body may prescribe. However, owners or occupants shall be liable for negligence on account of such encroachment, and the governing body may institute and prosecute a suit or action in ejectment or other appropriate proceedings to recover possession of any such public right-of-way or place or any other property unlawfully occupied or encroached upon.

Code 1950, § 15-77.57; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-893; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2010. Localities may permit awnings, fire escapes, etc., to overhang public rights-of-way.

Any locality may authorize owners or occupants of property abutting upon any public rights-of-way, within such limitations as the locality may prescribe, to construct and maintain in, upon and over such public rights-of-way, awnings, fire escapes, shutters, signs, cornices, gutters, downspouts, bay windows and other appendages to buildings; but such authority or permission shall be deemed to be a license merely and shall be revocable at the pleasure of the localities or of the General Assembly. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to relieve such owners or occupants from liability for negligence on their part.

Code 1950, § 15-775; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-376; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2011. Localities may permit existing encroachments.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, localities may authorize owners of buildings or structures encroaching under, upon and over any public rights-of-way therein, within such limitations as the localities may prescribe, to maintain such encroachments as they exist, until such buildings or structures are destroyed or removed; however, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to relieve the owners of negligence on their part on account of any such encroachment.

Code 1950, § 15-776; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-377; 1966, c. 190; 1986, c. 96; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2012. Fee for processing application.

A locality may prescribe and charge a fee up to $150 for processing an application pursuant to § 15.2-2011.

1986, c. 96, § 15.1-377.1; 1997, c. 587.

Article 4. Temporary Closing of Rights-of Way.

§ 15.2-2013. Temporary closing of rights-of-way.

Any city, any town which receives highway maintenance funds pursuant to § 33.2-319, or any county which receives highway maintenance funds pursuant to § 33.2-366 may permit the temporary use of public rights-of-way for other than public purposes and close the rights-of-way for public use and travel during temporary use, subject to the following conditions:

1. No matter advertising any thing or business shall be displayed in or on the public rights-of-way in connection with such temporary use.

2. The person so permitted to use public rights-of-way shall furnish a public liability and property damage insurance contract insuring the liability of such person, firm, association, organization or corporation for personal injury or death and damages to property resulting from such temporary use in such amounts as shall be determined by the governing body of the locality; the locality shall be named as an additional insured in the contract.

3. When any rights-of-way that are closed are extensions of the state primary highway system, adequate provision shall be made to detour through traffic.

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.

§ 15.2-2014. Temporary closing of rights-of-way in certain circumstances.

The chief administrative officer of any locality or, if there is none, then the chairman or mayor, may temporarily close any public right-of-way in the locality when in his judgment the public safety so requires. Such temporary closing shall not extend past the time of the next meeting of the governing body.

1970, c. 529, § 15.1-889.1; 1997, c. 587.

Article 5. Miscellaneous.

§ 15.2-2015. Use of streets, etc., for transportation and utilities; removal and alteration of facilities and equipment; permits and charges.

Any city or town may provide for the issuance of permits, under such terms and conditions as they may impose, for the use of streets, highways, roads, alleys, bridges, viaducts, subways and underpasses and other public rights-of-way and places by railroads, buses, taxicabs and other vehicles for hire; may prescribe the location in, under or over and provide for the issuance of permits for the use of such public rights-of-way and places for the installation, maintenance and operation of tracks, poles, wires, cables, pipes, conduits, bridges, viaducts, subways, vaults, areas and cellars; may require tracks, poles, wires, cables, pipes, conduits, bridges, viaducts, subways and underpasses to be altered, removed or relocated either permanently or temporarily; may charge and collect compensation for the privileges so granted; and may prohibit such use of such public rights-of-way and places except as otherwise provided by law. No such use shall be made of the streets, highways, roads, alleys, bridges, viaducts, subways and underpasses without the consent of the city or town.

Code 1950, § 15-77.56; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-892; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2016. Regulation of services and rates charged by person using streets, etc.

Any city or town may regulate the services rendered to the public and rates charged therefor by any person using the streets, highways, roads, alleys, bridges, viaducts, subways, underpasses or other public rights-of-way or places for the rendition of such services, which are not subject to regulation by the State Corporation Commission.

Code 1950, § 15-77.59; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-895; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2017. Public utilities not to use streets without consent.

No street railway, gas, water, steam or electric heating, electric light or power, cold storage, compressed air, viaduct, conduit, telephone or bridge company, nor any corporation, association, person, or partnership engaged in these or like enterprises, shall be permitted to use the streets, alleys or public grounds of a city or town, without the previous consent of the corporate authorities of such city or town.

Code 1950, § 15-774; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-375; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2018. Use of certain public property without consent or franchise.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, any person or corporation, except a public service corporation, that occupies or uses any streets, avenues, parks, bridges or any other public places or public property or any public easement of a county, in a manner not permitted to the general public, without having first obtained the consent of the governing body of such county or a franchise therefor, shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Each day's continuance thereof shall be a separate offense. Such occupancy or use shall be deemed a nuisance. The court trying the case may cause the nuisance to be abated and commit the offenders and all their agents and employees engaged in such offenses to jail until the order of the court is obeyed.

1983, c. 613, § 15.1-512.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2019. Localities may name streets, roads and alleys.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, every locality may name streets, roads and alleys. Such names shall take precedence over any other designation except those primary highways conforming to § 33.2-213, and shall be employed in references to property abutting thereon.

Renaming streets, roads and alleys on site plans or subdivision plats previously recorded and filed in a circuit court clerk's office shall not cause vacation of such site plans or subdivision plats. The locality may forward a certified copy of the action effecting such name change to the clerk of the circuit court in which the site plan or subdivision plat is recorded or filed. Upon receipt, the clerk shall (i) file the certified copy and note the name change on the site plan or subdivision plat affected or (ii) record the certified copy.

Code 1950, § 15-777.1; 1954, c. 462; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-379; 1987, c. 384; 1997, c. 587; 1999, c. 671.

§ 15.2-2020. Lights on public rights-of-way in counties.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, counties may install and maintain suitable lights on public rights-of-way in such counties, and pay the costs of such installation and maintenance.

Code 1950, § 15-778; 1952, c. 125; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-380; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2021. Ramps on curbs of certain streets; specifications.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, every locality requiring curbs along its streets that incorporate accessible routes for pedestrian use, such as existing or proposed sidewalks, shall require that curb ramps be constructed at intersections for use by persons with mobility impairments. The ramps shall comply with the Virginia Department of Transportation's Road and Bridge Standards. Local option, variance, or waiver of these standards is prohibited.

1974, c. 169, § 15.1-381; 1975, c. 74; 1976, c. 477; 1990, c. 186; 1993, c. 258; 1997, c. 587; 1999, cc. 409, 417.

§ 15.2-2022. Certain counties may adopt ordinance regulating tracking of mud and debris upon highways.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, any county (i) whose roads are not a part of the state secondary highway system, (ii) which has the urban county executive form of government, or (iii) is adjacent to a county which has the urban county executive form of government may, by ordinance, regulate the tracking of mud and debris upon the highways and secondary highways within the county boundaries.

1966, c. 429, § 15.1-16.1; 1987, c. 635; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2023. Expenditure of county revenues for certain roads.

Any county may expend so much of its general revenues as its governing body by majority vote of its elected members deems appropriate for the construction and repair of public roads not in the primary or secondary state highway system and may own and operate the properties and equipment necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

Any county revenues expended for such roads shall not be considered to be highway funds which are made available for highway purposes pursuant to § 33.2-358 and shall not diminish funds paid to counties under § 33.2-358.

1978, c. 163, § 15.1-26.2; 1994, c. 251; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2024. Numbers to be displayed on buildings.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, every locality, by ordinance, may require that each building that fronts on a right-of-way be numbered and such number be displayed on the primary or accompanying building or in a manner that is easily readable from the right-of-way. Every locality may adopt such rules or procedures necessary to ensure the compliance with and enforcement of the ordinance adopted pursuant to this section.

1984, c. 223, § 15.1-29.11; 1997, cc. 534, 587.

§ 15.2-2025. Removal of snow and ice.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, any county in Northern Virginia Planning District 8 may provide by ordinance reasonable criteria and requirements for the removal of accumulations of snow and ice from public sidewalks, by the owner or other person in charge of any occupied property.

Such ordinance shall include reasonable time frames for compliance and reasonable exceptions for handicapped and elderly persons, and those otherwise physically incapable of meeting the criteria and requirements for such removal.

Civil penalties not to exceed $100 may be imposed for violation of such ordinance.

1988, c. 356, § 15.1-29.16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2026. Limited access streets.

Localities shall have the same authority with respect to the planning, designation, acquisition, opening, construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, discontinuance and regulation of the use of limited access streets; the designation of existing streets as limited access streets, and the extinguishment of easements and rights in connection therewith; the regulation and restriction of access to such streets; the construction of service roads in connection therewith; and all other authority with respect to such streets and incidental thereto, as the Commonwealth Transportation Board has under the provisions of §§ 33.2-400 through 33.2-404, or as the Board may be hereafter granted by amendment thereof or otherwise. "Limited access street" as used in this section means a street especially designed for through traffic over which abutters have no easement or right of light, air or access because their property abuts upon such limited access street.

Code 1950, § 15-7.1; 1952, c. 422; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-16; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2027. Regulation of private roadways within multifamily residential developments.

Any locality may regulate and control private roadways within multifamily residential developments to such extent as to allow police, fire and rescue vehicles access to the developments.

1970, c. 282, § 15.1-510.5:1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2028. Regulation of traffic.

Every locality may regulate and control the operation of motor and other vehicles and the movement of vehicular and pedestrian travel and traffic on streets, highways, roads, alleys, bridges, viaducts, subways, underpasses and other public rights-of-way and places, provided such regulations shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter 13 (§ 46.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 46.2.

Code 1950, § 15-77.55; 1958, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-891; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2029. Regulation of transportation of certain materials.

Any locality may regulate the transportation of hay, coal, gasoline, explosives or other articles through the streets of the locality.

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.

§ 15.2-2030. Localities may sell or lease airspace over public streets, public rights-of-way, etc., under certain conditions.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of § 15.2-2000, subject to the provisions of Article VII, Section 9 of the Constitution of Virginia when applicable, any locality may by ordinance authorize the sale or lease of the airspace over or under any public street, lane, alley or other public right-of-way in such locality owned by it in fee simple; provided, that any building, structure or appurtenance thereto, constructed over any such street, lane, alley or other public right-of-way shall have a minimum clearance of sixteen feet six inches and providing further that nothing herein shall be construed to relieve any such grantee or lessee of such airspace of the liability for negligence on their part. No such ordinance shall be adopted until the governing body has held a public hearing thereon after public notice as provided in § 15.2-2204. In addition, in those public rights-of-way in which the Commonwealth has a prescriptive easement for maintenance and public travel, the airspace shall be conveyed or leased only with the consent, in writing, of the Commissioner of Highways.

Should the construction of any building or structure in any such airspace require the relocation of any utility, the cost of such relocation shall be borne by the grantee or lessee.

1964, c. 373, § 15.1-376.1; 1966, c. 44; 1970, c. 570; 1979, c. 431; 1997, c. 587.

Chapter 21. Franchises; Sale and Lease of Certain Municipal Public Property; Public Utilities.

Article 1. Franchises; Sale and Lease of Certain Public Property.

§ 15.2-2100. Restrictions on selling certain municipal public property and granting franchises.

A. No rights of a city or town in and to its waterfront, wharf property, public landings, wharves, docks, streets, avenues, parks, bridges, or other public places, or its gas, water, or electric works shall be sold except by an ordinance passed by a recorded affirmative vote of three-fourths of all the members elected to the council, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, and under such other restrictions as may be imposed by law. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, in case of a veto by the mayor of such an ordinance, it shall require a recorded affirmative vote of three-fourths of all the members elected to the council to override the veto.

B. No franchise, lease or right of any kind to use any such public property or any other public property or easement of any description, in a manner not permitted to the general public, shall be granted for a period longer than forty years, except for air rights together with easements for columns for support, which may be granted for a period not exceeding sixty years.

Before granting any such franchise or privilege for a term in excess of five years, except for a trunk railway, the city or town shall, after due advertisement, publicly receive bids therefor, in such manner as is provided by § 15.2-2102, and shall then act as may be required by law.

Such grant, and any contract in pursuance thereof, may provide that, upon the termination of the grant, the plant as well as the property, if any, of the grantee in the streets, avenues and other public places shall thereupon, without compensation to the grantee, or upon the payment of a fair valuation become the property of the city or town; but the grantee shall be entitled to no payment by reason of the value of the franchise. Any such plant or property acquired by a city or town may be sold or leased or, if authorized by general law, maintained, controlled, and operated by such city or town. Every such grant shall specify the mode of determining any valuation therein provided for and shall make adequate provisions by way of forfeiture of the grant, or otherwise, to secure efficiency of public service at reasonable rates and the maintenance of the property in good order throughout the term of the grant.

C. Any additional restriction now required in any existing municipal charter relating to the powers of cities and towns in selling or granting franchises or leasing any of their property is hereby superseded; however, nothing herein contained shall be construed as affecting the term of any existing franchise, lease or right. The requirement of an affirmative three-fourths vote of council shall apply only to the sale of the listed properties and not to their franchise, lease or use.

D. The provisions of this section shall only apply to cities or towns and shall not apply to counties or other political subdivisions.

Code 1950, § 15-727; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-307; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 64; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 498.

§ 15.2-2101. Ordinance proposing grant of franchise, etc., to be advertised.

A. Before granting any franchise, privilege, lease or right of any kind to use any public property described in § 15.2-2100 or easement of any description, for a term in excess of five years, except in the case of and for a trunk railway, the city or town proposing to make the grant shall advertise a descriptive notice of the ordinance proposing to make the grant once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the city or town. The descriptive notice of the ordinance may also be advertised as many times in such other newspaper or newspapers, published outside the city, town or Commonwealth, as the council may determine. The advertisement shall include a statement that a copy of the full text of the ordinance is on file in the office of the clerk of the city or town council.

B. The advertisement shall invite bids for the franchise, privilege, lease or right proposed to be granted in the ordinance. The bids shall be in writing and delivered upon the day and hour named in the advertisement and shall be opened in public session and marked for identification by the person designated in the advertisement to receive such bids. The cost of the required advertisement shall be paid by the city or town which shall be reimbursed by the person to whom the grant is made. The city or town shall have the right to reject any and all bids and shall reserve this right in the advertisement.

Code 1950, §§ 15-728, 15-729; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-308, 15.1-309; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 64; 1983, c. 138; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 498.

§ 15.2-2102. How bids received and to whom franchise awarded.

The presiding officer shall read aloud, or cause to be read aloud, a brief summary of each of the bids that have been received, for public information, and shall then inquire if any further bids are offered. If further bids are offered, they shall be received. The presiding officer shall thereafter declare the bidding closed. The presiding officer shall receive recommendations from the staff relative to any bids received in advance and staff's recommendations, if any, on any bids received at the advertised council meeting. After such other investigation as the council sees fit to make, the council shall accept the highest bid from a responsible bidder and shall adopt the ordinance as advertised, without substantial variation, except to insert the name of the accepted bidder. However, the council, by a recorded vote of a majority of the members elected to the council, may reject a higher bid and accept a lower bid from a responsible bidder and award the franchise, right, lease or privilege to the lower bidder, if, in its opinion, some reason affecting the interest of the city or town makes it advisable to do so, which reason shall be expressed in the body of the subsequent ordinance granting the franchise, right, lease or privilege. The process described in this section may run concurrently with any other advertisement or public ordinance requirements of this title, or such requirements as may be contained in charters of such cities or towns.

Code 1950, § 15-730; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-310; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 498.

§ 15.2-2103. Award when no satisfactory bid received.

If, after such advertisements, no bid, or no satisfactory bid, is made, the council may advertise for further bids, and in case no bid at all is made, the council, if it sees fit to do so, may adopt an ordinance in the manner required by law granting such franchises, rights, leases or privileges to any person making application therefor.

Code 1950, § 15-731; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-311; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2103.1. Solar services agreements; nondisclosure of proprietary information.

A. A solar services agreement may be structured as a service agreement or may be subject to available appropriation.

B. Nothing in this article shall be construed to require the disclosure of proprietary information voluntarily provided by a private entity in connection with a franchise, lease, or use under a solar services agreement that is excluded from mandatory disclosure pursuant to subdivision 29 of § 2.2-3705.6 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

C. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed as authorizing the withholding of the financial terms of such agreements.

2017, c. 737.

§ 15.2-2104. Bond of person awarded franchise, etc.

The person to whom a franchise, right, lease or privilege is awarded, whether by competing bids or otherwise, shall first execute a bond, with good and sufficient security, in favor of the city or town. The bond shall be in such sum as the city or town shall determine, conditioned upon the construction, operation and maintenance of the plant or plants provided for in the granted franchise, right, lease or privilege.

Code 1950, § 15-732; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-312; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2105. How amendments made to franchise, etc.; notice required.

No amendment or extension of any franchise, right, lease or privilege that now exists, or that may hereafter be authorized, which extends or enlarges the time or territory of such franchise, right, lease or privilege, shall be granted by any city or town until the provisions of §§ 15.2-2101 through 15.2-2104 have been complied with. No amendment that releases the grantee, or his assignee, from the performance of any duty required by the ordinance or that authorizes an increase in the user charges to be made by such grantee or assignee shall be granted until notice of such proposed amendment has given to the public by advertising the proposed amendment for ten days in some newspaper having general circulation in the city or town. The cost of such advertising shall be paid by the city or town, which shall be reimbursed by the person to whom the amendment is granted. No such amendment shall be adopted except by ordinance.

Code 1950, § 15-734; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-314; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2105.1. Granting franchises for operation of a vehicular ferry transportation system.

The authority granted by this article for the granting of franchises by localities shall include the authority to grant an exclusive franchise for the operation of a vehicular ferry transportation system in Northumberland County. The county may regulate such system, including the establishment of fees and rates.

2002, c. 154.

§ 15.2-2106. Powers of court to enforce obedience by mandamus, etc.

The circuit courts for the cities and for the counties in which towns may be situated shall have jurisdiction by mandamus, according to the provisions of Article 2 (§ 8.01-644 et seq.) of Chapter 25 of Title 8.01, to enforce compliance by the cities or towns and by all grantees with all the terms, contracts and obligations of either party, as contained in the franchises, rights, leases or privileges, whether now in force or hereafter granted. The jurisdiction in mandamus shall not preclude any party from bringing any other suit or action which such party would be entitled to bring, at law or in equity.

Code 1950, § 15-735; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-315; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2107. Persons occupying or using streets, etc., contrary to law.

Any person occupying or using any of the streets, avenues, parks, bridges or any other public places or public property or any public easement of any description of a city or town, in a manner not permitted to the general public, without having first legally obtained the consent of the city or town shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Each day's continuance thereof shall be a separate offense. Such occupancy or use shall be deemed a nuisance. The court trying the case may cause the nuisance to be abated and commit the offenders and all their agents and employees engaged in such offenses to jail until the order of the court is obeyed.

Code 1950, § 15-736; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-316; 1983, c. 613; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2108. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2006, cc. 73 and 76, cl. 2, effective July 1, 2006.

§ 15.2-2108.1. Regulation of open video systems.

A locality may regulate any open video system authorized pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 573 to the maximum extent permitted by federal law, including without limitation the (i) imposition of a gross revenues fee, if such locality has not adopted a currently effective ordinance pursuant to § 58.1-3818.3 and (ii) requirement of the provision and support of public, educational and governmental access channels on any such system.

1998, cc. 643, 652.

§ 15.2-2108.1:1. Franchise fees and public rights-of-way fees on cable operators.

A. As used in this section:

"Cable operator" means any person or group of persons that (i) provides cable service over a cable system and directly or through one or more affiliates owns a significant interest in such cable system or (ii) otherwise controls or is responsible for, through any arrangement, the management and operation of a cable system, whether or not the operator has entered into a franchise agreement with a locality. Cable operator does not include a provider of wireless or direct-to-home satellite transmission service.

"Cable service" means the one-way transmission to subscribers of (i) video programming as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 522 (20) or (ii) other programming service, and subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of such video programming or other programming service. Cable service does not include any video programming provided by a commercial mobile service provider as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 332 (d) and any direct-to-home satellite service as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 303 (v).

"Cable system" or "cable television system" means any facility consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception, and control equipment that is designed to provide cable service that includes video programming and that is provided to multiple subscribers within a community, except that such definition shall not include (i) a system that serves fewer than 20 subscribers; (ii) a facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations; (iii) a facility that serves only subscribers without using any public right-of-way; (iv) a facility of a common carrier that is subject, in whole or in part, to the provisions of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., except that such facility shall be considered a cable system to the extent such facility is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers, unless the extent of such use is solely to provide interactive on-demand services; (v) any facilities of any electric utility used solely for operating its electric systems; (vi) any portion of a system that serves fewer than 50 subscribers in any locality, where such portion is a part of a larger system franchised in an adjacent locality; or (vii) an open video system that complies with § 653 of Title VI of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 573.

"Franchise" means an initial authorization, or renewal thereof, issued by a franchising authority, including a locality or the Commonwealth Transportation Board, whether such authorization is designated as a franchise, permit, license, resolution, contract, certificate, agreement, or otherwise, that authorizes the construction or operation of a cable system, a telecommunications system, or other facility in the public rights-of-way, including either a negotiated cable franchise or an ordinance cable franchise.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a cable operator uses the public rights-of-way the cable operator shall be subject to the Public Rights-of-Way Use Fee as provided in § 56-468.1. Any limitation as to fees charged for the use of the public rights-of-way shall not be applicable to pole attachments and conduit occupancy agreements between a cable operator and a locality or its authority or commission, which permits such operator to use the public poles or conduits.

C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no new or renewed cable franchise entered into on or after January 1, 2007, shall include a franchise fee as long as cable services are subject to the Virginia Communications Sales and Use Tax (§ 58.1-645 et seq.). Franchise fee as used in this subsection shall have the same meaning as that term is defined in 47 U.S.C. § 542 (g).

1. All cable franchises in effect as of January 1, 2007, shall remain in full force and effect, and nothing in this section shall impair any obligation of any such agreement; provided, however, that any requirement in such an existing franchise for payment of a monetary franchise fee based on the gross revenues of the franchisee shall be fulfilled in the manner specified in subdivision 2.

2. Each cable operator owing monetary payments for franchise fees, until the expiration of one or more such existing franchises, shall include with its monthly remittance of the Communications Sales and Use Tax a report, by locality, of the amounts due for franchise fees accruing during that month. The Department of Taxation shall, on behalf of the cable operator in the relevant locality, then distribute to each county, city, or town the amount reported by each locality's franchisee(s). Such payments shall reduce the cable operator's franchise fee liability. The monthly distributions shall be paid from the Communications Sales and Use Tax Trust Fund before making the other calculations and distributions required by § 58.1-662. Until distributed to the individual localities, such amounts shall be deemed to be held in trust for their respective accounts.

3. A locality's acceptance of any payment under subdivision 2 shall not prejudice any rights of the locality under the applicable cable franchises (i) to audit or demand adjustment of the amounts reported by its franchisee, or (ii) to enforce the provisions of the franchise by any lawful administrative or judicial means.

2006, c. 780.

Article 1.1. Provision of Cable Television Services By Certain Localities.

§ 15.2-2108.2. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Advanced service" means high-speed Internet access capability in excess of 144 kilobits per second both upstream and downstream.

"Cable television service" means (i) the one-way transmission to subscribers of video programming or other programming service; and (ii) subscriber interaction, if any, that is required for the selection or use of the video programming or other programming service.

"Capital costs" means all costs of providing a service that are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

"Cross subsidize" means to pay a cost included in the direct costs or indirect costs of providing a service that is not accounted for in the full cost of accounting of providing the service.

"Direct costs" means those expenses of a municipality that are directly attributable to providing a cable television service and would be eliminated if such service were not provided by the municipality.

"Feasibility consultant" means an individual or entity with expertise in the processes and economics of providing cable television service.

"Full-cost accounting" means the accounting of all costs incurred by a municipality in providing a cable television service. The costs included in a full-cost accounting include all capital costs, direct costs, and indirect costs.

"Indirect costs" means any costs identified with two or more services or other functions; and that are not directly identified with a single service or function. "Indirect costs" may include cost factors for administration, accounting, personnel, purchasing, legal support, and other staff or departmental support.

"Private provider" means a private entity that provides cable television services.

"Telecommunications service" means the two-way transmission of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, messages, data, or other information of any nature by wire, radio, lightwaves, or other electromagnetic means offered to the public generally.

"Subscriber" means a person who lawfully receives cable television services.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.3. Scope of article.

A. Nothing in this article shall authorize any county or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth to (i) provide a cable television service; or (ii) purchase, lease, construct, maintain, or operate a facility for the purpose of providing a cable television service.

B. Nothing in this article shall apply to a municipality purchasing, leasing, constructing, or equipping facilities that are designed to provide services within the municipality, and that the municipality (i) uses for internal municipal government purposes; or (ii) by written contract, leases, sells capacity in, or grants other similar rights to a private provider to use the facilities in connection with a private provider offering cable television services.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.4. Limitations on providing cable television services.

A. Except as provided in this article, a municipality shall not (i) provide a cable television service; or (ii) purchase, lease, construct, maintain, or operate any facility for the purpose of providing a cable television service to one or more subscribers.

B. For purposes of this article, a municipality provides a cable television service if the municipality provides the service:

1. Directly or indirectly, including through an authority or instrumentality acting on behalf of the municipality or acting for the benefit of the municipality; or

2. By itself, through a partnership, joint venture, or by contract, resale, or otherwise.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.5. Preliminary public hearing; feasibility consultant.

A. Before a municipality may engage or offer to engage in an activity described in subsection A of § 15.2-2108.4, the governing body of the municipality shall hold a preliminary public hearing at which any interested party may appear and be heard.

B. If the governing body elects to proceed after holding the preliminary public hearing required by subsection A, the governing body shall approve the hiring of a feasibility consultant to conduct a feasibility study in accordance with § 15.2-2108.6.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.6. Feasibility study on providing cable television services.

A. Upon the hiring of a feasibility consultant under § 15.2-2108.5, the governing body of the municipality shall require the feasibility consultant to:

1. Complete the feasibility study in accordance with this section;

2. Submit to the governing body by no later than 180 days from the date the feasibility consultant is hired to conduct the feasibility study the full written results of the feasibility study, and a summary of the results that is no longer than one page in length; and

3. Attend the public hearings required by § 15.2-2108.7, if held, to: (i) present the feasibility study results and (ii) respond to questions from the public.

B. The feasibility study described in subsection A shall at a minimum consider:

1. If the municipality is proposing to provide cable television services to subscribers, whether the municipality providing cable television services in the manner proposed by the municipality will hinder or advance competition for cable television services in the municipality;

2. Whether but for the municipality any person would provide the proposed cable television services;

3. The fiscal impact on the municipality of: (i) the capital investment in facilities that will be used to provide the proposed cable television services or (ii) the expenditure of funds for labor, financing, and administering the proposed cable television services;

4. The projected growth in demand in the municipality for the proposed cable television services;

5. The projections at the time of the feasibility study, and for the five years immediately thereafter, of a full-cost accounting for a municipality to purchase, lease, construct, maintain, or operate the facilities necessary to provide the proposed cable television services; and

6. The projections at the time of the feasibility study and for the five years immediately thereafter of the revenues to be generated from the proposed cable television services.

C. For purposes of the financial projections required under subdivisions B 5 and B 6 of this section, the feasibility consultant shall assume that the municipality will price the proposed cable television services consistent with subsection E of § 15.2-2108.11.

D. The governing body of the municipality shall determine whether the average annual revenues under subdivision B 6 exceed the average annual costs under subdivision B 5 by at least the amount necessary to meet the bond obligations of any bonds issued to fund the proposed cable television services based on the feasibility study's analysis for the first year of the study and the five-year projection, and separately stated with respect to the proposed cable television services.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.7. Public hearings on feasibility study; notice.

A. If the results of the feasibility study satisfy the revenue requirements of subsection D of § 15.2-2108.6, the governing body shall, at the next regular meeting after the governing body receives the results of the feasibility study, schedule at least two public hearings to be held at least seven days apart, but both shall be held not more than 60 days from the date of the meeting at which the public hearings are scheduled. The purpose of such public hearings shall be to allow the feasibility consultant to present the results of the feasibility study, and to inform the public about the feasibility study results and offer the public the opportunity to ask questions of the feasibility consultant about the results of the feasibility study.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, the municipality shall publish notice of the public hearings required under subsection A at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. The last publication of notice required under this subsection shall be at least three days before the first public hearing required under subsection A.

C. If there is no newspaper of general circulation in the municipality, for each 1,000 residents the municipality shall post at least one notice of the hearings in a conspicuous place within the municipality that is likely to give notice of the hearings to the greatest number of residents of the municipality. The municipality shall post the notices at least seven days before the first public hearing required under subsection A is held.

D. After holding the public hearings required by this section, if the governing body of the municipality elects to proceed, the municipality shall adopt by resolution the feasibility study.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.8. Referendum.

A. Before a municipality may offer cable television service, the governing body of the municipality shall by a majority vote call an election on whether or not the municipality shall provide the proposed cable television services.

B. When under subsection A the governing body calls an election, the election shall be held:

1. At the next municipal general election or as provided in Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2 at a local special election the purpose of which is authorized by this section; and

2. In accordance with the law of Virginia regarding elections in Title 24.2 and as provided in this section.

C. The notice of the election shall include with any other information required by law:

1. A summary of the cable television services that the governing body of the municipality proposes to provide to subscribers residing within the boundaries of the municipality;

2. The feasibility study summary under § 15.2-2108.6;

3. A statement that a full copy of the feasibility study is available for inspection and copying; and

4. The location in the municipality where the feasibility study may be inspected or copied.

D. The ballot at the election shall pose the question substantially as follows: "Shall this municipality provide cable television service to the inhabitants of the municipality?"

E. The ballot proposition shall not take effect until submitted to the electorate and approved by the majority of those voting on the ballot.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.9. Enterprise funds for cable television services.

A. A municipality that provides a cable television service under this article shall:

1. Establish an enterprise fund to account for the municipality's operations of a cable television service; and

2. Adopt separate operating and capital budgets for the municipality's cable television services.

B. A municipality that provides a cable television service under this article shall not:

1. Transfer any appropriation or other balance in any enterprise fund established by the municipality under this section to another enterprise fund; or

2. Transfer any appropriation or other balance in any other enterprise fund established by the municipality to any enterprise fund established by the municipality under this section.

The restrictions on transfers described in this subsection do not apply to transfers made by a municipality between other enterprise funds established by the municipality.

C. A municipality authorized pursuant to subsection E of § 56-265.4:4 to provide cable television service shall:

1. Establish a separate department within an enterprise fund to account for the municipality's operations of a cable television service. This department may share a common balance sheet with other telecommunications and communications services, but the income statements must be stated separately; and

2. Adopt separate operating and capital budgets for the municipality's cable television services.

D. A municipality authorized pursuant to subsection E of § 56-265.4:4 to provide cable television service shall not transfer funds from other departments to the cable television department, but the municipality may make interdepartmental loans at market rates, upon such terms and conditions as would prevail from a private lender.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.10. Bonding authority.

A. The governing body of a municipality may by resolution determine to issue one or more bonds to finance the capital costs for facilities necessary to provide to subscribers a cable television service. Such resolution shall: (i) describe the purpose for which the indebtedness is to be created and (ii) specify the dollar amount of the one or more bonds proposed to be issued.

B. A bond issued under this section shall be secured and paid for solely from the revenues generated by the municipality from providing cable television services with respect to bonds issued to finance facilities for the municipality's cable television services. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a municipality authorized under subsection E of § 56-265.4:4 to provide cable television services shall not be subject to the requirement that it secure a bond with solely the revenues generated by the municipality from providing cable television services, and such municipality shall repay the bond indebtedness in a fashion that reflects a reasonable pro rata allocation of such indebtedness by enterprise fund or department.

C. A municipality shall pay that portion of the origination, financing, or other carrying costs associated with one or more bonds issued under this section associated with cable television solely from the funds of the cable television department.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.11. General operating limitations.

A. A municipality that provides a cable television service shall comply with all terms and provisions of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (47 U.S.C. § 521 et seq.) and the regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission under such Act that would be applicable to a similarly situated private provider of cable television services.

B. A municipality may not cross subsidize its cable television services with:

1. Tax dollars;

2. Income from other municipal or utility services;

3. Below-market rate loans from the municipality; or

4. Any other means.

C. A municipality shall not make or grant any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to itself or to any private provider of cable television services.

D. A municipality shall apply, without discrimination as to itself and to any private provider, the municipality's ordinances, rules, and policies, including those relating to (i) obligation to serve; (ii) access to public rights of way and municipal utility poles and conduits; (iii) permitting; (iv) performance bonding; (v) reporting; and (vi) quality of service.

E. In calculating the rates charged by a municipality for a cable television service:

1. The municipality shall include within its rates an amount equal to all taxes, fees, and other assessments that would be applicable to a similarly situated private provider of the same services, including federal, state, and local taxes; franchise fees; permit fees; pole attachment fees; and any similar fees; and

2. The municipality shall not price any cable television service at a level that is less than the sum of: (i) the actual direct costs of providing the service; (ii) the actual indirect costs of providing the service; and (iii) the amount determined under subdivision E 1.

F. A municipality that provides cable television services shall comply with the provisions of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding rate and service changes.

G. A municipality shall offer to provide or provide cable television services to only those subscriber locations within either (i) the municipality's electric utility service area as it existed on January 1, 2003, or (ii) the area, as of January 1, 2003, in which the municipality was providing local exchange service or Internet service over telecommunications facilities owned by the municipality, provided that a cable television franchise from any jurisdiction other than the municipality authorized herein shall be required for any service outside the municipality's boundaries.

H. A municipality shall keep accurate books and records of the municipality's cable television services. A municipality shall conduct an annual audit of its books and records associated with the municipality's cable television services, such audit to be performed by an independent auditor approved by the Auditor of Public Accounts. Such audit shall include such criteria as the Auditor of Public Accounts deems appropriate and be filed with him, with copies to be submitted to each private provider that holds a franchise to offer service within the municipality. If, after review of such audit, the Commonwealth's Auditor of Public Accounts determines that there are violations of this article, he shall provide public notice of same.

I. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall not disclose those portions of any comprehensive business plan that reveal marketing strategies of a municipal cable television service except as necessary to perform his duties and such information shall be otherwise exempt from public disclosure and not subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2003, c. 677; 2004, c. 586.

§ 15.2-2108.12. Eminent domain.

A. No municipality shall exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn any plant or equipment of a private provider for the purpose of providing to a subscriber a cable television service.

B. No municipality, for the purpose of providing to a subscriber a cable television service, shall exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn real property, whether in whole or in part, or to obtain an easement.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.13. Quality of service standards.

A municipality that provides a cable television service shall adopt an ordinance governing the quality of service the municipality shall provide to its subscribers, which standard of quality shall be no more favorable or less burdensome to the municipality than the standard of quality applied to any other private providers within the municipality.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.14. Civil action.

A private provider may file an action against a municipality in the circuit court having jurisdiction over the municipality for equitable relief, including a restraining order and injunction, for a violation of the provisions of this article. At least 10 days before filing such action the private provider shall file a written notice thereof with the municipality.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.15. Consumer complaints.

A municipality that provides cable television service shall enact an ordinance establishing a procedure for the filing and resolution of complaints relating to the municipality's provision of cable television service. Such ordinance shall comply with Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations and shall be no more favorable or less burdensome to the municipality than such procedure applicable to any private provider providing service in the municipality.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.16. Annual report.

A municipality that provides cable television service shall provide to a private provider the same information required to be filed with the municipality by that private provider under the terms of its franchise.

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.17. Antitrust immunity.

A municipality that provides a cable television service is subject to applicable antitrust liabilities and immunities from liabilities under the federal Local Government Antitrust Act of 1984 (15 U.S.C. § 34 et seq.).

2003, c. 677.

§ 15.2-2108.18. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, cc. 724 and 725, cl. 4, effective April 8, 2016.

Article 1.2. Licensing and Regulation of Cable Television Systems.

§ 15.2-2108.19. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Act" means the Communications Act of 1934.

"Affiliate," in relation to any person, means another person who owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with, such person.

"Basic service tier" means the service tier that includes (i) the retransmission of local television broadcast channels and (ii) public, educational, and governmental channels required to be carried in the basic tier.

"Cable operator" means any person or group of persons that (i) provides cable service over a cable system and directly or through one or more affiliates owns a significant interest in such cable system or (ii) otherwise controls or is responsible for, through any arrangement, the management and operation of a cable system. Cable operator does not include a provider of wireless or direct-to-home satellite transmission service.

"Cable service" means the one-way transmission to subscribers of (i) video programming or (ii) other programming service, and subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection or use of such video programming or other programming service. Cable service does not include any video programming provided by a commercial mobile service provider defined in 47 U.S.C. § 332 (d).

"Cable system" or "cable television system" means any facility consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception, and control equipment that is designed to provide cable service that includes video programming and that is provided to multiple subscribers within a community, except that such definition shall not include (i) a system that serves fewer than 20 subscribers; (ii) a facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations; (iii) a facility that serves only subscribers without using any public right-of-way; (iv) a facility of a common carrier that is subject, in whole or in part, to the provisions of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., except that such facility shall be considered a cable system to the extent such facility is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers, unless the extent of such use is solely to provide interactive on-demand services; (v) any facilities of any electric utility used solely for operating its electric systems; (vi) any portion of a system that serves fewer than 50 subscribers in any locality, where such portion is a part of a larger system franchised in an adjacent locality; or (vii) an open video system that complies with § 653 of Title VI of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 573.

"Certificated provider of telecommunications services" means a person holding a certificate issued by the State Corporation Commission to provide local exchange telephone service.

"Force majeure" means an event or events reasonably beyond the ability of the cable operator to anticipate and control. "Force majeure" includes, but is not limited to, acts of God, incidences of terrorism, war or riots, labor strikes or civil disturbances, floods, earthquakes, fire, explosions, epidemics, hurricanes, tornadoes, governmental actions and restrictions, work delays caused by waiting for utility providers to service or monitor or provide access to utility poles to which the cable operator's facilities are attached or to be attached or conduits in which the cable operator's facilities are located or to be located, and unavailability of materials or qualified labor to perform the work necessary.

"Franchise" means an initial authorization, or renewal thereof, issued by a franchising authority, including a locality or the Commonwealth Transportation Board, whether such authorization is designated as a franchise, permit, license, resolution, contract, certificate, agreement, or otherwise, that authorizes the construction or operation of a cable system, a telecommunications system, or other facility in the public rights-of-way. A negotiated cable franchise is granted by a locality after negotiation with an applicant pursuant to § 15.2-2108.20. An ordinance cable franchise is granted by a locality when an applicant provides notice pursuant to § 15.2-2108.21 that it will provide cable service in the locality.

"Gross revenue" means all revenue, as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, that is actually received by the cable operator and derived from the operation of the cable system to provide cable services in the franchise area; however, in an ordinance cable franchise "gross revenue" shall not include: (i) refunds or rebates made to subscribers or other third parties; (ii) any revenue which is received from the sale of merchandise over home shopping channels carried on the cable system, but not including revenue received from home shopping channels for the use of the cable service to sell merchandise; (iii) any tax, fee, or charge collected by the cable operator and remitted to a governmental entity or its agent or designee, including without limitation a local public access or education group; (iv) program launch fees; (v) directory or Internet advertising revenue including, but not limited to, yellow page, white page, banner advertisement, and electronic publishing; (vi) a sale of cable service for resale or for use as a component part of or for the integration into cable services to be resold in the ordinary course of business, when the reseller is required to pay or collect franchise fees or similar fees on the resale of the cable service; (vii) revenues received by any affiliate or any other person in exchange for supplying goods or services used by the cable operator to provide cable service; and (viii) revenue derived from services classified as noncable services under federal law, including, without limitation, revenue derived from telecommunications services and information services, and any other revenues attributed by the cable operator to noncable services in accordance with rules, regulations, standards, or orders of the Federal Communications Commission.

"Interactive on-demand services" means a service providing video programming to subscribers over switched networks on an on-demand, point-to-point basis, but does not include services providing video programming prescheduled by the programming provider.

"Ordinance" includes a resolution.

"Transfer" means any transaction in which (i) an ownership or other interest in the cable operator is transferred, directly or indirectly, from one person or group of persons to another person or group of persons, so that majority control of the cable operator is transferred; or (ii) the rights and obligations held by the cable operator under the cable franchise granted under this article are transferred or assigned to another person or group of persons. However, notwithstanding clauses (i) and (ii) of the preceding sentence, a transfer of the cable franchise shall not include (a) transfer of an ownership or other interest in the cable operator to the parent of the cable operator or to another affiliate of the cable operator; (b) transfer of an interest in the cable franchise granted under this article or the rights held by the cable operator under the cable franchise granted under this article to the parent of the cable operator or to another affiliate of the cable operator; (c) any action that is the result of a merger of the parent of the cable operator; (d) any action that is the result of a merger of another affiliate of the cable operator; or (e) a transfer in trust, by mortgage, or by assignment of any rights, title, or interest of the cable operator in the cable franchise or the system used to provide cable in order to secure indebtedness.

"Video programming" means programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to, programming provided by a television broadcast station.

All terms used herein, unless otherwise defined, shall have the same meaning as set forth in Title VI of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 521 et seq. In addition, references in this article to any federal law shall include amendments thereto as are enacted from time-to-time.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.20. Authority to grant negotiated cable franchises and regulate cable systems.

A. A locality may grant a negotiated cable franchise in accordance with Title VI of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 521 et seq., and this chapter.

B. A locality may, by ordinance, exercise all regulatory powers over cable systems granted by the Communications Act of 1934, except as limited by this article. These regulatory powers shall include the authority: (i) to enforce customer service standards in accordance with the Act; (ii) to enforce more stringent standards as agreed upon by the cable operator through the terms of a negotiated cable franchise; and (iii) to regulate the rates for basic cable service in accordance with the Act. A locality, however, shall not regulate cable operators, cable systems, or other facilities used to provide video programming through the adoption of ordinances or regulations (a) that are more onerous than ordinances or regulations adopted for existing cable operators; (b) that unreasonably prejudice or disadvantage any cable operator, whether existing or new; or (c) that are inconsistent with any provision of federal law or this article.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.21. Ordinance cable franchises.

A. This section shall govern the procedures by which a locality may grant ordinance cable franchises.

B. An ordinance cable franchise, which shall have a term of 15 years, may be requested by (i) a certificated provider of telecommunications services with previous consent to use the public rights-of-way in a locality through a franchise; (ii) a certificated provider of telecommunications services that lacked previous consent to provide cable service in a locality but provided telecommunications services over facilities leased from an entity having previous consent to use of the public rights-of-way in such locality through a franchise; or (iii) a cable operator with previous consent to use the public rights-of-way to provide cable service in a locality through a franchise and who seeks to renew its existing cable franchise pursuant to § 15.2-2108.30 as an ordinance cable franchise. A cable operator with previous consent to use the public rights-of-way to provide cable service in a locality through a franchise may opt into the new terms of an ordinance cable franchise under § 15.2-2108.26.

C. In order to obtain an ordinance cable franchise, an applicant shall first file with the chief administrative officer of the locality from which it seeks to receive such ordinance cable franchise a request to negotiate the terms and conditions of a negotiated cable franchise under § 15.2-2108.20. An applicant shall request and make itself available to participate in cable franchise negotiations with the locality from which it seeks to receive a negotiated cable franchise at least 45 calendar days prior to filing a notice electing an ordinance cable franchise; this prerequisite shall not be applicable if a locality refuses to engage in negotiations at the request of an applicant or if the applicant already holds a negotiated cable franchise from the locality. Thereafter, an applicant, through its president or chief executive officer, shall file notice with the locality that it elects to receive an ordinance cable franchise at least 30 days prior to offering cable in such locality. The notice shall be accompanied by a map or a boundary description showing (i) the initial service area in which the cable operator intends to provide cable service in the locality within the three-year period required for an initial service area and (ii) the area in the locality in which the cable operator has its telephone facilities. The map or boundary description of the initial service areas may be amended by the cable operator by filing with the locality a new map or boundary description of the initial service area.

D. The cable operator shall assure that access to cable services is not denied to any group of potential residential cable subscribers because of the income of the residents of the local area in which such group resides. The local franchising authority shall have the right to monitor and inspect the deployment of cable services and the cable operator shall submit semiannual progress reports detailing the current provision of cable services in accordance with the deployment schedule and its new service area plans for the next six months. The failure to correct or remedy any material deficiencies shall be subject to the same remedies as contained in the cable television franchise of the existing cable operator as that franchise existed at the time of the grant of the ordinance franchise.

E. The locality from which the applicant seeks to receive an ordinance cable franchise shall adopt any ordinance requiring adoption under this article within 120 days of the applicant filing the notice required in subsection C. Any ordinance adopted under this section that relates to a cable operator's provision of cable service shall apply to such cable operator retroactively to the date on which the cable operator began to offer cable service in the locality pursuant to this article.

F. Notice of any ordinance that requires a public hearing shall be advertised once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the locality. The advertisement shall include a statement that a copy of the full text of the ordinance is on file in the office of the clerk of the locality. All costs of such advertising shall be assessed against the operator or applicant.

G. If the governing body of any town adopts an ordinance pursuant to the provisions of this article, such town shall not be subject to any ordinance adopted by the county within which such town lies.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.22. Regulation of fees, rates and services; penalties.

Upon receiving a notice requesting an ordinance cable franchise pursuant to § 15.2-2108.21, a locality shall adopt or maintain one or more ordinances that govern a cable operator who provides cable service under an ordinance cable franchise. The requirements of any specific provision in any such ordinance shall not exceed the requirements imposed in the same provision, if any, in any existing cable franchise within the locality. Such ordinance or ordinances, which shall be adopted after a public hearing, shall:

1. Require a cable operator to provide the locality with access to a number of public, educational, and governmental access channels, equal to the lowest number of such channels provided by any other cable operator in the same franchise area of the locality. If the existing cable operator provides less than three such public, educational, and governmental access channels pursuant to a franchise agreement, the locality may require each cable operator to provide up to three such channels. Any additional channels provided subject to this provision shall be subject to the reclamation formula set forth below. In addition, a locality may, by ordinance adopted after a public hearing, require a cable operator to interconnect with any other cable operator to ensure the carriage of required public, educational, and governmental access channels; if the new cable operator and all existing cable operators cannot agree to an interconnection agreement within 180 days of a request to interconnect by the new cable operator, then the locality is authorized to determine an interconnection point. The locality or its designee shall assume responsibility for management, operation, and programming of such channels. A locality that substantially utilizes its existing public, educational, and governmental access channels may require a reasonable number of additional public, educational, and governmental access channels by the enactment of an ordinance, after a public hearing, so long as (i) the ordinance applies equally to all providers of cable service within a franchise area, (ii) the total number of additional public, educational, and governmental access channels does not exceed three channels in the basic service tier, and (iii) the total number of public, educational, and governmental access channels shall not exceed seven channels in the aggregate. Notwithstanding the foregoing, but consistent with federal law, the locality and a cable operator may enter into written agreements for the carriage of additional public, educational, and governmental access channels, including other arrangements for the carriage of such programming. Any additional public, educational, and governmental access channel provided pursuant to this article that is not utilized by the locality for at least eight hours a day shall no longer be made available to the locality, but may be programmed at the cable operator's discretion. At such time as the locality can certify to the cable operator a schedule for at least eight hours of daily programming for a period of three months, the cable operator shall restore the previously re-allocated channel. For purposes of this subdivision, a public, educational, and governmental access channel shall be considered to be substantially utilized when 12 hours are programmed on that channel each calendar day; in addition, at least 33% of the 12 hours of programming for each business day on average over each calendar quarter must be nonrepeat programming. For purposes of this subdivision, nonrepeat programming shall include the first three videocastings of a program and shall include programming on other public, educational, and governmental access channels in that locality. Programming for purposes of determining substantial utilization shall not include an alphanumeric scroll, except that for purposes of requiring one or more additional public, educational, and governmental access channels, an alphanumeric scroll shall be included as programming on not more than one channel;

2. Require a cable operator to pay a franchise fee, remitted on the same schedule as the least frequent schedule of an existing cable operator, but no more frequently than quarterly, calculated by multiplying a franchise fee percentage rate by the cable operator's gross revenues in such franchise area for the remittance period; however, the franchise fee rate shall (i) not exceed 5% of such gross revenues and (ii) not exceed the lowest franchise fee rate paid or provided by an existing cable operator in the locality. The locality may further require that the cable operator make the franchise fee payments to the locality no later than 45 days following the end of the remittance period and require that the franchise fee payment be submitted with a brief report prepared by a duly authorized representative of the cable operator showing the basis for the computation. The locality shall have the right to reasonably require further supporting information that does not exceed the information required to be provided by existing cable operators in the locality;

3. Require a cable operator to pay a recurring fee, hereafter referred to as the PEG Capital Fee, to support the capital costs of public, educational, and governmental channel facilities, including institutional networks, provided that the PEG Capital Fee is equal to the lowest recurring fee imposed on a per subscriber or a percentage of gross revenue basis and paid by any existing cable operator in the locality to support the capital costs of such facilities. The PEG Capital Fee shall only be imposed on a per subscriber or a percentage of gross revenue basis. If the existing cable operator has paid a lump sum capital grant at award or renewal of its current franchise, or is providing in-kind equipment in lieu of such a capital grant, to support public, educational, and governmental channel facilities, including institutional networks, the locality, by ordinance adopted after a public hearing, shall also impose an additional monthly recurring fee to be known as the PEG Capital Grant Surcharge Fee on the new cable operator equal to the lower of (i) 1.5% of the new cable operator's gross revenues derived from the operation of its cable system in that locality or (ii) the lowest amount of capital contribution paid or provided in-kind, as shown on the books of the cable operator, by an existing cable operator in the locality (a) when such capital contribution is amortized over the term of the existing cable operator's franchise and (b) divided by the number of subscribers or annual gross revenue of the existing cable operator as shown on its most recent report to the locality, depending on recovery methodology chosen by the locality. Both the PEG Capital Fee and the PEG Capital Grant Surcharge Fee may only be collected by the locality for the remainder of the shortest remaining franchise term of any existing cable operator in the locality; however, at the end of such term the locality may negotiate with all cable operators to set a new, recurring fee to support the reasonable and necessary capital costs of public, educational, and governmental channel facilities, including institutional networks, that shall be imposed on all cable operators such that the fee applies equally to all of the customers of all cable operators in the locality. At the end of such term, no cable operator shall be required to provide any further in-kind public, educational, and governmental access channels, including institutional network, support. If the cable operators and the locality cannot agree on such a recurring capital cost fee, the locality, by ordinance adopted after a public hearing, may impose a recurring fee, calculated on a per subscriber or percentage of gross revenue basis, to support the reasonable and necessary capital costs of public, educational, and governmental channel facilities, including institutional networks; however, such fee may not exceed the PEG Capital Fee previously imposed on cable operators by the locality. Any and all fees permitted under this subdivision shall be paid by the cable operator to the locality on the same schedule as franchise fees are paid. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to permit a locality to require cable operators to pay capital grants at the time of the grant or renewal of a franchise or otherwise except for the PEG Capital Grant Surcharge Fee specifically provided in this subdivision;

4. Require a cable operator to comply with the customer service requirements imposed by the locality pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 552(a) (1) and this article through the adoption of an ordinance after a public hearing. Any customer service requirements imposed by the locality that exceed the requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission under 47 U.S.C. § 552(b) shall (i) not be designed so that the cable operator cannot also comply with any other customer service requirements under state or federal law or regulation applicable to the cable operator in its provision of other services over the same network used to provide cable service, (ii) be no more stringent than the customer service requirements applied to other cable operators in the franchise area, and (iii) be reasonably tailored to achieve appropriate customer service goals based on the technology used by the cable operator to provide cable service;

5. Adopt procedures by which it will enforce the provisions of this article and the applicable mandatory requirements of 47 U.S.C. §§ 521-573 and the regulations promulgated thereunder. Such procedures shall require the locality to: (i) informally discuss the matter with the cable operator in the event that the locality believes that a cable operator has not complied with this article or the applicable mandatory requirements of 47 U.S.C. §§ 521-573 and (ii) notify the cable operator in writing of the exact nature of the alleged noncompliance if the discussions described in the foregoing clause (i) do not lead to resolution of the alleged noncompliance. The cable operator shall have 15 days from receipt of this written notice to: (a) respond to the locality, if the cable operator contests, in whole or in part, the assertion of noncompliance; (b) cure such default; or (c) in the event that, by the nature of default, such default cannot be cured within the 15-day period, initiate reasonable steps to remedy such default and notify the locality of the steps being taken and the projected date that they will be completed. The locality shall schedule a public hearing in the event that the cable operator fails to respond to the written notice pursuant to these procedures or in the event that the alleged default is not remedied within 30 days of the date projected above if the locality intends to continue its investigation into the default. The locality shall provide the cable operator at least 30 business days prior written notice of such hearing, which will specify the time, place, and purpose of such hearing, and provide the cable operator the opportunity to be heard;

6. Adopt a schedule of uniform penalties or liquidated damages that it may impose upon any cable operator with an ordinance cable franchise when the locality determines that the cable operator has failed to materially comply with (i) customer service standards; (ii) carriage of public, educational, and governmental channels; (iii) reporting requirements; or (iv) timely and full payment of the franchise fee or the fee assessed for the provision of public, educational, or governmental access channels, including institutional networks. Any penalty or liquidated damage for any of the foregoing violations shall be the same penalty or liquidated damage already established for a cable operator in the same franchise area, if any. In addition, a locality shall not impose any penalty or liquidated damage adopted pursuant to this subdivision until the cable operator has been afforded a reasonable cure period between the time the cable operator is notified of the violation and the penalty or liquidated damage is imposed. A separate violation for purposes of this article and the ordinances passed to implement this article as it pertains to customer service standards shall be deemed to occur whenever the locality reasonably determines that a separate customer service standard violation has occurred on one day; however, the cable operator shall not be charged with multiple violations for a single act or event affecting one or more subscribers on the same day. The locality may charge interest at the legal rate as set forth in § 6.2-301 for any amounts due the locality by the cable operator in clause (iv) of this subdivision that remain unpaid and undisputed;

7. Adopt procedures under which the locality may inspect and audit, upon 30 days prior written notice, the books and records of the cable operator and recompute any amounts determined to be payable under the ordinances adopted pursuant to this article. The procedures adopted by the locality shall not exceed the following requirements: (i) the locality may require the cable operator to make available to the locality all records reasonably necessary to confirm the accurate payment of fees; (ii) the locality may require the cable operator to bear the locality's reasonable out-of-pocket audit expenses if the audit discloses an underpayment of more than 3% of any quarterly payment, but not less than $5,000; (iii) the locality may require the cable operator to pay any additional undisputed amounts due to the locality as a result of the audit within 30 days following written notice by the locality to the cable operator; (iv) in the event the cable operator disputes any underpayment discovered as the result of an audit conducted by the locality, the locality shall work together with the cable operator in good faith to promptly resolve such dispute; (v) the locality shall provide that the cable operator and the locality maintain all rights and remedies available at law regarding any disputed amounts; (vi) the locality shall have no more than three years from the time the cable operator delivers a payment to provide a written, detailed objection to or dispute of that payment, and if the locality fails to object to or dispute the payment within that time period, the locality shall be barred from objecting to or disputing it after that time period; and (vii) the locality shall not audit a cable operator more frequently than every 24 months;

8. Adopt reasonable reporting requirements for annual financial information and quarterly customer service information that must be provided by a cable operator to the locality so long as such information does not exceed the reporting requirements for any existing cable operator in that locality;

9. Require cable operators to provide, without charge, within the area actually served by the cable operator, one cable service outlet activated for basic cable service to each fire station, public school, police station, public library, and any other local government building. The ordinance shall apply equally to all providers of cable services in the locality, but shall not apply in cases where it is not technically feasible for a cable operator to comply;

10. Subject to § 15.2-2108.24, adopt requirements and procedures for (i) the management of the public rights-of-way that do not exceed the standards set forth in clauses (i) and (ii) of subsection C of § 56-462 and (ii) the construction of a cable system in the public rights-of-way;

11. Adopt the following allocation procedure if cable services subject to a franchise fee, or any other fee determined by a percentage of the cable operator's gross revenues in a locality, are provided to subscribers in conjunction with other services: the fee shall be applied only to the value of these cable services, as reflected on the books and records of the cable operator in accordance with rules, regulations, standards, or orders of the Federal Communications Commission or the State Corporation Commission, or generally accepted accounting principles. Any discounts resulting from purchasing the services as a bundle shall be reasonably allocated between the respective services that constitute the bundled transaction; and

12. Require cable operators to make cable service available to (i) up to all of the occupied residential dwelling units in the initial service area selected by cable operator within no less than three years of the date of the grant of the franchise and (ii) no more than 65% of the residential dwelling units in the area in the locality in which the cable operator has its telephone facilities, within no less than seven years of the date of the grant of the franchise. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a cable operator shall not be required to make cable service available: (a) for periods of force majeure; (b) for periods of delay caused by the locality; (c) for periods of delay resulting from the cable operator's inability to obtain authority to access rights-of-way in the service area; (d) in areas where developments or buildings are subject to claimed exclusive arrangements; (e) in developments or buildings that the cable operator cannot access under industry standard terms and conditions after good faith negotiation; (f) in developments or buildings that the cable operator is unable to provide cable service for technical reasons or that require facilities that are not available or cannot be deployed on a commercially reasonable basis; (g) in areas where it is not technically feasible to provide cable service due to the technology used by the cable operator to provide cable service; (h) in areas where the average occupied residential household density is less than 30 occupied residential dwelling units per mile as measured in strand footage from the nearest technically feasible point on the cable operator's active cable system (or such higher average density number as may be contained in an existing cable operator's cable franchise); and (i) when the cable operator's prior service, payment, or theft of service history with a subscriber or potential subscriber has been unfavorable. Should, through new construction, an area within the cable operator's service area meet the density requirement, a cable operator shall, subject to the exclusions in this subdivision, provide cable service to such area within six months of receiving notice from the locality that the density requirements have been met. A locality may not require a cable operator using its telephone facilities to provide cable service to provide any cable service outside of the area in the locality in which the cable operator has its telephone facilities. During the 12-month period commencing after the seventh-year anniversary date of the grant of the franchise, a locality may, by ordinance adopted after a public hearing in which the locality specifically finds that such a requirement is necessary to promote competition in cable services within the locality, require the cable operator to make service available to no more than 80% of the residential dwelling units in the area in the locality in which the cable operator has its telephone facilities within no less than 10 years of the date of the grant of the franchise, subject to the exclusions in clauses (a) through (i) of this subdivision. If the cable operator notifies the locality that it is unwilling to accept this additional service availability requirement, the locality may, after notice and public hearing, terminate the cable operator's ordinance cable franchise. The cable operator shall file a certificate at its third and seventh, and if applicable, tenth, anniversary dates certifying its compliance with the foregoing service requirements. For purposes of an ordinance cable franchise, the date of the grant of the franchise shall be the date the notice required by § 15.2-2108.21 is filed with the locality. For purposes of a negotiated cable franchise, the date of the grant of the franchise shall be the date the respective locality has granted a negotiated cable franchise pursuant to § 15.2-2108.20.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.23. Regulation of rights-of-way; fees.

A. To the extent that a franchised cable operator has been authorized to use the public rights-of-way in a locality and is obligated to pay a franchise fee to such locality, such cable operator shall not be subject to any occupancy, use, or similar fee, with respect to its use of such rights-of-way, by the locality or the Commonwealth Transportation Board except to the extent that such cable operator is also a certificated provider of telecommunications services and subject to the public rights-of-way use fee under § 56-468.1. The Commonwealth Transportation Board may charge, on a nondiscriminatory basis, fees to recover the approximate actual cost incurred for the issuance of a permit to perform work within the rights-of-way and for inspections to ensure compliance with the conditions of the permit, as such fees shall be established by regulations adopted under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.); however, such fees may not apply to certificated providers of telecommunications services except to the extent permitted under §§ 56-458, 56-462, and 56-468.1.

B. A locality may charge, on a nondiscriminatory basis, fees to recover the approximate actual cost incurred for the issuance of a permit to perform work within the rights-of-way and for inspections to ensure compliance with the conditions of the permit, as such fees existed on February 1, 1997, or as subsequently modified by ordinance; however, such fees may not apply to certificated providers of telecommunications services except to the extent permitted under §§ 56-458, 56-462, and 56-468.1. The limitation as to fees charged for the use of the public rights-of-way shall not be applicable to pole attachments and conduit occupancy agreements between a franchised cable operator and a locality or its authority or commission, which permits such operator to use the public poles or conduits.

C. Except as provided in §§ 56-458, 56-462, and 56-468.1 and in any rules adopted by the Commonwealth Transportation Board under Article 2 (§ 33.2-208 et seq.) of Chapter 2 of Title 33.2, the cable franchise granted hereunder supersedes and replaces any and all other requirements and fees in local laws and the laws of the Commonwealth relating to the use of the public rights-of-way by a cable system or other facilities for the provision of cable service, whether such other authorizations are designated as franchises, permits, consents, ordinances, or otherwise. No cable operator that is (i) a certificated provider of telecommunications services that has previous consent to use the public rights-of-way in a locality through a franchise or (ii) a certificated provider of telecommunications services that lacked prior consent to provide cable service in a locality but provided telecommunications service over facilities leased from an entity having previous consent to use the public rights-of-way in such locality through a franchise and granted a franchise and paying fees pursuant to this section shall be required, in order to develop or operate a cable system or other facilities to provide video services, to (a) obtain consent in accordance with §§ 15.2-2015 through 15.2-2017, § 56-458 or 56-462, except for permits or other permission to open streets and roads, or (b) submit bids, bonds or applications in accordance with §§ 15.2-2100 through 15.2-2105, except for reasonable performance bonds or letters of credit not in excess of $50,000. The restrictions in §§ 15.2-2015 through 15.2-2018, 15.2-2100 through 15.2-2105, 15.2-2106 and 15.2-2107, including but not limited to the advertisement and receipt of bids for franchises, shall not apply to a cable system or other facilities used to provide cable services by a cable operator that is a certificated provider of telecommunications services with previous consent to use the public rights-of-way in a locality through a franchise, including the provision of telecommunications services over facilities leased from an entity with previous consent to use the public rights-of-way in a locality through a franchise, but without previous consent to provide cable service in that locality.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.24. Regulation of facility construction or rights-of-way management requirements for certain cable operators.

A locality shall not impose through a franchise to provide cable service, whether by negotiation or by ordinance, any facility construction or rights-of-way management requirements on a cable operator that is (i) a certificated provider of telecommunications services that has a franchise to use the public rights-of-way in a locality or (ii) a certificated provider of telecommunications services that lacked prior consent to provide cable service in a locality but provided telecommunications services over facilities leased from an entity having a franchise to use the public rights-of-way in such locality, except that a municipality must meet the requirements of Article 1.1 (§ 15.2-2108.2 et seq.) of this chapter or otherwise be authorized to provide cable service.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.25. Itemization.

A cable operator providing cable service may identify as a separate line item on each regular bill of each subscriber (i) the amount of the total bill assessed as a franchise fee, or any equivalent fee, and the locality to which such fee is paid; (ii) the amount of the total bill assessed to satisfy any requirements imposed on the cable operator, including those to support public, educational, or governmental access facilities, including institutional networks; and (iii) the amount of any other fee, tax, assessment, or charge of any kind imposed by any governmental entity on the transaction between the cable operator and the subscriber.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.26. Reciprocity.

Upon the request by an existing cable operator in the locality, a locality that has negotiated and granted a cable franchise to a new cable provider through negotiation, whether before or after July 1, 2006, shall make available to that existing cable operator the applicable terms and conditions that such locality provides to a new cable operator, by an amendment and restatement in lieu of its existing franchise document. In addition, upon the request by an existing cable operator in the locality, a locality adopting an ordinance under this article shall make available to that existing cable operator the applicable terms and conditions from any such ordinance by opting into an ordinance cable franchise. In either such event, the existing cable operator may accept all applicable terms and conditions only in their entirety and in lieu of its existing franchise document and without the ability to accept specific terms and conditions. The locality and the existing cable operator shall amend the cable franchise of the existing cable operator to substitute the new, applicable terms and conditions upon notice of acceptance from the existing cable operator. An existing cable provider in a locality shall have an enforceable right to require that its cable franchise be amended and restated within 90 days of its request to substitute the new, applicable terms and conditions of the new negotiated franchise or new ordinance cable franchise granted to a new cable franchisee. Notwithstanding any other provision in this article, (i) no existing cable operator shall reduce the geographic area in which it actually provides cable service as of July 1, 2006, by the exercise of its rights under this article, but its service obligations within such service areas shall be subject to the service exclusions set forth in clauses (a) through (i) of subdivision 12 of § 15.2-2108.22 and (ii) the provisions of this section shall not alter the time period remaining in any unexpired, existing franchise.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.27. Modification.

No locality, without the consent of the franchisee, shall accelerate the term of, require the renegotiation of, or otherwise modify in any way, an agreement with any entity or a franchise, ordinance, permit, consent, or other authorization for such entity to use the public rights-of-way because such entity has been granted a cable franchise under this article to use the public rights-of-way for the development and operation of a cable system.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.28. Transfer.

No transfer of any franchise granted under this article shall occur without the prior consent of the locality, provided that such locality shall not unreasonably withhold, delay, or condition such consent. No transfer shall be made to a person, group of persons or affiliate that is not legally, technically, and financially qualified to operate the cable system and satisfy the franchise obligations.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.29. Surrender.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, a new cable franchisee that considers, within three years after the grant of a cable franchise under this article, that its provision of cable services within the locality is no longer economically feasible may notify the locality and surrender its cable franchise for the entire locality without liability to such locality. If a new cable franchisee surrenders its cable service franchise, it shall not be eligible to obtain a new cable service franchise within such locality until after the normal expiration date of the franchise that such franchisee surrendered. Such surrender of a cable franchise shall have no impact on other franchises held by the new cable franchisee or noncable services offered by the new cable franchisee.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.30. Renewal.

A cable operator electing to renew its cable franchise shall do so (i) pursuant to the renewal procedures in 47 U.S.C. § 546 or (ii) by providing notice to the locality that it will opt into an ordinance cable franchise pursuant to this article. A cable operator may file such notification that its cable franchise will be renewed by an ordinance cable franchise not more than one year in advance of the expiration date of the existing franchise or by a renewal certification filed within 90 days after the effective date of this act in the case of a current cable franchise whose original, renewal, or extension term has expired. Except as provided by federal law, the restrictions in §§ 15.2-2015 through 15.2-2018, 15.2-2100 through 15.2-2105, 15.2-2106 and 15.2-2107, including, but not limited to, the advertisement and receipt of bids for cable franchises, shall not apply to renewal certifications except where a renewal would result in a city or town having granted a cable franchise and a renewal with combined terms in excess of 40 years.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.31. Article construed.

The fact that any person obtains a negotiated franchise or ordinance cable franchise to provide cable services under this article shall not create any presumption that such person is providing cable services, is controlling or responsible for the management and operation of a cable system, or is a cable operator, for purposes of federal law.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

§ 15.2-2108.32. Application of article to certain localities.

In any locality in which the governing body of the locality has granted one or more new cable franchises during the 12-month period prior to July 1, 2006, that include an overlapping geographic service area with another cable franchise within that locality, all franchises within that locality shall remain in full force and effect until the earliest expiration date of the overlapping franchises or until one is terminated pursuant to the terms of the franchise and shall not be subject to the provisions of this article, except as set forth in this section. A locality that has granted one or more new, overlapping franchises within the 12-month period prior to July 1, 2006, shall have the option not to offer, accept, or implement the ordinance cable franchise process described in § 15.2-2108.22 until the earliest expiration date of the overlapping franchises, but may determine only to grant new cable franchises during such period through the negotiated cable franchise process. Any such locality, when granting any additional cable franchises after July 1, 2006, and until the existing cable franchises expire or are terminated pursuant to their terms, shall make the terms of any such newly granted franchise available, pursuant to § 15.2-2108.26, to all cable operators with existing franchises. Any locality in which the governing body of the locality has granted one or more new cable franchises during the 12-month period prior to July 1, 2006, that include an overlapping geographic service area with another cable franchise within that locality, shall make the terms of any such newly granted franchise available, in the manner described in § 15.2-2108.26, to all cable operators with existing franchises on the date the subsequent overlapping franchise was awarded. Upon the expiration of a current cable franchise that is subject to this section, the provisions of this section shall no longer be applicable to any cable franchise in such locality and the locality shall thereafter be subject to all provisions of this article.

2006, cc. 73, 76.

Article 2. General Provisions for Public Utilities.

§ 15.2-2109. Powers of localities as to public utilities and computer services; prevention of pollution of certain water.

A. Any locality may (i) acquire or otherwise obtain control of or (ii) establish, maintain, operate, extend and enlarge: waterworks, sewerage, gas works (natural or manufactured), electric plants, public mass transportation systems, stormwater management systems and other public utilities within or outside the limits of the locality and may acquire within or outside its limits in accordance with § 15.2-1800 whatever land may be necessary for acquiring, locating, establishing, maintaining, operating, extending or enlarging waterworks, sewerage, gas works (natural or manufactured), electric plants, public mass transportation systems, stormwater management systems and other public utilities, and the rights-of-way, rails, pipes, poles, conduits or wires connected therewith, or any of the fixtures or appurtenances thereof. As required by subsection C of § 15.2-1800, this section expressly authorizes a county to acquire real property for a public use outside its boundaries.

The locality may also prevent the pollution of water and injury to waterworks for which purpose its jurisdiction shall extend to five miles beyond the locality. It may make, erect and construct, within or near its boundaries, drains, sewers and public ducts and acquire within or outside the locality in accordance with § 15.2-1800 so much land as may be necessary to make, erect, construct, operate and maintain any of the works or plants mentioned in this section.

In the exercise of the powers granted by this section, localities shall be subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102 to the same extent as are corporations. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to confer upon any locality the power of eminent domain with respect to any public utility owned or operated by any other political subdivision of this Commonwealth. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to exempt localities from the provisions of Chapters 20 (§ 46.2-2000 et seq.), 22 (§ 46.2-2200 et seq.) and 23 (§ 46.2-2300 et seq.) of Title 46.2.

B. A locality may not (i) acquire all of a public utility's facilities, equipment or appurtenances for the production, transmission or distribution of natural or manufactured gas, or of electric power, within the limits of such locality or (ii) take over or displace, in whole or in part, the utility services provided by such gas or electric public utility to customers within the limits of such locality until after the acquisition is authorized by a majority of the voters voting in a referendum held in accordance with the provisions of Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2 in such locality on the question of whether or not such facilities, equipment or appurtenances should be acquired or such services should be taken over or displaced; however, the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the use of energy generated from landfill gas in the City of Lynchburg or Fairfax County. In no event, however, shall a locality be required to hold a referendum in order to provide gas or electric service to its own facilities. Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection, a locality may acquire public utility facilities or provide services to customers of a public utility with the consent of the public utility. No city or town which provided electric service as of January 1, 1994, shall be required to hold such a referendum prior to the acquisition of a public utility's facilities, equipment or appurtenances used for the production, transmission or distribution of electric power or to the provision of services to customers of a public utility. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to (a) create a property right or property interest or (b) affect or impair any existing property right or property interest of a public utility.

C. The City of Bristol is authorized to provide computer services as defined in § 18.2-152.2. "Computer services" as used in this section shall specifically not include the communications link between the host computer and any person or entity other than (i) such locality's departments, offices, boards, commissions, agencies or other governmental divisions or entities or (ii) an adjoining locality's departments, offices, boards, commissions, agencies or other governmental divisions or entities.

Code 1950, § 15-715; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-292; 1970, c. 565; 1980, c. 483; 1994, c. 634; 1996, c. 384; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 663; 2003, c. 940; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-2109.1. Prescriptive easements for provision of water and sewer services.

In an action to establish a prescriptive easement involving the provision of water and sewer services, a political subdivision shall demonstrate that the use has continued for a period of at least ten years. This section shall not affect any other requirement which may be necessary to establish a prescriptive easement.

1997, c. 416, § 15.1-292.01.

§ 15.2-2109.2. Mutual aid agreements for power and natural gas.

Localities may enter into mutual aid agreements with investor-owned public utilities, electric cooperatives and interstate natural gas companies in order to prepare for, prevent, and restore power and natural gas outages and failures. Such authority shall include, without limitation, the power to enter into agreements relating to (i) contingency plans, (ii) emergency communications, (iii) sharing of resources and personnel, and (iv) system upgrades, maintenance, and repair.

2004, c. 693.

§ 15.2-2109.3. Provision of natural gas distribution service within counties.

Any municipal corporation or public service authority created under the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) shall have the authority:

1. To purchase natural gas for resale within an area as described in subdivision 2 from any public utility that is certificated to provide natural gas distribution service within the Commonwealth, on such terms and conditions as the parties to such sale may agree;

2. To provide natural gas distribution service within any underserved area or county that is adjacent to the boundaries of the municipal corporation or any political subdivision that is a member of the public service authority, as applicable, provided that the area is not within the certificated territory assigned to a public utility for the provision of natural gas service, upon notifying the State Corporation Commission of its commitment to provide such service in such areas. The municipality or public service authority shall not be required to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the State Corporation Commission as a condition to providing natural gas distribution service within any such area; and

3. Upon notifying the State Corporation Commission of its commitment to provide natural gas distribution service in such areas as described in subdivision 2, to exercise the same rights that a public service authority established pursuant to the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) has to acquire, purchase, lease as lessee, construct, reconstruct, improve, extend, operate, and maintain any lines, pipelines, or other improvements necessary or appropriate for the provision of any stormwater control system or water or waste system or any combination of such systems under § 15.2-5114, except that such powers, including the powers to acquire by gift, purchase, or the exercise of the right of eminent domain lands or rights in land or water rights in connection therewith, except that such powers shall apply to the provision of natural gas distribution service, mutatis mutandis.

2009, c. 749.

§ 15.2-2110. Mandatory connection to water and sewage systems in certain counties.

A. Amelia, Botetourt, Campbell, Cumberland, Franklin, Halifax, and Nelson Counties may require connection to their water and sewage systems by owners of property that may be served by such systems; however, those persons having a domestic supply or source of potable water and a system for the disposal of sewage adequate to prevent the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious, and dangerous diseases shall not be required to discontinue use of the same, but may be required to pay a connection fee, a front footage fee, and a monthly nonuser service charge that shall not be more than that proportion of a minimum monthly user charge as debt service compares to the total operating and debt service costs.

B. Bland County, Goochland County, Rockingham County and Wythe County may require connection to their water and sewer systems by owners of property that can be served by the systems if the property, at the time of installation of such public system, or at a future time, does not have a then-existing, correctable, or replaceable domestic supply or source of potable water and a then-existing, correctable, or replaceable system for the disposal of sewage adequate to prevent the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious and dangerous diseases. Such counties may not charge a fee for connection to its water and sewer systems until such time as connection is required. However, Bland County and Wythe County, in assuming the obligations of a public service authority, may assume such obligations under the same terms and conditions as applicable to the public service authority.

The provisions of this subsection as they apply to Goochland County shall become effective on July 1, 2002.

C. Buckingham County may require connection to its water and sewer systems by owners of property that can be served by the systems if the property, at the time of installation of such public system, or at a future time, does not have a then-existing or correctable domestic supply or source of potable water and a then-existing or correctable system for the disposal of sewage adequate to prevent the contraction or spread of infectious, contagious and dangerous diseases. Such county may not charge a fee for connection to its water and sewer systems until such time as connection is required.

1981, c. 44, § 15.1-292.1; 1990, c. 382; 1995, c. 282, § 15.1-292.1:1; 1996, c. 955; 1997, c. 587; 2000, cc. 777, 799; 2001, cc. 306, 326; 2002, c. 295; 2003, cc. 167, 215; 2004, cc. 24, 712, 816; 2005, c. 701.

§ 15.2-2111. Regulation of sewage disposal or water service.

Any locality may exercise its powers to regulate sewage collection, treatment or disposal service and water service notwithstanding any anticompetitive effect. Such regulation may include the establishment of an exclusive service area for any sewage or water system, including a system owned or operated by the locality, the fixing of rates or charges for any sewage or water service, and the prohibition, restriction or regulation of competition between entities providing sewage or water service.

No power herein granted shall alter or amend the powers or the duties of any present or future authority created pursuant to the Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) nor confer any right or responsibility upon the governing body of any locality which would supersede or be inconsistent with any of the duties or responsibilities of the State Water Control Board.

1984, c. 525, § 15.1-292.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2112. Agreements by political subdivisions for sewage or water service.

Any two or more localities, authorities, sanitary districts or other public entities may enter into agreements or contracts that create one or more exclusive service areas for the provision of sewage or water service, that fix the rates or charges for any sewage or water service provided separately or jointly by such entities, and that restrict or eliminate competition between or among such entities and any other public entity for the provision of sewage or water service.

1985, c. 6, § 15.1-306.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2113. Connections of fire suppression systems.

Any locality, by ordinance, may require local water utilities to allow connections of fire suppression systems to the water supply. Such ordinances may prohibit any requirement for installing water meters on a fire suppression system, may prohibit charging an availability fee to provide water service to such fire suppression systems, and may prohibit connection charges exceeding the actual cost of connecting the water supply to the fire suppression system.

1991, c. 265, § 15.1-292.3; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-2114. Regulation of stormwater.

A. Any locality, by ordinance, may establish a utility or enact a system of service charges to support a local stormwater management program consistent with Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 or any other state or federal regulation governing stormwater management. Income derived from a utility or system of charges shall be dedicated special revenue, may not exceed the actual costs incurred by a locality operating under the provisions of this section, and may be used only to pay or recover costs for the following:

1. The acquisition, as permitted by § 15.2-1800, of real and personal property, and interest therein, necessary to construct, operate and maintain stormwater control facilities;

2. The cost of administration of such programs;

3. Planning, design, engineering, construction, and debt retirement for new facilities and enlargement or improvement of existing facilities, including the enlargement or improvement of dams, levees, floodwalls, and pump stations, whether publicly or privately owned, that serve to control stormwater;

4. Facility operation and maintenance, including the maintenance of dams, levees, floodwalls, and pump stations, whether publicly or privately owned, that serve to control stormwater;

5. Monitoring of stormwater control devices and ambient water quality monitoring;

6. Contracts related to stormwater management, including contracts for the financing, construction, operation, or maintenance of stormwater management facilities, regardless of whether such facilities are located on public or private property and, in the case of private property locations, whether the contract is entered into pursuant to a stormwater management private property program under subsection J or otherwise; and

7. Other activities consistent with the state or federal regulations or permits governing stormwater management, including, but not limited to, public education, watershed planning, inspection and enforcement activities, and pollution prevention planning and implementation.

B. The charges may be assessed to property owners or occupants, including condominium unit owners or tenants (when the tenant is the party to whom the water and sewer service is billed), and shall be based upon an analysis that demonstrates the rational relationship between the amount charged and the services provided. Prior to adopting such a system, a public hearing shall be held after giving notice as required by charter or by publishing a descriptive notice once a week for two successive weeks prior to adoption in a newspaper with a general circulation in the locality. The second publication shall not be sooner than one calendar week after the first publication. However, prior to adoption of any ordinance pursuant to this section related to the enlargement, improvement, or maintenance of privately owned dams, a locality shall comply with the notice provisions of § 15.2-1427 and hold a public hearing.

C. A locality adopting such a system shall provide for full waivers of charges to the following:

1. A federal, state, or local government, or public entity, that holds a permit to discharge stormwater from a municipal separate storm sewer system, except that the waiver of charges shall apply only to property covered by any such permit; and

2. Public roads and street rights-of-way that are owned and maintained by state or local agencies, including property rights-of-way acquired through the acquisitions process.

D. A locality adopting such a system shall provide for full or partial waivers of charges to any person who installs, operates, and maintains a stormwater management facility that achieves a permanent reduction in stormwater flow or pollutant loadings or other such other facility, system, or practice whereby stormwater runoff produced by the property is retained and treated on site in accordance with a stormwater management plan approved pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.) of Title 62.1. The locality shall base the amount of the waiver in part on the percentage reduction in stormwater flow or pollutant loadings, or both, from pre-installation to post-installation of the facility. No locality shall provide a waiver to any person who does not obtain a stormwater permit from the Department of Environmental Quality when such permit is required by statute or regulation.

E. A locality adopting such a system may provide for full or partial waivers of charges to cemeteries, property owned or operated by the locality administering the program, and public or private entities that implement or participate in strategies, techniques, or programs that reduce stormwater flow or pollutant loadings, or decrease the cost of maintaining or operating the public stormwater management system.

F. Any locality may issue general obligation bonds or revenue bonds in order to finance the cost of infrastructure and equipment for a stormwater control program. Infrastructure and equipment shall include structural and natural stormwater control systems of all types, including, without limitation, retention basins, sewers, conduits, pipelines, pumping and ventilating stations, and other plants, structures, and real and personal property used for support of the system. The procedure for the issuance of any such general obligation bonds or revenue bonds pursuant to this section shall be in conformity with the procedure for issuance of such bonds as set forth in the Public Finance Act (§ 15.2-2600 et seq.).

G. In the event charges are not paid when due, interest thereon shall at that time accrue at the rate, not to exceed the maximum amount allowed by law, determined by the locality until such time as the overdue payment and interest are paid. Charges and interest may be recovered by the locality by action at law or suit in equity and shall constitute a lien against the property, ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid taxes. The locality may combine the billings for stormwater charges 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 payments will be applied to the different charges. No locality shall combine its billings with those of another locality or political subdivision, including an authority operating pursuant to Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) of Title 15.2, unless such locality or political subdivision has given its consent by duly adopted resolution or ordinance.

H. Any two or more localities may enter into cooperative agreements concerning the management of stormwater.

I. For purposes of implementing waivers pursuant to subdivision C 1, for property where two adjoining localities subject to a revenue sharing agreement each hold municipal separate storm sewer permits, the waiver shall also apply to the property of each locality and of its school board that is accounted for in that locality's municipal separate storm sewer program plan, regardless of whether such property is located within the adjoining locality.

J. Any locality that establishes a system of charges pursuant to this section may establish a public-private partnership program, to be known as a stormwater management private property program, in order to promote cost-effectiveness in reducing excessive stormwater flow or pollutant loadings or in making other stormwater improvements authorized pursuant to this section. A locality that opts to establish a stormwater management private property program pursuant to this subsection shall:

1. Promote awareness of the location, quantity, and timing of reductions or other improvements that it determines appropriate under this program;

2. Seek the voluntary participation of property owners;

3. Accept the participation of property owners on both an individual and a group basis by which multiple owners may collaborate on improvements and allocate among the multiple owners any payments made by the locality;

4. Enter into contracts at its discretion to secure improvements on terms and conditions that the locality deems appropriate, including by making payments to property owners in excess of the value of any applicable waivers pursuant to subsections D and E; and

5. Require appropriate operation and maintenance of the contracted improvements.

K. Any locality that establishes a stormwater management private property program pursuant to subsection J may procure reductions and improvements in accordance with the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (§ 56-575.1 et seq.) or other means, as appropriate. Subsection J shall not be interpreted to limit the authority of a locality to secure reductions of excessive stormwater flow or pollutant loadings or other stormwater improvements by other means.

1991, c. 703, § 15.1-292.4; 1994, cc. 284, 805; 1997, cc. 331, 587; 1998, c.