Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 25. Virginia Membership Camping Act
12/10/2022

Article 2. Registration.

§ 59.1-317. Administration; unlawful offer or execution of membership camping contract.

A. This chapter shall be administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

B. It shall be unlawful for any membership camping operator to offer to sell any membership camping contract in this Commonwealth unless he is registered with the Commissioner.

C. It shall be unlawful for any membership camping operator registered under this chapter to sell any membership camping contract which causes the total ratio of the outstanding and valid membership camping contracts to exceed a ratio of fifteen such contracts for each camping site.

1985, c. 409; 1989, c. 676.

§ 59.1-318. Application for registration of membership camping operator.

A. The application for registration shall be on a form prescribed by the Commissioner and shall include, to the extent applicable, the following:

1. The applicant's name, address, and the organizational form of his business, including the date, and jurisdiction under which the business was organized; the address of each of its offices in this Commonwealth; and the name and address of each campground located in this Commonwealth, which is owned or operated, in whole or in part, by the applicant;

2. The name, address, and principal occupation for the past five years of every officer of the applicant, including its principal managers, and the extent and nature of the interest of each such person at the time the application is filed;

3. A list of all owners of ten percent or more of the capital stock of the applicant, except that this list is not required if the applicant is a company required to report under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934;

4. A brief description of and a certified copy of the instrument which creates the applicant's ownership of, or other right to use the campground and the facilities at the campground which are to be available for use by purchasers, together with a copy of any lease, license, franchise, reciprocal agreement or other agreement entitling the applicant to use such campground and facilities, and any material provision of the agreement which restricts a purchaser's use of such campground or facilities;

5. A sample copy of each instrument which will be delivered to a purchaser to evidence his membership in the campground and a sample copy of each agreement which a purchaser will be required to execute;

6. A statement of the zoning and other governmental regulations affecting the use of the campground including the site plans and building permits and their status;

7. A list of special taxes or assessments, whether current or proposed, which affect the campground;

8. Financial statements of the applicant prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, which shall include a financial statement for the most recent fiscal year audited by an independent certified public accountant and an unaudited financial statement for the most recent fiscal quarter;

9. A copy of the disclosure statement required by § 59.1-326;

10. An irrevocable appointment of the Commissioner or his designees to receive service of any lawful process in any proceeding arising under this chapter against the applicant or his agents, except one issued by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall forward any such process by registered or certified mail addressed to any of the principals, officers, directors, partners, or trustees of the applicant who are listed on the application for registration pursuant to this chapter, or to any other person designated in the application to receive such process, and shall keep a record of it. Any process, notice, order, or demand issued by the Commissioner shall be served by registered mail addressed to any principal, officer, director, partner, or trustee of the applicant listed on the application for registration pursuant to this chapter or to any person designated in the application to receive such process. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or prohibit the lawful service of process on individual principals as allowed by the laws of the Commonwealth. The names and addresses of the principals, officers, directors, partners, or trustees of the membership camping operator as last filed with the Commissioner pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be conclusive for the purposes of services of process;

11. A narrative description of the promotional plan for the sale of the membership camping contracts;

12. Any bonds required to be posted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

13. A copy of the agreement, if any, between the applicant and any person owning, controlling, or managing the campground and the applicant;

14. A complete list of locations and addresses of any and all sales offices located within the Commonwealth, together with a roster of all salespersons who are employed in this Commonwealth by the applicant whether as employees or as independent contractors;

15. The names of any other states or foreign countries in which an application for registration of the membership camping operator or the membership camping contract or any similar document has been filed; and

16. Complete information concerning any adverse order, judgment, or decree which has been entered by any court or administrative agency in connection with a campground or other project operated by the applicant or in which the applicant has or had an interest at the time.

B. The application shall be signed by the membership camping operator, an officer or general partner thereof or by another person holding a power of attorney for this purpose from the membership camping operator. If the application is signed pursuant to a power of attorney, a copy of the power of attorney shall be included with the application.

C. The application shall be submitted with a facing page as might be prescribed by the Commissioner if then in effect, along with the appropriate fees.

D. An application for registration shall be amended within twenty-five days if there is a material change in the information included in the application. A material change includes any change which significantly reduces or terminates either the applicant's or the purchaser's right to use the campground or any of the facilities described in the membership camping contract, but does not include minor changes covering the use of the campground, its facilities or the reciprocal program.

E. The review of the application for registration of the membership camping operator shall occur pursuant to the provisions of § 59.1-320.1.

F. Registration with the Commissioner shall not be deemed to be an approval or endorsement by the Commissioner of the membership camping operator, his membership camping contract, or his campground, and any attempt by the membership camping operator to indicate that registration constitutes such approval or endorsement shall be unlawful.

1985, c. 409; 1992, c. 545.

§ 59.1-319. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 59.1-320. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 545.

§ 59.1-320.1. Review of registration application.

A. Once the Commissioner receives an application for registration in proper form, accompanied by the proper fee, he shall, within a reasonable period of time not to exceed forty-five days after the receipt of such application:

1. Register the applicant if the applicant:

a. Has met the requirements of § 59.1-318;

b. Is not in violation of § 59.1-323; and

c. Has a reasonable ability to discharge the obligations imposed upon him by his membership camping contract; or

2. Issue a notice of opportunity for a hearing to consider whether the application should be denied, if it reasonably appears that the applicant fails to satisfy any provision of § 59.1-323 or any other requirement of this chapter.

B. Except as otherwise provided by order of the Commissioner, each registration shall be valid for the period from July 1 of one year until its expiration on June 30 of the following year.

1992, c. 545.

§ 59.1-321. Exemption from registration under other acts.

Any membership camping operator registered with the Commissioner under this chapter shall not be required to register or comply with the terms and requirements of the following:

1. The Virginia Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.).

2. The Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.).

3. The Virginia Securities Act (§ 13.1-501 et seq.).

1985, c. 409; 1996, c. 372.

§ 59.1-322. Other acts.

Registration with the Commissioner by a membership camping operator shall not relieve such operator of the obligation of complying with the requirements of the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act (§ 59.1-21.1 et seq.), if applicable.

1985, c. 409.

§ 59.1-323. Denial, suspension, or revocation of registration; hearing; summary action.

A. The Commissioner may deny an application for registration of a membership camping operator or may suspend, or revoke such registration if the Commissioner finds that such action is necessary for the protection of purchasers or prospective purchasers or that any one of the following is true:

1. The membership camping operator has failed to comply with any provision of this chapter that materially affects the rights of purchasers, prospective purchasers or owners of membership camping contracts.

2. The membership camping operator's offering or execution of membership camping contracts is fraudulent.

3. The membership camping operator's application for registration or any amendment thereto is incomplete in any respect.

4. The membership camping operator has failed to file timely amendments to the application for registration or meet any other requirement of § 59.1-318 of this chapter.

5. The membership camping operator has represented or is representing to purchasers in connection with the offer to sell membership camping contracts that a particular facility or facilities are planned without reasonable expectation that such facility will be completed within a reasonable time, or without the apparent means to ensure its completion.

6. The membership camping operator has permanently withdrawn from use all or any substantial portion of any campground and that (i) no adequate provision has been made to provide a substitute campground of comparable quality and attraction in the same general area within a reasonable time after such withdrawal, and (ii) the rights of all purchasers at the affected location have not expired, and (iii) the Commissioner has found that the withdrawal is consistent with the protection of purchasers. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a membership camping operator may reserve the right to withdraw permanently from use all or any portion of a campground devoted to membership camping if, after the membership camping operator first represents to purchasers that the campground is or will be available for camping, the specific date upon which the withdrawal becomes effective is disclosed in writing to all purchasers at or prior to the time the membership camping contract is executed.

7. The membership camping operator has made any representation in any document or information filed with the Commissioner which is false or misleading.

8. The membership camping operator has engaged or is engaging in any unlawful act or practice.

9. The membership camping operator has disseminated or caused to be disseminated, any false or misleading promotional materials in connection with a campground.

10. The membership camping operator does not have a reasonable ability to discharge the obligations imposed upon him by any membership camping contract.

B. Except as provided in subsection C of this section, before denying, suspending or revoking a registration, as provided in subsection A of this section, the Commissioner shall issue to the membership camping operator a notice of opportunity for a hearing to consider the denial, suspension, or revocation.

C. If the Commissioner finds that the public health, safety or welfare requires emergency action and incorporates this finding in his order, the Commissioner may summarily deny, suspend or revoke a registration. The membership camping operator shall be given an opportunity within ten days after entry of such an order to appear before the Commissioner and show cause why the summary order should not remain in effect. If good cause is shown, the Commissioner shall vacate the summary order. If good cause is not shown, the summary order shall remain in effect. The membership camping operator shall have fifteen days thereafter within which to request a hearing, or the Commissioner may within thirty days thereafter set the matter for a hearing.

1985, c. 409; 1992, c. 545.

§ 59.1-324. Cease and desist orders; temporary order.

A. If it appears to the Commissioner that any person has engaged or is engaging in any practice in violation of this chapter, he may issue an order directing the person to cease and desist provided that reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing shall be given to such person.

B. The Commissioner may issue a temporary order pending the hearing which is effective on delivery to the person named in the order. The temporary order shall remain in effect until five days after the hearing required in subsection A above is held. In the event no hearing is requested by the person named in the order, the order shall become final within fifteen days after it is delivered.

1985, c. 409.

§ 59.1-325. Fees.

A. Each application for registration under § 59.1-318 shall be accompanied by a reasonable fee to be determined by the Board and published in the regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

B. Each application for registration or for amendment shall be accompanied by a reasonable fee to be determined by the Board and published in regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act.

C. Until such time as regulations covering fees are adopted by the Board, the registration fee shall be $2,500 and the fee for amendments shall be $100.

D. All fees shall be remitted to the State Treasurer and shall be credited to a special fund of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to be used in the administration of this chapter.

1985, c. 409; 1988, c. 58; 1992, c. 545.