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2016 SESSION


CHAPTER 158
An Act to amend and reenact 15.2-3201 of the Code of Virginia, relating to annexation.
[S 309]
Approved March 1, 2016

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 15.2-3201 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

15.2-3201. Temporary restrictions on granting of city charters, filing annexation notices, institutions of annexation proceedings, and county immunity proceedings.

Beginning January 1, 1987, and terminating on the first to occur of (i) July 1, 2018 2024, or (ii) the July 1 next following the expiration of any biennium, other than the 1998-2000, 2000-2002, 2002-2004, 2006-2008, 2008-2010, 2010-2012, 2012-2014, and 2014-2016, 2016-2018, 2018-2020, 2020-2022, and 2022-2024 bienniums, during which the General Assembly appropriated for distribution to localities for aid in their law-enforcement expenditures pursuant to Article 8 ( 9.1-165 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1 an amount that is less than the total amount required to be appropriated for such purpose pursuant to subsection A of 9.1-169, no city shall file against any county an annexation notice with the Commission on Local Government pursuant to 15.2-2907, and no city shall institute an annexation court action against any county under any provision of this chapter except a city that filed an annexation notice before the Commission on Local Government prior to January 1, 1987. During the same period, with the exception of a charter for a proposed consolidated city, no city charter shall be granted or come into force and no suit or notice shall be filed to secure a city charter. However, the foregoing shall not prohibit the institution of nor require the stay of an annexation proceeding or the filing of an annexation notice for the purpose of implementing an annexation agreement, the extent, terms and conditions of which have been agreed upon by a county and city; nor shall the foregoing prohibit the institution of or require the stay of an annexation proceeding by a city which, prior to January 1, 1987, commenced a proceeding before the Commission on Local Government to review a proposed voluntary settlement pursuant to 15.2-3400; nor shall the foregoing prohibit the institution of or require the stay of any annexation proceeding commenced pursuant to 15.2-2907 or 15.2-3203, except that no such proceeding may be commenced by a city against any county, nor shall any city be a petitioner in any annexation proceeding instituted pursuant to 15.2-3203.

Beginning January 1, 1988, and terminating on the first to occur of (i) July 1, 2018 2024, or (ii) the July 1 next following the expiration of any biennium, other than the 1998-2000, 2000-2002, 2002-2004, 2006-2008, 2008-2010, 2010-2012, 2012-2014, and 2014-2016, 2016-2018, 2018-2020, 2020-2022, and 2022-2024 bienniums, during which the General Assembly appropriated for distribution to localities for aid in their law-enforcement expenditures pursuant to Article 8 ( 9.1-165 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1 an amount that is less than the total amount required to be appropriated for such purpose pursuant to subsection A of 9.1-169, no county shall file a notice or petition pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 29 ( 15.2-2900 et seq.) or Chapter 33 ( 15.2-3300 et seq.) requesting total or partial immunity from city-initiated annexation and from the incorporation of new cities within its boundaries. However, the foregoing shall not prohibit the institution of nor require the stay of an immunity proceeding or the filing of an immunity notice for the purpose of implementing an immunity agreement, the extent, terms and conditions of which have been agreed upon by a county and city.

2. That the Commission on Local Government be directed to evaluate the structure of cities and counties in the Commonwealth and the impact of annexation upon localities. In doing so, the Commission shall consider alternatives to the current moratorium on annexation by cities. The Commission shall issue its findings and recommended policy changes to the General Assembly no later than December 1, 2018. During its evaluation, the Commission shall consult with and seek input from the Virginia Municipal League, the Virginia Association of Counties, and the localities directly affected by the current annexation moratorium. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Commission for this evaluation upon request.