AGREEMENTS DEFINING ANNEXATION RIGHTS
This is a streamlined process for towns to negotiate and establish terms for its rights to annex adjoining territory by ordinance. Any agreement also must permanently renounce the town’s right to transition to city status.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-3231 et seq.
ANNULMENT OF A TOWN CHARTER
This procedure is initiated by the town council, but requires voter approval. It provides for the town to divest itself of all of its assets and debts and for the General Assembly to formally revoke the charter. The commission does not review these proceedings.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-3700 et seq.
Also known as “simple boundary line adjustments,” this procedure is for when localities resolve to adjust their boundaries with one another, among themselves, without any negotiated terms, which would require review under the Voluntary Settlement Agreement process. Simple boundary line adjustments do not require commission review, unless the location of the boundary is not agreed upon by the localities.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-3106 et seq.
ECONOMIC GROWTH SHARING AGREEMENTS
Localities are also authorized to enter into voluntary economic growth-sharing agreements for purposes other than the settlement of a boundary change/transition issue, subject only to an advisory review by the Commission on Local Government.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-1301
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSOLIDATION
Two or more adjoining units of government may consolidate, following a successful referendum. These actions may be initiated by the local governing body or by citizen petition. Various state incentives exist to encourage consolidation of governments. The commission only reviews these cases when the consolidation would result in a city form of government.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-3500 et seq.
Often referred to as “contested annexation” because the localities cannot agree on terms of a boundary adjustment, this procedure can be initiated by the municipality, citizens or property owners. Currently, there is a moratorium on city-initiated annexations.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-3200 et seq.
REVERSION FROM CITY TO TOWN STATUS
Cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants can revert to town status and become a component of a contiguous county. Various state incentives exist to encourage such transition.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-4100 et seq.
STUDIES AT THE REQUEST OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Sometimes, the Commission on Local Government is asked to conduct a study or produce a report on a matter of local government importance at the request of the General Assembly. Please click here to access those reports.
New towns can be incorporated either by petitioning the Circuit Court or by act of the General Assembly. The court may request the Commission on Local Government to review the proposal. New towns cannot be formed in counties with a population density of 200 persons/square mile or greater.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-3600 et seq.
Commission Regulations: 1VAC50-20-570
VOLUNTARY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
The Voluntary Settlement Agreement procedure is the most common action reviewed by the commission. These agreements are negotiated settlements between two or more local governments, usually resolving annexation issues, though a number of other intergovernmental actions can be resolved through this procedure.
Code of Virginia: § 15.2-3400 et seq.
OTHER INTERLOCAL OPTIONS
In addition to the interlocal agreements and transition options discussed above, numerous other options are granted to local governments and are discussed in greater detail here. Click here for more information on alternatives to interlocal concerns. Furthermore, State Code authorizes numerous discretionary authorities and special districts to local governments for a number of issues. Click here to learn more about those options.