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034305536
SENATE BILL NO. 813
Offered January 8, 2003
Prefiled January 6, 2003
A BILL to amend and reenact 2.01, 2.02, 3.03, 3.04, 3.09, 16.04, 16.05 and 16.06, as amended, of Chapter 147 of the Acts of Assembly of 1962, which provided a charter for the City of Virginia Beach, and to amend Chapter 147 by repealing 16.02, as amended, relating to city powers, city council and the school board.
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Patron-- Stolle
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Referred to Committee on Local Government
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 2.01, 2.02, 3.03, 3.04, 3.09, 16.04, 16.05 and 16.06, as amended, of Chapter 147 of the Acts of Assembly of 1962 are amended and reenacted as follows:

2.01. GENERAL GRANT OF POWERS.

The powers set forth in 15.1-837 15.2-1100 through 15.1-907 15.2-1131 of the Code of Virginia as in force on January 1, 1977, and as hereafter amended, are hereby conferred on and vested in the City of Virginia Beach. In addition thereto the City of Virginia Beach shall have and may exercise all other powers which are now or may hereafter be conferred upon or delegated to cities of the first class under the Constitution or laws of the Commonwealth, as fully and completely as though such powers were specifically enumerated in this charter and no enumerations of particular powers in this charter shall be held to be exclusive but shall be held to be in addition to this general grant of powers.

2.02. ADDITIONAL POWERS.

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, but in addition thereto, the City of Virginia Beach shall have the following additional powers:

(a) To spend not exceeding five percent of its annual revenue from all sources in advertisement of and giving publicity to its resources and advantages.

(b) To levy a higher tax in such areas of the City of Virginia Beach as desire additional or more complete services of government than are desired in the city as a whole, provided that such higher tax rate shall not be levied for school, police or general government services but only for those services which prior to the effective date of this charter were not offered in all the territory within the boundaries of the city and provided further that the proceeds from such higher tax rate shall be so segregated as to enable the same to be expended in the areas in which raised.

(c) To levy a special tax on real property in any boroughdistrict, sanitary district or other special taxing district or combination thereof, for a period of not exceeding twenty years, which may be different from and in addition to the general tax rate throughout the city, for the purpose of repaying indebtedness existing on the effective date of this charter and chargeable to such boroughdistrict, sanitary district or special taxing district or combination thereof.

(d) To exercise all powers possessed by the City of Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County immediately preceding the effective date of this charter, consistent with general law and not inconsistent with this charter; provided, however, that except as otherwise specifically provided in this charter, all laws heretofore applicable to Virginia Beach or Princess Anne County, respectively, shall continue to apply to the areas theretofore comprising such political subdivisions, now incorporated under this charter as a single such subdivision, until otherwise provided by law.

(e) Imposition of special fees. To establish and collect such fees as may be determined by the council to be reasonable for the rendering of special services.

(f) Special service district. A special service district of the oceanfront resort area of the City of Virginia Beach shall be created by the governing body of the City of Virginia Beach upon petition of more than fifty percent of the property owners of the proposed district. The petition shall define the boundaries of the proposed district, which shall be limited in area to the oceanfront resort district, but need not be limited to properties abutting the boardwalk, the oceanfront or Atlantic Avenue. Upon the filing of such petition, the governing body shall fix a date for a public hearing on the question of the proposed service district, which hearing shall embrace a consideration of whether the property within the proposed district will be benefited by the establishment thereof. Notice of such hearing shall be given by publication once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Virginia Beach, and the hearing shall not be held sooner than ten days after completion of such publication.

After creating the special service district, the city council shall have the following powers and duties with respect to the service district:

1. To construct, maintain, and operate such facilities and equipment as may be necessary or desirable to provide additional governmental services and facilities, including but not limited to relocation and placement underground of utility lines and poles, landscaping, boardwalk and beach improvements, recreational facilities, parking facilities, promotion of the business district, and sidewalks and pedestrian malls for the use and benefit of the public in such service district.

2. To acquire by gift, condemnation, purchase, lease, or otherwise and to maintain and operate any such facilities and equipment as may be necessary and desirable to provide such additional governmental services in such district, and to acquire by gift, condemnation, purchase, lease, or otherwise, rights, title, interest, or easements therefor in or to real estate in such service district.

3. To contract with any person, firm, corporation, or political subdivision to provide such additional governmental services or facilities in such district and to construct, establish, maintain, and operate any such facilities and equipment, as may be necessary and desirable in connection therewith.

4. To authorize the city manager to employ and fix the compensation of any technical, clerical, or other personnel which may be necessary or desirable from time to time to provide such additional governmental services in such district or for the construction, operation, or maintenance of any such facilities and equipment as may be necessary or desirable in connection therewith.

5. To levy and collect an annual tax, which shall not be more than fifteen percent higher than the general real estate tax levy, upon any property in such service district subject to local taxation to pay, either in whole or in part, the expenses and charges for providing such additional governmental services or facilities in such district and for constructing, maintaining, and operating such facilities and equipment as may be necessary and desirable in connection therewith, provided that the proceeds from such annual tax shall be so segregated as to enable the same to be expended in the district from which collected.

(g) To compel the abatement and removal of all nuisances within the city; to require all lands, lots and other premises within the city to be kept clean; to regulate the keeping of animals, poultry, and other fowl therein; to regulate the exercise of any dangerous or unwholesome business, trade or employment therein; to regulate the transportation of all articles through the streets of the city; to compel the abatement of smoke and dust, and prevent unnecessary noise therein; to compel the removal of grass and weeds from private and public property, and snow from sidewalks; to require 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 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 the grounds subject to be covered by stagnant water; the razing or repair of all unsafe, dangerous or unsanitary public or private buildings, walls or structures; to compel the removal of inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicles or parts thereof from private or public property; and to make and enforce all ordinances, rules and regulations necessary or expedient for the purpose of carrying into effect the powers conferred by this charter or by any general law, and to provide and impose suitable penalties for the violation of such ordinances, rules and regulations, or any of them, and the city may maintain a suit to restrain by injunction the violation of any ordinance. The enumeration of particular powers in this charter shall not be deemed or held to be exclusive, but in addition to the powers enumerated herein, implied thereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, the said city shall have and may exercise all other powers which are now and may hereafter be possessed or enjoyed by other cities under the Constitution and general laws of this Commonwealth. If after such reasonable notice as the council may prescribe by ordinance, the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the property or premises affected by the provisions of this subsection shall fail to abate or obviate the condition or nuisance, the city may do so and charge and collect the cost thereof from the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the property or premises affected in any manner provided by law for the collection of taxes.

3.03. FILLING VACANCIES.

Vacancies in the office of councilmen, from whatever cause arising, except where such vacancy occurs due to a resignation to run for the office of mayor, shall be filled within sixty days for the unexpired portion of the term by a majority vote of the remaining members of the council, provided that so long as any councilmen are elected by and from wards or boroughs districts the vacancy shall be filled by a qualified voter residing in the same ward or boroughdistrict.

If a vacancy shall occur in the office of mayor, the council shall choose by majority vote of the remaining members thereof one of its members to be mayor until his successor is elected and qualified in accordance with general law.

3.04. APPOINTMENT OF MEMBER OF COUNCIL TO OFFICE OF PROFIT.

Council members and the mayor shall receive as compensation for their services such amounts as the council may determine, not to exceed the maximum amounts allowable pursuant to 14.1-47.2 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended. No member of the council shall be appointed to any office of profit under the city government during the term for which elected and for one year thereafter.

3.09. ADVISORY REFERENDUMS.

Upon the filing with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the City of Virginia Beach of a petition signed by a number of qualified voters in Virginia Beach equaling twenty-five per centum of the number of voters voting in Virginia Beach at the last general election, as certified by the City Registrar; then the circuit court of the city, by order of record, shall call for an advisory referendum taking the sense of the voters on the question proposed in the petition at the next succeeding general election. The referendum shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of 24.1-165 24.2-684 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.

Following certification of the election results by the Electoral Board to the Chief Judge, the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of such election and a duly certified copy of such order shall be transmitted to the governing body.

16.04. ELECTION OF THE SCHOOL BOARD.

A. At the general election held in May of 1994, the qualified voters of the city shall elect one board member from each of the boroughs of Bayside, Kempsville, Lynnhaven, and Pungo for terms of four years, and two at-large members for terms of four years. At the general election held in May of 1996, the qualified voters of the city shall elect one board member from each of the boroughs of Blackwater, Princess Anne, and Virginia Beach for terms of two years, and two at-large members shall be elected for terms of four years. Beginning with the general election held in May of 1998, all board members shall be elected in the same manner and according to the same schedule that council members are elected. Thereafter, all All board members shall be elected for terms of four years. Beginning in 1998, and every Every two years thereafter, there shall be a general election in May for the election of board members to replace those whose terms expire at the end of June of a given election year. The term of office for each elected board member shall commence on the first day of July next following the date of election and shall continue until a successor has been duly elected and qualified. Each candidate shall state at the time of filing whether he is running at large or from the borough district of his residence.

B. Each of the eleven elected board members shall be elected by the voters of the city at large.

16.05. FILLING VACANCIES ON SCHOOL BOARD

When a vacancy occurs in the office of an elected school board member, the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner in which general law provides for the filling of vacancies of city council members pursuant to 24.2-226 and 24.2-228 with the interim appointment to be made by a majority vote of the remaining members of the board. If the vacancy is that of a school board member elected from a boroughdistrict, the vacancy shall be filled by a qualified voter residing in the same boroughdistrict.

16.06. QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION TO THE BOARD.

In order to qualify as a candidate for election and to have his or her name placed on the ballot, a candidate for the school board shall meet the qualifications to hold public office in accordance with general law and shall be nominated by petition pursuant to 24.1-168 24.2-506 of the Code of Virginia.

2. That 16.02, as amended, of Chapter 147 of the Acts of Assembly of 1962 is repealed.


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