Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 24.2-304.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 24.2-304.1. At-large and district elections; reapportionment of districts or wards; limits.
A. Except as otherwise specifically limited by general law or special act, the governing body of each county, city, or town may provide by ordinance for the election of its members on any of the following bases: (i) at large from the county, city, or town; (ii) from single-member or multi-member districts or wards, or any combination thereof; or (iii) from any combination of at-large, single-member, and multi-member districts or wards. A change in the basis for electing the members of the governing body shall not constitute a change in the form of county government.
B. If the members are elected from districts or wards and other than entirely at large from the locality, the districts or wards shall be composed of contiguous and compact territory and shall be so constituted as to give, as nearly as is practicable, representation in proportion to the population of the district or ward. In 1971 and every ten years thereafter, the governing body of each such locality shall reapportion the representation among the districts or wards, including, if the governing body deems it appropriate, increasing or diminishing the number of such districts or wards, in order to give, as nearly as is practicable, representation on the basis of population.
C. For the purposes of reapportioning representation in 2001
and every ten years thereafter, the governing body of a county, city, or town
shall use the most recent decennial population figures for such county, city,
or town from the United States Bureau of the Census, which figures are
identical to those from the actual enumeration conducted by the United States
Bureau of the Census for the apportionment of representatives in the United
States House of Representatives, except that the census data for this
apportionment purpose will not include any population figure which is not
allocated to specific census blocks within the Commonwealth, even though that
population may have been included in the apportionment population figures of
the Commonwealth for the purpose of allocating United States House of Representatives
seats among the states. In any county, city, or town containing
D. Notwithstanding any other provision of general law or special act, the governing body of a county, city, or town shall not reapportion the representation in the governing body at any time other than that required following the decennial census, except as (i) provided by law upon a change in the boundaries of the county, city, or town which results in an increase or decrease in the population of the county, city, or town of more than one percent, (ii) the result of a court order, (iii) the result of a change in the form of government, or (iv) the result of an increase or decrease in the number of districts or wards other than at-large districts or wards. The foregoing provisions notwithstanding, the governing body subsequent to the decennial redistricting may adjust district or ward boundaries in order that the boundaries might coincide with state legislative or congressional district boundaries; however, no adjustment shall affect more than five percent of the population of a ward or district or 250 persons, whichever is lesser. If districts created by a reapportionment enacted subsequent to a decennial reapportionment are invalid under the provisions of this subsection, the immediately pre-existing districts shall remain in force and effect until validly reapportioned in accordance with law.