In lieu of the election provided for in § 15.2-201, a locality requesting the General Assembly to grant to it a new charter or to amend its existing charter may hold a public hearing with respect thereto, at which citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard to determine if the citizens of the locality desire that the locality request the General Assembly to grant to it a new charter, or to amend its existing charter. At least ten days’ notice of the time and place of such hearing and the text or an informative summary of the new charter or amendment desired shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality. Such public hearing may be adjourned from time to time, and upon the completion thereof, the locality may request, in the manner provided in § 15.2-201, the General Assembly to grant the new charter or amend the existing charter and the provisions of § 15.2-201 shall be applicable thereto.If a bill incorporating such charter or amendments is not introduced at the succeeding session of the General Assembly, the authority of the locality to request such charter or amendments by reason of such public hearing shall thereafter be void. If at such session members of the General Assembly fail to enact and do not carry over or pass by indefinitely a bill incorporating such charter or amendments, the charter or amendments may again be submitted to a public hearing in lieu of an election as provided hereinabove before reintroduction in the General Assembly.The locality requesting a new or amended charter shall provide with such request a publisher’s affidavit showing that the public hearing was advertised and a certified copy of the governing body’s minutes showing the action taken at the advertised public hearing.
Code 1950, § 15-65.3; 1958, c. 329; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-835; 1979, c. 297; 1985, c. 387; 1997, c. 587.