A. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to prohibit the local governing body from providing in its ordinance for the mandatory submission of preliminary subdivision plats for tentative approval for plats involving more than 50 lots, provided that any such ordinance provides for the submission of a preliminary subdivision plat for tentative approval at the option of the landowner for plats involving 50 or fewer lots. The local planning commission, or an agent designated by the commission or by the governing body to review preliminary subdivision plats shall complete action on the preliminary subdivision plats within 60 days of submission. However, if approval of a feature or features of the preliminary subdivision plat by a state agency or public authority authorized by state law is necessary, the commission or agent shall forward the preliminary subdivision plat to the appropriate state agency or agencies for review within 10 business days of receipt of such preliminary subdivision plat.
B. Any state agency or public authority authorized by state law making a review of a preliminary subdivision plat forwarded to it under this section, including, without limitation, the Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.), shall complete its review within 45 days of receipt of the preliminary subdivision plat upon first submission and within 45 days for any proposed plat that has previously been disapproved, provided, however, that the time period set forth in § 15.2-2222.1 shall apply to plats triggering the applicability of said section. The Virginia Department of Transportation and authorities authorized by Chapter 51 (§ 15.2-5100 et seq.) shall allow use of public rights-of-way for public street purposes for placement of utilities by permit when practical and shall not unreasonably deny plat approval. If a state agency or public authority authorized by state law does not approve the plat, it shall comply with the requirements, and be subject to the restrictions, set forth in subsection A of § 15.2-2259 with the exception of the time period therein specified. Upon receipt of the approvals from all state agencies, the local agent shall act upon a preliminary subdivision plat within 35 days.
C. If a commission has the responsibility of review of preliminary subdivision plats and conducts a public hearing, it shall act on the plat within 45 days after receiving approval from all state agencies. If the local agent or commission does not approve the preliminary subdivision plat, the local agent or commission shall set forth in writing the reasons for such denial and shall state what corrections or modifications will permit approval by such agent or commission. With regard to plats involving commercial property, as that term is defined in subdivision A 2 of § 15.2-2259, the review process for such plats shall be the same as provided in subdivisions A 2 and A 3 of § 15.2-2259. However, no commission or agent shall be required to approve a preliminary subdivision plat in less than 60 days from the date of its original submission to the commission or agent, and all actions on preliminary subdivision plats shall be completed by the agent or commission and, if necessary, state agencies, within a total of 90 days of submission to the local agent or commission.
D. If the commission or other agent fails to approve or disapprove the preliminary subdivision plat within 90 days after it has been officially submitted for approval, the subdivider after 10 days’ written notice to the commission, or agent, may petition the circuit court for the locality in which the land involved, or the major part thereof, is located to enter an order with respect thereto as it deems proper, which may include directing approval of the plat.
E. If a commission or other agent disapproves a preliminary subdivision plat and the subdivider contends that the disapproval was not properly based on the ordinance applicable thereto, or was arbitrary or capricious, he may appeal to the circuit court having jurisdiction of such land and the court shall hear and determine the case as soon as may be, provided that his appeal is filed with the circuit court within 60 days of the written disapproval by the commission or other agent.
F. Once a preliminary subdivision plat is approved, it shall be valid for a period of five years, provided the subdivider (i) submits a final subdivision plat for all or a portion of the property within one year of such approval or such longer period as may be prescribed by local ordinance, and (ii) thereafter diligently pursues approval of the final subdivision plat. “Diligent pursuit of approval” means that the subdivider has incurred extensive obligations or substantial expenses relating to the submitted final subdivision plat or modifications thereto. However, no sooner than three years following such preliminary subdivision plat approval, and upon 90 days’ written notice by certified mail to the subdivider, the commission or other agent may revoke such approval upon a specific finding of facts that the subdivider has not diligently pursued approval of the final subdivision plat.
G. Once an approved final subdivision plat for all or a portion of the property is recorded pursuant to § 15.2-2261, the underlying preliminary plat shall remain valid for a period of five years from the date of the latest recorded plat of subdivision for the property. The five year period of validity shall extend from the date of the last recorded plat.
Code 1950, §§ 15-789, 15-967.10; 1952, c. 333; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-475; 1964, c. 498; 1975, c. 641; 1977, c. 10; 1978, c. 283; 1979, c. 111; 1980, c. 73; 1986, c. 483; 1989, cc. 471, 495; 1990, c. 171; 1992, c. 843; 1993, c. 846; 1996, c. 353; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 530; 2006, c. 461; 2007, c. 202; 2008, cc. 426, 718, 855; 2009, c. 194; 2014, c. 393.