The special court shall, prior to hearing any case under this chapter, direct the attorneys for the parties to appear before it, or in its discretion before a single judge for a conference to consider:
a. Assessed values and the ratio of assessed values to true values as determined by the State Department of Taxation in the area sought to be annexed, city or town and county, including real property, personal property, machinery and tools, merchants’ capital and public service corporation assessment for each year of the five years immediately preceding;
c. School population and school enrollment in the county, in the area sought, and in the city or town, as shown by the records in the office of the division superintendent of schools; and cost of education per pupil in average daily membership as shown by the last preceding report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction;
The court, or judge as the case may be, shall make an appropriate order which will control the subsequent conduct of the case unless modified before or at the trial or hearing to prevent manifest injustice.
Code 1950, § 15-152.10; 1952, c. 328; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1040; 1979, c. 85; 1997, c. 587; 2010, cc. 386, 629.