A. Immunity granted by this chapter shall not be interpreted to prohibit any town annexations, or to prohibit annexations to a city initiated under the provisions of § 15.2-3203, except that no city may commence or be a petitioner in any such proceeding.
B. Notwithstanding other provisions of law, including § 15.2-3800, no grant of county immunity shall be interpreted to deny the right of any town, which in 1979 possessed a population in excess of 5,000 persons and was situated in a county possessing a population of 20,000 or more persons and a population density of 300 or more persons per square mile, or a population of 50,000 or more persons and a population density of 140 persons or more per square mile, based either on the United States census, on population estimates of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service of the University of Virginia, or on a special census conducted under court supervision, to obtain city status. Where a town seeks to become a city under the provisions of this section, the special court shall be limited in its review to a determination of the town’s population and population density. Where the court determines that such town has a population of at least 5,000 persons and a density of 200 persons per square mile, it shall enter an order granting the town city status.
1979, c. 85, § 15.1-977.23; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 199.