§ 15.2-3807

Hearing and decision by court

A. The special court shall enter an order granting city status to a town if, after hearing the evidence, it finds that:

1. The town has a minimum population of 5,000 persons;

2. The town has the fiscal ability to function as an independent city and is able to provide appropriate urban-type services including, based on the advice of the State Department of Education, an independent school system;

3. The creation of the new independent city will not substantially impair the ability of the county or counties from which the town is to be separated to meet the service needs of the remaining population, particularly in education, unless provision is made by order of the court or by agreement of the governing bodies to offset such impairment; and

4. After a consideration of the best interests of the parties, the interest of the Commonwealth in the compliance with and promotion of state policies with respect to environmental protection, public planning, education, public transportation, housing and other state service policies declared by the General Assembly, and the interest of the Commonwealth in promoting strong and viable units of government in the area, a grant of city status should be made.

B. Any order granting city status to a town shall set forth in detail all such terms and conditions upon which the city status is granted as are not provided in this chapter. The order shall be effective on January 1 following the year in which the order is issued or, in the discretion of the court, on the second January 1 following the year in which the order is issued. All county taxes assessed in the town for the year before which the transition becomes effective, and for all prior years, shall be paid to the county.

C. A copy of the order shall be certified to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

D. If a majority of the court is of the opinion that the criteria set out in subsection A have not been met, then the petition shall be dismissed.

E. The court shall render a written opinion in every case brought under this chapter.


1979, c. 85, § 15.1-982.8; 1997, c. 587.


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