A. Each town located within any county which becomes a city pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall automatically continue as a township within the city, and the charter of each such town shall become the charter of the township with the law governing the relationship of the town to the county continuing in effect. Such townships established pursuant to this subsection shall continue to exercise such powers and elect such officers as the township charter may authorize and such other powers as the former town previously exercised under general law. However, no township shall exercise the authority granted towns by Chapter 38 (§ 15.2-3800 et seq.) of this title or by Article 1 (§ 15.2-3200 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of this title, or any extraterritorial authority granted towns by Chapter 22 (§ 15.2-2200 et seq.) of this title. Townships shall receive from the Commonwealth financial assistance in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided towns. However, a township may transfer all or part of the revenues it receives, the services it performs, its facilities, other assets, and debts to the city by agreement of the governing bodies.
B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, any town which in 1979 possessed a population in excess of 5,000 persons and was situated within a county possessing a population of 20,000 or more persons and a density of population of 300 or more persons per square mile, or a minimum population of 50,000 persons and a density of population of at least 140 persons per square mile, based 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, shall retain as a township the right to obtain city status. Where such township seeks to become a city under the authority granted by this subsection and in accordance with § 15.2-3801 et seq., the special court shall be limited in its review, as provided in § 15.2-3809, to a determination of the township’s population and population density. Where the court determines that such township has a population of at least 5,000 persons and a density of at least 200 persons per square mile, it shall enter an order granting the township city status.
1979, c. 85, § 15.1-977.17; 1997, c. 587.