In cases where any lot has been sold, the plat or part thereof may be vacated according to either of the following methods:
1. By instrument in writing agreeing to the vacation signed by all the owners of lots shown on the plat and also signed on behalf of the governing body of the locality in which the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated lies for the purpose of showing the approval of the vacation by the governing body. In cases involving drainage easements or street rights-of-way where the vacation does not impede or alter drainage or access for any lot owners other than those lot owners immediately adjoining or contiguous to the vacated area, the governing body shall only be required to obtain the signatures of the lot owners immediately adjoining or contiguous to the vacated area. The word “owners” shall not include lien creditors except those whose debts are secured by a recorded deed of trust or mortgage and shall not include any consort of an owner. The instrument of vacation shall be acknowledged in the manner of a deed and filed for record in the clerk’s office of any court in which the plat is recorded.
2. By ordinance of the governing body of the locality in which the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated lies on motion of one of its members or on application of any interested person. The ordinance shall not be adopted until after notice has been given as required by § 15.2-2204. The notice shall clearly describe the plat or portion thereof to be vacated and state the time and place of the meeting of the governing body at which the adoption of the ordinance will be voted upon. Any person may appear at the meeting for the purpose of objecting to the adoption of the ordinance. An appeal from the adoption of the ordinance may be filed within thirty days with the circuit court having jurisdiction of the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated. Upon appeal the court may nullify the ordinance if it finds that the owner of any lot shown on the plat will be irreparably damaged. If no appeal from the adoption of the ordinance is filed within the time above provided or if the ordinance is upheld on appeal, a certified copy of the ordinance of vacation may be recorded in the clerk’s office of any court in which the plat is recorded.
Roads within the secondary system of highways may be vacated under either of the preceding methods and the action will constitute abandonment of the road, provided the land shown on the plat or part thereof to be vacated has been the subject of a rezoning or special exception application approved following public hearings required by § 15.2-2204 and provided the Commissioner of Highways or his agent is notified in writing prior to the public hearing, and provided further that the vacation is necessary in order to implement a proffered condition accepted by the governing body pursuant to §§ 15.2-2297, 15.2-2298 or 15.2-2303 or to implement a condition of special exception approval. All abandonments of roads within the secondary system of highways sought to be effected according to either of the preceding methods before July 1, 1994, are hereby validated, notwithstanding any defects or deficiencies in the proceeding; however, property rights which have vested subsequent to the attempted vacation are not impaired by such validation. The manner of reversion shall not be affected by this section.
Code 1950, §§ 15-793, 15-967.17; 1950, p. 722; 1962, c. 407, § 15.1-482; 1975, c. 641; 1990, c. 719; 1994, c. 341; 1997, c. 587.