A. The Authority may acquire, solely from funds provided under the provisions of this chapter, such lands, structures, properties, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements, and other interests in lands, including lands lying under water and riparian rights, as it may deem necessary or convenient for the construction and operation of Authority facilities, upon such terms and at such prices as may be considered by it to be reasonable and can be agreed upon between it and the owner thereof.
B. The City of Richmond, the Counties of Henrico and Chesterfield, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, and, with the approval of the Governor, public agencies and commissions of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, may lease, lend, grant, or convey to the Authority at its request upon such terms and conditions as the governing bodies of the City of Richmond, the Counties of Henrico and Chesterfield, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the proper authorities of such agencies or commissions of the Commonwealth may deem reasonable and fair and without the necessity of any advertisement, order of court, or other action or formality, other than the regular and formal action of the governing bodies or authorities concerned, any real property that may be necessary or convenient for the effectuation of the authorized purposes of the Authority, including public highways and any other real property already devoted to public use.
C. The City of Richmond and the Counties of Henrico and Chesterfield may, subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102, acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain granted to or conferred upon them, and in accordance with the procedure prescribed therefor, any real property that may be necessary or convenient for the effectuation of the authorized purposes of the Authority and lease, lend, grant, or convey such property to the Authority upon such terms and conditions as the governing bodies of the City of Richmond or Counties of Henrico and Chesterfield may deem reasonable and fair; the acquisition of such real property by the exercise of the power of eminent domain and the disposition of the same to the Authority as provided in this section shall be and is declared to be for a public use of such property.
D. In any eminent domain proceedings by the Authority, the City of Richmond, or the County of Henrico or Chesterfield under this chapter, the court having jurisdiction of the suit, action, or proceeding may make such orders as may be just to the Authority, the City of Richmond, or the County of Henrico or Chesterfield and to the owners of the property to be condemned, and may require an undertaking or other security to secure such owners against any loss or damage by reason of the failure of the Authority, the City of Richmond, or the County of Henrico or Chesterfield to accept and pay for the property, or by reason of the taking of property occupied by such owners, but neither such undertaking or security nor any act or obligation of the Authority, the City of Richmond, or the County of Henrico or Chesterfield shall impose any liability upon the Commonwealth.
E. If the owner, lessee, or occupier of any property to be condemned or otherwise acquired pursuant to this chapter refuses to remove his property therefrom or give up possession thereof, the Authority, the City of Richmond, or the County of Henrico or Chesterfield may proceed to obtain possession in any manner provided by law.
F. When the Authority, the City of Richmond, or the County of Henrico or Chesterfield proposes to construct a highway across the tracks of any railroad, the exercise of the general power of eminent domain over the property of a railroad granted by § 33.2-2902 shall be limited with respect to the property, right-of-way, facilities, works, or appurtenances upon which the tracks at such proposed crossing are located, to the acquisition only of an easement therein, which crossing shall be constructed either sufficiently above or below the grade of any such railroad track so that neither the crossing then under construction nor any part thereof, including any bridge abutments, columns, supporting structures, and appurtenances, nor any traffic upon it shall interfere in any manner with the use, operation, or maintenance of the trains, tracks, works, or appurtenances of the railroad or interfere with or endanger the movement of the trains or traffic upon the tracks of the railroad. Prior to the exercise of the power of eminent domain for such an easement, plans and specifications of that portion of the project to be constructed across the railroad tracks showing compliance with such requirements and showing sufficient and safe plans and specifications for such overhead or underground structure and appurtenances shall be submitted to the railroad for examination and approval. If the railroad fails or refuses within 30 days to approve the plans and specifications so submitted, the matter shall be submitted by the Authority, the City of Richmond, or the County of Henrico or Chesterfield to the State Corporation Commission, whose decision, arrived at after due consideration in accordance with its usual procedure, shall be final as to the sufficiency and safety of such plans and specifications and as to such elevations or distances above or below such tracks. The overhead or underground structures and appurtenances shall be constructed in accordance with such plans and specifications and in accordance with such elevations or distances above or below such tracks so approved by the railroad or the State Corporation Commission. A copy of the plans and specifications approved by the railroad or the State Corporation Commission shall be filed as an exhibit upon the institution of any proceeding brought in the exercise of the power of eminent domain.
G. The Commonwealth hereby consents, subject to the approval of the Governor, to the use by the Authority of any other lands or property owned by the Commonwealth, including lands lying under water, that are deemed by the Authority to be necessary for the construction or operation of any project being constructed by the Authority.
2009, c. 471, § 15.2-7015; 2014, c. 805; 2015, c. 256.