A. The qualified voters of any county, city, or town having a population of 1,000 or more may file a petition with the circuit court of the county or city, or of the county wherein the town or the greater part thereof is situated, asking that a referendum be held on the question of whether the sale by the Board of Alcoholic Beverages, other than beer and wine not produced by farm wineries, should be permitted within that jurisdiction. The petition shall be signed by qualified voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the number registered in the jurisdiction on January 1 preceding its filing or by at least 100 qualified voters, whichever is greater. Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall order the election officials of the county, city, or town, on the date fixed in the order, to conduct a referendum on the question. The clerk of the circuit court shall publish notice of the referendum in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, city, or town once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the referendum.The question on the ballot shall be:”Shall the sale by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board of alcoholic beverages, other than beer and wine not produced by farm wineries, be permitted in …………… (name of county, city, or town)?”The referendum shall be ordered and held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684. Thereupon the court shall enter of record an order certified by the clerk of the court to be transmitted to the Board and to the governing body of the county, city, or town.
B. Once a referendum has been held, no other referendum on the same question shall be held in the county, city, or town within four years of the date of the prior referendum. However, a town shall not be prescribed from holding a referendum within such period although an election has been held in the county in which the town or a part thereof is located less than four years prior thereto.
Code 1950, § 4-45; 1954, c. 221; 1974, c. 399; 1975, c. 517; 1977, c. 683; 1980, cc. 541, 543; 1984, c. 200; 1993, c. 866.