The Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the State Forester, and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall provide, after holding public hearings, to the commissioner of the revenue or duly appointed assessor of each locality adopting an ordinance pursuant to this article, a statement of the standards referred to in § 58.1-3230 and subdivision 1 of § 58.1-3233, which shall be applied uniformly throughout the Commonwealth in determining whether real estate is devoted to agricultural use, horticultural use, forest use or open-space use for the purposes of this article and the procedure to be followed by such official to obtain the opinion referenced in subdivision 1 of § 58.1-3233. Upon the refusal of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the State Forester or the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation to issue an opinion or in the event of an unfavorable opinion which does not comport with standards set forth in the statements filed pursuant to this section, the party aggrieved may seek relief in the circuit court of the county or city wherein the real estate in question is located, and in the event that the court finds in his favor, it may issue an order which shall serve in lieu of an opinion for the purposes of this article.
Code 1950, § 58-769.12; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 172; 1973, c. 209; 1984, cc. 675, 739, 750; 1987, c. 550; 1989, c. 656.