A. Upon the Department’s announcement of periodic zone designation competitions, the governing body of any county or city may make written application to the Department to have an area or areas declared an enterprise zone. Such application shall include a description of the area or areas to be included, the development potential of these areas, the need for special state incentives, the local incentives that shall be provided to support new economic activity, and other information that the Department deems necessary to assess requests for designation.
B. Two or more adjacent localities may file a joint application for an enterprise zone. Localities applying for a joint zone shall demonstrate a regional need for an enterprise zone and a regional impact that could not be achieved through a single jurisdiction zone. Applicants for a joint zone shall also specify what mechanisms will be used to ensure that the economic benefits of such a zone are shared among the applicant localities.
C. An enterprise zone may consist of no more than three noncontiguous areas. The aggregate size of these noncontiguous zone areas shall be specified by regulation. Localities shall be limited to three enterprise zone designations.
D. A joint enterprise zone shall consist of no more than three noncontiguous zone areas for each participating locality. The aggregate size of these noncontiguous areas shall be specified by regulation.
E. Upon recommendation of the Director of the Department, the Governor may designate up to 30 enterprise zones in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Such designations are to be done in coordination with the expiration of existing zones designated under earlier Enterprise Zone Program provisions. The initial round of six zone designation applications and approval may be conducted prior to adoption of final program regulations provided that the process is consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Enterprise zones shall be designated for an initial 10-year period except as provided for in subsections A and B of § 59.1-546. Upon recommendation of the Director of the Department, the Governor may renew zones for up to two five-year renewal periods. Recommendations for five-year renewals shall be based on the locality’s performance of its enterprise zone responsibilities, the continued need for such a zone, and its effectiveness in creating jobs and capital investment.
F. Localities that have zone designations are responsible for providing the local incentives specified in their applications, providing timely submission of enterprise zone reports and evaluations as required by regulation, verifying that businesses and properties seeking enterprise zone incentives are physically located within their zones, and implementing an active local enterprise zone program within the context of overall economic development efforts.
2005, cc. 863, 884.