A. Condemnation proceedings may be instituted when:

Terms Used In Virginia Code 15.2-1903

  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Governing body: means the board of supervisors of a county, council of a city, or council of a town, as the context may require. See Virginia Code 15.2-102
  • Locality: means a county, city, or town as the context may require. See Virginia Code 1-221
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • State: when applied to a part of the United States, includes any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands. See Virginia Code 1-245

1. the locality and owner cannot agree on the compensation to be paid or other terms of purchase or settlement;

2. the owner is legally incapacitated;

3. either the owner or his whereabouts is unknown; or

4. the owner is unable to convey valid title to the property.

B. Prior to initiating condemnation proceedings, the governing body shall, after a public hearing, adopt a resolution or ordinance approving the proposed public use and directing the acquisition of property for the public use by condemnation or other means. The resolution or ordinance shall state the use to which the property shall be put and the necessity therefor. Furthermore, other political subdivisions of the Commonwealth shall also be required to hold a public hearing prior to initiating condemnation proceedings.

C. When a petition for condemnation is filed by or on behalf of the locality, a true copy of the resolution or ordinance duly adopted by the governing body declaring the intended public use of the property, and the necessity therefor, may be filed with the petition, and when so filed constitutes sufficient evidence of such public use and necessity.

D. The fact that no petition has been filed by a locality to condemn any interest conveyed by deed shall not by itself render such conveyance free from the threat of condemnation, nor shall such fact constitute sufficient proof of voluntary conveyance for the purposes of any taxing authority.

1997, c. 587; 2006, c. 927.