VACo opposes bill overriding local authority to extend land use approvals to July 1, 2022

September 3, 2020

SB 5106 (Lewis) extends by two years (to July 1, 2022) any local land use approvals, including rezonings and special use permits, which were valid as of July 1, 2020. The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 32 to 4 and is headed to the House for further consideration. If adopted, this measure would not become law until four months after adjournment of the special session. This means that all land use approvals in Virginia that expired after July 1, 2020 would then be arbitrarily resurrected, potentially up to six months or more after their expiration. VACo supports maintaining local authority to plan and regulate land use and opposes this proposal as it weakens these key local responsibilities.

Action Required – Contact your delegate to vote “NO” on SB 5106.

KEY POINTS

  • Counties are still processing land use applications and building permits during the coronavirus pandemic, and local planning commissions and Boards of Supervisors are continuing to meet and consider rezoning and special use permits.
  • Any developer can apply to extend an approval directly with the locality that granted it, many of which have existing criteria and procedures to do so, either administratively or through legislative act.

KEY CONTACTS

House of Delegates

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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