VACo opposes bill overriding local authority to extend land use approvals to July 1, 2023

January 18, 2022

During the 2020 Special Session I, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature passed a measure to extend to July 1, 2022, any local land use approvals, including rezonings and special use permits, which were valid as of July 1, 2020. HB 272 (Marshall) and SB 501 (Lewis) would further extend expired local approvals to July 1, 2023. This means that all land use approvals in Virginia that expired after July 1, 2020, would arbitrarily be extended an additional year, regardless of whether applicants are actively pursuing commencement of construction. VACo supports maintaining local authority to plan and regulate land use but opposes this proposal as it weakens these key local responsibilities.

Action Requested – Contact your delegates and senators to vote “NO” on HB 272 and SB 501.

Key Points

  • Counties have proactively addressed the processing of 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.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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