2 CHAPTER 27 57.
3 PARK AUTHORITIES ACT.
5 Chapter drafting note: There are no substantive changes in the law made in this
6 chapter, which was enacted in 1950.
8 § 15.1-1228 15.2-5700. Short title; application.
9 This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Park Authorities Act." The chapter
10 shall apply to all counties and cities localities of the Commonwealth.
11 Drafting note: Towns are added since they are authorized to create park
14 § 15.1-1229 15.2-5701. Definitions.
15 As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings
16 mean unless the context shall indicate another meaning or intent: otherwise:
17 (a) The word "authority" shall mean “Authority” means an authority created under the
18 provisions of § 15.1-1231 15.2-5702 or, if any such authority shall be abolished, the board, body,
19 or commissions entity succeeding to the principal functions thereof or to whom the powers given
20 by this chapter to such authority shall be given by law.
21 (b) The word "county" shall mean any county in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
22 (c) The word "municipality" shall mean any city or town incorporated under the laws of
23 the Commonwealth of Virginia.
24 (d) The term "political subdivision" shall mean a county or municipality.
25 (e) The term "governing body" shall mean in the case of a county the board of
26 supervisors and in the case of a municipality the board, commission, council or other body by
27 whatever name it may be known, in which the general legislative powers of the municipality are
29 (g) The term "federal agency" shall mean and include “Federal agency” means the United
30 States of America, and any department or bureau thereof, the Federal Works Agency, the
1 Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and any other agency or instrumentality of the United
2 States of America heretofore established or which may be established or created hereafter.
3 (f) The term "park" shall mean “Park” means public parks and recreation areas as the
4 terms are generally used.
5 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law. The existing citation in the
6 second paragraph is incorrect. Definitions are deleted because they duplicate definitions
7 in § 15.2-101. The word “locality” is used in place of “political subdivision” throughout
8 the chapter for continuity in language in the title. The remaining definitions are
11 § 15.1-1230 15.2-5702. Creation of authorities.
12 A. The governing body of a political subdivision A locality may by ordinance or
13 resolution, or the governing bodies of two or more political subdivisions localities may by
14 concurrent ordinances or resolutions, signify their intention to create a park authority, under an
15 appropriate name and title, containing the word "authority" which shall be a public body politic
16 and corporate.
17 Whenever an authority has been incorporated by two or more political subdivisions
18 localities, any one or more of such political subdivisions the localities may withdraw therefrom,
19 and any political subdivision not having joined in the original incorporation may join in the
20 authority but no political subdivision locality shall be permitted to withdraw from any authority
21 after any obligation has been incurred by the authority and while any such obligation remains
22 binding that has outstanding obligations unless United States securities have been deposited for
23 their payment or without unanimous consent of all holders of the outstanding obligations.
24 Other localities may join the authority as provided in the ordinances or resolutions.
25 B. Each such ordinance or resolution shall include articles of incorporation which shall
26 set setting forth:
27 (a) 1. The name of the "authority" and the address of its principal office.
28 (b) 2. The name of each incorporating political subdivision locality, together with the
29 names, addresses and terms of office of the first members of the board of said the authority.
30 (c) 3. The purpose or purposes for which the authority is to be created.
1 C. The governing body of each Each participating political subdivision locality shall
2 cause to be published at least one time in a newspaper of general circulation in such political
3 subdivision its locality, a copy of such the ordinance or resolution together with a notice stating
4 that on a day certain, not less than ten days after publication of said the notice, a public hearing
5 will be held on such ordinance or resolution. If at such the hearing, in the judgment of the
6 governing body of the participating political subdivision, substantial opposition to the proposed
7 park authority is heard, the members of such body the participating localities’ governing bodies
8 may in their discretion call for a referendum on the question of establishing such an authority as
9 prescribed in the ordinance or resolution to be held on a date specified in a resolution of such
10 governing body. The request for a referendum shall be initiated by resolution of the governing
11 body directed to the election officials of and filed with the clerk of the circuit court for the
12 county or city and the same shall conform to the provisions of § 24.1-165 locality. The court
13 shall order the referendum as provided for in § 24.2-681 et seq. Where two or more political
14 subdivisions localities are participating in the formation of such an authority the referendum, if
15 any be ordered, shall be held on the same date in all such subdivisions localities so participating.
16 In any event if ten per centum percent of the qualified registered voters in such subdivision file
17 locality file a petition with the governing body at the hearing calling for a referendum such
18 governing body shall order request a referendum as herein provided.
19 D. Having specified the initial plan of organization of the authority, and having initiated
20 the program, the governing bodies of any of the political subdivisions localities organizing such
21 authority may, from time to time, by subsequent ordinance or resolution, after public hearing,
22 and with or without referendum, specify further parks to be acquired and maintained by the
23 authority, and no other parks shall be acquired or maintained by the authority than those so
24 specified. However, if the governing bodies of the political subdivisions localities fail to specify
25 any project or projects to be undertaken, and if the governing bodies do not disapprove any
26 project or projects proposed by the authority, then the authority shall be deemed to have all the
27 powers granted by this chapter.
28 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law; excess language is deleted.
29 Outstanding obligation language concerning withdrawal tracks language for withdrawal
30 from a water and sewer authority; language pertaining to a referendum updated to current
2 § 15.1-1231 15.2-5703. Members of authority; appointment, terms, compensation, etc.;
3 officers, quorum.
4 Each authority created hereunder, whether created by single or multiple political
5 subdivisions localities, shall be governed by a board of not less than six members, but always an
6 even number, appointed by the governing body of the political subdivision locality. The board
7 members shall be appointed for staggered four-year terms. Members of the governing body may
8 be appointed to the board but shall not comprise a majority thereon.
9 When an authority is created by participating political subdivisions localities, each shall
10 appoint at least two members, one of whom may be a member of the governing body. One-half
11 of the members first appointed by each governing body shall serve for two years and one-half
12 shall serve for four years. After the first appointment, the term of office of all members shall be
13 four years. When one or more additional political subdivisions localities join an existing
14 authority, each of such participating political subdivisions localities shall have not less than two
15 members on the authority authority’s board. The first of such members shall be appointed
16 immediately upon the admission of the political subdivision locality into the authority in the
17 same manner as were the first members of the authority.
18 The members of the board of the authority shall elect one of their number chairman of the
19 authority, and shall elect a secretary and a treasurer who need not be members of the board of the
20 authority. The offices of secretary and treasurer may be combined. A majority of the members of
21 the authority shall constitute a quorum and the vote of a majority of such quorum shall be
22 necessary for any action taken by the authority. No vacancy in the membership of the board of
23 the authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the
24 duties of the authority.
25 The political subdivision or subdivisions by action of whose governing body or
26 governing bodies an localities Localities which created or thereafter joined the authority shall
27 have been created and its members appointed hereunder may, by ordinance or resolution or
28 concurrent ordinances or resolutions, may provide for the payment of compensation to the
29 members of the authority; provided no compensation shall be paid for meetings not attended and
30 for the reimbursement to each member of the authority the amount of his actual expenses
31 necessarily incurred in the performance of that member's duties.
1 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law. Changes are made for clarity.
3 § 15.1-1232 15.2-5704. Powers of authority.
4 Each authority created hereunder shall be deemed to be an instrumentality exercising
5 public and performing essential governmental functions to provide providing for the public
6 health and welfare, and each such authority is hereby authorized and empowered:
7 (a) 1. To have existence for such term of years as specified by the participating political
8 subdivisions localities;
9 (b) 2. To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;
10 (c) 3. To adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;
11 (d) 4. To maintain an office at such place or places as it may designate;
12 (e) 5. To sue and be sued;
13 (f) 6. To acquire, purchase, lease as lessee, construct, reconstruct, improve, extend,
14 operate and maintain parks within, or partly within and partly without outside, one or more of the
15 participating political subdivisions by action of whose governing body or governing bodies the
16 authority was created localities; and to acquire by gift, purchase or the exercise of the right of
17 eminent domain lands or rights in land or water rights in connection therewith; and to sell, lease
18 as lessor, transfer or dispose of any property or interest therein acquired by it, at any time;
19 provided, however, that the power of eminent domain shall not extend beyond the geographical
20 limits of the political subdivision or subdivisions localities composing the authority;
21 (g) 7. To regulate the uses of all lands and facilities under control of the authority;
22 (h) 8. To issue revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds of the authority, such bonds
23 to be payable solely from revenues derived from the use of the facilities or the furnishing to any
24 political subdivision of park services;
25 (i) 9. To accept grants and gifts from the political subdivision localities forming or
26 thereafter joining the authority, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the federal government or any
27 other governmental bodies or political subdivisions, and from any unit, private corporation,
28 copartnership, association or individual other person;
29 (j) 10. To enter into contracts with the federal government, the Commonwealth of
30 Virginia, any political subdivision, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or with any unit,
1 private corporation, copartnership, association, or individual other person providing for or
2 relating to the furnishing of park services or facilities;
3 (k) 11. To contract with any municipality, county, corporation, individual person or any
4 public authority or unit political subdivision of this or any adjoining state, on such terms as the
5 said authority shall deem proper, for the construction, operation and maintenance of any park
6 which is partly in this Commonwealth and partly in such adjoining state;
7 (l) 12. To exercise the same rights of for acquiring property for the construction or
8 improvement, maintenance or operation of a park as the county or, city locality or counties or,
9 cities localities by which such authority is created may exercise. The governing body of any unit
10 participating locality, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, is
11 hereby authorized and empowered to transfer jurisdiction over, to lease, lend, grant or convey to
12 the authority, upon the request of the authority, upon such terms and conditions as the governing
13 body of such unit locality may agree with the authority as reasonable and fair, such real or
14 personal property as may be necessary or desirable in connection with the acquisition,
15 construction, improvement, operation or maintenance of a park, including public roads and other
16 property already devoted to public use. Agreements may be entered into by the authority with the
17 Commonwealth of Virginia, or any agency acting on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
18 for the acquisition of any lands or property, owned and/or controlled by the Commonwealth of
19 Virginia, for the purposes of construction or improvement, maintenance or operation of a park;
20 (m) 13. In the event of annexation by a municipality not a member of the authority of
21 lands, areas, or territory served by the authority, then such authority may continue to do business,
22 exercise its jurisdiction over properties and facilities in and upon or over such lands, areas or
23 territory as long as any bonds or indebtedness remain outstanding or unpaid, or any contracts or
24 other obligations remain in force;
25 (n) 14. To make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the
26 performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter, including a trust
27 agreement or trust agreements securing any revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds issued
29 (o) 15. To do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted
30 by this chapter;
1 (p) 16. To borrow, at such rates of interest as the law authorizes, from the federal
2 government or any agency thereof, individuals, partnerships, or private or municipal
3 corporations, for the purpose of acquiring parklands and improvements thereon,; to issue its
4 notes, bonds or other obligations,; to secure such obligations by mortgage or pledge of the
5 property and improvements being acquired and the income derived therefrom,; and to use any
6 revenues and other income of the authority for payment of interest and retirement of principal of
7 such obligations; provided that prior approval of the governing body of the county or city
8 locality shall be obtained by an authority that was created by a single political subdivision
9 locality. Any county, city or town locality which has formed or joined an authority may lend
10 money to such the authority. The power to borrow set forth in this subdivision shall be in
11 addition to the power to issue revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds set forth in
12 subdivision (h) of this section and § 15.1-1237 15.2-5712. Notes, bonds or other obligations
13 issued under this subdivision shall not be deemed to constitute a debt of the Commonwealth or of
14 any political subdivision of the Commonwealth or a pledge of the faith and credit of the
15 Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth; and
16 (q) 17. To adopt such rules and regulations from time to time, not in conflict with the
17 laws of this Commonwealth, concerning the use of properties under its control as will tend to the
18 protection of such property and the public thereon. No such rule or regulation shall be adopted
19 until after descriptive notice of an intention to propose such rule or regulation for passage has
20 been published in accordance with the procedures required for the adoption of general county
21 ordinances and emergency county ordinances as set forth in § 15.1-504 15.2-1427, mutatis
22 mutandis. The full text of any proposed rule or regulation shall be available for public inspection
23 and copying during regular office hours of the authority at a place designated in the published
25 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law.
27 § 15.1-1232.1 15.2-5705. Violation of rules and regulations.
28 Any violation of any such rule and regulation adopted pursuant to provision 17 of §
29 15.1-1232 (q) 15.2-5704 shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.
30 Drafting note: No change.
1 § 15.1-1232.2 15.2-5706. Appointment of special conservators of the peace.
2 The chairman of the board of any authority created pursuant to the provisions of this
3 chapter may apply to the circuit court of for any county or city locality for the appointment of
4 one or more special conservators of the peace under procedures specified by § 19.2-13. Any such
5 special conservator of the peace shall have, within the lands and facilities, controlled by such
6 authority, the powers, functions, duties, responsibilities and authority of any other conservator of
7 the peace.
8 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law.
10 § 15.1-1232.3 15.2-5707. Recordation of conveyances of real estate to park authorities.
11 No deed purporting to convey real estate to a park authority shall be recorded unless
12 accepted by a person authorized to act on behalf of the park authority, which acceptance shall
13 appear on the face thereof.
14 Drafting note: No change.
16 § 15.1-1233 15.2-5708. Exemption from taxation.
17 No authority shall be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any park acquired
18 and constructed by it under the provisions of this chapter.
19 Drafting note: No change.
21 § 15.1-1234 15.2-5709. Rates and charges.
22 The authority is hereby authorized to fix and revise from time to time rates, fees and
23 other charges for the use of and for the services furnished or to be furnished by any park.
24 Drafting note: No change.
26 § 15.1-1235 15.2-5710. Trust funds Funds.
27 All moneys received pursuant to the authority of powers granted in this chapter shall be
28 deemed to be trust funds, to be held and applied solely as provided in this chapter. The resolution
29 of the authority shall provide that any officer to whom, or any bank, trust company or other fiscal
30 agent to which, such moneys shall be paid shall act as trustee of such moneys and shall hold and
1 apply the same for the purposes hereof, subject to such regulations as such resolution or trust
2 agreement the authority may provide.
3 Drafting note: The use of the phrase “trust fund” is eliminated since there is no
4 actual trust involved.
6 § 15.1-1236 15.2-5711. Conveyance or lease of park to authority; contract for park
7 services; when referendum required before certain contracts made.
8 Each county, municipality locality and other public body is hereby authorized and
10 (a) 1. To convey or lease to any authority created hereunder, with or without
11 consideration, any park upon such terms and conditions as the governing body thereof shall
12 determine to be for the best interests of such county, municipality locality or other public body;
14 (b) 2. To contract with any authority created hereunder for park services; provided,
15 however, that no political subdivision locality shall enter into any contract with an authority
16 involving payments by such political subdivision locality to such authority for park services
17 which requires the political subdivision locality to incur an indebtedness extending beyond any
18 one fiscal year, unless the question of entering into such contract shall first be submitted to the
19 qualified voters of the political subdivision locality for approval or rejection by a majority vote
20 of such qualified voters voting in an election on such question; provided that nothing. Nothing
21 herein contained shall prevent any political subdivision locality from making a voluntary
22 contribution to any authority at any time.
23 In the event that the governing body of a political subdivision locality shall desire to
24 contract with an authority under the provisions of this subdivision, such governing body shall
25 adopt a resolution stating in brief and general terms the substance of the proposed contract for
26 park services and requesting the circuit court, or any judge thereof, in and for the county in
27 which such political subdivision is located locality to order an election upon the question of
28 entering into such contract. A copy of such resolution, certified by the clerk of such the
29 governing body, shall be filed with the judge of such the circuit court who shall thereupon make
30 enter an order requiring the judges of election on the day fixed in such order, not less than ten
31 days nor more than thirty days from the date of such order, to open a poll and take the sense of
1 the qualified voters in the political subdivision on the question of entering into such contract in
2 accordance with § 24.2-681 et seq. Notice of such election in the form prescribed by the judge of
3 the circuit court entered and paid for by the locality shall be published at least once in a
4 newspaper of general circulation in the political subdivision locality at least ten days before the
6 The regular election officers of the political subdivision, at the time designated in such
7 order authorizing such vote, shall open the polls at the various voting places in the political
8 subdivision and shall conduct such election in such manner as is provided by law for other
9 elections. The question to be submitted to the voters for determination shall include the names of
10 the political subdivision locality and the authority between whom the contract is proposed; and
11 the nature, duration and cost of such contract. The votes shall be counted, returns made and
12 canvassed as in other special elections and the results certified by the commissioners of election
13 to the circuit court of the county or a judge thereof in vacation. If it shall appear by the report of
14 the commissioners of election that a majority of the qualified voters of the political subdivision
15 voting on the question approve such contract for park services, the circuit court or a judge
16 thereof in vacation shall forthwith enter an order authorizing the governing body of the political
17 subdivision to enter into such contract.
18 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law; excess language is deleted;
19 language pertaining to the election is updated to current law.
21 § 15.1-1237 15.2-5712. Revenue bonds.
22 Each authority is hereby authorized to issue, at one time or from time to time, revenue
23 bonds of the authority for the purpose of acquiring, purchasing, constructing, reconstructing,
24 improving or extending parks and acquiring necessary land or equipment therefor, and revenue
25 refunding bonds of the authority for the purpose of refunding any revenue bonds outstanding
26 under the provisions of this chapter. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall mature at such
27 time or times not exceeding forty years from their date or dates and shall bear interest at such
28 rate or rates not exceeding six per centum per annum as authorized by law, as may be determined
29 by the authority, and. Bonds may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the
30 authority at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the
31 authority prior to the issuance of the bonds. The authority shall determine the form of the bonds,
1 including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and the manner of execution of the bonds,
2 and shall fix the denomination or denominations of the bonds and the place or places of payment
3 of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or without outside
4 the Commonwealth. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall
5 appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such bonds,
6 such signature or such facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the
7 same as if he had remained in office until such delivery. Notwithstanding any of the other
8 provisions of this chapter or any recitals in any bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter,
9 all such bonds shall be deemed to be negotiable instruments under the laws of this
10 Commonwealth. The bonds may be issued in coupon or registered form or both, as the authority
11 may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to
12 principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, and for the reconversion into coupon
13 bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest. The authority may sell such
14 bonds in such manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price, as it may determine to
15 be for the best interests of the authority, but no such sale shall be made at a price so low as to
16 require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than six per centum per
17 annum, computed with relation to the absolute maturity or maturities of the bonds in accordance
18 with standard tables of bond values, excluding, however, from such computation the amount of
19 any premium to be paid on redemption of any bonds prior to maturity.
20 The resolution providing for the issuance of revenue bonds, and any trust agreement
21 securing such bonds, may also contain such limitations upon the issuance of additional revenue
22 bonds as the authority may deem proper, and such additional bonds shall be issued under such
23 restrictions and limitations as may be prescribed by such resolution or trust agreement.
24 Bonds may be issued under the provisions of this chapter without obtaining the consent
25 of any commission, board, bureau or agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia or of any
26 political subdivision, and without any other proceedings or the happening of other conditions or
27 things than those proceedings, conditions or things which are specifically required by this
29 Bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute a debt
30 of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth or a pledge of the
1 faith and credit of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, but
2 such bonds shall be payable solely from revenues of the authority as provided herein.
3 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law; interest rates paid are governed
4 by § 2.1-326.1.
6 § 15.1-1238 15.2-5713. Same; for water or sewer systems, etc.
7 An authority created under the provisions of this chapter is hereby authorized to provide
8 by resolution, at one time or from time to time, for the issuance of revenue bonds of the authority
9 for the purpose of paying the whole or any part of the cost of any water system, sewer system,
10 sewage disposal system, or garbage and refuse collection and disposal system, or any
11 combination of any thereof and for improvement and maintenance of any such system. The
12 principal of and the interest on such bonds shall be payable solely from the funds herein provided
13 for such payment. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at such rate or rates
14 not exceeding five per centum per annum as may be authorized by law, shall mature at such time
15 or times not exceeding twenty years from their date or dates, as may be determined by the
16 authority, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the authority, at such
17 price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the authority prior to the
18 issuance of the bonds.
19 Revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to
20 constitute a debt of the Commonwealth or of any incorporating or participating political
21 subdivision locality, or a pledge of the faith and credit of the Commonwealth or of any
22 incorporating or participating political subdivision locality.
23 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law. Interest rates paid are governed
24 by § 2.1-326.1.
26 § 15.1-1238.1 15.2-5714. Bonds mutilated, lost or destroyed.
27 Should any bond issued under this chapter become mutilated or be lost or destroyed, the
28 authority may cause a new bond of like date, number and tenor to be executed and delivered in
29 exchange and substitution for, and upon cancellation of, such mutilated bond and its coupons, or
30 in lieu of and in substitution for such lost or destroyed bond and its unmatured coupons. Such
31 new bond or coupon shall not be executed or delivered until the holder of the mutilated, lost or
1 destroyed bond (1) (i) has paid the reasonable expense and charges in connection therewith; and
2 (2) (ii) in the case of a lost, or destroyed bond, has filed with the authority and its treasurer
3 satisfactory evidence that such bond was lost or destroyed and that the holder was the owner
4 thereof; and (3) (iii) has furnished indemnity satisfactory to its treasurer.
5 Drafting note: No substantive change in the law.