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Official Opinions


March 2005
Please click on Opinion number to view entire opinion.

Opinion # Requestor




The Honorable Bradley P. Marrs
Member, House of Delegates
Landowner who has secured rezoning of properties for specific use before effective date of subsequent amendment to zoning ordinance and has pursued project committing and expending significant resources has obtained vested right; whether landowner incurs extensive obligations or substantial expenses is factual determination for county, subject to review by courts. Amendments to existing Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act zoning ordinance only affect landowner after amendments are adopted by local ordinance.

The Honorable Michael W. Lee
Commonwealth’s Attorney for City of Colonial Heights

Proper venue for juvenile detention hearing is place where proceeding has been commenced.
05‑008 The Honorable Clarence E. (Bud) Phillips
Member, House of Delegates

Landowners receiving fee for use of their property from political subdivision are covered by indemnification provisions of § 29.1‑509(E). Political subdivisions are not indemnified except when they enter into arrangement with agency of Commonwealth. Political subdivisions that control private property by lease or contract to provide free public recreational use are entitled to reduced liability under § 29.1‑509(B) and (C).

05‑011 Mr. Scot S. Farthing
Attorney for Wythe County
No authority for locality to pass site ordinance restricting or requiring undesirable industries or businesses before locating within locality. Adoption of zoning ordinance is only method for locality to generally control location of such industries or businesses. General police power of county does not solely authorize board of supervisors to pass site ordinance in conjunction with distance requirement from water source.
05‑012 The Honorable Robert J. McCabe
Sheriff for City of Norfolk
Juvenile convicted as adult may be housed in adult jail facility pending transfer to Department of Juvenile Justice.

The Honorable Michael J. Valentine
Judge, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
Nineteenth Judicial District


No authority for courts to grant ‘general continuance’ as alternative to plea or finding of guilt for an adult charged with first offense of assault and batter against family or household member.