Buying Bank Building Out of Sync with Comprehensive Plan


August 3, 2012

Local governments in Virginia can do only those things that the state code specifically enables them to do, and must do them according to the procedures outlined in the Code.

Virginia envisions that local governments will have robust land use planning programs as a linchpin, engaged citizens, and active civic discourse.

One way the law of Virginia prescribes to fulfill this purpose is to require each municipality to have a Comprehensive Plan for the future physical development of the jurisdiction, founded on careful study and public input.

“Good public policy is made after a careful review of facts and consideration of public opinion.”

The Code of Virginia also obligates public officials, such as Town Councils, to carefully consider the adopted Comprehensive Plan before making a land use decision.

The Code is specific:  Section 15.2-2232, Legal status of plan, stipulates that once a Town’s comprehensive plan has been approved and adopted, it shall control the general or approximate location, character and extent of each public facility . . . . Thereafter, unless a feature is already shown on the adopted master plan or part thereof , no park . . . or other public area, public building or public structure . . . whether publicly or privately owned, shall be constructed, established or authorized, unless and until the general location or approximate location, character, and extent thereof has been submitted to and approved by the commission as being substantially in accord with the adopted comprehensive plan or part thereof. . . .  [Read more…]