The Elements of an Agreed Boundary Line Adjustment in Virginia
Black Kettle, LLC, owns approximately 9 acres located in both the Town of Washington and Rappahannock County, at the southern corner of Warren Ave and Route 211. Black Kettle seeks to use this property as community focused site for both the Town and the County. The property is divided almost equally between the two jurisdictions, and Black Kettle believes that the best way to accomplish its purpose is to incorporate the land into a single jurisdiction through a voluntary boundary line adjustment. The unique configuration of the property makes such an adjustment both reasonable and sensible. Virginia Law permits two localities to relocate a jurisdictional boundary line by agreement.
To accomplish a boundary line adjustment, the localities must first reach agreement to do so.
- That done, both the Town and the County must hold at least one public hearing on the proposed agreement.
- As with any public hearing, each jurisdiction must advertise its intent to consider approval of the agreement to relocate the boundary line, in a newspaper having general circulation locally once a week for two successive weeks.
- The notice must include a descriptive summary of the proposed agreement, and a description of the new boundary. It will include a statement that a copy of the proposed agreement is on file in the office of the clerk of each governing body. The notice can be jointly published.
- After the public hearing, the Town Council and County Board separately vote whether to approve the agreement.
- If each agrees, then counsel for each files a petition with the Rappahannock County Circuit Court seeking its approval of the boundary line adjustment. The petition must include or have attached either (i) a plat depicting the change in the boundaries of the localities as agreed; or (ii) a metes and bounds description of the new boundary line as agreed.
- If all of the statutory requirements are met, the Rappahannock County Circuit Court will enter a final order establishing the new boundary agreed upon by the localities.
The relevant statutory requirements are set out in Va. Code Ann. §§ 15.2-3106-3109.