LEGISLATIVE AGENDA—DRAFT GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION 2015 – COMMENT PERIOD NOW

This might not seem exciting to you now, however, without your input you do not have a say in your government.

LEGISLATIVE AGENDA—DRAFT GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION 2015 [41 pg PDF]

The public input process is through the public hearing which is being held next Tuesday, September 16, at 6:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers and through direct contact with members of City Council.

EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE

Note: Time is short! We just received this DRAFT REPORT Friday. Please do not delay in commenting!

Here is a sample of what the City of Virginia Beach is requesting of the Virginia Legislature:

    14. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE REQUIREMENT
    SPONSORED BY VICE MAYOR, LOUIS R. JONES

    Background Information:
    Currently there is a 30-day notice (public hearing requirement) of real estate assessments increases of more than 1%. Prior to 2007, there was a seven-day window to notify the public of such increases. The City requests this be changed to 14 days. This would be consistent with the 14 days required when the General Appropriation Act did not occur, which is in the same code section.
    We are required to have two public hearings each year for the budget. One of the public hearings is a general public hearing. This public hearing is usually held first on a Thursday night at one of our local high schools. We schedule our high school because the first public hearing usually has a large crowd because it is considered the “budget” public hearing and high school auditoriums can accommodate the crowds. It also provides a more central location away from the municipal center.
    The other public hearing is required if real estate assessments increase 1% or greater, per section § 58.1- 3321. We have historically held this meeting the night of City Council’s formal meeting. City Council only has one night meeting during the budget process. Because Council has moved its formal meetings to the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, we are left with unfavorable choices, which are not in the best interest of the public. We believe the 30-day notice complicates scheduling public hearings with no benefit. A two-week notice would provide ample opportunities for the public to be informed of real estate tax increase.
    Request:
    The General Assembly is requested to amend section § 58.1-3321 in section “B,” and change notice of the public hearing shall be given at least 14 days for the date of such hearing by publication of a notice in: 1) at least one newspaper general circulation in such county and city…

Page 27 of PDF
EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE

    22. FOLLOWING BIKES TOO CLOSELY
    SPONSORED BY COUNCIL MEMBER, ROSEMARY A. WILSON

    There has been much progress in recent years in making bicycling safer for both the bicyclist and motorist. However, there is still work to be done. An effort was made during the 2014 session, House Bill 82, that would delete the word “motor” from the sentence, “the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard of the speed of both vehicles of traffic and the conditions of the highway at the time.” Since this language failed in the Senate, the suggestion is for a new section “B” to be added to 46.2-839 of the Code, to clearly state the intent to keep motor vehicles at a safe distance from other vehicles such as bicycles, etc.
    Request:
    The General Assembly is requested to amend the Code of Virginia, section 46.2-839 by adding a section “B” that states, “a driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow a bicycle, an electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle preceding in the same direction more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the traffic and the conditions of the highway at the time.” Creating a separate section would make enforcement easier for police officers and increase safety for all of those who use our highways and roads.

Page 36 of PDF
EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE

    23. CITIZEN COMMENT AT HAMPTON ROADS TRANSPORTATION ACCOUNTABILITY COMMISSION MEETINGS
    SPONSORED BY COUNCIL MEMBER, JOHN D. MOSS

    Background Information:
    During its 2014 session, the General Assembly adopted a bill that created the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (“HRTAC”), which was given the responsibility for approval of projects and the priority of such projects pursuant to the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund. The HRTAC adopted bylaws at their July 2014 organizational meeting. Although the bylaws provide for public hearings and public comment, they do not authorize residents of the fourteen counties and cities within the Planning District to speak on any agenda item, resolution or motion.
    Request:
    The City Council requests the General Assembly enact legislation which would require the HRTAC to allow any resident living within the fourteen counties and cities within Planning District 23 to speak on any agenda item, resolution or motion, for at least three minutes each.

Page 37 of PDF
EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE

    24. BAN THE RELEASE OF MORE THAN TEN (10) BALL[O]ONS
    SPONSORED BY COUNCIL MEMBER, BARBARA M. HENLEY

    Background Information:
    The Virginia Code currently allows the release of up to fifty (50) balloons an hour. However, balloons are a substantial threat to waterfowl and the environment and allowing the release of 49 balloons seams excessive. Balloons are a significant part of the litter collected from most waterways.
    Request:
    The General Assembly is requested to amend the Code of Virginia as follows:
    § 29.1-556.1. Release of certain balloons prohibited; civil penalty
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly release or cause to be released into the atmosphere within a one-hour period fifty ten (10) or more balloons which are (i) made of a nonbiodegradable or nonphotodegradable material or any material which requires more than five minutes’ contact with air or water to degrade and (ii) inflated with a substance which is lighter than air. Any person who violates this section shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed five dollars per balloon released above the allowable limit, which shall be paid into the Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Endowment Fund established pursuant to § 29.1-101.1.
    B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) balloons released by or on behalf of any agency of the Commonwealth, or the United States or pursuant to a contract with the Commonwealth, the United States, or any other state, territory or government for scientific or meteorological purposes or (ii) hot air balloons that are recovered after launch.

Page 38 of 41

Editors note: My opinion is: BAN THE RELEASE OF MORE THAN ZERO (0) BALLOONS
EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE

    25. ESTABLISHMENT OF COASTAL VIRGINIA STANDARDS FOR DAM SAFETY REGULATIONS
    SPONSORED BY COUNCIL MEMBER, BARBARA M. HENLEY

    Background Information:
    The Code and the Regulations do not have specific standards that apply to Coastal Virginia, as such, every impounding structure must request special consideration. A change to the Regulations requiring specific modification factors for Coastal Virginia would alleviate this time and expense.
    This amendment would require the establishment of regulations that require specific modification factors for Coastal Virginia.
    Request:
    The General Assembly is requested to amend the Code of Virginia as follows:
    § 10.1-605. Promulgation of regulations by the Board; guidance document
    A. The Board shall adopt regulations to ensure that impounding structures in the Commonwealth are properly and safely constructed, maintained and operated. Dam safety regulations promulgated by the State Water Control Board shall remain in full force until amended in accordance with applicable procedures.
    E. The Board’s regulations shall establish a Coastal Virginia modification factor for both the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) and the Spillway Design Flood (SDF) in calculating the hazard of impounding structures.

Page 39 of PDF
EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE

    26. AN ACT TO EXCLUDE THE LITTLE CREEK WATERSHED FROM THE JAMES RIVER BASIN FOR PURPOSES OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
    SPONSORED BY COUNCIL MEMBER, BARBARA M. HENLEY

    Background Information:
    This amendment would remove the Little Creek watershed from the James River basin, just as the City requested the Lynnhaven River be removed from the James River basin.
    Request:
    The General Assembly is requested to amend the Code of Virginia as follows: Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
    1. § 1. That no state agency shall consider or include the Little Creek watershed as part of the James River Basin when developing or implementing the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.

Page 40 of PDF
EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE


    27. REQUIRE THE STATE WATER CONTROL BOARD TO ESTABLISH REGULATIONS FOR INNOVATIVE STORMWATER TREATMENT PROTOCOLS FOR LOCALITIES
    SPONSORED BY COUNCIL MEMBER, BARBARA M. HENLEY

    Background Information:
    The City has not been able to have certain innovative stormwater treatment protocols approved that it believes would be less expensive and more effective than the protocols allowed, such as oyster reefs, phragmites harvesting, etc.
    The amendment would require the State Water Control Board to establish a regulatory framework to have these innovative techniques evaluated.
    Request:
    The General Assembly is requested to amend the Code of Virginia as follows: § 62.1-44.15:28. Development of regulations.
    A. The Board is authorized to adopt regulations that specify minimum technical criteria and administrative procedures for Virginia Stormwater Management Programs. The regulations shall:
    … .
    16. Establish a regulatory framework, including timeline and appeals procedures for localities to obtain approval for innovative stormwater treatment protocols to meet Chesapeake Bay TMDLs and other stormwater quality TMDLs.

Page 41 of PDF
View definition of § 62.1-44.15:28. Development of regulations.
EMAIL EVERY MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL WITH YOUR COMMENTS HERE

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