Chapter 9. Streets and Other Public Places: Claims Against City*


*Code references—Parks, public places, Ch. 28; streets and sidewalks, Ch. 35.
Sec. 68. Private property not to be taken for public purpose without just compensation.
The city shall not take or use any private property for streets or any other public purpose without making just compensation for the same, but where the city cannot obtain title to ground necessary for its purpose, it may proceed to condemn the same in the mode prescribed by law.
Sec. 68-a. Limited-access streets.
(a) A limited-access street is defined as a street especially designed for through traffic over which abutters have no easement or right of light, air, or access or by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such limited-access street.
(b) The city shall have the same power and authority with respect to the planning, designation, acquisition, opening, construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, discontinuance, and regulation of the use of limited-access streets; the designation of existing streets as limited-access streets, and the extinguishment of easements in connection therewith; the regulation and restrictions of access to such streets; the construction of service roads in connection therewith; and all other authority with respect to such streets, and incidental thereto as the state highway commission has under the provisions of chapter seventy-eight of the Acts of the General Assembly, nineteen hundred forty-two, approved February twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred forty-two, or as said state highway commission may hereafter be granted, by amendment to said act or otherwise. (Acts 1948, ch. 130, p. 300)
State law reference—Code of Virginia, § 33.1-57 et seq.
Sec. 69. Courts to enter no orders of injunction staying power of city over streets and railroads except as provided herein.
No order shall be made and no injunction shall be granted by any judge or court of this Commonwealth to stay the proceedings of the city in the exercise of any power herein granted it over its streets and railways, unless it be manifest that it is exceeding its powers and that the interposition of the court is necessary to prevent injury which cannot be adequately compensated in damages.
Sec. 70. Removal of encroachments upon streets.
In every case where there has been or shall be encroachments upon a street by a fence, building or otherwise, the judge of the municipal court may require the owner to remove the same. If such removal shall not be made within the time ordered, the judge of the municipal court may impose a penalty to be fixed by the council for each day which it is allowed to continue thereafter, and may cause the encroachment to be removed at the risk and cost of the owner, although the right to impose such penalty or require the removal of such encroachment involves the validity of a bona fide title to real estate.
Sec. 71. Dedication of streets to public after ten years' use.
Wherever any ground shall have been opened to and used by the public as a street for ten years it shall be considered as dedicated to the public, and the city shall have the same authority and jurisdiction over and right and interest therein as it has over other streets.
Sec. 72. Council to approve laying out of streets and alleys.
No property within the territorial limits of the city shall be laid out by the owner thereof with streets and alleys therein except upon a plan to be first approved by the council. Any street or alley reserved in the division or subdivision into lots of any portion of the territory within the corporate limits of the city by a plan or plat of record shall be deemed and held to be dedicated to the public use and the council shall have authority, upon the petition of any person interested therein, to open any such street or alley or any portion of the same. No agreement between or release of interest by the persons owning the lands immediately contiguous to any such alley or street, whether the same has been opened or used by the public or not, shall avail or operate to abolish said alley or street so as to divest the interest of the public therein or the authority of the council over the same; provided, however, that the right may be reserved by the owner of any subdivision and set forth on said plat to modify said plat by abolishing any block with the streets or alleys in said block, provided no lot has been sold in said block; and, provided, further, that so such change shall be made which shall cut off the owner of any other property from convenient access to the main avenues of the city; and provided, further, that where said plat has been submitted for approval by the council before its recordation, so such modification shall be allowed without the approval of the council.
Sec. 73. Action against city for negligence in construction and maintenance of streets, etc., where city and others are jointly liable.
(a) In any action against the city to recover damages against it for any negligence in the construction or maintenance of its streets, alleys, lanes, parks, public places, sewers, reservoirs or water mains, where any person or corporation is liable with the city for such negligence, every such person or corporation shall be jointed as defendant with the city in any action brought to recover damages for such negligence, and where there is judgment or verdict against the city, as well as the other defendant, it shall be ascertained by the court or jury which the defendants is primarily liable for the damages assessed.
(b) If it be ascertained by the judgment of the court that some person or corporation other than the city is primarily liable, there shall be a stay of execution against the city until execution against such person or persons or other corporation or corporations shall have been returned without realizing the full amount of such judgment.
(c) If the city, where not primarily liable, shall pay the said judgment, in whole or in part, the plaintiff shall, to the extent that said judgment is paid by the city, assign the said judgment to the city without recourse on the plaintiff, and the said city shall be entitled to have execution issued for its benefit against the other defendant or defendants who have been ascertained to be primarily liable, or may institute any suit in equity to enforce the said judgment, or an action at law, or scire facias to revive or enforce said judgment.
Sec. 74 and 75. (Through error no sections of the Charter were assigned these numbers.)
Sec. 76. Claims against city for damages for negligence.
No action shall be maintained against the same city for damages for any injury to any person or property alleged to have been sustained by reason of the negligence of the city or of any officer, agent, or employee thereof, unless a written statement verified by the oath of the claimant, his agent or attorney, or the personal representative of any decedent whose death is the result of the alleged negligence of the city, its officers, agents or employees, of the nature of the claim and the time and place at which the injury is alleged to have occurred or to have been received, shall have been filed with the city attorney of said city within six months after such cause of action shall have accrued. And no officers, agents or employees of the city shall have authority to waive such conditions precedent or any of them.