HB 1063: BZAs No Longer Defendants on Appeal


The “long overdue award” for the 2010 General Assembly session goes to HB 1063, which finally provides that a board of zoning appeals will not be a party on appeal of its decisions to circuit court.

Interestingly, the long-standing requirement to name the BZA was not statutory, but based upon the determination in a Virginia Supreme Court case, Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Fairfax County, 225 Va. 235, 238, 302 S.E.2d 19, 21 (1983) (“Considering these factors, we believe it is clear that, until return on the writ of certiorari is made by the board of zoning appeals, the only necessary parties to a proceeding under Code § 15.1-497 are the aggrieved person and the board [of zoning appeals].”). The real issue in this case was whether the petition for certiorari was filed in a timely manner. However, this unfortunate ruling was apparently justified because of the statutory requirement that the BZA produce the record of the proceeding below to the circuit court upon the filing of a petition for writ of certiorari.

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