Making the Case

Government policies and decisions have a major impact on Virginia’s historic places. Preservation Virginia works with its partners and network of preservationists to build public support for identifying priority preservation issues and developing action strategies to ensure that Virginia’s historic places remain strong and economically sustainable for present and future generations. You can support this work by becoming an Advocacy Partner. Partners receive recognition at Preservation Virginia events, such as our annual Legislative Reception. Learn more about ways you can help and make a donation here.

At the Virginia General Assembly

Preservation Virginia monitors the General Assembly session each year to keep you informed about legislation that impacts historic preservation.  

During the 2022 session we will follow the progress of the budget and separate bills through committees.  At the beginning of each week, you will receive updates.  When needed, Action Alerts will notify you about needed communications to your legislators.

The 2022 General Assembly session began on Wednesday, January 12th, and runs for 60 days through March 12th.   Preservation Virginia has reviewed the bills that have been posted and has identified those listed below as relevant to the interests of the preservation community.  All relevant bills will be updated throughout the legislative session.  Preservation Virginia will be highlighting priority bills in depth as they come before their respective subcommittees for initial hearing.

Mark your calendar for February 9th at 7:00 p.m.  and Preservation Virginia’s Legislative Reception.  We will be virtual again this year.  Register now! And consider a sponsorship to support our advocacy during the General Assembly session and year-round.

Pre-Filed Legislative Items of Interest Identified

Historic Preservation Fund
HB 141 – Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund; created.
Patron:  McQuinn
Summary: Establishes the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund for the purpose of awarding grants to eligible state-recognized and federally recognized Indian tribes, private nonprofit organizations, and localities for the eligible costs of acquiring land or permanent protective interest therein, and of undertaking preservation activities on such land, that is of cultural or historic significance to Black, indigenous, or people of color communities. The bill provides that land or interests acquired with grant funds shall grant the Board of Historic Resources or other holder a perpetual preservation interest in the property.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

SB 158 – Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund established.
Patron:  Hashmi
Summary: Establishes the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund for the purpose of awarding grants to eligible state-recognized and federally recognized Indian tribes, private nonprofit organizations, and localities for the eligible costs of acquiring land or permanent protective interest therein, and of undertaking preservation activities on such land, that is of cultural or historic significance to Black, indigenous, or people of color communities. The bill provides that land or interests acquired with grant funds shall grant the Board of Historic Resources or other holder a perpetual preservation interest in the property.
Status: Referred to Committee on Finance and Appropriations in the Senate

Cemeteries
HB 140 – Historical African American cemeteries; changes date of establishment for qualification of funds.
Patron:  McQuinn
Summary: Changes the date of establishment that qualifies historical African American cemeteries for appropriated funds to care for such cemeteries from prior to January 1, 1900, to prior to January 1, 1948.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

HB 727 – Historical African American cemeteries; disbursement of funds; qualified organization.
Patron:  Ward
Summary: Expands the definition of a qualified organization that may receive funds for maintenance of a historical African American cemetery to include any locality whose purpose for applying for funding from the Department of Historic Resources is to maintain a neglected historical African American cemetery, or a portion thereof, that is located within its jurisdictional bounds. The bill also creates an exemption by allowing localities that are eligible for funding for the maintenance and care of historical African American cemeteries to apply to the Director of the Department for a grant to perform extraordinary maintenance, renovation, repair, or reconstruction on any such cemeteries and graves without first having received initial funding for the maintenance and care of those cemeteries and graves. Current law requires a qualified organization to apply for any such grant only after it has received initial funding for the maintenance and care of a historical African American cemetery.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

HB 809 – Historical African American cemeteries and graves; Isle of Wight, Prince George, and Surry Counties.
Patron:  Price
Summary: Adds four cemeteries in Isle of Wight County, one cemetery in Prince George County, and eight cemeteries in Surry County to the list of cemeteries for which qualified organizations may receive funds from the Department of Historic Resources for the care of historical African American cemeteries and graves. The bill also directs the Department of Historic Resources, in consultation with the relevant qualified organizations, to verify the number of graves, monuments, and markers in such cemeteries.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

SB 23 – Historical African American cemeteries and graves; qualified organization.
Patron:  Locke
Summary: Amends the definition of a qualified organization authorized to apply for funds for the maintenance of historical African American cemeteries to include a locality in which such a cemetery is located.
Status: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology in the Senate

SB 76 – Historical African American cemeteries and graves; qualified organization.
Patron:  Norment
Summary: Amends the definition of a qualified organization authorized to apply for funds for the maintenance of historical African American cemeteries to include a locality in which such a cemetery is located.
Status: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology in the Senate

SB 477 – Historical African American cemeteries; changes date of establishment for qualification of funds.
Patron:  McClellan
Summary: Changes the date of establishment that qualifies historical African American cemeteries for appropriated funds to care for such cemeteries from prior to January 1, 1900, to prior to January 1, 1948.
Status: Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology in the Senate

Historic Sites Promotion
HB 508 – Department of Historic Resources; the Green Book.
Patron:  Mullin
Summary: Directs the Department of Historic Resources to develop a program to identify, publicize, and educate the public about sites in the Commonwealth featured in the Green Book.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

Local Government Historic Preservation Generally
SB 206 – Historic preservation; filing of a historic designation application.
Patron:  Petersen
Summary: Provides that the filing of a historic designation application shall stay a locality from issuing any permit to raze or demolish a proposed historic landmark, building, or structure until 30 days after the rendering of the final decision of the governing body of the locality. The bill also specifies that the affected property owner, the applicant, or any resident of the locality who provided public input on the locality’s historic district plan may appeal to the circuit court for review of any final decision of the governing body pursuant to such application.
Status: Referred to Committee on Local Government in the Senate

SB 286 – Historic districts; property survey.
Patron:  Ebbin
Summary: Requires that any locality that establishes a local historic district may require that a survey of property lines be completed prior to a land purchase within the historic district.
Status: Referred to Committee on Local Government in the Senate

Historical Statues and Monuments
HB 778 – Relocation of monument and memorials.
Patron:  Williams
Summary: Requires a locality that votes to remove, relocate, contextualize, or cover certain war monuments or memorials to initiate a process to gift the monument or memorial to a nonprofit organization that is most related to the mission and spirit of the monument or memorial, at the locality’s expense. The bill provides that the placement of the monument or memorial shall be decided by an independent committee and that a majority vote by the committee as to the relocation of the memorial is binding on the locality and shall be carried out within six months from the date of the committee’s decision.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

Historical Buildings
HB 902 – Augusta County; removal of county courthouse, authorization by electorate.
Patron:  Avoli
Summary: Allows Augusta County to hold a referendum on the courthouse removal in 2022, despite the 10-year waiting requirement, if (i) two new plans are developed for either the construction and removal of the courthouse from the City of Staunton, if the referendum passes, or renovation and expansion of the courthouse in the City of Staunton, if the referendum fails; (ii) the plans are made available to the public at least three months prior to the planned date of the referendum; (iii) the plan for the courthouse remaining in Staunton, if it prevails, shall be a mutual agreement between the City of Staunton and Augusta County; and (iv) the result of the referendum shall be binding and the corresponding plan shall be implemented.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

SB 38 – Capitol Square Preservation Council; powers and duties, review and approval of plans for changes.
Patron:  Norment
Summary: Grants the Capitol Square Preservation Council the authority to review and approve all plans or proposals for alterations, improvements, additions, or renovations to, or other disposition of, any monuments, statuary, artwork, or other historical artifacts contained within the Capitol Building, including within the old and new Senate chambers, the old and new halls of the House of Delegates, and the Rotunda.
Status: Referred to Committee on Rules in the Senate

SB 283 – Augusta County; removal of county courthouse, authorization by electorate.
Patron:  Hanger
Summary: Allows Augusta County to hold a referendum on the courthouse removal in 2022, despite the 10-year waiting requirement, if (i) two new plans are developed for either the construction and removal of the courthouse from the City of Staunton, if the referendum passes, or renovation and expansion of the courthouse in the City of Staunton, if the referendum fails; (ii) the plans are made available to the public at least three months prior to the planned date of the referendum; (iii) the plan for the courthouse remaining in Staunton, if it prevails, shall be a mutual agreement between the City of Staunton and Augusta County; and (iv) the result of the referendum shall be binding and the corresponding plan shall be implemented.
Status: Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections in the Senate

SB 305 – Food manufacturers operating in historic buildings.
Patron:  Deeds
Summary: Authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to exempt food manufacturers operating in historic buildings from certain laws and regulations related to the structure of a building if the food manufacturer is deemed to be producing food products that are low risk of being adulterated.
Status: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources in the Senate

Natural Resources
HB 28 – Maury River; extends portion previously designated as scenic river by an additional 23.2 miles.
Patron:  Campbell, R.R.
Summary: Extends the portion of the Maury River previously designated as a state scenic river by an additional 23.2 miles.
Status: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources in the House

HB 49 – James River; designates an additional 44-mile portion as a component of Va. Scenic Rivers System.
Patron:  Fariss
Summary: Designates an additional 44-mile portion of the James River running through Nelson, Appomattox, and Cumberland Counties as a component of the Virginia Scenic Rivers System.
Status: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources in the House

HB 206 – Small renewable energy projects; impact on natural resources.
Patron:  Webert
Summary: Requires, as a condition for a permit by rule for a small energy project, that the applicant conduct an analysis of the beneficial and adverse impacts of the proposed project on natural resources. The bill requires that if the Department of Environmental Quality determines that there will be a significant adverse impact on wildlife, historic resources, prime agricultural soils, or forest lands, the applicant must also submit a mitigation plan with a 90-day public comment period. The bill specifies that a disturbance of more than 10 acres of prime agricultural soils, as defined in the bill, or 50 acres of contiguous forest lands, as defined in relevant law, is deemed to be a significant adverse impact on natural resources. Finally, the bill directs the Department to convene an advisory panel to assist in developing regulations to further develop criteria for determining significant adverse impact on natural resources and guidelines for plans to mitigate such adverse impacts.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

SB 292 – Scenic river designation; Maury River.
Patron:  Deeds
Summary: Extends the portion of the Maury River previously designated as a state scenic river by an additional 23.2 miles.
Status: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources in the Senate

Land Conservation and Preservation
HB 199 – Land preservation program; special assessment.
Patron:  Webert
Summary: Allows a locality, by ordinance, to provide that a parcel of real property shall not be removed from the land use program for delinquent taxes if such taxes are paid no later than December 31 of the year in which the taxes became delinquent. The bill further provides that no parcel of real property shall be removed from the land use program for delinquent taxes if (i) such taxes become delinquent during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, (ii) the treasurer determines that the emergency has caused hardship for the taxpayer, and (iii) the taxes are paid no later than 90 days after the original deadline.
Status: Committee Referral Pending

SB 31 – Virginia Land Conservation Foundation and Fund; appropriation for Fund in budget bill, etc.
Patron:  Marsden
Summary: Directs the Governor to include a $40 million recommended appropriation to the Virginia Land Conservation Fund in the budget bill or amendments thereto each year. Currently, the Governor is directed to include an amount based on a formula set forth in the Code. The bill makes various changes to the allocation and use of funds for grants from the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, including allowing grants to be made to state-recognized and federally recognized Virginia Indian Tribes, and requires that at least one nonlegislative citizen member of the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees be a member of a state-recognized or federally recognized Virginia Indian Tribe.
Status: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources in the Senate

American Revolution 250 Commission
HB 6 – American Revolution 250 Commission; adds four legislative members to the Commission.
Patron:  Ware
Summary: Adds four legislative members to the American Revolution 250 Commission.
Status: Referred to Committee on Rules in the House

SB 22 – American Revolution 250 Commission; adds four legislative members to the Commission.
Patron:  Locke
Summary: Adds four legislative members to the American Revolution 250 Commission.
Status: Referred to Committee on Rules in the Senate

 

In Congress

Our colleagues at the National Trust for Historic Preservation have put together some helpful analysis about the impact of the 2018 mid-term elections and how you can support the “Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act.”

Thanks to all who have reached out to Delegates and Senators. You can still contact your legislators. Call and make an appointment to:

  • Share information about a recent or upcoming HRTC project in their district and the analysis of impacts from the findings of the Baker Tilly and VCU CURA studies.
  • Invite your Senator and Delegate to tour an HRTC project or a ribbon cutting— emphasize the number of jobs generated by the project, revitalization of the area, and number of occupants of the completed building.
  • Email any feedback to Preservation Virginia CEO Elizabeth Kostelny.

 

Legislative Archive 2021

 

You can support Preservation Virginia’s statewide work and be a voice for historic places.