2.5 – Estimated Timeline for Town Incorporation of Massanuttenten
The timeline for incorporating a community into a town via judicial proceedings or direct VA General Assembly enactment is dependent on many factors. As previously stated, incorporation via judicial proceedings usually has a longer timeline. Some portions of this timeline are determined by the Court and others are somewhat unpredictable. However, a fairly good estimate can be made based on statutory requirements and based on the timeline in the Prices Fork example of the late 1990’s. The estimated timeline is included in the chart below.
* The election of the Town Council is dependent on the date of the Court Order as related to the closest general election.
The total time span for incorporating a community into a town via judicial proceedings has been estimated to be twenty-one (21) months — that is, twenty-one (21) months from the time a community decides to move forward with incorporation until the time the initial Town Council is elected.
However, it should be noted that the timeline could be as little as twelve (12) months, if the CLG is not asked by the Court to conduct a review of request. Alternatively, the timeline could be as much as thirty (30) months or more, if there are various legal motions objecting to the petition form, filing, etc. and/or there are serious legal objections by a party. Any decision by the Special Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of VA which, although very unlikely, could lengthen the timeline estimate considerably.
The time required for town chartering via VA General Assembly enactment is initially dependent of the annual cycle of VA General Assembly session which usually begins in February of each year. It is also dependent on the desired cycle delineated in the Town Charter for the election of the governing body. Without a CLG review, the timeline could be as little as twelve (12) months until the initial Town Council is seated. With CLG review, the timeline could be as much as twenty-four (24) months or more.