Senate Bill No. 194
(By Senators Snyder and Helmick)
[Introduced January 21, 2003; referred to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend article one, chapter seven of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated section fourteen,
relating to authority of county commissions; allowing county
commissions to enact ordinances; and penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article one, chapter seven of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new section, designated section fourteen, to read
ARTICLE 1. COUNTY COMMISSIONS GENERALLY.
§7-1-14. Authority to adopt ordinances; penalties.
(a) In addition to all other powers and duties which county
commissions now possess by law, county commissions may make, pass
or adopt and enforce ordinances considered necessary by the county commission that are not contrary to the constitution or the laws of
this state: Provided, That no county commission may make, pass or
adopt any ordinance levying taxes or providing for the collection
(b) Any ordinances made, passed or adopted by a county
commission may prescribe a penalty or fine for failure to comply
with the provisions of the ordinance. The circuit court shall have
jurisdiction to enforce an ordinance of a county commission upon
petition by the prosecuting attorney or any citizen of the county
who can show a good faith and valid reason for making the
(c) Ordinance procedures. -- Any ordinance shall be made,
passed or adopted in accordance with the following requirements.
(1) A proposed ordinance shall be read by title during at
least three meetings of the county commission with at least one
intervening week between each meeting, unless a member of the
county commission requests that the ordinance be read in its
entirety at one or both meetings. At the second reading of the
title or the full ordinance, material amendments to the ordinance
may be offered and voted upon by the commission. The ordinance
shall be voted upon for adoption following the third reading of the
bill. No material amendments shall be considered at the same
meeting at which the ordinance is finally adopted.
(2) At least five days before a meeting at which a proposed ordinance is to be finally passed, the county commission shall
publish a notice of the proposed adoption of the proposed ordinance
in a Class I-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the
provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. The
publication area for the publication shall be the county. The
notice shall state the subject matter and general title or titles
of the proposed ordinance, the date, time and place of the proposed
final vote on adoption, and the place or places where the proposed
ordinance may be inspected by the public. A reasonable number of
copies of the proposed ordinance shall be kept at the place or
places and be made available for public inspection. The notice
shall also advise that interested parties may appear at the meeting
and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance.
(3) It may not be necessary for the county commission to
publish in a newspaper any proposed ordinance prior to its adoption
or any enacted or adopted ordinance subsequent to its adoption.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow county
commissioners to adopt ordinances; penalties.
The section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.