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Chapter 8     Entire Code
‹ Chapter 07A  |  Chapter 08A › Printer Friendly Versions
Chapter 8  |  Article 8 - 1  |  Section 7

1 - PURPOSE AND SHORT TITLE; DEFINI
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    8 - 1 - 5 A
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2 - CREATION OF MUNICIPALITIES

3 - FRAMING AND ADOPTING AN ORIGINA

3A - GOVERNMENT OF CLASS IV TOWNS O

4 - FRAMING AND ADOPTING A CHARTER

5 - ELECTION, APPOINTMENT, QUALIFIC

6 - ANNEXATION

7 - DECREASE OF CORPORATE LIMITS

8 - CONSOLIDATION OF MUNICIPALITIES

9 - PROCEEDINGS OF GOVERNING BODIES

10 - POWERS AND DUTIES OF CERTAIN

11 - POWERS AND DUTIES WITH RESPEC

12 - GENERAL AND SPECIFIC POWERS,

13 - TAXATION AND FINANCE

13A - BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRIC

13B - DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT DISTR

13C - MUNICIPAL TAX IN LIEU OF BUS

14 - LAW AND ORDER; POLICE FORCE O

14A - MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS AN

15 - FIRE FIGHTING; FIRE COMPANIES

15A - STANDARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL F

16 - MUNICIPAL PUBLIC WORKS; REVEN

17 - LOW COST IMPROVEMENTS

18 - ASSESSMENTS TO IMPROVE STREET

19 - MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY WATERWOR

20 - COMBINED SYSTEMS

20A - NEIGHBORHOOD REHABILITATION

21 - BOARD OF PARK AND RECREATION

22 - RETIREMENT BENEFITS GENERALLY

22 A - WEST VIRGINIA MUNICIPAL POL

23 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

24 - PLANNING AND ZONING

25 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

26 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

26A - MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY HISTORI

27 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

27A - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

28 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

29 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

29A - COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITIES

29B - AIRPORT SECURITY

30 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

31 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

32 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

33 - INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -

34 - JUDICIAL REVIEW

35 - DISSOLUTION OF MUNICIPALITIES

36 - CONSTITUTIONALITY AND SEVERAB

37 - MUNICIPAL FINANCIAL STABILIZA

38 - MUNICIPAL ECONOMIC OPPORTUNIT

WVC 8- CHAPTER 8. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.
WVC -1- ARTICLE 1. PURPOSE AND SHORT TITLE; DEFINITIONS; GENERAL PROVISIONS; CONSTRUCTION.

WVC 8-1-1 PART I. PURPOSE AND SHORT TITLE.
§8-1-1. Purpose and short title.
The purpose of this chapter is to effect a recodification of the basic municipal law of this state and of various statutory provisions relating to certain intergovernmental relations involving municipalities, counties and other units of government, to provide as much uniformity as possible between the powers, authority, duties and responsibilities of special legislative charter municipalities and all other municipalities, and to give effect to the "Municipal Home Rule Amendment" to the constitution of this state, being section thirty-nine-(a), article six of said constitution.

For convenience of reference, this chapter may be known and cited as the "Municipal Code of West Virginia."

WVC 8-1-2 PART II. DEFINITIONS.
§8-1-2. Definitions of terms.
(a) For the purpose of this chapter:

(1) "Municipality" is a word of art and shall mean and include any Class I, Class II and Class III city and any Class IV town or village, heretofore or hereafter incorporated as a municipal corporation under the laws of this state;

(2) "City" is a word of art and shall mean, include and be limited to any Class I, Class II and Class III city, as classified in section three of this article (except in those instances where the context in which used clearly indicates that a particular class of city is intended), heretofore or hereafter incorporated as a municipal corporation under the laws of this state, however created and whether operating under (i) a special legislative charter, (ii) a home rule charter framed and adopted or revised as a whole or amended under the provisions of former chapter eight-a of this code or under the provisions of article three or article four of this chapter, (iii) general law, or (iv) any combination of the foregoing; and

(3) "Town or village" is a term of art and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section ten, article two, chapter two of this code, mean, include and be limited to any Class IV town or village, as classified in section three of this article, heretofore or hereafter incorporated as a municipal corporation under the laws of this state, however created and whether operating under (i) a special legislative charter, (ii) general law, or (iii) a combination of the foregoing.

(b) For the purpose of this chapter, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) "Governing body" shall mean the mayor and council together, the council, the board of directors, the commission, or other board or body of any municipality, by whatever name called, as the case may be, charged with the responsibility of enacting ordinances and determining the public policy of such municipality; and in certain articles dealing with intergovernmental relations shall also mean the county court of any county or governing board of other units of government referred to in said articles;

(2) "Councilmen" shall mean the members of a governing body, by whatever name such members may be called;

(3) "Mayor" shall mean the individual called mayor unless as to a particular municipality a commissioner (in a commission form of government) or the city manager (in a manager form of government) is designated or constituted by charter provision as the principal or chief executive officer or chief administrator thereof, in which event the term "mayor" shall mean as to such municipality such commissioner or city manager unless as to any particular power, authority, duty or function specified in this chapter to be exercised, discharged or fulfilled by the mayor it is provided by charter provision or ordinance that such particular power, authority, duty or function shall be exercised, discharged or fulfilled by the individual called mayor and not by a commissioner or city manager, in which event such particular power, authority, duty or function shall in fact be exercised, discharged or fulfilled in and for such municipality by the individual called mayor: Provided, That in the exercise and discharge of the ex officio justice of the peace, conservator of the peace and mayor's court functions specified in this chapter, the term "mayor" shall always mean the individual called mayor;

(4) "Recorder" shall mean the recorder, clerk or other municipal officer, by whatever name called, charged with the responsibility of keeping the journal of the proceedings of the governing body of the municipality and other municipal records;

(5) "Treasurer" shall mean the treasurer or other municipal officer, by whatever name called, exercising the power and authority commonly exercised by a treasurer;

(6) "Administrative authority" shall mean the officer, commission or person responsible for the conduct and management of the affairs of the municipality in accordance with the charter, general law and the ordinances, resolutions and orders of the governing body thereof;

(7) "Charter" shall mean, except where specific reference is made to a particular type of charter, either a special legislative charter (whether or not amended under the provisions of former chapter eight-a of this code or under article four of this chapter, and although so amended, such special legislative charter shall, for the purposes of this chapter, remain a special legislative charter), or a home rule charter framed and adopted or revised as a whole or amended by a city under the provisions of former chapter eight-a of this code or under the provisions of article three or article four of this chapter;

(8) "Ordinance" shall mean the ordinances and laws enacted by the governing body of a municipality in the exercise of its legislative power, and in one or more articles of this chapter, ordinances enacted by a county court;

(9) "Inconsistent or in conflict with" shall mean that a charter or ordinance provision is repugnant to the constitution of this state or to general law because such provision (i) permits or authorizes that which the constitution or general law forbids or prohibits, or (ii) forbids or prohibits that which the constitution or general law permits or authorizes;

(10) "Qualified elector," "elector," "qualified voter" or "legal voter" shall mean any individual who, at the time he offers to vote or at the time he participates in any event or activity (such as signing a petition) under the provisions of this chapter for which he must be a qualified elector, elector, qualified voter or legal voter, is a resident within the corporate limits of the municipality or within the boundaries of a territory referred to in this chapter, as the case may be, and who (i) has been a resident of the state for one year and of the municipality or territory in question for at least sixty days next preceding such election or date pertinent to any such event or activity, and (ii) in the case of a regular municipal election, special municipal election, municipal public question election or any such municipal event or activity, is duly registered on the municipal registration books set up in the office of the clerk of the county court of the county in which the municipality or the major portion of the territory thereof is located under the integration of the municipal registration of voters with the "permanent registration system" of the state, or, in the event there be no such integration of the municipal registration of voters, is duly registered in the county in which he resides to vote in state-county elections, or (iii) in the case of a territory election, general election or any such territory event or activity, is duly registered in the county in which he resides to vote in state-county elections; and any charter provision or ordinance establishing a voting residency requirement different than that in this definition provided shall be of no force and effect; and in any case where a particular percentage of the qualified electors, electors, qualified voters or legal voters is required under the provisions of this chapter in connection with any such event or activity as aforesaid, the percentage shall be determined on the basis of the number of qualified electors, electors, qualified voters or legal voters, as of the time of such event or activity, unless it is impracticable to determine such percentage as of such time and it is provided by ordinance, resolution or order that the percentage shall be determined on the basis of the number of qualified electors, electors, qualified voters or legal voters, as of the date of the last preceding election (whether a general election, regular municipal election or special municipal election and whether or not they voted at such election) held in such municipality or territory, as the case may be;

(11) "Public question" shall mean any issue or proposition required to be submitted to the qualified voters of a municipality or of a territory referred to in this chapter for decision at an election, as the case may be;

(12) "Inhabitant" shall mean any individual who is a resident within the corporate limits of a municipality or within the boundaries of a territory referred to in this chapter, as the case may be;

(13) "Resident" shall mean any individual who maintains a usual and bona fide place of abode within the corporate limits of a municipality or within the boundaries of a territory referred to in this chapter, as the case may be;

(14) "Freeholder" shall mean any person (and in the case of an individual one who is sui juris and is not under a legal disability) owning a "freehold interest in real property";

(15) "Freehold interest in real property" shall mean any fee, life, mineral, coal or oil or gas interest in real property, whether legal or equitable, and whether as a joint tenant or a tenant in common, but shall not include a leasehold interest (other than a mineral, coal or oil or gas leasehold interest), a dower interest, or an interest in a right-of-way or easement, and the freehold interest of a church or other unincorporated association shall be considered as one interest and not as an individual interest of each member thereof;

(16) "County court" shall mean the governmental body created by section twenty-two, article eight of the constitution of this state, or any existing tribunal created in lieu of a county court;

(17) "Code" shall mean the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as heretofore and hereafter amended; and

(18) "Person" shall mean any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association, or any other entity or organization of whatever character or description.

(c) The term "intergovernmental relations" is used in this chapter to mean undertakings and activities which may be undertaken or engaged in by two or more units of government acting jointly, and in certain headings in this chapter to call attention to the fact that the provisions under such headings apply to units of government in addition to municipalities.

(d) For the purpose of this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates to the contrary, words importing the masculine gender shall include both the masculine and feminine gender, and the phrase "charter framed and adopted or revised as a whole or amended (or words of like import) under the provisions of former chapter eight-a of this code" shall include a charter framed and adopted or revised as a whole or amended under the provisions of former article two of former chapter eight of this code.

WVC 8-1-3 PART III. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§8-1-3. Classification of municipal corporations.
Pursuant to the mandate of the "Municipal Home Rule Amendment" to the constitution of this state, all municipal corporations are hereby classified by population into four classes, as follows:

(1) Every municipal corporation with a population in excess of fifty thousand shall be a Class I city;

(2) Every municipal corporation with a population in excess of ten thousand but not in excess of fifty thousand shall be a Class II city;

(3) Every municipal corporation with a population in excess of two thousand but not in excess of ten thousand shall be a Class III city; and

(4) Every municipal corporation with a population of two thousand or less shall be a Class IV town or village.

Transition from one to another class shall occur automatically when the requisite population qualification has been met, effective as of the effective date of the census, as specified in section four of this article.

The Legislature hereby declares its interpretation of the said "Municipal Home Rule Amendment" to be that a single classification by population of municipal corporations in this state is required which shall exclude any other classification of municipal corporations by population for any purpose. It is, therefore, the intention of the Legislature that the classification established in this section shall give effect to the constitutional mandate and shall be the only classification by population applying to municipal corporations in this state. It is the further intention of the Legislature that subsequent legislation affecting municipal corporations in this state shall treat municipal corporations differently upon the basis of population, only in accordance with the general classification established in this section.

WVC 8-1-4 §8-1-4. How population determined.
For any purpose pertinent to the provisions of this chapter, population shall be determined by reference to the last preceding census taken under the authority of the United States or of the Legislature of West Virginia or by the municipality pursuant to an ordinance adopted thereby, the adoption of any such ordinance being hereby expressly authorized.

WVC 8-1-5 §8-1-5. Existing status of municipalities confirmed; powers, authority, duties and responsibilities conferred by law.
The corporate being of every municipality now existing is hereby confirmed and validated. Except as otherwise provided in section six of this article, any municipality shall have all of the powers, authority, duties and responsibilities conferred by law upon a municipality of the class to which it belongs.

WVC 8 - 1 - 5 A §8-1-5a. Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program.

     (a) Legislative findings. -- The Legislature finds and declares that:

     (1) The initial Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program brought innovative results, including novel municipal ideas that became municipal ordinances which later resulted in new statewide statutes;

     (2) The initial Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program also brought novel municipal ideas that resulted in court challenges against some of the participating municipalities;

     (3) The Municipal Home Rule Board was an essential part of the initial Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program but it lacked some needed powers and duties;

     (4) Municipalities still face challenges delivering services required by federal and state law or demanded by their constituents;

     (5) Municipalities are sometimes restrained by state statutes, policies and rules that challenge their ability to carry out their duties and responsibilities in a cost-effective, efficient and timely manner;

     (6) Continuing the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program is in the public interest; and

     (7) Increasing the powers and duties of the Municipal Home Rule Board will enhance the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program.

     (b) Continuance of pilot program. -- The Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program is continued until July 1, 2019. The ordinances enacted by the four participating municipalities pursuant to the initial Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program are hereby authorized and may remain in effect until the ordinances are repealed, but are null and void if amended and such amendment is not approved by the Municipal Home Rule Board: Provided, That any ordinance enacting a municipal occupation tax is hereby null and void.

     (c) Authorizing participation. --

     (1) Commencing July 1, 2013, twenty Class I, Class II, Class III and/or Class IV municipalities that are current in payment of all state fees may participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program pursuant to the provisions of this section.

     (2) The four municipalities participating in the pilot program on July 1, 2012, are hereby authorized to continue in the pilot program and may amend current written plans and/or submit new written plans in accordance with the provisions of this section.

     (3) If any of the four municipalities participating in the pilot program on July 1, 2012, do not want to participate in the pilot program, then on or before June 1, 2014, the municipality must submit a written letter to the board indicating the municipality's intent not to participate and the board may choose another municipality to fill the vacancy: Provided, That if a municipality chooses not to participate further in the pilot program, its ordinances enacted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program are hereby authorized and may remain in effect until the ordinances are repealed, but are null and void if amended: Provided, however, That any ordinance enacting a municipal occupation tax is null and void.

     (d) Municipal Home Rule Board. -- The Municipal Home Rule Board is hereby continued. The board members serving on the board on July 1, 2012, may continue to serve, except that the chair of the Senate Committee on Government Organization and the chair of the House Committee on Government Organization shall be ex officio nonvoting members. Effective July 1, 2013, the Municipal Home Rule Board shall consist of the following five voting members:

     (1) The Governor, or a designee, who shall serve as chair;

     (2) The Executive Director of the West Virginia Development Office or a designee;

     (3) One member representing the Business and Industry Council, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate;

     (4) One member representing the largest labor organization in the state, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate; and

     (5) One member representing the West Virginia Chapter of American Institute of Certified Planners, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

     (e) Board's powers and duties. -- The Municipal Home Rule Board has the following powers and duties:

     (1) Review, evaluate, make recommendations and approve or reject, by a majority vote of the board, each aspect of the written plan submitted by a municipality;

     (2) By a majority vote of the board, select, based on the municipality's written plan, new Class I, Class II, Class III and/or Class IV municipalities to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program;

     (3) Review, evaluate, make recommendations and approve or reject, by a majority vote of the board, the amendments to the written plans submitted by municipalities;

     (4) Approve or reject, by a majority vote of the board, each ordinance submitted by a participating municipality pursuant to its written plan or its amendments to the written plan;

     (5) Consult with any agency affected by the written plans or the amendments to the written plans; and

     (6) Perform any other powers or duties necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section.

     (f) Written plan. -- On or before June 1, 2014, a Class I, Class II, Class III or Class IV municipality desiring to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program shall submit a written plan to the board stating in detail the following:

     (1) The specific laws, acts, resolutions, policies, rules or regulations which prevent the municipality from carrying out its duties in the most cost-efficient, effective and timely manner;

     (2) The problems created by the laws, acts, resolutions, policies, rules or regulations;

     (3) The proposed solutions to the problems, including all proposed changes to ordinances, acts, resolutions, rules and regulations: Provided, That the specific municipal ordinance instituting the solution does not have to be included in the written plan; and

     (4) A written opinion, by an attorney licensed to practice in West Virginia, stating that the proposed written plan does not violate the provisions of this section.

     (g) Public hearing on written plan. -- Prior to submitting its written plan to the board, the municipality shall:

     (1) Hold a public hearing on the written plan;

     (2) Provide notice at least thirty days prior to the public hearing by a Class II legal advertisement;

     (3) Make a copy of the written plan available for public inspection at least thirty days prior to the public hearing; and

     (4) After the public hearing, adopt an ordinance authorizing the municipality to submit a written plan to the Municipal Home Rule Board after the proposed ordinance has been read two times.

     (h) Selection of municipalities. -- On or after June 1, 2014, by a majority vote, the Municipal Home Rule Board may select from the municipalities that submitted written plans and were approved by the board by majority vote, new Class I, Class II, Class III and/or Class IV municipalities to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program.

     (i) Ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation. -- After being selected to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program and prior to enacting an ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation based on the written plan, the municipality shall:

     (1) Hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation;

     (2) Provide notice at least thirty days prior to the public hearing by a Class II legal advertisement;

     (3) Make a copy of the proposed ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation available for public inspection at least thirty days prior to the public hearing;

     (4) After the public hearing, submit the comments, either in audio or written form, to the Municipal Home Rule Board;

     (5) Obtain approval, from the Municipal Home Rule Board by a majority vote, for the proposed ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation; and

     (6) After obtaining approval from the Municipal Home Rule Board, read the proposed ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation at least two times.

     (j) Powers and duties of Municipalities. -- The municipalities participating in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program have the authority to pass an ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation, under the provisions of this section, that is not contrary to:

     (1) Environmental law;

     (2) Bidding on government construction and other contracts;

     (3) The Freedom of Information Act;

     (4) The Open Governmental Proceedings Act;

     (5) Wages for construction of public improvements;

     (6) The provisions of this section; and

     (7) The municipality's written plan.

     (k) Prohibited acts. -- The municipalities participating in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program do not have the authority to pass an ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation, under the provisions of this section, pertaining to:

     (1) The Constitutions of the United States or West Virginia;

     (2) Federal law or crimes and punishment;

     (3) Chapters sixty-a, sixty-one and sixty-two of this code or state crimes and punishment;

     (4) Pensions or retirement plans;

     (5) Annexation;

     (6) Taxation: Provided, That a participating municipality may enact a municipal sales tax up to one percent if it reduces or eliminates its municipal business and occupation tax: Provided, however, That if a municipality subsequently reinstates or raises the municipal business and occupation tax it previously reduced or eliminated under the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program, it shall eliminate the municipal sales tax enacted under the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program:   Provided further, That any municipality that imposes a municipal sales tax pursuant to this section shall use the services of the Tax Commissioner to administer, enforce and collect the tax in the same manner as the state consumers sales and service tax and use tax under the provisions of articles fifteen, fifteen-a and fifteen-b, chapter eleven of this code and all applicable provisions of the streamlined sales and use tax agreement:   And provided further, That such tax will not apply to the sale of motor fuel or motor vehicles;

     (7) Tax increment financing;

     (8) Extraction of natural resources;

     (9) Persons or property outside the boundaries of the municipality: Provided, That this prohibition under the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program does not affect a municipality's powers outside its boundary lines under other sections of this chapter, other chapters of this code or court decisions;

     (10) Marriage and divorce laws;

     (11) Restricting the carrying of a firearm, as that term is defined in section two, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code: Provided, That, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (p) of this section, municipalities may regulate the carrying of a firearm in municipal buildings dedicated to government operations, other than parking buildings or garages: Provided, however, That on other municipal property, municipalities may regulate only those persons not licensed to carry a concealed firearm; and 

     (12) An occupation tax, fee or assessment payable by a non- resident of a municipality.

     (l) Amendments to written plans. -- A municipality selected to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program may amend its written plan at any time.

     (m) Reporting requirements. -- Commencing December 1, 2015, and each year thereafter, each participating municipality shall give a progress report to the Municipal Home Rule Board and commencing January 1, 2016, and each year thereafter, the Municipal Home Rule Board shall give a summary report of all the participating municipalities to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

     (n) Performance Evaluation and Review Division review. -- Before January 1, 2019, the Performance Evaluation and Review Division of the Legislative Auditor's office shall conduct a performance review on the pilot program and the participating municipalities. The review shall include the following:

     (1) An evaluation of the effectiveness of expanded home rule on the participating municipalities;

     (2) A recommendation as to whether the expanded home rule should be continued, reduced, expanded or terminated;

     (3) A recommendation as to whether any legislation is necessary; and

     (4) Any other issues considered relevant.

     (o) Termination of the pilot program. -- The Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program terminates on July 1, 2019. No ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation may be enacted by a participating municipality after July 1, 2019, pursuant to the provisions of this section. An ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation enacted by a participating municipality under the provisions of this section during the period of the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program shall continue in full force and effect until repealed, but is null and void if it is amended and such amendment is not approved by the Municipal Home Rule Board.

     (p) Additional requirements for participation. --

     (1) The Class I, Class II, Class III and/or Class IV municipalities that wish to participate in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program, pursuant to the provisions of this section, must agree to the requirements set forth in this subsection concerning regulation of firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories: Provided, That if the four municipalities participating in the pilot program on July 1, 2012, wish to continue in the pilot program then those municipalities must also agree to comply with the requirements of this subsection.

     (2) Definitions. --

     As used in this subsection:

     (A) "Ammunition" means fixed cartridge ammunition, shotgun shells, the individual components of fixed cartridge ammunition and shotgun shells, projectiles for muzzle-loading firearms and any propellant used in firearms or ammunition.

     (B) "Firearm accessory" means a device specifically designed or adapted to enable the wearing or carrying about one's person, or the storage or mounting in or on a conveyance, of a firearm, or an attachment or device specifically designed or adapted to be inserted into or affixed onto a firearm to enable, alter or improve the functioning or capabilities of the firearm.

     (C) "Firearm" has the same meaning as in section two, article seven of chapter sixty-one.

     (3) General rule. --

     (A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, except as otherwise provided in this section, municipalities participating in the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program, pursuant to this section, shall not restrict in any manner the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell or store any revolver, pistol, rifle or shotgun, or any other firearm, or any ammunition or ammunition components to be used therewith, or the keeping of gunpowder so as to directly or indirectly prohibit the ownership of the ammunition, or, to restrict in any manner the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell or store any other firearm accessory or accoutrement, under any order, ordinance or rule promulgated or enforced by the municipality. This subsection may not be construed to prevent any law enforcement official with appropriate authority from enforcing any statute enacted by the state.

     (B) The authority of a municipality to regulate firearms, ammunition or firearm accessories may not be inferred from its proprietary authority, home rule status or any other inherent or general power.

     (C) Any existing or future orders, ordinances or rules promulgated or enforced in violation of this subsection are null and void.

     (4) Applicability and effective dates. --

     Ninety days after a new municipality has been selected by the Board to participate in the pilot program, or a previously participating municipality has chosen to continue to participate in the pilot program, any municipal gun ordinances previously authorized by the provisions of section five-a, article twelve of this chapter shall no longer be of any force or effect for any municipality participating in this program to the extent they are in conflict with the provisions of this subsection: Provided, That no provision in this subsection may be construed to limit the authority of a municipality to restrict the commercial use of real estate in designated areas through planning or zoning ordinances. WVC 8-1-6 §8-1-6. Application of provisions of this chapter; inconsistent or conflicting special legislative charter provisions; amendment of special legislative charters; inconsistent or conflicting ordinance provisions; status and tenure of officers and members not affected; transactions already entered into not affected.
In furtherance of the purpose of this chapter as set forth in section one of this article, each municipality is subject to the provisions contained in this chapter and may exercise the power and authority conferred by this chapter. In this regard, it is recognized that when the provisions of existing special legislative charters are compared with and are considered in the light of the provisions of this chapter, there are five basic possibilities as to the relationship between such charter provisions and the provisions of this chapter, namely: (1) As to any particular charter provisions, such charter provisions may be inconsistent or in conflict with the pertinent provisions of this chapter; (2) although relating to the same subject matter and although not inconsistent or in conflict with any provisions of this chapter, certain charter provisions may be sufficiently different from pertinent provisions of this chapter as to indicate, as a matter of practical construction, that either the charter provisions or the provisions of this chapter, but not both, should be applicable; (3) although varying in certain respects, certain charter provisions may be similar to and in essential harmony with corresponding provisions of this chapter; (4) as to any particular charter provisions, there may be no counterpart of such provisions in this chapter; and (5) as to any provisions of this chapter, there may be no counterpart charter provisions. In view of these possibilities, it becomes necessary for the Legislature to set forth certain rules of construction to be applied in addition to the usual and ordinary rules of statutory construction, and to set forth a substantive provision as to application in connection with possibility (2).

As to possibility (1), the pertinent provisions of this chapter shall supersede such conflicting or inconsistent charter provisions and shall be deemed amendments to such charters. As to possibility (2), one year from and after the effective date of this section or the effective date of any pertinent amendment to this chapter hereafter adopted, such provisions of this chapter shall supersede such charter provisions and shall be deemed amendments to such charter, unless within such one-year period an ordinance is adopted providing that such charter provisions shall be applicable, in which event such charter provisions shall be applicable so long as said ordinance remains in full force and effect. As to possibility (3), all such charter provisions shall be construed so as to conform to and be consistent with the pertinent provisions of this chapter. As to possibility (4), the charter provisions shall remain in operation and effect until amended or repealed by general law hereafter enacted or until hereafter supplanted by a new charter or revised as a whole or amended in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. As to possibility (5), the applicable provisions of this chapter shall be deemed amendments to such charter. In determining the relationship between such charter provisions and the provisions of this chapter in any situation not included in the possibilities outlined above, the relationship shall be determined in keeping with the general concepts and principles embodied in the rules of construction set forth in this paragraph. The provisions set forth above in this paragraph shall also be applicable to the relationship between the pertinent provisions of various local or special acts of the Legislature (other than special legislative charters) pertaining to municipal matters and the provisions of this chapter.

Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this section, (1) particular provisions of this chapter shall supersede pertinent charter provisions whenever it is expressly provided in this chapter that such provisions of this chapter shall govern notwithstanding any charter provisions, that such charter provisions shall be of no force and effect, that the provisions of this chapter are the only applicable provisions, or that something may be accomplished only as provided in this chapter; and (2) charter provisions shall govern chapter provisions in those instances where this chapter expressly authorizes other or contrary charter provisions.

Any ordinance provision which is inconsistent or in conflict with any provision of this chapter shall be of no force and effect.

All individuals holding any office on the effective date of this chapter, and all officers and members of any commission, board, authority or other entity, by whatever name called, serving on the effective date of this chapter, and who were elected or appointed and qualified under or pursuant to the provisions of former chapter eight or chapter eight-a of this code, any act repealed by this new chapter eight or any charter provision or ordinance provision made or adopted under or pursuant to such former chapters or acts shall continue to serve, unless a vacancy sooner occurs, until their terms expire and until their successors have been elected or appointed, as the case may be, and have qualified.

Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions or any other provision of this chapter (even though such other provision is stated to be paramount), transactions validly entered into, causes of action which arose, and civil actions instituted, before the effective date of this chapter and the rights, duties, obligations and interest flowing therefrom remain valid, enforceable and maintainable thereafter and may be terminated, completed, consummated, prosecuted, maintained or enforced (1) as required or permitted by any statute or other law (including the provisions of former chapters eight and eight-a of this code and the acts repealed by this chapter) repealed or amended by this chapter as though such repeal or amendment had not occurred, or (2) with like effect as though this chapter had not been enacted.

WVC 8 - 1 - 7 §8-1-7. Construction of powers and authority granted.
(a) The enumeration of powers and authority granted in this chapter shall not operate to exclude the exercise of other powers and authority fairly incidental thereto or reasonably implied and within the purposes of this chapter or in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Home Rule Amendment to the constitution of this state, the powers and authority granted by such constitution, other provisions of this code and any existing charter. The provisions of this chapter shall be given full effect without regard to the common-law rule of strict construction and particularly when the powers and authority are exercised by charter provisions framed and adopted or adopted by revision of a charter as a whole or adopted by charter amendment under the provisions of this chapter.

(b) Any charter provision framed and adopted or adopted by revision of a charter as a whole or adopted by charter amendment under the provisions of former chapter eight-a of this code or under the provisions of this chapter which is beyond the power and authority of a municipality and any ordinance provision which is beyond the power and authority of a municipality shall be of no force and effect.

WVC 8-1-8 §8-1-8. References to code provisions.
Any reference in this chapter to another provision of this code and any reference elsewhere in this code or other law to a provision in this chapter shall be construed to mean the present provision or such provision as the same may be hereafter amended from time to time. Where additional provisions are added to the subject matter of any other provision so referred to, the reference shall include such additional provisions.

Wherever in this code, in any act, in general law, elsewhere in law, in any charter, in any ordinance, resolution or order of a municipality, or in any order, ordinance or resolution of a county court or other unit of government, reference is made to any section, any article, any particular provision or any term of chapter eight of this code as it existed immediately prior to the effective date of this new chapter eight or to any section, any article, any particular provision or any term of former chapter eight-a of this code, such reference shall henceforth be read, construed and understood to mean the comparable section, article, particular provision or term in this new chapter eight.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.


Recent legislation affecting the Code

Citation Year/Session Short Title
§ 8 - 1 - 5 A - (Amended Code)
§ 8 - 12 - 5 - (Amended Code)
§ 8 - 12 - 5 A - (Amended Code)
SENATE BILL - 317
PASSED - Regular Session

SB317 SUB2 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Relating to municipal firearm laws
§ 8 - 5 - 7 - (Amended Code)
SENATE BILL - 547
PASSED - Regular Session

SB547 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Relating to number of municipal wards or election districts and council members
§ 8 - 12 - 16 - (Amended Code)
§ 8 - 12 - 16 A - (Amended Code)
§ 8 - 12 - 16 C - (Amended Code)
SENATE BILL - 600
PASSED - Regular Session

SB600 SUB1 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Relating to municipal ordinance compliance regarding dwellings unfit for habitation and vacant buildings and properties
§ 8 - 22 A- 22 - (Amended Code)
§ 8 - 22 A- 23 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 4349
PASSED - Regular Session

HB4349 SUB ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Clarifying retirement dependent child scholarship and burial benefits under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
§ 8 - 15 - 26 - (Amended Code)
HOUSE BILL - 4460
PASSED - Regular Session

hb4460 ENR  (Uploaded - 03/25/2014)
Relating to violating provisions of the civil service law for paid fire departments
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.
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