• Virginia General Assembly 2014: Proposed Laws That May Impact Your Development and Construction Business
  • January 31, 2014 | Author: Chandra D. Lantz
  • Law Firm: Hirschler Fleischer A Professional Corporation - Richmond Office

    SB 194 Eminent domain; date of valuation; inverse condemnation proceeding.  Adds another "date of valuation" of property for taking purposes;  allows the date of valuation to be the date on which an action is taken by the government body which substantially affects the use and enjoyment of the property by the owner.

    HB 209 Preliminary subdivision plats. Provides that localities may mandate the submission of preliminary subdivision plats only for plats involving 50 or more lots.

    HB 519 Zoning; attorney fees. Provides that a court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to any person, group, or entity that prevails in a zoning action brought against it or that successfully challenges the validity of a zoning ordinance.

    SB 58 Comprehensive plans; alignment of transportation services with accessible housing and other community services. Requires localities to take steps to align transportation infrastructure and facilities with affordable, accessible housing and community services when developing the transportation component of the comprehensive plan for the physical development of the territory.  The bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Disability Commission.

    SB 329 Implied warranty; new homes. Provides that if the vendor of a new home (i) is in the business of building or selling new dwellings and (ii) selected and installed the materials and fixtures used in the construction of the dwelling, he shall be held to warrant to the vendee that if a defect occurs in such materials or fixtures and the manufacturer does not fulfill any warranty that was provided, that the vendor will fulfill the warranty.

    HB 297 Mechanics' liens; unlicensed contractors; good faith performance.  Amends last year’s new law so that an unlicensed contractor may be entitled to a mechanics' lien his labor was performed in good faith and without actual knowledge of any licensure requirements.  Currently, a person who performs labor without a valid license or the proper class of license is not entitled to a mechanics' lien.

    HB 1045  Board for Contractors; suspension and monetary penalty for certain violations.  Creates a new law (Code 54.1-1106.2) requiring a fine and license suspension when a contractor is guilty of a violation of law arising out of work undertaken as a result of damage from a disaster, including any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, drought, fire, or other natural catastrophe.

    HB 32 Minimum wage. Increases the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $8.50 per hour effective July 1, 2014, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  The act will expire at such time as the federal minimum wage equals or exceeds $8.50 per hour.

    HB 93 Employment applications; inquiries regarding criminal arrests, charges, or convictions; penalty.  Prohibits state agencies and private employers from including on any employment application a question inquiring whether the prospective employee has ever been arrested or charged with, or convicted of, any crime, subject to certain exceptions and that a prospective employee may only be asked about criminal convictions after he or she has received a conditional offer of employment, which offer may be withdrawn if the prospective employee has a conviction record that bears a rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position.

    HB 223 Virginia Public Procurement Act; establishment of historically underutilized business zones (HUB zones).  Requires the Department of General Services and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency to develop procurement regulations for the utilization of small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones (HUB zones).  The bill also authorizes public bodies to establish programs to facilitate the participation of small businesses in HUB zones.  Such programs must be in writing and comply with any enhancement or remedial measures authorized by the Governor in the case of state agencies or the chief executive of a local governing body in the case of local agencies.

    HB 289 Virginia Public Procurement Act; cooperative procurement.  Eliminates the limitation for cooperative procurement for construction in excess of $200,000 by a local public body from the contract of another local public body that is more than a straight line distance of 75 miles from the territorial limits of the local public body procuring the construction.

    SB 174  and HB 421 Virginia Public Procurement Act; competitive negotiation; term contracts for certain architectural and engineering services.  Increases the term contract limits for architectural and engineering services to $2.5 million per project for state agencies and $10 million per term.  Currently, these limits are $1 million and $5 million.

    HB 549  Virginia Public Procurement Act; transportation construction services.  Provides that for the award of transportation construction projects, factors other than price may be considered by the awarding agency, including the general reputation, qualifications, industry experience, and financial capacity of the contractor; the design, operation, and feasibility of the transportation facility; the eligibility of the facility for priority selection, review, and documentation timelines under the public body's guidelines; comments from local citizens and the public body; benefits to the public; the contractor’s compliance with a minority business enterprise participation plan efforts; use of local contractors and residents; contractor’s  safety record of the contractor; and other criteria that the public body deems appropriate.