Lamar Co., LLC v. City of RichmondAnnotate this Case
The City of Richmond brought an enforcement action against the owners of real property (Owners) and the lessee of the property (Lessee), seeking removal of a billboard that Lessee maintained on the property, or, in the alternative, an order requiring the billboard to be lowered to a conforming height. Owners and Lessee filed separate complaints for declaratory judgment against the City, alleging that the City could not require removal of the billboard if the City had been paid taxes for more than fifteen years pursuant to Va. Code Ann. 15.2-2307. The circuit court sustained the demurrers filed by the City and dismissed the complaint, concluding that section 15.2-2307 was “merely enabling” legislation and that private property owners did not have the statutory vested rights protections unless a local government chose to adopt an implementing ordinance thereunder. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred by holding that section 15.2-2307 was “merely enabling” legislation.