Reader-submitted content. While the Town of Cape Charles has enlisted the aid of its attorney to make amendments to Law No.27 the ‘Annexation Agreement, this reader points out that this may not be possible.
You should know that this whole issue of who is to be responsible for the utility availability and capacity facing Cape Charles is on full display as the Town wants to sell its water/wastewater utility plants and obligations to American Water. The public dispute continues in full bloom now over whether the Town can in fact disregard its own obligations as well as the Bay Creek Developer’s (Preserve Communities) financial obligations and commitments as outlined in the Town’s Annexation Orders of 1991, reconfirmed by the Virginia legislature in March 2002 and filed in the Land Records of Northampton County as Public Laws which was a condition set by the Supreme Court’s Special Annexation Order and the District Court of Northampton County, Virginia.
I can find no Virginia law or Court opinion that allows any Town to amend, modify, or revise an Annexation Agreement once the Supreme Court’s Special Annexation Court has entered its Order (e.g., Public Law # 27). I can find no provision in Virginia law allowing any document relating to the understanding as to the annexation petition being granted that would allow the Town to transfer any of its obligations or Preserve Communities (Bay Creek developer) any relief from its significant financial obligations.
This whole matter would require a Virginia Legislative Act resulting in the Supreme Court’s oversight of all annexation matters to modify any agreement in which Preserve Communities or the Town can selectively amend any Annexation Agreement. All subsequent purchases of the lots are not to pay for any infrastructure obligations of Preserve Communities – means all of Bay Creek lot/homeowners, now or in the future. The wheels of justice turn slowly in Northhampton County, Virginia. The Town again displays it ignorance of the Virginia laws, and its lack of competency to hold Preserve Communities to its significant legal obligations. Bankruptcy will not erase the Preserve Communities obligations, which then the Town would have to fully pay for – not the lot/homeowners in Bay Creek, but perhaps everyone else in the Town.
Below is the 2018 Comprehensive Analysis (slide deck by Michael L Sterling, Esq., VandeventerBlack, LLP – Virginia Beach, Va.) who was engaged by the Town of Cape Charles to attempt to explain what the Annexation Order and what the underlying Annexation Agreements entailed:
D. Luther says
This is a great article!
I have seen town council members and managers of Cape Charles do what the hell they want. And when they face the realities of the laws, then they suddenly quit or resign. Most of the time it’s too late and the townspeople or Northampton county has to paid for their flagrant disregard for the laws of the Commonwealth. Sadly it’s happening in a lot of the communities on the shore that have HOA/POAs.