BOASSO AMERICA CORPORATION, d/b/a GREENSVILLE TRANSPORT CO.
ZONING ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CITY OF CHESAPEAKE, ET AL.
THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF CHESAPEAKE Timothy S.
All the Justices
STEPHEN R. McCULLOUGH JUSTICE
appeal calls upon us to construe Code § 15.2-2314, which
governs appeals from a board of zoning appeals to a circuit
court. We conclude that to initiate a proceeding under Code
§ 15.2-2314, a litigant must name the local governing
body as a necessary party in the petition, and the litigant
must do so within the 30-day window provided by Code §
15.2-2314. We further hold that a litigant may not amend the
petition after the 30-day period to belatedly add the local
governing body. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the
circuit court, which dismissed a petition for writ of
certiorari for failure to name the local governing body in
the petition and denied leave to amend after the 30-day
period had expired.
an adverse decision by the Zoning Administrator for the City
of Chesapeake, Boasso America Corporation appealed to the
Board of Zoning Appeals. See Code § 15.2-2311.
Because the Board of Zoning Appeals was equally divided, the
split vote resulted in affirmance of the Zoning
Administrator's decision. The Board of Zoning Appeals
made its decision on April 23, 2015. Boasso next sought to
appeal the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals by filing
a petition for writ of certiorari. It did so on May 21, 2015,
in the Circuit Court for the City of Chesapeake. As required
by the first paragraph of Code § 15.2-2314, the petition
IN RE: April 23, 2015, Decision of the Board of Zoning
Appeals for the City of Chesapeake, Virginia.
petition did not identify the City Council for the City of
Chesapeake as a party.
30, 2015, the Zoning Administrator moved to dismiss the
petition on the ground that Boasso had "failed to timely
name or serve the City Council for the City of Chesapeake, a
necessary party by statute." In response, Boasso moved
to "amend/clarify as to additional parties" and
averred that on July 1, 2015, Boasso requested that a summons
be issued for service of the petition on the City Council and
the City Attorney for the City of Chesapeake, and that
service was made on both on July 9, 2015. Boasso contended
that under Rules 1:8, 3:12, and 3:16, the trial court could
grant leave to amend to include these additional parties.
Boasso also filed an amended petition for a writ of
certiorari, which stated that "[p]ursuant to Code of
Virginia § 15.2-2314, necessary parties to this case
are, in addition to Petitioner, the City of Chesapeake City
Council, as a Defendant-Respondent, and the landowners of the
Property, as interested parties."
response, the Acting City Clerk, on behalf of the Mayor,
moved to quash service of process and filed a plea in bar
contending that the failure to name or serve the City Council
within 30 days of the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals
was fatal to the petition. Boasso opposed the motion. The
circuit court agreed with the Acting City Clerk and the
Mayor. The court concluded that Boasso's failure to name
in the petition all necessary parties in accordance with Code
§ 15.2-2314 was indeed fatal to the petition. The court
dismissed Boasso's petition with prejudice, and we
thereafter granted this appeal.
case presents a question of statutory interpretation, which
we review de novo on appeal. Renkey v. County Board,
272 Va. 369, 373, 634 S.E.2d 352, 355 (2006). In construing a
statute, "[o]ur central focus is to ascertain and give
effect to the intention of the General Assembly."
Miller v. Highland County, 274 Va. 355, 364, 650
S.E.2d 532, 535 (2007). "We determine that legislative
intent from the words used in the statute." Id.
litigant must follow a number of formal requirements when
appealing from one adjudicative body to another. These
requirements vary based on the type of proceeding. For
example, appeals to this Court are instituted by filing a
notice of appeal pursuant to Rule 5:9. Code § 15.2-2314
governs appeals from the decision of a board of zoning
appeals to a circuit court. To institute a proceeding under
Code § 15.2-2314, a litigant must file a petition for a
writ of certiorari with the clerk of the circuit court. The
petition must be filed within 30 days of the decision of the
board of zoning appeals, and it must specify the grounds upon
which the petitioner is aggrieved. Code §
held, under a predecessor version of Code § 15.2-2314,
that to institute such a proceeding, a petitioner must file a
"proper petition" within the prescribed time
period. Board of Supervisors v. Board of Zoning
Appeals, 225 Va. 235, 238, 302 S.E.2d 19, 21 (1983).
Under this prior version of the statute, we identified the
Board of Zoning Appeals ...