[Code 1991, § 1-1; amended 9-8-2020 by Ord. No. 20-17]
The ordinances embraced in this and the following chapters, sections and appendixes shall constitute and be designated the "Code of Ordinances, City of Fredericksburg, Virginia," and may be so cited. Such ordinances may also be cited as the "Fredericksburg City Code."
[Code 1991, § 1-5]
In the interpretation and construction of this Code and of all ordinances of the City, the following definitions shall be observed, unless they are inconsistent with the manifest intent of the City Council, or the context clearly requires otherwise:
Charter. The term "Charter" means the Fredericksburg Charter of 1990, as amended from time to time.
City. The term "City" means the City of Fredericksburg in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Code of Virginia. The term "Code of Virginia" means the Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended from time to time.
Council, City Council. The terms "Council" and "City Council" mean the City Council of the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Delegation of authority. Whenever a provision or section appears requiring the City Manager, the head of a department of the City or any City officer to do some act, it is to be construed to authorize such person to designate, delegate and authorize subordinates to perform the required act unless the terms of the provision or section designate otherwise. The City Manager or any specific officer or department head of the City grants such authority by the power vested in him in this Code, and such references also refer to the designee of the City Manager, officer or department head.
Gender. A word importing the masculine gender only may also extend and be applied to females and to all other "persons" as defined in this section.
Month. The term "month" means a calendar month.
Name of officers, departments or commissions. Except as otherwise referred to, such reference shall be construed as if followed by the words "of the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia."
Number. A word importing the singular number only may extend and be applied to several persons or things, as well as to one person or thing; and a word importing the plural number only may extend and be applied to one person or thing, as well as to several persons or things.
Oath. The term "oath" includes an affirmation in all cases in which by law an affirmation may be substituted for an oath.
Owner. The term "owner," applied to a building or land, includes any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, tenant in partnership, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety of the whole or of a part of such building or land.
Person. The term "person" includes any individual, corporation, partnership, association, company, business, trust, joint venture or other legal entity.
Personal property. The term "personal property" includes every species of property except real property, as described in this Code.
Property. The term "property" includes real and personal property.
Real property. The term "real property" includes lands, tenements and hereditaments, and all rights and appurtenances thereto and interest therein, other than a chattel interest.
Roadway. The term "roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder. A highway may include two or more roadways if divided by a physical barrier or barriers or unpaved area.
Seal. In cases in which the seal of any court or public office shall be required to be affixed to any paper issuing from such court or office, the term "seal" includes an impression of such official seal made upon the paper alone, as well as an impression made by means of a wafer, or of wax affixed thereto. In any case in which the seal of any natural person shall be required to be affixed to a paper, it shall be sufficient for such person to affix to such paper a scroll by way of seal.
Shall, may. The term "shall" is mandatory; the term "may" is permissive.
Sidewalk. The term "sidewalk" means any portion of a street between the curblines, or the lateral lines of a roadway where there is no curb, and the adjacent property line, intended for the use of pedestrians.
Signature, subscription. The terms "signature" and "subscription" include a mark when a person cannot write.
State, commonwealth. The terms "state" and "commonwealth" mean the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Street. The term "street" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in the City, including the streets and alleys, and, for law enforcement purposes, the entire width between the boundary lines of all private roads or private streets in the City which have been specifically designated "highways" by an ordinance adopted by the City Council.
Swear, sworn. The terms "swear" and "sworn" are equivalent to the term "affirm" or "affirmed" in all cases in which by law an affirmation may be substituted for an oath.
Week. The term "week" means seven days.
Written, in writing.The terms "written," "writing," "writings," and "in writing" include any representation of words, letters, symbols, numbers, or figures, whether printed or inscribed on a tangible medium or stored in an electronic or other medium and retrievable in a perceivable form and whether an electronic signature authorized by Code of Virginia, § 59.1-479 et seq., is or is not affixed.
Year. The term "year" means a calendar year, and the term "year" alone is equivalent to the expression "year of our Lord."
In the interpretation and construction of this Code and of all ordinances of the City, the following rules of construction shall be observed, unless they are inconsistent with the manifest intent of the City Council or the context clearly requires otherwise:
Computation of time. When a notice is required to be given, or any other act to be done, a certain time before any proceeding, there must be that time, exclusive of the day for such proceeding, but the day on which such notice is given, or such act is done, may be counted as part of the time; but when a notice is required to be given or any other act to be done within a certain time after any event or proceeding, that time shall be allowed in addition to the day on which the event or proceeding occurred.
Nontechnical and technical words. Words and phrases shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the language, but technical words and phrases and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law shall be construed and understood according to such meaning.
Sundays and holidays. When any meeting or proceeding is directed by an ordinance to be held or to take place on a particular day of a month, if that day happens to be Sunday or any legal holiday within the meaning of Code of Virginia, § 2.2-3300, the meeting or proceeding shall be held or take place on the next day which is neither Sunday nor a legal holiday. When an ordinance authorizes or directs any proceeding to be adjourned from day to day, an adjournment to the next day which is neither Sunday nor such legal holiday shall be legal.
[Code 1991, § 1-4]
The catchlines of the several sections of this Code printed in boldface type are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the section and shall not be deemed or taken to be the titles of such sections, or any part of the sections, nor shall they be so deemed when any of such sections, including the catchlines, are amended or reenacted, unless expressly so provided.
The history notes appearing after sections in the Code are not intended to have any legal effect but are merely intended to indicate the source of matter contained in the section.
All references to chapters or sections are to the chapters and sections of this Code unless otherwise specified.
The references and editor's notes appearing throughout the Code are not intended to have any legal effect, but are merely intended to assist the user of the Code.
[Code 1991, § 1-2]
The provisions appearing in this Code, so far as they are the same as those of the Code of the City of Fredericksburg, 1991, and of ordinances existing at the time of adoption of this Code shall be considered as a continuation thereof and not new enactments.
[Code 1991, § 1-15]
When an ordinance which may have repealed another shall itself be repealed, the previous ordinance shall not be revived.
[Code 1991, § 1-16]
No new ordinance shall be construed to repeal a former ordinance as to any offense committed against the former ordinance, or as to any act done, any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred, or any right accrued or claim arising under the former ordinance. The new ordinance shall not in any way whatever affect any such offense or act so committed or done, or any penalty, forfeiture or punishment so incurred, or any right accrued or claim arising before the new ordinance takes effect, save only that the proceedings thereafter had shall conform, so far as practicable, to the ordinances in force at the time of such proceedings.
[Code 1991, § 1-13]
Nothing in this Code or the ordinance adopting this Code shall repeal the following, when not inconsistent with this Code:
Any ordinance or resolution promising or guaranteeing the payment of money for the City or authorizing the issue of any bonds of the City or any evidence of the City's indebtedness or any contract or obligation assumed by the City.
Any annual tax levy or budget or appropriation ordinance.
Any right or franchise conferred by ordinance or resolution of the City on any person or corporation.
Any ordinance adopted for purposes which have been consummated.
Any ordinance which is temporary, although general in effect, or special, although permanent in effect.
Any ordinance relating to the salaries of the City officers or employees.
Any ordinance annexing territory to the City.
Any ordinance naming, renaming, opening, accepting or vacating streets or alleys in the City.
Any ordinance rezoning property or relating to the official Zoning Map.
The schedule of license fees.
Any prosecution, suit or proceeding pending or any judgment rendered prior to the effective date of this Code.
Any offense or act committed or done or any penalty or forfeiture incurred or any contract or right established or accruing before the effective date of this Code.
All of such provisions shall remain in full force and effect as if set out fully in this Code.
[Code 1991, § 1-14]
By contract or by the City Attorney, supplements to this Code shall be prepared and printed whenever authorized or directed by the City Council. A supplement to the Code shall include all substantive, permanent and general parts of ordinances adopted during the period covered by the supplement and all changes made thereby in the Code. The pages of a supplement shall be so numbered that they will fit properly into the Code and will, where necessary, replace pages which have become obsolete or partially obsolete, and the new pages shall be so prepared that, when they have been inserted, the Code will be current through the date of the adoption of the latest ordinance included in the supplement.
In the preparation of a supplement to this Code, all portions of the Code which have been replaced shall be excluded from the Code by the omission thereof from reprinted pages.
When preparing a supplement to this Code, the codifier, meaning the person authorized to prepare the supplement, may make formal, nonsubstantive changes in ordinances and parts of ordinances included in the supplement, insofar as it is necessary to do so to embody them in a unified code. For example, the codifier may:
Organize the ordinance material into appropriate subdivisions.
Provide appropriate catchlines, headings and titles for sections and other subdivisions of the Code printed in the supplement, and make changes in such catchlines, headings and titles.
Assign appropriate numbers to sections and other subdivisions to be inserted in the Code and, where necessary to accommodate new material, change existing section or other subdivision numbers.
Change the words "this chapter" or words of the same meaning to "this chapter," "this article," "this division," etc., as the case may be, or to "sections _____ through _____," inserting section numbers to indicate the sections of the Code which embody the substantive sections of the ordinance incorporated in the Code.
Make other nonsubstantive changes necessary to preserve the original meaning of ordinance sections inserted in the Code, but in no case shall the codifier make any change in the meaning or effect of ordinance material included in the supplement or already embodied in the Code.
[Code 1991, § 1-3]
It is hereby declared to be the intention of the City Council that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this Code and their application are severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, or section of this Code or the application thereof to any person or circumstance shall be declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by the valid judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality or other invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, sections or applications of this Code.
[Code 1991, § 1-6]
Wherever in this Code, or in any ordinance or resolution of the City, or rule or regulation or order promulgated by any officer or agency of the City under authority duly vested in him or it, any act is prohibited or is declared to be unlawful or a misdemeanor, or the doing of any act is required, or the failure to do any act is declared to be unlawful or a misdemeanor, and no specific penalty is provided for the violation thereof, the violation of any such provision of this Code or any such ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation or order shall be punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor by a fine not exceeding $2,500, or by imprisonment in jail for a period of not exceeding 12 months, either or both. Each day that a violation of this Code or any such ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation or order shall continue shall constitute, except where otherwise provided, a separate offense.
Whenever in this Code or in any ordinance or resolution of the City, or in any rule or regulation or order promulgated by any officer or agency of the City under authority duly vested in him or it, it is provided that a violation of any provision thereof shall constitute a Class 1, 2, 3 or 4 misdemeanor, such violation shall be punished as follows:
Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by confinement in jail for not more than 12 months, either or both.
Class 2 misdemeanor. A Class 2 misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by confinement in jail for not more than six months, either or both.
Class 3 misdemeanor. A Class 3 misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.
Class 4 misdemeanor. A Class 4 misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine of not more than $250.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code or any other ordinance, resolution, rule, or regulation to the contrary, no penalty, whether by fine or imprisonment, imposed for the violation of any provision of this Code or other ordinance, resolution, rule, or regulation shall be in excess of the penalty established by state law for a similar offense.