Judge rules against housing referendum in Virginia
ARLINGTON, Virginia: On June 30, 2009, Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Kendrick ruled that the proposal for an Arlington housing and redevelopment authority did not meet legal requirements to get on the ballot. The issue is likely to be appealed to the state Supreme Court, mainly because backers of the proposal did in fact get enough petition signatures to bring the measure to the voters. Unfortunately, around the same time the Virginia General Assembly changed the rules, most importantly requiring significantly more signatures in support of a referendum and limiting them to once every five years in a community.
Backers of the measure (supported in court by John Reeder) said the old rules should apply, noting that the new legislation didn't go into effect until after the petition was certified by county authorities. The county attorney's office (represented by Stephen MacIsaac) argued that the date of the actual election was the key factor, not the date the signatures were certified; Kendrick agreed with the latter.
- Virginia House Bill 1890 (2009)
- Changes in 2009 to laws governing the initiative process
- Virginia housing-authority referendum encounters difficulty