About

In 2007, the West Virginia Legislature created the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program and the Municipal Home Rule Board to oversee the program.  The pilot program lasted five years and offered broad-based home rule authority to participating municipalities by allowing them to implement ordinances, acts, resolutions, rules and regulations without regard to state laws, with the exception that proposals had to comply with the U.S. Constitution, the West Virginia Constitution, federal law, chapters sixty-a (“uniform Controlled Substance Act”), sixty-one (“Crimes and Their Punishment”), and sixty two (Criminal Procedure”) of the West Virginia Code.  The 2007 legislation authorized up to five municipalities to participate in the program and the Home Rule Board approved the cities of Bridgeport, Charleston, Huntington, and Wheeling as participants.  

In 2013, the West Virginia Legislature extended the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program and the Municipal Home Rule Board for an additional five years and expanded the number of participating municipalities to 20.  The Legislature found that the program brought innovative rules and novel municipal ideas to the local communities that participated in the program, and that it afforded participating municipalities greater flexibility to operate in a more cost-effective, efficient and timely manner.    The Legislature set June 1, 2014, as the deadline for participating municipalities to withdraw from the program.  Municipalities interested in becoming new home rule participants submitted their applications to the Municipal Home Rule Board by June 1, 2014, in accordance with the requirements set forth in the authorizing legislation. 

On October 6, 2014, the Home Rule Board accepted the following cities into the Pilot Program:  Bluefield, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Dunbar, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Milton, Morgantown, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Shinnston, South Charleston, Vienna, and Weirton.

On March 14, 2015, the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill No. 323 (effective 90 days from passage) which:

  1. Allowed a total of 30 Class I, Class II, and Class III municipalities in the Home Rule Pilot Program.
  2. Allowed a total of four Class IV municipalities in the Home Rule Pilot Program.
  3. Continues Home Rule ordinances in effect.
  4. Removed the requirement that the Home Rule Board approve each municipal ordinance prior to enactment.  However, the Home Rule Board will still review, evaluate and approve or reject, by a majority vote of the Board, any amendments to the written plans submitted by the municipalities.
  5. Removed process for enacting an ordinance.
  6. Authorizes amendments to municipal ordinances pursuant to the municipality’s approved, written Home Rule plan.
  7. Removed provisions prohibiting a municipality from enacting an ordinance, act, resolution, rule or regulation after the pilot program terminates in 2019.
  8. Prohibits a municipality from seeking refunds of monies collected from taxpayers or monies distributed to municipalities by the Tax Division under the Home Rule Pilot Program.

The Home Rule Board on September 14, 2015, accepted the following cities into the Pilot Program: Beckley, Grafton, Moundsville, Oak Hill, Princeton, and St. Albans. 

On November 16, 2015, the cities of Elkins and Harpers Ferry (Class IV) were accepted into the Pilot Program by the Home Rule Board.

The cities of Lewisburg, Auburn (Class IV), New Cumberland (Class IV), and Shepherdstown (Class IV) were accepted into the Pilot Program by the Home Rule Board on April 4, 2016.

The Home Rule Board accepted the last two cities of Follansbee and Weston into the Pilot Program on July 11, 2016.

 

Board Members

Download a current list in Word format 
 

WEST VIRGINIA MUNICIPAL HOME RULE BOARD

NAME/OFFICE ADDRESS TERM EXPIRATION/REPRESENTING

The Honorable Dave Hardy
Cabinet Secretary
West Virginia Department of Revenue
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
 

Chair Designee f/Governor Jim Justice

Mr. Mark A. Polen
5004 Bennington Drive
Cross Lanes, West Virginia 25313
 

2nd Congressional District
Business and Industry Council Representative

Mr. Brian Jones
Professional Firefighters of West Virginia
Morgantown, West Virginia  26508
 

1st Congressional District
Labor Organization (AFL-CIO) Representative

Mr. Chris Fletcher
Planning Director
City of Morgantown
389 Spruce Street
Morgantown, West Virginia  26505
 

1st Congressional District
WV Chapter of American Institute of Certified Planners

The Honorable Craig Blair
West Virginia State Senate
State Capitol Complex
Building 1, Room 217W
Charleston, West Virginia  25305-0311
 

Chair of the Senate Committee on Government Organization
Ex-Officio Non-Voting Member

The Honorable Gary Howell
West Virginia House of Delegates
State Capitol Complex
Building 1, Room 213-E
Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0311
 

Chair of the House of Delegates Committee on Government Organization
Ex-Officio Non-Voting Member

Joshua L. Jarrell
Deputy Secretary and General Counsel
West Virginia Department of Commerce
Building 6, Room 553
Charleston, West Virginia  25305-0311
 

Designee of the Executive Director of the
West Virginia Development Office

 

Jahomeruledirectory2
04/27/17

 

All media inquiries should be directed to: 
Samantha Smith
Director of Marketing & Communications
West Virginia Department of Commerce
(304) 957-9364
Samantha.Smith@wv.gov