Attorney General's Opinion 1969-70 #316
June 19, 1970
HONORABLE STANFORD E. PARRIS
Member, House of Delegates
This is in reply to your inquiry of June 15, 1970, as to the
propriety of the Fairfax County Park Authority barring the press from
a meeting held to consider the desirability and feasibility of
acquiring a tract of land for use as a public park.
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act imposes limitations on the
extent to which closed meetings may be held by certain public bodies.
These public bodies are specified in § 2.1-341(a) of the Code of
Virginia (1950), as amended. They are as follows:
". . . any authority, board, bureau, commission, district
or agency of the state or of any political subdivision of the
state, including cities, towns and counties; municipal councils,
governing bodies of counties, school boards and planning
commissions; and other organizations, corporations or agencies in
the state, supported wholly or principally by public funds."
In light of the broad language quoted above, I am of the opinion
that the meetings of the Park Authority are subject to the
limitations imposed by the Act. The instances in which closed
meetings may be held by such a body are specified in § 2.1-344
of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended. It reads in part:
"(a) Executive or closed meetings may be held only for
the following purposes: . . . (2) Discussion or consideration of
the condition, acquisition or use of real property for public
purpose, or of the disposition of publicly held property."
Clearly, such a meeting as you specified would be a "discussion or
consideration of the . . . acquisition . . . of real property for
public purpose. . . ." Therefore, I am of the opinion that the Park
Authority was acting in compliance with the law in holding a closed
meeting under the circumstances which you indicated.
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