Virginia has never faced more pressing local problems. Both the population and the economy have grown so rapidly in the last several decades that the traditional system of local government has been strained and perhaps even rendered obsolete. This system was established when Virginia was a predominantly rural and agricultural state. But after approximately three centuries without radical change, it has suddenly been threatened by urbanization. Simply put, it was not designed to operate in a predominantly urban and industrial setting and has proven unequal to the task of coping with the problems which attend urbanization.
Patrick M. McSweeney,
Local Government Law in Virginia, 1870-1970,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol4/iss2/2