TO REFORM THE INVOLUNTARY ANNEXATION LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to 2nd edition.
Adds that the term “used for residential purposes” includes any lot or tract used in common for social or recreational purposes by either owners of lots with habitable dwelling units or owners of lots intended for occupation by dwelling units and the lot owners have a real property interest in the commonly used property that attaches to or is appurtenant to the owners’ lots. Makes other clarifying changes to the definitions in proposed GS 160A-58.51. Clarifies that the annexation ordinance must fix the effective date for annexation as June 30 next following the adoption of the ordinance or the second June 30 following adoption. Clarifies and reorganizes the procedures that apply to petitions to deny annexation ordinances, and directs the municipality to reimburse the tax assessor for the costs of the petition process. Clarifies that the municipality must report to the Local Government Commission within six months (rather than 30 days) after the effective date of the annexation ordinance as to whether the extension of water and sewer lines was completed within the specified time period. Amends proposed GS 160A-58.56(f)(2) to clarify, within the definition of “at no cost other than periodic user fees,” that the property owner may be charged no more than as provided in GS 160A-58.56(d) (previously granted the owner a certain credit). Amends proposed GS 160A-58.60(i) to clarify that if part or all of the area annexed is the subject of an appeal on the effective date of the annexation ordinance, then the ordinance will be deemed amended to make the effective date the first June 30th at least six months after the date of the final judgment, or the first June 30th at least six months from the date the municipal governing board completes action to conform to the court’s instructions.
Amends GS 160A-31, as amended by Section 3 of SL 2011-57, by removing previously added language stating that the petition need not be signed by owners of real property wholly exempt from property taxation under the Constitution and laws of North Carolina. Amends GS 160A-31(b1) by reducing the number of households with incomes that are 200% or less than the most recently published poverty threshold needed to petition for annexation, from 2/3 to 51%. Directs, in addition to previous limitations, that the governing board of any municipality annex by ordinance any area the population of which is no more than 10% of that municipality, as specified. Provides that a municipality is not required to adopt more than one ordinance under the subsection in a 36-month period. Amends GS 160A-31(d) by deleting a provision requiring residents of a municipality who question the necessity for annexation to be heard at the public hearing. Creates new subsection (d1) authorizing a governing body to adopt an annexation ordinance with an effective date no later than 24 months after the adoption of the ordinance, upon finding that a petition submitted under subsection (j) meets requirements.. Creates new subsection (d2) to direct, upon a finding that a petition submitted under (b1) meets the requirements of the statute, the governing body, within 60 days of the finding, to estimate the capital costs to the municipality of extending water and sewer lines to all parcels within the area covered by the petition and to estimate the annual debt service payment that would be required if those costs were financed by a 20 year bond. Provides guidelines a governing body must follow to adopt, based on the above estimations, an annex ordinance or a resolution declining to annex the area. Creates new subsection (d3) to require municipal services be provided to an area annexed under subsections (b1) and (j) in accordance with the requirements of Part 7 of the Article.
Amends GS 143B-437.04(a) regarding the requirement that the Department of Commerce adopt guidelines for awarding Community Development Block Grants by adding a new subdivision (3) to require that those guidelines ensure that priority consideration is given to projects located in areas annexed by a municipality under Article 4A of GS Chapter 160A in order to provide water or sewer services to low-income residents. Defines low-income residents as those with a family income that is 80% or less of median family income. Also amends GS 159G-23 to add a new subdivision (9) to direct the Division of Water Quality and the Division of Environmental Health to each establish a system of assigning points to applications based on the criteria that the location of a project is in an area providing water or water services to low-income residents as prescribed in GS 143B-437.04(a), as amended in this act. Provides that this act does not apply to any municipality that requires in its charter that an annexation be approved by (1) either the voters in a referendum or the request of a majority of the property owners, (2) the voters in a referendum, or (3) the request of a majority of the property owners, except for the sections that amend GS 143B-437.04(a), GS 159G-23, and GS 160A-31. Makes a conforming change to provide that this act applies to petitions for annexations under Part I and Part 4 of GS Chapter 160A, Article 4A (was, Part 1).
Makes additional clarifying changes.
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