TO REFORM THE INVOLUNTARY ANNEXATION LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA.
Repeals Part 2 of Article 4A in GS Chapter 160A (annexation by cities of less than 5,000). Enacts new Part 7, Involuntary Annexation by Municipalities, to Article 4A of GS Chapter 160A, authorizing the governing board of any municipality to extend the municipality’s corporate limits under proposed Part 7. Includes definitions applicable to Part 7. As prerequisites to annexation, requires a municipality exercising authority to annex under Part 7 to make plans to extend services to the area proposed to be annexed, and to prepare a report including the plans before the required public hearing. Requires that the report include: (1) a map or maps of the municipality and adjacent territory showing the present and proposed boundaries, the present locations and proposed extension of major trunk water mains and sewer lines, and the general land-use pattern in the area proposed to be annexed; (2) a statement that the area proposed to be annexed meets specified requirements; (3) a statement showing plans to extend each major municipal service and the method the municipality will use to finance the extension, as detailed; (4) a statement of the annexation impact on any rural fire department providing service in the area proposed to be annexed, and on fire protection and fire insurance rates, as specified; and (5) a statement showing how the proposed annexation will affect the municipality’s finances and services, as described.
Authorizes the municipal governing board to extend the municipal corporate limits to include any area that meets four detailed criteria as follows. Requires the area to be adjacent or contiguous to the municipality’s boundaries at the time the annexation proceeding begins, except as specified. Requires at least one-eighth of the aggregate external boundaries of the area to coincide with the municipal boundary. Specifies that no part of the area can be included within the boundary of another incorporated municipality. Requires the total area to be annexed to meet any of the following requirements: (1) part or all of the area must be developed for urban purposes, as specified; (2) part or all of the area either lies between the municipal boundary and an area developed for urban purposes, as described, or is adjacent, on at least 60% of its external boundary, to any combination of the municipal boundary and the boundary of areas developed for urban purposes, or (3) the total area is completely surrounded by the municipality’s primary corporate limits. Requires the municipality to comply with the following six conditions when fixing new boundaries: (1) use recorded property lines and streets as boundaries; (2) do not use a connecting corridor consisting solely of a street or street right-of-way to establish contiguity to a noncontiguous area; (3) do not consider property used for a commercial, industrial, institutional, or governmental purpose if the lot or tract is used only temporarily; (4) acreage used for commercial, industrial, institutional, or governmental purposes must include acreage actually occupied by buildings or other man-man structures, as specified; (5) “necessary land connection” means an area that does not exceed 25% of the total area to be annexed; and (6) the area of an abolished water and sewer district is considered to be a water and sewer district even after abolition under GS 162A-87.2(b).
The act becomes effective July 1, 2011, and applies to annexations for which a petition has been received under Part 1 (extension by petition) or Part 4 (annexation of noncontiguous areas) of Article 4A in GS Chapter 160A on or after that date. Annexations for which a resolution of intent has been adopted under Part 2 (annexation by cities of less than 5,000) or Part 3 (annexation by cities of 5,000 or more) of Article 4A in GS Chapter 160A before July 1, 2011, will terminate and may be reinitiated under new Part 7.
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