130A-69. Procedure for extension of district.

(a) If after a sanitary district has been created or the provisions of this Part have been made applicable to a sanitary district, a petition signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the resident freeholders within any territory contiguous to and adjoining the sanitary district may be presented to the sanitary district board requesting annexation of territory described in the petition. The sanitary district board shall send a copy of the petition to the board of commissioners of the county or counties in which the district is located and to the Department. The sanitary district board shall request that the Department hold a joint public hearing with the sanitary district board on the question of annexation. The Secretary and the chairperson of the sanitary district board shall name a time and place for the public hearing. The chairperson of the sanitary district board shall publish a notice of public hearing once in a newspaper or newspapers published or circulating in the sanitary district and the territory proposed to be annexed. The notice shall be published not less than 15 days prior to the hearing. If after the hearing, the Commission approves the annexation of the territory described in the petition, the Department shall advise the board or boards of commissioners of the approval. The board or boards of commissioners shall order and provide for the holding of a special election in accordance with G.S. 163-287 upon the question of annexation within the territory proposed to be annexed.

(b) If at or prior to the public hearing, a petition is filed with the sanitary district board signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the freeholders residing in the sanitary district requesting an election be held on the annexation question, the sanitary district board shall send a copy of the petition to the board or boards of commissioners who shall order and provide for the submission of the question to the voters within the sanitary district. This election may be held on the same day as the election in the territory proposed to be annexed, and both elections and registrations may be held pursuant to a single notice. A majority of the votes cast is necessary for a territory to be annexed to a sanitary district.

(c) The election shall be held by the county board or boards of elections in accordance with G.S. 163-287 after the board or boards of commissioners orders the election. The cost of the election shall be paid by the sanitary district. Registration in the area proposed for annexation shall be under the same procedure as G.S. 163-288.2.

(d) Notice of the election shall be given as required by G.S. 163-33(8) and shall include a statement that the boundary lines of the territory to be annexed and the boundary lines of the sanitary district have been prepared by the district board and may be examined. The notice shall also state that if a majority of the those voting in the election favor annexation, then the territory annexed shall be subject to all debts of the sanitary district.

(e) The ballot shall be substantially as follows:

" FOR annexation to the ____ Sanitary District

 AGAINST annexation to the ____ Sanitary District."

The board or boards of elections shall certify the results of the election to the sanitary district board and the board or boards of commissioners of the county or counties in which the district is located.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, if a petition for extension of the boundaries of a sanitary district is signed by not less than fifty-one percent (51%) of the resident freeholders within the territory proposed to be annexed, it shall not be necessary to hold an election provided for by this section on the question of the extension of the boundaries of the sanitary district.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, if a petition for extension of the boundaries of a sanitary district is signed by the owners of all the real property within the territory proposed to be annexed, it shall not be necessary to hold any election or any hearings provided for by this section on the question of the extension of the boundaries of the sanitary district.

(h) No right of action or defense founded upon the invalidity of the election shall be asserted, nor shall the validity of the election be open to question in any court on any ground unless the action or proceeding is commenced within 30 days after the certification of the results by the board or boards of elections.

(i) When additional territory has been annexed to a sanitary district and the proposition of issuing bonds of the sanitary district after the annexation has been approved by the voters at an election held within one year subsequent to annexation, fifty-one percent (51%) or more of the resident freeholders within the annexed territory may petition the sanitary district board for the removal and exclusion of the territory from the sanitary district. No petition may be filed after bonds of the sanitary district have been approved in an election held at any time after annexation. If the sanitary district board approves the petition, it shall send a copy to the Department requesting that the petition be granted and shall send additional copies to the county board or boards of commissioners. A public hearing shall be conducted under the same procedure provided for the annexation of additional territory. If the Commission deems it advisable to comply with the request of the petition, the Commission shall adopt a resolution to that effect and shall redefine the boundaries of the sanitary district. (1927, c. 100, s. 24; 1943, c. 543; 1947, c. 463, s. 1; 1951, c. 897, s. 1; 1957, c. 1357, s. 1; 1959, c. 1189, s. 2; 1961, c. 732; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; 1981, c. 186, s. 5; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 2013-381, s. 10.20.)