160A-537. Definition of service districts.

(a) Standards. - The city council of any city may by ordinance define a service district upon finding that a proposed district is in need of one or more of the services, facilities, or functions listed in G.S. 160A-536 to a demonstrably greater extent than the remainder of the city.

(a1) Petition to Define District. - The city council may also by ordinance define a service district if a petition submitted by a majority of the owners of real property in a defined area of the city establishes that the area is in need of one or more of the services, facilities, or functions listed in G.S. 160A-536 to a demonstrably greater extent than the remainder of the city. The petition shall contain the names, addresses, and signatures of the real property owners within the proposed district, describe the proposed district boundaries, and state in detail the services, facilities, or functions listed in G.S. 160A-536 which would serve as the basis for establishing the proposed district. The city council may establish a policy to hear all petitions submitted under this subsection at regular intervals, but no less than once per year.

(b) Report. - Before the public hearing required by subsection (c), the city council shall cause to be prepared a report containing:

(1) A map of the proposed district, showing its proposed boundaries;

(2) A statement showing that the proposed district meets the standards set out in subsection (a); and

(3) A plan for providing in the district one or more of the services listed in G.S. 160A-536.

The report shall be available for public inspection in the office of the city clerk for at least four weeks before the date of the public hearing.

(c) Hearing and Notice. - The city council shall hold a public hearing before adopting any ordinance defining a new service district under this section. Notice of the hearing shall state the date, hour, and place of the hearing and its subject, and shall include a map of the proposed district and a statement that the report required by subsection (b) is available for public inspection in the office of the city clerk. The notice shall be published at least once not less than one week before the date of the hearing. In addition, it shall be mailed at least four weeks before the date of the hearing by any class of U.S. mail which is fully prepaid to the owners as shown by the county tax records as of the preceding January 1 (and at the address shown thereon) of all property located within the proposed district. The person designated by the council to mail the notice shall certify to the council that the mailing has been completed and his certificate is conclusive in the absence of fraud.

(c1) Exclusion From District. - An owner of a tract or parcel of land located within the proposed district may, at the public hearing or no later than five days after the date of the public hearing required by subsection (c) of this section, submit a written request to the city council for the exclusion of the tract or parcel from the proposed district. The owner shall specify the tract or parcel, state with particularity the reasons why the tract or parcel is not in need of the services, facilities, or functions of the proposed district to a demonstrably greater extent than the remainder of the city, and provide any other additional information the owner deems relevant. If the city council finds that the tract or parcel is not in need of the services, facilities, or functions of the proposed district to a demonstrably greater extent than the remainder of the city, the city council may exclude the tract or parcel from the proposed district.

(d) Effective Date. - Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the ordinance defining a service district shall take effect at the beginning of a fiscal year commencing after its passage, as determined by the city council. If the governing body in the ordinance states that general obligation bonds or special obligation bonds are anticipated to be authorized for the project, it may make the ordinance effective immediately upon its adoption or as otherwise provided in the ordinance. However, no ad valorem tax may be levied for a partial fiscal year.

(e) Repealed by Session Laws 2016-8, s. 2, effective June 1, 2016.

(f) Passage of Ordinance. - No ordinance defining a service district as provided for in this section shall be finally adopted until it has been passed at two meetings of the city council by majority vote of the voting members present, and no service district shall be defined except by ordinance. (1973, c. 655, s. 1; 1981, c. 53, s. 1; c. 733, s. 1; 2006-162, s. 25; 2012-156, s. 4; 2016-8, s. 2.)