(a) This Article shall apply in all counties and cities unless and until the jurisdiction adopts an ordinance exempting itself from the coverage of this Article.
This exemption shall only be effective after a binding referendum, in which all registered voters in the jurisdiction are eligible to vote, which shall be held on or before May 8, 1984. The binding referendum shall be held either as a result of a resolution passed by the governing body of the jurisdiction or as a result of an initiative petition signed by fifteen percent (15%) of the registered voters in the jurisdiction and filed with the Board of Elections of that county not later than 60 days before the election is to be held. At that referendum, each qualified voter desiring to vote shall be provided a ballot on which shall be printed the following:
 FOR coverage under the Mountain Ridge Protection Act of 1983.
 AGAINST coverage under the Mountain Ridge Protection Act of 1983.
(b) If a jurisdiction removes itself from the coverage of this Article, by means of a binding referendum, as provided for in subsection (a) of this section, then it shall have until May 13, 1986 to place itself again under the coverage of this Article by means of an ordinance passed after a similar binding referendum. Once a jurisdiction opts out and then opts back under the Article, it may not take any further action to again remove itself from the coverage of the Article.
(c) If a county has chosen the permit procedure authorized by G.S. 113A-208, and then opts out of and either the county or any city in the county opts back under the coverage of this Article, then that jurisdiction may choose the permit procedure even after January 1, 1984.
(d) When a county removes itself from the coverage of this Article all cities within the county shall be removed from the coverage of this Article. Provided, however, a city in a county that has removed itself from coverage may, under the procedure set forth in subsection (b) of this section, place itself again under the coverage of this Article.
(e) When a protected mountain ridge is any part of the boundary between two jurisdictions then that part of the ridge shall be covered by this Article unless both jurisdictions remove themselves from the coverage of this Article. (1983, c. 676, s. 1.)