160D-202. Municipal extraterritorial jurisdiction.

(a) Geographic Scope. - Any city may exercise the powers granted to cities under this Chapter within a defined area extending not more than one mile beyond its contiguous corporate limits. In addition, a city of 10,000 or more population but less than 25,000 may exercise these powers over an area extending not more than two miles beyond its limits and a city of 25,000 or more population may exercise these powers over an area extending not more than three miles beyond its limits. In determining the population of a city for the purposes of this Chapter, the city council and the board of county commissioners may use the most recent annual estimate of population as certified by the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Administration. Pursuant to G.S. 160A-58.4, extraterritorial municipal planning and development regulation may be extended only from the primary corporate boundary of a city and not from the boundary of satellite areas of the city.

(b) Authority in the Extraterritorial Area. - A city may not exercise any power conferred by this Chapter in its extraterritorial jurisdiction that it is not exercising within its corporate limits. A city may exercise in its extraterritorial area all powers conferred by this Chapter that it is exercising within its corporate limits. If a city fails to extend a particular type of development regulation to the extraterritorial area, the county may elect to exercise that particular type of regulation in the extraterritorial area.

(c) County Approval of City Jurisdiction. - Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, no city may extend its extraterritorial powers into any area for which the county has adopted and is enforcing county zoning and subdivision regulations. However, the city may do so where the county is not exercising both of these powers, or when the city and the county have agreed upon the area within which each will exercise the powers conferred by this Chapter. No city may extend its extraterritorial powers beyond one mile from its corporate limits without the approval of the board or boards of county commissioners with jurisdiction over the area.

(d) Notice of Proposed Jurisdiction Change. - Any municipality proposing to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction under this Chapter shall notify the owners of all parcels of land proposed for addition to the area of extraterritorial jurisdiction, as shown on the county tax records. The notice shall be sent by first-class mail to the last addresses listed for affected property owners in the county tax records. The notice shall inform the landowner of the effect of the extension of extraterritorial jurisdiction, of the landowner's right to participate in a legislative hearing prior to adoption of any ordinance extending the area of extraterritorial jurisdiction, as provided in G.S. 160D-601, and of the right of all residents of the area to apply to the board of county commissioners to serve as a representative on the planning board and the board of adjustment, as provided in G.S. 160D-303. The notice shall be mailed at least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing. The person or persons mailing the notices shall certify to the city council that the notices were sent by first-class mail, and the certificate shall be deemed conclusive in the absence of fraud.

(e) Boundaries. - Any council exercising extraterritorial jurisdiction under this Chapter shall adopt an ordinance specifying the areas to be included based upon existing or projected urban development and areas of critical concern to the city, as evidenced by officially adopted plans for its development. A single jurisdictional boundary shall be applicable for all powers conferred in this Chapter. Boundaries shall be defined, to the extent feasible, in terms of geographical features identifiable on the ground. Boundaries may follow parcel ownership boundaries. A council may, in its discretion, exclude from its extraterritorial jurisdiction areas lying in another county, areas separated from the city by barriers to urban growth, or areas whose projected development will have minimal impact on the city. The boundaries specified in the ordinance shall at all times be drawn on a map, set forth in a written description, or shown by a combination of these techniques. This delineation shall be maintained in the manner provided in G.S. 160A-22 for the delineation of the corporate limits and shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of each county in which any portion of the area lies.

Where the extraterritorial jurisdiction of two or more cities overlaps, the jurisdictional boundary between them shall be a line connecting the midway points of the overlapping area unless the city councils agree to another boundary line within the overlapping area based upon existing or projected patterns of development.

(f) County Authority Within City Jurisdiction. - The county may, on request of the city council, exercise any or all of these powers in any or all areas lying within the city's corporate limits or within the city's specified area of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

(g) Transfer of Jurisdiction. - When a city annexes, or a new city is incorporated in, or a city extends its jurisdiction to include, an area that is currently being regulated by the county, the county development regulations and powers of enforcement shall remain in effect until (i) the city has adopted such development regulations or (ii) a period of 60 days has elapsed following the annexation, extension, or incorporation, whichever is sooner. Prior to the transfer of jurisdiction, the city may hold hearings and take any other measures consistent with G.S. 160D-204 that may be required in order to adopt and apply its development regulations for the area at the same time it assumes jurisdiction.

(h) Relinquishment of Jurisdiction. - When a city relinquishes jurisdiction over an area that it is regulating under this Chapter to a county, the city development regulations and powers of enforcement shall remain in effect until (i) the county has adopted such development regulation or (ii) a period of 60 days has elapsed following the action by which the city relinquished jurisdiction, whichever is sooner. Prior to the transfer of jurisdiction, the county may hold hearings and take other measures consistent with G.S. 160D-204 that may be required in order to adopt and apply its development regulations for the area at the same time it assumes jurisdiction.

(i) Process for Local Government Approval. - When a local government is granted powers by this section subject to the request, approval, or agreement of another local government, the request, approval, or agreement shall be evidenced by a formally adopted resolution of the governing board of the local government. Any such request, approval, or agreement can be rescinded upon two years' written notice to the other governing boards concerned by repealing the resolution. The resolution may be modified at any time by mutual agreement of the governing boards concerned.

(j) Local Acts. - Nothing in this section shall repeal, modify, or amend any local act that defines the boundaries of a city's extraterritorial jurisdiction by metes and bounds or courses and distances.

(k) Effect on Vested Rights. - Whenever a city or county, pursuant to this section, acquires jurisdiction over a territory that theretofore has been subject to the jurisdiction of another local government, any person who has acquired vested rights in the surrendering jurisdiction may exercise those rights as if no change of jurisdiction had occurred. The city or county acquiring jurisdiction may take any action regarding such a development approval, certificate, or other evidence of compliance that could have been taken by the local government surrendering jurisdiction pursuant to its development regulations. Except as provided in this subsection, any building, structure, or other land use in a territory over which a city or county has acquired jurisdiction is subject to the development regulations of the city or county. (2019-111, s. 2.4; 2020-3, s. 4.33(a); 2020-25, s. 51(a), (b), (d).)