162A-66. Procedure for creation; resolutions and petitions for creation; notice to and action by the Environmental Management Commission; notice and public hearing; resolutions creating districts; actions to set aside proceedings.

Any two or more political subdivisions in one or more counties, or any political subdivision or subdivisions and any unincorporated area or areas located within one or more counties, which political subdivisions or areas need not be contiguous, may petition for the creation of a metropolitan sewerage district under the provisions of this Article by filing with the board or boards of commissioners of the county or counties within which the proposed district will lie:

(1) A resolution of the governing body of each such political subdivision stating the necessity for the creation of a metropolitan sewerage district under the provisions of this Article in order to preserve and promote the public health and welfare within the area of the proposed district, and requesting the creation of a metropolitan sewerage district having the boundaries set forth in said resolution, and

(2) If any unincorporated area is to be included in such district, a petition, signed by not less than fifty-one per centum (51%) of the qualified voters resident within such area, defining the boundaries of such area, stating the necessity for the creation of a metropolitan sewerage district under the provisions of this Article in order to preserve and promote the public health and welfare within the proposed district, and requesting the creation of a metropolitan sewerage district having the boundaries set forth in such petition for such district.

Upon the receipt of such resolutions and petitions requesting the creation of a metropolitan sewerage district, the board or boards of commissioners, through the chairman thereof, shall notify the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission of the receipt of such resolutions and petitions, and shall request that a representative of the Environmental Management Commission hold a joint public hearing with the board or boards of commissioners concerning the creation of the proposed metropolitan sewerage district. The chairman of the Environmental Management Commission and the chairman or chairmen of the board or boards of commissioners shall name a time and place within the proposed district at which the public hearing shall be held; provided, however, that where a proposed district lies within more than one county, the public hearing shall be held in the county within which the greater portion of the proposed district lies. The chairman or chairmen of the board or boards of commissioners shall give prior notice of such hearing by posting a notice at least 30 days prior to the hearing at the courthouse of the county or counties within which the district will lie and also by publication at least once a week for four successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the proposed district, the first publication to be at least 30 days prior to such hearing. In the event all matters pertaining to the creation of such metropolitan sewerage district cannot be concluded at such hearing, such hearing may be continued to a time and place within the proposed district determined by the board or boards of commissioners with the concurrence of the representative of the Environmental Management Commission.

If, after such hearing, the Environmental Management Commission and the board or boards of commissioners shall deem it advisable to comply with the request of such resolutions and petitions, and determine that the creation of a metropolitan sewerage district would preserve and promote the public health and welfare in the area or areas described in such resolutions and petitions, the Environmental Management Commission shall adopt a resolution to that effect, defining the boundaries of such district and declaring the territory within such boundaries to be a metropolitan sewerage district under the name and style of "________ Metropolitan Sewerage District of ______________ [County] [Counties]"; provided, that the Environmental Management Commission may make minor deviations in the boundaries from those prescribed in the resolutions and petitions upon determination by the Environmental Management Commission that such deviations are advisable in the interest of the public health, and provided no such district shall include any political subdivision which has not petitioned for inclusion as provided in this Article.

The Environmental Management Commission shall cause copies of the resolution creating the metropolitan sewerage district to be sent to the board or boards of commissioners and to the governing body of each political subdivision included in the district. The board or boards of commissioners shall cause a copy of such resolution of the Environmental Management Commission to be published in a newspaper circulating within the district once in each of two successive weeks, and a notice substantially in the following form shall be published with such resolution:

The foregoing resolution was passed by the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission on the ________ day of ________, ________, and was first published on the ________ day of ________, ____.

Any action or proceeding questioning the validity of said resolution or the creation of the metropolitan sewerage district therein described must be commenced within 30 days after the first publication of said resolution.

____________________________________

Clerk, Board of Commissioners for

_____________________ County.

Any action or proceeding in any court to set aside a resolution creating a metropolitan sewerage district, or to obtain any other relief upon the ground that such resolution or any proceeding or action taken with respect to the creation of such district is invalid, must be commenced within 30 days after the first publication of the resolution and said notice. After the expiration of such period of limitation, no right of action or defense founded upon the invalidity of the resolution or the creation of the metropolitan sewerage district therein described shall be asserted, nor shall the validity of the resolution or of the creation of such metropolitan sewerage district be open to question in any court upon any ground whatever, except in an action or proceeding commenced within such period. (1961, c. 795, s. 3; 1973, c. 512, s. 1; c. 822, s. 4; c. 1262, s. 23; 1977, c. 764, s. 1; 1999-456, s. 59.)