CHAPTER 208

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF OCEAN VIEW IN SUSSEX COUNTY, DELAWARE, "BEING CHAPTER 649, VOLUME 18, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ANNEXATION OF ADDITIONAL PROPERTY AND THE PROCEDURE THEREFOR.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all Members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Section 1, Chapter 649, Volume 18, Laws of Delaware, is amended by adding a new section to be designated as Section 1A to read as follows :

Section 1A. Annexation of territory

In the event that it becomes feasible or necessary in the future for the Mayor and Council of the Town of Ocean View to enlarge the then existing limits and territory, such annexation accomplished in accordance with the following procedure shall be lawful:

(a) If five (5) or more property owners resident in a territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Ocean View, by written petition with the signature of each such petitioner duly acknowledged, shall request the Council to annex that certain territory in which they reside and own property, the Mayor of the Town of Ocean View shall appoint a committee composed of not less than three (3) of the elected members of the Council to investigate the possibility of annexation. The petition presented to the Council shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed and the reasons for the requested annexation ; or, the Council, by a majority vote of the elected members thereof, may, by resolution, propose that a committee, composed of not less than three (3) of the electd members of said Council, be appointed by the Mayor to investigate the possibility of annexing any certain territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Ocean View.

(b) Not later than ninety (90) days following its appointment by the Mayor, as aforesaid, the committee shall submit a written report containing its findings and conclusions to the Mayor and Council. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to the Town and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the committee's recommendations whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefor. In the event that the committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is advantageous both to the Town and to the territory proposed to be annexed, within thirty (30) days after receiving the report, a second resolution shall then be passed by the Council proposing to the property owners and residents of both the Town and the territory proposed to be annexed that the Mayor and Council proposes to annex certain territory contiguous to the then limits and territory of the Town of Ocean View. In the event that the committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is disadvantageous either to the Town or to the territory proposed to be annexed, within thirty (30) days after receiving the report of the committee, the resolution proposing to the property owners and residents of both the Town and the territory proposed to be annexed shall be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the elected members of the Council, the territory proposed to be annexed shall not again be considered for annexation for a period of one year from the date that the resolution failed to receive the required affirmative vote. The second resolution shall contain a description of the territory proposed to be annexed and shall fix a time and place for a public hearing on the subject of the proposed annexation. The resolution adopted by the Council setting forth the above information shall be printed in a newspaper published in the Town of Ocean View at least one week prior to the date set for the public hearing, or, if no newspaper is published in the Town, publication shall be had in a newspaper having a general circulation both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, or, at the discretion of the Council the said resolution shall be posted in five (5) public places in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed.

(c) Following the public hearing, but in no event later than

thirty (30) days thereafter, a resolution shall then be passed by a majority of the Council ordering a special election to be held not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the said public hearing on the subject of the proposed annexation. The passage of this resolution shall ipso facto be considered the Council's determination to proceed with the matter of the proposed annexation.

(d) The notice of the time and place of holding the said special election shall be printed within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of the special election in at least two (2) issues of a newspaper published in the Town, or, if no newspaper is published in the Town, the notice may be printed within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of the special election in two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, or, in the discretion of the Council the said notice may be posted in five (5) public places both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the special election.

(e) At the special election, every property owner whether an individual, partnership, or a corporation, both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed, shall have one (1) vote for each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of assessment as shown by the books of the Town in the case of Town property owners and by the records of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County in the case of property owners in the territory proposed to be annexed ; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that the owners of property which is exempt from taxation shall not be entitled to vote. Every citizen of either the Town or of the territory proposed to be annexed who is not a property owner shall have one (1) vote. In the case of property owned by a husband and wife jointly, the husband and wife shall each have one vote for each Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) of assessment. In the event that a person owns property both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed and resides in either place, he may vote only where he resides. In the event that a person owns property both in the Town and in the territory proposed to be annexed but does not reside in either place, he may vote only in the Town and not in the territory proposed to be annexed. In the event that

an individual, partnership or corporation holds a power of attorney duly executed and acknowledged and specifically 'authorizing the said individual, partnership, or corporation to vote at the said special election, a duly authenticated copy of the power of attorney shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of the Town of Ocean View. Said power of attorney as so filed shall constitute conclusive evidence of the right of said person, partnership or corporation to vote in the special election.

(f) The Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available a sufficient number of ballots not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the special election.

(f) The form of the ballot shall be as follows : This ballot casts votes.

q For the proposed annexation.

q Against the proposed annexation. (check one)

(h) The President shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Special Election, at least one of whom must reside and own property in the Town, and at least one of whom must reside and own property in the territory proposed to be annexed. One of the said persons so appointed shall be designated the Presiding Officer. Voting shall be conducted at the Town Office and the Board of Election shall have available, clearly marked, two (2) ballot boxes. All ballots cast by those persons, partnerships or corporations authorized to vote as residents or property owners in the territory proposed to be annexed shall be deposited in one such ballot box, and all ballots cast by those persons, partnerships, or corporations who are authorized to vote as residents or property owners of the Town shall be deposited in the other such ballot box. The polling places shall be opened from 1 :00 o'clock p.m., prevailing time, until 4:00 o'clock, prevailing time, on the date set for the special election.

() Immediately upon the closing of the polling place, the Board of Election shall count the ballots for and against the proposed annexation and shall announce the result thereof; the Board of Election shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed annexa-

tion, and the number of void votes, and shall deliver the same to the Council. The said certificate shall be filed with the papers of the Council.

(j) In order for the territory proposed to be annexed to be considered annexed, a majority of the votes cast both from the Town and from the territory proposed to be annexed must have been cast in favor of the proposed annexation. In the event that the Referendum results in an unfavorable vote for annexation, no part of the territory considered at the Referendum for annexation shall again be considered for annexation for at least a period of one (1) year from the date of the Referendum. If a favorable vote for annexation shall have been cast, the Council of the Town of Ocean View shall cause a description and a plot of the territory so annexed to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds for Sussex County in Georgetown, Delaware, but in no event shall such recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the favorable referendum. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be part of the Town of Ocean View from the time of recordation.

Approved December 29, 1967.