CHAPTER 89

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 418

AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT BEING CHAPTER 504, VOLUME 57, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO INCORPORATE THE TOWN OF HENLOPEN ACRES" TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE FOR ANNEXATION.

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. Amend Chapter 504, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by adding a new section following Section 4 thereof, to be designated as Section 4A to read as follows:

ANNEXATION

Section 4A : The Commissioners of Henlopen Acres shall have the power to annex additional territory adjoining the corporate limits of the Town of Henlopen Acres as hereinbefore set forth or as hereafter extended pursuant to the following procedure:

(a) The Commissioners of Henlopen Acres shall adopt a Resolution proposing to the property owners and residents of both the Town of Henlopen Acres and of the territory proposed to be annexed that the Town of Henlopen Acres proposes to annex certain territory which adjoins its then limits and territory. The Resolution shall contain a description of the territory proposed to be annexed and shall fix a time and place for public hearing on the subject of the proposed annexation. The Resolution setting forth the information shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Henlopen Acres and in the territory proposed to be annexed at least one (1) week prior to the date set for the public hearing, or, at the discretion of the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres, the said Resolution may be posted in four (4) public places both in the Town of Henlopen Acres and in the territory proposed to be annexed. 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 Commissioners of Henlopen Acres 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 determination of the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres to proceed with the matter of the proposed annexation; PROVIDED HOWEVER, that if the territory proposed to be annexed includes only territory property which is exempt from taxation or which is not assessed on the books of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County, no election shall be necessary and the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres may proceed following the public hearing to annex such territory by the adoption of a second Resolution passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all the elected members of the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres. Following the passage of such Resolution, the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres shall proceed to have a plot made of the territory so annexed and such plot together with the description thereof shall be filed for record in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County. The territory so proposed for annexation shall be deemed to be annexed as of the date of the adoption of such Resolution.

(b) If an election is necessary, 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 of general circulation both in the Town of Henlopen Acres and in the territory proposed to be annexed, or, in the discretion of the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres, the said notice may be posted in five (5) public places both in the Town of Henlopen Acres and in the territory proposed to be annexed at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the said Special Election.

(c) At the said Special Election, every property owner, whether an individual, a partnership, or a corporation, both in the Town of Henlopen Acres 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 of Henlopen Acres in the case of Town property owners and leaseholders as defined herein and of the records of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County in the case of property owners and leaseholders as defined herein in the territory proposed to be annexed. Each leaseholder holding land under a valid lease for a term of not less than ten (10) years whose lease is recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, and who has erected upon his or her leasehold an improvement having an assessed evaluation of at least One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) shall be entitled to one (1) vote for each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of assessment as shown by the records of the Town of Henlopen Acres in the case of town leaseholders and by the records of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County in the case of leaseholders in the territory proposed to be annexed. Every citizen of either the Town of Henlopen Acres or the territory proposed to be annexed who is not a property owner or leaseholder as herein defined shall have one (1) vote. In the case of property owned or leased, as aforesaid, by a husband and wife jointly, the husband and wife shall each have one (1) vote for each Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) of assessment). In the event that a person owns or leases, as aforesaid, property both in the Town of Henlopen Acres 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 or leases, as aforesaid, property both in the Town of Henlopen Acres and in the territory proposed to be annexed but does not reside in either place, he may vote only in the Town of Henlopen Acres and not in the territory proposed to be annexed. Property owners and leaseholders as herein defined, whose property or whose improvements located on leased land are exempt from taxation or is not assessed shall not be entitled to vote. The books and records of the Town of Henlopen Acres in the case of Town property owners or leaseholders, as herein defined, and the books and records of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County and in the case of property owners or leaseholders, as herein defined, in the territory proposed to be annexed shall be conclusive evidence of the right of such property owners and leaseholders to vote at the Special Election.

(d) 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 Commissioners of Henlopen Acres. 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.

(e) The Commissioners of Henlopen Acres 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. The form of the ballot shall be as follows :

THIS BALLOT CASTS VOTES

( ) For the proposed annexation

( ) Against the proposed annexation

CHECK ONE

(f) The President of the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres shall appoint three (3) persons to act as a Board of Special Election, at least one of whom shall reside or own property in the Town of Henlopen Acres, and at least one of whom shall reside or own property in the territory proposed to be annexed. One of the persons so appointed shall be designated the Presiding Officer. Voting shall be conducted at a place within the Town of Henlopen Acres designated by the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres 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, property owners or leaseholders as herein defined in the territory proposed to be annexed shall be deposited in one (1) such ballot box, and all ballots cast by those persons, partnerships or corporations who are authorized to vote as residents, property owners or leaseholders, as herein defined, of the Town of Henlopen Acres shall be deposited in the other such ballot box. The polling places shall be open from one o'clock in the afternoon, prevailing time, until six o'clock in the afternoon, prevailing time, on the date set for the Special Election.

(g) Immediately upon the closing of the polling places, the Board of Special Election shall count the ballots for and against the proposed annexation and shall announce the result thereof; the Board of Special Election shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed annexation and the number of void votes and shall deliver the same to the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres. The said certificate shall be filed with the papers of the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres.

(h) In order for the territory proposed to be annexed to be considered annexed, a majority of the votes cast from the Town of Henlopen Acres 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, a subsequent election may be held at any time. If a favorable vote for annexation shall have been cast, the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres shall cause a description and a plot of the territory so annexed to be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, in Georgetown, Delaware, and 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 a part of the Town of Henlopen Acres from the time of recordation. The failure of the Commissioners of Henlopen Acres to record the description and plot within the time hereinbefore specified shall not make the annexation invalid, but such annexation shall be deemed to be effective at the expiration of the ninety (90) day period from the day of the favorable election.

Approved June 20, 1973.