CHAPTER 256

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 261

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 170, VOLUME 57, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE CITY OF LEWES", TO AMEND SECTION 3, ANNEXATION OF TERRITORY, TO CLARIFY EXISTING PROCEDURES AND PROVIDE EXPRESS AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS; SECTION 5, QUALIFICATIONS FOR MAYOR AND CITY COUNCILMAN; SECTION 6, METHOD OF MAKING NOMINATIONS FOR MAYOR AND CITY COUNCILMAN; SECTION 7, MANNER OF HOLDING ANNUAL MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS; SECTION 8 ORGANIZATION AND ANNUAL MEETING OF COUNCIL; SECTION 9, REGULAR AND SPECIAL MEETINGS, TO CONFORM WITH STATE LAW AND TO CLARIFY CERTAIN PROVISIONS CONTAINED THEREIN; SECTION 29, ENUMERATION OF POWERS, RELATING TO HOLDING PROPERTY AND IMPACT FEES; SECTION 31, REMEDIES FOR COLLECTION OF TAXES, ASSESSMENTS AND OTHER CHARGES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE MONITION PROCEDURE AS AN ALTERNATE METHOD.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):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. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Annexation, Section 3, Subsection (a), be and is hereby amended by striking the word “elected” before the phrase “members of the City Council” in the sixth sentence thereof so that it will read as follows:

“Such Resolution shall be passed by the affirmative vote of two thirds (2/3) of all the members of the City Council.”

Section 2. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Annexation, Section 3, Subsection (f), be and is hereby amended by striking the phrase “an individual, partnership or corporation” in the first sentence thereof and substituting in lieu thereof “a natural or artificial person, including but not limited to partnership, trust, corporation, or limited liability company”, so that the first sentence shall read as follows:

“At the Special Election every property owner, whether a natural or artificial person, including but not limited to partnership, trust, corporation, or limited liability company, both in The City of Lewes and in the territory proposed to be annexed, shall have one (1) vote.”

Section 3. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Annexation, Section 3, be and is hereby amended by striking Subsection “(l)” and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

(l) Additional Annexation Procedures.

1. If the territory proposed to be annexed includes only territory which is exempt from taxation, which is owned by the State of Delaware, or which is not assessed on the books of the Board of Assessment of Sussex County, no election shall be necessary and the City Council may proceed to annex such territory by (1) receiving a certified copy of a Resolution requesting such annexation if such property is owned by a corporation; (2) by a written Petition with the signature of each such Petitioner duly acknowledged if such property is owned by an individual, requesting the City Council to annex that certain territory in which they own property; or (3) by Resolution of the City Council.

2. The certified copy of the Resolution or the Petition or the Resolution of the City Council shall include a description of the territory requested to be annexed, the zoning designation to be applied, and the reasons for the requested annexation.

3. Upon receipt of the certified copy of the Resolution or the Petition or the Resolution of the City Council, the Mayor shall, by Resolution, appoint a committee composed of not less than three (3) of the members of the Council to investigate the possibility of annexation.

4. 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 City Council. The report so submitted shall include the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed annexation both to the City and to the territory proposed to be annexed and shall contain the recommendation of the Committee whether or not to proceed with the proposed annexation and the reasons therefore as well as its recommendation for zoning.

5. In the event that the Committee appointed by the Mayor concludes that the proposed annexation is advantageous both to the City and to the territory proposed to be annexed, the City Council may then pass a second Resolution fixing a time and place for a public hearing on the subject of the proposed zoning to be applied to the property proposed for annexation. Such Resolution, to be effective, shall be passed by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the City Council.

6. Following the public hearing, the City Council may then pass a third Resolution annexing such territory to the City and designating the zoning district of said territory. Such Resolution shall be passed by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of City Council.

7. If the Resolution fails to receive the required number of votes, no part of the territory proposed for annexation shall again be proposed for annexation for a period of one (1) year from the date that the Resolution failed to receive the required votes.

8. If the Resolution receives the required number of votes, the City Council 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, and in no event shall such recordation be completed more than ninety (90) days following the passage of the Resolution. The territory considered for annexation shall be considered to be a part of the City from the time of recordation. The failure of the City Council 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 date of the passage of the Resolution.

Section 4. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Annexation, Section 3, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection “(m)” as follows:

“(m) Annexation Agreement.”

1. Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, where, pursuant to this Section 3 of this Charter, annexation proceedings are initiated by a property owner(s) holding record title to real property in territory contiguous to the then existing corporate limits of the City, such petition may be made contingent upon an annexation agreement with the City which agreement may address any matters which would be relevant to the subject lands, if annexed. By way of example and not in limitation, such agreement may address zoning, subdivision approval, tax relief, public utilities, and public improvements. In the event the City Council approves such an agreement and votes to accept a petition under this Section 3 of this Charter, such Annexation Agreement shall be deemed a material part of the annexation and shall be included in all subsequent steps of the annexation procedure; that is, (1) the Resolutions and notices adopted by the City Council shall recite that the proposed annexation includes and is subject to an annexation agreement, shall briefly summarize its terms, and shall state that copies of the Agreement are available upon request at the City Hall; (2) if the results of the election are favorable to the proposed annexation as provided by this Charter, the Resolution annexing the territory shall recite that the annexation is subject to an annexation agreement and shall incorporate the terms of such agreement by specific reference; and the parties shall be bound to honor the provisions of such agreement unless released therefrom by the other party.

2. Provided, further, that no agreement made at the time of annexation under this Subsection “m” shall extend beyond seven (7) years from the date the property is annexed into the City; and such agreements shall be null and void, and unenforceable after the expiration of seven (7) years.

3. An annexation agreement may be modified or amended by mutual agreement of the petitioner and the City Council at any time prior to the Resolution ordering the special election pursuant to this Charter, but any material modification or amendment shall be deemed to be the withdrawal of the original petition and the filing of a new petition under this Charter.

Section 5. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Annexation, Section 3, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection “(n)” as follows:

“(n) Highways, Streets, Roads and Alleys; Ponds, Canals, Streams, and Other Waters.

Contiguity with the City's existing corporate limits, or with other territory which is itself contiguous with the City's existing corporate limits, shall not be deemed interrupted by the existence of any highway, street, road, alley, pond, canal, stream, or other body of water which passes through, or lies within the territory to be annexed.”

Section 6. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Annexation, Section 3, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection “(o)” as follows:

“(o) Limitations.

No action contesting the annexation of any territory under this section shall be brought after the expiration of sixty (60) days from the publication of a notice in at least two (2) newspapers, both of general circulation in the City and in the territory annexed, which notice shall contain the following information:

1. Notice that the City has annexed such territory and a description thereof.

2. Notice that any person or other legal entity desiring to challenge such annexation must bring his or her or its action within sixty (60) days from the date of publication of such notice or forever be barred from doing so.”

Section 7. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Qualifications For Mayor And City Councilman, Section 5, be and is hereby amended by deleting from the title thereof the word “Councilman” and substituting in lieu thereof the word “Councilperson”.

Section 8. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Qualifications For Mayor And City Councilman Councilperson, Section 5, be and is hereby amended by striking from Subsection (a) the phrase “for at least ninety (90) days next” and substituting in lieu thereof the phrase “and a registered voter in The City of Lewes for at least one (1) year” so that the subsection reads as follows:

“(a) A bona fide citizen of the United States and of the State of Delaware and a resident of The City of Lewes and a registered voter in The City of Lewes for at least one (1) year preceding the date of the annual election.”.

Section 9. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Qualifications For Mayor And City Councilman Councilperson , Section 5, be and is hereby amended by adding an additional qualification as Subsection “(c)” as follows:

“(c) Shall not have been convicted of a felony .”

Section 10. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Method Of Making Nominations For Mayor And City Councilman, Section 6, be and is hereby amended by deleting from the title thereof the word “Councilman” and substituting in lieu thereof the word “Councilperson”.

Section 11. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Method Of Making Nominations For Mayor And City Councilman Councilperson , Section 6, Subsection “(b)”, be and is hereby amended by striking the phrase “prior to the close of business” in the first sentence thereof and substituting in lieu thereof the phrase “prior to 4:30 p.m. prevailing time”.

Section 12. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Method Of Making Nominations For Mayor And City Councilman Councilperson , Section 6, Subsection “(b)”, be and is hereby amended by adding to the end thereof the following:

“The Mayor and City Council, by a majority vote of its disinterested members, shall be the sole and final judge of the qualifications of its members and shall interpret and apply the standards set in this Charter.”

Section 13. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Method Of Making Nominations For Mayor And City Councilman Councilperson , Section 6, Subsection “(d)”, be and is hereby amended by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(d) The procedures enacted by the General Assembly as Subchapter IV, Municipal Elections Except for the City of Wilmington and Subchapter V, Absentee Voting in Municipal Elections Except for the City of Wilmington, Chapter 75, Title 15, Del. C., shall receive compliance and are included and incorporated herein by reference.”

Section 14. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, Subsection “(a)”, be and is hereby amended by adding to the end thereof: “, due notices of which shall be given in compliance with the applicable provisions of 15 Del. C. §7501, et seq.

Section 15. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, Subsection “(c)”, be and is hereby amended by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“(c) The Annual Municipal Election shall be conducted by a Board of Election consisting of an Inspector and two (2) Judges together with such alternates as are determined by the Mayor to be necessary, all of whom shall be appointed by the Mayor with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the City Council no later than March 1 of each year. The Inspector, Judges, and alternates shall be registered voters in the City. The Inspector, Judges, and alternates shall not be an elected official or an immediate family member of an elected official as defined in 15 Del. C. §7551(b).”

Section 16. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, Subsection (d), be and is hereby amended by deleting the phrase “the birth date of the voters” and substituting in lieu thereof the phrase “the proven age of the voters”.

Section 17. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, Subsections “(h)”, “(i)”, “(j)”, “(k)”, “(l)”, and “(m)”, be and are hereby amended by striking said subsections in their entirety.

Section 18. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection “(h)” to read as follows:

“(h) Voting machines shall be utilized during Annual Municipal Elections in compliance with the applicable provisions of 15 Del. C. §7501, et seq.”.

Section 19. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection “(i)” to read as follows:

“(i) All municipal elections of the City of Lewes shall be conducted in conformity with Subchapter IV, Chapter 75 of Title 15 of the Delaware Code.”.

Section 20. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, be and is hereby amended by relettering existing Subsection “(n)” to “(j)”.

Section 21. Section 20. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, be and is hereby amended by relettering existing Subsection “(o)” to “(k)”.

Section 22. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Manner of Holding Annual Municipal Elections, Section 7, be and is hereby amended by relettering existing Subsection “(p)” to “(l)” and striking the phrase “within twenty (20) days thereafter” and substituting in lieu thereof the phrase “within thirty (30) days thereafter”.

Section 23. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Organization and Annual Meeting of the Council, Section 8, Subsection “(a)”, be and is hereby amended by striking the phrase in the first sentence of said section, “At any time subsequent to the date of election and prior to the first regular meeting following the Annual Municipal Election”, and substituting in lieu thereof the phrase “At any time after seven (7) days following the date of the election or runoff election, whichever is later, and prior to the first regular meeting following the Annual Municipal Election”.

Section 24. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Regular and Special Meetings, Section 9, be and is hereby amended by adding to the end of the first sentence thereof the following: “; provided, however, that the meeting held in the month of May shall be more than seven (7) days following the date of the Annual Municipal Election or runoff election whichever is later.”.

Section 25. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Regular and Special Meetings, Section 9, be and is hereby amended by striking the second sentence thereof and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

“If the date of the regular meeting shall be a legal holiday or a quorum cannot be obtained, the monthly meeting of the City Council of the City of Lewes shall be held on another day within the same month.”.

Section 26. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Enumeration of Powers, Section 29, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection to read as follows:

“42. To have, take, purchase, receive, possess, enjoy and retain by lawful means, to it and its successors and assigns within said City, or beyond the limits thereof, lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels, and effects of what kind, nature or quality so ever necessary for municipal purposes, and the same to sell, grant, demise, alien, mortgage, manage, hold and control of the same at pleasure, except as prohibited by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Delaware or as restricted by this Charter.”.

Section 27. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Enumeration of Powers, Section 29, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection to read as follows:

“43. To receive devises, bequests and donations of all kinds of property within said City and beyond the limits thereof for its own use and benefit, or in trust for charitable, benevolent, educational or other public purposes, and to do all acts necessary to carry out the purposes of such devises, bequests, gifts and donations.”.

Section 28. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Enumeration of Powers, Section 29, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection to read as follows:

“44. To impose upon new development, redevelopment, new construction or reconstruction or upon first-time occupancy of new construction or reconstruction, such impact fees as are reasonably calculated to recover the cost of installing, enlarging, improving or expanding public or municipal improvements which have a rational nexus to such new development, redevelopment, new construction or reconstruction.”.

Section 29. The Charter of The City of Lewes, Chapter 170, Volume 57, Laws of Delaware, as amended, Remedies for the Collection of Taxes, Assessments and Other Charges, Section 31, be and is hereby amended by adding a new Subsection (s) to read as follows:

“(s) In addition to all other remedies, methods and authorities for the collection of taxes, the Mayor and City Council may use the monition method for the collection of such taxes as established for Sussex County and authority is thereby established for them to do so.”.

Approved June 26, 2008