(a) A city shall have no power to levy special assessments for street or sidewalk improvements unless it receives a petition for the improvements signed by at least a majority in number of the owners of property to be assessed, who must represent at least a majority of all the lineal feet of frontage of the lands abutting on the street or portion thereof to be improved. Unless the petition specifies another percentage, not more than fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the improvement may be assessed (not including the cost of improvements made at street intersections).
(b) Property owned by the United States shall not be included in determining the lineal feet of frontage on the improvement, nor shall the United States be included in determining the number of owners of property abutting the improvement. Property owned by the State of North Carolina shall be included in determining frontage and the number of owners only if the State has consented to assessment in the manner provided in G.S. 160A-221. Property owned by railroad companies shall be included in determining frontage and the number of owners to the extent that the property is subject to assessment under G.S. 160A-222. Property owned by railroad companies that is not subject to assessment shall not be included in determining frontage and the number of owners. If it is necessary to exclude property owned by the United States, the State of North Carolina, or a railroad company in order to obtain a valid petition under subsection (a), not more than fifty percent (50%) of the cost (not including the cost of improvement at street intersections) may be assessed unless all of the owners subject to assessment agree to a higher percentage.
(c) No right of action or defense asserting the invalidity of street or sidewalk assessments on grounds that the city did not comply with this section in securing a valid petition shall be asserted except in an action or proceeding begun within 90 days after publication of the notice of adoption of the preliminary assessment resolution. (1915, c. 56, ss. 4, 5; C.S., ss. 2706, 2707; 1955, c. 675; 1963, c. 1000, s. 1; 1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1973, c. 426, s. 33.)