Upon receipt of a petition for annexation under this Part, the city council shall cause the city clerk to investigate the petition, and to certify the results of his investigation. If the clerk certifies that upon investigation the petition appears to be valid, the council shall fix a date for a public hearing on the annexation. Notice of the hearing shall be published once at least 10 days before the date of hearing.
At the hearing, any person residing in or owning property in the area proposed for annexation and any resident of the annexing city may appear and be heard on the questions of the sufficiency of the petition and the desirability of the annexation. If the council then finds and determines that (i) the area described in the petition meets all of the standards set out in G.S. 160A-58.1(b), (ii) the petition bears the signatures of all of the owners of real property within the area proposed for annexation (except those not required to sign by G.S. 160A-58.1(a)), (iii) the petition is otherwise valid, and (iv) the public health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the city and of the area proposed for annexation will be best served by the annexation, the council may adopt an ordinance annexing the area described in the petition. The ordinance may be made effective immediately or on any specified date within six months from the date of passage. (1973, c. 1173, s. 2.)