§ 50.290  HARDSHIP CONNECTIONS OUTSIDE OF THE TOWN LIMITS FOR SINGLE-FAMILY AND DUPLEX RESIDENTIAL DWELLINGS EXISTING AS OF JANUARY 1, 2018.
   (A)   No obligation to provide or continue to provide service.
      (1)   The town has no responsibility to provide water or sewer service to property located outside the corporate limits, nor any continuing obligation to provide water or sewer service after having voluntarily provided such service. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any grant of water or sewer service to a property outside the town limits creates no property rights for the property owner or such owner’s assignees or transferees, and may be revoked at any time by the town for any or no reason.
      (2)   The town may allow new connections for hardship cases outside the town limits as follows in this section.
   (B)   Hardship connections outside of the town limits for single-family and duplex residential dwellings existing as of January 1, 2018. Where a service connection is available, the  Administrator may authorize a service connection for water or sewer services to a habitable, single-family or duplex, residential dwelling already existing as of January 1, 2018, subject to all other relevant provisions of this code, under the following circumstances:
      (1)   As to a request for a water connection, when the applicant has been approved for a hardship sewer connection per division (B)(2) below, or when the applicant has shown a hardship as follows:
         (a)   The applicant has established, through clear and convincing evidence, the current contamination of a residential well by toxins in amounts determined by the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources or the United States Environmental Protection Agency as harmful to human life or health; or
         (b)   The applicant has established, through clear and convincing evidence, that an existing well cannot supply an adequate amount of water; and that:
            1.   The lack of adequate water could not have been reasonably predicted and was not reasonably foreseeable at the time the well was installed or development of the property served was last undertaken;
            2.   No reasonable alternative exists for the provision of the water to the property, including that no alternative well can be established that will adequately provide water; and
            3.   The amount of water requested is limited to that needed for the current use of the property served.
      (2)   As to a request for a sewer connection, when the applicant has been approved for a water connection hardship per division (B)(1) above, or when the applicant has shown a hardship by establishing through clear and convincing evidence that:
         (a)   An existing septic or other wastewater system has or will soon fail;
         (b)   Due to lot size or other feature of the property outside the control of the applicant, not caused by the applicant and unknown to the applicant at the time of the acquisition of the property, the system cannot be repaired or an alternative wastewater system installed (e.g., if the unsuitable lot size has been caused by the applicant or an entity related to the applicant having subdivided the property originally served by the septic system, the applicant shall not be entitled to claim a connection hardship);
         (c)   The lack of an adequate septic system or other wastewater system could not have been reasonably predicted and was not reasonably foreseeable at the time the current wastewater system was installed or development of the property served was last undertaken;
         (d)   No other reasonable alternative exists for the provision of a private wastewater system to the property; and
         (e)   No change in use of the property is planned or anticipated.
   (C)   Hardship connections for vacant lots and existing single-family dwellings located in single-family neighborhoods previously connected to town service. A vacant (undeveloped) lot or single-family dwelling located outside the town limits may be approved for connection to an existing water or sewer main in the following circumstances:
      (1)   The vacant lot or dwelling is located in a neighborhood of at least ten single-family lots and as of January 1, 2018 (i) at least of one-half of the lots in the neighborhood are already developed with single-family dwellings; and (ii) at least one-half of existing dwellings in the neighborhood are already connected to an existing water or sewer main;
      (2)   The vacant lot or dwelling is subject to deed restrictions and/or conditions, covenants and restrictions as of title record that limit the use of the lot to one single-family home.
      (3)   The property owner voluntarily agrees to develop the vacant lot in compliance with the Town's current development regulations relating to (i) soil erosion and sediment control; (ii) stormwater control; (iii) viewshed protection; and (iv) steep slope development. For these purposes, a lot will be deemed subject to regulations just as it would be if it was within the corporate limits of the town and zoned in the R-A district. The Director of the Town's Planning Department shall make all determinations with respect to the applicability and requirements of the town's development regulations, in the Director's sole discretion, and no appeal shall lie from any such determination.
      (4)   As used in this division (C), the term "neighborhood" shall mean a defined area of lots laid out on a recorded plat and sharing the same access road(s).
   (D)   Conditions of approval. If a connection is allowed under this section, such approval shall only be granted upon the following additional conditions:
      (1)   The property owner shall agree to the conditions set forth in this division (D) and any other conditions provided in this section, in writing in whatever form and at whatever date such agreement is requested by the town. The agreement may be recorded as of record with the County Register of Deeds as the town deems advisable in its sole discretion.
      (2)   In the town's discretion and upon its request, a property owner granted a water connection shall also connect to the town's sewer, if a sewer connection is available, and vice versa.  Further, the owner shall commit in writing to connect into the town's water system or sewer system should the town request at any time that such a connection be made.
      (3)   The town shall provide the connection only upon the property owner agreeing to voluntary annexation of the property.
         (a)   The property owner shall petition for annexation if requested to do so by town staff. A complete petition shall be filed no more than 90 days after a hardship connection has been approved or, in the case of a vacant lot, prior to approval of the connection.
         (b)   In the event the town does not request immediate filing of a petition for annexation, the property owner shall execute such agreement to annex in the future as the town may require within 30 days of being approved for service or at such later time as the town may require or request.
         (c)   Whether or not an agreement to annex such as is contemplated in the immediately foregoing division is executed, the property owner agrees to petition for annexation within 30 days of receiving a written request by the town that the owner make such petition. The town may make such a request at any time of its choosing, in its sole discretion, and may repeat such a request however many times it sees fit; provided, however, that a property owner shall not be responsible to pay more than one annexation petition fee.
      (4)   Any connection is granted only as to the structures existing on the property as of the date the connection is approved or, in the case of a vacant lot, for one single family home. Following the making of a connection, service automatically shall be terminated upon 90 days advance written notice in the event a substantial change is planned for or made to the property. For purposes of this provision, "substantial change" shall mean any remodeling, redevelopment, change of use or other modification resulting in:
         (a)   An increase of more than 500 square feet of the footprint of the structure(s) on the property;
         (b)   An increase of more than 50% of the gross floor area of the structure(s) on the property; or
         (c)   A change in the use or occupancy of the dwelling resulting in a materially different or more intense use (e.g., from single-family to duplex, multi-family or commercial).
      (5)   The owner shall sign a statement affirming the owner's understanding and agreement that the owner has no right to service, that the town is providing the service without any commitment to maintain the service in the future, and that the town may terminate service at any time should the owner fail to abide by any of the conditions set forth in this section or for any other reason considered good and sufficient by the Town Council in its sole discretion.
      (6)   The conditions and restrictions set forth in this section and any additional covenants, conditions and restrictions set forth in any agreement between the owner and the town regarding a water or sewer connection approved under this section run with the real property at issue, and are binding on the owner and the owner's successors and assigns and on all those claiming an interest in the real property by, through, or under such owner, in perpetuity.
   (E)   Procedures.
      (1)   An application shall be submitted on such forms and with such accompanying information and documentation as the  Administrator deems appropriate. The Administrator may require additional information or documentation as the Administrator deems necessary, and may deny an application that is determined to be incomplete. A decision by the Administrator that an application is incomplete is final and unappealable, but a new application may be submitted.
      (2)   The Administrator may decline to make a decision on a complete application, in which event the application shall be heard by the Town Council as provided at division(E)(4) below.
      (3)   Except for a denial based on the incompleteness of an application, a decision by the Administrator to deny or terminate a hardship service connection may be appealed to the Town Council. The appeal must be filed with the Administrator, on such form as the Administrator may provide, no more than ten calendar days following the applicant’s receipt of written notice of the denial or termination. The applicant shall be conclusively presumed to have received written notice of the denial or termination three days after such notice was mailed to the applicant’s address provided on the application or (for terminations) used for billing purposes.
      (4)   The Town Council shall hear and determine an appeal of a denial or termination, or an application not decided by the Administrator, on a de novo basis, according to such quasi-judicial procedures as it may adopt, and its decision shall not be subject to further appeal. Any hardship connection permitted by Town Council shall be approved, subject to the conditions set forth at division (D) of this section.
(Ord. passed 6-21-2011; Ord. passed --2017; Ord. passed --; Ord. passed --; Ord. passed 1-15-2019; Ord. passed - -)