In addition to any authority granted by general law, the Council may, without the necessity of a petition, order street improvements according to standards and specifications of the City, and assess the total costs or a portion thereof against abutting property, exclusive of the costs incurred at street intersections, according to one or more of the assessment bases set forth in G.S. Ch. 160A, Art. 10, upon the following findings of fact:
   (1)   The street improvement project does not exceed 1,200 linear feet; and
   (2)   a.   The street or part thereof is unsafe for vehicular traffic or creates a safety or health hazard, and it is in the public interest to make such improvement; or
      b.   It is in the public interest to connect two streets or portions of a street already improved; or
      c.   It is in the public interest to widen a street, or part thereof, which is already improved. Assessments for widening any street or portion of a street without a petition shall be limited to the cost of widening and otherwise improving such street in accordance with street classification and improvement standards established by the City's thoroughfare or major street plan for the particular street or part thereof.