Alabama Code Title 11. Counties and Municipal Corporations § 11-41-1




When the inhabitants of an unincorporated community, which has a population of not less than 300, constituting a body of citizens whose residences are contiguous to and all of which form a homogeneous settlement or community, desire to become organized as a municipal corporation, they may apply to the judge of probate of the county in which the territory is situated, or the greater portion thereof if it is situated in two or more counties, for an order of incorporation, by a petition in writing signed by not less than 15 percent of the qualified electors residing within the limits of the proposed municipality and by the persons, firms, or corporations owning at least 60 percent of the acreage of the platted or unplatted land of the proposed municipality.  No platted or unplatted territory shall be included within the boundary unless there are at least four qualified electors, according to government survey, residing on each quarter of each quarter section or part thereof of the platted or unplatted lands of the proposed municipality, who assent thereto in writing by signing the petition.  An unincorporated community lying within or partly within the boundaries of a county having a population of 600,000 or more, according to the most recent federal decennial census, shall not be incorporated under this section if the territory proposed to be incorporated has a total population of less than 1,000 or if the territory or any part of its perimeter lies within three miles of the corporate limits of any existing city or town.  Provided further, that if an unincorporated community lying within or partly within the boundaries of a county having a population of 600,000 or more, according to the most recent federal decennial census, contains territory that is located closer than three miles to the corporate boundaries of a Class 1 city or town, the unincorporated community shall not be prohibited from incorporating under this section if its territory proposed to be incorporated has a total population of at least 10,000 inhabitants according to the most recent federal decennial census.  Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding sentence, the unincorporated communities of Cahaba Heights and Pinson, which lie within or partly within the boundaries of a county having a population of 600,000 or more according to the most recent federal decennial census, and contain territory that is located closer than three miles to the corporate boundaries of a Class 1 city or town, shall not be prohibited from incorporating under this section if the territory proposed to be incorporated has a total population of at least 5,000 inhabitants according to the most recent federal decennial census.

Provided further, an unincorporated territory in any county of 600,000 population or more shall not be prohibited from incorporating under this section if it contains a population of 3,000 or more inhabitants although a portion of the territory proposed to be incorporated lies within three miles of a Class 4 or 5 municipality, or if it contains a population of 1,500 or more, although a portion of the territory proposed to be incorporated lies within three miles of a Class 6, 7, or 8 municipality.

The petition for incorporation shall be submitted by the persons seeking the incorporation referendum to the judge of probate by a verified application, which shall state the proposed name of the municipality, have attached thereto and as a part thereof an accurate plat of the territory proposed to be embraced within the corporate limits, including all subdivisions into lots, blocks, streets, and alleys, within the territory, if any, and have accurate description by metes and bounds of the boundary of the territory.  The application shall contain proof of residence and qualifications as electors of petitioners and of persons affected.  When determining the ownership of the lands, the person, firm, or corporation assessing the property for taxation shall be accepted by the judge of probate as prima facie the owner thereof.  All petitions circulated with respect to any proposed incorporation referendum shall be uniform in character.  Each signer of a petition shall sign his or her name and shall have placed on the petition after his or her name his or her place of residence by street and number, if available, and the date on which the signature is affixed.  The signatures attached to any petition need not be signed on one page, but each page shall have attached an affidavit by the person circulating the petition stating the number of signers on each page of the petition, that each signature signed on the page is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be, and that the signature was made in the presence of the person circulating the petition.

The inhabitants of any island having an area of not less than five square miles and a population of not less than 300 qualified electors actually residing thereon and being situated in a county having a population of not less than 300,000 nor more than 600,000, according to the 1970 or any subsequent federal decennial census, may become organized as a municipal corporation, embracing within the corporate limits of the proposed municipality the entire area of the island, even though there may be on the island one or more quarters of a quarter section according to the government survey on which no qualified elector resides, if not less than 51 percent of the qualified electors residing on the island sign and file with the judge of probate a petition requesting the judge of probate to call an election relative to the incorporation and the vote at the election is favorable to incorporation.  The petition shall state the proposed name of the municipality and shall have attached thereto and made a part thereof an accurate plat of the entire island, including all subdivisions into lots, blocks, streets, and alleys within the territory, and an accurate description by metes and bounds of the island.  Except as provided in this section, the incorporation of any municipality shall be governed by the laws currently providing for the incorporation of unincorporated communities.  The petition for incorporation shall comply with the requirements of this section in effect at the time of the original filing of the petition with the judge of probate.  Any subsequent refiling of the petition to correct defects shall also comply with the requirements of this section in effect at the time of the original filing of the original petition with the probate court.  The requirements for compliance with this section shall not be changed between the date of the original filing with the judge of probate of a petition for incorporation and the vote for incorporation.

The persons filing the verified application shall be required to tender a deposit to the judge of probate for reasonably anticipated costs and expenses associated with the requested incorporation referendum.

After August 1, 2004, any municipality incorporated under the procedures set out in this section shall assume responsibility to control, manage, supervise, regulate, repair, maintain, and improve all public streets or parts thereof lying within the incorporated limits no later than 24 months after the incorporation is finalized.


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