West Virginia Code
The corporate limits of a municipality may be decreased only in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Five percent or more of the freeholders of a municipality desiring to decrease the corporate limits thereof may file their petition in writing with the governing body thereof, setting forth the change proposed in the metes and bounds of the municipality, and asking that a vote be taken upon the proposed change. Such petition shall be verified and shall be accompanied by an accurate survey map showing the territory which would be eliminated from the corporate limits by the proposed change. The governing body, upon bond in penalty prescribed by the governing body with good and sufficient surety being given by petitioners, and conditioned to pay the costs of such election if a majority of the legal votes cast are against the proposed change in boundary, shall thereupon order a vote of the qualified voters of such municipality to be taken upon the proposed change on a date and at a time and place therein to be named in the order, not less than twenty nor more than thirty days from the date thereof. The governing body shall cause the order to be published, at the cost of the municipality, as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the municipality. The first publication must be at least fourteen days prior to the date upon which the vote is to be taken. The order so published shall contain an accurate description by metes and bounds of the territory which would be eliminated from the corporate limits by the proposed change, and, if practicable, shall also contain a popular description of such territory.
The election shall be held, superintended and conducted, and the results thereof ascertained, certified, returned and canvassed in the same manner and by the same individuals as elections for municipal officers. The ballots, or ballot labels where voting machines are used, shall have written or printed on them the words:
// For Decrease of Corporate Limits
/ Against Decrease of Corporate Limits
When an election is held in any municipality in accordance with the provisions of this section, another such election relating to the same proposed change or any part thereof shall not be held for a period of one year.
If a majority of all of the legal votes cast within such municipality are in favor of the proposed change, then the governing body shall proceed as specified in the immediately succeeding section of this article.
The governing body of such municipality shall enter the results of such election in its minutes, and, when the decrease proposed is adopted, as provided in the immediately preceding section of this article, shall forward a certificate to such effect to the county court of the county wherein the municipality or the major portion of the territory thereof is located; and such court shall thereupon enter an order in substance as follows:
"A certificate of the governing body of the municipality of ..................... was this day filed showing that a decrease has been made, in the manner required by law, in the corporate limits thereof, and that by such decrease the said corporate limits are as follows:
"Beginning at (here recite the boundaries as changed). It is, therefore, ordered that such decrease in said corporate limits be, and the same is hereby approved and confirmed, and the clerk of this court is directed to deliver to the said governing body a certified copy of this order as soon as practicable after the rising of this court."
After the date of such order, the corporate limits of the municipality shall be as set forth therein.
In the event a municipality desires to decrease its corporate limits by making a minor boundary adjustment, the governing body of such municipality may apply to the county court of the county wherein the municipality or the major portion of the territory thereof is located for permission to effect such decrease in the corporate limits by minor boundary adjustment.
Such application shall disclose the number of individuals residing in the territory which would be eliminated from the corporate limits by the proposed change, and shall have attached thereto an accurate map showing the metes and bounds of such territory.
If satisfied that the change sought is only a minor boundary adjustment, the county court shall order publication of a notice of the proposed decrease in the corporate limits and of the date and time set by the court for a hearing on such proposal. Publication shall be as in the case of an order calling for an election, as set forth in section two of this article. A like notice shall be prominently posted at not less than five public places within the territory which would be eliminated from the corporate limits by the proposed change.
If the freeholders of such territory who are present or are represented at the hearing are not substantially opposed to the proposed boundary change, the court may enter an order decreasing the corporate limits of the municipality as requested, which order may be reviewed by the circuit court as an order of a county court ordering an election may be reviewed under section sixteen, article five of this chapter. After the date of such order, the corporate limits of the municipality shall be as set forth therein, unless judicial review is sought under the provisions of said section sixteen. If the proposed change is substantially opposed at the hearing by any such freeholder, the court shall dismiss the application. Dismissal of any such application shall not preclude proceedings in accordance with the provisions of sections two and three of this article. The municipality shall pay the costs of all proceedings under this section.