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Limited Self-Governance Act. Act No. 2005-200, “The Alabama Limited Self-Governance Act,” became law on May 26, 2005 Is not effective in any county until approved by local referendum. Limited Self-Governance Act. Vote will only be by those residing in unincorporated areas

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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Act No. 2005-200, “The Alabama Limited Self-Governance Act,” became law on May 26, 2005

  • Is not effective in any county until approved by local referendum


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Vote will only be by those residing in unincorporated areas

  • Referendum can only take place at a primary or general election


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • The local referendum is held ONLY in the unincorporated portion of the county

  • ONLY those residents in the unincorporated area of the county may vote on the question


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Election is called:--By resolution of the county commission--By petition of 10 percent of the qualified voters from the unincorporated area


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Election can only be during primary, regular or special election held for another purpose

  • The ballot question is “whether the powers authorized under the act shall be effective in the county”


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Separate vote is NOT taken on each one of the powers granted in the act

  • Election in each county can only be held once every 48 months


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • The county commission or citizens signing a petition may also call an election repealing the application of the act, no sooner than 48 months after the initial approval is granted.

  • Otherwise the election is held under general Alabama election laws


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • After an affirmative vote, the county is authorized to exercise the powers outlined in the act in order to provide for or control: “its property and affairs” “public welfare, health and safety”


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Powers for the protection of “welfare, health and safety” are restricted to:--“abatement of weeds”--control of “litter” or “rubbish”--control of “animals and animal nuisances”


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Powers for the protection of “welfare, health and safety” are restricted to:--“junkyard control”

    --“abatement of noise, unsanitary sewage or pollution”


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • The Act includes references to Alabama code sections that include definitions of weeds, animal nuisances, litter, rubbish and other terms

  • Act specifically says powers cannot be exercised inside a city unless the city authorizes the county to act on its behalf


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Powers in the Act cannot be used to:--Raise or levy taxes--Establish Planning and Zoning--Regulate utilities, railroads, landfills or other companies regulated by a number of named agencies


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Powers in the Act cannot be used to:--Regulate the state’s court system, cities, schools or pari-mutuel betting--Regulate civil or private law or expend public money on private property--Violate property rights


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Powers in the Act cannot be used to:--Regulate a farm operation that is not determined to be a nuisance by other sections of Alabama law --Regulate a properly permitted mining operations


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Implementation of Powers:--Commission adopts “ordinances” to implement the act--Commission publishes notice of the proposed ordinances before vote


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Implementation of Powers:--Ordinances must include a provision that those cited for violating the ordinances be notified that they can appeal to the commission


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Implementation of Powers:--Ordinance Power may be used to establish “administrative fees” that do not exceed the cost of implementation and enforcement of the ordinances


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Implementation of Powers:--Assessments and fees for services can only be charged if the services are provided to the person or the property


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Implementation of Powers:--County Commission may “establish and enforce administrative and civil penalties, including fines” for the enforcement of its ordinances


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Limited Self-Governance Act

  • Implementation of Powers:--Fines capped at $150 per day, not to exceed a total of $5,000--All fines and penalties must be paid into the county general fund and earmarked for administration of the program


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