For the purpose of acquiring property a condemnor listed in G.S. 40A-3(a), or the owner of the property sought to be condemned, may present a petition to the clerk of the superior court of any county in which the real estate described in the petition is situated, praying for the appointment of commissioners of appraisal. The petition shall be signed and verified. If filed by the condemnor, it must contain a description of the property which the condemnor seeks to acquire; and it must state that the condemnor is duly incorporated, and that it is its intention in good faith to conduct and carry on the public business authorized by its charter, stating in detail the nature of its public business, and the specific use of the property; and that the property described in the petition is required for the purpose of conducting the proposed business. The petition, if filed by the condemnor, must also contain a statement as to whether the owner will be permitted to remove all or a specified portion of any buildings, structures, permanent improvements, or fixtures situated on or affixed to the land. The petition, whether filed by the condemnor or the owner, must also state the names and places of residence of all other owners, so far as the same can by reasonable diligence be ascertained, or those who claim to be owners of the property. If any such persons are infants, their ages, as near as may be known, must be stated; and if any such persons are incompetents, inebriates or are unknown, that fact must be stated, together with any other allegations and statements of liens or encumbrances on the property which the condemnor or the owner may see fit to make.
Nothing in this section shall in any manner affect an owner's common-law right to bring an action in tort for damage to his property. (1871-2, c. 138, s. 14; Code, s. 1944; 1893, c. 396; Rev., s. 2580; 1907, c. 783, s. 3; C.S., s. 1716; 1981, c. 919, s. 1.)