When any public nuisance as set out in §§ 96.01 or 96.10 is found to exist on any property within the town’s corporate limits, the following procedures shall be followed.
   (A)   The Town Manager and Code Enforcement Officer shall have the following authority:
      (1)   To enter upon property;
      (2)   To obtain an administrative search and inspection warrant, if necessary, as provided in G.S. § 15-27.2;
      (3)   To issue a notice of violation and impose civil penalties;
      (4)   To enter upon or authorize an agent to enter upon and clean up premises in violation of this section;
      (5)   To utilize the services of an outside contractor to clean up premises in violation of this section; and
      (6)   To summarily remove, abate, or remedy everything in the town limits that is considered by ordinance to be either dangerous or prejudicial to the public health or which has been declared to be a nuisance.
   (B)   Where any public nuisance as set out in §§ 96.01 or 96.10 requires immediate abatement to avoid and prevent an immediate and dangerous threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the inhabitants of the town and would degrade adjoining properties as determined by the Town Manager or Code Enforcement Officer, the nuisance may be summarily removed and abated by the town without prior notice to the property owner. The owner as determined from the tax records of County of Pitt shall be responsible for all abatement costs, administrative fees, and civil penalties as provided in § 96.99.
   (C)   Notices or orders issued by the Town Manager or Code Enforcement Officer under this chapter shall be served on the owner or the property manager of the identified property by either hand delivery or by registered or certified mail and regular mail. Service by mail shall be deemed complete by depositing the notice or order in the mail at the address listed in the County of Pitt tax records postage prepaid. When the manner of service is by registered or certified mail and regular mail and the registered or certified mail is unclaimed or refused, but the regular mail is not returned by the Post Office within ten days of mailing, service is deemed sufficient. The person mailing the notice or order by regular mail shall certify that fact and the date of the mailing and the certification shall be conclusive evidence of service in the absence of fraud.
   (D)   Except in situations identified in division (B) above, notification to the property owner will advise that the conditions that exist on the identified property constitute a public nuisance and shall be abated within ten days of the date of the notification and that failure to abate or remove the nuisance shall result in the owner’s assessment of the costs of abatement or removal, imposition of administrative fees and the assessment of a civil penalty as identified in § 96.99. The Town Manager or Code Enforcement Officer may afford the owner additional time to remove or abate the nuisance if the failure was caused by weather conditions or other factors as determined by the Town Manager or Code Enforcement Officer not to have been within the control of the owner.
   (E)   Upon abatement of the nuisance, the Town Manager or Code Enforcement Officer shall create a written statement of the actual costs incurred by the town, including time and materials expended by the town, the amounts charged by private contractors, administrative fees and civil penalty, if applicable, to the owner of the property with instructions that the charges are due and payable within 30 days of the date that the statement is mailed. The written statement shall be delivered in the same manner as provided by division (C) above. If the charges are not paid within 30 days, then the Town Tax Collector shall cause the costs associated with the abatement as provided in the statement to be filed as a lien on the subject property with the charges to be collected and enforced in the same manner as unpaid taxes.
   (F)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Town Manager or Code Enforcement Officer may notify a chronic violator that if the chronic violator’s property is determined to be a nuisance as defined in § 96.10, the town shall, without further notice in the calendar year in which the notice is given, take action to remedy the violation. The expense of the action, including the actual cost to remedy the violation and an administrative fee and civil penalties as provided in § 96.99, shall become a lien upon the property, and shall be collected as unpaid taxes. For the purpose of this section, a chronic violator is a person who owns property whereupon, in the previous calendar year, the town gave notice of violation at least three times under any provision of this chapter.
   (G)   In addition to the nuisances abatement procedures provided by this chapter, the town reserves the right to utilize any other remedies available under applicable law, including, but not limited to, proceeding in a criminal action against any person, firm, or corporation violating the provisions of this chapter as provided in G.S. § 14-4.
(Ord. 08-09-32, passed 3-9-09; Am. Ord. 09-10-26, passed 6-28-10)