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Any of the following remedies and enforcement powers may be used to administer and enforce this ordinance following a notice of violation as described in division 4.5.3, Enforcement Procedures. While the town may exercise any of the following remedies or penalties at any point following issuance of a notice of violation and the required correction period, the following remedies and penalties are listed in their general order or sequence of application.
4.6.1 Civil penalty.
(A) In addition to the other remedies cited in this ordinance for the enforcement of its provisions, and pursuant to G.S. § 160A-175, the standards in this ordinance may be enforced through the issuance of civil penalties by the Ordinance Administrator.
(B) Subsequent citations for the same violation may be issued each day by the Ordinance Administrator if the offender does not pay the citation after it has been issued unless the offender has sought an appeal to the actions of the Ordinance Administrator through an appeal of administrative decision.
(C) Except where greater civil penalties are authorized by statute or rule, civil penalties shall be issued in the following amounts:
(1) First citation: $50;
(2) Second citation: $100; and
(3) Third and subsequent citations: $500.
(D) Civil penalties for violations of § 15.2, Stormwater Requirements for New Development Implementing the Falls Lake Rules, or for a violation of a permit or other requirement pursuant to Article 15 may be assessed up to the full amount of the penalty authorized by G.S. § 143-215.6A. Appeals of penalties issued pursuant to this division 4.6.1(D) may be appealed to the Board of Adjustment in accordance with division 3.2.13.
(E) If the offender fails to pay the civil penalty within 15 days after having been cited, the town may recover the penalties in a civil action in the nature of debt.
4.6.2 Stop work order.
(A) Issuance. Whenever any work or activity subject to regulation pursuant to this ordinance or any state law delegated to the local government for enforcement purposes in lieu of the state is undertaken in substantial violation of any applicable provision of this ordinance or state law or in a manner that endangers life or property, the Ordinance Administrator may order the specific part of the work or activity that is in violation or presents such a hazard to be immediately stopped, or request a stop work order be issued by the County Building Inspections Department.
(B) Delivery. The stop work order shall be in writing, directed to the person doing the work, and shall state the specific work to be stopped, the reasons therefor, and the conditions under which the work or activity may be resumed. A copy of the order shall be delivered to the holder of the development approval and to the owner of the property involved (if that person is not the holder of the development approval) by personal delivery, electronic delivery, or first-class mail. The person or persons delivering the stop work order shall certify to the town that the order was delivered and that certificate shall be deemed conclusive in the absence of fraud.
(C) Appeals. Except as provided by G.S. §§ 160D-1112 and 160D-1208, a stop work order may be appealed pursuant to G.S. § 160D-405. No further work or activity shall take place in violation of a stop work order pending a ruling on the appeal. Violation of a stop work order shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.
4.6.3 Revocation of zoning permit. The Ordinance Administrator may revoke any zoning permit by written notification to the permit holder when violations of this ordinance have occurred. Permits may be revoked when false statements or misrepresentations were made in securing the permit, work is being or has been done in substantial departure from the approved application or plan, there has been a failure to comply with the requirements of this ordinance, or a permit has been mistakenly issued in violation of this ordinance.
4.6.4 Injunction. When a violation occurs, the Ordinance Administrator may, either before or after the initiation of other authorized actions, apply to the appropriate court for a mandatory or prohibitory injunction ordering the offender to correct the unlawful condition or cease the unlawful use of the land in question.
4.6.5 Order of abatement. In addition to an injunction, the town may apply for, and the court may enter into, an order of abatement as part of the judgment in the case. An order of abatement may direct any of the following actions:
(A) Buildings or other structures on the property be closed, demolished, or removed;
(B) Fixtures, furniture, or other movable property be moved or removed entirely;
(C) Improvements, alterations, or repairs be made; or
(D) Any other action be taken that is necessary to bring the property into compliance with this ordinance.
4.6.6 Equitable remedy. The town may apply to a court of law for any appropriate equitable remedy to enforce the provisions of this ordinance. The fact that other remedies are provided under general law or this ordinance shall not be used by a violator as a defense to the town’s application for equitable relief.
4.6.7 Criminal penalties.
Pursuant to G.S. § 14-4, any person, firm, or corporation convicted of violating the provisions of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500.
The criminal penalties set for above are for violations of this ordinance only. Violations of some of the provisions of this ordinance also are violations of state law. In those instances, the town may seek to criminal penalties authorized by statute. Such statutes include, but are not limited to, G.S. § 143-215.6B which is applicable to violations of the Falls Lake rules.
4.6.8 Execution of court decisions.
As provided in G.S. § 160A-175(e), if the violator fails or refuses to comply with an injunction or with an order of abatement within the time allowed by the court, he or she may be cited for contempt, and the town, by and through the Town Attorney, may execute the order of abatement. The town shall have a lien on the property for the cost of executing an order of abatement in the nature of a mechanic’s and materialman’s lien.
The violator may secure cancellation of an order of abatement by paying all costs of the proceeding and posting a bond for compliance with the order. The bond shall be given with sureties approved by the Clerk of Superior Court in an amount approved by the judge before whom the matter is heard and shall be conditioned upon the defendant’s full compliance with the terms of the order of abatement within a time fixed by the judge. Cancellation of an order of abatement shall not suspend or cancel an injunction issued in conjunction therewith.
4.6.9 Deny or withhold permits. The Ordinance Administrator may deny or withhold authorization to use or develop any land, structure, or improvements until an alleged violation and associated civil penalty related to such land, use, or development is corrected.
(Ord. A.21.01, passed 6-3-2021)