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(A) Preliminary investigation; notice; hearing. Whenever a petition is filed with the Inspector by at least five residents of the town charging that any structure exists in violation of this subchapter, or whenever it appears to the Inspector, upon inspection, that any structure exists in violation hereof, he or she shall if the preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such structure a complaint stating the charges and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the Inspector at a place therein fixed, not less than ten nor more than 30 days after the serving of the complaint. The owner or any party in interest shall have the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, or otherwise, and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint. The complaint shall be served either personally or by certified mail. The owner's address as found in the tax records of the town shall be deemed to be the accurate address for notification. If applicable, notice of hearing shall also be given to at least one of the persons signing a petition relating to the structure. Any person desiring to do so may attend such hearing and give evidence relevant to the matter being heard. The rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in hearings before the Inspector. If the name or whereabouts of the owner cannot after due diligence be discovered, the notice shall be considered properly and adequately served if a copy thereof is posted on the outside of the structure in question at least ten days prior to the hearing and if a notice of hearing is published in a newspaper having general circulation in the town at least once not later than one week prior to the hearing.
(B) Procedure after hearing.
(1) After the notice and hearing, the Inspector shall state in writing his or her determination as to whether the structure violates this subchapter.
(2) If the Inspector determines that the structure is in violation, he or she shall state in writing findings of fact to support the determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof an order directing and requiring the owner to either repair, alter, and improve the structure or else remove, close, or vacate or demolish the same within a specified period of time not to exceed 90 days.
(C) Appeal. Any owner who has received an order under this subchapter may appeal from the order to the Board of Commissioners by giving notice of appeal in writing to the Inspector and to the Town Clerk within ten days following the issuance of the order. In absence of an appeal, the order of the Inspector shall be final. The Board shall hear an appeal within a reasonable time and may affirm, modify, or revoke the order. The provisions of G.S. § 160A-446, as amended from time to time, shall be followed.
(D) Failure to comply with order.
(1) In personam remedy. If the owner of any structure shall fail to comply with an order of the Inspector within the time specified therein, the Inspector may submit to the Board of Commissioners at its next regular meeting a resolution directing the Town Attorney to petition the Superior Court for an order directing the owner to comply with the order of the Inspector, as authorized by G.S. § 160A-446(g).
(2) In rem remedy. After failure of an owner of a structure to comply with an order of the Inspector within the time specified therein, if injunctive relief has not been sought or has not been granted as provided in the preceding division (D)(1), the Inspector shall submit to the Board of Commissioners an ordinance ordering the Inspector to cause the structure to be removed or demolished, as provided in the original order of the Inspector, and, pending the removal or demolition, to placard such dwelling as provided by G.S. § 160A-443.
(E) Petition to Superior Court by owner. Any person aggrieved by an order issued by the Inspector shall have the right, within 30 days after issuance of the order, to petition the Superior Court for a temporary injunction restraining the Inspector pending a final disposition of the cause, as provided by G.S. § 160A-446(f).
(Am. Ord. 2016-001, passed 2-11-16)