(A)   Preliminary investigation; notice; hearing.
      (1)   Whenever a petition is filed with the Building Inspector by at least 5 residents of the town charging that any structure exists in violation of this chapter or whenever it appears to the Inspector, upon inspection, that any structure exists in violation of this chapter, the Building Inspector shall, if the preliminary investigation discloses a basis for the charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in the structure, a complaint stating the charges and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the Inspector at a fixed place, not less than 10 nor more than 30 days after the serving of the complaint.
      (2)   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.
      (3)   Notice of the hearing shall also be given to at least 1 of the persons signing a petition relating to the structure.
      (4)   Any person desiring to do so may attend the 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.
   (B)   Procedure after hearing.
      (1)   After the notice and hearing, the Inspector shall state in writing the determination as to whether the structure violates this chapter.
      (2)   If the Inspector determines that the dwelling is in violation, the Inspector shall state in writing findings of fact to support that determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner an order directing and requiring the owner to either repair, alter and improve the structure or else remove or demolish the structure within a specified period of time not to exceed 90 days.
      (3)   All requirements of G.S. § 160A-443(3) shall be complied with before proceeding with any further action.
   (C)   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 in the order, the Inspector may submit to the Town Council 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 in the order, if injunctive relief has not been sought or has not been granted as provided in division (C)(1) above, the Inspector shall submit to the Town Council 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 the dwelling as provided by G.S. § 160A-443(4).
   (D)   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).
(Ord. 02-07, passed 5-1-2002)