(A)   Preliminary investigation; notice; hearing. Whenever a petition is filed with the Building 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 Building Inspector, upon inspection, that any structure exists in violation of this subchapter; the Building Inspector shall, if his 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 service 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. 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 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 Building 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 building or structure in question at least ten days prior to the hearing, and 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 for hearing. After the notice and hearing, the Building Inspector shall state in writing the determination as to whether the structure violates this subchapter. If the Building Inspector determines that the dwelling is in violation, he shall state in writing his findings of fact to support such 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 to remove, close, vacate, or demolish the structure; within a specified period of time, not to exceed 90 days.
   (C)   Appeal. Any owner who has received an order under division (B) of this section may appeal from the order to the Board of Commissioners, by giving notice of appeal in writing to the Building Inspector and to the Town Clerk within ten days following the issuance of the order. The Board shall hear an appeal within a reasonable time and may affirm, modify, or revoke the order. The provisions of G.S. § 160D-305, as may be amended from time to time, shall be followed.
   (D)   Failure to comply with order.
      (1)   In personam remedy. If the owner of any structure fails to comply with an order of the Building Inspector within the time specified therein, the Building 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 Building Inspector, as authorized by G.S. § 160D-1208.
      (2)   In rem remedy. After failure of an owner to comply with an order of the Building Inspector within the time specified therein, if injunctive relief has not been sought or has not been granted as provided in division (D)(1) above, the Building Inspector shall submit to the Board of Commissioners an ordinance ordering the Building Inspector to cause the structure to be removed or demolished, as provided in the original order of the Building Inspector, and pending the removal or demolition, to placard such dwelling as provided by G.S. § 160D-1208.
   (E)   Petition to Superior Court by owner. Any person aggrieved by an order issued by the Building Inspector shall have the right, within 30 days after issuance of the order, to petition the Superior Court for a temporary injunction restraining the Building Inspector, pending a final disposition of the cause, as provided by G.S. § 160D-1208.
(Ord. 96-14, passed 9-3-96; Am. Ord. 21-10, passed 6-15-21)