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(A) General Enforcement. Violations of this Code of Ordinances or any other city ordinance, except § 70.31, shall constitute a misdemeanor and/or, at the election of the city, shall subject the violator to civil penalties and/or, where permitted by law, equitable remedies for said violation as hereinafter provided.
(B) Injunction and Order of Abatement Remedies.
(1) Any provision of this Code or any other city ordinance that makes unlawful a condition existing upon or use made of real property may be enforced by injunction and order of abatement by the general court of justice. When a violation of such a provision occurs, the city may apply to the appropriate division of the general court of justice for a mandatory or prohibitory injunction and/or order of abatement commanding the defendant to correct the unlawful condition upon or cease the unlawful use of the property. The action shall be governed in all respects by the laws and rules governing civil proceedings, including the Rules of Civil Procedure in general and Rule 65 in particular.
(2) An order of abatement may direct that buildings or other structures on the property be closed, demolished or removed; that fixtures, furniture or other movable property be removed from buildings on the property; that abandoned or junked vehicles be removed; that improvements or repairs be made; or that any other action be taken that is necessary to bring the property into compliance with this Code or any other city ordinance. If the defendant fails or refuses to comply with an injunction or with an order of abatement within the time allowed by the court, he may be cited for contempt, and the city may execute the order of abatement. The city 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 defendant may secure cancellation of an order of abatement by paying all costs of the proceedings 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 on 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.
(C) Civil Penalties.
(1) Upon determination of a violation of any section of this Code or any other city ordinance, the penalty for which is a civil penalty, the city shall cause a notice of violation to be issued to the violator by the appropriate official of the city and served on the violator or his agent, either in person or by first class United States mail, postage prepaid and addressed to the last known address of the violator as contained in the records of the city or as obtained from the violator or his agent. The appropriate city official serving the notice of violation shall sign and have notarized an affidavit describing the type of service and the date of service. The violator shall be deemed to have been served upon the mailing or personal service of the notice of violation. The notice of violation shall set out the nature of the violation, the Code section or ordinance violated, the date or dates of the violation, and shall contain an order to immediately cease the violation. The notice of violation shall specify that a second and subsequent citations will assess a civil penalty, together with costs, attorney fees, and such other relief as provided by law. The notice of violation shall also inform the violator of the violator's appeal rights. If the violation is in the nature of an offense for which an order of abatement would be appropriate in a civil proceeding, a reasonable period of time must be stated within which the violation must be abated.
(2) The violator must file an appeal from a notice of violation within 10 days from the service date of the notice of violation as indicated on the affidavit of service. An appeal is deemed filed when it is received by the City Manager or his designee. Forms and instructions for filing an appeal shall be made available at the office of the City Manager or his designee. A violator who fails to file an appeal within the time period described above is deemed to have forfeited the appeal for the violation, the notice of violation, the civil citations, and the civil penalties assessed for the violation. Appeals shall be heard by the Board of Adjustment or other administrative process established by the City. The decision of the Board of Adjustment of other hearing officer is subject to review in the Superior Court of Union County in the nature of certiorari.
(3) Where the city determines that the period of time stated in the original notice of violation is not sufficient for abatement based upon the work required or based on a consent agreement, the city may amend the notice of violation to provide for additional time.
(4) Upon failure of the violator to comply the notice of violation within 10 days of service of the notice of violation, a civil citation shall be issued by the appropriate official of the city and served on the violator or his agent, either in person or by first class United States mail, postage prepaid and addressed to the last known address of the violator as contained in the records of the city or obtained from the violator or his agent. The appropriate city official serving the civil citation shall sign and have notarized an affidavit describing the type of service and the date of the service. The violator shall be deemed to have been served upon the mailing or personal service of the civil citation.
(5) The civil citation shall direct the violator to immediately cease the violation, shall inform the violator of the civil penalty, and shall direct the violator to make payment of the civil penalty to the City Manager or his designee, within 10 days of the date of the civil citation, or alternatively to pay the citation by mail postmarked within 10 days of service of the civil citation. Once a notice of violation has been issued and the 10-day warning period has expired, civil citations may be issued for each day the same or similar violation continues until the prohibited activity is ceased or abated. If a violation is repeated within a two year period from the date of the initial violation, it shall be considered to be a continuation of the initial violation and shall be subject to additional penalties and remedies as set forth in this section and section 10.99. A repeat violation is one which is identical to or reasonably similar to a previous violation for which a notice of violation or civil citation has been issued by the city.
(6) If the violator fails to respond to a civil citation within 10 days of its service, and pay the penalty prescribed therein, the city may institute a civil action in the nature of debt in the appropriate division of the North Carolina General Court of Court of Justice for the collection of the penalty, costs, attorney fees and such other relief as permitted by law.
(D) In the event any provision of this section is found to be in conflict with any other provision of any other ordinance or code of the city, the more specific provision shall prevail. In the event any provision of this section is found to be invalid, the remaining provisions shall remain effective and valid.
(E) The time periods in this section shall be computed in the manner set forth in Rule 6(a) and 6(e) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.
(F) The provisions of this Code and any other city ordinances may be enforced by one, all or a combination of the remedies authorized and prescribed by this section.
(G) The existing provisions of the Code of Ordinances, the violation of which shall subject the offender to civil penalties and/or a combination of any other remedy authorized and prescribed by this section, are as follows:
Chapter 55 - Solid Waste
Chapter 90 - Abandoned and Junked Motor Vehicles
Chapter 93 - Nuisances
Chapter 110 - Business License
Chapter 117 - Rental of Dwelling and Dwelling Units
Chapter 150 - Building Regulations
Chapter 151 - Flood Hazard Ordinance
Chapter 153 - Minimum Housing Standards
Chapter 154 - Subdivision Code
Chapter 155 - Watershed Protection Ordinance
Chapter 156 - Zoning Code
Chapter 157 - Land Development Plan
Chapter 158 - Erosion and Sedimentation Control
Chapter 159 - Stormwater Management Ordinance
('84 Code, § 1-7(b) - (e)) (Am. Ord. passed 2-18-92; Am. Ord. O-1998-27, passed 7-7-98; Am. Ord. O-1999-34, passed 7-20-99; Am. Ord. O-2000-40, passed 9-19-00; Am. Ord. O-2001-09, passed 3-6-01; Am. Ord. O-2002-14, passed 3-5-02; Am. Ord. O-2002-17, passed 4-2-02; Am. Ord. O-2007-23, passed 10-1-07)