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(A) If the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or to vacate and close the dwelling, the Code Enforcement Officer shall:
(1) cause to be posted on the main entrance of any such dwelling, a placard with the following words: “This building is unfit for human habitation; the use or occupation of this building for human habitation is prohibited and unlawful.” Occupation of a building so posted shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
(2) cause the dwelling to be repaired, altered or improved or to be vacated and closed.
(B) If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the dwelling, the Code Enforcement Officer shall:
(1) cause such dwelling to be vacated and removed or demolished; and
(2) cause to be posted on the main entrance of any such dwelling, a placard with the following words: “This building is unfit for human habitation; the use or occupation of this building for human habitation is prohibited and unlawful.” Occupation of a building so posted shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
(C) The duties of the Code Enforcement Officer set forth in divisions (A) and (B) shall not be exercised until the City Council shall have by ordinance ordered the Code Enforcement Officer to proceed to effectuate the purpose of this chapter with respect to the particular property or properties which the Code Enforcement Officer shall have found to be unfit for human habitation and which property or properties shall be described in the ordinance. No such ordinance shall be adopted to require demolition of a dwelling until the owner has first been given a reasonable opportunity to bring it into conformity with this chapter. For the purposes of this subsection a period of 90 days following the date of the Code Enforcement Officer's order shall constitute a reasonable opportunity. This ordinance shall be recorded in the Office of the Register of Deeds in the county wherein the property or properties are located and shall be indexed in the name of the property owner in the grantor index.
(E) The amount of the cost of repairs, alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition by the Code Enforcement Officer shall be a lien against the real property upon which the cost was incurred, which lien shall be filed against the real property, have the same priority, and be collected as the lien for special assessment provided in G.S. Ch. 160A, Art. 10. If the dwelling is removed or demolished by the Code Enforcement Officer, he shall sell the materials of the dwelling, and any personal property, fixtures or appurtenances found in or attached to the dwelling, and shall credit the proceeds of the sale against the cost of the removal or demolition and any balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the Code Enforcement Officer, shall be secured in a manner directed by the Court, and shall be disbursed by the Court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order of the decree of the Court.
(F) If any occupant fails to comply with an order to vacate a dwelling, the Code Enforcement Officer may file a civil action in the name of the city to remove such occupant. The action to vacate the dwelling shall be in the nature of summary ejectment and shall be commenced by filing a complaint naming as party-defendants any persons occupying such dwelling. The Clerk of Superior Court shall issue a summons requiring the defendant to appear before amagistrate at a certain time, date and place not to exceed ten (10) days from the issuance of the summons to answer the complaint. The summons and complaint shall be served as provided in G.S. § 42-29. The summons shall be returned according to its tenor, and if on its return it appears to have been duly served, and if at the hearing the Code Enforcement Officer produces a certified copy of an ordinance adopted by the City Council pursuant to division (C) of this section authorizing the Code Enforcement Officer to proceed to vacate the occupied dwelling, the magistrate shall enter judgment ordering that the premises be vacated and that all persons be removed. The judgement ordering that the dwelling be vacated shall be enforced in the same manner as the judgment for summary ejectment entered under G.S. § 42-30. An appeal from any judgment entered hereunder by the magistrate may be taken as provided in G.S. § 7A-228, and the execution of such judgment may be stayed as provided in G.S. § 7A-227. An action to remove an occupant of a dwelling who is a tenant of the owner may not be in the nature of a summary ejectment proceeding pursuant to this paragraph unless such occupant was served with notice at least thirty (30) days before the filing of the summary ejectment proceeding that the City Council has ordered the Code Enforcement Officer to proceed to exercise his duties under divisions (A), (B) and (C) of this section to vacate and close or remove and demolish the dwelling.
(G) Whenever a determination is made pursuant to subsection (A) of this section that a dwelling must be vacated and closed or removed or demolished under the provisions of this section, notice of the order shall be given by first class mail to any organization involved in providing or restoring dwellings for affordable housing that has filed a written request for such notices. A minimum period of forty-five (45) days from the mailing of such notice shall be given before removal or demolition by action of the Code Enforcement Officer, to allow the opportunity for any organization to negotiate with the owner to make repairs or lease or purchase the property for the purpose of providing affordable housing. The Code Enforcement Officer shall certify the mailing of the notices, and the certification shall be conclusive in the absence of fraud. Only an organization that has filed a written request for such notices may raise the issue of failure to mail such notices, and the sole remedy shall be an order requiring the Code Enforcement Officer to wait forty-five (45) days before causing removal or demolition.
(Ord. passed 2-18-92; Am. Ord. O-1999-37, passed 6-15-99; Am. Ord. O-1999-61, passed 10-5-99)