CHAPTER 1:  GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section
   1-1   How code designated and cited
   1-2   General definitions and rules of construction
   1-3   Catchlines of sections; effect of history notes, references in code
   1-4   Repeal, expiration and revival of ordinances
   1-5   General penalty; enforcement of ordinances; continuing violations
   1-6   Severability
   1-7   Supplementation of code
   1-8   Amendments
   1-9   Provisions considered continuation of existing ordinances
   1-10   Code does not affect prior offenses, rights and the like
   1-11   Certain ordinances not affected by code
   1-12   Town seal
§ 1-1  HOW CODE DESIGNATED AND CITED.
   The provisions in the following chapters and sections shall constitute and be designated the North Topsail Beach Town Code and may be so cited.
Statutory reference:
   Codification of ordinances, see G.S. § 160A-77
§ 1-2  GENERAL DEFINITIONS AND RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.
   (a)   Rules of construction. Words and phrases are to be construed according to the context and the approved usage of the language; technical words and phrases and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law are to be construed according to such meaning.
      (1)   Computation of time.  In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by this code or by order of court, the day of the act, event, default or publication after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and holidays shall be excluded in the computation. A half holiday shall be considered as other days and not as a holiday.
      (2)   Delegation of authority.  Whenever a provision appears requiring the head of a department of the town to do some act or make certain inspections, it is to be construed to authorize the head of the department to designate, delegate and authorize subordinates to perform the required act or make the required inspection unless the terms of the provision designate otherwise.
      (3)   Gender.  Words importing the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter.
      (4)   Interpretation. This code contains the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare. Where any provision of this code imposes greater restrictions upon the subject matter than other more general provisions of this code, the provision imposing the greater restriction or regulation shall be deemed to be controlling.
      (5)   Joint authority. All words giving a joint authority to three or more persons or officers shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such persons or officers.
      (6)   Number. Words used in the singular include the plural and the plural includes the singular number.
      (7)   Officers, employees, boards, and the like. The title of any officer, employee, board, commission and the like, used herein shall be construed as if the words “of the Town of North Topsail Beach” followed it.
      (8)   Statute references. Whenever reference is made, for example, to G.S. § 160A-272, it shall be construed to refer to General Statutes of North Carolina, § 160A-272, as amended, or to whatever section is cited.
      (9)   Tense. Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.
      (10)   Title of office. The title of any office is to be construed to include the words “of the Town of North Topsail Beach, North Carolina.”
      (11)   Bond.  When a bond is required, an undertaking in writing shall be sufficient.
   (b)   Defined terms. For the purpose of this code, the following definitions shall apply, unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
      CHARTER.  The Charter of the Town of North Topsail Beach, North Carolina.
      CODE.  The North Topsail Beach Town Code as designated in § 1-1.
      COUNTY.  Onslow County, North Carolina.
      GOVERNOR.  The Governor of North Carolina.
      KEEPER, PROPRIETOR.  Includes any person, firm, association, corporation, club and partnership, whether acting by himself or herself or by a servant, agent or employee.
      MAY.  Is to be construed as being permissive and not mandatory.
      MAY NOT.  Has a prohibitory effect.
      MONTH.  A calendar month.
      MUST.  Is to be construed as being mandatory and not permissive.
      OATH.  Is to be construed to include an affirmation in all cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases the words “swear” and “sworn” are equivalent to the words “affirm” and “affirmed.”
      OFFICIAL TIME STANDARD.  The term means that whenever certain hours are named in this code, they shall mean standard time or daylight saving time as may be in current use in this town.
      OR, AND.  OR may be read AND if the sense requires it. AND may be read OR if the sense requires it.
      OWNER.  As applied to a building or land, includes any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety, the holder of the title in fee simple and every mortgage of record of the whole or part of such building or land.
      PERSON.  Includes a corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization and any other group acting as a unit, as well as an individual.
      PERSONAL PROPERTY.  Includes every species of property except real property.
      PRECEDING, FOLLOWING.  Next before and next after, respectively.
      PROPERTY.  Includes real and personal PROPERTY.
      REAL PROPERTY.  Includes lands, tenements and hereditaments.
      RESIDENCE.  The place adopted by a person as his or her place of habitation and to which, whenever he or she is absent, he or she has the intention of returning. When a person eats at one place and sleeps at another, the place where such person sleeps shall be deemed his or her RESIDENCE.
      SHALL.  Is to be construed as being mandatory.
      SIDEWALK.  Any portion of a street between the curbline and the adjacent property line, intended for the use of pedestrians.
      SIGNATURE or SUBSCRIPTION.  Includes a mark when the person cannot write.
      STATE.  The State of North Carolina.
      STREET.  Any public way, road, highway, street, avenue, boulevard, parkway, alley, lane, path, viaduct, bridge or other public place and the approaches thereto within the town when any part thereof is open to use of the public and established for purposes of vehicular traffic.
      TENANT, OCCUPANT.  As applied to a building or land, includes any person who occupies the whole or part of such building or land, whether alone or with others.
      TOWN.  The Town of North Topsail Beach, North Carolina.
      WRITING, WRITTEN.  Includes printing and any other mode of representing words and letters.
      YEAR.  A calendar year unless otherwise specified.
Statutory reference:
   Computation of time, see G.S. § 1-593
§ 1-3  CATCHLINES OF SECTIONS; EFFECT OF HISTORY NOTES, REFERENCES IN CODE.
   (a)   The catchlines of the several sections of this code printed in boldface are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the sections and shall not be deemed or taken to be titles of such sections, nor as any part of such sections; nor, unless expressly so provided, shall they be so deemed when any of such sections, including the catchlines, are amended or reenacted.
   (b)   The history or source notes appearing in the parentheses after sections in this code are not intended to have any legal effect but are merely intended to indicate the source of matter contained in the section. Cross-references and state law references which appear after sections or subsections of this code or which otherwise appear in footnote form are provided for the convenience of the user of this code and have no legal effect.
   (c)   All references to chapters, articles or sections are to the chapters, articles and sections of this code unless otherwise specified.
§ 1-4  REPEAL, EXPIRATION AND REVIVAL OF ORDINANCES.
   (a)   The repeal of an ordinance, or its expiration by virtue of any provision contained therein, shall not affect any right accrued, any offense committed, any penalty or punishment incurred or any proceeding commenced before the repeal took effect or the ordinance expired.
   (b)   When an ordinance which repealed another shall itself be repealed, the previous ordinance shall not be revived without express words to that effect.
§ 1-5  GENERAL PENALTY; ENFORCEMENT OF ORDINANCES; CONTINUING VIOLATIONS.
   (a)   Unless otherwise specifically provided, violation of any provision of this code or any other town ordinance shall subject the offender to the remedies hereinafter provided; except, that where the General Statutes of the state provide specific civil remedies for violations of provisions of this code adopted pursuant to such statutes, such remedies available to the town for enforcement of this code shall be in addition to the remedies hereinafter stated; provided, that no criminal penalties shall be applicable unless hereinafter stated in this section as being applicable to specific chapters or provisions of this code.
   (b)   Any person who violates any section of the town ordinances shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days or by both.
   (c)   In addition to any civil or criminal penalties set out in this section, any provision of this code or any other town ordinance may be enforced by an appropriate equitable remedy issuing from a court of competent jurisdiction. In such case, the general court of justice shall have jurisdiction to issue such orders as may be appropriate, and it shall not be a defense to the application of the town for equitable relief that there is an adequate remedy at law.
   (d)   In addition to any civil or criminal penalties set out in this section, any provision of this code or any other town ordinance that makes unlawful a condition existing upon or use made of real property may be enforced by injunction and order of abatement, and the general court of justice shall have jurisdiction to issue such orders. When a violation of such a provision occurs, the town may apply to the appropriate division of the general court of justice for a mandatory or prohibitory injunction and 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.
   (e)   In addition to an injunction, the court may enter an order of abatement as a part of the judgment in the cause.
      (1)   An order of abatement may direct that:
         a.   Buildings or other structures on the property be closed, demolished or removed;
         b.   Fixtures, furniture or other movable property be removed from buildings on the property;
         c.   Grass and weeds be cut;
         d.   Improvements or repairs be made; or
         e.   Any other action be taken that is necessary to bring the property into compliance with this code or such ordinance.
      (2)   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 or she may be cited for contempt, and the town may execute the order of abatement. The town 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.
   (f)   The provisions of this code and any other town ordinances may be enforced by one, all or a combination of the remedies authorized and prescribed by this section; except, that any provision the violation of which incurs a civil penalty shall not be enforced by criminal penalties.
   (g)   Except as otherwise specifically provided, each day’s continuing violation of any provision of this code or any other town ordinance shall be a separate and distinct offense.
   (h)   Any ordinances hereafter adopted by the Board of Aldermen of the town, the violation of which shall incur a penalty, shall specify whether the enforcement shall be pursuant to the civil penalty or criminal penal provisions of this section.
   (i)   Upon determination of a violation of any section of this code, the penalty for which is a civil penalty, the town shall cause a warning citation to be issued to the violator, setting out the nature of the violation, the section violated, the date of the violation and an order to immediately cease the violation or, if the violation is in the nature of an infraction for which an order of abatement would be appropriate in a civil proceeding, stating a reasonable period of time in which the violation must be abated. The warning citation shall specify that a second citation shall incur a civil penalty.
   (j)   Upon failure of the violator to obey the warning citation, a civil citation shall be issued by the appropriate official of the town and either served directly on the violator or his or her duly designated agent, or registered agent if a corporation, in person or posted in the United States mail service by first class mail addressed to the last known address of the violator as contained in the records of the town, or obtained from the violator at the time of issuance of the warning citation. The violator shall be deemed to have been served upon the mailing of such citation. The citation shall direct the violator to appear before the Town Treasurer, located in the Town Hall, within 15 days of the date of the citation or alternatively to pay the citation by mail. The violation for which the citation is issued must have been corrected by the time the citation is paid; otherwise, further citations shall be issued. Citations may be issued for each day the offense continues until the prohibited activity is ceased or abated.
   (k)   If the violator fails to respond to a citation within 15 days of its issuance and pay the penalty prescribed therein, the town may institute a civil action in the nature of debt in the appropriate division of the state general court of justice for the collection of the penalty.
Statutory reference:
   Penalties and other remedies for ordinance violations, see G.S. §§ 14-4, 160A-175 and 160A-389
§ 1-6  SEVERABILITY.
   It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Board of Aldermen that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this code are severable; and if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this code shall be declared unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and sections of this code, since the same would have been enacted without the incorporation in this code of any such unconstitutional phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section.
§ 1-7  SUPPLEMENTATION OF CODE.
   (a)   By contract or by town personnel, supplements to this code shall be prepared and printed whenever authorized or directed by the Board of Aldermen. A supplement to the code shall include all substantive permanent and general parts of ordinances passed by the Board of Aldermen or adopted by initiative and referendum during the period covered by the supplement and all changes made thereby in the code, and shall also include all amendments to the Charter during the period. The pages of a supplement shall be so numbered that they will fit properly into the code and will, where necessary, replace pages which have become obsolete or partially obsolete; and the new pages shall be so prepared that, when they have been inserted, the code will be current through the date of the adoption of the latest ordinance included in the supplement.
   (b)   In preparing a supplement to this code, all portions of the code which have been repealed shall be excluded from the code by the omission thereof from reprinted pages.
   (c)   When preparing a supplement to this code, the codifier (meaning the person authorized to prepare the supplement) may make formal, nonsubstantive changes in ordinances and parts of ordinances included in the supplement, insofar as it is necessary to do so to embody them into a unified code. For example, the codifier may:
      (1)   Organize the ordinance material into appropriate subdivisions;
      (2)   Provide appropriate catchlines, headings and titles for sections and other subdivisions of the code printed in the supplement, and make changes in such catchlines, headings and titles;
      (3)   Assign appropriate numbers to sections and other subdivisions to be inserted in the code and, where necessary to accommodate new material, change existing section or other subdivision numbers;
      (4)   Change the words “this ordinance” or words of the same meaning to “this chapter,” “this article,” “this division,” “this subsection”  and the like, as the case may be, or to “sections ________ to ________” (inserting section numbers to indicate the sections of the code which embody the substantive sections of the ordinance incorporated into the code); and
      (5)   Make other nonsubstantive changes necessary to preserve the original meaning of ordinance sections inserted into the code, but in no case shall the codifier make any change in the meaning or effect of ordinance material included in the supplement or already embodied in the code.
§ 1-8  AMENDMENTS.
   Any and all additions and amendments to this code, when passed in such form as to indicate the intention of the Board of Aldermen to make the same a part thereof, shall be deemed to be incorporated in the code, so that reference to the North Topsail Beach Town Code shall be understood and intended to include such additions and amendments.
§ 1-9  PROVISIONS CONSIDERED CONTINUATION OF EXISTING ORDINANCES.
   The provisions of this code, so far as they are the same as ordinances existing at the time of adoption of this code, shall be considered as a continuation thereof and not as new enactments.
§ 1-10  CODE DOES NOT AFFECT PRIOR OFFENSES, RIGHTS AND THE LIKE.
   (a)   Nothing in this code or the ordinance adopting this code affects any offense or act committed or done, or any penalty or forfeiture incurred, or any contract or right established or accruing before the effective date of this code.
   (b)   The adoption of this code shall not be interpreted as authorizing or permitting any use or the continuance of any use of a structure or premises in violation of any ordinance of the town in effect on the date of adoption of this code.
§ 1-11  CERTAIN ORDINANCES NOT AFFECTED BY CODE.
   Nothing in this code or the ordinance adopting this code shall affect any ordinance:
   (a)   Promising or guaranteeing the payment of money for the town or authorizing the issuance of any bonds of the town or any evidence of the town’s indebtedness;
   (b)   Fixing the salary of any town officer or employee;
   (c)   Granting a franchise;
   (d)   Dedicating, naming, establishing, locating, relocating, opening, widening, paving and the like, any street or public way in the town;
   (e)   Providing for an appropriation or tax;
   (f)   Which, by its own terms, is effective for a stated or limited term;
   (g)   Providing for local improvements and assessing taxes therefor;
   (h)   Rezoning specific property;
   (i)   Dedicating or accepting any subdivision plat;
   (j)   Describing or extending the boundaries of the town;
   (k)   That is temporary, although general in effect;
   (l)   That is special, although permanent in effect;
   (m)   The purpose of which has been accomplished; or
   (n)   That amends the Charter.
§ 1-12  TOWN SEAL.
   The seal shall be the common seal of the town, and the Town Clerk shall have custody of the seal, and the seal shall be carefully preserved and kept at all times at the Town Hall.