§ 160.05  DEFINITIONS.
   (A)   Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
      ABANDONED RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE and ABANDONED RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNIT. A residential structure or dwelling unit on a parcel which is:
         (a)   Vacant for 30 days;
         (b)   No residential use or habitable occupancy of the structure by its owner or by some person acting under the authority of its owner during this period of time or longer;
         (c)   In violation of one or more minimum housing standards of the town code; and
         (d)   The Minimum Housing Inspector has determined the structure to be unfit for human habitation or occupancy based upon the standards as set forth in this chapter.
      AREA. Area as applied to the dimensions of a dwelling shall mean the maximum horizontal projected area of the dwelling at grade. Area as applied to the dimensions of a room, shall mean the total square footage of floor area between finished walls.
      BASEMENT. A portion of a building which is located partly underground, having direct access to light and air from windows located above the level of the adjoining ground.
      BOARD UP. The boarding up of any means of egress and ingress, including, without limitation, windows and doors, access points to crawl space, etc. to an abandoned residential structure. The accepted method to board up a property is listed in this chapter of the code.
      BOARDING HOUSE (OR ROOMING HOUSE). Any dwelling, or that part of any dwelling containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let by the owner or operator to three or more persons who are not husband and wife, son or daughter, mother or father or sister or brother of the owner or operator, or any part thereof.
      BUILDING. That which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner. The term "building" shall be construed as if followed by the words "or part thereof."
      CEILING HEIGHT. The clear vertical distance from the finished floor to the finished ceiling.
      CELLAR. A portion of a building located partly or wholly underground having an adequate access to light and air from windows located partly or wholly below the level of the adjoining ground.
Inspector is any person appointed by the Town Manager and sworn under oath to enforce the Town of Spencer Code of Ordinances, which include all regulations and standards in this chapter.
      DEFLECTION. The sagging of a structural member.
      DEMOLISH. The tearing down and disposal of the entire dwelling in a lawful manner, leaving the property free and clear of any debris and without holes or pockets.
      DETERIORATED. A dwelling that is unfit for human habitation and can be repaired, altered or improved to comply with all of the minimum standards established by this chapter, at a cost not in excess of 50% of its value, as determined by finding of the inspector.
      DILAPIDATED. A dwelling that is unfit for human habitation and cannot be repaired, altered or improved to comply with all of the minimum standards established by this chapter except at a cost in excess of 50% of its value, as determined by finding of the inspector.
      DWELLING. Any building, structure or part thereof which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living, sleeping or habitation by human occupants, and includes any outhouses and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith. Temporary housing shall not be regarded as a dwelling. The term shall include within its meaning the terms "rooming house" and "rooming unit."
      DWELLING UNIT. Any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating, or any part thereof.
      EXIT. A clear and unobstructed way of departure from the interior of a dwelling to the exterior at street or grade level.
      EXTERMINATION. The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food, by poisoning, spraying, fumigating or trapping, or by any other recognized and legal pest elimination methods approved by the inspector.
      GARBAGE. The organic waste matter, both animal and vegetable, from houses, kitchens, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and the like, and comprises chiefly waste food, but also includes ashes, dirty rags and the like. The word GARBAGE does not include liquid that may be drained into the sewer.
      HABITABLE ROOM. A room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, heater rooms, foyers or communicating corridors, closets and storage spaces.
      INFESTATION. The presence, within or around a dwelling, of any insects, rodents or other pests in such number as to constitute a menace to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants or to the public.
      MINIMUM HOUSING INSPECTOR. A minimum housing inspector of the town or any other inspector so designated by the town manager, also referred to as "inspector."
      MULTIPLE DWELLING. Any building containing more than two dwelling units.
      NEGLECTED. A residential structure on a parcel which has been issued one or more violations of the town's nuisance and/or zoning codes within the past 12 months.
      NORTH CAROLINA STATE BUILDING CODE or NORTH CAROLINA BUILDING CODE. Any or all volumes of the North Carolina State Building Code as promulgated by the North Carolina State Building Code Council.
      OCCUPANT. Any person over one year of age living, sleeping, cooking or eating in, or having actual possession of a dwelling unit or rooming unit.
      OPERATOR. Any person who has charge, care or control of a building, or part thereof, in which dwelling units or rooming units are let.
      OWNER. Any person who alone, jointly or severally with others:
         (a)   Has title to any property, dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit with or without accompanying actual possession thereof;
         (b)   Is listed as the owner of record, trustee, heir, responsible person, party of interest with the Rowan County Register of Deeds;
         (c)   Is a mortgagee of record for any property, dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit; or
         (d)   Has charge, care or control of any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit as owner or agent of the owner, or as executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter, and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, to the same extent as if he were the owner.
      PARTIES IN INTEREST. All persons who have interests of record in a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit and any persons who are in possession thereof.
      PERFORMANCE PERIOD. The period of time issued by the minimum housing inspector for the owner or designee to comply with code violations, which allows the officer to see efforts toward compliance or not.
      PIER. A post, pole or column of masonry, concrete, steel or pressure-treated wood extending from a concrete or masonry footing to and supporting the building or portion thereof.
      PLUMBING. The water supply system, sanitary drainage system, vent system, fixtures, and traps and shall include their respective connections, devices, appliances, and appurtenances within the property lines of the premises.
      PROPERTY. When referred to in this chapter of the code, shall refer only to residential properties and not include nonresidential properties.
      PUBLIC AUTHORITY. The town housing authority or any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the town, the county or the state relating to health, fire, building regulations or other activities concerning dwellings in the town.
      PUBLIC SPACE or COMMON SPACE. That space within any dwelling which is open to use by the general public or to occupants of more than one dwelling.
      RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE. Any building, structure, manufactured home or mobile home, or part thereof, intended to be used as a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, for human habitation and includes any appurtenances therewith.
      ROOMING UNIT. Any room or group of rooms forming a single habitable unit used or intended to be used for living and sleeping, but not for cooking or eating purposes.
      RUBBISH. Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage and ashes, and includes paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust.
      STORY. That part of the dwelling comprised between a floor and the floor or roof next above having the required amount of ceiling height.
      SUPPLIED. Paid for, furnished or provided by or under the control of the owner or operator.
Temporary housing means any tent, trailer or other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable and which is not attached to the ground, to another structure or to any utilities system on the same premises for more than 30 consecutive days.
      TENANT. Any person who alone or jointly or severally with others occupies a dwelling under an oral or written lease or holds a legal tenancy in a dwelling.
      UNFIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION. That conditions exist in a dwelling which violate or do not comply with one or more of the minimum standards of fitness or one or more of the requirements established by this chapter.
         VACANT. A residential structure on a parcel which lacks the habitual presence of human beings who have a legal right to be on the premises or at which substantially all residential occupancy has ceased.
   (B)   Whenever the words "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "rooming house," "rooming unit" or "premises" are used in this chapter, they shall be construed as though followed by the words "or any part thereof."
(Ord. 16-12, passed 11-15-16)
Cross-reference:
   Administration, Ch.2; Buildings, Ch. 7; Fire Prevention and Protection; Ch. 9 “rooming house” defined; § 1-2