§ 194.999  PENALTY.
   (A)   Any person who commits a civil zoning violation, as defined in § 194.240 of this chapter, may be issued a citation by staff.
   (B)   Subject to the provisions below, each ten days a civil zoning violation remains uncorrected is a distinct and separate civil zoning violation subject to an additional citation and fine in the amount prescribed in this chapter.
   (C)   (1)   Procedures.
         (a)   Staff may issue a citation to a person who commits a civil zoning violation or allows a civil zoning violation to be committed on real estate in which the person has a possessory or ownership interest. The citation may be served by personal service, by certified mail, by first class U.S. mail, or by placement in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation occurs and shall serve as notice that a civil zoning violation has been committed.
         (b)   No citation shall be issued unless the person who commits a civil zoning violation or allows a civil zoning violation to be committed on real estate in which the person has a possessory or ownership interest has been served with a notice to correct the civil zoning violation at least ten days before the issuance of a citation to allow said person an opportunity to correct the violation and to come into compliance with the applicable zoning ordinance or regulation. However, the service of a notice to correct the civil zoning violation is not required before issuing a citation for violation of a stop-work order issued pursuant to §§ 194.235 through 194.240 of this chapter.
         (c)   If a person who is served with a notice to correct a civil zoning violation or receives a citation ejects to file a petition for zone map change, variance, special exception or development plan approval or take other appropriate action to correct such violation, then the person must indicate the intent to file such a petition or take other such appropriate action on the served notice or citation and return a copy to the Plan Commission. A person shall have ten days from service of a notice to correct the civil zoning violation or receipt of a citation to file the petition or take other such appropriate action. During the pendency of said ten-day period or petition, if one is filed, the issuance of additional citations and additional monetary fines as prescribed in division (B) above shall be stayed. A person who files the petition within said time period shall pursue the petition in an expeditious and diligent manner. If a petition is not filed or other appropriate action is not taken within said ten-day period or if a petition is filed and the petition is subsequently denied, withdrawn or dismissed and the civil zoning violation continues, then a lawsuit may be commenced by the Plan Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals or appropriate enforcement official as provided by applicable laws.
      (2)   Fines.
         (a)   The monetary fine for the first citation for a civil zoning violation shall be $50 and the following monetary fines shall apply for each subsequent citation:
            1.   Second citation: $100;
            2.   Third citation: $150;
            3.   Fourth citation: $200; and
            4.   Each additional: $300.
         (b)   Provided, however, in no event shall a subsequent citation be issued within ten days of the issuance of a previous citation, nor shall the total monetary fine for each civil zoning violation exceed $2,500.
         (c)   All fines prescribed by §§ 194.235 through 194.240 of this chapter for civil zoning violations shall be paid to the Clerk-Treasurer of the town, who shall render to the person making the payment a receipt stating the amount and purpose for which the fine has been paid, a duplicate of which shall be made a part of the records of the town. Payment of fines by check shall be made out to “The Town of Zionsville”. All fines thus received shall be deposited with the General Fund of the town.
      (3)   Trial for civil zoning violations.
         (a)   A person who receives a citation for a civil zoning violation may elect to stand trial for the violation by indicating on the citation his or her intent to stand trial and returning a copy of the citation to the Plan Commission. The returned copy of the citation shall serve as notice of the person’s intent to stand trial, and the issuance of additional citations and additional monetary fines as prescribed in division (B) above shall be stayed upon receipt of the notice. The notice of the person’s intent to stand trial shall be given at least five days before the date that payment of the citation is due as set forth in division (C)(2) above. Upon receipt of the notice of intention to stand trial, a lawsuit may be commenced by the Plan Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals or appropriate enforcement official as provided by applicable law to enforce the terms and provisions of this chapter.
         (b)   If a person who receives a citation fails to:
            1.   Pay the assessed fine within 45 days after the issuance of a citation;
            2.   File a petition or take other appropriate action as prescribed in division (C)(3) above; or
            3.   Give notice of his or her intention to stand trial as prescribed in division (C)(1) above, the Plan Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals or designated enforcement official may file a lawsuit as provided by applicable law to enforce the terms and provisions of this chapter.
         (c)   Seeking a civil penalty as authorized in §§ 194.235 through 194.240 of this chapter does not preclude the designated enforcement entity from seeking alternative and additional relief from the court in the same action, or from seeking injunctive relief or any other remedy in a separate action for the enforcement of I.C. 36-7-4 or any ordinance adopted or action taken under I.C. 36-7-4.
(Ord. 2000-16, passed 8-28-2000, § 10.7)