Article 11.2 - Enforcement
1. Administration and Enforcement Procedures
If an application for a Building Permit or Certificate of Occupancy is denied because of non-compliance with these regulations, the Zoning Administrator shall provide notification of the denial and of the reasons therefore.
2. Right of Appeal
If a request for a zoning compliance permit is disapproved or if a ruling of the Zoning Administrator is questioned, any aggrieved party may appeal such ruling to the Huntersville Board of Adjustment as provided in Section 11.3. An appeal to the Board of Adjustment, lawfully and completely filed within 30 working days of the date of the decision, shall stay enforcement action and penalties until a hearing has been held and a decision rendered by the Board of Adjustment.
In case any structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained in violation of this ordinance, an action for injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such violation may be instituted by the Zoning Administrator or other authority designated by the Board of Commissioners as enforcement agent(s) for this ordinance. Penalties and remedies are as follows:
Any person, firm or corporation convicted of violating the provisions of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) and/or imprisoned for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days. Each day of violation shall be considered a separate offense, provided that the violation of this ordinance is not corrected within thirty (30) days after notice of said violation is given.
(b) Equitable Remedy.
The Zoning Administrator may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for any appropriate equitable remedy to enforce the provisions of this ordinance. It is not a defense to the Zoning Administrator’s application for equitable relief that there are other remedies provided under general law or this ordinance.
Enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance may also be achieved by injunction. When a violation occurs, the Zoning Administrator may, either before or after the institution of other authorized action, apply to the appropriate division of the General Court for a mandatory or prohibitory injunction commanding the defendant to correct the unlawful condition or cease the unlawful use of the property.
(d) Order of Abatement.
In addition to an injunction, the Zoning Administrator may apply for and the court may enter into an order of abatement as part of the judgment in the case. An order of abatement may direct any of the following actions:
- Buildings or other structures on the property be closed, demolished, or removed;
- Fixtures, furniture or other moveable property be moved or removed entirely
- Improvements, alterations, modifications or repairs be made; or
- Any other action be taken that is necessary to bring the property into compliance with this ordinance.
(e) Execution of Court Decisions.
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. The Zoning Administrator may execute the order of abatement and will have a lien on the property in the nature of a mechanic or materialman’s lien for the cost of executing the order. The defendant may secure cancellation of an order of abatement by paying all costs of the proceedings and by posting a bond for compliance with the order. The bond must be given with sureties approved by the Clerk of Superior Court in an amount approved by the judge before whom the matter was heard and shall be conditioned on the defendant’s full compliance with the terms of the order of abatement within the time fixed by the judge. Cancellation of an order of abatement does not suspend or cancel an injunction issued in conjunction with the order.
(f) Stop Work Order Issuance and Revocation of Permits.
Whenever a building, structure or part thereof is being constructed, demolished, renovated, altered, or repaired in substantial violation of any applicable provision of this ordinance, the Zoning Administrator may order the specific part of the work that is in violation, or would be when the work is completed, to be immediately stopped. The stop work order shall be in writing, directed to the person doing the work, and shall state the specific work to be stopped, the specific reasons for cessation and the action(s) necessary to lawfully resume work.
The Zoning Administrator may revoke any permit (e.g., building, certificate of occupancy) by written notification to the permit holder when violations of this ordinance have occurred. Permits may be revoked when false statements or misrepresentations were made in securing the permit, work is being or has been done in substantial departure from the approved application or plan, there has been a failure to comply with the requirements of this ordinance, or a permit has been mistakenly issued in violation of this ordinance.
(g) Civil Penalty.
In addition to the other remedies cited in this ordinance for the enforcement of its provisions, and pursuant to NC General Statute 160A-175, the regulations and standards of this ordinance may be enforced through the issuance of civil penalties by the Zoning Administrator.
Subsequent citations for the same violation may be issued by the Zoning Administrator if the offender does not pay the citation (except as otherwise provided in a warning situation) after it has been issued unless the offender has sought an appeal to the decision of the Zoning Administrator through the Board of Adjustment. Once the ten-day warning period has expired, each day which the violation continues shall subject the violator to additional citations to be issued by the Zoning Administrator.
The following penalties are hereby established:
Correct Violation within 10 Days
Second Citation for Same Offense
Third and Subsequent Citations for Same Offense
If the offender fails to pay the civil penalties within three (3) days after having been cited, the Town may recover the penalties in a civil action in the nature of debt.