Chapter 18.10


18.10.002    Violations.

18.10.004    Duty to enforce.

18.10.006    Investigation and notice of violation.

18.10.008    Time to comply.

18.10.010    Stop work order.

18.10.012    Emergency order.

18.10.014    Review by planning director.

18.10.016    Extension of compliance date.

18.10.018    Civil penalty.

18.10.020    Criminal penalties.

18.10.022    Additional relief.

18.10.002 Violations.

A. It is a violation of this title for any person to initiate or maintain or cause to be initiated or maintained the use of any structure, land or property within the town without first obtaining the permits or authorizations required for the use by this title.

B. It is a violation of this title for any person to use, construct, locate or demolish any structure, land or property within the town in any manner that is not permitted by the terms of any permit or authorization issued pursuant to this title, provided that the terms or conditions are explicitly stated on the permit or the approved plans.

C. It is a violation of this title to remove or deface any sign, notice, complaint or order required by or posted in accordance with this title.

D. It is a violation of this title to misrepresent any material fact in any application, plans or other information submitted to obtain any land use authorization.

E. It is a violation of this title for anyone to fail to comply with the requirements of this title. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.004 Duty to enforce.

A. It shall be the duty of the planning director to enforce this title. The planning director may call upon the police, fire, health or other appropriate town departments to assist in enforcement.

B. Upon presentation of proper credentials, the planning director or duly authorized representative of the planning director may, with the consent of the owner or occupier of a building or premises, or pursuant to a lawfully issued inspection warrant, enter at reasonable times any building or premises subject to the consent or warrant to perform the duties imposed by this title.

C. This title shall be enforced for the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the general public, and not for the benefit of any particular person or class of persons.

D. It is the intent of this title to place the obligation of complying with its requirements upon the owner, occupier or other person responsible for the condition of the land and buildings within the scope of this title.

E. No provision or term used in this title is intended to impose any duty upon the town or any of its officers or employees which would subject them to damages in a civil action. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.006 Investigation and notice of violation.

A. The planning director or his representative shall investigate any structure or use which the director reasonably believes does not comply with the standards and requirements of this title.

B. If, after investigation, the planning director determines that the standards or requirements have been violated, the planning director shall serve a notice of violation on the owner, tenant or other person responsible for the condition. The notice of violation shall state separately each standard or requirement violated, shall state what corrective action, if any, is necessary to comply with the standards or requirements, and shall set a reasonable time for compliance. The notice shall state that any subsequent violations may result in criminal prosecution as provided in EMC 18.10.020.

C. The notice shall be served upon the owner, tenant or other person responsible for the condition by personal service, registered mail or certified mail with return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address of such person. If, after a reasonable search and reasonable efforts are made to obtain service, the whereabouts of the person is unknown or service cannot be accomplished and the planning director makes an affidavit to that effect, then service of the notice upon such persons may be made by:

1. Publishing the notice once each week for two consecutive weeks in the town’s official newspaper; and

2. Mailing a copy of the notice to each person named on the notice of violation by first class mail to the last known address if known, or, if unknown, to the address of the property involved in the proceedings.

D. A copy of the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property, unless posting the notice is not physically possible.

E. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit or preclude any action or proceeding pursuant to EMC 18.10.010 or 18.10.012.

F. The planning director may mail or cause to be delivered to all residential and nonresidential rental units in the structure or post at a conspicuous place on the property a notice which informs each recipient or resident about the notice of violation, stop work order or emergency order and the applicable requirements and procedures.

G. A notice or an order may be amended at any time in order to:

1. Correct clerical errors; or

2. Cite additional authority for a stated violation. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.008 Time to comply.

A. When calculating a reasonable time for compliance, the planning director shall consider the following criteria:

1. The type and degree of violation cited in the notice;

2. The stated intent, if any, of a responsible party to take steps to comply;

3. The procedural requirements for obtaining a permit to carry out corrective action;

4. The complexity of the corrective action, including seasonal considerations, construction requirements and the legal prerogatives of landlords and tenants; and

5. Any other circumstances beyond the control of the responsible party.

B. Unless a request for review before the planning director is made in accordance with EMC 18.10.014, the notice of violation shall become the final order of the planning director. A copy of the notice shall be filed with the department of records and elections in the county. The planning director may choose not to file a copy of the notice or order if the notice or order is directed only to a responsible person other than the owner of the property. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.010 Stop work order.

Whenever a continuing violation of this title will materially impair the planning director’s ability to secure compliance with this title, or when the continuing violation threatens the health or safety of the public, the planning director may issue a stop work order specifying the violation and prohibiting any work or other activity at the site. A failure to comply with a stop work order shall constitute a violation of this title. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.012 Emergency order.

A. Whenever any use or activity in violation of this title threatens the health and safety of the occupants of the premises or any member of the public, the planning director, may issue an emergency order directing that the use or activity be discontinued and the condition causing the threat to the public health and safety be corrected. The emergency order shall specify the time for compliance and shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property, if posting is physically possible. A failure to comply with an emergency order shall constitute a violation of this title.

B. Any condition described in the emergency order which is not corrected within the time specified is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and the planning director is authorized to abate such nuisance summarily by such means as may be available. The cost of such abatement shall be recovered from the owner or person responsible, or both, in the manner provided by law. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.014 Review by planning director.

A. Any person significantly affected by or interested in a notice of violation issued by the planning director pursuant to EMC 18.10.006 may obtain a review of the notice by requesting such review within 15 days after service of the notice. When the last day of the period so computed is a Saturday, Sunday or federal or town holiday, the period shall run until 5:00 p.m. on the next business day. The request shall be in writing, and upon receipt of the request the planning director shall notify any persons served the notice of violation and the complainant, if any, of the date, time and place set for the review, which shall be not less than 10 and not more that 20 days after the request is received unless otherwise agreed by all persons served with the notice of violation. Before the date set for the review, any person significantly affected by or interested in the notice of violation may submit any written material to the planning director for consideration at the review.

B. The review shall consist of an informal review meeting held at the department. A representative of the planning director who is familiar with the case and the applicable ordinances will attend. The planning director’s representative will explain the reasons for the planning director’s issuance of the notice and will listen to any additional information presented by the persons attending. At or after the review, the planning director may:

1. Sustain the notice of violation;

2. Withdraw the notice of violation;

3. Continue the review to a date certain for receipt of additional information; or

4. Modify the notice of violation, which may include an extension of the compliance date.

C. The planning director shall issue a final order containing the decision within seven days of the date of the completion of the review, and shall cause the order to be mailed by regular first class mail to the persons named on the notice of violation, mailed to the complainant, if possible, and filed with the department of records and elections of the county. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.016 Extension of compliance date.

A. The planning director may grant an extension of time for compliance with any notice or order, whether pending or final, upon the planning director’s finding that substantial progress toward compliance has been made and that the public will not be adversely affected by the extension.

B. An extension of time may be revoked by the planning director if it is shown that the conditions at the time the extension was granted have changed, if the planning director determines that a party is not performing corrective actions as agreed, or if the extension creates an adverse effect on the public. The date of revocation shall then be considered as the compliance date. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.018 Civil penalty.

A. In addition to any other sanction or remedial procedure which may be available, any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this title shall be subject to a cumulative penalty in the amount of $75.00 per day for each violation, from the date set for compliance until the order is complied with.

B. The penalty imposed by this section shall be collected by civil action brought in the name of the town. The planning director shall notify the town attorney, in writing, of the name of any person subject to the penalty, and the town attorney shall, with the assistance of the planning director, take appropriate action to collect the penalty.

C. The violator may show as full or partial mitigation of liability:

1. That the violation giving rise to the action was caused by the willful act or neglect or abuse of another; or

2. That correction of the violation was commenced promptly upon receipt of the notice thereof, but that full compliance within the time specified was prevented by inability to obtain necessary materials or labor, inability to gain access to the subject structure, or other condition or circumstance beyond the control of the defendant. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.020 Criminal penalties.

A. Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this title and who has had a judgment entered against him pursuant to EMC 18.10.018 or its predecessors within the past five years shall be subject to criminal prosecution, and upon conviction of a subsequent violation shall be fined in a sum not exceeding $5,000 or be imprisoned in the town jail for a term not exceeding one year, or be both fined and imprisoned. Each day of noncompliance with any of the provisions of this title shall constitute a separate offense.

B. A criminal penalty, not to exceed $5,000 per occurrence, may be imposed:

1. For violations of EMC 18.10.002(D);

2. For any other violation of this title for which corrective action is not possible;

3. For any willful, intentional or bad faith failure or refusal to comply with the standards or requirements of this title. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.10.022 Additional relief.

The planning director may seek legal or equitable relief to enjoin any acts or practices and restore or abate any condition which constitutes or will constitute a violation of this title when civil or criminal penalties are inadequate to effect compliance. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).