160D-404. Enforcement.

(a) Notices of Violation. - When staff determines work or activity has been undertaken in violation of a development regulation adopted pursuant to this Chapter or other local development regulation or any State law delegated to the local government for enforcement purposes in lieu of the State or in violation of the terms of a development approval, a written notice of violation may be issued. The notice of violation shall be delivered to the holder of the development approval and to the landowner of the property involved, if the landowner is not the holder of the development approval, by personal delivery, electronic delivery, or first-class mail and may be provided by similar means to the occupant of the property or the person undertaking the work or activity. The notice of violation may be posted on the property. The person providing the notice of violation shall certify to the local government that the notice was provided, and the certificate shall be deemed conclusive in the absence of fraud. Except as provided by G.S. 160D-1123 or G.S. 160D-1206 or otherwise provided by law, a notice of violation may be appealed to the board of adjustment pursuant to G.S. 160D-405.

(b) Stop Work Orders. - Whenever any work or activity subject to regulation pursuant to this Chapter or other applicable local development regulation or any State law delegated to the local government for enforcement purposes in lieu of the State is undertaken in substantial violation of any State or local law, or in a manner that endangers life or property, staff may order the specific part of the work or activity that is in violation or presents such a hazard to be immediately stopped. The order shall be in writing, directed to the person doing the work or activity, and shall state the specific work or activity to be stopped, the reasons therefor, and the conditions under which the work or activity may be resumed. A copy of the order shall be delivered to the holder of the development approval and to the owner of the property involved (if that person is not the holder of the development approval) by personal delivery, electronic delivery, or first-class mail. The person or persons delivering the stop work order shall certify to the local government that the order was delivered and that certificate shall be deemed conclusive in the absence of fraud. Except as provided by G.S. 160D-1112 and G.S. 160D-1208, a stop work order may be appealed pursuant to G.S. 160D-405. No further work or activity shall take place in violation of a stop work order pending a ruling on the appeal. Violation of a stop work order shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(c) Remedies. -

(1) Subject to the provisions of the development regulation, any development regulation adopted pursuant to authority conferred by this Chapter may be enforced by any remedy provided by G.S. 160A-175 or G.S. 153A-123. If a building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted, or maintained, or any building, structure, or land is used or developed in violation of this Chapter or of any development regulation or other regulation made under authority of this Chapter, the local government, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent the unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance, use, or development; to restrain, correct or abate the violation; to prevent occupancy of the building, structure, or land; or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business, or use in or about the premises.

(2) When a development regulation adopted pursuant to authority conferred by this Chapter is to be applied or enforced in any area outside the planning and development regulation jurisdiction of a city as set forth in Article 2 of this Chapter, the city and the property owner shall certify that the application or enforcement of the city development regulation is not under coercion or otherwise based on representation by the city that the city's development approval would be withheld without the application or enforcement of the city development regulation outside the jurisdiction of the city. The certification may be evidenced by a signed statement of the parties on any development approval.

(3) In case any building, structure, site, area, or object designated as a historic landmark or located within a historic district designated pursuant to this Chapter is about to be demolished whether as the result of deliberate neglect or otherwise, materially altered, remodeled, removed, or destroyed, except in compliance with the development regulation or other provisions of this Chapter, the local government, the historic preservation commission, or other party aggrieved by such action may institute any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent such unlawful demolition, destruction, material alteration, remodeling, or removal, to restrain, correct, or abate such violation, or to prevent any illegal act or conduct with respect to such building, structure, site, area, or object. Such remedies shall be in addition to any others authorized by this Chapter for violation of an ordinance. (2019-111, s. 2.4; 2020-3, s. 4.33(a); 2020-25, s. 51(a), (b), (d).)