AN ACT GRANTING COUNTIES THE SAME AUTHORITY AS CITIES TO DECLARE CERTAIN BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES UNSAFE AND TO REMOVE OR DEMOLISH UNSAFE BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES AND TO PLACE A LIEN ON THE OWNER'S REAL PROPERTY FOR THE COSTS INCURRED.
Amends GS 153A-366, concerning condemnation of unsafe buildings. Makes an organizational change to place the statute's existing language into new subsection (a), directing a county inspector to condemn as unsafe any residential building or nonresidential building or structure that appears to be especially dangerous to life for the specified reasons, and affix a notice of the dangerous character of the building to a conspicuous place on its exterior wall.
Adds new subsection (b), additionally authorizing a county inspector to declare a nonresidential building or structure within a community development target area to be unsafe if it (1) appears to the inspector to be vacant or abandoned and (2) appears to the inspector to be in such dilapidated condition as to cause or contribute to blight, disease, vagrancy, fire, or a safety hazard; to be a danger to children; or to tend to attract persons intent on criminal or other activities that would constitute a public nuisance. Adds new subsection (c), requiring the inspector declaring a nonresidential building or structure to be unsafe under new subsection (b) to affix a notice of the unsafe character of the structure to a conspicuous place on the exterior wall of the building. Defines community development target area to mean an area that has characteristics of an urban progress zone under GS 143B-437.09, a nonresidential development area under GS 160A-503(10), or an area with similar characteristics designated by the board of commissioners as being in special need of revitalization for the benefit and welfare of its citizens.
Adds new subsection (d), authorizing a county to expand new subsections (b) and (c) to apply to residential buildings by adopting an ordinance. Directs the county to hold a public hearing before adopting the ordinance and provide at least 10 days' notice of the hearing.
Amends GS 153A-368, which sets out the required contents of the written notice (the condition of the building, notice of a hearing on the matter, and the actions the inspector can take following the hearing) the local inspector is required to provide to an owner if the owner of a building condemned under GS 153A-366 fails to take prompt corrective action. Makes conforming changes to add to the existing requirements of the notice to state that the building or structure is in a condition, if applicable, that appears (1) is likely to cause or contribute to blight, disease, vagrancy, or a danger to children or (2) has a tendency to attract persons intent on criminal or other activities that would constitute a public nuisance.
Amends GS 153A-372, to make an organizational change to place the statute's existing language into new subsection (a), authorizing the county to initiate any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct, or abate a violation that is denominated a misdemeanor under the provisions of Part 2, County Subdivision Regulation, of Article 18 of GS Chapter 153A, or to prevent the occupancy of the building involved.
Adds news subsection (b), authorizing a county to alternatively cause the building or structure declared unsafe under GS 153A-366 to be removed or demolished. Provides that the amounts incurred by the county in connection with the removal or demolitions is a lien against the real property upon which the cost was incurred. Establishes that the lien is to be filed, have the same priority, and be collected in the same manner as liens for special assessments provided in Article 9 of GS Chapter 153A. Directs the county to sell the usable materials and any personal property, fixtures, or appurtenances found in or attached to a building that is removed or demolished by the county. Directs the county to credit any proceeds of the sale against the cost of the removal or demolition. Provides that any balance remaining from the sale is to be deposited with the clerk of superior court of the county where the property is located and be disbursed by the court to the person found to be entitled thereto by final order or decree of the court.
Establishes that the amounts incurred by the county in connection with the removal or demolition is also a lien against any other real property owned by the owner of the building or structure and located within the county's jurisdictional limits, except for the owner's primary residence. Provides that the provisions of subsection (b) apply to this additional lien. Clarifies that the additional lien is inferior to all prior liens, and is to be collected as a money judgement.
States that the statute does not impair or limit the power of the county to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement by summary proceedings or otherwise.
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