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Division 2 – General Administrative Procedures

§ 19.6-29 Who may apply.

All applications for a change in zoning or zoning permit presented to the County must be signed by the property owner, the property owner’s power of attorney or legal guardian, or, in the case of an estate, the executor of said estate. The property owner or his/her legal benefactor as named hereinabove may designate an agent to represent the zoning/rezoning request before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

§ 19.6-30 Administration and enforcement.

A. The Zoning Administrator designated by the Board of Supervisors shall administer and enforce this chapter. The Zoning Administrator may be provided with the assistance of such other persons as needed. If the Zoning Administrator shall find that any of the provisions of this chapter are being violated, he shall notify, in writing, the person responsible for such violation, indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct it.

B. The Zoning Administrator shall order discontinuance of illegal use of land, buildings or structures; removal of illegal buildings or structures or of illegal additions, alterations, or structural changes; discontinuance of any illegal work being done; or shall take any other action authorized by this chapter to ensure compliance with or to prevent violation of its provisions.

§ 19.6-31 Building permit required.

No building permit shall be issued without written confirmation from the Zoning Administrator that all zoning requirements have been met and that all County codes have been met (i.e., a zoning permit).

§ 19.6-32 Zoning permit.

Land may not be used or occupied in violation of this chapter. Applications for a zoning permit shall be accompanied by two copies of a scale drawing. The drawing shall show the size and shape of the parcel of land on which the proposed building is to be constructed, the nature of the proposed use of the building or land, and the location of such building or use with respect to the property lines of said parcel of land and to the right-of-way of any street or highway adjoining said parcel. All existing buildings on the lot must be included in the scale drawing. Any other information which the Zoning Administrator may deem necessary for consideration of the application may be required. If the proposed building or use is in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, then a permit shall be issued to the applicant by the Zoning Administrator. One copy of the drawing shall be returned to the applicant with the approved permit.

§ 19.6-33 Zoning complaints/violations.

Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, or is alleged to have occurred, any person may file a written complaint. Such complaint shall state fully the cause and basis thereof and shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator shall record such complaint properly, immediately investigate, and take action thereon as provided by this chapter.

§ 19.6-34 Violations and penalties.

A. Any person, whether the owner, lessee, principal, agent, employee or otherwise, who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions or requirements of this zoning chapter including, but not limited to, provisions of the district regulations, proffers accepted by the board, or conditions of approval imposed by the board, or the improvement, development, or alteration of any site in violation of any plan approved pursuant to this article, shall be subject to the following:

(1) A civil penalty, as provided for in Section 19.6-34.1; and/or

(2) Criminal penalties, as provided for in Section 19.6-34.2.

B. If the zoning administrator determines that a violation of the zoning chapter has occurred, a notice of violation shall be issued to a person or entity responsible for such violation; provided that a notice of violation shall not be required when the zoning administrator or his designee issue a ticket as set forth in Section 19.6-34.1. A notice of violation shall include the following information:

(1) the date of the notice;

(2) the basis for the decision;

(3) a statement informing the recipient that the decision may be appealed to the board of zoning appeals within applicable appeal period and that the decision shall be final and unappealable if it is not timely appealed; and

(4) the time within which the violation shall be abated.

The notice shall be either hand delivered, posted on the door of a building on the site, or mailed by regular or certified mail, provided that notice to the property owner, sent by certified mail to, or posted at, the last known address of the property owner as shown on the current real estate tax assessment books or current real estate tax assessment records shall satisfy the notice requirements of this section. In addition, if the notice of violation is issued to a person other than the property owner, a copy of the notice shall also be sent to the owner of the property.

C. The amendment of this Section on April 15, 2019 shall not affect any criminal prosecution under this Section commenced prior to that amendment. But such prosecution shall preclude any civil penalties under Section 19.6-34.1 arising under the same set of operative facts.

(Amended Ord. 04/15/2019)

19.6-34.1 Civil penalties.

  1. Any person who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions or requirements of the Zoning Ordinance as described in Section 19.6-34 shall be subject to a civil penalty of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for the initial summons or ticket, and a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each additional summons or ticket arising from the same set of operative facts.
  2. Proceedings seeking civil penalties for all violations of the Zoning Ordinance shall commence either by the filing of a civil summons in the general district court or by issuance of a ticket by the zoning administrator or his designee. A ticket shall only be issued when, in the judgment of the zoning administrator or his designee, the violation can be corrected immediately and the violator has failed to do so after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
  3. Each day during which any violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. However, in no event shall any such violation arising from the same set of operative fact be charged more frequently than once in any ten-day period, nor shall a series of such violations arising from the same set of operative facts result in civil penalties which exceed a total of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).
  4. A civil summons or ticket issued shall contain the following information:

(1) the name and address of the person charged.

(2) the nature of the violation and the section provision(s) being violated.

(3) the location, date and time that the infraction occurred or was observed.

(4) the amount of the civil penalty assessed for the violation.

(5) the manner, location and time in which the civil penalty may be paid to the county.

(6) the right of the recipient of a civil summons to elect to stand trial for the violation, and either the date scheduled for such trial or the date for scheduling of such trial by the court.

  1. The summons or ticket shall provide that any person summoned for a violation may elect to pay the civil penalty by making an appearance in person or in writing by mail to the county treasurer’s office at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the time and date fixed for trial and, by such appearance, may enter a waiver of trial, admit liability, and pay the civil penalty established for the offense charged. Such summons shall provide that a signature to an admission of liability shall have the same force and effect as a judgment of court; however, an admission shall not be deemed a criminal conviction for any purpose.
  2. If a person charged with a violation does not elect to enter a waiver of trial and admit liability, the violation shall be tried in the general district court in the same manner and with the same right of appeal as provided by law. A finding of liability shall not be deemed a criminal conviction for any purpose.
  3. The total civil penalties from a series of violations arising from the same set of operative facts shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). After the civil penalties reach the five thousand dollar ($5,000.00) limit, the violation may be prosecuted as a criminal misdemeanor under section 19.6-34.2.
  4. If the violation remains uncorrected at the time of the admission of liability or finding of liability, the court may order the violator to abate or remedy the violation in order to comply with the zoning chapter. Except as otherwise provided by the court for good cause shown, any such violator shall abate or remedy the violation within a period of time as determined by the court, but not later than six (6) months of the date of admission of liability or finding of liability. Each day during which the violation continues after the court-ordered abatement period has ended shall constitute a separate offense.
  5. Designation of a particular violation of Chapter 19.6 for a civil penalty pursuant to this Section shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions; and, except for any violation resulting in injury to persons, such designation shall preclude the prosecution of a violation as a criminal misdemeanor, provided, however, that when such civil penalties total $5,000 or more, the violation may be prosecuted as a criminal misdemeanor.
  6. This section shall not be construed to allow the imposition of civil penalties for (1) activities related to land development, or (2) the violation of any provision of Chapter 19.6 of the Code of Appomattox County relating to the posting of signs on public property or public rights-of-way.

(Amended Ord. 04/15/2019)

19.6-34.2 Criminal penalties.

  1. A person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor offense if he commits any of the following violations of Chapter 19.6 of the Code of the Appomattox County:
    1. any violation of the provisions of Chapter 19.6 that results in physical harm or injury to any person;
    2. any violation or failure to comply that occurs after the five thousand dollar ($5,000.00) maximum aggregate civil penalty provided in section 19.6-34 has been reached;
    3. any sign posted on public property or in public rights-of-way in contravention of this zoning ordinance;
    4. any land development activity without applicable permit; or
    5. any violation for which a prosecution under Section 19.6-34 had already commenced prior to the amendment of that section on April 15, 2019.
  2. Treatment as criminal penalties shall not preclude the zoning administrator from pursuing injunctive action.
  3. Misdemeanor offenses described in this Section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $10 nor more than $1,000. If the violation is uncorrected at the time of the conviction, the court shall order the violator to abate or remedy the violation in compliance with this chapter within a time period established by the court. Failure to remove or abate a zoning violation within the specified time period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine not less than $10 nor more than $1,000; and any such failure during any succeeding ten-day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense for each ten-day period, punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,500.
  4. If the violation is uncorrected at the time of conviction, the court shall order the person convicted to abate or remedy the violation in compliance with this chapter, within a time period established by the court. Failure to remove or abate such violation within the time period established by the court shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), and any such failure during any succeeding ten (10) day period shall constitute a separate misdemeanor offense for each ten (10) day period, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00).
(Amended Ord. 04/15/2019)

§ 19.6-35 Severability.

Should any section or provision of this chapter be decided by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so held to be unconstitutional or invalid.

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