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Albemarle County to Pilot New Ticketing Program for Zoning Violations

Albemarle County will begin a pilot program for ticketing zoning violations to allow for quicker resolution of certain types of zoning violations on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.  The new process is expected to reduce the amount of time that violations remain unaddressed in areas including illegal signage and inoperative vehicles.

Under the current procedure, a written Notice of Violation is issued and additional steps lead to penalties and court.  This procedure involves multiple steps and takes more time, allowing violations to continue unaddressed longer.  This new procedure is expected to reduce the time it takes to reach the County’s ultimate goal of voluntary compliance.  County staff will not issue a ticket until contact has been made with the alleged violator first, in order to inform them of the violation and the means for compliance as well as to give them the opportunity to correct the violation.

The ticketing process will be reserved for the types of violations that are quickly remedied, such as: illegal temporary signs; prohibited signs; prohibited inoperative vehicles; operating without a zoning clearance; in-home businesses without a home occupation permit, and; occupying without a certificate of occupancy.  The pilot program will initially focus on illegal temporary and prohibited signs. 

Zoning violations carry an initial penalty of $200 per violation, which apply to each sign, in the case of multiple illegal signs.  Subsequent violations are subject to a penalty of $500 each.

County staff is introducing this new system of enforcement as a way to more efficiently accomplish enforcement with limited resources.  Anyone with questions should contact Ron Higgins at (434)296-5832.

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