Sec. 35.1-20.1. Inspection warrants.
(a) As provided by Section 15.2-2286(15) of the Code of Virginia and for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter in instances directly related to (1) non-permitted uses or (2) any violation of the occupancy limits in a residential dwelling unit, the zoning administrator, or his duly authorized agent, shall have the authority to apply for the issuance of inspection warrants by a court of competent jurisdiction. The zoning administrator or his agent, after notice to the owner and tenants of the premises sought to be inspected, may present sworn testimony to a court of competent jurisdiction. Such notice to the owner and tenant shall state: (a) the time and location of the court where such testimony will be presented and (b) that the owner and tenant may appear and testify before that court or, in lieu of that appearance, offer a written statement to that court setting forth any reasons for the court not granting the requested inspection warrant. If such sworn testimony, together with the testimony or written statement(s) provided by the owner and/or tenant, establishes probable cause that a zoning ordinance violation has occurred, the court shall grant the zoning administrator or his agent an inspection warrant to enable the zoning administrator or his agent to enter the subject dwelling during a specified period of time during daylight business hours and for the purpose of determining whether violations of the zoning ordinance exist.
(b) If such inspection warrant is issued, the zoning administrator or his agent shall make a reasonable effort to notify the owner or tenant of the premises that an inspection will be conducted. That notice must include the date and time period of the inspection. The notices required herein shall include but are not necessarily limited to (i) mailing that notice to the last known postal address of the owner(s) and (ii) posting it at the front door of the premises no less than five (5) business days prior to the court hearing and five(5) business days before the day of the inspection, as the case may be. The zoning administrator or his agent shall make any and all other reasonable efforts to obtain consent from the owner or tenant of the subject dwelling prior to seeking the issuance of an inspection warrant under this section.
(c) It shall be a violation of the zoning ordinance for any owner, managing agent, tenant, occupant or other person, to deny the zoning administrator, or his duly authorized agent, access to any dwelling after the zoning administrator, or his duly authorized agent have obtained an inspections warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction and the foregoing notice requirements have been satisfied. (Ord. No. O-11-117, 10-11-11)
Last updated date: 10/20/2011 9:20:14 AM