§ 1-2. Definitions and rules of construction  

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  • As used in this Code, the following terms and phrases shall have the meanings indicated unless otherwise specifically provided, and the following rules of construction shall be applied:

    Applicability. In the construction of this Code, and of all ordinances, the following rules shall be observed, unless such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the board of commissioners. The rules of construction and definitions set out in this section shall not be applied to any section of this Code which contain any express provisions excluding such construction or where the subject matter or context of the section may be repugnant thereto.

    As soon as possible. The term "as soon as possible" means within a reasonable time, having due regard to all the circumstances.

    Board of commissioners. The term "board of commissioners" means the governing authority of Rabun County, Georgia.

    Code. The term "Code" refers to The Code of Rabun County, Georgia.

    Computation of time. When a number of days is prescribed for the exercise of any privilege or the discharge of any duty, only the first and last day shall be counted. If the last day falls on Saturday or Sunday, the party having such privilege or duty shall have through the following Monday to exercise such privilege or to discharge the duty. When the last day prescribed for such action shall fall on a public or legal holiday as set forth in state law, the party having such privilege or duty shall have through the following business day to exercise such privilege or to discharge the duty. When the period of time prescribed is less than seven days, an intermediate Saturday, Sunday, and legal holiday shall be excluded in the computation.

    Conjunctions. Where a provision involves two or more items, conditions, provisions, or events connected by any of the conjunctions "and," "or," "either…or," or "neither…nor," the conjunction shall be interpreted as follows, provided that in appropriate cases the terms "and" and "or" are interchangeable:

    (1) The term "and" indicates that all the connected items, conditions, provisions or events shall apply.

    (2) The term "or" indicates that the connected items, conditions, provisions, or events may apply singly or in any combination.

    (3) The terms "either…or" and "neither…nor" indicate that the connected items, conditions, provisions, or events shall apply singly, but not in combination.

    County. The term "the county" or "this county" means Rabun County, Georgia.

    Court. The term "court" means the county court.

    Delegation of authority. Whenever a provision appears requiring the head of a department or other officer of the county to do some act or perform some duty, it shall be construed to authorize such department head or officer to designate, delegate and authorize subordinates to do the required act or perform the required duty unless the terms of the provision designate otherwise.

    Department; board; agency. The name or title of any department, board, or agency, unless otherwise specifically stated otherwise, shall be read as though the term "of the County of Rabun, Georgia," was added thereto.

    Fee schedule or schedule of fees and charges. The term "fee schedule" or "schedule of fees and charges" means the official consolidated lists of rates for utility or other public enterprises, fees of any nature, deposit amounts and various charges as determined from time to time by the board of commissioners and encompassed in chapter 18.

    Gender. A word importing, the masculine gender only shall extend and be applied to females and to firms, partnerships and corporations as well as to males.

    Governing authority, governing body. The term "governing authority" or "governing body" means the board of commissioners of Rabun County, Georgia.

    Incorporated limits or unincorporated areas implied to the county. The term "incorporated limits or unincorporated areas implied to the county" means all areas of the county that are not situated within the territorial limits of an incorporated town or city.

    Interpretation. In the interpretation and application of any provision of this Code, it shall be held to be the minimum requirement adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare. Where any provision of this Code imposes greater restrictions upon the subject matter than any general provisions imposed by this Code, the provision imposing the greater restriction or regulation shall be applicable.

    Joint authority. Whenever joint authority is given to three or more persons or officers, it shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of them.

    Judge. The term "judge" means the judge of the county court.

    Keeper, proprietor. The terms "keeper" and "proprietor" mean and include persons, as the term "person" is defined herein, whether acting by themselves or through an agent or employee.

    Law. The term "law" means and denotes applicable federal law, the state constitution and statutes, this Code, ordinances and resolutions of the county, and, when appropriate, any and all rules and regulations that may be promulgated thereunder.

    Liberal construction; minimum requirements; overlapping provisions.

    (1) The ordinary signification shall be applied to all words, except words of art or words connected with a particular trade or subject matter when they shall have the signification attached to them by experts in such trade or with reference to such subject matter.

    (2) In all interpretations, the courts shall look diligently for the intention of the board of commissioners, keeping in view, at all times, the old law, the evil to be prevented, and the remedy. Grammatical errors shall not vitiate, and a transposition of words and clauses may be resorted to when the sentence or clause is without meaning as it stands.

    (3) All general provisions, terms, phrases, and expressions contained in this Code shall be liberally construed in order that the true intent and meaning of the board of commissioners may be fully carried out. In the interpretation and application of any provision of this Code, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience, and general welfare.

    May. The term "may" is to be construed as being permissive.

    Month. The term "month" means a calendar month.

    Nontechnical and technical words. Words and phrases shall be constructed according to the common and approved usage of the language; but technical words and phrases and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law shall be construed and understood according to such meaning.

    Number. The singular number shall include the plural and the plural number shall include the singular.

    O.C.G.A. The abbreviation "O.C.G.A." refers to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, as amended.

    Oath. The term "oath" shall be construed to include an affirmation in all cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases the terms "affirm" and "affirmed" shall be equivalent to the terms "swear" or "sworn."

    Officials, boards, commissions, departments, officers, etc. Whenever reference is made to officials, boards, commissions, departments or other municipal agents by title only, such reference shall be read as though followed by the words "of Rabun County, Georgia."

    Ordinance. The term "ordinance" means a legislative act of the municipal governing body of a general and permanent nature.

    Owner. The term "owner," when applied to a building or to land, includes any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety, of the whole or a part of such building or land.

    Person. The term "person" includes a corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization, and any other group action as a unit, as well as an individual.

    Personal property. The term "personal property" includes every species of property except real property, as hereinafter defined.

    Preceding, following. The terms "preceding" and "following" mean next before and next after, respectively.

    Premises. Whenever the term "premises" is used, it means place or places.

    Property. The term "property" includes real, personal, and mixed estates and interests.

    Public place. The term "public place" means any park, cemetery, shopping center, schoolyard, or open space adjacent thereto, or any area available accessible to the public, regardless of whether privately or publicly owned, and any place that the public is invited or permitted to go or to congregate.

    Real property. The term "real property" includes lands, tenements, and hereditaments.

    Reasonable time or reasonable notice. The term "reasonable time" or "reasonable notice" means only such time as may be necessary for the prompt performance of the act required.

    Residence. The term "residence" means the place adopted by a person as his place of habitation, and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning. When a person eats at one place and sleeps at another, the place where such person sleeps shall be deemed his residence.

    Resolution. The term "resolution" means a legislative act of the county board of commissioners of a special or temporary character.

    Shall. The term "shall" is mandatory.

    Sidewalk. The term "sidewalk" means any portion of a street between the curbline and the adjacent property line, intended for the use of pedestrians, but shall not include any unimproved area between the curbline and improved walkways.

    Signature, subscription. The term "signature" or "subscription" includes a mark intended as such when the person cannot write.

    State. The term "state" or "this state" means the State of Georgia.

    Statute. The term "statute," unless otherwise specifically stated, refers to the indicated portion of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

    Street. The term "street" means and includes any public way, road, highway, street, avenue, boulevard, parkway, allay, viaduct or bridge, and the approaches thereto, within the county.

    Tenant or occupant. The term "tenant" or "occupant," when applied to a building or to land, includes any person holding a written or oral lease of, or who occupies the whole or a part of such building or land, either alone or with others.

    Tense. Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.

    Week. The term "week" means seven days.

    Will. The term "will" is to be construed as being mandatory.

    Writing and written. The terms "writing" and "written" include printing and any other mode of representing words and letters.

    Year. The term "year" means a calendar year.


Statutory definitions and rules of construction, O.C.G.A. § 1-3-1 et seq.; construction of statutory definitions, O.C.G.A. § 1-3-2; general statutory definition, O.C.G.A. § 1-3-3.