Chapter 8.32
NUISANCES

Sections:

8.32.010    Public nuisances prohibited.

8.32.020    Public nuisance defined.

8.32.030    Public nuisances affecting health.

8.32.040    Public nuisances offending morals and decency.

8.32.050    Public nuisances affecting peace and safety.

8.32.060    Abatement of public nuisances.

8.32.070    Cost of abatement.

8.32.080    Alarm bells.

8.32.090    Penalty for violation of this chapter.

8.32.010 Public nuisances prohibited.

No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the city. (Prior code § 10.01)

8.32.020 Public nuisance defined.

A “public nuisance” is a thing, act, occupation, condition or use of property which shall continue for such length of time as to:

A.    Substantially annoy, injury or endanger the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public;

B.    In any way render the public insecure in life or in the use of property;

C.    Greatly offend the public morals or decency;

D.    Unlawfully and substantially interfere with, obstruct or render dangerous for passage any street, alley, highway, navigable body of water or other public way or the use of public property. (Prior code § 10.02)

8.32.030 Public nuisances affecting health.

The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are specifically declared to be public health nuisances, but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other health nuisances coming within the definition of Section 8.32.020:

A.    Adulterated Food. Any decayed, harmfully adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.

B.    Breeding Places for Vermin. All accumulations of decayed animal or vegetable matter, trash, rubbish, rotting lumber, bedding, packing material, scrap metal or any material in which flies, mosquitoes, disease-carrying insects, rats or other vermin may breed.

C.    Wildlife Feeding. Any place where materials are kept in violation of Section 6.04.040.

D.    General Pollution. Waste which is prepared or stored on any premises in a manner which creates or may create a public health hazard, safety hazard, or blighting condition.

E.    Noxious Odors. Any use of property, substances, or things within the city emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, nauseous, noxious, or disagreeable odors; gases, effluvia, or stenches extremely repulsive to the physical senses of ordinary persons which annoy, discomfort, injure, or inconvenience the health of any appreciable number of persons within the city.

F.    Noxious Weeds. All noxious weeds and other rank growth of vegetation. Noxious weeds shall include the following:

1.    Canadian thistle;

2.    Marijuana that is not grown or cultivated for lawful commercial purposes;

3.    English carloc or wild mustard;

4.    Field bindweed, commonly known as Creeping Jenny;

5.    Goatsbeard;

6.    Quack;

7.    Quitch grass and harmful barberry;

8.    Field dodder;

9.    Indian mustard;

10.    Oxeye daisy;

11.    Snapdragon or butter and eggs;

12.    Perennial sow thistle;

13.    Chicory;

14.    Horse weed;

15.    Burdock;

16.    Ragweed;

17.    Poison ivy and leafy spurge.

G.    Privy Vaults and Garbage Cans. Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not fly-tight.

H.    Stagnant Water. All stagnant water in which mosquitoes, flies, or other insects can multiply.

I.    Storage of Junk. The open storage of junk, refuse, litter, garbage, scrap, or waste matter, disassembled or damaged motor vehicles, whether awaiting repair or not.

J.    Street Pollution. Any use of property which shall cause any nauseous or unwholesome liquid or substance to flow into or upon any street, gutter, alley, sidewalk, or public place within the city.

K.    Unburied Carcasses. Carcasses of animals, birds or fowl not intended for human consumption or food which are not buried or otherwise disposed of in a sanitary manner within twenty-four (24) hours after death.

L.    Water Pollution. The pollution of any public well or cistern, stream, lake, canal or other body of water by sewage, creamery or industrial wastes or other substances. (Ord. 2608-20 § 2, 2020)

8.32.040 Public nuisances offending morals and decency.

The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby specifically declared to be public nuisances offending public morals and decency, but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other nuisances offending public morals and decency coming within the definition of Section 8.32.020:

A.    Disorderly Houses. All disorderly houses, gambling houses, and buildings or structures kept or resorted to for the purpose of gambling, or any drug or criminal gang houses as defined in Sections 823.113(1) and (1)(b), Wisconsin Statutes, and all buildings or structures where the sale, manufacture, or delivery of drug paraphernalia as defined in Section 961.571(1)(a), Wisconsin Statutes, occurs;

B.    Gambling devices: all gambling devices and slot machines;

C.    Unlicensed sale of liquor and beer: all places where intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages are sold, possessed, stored, brewed, bottled, manufactured or rectified without a permit or license as provided for by the ordinances of the city;

D.    Continuous violation of city ordinances: any place or premises within the city where city ordinances or state laws relating to public health, safety, peace, morals or welfare are openly, continuously, repeatedly and intentionally violated;

E.    Illegal drinking: any place or premises resorted to for the purpose of drinking intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages in violation of the laws of the state or ordinances of the city;

F.    Establishment Violating Laws Related to Obscenity. Any place or premises within the city where acts prohibited by the laws related to obscenity and related offenses set forth in Sections 944.20 through 944.34, Wisconsin Statutes, occur. (Ord. 2608-20 § 3, 2020; prior code § 10.04)

8.32.050 Public nuisances affecting peace and safety.

The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are declared to be public nuisances affecting peace and safety, but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other nuisances affecting public peace or safety coming within the definition of Section 8.32.020:

A.    Illegal buildings: all buildings erected, repaired or altered in violation of the provisions of the ordinances of the city relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the city;

B.    Obstruction of intersections: all trees, hedges, billboards or other obstructions which prevent persons driving vehicles on public streets, alleys or highways from obtaining a clear view of traffic when approaching an intersection or pedestrian crosswalk;

C.    Tree limbs: all limbs of trees which project over and less than fourteen (14) feet above any public sidewalk or street or less than ten feet over any other public place;

D.    Dangerous trees: all trees which are a menace to public safety;

E.    Wires over streets: all wires over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than fifteen (15) feet above the surface thereof;

F.    Noisy animals or fowl: the keeping or harboring of any animal or fowl which, by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking, crowing or making of other noises, shall greatly annoy or disturb a neighborhood or any considerable number of persons within the city;

G.    Obstructions of streets and excavations: all obstructions of streets, alleys, sidewalks or crosswalks and all excavations in or under the same, except as permitted by the ordinances of the city or which, although made in accordance with such ordinances, are kept or maintained for an unreasonable or illegal length of time after the purpose thereof has been accomplished, or do not conform to the permit;

H.    Unlawful assembly: any unauthorized or unlawful use of property abutting on a public street, alley or sidewalk or of a public street, alley or sidewalk which causes large crowds of people to gather obstructing traffic and free use of the streets or sidewalks;

I.    Flammable liquids: repeated or continuous violations of the ordinances of the city or laws of the state relating to the storage of flammable liquids;

J.    Dangerous Signs and Billboards. All signs, billboards, awnings, and other similar structures over or near streets, sidewalks, public grounds, or places frequented by the public, so situated, constructed, or maintained as to endanger the public safety;

K.    Unauthorized Traffic Signs. All unauthorized signs, signals, markings, or devices placed or maintained upon or in view of any public highway or railway crossing which purport to be or may be mistaken as official traffic control devices or railroad signs or signals or which, because of their color, location, brilliance, or manner of operation, interfere with the effectiveness of any such device, sign, or signal;

L.    Dilapidated Buildings. All buildings or structures so old, dilapidated, or out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise unfit for human use;

M.    Blighted Buildings and Premises. Premises existing within the city which are blighted because of faulty design or construction, failure to maintain them in a proper state of repair, improper management, or due to the accumulation thereon of junk or other unsightly debris, unsound structures, and other items which depreciate property values and jeopardize or are detrimental to the health, safety, enjoyment of property, or welfare of the people of the city. (Ord. 2608-20 § 4, 2020; prior code § 10.05)

8.32.060 Abatement of public nuisances.

A.    Enforcement. The chief of police, the chief of the fire department, the building and zoning administrator, the director of public works, and the health officer, or their designated representative, shall enforce those provisions of this chapter that come within the jurisdiction of their offices, and they shall make periodic inspections and inspections upon complaint to ensure that such provisions are not violated. No action shall be taken under this section to abate a public nuisance unless the officer shall have inspected or caused to be inspected the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist and have satisfied himself that a nuisance does, in fact, exist.

B.    Summary Abatement. If the inspecting officer shall determine that a public nuisance exists within the city and that there is great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the mayor may direct the proper officer to cause the same to be abated and charge the cost thereof to the owner, occupant or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance, as the case may be.

C.    Abatement After Notice. If the inspecting officer shall determine that a public nuisance exists on private premises, but that the nature of such nuisance is not such as to threaten great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, he shall serve notice on the person causing or maintaining the nuisance to remove the same within ten days. If such nuisance is not removed within such ten days, the proper officer shall cause the nuisances to be removed as provided in subsection (B) of this section.

D.    Other Methods Not Excluded. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the city or its officials in accordance with the laws of the state.

E.    Court Order. Except when necessary under subsection (B) of this section, no officer hereunder shall use force to obtain access to private property to abate a public nuisance, but shall request permission to enter upon private property if such premises are occupied and, if such permission is denied, shall apply to any court having jurisdiction for an order assisting the abatement of the public nuisance. (Ord. 2168-09 § 1, 2009; prior code § 10.06)

8.32.070 Cost of abatement.

In addition to any other penalty imposed by this chapter for the erection, contrivance, creation, continuance or maintenance of a public nuisance, the cost of abating a public nuisance by the city shall be collected as a debt from the owner, occupant or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance, and, if notice to abate the nuisance has been given to the owner, such cost shall be assessed against the real estate as a special charge. (Prior code § 10.07)

8.32.080 Alarm bells.

Malfunctioning external alarm bells which ring continuously for more than five minutes disturbing the peace and repose of nearby property owners are hereby declared to be a public nuisance. The police department is authorized to abate such nuisance by resetting the same, if possible, or by disconnect, if necessary, and to enter in or upon the property where required to do so. Any cost of abatement shall be charged to the property owner as provided in Section 8.32.070. (Prior code § 10.08)

8.32.090 Penalty for violation of this chapter.

Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation who violates any part of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty and enforcement provisions in Chapter 1.12. (Ord. 2552-19 § 30, 2019: prior code § 10.15)