CHAPTER 10

PUBLIC NUISANCES

10.01 Public Nuisances Prohibited

10.02 Public Nuisance Defined

10.03 Public Nuisance Affecting Health

10.04 Public Nuisance Offending Morals and Decency

10.05 Dutch Elm Disease

10.06 Public Nuisances Affecting Peace and Safety

10.07 Abandoned or Junked Vehicles and Appliances

10.08 Garbage Cans

10.15 Abatement of Public Nuisances

10.16 Cost of Abatement

10.17 Penalty

PUBLIC NUISANCES 10.01

10.01 PUBLIC NUISANCES PROHIBITED. No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the City.

10.02 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:

(1) Substantially annoy, injure or endanger the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public.

(2) In any way render the public insecure in life or in the use of property.

(3) Greatly offend the public morals or decency.

(4) Unlawfully and substantially interfere with, obstruct or tend to obstruct, or render dangerous for passage, any street, alley, highway, navigable body of water or other public way, or the use of public property.

10.03 PUBLIC NUISANCES AFFECTING HEALTH. The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby specifically declared to be public health nuisances, but such enumeration shall not be constructed to exclude other health nuisances coming within the definition of Section 10.02:

(1) ADULTERATED FOOD. All decayed, harmfully adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered or sale to the public.

(2) 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 24 hr. after death.

(3) BREEDING PLACES FOR VERMIN, ETC. Accumulations of decayed animal or vegetable matter, trash, rubbish, rotting lumber, bedding, packing material, scrap metal or any material whatsoever in which flies, mosquitoes, disease carrying insects, rats or other vermin may breed.

(4) STAGNANT WATER. All stagnant water in which mosquitoes, flies or other insects can multiply.

(5) PRIVY VAULTS AND GARBAGE CANS. Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not fly-tight.

(6) NOXIOUS WEEDS. (AM. #4-85) (a) Any weeds such as jimson, burdock, ragweed, thistle, cocklebur or other weeds of a like kind found growing in any lot or tract of land in the City are hereby declared to be a nuisance and no person shall permit any such weeds to grow or remain in any such place.

(b) No person shall permit any weeds, grass or plants, other than trees, bushes, flowers, and cultivated agricultural or other ornamental plants to grow to a height exceeding 12" anywhere in the City. Any such plants or weeds exceeding such height are hereby declared to be a nuisance.

(7) 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.

(8) NOXIOUS ODORS, ETC. 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.

(9) 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.

(10) ANIMAL EXCRETA. (Cr. #13-85) Any person owning or controlling an animal owned by another shall, upon deposition of animal excreta on public or private property not belonging to the owner or controller of the animal, immediately remove the deposit from such premises.

 

 

 

PUBLIC NUISANCES 10.04

10.04 PUBLIC NUISANCES OFFENDING MORALS & 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 constructed to exclude other nuisances offending public morals and decency coming within the definition of Section 10.02:

(1) DISORDERLY HOUSES. All disorderly houses, brawly houses, houses of ill fame, gambling houses and buildings or structures kept or resorted to for the purpose of prostitution, promiscuous sexual intercourse or gambling.

(2) GAMBLING DEVICES. All gambling devices and slot machines.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) ILLEGAL DRINKING. Any place or premises resorted to for the purpose of drinking intoxicating liquor, fermented malt beverages in violation of the laws of the State of Wisconsin or ordinances or the City.

10.05 DUTCH ELM DISEASE. (1) PUBLIC NUISANCE. The Common Council having determined that the health of the elm trees within the City is threatened by a fatal disease known as Dutch elm disease hereby declares the following to be public nuisances:

(a) Any living or standing elm tree or part thereof infected with the Dutch elm disease fungus or which harbors any of the elm bark beetles Scolytus multistriatus (Eichh) or Hylurgopinus rufipes (Marsh).

(b) Any dead elm tree or part thereof, including logs, branches, stumps, firewood, or other elm material from which the bark has not been removed and burned or sprayed with an effective elm bark beetle destroying insecticide.

(2) NUISANCES PROHIBITED. No person shall permit any public nuisance as defined in sub. (1) to remain on any premises owned or controlled by him within the City.

(3) INSPECTION. The City Forester shall inspect or cause to be inspected all premises and places within the City at least twice each year to determine whether any public nuisance as defined in sub. (1) exists thereon, and shall also inspect or cause to be inspected any elm tree reported or suspected to be infected with the Dutch Elm disease or any elm bark bearing material reported or suspected to be infested with the elm bark beetle.

(4) ABATEMENT OF NUISANCES. (a) If the City Forester upon inspection and examination determines that any public nuisances as herein defined exists in or upon any public street, alley, park or other public place, including other trees within the City is imminent, he shall immediately cause it to be removed and burned or otherwise abate the same in such manner as to destroy or prevent as fully as possible the spread of Dutch elm disease or the insect pests or vectors known to carry such disease fungus.

(b) If the City Forester determines with reasonable certainty that any public nuisance as herein defined exists in or upon private premises and that the danger to other elm trees within the City is imminent, he shall immediately serve upon the owner of such property, if he can be found, or upon the occupant thereof, a written notice to abate such nuisance within 5 days of the service of said notice. If such owner or occupant does not abate said nuisance within the time limited, the City Forester shall cause the same to be abated. No damage shall be awarded to the owner for destruction of any elm tree, elm wood, or any part thereof pursuant to this section.

 

PUBLIC NUISANCES 10.05(4)(c)

(c) If the City Forester is unable to determine with reasonable certainty whether or not a tree in or upon private premises is infected with Dutch elm disease, he shall forward specimens from said tree for diagnosis and report to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture as Madison, Wisconsin, and shall proceed as provided in par. (b) upon receipt of a positive report from the department.

(d) In all cases where the City shall determine upon inspection that any public nuisance as defined herein exists in or upon any public or private premises, but that the danger to other elm trees within the City is not imminent because of elm dormancy, he shall make a written report of his findings to the Common Council and shall proceed as provided in (SS) 27.09 (4), WI Stats.

(5) SPRAYING OF ELM TREES. Whenever it is determined in accordance with sub. (4) that any elm tree or part thereof is infected with Dutch elm disease fungus, the City Forester may cause to be sprayed all high value elm trees within 1000 foot radius thereof with an effective elm bark beetle destroying concentrate; providing such spraying shall be performed prior to July 31.

(6) ASSESSMENT OF COSTS OF ABATEMENT AND SPRAYING. (a) The entire cost of abating any public nuisance as defined herein or of spraying any elm tree or part thereof may be chargeable to and assessed against the parcel or lot abutting on the street, alley, boulevard or parkway upon or in which such tree is located or the parcel or lot upon which such tree stands. The cost of abating any such nuisance or spraying any elm tree or part thereof which is located in or upon any park or public grounds shall be borne by the City.

(b) The City Forester shall keep strict account of the costs of work done under this section and shall report monthly to the City Clerk all work done for which assessments are to be made, stating and certifying the description of the land, lots, parts of lots or parcels of land and the amounts chargeable to each. The City Clerk shall include in his report to the Common Council the aggregate amounts chargeable to each lot or parcel so reported to him, and such amounts shall be levied and assessed against said parcels or lots in the same manner as other special taxes. Before such assessments are entered on the tax roll, the Common Council shall hold a public hearing on the proposed assessments and shall give advance notice thereof not less than 14 days before the time set for such hearing by publication in the official newspaper.

(7) TRANSPORTING OF ELM WOOD PROHIBITED. No person shall transport within the City any bark bearing elm wood or material without first securing the written permission of the City Forester.

(8) INTERFERENCE WITH CITY FORESTER. No person shall prevent, delay, or interfere with the City Forester or any of his agents or employees while they are engaged in the performance of duties imposed by this section.

10.06 PUBLIC NUISANCES AFFECTING PEACE & SAFETY. The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby 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 sec 10.02:

(1) SIGNS, BILLBOARDS, ETC. All signs and billboards, awnings and other similar structures over or near streets, sidewalks, public grounds or places frequented by the public, so situated or constructed as to endanger the public safety.

(2) 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.

(3) 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 an official traffic control device, railroad sign or signal or which because of its color, location, brilliance or manner of operation interferes with the effectiveness of any such device, sign or signal.

PUBLIC NUISANCES 10.06(4)

(4) 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.

(5) TREE LIMBS. All limbs of trees which project over and less than 10 feet above any public sidewalk, street, or other public place.

(6) DANGEROUS TREES. All trees which are a menace to public safety or are the cause of substantial annoyance to the general public.

(7) FIREWORKS. All use or display of fireworks, except as provided by the laws of the State and this Municipal Code.

(8) 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.

(9) WIRES OVER STREETS. All wires over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 15' above the surface thereof.

(10) 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.

(11) 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 this Municipal Code, or which, although made in accordance with such Code, 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.

(12) 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.

(13) FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS. Repeated or continuous violations of City ordinance or State laws relating to the storage of flammable liquids.

(14) ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE. (Cr. #13-85) Animals off the premises of the owner which are not under control of the owner or some other person by means of a secure leash not exceeding 6' in length.

(15) TRAPPING OF ANIMALS. (Cr. #16-93) In the interest of humane treatment of animals and public safety, it shall be unlawful for any person, anywhere within the City of Jefferson, to set, place or tend any traps for the purpose of trapping, killing, catching, wounding, or molesting any animal, without a city trapping permit or in violation of the regulations set forth below:

(a) Permits.

1. The Chief of Police shall issue permits to applicants which expire on December 31 of each year. The fee for such permit shall be $10 per year. The applicant must display a valid state permit before a city permit will be issued. Such permit shall describe the property upon which traps will be placed.

2. Holders of valid permits may trap only on property owned by them. A permit may be issued for a person to trap on the property of another only if the property owner signs the application authorizing the trapping.

(b) Traps.

1. Body-gripping traps shall be placed only underwater within the bank run of the animal sought to be trapped and shall not exceed the 110 size.

2. Foothold or leghold traps shall be prohibited.

PUBLIC NUISANCES 10.06(15)(b)3.

3. The only other type of trap permitted shall be a live box trap which shall be defined as those traps which capture and hold an animal in an unharmed condition.

4. The Chief of Police may authorize use of traps not approved above for removal of a specific nuisance animal upon complaint, but only after attempting to remove said animal with a live box trap.

5. All traps set, placed, or tended shall comply with all applicable Wisconsin Statutes and administrative codes as they relate to trapping.

(c) Exception. This section shall not apply to trapping within confines of buildings, homes or their respective curtilage, for the purpose of vermin eradication.

(d) Summary Abatement. Any trap set in violation of this Section may be summarily removed if the trap presents a danger to children or domestic animals. Such removal shall not occur before the Chief of Police makes an effort to contact the owner of the trap to request immediate removal by the owner. One phone call shall be sufficient effort before the summary removal.

10.07 ABANDONED OR JUNKED VEHICLES AND APPLIANCES. (Rep. & Recr. #1-92) (1) STATE STATUTE ADOPTED. (SS) 342.30, Wis. Stats., is hereby adopted by reference and incorporated herein. A vehicle shall be deemed abandoned under such section after the expiration of 48 hours. The Chief of Police or his designee is authorized to enforce this section.

(2) STORAGE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. No disassembled, inoperable, unlicensed, junked or wrecked motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors, trailers, farm machinery, unattached parts of the foregoing or appliances shall be stored unenclosed outside a building upon private property within the City for a period exceeding 10 days, unless the property is stored in connection with an authorized business enterprise located in a properly zoned area and maintained in such a manner as to not constitute a public nuisance.

(3) DEFINITIONS. The following words and phrases have the meanings indicated:
Disassembled, Inoperable, Junked or Wrecked Appliance. Any stove, washer, refrigerator or other appliance which is no longer operable in the sense for which it was manufactured. The fact that such appliance may be susceptible to repair shall not constitute a defense to any action brought under this section.

Disassembled, Inoperable, Junked or Wrecked Motor Vehicles, Truck Bodies, Tractors, Trailers. Motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, truck bodies, tractors, farm machinery or trailers in such state of physical or mechanical disrepair as to be incapable of propulsion upon the public streets or highways or which is otherwise not in safe or legal condition for operation on public streets or highways due to missing or inoperative parts, flat or removed tires, expired or missing license plates or other defects. Non-self-propelled vehicles must be in safe and legal condition of operation on public streets or highways.

Motor Vehicle. Shall be defined as set forth in (SS)340.01(35) of Wis., Stats.

Personal Property Not Designed for Outdoor Use. Shall include, without limitation by enumeration, cardboard boxes and furniture designed for indoor use.

Unlicensed Motor Vehicles, Truck Bodies, Tractors or Trailers. Motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors, recreational vehicles, mobile homes or trailers required by law to bear a licenses plate which do not bear lawful current license plates.

(4) EXCEPTIONS. (a) Motor vehicles registered to (SS)341.265 and 341.266, Wis. Stats., and parts thereof, if such vehicles and parts are stored out of public view. Seasonal use vehicles, such as snowmobiles, motorcycles, mopeds and non-motorized campers, are excepted here from if operator and property licensed.

 

PUBLIC NUISANCES 10.07(4)(b)

(b) Abrogation and greater restrictions: It is not intended by this section to repeal, abrogate or any other section of the Municipal Code. However, where this section imposes greater restrictions, the provisions of this section shall govern.

(5) ENFORCEMENT. (a) The Chief of Police shall give notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the occupant and the owner of any premises where property is stored in violation of this section. If the property is not removed within 7 days, any City police officer may issue a citation to the occupant of the premises upon which the property is stored.

(b) If such property is not removed within 20 days after expiration of the time for removal given in the notice, the Chief of Police may cause the property to be removed and impounded. Disposal shall be in the same manner as provided by (SS)342.40, Wis. Stats., for abandoned vehicles. If the cost of removal and impoundment are not paid by the tenant or owner or through sale of the property, any balance due shall be place on the next tax roll as a special charge against the real estate from which the property was removed.

(c) A notice to remove property issued by the Police Chief may be appealed by any aggrieved party who may file a written notice of appeal at the Police Department prior to the expiration of the time for compliance as directed by the Police Chief's letter, stating the error alleged in the initial decision and the name, address and phone number of the person filing the appeal. The appeal shall be heard by the regulatory Committee. No property shall be removed until the appeal process is completed and then only if the decision of Police Chief is upheld and the appellant has been notified of the appeal decision. In the event the decision is upheld, any applicable forfeiture shall not be tolled during the appeal time.

(6) PENALTY. Any person who fails to remove property as ordered shall be subject to a forfeiture as provided in Section 25.04. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.

10.08 GARBAGE CANS. (CR. #15-79; REN. MSC '93) No person shall place on any city owned street right-of-way any garbage can or other receptacle for the storage of garbage or other refuse, except that such receptacles may be placed on the City owned street right-of-way not earlier than 3 p.m. on the day before scheduled garbage collection for such property and shall be removed not later than 6 p.m. on the date of scheduled garbage collection for such property.

10.15 ABATEMENT OF PUBLIC NUISANCES. (Ren. MSC '93) (1) ENFORCEMENT. The Chief of Police, the Chief of the Fire Department, the Building Inspector and Health Officer shall enforce these provisions of this chapter that come within the jurisdiction of their offices, and they shall make periodic inspections and inspections upon complaint to insure 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 abate a public nuisance unless the officer shall have inspected or cause to be inspected the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist and have satisfies himself that a nuisance does, in fact, exist.

(2) 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 cause may be.

(3) 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 10 days. If such nuisance is not removed within such 10 days, the proper officer shall cause the nuisance to be removed as provided in sub. (2).

(4) OTHER METHODS NOT EXCLUDED. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting to abatement of public nuisances by the City or its officials in accordance with the laws of the State.

PUBLIC NUISANCES 10.15(5)

(5) COURT ORDER. Except when necessary under sub. (2), no officer hereunder shall use force to obtain access to private property to abate 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.

10.16 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 of 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.

10.17 PENALTY. Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or permit or cause a public nuisance shall be subject to a penalty as provided in Section 25.04 of this Municipal Code.