Village of Waterford, WI
Racine County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Waterford as Chapter 10 of the 1998 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 87.
Brush, noxious weeds and rank growth of vegetation — See Ch. 95.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 137.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 142.
Intoxicating liquor and fermented malt beverages — See Ch. 148.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 178.
Solid waste — See Ch. 186.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 191.
Trees — See Ch. 211.
Vehicles — See Ch. 218.

§ 165-1 Public nuisances prohibited.

No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the Village.

§ 165-2 Definition.

A public nuisance is a thing, act, occupation, condition or use of property which continues for such length of time as to:
A. 
Substantially annoy, injure 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; or
D. 
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.

§ 165-3 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 § 165-2:
A. 
Adulterated food: all decayed, adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.
B. 
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 hours after death.
C. 
Breeding places for vermin, etc.: 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 can breed.
D. 
Stagnant water: all stagnant water in which mosquitoes, flies or other insects can multiply.
E. 
Privy vaults and garbage cans: privy vaults and garbage cans which are not fly-tight.
F. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection F, regarding noxious weeds, was repealed 3-14-2011 by Ord. No. 571. See now Ch. 95, Brush, Noxious Weeds and Rank Growth of Vegetation.
G. 
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.
H. 
Noxious odors, etc.: any use of property, substances or things within the Village emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, 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 Village.
I. 
Street pollution: any use of property which causes any noxious or unwholesome liquid or substance to flow into or upon any street, gutter, alley, sidewalk or public place within the Village.
J. 
Air pollution: the escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, industrial dust or other atmospheric pollutants within the Village or within one mile therefrom in such quantities as to endanger the health of persons of ordinary sensibilities or to threaten or cause substantial injury to property in the Village.

§ 165-4 Public nuisances offending morals and decency.

The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are 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 § 165-2:
A. 
Disorderly houses: all disorderly houses, bawdy 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; any house, dwelling or premises where there are continuous violations of Village ordinances, or there are repeated (more than two in any six-month period) police calls for complaints regarding problems including, but not limited to, noise, fights, violence, disorderly conduct, or neighbor problems, whether or not a citation is issued or an arrest is made. Citations under this section may be given to the residents, tenants, lessees, and/or owners of the premises.
[Amended 1-23-2006 by Ord. No. 489]
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 Village ordinances.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 148, Intoxicating Liquor and Fermented Malt Beverages.
D. 
Continuous violation of Village ordinances: any place or premises within the Village where Village 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 state laws.

§ 165-5 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 § 165-2:
A. 
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.
B. 
Illegal buildings: all buildings erected, repaired or altered in violation of the provisions of the Village ordinances relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the Village.
C. 
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, 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.
D. 
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.
E. 
Trees, plants and shrubs as defined to be public nuisances in Chapter 211, § 211-8, of this Municipal Code.[1]
[Amended 12-9-1996 by Ord. No. 346]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection (6), which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 12-9-1996 by Ord. No. 346.
F. 
Fireworks: all use or display of fireworks except as provided by state laws and Village ordinances.
G. 
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 or which have been determined to be unreasonable to repair under Wis. Stat. § 66.0413.
H. 
Wires and cables over streets. All wires and cables over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 15 feet above the surface thereof.
I. 
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, greatly annoys or disturbs a neighborhood or any considerable number of persons within the Village.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 87, Animals.
J. 
Street and sidewalk obstructions 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 Village,[3] or those 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.
[3]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 191, Streets and Sidewalks.
K. 
Unlawful assemblies: 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. Any assembly of three or more persons which tends to become loud, noisy or unruly or which tends to obstruct traffic and the free use of the streets or sidewalks shall be considered an unlawful assembly.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Former § 10.06, Littering prohibited, which immediately followed this section, was deleted 1-23-2006 by Ord. No. 489.

§ 165-6 Abatement of public nuisances.

[Amended 12-9-1996 by Ord. No. 346; 2-25-2008 by Ord. No. 526]
A. 
Enforcement. The Chief of Police, the Chief of the Fire Department, the Building Inspector, the Health Officer and the Village Forester 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 has inspected or caused to be inspected the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist and is satisfied that a nuisance does in fact exist.
B. 
Emergency abatement.
(1) 
Order of abatement. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists within the Village and that there is imminent danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the officer may issue an order reciting the existence of a public nuisance constituting imminent danger to the public and requiring immediate action be taken as the officer deems necessary to abate the nuisance. The order shall be served personally on the owner of the premises, as well as the occupant if different from the owner and applicable to the described nuisance. If the owner is not present in the Village, the order shall be communicated to the owner by telephone, fax, or computerized communication, and the original order shall be served personally or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply with the order immediately.
(2) 
Abatement by Village. Whenever the owner or occupant shall refuse or neglect to remove or abate the condition described in the order, the inspecting officer shall, in his or her discretion, enter upon the premises and cause the nuisance to be removed or abated, and the Village shall recover the expenses incurred thereby from the owner or occupant of the premises or from the person who has caused, permitted or maintained the nuisance.
C. 
Nonemergency abatement.
(1) 
Order to abate nuisance. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists on private premises but that the nature of such nuisance is not such as to threaten imminent danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the inspector shall issue an order reciting the existence of a public nuisance and requiring the owner or occupant of the premises to remove or abate the condition described in the order within the time period specified therein. The order shall be served personally on the owner of the premises, as well as the occupant if different from the owner and applicable to the described nuisance, or, at the option of the inspecting officer, the notice may be mailed to the last known address of the person, to be served by certified mail with return receipt. If the owner or the occupant cannot be served in person or by certified mail, the order may be served by posting it on the main entrance of the premises and by publishing it as a Class 3 notice under Ch. 985, Wis. Stats. The time limit specified in the order runs from the date of service or publication and shall be not less than 30 days.
(2) 
Abatement by Village. If the owner or occupant fails or refuses to comply within the time period prescribed, the inspecting officer shall enter upon the premises and cause the nuisance to be removed or abated, and the Village shall recover the expenses incurred thereby from the owner or occupant of the premises or from the person who has caused or permitted the nuisance.
(3) 
Remedy from order. Any person affected by such order shall, within 30 days of service or publication of the order, apply to the Circuit Court for an order restraining the Village and the inspecting officer from entering on the premises and abating or removing the nuisance, or be forever barred. The court shall determine the reasonableness of the order for abatement of the nuisance.
D. 
Other methods not excluded. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the Village or its officials in accordance with the laws of the State of Wisconsin.
E. 
Court order. Except when necessary under Subsection B, an officer hereunder shall not 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.

§ 165-7 Cost of abatement.

[Amended 2-25-2008 by Ord. No. 526]
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 Village shall be collected as a debt from the owner, occupant or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance; and if an order to abate the nuisance has been given to the owner, and the cost remains unpaid, such cost shall be assessed against the real estate as a special charge.

§ 165-8 Violations and penalties.

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 Chapter 1, Article II, of this Municipal Code.