City of Burlington, WI
Racine County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Burlington 1-5-1988 by Ord. No. 1203(25) as Ch. 10 and §§ 11.03, 11.04 and 11.05 of the 1988 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 96.
Animals — See Ch. 104.
Open burning — See Ch. 119.
Graffiti — See Ch. 170.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 175.
Junk collectors and junk dealers — See Ch. 193.
Littering — See Ch. 200.
Loitering — See Ch. 204.
Solid waste — See Ch. 265.

§ 227-1 Public nuisances prohibited.

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

§ 227-2 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, 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.
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.

§ 227-3 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 construed to exclude other health nuisances coming within the definition of § 227-2:
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 may 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 flytight.
F. 
Noxious and other weeds. All noxious weeds and other rank growth of vegetation.
(1) 
No person shall permit the pollination of any noxious weeds as defined in § 66.0407, Wis. Stats. Notice shall be posted by the Mayor, or someone in his behalf, and published in the official paper for the destruction of such noxious weeds as provided in § 66.0407, Wis. Stats.
(2) 
No person shall permit grass to grow to an average height of more than 12 inches in the residential or business districts of the City. The Mayor, or his appointed Weed Commissioner, shall, after first giving five days' written notice by mail to the owner or occupant, cause all such grass to be cut in a manner deemed to be the most economical method and may collect the expense thereof by a special assessment against such premises.
G. 
Air pollution. The escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, industrial dust or other atmospheric pollutants within the City, 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 City.
H. 
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.
I. 
Noxious odors, etc. Any use of property, substances or things within the City emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, nauseous 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.
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. 
Storage of junk, etc.[1] The open storage of junk, refuse, litter, garbage, scrap or waste matter or disassembled or damaged motor vehicles, whether awaiting repair or not.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 193, Junk Collectors and Junk Dealers.
[2]
Editor's Note: Original § 10.03(12), Abandonment of vehicles, which immediately followed this subsection, is now included in Ch. 293, Vehicles and Traffic, as § 293-18.

§ 227-4 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 within the definition of § 227-2:
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 City 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 8-19-2008 by Ord. No. 1868(10)]
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.

§ 227-5 Public nuisances affecting peace and 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 § 227-2:
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 ordinances of the City relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the City.
C. 
Unauthorized traffic signs. Any unauthorized sign, signal, marking or device placed or maintained upon or in view of any public highway or railway crossing which purports 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.
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. 
Tree limbs. All limbs of trees which project over and less than nine feet above any public sidewalk, street or other public place.
F. 
Dangerous trees. All trees which are a menace to public safety or are the cause of substantial annoyance to the general public.
G. 
Fireworks. All use or display of fireworks except as provided by the laws of the State of Wisconsin and ordinances of the City.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 155, Fire Prevention, Protection and Control.
H. 
Dilapidated buildings. All buildings or structures so old, dilapidated or out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, insanitary or otherwise unfit for human use.
I. 
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.
J. 
Obstructions of streets; 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.
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.
L. 
Flammable liquids. Repeated or continuous violations of the ordinances of the City or laws of the State of Wisconsin relating to the storage of flammable liquids.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Original § 10.06(13), Graffiti control, which immediately followed this subsection, is now included as Ch. 170, Graffiti, of this Code.

§ 227-6 Park Board rules. [1]

Violation of any rule, regulation or restriction duly adopted by the Park Board governing conduct, use, or activity in any City park or park property shall be deemed a violation of this chapter and be construed to be a violation of the public peace and safety as defined in § 227-2 of this chapter.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 234, Parks and Public Areas.
[2]
Editor's Note: Original § 10.06(15), Prohibited discharges, which immediately followed this section, is now included as Ch. 175, Hazardous Materials, of this Code.

§ 227-7 Abatement of public nuisances.

A. 
Enforcement. The Chief of Police, Chief of the Fire Department, Building Inspector and Health Officer 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 shall have satisfied himself that a nuisance does in fact exist.
B. 
Summary abatement.
(1) 
Order of abatement. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists within the City and that there is imminent danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the officer may, without notice or hearing, 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. 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 City. 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 discretion, enter upon the premises and cause the nuisance to be removed or abated and the City 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. 
Nonsummary 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, he 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 registered mail with return receipt. If the owner or the occupant cannot be served in person or by registered 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 Wis. Stat. ch. 985. 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 City. 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 City 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 City 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 City or its officials in accordance with the laws of the state.
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.

§ 227-8 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.

§ 227-9 Abatement of health nuisances.

[Amended 11-18-2003 by Ord. No. 1740(20)]
The Health Officer may abate health nuisances in accordance with § 254.59, Wis. Stats., which is adopted by reference and made a part of this chapter as if fully set forth herein.

§ 227-10 Communicable diseases.

[Amended 11-18-2003 by Ord. No. 1740(20)]
Chapter 252, Wis. Stats., and Ch. HFS 145, Wis. Admin. Code, are adopted by reference and made a part of this chapter, and it shall be the duty of the Health Officer to enforce the provisions thereof.

§ 227-11 Regulation of nuisance-type businesses.

A. 
No person shall conduct within the City any business which has a tendency to create a public nuisance, except upon permit issued by the Common Council and subject to such conditions as the Common Council may impose.
[Amended 11-18-2003 by Ord. No. 1740(20)]
B. 
A business which has a tendency to create a public nuisance is one which unless properly regulated may create the condition creating a public nuisance as defined in § 227-2 of this chapter.
C. 
This section is enacted under § 66.0415, Wis. Stats.

§ 227-12 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, § 1-4 of this Municipal Code.