Town of Grand Chute, WI
Outagamie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Grand Chute 1-7-1997 as § 16.11 of the 1997 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 398.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 409.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 423.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 468.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 475.
Whenever the following words or terms are used in this chapter, they shall be construed to have the following meanings:
BOULEVARD OR TERRACE AREAS
The land between the normal location of the street curbing, edge of the street and sidewalk. Where there is no sidewalk, the area four feet from the curbline shall be deemed to be a boulevard for the purpose of this chapter. "Boulevard" shall have the same meaning as "terrace." Where there are only sidewalks, the area four feet from the curb shall be deemed boulevard area under this chapter.
EVERGREEN TREE
Any woody plant normally having one stem or trunk and bearing foliage in the form of needles and crowns which extends from ground level throughout its entire height.
FORESTER
Person designated by the Town Board as authorized to carry out provisions of this chapter.
MAJOR ALTERATION
Trimming a tree beyond necessary trimming to comply with this chapter.
PERSON
Person, firm, association or corporation.
PUBLIC AREAS
Includes all public parks and other lands owned, controlled or leased by the Town except the terrace areas.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Any tree or shrub or part thereof which, by reason of its condition, interferes with the use of any public area; is infected with a plant disease; is infested with injurious insects or pests; is injurious to public improvements; or endangers the life, health, safety or welfare of persons or property.
PUBLIC TREES AND SHRUBS
All trees and shrubs located or to be planted in or upon public areas.
SHRUB
Any woody vegetation or a woody plant having multiple stems and bearing foliage from the ground up.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-30]
TOWN
Town of Grand Chute, Wisconsin.
TREE
Any woody plant normally having one stem or trunk bearing its foliage or crown well above ground level to heights of 16 feet or more.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-30]
The Street Superintendent shall serve as Town Forester and shall carry out the provisions of this chapter. The Town Forester or his/her authorized representative may enter upon private premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of examining any tree or shrub located upon or over such premises and carrying out any of the provisions of this chapter.
No person shall interfere with the Town Forester or his/her authorized representative while he is engaged in carrying out any work or activities authorized by this chapter.
A. 
Trees and shrubs standing in or upon any boulevard or public area or upon any private premises adjacent to any public right-of-way or public areas shall be kept trimmed so that the lowest branches projecting over the public street or alley provide a clearance of not less than 14 feet. Such trimming may only be done by Town employees or authorized persons under contract with the Town. The Town Forester may waive the provisions of this section for newly planted trees if he determines that they do not interfere with public travel, obstruct the light of any streetlight or endanger public safety.
B. 
The necessity of the pruning may be determined by the Town Forester.
C. 
Clearance from sidewalk to lower branches shall not be less than eight feet above the level of the sidewalk. No tree shall be permitted to grow in such a manner as to obstruct the proper diffusion of light from any public lamp.
A. 
Obstruction by trees, shrubs, fences, walls, signs or other structures.
(1) 
Prohibited obstructions within intersection vision triangle areas. No person shall maintain trees, shrubs or other vegetation, fences, walls, signs and other structures in the vision triangle area which obstruct the necessary view of the driver of a motor vehicle on a public street or private driveway or which interfere with the driver's control. The vision triangle area is defined as that part of a corner lot bordered by any two existing or proposed intersecting street or alley right-of-way lines and a line joining points on such lines located a minimum of 25 feet from their intersection or as required by § 475-21B(5)(d). In said vision triangle, fences, walls, signs or other structures shall not exceed 2 1/2 feet in height measured from the mean edge of pavement elevation within the limits of the vision triangle. In the vision triangle area, trees, shrubs and other vegetation shall be maintained to provide unobstructed vision from 2 1/2 feet above the mean edge of pavement elevation within the limits of the vision triangle to 10 feet above said edge of pavement elevation.
[Amended 3-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-07]
Edge of Pavement.tif
(2) 
Duties of the Street Superintendent. It shall be the duty of the Street Superintendent or his representative to enforce this section by appropriate order giving the offending party 30 days to remove or correct the situation. Said order shall be served by certified mail. Where the home is in joint tenancy, service on one of the homeowners shall be presumed service on the other.
(3) 
Appeals of orders of the Forester. All appeals of orders issued by the Street Superintendent shall be made within 15 days of the service of the order and shall be addressed to the Town Clerk and the matter heard by the Town Board.
B. 
Other obstructions. It is unlawful for any person to plant, cause to grow, allow to grow or maintain any trees, bushes, shrubbery or vegetation of any kind which is an obstruction to the clear and complete vision of any traffic sign or driveway approach to a street in the Town.
C. 
Removal of obstruction. Any shrub, tree or other plant which obstructs the view at an intersection or the view of a traffic sign shall be deemed to be dangerous to public travel, and the Town Forester may order, by written notice, the owner or occupant of any private place or premises on which there stands a tree or shrub which unreasonably interferes with or encroaches upon the street or sidewalk to take such steps as are necessary to remove such interference. If such owner or occupant fails within 10 days of receipt of notice to take such necessary steps, the Street Superintendent shall order the Town employees to remove the interference. The cost of removing the interference shall be levied and collected as a special tax upon the property upon which or in front of which such tree or shrub stands.
D. 
Penalty. Any person who is an owner or occupant or firm or corporation failing to obey the written notice of the Forester as specified in Subsection C above shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a forfeiture as established in the Uniform Forfeiture and Bond Schedules.
A. 
Damage to public trees. No person shall, without the consent of the owner in the case of a private tree or shrub or without written permit from the Town Forester in the case of a terrace area tree, public tree or shrub, perform or cause to be performed by others any of the following acts:
(1) 
Secure, fasten or run any rope, wire sign, unprotected electrical installation or other device or material to, around or through a tree or shrub.
(2) 
Break, injure, mutilate, deface, kill or destroy any tree or shrub or permit any fire to burn where it will injure any tree or shrub.
(3) 
Permit any toxic chemical, gas, smoke, oil or other injurious substance to seep, drain or be emptied upon or about any tree or shrub or place cement or other solid substance around the base of the same.
(4) 
Remove any guard, stake or other device or material intended for the protection of a public tree or shrub or close or obstruct any open space about the base of a public tree or shrub designed to permit access of air, water and fertilizer.
(5) 
Attach any sign, poster, notice or other object on any tree or fasten any guy wire, cable, rope, nails, screws or other device to any tree, except that the Town may tie temporary "No Parking" signs to trees when necessary in conjunction with street improvement work, tree maintenance work or parades.
(6) 
Cause or encourage any fire or burning near or around any tree.
B. 
Excavations. All trees on any parkway or other publicly owned property near any excavation or construction of any building structure or street work shall be sufficiently guarded and protected by those responsible for such work as to prevent any injury to said trees. No person shall excavate any ditches, tunnels or trenches or install pavement within a radius of 10 feet from any public tree without a permit from the Town Forester.
C. 
Refusal to abate nuisance. No person shall permit any public nuisance to remain on any premises owned or controlled by him when ordered by the Forester to abate such nuisance.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-30]
[Added 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-30]
A. 
The Town Board declares contagious tree diseases and insect pests to be public nuisances, for the loss of trees growing on public and private premises within the Town will substantially depreciate the value of public and private property, impair the use and enjoyment of public and private premises, and erode the tax base of the Town.
[Amended 3-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-04]
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERSON
Person, firm or corporation.
[Amended 3-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-04]
(1) 
Any tree or part thereof which by reason of its condition and location is hazardous or dangerous to persons and property using or upon any public street, sidewalk, alley, park or other public or private place, including the terrace strip between the curb and lot line.
(2) 
Any tree infected with or fatally damaged by any contagious tree disease.
(3) 
Any tree infected with or fatally damaged by insect pests.
PUBLIC PROPERTY
Owned or controlled by the Town, including, without limitation because of enumeration, public sites, parks, playgrounds, streets, alleys, sidewalks, boulevards, and the terrace strip between the lot line and the curb or improved portion of any public way.
C. 
Inspections.
(1) 
The Town Forester shall inspect or cause to be inspected all premises and places within the Town to determine whether any public nuisance exits thereon. He/she shall also inspect or cause the inspection of any elm tree reported or suspected to be infested with Dutch elm disease or any elm bark bearing materials reported or suspected to be infested with elm bark beetles.
(2) 
Whenever necessary to determine the existence of Dutch elm disease or elm bark beetles in any tree, the person inspecting such tree shall remove or cut specimens from the tree in such manner as to avoid fatal injury thereto and deliver such specimens to the Forester who shall forward them to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection at Madison for analysis to determine the presence of such nuisances.
(3) 
The Forester and his/her agents or employees shall have authority to enter upon private premises at reasonable times for the purpose of carrying out any of the provisions of this section.
D. 
Abatement of nuisances; duty of Forester.
(1) 
The Forester shall order, direct, supervise and control the abatement of public nuisances as defined in this section by spraying, removal, burning or by other means which he determines to be necessary to prevent as fully as possible the spread of Dutch elm disease fungus, other deleterious tree diseases or the insect pests or vectors know to carry such diseases.
(2) 
Whenever the Forester after inspection or examination shall determine that a public nuisance as herein defined exists on public property in the Town, he/she shall immediately abate or cause the abatement of such nuisance in such manner as to destroy or prevent as fully as possible the spread of Dutch elm disease, other deleterious tree diseases, or the insect pests or vectors know to carry such disease fungus.
(3) 
When the Forester shall determine with reasonable certainty that a public nuisance exists upon private premises, he/she shall immediately serve or cause to be served personally or by registered mail upon the owner of such property, if he/she can be found, or upon the occupant thereof a written notice of the existence of such nuisance and of a time and place for a hearing, not less than 14 days after service of such notice, on the abatement action to be taken. Such notice shall describe the nuisance and recommend procedures for its abatement and shall further state that unless the owner shall abate the nuisance in the manner specified in the notice or shall appear at the hearing to show that such nuisance does not exist or does not endanger the health of trees in the Town, the Forester shall cause the abatement thereof at the expense of the property served. If the owner cannot be found, such notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town.
(4) 
If, after hearing held pursuant to this subsection, it shall be determined by the Town Board that a public nuisance exists, it shall forthwith order the immediate abatement thereof. Unless the property owner abates the nuisance as directed within five days after such hearing, the Forester shall proceed to abate the nuisance and cause the cost thereof to be assessed against the property in accordance with the procedures provided in this section. The Forester may extend the time allowed the property owner for abatement work but not to exceed 10 additional days.
E. 
Spraying.
(1) 
When the Forester shall determine that any tree or part thereof is infected with a deleterious or fatal tree disease or is in a weakened condition or harbors elm bark beetles, he may cause all trees within a one-thousand-foot radius thereof to be sprayed with an effective disease-destroying concentrate or other insecticide.
(2) 
In order to facilitate the work and minimize the inconvenience to the public of any spraying operations conducted under this subsection, the Forester shall cause to be given advance public notice of such operations by newspaper, radio, television, public service announcements or other effective means and shall also cause the posting of appropriate warning notices in the areas and along the streets where trees are to be sprayed at least 24 hours in advance of spraying. When any residue or concentrate from municipal spraying operations can be expected to be deposited on any public street, the Forester shall also notify the Chief of Police, who shall take all necessary steps to make and enforce temporary parking and traffic regulations on such streets as conditions require. Temporary "No Parking" notices shall be posted in each block of any affected street at least 24 hours in advance of spraying operations.
(3) 
When appropriate warning notices and temporary "No Parking" notices have been given and posted in accordance with Subsection E(2) of this Section, the Town shall not allow any claim for damages to any vehicle caused by such spraying operations.
(4) 
When trees on private property are to be sprayed, the Forester shall notify the owner of such property and proceed in accordance with the requirements of Subsection D(3).
F. 
Assessment of costs of abatement.
(1) 
The entire cost of abating any public nuisance, spraying trees or trimming trees located on public property shall be borne by the Town.
(2) 
The cost of abating a public nuisance or spraying elm trees or elm wood located on private premises when done at the direction and under the supervision of the Forester shall be assessed to the property on which such nuisance, tree or wood is located.
G. 
To prevent the spread of oak wilt, no person shall prune, cut, or otherwise injure any oak tree on public or private property between April 1 and August 1 in any year, except for instances where emergency pruning is necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare, or pruning is authorized in advance by the Town Forester, provided that any person pruning a tree during this time shall immediately apply wound dressing to each cut as well as the cut surface of stumps from living noninfected oaks.
[Added 3-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-04]
[Added 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-30]
A. 
The Town provides three alternatives for the disposal of brush from trees:
(1) 
Property owners/residents may take brush to the Outagamie County Landfill.
(2) 
Property owners/residents may use public dropoff sites as provided by the Town.
(3) 
Town-provided residential tree brush chipping service. This service is intended to assist residents of single-family and two-family properties with the disposal of brush from trees when the resident has trimmed or pruned trees on his property. This service is not intended to provide tree brush removal service when a commercial service has been hired to trim, prune or remove trees or large amounts of tree brush created as described in Subsection C.
B. 
Brush chipping will be provided to residents once per month utilizing garbage pickup routes. Chipping will normally start on Tuesdays and it will not be necessary for the resident to call his location in. Brush shall be out by 7:00 a.m.
(1) 
Tuesday garbage pickup route will have chipping services provided starting the first Tuesday of the month.
(2) 
Wednesday garbage pickup route will have chipping services provided starting the second Tuesday of the month.
(3) 
Thursday garbage pickup will have chipping services provided starting the third Tuesday of the month.
(4) 
Friday garbage pickup will have chipping services provided starting the fourth Tuesday of the month.
C. 
Rules and regulations.
(1) 
Maximum amount of brush per stop is not to exceed 480 cubic feet, calculated on a loose brush pile four feet high by 10 feet long by 12 feet deep.
(2) 
Brush is to be stacked neatly and loosely along the shoulder or curb of the road. Cut ends are to face the road.
(3) 
Brush shall be no larger than 12 inches in diameter and not to exceed 75 pounds in weight.
(4) 
Brush should be no shorter than three feet in length.
(5) 
There shall be no root balls, stumps, or construction material.
D. 
Monthly chipping service is not available between November 1 and March 31 of the following year, except for the Christmas tree disposal program.
E. 
During instances of severe weather or other similar conditions, the Town Chairperson or designee has the authority to suspend the normal operations and amend the operations as outlined by this plan for the good and safety of the public.
F. 
Brush piles in violation of the tree chipping policy will be red tagged. Each red tag issued will include the nature of the violation and employee number. Anybody in violation of this section will be given one week from the date of violation to comply. Failure to comply will result in the Department of Public Works removing the brush on the next scheduled pickup day or sooner if the Street Superintendent or his designee deems the violation a public nuisance. The property owner in noncompliance will be charged a stop fee as well as an hourly charge calculated to the quarter hour. Property owners that bring the brush pile into compliance will not be charged. Any outstanding charges not paid prior to October 31 of the year service was provided shall be added to the property owner's real estate tax bill as a special charge.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-30]
Any person who receives a determination or order under this chapter from the Town Forester and objects to all or any part thereof shall have the right to appeal such determination or order to the Town Board within seven days of receipt of the order, and the Town Board shall hear such appeal within 30 days of receipt of written notice of the appeal. After such hearing, the Town Board may reverse, affirm or modify the order of determination appealed from and the grounds for its decision shall be stated in writing. The Town Board shall, by letter, notify the party appealing the order or determination of its decision with 10 days after the hearing has been concluded. The Town Board shall file its written decision with the Town Clerk.
Sections 27.09 and 86.03, Wis. Stats., are hereby adopted and incorporated herein by reference.
[Added 12-20-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-30]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon due conviction thereof, forfeit an amount as prescribed in the Uniform Forfeiture and Bond Schedules for each such offense, together with the costs of prosecution, and in default of the payment of such forfeiture and costs shall be imprisoned in the county jail until said forfeiture and costs of prosecution are paid, but not to exceed 30 days.