[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fond du Lac 6-23-1993 by Ord. No. 2679 as Ch. 10 and § 11.03 of the 1993 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Animals — See Ch. 216.
Firearms, weapons and hunting — See Ch. 339.
Fires and fire prevention — See Ch. 343.
Fireworks — See Ch. 347.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 500.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 512.
Solid waste — See Ch. 556.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 568.
Trees — See Ch. 607.
[Amended 5-27-2009 by Ord. No. 3406]
No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the City. Any thing, act, occupation, condition, or use of property which has been defined by the Wisconsin Statutes as a public nuisance is a public nuisance under this chapter.
A public nuisance is a thing, act, occupation, condition or use of property which continues for such length of time as to:
Substantially annoy, injure or endanger the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public.
In any way render the public insecure in life or in the use of property.
Greatly offend the public morals or decency.
Unlawfully and substantially interfere with, obstruct or tend to obstruct or render dangerous for passage any street, alley, highway or other public way or the use of public property.
In addition, any violation of the Code of the City of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, that is not corrected within a reasonable time after notice from the City to a responsible party is a public nuisance.
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 § 476-2:
Adulterated food. All decayed, adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.
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.
Breeding places for insects or vermin. 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.
Stagnant water. All stagnant water in which mosquitoes, flies or other insects can multiply.
Privy vaults and garbage cans. Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not flytight.
Noxious odors, etc. Any use of property, substances or things within the City emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, noxious or disagreeable odors, gases, effluvia or stenches repulsive to the physical senses of ordinary persons which annoy, discomfort, injure or inconvenience the health of persons within the City.
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 City.
Offensive matter. No person shall put, place, cast or throw any manure, offal or any other filthy or noisome substance upon any street, alley or public grounds within the City. No person shall place or conduct into any street or alley or upon the margin lands or into the water of the Fond du Lac River or either of its branches or upon any public grounds, lot or portion thereof in the City any putrid or unsound beef, pork, fish, hides or skins of any kind or any filth, offal, manure, dead animals, rotten vegetables or other unsound or offensive matters or anything likely to become offensive, nor shall any person allow any offensive matter to be or remain upon his premises or in any stable or other place owned or occupied by him or in any street or alley in front of the premises or in any pen, yard or other place within the City.
Animal pens. The enforcement agent shall direct the owner or occupants of any premises upon which may be situated any stable, slaughterhouse, sewer, drain, sinks or yard for the keeping of fowl or animals to reasonably and sufficiently cleanse and purify the same. The procedure for giving the notice and for the charging of the expense for cleansing the yard if the owner refuses to do so shall be as provided in § 476-11.
Display of food. No person shall display or store any fruit, vegetable or other food or dairy products on the sidewalk or outside of the place of business in the City unless such fruits, vegetables or other food products are covered by glass, wood or metal cases or enclosed in tight boxes, bags, barrels or similar enclosures or containers, and no such goods or dairy product which is offered for sale to the public generally shall be displayed unless properly protected from flies, dust or other sources of contamination by being suitably covered with a glass, wood or metal case or covering. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as permitting the encumbering of any part or portion of the public sidewalks of the City.
Spitting in public. No person shall spit or deposit any spit, mucous or tobacco spit upon the floor, stairway or wall of any theater, public hall, store, public building, public conveyance or sidewalk, or upon any platform of any railroad station in the City.
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 § 476-2:
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 this Code.
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 repeatedly and intentionally violated.
Illegal drinking. Any place or premises resorted to for the purpose of drinking intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages in violation of state laws.
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 § 476-2:
Dangerous signs, billboards, etc. All signs, 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.
Illegal buildings. All buildings erected, repaired or altered in violation of City ordinances relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the City.
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.
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.
Low-hanging tree limbs. All limbs of trees which project over and less than 10 feet above any public sidewalk, street or other public place.
Dangerous trees. All trees which are a menace to public safety or are the cause of substantial annoyance to the general public.
Fireworks. All use or display of fireworks except as provided by state laws and City ordinances.
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.
Low-hanging wires and cables. All wires and cables over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 15 feet above the surface thereof.
Disruptive animals or fowl. Any animal which:
Molests passersby or passing vehicles.
Attacks other animals.
Trespasses on school grounds.
Is repeatedly at large.
Damages private or public property.
Barks, whines, howls or makes other sounds common to its species in an excessive, continuous or untimely fashion.
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, but including 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 which do not conform to the permit.
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.
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 of junk outside of any building or within an open porch or a vehicle used for storage purposes, or other unsightly debris, structurally unsound fences, construction debris or materials, trash, wood, brick, appliances and airtight containers, and other items which may depreciate property values or be detrimental to the appearance, neatness, health and cleanliness of the neighborhood, provided that nothing in this subsection shall prohibit reasonable storage of construction materials during the construction of any building or structure.
[Amended 9-24-1997 by Ord. No. 2897]
Uncovered/open excavations. All open and unguarded pits, wells, excavations or unused basements freely accessible from any public street, alley or sidewalk.
[Amended 9-24-1997 by Ord. No. 2897]
Junk vehicles. All junked, disassembled, inoperable or wrecked motor vehicles, or parts thereof, which have been allowed to remain outside of any building upon public or private property for a period in excess of 10 days, unless in connection with a permitted automotive sales or repair business located in a properly zoned area.
[Amended 9-24-1997 by Ord. No. 2897]
All buildings, places and premises shall be so constructed and maintained as to prevent rats from being harbored underneath the same or within the walls thereof, and all food products or other products, goods, wares and merchandise likely to attract or become infested with or infected by rats, whether kept for sale or for any purpose, shall be so protected as to prevent rats from gaining access or coming in contact therewith. All buildings, places and premises shall continuously be kept by the owner, person in charge or the occupant in a clean and sanitary condition and free from rats. Whenever ratholes, burrows or other evidence of rat infestation are found on any premises or in any building the owner or occupant shall exterminate the rats or cause the rats to be exterminated. A ratproof metal container or any other container made of material that is impervious to rats shall be used for the storage of garbage or refuse, and openings into the container such as a door or covers shall be tight fitting to prevent the entrance of rats.
[Added 5-27-2009 by Ord. No. 3406]
Definitions. The following terms shall be defined as follows in this section:
- The Chief of Police or his or her designee.
- ENFORCEMENT ACTION
- An arrest or the issuance of a citation.
- NUISANCE ACTIVITY
- Any of the following activities, behaviors, or conduct occurring on a premises:
- (1) An act of harassment, as defined in § 947.013, Wis. Stats.
- (2) Disorderly conduct, as defined in § 947.01, Wis. Stats.
- (3) Battery, substantial battery, or aggravated battery, as defined in § 940.19, Wis. Stats.
- (4) Lewd and lascivious behavior, as defined in § 944.20, Wis. Stats.
- (5) Prostitution, as defined in § 944.30, Wis. Stats.
- (6) Theft, as defined in § 943.20, Wis. Stats.
- (7) Receiving stolen property, as defined in § 943.34, Wis. Stats.
- (8) Arson, as defined in § 943.02, Wis. Stats.
- (9) Possession, manufacture, or delivery of a controlled substance or related offenses, as defined in Ch. 961, Wis. Stats.
- (10) Gambling, as defined in § 945.02, Wis. Stats.
- (11) Animal violations, as defined in Chapter 216 of the Code of the City of Fond du Lac.
- (12) Trespassing, as defined in §§ 943.13 and 943.14, Wis. Stats.
- (14) Noise violations, as defined in § 500-3 of the Code of the City of Fond du Lac.
- (16) The execution of arrest or search warrants at a particular location.
- (17) Alcohol violations, as defined in Chapter 400 of the Code of the City of Fond du Lac and § 125.07, Wis. Stats.
- (18) Obstructing or resisting an officer, as defined in § 946.41, Wis. Stats.
- (19) City of Fond du Lac inspection-related calls where the Police Department responds.
- The owner of the premises and his or her agents.
- An individual dwelling unit, an apartment building (all units included as one premises), or an individual business premises and associated common areas.
Notice. Whenever the Chief determines that three or more nuisance activities described in Subsection A resulting in enforcement action have occurred at a premises during a twelve-month period, the Chief may notify the premises owner in writing. In calculating the requisite nuisance activities, the Chief may count separate qualifying nuisance incidents resulting in enforcement action occurring on the same day (as long as they are distinct in time) or different days but shall never count nuisance activities that were reported by the owner of the premises. The notice shall contain the street address or legal description sufficient to identify the premises, a description of the nuisance activities that have occurred at the premises, a statement indicating that the cost of future enforcement may be assessed as a special charge against the premises, and a notice as to the appeal rights of the owner. The notice shall be delivered pursuant to § 476-11C of this chapter.
Abatement plan. Any owner receiving notice pursuant to Subsection B shall meet with the Chief or his/her designee within 10 days of receipt of such notice. The parties shall review the problems occurring at the property. Within 20 days of this meeting, the owner shall submit to the Chief or his/her designee a written abatement plan to end the nuisance activity on the property. The plan shall also specify a name, address, and telephone number of a person living within 60 miles of the property who can be contacted in the event of further police, fire, or inspection contact.
Additional nuisance activity. Whenever the Chief determines that additional nuisance activity has occurred at a premises for which notice has been issued pursuant to Subsection B, that this nuisance activity has occurred not less than 30 days after notice has been issued, and that reasonable efforts have not been made to abate the nuisance activity, the Chief may calculate the cost of police response and enforcement for this and any subsequent nuisance activities and cause such charges and administrative costs to be assessed and collected as a special charge.
All trees less than four inches in diameter, not on groomed or cultivated lawns or yards, bearing a cotton-like substance that can be carried by air currents are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and the owner of any piece or parcel of land in the City shall remove all such trees. No person shall sell, plant or otherwise allow to grow any tree as defined herein.
In the event such tree is found growing or reported in the City, such owner shall be issued an order to remove such tree within 10 days after notification. If after 10 days the owner has failed to comply with the order, the Director of Public Works shall cause such trees to be removed and the cost of the removal shall be chargeable to the owner of the property and, if not paid within 30 days after the work is completed, the same shall be certified by the Director of Public Works to the City Clerk and shall be taxed and levied as a special assessment charge upon the real estate in the manner provided for the taxing of special assessments against the land.
[Added 8-22-2007 by Ord. No. 3329]
Declaration of public nuisance. Any tree or shrub or part thereof which by reason of its condition interferes with the use of any public area; or is infected with a plant disease or insect infestation which endangers life, health, safety and/or property on public and/or private premises; or for any other reason endangers the life, health, safety and/or property on public and/or private premises is hereby declared a public nuisance.
Examples of public nuisance. Without limiting the generality of Subsection A, public nuisances include:
Any dead tree;
Any part of a tree that endangers life, health, safety and/or property;
Any elm tree or part thereof infected with the Dutch Elm disease fungus or which harbors any carrier of the same, such as elm bark beetles, Scolytus multistriatus (Eichb) or Hylurgopinus rufipes (Marsh);
Any oak tree infected with the oak wilt fungus (Ceratocyctis fagacearum) or which harbors any carrier of the same; and
Any ash tree which is infected with emerald ash borer.
Inspection. The Director of Public Works or his agents shall inspect all premises and places with reasonable cause within the City to determine whether any public nuisance exists. The Director of Public Works or his agents shall also inspect or cause inspection of any trees, shrub, or plants reported or suspected to be infected with an injurious insect or disease.
Abatement. If the Director of Public Works or his agent determines that the dead or infested tree or plant is a public nuisance, he may issue a notice to the property owner to abate the public nuisance. The notice shall identify the public nuisance and indicate whether it is to be abated by means of removal, pruning part thereof, or other treatments. The Director of Public Works or his agent shall give a reasonable time for the property owner to abate the public nuisance. The amount of time given to the property owner to abate the nuisance shall be stated in the notice.
Weeds declared a nuisance. No person shall allow or permit any weeds, such as jimson, burdock, ragweed, thistle, cocklebur or other weeds of a like kind, to grow in any lot or tract of land in the City. To permit any such weeds to grow or remain in any such place is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
Height. No person shall permit any weeds, grass or plants, other than trees, bushes, flowers or other ornamental plants, to grow to a height to exceed six inches anywhere in the City.
Barberry bushes. No person shall plant or permit the growth of the bush of the species of Tall, Common or European Barberry, additionally known as Berberis vulgaris, or its horticultural varieties within the City.
Removal notice. The City Manager shall appoint one or more Weed Commissioners on or before May 15 each year, and such Commissioners shall take the official oath which shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk and shall hold office for one year and until a successor is appointed and qualified. The Weed Commissioners shall carefully investigate concerning the existence of growing matter as shown in the subsections above and which is in violation of this section and shall, by regular mail, give written notice of a possible violation of this section to the owner, occupant or person having control of the land where such growing matter is found to cut, destroy and remove and to demand the abatement of the nuisance within seven days.
[Amended 9-24-1997 by Ord. No. 2897]
Enforcement. The Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Director of Public Works, Chief Inspector, or other agent of the City so designated shall enforce those provisions of this chapter that come within the jurisdiction of their offices and they shall make 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 has satisfied himself that a nuisance does in fact exist.
Order of abatement. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists within the City and that there is immediate danger to the public health, safety, welfare, peace or order, he/she 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 he/she 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 to abate or remove such nuisance within the specified time period.
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 or permitted the nuisance.
Order of abatement. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists on private premises but that such nuisance does not threaten immediate danger to the public health, safety, welfare, peace or order, he/she 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, which shall be no shorter than 30 days. The order shall be served personally on the owner of the building, 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 persons to be served by registered mail with receipt. If the owner or occupant cannot be served, the order may be served by posting it on the main entrance of the premises and by publishing a Class 3 notice under Chapter 985 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The time limit specified in the order shall run from the date of service or publication.
Abatement by City. If the owner or occupant fails or refuses to comply with 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 the occupant of the premises or from the person who has caused or permitted the nuisance.
Remedy from order. Any person affected by such order may, within 30 days of service or publication of the order, apply to the Circuit Court for an order restraining the City, its agents, and employees from entering on the premises and abating or removing the nuisance, or be forever barred. The court shall determine if the City has met its burden of proving the reasonableness of the order for abatement of the nuisance.
Abatement in accordance with state law. 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 of Wisconsin.
Editor's Note: Original § 10.10(5), Warrant, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 6-13-2001 by Ord. No. 3054.
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 abatement or removal of 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.
No person shall in any way resist any officer whose duty is to carry out the provisions of this chapter while acting in the performance of his duty or resist any officer in the quarantining or placarding of any house. No person shall remove, deface or mutilate any placard on such premises or refuse to obey any order of the City Manager issued pursuant to and under authority of the Wisconsin Statutes or this Code.
Except as otherwise provided, any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or any regulation, rule or order made hereunder or permit or cause a public nuisance shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-4 of this Code.