[Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lake Mills 4-5-2005 by Ord. No. 949 (Title 4, Ch. 4, of the 2009 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
No owner of property within the City shall permit to grow or pollinate upon the owner's property any noxious weeds or grasses which may cause hay fever in human beings, produce unpleasant or noxious odors, conceal filthy deposits or provide a place for the accumulation of trash or litter. In order to prevent such growth and pollination, it shall be the duty of every property owner to mow or cause to be mowed upon the owner's property all grasses or weeds exceeding eight inches in height, unless that property is exempt under the provisions listed in the next section.
Properties exempt from the mowing requirement in § 271-1 are the following:
Vacant improved lots, unless an existing house abuts the vacant lot. However, in the case of this exemption, the grasses and weeds shall be mowed to a height not exceeding 12 inches. An improved vacant lot is a lot that has the necessary infrastructure that would allow for development, but has not yet been developed.
Vacant, unimproved lots that are in remote locations, except the mowing requirements listed for vacant improved lots shall apply.
Lands that are zoned or mapped as wetlands.
Lands that are located in designated, environmentally sensitive areas.
Lands that are considered to be rough, wet or wild by the Parks and Forestry Director.
Lands used for agricultural purposes and that are subject to only one seasonal harvest.
Lands subject to government programs, such as a state forest land management program or a crop set-aside program for agricultural lands.
Natural landscapes approved by the Weed Commissioner.
The Weed Commissioner may require a mowed or maintained buffer zone of a minimum of three feet between exempted property and adjoining properties. This requirement may be enforced by using the same procedures to enforce the mowing requirement of this chapter.
Noxious weeds and grasses are defined as and shall include any and all weeds and other vegetation prohibited by Wis. Stats. § 66.0407, or which have been designated by the City herein:
Upon written complaint by an adjoining property owner, the Weed Commissioner, who shall also be the Parks and Forestry Director, and who shall have the powers established herein and under Wis. Stats. § 66.0517, may enforce the mowing requirement of this chapter. All enforcement is to be commenced by mailing or serving the property owner with a notice of violation that orders the property owner to mow the noxious weeds or grasses within seven calendar days from receipt of the notice. In addition, the Commissioner has authority to make his own determination that a notice of violation should be provided to the property owner, absent a written complaint by an adjoining property owner.
[Amended 12-18-2012 by Ord. No. 1103]
If any person shall fail to comply with the written order, the Weed Commissioner may cause the property to be mowed and report the cost thereof in writing to the Treasurer in the manner provided in Wis. Stats. § 66.0517. Such costs shall be placed on the tax roll and charged against the property as a special tax to be collected in the same manner as other taxes, unless the property is exempt from taxation.
In addition to the requirement that properties be mowed to prevent the growth or pollination of noxious weeds and grasses, the City Council deems it to be in the interest of the general welfare of the public to regulate nuisance or invasive weeds and grasses in accordance with the following provisions:
Nuisance or invasive weeds and grasses are defined as those non-indigenous species or strains that tend to replace native vegetation by establishing themselves in natural plant communities and wild areas. Nuisance or invasive weeds and grasses include, but may not be limited to, the following:
The Weed Commissioner is authorized to add other weeds and grasses to the list of nuisance weeds and grasses when he deems the designation to be appropriate, given the prevalence and severity of the invasiveness of nonindigenous species not so designated upon passage of this chapter.
Upon a written complaint by any adjoining property owner or by the Weed Commissioner's own determination, the Commissioner may inform the property owner of the complaint or determination and provide written, educational materials to the property owner regarding the harms likely to occur through the growth and proliferation of nuisance or invasive weeds and grasses. In the case of rough, wet or wild areas that have a proliferation of invasive or nuisance weeds or grasses, the Commissioner may order the property owner to provide a buffer zone of three feet between the invasive or nuisance weeds and grasses and any adjoining property. Said order may be provided in the same manner as are orders to enforce the mowing requirement for noxious weeds and grasses.