Village of Whitefish Bay, WI
Milwaukee County
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[Adopted by Ord. No. 1739 (Sec. 9.06 of the Codification)]
Notwithstanding other provisions of the Municipal Code with regard to public nuisance prohibitions, penalties, and enforcement, this article establishes additional enforcement authority of the Village with regard to chronic nuisance premises, as defined herein.
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings given herein:
CHRONIC NUISANCE PREMISES
A premises that meets any of the following criteria:
A. 
Is a premises which has generated three or more calls for police services that have resulted in enforcement action for nuisance activities on three separate days within a three-hundred-sixty-five-day period and/or has generated five or more cases for nuisance activities from at least five building inspections occurring within a one-year period, with such calls resulting in enforcement action. Three or more calls for police services resulting in enforcement action for nuisance activities includes enforcement action taken against any person associated with the premises while at or within 200 feet of the premises for a nuisance activity;
B. 
Is a premises for which a court of law has determined that, pursuant to a search warrant request, probable cause exists that manufacture, distribution or delivery of a controlled substance has occurred on or in association with the premises within 30 days prior to the date of the search warrant application; or
C. 
Is a premises which has had one enforcement action associated with the premises resulting from the manufacture, delivery or distribution of a controlled substance(s) as defined in Chapter 961 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
CHRONIC NUISANCE PREMISES NOTICE
The notice issued by the Chief of Police and/or the Building Inspector or designee and referred to in § 9-7A of this article.
ENFORCEMENT ACTION
Any of the following: The physical arrest of an individual(s); the issuance of a citation for a law violation; or the filing of a civil or criminal action in a court of law by Village Attorney or District Attorney regarding nuisance activities.
NUISANCE ACTIVITIES
For purposes of establishing a chronic nuisance premises, "nuisance activities" means any of the following activities, behaviors, or conduct:
A. 
An act of harassment as defined in § 947.013, Wis. Stats.
B. 
Disorderly conduct as defined in § 947.01, Wis. Stats.
C. 
Crimes of violence as defined in Ch. 940, Wis. Stats.
D. 
Resisting or obstructing an officer as prohibited by § 946.41, Wis. Stats.
E. 
Indecent exposure as prohibited by § 8-23 of the Code of the Village of Whitefish Bay or § 944.20(1)(b), Wis. Stats.
F. 
Damage to property as prohibited by § 943.01, Wis. Stats.
G. 
Discharge of a firearm as prohibited by § 8-1 of the Code of the Village of Whitefish Bay.
H. 
Crimes involving illegal possession of firearms as defined in §§ 941.23, 941.26, 941.28, 941.29 and 948.60, Wis. Stats.
I. 
Trespass to land as defined in § 943.13, Wis. Stats, or criminal trespass to dwelling as defined in § 943.14, Wis. Stats.
J. 
Obstructing a street or sidewalk, as prohibited by § 8-17 of the Code of the Village of Whitefish Bay.
K. 
Theft as defined in § 943.20, Wis. Stats.
L. 
Arson as defined in § 943.02, Wis. Stats.
M. 
Depositing rubbish as prohibited by § 8-24 of the Code of the Village of Whitefish Bay.
N. 
Keeping a place of prostitution as defined in § 944.34, Wis. Stats.
O. 
Loitering as prohibited by § 8-20 or 8-22 of the Municipal Code.
P. 
Prostitution as prohibited by § 944.30, Wis. Stats.
Q. 
Soliciting prostitutes as prohibited by § 944.32, Wis. Stats.
R. 
Pandering as prohibited by § 944.33, Wis. Stats.
S. 
Selling, offering for sale or giving away of any intoxicating liquors or fermented malt beverages without a license as provided in Chapter 15, Licenses and Permits, Article II, Alcoholic Beverages, of the Code of the Village of Whitefish Bay, or § 125.04(1), Wis. Stats.
T. 
Possession, manufacture, distribution or delivery of a controlled substance or related offenses as defined in Ch. 961, Wis. Stats.
U. 
Maintaining a drug dwelling as defined in § 961.42, Wis. Stats.
V. 
Illegal gambling as defined in § 945.02, Wis. Stats.
W. 
Owning, keeping or harboring a dangerous animal, as defined in Chapter 15, Licenses and Permits, Article VII, Dog Regulations and Licensing, of the Code of the Village of Whitefish Bay.
PERSON ASSOCIATED WITH
Any person who, whenever engaged in a nuisance activity, has entered, patronized, visited or attempted to enter, patronize or visit, or waited to enter, patronize or visit a premises or person present on a premises, including without limitation any officer, director, customer, agent, employee, or any independent contractor of a property, person in charge, or owner of a premises. "Person" under this article includes entities as well as individuals.
PERSON IN CHARGE
Any person, who is the operator or in constructive possession of a premises, including but not limited to an owner or occupant of premises under his or her ownership or control.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 17, Village Code and Ordinances, Art. I)]
A. 
Upon finding that a premises meets the definition of a chronic nuisance premises, the Chief of Police may declare the premises a chronic nuisance premises. The Chief of Police shall provide written notice of his or her determination to the premises owner identified by the Village Assessor's records for that premises. The chronic nuisance premises notice ("CNP notice") shall be deemed delivered if sent either by first-class mail to the premises owner's last known address or delivered in person to the premises owner. If the premises owner cannot be located, the notice shall be deemed to be properly delivered if a copy of it is left at the premises owner's usual place of abode in the presence of some competent member of the family at least 14 years of age, or a competent adult currently residing there and who shall be informed of the contents of the CNP notice. If a current address cannot be located, it shall be deemed sufficient if a copy of the CNP notice is sent by first class mail to the last known address of the owner as identified by the records of the Village Assessor. The CNP notice shall contain the following information:
(1) 
Street address, parcel number or a legal description sufficient to identify the premises.
(2) 
A concise statement, including a description of the relevant activities supporting the determination that the premises is a chronic nuisance premises.
(3) 
A statement that the owner shall immediately notify the Chief of Police of any change in address to ensure receipt of future notices.
(4) 
A statement that the cost of future enforcement may be assessed as a special charge against the premises.
(5) 
A statement that the owner shall, within 10 days of receipt of the CNP notice, respond to the Chief of Police either with an appeal or to propose a written course of action to abate the nuisance activities. The statement shall direct the premises owner to schedule a meeting with the Chief of Police and/or Building Inspector or designee to discuss the nuisance activity and the premises owner's intent regarding abatement.
(6) 
A statement that the premises' owner may be subject to a forfeiture action with a penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 per day for permitting a chronic nuisance premises.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 17, Village Code and Ordinances, Art. I)]
B. 
Reporting to police; domestic abuse; enforcement.
(1) 
In reaching a determination that a premises is a chronic nuisance premises, activities that were reported to the police by the premises owner or on-site premises manager shall not be included as nuisance activities.
(2) 
Section 968.075, Wis. Stats., broadly defines "domestic abuse." Therefore, in reaching a determination that a premises is a chronic nuisance premises, activities that are "domestic abuse" incidents pursuant to § 968.075, Wis. Stats., shall not be included as nuisance activities unless the incidents have been reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Village Attorney and a determination is made that, based upon the specific facts of each incident, the activities should be deemed nuisance activities under the definition of "nuisance activities" in § 9-6. In determining whether to include such activities, the Chief of Police and Village Attorney shall consider the strong public policy in favor of domestic victims reporting alleged abuses.
(3) 
Nuisance abatement.
(a) 
If the owner responds to the CNP notice pursuant to Subsection A with a nuisance abatement proposal, the Chief of Police may accept, reject or work with the owner to modify the proposal. The plan is acceptable if it can reasonably be expected to result in abatement of the nuisance activities described in the CNP notice within 60 days.
(b) 
Premises owners and operators shall be consulted if possible regarding nuisance abatement methods and strategies and shall be encouraged to submit a comprehensive nuisance abatement plan.
(c) 
Premises owners and operators shall be consulted if possible regarding use of available resources, including community service providers, when nuisance activity associated with the premises is not caused or contributed to by the direct actions of a tenant.
(d) 
If the premises owner or operator meets with the Chief of Police and presents an acceptable abatement plan and initiates action to abate the nuisance activities occurring on the premises, the Police Department may delay further enforcement of this article.
(e) 
If the premises owner or operator ceases to cooperate with the efforts to abate the nuisance activities, the Chief of Police will reinstitute enforcement of this article and the premises owner will be sent a change in status letter. This letter will document Police Department efforts to contact and/or obtain cooperation of the owner or operator.
(f) 
Failure by the premises owner or operator to respond within 10 days as directed in this subdivision shall result in a forfeiture of $1,000 plus court costs and fees.
C. 
The Village may charge the property owner for the cost of enforcement whenever the Chief of Police determines that any of the following have occurred:
(1) 
A premises owner has failed to respond to the CNP notice in Subsection A of this section;
(2) 
Enforcement action for an additional nuisance activity has occurred at a premises for which notice has been issued pursuant to Subsection A and this enforcement action has occurred not less than 15 days after the CNP notice has been issued; or
(3) 
A course of action submitted pursuant to Subsection B(3) of this section has not been completed.
D. 
To charge such costs of enforcement to the property owner, the Chief of Police shall calculate the cost of enforcement to abate this and any subsequent nuisance activities and refer such cost to the Village Clerk-Treasurer so that the cost may be billed to the premises owner. The Chief of Police shall notify the premises owner of the decision to refer the cost of enforcement to the Village Clerk-Treasurer. Delivery of this notice, along with a copy of the Chief's referral letter to the Village Clerk-Treasurer, shall be made as set forth in Subsection A. The notice shall contain:
(1) 
The street address or legal description sufficient for identification of the premises.
(2) 
A statement that the Chief of Police has referred the cost of enforcement to the Village Clerk-Treasurer with a concise description of the nuisance activities and the relevant sections of the ordinances.
(3) 
Notice of the premises owner's right to appeal pursuant to § 9-9.
E. 
Each subsequent incident of enforcement action for nuisance activity shall be deemed a separate violation and costs will continue to be assessed pursuant to Subsection C(3) of this section until the nuisance is abated pursuant to § 9-13.
A. 
Cost recovery. The Chief of Police shall keep an accurate account of the cost of enforcement and shall report it to the Village Clerk-Treasurer. The Village Clerk-Treasurer shall establish a reasonable charge for the costs of enforcement of this section. Upon receipt of a notice from the Chief of Police issued pursuant to the definition of "chronic nuisance premises notice" of § 9-6, the Village Clerk-Treasurer shall charge any premises owner found to be in violation of this section the costs of enforcement in full or in part. Such costs shall be billed to the premises owner by invoice sent by regular mail and must be paid within 30 days of the date on the invoice. Any unpaid invoice shall be a lien on such premises and may be assessed and collected as a special charge pursuant to § 66.0627, Wis. Stats. An administrative fee shall be added to the cost of enforcement charged to the benefited premises any time the premises is declared a chronic nuisance premises.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 17, Village Code and Ordinances, Art. I)]
B. 
Suspension of cost recovery. If after the receipt of a billing notice from the Village Clerk-Treasurer, the premises owner develops an acceptable plan and initiates action to abate nuisance activities occurring on the premises, the Chief of Police will suspend further enforcement of this article. The premises owner is still responsible for any enforcement costs incurred prior to the premises owner's submitting an abatement plan, including the administrative fee. If the premises owner ceases to cooperate with the efforts to abate the nuisance activities, the Chief of Police will reinstitute enforcement of this article after sending the premises owner a change in status letter.
C. 
Forfeiture. A forfeiture action may be commenced by the Village Attorney for each enforcement action for nuisance activity occurring after the premises has been declared a chronic nuisance premises. The forfeiture shall be not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for each enforcement action.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 17, Village Code and Ordinances, Art. I)]
Appeal of the determination of the Chief of Police pursuant to either § 9-7A, or the action of the Village Clerk-Treasurer imposing special charges pursuant to § 9-8A against the premises, may be submitted in writing to the Board of Appeals as an administrative decision under § 62.23, Wis. Stats.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for a landlord to terminate the lease agreement or periodic tenancy of any tenant or otherwise retaliate against any tenant because that tenant complained to the Chief of Police about nuisance activities on the landlord's premises. It shall be unlawful for a landlord or any person acting as an agent for the landlord, to intimidate or actively discourage a tenant and/or persons associated with a tenant, from calling the police to report nuisance activity associated with a premises. It shall be presumed that any attempt to increase charges, reduce services, or to otherwise harass or retaliate against the tenant during the twelve-month period following receipt of the complaint by the Chief of Police constitutes unlawful retaliation under this subsection. Such presumption shall be rebutted by the preponderance of evidence that the actions taken by the landlord were based upon good cause. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a tenant's lease agreement or periodic tenancy may be terminated for a failure to pay rent; committing nuisance activity as defined in § 9-6; for the commission of waste upon the premises; violating the terms and conditions of the lease agreement or periodic tenancy or as otherwise provided in Ch. 704, Wis. Stats. and Ch. ATCP 134, Wis. Adm. Code. A landlord's failure to renew a lease agreement or periodic tenancy upon expiration of such lease agreement or periodic tenancy shall not be deemed a violation of this subsection.
B. 
"Good cause" as used in this section means that a landlord must show good cause for his or her actions, other than one related to or caused by the operation of this section.
C. 
Penalty. Any person violating § 9-10 shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $2,000 per day for each violation.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 17, Village Code and Ordinances, Art. I)]
This article maybe enforced by injunction.
Nothing in this article shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the Village or its officials in accordance with the laws of the state.
The public nuisance created by a chronic nuisance premises shall be deemed abated when no enforcement action to address nuisance activities occurs for a period of six consecutive months from the date stated on the notice declaring the premised a chronic nuisance premises and/or there are no building inspection cases generated for a period of 365 days from the date stated on the notice declaring the premises a chronic nuisance premises.
The provisions of any part of this article are severable. If any provision or subsection hereof or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the other provisions, subsections and applications of such ordinance to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. It is declared to be the intent of this section that the same would have been adopted had such invalid provisions, if any, not been included herein.