Village of Maple Bluff, WI
Dane County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted as §§ 10.01 to 10.11 of the 1986 Code]
No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the Village.
A public nuisance is a thing, act, occupation, condition or use of property which continues 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.
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 § 149-2:
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 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.
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 weeds. All noxious weeds and other rank growth of vegetation. All weeds and grass shall be kept cut to a height not to exceed one foot. The Village may cause all weeds and grass to be cut and removed and brush to be removed and the cost thereof charged to the property under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats.
G. 
Water pollution. The pollution of any public water supply, stream, lake, canal or other body of water.
H. 
Noxious odors, etc.. Any use of property, substances or things within the Village 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 Village.
I. 
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 Village.
J. 
Air pollution. The escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, industrial dust or other atmospheric pollutants within the Village or within one mile therefrom in such quantities as to endanger the health of persons of ordinary sensibilities or threaten or cause substantial damage to property in the Village.
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 § 149-2:
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.
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 Village.
D. 
Continuous violation of Village ordinances. Any place or premises within the Village where Village ordinances or state laws relating to public health, safety, peace, morals or welfare are 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 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 § 149-2:
A. 
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.
B. 
Illegal buildings. All buildings erected, repaired or altered in violation of Village ordinances relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the Village.
C. 
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.
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. 
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.
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 state laws and Village ordinances.
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. 
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.
J. 
Noisy animals or fowl. The keeping or harboring of any animal or fowl without taking sufficient measures to prevent noise, barking, fighting or howling which would unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. The testimony of two or more adult persons of different households to the effect that the noise, barking, fighting or howling of an animal or fowl identified by them has caused them great annoyance on repeated frequent occasions shall be prima facie evidence that the person owning or keeping the animal or fowl has failed to take the measures required hereby and that the result thereof has been the unreasonable disturbance of the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
K. 
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 Village, 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.
L. 
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.
M. 
Blighted buildings and premises. Premises existing within the Village which are blighted because of faulty design or construction, failure to maintain them in a proper state of repair, or improper management or due to the accumulation thereon of junk or other unsightly debris, structurally unsound fences, and other items which depreciate property values and jeopardize or are detrimental to the health, safety, morals or welfare of the people of the Village.
(1) 
The blighted premises contribute to conditions that are dangerous to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the people. The conditions necessitate excessive and disproportionate expenditure of public funds for public health, public safety, crime prevention, fire protection and other public services. The conditions cause a drain upon public revenue and impair the efficient and economical exercise of governmental functions in such areas.
(2) 
Elimination of blighted premises and prevention of blighted premises in the future is in the best interest of the citizens and shall be fostered and encouraged by this article. It is essential to the public interest that this article be liberally construed to accomplish the purposes of this subsection.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 10.05(14), Animal feces, which was added 11-12-1991 and immediately followed this section, has been moved to Ch. 82, Animals, § 82-2C.
[Added 1-11-2000]
Residential signs that carry political, religious or personal messages are permitted to be placed on private property, subject to the following conditions:
A. 
Signs shall be freestanding.
B. 
Signs shall not exceed six square feet in area and four feet in height from the top of the sign to the ground.
C. 
One sign per candidate or issue per lot shall be permitted, except that corner lots may have two signs per candidate or issue.
D. 
Signs shall have no electrical, mechanical, audio auxiliary or other distracting features.
A. 
Public nuisance declared. The Village Board, having determined that the health of the elm trees within the Village is threatened by a fatal disease known as "Dutch elm disease," hereby declares the following to be public nuisances:
(1) 
Any living or standing elm tree or part thereof infected with Dutch elm disease fungus or which harbors any of the elm bark beetles Scolytus multistriatus (Eichh) or Hylurgopinus rufipes (Marsh).
(2) 
Any dead elm tree or part thereof, including logs, branches, firewood, stumps or other elm material from which the bark has not been removed and burned or sprayed with an effective elm bark beetle destroying insecticide.
B. 
Village Forester. The Village Forester shall have the powers and perform the duties imposed by this section and by Ch. 27, Wis. Stats.
C. 
Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following phrases are defined as follows:
(1) 
Dutch elm disease.
(2) 
Elm bark beetles Scolytus multistriatus (Eichh) or Hylurgopinus rufipes (Marsh).
(3) 
Any living or standing elm tree infected with Dutch elm disease fungus or in a weakened condition which harbors any of the elm bark beetles.
(4) 
Any dead elm tree or part thereof, including logs, branches, firewood, stumps or other elm material from which the bark has not been removed and burned or sprayed with an effective elm bark beetle destroying concentrate.
PUBLIC PROPERTY
Any premises owned or controlled by the Village, including but not restricted to public sites, parks, playgrounds, streets, alleys, sidewalks, boulevards and terrace strips between the lot line and the curb or improved portion of any public way.
D. 
Inspections.
(1) 
The Village Forester shall inspect any elm tree reported or suspected to be infected with Dutch Elm disease or any elm bark bearing material 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 Village Forester shall remove or cut specimens from the tree in such manner as to avoid permanent injury thereto and forward them to the State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for analysis to determine the presence of such nuisances.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(3) 
The Forester and his agents or employees may enter upon private premises at reasonable times for the purpose of carrying out any of the provisions of this section.
E. 
Abatement of nuisances.
(1) 
The Forester shall order, direct, supervise and control the abatement of public nuisances by spraying, removal, burning or other means which he determines to be necessary to prevent as fully as possible the spread of Dutch elm disease fungus or the insect pests or vectors known to carry such disease fungus.
(2) 
Whenever the Forester determines that a public nuisance exists on public property in the Village, he 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 or the insect pests or vectors known to carry such disease fungus.
(3) 
When the Forester determines with reasonable certainty that a public nuisance exists upon private premises, he shall immediately serve personally or by registered mail upon the owner of such property, if he can be found, or upon the occupant thereof a written notice of the existence of such nuisance, directing that the nuisance be abated within 10 days after service of such notice. Such notice shall describe the nuisance and recommend the procedure for its abatement and shall state that, unless the owner abates the nuisance as specified in the notice, the Forester will cause the abatement thereof at the expense of the property served. If the owner or occupant cannot be found, such notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Village.
F. 
Spraying.
(1) 
Whenever the Forester determines that any elm tree or part thereof is infected with Dutch elm disease fungus or is in a weakened condition and harbors elm bark beetles, he may cause all elm trees within a radius of 1,000 feet thereof to be sprayed with an effective elm bark beetle destroying concentrate.
(2) 
To facilitate the work and minimize the inconvenience to the public of any spraying operation conducted under this section, the Forester shall cause to be given advance public notice of such operation by the posting of 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 make and enforce such temporary parking and traffic regulations on such streets as conditions require. Temporary "No Parking" notices shall be posted in each affected block of any street at least 24 hours in advance of spraying operations.
(3) 
If warning notices have been posted in accordance with Subsection F(2) above, the Village 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 Subsection E(3).
G. 
Special assessments for tree care and abatement.
(1) 
The cost of abatement of a public nuisance or spraying elm trees or elm wood at the direction of the Forester, if the nuisance tree or wood is located in a public park or on other public grounds, shall be borne by the Village.
(2) 
The cost of abating a public nuisance or spraying elm trees or elm wood located on private premises or in the public right-of-way, 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 or which abuts on the public right-of-way in which such nuisance tree or wood is located, as follows:
(a) 
The Forester shall keep account of the cost of such work or spraying and the amount chargeable to each lot or parcel and shall report such work charges, the description of lands to which they are chargeable and the names and addresses of the owners of such lands to the Clerk-Treasurer on or before October 15 of each year.
(b) 
The Clerk-Treasurer shall mail notice of the amount of such final assessment to each owner of property assessed at his last known address, stating that, unless paid within 30 days of the date of the notice, such assessment shall bear interest at the rate of 12% per annum and will be entered on the tax roll as a delinquent tax against the property; and all proceedings in relation to the collection, return and sale of property for delinquent real estate taxes shall apply to such assessment.
(c) 
The Village hereby declares that, in making assessments under this section, it is acting under its police power. No damages shall be awarded to any owner for the destruction of any diseased or infested elm tree or elm wood or part thereof.
H. 
Prohibited acts. No person shall:
(1) 
Transport any bark bearing elm wood, elm bark or elm material on public streets or highways or other public premises without first securing the written permission of the Forester.
(2) 
Interfere with or prevent any act of the Forester or his agents or employees while they are engaged in the performance of duties imposed by this section.
(3) 
Refuse to permit the Forester or his duly authorized representative to enter upon his premises at reasonable times to exercise the duties imposed by this section.
(4) 
Permit any public nuisance to remain on any premises owned or controlled by him when ordered by the Forester to abate such nuisance.
A person shall not plant or keep any trees commonly known as "cotton shedding poplars" on his premises and shall have the same destroyed. If trees are not destroyed by the property owner, the Village shall destroy the same and the cost thereof shall be assessed in the same manner as costs under § 149-7G are assessed.
A. 
Enforcement. The Chief of Police and the Fire Chief shall enforce those provisions of this article 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.
B. 
Summary abatement. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists within the Village and that there is immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the President may direct the proper officer to cause the same to be abated and charge the cost thereof to the owner, occupant or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance, as the case may be.
C. 
Abatement after notice. 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, peace, morals or decency, he shall serve notice on the person causing or maintaining the nuisance to remove the same within 10 days. If such nuisance is not removed within 10 days, the proper officer shall cause the nuisance to be removed as provided in Subsection B.
D. 
Other methods not excluded. 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.
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.
In addition to any other penalty imposed by this article for the erection, contrivance, creation, continuance or maintenance of a public nuisance, the cost of abating a public nuisance by the Village 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.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article, 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 Municipal Code.