[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Theresa 6-3-1996 as §§ 8-1-4 to 8-1-6 of the 1996 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village Clerk-Treasurer shall annually, on or before May 15, publish as required by state law a notice that every person is required by law to destroy all noxious weeds on lands in the Village which he owns, occupies or controls. A joint notice with other towns or municipalities may be utilized.
If the owner or occupant shall neglect to destroy any weeds and the Weed Commissioner determines with reasonable certainty that any public nuisance exists, he shall immediately cause a five-day written notice to be mailed to the owner or occupant of any lands upon which the weeds shall be growing. Only one notice, per year, shall be served upon the owner or occupant. After the expiration of the five-day period, the Village will proceed to destroy or cause to be destroyed all such weeds growing upon said lands and the cost thereof will be assessed as a tax upon the lands upon which such grass is located under the provisions of § 66-047, Wis. Stats. In case the owner or occupant shall further neglect to comply, the Village will proceed to continue to destroy such weeds or cause them to be destroyed in a manner deemed to be the most economical method, and the expense thereof, including necessary administrative expenses, shall be charged against such lot and be collected as a special tax thereon.
As provided for in § 66.0407(2), Wis. Stats., the Village shall require that all noxious weeds shall be destroyed prior to the time in which such plants would mature to the bloom or flower state. The growth of noxious weeds in excess of six inches in height from the ground surface shall be prohibited within the Village corporate limits. "Noxious weeds" shall include any weed, grass or similar plant growth which, if allowed to pollinate, would cause or produce hayfever in human beings or would cause a skin rash through contact with the skin.
[Amended 8-1-2005 by Ord. No. 1-10]
Noxious weeds, as defined in this section and in § 127-3, shall include but not be limited to the following:
Cirsium Arvense (Canada Thistle).
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed).
Ambrosia trifida (Great Ragweed).
Euphorbia esula (Leafy Spurge).
Convolvulus arvensis (Creeping Jenny) (Field Bind Weed).
Tragopogon dubius (Goat's Beard).
Rhus radicans (Poison Ivy).
Cirsium vulgaries (Bull Thistle).
Pastinaca sativa (Wild Parsnip).
Arctium minus (Burdock).
Xanthium strumarium (Cocklebur).
Amaranthus retroflexus (Pigweed).
Chenopodium album (Common Lambsquarter).
Rumex Crispus (Curled Dock).
Cannabis sativa (Hemp).
Plantago lancellata (English Plantain).
Purpose. This section is adopted due to the unique nature of the problems associated with lawns, grasses and noxious weeds being allowed to grow to excessive length in the Village of Theresa.
Public nuisance declared. The Village Board finds that lawns, grasses and noxious weeds on nonagricultural lots or parcels of land, as classified under Chapter 350, Zoning, of this Code, within the Village of Theresa which exceed six inches in length adversely affect the public health and safety of the public in that they tend to emit pollen and other discomforting bits of plants, constitute a fire hazard and a safety hazard in that debris can be hidden in the grass, interfere with the public convenience and adversely affect property values of other land within the Village. For that reason, any nonagricultural lawn, grass or weed on a lot or other parcel of land which exceeds six inches in length is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, except for property located in a designated floodplain area and/or wetland area or where the lawn, grass or weed is part of a natural lawn approved pursuant to § 127-2 above.
[Amended 8-1-2005 by Ord. No. 1-10]
Nuisances prohibited. No person, firm or corporation shall permit any public nuisance as defined in Subsection B above to remain on any premises owned or controlled by him within the Village.
Inspection. The Weed Commissioner or his designee shall inspect or cause to be inspected all premises and places within the Village to determine whether any public nuisance as defined in Subsection B above exists.
Abatement of nuisance.
If the Weed Commissioner determines with reasonable certainty that any public nuisance as defined in Subsection B exists, he shall immediately cause a five-day written notice to be mailed to the owner or occupant of any lands upon which the grass or lawn shall be growing. Only one notice, per year, shall be served upon the owner or occupant.
After the expiration of the five-day period, the Village will proceed to mow said land(s) and the cost thereof will be assessed as a tax upon the lands upon which such grass is located under the provisions of § 66-047, Wis. Stats. In case the owner or occupant shall further neglect to comply, the Village will proceed to continue to maintain the grass or lawn on the property in a manner deemed to be the most economical method, and the expense thereof, including necessary administrative expenses, shall be charged against such lot and be collected as a special tax thereon.
Due process hearing. If the owner believes that his grasses or weeds are not a nuisance, he may request a hearing before the Village Board. The request for said hearing must be made in writing to the Village Clerk - Treasurer's office within the five days set forth in the Weed Commissioner's notice. Upon applications for the hearing, the property owner must deposit $250. If a decision is rendered in the property owner's favor, the $250 will be returned to the property owner. If the property owner fails to appear for the hearing or if the decision is rendered against the property owner, the deposit shall be forfeited and applied to the cost of the Village personnel abating the nuisance, if necessary. When a hearing is requested by the owner of the property, a hearing by the Village Board shall be held within seven days from the date of the owner's request. The property in question will not be mowed by the Village until such time as the hearing is held by the Village Board. At the hearing, the owner may appear in person or by his attorney, may present witnesses in his own behalf and may cross-examine witnesses presented by the Village as well as subpoena witnesses for his own case. At the close of the hearing, the Village Board shall make its determination, in writing, specifying its findings, facts and conclusions. If the Village Board determines that a public nuisance did exist, the Village Board shall order the Weed Commissioner to mow the property in question unless the property has been mowed by the owner within 48 hours of the Village Board's decision. If the owner does not abate the nuisance within the described 48 hours, the Weed Commissioner shall cause the same nuisance to be abated and cost in excess of the forfeited fee assessesed accordingly.
Editor’s Note: The ordinance amendment adopted this date also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection F as Subsection G.
Village's option to abate nuisance. In any case where the owner, occupant or person in charge of the property shall fail to cut his lawn, grass or weeds as set forth above, then and in that event the Village may elect to cut said lawn, grass or weeds as follows:
The written notice required in Subsection E shall inform said person that in the event of his failure to abate the nuisance within the prescribed time, the Village shall abate the same and the cost thereof shall be assessed to the property owner as a special charge.
The Village shall cut or cause to be cut all grass and weeds from the subject property and shall charge the expenses of so doing at a rate as established by Chapter 167, Fees. The charges shall be set forth in a statement to the Village Clerk-Treasurer who, in turn, shall mail the same to the owner, occupant or person in charge of the subject premises. If said statement is not paid in full within 30 days thereafter, the Village Clerk-Treasurer shall enter the charges in the tax roll as a special tax against said lot or parcel of land, and the same shall be collected in all respects like other taxes upon real estate or as provided under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats.
Grass and weeds within a public right-of-way not kept properly mowed by the adjacent property owner may be mowed by the Village and the cost thereof charged to the adjacent property owners pursuant to § 66-027, Wis. Stats.