Town of Manitowish Waters, WI
Vilas County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Manitowish Waters as Ch. 10 and § 11.01 of the 2001 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Animals — See Ch. 142.

Fire prevention — See Ch. 200.

Peace and good order — See Ch. 280.

Solid waste — See Ch. 307.

§ 263-1
Public nuisances prohibited. 

§ 263-2
Public nuisance defined. 

§ 263-3
Public nuisances affecting health. 

§ 263-4
Public nuisances offending morals and decency. 

§ 263-5
Public nuisances affecting peace and safety. 

§ 263-6
Discharge of noxious matter. 

§ 263-7
Accumulation of used motor vehicles. 

§ 263-8
Accumulation of licensed motor vehicles on premises zoned single-family residential. 

§ 263-9
Abatement of public nuisances. 

§ 263-10
Recovery of costs. 

§ 263-11
Violations and penalties. 

No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the Town.

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 § 263-2:

A. 

Adulterated food. All decayed, adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.

B. 

Carcasses, unburied. 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. 

Insects or vermin, breeding places for. 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. 

Water, stagnant. 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. 

Weeds, noxious. Canada thistle, leafy spurge, field bindweed (creeping jenny), and unsightly and troublesome plants which are detrimental to cultivated crops, public health, public welfare and to the general appearance of the surrounding area or such uncultivated rank plants which create unpleasant or noxious odors or grow to such height as to permit the concealment of filthy deposits.

G. 

Pollution, water. The pollution of any public well or cistern, stream, lake, canal or other body of water by sewage, creamery or industrial wastes or other substances.

H. 

Odors, noxious. Any use of property, substances or things within the Town emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noxious or disagreeable odors, gases, effluvia or stenches extremely repulsive to the physical senses of ordinary persons which annoy, discomfort, injure or inconvenience the health of any appreciable number of persons within the Town.

I. 

Pollution, street. 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 Town.

J. 

Pollution, air. The escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, industrial dust or other atmospheric pollutants within the Town 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 Town.

K. 

Animals, loose. Any animals running at large in the Town.

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 § 263-2:

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 Town.

D. 

Continuous violation of Town ordinances. Any place or premises within the Town where Town ordinances or state laws relating to public health, safety, peace, morals or welfare are openly, continuously and repeatedly 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 § 263-2:

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 Town ordinances relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the Town.

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, 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 Town 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 which, by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking, crowing or making of other noises, greatly annoys or disturbs a neighborhood or any considerable number of persons within the Town.

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 this Code, 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 prohibited 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 Town 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 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 Town.

(1) 

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 and safety, crime prevention, fire protection and other public services. Such 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 section. It is essential to the public interest that this section be liberally construed to accomplish such purposes.

Editor's Note: Original § 10.06, Burning of grass and trash restricted, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

A. 

Into highways. If anyone constructs or permits any drain, pipe, sewer or other outlet to discharge into a public highway infectious or noxious matter, the Board of Health of the Town may order the person maintaining it to remove it within 10 days, and if such condition continues or recurs after the expiration of 10 days, the Board issuing the order may enter upon the property and cause removal of the nuisance. The cost thereof may be recovered from the person permitting such violation, or such cost may be paid by the Town Clerk/Treasurer, who shall enter such amount in the next tax roll as a tax on the lands upon which such nuisance was abated, which tax shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes.

Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

B. 

Into surface waters. No person shall discharge, by any means whatsoever, untreated domestic sewage into any surface water or drainage ditch, nor shall any person discharge effluents or pumpage by any means whatsoever from any septic tank, dry well or cesspool into any surface water or drainage ditch.

C. 

Enforcement. Under the provisions of the state statutes, the local Health Officer has authority to make inspection on private property. He makes his formal recommendations to the local Board of Health and it conveys its findings to the local Town Board and formal action is taken.

No person, except a licensee of a motor vehicle dealer's license issued under the Wisconsin Statutes, shall accumulate, store or allow to remain outside of any building on real estate located within the Town for a period of more than 10 days or dump, deposit or otherwise abandon upon any property or highway, street, road, alley or way within the Town any used motor vehicles, as "motor vehicle" is defined by the Wisconsin Statutes, or any detached part or parts thereof for which no current registration fee has been paid under state statutes or which, if paid, does not have properly attached thereto under state statutes a current license plate or plates if so required and which is in a condition which would mechanically prevent its immediate operation upon any public highway or its operation thereon would be in violation of the law. Each day that any used motor vehicle as herein defined or any detached part or parts thereof shall be accumulated or stored or allowed to remain contrary to these provisions shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

[Added 5-18-2006]

No person, except the licensee of a motor vehicle dealer's license issued under the Wisconsin Statutes, shall accumulate, store, or allow to remain outside of any building on real estate located within the Town and zoned single-family residential licensed motor vehicles exceeding the number of legally licensed drivers plus one who occupy and reside at said real estate for a period of more than 14 days. Licensed motor vehicles exceeding the number of individuals who occupy and reside upon the subject real estate shall be in violation of this section. Each day that any licensed motor vehicle, as herein defined, is allowed to remain contrary to the provisions of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Enforcement of this section shall be pursuant to the Code of the Town of Manitowish Waters.

A. 

Enforcement. The Constable, Fire Chief, Building Inspector and Health Officer shall enforce those provisions of this chapter that come within the jurisdiction of their offices and shall make periodic 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 Town and that there is great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the Chairperson may direct the proper officer to cause the same to be abated and charge the cost 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 great and 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 officer shall cause the nuisance to be removed as provided in Subsection B.

D. 

Other methods not excluded. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the Town 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 is 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 chapter for the erection, contrivance, creation, continuance or maintenance of a public nuisance, the cost of abating a public nuisance by the Town 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 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 Chapter 1, § 1-4 of this Code.