City of Lake Geneva, WI
Walworth County
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ARTICLE I
GENERAL REGULATIONS (Sec. 46-1 — Sec. 46-4) 

ARTICLE II
Chronic Nuisances (Sec. 46-4.1 — Sec. 46-9) 

Sec. 46-1
Adoption of applicable nuisance provisions of state statutes. 

Sec. 46-2
Abandoned vehicles. 

Sec. 46-3
Blighted buildings and premises. 

Sec. 46-4
Loud and unnecessary noise. 

Sec. 46-1 Adoption of applicable nuisance provisions of state statutes.

The applicable provisions of W.S.A. Ch. 823, nuisances, and all subsequent amendments, are adopted by reference in this section as if fully set out.

Sec. 46-2 Abandoned vehicles.

[Code 1992, § 7.14(2)—(5)]
(a) 

Removal and impoundment. Any vehicle abandoned in violation of this article shall be impounded until lawfully claimed or disposed of under Subsection (b) of this section, except if the Police Chief or his representative determines the cost of towing and storage charges for the impoundment would exceed the value of the vehicle, the vehicle may be junked or sold by the City prior to expiration of the impoundment period upon a determination by the Police Chief or his representative that the vehicle is not stolen or otherwise wanted for evidence or other reason.

(b) 

Disposal. Disposal of abandoned vehicles shall take place as follows:

(1) 

Value more than $100. If the Police Chief or his representative determines that the value of the abandoned vehicle exceeds $100, he shall notify the owner and lien holders of record by certified mail that the vehicle has been deemed abandoned and impounded by the City and may be reclaimed within 10 days upon payment of accrued towing, storage and notice charges, and if not so reclaimed, shall be sold. If an abandoned vehicle determined to exceed $100 in value is not reclaimed within the period and under the conditions provided in Subsection (b)(1) of this section, it may be sold by sealed bid at auction or, if no satisfactory bid is received, at private sale. After deducting the expense of impoundment and sale, the balance of the proceeds, if any, shall be paid into the City Treasury.

(2) 

Value less than $100. Any abandoned vehicle which is determined by the Police Chief or his representative to have a value of less than $100 may be disposed of by direct sale to a licensed salvage dealer, upon a determination that the vehicle is not reported stolen.

(c) 

Owner responsible for impoundment and sale costs. The owner of any abandoned vehicle, except a stolen vehicle, is responsible for the abandonment and all costs of impounding and disposing of the vehicle. Costs not recovered for the sale of the vehicle may be recovered in a civil action by the city against the owner.

(d) 

Notice of sale or disposition. Within five days after the sale or disposal of a vehicle as provided in Subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section, the Police Chief or his representative shall advise the State Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, of such sale or disposition on a form supplied by the Division. A copy of such form shall also be given to the purchaser of the vehicle, and a copy shall be retained by the City.

Sec. 46-3 Blighted buildings and premises.

[Ord. No. 98-8, § I, 8-10-1998]

Premises existing within the city 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, which includes, but is not limited to, the outdoor storage of inoperable or unlicensed automobiles, trucks, buses or tractors, automobile parts, machinery or machinery parts, refrigerators, furnaces, washing machines, stoves, dryers, wood, bricks, cement blocks or other building materials or other items determined by the Building Inspector, 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 City.

Sec. 46-4 Loud and unnecessary noise.

[Added 3-25-2013 by Ord. No. 13-08]
(a) 

Legislative intent.

(1) 

The making, creation or maintenance of such raucous or unusually loud noises which are prolonged and unnatural in their time, place and use affect and are a detriment to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the residents of the City of Lake Geneva; and

(2) 

The necessity in the public interest for the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted is declared as a matter of legislative determination and public policy, and it is further declared that the provisions and prohibitions hereinafter contained and enacted are in pursuit of and for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity and the peace and quiet of the City of Lake Geneva and its inhabitants.

(b) 

Loud and unnecessary noise prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any loud and unnecessary noise.

(c) 

Types of loud and unnecessary noises. The following acts are declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises in violation of this section, but this enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:

(1) 

Horns, signaling devices. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle on any street or public place in the City of Lake Geneva for longer than three seconds in any period of one minute or less, except as a danger warning; the creation of any unreasonable loud or harsh sound by means of any signaling device and the sounding of any plainly audible device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; the use of any signaling device except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust and the use of any signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.

(2) 

Radios, music or audio systems, machines or devices, speakers, amplifiers and similar devices. The use of, operation or permitting to be played, used or operated, any radio receiving set, musical instrument, music or audio system, machine or device, speakers, amplifiers and similar devices for the producing or reproducing of sound in a loud and unnecessary manner. The operation of any radio, stereo or other similar instrument, music system, machine or device in a manner as to be heard outside a seventy-five-foot radius of the source from which it is projected shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section, except for those activities allowed by permit issued by the City.

[Amended 4-8-2013 by Ord. No. 13-10]

(d) 

Penalty. As a penalty for violation of this section, the defendant shall pay a forfeiture in the amount set forth in the bond schedule as established by the City Council from time to time.

[Added 5-13-2013 by Ord. No. 13-16]

Sec. 46-4.1
Definitions. 

Sec. 46-5
Notice. 

Sec. 46-6
Abatement plan. 

Sec. 46-7
Additional nuisance activity. 

Sec. 46-8
Appeals. 

Sec. 46-9
Violations and penalties; remedies; injunctive and other relief. 

Sec. 46-4.1 Definitions.

The following terms shall be defined as follows in this article:

BUILDING INSPECTOR
The Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator for the City of Lake Geneva or his or her designee.
CHIEF
The Chief of Police or his or her designee.
ENFORCEMENT ACTION
Arrest, the issuance of a citation, or the issuance of a written warning, or the issuance of an order to correct.
MCCLG
Municipal Code of the City of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
NUISANCE ACTIVITY
Any of the following activities, behaviors or conduct occurring upon a premises:
(1) 

--

a. 

An act of harassment, as defined in W.S.A. § 947.013.

b. 

Disorderly conduct, as defined in W.S.A. § 947.01.

c. 

Battery, substantial battery, or aggravated battery, as defined in W.S.A. § 940.19.

d. 

Lewd and lascivious behavior, as defined in W.S.A. § 944.20.

e. 

Prostitution, as defined in W.S.A. § 944.30.

f. 

Theft, as defined in W.S.A. § 943.20.

g. 

Receiving stolen property, as defined in W.S.A. § 943.34.

h. 

Arson, as defined in W.S.A. § 943.02.

i. 

Possession, manufacture, or delivery of a controlled substance or related offenses, as defined in W.S.A. Ch. 961.

j. 

Gambling, as defined in W.S.A. § 945.02.

k. 

Trespassing, as defined in W.S.A. §§ 943.13 and 943.14.

l. 

Obstructing or resisting an officer, as defined in W.S.A. § 946.41.

m. 

Disorderly houses, as defined in W.S.A. § 944.34.

n. 

Gambling place as defined in W.S.A. § 945.01(4).

o. 

Drug houses and criminal gang houses, as defined in W.S.A. § 823.113.

p. 

Curfew violations, as defined in MCCLG Section 50-81.

q. 

Truancy, contributing to truancy, as defined in MCCLG Sections 50-56 and 50-59.

r. 

Purchase or possession of cigarette or tobacco products by children, as defined in MCCLG Section 50-41.

s. 

Damage to property defined in W.S.A. § 943.01.

t. 

Weapons offenses, as defined in MCCLG Section 50-3 and 50-4.

u. 

Animal violations of any kind, as defined in MCCLG Chapter 10.

v. 

Fireworks, as defined in MCCLG Section 30-116.

w. 

Underage alcohol activities, as defined in MCCLG Section 90-60(c).

x. 

Any conspiracy to commit, as defined in W.S.A. § 939.31, or attempt to commit, as defined in W.S.A. § 939.32, any of the criminal activities, behaviors, or conduct enumerated above.

(2) 

--

a. 

Housing code violations, as defined in MCCLG Chapter 14.

b. 

Abandoned, unlicensed or nonoperable vehicle violations, as defined in MCCLG Section 74-214.

c. 

Nuisance violations, as defined in MCCLG Chapter 46.

d. 

Zoning violations, provided that they are nuisance related and in a residential setting, as defined in City of Lake Geneva Zoning Ordinance Sections 98-701 through 98-730.

OWNER
The owner of the premises and his or her agents.
PREMISES
An individual dwelling unit; any property or premises used for residential purposes, whether or not owner-occupied; an individual business or commercial property; and associate common areas thereof

Sec. 46-5 Notice.

(a) 

Whenever the Chief determines that four or more police nuisance activities resulting in enforcement action have occurred at a premises on separate days during a twelve-month period, only the Chief may notify the premises owner and tenant in writing. In reaching this determination, the Chief shall not count nuisance activities resulting in enforcement actions that were reported by the owner of the premises. Only the Chief may initiate and implement the procedure and enforcement for police nuisance activities under this article.

(b) 

Whenever the Building Inspector determines that four or more code nuisance activities resulting in enforcement action have occurred at a premises on separate days during a twelve-month period, only the Building Inspector may notify the premises owner and tenant in writing. In reaching this determination, the Building Inspector shall not count nuisance activities resulting in enforcement actions that were reported by the owner of the premises. Only the Building Inspector may initiate and implement the procedure and enforcement for code nuisance activities under this article.

(c) 

The Chief and Building Inspector may jointly agree to initiate, implement and enforce this article in the event that an aggregate of four or more combined police nuisance activities and code nuisance activities, in any combination thereof, resulting in enforcement action have occurred at a premises on separate days during a twelve-month period.

(d) 

The notice shall contain the street address, including unit number if applicable, or legal description sufficient to identify the premises, a description of the nuisance activities and enforcement actions that have occurred at the premises, a statement indicating that the cost of future enforcement may be assessed as a special charge against the premises, and a notice as to the appeal rights of the owner.

(e) 

The written notice shall be delivered to the owner of the premises by one of the following methods in descending order of preference: personal service, certified mail, first class mail, posting and/or publication, such other means as provided by law for service of process in a civil action, in that order, as the Chief or Building Inspector, as applicable, may determine appropriate under the particular facts and circumstances.

Sec. 46-6 Abatement plan.

Any owner receiving such notice shall meet with the City official, Chief or Building Inspector, who issued the notice, or with the applicable City official's designee, within five days of receipt of such notice. The Chief or Building Inspector, as applicable, and owner shall review the problems occurring upon the premises and/or property. Within 10 days of this meeting, the owner shall submit to the Chief or Building Inspector, as applicable, or the applicable City official's designee, a detailed written abatement plan designed to forthwith and effectively end all the nuisance activity upon the premises. The plan shall also specify a name, address, and telephone number of a person living within 60 miles of the premises who can be contacted in the event of further police, fire, or inspection activities and/or contact.

Sec. 46-7 Additional nuisance activity.

Whenever the Chief or Building Inspector, as applicable, determines that: additional nuisance activity and/or enforcement action has/have occurred upon a premises for which the written notice has been issued under this article; and this additional nuisance activity and/or enforcement action has/have occurred more than 15 days after the written notice was served; and reasonable effort has not been made by the owner of the premises to abate the nuisance activity; then the Chief or Building Inspector, as applicable, may calculate all of the costs, fees and expenses arising from and/or pertaining to any and all such police and related City responses and enforcement, including, but not limited to, actual burdened labor, overtime, materials, vehicle use, and related administrative time and efforts for this and any subsequent nuisance activities and enforcement actions upon, for and/or pertaining to the premises. The Chief or Building Inspector, as applicable, shall then cause all such costs, fees and expenses to be charged against the owner of the premises and the premises itself, and if unpaid, charged, assessed, levied and collected by the City as a special charge against the premises/property.

Sec. 46-8 Appeals.

(a) 

Appeal by affected property owner. An affected owner of the premises may appeal the Police Chief's or Building Inspector's, as applicable, determination and invoiced special charges arising from and imposed for the police and related costs, fees and expenses set forth in this article in the manner set forth in this subsection.

(b) 

The appeal shall be in writing, filed with the City Clerk, stating with specificity the grounds for the appeal and the relief requested. The appeal shall be filed 90 days of the invoice from the City Clerk.

(c) 

The appeal shall be considered only if filed prior to the time that any unpaid special charges imposed against the premises/property under this article are turned over by the Treasurer onto the tax roll.

(d) 

Chapter 68 of the Wisconsin Statutes shall not apply to such an appeal nor shall any other provision of state law or City ordinance to the contrary. The appellate procedure set forth herein shall govern and be exclusive.

(e) 

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Clerk shall set the matter for a public hearing for a regularly scheduled meeting of the Common Council not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days after the filing of the written appeal.

(f) 

The Clerk shall provide written notice to the appellant and to the Chief of Police or Building Inspector, as applicable, of such Common Council meeting hearing date, time and place.

(g) 

The parties may agree to continuances and stipulations as to procedure and substance, but in no event shall the hearing be continued beyond the time set forth in Subsection (c).

(h) 

The hearing shall be open to the public, recorded by a sound recording device and the recording preserved for seven years by the City Clerk. A party may request a court reporter but the requesting party shall pay all costs of the court reporter in advance, regardless of the determination of the appeal.

(i) 

The appellant and the Chief of Police or Building Inspector, as applicable, may each present witnesses who testify upon oath after being duly sworn-in by the City Clerk, the Deputy City Clerk or any other person authorized by law to administer oaths.

(j) 

After the hearing, the Common Council in open session shall deliberate and then make a determination by recorded motion, second and vote with a majority of Council members voting governing.

(k) 

The City Clerk-Treasurer shall adjust all invoices, tax and related City records in accord with the Council's determination.

Sec. 46-9 Violations and penalties; remedies; injunctive and other relief.

In addition to the special charges and penalties for the individual offenses described above, the following penalties, remedies and other relief are cumulative and not exclusive, may be jointly and severally sought and/or employed by the City for violations under this article, and may be ordered and/or imposed, as applicable, by the courts:

(a) 

First offense. Any person who shall violate any provision of this article or any regulation, rule or order made hereunder shall forfeit and pay to the City not less than $100 nor more than $500, together with the costs of prosecution.

(b) 

Subsequent offenses. Any person who shall violate any provision of this article or any regulation, rule, or order made hereunder within 24 months after committing a previous violation shall forfeit and pay to the City not less than $300 nor more than $900, together with the costs of prosecution.

(c) 

Each and every day that a violation occurs, continues and/or remains present constitutes a separate offense.

(d) 

The City, in addition to the above monetary penalty(ies) and special charges, may from time to time seek and obtain, and the court may order, temporary and/or permanent injunctive relief, abatement, and such other legal and/or equitable relief, remedies, judgments, and/or orders of the court against any person(s) and/or property(ies) as the court may, from time to time, deem necessary, appropriate and/or desirable to effectuate the intent of this article and the public good, peace, order, welfare, and/or safety.

(e) 

In addition to the above penalties, relief and remedies, the Common Council may refuse to issue or not renew any license or permit to the owner of the premises and/or the premises, after conducting a public hearing thereon.

(f) 

It shall be the responsibility of the convicted person(s) to immediately abate each and every violation upon the premises property as expeditiously as possible, unless otherwise directed by the City or the court.

(g) 

This chapter is cumulative in its legal affect and is not in lieu of any and all other legal and equitable remedies under City ordinances, state statutes, state administrative codes, and common law, including, but not limited to, forfeiture of the property to the City under this article and/or the applicable state statutes.