Village of Richfield, WI
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Richfield 7-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7-1 (Ch. 46 of prior Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alcohol provisions and licensing — See Ch. 110.
Animals — See Ch. 118.
Building construction — See Ch. 135.
Business licenses and permits — See Ch. 143.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 198.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 275.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 286.

§ 263-1 Violations and penalties. [1]

Each violation of any provision of this Chapter 263 shall be subject to the penalties and remedies described in § 1-3 of this Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 263-2 Definitions.

The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
PUBLIC NUISANCE
A thing, act, occupation, condition, or use of property which shall continue 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.

§ 263-3 Prohibited generally.

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

§ 263-4 Abatement.

A. 
Enforcement. It shall be the duty of the Washington County Sheriff or Village law enforcement officer, the Fire Chief, the Building Inspector, and the Planning and Zoning Administrator to enforce those provisions of this chapter that come within the jurisdiction of their offices, and they 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 shall have 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.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
By court action. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists on private premises, but that the nature of such nuisance is not such as to 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, and the owner of the property shall remove the nuisance within 10 days. If such nuisance is not removed within 10 days, he shall report such fact to the Village Administrator, who may direct the Village Attorney to commence an action in circuit court for the abatement of the nuisance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
Other methods not excluded. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the Village or its officials in accordance with law, nor as prohibiting an action to be commenced in the circuit court seeking a forfeiture as provided in § 263-1.
D. 
Cost. 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 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.

§ 263-5 Public nuisances affecting health.

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 definitions of § 263-2:
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 which are not buried or otherwise disposed of in a sanitary manner within 24 hours after death.
C. 
Breeding places for vermin. Accumulations of decayed animal or vegetable matter, trash, rubbish, rotting lumber, bedding, packing material, scrap metal, or any material whatsoever in which flies, mosquitoes, disease-carrying insects, rats, or other vermin may 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. 
Animals. All animals running at large as outlined in § 118-11.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
G. 
Air pollution. The escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, or industrial dust within the Village limits in such quantities as to endanger the health of persons of ordinary sensibilities or to threaten or cause substantial injury to property.
H. 
Noxious weeds. All noxious weeds within the Village, as defined in § 66.0407, Wis. Stats. In addition, all growth of vegetation which becomes a potential hazard to vehicular traffic in vision clearance triangles shall be cut by the owner or occupant of the property.
I. 
Water pollution. 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.
J. 
Noxious odors. Any use of property, substances or things within the Village emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, nauseous, 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 any appreciable number of persons within the Village.
K. 
Highway pollution. Any use of property which shall cause any nauseous or unwholesome liquid or substance to flow into or upon any highway, street, gutter, sidewalk, or public place within the Village.

§ 263-6 Public nuisances offending morals and decency.

The following acts, omissions, places, conditions, and things are hereby 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, gambling, possession or sale of contraband or illegal drugs, or use of illegal drugs.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
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 Chapter 110 of this Code.
D. 
Continuous violation of Village ordinances. Any place or premises within the Village where ordinances or laws relating to public health, safety, peace, morals, or welfare are openly, continuously, 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 laws or this Code.

§ 263-7 Public nuisances affecting peace and safety.

A. 
Enumeration. 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:
(1) 
Signs, billboards and similar structures. All signs and billboards, awnings and other similar structures over or near highways, streets, sidewalks, public grounds or places frequented by the public, so situated or constructed as to endanger the public safety.
(2) 
Illegal buildings. All buildings erected, repaired, or altered in violation of the provisions of this Code relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the Village.
(3) 
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 an official traffic control device, railroad sign or signal or which because of its color, location, brilliance, or manner of operation interferes with the effectiveness of any device, sign, or signal.
(4) 
Obstruction of intersections. All trees, hedges, billboards, or other obstructions which prevent persons driving vehicles on public streets or highways from obtaining a clear view of traffic when approaching an intersection or pedestrian crosswalk.
(5) 
Tree limbs. All limbs of trees which project over and less than 10 feet above any public sidewalk or less than 13 1/2 feet above a highway or other public place.
(6) 
Dangerous trees. All trees in platted areas which are injurious to public health or safety because of a diseased or damaged condition, and the storage of cut elm wood, unless such wood is debarked or sprayed with an effective elm bark beetle destroying insecticide.
(7) 
Dilapidated buildings. All buildings or structures so old, dilapidated, or out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise unfit for human use or as defined by Chapter 286, Property Maintenance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(8) 
Wires and cables over highway. All wires and cables over highways, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 18 feet above the surface thereof.
(9) 
Howling animals. No person shall own, keep, harbor, or have in his or her possession any animal within the Village which, by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking or other disturbing noise, individually or together, offends the peace and quiet of persons of ordinary sensibilities, thereby causing a serious disturbance to persons or to the neighborhood. For purposes of a violation under this subsection, when the person alleged to have violated this subsection owns, keeps, harbors or has in his or her possession more than one animal of the type causing the disturbance, it is not required to identify the particular animal causing the disturbance. Each day that such disturbance continues or occurs gives rise to a separate offense.
(10) 
Unlawful assembly. Any unauthorized or unlawful use of property abutting on a public highway 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 highways or sidewalks.
(11) 
Refrigerators. All abandoned refrigerators or iceboxes from which the doors and other covers have not been removed or which are not equipped with a device for opening from the inside.
(12) 
Open pits, basements, wells, and excavations. All open and unguarded pits, wells, excavations, and basements.
(13) 
Solid-fuel-fired devices. Violation of § 135-19 of this Code is declared to be a public nuisance.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(14) 
Mining. Violation of Article VII, Mining, of Chapter 143 of this Code is declared to be a public nuisance.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Railroad quiet zone.
(1) 
Definitions. In this section, "quiet zone" refers to the area along the Canadian Pacific Railroad's mainline tracks between Pioneer Road and Willow Creek Road within which the blowing of train horns for nonemergency purposes is prohibited.
(2) 
Prohibition. No railroad company or any of its agents or employees shall blow any horn or whistle within the quiet zone.
(3) 
Exception. Nothing in the section shall be construed as forbidding or prohibiting the blowing of whistles or horns as signals of warning in case of peril or fire, collision or other imminent danger.
(4) 
Enforcement. It shall be the duty of the Washington County Sheriff to enforce the provisions of this subsection.
(5) 
Penalty. For each violation of this subsection, there shall be a penalty established in Chapter 1, General Provisions. The penalty may be collected of the engineer or other person committing the violation, or of the railroad company in whose employ the engineer or other person may be at the time of the violation, or upon whose tracks or premises the violation is committed.

§ 263-8 Junk and junked vehicles.

A. 
Definitions. The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
DISASSEMBLED, INOPERABLE, JUNKED OR WRECKED BOATS, MOTOR VEHICLES, TRUCK BODIES, TRACTORS OR TRAILERS
Boats, motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors, or trailers in such state of physical or mechanical ruin as to be incapable of propulsion or being operated upon the public streets, highways, or waters.[1]
JUNK
Worn out or discarded material of little or no value, including but not limited to household appliances or parts thereof, machinery and equipment or parts thereof, tools, discarded building materials, or any other unsightly debris, the accumulation of which has an adverse effect upon neighborhood or Village property values, health, safety or general welfare.
MOTOR VEHICLE
As defined in § 340.01(35), Wis. Stats.
UNLICENSED MOTOR VEHICLES, TRUCK BODIES, TRACTORS OR TRAILERS
Motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors or trailers which do not bear lawful current license plates.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Penalty for violation of section. Any person who shall be adjudicated to have violated any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a forfeiture as set forth in Chapter 1 of the Village Code.
C. 
Public nuisances declared. The following are declared to be public nuisances wherever they may be found within the Village:
(1) 
Any boat, motor vehicle, truck body, tractor, or trailer as enumerated in Subsection D and defined in Subsection A.
(2) 
Any junk as set forth in Subsection E and defined in Subsection A.
D. 
Storage of vehicles.
(1) 
No person shall accumulate, store, or allow any disassembled, inoperable, unlicensed, junked or wrecked boats, motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors, or trailers in the open upon any property within the Village for a period exceeding 10 days unless it is in connection with an automotive sales, repair or storage business enterprise located in a properly zoned area, or a junkyard licensed under Chapter 143.
(2) 
Any business engaged in automotive sales or repair may retain such vehicles in the open, on private property, for a period not to exceed 30 days, after which such vehicles must be removed.
E. 
Storage of junk. No person, except a junk dealer licensed under Chapter 143, shall accumulate, store or allow any junk outside of any building on any real estate located in the Village.
F. 
Issuance of citation; action to abate. Whenever the Village finds any such vehicle or junk accumulated, stored or remaining in the open upon any property within the Village contrary to the provisions of Subsections D and E, the Village shall notify the owner of such property on which such vehicle or junk is located of the violation of this section. If such vehicle or junk is not removed within 10 days, the Village shall cause a citation to be issued to the property owner or the occupant of the property upon which such vehicle or junk is located. In addition, action to abate such nuisance may be commenced, as provided in § 263-4B.