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 7-21-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-6-4 (Ch. 47 of prior Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 135.
Fire protection and prevention — See Ch. 179.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 198.
Nuisances — See Ch. 263.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 275.

§ 286-1 Legislative findings.

The Village Board hereby finds that there exist, and may in the future exist, within the Village, buildings or structures that are likely to affect, by reason of their maintenance or lack thereof, the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of this community. To prevent or correct the existence of such adverse conditions and to achieve and maintain such levels of building environmental quality as well as protect and promote health, safety and general welfare, it is herewith declared that there is a need for the establishment of certain standards relating to the maintenance of buildings, structures and surrounding areas. It is further declared that failure to maintain buildings or other structures in a reasonable state of repair or to keep the exterior of buildings and structures in a reasonably attractive condition affects the value of other properties in the area and adversely affects the environment and living conditions in the area and that each of the aforesaid conditions creates a public nuisance.

§ 286-2 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to assist in preventing property deterioration and the creation of subsafety conditions in all buildings and structures by requiring an adequate level of maintenance and repair thereof.

§ 286-3 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply uniformly to the maintenance of all buildings or structures and areas surrounding the same, irrespective of when or under what condition or conditions such buildings were originally constructed.

§ 286-4 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Property Maintenance Code" and may be hereinafter referred to as "this chapter."

§ 286-5 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings assigned to them in this section. Words and phrases not herein otherwise defined shall have the meanings accepted by common use.
APPROVED
Approved by the local authority having such administrative authority.
BLIGHT
An impaired condition leading to deterioration. Any property which by reason of abandonment, dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence; inadequate provisions for ventilation, light, air or sanitation; high density of population and overcrowding; faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility or usefulness; unsanitary or unsafe conditions; deterioration of site or other improvements; the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire or other causes; or any combination of such factors may be detrimental to public health, safety or welfare or have an adverse effect on surrounding properties.
BUILDING
A structure enclosed within exterior walls or fire walls built, erected and framed of component structured parts designed for the housing, shelter, enclosure and support of individuals, animals or property of any kind.
DEBRIS
Broken concrete, bricks, blocks or other mineral matter, bottles, porcelain and other glass or crockery, boxes, lumber (new or used), posts, sticks or other wood (not used as firewood), tree branches, brush, yard trimmings, grass clippings and other residues, paper, rags, cardboard, excelsior, rubber, plastic, wire, tin and metal items, discarded household goods or appliances, junk lawn mowers, tar paper, residues from burning or any similar materials which constitute health, fire or safety hazards of a serious blighting influence upon their neighborhood or the Village of Richfield in general.
DILAPIDATED
A condition of decay or partial ruin caused by neglect, use, effects of elements, damage, lack of maintenance, misuse, or any other cause.
DWELLING UNIT
One or more rooms arranged for the use of one or more individuals living together as a single housekeeping unit with cooking, living, sanitary and sleeping facilities.
NONCOMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL
Material that cannot be burned.
NOXIOUS WEEDS
As defined by § 66.0407, Wis. Stats.
PERSON
An individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership.
PREMISES
Lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon or any part thereof.
REFUSE
Debris as heretofore defined.
RUBBISH
Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage, and the term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible materials, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard clippings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust and other similar materials.
SAFETY
The condition of being reasonably free from danger or hazard capable of causing an accident or disease.

§ 286-6 Responsibilities of owner or occupant.

No owner or occupant shall occupy or let to or permit another person to occupy any dwelling unit or premises that is in violation of the terms of this chapter.

§ 286-7 Building requirements.

No owner or occupant shall allow or permit any building or structure, whether dwelling or nondwelling or accessory, on his property to remain in or deteriorate to a condition that is not in accord with the following provisions:
A. 
Exterior walls and foundations.
(1) 
An exterior wall shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers, and any other conditions that might admit rain or dampness to the interior portions of the walls, or to the occupied spaces of the building.
(2) 
Foundations and exterior walls shall be weathertight and rodent proof. The foundation elements shall adequately support the building at all points.
B. 
Roofs and drainage.
(1) 
Roofs shall be maintained so as not to leak, and water shall be so drained and conveyed therefrom so as not to cause damage to the exterior walls, eaves, soffits and foundation.
(2) 
Gutters and downspouts, when provided, shall be adequately secured and kept free of obstruction.
C. 
Porches, railings, stairways, decks and patios. Outside stairs, porches, decks, patios and other appurtenances attached thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting loads to which they are subjected as required by the Building Code.
D. 
Doors, windows and basement hatchways.
(1) 
Windows, screens, exterior doors and basement hatchways shall close tight. A sash shall be fully supplied with glass window panes or any approved substitute which is without open cracks or holes. A window sash shall fit securely within its frame.
(2) 
Exterior doors, when closed, shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers, and any other conditions which might admit rain, snow or dampness to the interior portions of the building, or to the occupied spaces of the building.
E. 
Paint and other preservatives. A building or structure, the exterior surface of which has been painted or other preservatives applied, shall be repainted, resurfaced or otherwise treated in a workmanlike manner when its condition is degraded to the point that more than 50% of the exterior surface of the building is peeling, chipping, flaking, cracking, dusting or in an otherwise deteriorated condition.
F. 
Fence and retaining wall requirements.
(1) 
Fences shall be properly maintained so as to avoid creating a health or safety hazard. If paint or other preservatives have been applied to the exterior surface, it shall be repainted or resurfaced or otherwise treated in a workmanlike manner when its condition is degraded to the point that more than 50% of the exterior surface of the fence is peeling, chipping, flaking, or in an otherwise deteriorated condition.
(2) 
Retaining walls shall be structurally sound. No retaining walls shall be constructed or maintained in such a manner as to cause an unsafe condition or the repeated spillage of mud, gravel or debris upon any public sidewalk, street or adjoining property.
G. 
Exterior area requirements. No owner or occupant shall allow or permit exterior areas of his property to remain in a condition that is not in accord with the following provisions:
(1) 
All exterior areas of any premises shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, free from any accumulation of combustible or noncombustible material, debris and refuse or any similar material which could or may cause fire, safety or health hazards or a serious blight upon surrounding properties.
(2) 
Driveways, concrete, asphalt, bricked, graveled, stoned or similarly treated areas shall be kept in sound condition so as to avoid conditions resulting in dust, dirt, loose stones or other aggregate being repeatedly deposited upon the adjacent public or private property.
(3) 
Exterior areas in a natural state shall be kept free of debris and noxious weeds.
(4) 
Whenever erosion of the soil repeatedly causes the same to spill over onto the sidewalk, street or adjoining property, the condition shall be corrected by the construction of a suitable retaining wall, grading or sodding and/or planting of grass or other suitable ground cover.
(5) 
Lawn, grass or weeds on a lot or other parcel of land which exceed eight inches in length shall be declared a public nuisance, except for property located in a designated wetland or conservancy zoned area, or where grasses are part of a landscaping area. In such case, the Building Inspector may, after prior written notice pursuant to § 286-10, Notice of violation, to the owner or occupant, direct the remedy of such violation. Such remedy shall be deemed a specific benefit to such premises, and the cost of same shall be charged against the owner of the premises. If the cost is not paid within 60 days of written notice from the Village of the total costs of the remedy, it shall be levied as a special charge against the premises as authorized under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats., as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 286-8 Vacant, abandoned or undeveloped land.

A. 
Whenever the Building Inspector shall, upon inspection of any vacated building within the Village of Richfield, find that the building is in danger of vandalism or neglect, the Inspector shall order the owner thereof to make the building secure against vandalism and/or dilapidation in a workmanlike manner.
B. 
No vacated building for which the owner has been given an order for compliance with this chapter shall be occupied before an occupancy permit has been issued by the Building Inspector. Such occupancy permit may be issued only upon compliance with all orders and requirements of the Village of Richfield and the payment of the required fees and the cost of reinspection and any expenses incurred by the Village of Richfield in the enforcement of this chapter.

§ 286-9 Powers and duties of Building Inspector. [1]

The Building Inspector shall enforce the provisions of this chapter and is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections in response to a complaint of an alleged violation of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 286-10 Notice of violation.

A. 
Subject to Subsection B below, whenever the Building Inspector determines that any premises, dwelling, dwelling unit or other building or structure, or other exterior area fails to meet the requirements as set forth in this chapter, he shall issue a notice, in writing, and shall send such notice via first-class mail, setting forth the alleged failure or violations and advising the owner, occupant or agent that such failures or violations must be corrected. The notice shall specify a specific date for the correction of the violation. After said specified date, the Building Inspector shall reinspect for compliance and enforcement purposes.
B. 
Health and safety hazards. If the Building Inspector finds that a violation of this chapter creates a hazard as to endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public, the Building Inspector may direct the remedy of such violation. Such remedy shall be deemed a specific benefit to such premises, and the cost of same shall be charged against the owner of the premises. If the cost is not paid within 60 days of written notice from the Village of the total costs of the remedy, it shall be levied as a special charge against the premises as authorized under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats., as amended.

§ 286-11 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by an order of the Building Inspector may, within 30 days from the date of receipt of such an order, appeal to the Board of Appeals of the Village of Richfield by submitting a written petition requesting a review and by delivering the petition to the Village Clerk. Jurisdiction over such appeals is herewith granted to such Board of Appeals. Such appeals shall be made and shall be governed by the provisions of law and fees for appeals to the Board of Appeals under the Zoning Code.

§ 286-12 Citations; violations and penalties.

A. 
Issuance of citation.
(1) 
A law enforcement officer may issue citations authorized under this chapter.
(2) 
Village officials. The following Village officials may issue citations with respect to those specified ordinances which are directly related to their official responsibilities:[1]
(a) 
Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy or Village law enforcement officer.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(3) 
The procedures pertaining to citations found in Chapter 1 of the Village Code shall apply.
B. 
Each violation of any provision of this Chapter 286 shall be subject to the penalties and remedies described in § 1-3 of this Code.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). Original § 47.12C of the prior Code, Continued violations, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).