Town of Vinland, WI
Winnebago County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Public Documents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Vinland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 190.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 217.
Nuisances — See Ch. 284.
[Adopted as Title 15, Ch. 3, of the 2004 Code]

§ 309-1 Minimum property maintenance standards.

A. 
Policy. There exist in the Town of Vinland structures, residential yards or vacant areas, or combinations thereof, which are or may become unhygienic, dilapidated or unsafe with respect to structural integrity, equipment or maintenance and as such constitute a menace to the health, safety and welfare of the public. Lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration of certain properties have the further effect of creating blighted area conditions, and if such conditions are not curtailed and removed, the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same will be necessary. Timely regulation and restriction to contain and prevent blight is necessary thereby maintaining the desirability and amenities as well as property values of the neighborhoods in the Town.
B. 
Purpose. The purpose of this article is to protect public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum property maintenance standards. This article does not replace or modify standards otherwise established by other portions of this Code for construction, repair, alteration or use of buildings. This article is meant to be remedial and this section should be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes stated herein. Violation of the minimum standards set forth in this article shall be deemed to be a public nuisance.

§ 309-2 Definitions.

For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall be applicable:
ABANDONED DWELLING
A dwelling which is not occupied and which is not intended by the owner to be occupied within a reasonable period of time. A dwelling shall be presumed to be abandoned if it is unoccupied for a period of 12 consecutive months. Occupancy required hereunder shall be bona fide and not acquired for the sole purpose of defeating the abandonment of a dwelling.
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
A structure, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is attached thereto or located on the same premises.
BLIGHTED AREA
Any area (including a slum area) in which a majority of the structures are residential (or in which there is a predominance of buildings or improvements, whether residential or nonresidential) and which, by reason of dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence, inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation, or open spaces, high density of population and overcrowding, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors, is conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency and crime, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, morals or welfare.
BUILDING
Any structure built for the support, shelter and enclosure of persons, animals, chattels or moveable property of any kind, and which is permanently affixed to the land or connected to a utility, and includes those structures resting on runners, wheels or similar supports.
DETERIORATION
The condition or appearance of a building or part thereof characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting, or other evidence of physical decay, neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
DILAPIDATED
Describes a building, structure or part thereof which is in a state of ruin or shabbiness resulting from neglect. The term implies a hazard to life or property.
DWELLING
Any enclosed space which is wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants.
NUISANCE
Any public nuisance known at common law or in equity jurisprudence or as provided by the statutes of the State of Wisconsin or the Town Code. Further, a public nuisance is 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; or
B. 
In any other way render the public insecure in life or in the use of property;
OCCUPANT
Any person living, sleeping or having actual possession of a building.
OWNER
Any person who, along or jointly or severally with others:
A. 
Shall have legal title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or
B. 
Shall have charge, care or control of any premises, as owner or agent of the owner, or an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this article and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto to the same extent as if he were the owner.
PERSON
Any natural individual, firm, trust, partnership, association or corporation.
PREMISES
A platted lot or part thereof or unplatted lot or parcel of land or plot of land, either occupied or unoccupied by a dwelling or nondwelling structure, and includes any such building, accessory structure or other structure thereon.
REFUSE
All putrescible and nonputrescible solids (except body wastes), including garbage, rubbish, ashes and dead animals.
RUBBISH
Nonputrescible solid wastes (excluding ashes) consisting of either:
A. 
Combustible wastes such as paper, cardboard, plastic containers, yard clippings and wood; or
B. 
Noncombustible wastes such as tin cans, glass or crockery.

§ 309-3 Prohibition of litter, rubbish or debris.

No owner or occupant shall accumulate or allow the accumulation outside of a building or accessory structure of waste matter, litter, refuse, rubbish, lumber, metal scraps, machine parts, discarded or nonfunctioning appliances, accessories, furniture or other material on such property which presents a blighted appearance on the property or which constitutes a nuisance or which tends to decrease the value of neighboring properties.

§ 309-4 Housing appearance.

A. 
Minimum standards. No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or shall let or hold out to another for occupancy any dwelling or family unit for the purpose of living therein, or own or be in control of any vacant dwelling or dwelling unit, which is not safe, clean, sanitary and fit for human occupancy, and which does not comply with the particular requirements of the following subsections.
B. 
Foundations, exterior walls and roofs. No person shall be an owner or occupant of any premises which does not comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
Every exterior wall shall be free of deterioration, holes, breaks, loose or rotting board or timbers.
(2) 
Structures that require paint or stain should have paint or stain applied at regular intervals to exterior building surfaces. When the building has more than 30% deterioration of its finished surface on any wall, that wall shall be painted or stained. Such painting and staining shall be completed within 90 days from the date of first application.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(3) 
All cornices, moldings, lintels, sills, oriel windows, and similar projections shall be kept in good repair and free from cracks and defects which make them hazardous or unsightly.
(4) 
Roof surfaces shall be tight and have no defects which admit water. All roof drainage systems shall be secured and hung properly.
(5) 
Chimneys, antennas, air vents and other similar projections shall be structurally sound and in good repair. Such projections shall be secured properly, where applicable, to an exterior wall or exterior roof.
C. 
Grading and drainage of lots. Every yard, court, vent passageway, driveway, and other portion of the lot on which the building stands shall be graded and drained so as to prevent the accumulation of water on any such surface or on adjacent property. Driveways shall be maintained in good repair.
D. 
Accessory structures. All accessory structures shall be maintained in a state of good repair and vertical alignment. All exterior appurtenances or accessory structures which serve no useful purpose and are in a deteriorated or dilapidated condition, which are not economically repairable, shall be removed. Such structures include, but shall not be limited to porches, terraces, entrance platforms, garages, driveways, carports, walls, fences and miscellaneous sheds.
E. 
Abandoned dwellings. The owner of any abandoned dwelling shall:
(1) 
Cause all services and utilities to be disconnected from or disconnected to said dwelling;
(2) 
Lock all exterior doors and windows of said dwelling.
(3) 
Maintain such dwelling so that its foundation, floors, windows, walls, doors, ceilings, roof, porches and stairs shall be reasonably weathertight, waterproof, rodentproof, structurally sound, and in good repair such that they comply with Subsection B.
(4) 
Maintain the yard and accessory structures such that they comply with Subsections C and D.
F. 
Nuisances. The interior and exterior of vacant and abandoned dwellings shall be maintained in a nuisance-free condition.

§ 309-5 Notice and remedy.

A. 
Upon determination by the Town Building Inspector of a violation of this article, the Town shall notify the owner and, if different from the owner, the occupant of the premises of such violation.
B. 
The notice shall specify the nature of the violation, the required correction and a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, to correct the violation. The notice shall be served upon the person or persons named personally or by certified mail, addressed, postage paid, to the last known address of such person or persons.
C. 
The person so notified shall have the right to appeal the decisions of the Building Inspector to the Town Board within 30 days of the date of notice.
D. 
If upon expiration of the time given for correction of a violation and time for any appeal therefor such correction is not made, the Town Building Inspector shall file an action in the name of the Town in the Circuit Court for Winnebago County, Wisconsin, in accordance with the provisions of Ch. 823, Wis. Stats., as amended from time to time.

§ 309-6 Other methods not excluded.

Nothing in this article shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisance by the Town of Vinland or its officials in accordance with the laws of the State of Wisconsin or Town ordinances.

§ 309-7 Cost of abatement.

In addition to any other penalty imposed by this article 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.
[Adopted as Title 15, Ch. 4, of the 2004 Code]

§ 309-8 Title.

This article shall be known as the "Town of Vinland Commercial Property Exterior Maintenance Code."

§ 309-9 Intent and purpose.

A. 
This article is adopted for the purpose of preserving and promoting the public health, safety, comfort, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the people of the Town and environs. This includes, among others, physical, aesthetic and monetary values.
B. 
It is recognized that there may now be or may in the future be commercial buildings, structures, yards or vacant areas, and combinations thereof, which are so dilapidated, unsafe, dangerous, unhygienic or inadequately maintained so as to constitute a menace to the health, safety and general welfare of the people. The establishment and enforcement of minimum commercial property maintenance standards is necessary to preserve and promote the private and public interest.

§ 309-10 Safe, sanitary and attractive maintenance of property.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to recognize the private and public benefits resulting from the safe, sanitary and attractive maintenance of commercial buildings, structures, yards or vacant areas. Attractive and well-maintained property will enhance the neighborhood and Town and provide a suitable environment for increasing physical and monetary values.
B. 
Minimum requirements. Every owner or operator shall improve and maintain all property under his control to comply with the following minimum requirements:
(1) 
Drainage. All courts, yards or other areas on the premises shall be properly graded to divert water away from any building or structure.
(2) 
Weeds. All exterior property areas shall be kept free from noxious weeds as required by this Code. Where weed cutting is required, the Weed Commissioner shall perform said weed cutting and process the charge therefor as a special assessment against the benefitted property.
(3) 
Debris. All exterior property areas shall be properly maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, free from debris, rubbish or garbage, physical hazards, rodent harborage and infestation, and animal feces. All animal feces shall be removed within 24 hours.
(4) 
Fences, walks and parking areas. Fences, other minor construction, walks, driveways, parking areas, and similar paved areas shall be properly maintained in a safe, sanitary and substantial condition. Approved walks shall provide all-weather access to buildings or structures.
(5) 
Exterior surfaces. Exterior surfaces of buildings and structures not inherently resistant to deterioration shall be treated with a protective coating of paint or other suitable preservative which will provide adequate resistance to weathering and maintain an attractive appearance. Any exterior surface treated with paint or other preservative shall be maintained so as to prevent chipping, cracking or other deterioration of the exterior surface or the surface treatment and to present an attractive appearance. All paint or other preservative shall be applied in a workmanlike fashion.
(6) 
Yard areas. Yard areas of real estate shall not be permitted to deteriorate or remain in a condition that is not in accord with the following: Yard areas shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, free from any accumulation of combustible or noncombustible materials (which are not used as an integral part of the authorized business carried out on the premises), debris or refuse. Unless in a properly zoned district and screened by a visual barrier at least five feet high, yards shall not be used to store appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters, water softeners, or building material not used within five days, or any unsightly bulk items, unless these items are raw material used in the business carried out on the premises.
(7) 
General requirements. Every foundation, exterior wall and roof shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight and rodentproof and shall be kept in proper repair and shall be capable of affording privacy. Any hazardous sagging or bulging shall be properly repaired and maintained so as to ensure that it is safe.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(8) 
Windows and doors. Every window, exterior door, and basement hatchway shall be reasonably weathertight, watertight and rodentproof and kept in proper repair. All door and window hardware shall be installed and maintained in proper working condition.
(9) 
Outside stairs and porches. Every outside stair, every porch, and every appurtenance thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon, and shall be kept in proper condition and repair and shall present an attractive appearance. All exterior stairs and steps and every appurtenance thereto shall comply with the requirements specified in the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
(10) 
Removal of debris.
(a) 
No person shall dispose of rocks, trees, stumps, waste building material or other debris from land development, building construction, street grading, or installation of underground utilities upon the surface of any land in the Town, except at approved disposal sites.
(b) 
No landowner shall allow an accumulation of rocks, trees, stumps, waste building material or other debris from land development, building construction, street grading, or installation of underground utilities upon the surface of his land for a period of more than 10 days.
(c) 
All land filling operations shall be leveled off to permit the mowing of the weeds between June 1 and November 1. This includes the removal of stones, bottles, wire and other debris that will interfere with mowing operations.

§ 309-11 Fixing responsibility of owners, operators and occupants.

Every owner, operator or occupant of a commercial property, or part thereof, shall maintain that portion of the exterior of the property controlled by him.

§ 309-12 Enforcement, service of notices and orders and hearings. [1]

Whenever the Building Inspector determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this article or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he/she shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor and commence an enforcement action pursuant to Chapter 190, Building Construction, of this Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).