[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Ledgeview 8-17-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is adopted for the purpose of preserving and promoting the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the Town of Ledgeview. This includes protection of the physical, aesthetic, spiritual and monetary value of the people, property and environment in the Town of Ledgeview. The Town Board hereby finds that there may now be, or may in the future be, residential and nonresidential buildings, structures, yards or vacant areas and combinations thereof which are so dilapidated, unsafe, dangerous, unhygienic, overcrowded, inadequately maintained or lacking in basic equipment or facilities, light, ventilation and heating so as to constitute a menace to the health, safety and general welfare of the people. The establishment of minimum housing and property maintenance standards is necessary to preserve and promote the public interests identified herein.
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:
- ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
- A building constructed or located on the same zoning lot as the principal building or use served except as may be specifically provided elsewhere in Chapter 135 of the Code of the Town of Ledgeview.
- Approved by the Town Building Inspector or other authority under and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
- That portion of a structure that is located partly underground and having more than 1/2 its height below the finished lot grade.
- A bathtub or shower stall.
- A room equipped with a bathtub or shower, sink and toilet.
- A room within the dwelling unit which is used, or intended to be used, primarily for the purpose of sleeping.
- A structure with two dwelling units.
- Any building or portion of a building used for residential occupancy by one or more persons.
- DWELLING UNIT
- A structure or part of a structure used, or intended to be used, as a home or sleeping place for one family.
- EXTERIOR PROPERTY AREA
- The open space on the premises and adjoining property under the control of the owners or occupants of such premises.
- The control and elimination of insects, rodents or other pests by eliminating their harborage places, by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food, by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping or any other lawful and commonly employed pest elimination methods.
- One or more persons living together in one dwelling unit as a single housekeeping entity.
- HABITABLE ROOM
- A room or enclosed floor space used, or intended to be used, for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, laundries, pantries, foyers, communicating corridors, closets, storage spaces and stairways, and rooms used for play or recreational purposes.
- HALF BATH
- A room equipped with a sink and toilet.
- The sustained presence of any insects, rodents or other pests within a dwelling or on the dwelling premises, but not including pets kept in appropriate cages or containers.
- A room used, or intended to be used, for cooking or the preparation of' meals.
- LIVING ROOM
- A room within a dwelling unit which is used, or intended to be used, primarily for general living purposes.
- MIXED OCCUPANCY
- A structure containing one or more dwelling units in combination with a nonresidential use.
- MULTIPLE FAMILY DWELLING
- Any structure containing three or more dwelling units.
- Any person, including an owner or operator, living, sleeping or cooking in, or having actual possession of, a room, dwelling unit or rooming unit.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a building or part of a building, in which dwelling units or rooming units are let.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal title or equitable title to any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit; or shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit as executor, administrator, trustee or guardian of the estate of the owner.
- All of the following facilities and equipment: water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, vent pipes, toilets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, baths, installed clothes washing machines, catch basins, drains, vents, domestic hot-water heaters, and any other similar fixtures, together with all connections to water, sewer or gas lines.
- An occupant of a rooming house who is not a member of the family of the operator of that rooming house and shall also mean an occupant of a dwelling unit who is not a member of the family occupying the dwelling unit.
- ROOMING HOUSE
- Any dwelling, or that part of any dwelling, containing one or more rooming units, in which space is let by the owner or operator to one or more roomers, but not including hotels and tourist rooming houses licensed by the Food Safety and Recreational Licensing Section of the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Liquid waste containing animal or vegetable matter in suspension or solution and which may include industrial wastes and liquids containing chemicals.
- Paid for, furnished, or provided by or under control of the owner or operator.
- TEMPORARY HOUSING
- Any tent, trailer or other structure used for human shelter which is designed to be transportable.
- Supply and removal of air to and from a space by natural or mechanical means.
Whenever the words "dwelling," "dwelling unit," "mixed occupancy," "multiple family dwelling," "room," "rooming house" or "premises" are used in this housing code, unless clearly contrary to the context in which such terms are used, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof."
No person shall occupy, as owner, occupant or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit, for the purpose of living, sleeping, cooking or eating therein which does not meet with the following requirements:
Plumbing system and facilities. Every dwelling unit shall be provided with plumbing systems that comply with all applicable state and local plumbing codes, which shall be maintained in a sanitary, operable and serviceable condition. There shall be provided within each dwelling unit plumbing fixtures consisting of at least
One kitchen sink serviced with a faucet dispensing hot and cold water;
One flush toilet, which shall be placed in a bathroom or separate enclosed room which affords privacy and serviced with cold water;
One sink in each bathroom or room with a toilet serviced with a faucet dispensing hot and cold water;
One bath with a faucet dispensing hot and cold water, which shall be contained within a bathroom or within a separate room which affords privacy.
Water-heating facilities. Every dwelling shall have water-heating facilities supplied which are properly installed, maintained in reasonably good working condition, properly connected with the hot-water lines required in this section, and are capable of heating water to such a temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every bath at a temperature of not less than 100° F. Such water-heating facilities shall be capable of meeting these requirements when the dwelling unit heating facilities are not in operation.
Sewage drainage system and water system. All plumbing fixtures shall be drained to a sewage drainage system connected to a public sewer or approved private on-site wastewater treatment system.
Garbage facilities. Every dwelling unit shall be provided with adequate facilities for the storing of garbage and rubbish to reasonably prevent unpleasant odors from entering the habitated portion of any dwelling unit or neighboring property, to prevent animals from feeding or rummaging through garbage and to conceal such refuse from view from off the premises. Every dwelling unit located on premises with two or more additional dwelling units shall have such facilities supplied.
Access to areas within dwelling units, stairways and exits.
Areas in dwelling units. Access to all habitable areas of a dwelling unit shall be available from all other habitable areas of the dwelling units without passing through any portion of any other dwelling unit or corridor common to more than one dwelling unit.
Stairways. Every stairway shall be unobstructed and kept in a reasonably good state of repair. All inside stairways of three or more risers shall have at least one handrail. No inside stairway may be located in a closet.
Exits. Every dwelling unit shall have two exits, which comply with the exit requirements of Ch. Comm 21 or 62, Wis. Admin. Code, when applicable. Each such exit, which shall be kept in good state of repair and shall be unobstructed at all times, shall provide means of egress leading to safe and open space at ground level.
Natural light and ventilation. Every habitable room, including basement bedrooms, shall have available natural light and ventilation in compliance with the standards set forth in § Comm 21.05 or Ch. Comm 62 or 64, Wis. Admin. Code, as dictated by the use and occupancy of the building.
Electrical and lighting.
General electrical. Every dwelling unit and all public and common areas of multiple occupancies or multiple-family dwellings shall be supplied with electrical service, outlets, and fixtures which shall be properly installed, maintained in good and safe working condition and connected to a source of electric power all in accordance with Ch. Comm 16, Wis. Admin Code.
Lighting of public halls and stairways. Every public hall and public stairway in every dwelling containing four or more dwelling units, or accommodating more than 20 persons, shall be adequately lighted at all times. The lighting shall include lights at all intersections of passageways, at all exits, and at the head and foot of every stairway. Every public hall and public stairway in dwellings containing fewer than four dwelling units or rooming house accommodating more than three roomers but fewer than 20 persons shall be supplied with convenient light switches controlling an adequate lighting system which may be turned on when needed, instead of full-time lighting.
Any dwelling or dwelling unit designed or intended to be used for dwelling purposes shall be supplied, maintained and equipped with heating facilities, which shall be properly installed, maintained in good working condition, capable of adequately heating all habitable rooms, and bathrooms contained therein, or intended for use by the occupants thereof, to a temperature of at least 70° F., at a distance of three feet above floor level, when the outside temperature is at or above 15° F. below zero.
Every supplied central heating system shall comply with Ch. Comm 23 or 64, Wis. Admin. Code, as applicable. It shall also comply with the following requirements:
The central heating unit shall be in good operating condition.
Every heat duct, steam pipe and hot-water pipe shall be free of leaks and shall function so that an adequate amount of heat is delivered where intended.
Every seal between the sections of a warm air furnace shall be tight so noxious gases will not escape into heat ducts.
All space heaters shall comply with Ch. Comm 23 or 64, Wis. Admin. Code, as applicable, and all of the following requirements:
Screens. At least one window in each habitable room and bathroom where windows are required, shall be supplied with a screen covering at least one-third of the window area, except where other means of adequately ventilating such rooms are available and operating. Screens shall have a wire mesh of no larger than size No. 16, and every basement or cellar window used or intended to be used for ventilation, and every other opening to a basement which might provide an entry for rodents, shall be supplied with a screen or such other device as will effectively prevent their entrance.
No person shall occupy, or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
Dwelling unit to be occupied by one family. No dwelling unit shall be occupied by more than one family.
Minimum floor area for dwelling unit. Every dwelling unit consisting of only one habitable room shall contain at least 100 square feet of habitable room floor area. No dwelling unit containing less than 170 square feet of habitable room floor area shall be occupied by more than one occupant. No dwelling unit consisting of only one habitable room shall be occupied by more than two occupants.
Minimum floor area for sleeping purposes. Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor space and 490 cubic feet of air space, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one person shall contain at least 60 square feet of floor space and 400 cubic feet of air space for each occupant thereof, except that these requirements shall be reduced by 1/2 for children under 12 years of age.
Arrangement of sleeping, bath and toilet rooms. No dwelling or dwelling unit containing two or more sleeping rooms shall have such room arrangements that access to a bathroom or toilet room intended for use by occupants of more than one sleeping room can be had only by going through another sleeping room or by having to go outside the dwelling unit, nor shall room arrangements be such that access to a sleeping room can be had only going through another sleeping room or a bathroom or toilet room.
Basement space may be habitable. No basement space shall be used as a sleeping mom or dwelling unit unless such sleeping room or dwelling unit is in conformity with § Comm 21.05 or Ch. Comm 62, Wis. Admin. Code, as applicable.
No person shall occupy as owner, or rent to another for occupancy, any premises which does not comply with the following requirements:
Sanitation. All exterior property areas shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of garbage or refuse. All garbage and refuse shall be stored in appropriate storage areas or containers as described in § 65-3D. Building materials or other large items that do not fit in typical storage containers shall be stored in such a matter as to be concealed from ordinary view from off of the premises and in such a manner as not to cause a safety hazard until such items can be disposed of properly.
Grading and drainage. All premises shall be graded and maintained so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon or within any building or structure located thereon. Stormwater shall be properly drained to prevent recurrent entrance of water into any basement or cellar.
Refuse and debris. All exterior property areas, including yards, courts, lots and accessory buildings, shall be kept free and clear of any physical hazards, refuse, debris or materials of any sort, including piled lumber, wood, brick, or stone, which would tend to cause a health, accident or fire hazard, or which would obstruct egress of occupants, or interfere with fire-fighting operations, or act as a breeding place and harborage for rodents, vermin or insects. Building materials or other large items that do not fit in typical storage containers shall be stored in such a matter as to be concealed from ordinary view from off of the premises and in such a manner as not to cause a safety hazard until such items can be removed from the premises.
Removal of fire hazards. No person shall keep or deposit, or allow to be kept or deposited, within the Town, any ashes, live coals, or cinders within 20 feet of any frame building, fence, wood pile, lumber, or other combustible material unless the same shall be placed in a depository constructed of brick, stone or other fire-resistant material.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant, or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling unit or rooming unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements:
Maintenance of foundations, exterior walls and roofs. Every foundation, exterior wall and roof shall be weathertight, watertight, insect-proof, rodent-proof and kept in good state of maintenance and repair.
Maintenance of interior walls, floors and ceilings. Every interior partition, wall, floor and ceiling shall be capable of affording privacy, kept in good state of repair and maintained so as to permit them to be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
Rainwater drain. All rainwater shall be so drained and conveyed from every roof so as not to cause dampness in walls, ceiling or floors of any room.
Windows, doors and hatchways. Every window, exterior door and basement hatchway shall be kept in a good working condition and state of maintenance and repair.
Protection of exterior wood surfaces. All exterior wood surfaces shall be protected from the elements and against decay by paint or other equally effective and attractive protective coating applied in a workmanlike fashion.
Stairways and porches. Every inside and outside stairway, every porch and every appurtenance thereto shall be constructed so 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 sound condition and in a good state of maintenance and repair.
Supplied plumbing fixtures. Every supplied plumbing fixture and water and waste pipe shall be properly installed and maintained in good sanitary working condition.
Chimney and supplied smoke pipes. Every chimney and every supplied smoke or exhaust pipe shall be adequately supported, reasonably clean, and maintained in a good state of repair and in accordance with Ch. Comm. 23 or 64, Wis. Admin. Code, as applicable.
Bathroom and toilet room floors. Every bathroom and toilet room floor surface shall be maintained so as to be reasonably impervious to water and so as to permit such floor to be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
Cleanliness of premises. Every dwelling or dwelling unit and premises shall be kept clean and also shall be kept free from vermin and any accumulation of dirt, filth, rubbish, debris, refuse, garbage or other matter as may create an unreasonably unsafe or unhealthful condition.
Cleanliness. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall keep in a clean and sanitary condition that part of the dwelling, dwelling unit and premises which he occupies or controls.
Disposal of garbage. Every occupant of a dwelling and dwelling unit shall dispose of all his garbage and refuse in a clean and sanitary manner by placing it in waterproof containers and stored as provided in § 65-3D. Building materials or other large items that do not fit in typical storage containers shall be stored in such a matter as to be concealed from ordinary view from off of the premises and in such a manner as not to cause a safety hazard until such items can be removed from the premises.
Extermination of pests. Unless lease provisions, condominium documents or other similar document by which occupancy to a premises is controlled provides otherwise, every occupant of a dwelling containing a single dwelling unit shall be responsible for the extermination of any insects, rodents or other pests therein, or on the premises, and every occupant of a dwelling unit in a dwelling containing more than one dwelling unit shall be responsible for such extermination within the unit occupied by him whenever his dwelling unit is the only one infested, except that whenever infestation is caused by failure of the owner to maintain a dwelling in a rat-proof or insect-proof condition, or the owner is obligated, as described herein, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner.
Use of plumbing fixtures. Every occupant of a dwelling unit shall keep all supplied plumbing fixtures therein in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be responsible for the exercise of reasonable care in the proper use and operation of such fixtures.
No person shall operate a rooming house or shall occupy or rent to another any rooming unit except in compliance with the following requirements:
Applicability of chapter provisions. No person shall operate a rooming house except where such rooms and accompanying premises comply with this chapter; provided, however, that for the purpose of interpreting the requirements of the designated sections applicable to the enforcement of this subsection, the words "multiple-family dwelling" or "dwelling" shall be interpreted to mean "rooming house," and the words "dwelling unit" and "dwelling units" shall be interpreted to mean "rooming unit" or "rooming units." Every dwelling unit located within a rooming house shall comply with all of the requirements for dwelling units as established in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Meals in rooming units. No occupant of a rooming house shall prepare or eat meals in a rooming house unless such meals are prepared in a kitchen contained therein. The operator shall post in every rooming unit a sign on which shall be written or printed, in letters not less than 3/8 of one inch in height, the following words, "No Cooking Permitted in This Room," and such sign shall remain so posted at all times.
Sanitary maintenance. The operator of every rooming house shall be responsible for the sanitary maintenance of all walls, floors and ceilings and for maintenance of a sanitary condition in every other part of the rooming house, and he shall be further responsible for the sanitary maintenance of the entire premises where the entire structure or building within which the rooming house is contained is leased or occupied by the operator.
The Inspector or his or her representative is authorized and directed to make regular inspections at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, and premises located within the Town and to further ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Unless probable cause exists to believe a violation of this chapter exists, no premises shall be inspected more frequently than once per year. The Inspector or his or her representative shall have proper identification and shall show same when making such inspections. In the event access to any premises is denied for the performance of a regular maintenance inspection or an inspection based upon probable cause, the Inspector shall obtain a special inspection warrant pursuant to § 66.0119, Wis. Stats.
Whenever the Inspector determines that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health or safety, he or she may, without notice of hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he or she deems necessary to meet the emergency in accordance with the provisions of § 66.1337(4)(a)6, Wis. Stats.
Any dwelling or dwelling unit which the inspector finds to have any of the following defects shall be condemned as unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use:
One which is so old and so damaged, out of repair, decayed, dilapidated, unsanitary, difficult to heat, unsafe, or vermin infested or otherwise unfit for human habitation that it creates a hazard to the health or welfare of the owner or of the occupants or of the public;
One which lacks illumination, ventilation or sanitary facilities adequate to protect the health or welfare of the occupants or of the general public; or
One which, because of its general condition or location, is unsanitary or otherwise dangerous to the health or welfare of the occupants or of the general public.
Any dwelling or dwelling unit may be condemned as unfit for human habitation by the Town if the owner or occupant fails to comply with any order based on the provisions of this chapter, or any rule or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, provided that such dwelling or dwelling unit is, in the opinion of the Inspector, unfit for human habitation by reason of such failure to comply.
Vacation by inhabitants. Any dwelling or dwelling unit condemned as unfit for human habitation and use and so designated shall be repaired or vacated within a reasonable time as ordered by the Inspector.
Condemnation procedures. This condemnation of dwellings and dwelling units as unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use shall be carried out according to the provisions of § 66.0413, Wis. Stats.
No owner shall permit any nondwelling structure or fence to exist on any premises which does not comply with the following requirements:
Maintenance of nondwelling structures. Every foundation, exterior wall, roof, window, exterior door, basement hatchway and every other entranceway of every nondwelling structure shall be so maintained as to prevent the structure from becoming a harbor for rats and shall be kept in a reasonably good state of maintenance and repair.
Protection of exterior wood surfaces and fences. All exterior wood surfaces of all nondwelling structures and fences shall be properly protected from the elements and against decay by paint or other approved protective coating applied in a workmanlike manner. All exterior wood surfaces and fences shall be kept in a reasonably good state of maintenance and repair or shall be removed.