City of Prescott, WI
Pierce County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Prescott as Title 8, Ch. 1, of the former City Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Hazardous materials and pollution — See Ch. 322.
Housing standards — See Ch. 341.
Nuisances — See Ch. 410.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 443.
Solid waste — See Ch. 492.
Trees and shrubs — See Ch. 526.
Zoning — See Ch. 635.

§ 329-1 Rules and regulations; violations and penalties.

The Common Council may make reasonable and general rules for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and for the prevention of the creation of health nuisances and the protection of the public health and welfare and may, where appropriate, require the issuance of licenses and permits. All such regulations shall have the same effect as ordinances, and any person violating any of such regulations and any lawful order of the Council shall be subject to the general penalty provided for in this Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 1-4.

§ 329-2 Definitions; abatement of health nuisances.

A. 
Defined. A "health nuisance" is any source of filth or cause of sickness.
B. 
Duty to abate. The Common Council shall abate health nuisances pursuant to § 254.59, Wis. Stats., which is adopted by reference and made a part of this section.

§ 329-3 Deposit of deleterious substances prohibited.

No person shall deposit or cause to be deposited in any public street or on any public ground or on any private property not his own any refuse, garbage, litter, waste material or liquid or any other objectionable material or liquid. When any such material is placed on the person's own private property, it shall be properly enclosed and covered so as to prevent the same from becoming a public nuisance.

§ 329-4 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 329-4, Destruction of noxious weeds, was repealed 7-10-2017 by Ord. No. 04-17.

§ 329-5 Natural lawns.

A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
NATURAL LAWN
Includes common species of grass and wildflowers native to North America which are designed and purposely cultivated to exceed 12 inches in height from the ground. Specifically excluded in natural lawns are the noxious grasses and weeds identified in § 329-4 of this chapter.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
NATURAL LAWN MANAGEMENT PLAN
A written plan relating to the management and maintenance of a lawn which contains a legal description of the lawn upon which the planted grass will exceed 12 inches in length, a statement of intent and purpose for the lawn, a detailed description of the vegetational types, plants and plant succession involved and the specific management and maintenance techniques to be employed.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
NEIGHBORING PROPERTY OWNERS
All those property owners who are located within 300 feet of the proposed natural lawn site.
PROPERTY OWNER
Includes the legal title holder and/or the beneficial owner of any such lot according to the most current City records.
B. 
Plan and permit required. The growth of a natural lawn in excess of 12 inches in height from the ground surface shall be prohibited within the City corporate limits unless a natural lawn management plan is approved and a permit is issued by the City as set forth in this section. Natural lawns shall not contain litter or debris and shall not harbor undesirable wildlife.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
C. 
Natural lawn management plan.
(1) 
Property owners who wish to plant and cultivate a natural lawn must submit their written plan and related information on the form provided by the City. Natural lawn management plans shall only indicate the planting and cultivating of natural lawn on property legally owned by the property owner. Applicants are strictly prohibited from developing a natural lawn on any City-owned property, including street rights-of-way. This shall include, at a minimum, property located between the sidewalk and the street or a strip not less than 10 feet adjacent to the street where there is no sidewalk, whether the area is under public or private ownership. In addition, natural lawns shall not be permitted within 10 feet of the abutting property owner's property unless waived, in writing, by the abutting property owner on the side so affected. Such waiver is to be affixed to the natural lawn management plan.
(2) 
Any subsequent property owner who abuts an approved natural lawn may revoke the waiver, thereby requiring the owner of the natural lawn to remove the natural lawn that is located in the ten-foot section abutting the neighboring property owner. Such revocation shall be put in writing and presented to the City Clerk by the subsequent abutting property owner. Upon receiving the written request to revoke the original waiver, the Common Council shall contact the owner of the approved natural lawn and direct the owner to remove the natural lawn located in the ten-foot section abutting the neighboring property owner. The Common Council shall revise the approved natural lawn permit accordingly. The owner of the approved natural lawn shall be required to remove the ten-foot section abutting the neighboring property owner within 20 days of receipt of the written notification from the City, provided that the notification is received sometime between May 1 and November 1. Property owners who receive notification from the City between November 1 and April 30 shall be required to remove the ten-foot section abutting the neighboring property owner no later than May 20 following receipt of the notification.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
D. 
Application process.
(1) 
Property owners interested in applying for permission to establish a natural lawn shall obtain and complete an application form available from the City Clerk. The completed application shall include a natural lawn management plan. Upon submitting a completed application, a nonrefundable filing fee as prescribed in the City's fee schedule will be assessed by the City. Upon receiving payment, copies of the completed application shall be mailed by the City to each of the owners of record, as listed in the office of the City Assessor, who are owners of the property situated wholly or in part within 300 feet of the boundaries of the property for which the application is made. If, within 15 calendar days of mailing the copies of the complete application to the neighboring property owners, the City receives written objections from 51% or more of the neighboring property owners, the City Clerk shall immediately deny the application.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
(2) 
If the property owner's application is in full compliance with the natural lawn management plan requirements and less than 51% of the neighboring property owners provide written objections, the City Clerk shall issue permission to install a natural lawn.
E. 
Appeal. The property owner may appeal the Clerk's decision to deny the natural lawn permit request to the Common Council at an open meeting. All applications for appeal shall be submitted within 15 calendar days of the notice of denial of the natural lawn permit. The decision rendered by the Common Council shall be final and binding.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
F. 
Safety precautions for natural grass areas. When, in the opinion of the Fire Chief, the presence of a natural lawn may constitute a fire or safety hazard due to weather and/or other conditions, the Fire Chief may order the cutting of natural lawns to a safe condition. As a condition of receiving approval of the natural lawn permit, the property owner shall be required to cut the natural lawn within three days upon receiving written direction from the Fire Chief.
G. 
Revocation of permit. The Mayor, upon the recommendation of the Weed Commissioner, shall have the authority to revoke an approved natural lawn permit if the owner fails to maintain the natural lawn or comply with the provisions set forth in this section. Notice of intent to revoke an approved natural lawn permit shall be appealable to the Common Council. All applications for appeal shall be submitted within 15 calendar days of receipt of the written notice of intent to revoke the approved natural lawn permit. Failure to file an application for appeal within the 15 calendar days shall result in the revoking of the natural lawn permit. All written applications for appeal filed within the fifteen-calendar-day requirement shall be reviewed by the Common Council in an open meeting. The decision rendered by the Common Council shall be final and binding.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
H. 
Public nuisance defined; abatement after notice.
(1) 
The growth of a natural lawn as defined in this section shall be considered a public nuisance unless a natural lawn management plan has been filed and approved and permit issued by the City as set forth in this section. Violators shall be served with a notice of public nuisance by certified mail to the last known mailing address of the property owner.
(2) 
If the person so served with a notice of public nuisance violation does not abate the nuisance within 10 days, the Zoning Administrator may proceed to abate such nuisance, keeping an account of the expense of the abatement, and such expense shall be charged to and paid by such property owner. Notice of the bill for abatement of the public nuisance shall be mailed to the owner of the premises and shall be payable within 30 calendar days from receipt thereof. Within 60 days after such costs and expenses are incurred and remain unpaid, the City Treasurer shall enter those charges onto the tax roll as a special tax as provided by state statute.
(3) 
The failure of the City Treasurer to record such claim or to mail such notice or the failure of the owner to receive such notice shall not affect the right to place the City expense on the tax rolls for unpaid bills for abating the public nuisance as provided for in this section.
I. 
Penalty.
(1) 
An person, firm or corporation who or which does not abate the nuisance within the required time period or who or which otherwise violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the general penalty found in § 1-4 of this Code.
(2) 
In addition to any penalties herein provided, the City may issue stop-work orders upon owners of lots where work is unfinished under a previously issued building permit for any violation of this section.

§ 329-6 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 329-6, Length of lawn and grasses, as amended, was repealed 7-10-2017 by Ord. No. 04-17.

§ 329-7 Rodent control.

A. 
Definitions. The following definitions shall be applicable in this section:
HARDWARE CLOTH
Wire screening of such thickness and spacing as to afford reasonable protection against the entrance of rodents.
OWNER or MANAGER
Whenever any person or persons shall be in actual possession of or have charge, care or control of any property within the City, as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or agent, such person or persons shall be deemed and taken to be the owner or owners of such property within the true intent and meaning of this section and shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this section to the same extent as the owner, and notice to any such person of any order or decision of the Building Inspector or his designee shall be deemed and taken to be a good and sufficient notice, as if such person or persons were actually the owner or owners of such property, except that whenever an entire premises or building is occupied as a place of business, such as a store, factory, warehouse, rooming house, junkyard, lumber yard or any other business under a single management, the person, firm or corporation in charge of such business shall be considered the owner or manager.
RODENT
All nuisance animals.
RODENT HARBORAGE
Any place where rodents can live and nest without fear of frequent molestation or disturbance.
RODENTPROOF CONTAINER
A container constructed of concrete or metal or the container shall be lined with metal or other material that is impervious to rodents and openings into the container such as doors shall be tight fitting to prevent the entrance of rodents.
RODENTPROOFING
Consists of closing openings in building foundations and openings under and around doors, windows, vents and other places which could provide means of entry for rodents, with concrete, sheet iron, hardware cloth or other types of rodentproofing material approved by the City.
B. 
Elimination of rodent harborages. Whenever accumulations of rubbish, boxes, lumber, scrap metal, car bodies or any other materials provide rodent harborage, the person, firm or corporation owning or in control of such materials shall cause the materials to be removed or the materials shall be stored so as to eliminate the rodent harborage. Lumber boxes and similar materials shall be neatly piled. These piles shall be raised at least a foot above the ground. When the owner of the materials cannot be found after a reasonable search, the owner or manager of the premises on which the materials are stored shall be responsible for disposal, or proper piling, of the materials.
C. 
Elimination of rodent feeding places. No person, firm or corporation shall place, or allow to accumulate, any materials that may serve as a food for rodents in a site accessible to rodents. Any waste material that may serve as food for rodents shall be stored in rodentproof containers. Feed for birds shall be placed on raised platforms, or such feed shall be placed where it is not accessible to rodents.
D. 
Extermination. Whenever rodent holes, burrows or other evidence of rodent infestation are found on any premises or in any building within the City, it shall be the duty of the owner or manager of such property to exterminate the rodents or to cause the rodents to be exterminated. Within 10 days after extermination, the owner or manager shall cause all of the rodent holes or burrows in the ground to be filled with earth or other suitable material.
E. 
Rodentproofing. It shall be the duty of the owner or manager of any building in the City of Prescott to make such building reasonably rodentproof, to replace broken basement windows and, when necessary, to cover the basement window openings with hardware cloth or other suitable material for preventing rodents from entering the building through such window openings.

§ 329-8 Composting.

A. 
Purpose and intent. The purpose of this section is to promote the recycling of yard wastes and certain kitchen wastes through composting and to establish minimum standards for proper compost maintenance.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMPOSTING
The controlled biological reduction of organic waste to humus.
KITCHEN WASTE
Any uncooked plant matter not contaminated by or containing meat, fish and/or dairy products.
YARD WASTE
The organic waste produced from the growing, trimming, and removal of grass, branches (not exceeding one inch in diameter) bushes, shrubs, plants, leaves and garden debris.
C. 
Maintenance. All compost piles shall be maintained using approved composting procedures to comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
All compost piles shall be enclosed in a freestanding compost bin. Each compost bin shall be no larger in volume than 125 cubic feet, and shall be no taller than 42 inches.
(2) 
All compost bins shall be so maintained as to prevent the attraction or harborage of rodents and pests. The presence of rodents in or near a compost bin shall be cause for the City to proceed under § 329-7.
(3) 
All compost bins shall be so maintained as to prevent unpleasant odors.
(4) 
No compost bin shall be allowed to deteriorate to such condition as to be a blighting influence on the surrounding property or neighborhood or City in general.
(5) 
Location.
(a) 
All compost bins shall be located not less than three feet from a property line or principal building or dwelling and three feet from any detached accessory building.
(b) 
A variance from these setback requirements may be applied for if the property owner(s) can show a hardship exists which prohibits compliance. In addition, any variance application must include a signed written approval of the variance request from the adjacent property owner(s). Variances can be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals on an annual basis upon the proper application being submitted by the property owner(s). Screening and/or fencing of compost bins may be required as a condition of a variance being granted.
[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
(6) 
No compost bin shall be located in any yard except a rear yard, as defined in the City's Zoning Code,[1] unless a variance is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 635, Zoning.
(7) 
Those composting bins which existed prior to the adoption of this section shall be given one year to comply with the requirements set forth herein.
D. 
Ingredients.
(1) 
No compost bin shall contain any of the following:
(a) 
Lake weeds;
(b) 
Cooked food scraps of any kind or type;
(c) 
Fish, meat or other animal products;
(d) 
Manure;
(e) 
Large items that will impede the composting process.
(2) 
Permitted ingredients in a compost bin shall include the following:
(a) 
Yard waste;
(b) 
Coffee grounds and used tea leaves;
(c) 
Uncooked plant matter not contaminated by or containing meat, fish, and/or dairy products;
(d) 
Commercial compost additives.
E. 
Owner responsibility. Every owner or operator shall be responsible for maintaining all property under his or her control in accordance with the requirements of this section.

§ 329-9 Compost dumping.

[Amended 5-29-2012 by Ord. No. 08-12]
A. 
The City of Prescott compost area will be open as prescribed by the Common Council for the City of Prescott and contracted community residents only. Persons who are not residents of Prescott who have made arrangements to use the Prescott site for brush and other compost generated in Prescott may use the compost site upon presentation of a letter of authorization signed by the City Administrator or the City Administrator's designee.
B. 
Persons who are not residents of Prescott or who do not have authorization to use the City compost site from the City of Prescott who unload brush or compost at the site are subject to a forfeiture of $300 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. Any person dumping materials other than brush or compost is subject to a forfeiture of $300 for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense.

§ 329-10 Nuisances; brush and rubbish.

A. 
Brush piles, cut or fallen tree limbs, piles of waste material such as metal cans, plastic, scrap metal, boxes, rubbish, etc., which may harbor rodents or other vermin, breed insect pest, create a health or fire hazard shall be deemed a public nuisance.
B. 
Removal. The City Administrator or his designee shall investigate complaints and shall notify the property owner where said nuisance is located and remove the nuisance within 10 working days.
C. 
Failure to remove the nuisance. Property owners who receive notice to remove nuisances as identified under Subsection A of this section and fail to remove the material shall pay a forfeiture of $100 plus the cost to the City of Prescott to remove said material.
D. 
Appeal. Persons who wish to appeal the notice to remove brush or other rubbish may file appeal within 10 working days of the date of the notice by contacting the City Administrator's office and depositing a bond in the amount of $125, which will be returned if a decision is rendered in the property owner's favor. In the event that the property owner fails to appear or a decision is rendered against the property owner, the bond shall be forfeited, and the City shall remove the rubbish at the expense of the property owner.