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Town of Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Oconomowoc as Ch. 10 of the 1986 Town Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 100.
Building construction — See Ch. 108.
Lawn fertilizer — See Ch. 146.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 150.
Lakes and beaches — See Ch. 175.
Lighting — See Ch. 189.
Signs — See Ch. 238.
Solid waste — See Ch. 254.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 260.
No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the Town.
A public nuisance is a thing, act, occupation, condition or use of property which continues 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.
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 definition of § 207-2:
A. 
Adulterated food: all decayed, adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.
B. 
Carcasses, unburied: carcasses of animals, birds or fowl not intended for human consumption or food which are not buried or otherwise disposed of in a sanitary manner within 24 hours after death.
C. 
Insects or vermin, breeding places for: accumulations of decayed animal or vegetable matter, trash, rubbish, rotting lumber, bedding, packing material, scrap metal or any material in which flies, mosquitoes, disease-carrying insects, rats or other vermin can breed.
D. 
Water, stagnant: 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. 
Weeds, noxious: see § 66.0407, Wis. Stats.
G. 
Pollution, water: 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.
H. 
Odors, noxious: any use of property, substances or things within the Town emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, noxious or disagreeable odors, gases, effluvia or stenches extremely repulsive to the physical senses of ordinary persons which annoy, discomfort, injure or inconvenience the health of any appreciable number of persons within the Town.
I. 
Pollution, street: any use of property which causes any noxious or unwholesome liquid or substance to flow into or upon any street, gutter, alley, sidewalk or public place within the Town.
J. 
Pollution, air: the escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, industrial dust or other atmospheric pollutants within the Town or within one mile therefrom in such quantities as to endanger the health of persons of ordinary sensibilities or threaten or cause substantial damage to property in the Town.
K. 
Animals, loose: any animals running at large in the Town.
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are 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 § 207-2:
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 or gambling.
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 the ordinances of the Town.
D. 
Continuous violation of Town ordinances: any place or premises within the Town where Town ordinances or state 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 state laws.
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 § 207-2:
A. 
Dangerous signs, billboards, etc.: all signs, billboards, awnings and other similar structures over or near streets, sidewalks, public grounds or places frequented by the public, so situated or constructed as to endanger the public safety.
B. 
Illegal buildings: all buildings erected, repaired or altered in violation of Town ordinances relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the Town.
C. 
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 official traffic control devices, railroad signs or signals or which, because of their color, location, brilliance or manner of operation, interfere with the effectiveness of any such device, sign or signal.
D. 
Obstruction of intersections: all trees, hedges, billboards or other obstructions which prevent persons driving vehicles on public streets, alleys or highways from obtaining a clear view of traffic when approaching an intersection or pedestrian crosswalk.
E. 
Low-hanging tree limbs: all limbs of trees which project over and less than 10 feet above any public sidewalk, street or other public place.
F. 
Dangerous trees: all trees which are a menace to public safety or are the cause of substantial annoyance to the general public.
G. 
Fireworks: all use or display of fireworks except as provided by state laws and Town ordinances.
H. 
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.
I. 
Low-hanging wires and cables: all wires and cables over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 15 feet above the surface thereof.
J. 
Noisy animals or fowl: the keeping or harboring of any animal or fowl which, by frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking, crowing or making of other noises, greatly annoys or disturbs a neighborhood or any considerable number of persons within the Town.
K. 
Obstructions of streets; excavations: all obstructions of streets, alleys, sidewalks or crosswalks, and all excavations in or under the same, except as permitted by the ordinances of the Town, but including those which, although made in accordance with such ordinances, are kept or maintained for an unreasonable or illegal length of time after the purpose thereof has been accomplished or which do not conform to the permit.
L. 
Unlawful assemblies: any unauthorized or prohibited use of property abutting on a public street, alley 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 streets or sidewalks.
M. 
Snow and ice: all ice not removed from public sidewalks and all snow not removed from public sidewalks within 24 hours after it has ceased to fall thereon.
[Added 11-18-2002]
[Amended 1-21-1991]
A. 
Open burning defined; required receptacles.
(1) 
Open burning is defined as a controlled, limited-size open-area fire, either with or without use of a burning receptacle.
(2) 
Metal or noncombustible receptacle required. No person shall kindle or maintain any open burning in burning receptacles unless said receptacle is metal and noncombustible with an appropriate cover so as to retain all burning material within the receptacle and unless the receptacle is resting upon a noncombustible base or on ground and is at least 15 feet away from any combustible material.
[Added 10-16-1995]
B. 
Permit required; exceptions.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection B(2), no person shall kindle or maintain any open burning or authorize the kindling or maintaining of any open burning within the limits of the Town without first securing a written permit from the Chief of the Fire Department serving the fire district area in which the burning is intended. The permit shall be valid only for the days and time periods specified by the Chief. Copies of each permit shall be on file with the Fire Chief, Town Clerk and Police Department. In the absence of the Fire Chief, an assistant fire chief shall be authorized to issue such permits. Applications for burning permits shall be made not less than 24 hours prior to the intended burn.
(2) 
The following open burning shall be permitted without authorization from the Fire Chief:
[Amended 10-16-1995]
(a) 
Outdoor cooking.
(b) 
Campfires. The size of the pile of material to be burned in the campfire shall not exceed two feet by two feet by two feet high.
(c) 
Training for fire departments.
C. 
Size of pile. The size of the pile of material to be burned shall not exceed four feet by four feet by three feet high or as permitted by the Fire Chief.
D. 
Location. The location of the open burning shall be approved by the Fire Chief and either:
(1) 
The pile of material being burned shall be at least 50 feet from any structure, wood or lumber pile or wooden fence and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of such items; or
(2) 
The fire shall be contained in an approved burner located at least 15 feet from any structure, wood or lumber pile or wooden fence.
E. 
Material for burning.
(1) 
Fuel for open burning shall consist of dry material only and shall not be ignited with flammable or combustible liquids.
(2) 
Material for open burning may not include rubbish, garbage, trash or any material made of or coated with rubber, plastic, leather or petroleum-based products.
F. 
Supervision. Open burning shall be constantly attended and supervised by a competent person at least 16 years of age until such fire is extinguished. This person shall have readily available for use fire-extinguishing equipment deemed necessary by the Fire Chief.
G. 
Time of burn. Open burning shall be permitted only from 7:00 a.m. to 1/2 hour after sunset or as permitted by the Fire Department having jurisdiction.
H. 
Prohibitions. Outdoor burning shall be prohibited as follows:
(1) 
When the wind velocity exceeds nine miles per hour or local circumstances make the fires potentially hazardous. Local circumstances include, but are not limited to, thermal inversions, ozone alerts and very dry conditions.
(2) 
No burning shall take place within 25 feet of the high water mark of lake shores, streams or other watercourses or in roadside ditches.
(3) 
No building, structure or materials from a razed building shall be burned, unless it shall be a fire for the practice and instruction of fire persons or the testing of fire-fighting equipment and shall be under the supervision of the Fire Department.
(4) 
There shall be no open burning on construction sites of any building materials.
(5) 
No open burning of leaves shall be permitted when the location of the leaf pile and the wind velocity may cause smoke to create a nuisance for adjacent property owners. This prohibition shall apply regardless of the wind velocity.
I. 
Town Fire Warden; fires on lands in Town.
(1) 
Section 26.13, Wis. Stats., is hereby adopted by reference.
(2) 
Whenever the Town Board deems it imprudent to set fires upon any land within the Town, the Board shall post or cause to be posted in five or more public places in the Town notices prepared by the Department of Natural Resources or shall place one such notice in the official Town paper forbidding the setting of the fires in the Town and, after the posting of the notices, no person may set any fire upon any land in the Town, except for warming the person or cooking food, until written permission has been received from the Town Chairman.
J. 
Bonfires.
(1) 
Defined. A bonfire is defined as a large open-area fire kindled to mark a public event, victory celebration or similar occurrence where dry, combustible material, such as wood, paper, and similar items, are burned.
(2) 
Authorization required. All persons shall obtain authorization from the Fire Chief for the fire district in which the bonfire is proposed to be located before kindling or maintaining any bonfire or authorizing the kindling or maintaining of any bonfire on any premises.
(3) 
Quantity of material to be burned. The allowable quantity of material to be burned shall be determined by the Fire Chief and shall be based upon the firesafety considerations of the situation and the desired duration of burn.
(4) 
Material for burn.
(a) 
Fuel for bonfires shall consist of dry material only and shall not be ignited with flammable or combustible liquids.
(b) 
Material for bonfires may not include rubbish, garbage, trash or material made of or coated with rubber, plastic, leather or petroleum-based materials and may not contain any flammable or combustible liquids.
(5) 
Other regulations. Persons kindling or maintaining bonfires or authorizing the kindling or maintenance of bonfires shall be subject to the ordinances of the Town and the regulations of the Fire Department of the district in which located.
[Amended 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
It is determined that the health and general welfare of the Town requires preventive tree care of infected trees within the Town, including disposal of any such infected trees. Hazardous trees shall be defined to include, but are not necessarily limited to, any of the following:
A. 
Any tree or shrub or part thereof located upon any public or private property which is infected with an infectious plant disease, or is infested with injurious insects or pests, so as to threaten the health of other trees or shrubs in the Town, including but not limited to the following disease and infestation conditions.
(1) 
Dutch elm disease, defined as follows: any elm tree or part thereof infected with the Dutch elm disease fungus Ceratocystis ulmi (Buisman), or which harbors any of the elm bark beetles Scolytus multistriatus (Eichh.) or Hylurgopinus rufipes (Marsh.). Also included are any dead elm tree or parts thereof, including logs, branches, stumps, firewood or other elm material not buried or burned or from which the bark has not been removed.
(2) 
Asian long-horned beetle infestation, defined as follows: any tree or shrub or part thereof, or logs, branches, stumps, firewood or other tree or shrub material, which harbors the Asian long-horned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis).
(3) 
Emerald ash borer infestation, defined as follows: any tree or shrub or part thereof, or logs, branches, stumps, firewood or other tree or shrub material, which harbors the emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis).
(4) 
Oak wilt. If more than a single oak tree dies from any cause and there is an infestation that is likely to spread among a series of oak trees, the Public Works Superintendent has the authority to retain a forester or arborists for an opinion as to the cause and whether such wilt may potentially spread to non-infested trees. If an oak tree or oak trees are so affected, § 207-7.1 through § 207-7.6 shall apply to the recommended or ordered treatment.
B. 
Trees creating dangerous conditions.
(1) 
Any tree or shrub that overhangs any public sidewalk, public pathway, public street or other public right-of-way in the Town in such a manner as to impede or interfere with any public easement or traffic or travel on such public pathway, public sidewalk, public street or other public right-of-way, including, but not limited to, any tree or shrub that obstructs street illumination or the vision of persons traveling such public sidewalk, public pathway, public street, or other public right-of-way.
(2) 
Any part of a tree or shrub that, due to disease, insect infestation or any defective condition, is likely to fall and impair access to a public right-of-way or public place.
[Added 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
All dead or freshly cut wood infected as described in § 207-7 shall be burned or treated with an approved spray and oil base as approved by the Town Public Works Superintendent, and it shall be unlawful to keep any dead or freshly cut diseased wood on any premises in the Town of Oconomowoc unless so treated.
[Added 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
The Town Public Works Superintendent or any member of the Town Board, with the permission of the property owner or occupant or by inspection warrant, may enter upon private property within the Town for the purpose of inspecting all trees thereon to determine whether any of such trees are infected or diseased or in need of other preventative measures and is further empowered to inspect such private premises to determine the presence of any infected logs, firewood, or stumps, or the presence of any dead trees.
[Added 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
Hazardous trees or trees that create a dangerous condition are declared to be a public nuisance. No person shall permit any hazardous tree or tree that creates a dangerous condition public nuisance to remain in or on any premises owned or leased by that person within the Town of Oconomowoc.
[Added 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
The Town Public Works Superintendent or the Town Board may order any property owner to remove and destroy any hazardous tree or tree that creates a dangerous condition. Notice shall be given by mailing a notice to the last known address of the property owner by registered mail or by delivery of notice and service thereof by any law enforcement officer on such owner or agent of said owner.
[Added 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
When any property owner is directed to remove a tree or spray a tree or area, he/she shall advise the Town Board of his/her compliance within 20 days after receipt of the notice.
[Added 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
A. 
All trees in Town-owned rights-of-way pre-existing the date of adoption of §§ 207-7 through 207.7 may remain as is, unless and until removal is determined by the Town of Oconomowoc Department of Public Works Superintendent.
B. 
Trees within the Town-owned rights-of-way shall be inspected by the Department of Public Works Superintendent to determine if said tree shall be removed. All dead, dying, diseased or hazardous trees within Town rights-of-way shall be removed at the discretion of the Department of Public Works Superintendent.
C. 
No person shall plant or replace any tree or shrub on any Town-owned property, including but not limited to, all Town rights-of-way, without obtaining specific approval of the Town of Oconomowoc Town Board.
[Added 1-15-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-1]
Each violation of any provision of this article shall be subject to the penalties and remedies described in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Terminology; Penalties, of this Code. Each and every day for which a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
A. 
Enforcement. The Constable, Fire Chief, Building Inspector and Health Officer shall 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 has 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.
B. 
Summary abatement. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists within the Town and that there is great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the Chairman may direct the proper officer to cause the same to be abated and charge the cost thereof to the owner, occupant or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance, as the case may be.
C. 
Abatement after notice. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists on private premises but that such nuisance does not 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 to remove the same within 10 days. If such nuisance is not removed within 10 days, the proper officer shall cause the nuisance to be removed as provided in Subsection B.
D. 
Other methods not excluded. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the Town or its officials in accordance with the laws of the state.
E. 
Court order. Except when necessary under Subsection B, an officer hereunder shall not use force to obtain access to private property to abate a public nuisance, but shall request permission to enter upon private property if such premises are occupied and, if such permission is denied, shall apply to any court having jurisdiction for an order assisting the abatement of the public nuisance.
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 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.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter, or any regulation, rule or order made hereunder, or permit or cause a public nuisance, shall be subject to a penalty as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, of this Code.