[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Baldwin 4-28-2004 as Title 8, Ch. 1, of the 2004 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village Board 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 Board shall be subject to the general penalty provided for in § 1-4 of this Code.
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/her 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.
The Village Clerk-Treasurer shall annually on or before May 15 publish as required by state law a notice that every person is required by law to destroy all noxious weeds on lands in the Village which he/she owns, occupies or controls. A joint notice with other towns or municipalities may be utilized.
If the owner or occupant shall neglect to destroy any weeds as required by such notice, then the Weed Commissioner of the Village shall give one written notice per growing season by mail to the owner or occupant of any lands upon which the weeds shall be growing. Such notice shall direct the owner or occupant to destroy or cause to be destroyed all such weeds growing upon said lands within five days from receipt of said notice. After the expiration of the five-day period, the Weed Commissioner will proceed to destroy or cause to be destroyed all such weeds growing upon said lands, and the cost thereof will be assessed as a tax upon the lands upon which such weeds are located under the provisions of § 66.0407, Wis. Stats. The Weed Commissioner shall destroy such weeds or cause them to be destroyed in the manner deemed to be the most economical method, and the expense thereof, including the cost of billing and other necessary administrative expenses, shall be charged against such lots and be collected as a special tax thereon.
[Amended 3-13-2013; 6-10-2015]
As provided for in § 66.0407, Wis. Stats., the Village shall require that all noxious weeds shall be destroyed prior to the time in which such plants would mature to the bloom or flower state. The growth of noxious weeds in excess of eight inches in height from the ground surface shall be prohibited within the Village of Baldwin corporate limits. Noxious weeds shall include any weed, grass or similar plant growth which, if allowed to pollinate, would cause or produce hayfever in human beings or would cause a skin rash through contact with the skin.
Noxious weeds, as defined in this section and in § 332-5, shall include but not be limited to the following:
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle).
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common ragweed).
Ambrosia trifida (Great ragweed).
Euphorbia esula (Leafy spurge).
Convolvulus arvensis (Creeping Jenny) (Field bindweed).
Tragopogon dubius (Goat's beard).
Rhus radicans (Poison ivy).
Cirsium vulgare (Bull thistle).
Pastinaca sativa (Wild parsnip).
Arctium minus (Burdock).
Xanthium strumarium (Cocklebur).
Amaranthus retroflexus (Pigweed).
Chenopodium album (Common lambsquarter).
Rumex crispus (Curled dock).
Cannabis sativa (Hemp).
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain).
Purpose. This section is adopted due to the unique nature of the problems associated with lawns, grasses and noxious weeds being allowed to grow to excessive length in the Village of Baldwin.
Public nuisance declared. The Village Board finds that lawns, grasses and noxious weeds on nonagricultural lots or parcels of land, as classified under Chapter 635, Zoning, within the Village of Baldwin which exceed eight inches in length adversely affect the public health and safety of the public in that they tend to emit pollen and other discomforting bits of plants, constitute a fire hazard and a safety hazard in that debris can be hidden in the grass, interfere with the public convenience and adversely affect property values of other land within the Village. For that reason, any nonagricultural lawn, grass or weed on a lot or other parcel of land which exceeds eight inches in length is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, except for property located in a designated floodplain area and/or wetland area.
Nuisances prohibited. No person, firm or corporation shall permit any public nuisance as defined in Subsection B above to remain on any premises owned or controlled by him/her within the Village.
Inspection. The Weed Commissioner or his/her designee shall inspect or cause to be inspected all premises and places within the Village to determine whether any public nuisance as defined in Subsection B above exists.
Abatement of nuisance.
If the Weed Commissioner shall determine with reasonable certainty that any public nuisance as defined in Subsection B above exists, the Weed Commissioner shall immediately cause written notice to be served that the Village proposes to have the lot grass or lawn cut so as to conform with this section and § 332-4.
The notice shall be mailed or served on the owner of the lot or parcel of land or, if he/she is not known and there is a tenant occupying the property, then on the tenant.
Due process hearing. If the owner believes that his/her grasses or weeds are not a nuisance, he/she may request a hearing before the Village Board. The request for said hearing must be made in writing to the Village Clerk-Treasurer's office within the five days set forth in the Weed Commissioner's notice. Upon application for the hearing, the property owner must make a deposit in an amount prescribed in the Village Fee Schedule. If a decision is rendered in the property owner's favor, the deposit will be returned to the property owner. If the property owner fails to appear for the hearing or if the decision is rendered against the property owner, the deposit shall be forfeited and applied to the cost of Village personnel abating the nuisance, if necessary. When a hearing is requested by the owner of the property, a hearing by the Village Board shall be held within seven days from the date of the owner's request. The property in question will not be mowed by the Village until such time as the hearing is held by the Village Board. At the hearing, the owner may appear in person or by his/her attorney, may present witnesses in his/her own behalf and may cross-examine witnesses presented by the Village as well as subpoena witnesses for his/her own case. At the close of the hearing, the Village Board shall make its determination in writing specifying its findings, facts, and conclusions. If the Village Board determines that a public nuisance did exist, the Village Board shall order the Weed Commissioner to mow the property in question unless the property has been mowed by the owner within 48 hours of the Village Board's decision. If the owner does not abate the nuisance within the described 48 hours, the Weed Commissioner shall cause the same nuisance to be abated and cost in excess of the forfeited fee assessed accordingly.
Village's option to abate nuisance. In any case where the owner, occupant or person in charge of the property shall fail to cut his lawn, grass or weeds as set forth above, then, and in that event, the Village may elect to cut said lawn, grass or weeds as follows:
The written notice required in Subsection E shall inform said person that in the event of his/her failure to abate the nuisance within the prescribed time, the Village shall abate the same and the cost thereof shall be assessed to the property owner as a special charge.
The Village shall cut or cause to be cut all grass and weeds from the subject's property and shall charge the expenses of so doing at a rate as established by resolution by the Village Board. The charges shall be set forth in a statement to the Village Clerk-Treasurer who, in turn, shall mail the same to the owner, occupant or person in charge of the subject premises. If said statement is not paid in full within 30 days thereafter, the Village Clerk-Treasurer shall enter the charges in the tax roll as a special tax against said lot or parcel of land, and the same shall be collected in all respects like other taxes upon real estate, or as provided under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats.
Defined. "Natural lawn" as used in this section shall include grass and wild flower species native to North America which are intended and cultivated to exceed eight inches in height from the ground. The noxious weeds and grasses identified in § 332-4C of this chapter are specifically excluded from the plants allowed in a natural lawn.
Location restricted. Natural lawns upon application and written approval as provided in this section shall only be allowed in the OC, C-1, C-1-H, C-2, M-1, and I-1 zoning districts.
No natural lawn shall be cultivated or maintained within 10 feet of an adjoining property line unless waived in writing by the owner of an adjoining property. The waiver shall only be effective as to the adjoining owner who issued it. Any subsequent owner may revoke the waiver in writing to the Village and the Village shall then provide written notice of such revocation of waiver to the individual or entity maintaining the natural lawn.
The individual or entity maintaining the natural lawn shall have 20 days from the date of the revocation notice to remove the natural lawn to at least 10 feet from the adjoining property line. If such notice is issued between November 1 and April 30, said individual or entity shall have until May 20 following the date of notification to remove the natural lawn to at least 10 feet from the property line.
Application. Any individual or entity wishing to cultivate and maintain a natural lawn within the Village of Baldwin shall submit a written application for a natural lawn permit to the Village.
The application shall contain the following information:
Name, address and telephone number of the property owner.
If the property is leased, name, address and telephone number of the lessee and a written consent by the property owner to the application.
Intent and purpose behind the natural lawn.
Proposed location of the natural lawn including a scale drawing showing its boundaries, proximity to any structure or public right-of-way and to a joining property lines.
List of the species of grasses or wildflowers to be cultivated.
A nonrefundable filing fee as prescribed in the Village Fee Schedule shall be submitted with each application for natural lawn.
Upon receipt of a complete application and fee, copies of the application shall be mailed by the Village to each property owner of record within 300 feet of the natural lawn area. Included with the application shall be a statement that the adjoining owner has 15 days to submit a written objection to the Village to such application. If any objection is received, the Village Board shall schedule a public hearing to take comment on the application. Notice of the public hearing shall be sent to the same property owners to whom the application was sent and published as a Class 1 notice in the local newspaper.
After the public hearing, the Village Board shall issue its decision on the application. The Board may attach conditions to be complied with as part of its approval. The decision of the Board shall be final.
If the application is approved, the Village Clerk-Treasurer shall issue a permit which shall be valid for a period of five years. Applications for renewal of a natural lawn permit shall follow the same procedure as the initial application.
If, in the opinion of the Weed Commissioner of the Village of Baldwin, a natural lawn becomes a fire or safety hazard due to weather or any other condition, the Weed Commissioner may order the lawn to be cut to a safe level. Any such order shall be complied with within three days of receipt.
If the owner (or lessee) of property upon which a natural lawn is located fails to adequately maintain the natural lawn or otherwise defaults in the requirements of this section, the Village Weed Commissioner may issue a notice of intent to revoke the permit and the reasons therefor. In the case of leased property, such notice shall also be sent to the property owner. Such notice shall give the property owner (or lessee) 15 days to either cure the default to the Village's satisfaction or file a written appeal with the Village. Such appeal shall be heard by the Village Board.
If the owner (or lessee) fails to cure the default or file a written appeal within the specified time period, or if the appeal is denied, the natural lawn permit shall be revoked by issuance of a written revocation order.
The property owner (or lessee) shall have 15 days from the date of receipt of the revocation order to cut or remove the natural lawn to the satisfaction of the Village.
Public nuisance. Any individual or entity which maintains a natural lawn without a permit or who fails to remove a natural lawn within the time period specified herein shall be deemed to have committed a public nuisance and shall be subject to the procedures and fines specified in Chapter 405, Nuisances, of this Code.
When required. Whenever a sewer or water main becomes available to any building used for human habitation, the owner of the property upon which the building is located shall connect the building to such main or mains in the manner prescribed by law, except the Village Board may defer connection to such water or sewer main or mains for those properties which have existing septic systems or wells whose construction was permitted by the Village of Baldwin, but such deferment shall not exceed five years from the date of installation of such main or mains.
Notice. Whenever a sewer or water main becomes available to any building used for human habitation, the Building Inspector shall notify the owner or his/her agent in writing by registered mail addressed to the last known address of the owner or his/her agent.
Building Inspector may cause connection at expense of owner. If the owner or his/her agent fails to comply with the notice of the Building Inspector within 10 days of service or mailing thereof, the Building Inspector may cause connection to be made and the expense thereof shall be assessed as a special tax against the property.
Privies, cesspools, etc., prohibited after connection with sewer. After connection of any building used for human habitation to a sewer main, no privy, cesspool or waterless toilet shall be used in connection with such human habitation.
Whenever the Building Inspector, Fire Inspector or other authorized Village official shall, upon inspection of any premises within the Village of Baldwin, find that there is deposited, placed, stored or remaining on said premises any garbage, junk, rubbish, rubble, trash, abandoned, outmoded, or nonsalable merchandise or parts, construction materials, rotting yard and orchard waste, merchandise or parts, accumulation of grease or food wastes in a grease trap or other place or depository which presents a risk of clogging or blocking a sewer system, or any other unhealthy, hazardous or unsightly materials or things which create a fire or health hazard, or which are detrimental to the appearance, neatness and cleanliness of the immediate neighborhood or the Village of Baldwin in general, such official shall issue his/her written order to the owner and/or occupant of the premises to remove said garbage, junk, rubbish, rubble or trash, abandoned, outmoded, or nonsalable merchandise or parts, construction materials, rotting yard and orchard waste, accumulation of grease or food wastes in a grease trap or other place or depository which presents a risk of clogging or blocking a sewer system, or other unhealthy, hazardous or unsightly materials or things.
Said written order shall provide that such removal shall be accomplished within 10 days after service of said order upon the owner or occupant of the premises involved. Such written order, in addition to specifying and describing the material or things to be removed, shall also set forth on the face thereof the provisions of Subsection B.
Prosecution of violators under this section shall not preclude other enforcement actions allowed by law, including other actions under this Code.
Appeal. Any person feeling himself/herself aggrieved by any order of a Village official under this section may, within 10 days from the date of receipt of such order, appeal such order to the Village Board.
Exceptions. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the depositing of rubbish, rubble, junk, trash, abandoned, outmoded or nonsalable merchandise or parts or unsightly materials or things which are:
Nonconforming uses. It shall not be a defense to the provisions of this section that the owner or occupant of the premises involved has a nonconforming use under the provisions of Chapter 635, Zoning, but the provisions of this section shall be complied with notwithstanding that the owner or occupant of any given premises is using or occupying such premises under a valid nonconforming use.
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 Village, 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/her 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 HARBORAGE
- Any place where rodents can live and nest without fear of frequent molestation or disturbance.
- RODENT-PROOF 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.
- 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 rodent-proofing material approved by the Village.
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.
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 rodent-proof containers. Feed for birds shall be placed on raised platforms, or such feed shall be placed where it is not accessible to rodents.
Extermination. Whenever rodent holes, burrows or other evidence of rodent infestation are found on any premises or in any building within the Village, 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.
Rodent-proofing. It shall be the duty of the owner or manager of any building in the Village of Baldwin 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.
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.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- 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.
- KITCHEN WASTE
- Any uncooked plant matter not contaminated by or containing meat, fish and/or dairy products.
Maintenance. All compost piles shall be maintained using approved composting procedures to comply with the following requirements:
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.
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 Village to proceed under § 332-8.
All compost bins shall be so maintained as to prevent unpleasant odors.
No compost bin shall be allowed to deteriorate to such condition as to be a blighting influence on the surrounding property or neighborhood or the Village in general.
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. 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 Building Inspector 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.
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.
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.
Municipal exception. Any municipal composting site maintained by the Village shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
Discharge. No person shall cause, allow or permit any roof drain, surface drain, subsoil drain, drain from any mechanical device, gutter, ditch, pipe, conduit, sump pump or any other object or thing used for the purposes of collecting, conducting, transporting, diverting, draining or discharging clear water from any part of any private premises owned or occupied by said person to discharge into a sanitary sewer.
Nuisance. The discharge into a sanitary sewer from any roof drain, surface drain, subsoil drain, drain from any mechanical device, gutter, ditch, pipe, conduit, sump pump or any other object or thing used for the purpose of collecting, conducting, transporting, diverting, draining or discharging clear water from any part of any private premises is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and a hazard to the health, safety and well-being of the residents of the Village and to the protection of the property.
Groundwater. Where deemed necessary by the Village Board, every house shall have a sump pump installed for the purpose of discharging clear waters from foundation drains and ground infiltration and where the building is not serviced by a storm sewer shall either discharge into an underground conduit leading to a drainage ditch, gutter, dry well or shall discharge onto the ground surface in such other manner as will not constitute a nuisance as defined herein.
Stormwater. All roof drains, surface drains, drains from any mechanical device, gutters, pipe, conduits or any other objects or things used for the purpose of collecting, conducting, transporting, diverting, draining or discharging stormwaters shall be discharged either to a storm sewer, a dry well, an underground conduit leading to a drainage ditch or onto the ground surface in such other manner as will not constitute a nuisance as defined herein.
Storm sewer lateral. Where municipal storm sewers are provided and it is deemed necessary by the property owner and/or the Village to discharge clear waters from a parcel of land, a storm sewer lateral shall be installed and connected to the storm sewer main at the expense of the owner.
Conducting tests. If the Building Inspector suspects an illegal clear water discharge as defined by this section or by any other applicable provision of the Wisconsin Administrative Code as it may, from time to time, be amended, he/she may, upon reasonable notice and at reasonable times, enter the private premises where such illegal clear water discharge is suspected and conduct appropriate tests to determine whether such suspected illegal clear water discharge actually exists. In addition, Village inspectors may inspect for illegal clear water discharges as a part of a routine inspection without cause.