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Town of Pacific, WI
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pacific 9-18-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-38. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 130.
Noise — See Ch. 310.
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 shall continue 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 hereby specifically declared to be public health nuisances, but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other health nuisances coming within the definition of § 317-2 above:
A. 
Adulterated food. All decayed, adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.
B. 
Unburied carcasses. 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. 
Breeding places for vermin, etc. Accumulations of decayed animal or vegetable matter, trash, rubbish, rotting lumber, bedding, packing material, scrap metal or any material whatsoever in which flies, mosquitoes, disease-carrying insects, rats or other vermin may breed.
D. 
Stagnant water. All stagnant water is which mosquitoes, flies or other insects can multiply.
E. 
Privy vaults and garbage cans. Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not flytight.
F. 
Animals. All animals running at large.
G. 
Air pollution. The escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash or industrial dust within the Town limits or within one mile therefrom in such quantities as to endanger the health of a person of ordinary sensibilities or to threaten or cause substantial injury to property.
H. 
Noxious weeds. All noxious weeds, as defined in § 66.0407, Wis. Stats. In addition, other rank growth of vegetation and all weeds and grasses over 12 inches in height, excluding trees and shrubs, which:
(1) 
Detract from the surrounding area and properties;
(2) 
Become a possible fire hazard, as determined by the Weed Commissioner;
(3) 
Become a health hazard due to their pollen or a potential cover for disease-carrying rodents and other small animals;
(4) 
Are of infectious or poisonous nature in or adjacent to a populated area, regardless of height; or
(5) 
Become a potential hazard to vehicular traffic in vision clearance triangles.
I. 
Water pollution. 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.
J. 
Noxious odors, etc. Any use of property, substances or things within the Town emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, nauseous, noxious or disagreeable odors, gases, effluvia or stenches 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.
K. 
Street pollution. Any use of property which shall cause any nauseous or unwholesome liquid or substance to flow into or upon any street, gutter, alley, sidewalk or public place within the Town.
L. 
Accumulation of refuse. Accumulation of garbage, waste materials, debris and other refuse.
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby 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 § 317-2 of this chapter:
A. 
Building or other structures kept or resorted to for the purpose of prostitution, promiscuous sexual intercourse or gambling.
B. 
Gambling devices. All unlicensed 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 proved for by this Code.
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 laws of the State of Wisconsin or ordinances of the Town.
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby 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 § 317-2 of this chapter:
A. 
Signs, billboards, etc. All signs and 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 the provisions of this Code 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 railroad crossing which purport to be or may be mistaken as an official traffic control device, railroad sign or signal or which because of color, location, brilliance or manner of operation interferes with the effectiveness of any 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 approaching an intersection or pedestrian crosswalk.
E. 
Tree limbs. All limbs of trees which project over and less than eight feet above any public sidewalk or less than 15 feet above a street or other public place.
F. 
Dangerous trees. All trees which are injurious to public health or safety because of a diseased or damaged condition, and the storage of cut elm wood, unless such wood is debarked or sprayed with an effective elm-bark-beetle-destroying insecticide.
G. 
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.
H. 
Wires and cables over streets. All wires and cables over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 15 feet above the surface thereof.
I. 
Obstructions of streets; excavations. All obstructions of streets, alleys, sidewalks or crosswalks, and all excavations in or under the same except as permitted by this Code or which, although made in accordance with this Code, 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.
J. 
Unlawful assembly. Any unauthorized or unlawful 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.
K. 
Debris removal. All debris, refuse, garbage and other waste materials not removed.
L. 
Open pits, basements, etc. All open and unguarded pits, wells, excavations and basements.
M. 
Flammable liquids violations. Repeated or continuous violations of this Code or the laws of the state relating to the storage of flammable liquids.
N. 
Fireworks. All use or display of fireworks except as provided by the laws of the State of Wisconsin and ordinances of the Town.
O. 
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, shall greatly annoy or disturb a neighborhood or any considerable number of person within the Town.
P. 
Abandoned refrigerators. All abandoned refrigerators or iceboxes from which the doors and other covers have not been removed or which are not equipped with a device for opening from the inside.
A. 
Public nuisances declared. The following are hereby declared to be public nuisances wherever they may be found within the Town:
(1) 
Any motor vehicle, truck body, tractor or trailer as enumerated in Subsections C and D below and defined in Subsection B below.
(2) 
Any junk stored contrary to Subsection E below.
(3) 
Any recreational equipment stored contrary to Subsection F below.
(4) 
Any firewood used or stored contrary to Subsection G below.
(5) 
Any motor vehicle, truck, tractor, trailer or recreation equipment for sale on any public or private property within the Town with the following exceptions:
(a) 
Except for the owner of a private motor vehicle, truck, tractor, trailer or recreation equipment offering for sale on his own property, no person shall offer or allow to be offered for sale a motor vehicle, truck, tractor, trailer or recreation equipment, whether attended or not, upon any private property within the Town not properly zoned and approved for the sale of motor vehicles, trucks, tractors, trailers or recreational equipment.
(b) 
This section shall not prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle or truck on a public right-of-way or legally parking a vehicle or truck in a public parking space bearing a "For Sale" sign for a period of time reasonably necessary for said person to accomplish a purpose unrelated to the display or offering for sale of the motor vehicle or truck.
B. 
Definitions. The following words, phrases and terms used in this section shall be interpreted as follows:
DISASSEMBLED, INOPERABLE, JUNKED OR WRECKED MOTOR VEHICLES, TRUCK BODIES, TRACTORS OR TRAILERS
Motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors or trailers in such state of physical or mechanical ruin as to be incapable of propulsion or being operated upon the public streets or highways.
IN THE OPEN
Land which may be viewed from public streets or adjoining property and which is not effectively screened from such view by a fence, hedge or other similar means.
JUNK
Worn out or discarded material of little or no value, including but not limited to household appliances or parts thereof, machinery and equipment or parts thereof, vehicles or parts thereof, tools, discarded building materials, pallets or any other unsightly debris, the accumulation of which has an adverse effect upon neighborhood or Town property values, health, safety or general welfare.
MOTOR VEHICLE
As defined in § 340.01(35), Wis. Stats.
RECREATION EQUIPMENT
Boats, canoes, boat and utility trailers, mobile homes, campers, off-highway vehicles and snowmobiles.
UNLICENSED MOTOR VEHICLES, TRUCK BODIES, TRACTORS OR TRAILERS
Motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors or trailers which do not bear lawful current license plates.
C. 
Storage of inoperable vehicles, etc.
(1) 
Restricted. No person shall accumulate, store or allow any disassembled, inoperable, junked or wrecked motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors or trailers in the open upon any public or private property in the Town for a period exceeding 30 days, except as provided in Subsection C(2) below.
(2) 
Exceptions.
(a) 
Upon receipt of a permit issued by the Town Board, which shall be signed by the Town Clerk and shall specify the quantity and manner of storing the vehicle, length of time to be stored, and a description of the vehicle.
(b) 
Any business engaged in automotive sales or repair in a properly zoned district may retain no more than three disassembled or wrecked vehicles, including vehicles under repair, in the open for a period not to exceed 30 days, after which such vehicles shall be removed.
(c) 
Duly licensed junkyards.
(d) 
Duly licensed automobile salvage yards.
D. 
Storage of unlicensed vehicles, etc.
(1) 
Restricted. No person shall accumulate, store or allow any unlicensed motor vehicle, truck body, tractor or trailer in the open upon any public or private property in the Town for a period exceeding 10 days, except as provided in Subsection D(2) below.
(2) 
Exceptions.
(a) 
Upon receipt of a permit issued by the Town Board. The permit shall be the same as provided in Subsection C(2)(a) above.
(b) 
Any business engaged in the sale, repair or storage of such unlicensed vehicles in a properly zoned district.
(c) 
Garden tractors and mowers may be stored in the rear yard not less than 10 feet from any property line.
E. 
Storage of junk prohibited. No person, except a duly licensed junk dealer, shall accumulate, store or allow any junk outside of any building on any public or private real estate located in the Town.
F. 
Storage of recreational equipment regulated. No person shall store any recreational equipment on any street right-of-way or within the front setback, including the driveway, for a period of more than 48 hours.
G. 
Storage of firewood.
(1) 
Regulated. No person shall store firewood on any residential premises except for use on the premises. No firewood pile may be located within the front setback or within five feet of any side or rear property line.
(2) 
Exception. Any firewood pile located contrary to the provisions of Subsection G(1) above on the effective date of this section need not be moved to a place of compliance until six months after the adoption of this chapter.
H. 
Issuance of citation; action to abate. Whenever the Building Inspector shall find any vehicle, junk or recreation equipment, as defined in Subsection B above, accumulated, stored or remaining in the open upon any property within the Town contrary to the provisions of Subsection C, D, E or F above, or firewood stored contrary to Subsection G above, he shall notify the owner of said property on which such vehicle, junk, recreation equipment or firewood is located of the violation of this section. If such vehicle, junk, recreation equipment or firewood is not removed within 10 days, the Building Inspector shall cause a citation to be issued to the property owner or the occupant of the property upon which such vehicle, junk, recreation equipment or firewood is located. In addition, action to abate such nuisance may be commenced, as provided in § 317-7 of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original subsection 6I, Penalty, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).
A. 
Enforcement. The Town Board, Fire Inspector and the Building Inspector 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 shall have inspected or caused to be inspected the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist and has satisfied himself/herself that a nuisance does in fact exist.
B. 
Summary abatement. If the inspecting officer shall determine that a public nuisance exists within the Town and that there is a great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the Town Board, upon the recommendation of the appropriate department head, may direct the proper office 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 shall determine that a public nuisance exists on private premises but that the nature of such nuisance is not such as to 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 such 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 of Wisconsin.
A. 
Noxious weeds and rank growth prohibited. No owner or occupant of any lot or parcel shall allow such property to become overgrown with any weeds or grass so as to constitute a public nuisance, as defined in § 317-3H of this chapter.
B. 
Notification. The Town Clerk shall annually, on or before May 15, publish a Class 2 notice, under Ch. 985, Wis. Stats., that every person is required by law to destroy all noxious weeds and other rank growth of vegetation as defined in § 317-3H of this chapter on lands in the Town which he/she owns, occupies or controls.
C. 
Enforcement. If a property owner fails to control the growth of such weeds or rank growth of vegetation on his property, the Town Weed Commissioner shall cause to be served upon him/her notice as to this fact. If such owner fails to abate the nuisance within five days after service of the notice, the Weed Commissioner may take action to abate such public nuisance.
D. 
Costs. If the Town causes a nuisance to be removed as provided in Subsection C above, the actual cost thereof, together with an administrative fee equal to 10% of the actual cost, shall be charged to the property owner. If such charges are not paid by November 15 of the year in which they are billed, such charges, together with an additional administrative fee for collection equal to 10% of the total of such charges and fees, shall be placed on the next succeeding tax roll as a tax charged against the property affected and collected in the same manner as are other taxes.
Cost of abatement. 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, such cost shall be assessed against the real estate as a special charge.
A. 
Enforcement. The Town Constable, Town Building Inspector, Town Weed Commissioner, and any other agent authorized by the Town Board shall enforce the provisions of this chapter and shall make periodic inspections and inspections upon complaint to ensure that such provisions are not violated. No action shall be taken under this chapter to abate a public nuisance unless the Building Inspector or other enforcement official of the Town has inspected or cause to be inspected the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist and is satisfied that a nuisance does, in fact, exist.
B. 
General penalty. In addition to all other remedies provided for elsewhere in this chapter, any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or permit or cause a public nuisance shall be subject to a forfeiture as provided in § 1-1 of this Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III).