Village of East Troy, WI
Walworth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of East Troy 4-3-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-2 as Title 8, Ch. 1, and § 9-3-3 of the 2000 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Hazardous materials and pollution — See Ch. 285.
Nuisances — See Ch. 354.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 375.
Waste management — See Ch. 470.
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.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
[2]
Editor's Note: Original § 8-1-2, Health nuisances, abatement of, which immediately followed this section, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). See Ch. 354, Nuisances.
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.
A. 
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.
B. 
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 five days' written notice, by mail, to the owner or occupant of any lands upon which the weeds shall be growing to the effect that said Weed Commissioner, after the expiration of the five-day period, will proceed to destroy or cause to be destroyed all such weeds growing upon said lands and that 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. In case the owner or occupant shall further neglect to comply within such five-day notice, then 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.
C. 
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 corporate limits. Noxious weeds shall include any weed, grass or similar plant growth which, if allowed to pollinate, would cause or produce hay fever in human beings or would cause a skin rash through contact with the skin.
(1) 
Noxious weeds, as defined in this section and in § 289-5, 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 bind weed)
Tragopogon dubius (goat's beard)
Rhus radicans (poison ivy)
Cirsium vulgaris (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)
(2) 
Noxious grasses, as defined in this section and in § 289-5, shall include but not be limited to the following:
Agrostis alba (red top)
Sorghum halepense (johnson)
Setaria (foxtail)
(3) 
Noxious weeds are also the following plants and other rank growth:
Ragweed
Thistles
Smartweed
Dandelions (over eight inches in height)
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 eight inches in height from the ground. Specifically excluded in natural lawns are the noxious grasses and weeds identified in § 289-3 of this chapter
NATURAL LAWN MANAGEMENT PLAN
A written plan relating to the management and maintenance of a lawn which contains a legal description of lawn upon which the planted grass will exceed eight 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.
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 most current Village records.
B. 
Natural lawns restricted. The growth of a natural lawn in excess of eight inches in height from the ground surface shall be prohibited within the Village corporate limits unless a natural lawn management plan is approved and a permit is issued by the Village as set forth in this section. Natural lawns shall not contain litter or debris and shall not harbor undesirable wildlife.
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 Village. Natural lawn management plans shall only indicate the planting and cultivating of natural lawns on property legally owned by the property owner. Applicants are strictly prohibited from developing a natural lawn on any Village-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 Village Clerk-Treasurer by the subsequent abutting property owner. Upon receiving the written request to revoke the original waiver, the Village 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 Village Board shall revise the approved natural lawn management plan 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 Village, provided that the notification is received sometime between May 1 and November 1. Property owners who receive notification from the Village 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.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
D. 
Application process.
(1) 
Property owners interest in applying for permission to establish a natural lawn shall obtain and complete an application form available from the Village Clerk-Treasurer. The completed application shall include a natural lawn management plan. Upon submitting a completed application, a nonrefundable filing fee set by the Village Board will be assessed by the Village. Upon receiving payment, copies of the completed application shall be mailed by the Village to each of the owners of record, as listed in the office of the Village 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 Village receives written objections from 51% or more of the neighboring property owners, the Village Clerk-Treasurer shall immediately deny the application.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(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 Village Clerk-Treasurer may issue permission to install a natural lawn. Permits are valid for two years.
E. 
Application for appeal. The property owner may appeal the Village Clerk-Treasurer's decision to deny the natural lawn permit request to the Village Board 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 Village Board shall be final and binding.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
F. 
Safety precautions for natural grass areas.
(1) 
When, in the opinion of the Fire Inspector of the Fire Department serving the Village of East Troy, the presence of a natural lawn may constitute a fire or safety hazard due to weather and/or other conditions, the Fire Inspector 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 Inspector.
(2) 
Natural lawns shall not be removed through the process of burning, unless stated and approved as one of the management and maintenance techniques in the natural lawn management plan. The Fire Inspector shall review all requests to burn natural lawns and shall determine if circumstances are correct and all applicable requirements have been fulfilled to ensure public safety. Burning of natural lawns shall be strictly prohibited unless a written permit to burn is issued by the Fire Inspector. The Fire Inspector shall establish a written list of requirements for considering each request to burn natural lawns, thereby ensuring the public safety. In addition, the property owner requesting permission to burn the natural lawn shall produce evidence of property damage and liability insurance identifying the Village as a party insured. A minimum amount of acceptable insurance shall be $300,000.
G. 
Revocation of an approved natural lawn permit. The Village Clerk-Treasurer, upon the recommendation of the Weed Commissioner, shall have 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 Village Board. 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 15 calendar days shall result in the revoking of the natural lawn permit. All written applications for appeal filed within the required 15 calendar days shall be reviewed by the Village Board in an open meeting. The decision rendered by the Village Board shall be final and binding.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
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 a permit is issued by the Village, as set for 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 enforcement officer 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 10 calendar days from receipt thereof. Within 60 days after such costs and expenses are incurred and remain unpaid, the Village Clerk-Treasurer shall enter those charges onto the tax roll as a special tax, as provided by state statute.
(3) 
The failure of the Village Clerk-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 Village expense on the tax rolls for unpaid bills for abating the public nuisance, as provided for in this section.
I. 
Penalty.
(1) 
Any 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 Village 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.
A. 
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 East Troy.
B. 
Public nuisance declared. The Village Board finds that lawns, grasses and noxious weeds on nonagricultural lots or parcels of land, as classified under Chapter 510, Zoning, of this Code, within the Village of East Troy 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, or where the lawn, grass or weed is part of a natural lawn approved pursuant to § 289-4 above.
C. 
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.
D. 
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.
E. 
Abatement of nuisance. If the Weed Commissioner shall determine with reasonable certainty that any public nuisance as defined in Subsection B above exists, he/she shall immediately cause written notice to be served or mailed that the Village proposes to have the lot grass or lawn cut so as to conform to this section and § 289-4.
F. 
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 deposit a bond of $25. If a decision is rendered in the property owner's favor, the bond of $25 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 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 does exist, the 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 bond assessed accordingly.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
G. 
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/her 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:
(1) 
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.
(2) 
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 § 66.0907(3)(f), Wis. Stats.
A. 
Whenever public sewer or water service has become available to any building used for human habitation or human occupancy, the Village Board shall notify in writing the owner, agent or occupant thereof to connect such facilities thereto. If such persons to whom the notice has been given shall fail to comply for more than 10 days after notice, the Village Board shall cause the necessary connections to be made and the expenses thereof to be assessed as a special tax against the property, pursuant to § 281.45, Wis. Stats.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
The Village Board may extend the time for connection hereunder or may grant other temporary relief where strict enforcement would work an unnecessary hardship without corresponding public or private benefit.
C. 
This section is enacted pursuant to § 281.45, Wis. Stats.
A. 
Inspector. The Village Board appoints the Director of Public Works as superintendent of the sewage works and as inspector to act under the direction of the Village Board and to have control of the supervision and inspection of drainage, drain laying and sewer connections, and to enforce all the laws and ordinances and rules in relation thereto.
B. 
Connection; compliance with state statutes.
(1) 
Requirement.
(a) 
The owners of all houses, buildings, or other structures used for or usable for human habitation, or for the conduct of any trade, business or industry, located within the Village sanitary sewer service area and abutting on any street, alley or right-of-way in which there is located a sanitary sewer are required at the owner's expense to connect to the Village sanitary sewer, in accordance with this section, within one year after the sanitary sewer is accessible thereto.
(b) 
The Village Building Inspector shall provide official notification to such owner or his agent by registered mail addressed to the last known address of the owner or his agent of the requirement to make connection to the Village sanitary sewer system. The notice shall direct the owner or his agent to connect the building to such main in the manner prescribed by the Building Inspector and to install such facilities as may be reasonably necessary to permit passage of sewage incidental to such human habitation into the sewer system to prevent creation of a health nuisance.
(c) 
The Village shall provide official notification to such owners of the requirement to make connection to the sanitary sewer. If the owner fails to have the connection made, after expiration of the time provided by the notice, the Village may bring an action against the owner for violation of this section or may cause connection to be made by a licensed plumber under the direction of the Village and charge the cost of such connection as a special tax against the property.
(d) 
The owner or his agent may, within 30 days after completion of the work, file a written option with the Village Clerk-Treasurer stating that he cannot pay the cost of connection in one lump sum and electing that such sum be levied in five equal annual installments, with interest at the rate of the Village's current cost of borrowing plus 2% per annum from the date of completion of the work, to be placed on the tax roll.
(e) 
By adoption of this section, the Village determines and ordains that the requirement to connect to the Village sanitary sewer system is necessary for the preservation of public health, comfort and safety.
(f) 
Where the Village sanitary sewer system is not available, and will not be available in a reasonable time, a private system may be used until such time that the sanitary sewer system becomes available.
(2) 
Exceptions to mandatory compliance.
(a) 
Upon application to the Village Clerk-Treasurer, exception from mandatory compliance may be permitted based upon the following criteria:
[1] 
The property which is otherwise subject to mandatory compliance is at least five acres in area;
[2] 
The structure to be served is a single family residence; and
[3] 
The building site of the residence is at least 400 feet from the public sewer supply.
(b) 
If the property which is otherwise subject to mandatory compliance meets the criteria enumerated in Subsection B(2)(a), the Village may grant permission for the installation of a private sewage disposal system for a period of 10 years following the installation of the private sewage disposal system, unless the property is transferred, conveyed and/or sold during this period or the private sewage disposal system requires reconstruction during this period. At the end of the ten-year period, the Village may require that the residence be connected to the public sewage disposal system if the property is then served by such a system.
(c) 
All private sewage disposal systems permitted under this section shall be used and installed in accordance with requirements of this subsection.
C. 
Connection permit required. No connection shall be made to any of the sewers of the Village, from any building, premises, excavation, place or property, by any drain, tap or sewer intended or designed to be, or capable of, discharging any matter, whether fluid or solid, into the sewers of the Village, unless a permit has first been obtained therefor from the Inspector.
D. 
Application for permit. The applicant for a sewage connection permit or private sewage disposal system shall file a written application for such permit with the Inspector for his/her approval. Before the Inspector issues such permit or approves the application so filed with him/her, he/she will collect a fee set by the Village Board from the applicant to cover inspection costs and he/she shall inspect the premises covered by the application.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
E. 
Owner to pay costs. All costs and expenses incident to the installation and connection of the building sewer shall be borne by the owner. The owner shall indemnify the Village from any loss or damage that may directly or indirectly be occasioned by the installation of the building sewer.
F. 
Deleterious substances.
(1) 
For purposes of this section, "deleterious substance" means any material likely to cause any obstruction or explosion within the sewer system or treatment plant which will prohibit or impair the effective treatment of sewage at said plant or which, in any way, substantially annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public.
(2) 
The deposit or discharge of a deleterious substance to any public sewer constitutes a public nuisance. The sewage works superintendent shall perform the duties of the inspecting officer.
(3) 
No person shall deposit or permit to be deposited in any sewer or drain any of the following described waters or wastes:
(a) 
Any liquid or vapor having a temperature higher than 120° F.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(b) 
Any water or waste which may contain more than 100 milligrams per liter of fat, oil or grease.
(c) 
Any gasoline, benzene, naphtha, fuel oil or other flammable or explosive liquid, solid or gas.
(d) 
Any ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, feathers, tar, plastics, wood, paunch manure or any other solid or viscous substance capable of causing obstruction to the flow in sewers or other interference with the proper operation of the sewage works.
(e) 
Any garbage that has not been properly shredded.
(f) 
Any waters having a pH lower than 5 1/2 or higher than nine or having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to structures, equipment and personnel of the sewage works.
(g) 
Any waters or wastes containing a toxic or poisonous substance in sufficient quantity to injure or interfere with any sewage treatment process, constitute a hazard to humans or animals, or create any hazard in the receiving waters of the sewage treatment plant.
(4) 
Any person who violates any provision of this section shall, in addition to the penalty provided for in § 1-4 of this Code, be liable to the Village for the cost of removing such obstruction or repairing any injury or damage to the sewer system or treatment plant.
G. 
Private disposal; compliance with regulations.
(1) 
Where a public sanitary sewer is certified by the Village Board as not available to serve any house, building or property, the building sewer shall be connected to a private sewage disposal system complying with the provisions set forth by the State Department of Safety and Professional Services and any rules, regulations and orders of the Village Board.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
(2) 
Permit required. No private sewage disposal system shall be installed on any premises connected to a public sewer unless a permit has first been issued therefor by the Inspector. When the Village Board has approved plans and specifications for the construction of extensions to the existing public sewer system, no permit may be issued for any privy, vault, septic tank and cesspool intended or used as a means of private sewage disposal.
(3) 
Maintenance. The owner shall operate and maintain the private sewage disposal facilities in a sanitary manner, at all times, at no expense to the Village
(4) 
Prohibited near municipal wells. Except for the repair or replacement of a seepage bed, septic tank, dry well or any private sewage system of any kind existing at the time of passage of this section, no person shall construct or cause to be constructed a seepage bed for sewage disposal, a septic tank, dry well or any private sewage system of any kind within 1,000 feet of any Village municipal water utility well, unless otherwise approved by the State Department of Natural Resources and the approving authority.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 400, Sewers.