[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Vinland as Title 8, Ch. 1, of the 2004 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town 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 Town Board shall be subject to the general penalty provided for in 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.
Unless delegated to the county, the Town Clerk 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 Town 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 Town 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 the 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 said 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.
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 Town of Vinland.
Public nuisance declared. The Town Board finds that lawns, grasses and noxious weeds on nonagricultural lots or parcels of land, as classified under the Zoning Code governing the Town, within the Town of Vinland which exceed 10 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, interferes with the public convenience and adversely affects property values of other land within the Town. For that reason, any nonagricultural lawn, grass or weed on a lot or other parcel of land which exceeds 10 inches in length is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. Notwithstanding, these provisions do not apply to grass grown for agricultural purposes or water detention area, wetland or used for nonresidential purposes, or Winnebago County required buffer area for residential property.
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 Town.
Inspection. The Weed Commissioner or his/her designee shall inspect or cause to be inspected all premises and places within the Town 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, he/she shall immediately cause written notice to be served that the Town proposes to have the lot grass or lawn cut so as to conform with this section.
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 Town Board. The request for said hearing must be made in writing to the Town Clerk'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 one-hundred-dollar bond. If a decision is rendered in the property owner's favor, the $100 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 Town personnel abating the nuisance, if necessary. When a hearing is requested by the owner of the property, a hearing by the Town 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 Town until such time as the hearing is held by the Town 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 Town as well as subpoena witnesses for his/her own case. At the close of the hearing, the Town Board shall make its determination in writing specifying its findings, facts and conclusions. 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.
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 Town 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 Town shall abate the same and the cost hereof shall be assessed to the property owner as a special charge.
The Town 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 Town Board. The charges shall be set forth in a statement to the Town Clerk 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 Town Clerk 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.
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 Town, 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 a store, factory, warehouse, rooming house, junkyard, lumberyard 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.
- All nuisance animals.
- RODENT HARBORAGE
- Any place where rodents can live and nest without fear of frequent molestation or disturbance.
- RODENTPROOF CONTAINER
- A container constructed of concrete or metal, or the container shall be lined with metal or other material that is impervious to rodents, and openings into the container such as doors shall be tight-fitting to prevent the entrance of rodents.
- Consists of closing openings in building foundations and openings under and around doors, windows, vents and other places which could provide means of entry for rodents with concrete, sheet iron, hardware cloth or other types of rodentproofing material approved by the Town.
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.
Elimination of rodent-feeding places. No person, firm or corporation shall place, or allow to accumulate, any materials that may serve as a food for rodents in a site accessible to rodents. Any waste material that may serve as food for rodents shall be stored in rodentproof containers.
Extermination. Whenever rodent holes, burrows or other evidence of rodent infestation are found on any premises or in any building within the Town, 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.
Rodentproofing. It shall be the duty of the owner or manager of any building in the Town of Vinland 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 in residential areas only.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The controlled biological reduction of organic waste to humus.
- KITCHEN WASTE
- Any uncooked plant matter not contaminated by or containing meat, fish and/or dairy products.
- YARD WASTE
- The organic waste produced from the growing, trimming and removal of grass, branches (not exceeding one inch in diameter), bushes, shrubs, plants, leaves and garden debris.
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 Town to proceed under § 249-5.
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 Town 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 Zoning Administrator 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.
No compost bin shall be located in any yard except a rear yard, as defined in Chapter 410, Zoning, governing the Town, unless a variance is granted by the Board of Appeals.
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.