[Adopted 2-24-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-01]
The purpose of this article is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, and to provide for adequate provisions for the orderly maintenance of drainage and ditches or watercourses adjacent to roadways upon public right-of-way or upon easements designed for drainage of surface waters or natural watercourses.
This article is adopted pursuant to authority conferred by §§ 60.22(3), 61.34 and 86.07, Wis. Stats.
This article and regulation shall apply to all property owners in the Town of Buchanan owning property which abuts upon any ditch, watercourse or other earthen structure designed and used for drainage of surface water on public right-of-way or dedicated easements for drainage or natural watercourse which exists upon easements or public right-of-way for roads or ditches in the Town of Buchanan.
Any property owner in the Town of Buchanan who has property which abuts any ditch, watercourse, or other earthen structure, as described above, shall be responsible to control activities upon and maintain the owned property in such a manner as to not cause or contribute to obstructions in the ditch, watercourse or other earthen structure which would restrict, block or prohibit the free, open and continuous flow of water through the ditch, watercourse or other earthen structure.
Where there occurs in the said ditch, watercourse or earthen structure any accumulation or deposits of materials or vegetation which are the result of the failure to regulate or control activities upon or the failure to maintain the property of the abutting owner upon or adjacent to said easement or public right-of-way (other than naturally deposited snow and/or ice), which shall create a condition that shall cause the obstruction, diversion, or blockage, temporary or otherwise, of water, which blockage causes the backing up of the water flow or stagnation of the water, or causes the said water to flow upon property of another or of the Town of Buchanan outside of the area of the said easement for said ditch, watercourse or earthen structure, said abutting property owner shall be required to remove such blockage, obstruction or materials causing diversion.
This article shall also apply to earthen structures referred to as stormwater detention or retention ponds or areas where the activities or maintenance of the abutting property owner on the abutting property alter the function of the pond or earthen structure so that it does not function as originally designed or engineered. Where such detention has occurred the abutting property owner shall be required to restore the detention or retention structure to its original design and function.
If the owner of said property or premises shall be in violation of § 504-43B or C and fails to comply with said notice to remedy as required by this article, the Town of Buchanan, under the direction of the Town Board, shall do said work and the expense thereof shall be calculated and shall be made a special charge as permitted under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats., upon the property adjacent to which the work was done pursuant to the above definition of areas of responsibility of the property owners.
Permit required. No person shall make any excavation, or fill, or install any culvert, or make any other alteration in any right-of-way or roadway ditch; or in any manner disturb any right-of-way or roadway ditch, without a permit from the Town. The Town may permit improvements deemed necessary or desirable to ameliorate drainage conditions, subject to the guidelines and limitations identified in the Town of Buchanan Roadway Ditch Drainage and ROW Policy.
Removal of alterations. Any property owner that has made unauthorized improvements or encroachments to any right-of-way or roadway ditch shall remove such improvement or encroachment. Upon failure of the property owner to remove, the Town may remove improvements or encroachments and recover the cost from the property owner as a special charge.
Restoration of alterations. Any property owner that has made unauthorized alterations to the road right-of-way or roadway ditch shall restore the right-of-way or roadway ditch to its pre-alteration condition. Upon failure of the property owner to restore, the Town may restore the right-of-way or roadway ditch and recover the cost from the property owner as a special charge.
Town improvements. The Town reserves the right to remove approved alterations or encroachments for the purposes of road and right-of-way maintenance. The Town is not responsible for any costs associated with such alterations or encroachments nor is the Town responsible for the replacement of such alterations or encroachments.
Town work excluded. The provisions of this article shall not apply to excavation work under the direction of the Town of Buchanan or contractors performing work under contract with the Town.
No sump pump water shall be discharged onto any public road, sidewalk or trail; into or onto a neighboring property without an easement; or within 10 feet of the property line. Sump pump water may be discharged into any roadway ditch or drainage easement.
No roof drain and downspout water shall be discharged onto any public road, sidewalk or trail; into or onto a neighboring property without an easement; or directly into a roadway ditch or drainage easement without first dispersing over a lawn or other vegetated area.
If the Town finds that any of the provisions of this article are being violated, it shall notify the owner in writing by registered or certified mail, indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct the violation. Whenever a person shall have been notified in writing, such person shall commence correcting within 10 days and shall correct all violations within 30 days. If such corrections are not commenced within 10 days or corrected within 30 days' notice, each day that a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
The Town may also apply to any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this article by means of an order under Ch. 813, Wis. Stats., directing the person conducting the violation to comply with this article and restraining that person from any further violation.
If any provision of this article is invalid or unconstitutional, or if the application of this article to any person or circumstance is invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the above provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or its application.