[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Denmark 6-1-2009 by Ord. No. 6-2009B (Ch. 6 of the 1998 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Village of Denmark Premises and Property Maintenance Code" and may be referred to in this chapter as "the code."
The code applies to every residential, nonresidential, or mixed-occupancy building and the land on which it is situated within the Village of Denmark. All residential, nonresidential, or mixed-occupancy buildings and the land on which they are situated shall comply with the provisions of this code, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this code.
Exceptions. Farm structures are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
The purpose of this code is to create minimum standards for exterior property maintenance so as to preserve and promote the public interest, health, safety, and welfare.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Denmark does hereby find that it is necessary to provide for the abatement of conditions which are offensive or annoying to the senses, detrimental to property values and community appearance, an obstruction to or interference with the comfortable enjoyment of adjacent property or premises, or hazardous or injurious to the health, safety or welfare of the general public in such ways to constitute a public nuisance and to provide standards to safeguard life, health and public welfare in keeping with the character of the Village by allowing for the maintenance of property or premises for each of the following purposes:
To safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the people by maintaining property or premises in good and appropriate condition;
To promote a sound and attractive community appearance; and
To enhance the economic value of the community, and each area in it, through the regulation of the maintenance of property or premises.
Accordingly, the Village Board of Trustees finds and declares that the purpose of this chapter is to reduce threats to health, safety, welfare, appearance and economic value due to the decline in property condition(s) by lawfully delineating the circumstances under which such condition(s) may be considered illegal and/or abated and further finds that abatement of such condition(s) is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Village because maximum use and enjoyment of property or premises in proximity to one another depends upon maintenance of those properties or premises at or above the minimum standard.
It is further declared that the Village of Denmark cannot allow for a lack of maintenance, because of the fact that due to progressive deterioration properties will eventually have the effect of creating blighting conditions, and, if not curtailed, these conditions will spread and necessitate, in time, the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate such conditions.
By reason of timely regulations and restrictions contained in this code, the desirability and amenities of residential, nonresidential, and mixed-occupancy uses and neighborhoods may be enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.
If a court of competent jurisdiction adjudges any section, clause, provision or portion of this chapter unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder of this chapter shall not be affected thereby.
If any application of this chapter to a particular structure, use, land, or water is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not be applicable to any other structure, use, land, or water not specifically included in said judgment.
It is not intended by this chapter to repeal, abrogate, annul, impair, or interfere with any rules, regulations, ordinances, or Wisconsin Statutes previously adopted or issued pursuant to law. However, where this chapter imposes greater restrictions, the provisions of this chapter shall prevail.
The following words and terms, wherever used herein or referred to in this code, shall have the respective meanings assigned to them unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- Any structure built, used, designed, or intended for the support, shelter, protection, or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels (personal property), or property of any kind, and which is permanently affixed to the land. When a building is divided into separate parts by unpierced fire or party walls extending continuously from the ground through all stories to and above the roof, each part shall be deemed a separate building. All buildings shall be constructed with a foundation with frost walls constructed to a minimum of four feet below grade.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Village of Denmark or an authorized representative.
- Processing animal and vegetable waste in a controlled environment to produce a stable product by microbiologically degrading organic matter under aerobic conditions.
- The condition of a building or part thereof characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, peeling, rusting, or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use. All exterior wood and composition surfaces shall be properly protected from the elements and against decay by paint, stain or other protective coating and applied in a workmanlike manner.
- Any building or structure which wholly or partly is used or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any habitable room or group of adjoining habitable rooms located within a dwelling and forming a single unit with facilities which are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, or eating of meals.
- Any element, whether created by nature or by man, which with reasonable foreseeability could carry litter from one place to another. Elements shall include but not be limited to wind, rain, water, insects, and animals.
- EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW
- Any premises, or any part thereof, or any building, or any part thereof, which may be viewed by the public.
- EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
- Open space on the premises and outside surface area of any building thereon.
- The control and elimination of insects, rodents, and vermin.
- FARM STRUCTURE
- Any building or structure used for storing agricultural equipment or farm produce or products, housing livestock or poultry, or processing dairy products. The term "farm structure" shall not include dwellings or manure storage facilities.
- Decaying and decomposing animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, and/or consumption of food. (See also "refuse" and "rubbish.")
- The presence of insects, rodents, vermin, or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard.
- Includes any uncontainerized, man-made or man-used waste which, if deposited within the Village otherwise than in a litter receptacle, tends to create a danger to public health, safety, and welfare or to impair the environment of the citizens of the Village. Litter may include, but is not limited to, any garbage, trash, refuse, rubbish, confetti, debris, grass clippings or other lawn or garden waste, newspaper, magazine, glass, metal, plastic or paper container or other construction material, tires, small engine parts, yard care equipment, appliances, motor vehicle part, furniture, oil, or dead animal carcass.
- MIXED OCCUPANCY
- Any building containing one or more dwelling units or rooming units and also having a portion thereof devoted to non-dwelling uses or used as a hotel.
- Any public nuisance as defined by statute or this chapter. Additionally, physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to health and safety of persons on or near the premises where the conditions exist.
- Any tenant or person who occupies or has actual possession of buildings or other usable space.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a dwelling or premises, or part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof. Any person who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall be deemed to be co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
- PARKING LOT
- Any private or public property with provisions for parking vehicles to which the public is invited or which the public is permitted to use or which is visible from any public place or private premises.
- Any individual, firm, corporation, association, or partnership.
- PERSON ASSOCIATED WITH
- Any person who, whenever engaged in a nuisance activity, enters, patronizes, visits or attempts to enter, patronize or visit, or waits to enter, patronize or visit, a premises or person present on a premises, including any officer, director, customer, agent, employee or independent contractor of a premises owner.
- PRIVATE PREMISES
- Any dwelling house, building or other structure designed to be used, either wholly or in part, for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule, mailbox or other structure belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling house, building or other structure.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- All streets, boulevards, avenues, lanes, alleys or other public ways, in addition to all parks, squares, plazas, grounds and buildings, and other privately owned areas open to and frequented by the general public, whether publicly or privately owned.
- All decayed and decomposed solid waste, including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ashes, dead animals, animal feces, abandoned automobiles and solid wastes. (See also "garbage" and "rubbish.")
- Solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery, and similar materials. (See also "garbage" and "refuse.")
- Anything constructed or erected on the ground (to include all types of buildings, attachments to buildings, parking lots, fences, and berms).
- Paid for, furnished, or provided by or under control of the owner or operator.
- Accomplished in a reasonably skillful manner.
Every owner or operator, or the occupant if the occupant has assumed responsibility under any written lease, shall either personally or by agent improve and maintain all properties within the scope of this code under his, her, or its control to comply with the following requirements:
Every premises shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary, and safe condition and comply with all applicable legal requirements of the State of Wisconsin, Brown County, and the Village of Denmark.
All courts, yards, or other areas on the premises shall be properly graded to divert water away from any building or structure.
Premises, including adjacent drainage ditches and rights-of-way, shall be kept clear of refuse, such as brush, weeds, invasive species as described in § 23.22, Wis. Stats., broken glass, garbage, trash, animal feces, and debris. Animal feces must be removed within a reasonable amount of time.
Natural growth, such as dead and dying trees and limbs, or other natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions, or storm damage, constitutes a hazard to persons in the vicinity shall be removed. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions.
All required and existing vegetative buffers and landscaping shall be maintained in such a manner as to afford proper screening heights and densities of plantings and to be attractive and well-maintained. Such maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, cutting, trimming, and fertilizing, if necessary. Replacement shall be required for any subsequent destroyed, eroded, or dead plantings in order to preserve the screening/buffering between properties.
Overhangs, such as loose and overhanging objects, which by reason of location above ground level constitute a danger of falling on persons in the vicinity shall be repaired or removed.
Sources of infestation shall be removed.
Every foundation, roof, exterior wall, window, and floor shall be reasonably weathertight and rodent-proof and shall be kept in proper repair and be capable of affording privacy. All inside and outside stairways, floors, roofs, foundations, load-bearing walls, and every porch and every appurtenance thereto shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the loads that normal use may cause to be placed thereon and shall be maintained in sound condition and good repair.
Every window, exterior door, and hatchway or similar device shall be reasonably weathertight and rodent-proof and so constructed to exclude insects during that portion of the year when there is a need for protection against mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.
Every doorway, window, or other device used for ventilation and opening directly from a dwelling unit to outside space shall be supplied with properly fitting screens.
All exterior surfaces of buildings and fences made of materials not inherently resistant to or chemically treated to prevent deterioration shall be periodically coated with paint or other suitable preservative which provides adequate resistance to weathering, unless a variance is otherwise granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Any exterior surface treated with paint or other preservative shall be maintained so as to prevent chipping, cracking, or other deterioration of the exterior surface or the surface treatment and to present an attractive appearance. All paint or other preservative shall be applied in a workmanlike manner.
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair and shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles or boards, crumbling stone, brick or concrete, excessive peeling paint, or other condition reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance to the end that the property itself may be preserved and fire and safety hazards eliminated and adjoining properties protected from blighting influences.
Exterior building walls shall not have any holes, loose boards, or any broken, cracked or damaged finish which may admit rain, cold air, dampness, rodents, or insects.
Parking lots shall be paved. Paved parking lots must be kept reasonably free of large cracks or potholes. Paved areas must be repaired or replaced when any deterioration occurs to the extent that the road rock or subbase is visible.
Yards shall be kept free of noxious weeds and invasive species as defined in § 23.22, Wis. Stats., and trimmed in accordance with the Village of Denmark Municipal Code and applicable Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Code.
The unsheltered accumulation or storage of unused, stripped, junked, and other automobiles, boats, recreational vehicles, trailers, and small engines such as lawn mowers, snow blowers, or similar engines not in good and safe operating condition is declared to be a nuisance and dangerous to the public health, safety and well-being.
All signage shall be maintained in the originally permitted and constructed condition.
Exterior lighting shall be in conformance with the approved site plan and/or the Village of Denmark Municipal Code.
All compost piles shall be contained with an enclosed area.
[Added 9-24-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-05]
Purpose. It is the purpose of this section to prohibit the uncontrolled growth of vegetation and to control noxious weeds, while permitting the planting and maintenance of planned natural landscaping that add diversity and richness to the quality of life. There are reasonable expectations regarding the proper maintenance of vegetation on any lot or parcel of land. It is in the public's interests to provide standards regarding the maintenance of vegetation because vegetation which is not managed can decrease the value of nearby properties and threaten the public health and safety. It is also in the public's interests to encourage diverse landscaping treatments, particularly those that encourage the preservation, restoration, and management of native plant communities which can be economical, low maintenance, and effective in soil and water conservation. The Village enacts this section to balance these competing interests.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The complete killing of weeds or the killing of weed plants above the surface of the ground by the use of chemicals, cutting, tillage, cropping system, or any or all of these in effective combination, at the time and in a manner as will effectually prevent the weed plants from maturing to bloom or flower stage.
- A cultivated area dedicated to growing vegetables, fruits, annual and perennial plants, ornamental grasses and ground cover in a well-defined location.
- NATIVE PLANTS
- Those grasses (including prairie grasses), sedges (solid, triangular-stemmed plants resembling grasses), forbs (flowering broadleaf plants) that are native to or naturalized to the State of Wisconsin. Native plants do not include weeds.
- NOXIOUS WEEDS
- Any plant listed under Wis. Stats. §§ 23.235(1)(a) or 66.0407(1)(b), and shall also include Arctium spp. (burdock), Cirsium and Carduus spp (thistle), Ambrosia spp. (ragweed), Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard), Plantage lanceolate (buckhorn), and poison ivy.
- ORNAMENTAL GRASSES AND GROUNDCOVERS
- Grasses and groundcovers not indigenous to Wisconsin. Ornamental grasses do not include turf grasses and weeds.
- PLANNED NATURAL LANDSCAPING
- A planned, intentional and maintained planting of native plants, ornamental grasses, and groundcovers, rain gardens, shrubs and trees. Planned natural landscaping does not include any species of turf grasses and is not intended to allow a property owner to ignore lawn care duties. Planned natural landscaping does not include gardens.
- RAIN GARDEN
- A native plant garden that is designed not only to aesthetically improve properties, but also to reduce the amount of stormwater and accompanying pollutants from entering streams, rivers and lakes.
- TURF GRASSES
- Grasses commonly used in regularly cut lawns or play areas including bluegrass, fescue or rye grass blends or any other similar grasses.
Control of noxious weeds.
Any undeveloped parcel one acre or larger in size shall destroy noxious weeds and cut long grass and vegetation to six inches in height within the right-of-way and within 20 feet of any abutting developed property. The remaining property shall be maintained to a height of 12 inches or less.
Any parcel with improvements upon it or a parcel less than one acre in size shall destroy noxious weeds and cut and maintain long grass and vegetation to a height of six inches or less.
This section shall not apply to:
Plants located on agricultural land.
Plants located on shoreland within 35 feet of the ordinary high-water mark.
Plants located within environmentally sensitive areas such as steep slopes, drainage ways, wetlands, and protective buffer areas.
Planned natural landscaping that is wholly contained within the parcel on which it is planted and maintained. The cost of destroying the weeds shall be charged and assessed in the manner provided by Wis. Stat. § 66.0517(3)(b)1.
Enforcement. Abatement. Any property owner in violation of this section shall be provided written notice by the director of public works or his/her designee by mailing to the property owner or by posting written notice on the door of the property in violation. The written notice shall request compliance within 48 hours of mailing or posting of the notice. If such violation is not corrected within 48 hours, the Village will authorize and conduct action to bring the property into compliance and bill the property owner for such efforts under Wis. Stat. § 66.0627. If any property owner receives notice under this section on three separate occasions, no further notices will be required for further violations in the calendar year. The Village shall bring the property into compliance and bill the property for each violation thereafter.
Litter collection and storage area. Every owner, operator, occupant, or lessee of a building used for residential, business, or commercial purposes shall maintain litter collection and storage areas in a clean condition and ensure that all litter is properly containerized and covered. Failure to maintain clean litter collection and storage areas shall constitute a violation of this section.
The occupant shall be responsible for preventing or correcting any overflow of waste from waste containers or dumpsters.
Enclosures shall be installed and maintained in accordance with approved building plans.
Waste containers and dumpsters shall be maintained in sound structural condition and in good repair.
Waste containers and dumpsters shall be located so as to not create a nuisance.
Duty to collect litter before it is carried from the premises. All litter that is subject to movement by the elements shall be secured by the owner of the premises where it is found before the litter is allowed to be removed from the premises by the elements.
Neglected premises visible to the public. It shall be the duty of any person owning or controlling any premises, including vacant lots, visible from any public place or private premises to maintain such premises in a reasonably clean and orderly manner. It shall be a violation of this section to abandon, neglect or disregard the condition or appearance of any premises so as to permit it to accumulate litter.
Yards shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, free from any accumulation of combustible or noncombustible materials, debris, or refuse.
Building materials shall be permitted to be stored within the rear yard of a parcel for a reasonable amount of time during the building process.
All combustible and noncombustible materials, excluding firewood, shall be stored within an enclosed structure if the property owner is to maintain them for prolonged periods of time. Utilizing tarps to screen items from public view or from view on an adjacent parcel shall not be considered acceptable.
All composting facilities shall be kept within an enclosed container.
Areas around business premises. The owner or person in control of a public place, including but not limited to restaurants, shopping centers, fast-food outlets, stores, hotels, motels, industrial establishments, office buildings, apartment buildings, housing projects, gas stations, hospitals, and clinics, shall at all times keep the premises clean of all litter, rubbish, and garbage and shall take measures, including regular cleanup of the premises, to prevent litter from being carried by the elements to adjoining premises. It shall be a violation of this section to abandon, neglect, or disregard the condition or appearance of such premises so as to permit it to accumulate litter.
Loading and unloading docks. The person owning, operating, or in control of a loading or unloading dock shall at all times maintain the dock area free of litter in such a manner that litter will be prevented from being carried from the premises by the elements.
Construction sites. The property owners and the prime contractors in charge of any construction site shall maintain the construction site in such a manner that litter will be prevented from being carried from the premises by the elements. All litter from construction activities or any related activities shall be picked up at the end of each workday and placed in containers which will prevent litter from being carried from the premises by the elements.
The Building Inspector is responsible for the enforcement of this chapter. However, it is declared that the intent of this code can be most effectively carried out by the cooperation of all Village departments concerned. All such departments shall cooperate with the Building Inspector in the enforcement of this chapter.
[Amended 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-04]
The Building Inspector shall make inspections to determine the condition of the dwelling units, other buildings, and their related premises located within the Village and may enter any building with proper notification, a minimum of 48 hours, in the discharge of his duties, and any person who interferes with the Building Inspector in the discharge of his duties shall be in violation of this chapter. The Building Inspector shall have proper identification and shall show the same when making inspections.
Every occupant of a dwelling, dwelling unit, or other building shall give the owner or operator thereof or an agent or employee access to any part of such dwelling, dwelling unit, building, or its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of maintenance or making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with this chapter or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful notice issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
Whenever the Building Inspector determines that there has been a violation or that there are reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to, citations and notice may be given of such violation or alleged violation to the person responsible therefor as provided in § 66.1337(4)(a), Wis. Stats. The provisions of § 66.1337(4)(a), Wis. Stats., pertaining to service of notices and petition for hearing and review are adopted by reference and made a part of this chapter as if set out in full. In carrying out the provisions of § 66.1337(4)(a), Wis. Stats., the Zoning Board of Appeals is designated as the committee established to hear original appeals under this chapter.
Whenever the Building Inspector finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, the Building Inspector may, without notice or hearing and in accordance with the provisions of § 66.1337(4)(a), Wis. Stats., issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency requiring that such action be taken as the Building Inspector deems necessary to meet the emergency. Such order shall be effective immediately.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals following review of an order issued under § 224-12 of this chapter has a right to appeal directly to Brown County Circuit Court as described in § 66.1337(4)(b), Wis. Stats.
Any person who violates, disobeys, neglects or refuses to comply with any provisions of this chapter upon conviction shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-4 of this Code.
It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully obstruct, hinder or delay the enforcement of any order, rule, regulation or plan issued pursuant to this chapter, or to do any act forbidden by any order, rule, regulation or plan issued pursuant to the authority contained in this chapter.
The Building Inspector may issue Municipal Court citations for violations of this chapter.