[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Woodruff 2-11-1986 as Ch. 10 of the 1986 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
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 continues for such length of time as to:
Substantially annoy, injure or endanger the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public.
In any way render the public insecure in life or in the use of property.
Greatly offend the public morals or decency.
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 specifically declared to be public health nuisances, but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other health nuisances coming within the definition of § 355-2:
Adulterated food. All decayed, adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.
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.
Breeding places for insects or vermin. Accumulations of decayed animal or vegetable matter, trash, rubbish, rotting lumber, bedding, packing material, scrap metal or any material in which flies, mosquitoes, disease-carrying insects, rats or other vermin can breed.
Stagnant water. All stagnant water in which mosquitoes, flies or other insects can multiply.
Privy vaults and garbage cans. Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not flytight.
Noxious weeds. Canada thistle, leafy spurge, field bindweed (creeping Jenny), unsightly and troublesome plants which are detrimental to cultivated crops, public health, public welfare and the general appearance of the surrounding area, or such uncultivated rank plants which create unpleasant or noxious odors or grow to such height as to permit the concealment of filthy deposits.
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.
Noxious odors. Any use of property, substances or things within the Town emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noxious or disagreeable odors, gases, effluvia or stenches extremely 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.
Street pollution. Any use of property which causes any noxious or unwholesome liquid or substance to flow into or upon any street, gutter, alley, sidewalk or public place within the Town.
Air pollution. The escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, industrial dust or other atmospheric pollutants within the Town or within one mile therefrom in such quantities as to endanger the health of persons of ordinary sensibilities or threaten or cause substantial damage to property in the Town.
Loose animals. Any animals running at large in the Town.
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are 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 § 355-2:
Disorderly houses. All disorderly houses, bawdy houses, houses of ill fame, gambling houses and buildings or structures kept or resorted to for the purpose of prostitution, promiscuous sexual intercourse or gambling.
Gambling devices. All gambling devices and slot machines.
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 provided for by the ordinances of the Town.
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, and repeatedly violated.
Illegal drinking. Any place or premises resorted to for the purpose of drinking intoxicating liquor or fermented malt beverages in violation of state laws.
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are 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 § 355-2:
Dangerous signs, billboards, awnings and other structures. All signs, 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.
Illegal buildings. All buildings erected, repaired or altered in violation of Town ordinances relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within the Town.
Unauthorized traffic signs. All unauthorized signs, signals, markings or devices placed or maintained upon or in view of any public highway or railway crossing which purport to be, or may be mistaken as, official traffic control devices, railroad signs or signals or which, because of their color, location, brilliance or manner of operation, interfere with the effectiveness of any such device, sign or signal.
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 when approaching an intersection or pedestrian crosswalk.
Low-hanging tree limbs. All limbs of trees which project over and less than 10 feet above any public sidewalk, street or other public place.
Dangerous trees. All trees which are a menace to public safety or are the cause of substantial annoyance to the general public.
Fireworks. All use or display of fireworks except as provided by state laws and Town ordinances.
Dilapidated buildings. All buildings or structures so old, dilapidated or out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, insanitary or otherwise unfit for human use.
Low-hanging wires and cables. All wires and cables over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 15 feet above the surface thereof.
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, greatly annoys or disturbs a neighborhood or any considerable number of persons within the Town.
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, but including those 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.
Unlawful assemblies. Any unauthorized or prohibited 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.
Blighted buildings and premises. Premises existing within the Town which are blighted because of faulty design or construction, failure to maintain them in a proper state of repair, or improper management or due to the accumulation thereon of junk or other unsightly debris, structurally unsound fences and other items which depreciate property values and jeopardize or are detrimental to the health, safety, morals or welfare of the people of the Town.
Blighted premises contribute to conditions that are dangerous to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the people; the conditions necessitate excessive and disproportionate expenditure of public funds for public health and safety, crime prevention, fire protection and other public services; such conditions cause a drain upon public revenue and impair the efficient and economical exercise of governmental functions in such areas.
Elimination of blighted premises and prevention of blighted premises in the future are in the best interest of the citizens and shall be fostered and encouraged by this section. It is essential to the public interest that this section be liberally construed to accomplish such purposes.
[Amended 4-22-2008; 11-8-2011]
Materials that may not be burned. Unless a specific written approval has been obtained from the Department of Natural Resources, the following materials may not be burned in an open fire, incinerator, burn barrel, furnace, stove or any other indoor or outdoor incineration or heating device. The Town of Woodruff will not issue a permit for burning any of the following materials without air pollution control devices and a written copy of an approval by the Department of Natural Resources:
Rubbish or garbage including but not limited to food wastes, food wraps, packaging, animal carcasses, paint or painted materials, furniture, composite shingles, construction or demolition debris or other household or business wastes.
Waste oil or other oily wastes except used oil burned in a heating device for energy recovery subject to the restrictions in Chapter NR 590, Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Asphalt and products containing asphalt.
Treated or painted wood including but not limited to plywood, composite wood products or other wood products that are painted, varnished or treated with preservatives.
Any plastic material including but not limited to nylon, PVC, ABS, polystyrene or urethane foam, and synthetic fabrics, plastic films and plastic containers.
Rubber including tires and synthetic rubber-like products.
Newspaper, corrugated cardboard, container board, office paper and other materials that must be recycled in accordance with the State of Wisconsin recycling ordinance except as provided in Subsection A(7)(a) of this section.
Exemption for burning certain papers.
Notwithstanding Subsection A(7) of this section, paper and cardboard products may be used as a starter fuel for a fire that is allowed under this section
Small quantities of confidential papers from a residence may be burned if necessary to prevent the theft of financial records, identification or other confidential information.
Confidential papers from a commercial enterprise shall be shredded or destroyed in a manner other than burning.
A fire set for burning of a small quantity of confidential papers shall be subject to and comply with Subsection B of this section.
Burning leaves, brush, clean wood and other vegetative debris.
Open burning of leaves, weeds, brush, stumps, clean wood other vegetative debris is allowed only in accordance with the following provision: All allowed burning shall be conducted in a safe, nuisance-free manner, when wind and weather conditions, which include atmospheric pressure, are such as to minimize adverse effects and not create a health hazard or a visibility hazard on roadways, railroads or airfields. Open burning shall be conducted in conformance with all local and state fire protection regulations.
Bonfires regulated. No person shall kindle or cause to be kindled any fire in or upon any street, alley, public way, park or public or private grounds within the Town within 50 feet of any building or within any fire lane unless the same is confined within a wire refuse burner or basket or metal enclosure with a wire cover attached to prevent the escape of sparks and burning material.
No person except a licensee of a motor vehicle dealer's license issued under the Wisconsin Statutes shall accumulate or store or allow to remain outside of any building on real estate located within the Town for a period of more than six months or dump, deposit or otherwise abandon upon any property or upon any highway, street, road, alley or way within the Town any used motor vehicles, as "motor vehicle" is defined by the Wisconsin Statutes, or any detached part or parts thereof for which no current registration fee has been paid under state statutes or which, if paid, does not have properly attached thereto under state statutes a current license plate or plates if so required and which is in condition which would mechanically prevent its immediate operation upon any public highway or its operation thereon would be in violation of the law. Each day that any used motor vehicle as herein defined or any detached part or parts thereof shall be accumulated or stored or allowed to remain contrary to these provisions shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
Enforcement. The Fire Chief and Building Inspector shall enforce those provisions of this chapter that come within the jurisdiction of their offices and 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 has inspected or caused to be inspected the premises where the nuisance is alleged to exist and has satisfied himself that a nuisance does in fact exist.
Summary abatement. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists within the Town and that there is great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the Chairperson may direct the proper officer to cause the same to be abated and charge the cost to the owner, occupant or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance, as the case may be.
Abatement after notice. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists on private premises but that such nuisance does not 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 10 days, the officer shall cause the nuisance to be removed as provided in Subsection B.
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.
Court order. Except when necessary under Subsection B, an officer hereunder shall not use force to obtain access to private property to abate a public nuisance but shall request permission to enter upon private property if such premises are occupied and, if such permission is denied, shall apply to any court having jurisdiction for an order assisting the abatement of the public nuisance.
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, and if notice to abate the nuisance has been given to the owner, such cost shall be assessed against the real estate as a special charge.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter, or any regulation, rule or order made hereunder, or permit or cause a public nuisance, shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-3 of this Code.