Village of Cottage Grove, WI
Dane County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of Village of Cottage Grove 7-2-1984 as Secs. 11.01, 11.02, 11.06, 11.07 and 11.10 of the 1984 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 116.
Graffiti — See Ch. 189.
Noise — See Ch. 219.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 235.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 250.

§ 224-1 Public nuisances prohibited.

No person shall erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain or permit to exist any public nuisance within the Village.

§ 224-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PUBLIC NUISANCE
A public nuisance is a thing, act, occupation, condition or use of property which continues for such length of time as to:
A. 
Substantially annoy, injure or endanger the comfort, health, repose or safety of the public;
B. 
In any way render the public insecure in life or in the use of property;
C. 
Greatly offend the public morals or decency; or
D. 
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 use of property.
PUBLIC NUISANCES AFFECTING HEALTH
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby specifically declared to be public health nuisances, but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other health nuisances coming within the definition of "public nuisance" in this section:
A. 
All decayed, harmfully adulterated or unwholesome food or drink sold or offered for sale to the public.
B. 
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.
C. 
Accumulation of decayed animal or vegetable matter, trash, rubbish, rotting lumber, bedding, packing materials, scrap metal or any material whatsoever in which flies, mosquitoes, disease-carrying insects, rats or other vermin may breed.
D. 
All stagnant water in which mosquitoes, flies or other insects can multiply.
E. 
Privy vaults and garbage cans which are not flytight.
F. 
All noxious weeds, grass in excess of one foot in height and other rank growth of vegetation.
[Amended 6-17-1996; 5-15-2017 by Ord. No. 01-2017]
(1) 
Every person shall destroy all noxious weeds on all lands which he or she shall own, occupy or control. The terms "destroy" and "noxious weeds" are defined by s. 66.0407, Wis. Stats.
(2) 
Any grass in excess of one foot in height and/or other rank growth of vegetation, as determined by the Weed Commissioner or his/her designee, shall be cut and brush removed upon the owner's receipt of a written notice giving five days to perform such work.
(3) 
The Weed Commissioner shall have the duties and responsibilities outlined in s. 66.0407, Wis. Stats., and shall further enforce the Village's policy relating to noxious weeds as directed by the Village Board.
(4) 
Should any person fail to destroy all noxious weeds and/or remove grass, rank growth of vegetation or brush as provided in this subsection, the Village may cause such work to be performed in the method deemed to be the most economical and the cost thereof charged to the property pursuant to s. 66.0407, Wis. Stats.
G. 
The escape of smoke, soot, cinders, noxious acids, fumes, gases, fly ash, industrial dust or other atmospheric pollutants within the Village limits or within one mile therefrom in such quantities as to endanger the health of persons of ordinary sensitivities or to threaten to cause substantial injury to property in the Village.
H. 
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.
I. 
Any use of property, substances or things within the Village emitting or causing any foul, offensive, noisome, nauseous, 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 Village.
J. 
All abandoned wells, septic tanks, grease traps, cisterns and day wells not securely covered or secured from public use.
PUBLIC NUISANCES AFFECTING PEACE AND SAFETY
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions, and things are hereby 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 within the provisions of the definition of "public nuisance" in this section:
A. 
All ice not removed from public sidewalks and all snow not removed from public sidewalks within 24 hours after it has ceased to fall thereon.
[Amended 3-19-2001 by Ord. No. 01-2001]
B. 
All signs and 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.
C. 
All buildings erected, repaired or altered within the Village in violation of the provisions of the ordinances of the Village relating to materials and manner of construction of buildings and structures within such district.
D. 
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 an official traffic control device, railroad sign or signal or which, because of their color, location, brilliance or manner of operation, interfere with the effectiveness of any such device, sign or signal.
E. 
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.
F. 
All limbs of trees which project over and less than 10 feet above the surface of a public sidewalk or street or other public place.
G. 
All use or display of fireworks except as provided by the laws of the state and ordinances of the Village.
H. 
All buildings or structures so old, dilapidated or out of repair as to be dangerous, unsafe, insanitary or otherwise unfit for human use.
I. 
All wires over streets, alleys or public grounds which are strung less than 18 feet above the surface thereof.
J. 
All loud, discordant and unnecessary noises or vibrations of any kind.
K. 
All trees located on private property which fall, or parts which fall, onto public streets, sidewalks, alleys, waterways, lagoons or other public property.
(1) 
An officer designated by the Village for that purpose shall orally or in writing notify the owner of the property from which the tree or part thereof has fallen that he or she shall remove such tree, or part thereof, within 48 hours of the time of the notice. If such order is not complied with, the Village shall cause the tree of part thereof to be removed and shall bill the owner of the private property from which the tree has fallen for the cost thereof. Such costs shall be paid within 30 days of billing, and thereafter, unless sooner paid, shall be placed on the tax roll as a special charge against the property.
(2) 
If the fallen tree or part thereof so obstructs the right of the public to use the public property or the Village's use of emergency equipment, the Village may order the obstruction removed immediately, and if the Village is satisfied the owner cannot cause immediate removal of the obstruction, the Village may cause such removal and shall bill the costs thereof as provided in Subsection K(1).
L. 
All open and unguarded pits, wells, excavations or unused basements freely accessible from any public street, alley or sidewalk.
M. 
All abandoned refrigerators, iceboxes or other containers which have airtight doors from which the doors and other covers have not been removed or which are not equipped with a device for opening from the inside.
N. 
Any unauthorized or unlawful 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.
O. 
Repeated or continuous violations of the ordinances of the Village or laws of the state relating to the storage of flammable liquids.
PUBLIC NUISANCES OFFENDING MORALS AND DECENCY
The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby 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 "public nuisance" in this section:
A. 
All disorderly houses, bawdy houses, houses of ill fame, gambling houses and buildings or structures kept or resorted to for the purposes of prostitution, promiscuous sexual intercourse or gambling.
B. 
All gambling devices and slot machines.
C. 
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 by the ordinances of the Village.
D. 
Any place or premises within the Village where Village ordinances or state laws relating to public health, safety, peace, morals or welfare are openly, continuously, repeatedly and intentionally violated.
E. 
Any place or premises resorted to for the purpose of drinking alcohol beverages in violation of the laws of the state or of this Municipal Code.

§ 224-3 Abatement of public nuisances.

A. 
Inspection of premises. Whenever compliant is made to the President that a public nuisance exists within the Village, he or she shall promptly notify the Chief of Police, Health Officer or Building Inspector, who shall forthwith inspect or cause to be inspected the premises and shall make a written report of findings to the President. Whenever practicable, the inspecting officer shall cause photographs to be made of the premises and shall file the same in the office of the Village Clerk.
B. 
Summary abatement.
(1) 
Notice to owner. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists within the Village and that there is great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, the President may direct the Chief of Police to serve notice on the person causing, permitting or maintaining such nuisance or upon the owner or occupant of the premises where such nuisance is caused, permitted or maintained and to post a copy of such notice on the premises. Such notice shall direct the person causing, permitting or maintaining such nuisance or the owner or occupant of the premises to abate or remove such nuisance within 24 hours and shall state that unless such nuisance is so abated, the Village will cause the same to be abated and will charge the cost thereof to the owner, occupant or person causing, permitting or maintaining the nuisance, as the case may be.
(2) 
Abatement by Village. If the nuisance is not abated within the time provided or if the owner, occupant or person causing the nuisance cannot be found, the officer having the duty of enforcement shall cause the abatement or removal of such public nuisance.
C. 
Abatement by court action. If the inspecting officer determines that a public nuisance exists on private premises but that the nature of such nuisance is not such as to threaten great and immediate danger to the public health, safety, peace, morals or decency, he or she shall file a written report of findings with the Mayor, who, upon direction of the Village Board, shall cause an action to abate such nuisance to be commenced in the name of the Village in the Circuit Court in accordance with the provisions of Ch. 823, Wis. Stat.
D. 
Other methods not excluded. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the abatement of public nuisances by the Village or its officials in accordance with the laws of the state.
E. 
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.

§ 224-4 Recovery of costs.

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 Village 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.

§ 224-5 Violations and penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-19 of this Code.