[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Hudson 8-18-2003 by Ord. No. 8-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
All areas on any lot not used for buildings, driveways, walkways, parking areas or other permitted improvements shall be suitably graded and drained to comply with the City's erosion control and subdivision ordinances. Such areas shall be either seeded or sodded as a traditional lawn in species of grass common to western Wisconsin or suitably landscaped with plantings and/or other decorative surface treatments so as to meet acceptable community standards. Such area shall be maintained in a sightly and well-kept condition.
No owner, lessee or occupant or agent, representative or employee of any such owner, lessee or occupant having control of any occupied or unoccupied lot or land, or any part thereof, in the City, except upon prior application to and approval of a land management plan from the Department of Community Development of the City, shall permit or maintain on any such lot or land, or on or along the sidewalk, street or alley adjacent to the same between the property line and the curb or middle of the alley or for 10 feet outside the property line if there be no curb, any growth of weeds, grass, brush or other rank vegetation to a greater height than six inches on the average or any accumulation of dead weeds, grass or brush.
Also, no person shall cause or allow poison ivy, ragweed or other poisonous plants detrimental to health to grow on any lot or land in such manner that any part of such ivy, ragweed or other poisonous or harmful weed shall extend upon, overhang or border any public place or allow seeds, pollen or other poisonous particles or emanations therefrom to be carried through the air into any public place.
Plantings shall be maintained so as not to present hazards to adjoining properties or to persons or vehicles traveling on public ways.
The owner, lessee or occupant of any lot or land shall cut and remove or cause to be cut and removed all such weeds, grass, brush or other rank, poisonous or harmful vegetation as often as may be necessary to comply with the provision of § 176-2.
If the provisions of the above sections are not complied with, the City Compliance Officer shall serve, by personal service or U.S. mail, written notice upon the owner, lessee or occupant or any person having care or control of any such lot or land to comply with the provisions of this chapter. If the person upon whom the notice is served fails, neglects or refuses to cut and remove or to cause to be cut and removed such weeds, grass, brush or other vegetation within five days after receipt of such notice, or if no person can be found in the City who either is or claims to be the owner of such lot or land or who represents or claims to represent such owner, the Compliance Officer shall cause such weeds, grass, brush and other vegetation on such lot or land to be cut and removed and the actual cost of such cutting and removal, plus 50% for inspection and other additional costs in the connection therewith, shall be billed to the property owner by the City Clerk as payable to the City, and if the property owner chooses not to pay the bill upon receipt, pursuant to Wis. Stats. § 66.0627, the cost shall become a special charge against the property on which such weeds, grass, brush and other vegetation were located, shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lot or land, shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officer in the same manner as taxes.
The City Compliance Officer shall provide one such notice to a violating property owner per lawn mowing season. If there are subsequent violations, the City is authorized to cut and remove the violating grass, weeds, or brush without additional notice and bill the cost of removal as described above to the property owner. Any amount unpaid shall be a special charge assessed against the property as described above.
Application of natural lawn. Any owner or operator of land in the City may apply to the Department of Community Development for approval of a land management plan for a natural lawn, one where the grasses exceed six inches in height.
Land management plan. "Land management plan" means a written plan relating to management of the lawn, which contains a legal description of the lawn upon which the grass or other plantings will exceed six inches in length, a statement of intent and purpose of the lawn, a general description of the vegetation types, plants and plant succession involved, and the specific management and maintenance techniques to be employed.
The management plan must require the following area to be cut at six inches or less:
All lawn or open space area shall be cut between June 30 and October 15 if the Fire Chief or Fire Inspector, in his or her discretion, so orders, consistent with his or her powers as granted in the Hudson City Code.
Revocation of land management plan. The land management plan may be revoked for failure to comply with the requirements of Subsection B of this section. Notice of intent to revoke a land management plan shall be appealable to the Board of Appeals. All applications for appeals shall be submitted within 15 days of notice of intent to revoke a land management plan.
Application requirements. Each application for a land management plan shall be on a form provided by the Department of Community Development and shall be accompanied by a fee of $35, payable to the City Clerk. The Department of Community Development shall send a copy of the application to all owners of property situated in whole or in part within 200 feet of the property for which a land management plan has been requested. If, within 15 days of receipt of a copy of the application, at least 51% of such property owners file written objections to the application with the Department of Community Development, the Director of the Department of Community Development shall refer the application to the Board of Appeals for hearing and decision, according to the provisions of Hudson City Code § 255-90.
Application for appeal. The owner or operator of land in the City may appeal from a decision of the Director of the Department of Community Development regarding a land management plan. All appeals shall be to the Board of Appeals of the City which shall hear such appeals. All applications for appeals shall be submitted within 15 days of notice of denial of the land management plan.