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Municipal Code

Chapter 11. Public Nuisances

Sec. 11-06. Weed control.

(1) Required. The owner of any land within the city shall destroy all noxious weeds as defined in subsection (2) of this section which grow on their property and on any terraces and ditches abutting such property.

(2) Defined. The term "noxious weed" or "weeds" as used in this section shall include the following: Canada thistle; leafy spurge; field bindweed (creeping jenny); Canada goldenrod (oldfield); better-ticks; ; burdocks; cattails; chickweed (common); cockleburs; cockle cows; fan weed; pennycress; fleabane; daisy; giant ragweed; lamb's quarters; milkweeds; Mullen; garlic mustard; common reed grass; honey suckle; crown vetch; common mustard; ball myrtle; stinging nettles; ox-eye daisy; pepper grass; field pigweed; poison ivy; common ragweed; sandburs; shepherd's purse; smartweeds (lady's thumb); annual spurges; sticktight; bull thistle; tumbleweed; witchgrass; yarrow; milfoil; quackgrass; snapdragon; toadflax; sour dock; yellow dock; wild barley; poison sumac; purple loosestrife; spotted knotweed; buckthorn; brush (woody stemmed plant); all other plants defined as noxious by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; and other wild grasses over four inches in height for developed residential properties and over six inches in height for undeveloped properties.

(3) Posting of notice. The weed commissioner shall annually, on or before May 15, publish at least once a week for two consecutive weeks, as a class II notice in the official newspaper, a notice that every person shall destroy noxious weeks as described in subsection (2) of this section.

(4) Powers and duties of weed commissioner. Powers and duties of the weed commissioner shall be as follows:

  1. Destruction of weeds on public lands. The weed commissioner and deputy weed commissioners shall have authority to destroy all noxious weeds on public lands.
  2. Destruction of weeds on private land. The weed commissioner and his deputies shall see that weeds which are not destroyed by the property owner on private lands are destroyed, by the most economical method, and the weed commissioner shall present to the finance director his account therefor for billing. The costs of destroying such weeds shall be entered on the tax roll of the property owner for destroying the weeds, and such tax shall be collected as other taxes are if the account is not paid. In case of railroads or other lands not taxed in the usual way, the amount chargeable against the railroads or other lands shall be certified by the city clerk to the state treasurer.
  3. Entry. The weed commissioner and his deputies may enter upon any lands within the city for the purpose of cutting or otherwise destroying weeds without being liable to an action for trespass or damage resulting from such entry and destruction, if reasonable care is exercised in the performance of the duty.

(5) Weed control penalty. Penalties for violation of this section shall be as follows:

  1. If any property owner fails to destroy noxious weeds as required, after five days' written notice from the weed commissioner, the property owner, in addition to being charged with the cost of such destruction, shall also pay a forfeiture of an additional $50.00 for the first offense, and a forfeiture of $65.00 for a second or each subsequent offense.
  2. Property owners will receive a five-day written notice prior to being charged with a first offense under this section. No notice shall be required prior to charging additional offenses in the same calendar year.

(6) Native Wisconsin prairie areas. Prairie areas will be allowed and shall not be subject to section 11-06 of the Municipal Code if the areas meet and are maintained as per the following criteria:

  1. Native prairie seeding. All seed mixes shall comply with all Wisconsin law. All native seeds shall be certified to be of Wisconsin origin or of an origin within 250 linear statute miles of the seeding site. All seeds shall be guaranteed by the supplier to be true to name and species and (except for ReGreen) shall not be cultivated varieties.
  2. These prairie areas are to be kept free of all "noxious weed" or "weeds" as defined in section 11-06(2) at all times.
  3. If at anytime these prairie areas do not meet section 11-06(6)(b) they shall be subject to destruction by the weed commissioner as per section 11-06(4) and weed control penalty 11-06(5).

(Code 1982, 10.06; Ord. No. 1023, 1, 6-8-2004)