Building Inspections and Permits

Permits
Property Maintenance Code
PDF Document Chapter 23 Fees for City Services

Joe Mesler, Building Inspector, handles building permits and building inspections. Office hours are 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Monday and Wednesday, at City Hall, Public Works Department. For information concerning your projects or to make an appointment with the inspector, call Joe at (262)741-5124. Inspectors are certified by the state of Wisconsin and enforce the State Building Code you can review by clicking here.

Top of PagePermits

Do I need a permit for a fence? Yes.  There are a number of permits required in the City of Elkhorn including one to build a fence. Permits must be obtained from the Building Inspector. Packets explaining the procedures to follow are available outside the Building Inspector’s office on the first floor of City Hall located in the Public Works Office. Or you may select a permit packet from the list below: 

Top of PageProperty Maintenance Code

20.01 INTENT AND PURPOSE
20.02 APPLICABILITY
20.03 DEFINITIONS
20.04 COMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITY
20.05 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO THE SAFE AND SANITARY MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
20.06 RESPONSIBILITIES OF OWNERS AND OCCUPANTS
20.07 ENFORCEMENT
20.08 PENALTIES
20.09 IMPOSITION OF SPECIAL CHARGES
20.10 TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF NON-COMPLIANCE BUILDINGS
20.11 EMERGENCIES

CHAPTER 20
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE

Top of Page20.01 INTENT AND PURPOSE:  (back)

20.01.1 Declaration of Policy. It is recognized that there are buildings, structures, yards, vacant lots and/or combinations thereof, which are now or may in the future become substandard with respect to structure, provisions and maintenance of basic equipment, and facilities, habitable space and exterior appearance so as to constitute a threat to the health, safety, and general welfare of the occupants of these premises and to the community at large. It is further recognized that the establishment and enforcement of minimum property maintenance standards is necessary to pressure and prompt the public and private interest.

20.01.2 Purpose. The purpose of this code is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance and condition of residential and nonresidential premises; to fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners and operators and district and separate responsibilities and duties upon occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of residential and nonresidential premises; and to provide for the repair, demolition or vacation of premises unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use.

20.02 APPLICABILITY: (back)  This chapter shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Code for the City of Elkhorn". This chapter shall apply to all land, buildings and structures in the city, without regard to its class or its date of construction, alteration, or repair. The owner and operator of same shall be responsible for insuring that the land, buildings and structures conform to the requirements of this chapter.

Top of Page20.03 DEFINITIONS: (back)  The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:

"Accessory building or structure" means a detached building or structure in a secondary or subordinate capacity from the main or principal structure.

"Approved" means approved by the local or state authority having such administrative authority.

"Building" means a fixed construction with walls, foundation and roof, such as a house, garage, etc.

"Building code" means the city building, plumbing and electrical code.

"Building inspector" means the designated building inspector of the city or his or her authorized representatives.

"Clean" means free from dirt, impurities, and/or extraneous matters that could cause the spread of disease.

"Dilapidated" means the building is no longer structurally suitable for its current use.

"Dwelling" means any enclosed space wholly or partly used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.

"Dwelling unit" means a room or group of rooms located within a dwelling forming a single habitable unit with facilities used or intended to be used by a single family for living, sleeping, cooking and eating purposes.

"Extermination" means the control and elimination of insects or rodents by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that may serve as their food; by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping, or by any other recognized and legal pest elimination methods and materials as approved under the guidelines of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Public Health, or conducted by a Wisconsin certified pest control technician.

"Garbage" means the animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, serving and nonconsumption of food.

"Habitable room" means a room or enclosed floor space used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating purposes, excluding bathrooms, water closet compartments, laundries, furnace room, pantries, kitchenettes and utility rooms of less than fifty (50) square feet of floor space, foyers, communicating corridors, stairways, closets, storage spaces and workshops.

"Heating device" means all furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, unit heaters, domestic incinerators, cooking and heating stoves and ranges, and other similar devices.

"Infestation" means the presence within or around a dwelling of any rodents and/or insects.

Meaning of Certain Words. Whenever the words "dwelling," "dwelling units," "premises," "structure" are used in the chapter, they shall be construed as though they were followed by the words "or any part thereof." Words used in the singular include the plural, and the plural the singular, the masculine gender includes the feminine and the feminine the masculine.

"Multiple dwelling" means any dwelling containing more than two dwelling units.

"Occupant" means any individual, living, sleeping, cooking, or eating in a dwelling unit or a rooming unit of which the individual does not have legal title to the dwelling unit; except that in dwelling units a guest shall not be considered an occupant.

"Operator" means any person who has charge, care, control, or management of a building, or a part thereof, in which dwelling units are let.

"Owner" means any person who, alone or jointly or severally with other:

  1. Shall have legal title to any premise, dwelling or dwelling unit, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or
  2. Shall have charge, care, or control of any premise, dwelling or dwelling unit, as owner or agent of the owner without accompanying actual possession thereof.

Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provision of this chapter and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, the same extent as if he or she were the owner.

"Owner/occupant" means any individual, who, alone or jointly or severally with others shall have legal title to any premises, dwelling or dwelling unit and actually lives, sleeps, cooks or eats in the dwelling unit.

"Person" means and includes any individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, cooperative or governmental agency.

"Plumbing" means and includes all of the following supplied facilities and equipment; water pipes, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, catch basins, drains, vents and any other similar supplied fixtures, and the installation thereof, together with all connections to water, or sewer lines.

"Premises" means a plated lot or part thereof or unplated lot or parcel of land or plot of land, either occupied or unoccupied by any dwelling or nondwelling structure and includes, any such building accessory structure or other structure thereon.

"Privacy" means the existence of conditions which will permit an individual or individuals to carry out an activity commenced without interruption or interference, either by sight or sound by unwanted individuals.

"Properly connected" means connected in accordance with all applicable codes and ordinances of this city as from time to time enforced; provided, however, that the application of this definition shall not require the alteration or replacement of any connection in good working order and not constitute a hazard to life or health.

"Rodent harborage" means any conditions or place where rodents can live, nest or seek shelter.

"Rodent proofing" means a form of construction that will prevent the ingress or egress of rodents to or from a given space or building, or from gaining access to food, water, or harborage. It consists of the closing and keeping closed of every opening in foundations, basements, cellars, exterior and interior walls, ground or first floors, roofs, sidewalk gratings, sidewalk openings, and other places that may be reached and entered by rodents, by the use of materials impervious to rodent gnawing and other methods as set forth in the United States Public Health Service Publication: "Control of Domestic Rats and Mice," Pratt, Bjornson and Letting, July, 1977, HEW Publication #(CDC)77-8 141; and "Rat- Borne Disease Control Through Rat Stoppage," Scott and Borom, USPHS Reprint 1976.

"Refuse" means all putrescible and nonputrescible solids including garbage, rubbish, ashes and dead animals.

"Rubbish" means nonputrescible solid wastes (excluding ashes) consisting of but not limited to either:

  1. Combustible wastes such as paper, cardboard, plastic containers, yard clippings, and wool; or
  2. Noncombustible wastes such as tin cans, glass and crockery.

"Safety" means the condition of being reasonably free from danger and hazards which may cause accidents or disease.

"Sanitary" means the promotion of hygiene which creates an environment which facilitates the prevention of diseases.

"Supplied" means paid for, furnished by, provided by, or under the control of the owner, operator or agent.

Undefined Words. Words not specifically defined in this chapter and are defined in the building code, shall have the same meaning ascribed to them in the building code and further other words shall have the common definition set forth in a standard dictionary.

"Variance" means a departure from the strict compliance with this chapter upon a showing a hardship.

Top of Page20.04 COMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITY. (back)  Compliance is responsibility of owners and operators.

20.04.1     Owners. Each owner of land, buildings and structures (collectively, "premises") shall have an independent responsibility for compliance. All owners shall be jointly and severally responsible for performance of the duties and obligations prescribed in this chapter. No owner shall be relieved from any such duty or obligation because another person is also responsible for performance of such duty or obligation. No owner shall be relieved from liability under this chapter because said person has contracted said responsibility to an operator or other person.

20.04.2     Operators. Operator(s) of land, buildings and structures (collectively, "premises") in the City shall also have responsibility for compliance. Operator(s) shall be jointly and severally responsible with owner(s) for performance of the duties and obligations prescribed in this chapter.

Top of Page20.05 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO THE SAFE AND SANITARY MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY.  (back)

20.05.1 Residential Property.

No person shall occupy as owner/occupant or shall let or held out to another for occupancy, any dwelling of family unit, for the purpose of living therein, or own or be in control of any vacant dwelling or dwelling unit which is not safe, clean, sanitary, and fit for human occupancy, and which does not comply with the particular requirements of the following subsections.

A. Maintenance of Buildings, Structures, and Grounds

Every owner, or occupant if the occupant has assumed responsibility under the terms of a written lease, shall either personally or by agent, improve and maintain all property under his or her control to comply with the following requirements:

1. Every premise shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary and safe condition and complies with all applicable legal requirements of the city.

2. Every foundation, roof, floor, exterior and interior wall, ceiling, inside and outside stair, 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.

3. All exterior surfaces of buildings and fences made of materials not inherently resistant to deterioration shall be periodically coated with paint or another suitable preservation which provides adequate resistance to weathering.

4. If gutters, leaders and downspouts are provided, they shall be maintained in good working condition as to provide proper drainage of storm water. This shall include being substantially free from rust and/or corrosion.

5. a. Every window, exterior door and hatchway or similar device shall be so constructed to exclude insects during that portion of the year when there is a need for protection against mosquitoes, flies and other flying insects.

b. Every doorway used for ventilation and opening directly from a dwelling unit to outside space shall have supplied properly fitting screens.

c. Every window or other device with openings to outdoor space, used for ventilation, shall be supplied with screens.

6. Accessory structures present or provided by the owner, agent or tenant occupant on the premises of a dwelling shall be structurally sound, and be maintained in good repair.

7. All vacant lots shall be maintained by the owner in a clean, sanitary and safe condition. No debris shall be allowed to accumulate on such vacant lot and it shall be maintained in rodent-free condition.

B. Minimum Standards for Basic Facilities

No person shall occupy as owner-occupant, or let to another for occupancy, any dwelling unit for the purpose of living, sleeping, cooking, or eating therein which does not comply with the following requirements:

1. Sanitary Facilities. The following minimum sanitary facilities shall be supplied and maintained in sanitary, safe working condition.

a. Water Closet. Every dwelling unit shall contain within its walls a room, separate from the habitable rooms, which affords privacy and which is equipped with a water closet.

b. Lavatory. Every dwelling unit shall contain a lavatory which, when a closet is required, shall be reasonably proximate to said water closet.

c. Bathtub or Shower. Every dwelling unit shall contain a room which affords privacy to a person in said room and which is equipped with a bathtub or shower.

d. Kitchen Sink. Every dwelling unit shall contain a kitchen sink apart from the lavatory required under Section 20.16(1)(a)2.

2. Water and Sewer System. Every kitchen sink, lavatory, bathtub or shower and water closet required under the provisions of Section 20.16 (1)(a) shall be properly connected to the public water and sewer system in accordance with the City of Elkhorn Plumbing Code. All sinks, lavatories, bathtubs and showers shall be supplied with hot and cold running water.

3. Water Heating Facilities. Every dwelling unit shall be supplied with water heating facilities which are installed in an approved manner, properly maintained, and properly connected with hot water lines to the fixtures required to be supplied with hot water under Section 20.16(1)(b). Water heating facilities shall be capable of heating water to such a temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub, shower and laundry facility or other similar units, at a temperature of not less than 110 degrees Fahrenheit at any time needed.

C. Minimum Thermal Standards

Every dwelling and multi-family dwelling shall have heating facilities that are properly installed, safely maintained and in good working condition, and that they are capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms located therein, to a temperature of at least an average of 70 degrees Fahrenheit with an outside temperature of 10 degrees below zero. The occupant of a dwelling shall be able to control the heat of that dwelling unit.

D. Minimum Standards for Light and Ventilation

No person shall occupy as owner, occupant or let to another for occupancy any dwelling unit, for the purpose of living therein, which does not comply with the requirements of this section:

1. Every habitable room shall conform with city codes as to light standards according to building codes at the time of construction.

2. Every habitable room shall conform to city codes as to ventilation standards according to building codes at the time of construction.

3. Every dwelling or dwelling unit shall contain safe electrical wiring and fixtures.

4. Every public hall and stairway in every multiple dwelling shall be adequately lighted by material or artificial light at all times in accordance with building code.

E. Maximum Density

A dwelling unit shall not be occupied by more than one family. Family shall mean an individual or two or more persons, each related by blood, marriage, adoption or legal guardianship. For purposes of this code a group of not more than four persons not necessarily related by blood or marriage. Living together in a single living unit will be considered equivalent to a single family.

F. Occupancy of Dwelling Units Below Grade

No dwelling unit partially below grade shall be used for living purposes unless:

1. Floors and walls are watertight.

2. Total window area, total openable area and ceiling height are in accordance with this Code.

3. Required minimum window area of every habitable room is entirely above the grade of the ground adjoining such window area.

4. A secondary fire exit window that will be in accordance with the building code.

20.05.2 Commercial/Industrial Property.

A. Maintenance of Buildings, Structures, and Grounds

Every owner or occupant, if the occupant has assumed responsibility under the terms of a written lease, shall either personally or by agent, improve and maintain all property under his or her control to comply with the following requirements:

1. Every premise shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary and safe condition and complies with all applicable legal requirements of the city.

2. Every foundation, roof, floor, exterior and interior wall, ceiling, inside and outside stair, 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.

3. All exterior surfaces of buildings and fences made of materials not inherently resistant to deterioration shall be periodically coated with paint or another suitable preservation which provides adequate resistance to weathering.

4. If gutters, leaders and downspouts are provided, they shall be maintained in good working condition as to provide proper drainage of storm water. This shall include being substantially free from rust and/or corrosion.

5. All vacant lots shall be maintained by the owner in a clean, sanitary and safe condition. No debris shall be allowed to accumulate on such vacant lot and it shall be maintained in rodent-free condition.

B. Minimum Standards for Basic Facilities

All required equipment and all building space and parts in every building or structure shall be constructed and maintained so as to properly and safely perform their intended function in accordance with the provisions of the building code.

C. Minimum Thermal Standards

The owner of any building or structure shall provide heating equipment and apparatus if required which are properly installed in accordance with the building code and maintained in a safe and good working condition.

Top of Page20.06 RESPONSIBILITIES OF OWNERS AND OCCUPANTS.   (back)

20.06.1 Residential Dwellings. Every owner, or occupant if the occupant has assumed responsibility under the terms of a written lease, shall either personally or by agent, improve and maintain all property under his or her control to comply with the following requirements:

A.     Except where the occupant has agreed to do such service, the owner shall hang and maintain all screens, screen doors, storm windows and storm doors required by this chapter;

B. Every owner or occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall provide and maintain the dwelling or dwelling unit free from hazards to health;

C.     Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall store and dispose of all his or her rubbish, garbage, and refuse in full compliance with the city's solid waste management/refuse collection ordinance;

D.     Every owner of a dwelling containing three or more dwelling units shall supply facilities or refuse containers for the sanitary and safe storage and/or disposal of rubbish and garbage. In the case of single or two family dwellings, it shall be the responsibility of each occupant to furnish such facilities or refuse containers;

E.  1. Every dwelling, multiple dwelling, or accessory structure and the premises on which located shall be maintained in a rodent-free and rodent-proof environment,

2. Materials stored outside the dwelling shall be stacked in an orderly fashion,

3. Any materials acceptable to the county health department may be used for rodent-proofing;

F.     No owner of a dwelling containing three or more dwelling units shall accumulate or permit the accumulation of rubbish, boxes, lumber, scrap metal, or any other materials in such a manner that may provide a rodent harborage in or about the shared or public areas of a dwelling or its premises;

G.     When the occupant's unit is the only one substantially infested with insects and rodents, he or she shall be responsible for their extermination. Where such infestation is caused by the owner's failure to maintain the building in a rodent-free or reasonably insect-free condition it shall be his or her responsibility;

H.     Where rodent or insect infestation exists in two or more units in a building or in the shared or public parts of any premises containing two or more units, or in one unit where caused by the owners' failure to maintain the premise in a rodent-free or reasonable insect-free condition, the owner shall be responsible for their extermination.

20.06.2 Commercial/Industrial Property. Every owner or occupant, if the occupant has assumed responsibility under the terms of a written lease, shall either personally or by agent, improve and maintain all property under his or her control to comply with the following requirements:

A.    Every occupant of a building or structure shall store and dispose of all his or her rubbish, garbage, and refuse in full compliance with the city's solid waste management chapter.

B.     Every building, or structure and the premises on which located shall be maintained in a rodent-free and rodent-proof environment.

  1. 1Materials stored outside the building or structure shall be in an orderly fashion.
  2. 2Any materials acceptable to the county health department may be used for rat-proofing.

Top of Page20.07 ENFORCEMENT.  (back)

20.07.1 Enforcement Authority. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Building Inspector to enforce the provisions of this Code as herein provided.

20.07.2 Inspection. The building inspector is authorized to cause such exterior inspections as are deemed necessary without giving notice to the property owner provided that the inspection can be conducted from a location not on the owner's property or; the building inspector has probable cause to initiate an inspection due to potential property maintenance code violations that could endanger the public health, safety and/or welfare. If it becomes necessary to perform an inspection which requires the building inspector to go on the owner's property, the building inspector shall provide a minimum of five calendar days notice to the owner or agent prior to conducting the inspection. Such notice shall be sent in writing to the owner and shall state the alleged violations. The five calendar day notice requirement shall not apply when the building inspector has probable cause to believe that a violation exists which if not corrected immediately could be life threatening and/or result in serious sickness or injury.

20.07.3 Notice of Violation.

A.   Whenever the building inspector determines that any building, structure, dwelling or dwelling unit or the premises surrounding them, fails to meet the requirements set forth in this chapter or in applicable rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto, the building inspector in accordance with existing legislation shall issue a notice setting forth the alleged failures, and advising the owner, occupant, operator, or agent that such failures must be corrected. This notice shall:

1.  Be in writing;

2. Set forth the alleged violations of this chapter or of applicable rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto;

3.  Describe the building or structure where the violations are alleged to exist or to have been committed;

4.  Specify a specific date for the correction of the violation. The date of correction shall be at the discretion of the building inspector based on the circumstances of each violation; however, in nonlife threatening situations a minimum of thirty (30) days shall be allowed to correct the violation. No violation shall be permitted to exist beyond a maximum of one hundred twenty (120) days without the approval of the property maintenance board of appeals as provided in Section 15.36.110 of the property maintenance code;

5. Be served upon the owner, occupant, operator, or agent of the building or structure, personally, or by registered mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the owner, occupant, operator or agent. If one or more persons to whom such notice is addressed cannot be found after diligent effort to do so, service may be made upon such persons by posting the notice in or about the building or structure unit, described in the notice, or by causing such notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation.

B.  At the end of the period of time allowed for the correction of any violation alleged, the building inspector shall reinspect the building or structure described in the notice.

C.     If upon reinspection the violations are determined by the building inspector not to have been corrected, the building inspector shall initiate legal proceedings for the immediate correction of the alleged violations.

20.07.4 Non-Compliance; Remedy of Defects; Abatement.

A.     The owner, operator or occupant of the premises shall have the time specified in the notice of violation to remedy the violations.

B.     The enforcement officer shall, in his or her discretion, have the ability to extend the time for corrections if the circumstances warrant an extension and the owner, operator or occupant is making a good faith effort to correct the violations.

C.     If the owner, operator or occupant of the premises, after notice of violation and order, fails or refuses to timely remedy the violations, the City, at it's sole option, may cause such work to be done. Prior to commencing such work, the Enforcement Officer shall do the following:

1.  Provide notice to the owner and occupant that the city will abate the violations along with an estimate of the approximate dates and times during which abatement will occur; and

2. Have the city clerk certify the approximate cost for any such work done, including reasonable costs for administration and inspections fees (collectively, "costs of abatement"), and provide notice of same to the owner, with a copy to the occupant.

D.     Following such notice, the owner, operator and/or occupant shall give the persons designated by the city full access to the land and the exterior of the buildings and structures to abate the violations. Failure of an owner, operator or occupant to permit such access shall constitute a violation of this chapter, and may also result in the city obtaining an injunction from Walworth County Circuit Court. Reasonable costs of obtaining the injunction shall be added as administration to the costs of abatement and notice of the additional costs shall be provided to the owner.

E.     If the owner fails to pay the costs of abatement within 30 days of the notice from the city clerk, interest shall accrue against the balance due at the rate of one percent per month and the total balance due shall become a lien against real estate on the next tax roll in accordance with law.

20.07.5 Designation of Unfit Structure; Demolition.

A. Residential Dwelling

1. Whenever, in the judgment of the building inspector, an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, an order may be issued, without a hearing or appeal, directing the owner, occupant, operator, or agent to take such action as is appropriate to correct or abate the emergency. If circumstances warrant, the building inspector may act to correct or abate the emergency.

2. The owner, occupant, operator, or agent shall be granted a hearing before the property maintenance board of appeals on the matter upon his or her request, as soon as possible, but such appeal shall in no case stay the abatement or correction of such emergency.

B. Commercial/Industrial

1. Any building or structure unit shall be designated as unfit for occupancy when the following two conditions exist at the same time:

a.     When in the judgment of the building inspector such defects create an immediate hazard to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants or of the public; and

b.     When any of the following defects or conditions are found:

i.    Is damaged, decayed, dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe, and/or vermin-infested and/or contains uncontrolled hazardous levels of toxic materials,

ii.     Lacks illumination, ventilation and/or required sanitation facilities,

iii.     The general condition of the location is unsanitary, unsafe and/or unhealthful.

2. Whenever any building or structure has been designated as unfit for occupancy, the building inspector shall placard the building or structure unit indicating it is unfit for occupancy, and, if occupied, shall order such building or structure vacated within a reasonable time, such time not to exceed three days.

3. No building or structure which has been designated as unfit for occupancy, has been placarded as such and vacated shall be used again for occupancy until written approval is secured from the building inspector and the placard removed by the building inspector.

4.  The building inspector shall rescind the designation as unfit for occupancy and remove the placard when the defect or condition upon which such designation and placarding was based has been removed or eliminated and the building or structure is deemed by the building inspector as a safe, sanitary, and fit place for human occupancy.

5.  No person shall deface or remove the placard from any building or structure, which has been designated as unfit for occupancy, has been placarded as such, except as provided in Section 15.40.080(A)(3).

6. Any person affected by any decision of the building inspector or by any designation or placarding of a building or structure unit as unfit for occupancy shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Public Safety Committee under the procedure set forth in Section 20.07.6 of the property maintenance code.

C. Demolition. Demolition of building and structure units designated as unfit for occupancy shall be in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes 66.05.

20.07.6 Appeals.

A.     Any person aggrieved by a notice of the building inspector issued in connection with any alleged violation of this chapter or of any applicable rule or regulation issued pursuant thereto, or by any order requiring repair or demolition, may apply to the Public Safety Committee for a reconsideration of such notice or an appeal of any order, provided such application is made within ten (10) days after the date the notice or order was issued.

B.    The Public Safety Committee, upon receipt of an appeal shall set a time and place for the hearing within ten (10) days of the receipt of such application, and shall advise the applicant in writing of such time and place, at least five days prior to the date of the hearing.

C. At such a hearing, the applicant shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show cause why such notice or order should be modified, extended, withdrawn, or relief granted.

D.     The Public Safety Committee, by a majority vote, may sustain, modify or withdraw the notice or order. In granting an extension or relief of any notice order, the Committee shall observe the following conditions:

1.  The Public Safety Committee may grant an extension of time of the compliance of any order or notice for not more than twelve (12) months or it may grant relief a specific provision of this chapter subject to appropriate conditions and provided the Committee makes specific findings of fact based on evidence related to the following:

a. That there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in carrying out the strict letter of any notice or order. The hardship or difficulty must be peculiar to the property in questions and different from that of other properties and not one which affects similar properties.

b. That such relief is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this chapter in securing the public health, safety and general welfare.

Top of Page20.08 PENALTIES.  (back)

A.     A violation of any section or subsection of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine or forfeiture no less than $20 and no greater than $200 for each violation committed hereunder, plus reasonable costs of inspection and prosecution.

B.    Each day a violation exists after the notice of violation has been received and which becomes an order of the enforcement officer shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter.

C.   Penalties set forth in this section shall be in addition to all other remedies of injunction, abatement or costs whether existing under this chapter or otherwise.

20.09 IMPOSITION OF SPECIAL CHARGES.  (back)

Any charges incurred by the City of Elkhorn which may be recovered under § 66.0627, Wis. Stats., special charges for current services, including weed elimination, repair of sidewalks, curb and gutter, garbage and refuse disposal, stormwater management, tree care, and removal and disposal of dead animals may be charged to the owner of the property as a special charge for current services under the provisions of § 66.0627, Wis. Stats.

Top of Page20.10 TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF NON-COMPLIANCE BUILDINGS.  (back)

It shall be unlawful for the owner of any building, structure or premises who has received a compliance order or upon whom a notice of violation has been served to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of to another until the provisions of the compliance order or notice of violation have been complied with, or until such owner shall first furnish to the Enforcement Officer a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee, or lessee, acknowledging the receipt of such compliance order or notice of violation and fully accepting the responsibility without condition for making corrections or repairs required by such compliance order or notice of violation. To assure compliance with this provision, the city may file a lis pendens against the real estate.

20.11 EMERGENCIES.  (back)

A.    Whenever, in the judgment of the building inspector, an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, an order may be issued, without a hearing or appeal, directing the owner, occupant, operator, or agent to take such action as is appropriate to correct or abate the emergency. If circumstances warrant, the building inspector may act to correct or abate the emergency.

B.     The owner, occupant, operator, or agent shall be granted a hearing before the property maintenance board of appeals on the matter upon his or her request, as soon as possible, but such appeal shall in no case stay the abatement or correction of such emergency.

Top of Page