Common Ordinance Violations

The City of Waupaca has many written ordinances that are designed to maintain a healthy, safe, and clean environment, carry out land use policy, and preserve the quality-of-life standards that residents and businesses enjoy in our community.

There are many types of codes: Zoning, Fire, Uniform Building, Housing Maintenance, various health, and Safety codes. Code enforcement is a responsibility shared across City departments. To be effective and efficient, code enforcement also needs the cooperation of residents and businesses.

Because there are many codes—many involving complex technical or legal issues—residents frequently have questions about code enforcement and their role in keeping Waupaca a great place to live and work. The following information will answer the most frequently asked questions about code enforcement in our community.

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How are codes enforced?

The code enforcement process is typically initiated in several ways:

  1. In response to a complaint by an individual; or a neighborhood association
  2. Observation of a code violation by City staff as they patrol the community and do their jobs;
  3. As a consequence of an action (for example, an application for a building permit or a request for a zoning variance).

The City relies on residents to help identify possible code violations, particularly in these areas:

  • Snow and ice on public sidewalks
  • Illegal signs, such as advertising flyers and portable ground signs
  • Graffiti on public or private property
  • Long grass and weed violations
  • Illegal dumping of garbage and debris
  • Abandoned and/or inoperable vehicles
  • Illegal dumping of oils and other hazardous materials into storm drains
  • Overgrown foliage blocking stop signs, impeding sight of driveways or making corners dangerous
  • Parking regulations in residential neighborhoods – on-street parking and parking on lawns
  • Overflowing garbage or other garbage problems
  • Zoning and occupancy issues
  • Housing maintenance issues

How do I notify the City about possible code violations?

You may file a complaint about a possible code violation in person, in writing, by phone or email. Phone numbers of the departments are listed below. In an average year, the City receives hundreds of complaints related to possible code enforcement violations.

Please be prepared with specific information, such as:

The address of the property,

Detailed description of the situation, and

The length of time you have observed the situation.

You do not have to identify yourself, but having your name will assist us with follow-up and ensure we have all the information we need to resolve the situation.

What is the procedure for following up on possible code violations?

City staff responds to code enforcement complaints according to the impact of the violation on the community. Situations that appear to pose a serious risk to health and safety are given top priority; others are pursued in the order in which they are received.

For all types of code complaints, the first step in the follow-up procedure is an inspection by a City staff member to see if a code violation exists. In general a notice of violation is issued to the owner/tenant to correct the code violation in a timely manner. The City may also take court action if the situation poses a significant risk to the community or if the individual has ignored the notice of violation.

What penalties result from code violations?

In many cases, the individual responsible for the code violation is given the opportunity to voluntarily correct the situation and comply with current codes without a penalty. If the correction is not made, then the individual may be subject to fines and civil injunctions or other penalties.

Code Enforcement Contact Information

Specific   Complaint

Department/AgencyResponsible Phone
Abandoned vehicles on public streets Police Department 715.258.4400
Animal control—dogs running at large (daytime), licensing and   vaccination of dogs, dead or injured animals Police Department 715.258.4400
Animal control—barking dogs, poisoning of animals, possession of   fighting animals Police Department 715.258.4400
Animals—too many, unsanitary conditions Police Department 715.258.4400
Buildings, dangerous or substandard Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Fire hazard Fire Department 715.258.4434
Emergency Fire (24 hours) 9-1-1
Garbage—overflowing garbage cans or dumpsters Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Code Enforcement Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Graffiti – Private Property Police Department 715.258.4400
Graffiti – Public Property Public Works 715.258.4420
Hazardous Waste – Residential/Commercial/Industrial City-County HealthFire Department 715.258.6409
715.258.4434
Furniture on porches and yard Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Noise disturbances Police Department 715.258.4400
Signs, illegally posted Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Snow and ice on public sidewalks Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Storm drains—illegal dumping Public Works 715.839.4934
Street trees—trimming Forestry Department 715.258.4420
Vegetation blocking sidewalk, obstructing signs or obstructing   vehicle sight lines Streets Division 715.258.4421
Inoperable vehicles parked on private property Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Vehicles – parked on unimproved surface Police Department 715.258.4400
Vehicles illegally parked on public streets Police Department 715.258.4400
Weed abatement, long grass Code Enforcement 715.942.9908
Zoning occupancy issues and questions Community Development 715.258.4404

City of Waupaca, 111 S. Main Street, Waupaca, WI 54981

Common Ordinance Violations

Building Numbering-Chapter 8.10

The owner, occupant or agent shall place, or cause to be placed, upon each house or building controlled by him/her the number or numbers assigned under the uniform system provided for in this section.

The numbers shall be conspicuously placed immediately above, on or at the side of the proper door of each building so that the number can be seen plainly from the street. Whenever any building is situated more than 50 feet from the street line, the number of such building shall be conspicuously displayed in an appropriate place so as to be easily discernible from the sidewalk.

Grass Cutting – Chapter 10.03(8)

All weeds and grass shall be kept cut to a height not to exceed one foot.

Off-Premises Signs – Chapter 17.310(5)

Off-premises signs shall be expressly prohibited in all zoning districts

Rummage and Garage Sales – Chapter 12.09

Rummage/garage sales are allowed in the City if individuals conduct, on their own premises, no more than 2 sales in any one year. Each such sale may be held for not more than 3 consecutive days and shall not be conducted between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M.

Rummage/garage sales shall not be run as a business.

Snow and Ice Removal – Chapter 8.09

The owner or occupant of a lot or parcel abutting on a sidewalk within the City shall clear said sidewalk of snow or ice to the width of the sidewalk within 24 hours of the cessation of any snowfall. If ice forms so that it cannot be removed, such person shall keep the sidewalks sprinkled with a material which will reduce the risk to pedestrians of slipping and falling on such sidewalk. Snow not timely removed and ice not timely removed or sprinkled shall be deemed a public nuisance, as provided in sec. 10.05(13) of this Code.

The owner or lessee of every lot or parcel in the City shall not by himself/herself or his/her agent push, plow or otherwise deposit snow from within his/her lot line onto the public street or alley.

Unlicensed/Inoperable Motor Vehicles, Truck Bodies, Tractors or Trailers – Chapter 9.13

Motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors or trailers which do not bear lawful current license plates are declared to be a public nuisance whenever they may be found within the city.

No person shall accumulate, store or allow any disassembled, inoperable, junked or wrecked motor vehicles, truck bodies, tractors or trailers in the open upon any public or private property in the City for a period exceeding 72 hours.

Visibility and Vision Clearance/Vegetation in Public Areas – Chapters 17.320 and 10.10

No person shall plant any other vegetation, except for grass for lawns, in a public area without the written permission of the Forester. Vegetation planted in public areas shall not exceed a height of 30 inches

There shall be an unoccupied triangular vision clearance space at the street corner of a corner lot which is bounded by the street lines and a setback line connecting points 10 feet from the corner on each street line. In the case of arterial streets intersecting with other arterial streets or railways, the corner cut-off distances establishing the triangular vision clearance space shall be increased to 50 feet. No obstructions such as structures, parking or vegetation, except for necessary highway and traffic signs or public utility lines, shall be permitted in any district between the heights of 2½ feet and 10 feet above the curb level.

No person shall plant, grow or maintain any tree, shrub or other vegetation on any City street corner lot within the clear vision triangle which may obstruct the vision of the operator of any motor vehicle or pedestrian approaching such intersection. Any tree, shrub or other vegetation obstructing such view between the heights of 2½ feet and 10 feet above street grade shall be deemed a public nuisance.