(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen says tighter restrictions on lawn maintenance is just the beginning of her efforts to beautify the city. The common council last month approved changes to the noxious weed ordinance that decreases the maximum height of weeds from eight inches to six inches before a violation occurs.
Glewen told us on WBEV’s Community Comment that the change is needed because of the approximately 100 owners of unoccupied properties who are delinquent each year. She says the process of notifying out-of-town property owners is so long that weeds can grow to a foot tall before the matter can be addressed. Glewen says the ordinance is not designed to target homeowners who see their dandelions pop back up to six inches a couple days after mowing.
Among the ordinance changes is the requirement of where cars can park. Former Mayor Tom Kennedy championed ordinance changes that prevented parking on lawns. Several property owners responded by pouring driveways parallel to the front of their house. Glewen’s changes would require vehicles be parked perpendicular to the front of the house, unless approved by the building inspector. That extra driveway space, or improved area, would only be allowed on the side yard or backyard.
There is also a lot of “good repair” wording being added to city code. As in: exterior walls and stairways, decks, porches, decorative features, awnings, fire escapes and fences must be structurally sound and “in good repair.”
Firewood would have to be stored in straight, orderly piles a minimum of three inches off the ground and not more than six feet in height. Garage doors must function and be able to close “reasonably plumb.”
Zoning, junk and debris violations would, for the first time, carry fees for violations in increments of $100 for each re-inspection, which would be conducted every seven to ten days. For example, the fourth inspection and beyond would be $400 each. The ordinance changes were approved by the city’s Plan Commission and headed directly to the common council where a second reading and vote is planned this coming Monday.
Ordinance change wording from first reading can be read on June 4, 2018 agenda:
Beaver Dam Municipal Code can be found here: