Trustees tell Oak Creek residents to clean up cluttered yards

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— Twelve Oak Creek residents identified as violating the nuisance ordinance in the town because of the condition of their property will receive a letter to clean it up or pay a fine, despite the protests of some trustees who said the nuisance law is too subjective.

Under orders of Oak Creek Police Chief Tom Ling, Officer Dave Miller identified 12 properties in Oak Creek that are violating the nuisance law. The properties range from not be kept up with lawn maintenance to cars and car parts being placed on the land.

"We drove around and surveyed the town," Miller said at a public meeting Thursday. "This is what we see as the top 12."

Ling said he hopes to get the properties into compliance by the next 30 to 45 days.

Kien said if the town enforces the ordinance, it could infringe upon personal property rights guaranteed by the Constitution, unless the property is raising a public health and safety hazard. "You are taking my right to enjoy my property," he said as an example.

Trustee Bill Paxton said something needs to be done with the properties identified. He said they look bad and could cause a risk to juveniles hanging around them.

Trustee Sonja Norris agreed.

"I personally don't think people should be able to store 30 unused tires (on their property)," Norris said

Kien also added the nuisance law was too subjective the way it was written, referring to the section that says a property is in violation if it substantially annoys the public.

"Substantially annoy can be interpreted by anyone to mean anything," he said.

Kien made a motion to not enforce the nuisance law until the wording was revisited.

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