Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

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 rezoning variance).
The City relies on residents to help identify possible code violations, particularly in these areas:
• Abandoned and/or inoperable vehicles
• Graffiti on public or private property
• Housing maintenance issues
• Illegal dumping of garbage and debris
• Illegal dumping of oils and other hazardous materials into storm drains
• Illegal signs, such as advertising flyers and portable ground signs
• Long grass and weed violations
• Overflowing garbage or other garbage problems
• Overgrown foliage blocking stop signs, impeding sight of driveways or making corners dangerous
• Parking regulations in residential neighborhoods – private property parking issues
• Snow and ice on public sidewalks
• Zoning and occupancy issues

You may file a complaint about a possible code violation in person, in writing, by phone or email. 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. You can call (608) 253-2542 ext. 410 to report violations or email

When a code violation is reported, Code Enforcement officers open a complaint and work toward resolving the violation through voluntary compliance, which includes education, inspection, and notices. Continued violations are followed by progressive enforcement. Each code has its own set of enforcement procedures; however, the process generally follows this sequence:
• Complaint received by Code Enforcement;
• Inspection of the property is conducted;
• Notice is left at residence or sent to violator allowing time for correction;
• Re-inspection is conducted;
• Citations and fees issued if the violation is not corrected.

Correct the violation within the required time frame. You can contact the Code Enforcement Officer listed on the violation notice at (608) 432-3706 to get more information about the violation. Failure to correct the cited violation within the time frame stated on the Notice could result in further action by the City, such as receiving a municipal citation and/or have to pay a double permit fee. Contacting the Code Enforcement Officer is the best thing you can do to avoid any fees or citations.

Per City Ordinance Chapter 15.06, grass or weeds shall not exceed the height of 8” on any lawn area. If you get a notice to mow your grass and fail to mow in in the required time frame, Department of Public Works employees will do it at the rate of $105 an hour with a minimum of 1 hour being charged. Citations could also be issued for ongoing issues.

Private property parking is regulated by a few different codes. 19.679 regulates the parking of motor vehicles that are stored outdoors at any residential dwelling. These regulations are as follows:
• No more than four vehicles.
• Must be roadworthy and licensed.
• Stored on a driveway or hard surfaced area.
• Inoperative and/or unlicensed vehicles must be in a fully enclosed building. City Ordinance 17.04 states that any nuisance vehicle is defined as any abandoned, inoperable, unlicensed, unroadworthy, disassembled or wrecked vehicle. Also, “abandoned vehicle” means a vehicle left unattended without the permission of the property owner on which the unit is situated. This code goes onto state that repair work must be performed inside a garage or enclosed structure that may take more than 3 days. City Ordinance 17.05 states the City of Wisconsin Dells does have the authority to tow nuisance vehicles on private property at the cost and expense of the owner after notifying the owner of the nuisance vehicle and provide 10 full calendar days to repair, assemble, make the vehicle operable and roadworthy and license any vehicle which may not be licensed or place the vehicle in a garage or enclosed structure.
• City Ordinance 19.677 regulates the parking/storage of recreational vehicles within the City of Wisconsin Dells. A recreational vehicle is defined as a utility trailer, or any other motorized or nonmotorized vehicle, other than passenger vehicles and trucks, primarily manufactured for the expressed purpose of providing recreational activities, including but not limited to motor homes, trucks with camper shells, and unmounted camper shells, camper and travel trailers, horse trailers, all-terrain vehicles, boats, jet skis, snowmobiles, ice shanties and any trailer used to transport recreational vehicles. Recreation Vehicle parking regulations are as followed:
o May be parked in a fully enclosed structure
o Parked on a street no longer than 48 hours, no recreational use allowed.
o On a rear or side lot, not within 5 feet of a side or rear lot line, on a well-kept hard surfaced area. Hard surfaced area is defined as concrete, asphalt, or gravel or similar aggregate materials.
Recreational vehicles may not be stored on any public street or alley including all public right-of-way and established set-backs. Other restrictions are listed below:
• Any recreational vehicle parked or stored outdoors shall be owned, or leased or with permission by the occupant of the premises where stored; and, shall be licensed, if required, and roadworthy.
• No more than two such recreational vehicles shall be parked or stored outdoors on each lot. A vehicle on a trailer shall be considered one vehicle.
• Recreational vehicles shall not be:
o Used for dwelling purposes; except for guests/residents not exceeding 5 days per calendar month.
o Used for storage of goods, materials or equipment.
o Used for any business purposes.

City Ordinance 12.03 states that garbage, refuse, or recyclables cannot be placed before 3 PM of the day prior to the established collection day, except upon the prior express approval of the Director of Public Works. Owners and/or occupant of a property must promptly clean up and remove litter and loose material that has not been collected.

The simple answer is yes. Note that fences must be structurally sound and maintained in good repair. There are also setbacks to follow and the Planning and Zoning Department must be notified to make sure they are followed. Accessory structures such as garages, shed, decks, etc. need a permit, same with fences, there are setbacks to follow and building code requirements to follow.

Per City Ordinance 5.04, an owner of a lot or parcel used for commercial purposes shall be responsible for clearing all snow and ice from the sidewalk prior to 24 hours elapsing since the snow ceased being deposited. All other occupants or owners of lots or parcels in the City of Wisconsin Dells must clear the abutting sidewalks prior to 48 hours elapsing since the snow has ceased being deposited. If the snow and/or ice is not removed in the required time frame, Department of Publics Works employees will do it
at the rate of $105 an hour with a minimum of 1 hour being charged. Citations could also be issued for ongoing issues. A friendly reminder to re-check your sidewalks as plows can deposit snow back onto sidewalks.

All signs must go before the Design Review Committee to be approved. The following is a list of signs that are exempt from permit requirements, a more extensive list can be found in City Ordinance Chapter 22:
• Temporary real estate signs
• Temporary political signs
• Garage/yard signs that are posted no more than 3 days prior to the start.
• Temporary signs identifying architect, engineer, developer, or contractor placed at a constructions site.
• Signs that are not designed or located so as to be visible from any street adjoining property, or public way.
The following is a list of signs that are expressly prohibited in the City of Wisconsin Dells”
• Any sign or structure that constitutes a hazard to public health or safety;
• Any sign or advertising structure that is erected, relocated or maintained so as to prevent free ingress to or egress from any door, window or fire escape, including sign of any kind attached to a stand pipe or fire escape.
• Any sign that causes traffic hazards. No sign or other advertising structure shall:
o obstruct free and clear vision at any street intersection;
o any sign that interferes with, obstructs the view of or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device because of its position, shape or color; or
o Makes use of the words “STOP”, “LOOK”, “DRIVE-IN”, “DANGER” or any other word, phrase, symbol or character in a manner that interferes with, misleads or confuses traffic.
• Any sign or other advertising structure that displays any matter in which the dominant theme of the materials taken as a whole appeal to a prurient interest in sex, or is patently offensive because it affronts contemporary community standards relating to the description or representation of sexual matters, and is utterly without redeeming social value.
• Any vehicular signs with a total sign area in excess of ten (10) square feet are prohibited when the vehicle:
o is parked for more than sixty (60) consecutive minutes within one hundred (100) feet of any street right of way;
o is visible from the street right of way that the vehicle is within one hundred (100) 2. feet of; or
o is not regularly used in the conduct of the business advertised on the vehicle. A vehicle used primarily for advertising, or for the purpose of providing transportation for owners or employees of the occupancy advertised on the vehicle, shall not be considered a vehicle used in the conduct of the business.
• Any signs having a sign area of more than 300 square feet per facing.
• Signs having more than two (2) faces visible at one time.
• Temporary signs such as captive or tethered balloons, banners or portable devices, excluding those described in Code Sec. 22.05(16) and Code Sec. 22.05(17).
• Revolving signs.
• Any signs that obstruct the vision of pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists traveling on or entering public streets. ]
• Any signs that are of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or impair the vision of any motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian using or entering a public way, or that are a hazard
• Any signs erected or maintained upon trees or utility poles, or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features.
• Any interior signs visible from the public right-of-way which advertise or promote off-premises goods, services or businesses; and which feature a video display.
• Obsolete or abandoned signs that are not lawful nonconforming signs.
All other signs would need a sign permit and be approved by the Design Review Committee. If you have any questions, please contact the Code Enforcement Officer at (608)253-2542 ext. 410.

Building permits are required when a property owner constructs, enlarges, alter, repairs, demolishes or moves a structure. In addition, you must also get a permit when re-roofing your house, replacing siding and/or windows. It is best to call the Planning and Zoning Department to see if a permit is required at 608-253-2542.