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City Council Meeting Minutes

May 5, 2014

 

1.       Roll Call

Acting Mayor Lisa Laliberte called the meeting to order at approximately 6:00 p.m.  Voting and Seating Order: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; McGehee; and Roe. City Manager Pat Trudgeon and City Attorney Mark Gaughan were also present.  Mayor Roe had previously announced that he had a scheduling conflict and would be unable to attend tonight's meeting.

 

2.        Approve Agenda

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded approval of the agenda as amended, moving Public Comments immediately prior to Human Rights Commission interviews.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

3.        Public Comment

Acting Mayor Laliberte called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.  No one appeared to speak.

Recess

Acting Mayor Laliberte recessed the meeting at approximately 6:03 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 6:06 p.m. at the conference table for interviews.

 

Human Rights Commission Interviews

Interviews of potential candidates for the Human Rights Commission were held at approximate ten minute intervals.

Recess

Acting Mayor Laliberte recessed the meeting at approximately 6:40 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 6:44 p.m.

 

Public Comment, Continued

 

           Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane

Speaking personally, and related to the 2015 Budget process and upcoming discussions, Mr. Grefenberg requested an opportunity for the public and City Council to receive information on where the 2013 budget and actual expenses stood at this point in time.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that typically the budget for the next year was based on the previous year's budget, not how much had actually been expended;
and sought the possibility of that practice being revised going forward, noting
that 2013 reserves had been increased significantly with savings during that
budget year, with City Council policy dictating 35% to 45% held in reserves,
and suggested it may be possible to revise that standard and look for potential
savings in 2014 for the 2015 budget cycle.

 

Councilmember Willmus noted that Mr. Grefenberg had requested this information in December of 2013; and that Finance Director Miller had provided that information, but suggested it may be beneficial that the newly-appointed Finance Commission be provided that information as a reference point as they begin their review.  Councilmember Willmus noted that reserve funding over the course of 2013 had increased by approximately $4.8 million over 2012 reserves, and the Finance Commission could look at that piece of the puzzle as part of the larger picture.  Councilmember Willmus noted that Ramsey County market values were also set to increase by an estimated 6%, suggesting that it may be time for a re-apportionment of those ratios as part of the broader budget discussion.

 

Mr. Grefenberg stated that he had no problem with that being delegated to the Finance Commission.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte advised City Manager Trudgeon that she saw no problem in the information going to the Finance Commission, as long as it was eventually brought forward by staff to the City Council as well.

 

4.        Council Communications, Reports, and Announcements

           Councilmember Etten announced the upcoming Ramsey County Law Enforcement Memorial Service, hosted annually by various cities in the County, recognizing those officers who've died in public safety service throughout the County.  Councilmember Etten advised that No. St. Paul would be hosting this year's service; on May 12, 2014,
from 11:00 a.m. to Noon at North Haven Church in No. St. Paul, and that the
service was open to the public.  Additional information is available from
Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig at 651/792-7008.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte announced the publication of the history of the League of Women Voters of Roseville, Maplewood and Falcon Heights entitled "Meddlers, Activists and Watchdogs;" available in limited copies at area libraries and City Halls in Roseville, Maplewood and Falcon Heights.  Acting Mayor Laliberte noted that a display was also available at the Roseville City Hall of historical documents and artifacts celebrating the League's key role in development of these north suburban suburbs documenting their sixty plus years of involvement.  Additional information is available by contacting Mindy Greiling at 651/490-0013 or at the website: www.romafh.org. 

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte displayed and encouraged residents to come to the Roseville City Hall to purchase this year's buttons for RoseFest.

 

Councilmember McGehee announced an upcoming forum sponsored by the Roseville Human Rights Commission regarding racism.  Councilmember McGehee noted that this event was free, but space was limited to the first twenty-five people, and was scheduled for May 22, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.; with various speakers and programs related to this forum's topic.  Additional information is available by contacting Kari Collins at Roseville City Hall at 651/792-7023 or online at kari.collins@ci.roseville.mn.us.

 

Councilmember Willmus announced that the Roseville Human Rights Commission was seeking two student members to serve on the Commission for two student vacancies through the 2014/2015 school year, open to students: of public or private high schools within I.S.D. No. 621 and 623, with an application deadline of May 23, 2014.  Additional information is available by calling 651/792-7001 or at the City's website.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte announced other City meetings coming up this week.

 

5.         Recognitions, Donations and Communications

 

a.            Proclaim May Older Americans Month

Acting Mayor Laliberte read a proclamation declaring May 2014 as Older Americans Month, honoring our older adults and the professionals, family members and volunteers who care for them; and recognizing the involvement of older Americans in our lives.

 

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, proclaiming May 2014 as Older Americans Month in the City of Roseville.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

6.        Approve Minutes

Comments and corrections to draft minutes had been submitted by the City Council prior to tonight's meeting and those revisions were incorporated into the draft presented
in the Council packet.

 

a.            Minutes of April 21, 2014 Meeting

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of Meeting Minutes of April 21, 2014 as amended.

 

Corrections:

Page 11, Line 42 (Etten)

Typographical correction from "neither" to "both"

Page 17, Lines 23 - 27 (Etten)

Correct to read: "Councilmember Etten expressed his willingness to proceed with a deed restriction, though he noted that matching existing lots only applied to three lots on the east side of the development, and he was unsure if there was a need to restrict the size of the new lots at this time, or what would be gained by doing so."

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

7.       Consent Agenda

At the request of Acting Mayor Laliberte, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.

 

a.            Approve Payments

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.         

ACH Payments

$163,552.24

73430 - 73573

594,086/04

Total

$757,638.28

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

b.            Approve Business Licenses & Other Licenses & Permits

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for the following applicants:

                            

Applicant/Location

Type of License

Rotary Club of Roseville; 233 Hamline Avenue N, Suite 620

(for an event scheduled for June 26, 2014 at 2525 N Dale Street at the Roseville Central Park Arboretum)

Temporary On-Sale Liquor

 

                                    Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

            Nays: None.

 

c.            Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items in Excess of $5,000

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the submitted list of general purchases and contracts for services presented as follows; and as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated May 5, 2014; and Attachment A entitled, "2014 Capital Improvement Plan Summary - Updated 04/30/2014."

Department

Vendor

Description

Amount

Budget/

CIP

IT

CDW-G

Cisco SmartNet Support Agreement

$16,988.00

Budget

Pathways

Bituminous

Roadways

Asphalt Patching Material

10,000.00

Budget

Pathways

Ace Blacktop

Pathway Reclaim & Paving

57,362.00

Budget

Pathways

Ron Kassa

Construction

Concrete Sidewalk

38,708.00

Budget

Pathways

Aggregate Industries

Blanket P.O. for Class 5

Limestone

12,240.00

Budget

Storm

Ron Kassa

Construction

Concrete Curb

6,600.00

Budget

Water

Aggregate Industries

Blanket P. O. for Class 5 Limestone

6,120.00

Budget

 

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

d.            Approve a RECOMBINATION MINOR SUBDIVISION at 2565 and 2507 Walnut Street

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of a RECOMBINATION MINOR SUBDIVISION at 2565 and 2507 Walnut Street; based on the comments and findings of Sections 4 - 5 and the recommendation and conditions of Section 6 of the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated May 5, 2014.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

e.            Certify Utility Bills

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11146 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution Directing the County Auditor to Levy Unpaid Water, Sewer and Other City Charges for Payable 2015 or Beyond."

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

f.             Award Bid for 2014 Sealcoat Contract

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11147 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution Awarding Bids for 2014 Sealcoat Project;" awarding Sealcoat Program Alternate Bid B in an amount not to exceed $253,850.00 to Pearson Brothers, Inc. of Hanover, MN.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

g.            Approve a Resolution Regarding the Public Improvements Associated with Applewood Pointe of Langton Lake - Phase II

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11148 (Attachment A) entitled, "Public Improvements Construction for Applewood Pointe Langton Lake - Phase II;" accepting those improvements as outlined.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

8.         Consider Items Removed from Consent

 

9.         General Ordinances for Adoption

 

10.      Presentations

 

Recess

Acting Mayor Laliberte recessed the meeting at approximately 7:04 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 7:05 p.m.

 

a.            Joint Meeting with Planning Commission

Acting Mayor Laliberte welcomed Chair John Gisselquist; and Commissioners David Stellmach; James Daire; Shannon Cunningham; and Vice Chair Michael Boguszewski.  Commissioners Mohammed Keynon was not present; and Robert Murphy arrived at approximately 7:20 p.m.

 

Chair Gisselquist reviewed activities and accomplishments since last meeting jointly with the City Council; and sought Council input and discussion regarding the current tree preservation requirements and implementation of Planned Unit Developments (PUD's).

 

Tree Preservation, Section 1011.04 of Zoning Code

Councilmember Etten stated that his rationale in bringing up his concerns with the current tree preservation ordinance was most recently based on his observations at the Mueller-Bies Funeral Home at County Road B and Dale Street, and issues with how much control the City and/or watershed districts had in addressing neighborhood awareness and aesthetic changes.  Councilmember Etten opined that further consideration was needed as to which trees were considered significant or common under the current tree preservation ordinance.  While Cottonwood trees may be undesired, Councilmember Etten questioned if those 50-75 years old providing a tremendous canopy should be eliminated and not count at all according to the ordinance, suggesting that some of those significant trees should count toward preservation.  Regarding that specific development, Councilmember Etten expressed further concern in water quality when cutting down those mature trees that provided a natural filter versus adding manmade ponds to replace that natural growth.  Councilmember Etten asked that staff, the Planning Commission and City Council have further discussion regarding tree preservation.

 

Councilmember McGehee seconded those comments, adding her concerns with the Pulte Homes Development and whether mature Oaks would survive after having been cut beyond the drip lines.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there seemed to be very little understanding of the nature of trees and their value, and how best to protect them during construction and what was meant by compaction and an inherent way to protect them.  Regarding Cottonwood trees specifically, Councilmember McGehee noted that they provided a significant home for certain types of birds, including Baltimore Orioles as a nesting area; and agreed that significant trees should be retained.   

 

Councilmember Willmus opined that there was a role for the Parks & Recreation Commissions, in their role as the Tree Board, to enter into this discussion.  Councilmember Willmus agreed that the current tree preservation ordinance was wide open from his perspective, and needed review.

 

Councilmember McGehee suggested the Public Works Department's Environmental Engineer should
also be involved in future discussions as consideration was given to natural
area management plans; and further opined that the ordinance and its oversight
may be better served in the Public Works Department for the Engineer to review
stormwater issues and wetland preservation.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte opined that having development happen in the community when it was so nearly fully-developed was a great benefit, and suggested more coordination was needed among parties identified, including a tree specialist or forester in the Parks & Recreation Department, and for engineering issues within the Public Works Department.

 

Planning Commissioner Boguszewski agreed with Council concerns with how the current ordinance was written and how trees were apparently reviewed in aggregate rather than taking heritage trees into consideration.  Commissioner Boguszewski opined that by involving the City Engineer, and/or Forester to rewrite the ordinance should make it tighter or provide better guidance, rather than restrictions; and as a Planning Commissioner, he would support a more robust writing of the ordinance.

 

Planning Commissioner Daire noted that he and his wife were volunteer caretakers at Willow Pond, and noted the considerable amount of Black Walnut trees growing naturally as planted by squirrels.  Since it was on public land, and considering the value of those mature trees, Commissioner Daire suggested it could become a revenue resource for the City and as an active way to address and fund the tree preservation program and generate revenue for the City.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Laliberte, Chair Gisselquist stated that the Planning Commission would be willing to take on this review at the direction of the City Council; and that they would encourage expertise from other parties mentioned.  In order to sufficiently address all issues, Chair Gisselquist suggested the involvement of the Public Works and Parks & Recreation Commissions and staff to provide expertise and perhaps even involvement of staff from area watershed districts to make a stronger and better ordinance going forward.

 

Planning Commissioner Cunningham also suggested reviewing trees as natural sound barriers and for privacy, citing the recent redevelopment occurring at the University of Northwestern as an example.

 

Councilmember McGehee concurred, also suggesting climate change issues and how that may impact types of trees in the area and consideration of potential infestation issues suggesting diversity in planting.

 

                Planning Commissioner Murphy arrived at this time, approximately 7:20 p.m.

 

Chair Gisselquist suggested that staff add the tree preservation ordinance to the 2014 Planning Commission work plan.

 

                   Planned Unit Development (PUD)

Councilmember Willmus advised that he brought this topic forward when meeting in the context of one of the last proposals before the Commission: rezoning from LDR-1 to LDR-2, which he found himself struggling with and requested zoning changes.  While the Commission and City Council are often handed a plat, from his perspective, Councilmember Willmus opined that this was contrary to what they actually needed to look at: what was the highest use for the zoning being created.  Noting that the Commission had also struggled with that during their deliberation, Councilmember Willmus asked that further consideration be given during the process to protecting the neighborhood and whether there were any conflicts within current code, identifying and flagging them throughout City Code.  Councilmember Willmus questioned whether or not the City was ready to proceed with PUD's, suggesting more discussion was needed at the City Council level before handing it back to the Planning Commission.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that PUD's should have been in the City's toolbox all along, as proposed as an alternative by the Roseville Citizen's League many years ago; and suggested a copy of that recommendation be made available for reference during future discussions.  In general, Councilmember McGehee opined that it would have been appropriate for the Dale Street Project to develop as a PUD versus rezoning little sections as pursued.  When talking about ponds versus trees, and the best use of land, Councilmember McGehee opined that a PUD was often the best tool to achieve that.  Councilmember McGehee referenced Attachment A, Section 1008.05 (Required Standards) and its vague language that created problems, and questioned the role and make-up of the Design Review Committee (DRC) in interpreting code as to what was significant and minor, with no exterior guidelines provided.  Councilmember McGehee opined that this PUD seemed to trump language of underlying zoning in shoreland areas, which she opined was not true or how it should be used if any attention was paid to oversight and the role and composition of the DRC.  In Section 1008.04 (Allowed Uses), Councilmember McGehee questioned what was meant by "special, unique circumstances" when state law dictated what needed to happen.  Councilmember McGehee opined that PUD's were a necessary tool and expressed her appreciation that they were being brought back for consideration.  Regarding notice requirements, Councilmember McGehee recognized that improvements had been made, and continued to evolve, as well as using open houses to make citizens aware of activities.  Councilmember McGehee noted that under the procedures for processing, sketch plans were optional, and opined that if feedback was being sought, they should be a minimal requirement.

 

Councilmember Etten agreed with Councilmember McGehee's statements, noting that he had flagged the same section of text read out by her; and since this language provided carte blanche, he would prefer it to be tightened up, along with definitions more thoroughly defined to allow PUD's to be used as a tool, but not wide open.  Councilmember Etten further noted an issue brought up by Councilmember Willmus in the past as to whether this was limited to residential uses or whether it would apply - and if so, how - in mixed use zones.

 

Councilmember Willmus opined that this was all part of the initial City Council discussion at a future work session hopefully in the near future; and opined that Councilmember McGehee had done an excellent job in providing direction from her perspective, but the broader body needed to weigh in as well.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte clarified that the preference was for a City Council work session; and asked for input from the Planning Commission tonight as well as in the future.

 

Commissioner Boguszewski expressed his personal interest in having this tool return as an additional tool for developers or citizens to use; and agreed with Councilmember Willmus' observation that many had been uncomfortable changing underlying zoning to obtain a desired outcome, but noted that it had been the only option available at the time.  As the City Council initially reviews this, Commissioner Boguszewski encouraged them to not just edit the current document, but consider rewriting it entirely, in addition to the mechanics, oversight and role of the DRC and their authority or power or who they were accountable to, rather than having them another step removed from an elected or appointed official.  If he had any feeling of the process itself, Commissioner Boguszewski opined that is was contained in that structure and the formulation of that body.

 

Commissioner Daire, in his former role as a professional Planner with the City of Minneapolis, opined that, as the City of Roseville became a fully-developed community, PUD's would become far more important, and serve as a key for Roseville
and its future.

 

Commissioner Murphy opined that often things were pretty well in place before they came to the Planning Commission, and if the PUD wording was changing, perhaps further consideration should be given to recording the discussion and thoughts of those people, whether advisory commissions or other experts, for future reference in identifying their rationale when it got to the Planning Commission stage.

 

Chair Gisselquist opined that, philosophically, he supported eliminating PUD's and
their ambiguities; however, in reality, tightening them and bringing them back
as a tool seemed prudent.  Chair Gisselquist also supported the City Council
initiating the discussion, then forwarding it to the Planning Commission for public
hearings and discussion.

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned how City Manager Trudgeon envisioned this coming back in the most effective way.

 

City Manager Trudgeon suggested that a work session first be held to consider all the issues, and perspectives from the staff level and how to move the process forward; and the appropriate place for PUD's as a tool, and how big or narrow they were wanted, as well as the role of the DRC and trigger points laid out.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that there were many model ordinances available as a starting point; and suggested that the Planning Commission participate in the second work session after those initial discussions.  Mr. Trudgeon cautioned that timing for scheduling a work session was challenging, but noted that there were many resources available for reference.  Mr. Trudgeon noted the many frustrations experienced with the previous PUD ordinance, whether real or imagined, creating the rationale for eliminating them to be more precise.  However, Mr. Trudgeon noted that some things would always come forward that didn't quite fit into code, and at the end of the last cycle, almost every development coming forward was a PUD, as the previous code was not adequate to deal with modern options needed.  Mr. Trudgeon opined that the basic question was whether the PUD should be used as an exception or as the rule. 

 

In advance of that discussion, Councilmember McGehee requested a list of questions to be addressed.

 

Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would consult with staff and review the potential of writing an actual ordinance as a starting discussion point.

 

Chair Gisselquist reviewed the proposed work plan for discussion items by the Commission for the remainder of this year, as detailed in the staff report dated May 5, 2014.

Commissioner Cunningham noted a comment from the City Council last year as to the Commission's
involvement and asked if they still had any concerns or were satisfied with
their conversations at the Planning Commission level and involvement in the
community.

 

Chair Gisselquist clarified that the concern was apparently about the Commission taking the initiative in bringing up ideas of issues.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte, on behalf of the City Council, opined that the concern was that the Commission should feel free to bring things up as a group and not just react to things brought to their attention.

 

Councilmember Willmus noted that the commissioners served in that role, but also were members of the community, and if they saw things of concern, they could and should bring them to the City Council's attention.  Councilmember Willmus opined that he was quite impressed with the work of the Commission, and that they seemed to be asking the right questions, and while not always having a consensus in the ultimate decision, often the dissenting opinion raised a flag for the City Council.  If the Commission always had a unified voice, Councilmember Willmus opined that cases often ended up on the City Council's consent agenda.  Recent areas of dissention noted by Councilmember Willmus that provided for additional discussion included the Dale Street Project and alleys; and the LDR-1 and LDR-2 zoning and Commission discussion that led the City Council down the current road. Councilmember Willmus thanked the Commission for their work and discussion.

 

Councilmember McGehee concurred with those comments; and invited all commissioners to come forward as members of the community; and advised that the City Council read the Commission's meeting minutes carefully and valued their discussions in making
their decisions.

 

Councilmember McGehee asked that the Commission consider, in their upcoming work load, a review of a letter from City Attorney Bartholdi regarding definitions and ambiguities found in Regional and Community Business Districts.

 

Commissioner Boguszewski asked that staff send a copy of the referenced letter to the Commission, which was duly noted by City Manager Trudgeon.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte thanked the Commission and for their attendance at tonight's meeting.

 

Chair Gisselquist expressed the Commission's appreciation of having the opportunity
for these joint meetings, and for the City Council's guidance.

Recess

Acting Mayor Laliberte recessed the meeting at approximately 7:45 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 7:49 p.m.

 

b.            Ramsey County Library Access - Hamline Avenue

City Engineer Marc Culver introduced Ramsey County Traffic Engineer Erin Laberee and her presentation related to access on Hamline Avenue, a Ramsey County roadway.

 

Ramsey County Traffic Engineer Erin Laberee

Ms. Laberee provided the findings from their 24 hour study of this area; opining that they didn't monitor any conflicts during that time.  Ms. Laberee noted heavier movements for left turns on to Commerce; afternoon peak left turns at 240, and 130 into the library itself.  Ms. Laberee found 4-5 vehicles frequently stacked in the turn lane waiting for the green lights, as evidenced by traffic camera videos shot during their 24-hour review.  Ms. Laberee advised that the only other observation found was backups in the through-lane on southbound Hamline when the light was red, but no significant conflicts were noted for the one day camera detail.  Ms. Laberee advised that, in her review of the crash history and driveway access from the MnDOT database, there was nothing noted since construction of the library access; with only one crash documented in 2004 and one in 2009, and both unrelated to the location of the driveway.  While she recognized that this was not an ideal situation, Ms. Laberee noted that there may be several options to resolve the problem and ease driver unease: the most costly a median constructed down Hamline Avenue to prevent left turns into or out of the driveway, even though that would cause some public concern with property owners in the area, and she would first want to talk to the library and other property owners about anything that affected their access.  Ms. Laberee noted that another option would be to use signage, even though she anticipated people would usually just ignore that; or construction of a pork chop to make it difficult to make a left turn other than at an awkward angle. Ms. Laberee advised that any of those options would need initial discussions regarding funding options, and impacts to the library and/or other property owners, none of which had been undertaken at this point.

 

Councilmember Willmus suggested creating a right in and right out; and based on his personal experience in the area, he found a significant number of conflicts, especially southbound Hamline when traffic stops directly in front of you.  If the library driveway was right in, right out only, Councilmember Willmus opined that it may alleviate that problem; and further noted the typical traffic patterns through the parking lot to access the book return, entered usually through that driveway.

 

Mr. Culver noted that a pork chop island was generally a good idea; however, he noted that it could still be bypassed by a vehicle, which could and would occur.  Mr. Culver opined that a median was the best option to restrict those movements, but recognized it as the most negative option due to the impact on property owners in the immediate area.

At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Culver advised that he was not aware of any immediate plans for the State to close access to Highway 36 at Hamline Avenue.  At his most recent meetings with MnDOT regarding Lexington Avenue at Highway 36 and interactions with Hamline and Lexington Avenues, Mr. Culver noted that closure of that access didn't provide ideal spacing for MnDOT or the federal highway
system, making it difficult for them to accomplish that closure.

 

Councilmember Etten questioned the option of simply restriping Hamline Avenue allowing an additional  two cars to make a left turn by moving the strip by 30-40' to allow
a small expansion rather than the current configuration, creating a safe haven
for a few more vehicles.

 

Ms. Laberee advised that it was originally striped without the angle currently shown, as a center left turn lane which was converted to a left turn lane, which had created confusion as it was not clearly defined.  Ms. Laberee advised that the angle was created to better define that movement; and expressed her hesitation in shortening up the left turn lane, since a number of vehicles made a left onto Commerce to avoid stacking in the opposing left turn lane, with people now making a wide left turn.  Ms. Laberee opined that her concern was that there wasn't
enough storage there, which had the potential of stacking people in the through
lane and blocking it as well. 

 

Councilmember Willmus opined that it was a good suggestion to consider; and suggested another option may be to determine if the library was willing to consider closure of that particular driveway.

 

Ms. Laberee advised that she had not spoken to the library directly at this time, but several years ago when Ramsey County staff discussed that option with them, they had not been interested.  Ms. Laberee offered to contact them and enter into those discussions again.

 

Councilmember Etten reiterated his support for his suggested option, or to specify that driveway as an "exit only" or restriping the roadway as the least expensive options that provided the most increased safety.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte advised that she was the one who continually brought this  forward for City Council discussion; and thanked Ms. Laberee for her attendance and willingness to discuss the issue.  Acting Mayor Laliberte noted that, while there may not be actual crashes documented, she observed many near misses as people were stacked in the southbound driving lane startling those coming up behind them not anticipating someone stopping directly in front of them.  Acting Mayor Laliberte understood the need for storage for turns onto Commerce, and did not support shortening that turn lane; however, she expressed interest in further discussion with the library for other options, whether a right in, pork chop or restriping, but finding some ultimate resolution to prevent left turns from that lane.  Acting Mayor Laliberte opined that it should be considered illegal, and was a significant safety issue from her perspective in driving that route on a daily basis.  Acting Mayor Laliberte asked that the County staff take the next step in discussing this with the library; opining that closing the access point was not a good option from her perspective, as it would only create congestion at other entry sites.

 

Consensus appeared to be for Ramsey County staff to pursue discussions and further options with the Library.  Acting Mayor Laliberte thanked Ms. Laberee for performing the study and presenting her findings.

 

11.      Public Hearings

 

c.            Request for Approval of a MINOR SUBDIVISION of the Property at 2250 Acorn Road

City Planner Thomas Paschke briefly reviewed this request as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated May 5, 2014.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte opened and closed the Public Hearing at approximately 8:07 p.m. for the purpose of hearing public comment; with no one appearing for or against.

 

Councilmember Willmus noted that, in the past, this area had raised significant issues by the neighbors regarding storm water drainage.

 

Mr. Paschke responded that, to his knowledge, no comments had been received at this time, and the permit process would require any future development to meet current drainage requirements.

 

McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of a MINOR SUBDIVISION of the residential property at 2250 Acorn Road, as presented and based on the comments and findings of Sections 4 - 5 and the recommendation and conditions of Section 6 of the RCA dated May 5, 2014.

 

                        Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

d.            Request for Approval of a MINOR SUBDIVISION of the Property at 1720 Terrace Drive

City Planner Thomas Paschke briefly reviewed this request as detailed in the RCA dated May 5, 2014.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte opened and closed the Public Hearing at approximately 8:11 p.m. for the purpose of hearing public comment; with no one appearing for or against.

 

At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Paschke advised that the Shared parking Agreement as addressed in Section 6.c of the RCA would be recorded as a separate document, and designed for the lots themselves.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Paschke advised that certain triggers were needed for consideration of impervious surface recalculations, based on the amount of development, redevelopment or disturbance of soil on a particular parcel.  Mr. Paschke noted that these issues were addressed by land and water management requirements as per City Code and specific watershed district regulations as well.  

 

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of a MINOR SUBDIVISION of the property at 1720 Terrace Drive, as presented and based on the comments and findings of Sections 4 - 5 and the recommendation and conditions of Section 6 of the RCA dated May 5, 2014.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

12.      Budget Items

 

13.         Business Items (Action Items)

 

a.            Approve/Deny MINOR SUBDIVISION of the Property at 2250 Acorn Road

 

b.            Approve/Deny MINOR SUBDIVISION of the Property at 1720 Terrace Drive

 

c.            Approve Storm Water Credit Program for Properties Exceeding Required Storm Water Requirements

City Engineer Marc Culver reviewed this proposal as detailed in the RCA dated May 5, 2014.  Mr. Culver noted that the current program had no certification or monitoring requirements in place; and suggested that a future program be reviewed annually with other City fees and their structures; and reviewed the proposed utility fee credits depending on the type of base rate category of a property.

 

Mr. Culver reviewed several aspects of the program during his presentation:

Goal: Encourage property owners to manage storm water on site to help manage problems arising from runoff in an urban environment

Eligible Practices: Rain gardens, porous driveways, dry wells, infiltration trenches, etc.

Maximum Credit Amount: 50% for single-family and duplex residential lots and 75% for all other uses

Credits: Would be eligible on the areas being captured, not total property area, but not eligible on permitted or required practices

Property Owner Responsibility: Must maintain and certify the project is still functioning as designed

 

Mr. Culver noted that, with existing storm water credit, residential properties were exempt and this proposed program allowed for at least some recognition for them for pursuing environmental stewardship.  Mr. Culver opined that non-residential properties would be the most likely entities applying for credits, and reviewed the proposed program as detailed in Attachment A (page 2). 

 

Mr. Culver noted that one commercial entity, NuStar, had approached the City for credits, and used their parcels as an example, including existing berming and storm water ponds in a corner of their property handling much of their site.  If the parcel was to be eligible for credits under the new program, Mr. Culver advised that they could experience an approximate annual savings of $9,500 for their 51.4 acre parcel.

 

Mr. Culver advised that only two parcels in the City were now receiving credits under the existing program; and he noted that he was unsure of when they went into place, as he was unable to find documentation.  However, Mr. Culver advised that he was aware that there was no current requirement for them to be certified or recertified to ensure the operations were running correctly, even though they were receiving a credit of $86,935.24.  Mr. Culver suggested, at a minimum, they should be required to be recertified and credits recalculated whether or not a new policy was put into place.

 

If the new program was implemented at this time, Mr. Culver advised that he anticipated an $11,000 reduction in revenue for 2014, if the anticipated 5% of all residential units applied for and received a credit, there could potentially be a 50% reduction in storm water revenues.  If twenty large parcel businesses applied for and received full credit, Mr. Culver advised projections were that a 75% reduction in fees would be realized; with the total revenue loss equal to approximately $100,000, or 6.7% of 2014 storm water fee utility fee revenue.

 

Mr. Culver noted that this reduction in revenue would be somewhat offset by the reduction in storm water runoff into the system, and long-term capital expenditure savings and benefits.  Mr. Culver noted that typically credits wouldn't
necessarily pay for the cost of improvements over a twenty-year span, but commercial
parcels would see more benefit than residential properties, as they would also
be implementing more costly mitigation efforts.

Based on the current program, Mr. Culver advised that the current 1984 storm water credit allowed up to a 100% storm water credit, with single-family and duplex residential properties exempt from any credit.  Mr. Culver noted that the current program was apparently established shortly after the original storm water utility was created in 1984.  Mr. Culver opined that the proposed program was more in line with current city storm water guidelines and watershed requirements regarding increases in impervious surfaces and general site disturbances.

 

Staff Recommendations:

Mr. Culver advised that staff recommends City Council approval of the new program as presented with credits calculated and applied in 2014.  Mr. Culver noted that property owners who had previously registered their Best Management Practices (BMP's) would receive notice of potential credits, and as part of their application for credit, would need to prove they met the requirements for credit.  Mr. Culver noted that the program also required that every five years, any property receiving credit would have to recertify the condition under which the credit was originally granted.  For commercial properties, Mr. Culver noted that this would require some cost for them to hire a consulting firm to recertify their BMP.

 

Councilmember Willmus noted that a number of properties throughout Roseville had natural rain gardens, and questioned if they would be eligible for this credit.

 

Mr. Culver advised that, under the proposed policy, they would not be eligible, as the focus was intended for those properties implementing non-natural BMP's above
and beyond natural site conditions, and require registration and verification
that they were serving that purpose.  Mr. Culver noted that overflow on properties
and other natural areas were part of the overall storm water system, but the
credits were intended for people going beyond those natural components.

 

Councilmember Willmus questioned, in function, why their involvement should be prohibited, with Mr. Culver responding that some type of certification (e.g. soil boring or property analysis as to how much runoff was leaving a parcel) would need to be done.  Mr. Culver opined that this would be going back to the current storm water system in giving credit for something the property owner didn't do to
improve a situation and would be difficult to address.

 

If a property held versus dumped runoff water, Councilmember Etten questioned how the City addressed natural versus intentional actions by property owners; opining that it would be costly to certify that and questioned if it would be prudent to attempt to do so.

 

As a resident on Hamline Avenue, on a County Road without curb and gutter, Councilmember Willmus questioned how much benefit he would receive with such a program compared to those with curb and gutter installed.  Councilmember Willmus noted parcels along County Road B with significant inflow on their property coming from impervious surfaces elsewhere that stayed on their land, while they were charged a storm water fee but received no benefit.

 

Mr. Culver expressed his understanding of that concern and specific lots.  However, Mr. Culver noted that the storm water fee was for everyone's share in the trunk
system, just as the water base rate served to pay to get water to your home,
and similar to the benefits realized in using other roadways to get to your
homes.  Mr. Culver opined that the storm water utility needed to be treated the
same as other facilities of benefit to all residents of Roseville.  Mr. Culver
noted that the storm water fee also provides the City with the ability to
address some localized issues with existing storm water today to make improvements
for the future.

 

As a resident on a street where everyone had unsuccessfully fought hard not to have curb and gutter installed, Councilmember McGehee opined that it had created additional problems for her parcel by eliminating the natural swales once in place. 

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Culver addressed regulations for sump pumps, their location and restrictions. 

 

Councilmember Etten questioned if the implementation of this program would have significant financial impacts in aggregate for residents across the City, such as storm water fee base rates increasing to cover the credit program.

 

Mr. Culver advised that there were options available as to how this was implemented and how to maintain the initial levy to base rates upon, with the credit eventually built back into the rates.  However, with so few users, Mr. Culver opined that it may not be necessary; and in his initial discussions with Finance Director Miller, they agreed that there would be so few users to begin with it didn't
make sense to increase those rates, but to let the revenue amount be decreased
by the credit amount.  If the program came to a point that it significantly
impacted revenue, Mr. Culver advised that a determination could then be made as
to how to build it back into the starting fee, or essentially credits getting applied
proportionately.

 

Councilmember Etten questioned the rationale in different base rates (page 1 of the RCA) for cemeteries, parks and golf courses and how it was determined.  He also questioned if County parks with significant parking lots were charged appropriately; and whether the City was charging itself for City parks, some with smaller or no parking lots, and how those rates were determined.

 

Mr. Culver noted that those 1984 multipliers had been established for different land uses, basically by looking at the average of impervious surfaces, with an assumption made that parks had parking lots, trails, tennis courts, or shelters or other packed down surfaces, creating less pervious and more impervious surfaces.

 

Regarding whether or not the City charged itself and/or Ramsey County accordingly, City Manager Trudgeon advised that he was not sure and further research was needed to make that determination.  Mr. Culver opined that he would research that, and if not charging it, they should be.

 

Councilmember Etten noted that cemeteries also had roads, and impervious surfaces, and should be reviewed (e.g. major open green spaces versus others).

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned if the City received any financial benefit from the Metropolitan Council if it reduced its overall amount of storm water.  Mr. Culver responded that staff could further investigate that.

 

Public Works Director Duane Schwartz clarified that the savings referenced by Councilmember McGehee was for water running into the sanitary sewer system (infiltration and inflow), but that in general, there was no identified credit for reductions in stormwater.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte questioned how measurements could be taken for measuring runoff reductions on residential properties or how they would interpret that data.

 

Mr. Culver advised that, with the existing storm water management program, any impervious surface increase over 30% required some type of storm water BMP to contain any additional runoff from other surfaces.  Mr. Culver advised that the City, and its residents worked with the Ramsey Conservation District to determine those calculations.  Mr. Culver advised that many homeowners had taken the initiative to build far in excess of those requirements, and should be eligible to receive a credit for those efforts.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Laliberte regarding the definition of rain gardens (page 2 of the RCA), Mr. Culver advised that initially ditches or other natural areas would not be considered as a rain garden, which would be addressed through the initial certification and future recertification for verification.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Laliberte, Mr. Culver clarified that credits would not be applicable in 2014, but would allow time for the property owners and staff to go through the process, and internal discussions on how to account credits to ensure revenue was maintained at a sustainable amount.

 

Councilmember Willmus questioned how confident staff was that the modeling would sufficiently decrease future CIP needs going forward.

 

Mr. Culver responded that there was no specific modeling that a per acre runoff on site would save x amount of dollars.  However, Mr. Culver noted that sites would start capturing more and more water, allowing the City to spend less and less money, which would indicate the amount of reduction.  As property owners were encouraged to participate, Mr. Culver opined that it was cheaper for them to incorporate those BMP's as part of their improvements versus the City attempting
to squeeze them into various corners.  Mr. Culver opined that the cumulative impact
over time would prove much more significant.

 

Mr. Schwartz concurred, noting a return ratio of 5 to 1: for every dollar spent for the property owner it took five dollars for the City to construct an equivalent amount of storage capacity.

 

McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the Storm Water Credit Program (Attachment A) as presented and review the program at the end of 2015 to see how it is working.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte offered a friendly amendment, accepted by the makers of the motion, that whether or not any projected reduction in storm water utility fee revenues occurred, no increased rates would be applied to other users as part of the 2015 implementation of this program.

 

Councilmember Etten opined that, if the City couldn't guarantee long-term credits for commercial
properties, it would not be prudent for a firm to make an investment without a guaranteed
payback in place.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that she was relying on the 1 to 5 payback detailed by staff.

 

Councilmember Willmus spoke in support of the amendment; and with or without it, expressed his confidence that staff would closely monitor the program; and if any significant impacts because evident for other users, anticipated that it would come to the attention of the City Council.  Regarding natural areas, Councilmember Willmus asked that those be looked at, and determine if any benefit could be provided to those actively retaining and maintaining those natural areas.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that the key would be formalizing the application and recertification component.

 

Councilmember Etten asked, if this was approved tonight, how the concerns raised by Councilmember Willmus related to how the credit system would work would be addressed.

 

Councilmember Willmus advised that he was willing to adopt the program as presented, and only sought future consideration be given to the natural component if staff is able to define it.

 

As the maker of the motion, Councilmember McGehee concurred with Councilmember Willmus.

 

Mr. Culver suggested it may be possible under the new program to add natural areas, and administratively certify and monitor them as a BMP and as part of the permitting process.

 

Councilmember Etten also asked staff to research how the original rates were determined and other rationale that may have been taken into consideration.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that staff would research how rates were calculated in 1984, which may be contained in ordinance versus the policy itself; and would report back to the City Council in the future as to whether they still applied, and how much water they typically contributed based on their land use.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.

 

14.         Business Items - Presentations/Discussions

 

15.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Trudgeon reviewed upcoming agenda items.

 

Regarding the rezoning and plat for 297 - 311 County Road B scheduled to return on May 12, Councilmember Willmus questioned if the developer planned to construct the lots as shown on the original plat.

 

City Manager Trudgeon advised that it was his understanding that they'd comply with LDR-1 with no rezoning; but were still seeking City Council approval or denial on rezoning, as they didn't withdraw that portion of their application.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that they could apply for code variances for different lot sizes, which could take the process into June or July, unless the applicant withdrew that
request.  Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the City Council had tabled action, creating the potential that the plat was brought forward with LDR-1 for City
Council approval, creating a multi-faceted discussion.

 

Regarding the inclusion of a Public Safety presentation by the Police and Fire Departments scheduled for June 9, Mr. Trudgeon advised that he thought some Department Heads may get more opportunities for interaction with the  City Council based on their work with various commissions; and therefore, he was trying to allow the Fire and Police Departments to present some of their items of interest for the public and City Council.

 

As part of that discussion, Councilmember Etten asked that the Police Department publically address some of their operations, provisions and training issues that have been reconsidered following the recent civil action brought against the Police Department, and potential changes to improve service to the community.  Councilmember Etten clarified that he was not suggesting any specific items that were part of the pending lawsuit.

 

Mr. Trudgeon opined that it would be appropriate to bring those items up during that safety presentation.

 

Councilmember McGehee also expressed her interest in the specific information she'd requested
previously related to financial data as part of attrition, from the Fire Department
as part of their request to move toward a full-time department.

 

Mr. Trudgeon advised that discussion would be addressed at the May 22, 2014 special budget work session.

 

Regarding the May 22, 2014 special meeting, Councilmember Willmus sought clarification as to when that had been incorporated into the meeting schedule; noting that he didn't recollect it being discussed, and advising that he had a conflict with
that date.

 

Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the process of identifying dates, with City Council consensus, for those budget sessions, with the May 22 date separate, with future work sessions being incorporated into regular meetings if at all possible.

 

Acting Mayor Laliberte asked that Mr. Trudgeon extend an invitation to the Finance Commission to attend those work sessions; duly noted by Mr. Trudgeon, who also noted that all meetings were open to the public, but advising that he would extend a specific invitation to the Finance Commission.

 

16.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Councilmember Willmus advised that he had been receiving phone calls about rail crossings, and while they were located in Little Canada, he understood that the Public Works, Environment, and Transportation Commission (PWETC) would be looking at them in May; he wondered if the City Council should formally request that they review that issue.

 

In a another issue pertaining to the PWETC, Councilmember Willmus suggested that the City Council consider a solar garden presentation that may be of interest to the body and provide background information to see if there was interest in pursuing that any future.

 

Regarding rail crossings, Councilmember McGehee advised that she had researched information and forwarded it to Mr. Trudgeon; and suggested that the City might wish to partner with the Cities of Shoreview and Arden Hills as it impacted all communities, and there was significant expense in creating a quiet zone.

 

Councilmember Willmus asked that individual Councilmembers submit their goals or comments to the City Manager Evaluation Subcommittee via City Manager Trudgeon by Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

 

At the request of Acting Mayor Laliberte, Mr. Trudgeon advised that he continued to reach out to the new representative on the Metropolitan Council for attendance at a future meeting.

 

17.         Adjourn

Etten moved, McGehee seconded adjournment of the meeting at approximately 9:12 p.m.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and McGehee.

Nays: None.  

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