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City Council Meeting Minutes
July 12, 2010
1. Roll Call
Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed everyone. (Voting and Seating Order for July: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing). City Attorney Charles Bartholdi was also present for the Closed Executive Session.
CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION
Discuss Labor Relations / Discuss Ryan Twin Lakes Limited Pending Litigation
Mayor Klausing announced that the City Council would be going into Closed Executive Session for the purpose of discussing labor relations; as well as discussing acquisition of vacant property on Brenner Avenue for stormwater purposes.
City Attorney Charles Bartholdi, for the benefit of the public, reviewed the purpose of the Closed Executive Session related to attorney/client privilege for confidential discussion related to labor relations in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.03; and to discuss confidential, non-public appraisal data or offers for property acquisition, in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.05, subd. 3.c.2 and 3.
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, recessing the meeting into Closed Executive Session, at 6:04 pm, for the purpose of confidential discussions among the City Council, staff, and legal counsel related to attorney/client privilege related to labor relations in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.03; and to discuss confidential, non-public appraisal data or offers for property acquisition, in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.05, subd. 3.c.2 and 3.
Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.
Mayor Klausing recessed the meeting at approximately 6:04 pm and reconvened in Executive Session at approximately 6:05 pm.
Mayor Klausing recessed the Executive Session at approximately 6:39 pm and reconvened at approximately 6:42 pm in Regular Session.
2. Approve Agenda
By consensus, the agenda was approved as presented.
3. Public Comment
Mayor Klausing called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.
a. Vivian Ramalingam, 2182 Acorn Road
Ms. Ramalingam expressed concern regarding the proposed location of an asphalt plant in Roseville, referencing information from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) related to disadvantages of a plant at the proposed location and the extensive list of potential pollutants. Ms. Ramalingam spoke in opposition to to such a development, based on concerns for the health of the neighborhood and decreased property values should such a plant develop.
Ms. Ramalingam spoke in opposition to the proposed lot size reduction in Roseville as part of the rezoning rewrite; opining that part of the appeal and attractiveness of Roseville was its large and diverse lots and homes. Ms. Ramalingam further opined that the City of Roseville currently had everything needed to comply with such diversity and should avoid reducing lot sizes.
4. Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report
Mayor Klausing noted the Grand Reopening and Dedication this past Saturday of the Ramsey County Library in Roseville, a/k/a Roseville Library, and encouraged residents to visit the library; and noted the award of the building for LEED Gold construction as a green building.
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
a. Proclaim August 3, 2010 “Night to Unite”
Mayor Klausing, on behalf of the City Council, staff and citizens of Roseville, read a proclamation for the City’s participation in this annual event, sponsored by the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association, in an effort to prevent neighborhood crime, held on the first Tuesday in August and celebrated in communities throughout Minnesota.
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, authorizing the Mayor to sign the 2010 Night to Unite Proclamation.
6. Approve Minutes
a. Approve Minutes of June 28, 2010 Regular Meeting
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the minutes of the June 28, 2010 Regular meeting as amended.
Page 15, Line 18 and Page 17, Line 44 (Roe)
Correct Ms. Silva’s first name to Marilyn.
7. Approve Consent Agenda
There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the request of Mayor Klausing, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
a. Approve Payments
Johnson moved, Klausing seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
b. Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items Exceeding $5,000
Johnson moved, Klausing seconded, approval of general purchases and/or contracts as follows:
G & L Construction
Roof Replacement – HANCD
c. Appoint Election Judges for State Primary and Authorize City Manager to Appoint, if needed
Johnson moved, Klausing seconded, approval of the appointment of election judges to work at the August 10, 2010 Primary Election, as detailed in “Attachment A” to the Request for Council Action dated July 12, 2010; and authorized the City Manager to appoint additional judges if the need arises.
d. Approve Purchase of Survey Equipment
Johnson moved, Klausing seconded, approval of the purchase of survey equipment from Frontier Precision in an amount not to exceed $29,043.00; funded through the use of overhead funds from Joint Powers Agreements (JPA) between the City of Roseville and other municipalities.
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
9. General Ordinances for adoption
11. Public Hearings
12. Business Items (Action Items)
a. Consider a Resolution to Approve the request by Saint Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) for Concrete Recycling as an INTERIM USE at the Dale Street Reservoir, 1901 Alta Vista Drive
City Planner Thomas Paschke reviewed staff’s analysis of the request by Saint Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) to replace the Dale Street Reservoir at 1901 Alta Vista Drive, rather than trucking out the concrete rubble from demolition of the existing reservoir. Mr. Paschke advised that the crushed concrete material was proposed for reuse in construction of the new reservoir, and that the SPRWS was seeking approval of a temporary concrete crushing/recycling operation as an INTERIM USE, pursuant to City Code, Section 1013.09 (Interim Uses). Mr. Paschke noted that the project received previous approval in February and an extension in March; however, due to a number of unforeseen and complicated setbacks, the extension date expired and the project was required to go through the Interim Use process once again.
Staff recommended approval of the requested INTERIM USE, based on the comments and findings of Sections 4 – 6, and subject to conditions as detailed in Section 7 and similar to previous conditions, of the staff report dated July 7, 2010; and unanimous recommendation by the Planning Commission at their July 7, 2010 meeting.
Discussion included the challenges and delays of the project; failure of the applicant to seek an additional extension from the City in sufficient time; difference in this request from the original to allow the INTERIM USE through year-end unless finished sooner, based on staff attempting to allow ample time to crush and reuse the concrete, seen as in the best interest of the City and the applicant, in addition to public awareness of the INTERIM USE.
Applicant Representatives, Douglas E. Klamerus, Sr. Professional Engineer, Water Services with Short, Elliot Hendrickson, Inc.
Mr. Klamerus detailed the delays due to an unexpected additional layer of reinforced concrete across the top of the tank that was beyond the original plans; during excavation, the finding of leaking water mains serving the site, allowing additional water into the site; and the largest delay due to the contractor failing to obtain applicable watershed district permits, further delaying demolition work.
Roe moved, Klausing seconded, adoption of Resolution (identified as Attachment E) No. 10825 entitled, “A Resolution Approving Concrete Recycling at the Dale Street Reservoir as an INTERIM USE in accordance with Roseville City Code, Section 1013.09, for Saint Paul Regional Water Services (PF10-001).”
Mayor Klausing expressed disappointment that the work had not been completed on time; however, he noted the overall value in recycling the concrete on site as opposed to the additional stress and impact on the neighborhood and local roads by hauling the material off-site.
Councilmember Ihlan spoke against the motion opining that it was possible to recycle the concrete off-site, and while being more expensive, it was better due to the risk of environmental issues being too great near a park and residential neighborhood. Councilmember Ihlan referenced MPCA and federal findings related to concrete crushing; and further opined that this was the wrong time of the year to be undertaking this process. Councilmember Ihlan noted that public opposition had been heard during previous presentations on this issue from people in the neighborhood as well as those using Reservoir Woods Park.
Councilmember Roe spoke in support of the motion and on-site recycling based on discussions held during the original application. Councilmember Roe noted the substantial amount of truck traffic to haul material off-site to be recycled at another location, in addition to bringing fill in for use in the base of the new structure, estimated by staff at between 600-900 truck trips. Councilmember Roe opined that it made sense to eliminate that additional traffic, and noted that the MPCA standards were also in place to deal with the dust and emissions from the operation on-site.
Councilmember Ihlan expressed her interest in hearing from the people in the neighborhood related to their desire for additional truck traffic versus inhaling the dust from the crushing operation.
Councilmember Johnson spoke in support of the motion, advising that he’d spoken with several residents in the area who had expressed their lack of interest in additional truck traffic.
Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; and Klausing.
b. Consider City of Roseville v. Ryan Twin Lakes Limited Partnership Settlement
City Manager Bill Malinen reviewed the background of litigation initiated by the City of Roseville in August of 2009 with Ryan Twin Lakes Limited Partnership and Ryan Builders, Inc. (Court File No. 62-CV-09-10379) regarding a dispute over a 1997 Development Agreement and financing plan entered into by the two parties; with the City alleging that Ryan owes the City a sum of $93,574 under those governing contracts. Additional provisions and history of this ligation were provided in a written Memorandum from City Attorney Erickson, Bell, Beckman & Quinn, dated July 8, 2010 and prepared by City Attorney Mark F. Gaughan, detailing results of court-mandated mediation with Ryan representatives, Finance Director Miller, City Manager Malinen and Mr. Gaughan.
City Manager Malinen noted that, at a June 28, 2010 Closed Executive City Council session, he had presented a confidential update of the litigation and results of that mediation process. As part of tonight’s City Council Agenda materials, Mr. Malinen provided a copy of a Settlement Agreement and General Release, identified as “Attachment A” to the July 8, 2010 Memorandum from the Office of the City Attorney, with Counsel for Ryan having approved and consented to the form of the document, as well as a “Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice (referenced as Exhibit A to the Agreement). Mr. Malinen advised that those documents set forth provisions for a final lump sum payment by Ryan to the City of Roseville, within seven (7) days of execution of the documents, in the amount of $60,000.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the terms of the settlement claims, as presented, with the necessary formal copies of the documents made available for their execution by Mayor Klausing and City Manager Malinen, and the City Attorney, at the conclusion of tonight’s meeting.
Councilmember Ihlan advised that she would vote in support of the settlement amount to avoid the cost of additional litigation.
c. Consider Planned Unit Development Amendment for the Wellington Redevelopment at 2167 Lexington Avenue
Economic Development Associate Jamie Radel provided a brief review of the request of Wellington Development, through PUD Agreement No. 1385, identified as “Attachment B” to the Request for Council Action dated July 12, 2010. MS. Radel noted that this agreement was for redevelopment of 1126 Sandhurst Drive and 2167 Lexington Avenue from a single-family home and former TCF Bank building into a professional office building. Ms. Radel noted the request for a one-year extension to the agreement in a letter dated June 17, 2010, identified as “Attachment C” to this request; based on the developer’s ongoing marketing efforts to secure a secondary tenant, delayed due to the current economic climate, and not requiring the developer to go through a land entitlement process a second time.
Ms. Radel presented a draft Amendment to the PUD Agreement, prepared by staff and the City Attorney; granting this extension, while acknowledging that all other terms and conditions of the PUD Agreement dated July 13, 2009, remain in place; and requiring the developer to pay the fee to record said amendment with Ramsey County.
A representative of the applicant was present.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of an Amendment to PUD Agreement No. 1385 dated July 13, 2009 and identified as “Attachment D” to the RCA dated July 12, 2010); granting a one (1) year extension to the development schedule subject to the terms and conditions identified in Attachment D.
Councilmember Ihlan expressed concern with a one-year extension should the additional tenant not be one originally anticipated; noting her objections to the additional parking on site, preferring to leave options open to allow adjustments on impacts.
Councilmember Roe noted that the amount of parking required was based on use not specific tenants, as per the PUD, and further noted that if a new tenant was something other than office use, and the developer determined all of the parking was not needed, that could be adjusted.
Councilmember Ihlan, recalling her perception of previous discussions, offered that the developer sought more parking than required; and noted the desire to reduce asphalt coverage, thus her desire to negotiate that at the City Council level.
Mayor Klausing noted that this action was not approving tenants, but land uses and associated concerns; and concurred with Councilmember Roe’s comments regarding permitted aspects of the PUD. Mayor Klausing spoke in support of the motion, noting that this would be a tremendous improvement for that area and a welcome addition during this economic slump.
d. Consider Authorizing Negotiation for Acquisition of Property on Brenner Avenue for Stormwater Purposes
City Attorney Bartholdi noted that there would be no action required on this issue at this time.
13. Business Items – Presentations/Discussions
a. Discuss Twin Lakes Environmental Cost Recovery
Staff provided, as a bench handout, a revised map identifying past and current ownership interests for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.
Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon provided an overview of this staff analysis previously requested by the City Council.
Economic Development Associate Jamie Radel provided background information on this request, as detailed in the RCA dated July 12, 2010, on options to pursue environmental cost recovery and previous directive to staff to research existing information on past ownership; research information on former tenants; and determine projected environmental costs incurred for the infrastructure project.
Ms. Radel advised that staff did not recommend moving forward with additional action to attempt recovery of environmental costs from past owners and/or former tenants, through the Minnesota Environmental Recovery and Liability Act (MERCLA) for those costs. However, if the City Council determined it preferred to pursue environmental cost recovery, she asked that staff be so directed to prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an attorney and an environmental consultant to initiate undertaking such a process.
Ms. Radel further addressed the City as a participant in the chain of title for Mount Ridge Road since 1960; past tenants; federal funds received to-date for environmental assessment studies; multiple tenants in the Phase I area that could have contributed to environmental contamination; cost allocation study as part of Phase I and introduction to Phase II for infrastructure projects; Ramsey County funding to-date; and staff’s anticipated additional costs and funding for Phase II environmental costs and recommendation by Ramsey County staff to seek additional funds.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff does not recommend going forward to initiate environmental cost recovery as detailed in the RCA; with estimated costs of $35-70,000 to pursue these parties, and outstanding liability to the City currently at about $100,000. Mr. Trudgeon advised that expending City funds on this issue, whether City or tax increment financing (TIF) dollars, would provide no guarantee that they’d be captured, since many parcels have numerous owners or tenants, creating difficulties in attributing who, what and when the contamination occurred. Mr. Trudgeon reminded Councilmembers of the multiple trucking terminals and numerous trucks on those sites and the difficulty in identifying responsible parties; and also noted that any dollars recovered would need to be turned back to the granting agencies, in addition to considering whether it was appropriate to turn back funds to developers to-date. Mr. Trudgeon advised that the allocation agreement in place provided that the development community was charged for the clean up costs. Mr. Trudgeon opined that to attempt recovery of costs in this manner would prove risky, with an unsure outcome.
Councilmember Roe clarified Mr. Trudgeon’s comments, noting that a developer is responsible for environmental clean-up on their private property; however, the
City is responsible for environmental clean-up costs for rights-of-way, and staff’s costs are based on city-owned property, not private property.
Discussion among staff and Councilmembers included anticipated funding from Ramsey County for Phase II environmental clean-up costs; mechanisms in place to capture environmental clean-up costs; and previous report and legal opinion from Environmental Attorney Larry Espel.
Councilmember Ihlan opined that the City should seek to recover public dollars from those responsible for pollution; and questioned the rationale for a decision being made tonight, since the statute of limitations was not close to expiration.
Mayor Klausing clarified, as outlined in the staff report, that staff had indicated that no action was necessary unless the City Council chose to affirmatively pursue action, as the staff was recommending that this option not be pursued, and was only seeking Council support for that recommendation.
Further discussion included characteristics of future development for due diligence based on projects coming forward, based on the PIK Terminal site with pass-through dollars through the City for environmental clean-up and any other city role open for future discussion; and grant dollars based on development and job creation.
Councilmember Roe noted that, if no action was taken tonight, it did not preclude taking action in the future, and allowed the City to reserve the option for a specific project with major contamination, should the City decide to pursue such action.
Councilmember Johnson expressed his confidence in the recommendation brought forward by staff; and congratulated staff on the grants received to-date and their cooperative relationship with those granting agencies. Councilmember Johnson opined that he saw potential tax dollars being wasted on attorney fees in attempting to determine responsible parties, noting the multiple users and types of business; and spoke in support of staff’s recommendation.
Councilmember Ihlan noted the minimal amount of public monies that could be spent on attorney’s fees compared to that spent on clean-up; alleging that there may be parties out there that the City didn’t want to bring action against, and if so, suggested that this be discussed publically.
Mayor Klausing expressed confusion with Councilmember Ihlan’s statement, and questioned if she was making allegations of staff and/or individual Councilmembers.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned the motivation for the Council majority saying “no,” to seeking recovery, at a minimum a legal opinion and investigative report to determine potential liability of those parties, at which time the City Council can decide whether or not to take action; and suggested that it seemed something was blocking the City Council taking such action; and spoke in support of more investigation into the matter.
Mayor Klausing briefly reviewed the Request for Council Action (RCA) and staff’s strong and compelling recommendation for not incurring additional expenses at this time, using the multiple owners and uses of one parcel as an example. Mayor Klausing noted that mechanisms were in place to recover costs; and expressed his agreement with Councilmember Ihlan’s moral outrage and frustration in not holding those past property owners and users accountable; however, he noted the practicality of the expense and ultimate success of such a process.
Councilmember Pust opined that it was critical to be clear with the public that the contamination in the rights-of-way that the City controls has been or will be cleared up and those costs paid back by developers, at a zero net cost to the public. Councilmember Pust noted that the issue under discussion was that if someone else legally caused the contamination but no longer in business, how to hold them accountable. Councilmember Pust noted that staff’s analysis was that the $110,000 spent of public funds to-date would be paid back through the allocation agreement with future developers, and that the earth would be cleaned up without cost to the public.
Councilmember Roe opined that it may make sense to keep options open for future clean up costs, but that it didn’t seem prudent to pursue such analysis for current infrastructure projects.
Mayor Klausing and Councilmember Johnson concurred with Councilmember Roe’s comments.
b. Discuss Adoption of a new Official Zoning Map
Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon introduced this discussion, noting that development of the proposed zoning map land use designations was not a simple task, and had uncovered many interesting issues during a lot-by-lot analysis. Mr. Trudgeon noted that the purpose of this discussion was to introduce the zoning map to Councilmembers, and that action was not sought tonight, but would be sought later in the fall, following additional City Council and public feedback.
City Planner Thomas Paschke reviewed background information detailing the Metropolitan Council’s view of future growth for Roseville within the region and impacts to various plans and its own “System Statement,” resulting in the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan dated in the fall of 2009. Mr. Paschke noted that the next step, in accordance with requirements of Minnesota State Statutes, Section 473.864, subdivision 2, was an update of the City’s Zoning Regulations (Title 10 of Roseville City Code) and Official Zoning Map for its consistency with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Paschke reviewed proposed consolidations and zoning district names as guided by the adopted Comprehensive Plan, as detailed in the RCA dated July 12, 2010.
Mr. Paschke reviewed four items in which staff was seeking further direction from the City Council, as detailed in Section 3.0 of the RCA.
Mr. Paschke advised that in Section 3.0 (a), there was one additional anomaly property to be added, making the total 68 based on written observations and comments previously received from Councilmember Roe, specifically the MnDOT property north of the proposed location for the cell tower on Rice Street, currently zoned as LDR-1 (single-family) which seemed inappropriate and possibly more suited for Institutional designation.
Mr. Paschke addressed the zoning identified on past zoning maps at Har Mar Mall and Comprehensive Plan guidance for Community Business (CB); and additional information provided by the public related to subsequent Planning Commission recommendation that those properties remain designated as CB.
Mr. Paschke addressed the Planning Commission recommendation for 2025 County Road B near the Midland Grove Condominiums for a designation higher than LDR (low-density residential).
Mr. Paschke sought any additional changes from the City Council’s review of the draft zoning map.
Mr. Trudgeon reminded Councilmembers and the public that the zoning map reflected guidance of the Comprehensive Plan, translated into appropriate land use, with the only exception being that initiated by the Planning Commission for the Midland Grove properties, with staff originally proposing LDR-1 and the Commission recommending MDR. Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff was not seeking a detailed discussion of individual properties at tonight’s meeting, but would return at a future date, at the direction of the City Council, with proposed properties grouped for consideration of Comprehensive Plan amendments and related public hearing processes, with the City rather than individual applicant, pursuing the amendments.
Discussion included various land use designations and their purpose and intent; rights-of-way crossing individual properties and it’s specific zoning to avoid setback issues and potential nonconformities; existing number of nonconforming properties in the community; whether utility and/or infrastructure easements are sufficient rather than the City owning substantial pieces of property; property owners noticed of any potential zoning changes, even though the process is city-initiated to make corrections reflecting realities to provide consistent land use; and citizen concern previously expressed in writing and verbally by single-family property owners adjacent to Har Mar Mall and existing and proposed permitted land use, as well as access and buffer property concerns.
Further discussion included impacts if residential use was eliminated as a permitted use in CB Districts, not only specific to Har Mar Mall, but inconsistent with the guidance of the Comprehensive Plan; remedies through design standards for each zoning district to address public concerns and meet specific goals for performance standards for those districts; and recognizing other inconsistencies and/or errors in the overall zoning map.
Mayor Klausing invited public comment at this time.
Steve Enzler, 1995 W County Road B (next to proposed/denied Orchard project)
Mr. Enzler provided the background information on his property as a single-family residence; and differing opinions on the proposed zoning of his lot: whether medium or high density; and ramifications for his property as well as the adjacent property and support of that property owner for higher density in consideration of future potential development. Mr. Enzler opined that as a new proposal came forward from the adjacent property owner, that would initiate discussions and be a more appropriate time for such discussion.
Paul Lefebvre, 2230 Marion Road
Mr. Lefebvre agreed in principal with the pervious speaker. Mr. Lefebvre opined that pavement will never retreat, but that the City Council’s job was to slow that process as much as possible. Mr. Lefebvre referenced and read a statement from the Zoning Code’s Statement of Purpose; and spoke in opposition to smaller lot sizes; subdivision of lots in the Mansion Hills area; and conflicting action if the City Council’s goal was to enhance wooded areas in the community.
Terry O’Leary, Maplewood MN resident 2237 Dale Street
Mr. O’Leary noted his recent purchase of a property at Dale Street and Highway 36, which property was listed as one of the anomaly properties, and his intent to split the lot and build on both lots as a legacy to his sons, with those plans affected by the ultimate zoning of the property and setback requirements.
Mayor Klausing suggested that Mr. O’Leary continue his discussions with staff.
Ms. Van Kalipe, 3155 Old Highway 8
Ms. VanKalipe, a resident of the Executive Condominium complex, noted the current zoning of this adjacent property, and proposed zoning for HDR, and questioned that designation at this busy five intersection corner and safety issues for the heavily used pedestrian area and current wooded area represented by this lot. Ms. VanKalipe noted interest of one area resident in purchasing the property for preservation, and discovery of drainage issues.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that this property is currently LDR, with the Comprehensive Plan guiding toward HDR.
After further discussion, it was the consensus of the City Council that this item be added for further consideration along with staff’s list under Section 3.0, as Item “d;” with Council direction to staff to reconsider the zoning designation of this property.
Carolyn Siflo, 2230 Marion Road
Ms. Siflo spoke to the larger issue, and displayed an Urban Forestry & Urban Greening study entitled, “Air pollution removal by urban trees in shrubs in the US;” specifically expressing concern in the proposal to change minimum lot size from 11,500 to 9,500 square feet. Ms. Siflo addressed three issues:
1) Air quality issues: as a resident of the Mansion Hills neighborhood, she opined that this was a very unique and special neighborhood, and that any potential rezoning of that neighborhood, and potentially others in the community, be given significant health and safety considerations as part of the zoning equation;
2) Opined that the Manson Hills neighborhood is significantly deficient in park space with the dense vegetation on private property enjoyed by all residents; and that by reducing lot size requirements and allowing more subdivisions, such action will deter public enjoyment and safety; and
3) The need for noise abatement. As a 19-year resident of the neighborhood, she had noticed a significant increase in the volume and noise level of traffic on the highway; and displayed information from the Federal Highway Administration related to noise impact criteria for land near major highways; and spoke in support of the need for structural barriers and trees to abate that noise, with that being impacted if smaller lot sizes are considered.
Ms. Ramalingam reminded Councilmembers that Councilmember Ihlan had provided similar observations last year about the importance of trees for air cleansing; and the interest expressed by the University of MN for a study on the value of trees in cleaning air.
Following Public Comment, discussion among staff and Councilmembers included residential and higher density uses in shopping center districts; mixed use designation; and standards yet to be developed as part of the zoning ordinance language.
Mayor Klausing sought additional time to consider whether he was in agreement with Planning Commission recommendations NOT to change the Land Use designation for Har Mar Mall.
Staff was directed to establish a separate process, including an amendment and rezoning of the Comprehensive Plan – Land Use Map, to address the 67 identified anomaly properties within the community, grouping them together for amendment as applicable for future consideration and following established processes for public notice and public hearing at the Planning Commission level and recommendation to the City Council.
Councilmembers did not concur with the Planning Commission recommendation to change the Comprehensive Plan – Land use Map designation of 2025 County Road B to a designation higher than Low Density Residential (LDR), but rather preferred to leave the designation as-is, taking no action to change the comp plan designation of that property at this time.
Regarding the additional parcel identified as “Executive Manor Parcel,” following Council discussion, staff was directed to follow a similar process to those properties identified as anomalies for consideration of this “reverse anomaly” property to determine appropriate zoning.
Councilmember Ihlan requested future policy discussion related to the triangle of industrial land adjacent to Grove Golf Course in Minneapolis, for future guidance to HD housing or potential mixed use development; on in conjunction with the Parks Master Plan for potential use for playing fields.
Concluding discussion included staff’s process for each of the City Council directives and grouping of public hearings for Planning Commission recommendation to the City Council, including “non-anomaly” properties like the “Executive Manor parcel” that the public brings to the attention of staff or Councilmembers, with staff alerting Councilmembers throughout the process.
c. Discuss Streetlight Utility Ordinance
Public Works Director Duane Schwartz reviewed information on the alternative revenue option through creation of a streetlight utility fee, as previously requested by the City Council, as detailed in the RCA dated July 12, 2010. Mr. Schwartz presented various rate structure options for operation, replacement and administration of the street light program for the 1300 street lights that the City owns or is responsible for, including their repair, maintenance, replacement, and applicable energy costs. Staff had prepared a draft ordinance to facilitate tonight’s discussion, identified as “Attachment A” to this report.
Mr. Schwartz provided a portion of a mapped street light database for the entire city; reviewed current street light policy for their installation at intersections, curves or long blocks over 600’, without additional cost to residents. Mr. Schwartz reviewed current funding from property taxes for power and lights by agreement with the state and county for signal lights. Mr. Schwartz addressed positives in establishing a streetlight utility fee for developed properties to share from a safety perspective, and ability for tax exempt properties to pay that fee as a recipient of that benefit but not taxed. Mr. Schwartz noted that the rates were proposed to be based on land use, set annually, and billed with existing utility billings. Mr. Schwartz suggested that the City exclude city-owned properties, such as public rights-of-way, vacant and unimproved properties, railroad rights-of-way, and cemeteries.
Mr. Schwartz noted the need for a policy decision for one multi-family area (Applewood Pointe) that had installed street lights on the public right-of-way and paid maintenance costs, and whether they should be billed the proposed fee as well since they received the benefit of street lights in other areas of the City.
Mr. Schwartz noted provisions in the draft language allowing certification of unpaid fees to property taxes, in addition to establishing a dedicated fund for those fees.
Mr. Schwartz estimated that a quarterly fee of $4 per single-family residential lot would generate approximately $300,000 per year for covering the operation and capital replacement needs for street lighting; with other property classes to be determined, with staff suggesting consideration of a per unit multi-family rate, and other classes billed at a rate of 5 units per acre, similar to the structure to the City’s existing storm water fee and comparable to other communities currently billing for street lighting. Mr. Schwarz noted that there were 9800 single-family residential properties and approximately 2400 acres of non-residential properties in the City of Roseville.
Mr. Schwartz advised that staff sought Council direction whether to schedule a public hearing and provide a more detailed and accurate analysis of rate information.
Finance Director Chris Miller confirmed that any fees would be considered restricted funds, under the ordinance, Section 804.05, and in accordance with state law; with those funds only available for use in paying street light utility costs and related capital and maintenance costs, and not to be co-mingled with other funds.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned if this fee would result in a reduction of the property tax levy by the same amount or this fee considered above property taxes.
Mr. Miller indicated that this would be a policy discussion for the City Council, and that staff could provide additional research on the issue at the Council’s discretion.
Councilmember Pust opined that a future City Council policy discussion should be to discuss tax exempt groups benefiting from infrastructure but not paying for that benefit (e.g. Payment in Lieu of Taxes –PILOT).
Discussion included cost comparisons of residential versus commercial properties; consideration of the legality of applying street light utility fees to tax exempt properties.
Councilmember Roe proposed that any amount currently in the levy come out of the levy if this revenues source was implemented. Councilmember Roe opined that this would be a source of revenue that could be dedicated and controlled by the City outside the General Fund, and would provide a direct correlation between use and the amount collected.
Mayor Klausing expressed his interest in establishing a public hearing for further consideration; however, he expressed his personal opposition to reducing the levy dollar by dollar for collection of this fee. Mayor Klausing noted that the original rationale in directing staff to pursue alternative funding sources was to address the City’s insufficient funding for capital needs. Mayor Klausing spoke in support of a short-term consideration to use this as an additional funding source, and when the City was in better shape financially, to subsequently reduce the levy.
Councilmember Pust suggested several other areas to consider in any future discussion, including what if neighborhoods want street lights who don’t have them and come to the City requesting more, would the whole city pay; or those neighborhoods who don’t want street lights; and whether there was a way to build into the rate structure how close or far away from street lights; or how much input in asking for them (similar to trail request by neighbors).
Mr. Schwartz suggested further discussion in whether to revise the policy to consider what qualifies for installation; areas of the City eligible for city-paid street lights that have yet to request them; and others with Xcel qualifications allowing standard street light installation.
Councilmember Johnson advised that he was fundamentally opposed to fees as they could be perceived by the public as deceptive; however, he recognized the need to increase the City’s income given restraints on the tax levy and difficulties with current budgeting. Councilmember Johnson expressed interest in the compelling point made to increase those using the services to participate in their funding. Councilmember Johnson expressed interest in holding a Public Hearing for the purpose of garnering more public opinion, given the number of issues discussed tonight that served to broaden his scope; opining that the City Council proceed cautiously in consideration of this fee.
Councilmember Ihlan expressed concern that this would serve as an additional tax; opining that fees weren’t bad if their intent was clear to the public. However, Councilmember Ihlan spoke in opposition to putting on a new fee, but not cutting tax levies accordingly and transparently.
City Manager Malinen noted the number of good points brought forward in tonight’s discussion; however, he noted the original intent of considering such a fee was to allow creation of another tool to address inadequate resources to provide services desired by the community. Mr. Malinen noted the serious financial gap going into the 2011 budget cycle; and asked that the City Council consider this as an alternative revenue source in addition to current levies.
Councilmember Roe opined that he didn’t anticipate being supportive of the fee if it was in addition to the current levy; and expressed the need to subtract a similar amount in the first year and fund it specifically through the utility; however, he agreed with the process for utilities and fees versus state-mandated processes. Councilmember Roe noted his interest was based on diverse funding opportunities with City control separate from the levy.
Mayor Klausing disagreed with reducing the levy in direct relationship to the utility fee; opining that the funding not used for utilities be used for the CIP or Parks Master Plan; and once the funding gaps are addressed, then the levy could be reduced accordingly.
With Council consensus, Mayor Klausing requested that staff schedule a Public Hearing to hear public comment on this issue; with staff concurrently providing additional detail to the City Council as indicated during tonight’s discussion.
d. Discuss 2011 Budget Priority Based Program Ranking Methodology
Finance Director Chris Miller presented a list of property tax-supported programs for the City Council’s preliminary ranking of budget programs in preparation for the 2011 Budget.
Discussion included the current listing by staff of tax-supported programs, with others excluded until a later date as they didn’t compete for tax levy dollars; additional and department-specific information requested by Councilmembers to complete their ranking process.
Councilmember Roe indicated his need for additional information for some items before he completes his ranking.
Councilmember Johnson suggested that individual Councilmembers compile a list of those items needing additional information to complete ranking.
Mayor Klausing indicated his perception that the purpose of this first ranking was to initiate discussion.
Discussion included those mandated items in the list or at a minimum identifying them as part of the overall list of programs and services; and the amount of discretion for individual rankings, even for those mandated programs; and as a general rule and fair assumption, that mandated programs received minimum service levels.
It was Council consensus that mandatory items would not be included in the rankings, but listed as a separate category, as statutorily required; and individual Councilmembers seek additional information from staff as applicable.
City Manager Malinen and Mr. Miller advised that they would request Department Heads to provide a brief, two-sentence description of programs and services, that would hopefully address most questions, with individual Councilmembers pursuing any additional questions they may need, but to share those questions with Councilmembers to facilitate future discussion.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned if this process was a good use of anyone’s time; and spoke in support of a detailed, line item budget allowing basic overview of programs and departments as done in past budget cycles.
14. City Manager Future Agenda Review
City Manager Malinen distributed upcoming agenda items.
15. Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Councilmember Roe advised that he would be unavailable for the July 26, 2010 meeting.
Councilmember Johnson advised that he would be unavailable for the July 19, 2010 meeting.
Councilmember Ihlan requested future zoning map discussions related to the zoning designation and Comprehensive Plan guidance for the golf course property adjacent in Minneapolis.
Councilmember Ihlan suggested that, given the reduction in minimum lot size proposed as part of the rezoning process, it seemed that there was a need to discuss alternative policies prior to the July 26, 2010 meeting.
Mayor Klausing suggested that individual Councilmembers send their suggestions to staff and other Councilmembers for preliminary review at their earliest convenience.
City Manager Malinen advised that he and Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon would meet to discuss the zoning code process and affiliated actions.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:47 pm.