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City Council


City Council Meeting Minutes

July 26, 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.

 

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.  No one spoke.

 

4.            Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report

Mayor Klausing announced the upcoming Green Community Awards Tour in the Cities of Shoreview and Roseville, with on-site tours scheduled for July 31 and August 1, with recognition of residents for stormwater management practices.  To register for the tour or for more information, see the City website at cityofroseville.com/greentour or call Tim Pratt at 651-792-7027.

 

Mayor Klausing announced the next session of “Roseville University,” for citizens to receive an informational and educational seven-week series starting in September for a behind-the-scenes look at local government and day-to-day operations. Mayor Klausing noted that there is no fee for the classes, but registration is required to keep class sizes manageable; and enrollment is open until August 23, 2010 by logging onto the City’s website at cityofroseville.com/RU to enroll or for additional information, or by calling 792-7001.

 

Mayor Klausing congratulated Rep. Bev Scalze, representing the northeast portion of Roseville, for her recent recognition by the League of MN Cities (LMC) as a “Legislator of Distinction” for her role in sponsoring and participating in furthering numerous vital issues of importance to local government.

 

Councilmember Roe reminded citizens of the earlier date for the Minnesota Primary Election on Tuesday, August 10, with in-person absentee voting available now at City Hall for those unavailable on August 10; or through contacting City Hall for a ballot by mail.

 

5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications

 

a.         Emergency Food Shelf Network in Roseville

Mayor Klausing introduced Emergency Food Shelf Network (EFSN) Outreach Coordinator Sophia Lenarz-Coy, representing the Emergency Food Shelf Network, to alert the community to this recent resource addition to the community of Roseville.  Ms. Lenarz-Coy provided a brief summary of the work of the Food Bank Network and their work with individuals and cooperative work with corporations and area senior groups.

 

Ms. Lenarz-Coy highlighted another program open to everyone regardless of their income bracket, entitled “Fare for All” (formerly Fair Share in existence for thirty years) with select products purchased cooperatively, trucked to a central location and displayed for purchase, allowing for better negotiated prices with wholesalers as more people participated, and providing fresh food and vegetables as well as quality meat items.

 

Ms. Lenarz-Coy distributed information as a bench handout to Councilmembers, and staff and members of the public in attendance, advising that the Fare for All was currently available at Real Life Church, with this location sponsored by Love, Inc. since October of 2009.  Ms. Lenarz-Coy asked for help in spreading the word to increase participation, which had not met with anticipated levels yet; and reiterated that this program was open to all citizens as a community resource, and was volunteer operated, and encouraged everyone to stop in to check out this program offering select grocery items for approximately forty percent (40%) less than grocery stores.  Ms. Lenarz-Coy advised that they were open the first Tuesday of each month at Real Life Church, 3453 Chatsworth Street N, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., with the next two dates being August 17 and September 14.

 

At the request of Mayor Klausing, Ms. Lenarz-Coy advised interested citizens to contact Fare for All at 763-450-3880 for general information on all locations; or stop in person, with no need to order in advance; with information available on the web at www.emergencyfoodshelf.org or www.fareforall.org.

 

Councilmember Pust asked for clarification about the distinction of their service and Keystone, with Ms. Lenarz-Coy advising that while they worked cooperatively with Keystone, the Keystone program was a food shelf where people filled out forms regarding their income status, and did not pay for the groceries received; but that the Fare for All program was a cooperative food purchasing program directly from grocery wholesalers, with no income limits or questions asked.

 

Councilmember Pust noted that there were a number of faith-based organizations in the area that provided free produce for neighborhoods and other organizations; as well as Farmers Markets offering nutritious produce at reduced rates.

 

Ms. Lenarz-Coy noted that availability, with Fare for All providing a year-round cooperative purchase program.

6.         Approve Minutes

 

a.            Approve Minutes of July 19, 2010 Regular Meeting

Pust moved, Klausing seconded, approval of the minutes of the July 19, 2010 Regular meeting as presented.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

Abstentions: Johnson.

 

7.            Approve Consent Agenda

There were no changes noted to the Consent Agenda.  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, Pust seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.         

ACH Payments

$59,230.31

59145-59271

446,398.66

Total

$595,628.97

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

b.            Approve Business Licenses

          Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for applicants as follows:

 

Business / Address

Type of License

Roseville Tobacco

2401 Fairview Avenue N

Cigarette / Tobacco Products

Mary Devitt

at Mind, Body & Soul Wellness Center

2201 Lexington Avenue N; Suite 103

Massage Therapist

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

c.            Approve One-Day Gambling Permit for Central Park Foundation

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval of the request of the Roseville Central Park Foundation to conduct a raffle on October 1, 2010 at the Roseville Skating Center, located at 2261 Civic Center Drive.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

d.            Accept Target Donation for National Night Out/Night to Unite

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, acceptance of the donation from the Target Corporation of $1,300 for the City’s Police Department to purchase supplies needed for the City’s 2010 Family Night Out and Night to Unite Program.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

e.            Adopt a Resolution affirming the July 19, 2010 Reappointment of Susan Elkins to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10828 entitled, “Resolution Approving Mayor’s Appointment of Susan Elkins to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority in and for the City of Roseville for a term to Expire in 2015;” affirming the reappointment of Susan Elkins to the Roseville HRA.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

f.             Approve Bid for Repaving South Skating Center Parking Lot

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, awarding a bid for the Skating Center South Parking Lot Rehabilitation Project to Bituminous Roadways, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $66,762.00.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

8.         Consider Items Removed from Consent

 

a.            Approve Right-of-Entry and Waiver of Trespass for 1885 – 1915 County Road C West (Phase II Twin Lakes Infrastructure Project) (former Consent Item 7.g)

Mayor Klausing removed this item from the Consent Agenda for discussion purposes.

 

Councilmember Ihlan noted the indemnification clause appeared to be very broad and expressed concern about whether it was broader than otherwise applicable under State Statute for limits of liability for cities.

 

City Attorney Bartholdi advised that it was indeed broader than those limitations under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 466; and noted that the property owner had been asked to comply with limits set forth in State Statute, but they had refused.  Mr. Bartholdi advised that it was the consensus of his office and staff that the insurance provided by the contractor would make up any difference for the short period of time between the right-of-entry and the City’s acquisition of the property.

 

Councilmember Ihlan expressed her opposition to the City taking on additional liability.

 

Councilmember Pust expressed her opposition to setting a precedent in waiving the City’s statutory limits of liability.

 

In response to Mayor Klausing’s request for other available options, City Attorney Bartholdi advised that a hearing was scheduled yet this month asking the court to order a Quick Take of the property for earlier access to the property.

 

Economic Development Associate Jamie Radel advised that this action had been requested by the City to facilitate the most expedient way to move forward with the construction process, noting that the sooner the contractor could access the parcels, the sooner construction could be initiated and completed.  Ms. Radel noted that, during the bidding process, contractors were made aware of the mid-August access to the property and had included that provision in determining the timetable for the construction process; however, she noted that this earlier access would facilitate them better.

 

Discussion included the City retaining the right to bring subrogation actions against any contractors and/or subcontractors if there was any liability action brought against the City as a responsible party, if such a provision was included in the contracts between the City and contractors; clarification that this agreement was being sought by the property owner, not the contractor; and provisions of Minnesota Statute 466 limiting the City’s liability to $1.5 million.

 

At the request of City Manager Malinen, Public Works Director Duane Schwartz advised that he didn’t recall specifically the limits of insurance required from the contractor in their contracts with the City for this project; however he suspected that if there was any liability claim exceeding $1.5 million, they would be required to indemnify the City.  Mr. Schwartz suggested deferring action on this request until the August 9, 2010 Council meeting for confirmation by staff of this provision; and noted that this strip of land was very narrow and the contractor had plenty of work to do outside the confines of this property that would keep them mobilized until additional research was completed.

 

Councilmember Ihlan opined that, if the property would be available by mid-August, there was no need to risk setting a precedent of the City waiving its limits of liability.

 

By consensus, Mayor Klausing deferred action on this item until the next regular business meeting to allow staff and the City Attorney’s office to confirm that indemnification provisions were in place with contractors and subcontractors.

 

9.            General Ordinances for adoption

 

10.         Presentations

 

a.            Joint Meeting with the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA)

                   Chair Dean Maschka; and Members Bill Masche; Susan Elkins; Tammy Pust; Bill Majerus were in attendance.

 

                   Chair Maschka highlighted items from the HRA Work Plan, including the “Greening of Roseville” program, referencing a recent newspaper article providing the City to position itself for this unique opportunity in promoting green concepts.  Chair Maschka noted development of the “Green Book,” emphasis on sustainability issues at the annual Home and Garden Fair; the success of the free energy audits with a mass mailing sent last week to residents and additional Xcel Energy audits scheduled next fall; and promotion of green building and remodeling awards in 2011.

 

                   Chair Maschka briefly mentioned the HRA’s desire to work cooperatively with School District No. 623 in a vision for the former Comcast site on Woodhill and Victoria.

 

HRA Member Bill Masche expressed his pleasure in serving on the HRA and in working with the City’s staff.  Member Masche noted that in HRA group discussions, many things “bubbled up,” with some moving forward and others not pursued, depending on their merit.  Member Masche asked individual Councilmembers for their perspectives on the role of the HRA in partnership with the City Council to provide an understanding of their charge to the HRA.

 

Mayor Klausing observed that he’d always seen the purpose of the HRA as a resource to maintain the City’s housing stock for a first-ring suburb, based on the 2000 Vista community visioning initiative’s recognition of the life expectancy of existing homes.  Mayor Klausing noted the HRA’s role in various rental housing issues; and expressed his excitement about competitive marketing opportunities through spreading the word about Roseville’s diverse housing stock for those not necessarily looking for larger homes, and competitively marketing affordable housing close to retail, close to both downtowns, and close to cultural opportunities, with all conveniently available in Roseville and closer than if choosing to live in a suburb further out.

 

Councilmember Roe noted that another aspect, besides being close to cultural events, was Roseville’s proximity to both downtowns offering a short commute for day-to-day work, making sense as an aspect of part of the green nature of living in Roseville.

 

Mayor Klausing concurred; and suggested that one of the marketing aspects offered by the HRA could be to have realtors address the cost of transportation as part of the realistic cost of housing in Roseville compared to other areas, making housing in Roseville even more affordable.

 

Councilmember Roe advised that he looked to the HRA as a resource for housing in the community taking advantage of specific tools and leveraging those tools to maintain the City’s diverse housing stock.  Councilmember Roe noted that the HRA was originally created to take advantage of opportunities not necessarily available to cities without an HRA; and recognized past and current creativity and expertise generated by individual members of and corporately by the HRA, offering both ideas and creative solutions.

 

Councilmember Johnson thanked the HRA for the great work they did educating the City Council and public, and identifying areas needing improvement.  Councilmember Johnson opined that the most crucial aspect of the HRA was in marketing Roseville, and his dependence on the HRA for guidance for that marketing, making note of their ideas for Roseville’s viable market for sustainable, small homes to attract young, progressing minds and those thinking green; and opined that the HRA was on the right track and expressed his anticipation of hearing their plans for next year.

 

Chair Maschka noted the HRA’s satisfaction with the marketing consultant they’d hired and his work to-date in re-branding the annual Home and Garden Fair and the HRA portion of the City’s newsletter; as well as recognizing his unique approach and the checkpoints along the way to determine the impacts and effectiveness of various approaches.  Chair Maschka noted the favorable timing of this marketing effort with young adults coming out of college with substantial debt and needing starter homes, which Roseville could offer.  Chair Maschka noted that Roseville’s housing stock was starting to get in line with average incomes with the average Roseville home available between $180,000 and $225,000, with 3% down for FHA loans at this time, making affordable housing an option for many buyers; and noted the role of the HRA in marketing that information to the public.

 

At the request of Chair Maschka, HRA Member Susan Elkins noted discussion during the HRA’s Strategic Planning workshop of work force housing opportunities, with many communities partaking of such programs.  Member Elkins noted extensive discussion and interest of the HRA in pursuing such a concept by approaching Roseville businesses to determine their interest in assisting employees purchase a home in Roseville.  Member Elkins suggested that it would put “WOW” into the whole factor if the City of Roseville considered taking the initiative with its own employees, providing leverage to the HRA with other Roseville employers, while using existing loan funds currently under-utilized, by offering a grant and/or loan program for potential home buyers in Roseville who work for the City.  Member Elkins advised that, through her work with Bremer Bank and her assistance to the City of St. Louis Park in establishing and administering their program, she had a template available and was willing to provide that to Roseville for their use.  Member Elkins provided several examples, and suggested a $5,000 grant given to employees, forgiven after five years living in their home; or a smaller grant or loan, with matching funds from larger employers for other employees in Roseville; and a note signed with and collectable from employees in case they left employment prior to the five years; or variables for providing down payment assistance for closing costs.  Member Elkins sought interest of the City Council before the HRA approached other employers in the community.

 

Councilmember Pust opined that it was very creative.

 

Mayor Klausing opined that it was very interesting, but that the “devil’s in the details.”  Mayor Klausing noted that if existing assets were used it would be more desirable, as well as the ability to recoup funds for employees leaving before the stated time.  Mayor Klausing suggested involvement by the School District as well.

 

Member Elkins noted that involvement by the School District would broaden the scope and provide additional leverage, allowing the City and School District to talk the talk and walk the walk.

 

Councilmember Roe noted similar programs at the Applewood Development for first right to purchase by Roseville employees and teachers; and opined that it was a great idea and an opportunity to explore.  Councilmember Roe noted that those new Roseville homeowners would naturally develop interest in home improvement throughout the City; and expressed further interest in getting local businesses involved.

 

Chair Maschka noted that the program could be linked with living close to work, further reducing expenses.

 

Councilmember Johnson opined that it was a really intriguing idea; and expressed his approval of the City putting an investment back into the community.

 

Chair Maschka concurred that it would show the City’s commitment that they were offering such a program and proving its success.

 

Councilmember Pust noted the HRA’s experience in working through the details.

 

Public Comment

Dolly Nelson, Roseville resident since 1957

Ms. Nelson addressed both the HRA and City Council noting that, while she was happy to see them supporting young people, she was speaking for others of middle age who felt they were being neglected, along with others already established in their positions or working at the University of MN who would also like to reside in Roseville, but can afford a larger home than young people.  Ms. Nelson questioned whether the City was only marketing itself to young people.

 

Mayor Klausing noted the diversity of the City’s housing stock and its populations; and the life cycle housing concept evidenced in the City and marketing to multiple needs; while the City to-date had historically no problem retaining its senior population.

 

Ms. Nelson noted her personal example in upgrading her rambler home to make it more efficient, recognizing the need to make it marketable to interested buyers due to the convenience of Roseville’s location.  Ms. Nelson asked that the City, nor the HRA, forget about the middle group and to continue providing for the community’s diverse population; and asked that more marketing be developed to other groups, rather than the City of Roseville becoming a first-ring suburb with definite class divisions.

 

Councilmember Roe concurred that marketing needed to be directed to a broad base of people; however, noted that workforce housing was based on facilitating first-time homebuyers.

 

HRA Member Bill Majerus, from a historical point of view, noted the progress made by the HRA to-date and the cooperation between the HRA and Councilmembers.  Member Majerus noted the many exciting things that had been initiated, and encouraged everyone to continue to work together to make Roseville a great place to live.

 

11.         Public Hearings

 

12.         Business Items (Action Items)

 

a.            Consider Request for City Abatement for Unresolved Violation of City Code at 959 Brenner

Permit Coordinator Munson reviewed the request for abatement as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated July 26, 2010; providing a visual update on the property as of today of this single-family detached home, currently owned by Bernard Robichaud; and noted that this complaint had been originally generated by a neighbor.  Mr. Munson summarized the proposed abatement, consisting of repairing the badly-deteriorated roof at an estimated cost of $6,000.00.

 

Mr. Munson noted that after several written notices to the owner with no response, that staff had been able to meet with this elderly property owner earlier today, who had advised that he had received the notices but hadn’t opened them; and now advised staff that he wanted to perform the roof repair himself, but would not be in attendance at tonight’s meeting.  Mr. Munson noted that the owner was of the impression that the plastic and board/brick patching he’d done was satisfactory for the long-term; at which time staff had advised the owner to the contrary.  Mr. Munson suggested putting a two-week time frame for the owner to initiate the work before the City abatement took effect.

 

Staff recommended that the Community Development Department be authorized to abate the unresolved City Code violation at 959 Brenner Avenue, amended as previously addressed.

 

Discussion included variables on the actual cost estimate due to the low pitch of the roof and its visibility from the ground; the need for the owner to pull a permit and be subject to inspection for staff to determine the viability of the repair; information provided by staff to the owner on available resources to assist him; and conditions applied as with past practice that the work needed to be significantly commenced by the property owner to avoid abatement by the City.

 

Pust moved, Roe seconded, directing staff to abate the above-referenced public nuisance violation at 959 Brenner Avenue by hiring general contractors to repair the roof, if work is  not significantly commenced by the property owner by August 15, 2010; as detailed in Request for Council Action dated July 26, 2010, at an estimated cost of approximately $6,000.00; and further directing that the property owner be billed for all actual and administrative costs; and if those charges remain unpaid, staff is to recover costs as specified in City Code, Section 407.07B; with costs to be reported to the City Council following the abatement.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

b.            Consider Request for City Abatement for Unresolved Violation of City Code at 1890 Hamline Avenue

Permit Coordinator Munson reviewed the request for abatement as detailed in the RCA dated July 26, 2010; providing a visual update on the property as of today of this single-family, detached home, currently owned by John P. Ridley; and noted that the complaint was originally generated by the neighbor.  Mr. Munson’s visual status on the property noted numerous areas on the rear of the home and garage needing significant attention to address safety and aesthetic concerns, evidence of squirrels entering the structure, and a brush pile on site in the rear yard.

 

Mr. Munson advised that staff had provided several written notices, as well as attempting on-site visits with the homeowner, with no response; however, he noted that the water bill was being paid, so the homeowner was apparently receiving his mail.  Mr. Munson advised that it was staff’s intent to obtain several bids, as the full scope of the job was unknown, pending removal of outer materials to see the condition underneath.  Mr. Munson summarized the proposed abatement, consisting of the rear of the house and garage deteriorated and in need of maintenance, estimating a total abatement cost of approximately $8,000.00.

 

Staff recommended that the Community Development Department be authorized to abate the unresolved City Code violations at 1890 Hamline Avenue.

 

Discussion included the structural integrity of the majority of the home on the front side and no intent to remove any portions of the rear structure at this time; potential removal of at least two windows to be replaced by posts to address

Safety concerns; no confirmation from the post office of the delivery and/or acceptance of the certified notice to the homeowner of tonight’s hearing, mailed July 15, 2010; and the abatement process and intent of the proposed abatement to address concerns for general health, safety and welfare of the community.

 

Mr. Munson noted that, prior to starting abatement work, a notice was posted on the front door with the anticipated start date for work and estimated cost; and he noted that this often prompted the homeowner to make contact or perform the work themselves to avoid abatement costs.  Mr. Munson advised that if there was no response, the City would then hire contractors to commence work; however, if told by the homeowner to leave the site, staff would consult with the City Attorney for the next step.  Mr. Munson advised that Rick Talbot had advised that the homeowner was elderly, that someone was cutting the grass, and that staff anticipated once the abatement notice was posted on the home, it would facilitate some contact.

 

Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, directing staff to abate the above-referenced public nuisance violation at 1890 Hamline Avenue by hiring a general contractor to perform exterior maintenance work on the rear of the house and garage as detailed in RCA dated July 26, 2010, at an estimated cost of approximately $8,000.00; and further directing that the property owner be billed for all actual and administrative costs; and if those charges remain unpaid, staff is to recover costs as specified in City Code, Section 407.07B; with costs to be reported to the City Council following the abatement.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; Ihlan; and Klausing.

Nays: None.

 

12.         Business Items (Action Items)

 

c.            Discuss Public Purpose of Creating an Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to Assist with the Development of Applewood Pointe at Langton Lake and Consider a Resolution to Set a Public Hearing for Proposed TIF District No. 19

Economic Development Associate Jamie Radel advised that the applicant was not present yet, but that they had been contacted.

 

13.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions

 

a.            Discuss Zoning Map and Zoning Code

 

§  Land Use Designation for Industrial Area at Terminal Road and Walnut Street

City Manager Bill Malinen noted additional information provided by Councilmember Ihlan as bench handouts related to the next two agenda items, consisting of sample ordinances from other communities; and the City of Roseville’s current residential and subdivision zoning codes, attached hereto and made a part thereof.

 

Councilmember Ihlan addressed the land bordering Roseville, adjacent to the Francis Gross Golf Course in St. Anthony and bounded by Terminal Road and Walnut Street (Map – Attachment A to the RCA dated July 26, 2010).  Councilmember Ihlan noted that this area had first been discussed for potential repurposing for housing or mixed use development at the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee level, due to its proximity to a golf course; and noted that language addressing that potential was included in the current Comprehensive Plan narrative.  Councilmember Ihlan further noted that this parcel had most recently been discussed during the Parks and Recreation Master Plan process as an area suitable for ball fields due to its flat topography, and remaining consistent with mixed use or housing development.  Councilmember Ihlan advised that this parcel had been brought up at a recent Planning Commission by a member of the public; and she suggested further discussion at tonight’s meeting by the City Council and to receive public comment.

 

Discussion included current zoning as Industrial, with the Comprehensive Plan guiding toward continued Industrial use; whether there was any indication from the property owner showing interest in changing the land use designation, with no indication received to-date; similar instances when there had been no indication from an owner to change land use designations, and whether it was appropriate to have discussion moving toward that change.

 

Councilmember Ihlan opined that, as part of the larger Comprehensive Plan process, there were a number of other anomaly properties that were proposed for changes to their land use designation that were not driven by the property owner; and further opined that the parcel was suitable for potential mixed use and/or higher density housing, since it already had infrastructure in place from its previous use as an office building.  Councilmember Ihlan opined that the City Council needed to pay attention to community interests and take up policy issues such as this that are ripe for discussion.


Councilmember Roe, from his recollection of Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee discussions, opined that it was the majority consensus to let the land use designation continue as Industrial since it was located adjacent to other industrial uses in the community; but that it could be considered as a buffer for adjacent residential uses and/or business park.  Councilmember Roe, while not offering an opinion on the appropriate use at this point without a specific proposal for the site, opined that the City was not currently in a position to acquire the property for ball fields, and if such an opportunity should come to fruition, the land use designation could be amended to Parks/Open Space at that time rather than changing the designation twice.  Councilmember Roe opined that it may be more appropriate to leave the designation as it currently was, given the variety of types of potential industrial uses and being mindful of impacts to the neighborhoods to the south and east.  Councilmember Roe noted that the other property scheduled for public hearing (Old Highway 8 triangle parcel) had been a specific request of residents in the neighborhood; and questioned the need for a public hearing on this specific parcel at this time without checking with the current owner, and recognizing the narrative of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Councilmember Pust questioned what was known of any soil contamination on the site from past or current uses and how the railroad line across the property would impact uses other than industrial, with staff responding that the rail line was used for product delivery and shipping by properties north of the highlighted triangle indicated on the displayed map.

 

Councilmember Pust questioned the environmental quality of land for residential uses and safety impacts for such a use related to railroad use.

 

Councilmember Ihlan concurred that additional information on the railroad situation was needed, noting that there were other residential areas (James neighborhood) bordering the line.

 

Councilmember Johnson questioned Councilmember Ihlan’s intent, whether it was to create a new policy for all anomaly areas or just this specific parcel.

 

Councilmember Ihlan suggested that this particular location in District No. 11 should be considered for future guidance, since the building is currently vacant and the site is developable.

 

Mayor Klausing requested that Councilmember Ihlan define “guidance.”

 

Councilmember Ihlan opined that this was an abstract conversation, with an opportunity available for a vacant site to guide it for housing or mixed use; while not saying that should an industrial use come in, that the Comprehensive Plan couldn’t be amended back to industrial.  Councilmember Ihlan suggested discussion by the City Council on a policy defining their vision for this area, given previous discussions by the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, as well as the Parks and Recreation Master Planning advisory group identifying the need for additional Parks/Open Space in the southwest portion of Roseville.  Councilmember Ihlan advocated for seizing the moment and putting forth a vision.

 

Mayor Klausing opined that he was hesitant to discuss such a change when the property owner had given no indication of any interest in zoning for high density housing rather than industrial.

 

Public Comment

Dolly Nelson

Ms. Nelson spoke in support of more park space in that area of Roseville; noting the removal by other communities of industries near rivers and their redevelopment into recreational and housing uses.  Ms. Nelson opined that this parcel was a great opportunity for Roseville to do the same, with being adjacent to a golf course but not a responsibility of the City for maintenance and upkeep, but allowing the City to benefit from an adjacent parcel.

 

Ms. Nelson advised that she had additional comments related to the proposed bituminous asphalt plant.

 

Carol Kester, 1739 Eldridge Avenue W

Ms. Kester addressed the site at Terminal Road and Walnut Street as a potential site for a bituminous asphalt plant and provided her concerns related to the high level of pollution already present in this area of the business community, being adjacent to several major highways and their traffic; and the potential for additional noise and air pollution, in addition to hazardous materials stored outside on the site and air contaminants from that use.

 

Mayor Klausing clarified that there was no proposal before the City Council for that site on tonight’s agenda.

 

Ms. Kester suggested that, given the existing points of pollution in the community, going “green” on the industrial parcel would be a better choice than adding to the existing industry in the community.

 

Councilmember Pust noted another issue with the proposed land use of the Terminal Road and Walnut Street parcel as parks use would be to address the maintenance cost to the parks system, since the public continually points out that there should be no new parks and recreation facilitates until the City could maintain what they already had.

 

Councilmember Ihlan clarified the status of the asphalt plant application, with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) scheduling a public meeting as part of their environmental review process, currently scheduled for July 29, 2010 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Roseville City Hall; and that the City Council was not considering the issue at this time, and would have a vote before approval of any future asphalt plant.  Councilmember Ihlan noted that a draft Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) was available on line from the MPCA for members of the public showing interest; and noted the proposed location of the asphalt plant on the displayed map adjacent to the parcel under discussion for a change in land use designation.

 

Steve Dorf, Meritex, land owner representative

Mr. Dorf, as manager over the last 10years of the property under discussion for a change in land use designation stated his opposition to any change from Industrial zoning.  Mr. Dorf offered to respond to any questions, or provide additional information as requested.  Mr. Dorf advised that the property had been marketed over the last three years for any potential future use, with interest shown only by potential buyers who were industrial users.  Mr. Dorf further advised that there had been no serious interest from private developers for mixed use or residential uses.  Mr. Dorf advised that the property owner would entertain a Purchase Agreement from the City for purchase of the land for park use.

 

Councilmember Pust asked Mr. Dorf of his knowledge of any contamination on site that he would be willing to share.

 

Mr. Dorf advised that the property owner had received a “No Action” letter from the MPCA in 2000 or 2001; and that the property had been used most exclusively for manufacture of circuit board, and minimal office use, but it had served as an industrial factory for the majority of the time it had been occupied.

 

Councilmember Roe questioned if the same property owner owned both sides of Walnut, with Mr. Dorf responding affirmatively.

 

Councilmember Ihlan opined that, for policy planning purpose, the City Council should follow the narrative guidance of the Comprehensive Plan for future redevelopment of this parcel, similar to that done for the Twin Lakes area, with this site having less pollution on site, and suitable for mixed use to serve as a buffer between the more industrial area in the west part of Roseville and adjacent residential areas. 

 

Councilmember Roe opined that the Comprehensive Plan guidance was in place, and that it didn’t make sense to pursue a different land use designation until a specific proposal until a specific proposal was brought forward seeking a change.

 

§  Residential Lot Size

Councilmember Ihlan spoke in opposition to the proposed reduction in minimum lot size from the current 11,000 square feet to the proposed 9,500 square feet.  Councilmember Ihlan, in the previously referenced bench handout, provided examples from other communities and their approach to diverse lot sizes depending on the character and topography of a neighborhood.  Councilmember Ihlan spoke in support of preserving large lot neighborhoods where appropriate, and questioned the policy reason for reducing the minimum lot size and where it originated from, alleging that it had been included in proposed zoning changes by staff, but was not indicated by any zoning ordinance changes.

 

City Planner Thomas Paschke advised that, from staff’s perspective and through its land use consultant, the proposed reduction in minimum lot size was in order to achieve lot size compliance for approximately 93% of the Cities parcels, through reducing the minimum lot width to 75 feet.  Mr. Paschke noted that this affected the City’s housing stock, with the existing minimum lot size in place since 1959 and not formally followed with many subsequent subdivisions created in Roseville in the 1970’s and 1980’s, making them non-compliant with the City Code.  Mr. Paschke advised that one of the charges to staff was to look at how to create greater conformity rather than non-conformity for single family residential properties, and that the proposed reduction in lot size and width accomplished this goal.

 

Councilmember Ihlan referenced the Lot Split Study performed in 2007 by a Citizen’s Advisory Group (CAG) and their review of lot sizes; with no ultimate recommendation from that group to reduce lot sizes, but rather recommending creation of an overlay district to address those properties not in compliance.  Councilmember Ihlan provided her calculations on potential problems with future subdivision with this lot reduction; and questioned how such a policy would be consistent with the City’s desire to pursue green policies, such as addressed by the HRA in their previous discussions.  Councilmember Ihlan opined that such a reduction in lot size was not environmentally sound; and addressed the examples from other communities in addressing neighborhood character; and spoke in support of the creation of a “Large Lot District,” or some other remedy such as a sliding scale for those unique areas of the community.  Councilmember Ihlan suggested that this was the way to protect and balance subdivision with preservation of the City’s unique and diverse neighborhoods.

Public Comment

Dolly Nelson

Ms. Nelson opined that Councilmember Ihlan had touched on something dear to her heart; and questioned individual Councilmembers on whether they were familiar with the area in question and the need to preserve the uniqueness of that neighborhood.  Ms. Nelson further opined that there appeared to be many contradictions in the Comprehensive Plan in moving toward more small lots overall while promoting green space; and suggested that the Plan be revisited given the City Council’s representation of the City’s residents.

 

John Bachhauber, 2223 Marion Road

Mr. Bachhauber echoed the comments made tonight and highlighted other key items of the Single Family Lot Split Study done in 2007, including the exception made in 1962 to lots developed in 1959 prior to when the code was put in place and the many homes not fitting into the standard; but opined that those lots had already been taken care of.  Mr. Bachhauber opined that the Study group recommended keeping the minimum lot size at 11,000 square feet. 

 

Mr. Bachhauber presented a petition to the City Council signed by 40 separate households in the Mansion Hills neighborhood united in keeping the minimum lot size at 11,000 square feet.  Mr. Bachhauber opined that there were only four neighborhoods in Roseville that were impacted by the proposed reduction in lot size that that were subject to lot split impacts.  Mr. Bachhauber advised that petition addressed those impacts that would include compounded air pollution; increased noise in the neighborhood and the need for additional study related to that specific impact; and safety risks in the neighborhood due to no park availability; with the overall view that there was no compelling reason to reduce minimum lot sizes.

 

Lucy Hulme, 1720 West Eldridge Avenue

Ms. Hulme opined that the land itself determined the lot size, with each home in their neighborhood having a different lot, some with larger lots and smaller homes, and an average amount of ramblers that were very-well adapted to this part of the country.  Ms. Hulme opined that anything that enhanced Roseville as a beautiful city was worth doing and that it was not necessary to make all lots consistent.

 

Ms. Sam Schadegg, 2165 Cleveland Avenue North

As a large lot owner who was relatively new to the neighborhood, Ms. Schadegg advised that she chose to live in this neighborhood and paid more for that privilege in a larger, higher-priced home with higher property taxes.  Ms. Schadegg noted the lack of sidewalks and potential changes if the current lots were split; providing an example of one home on a larger lot for over a year without selling.  Ms. Schadegg opined that large lots were important and asked the City Council’s consideration of that.

 

Mayor Klausing sought Councilmember Ihlan’s intent for a proposal for consideration or how she wished to proceed.

 

Councilmember Ihlan advised that is was her intent to come forward on the next agenda with an item proposing amendments to the zoning code to leave minimum lot sizes at 11,000 square feet, having heard no compelling reason to reduce them to 9,500 square feet.  Councilmember Ihlan suggested that future discussion be held to look at the examples from other communities in making some adjustments, offering her support of the contextual approach by the City of Edina that could be done city-wide without determining large lot neighborhoods, or other options carried out by other communities in actually carving out geographic neighborhoods; but proposing that any zoning amendments exclude a reduction in minimum lot sizes.

 

Councilmember Johnson asked City Planner Paschke if the Edina model would cover non-conforming lots for Roseville.

 

Mr. Paschke advised that staff would need to decipher how such a model would impact Roseville, since it is mostly developed with few parcels developable for any subdivision itself.  Mr. Paschke advised that, when studies were performed on lot sizes and any differences between current and proposed zoning codes, there were only a potential 70 lots in the overall City that would be created by reducing the minimum lot size to 9,500 square feet.

 

Councilmember Pust  questioned if they were all within one neighborhood.

 

Mr. Paschke responded that they were scattered throughout the City, and that it was complicated to subdivide properties, with an expansive street frontage needed, taking a very large piece of land to add an extra lot without combination of several lots and possible purchase of a number of existing homes.

 

Councilmember Roe suggested that, from a planning and land use point of view, an argument could be made against having a specific part of Mansion Hills and Gluek Lane neighborhoods defined as Large Lot Districts and others defined as Standard.  Councilmember Roe questioned if it was reasonable or feasible to create a zoning district with opt-in features for petition to the City for large lot districts among current property owners and their development of a set of standards based on their particular interests.  Councilmember Roe noted that if someone chose not to opt in, they’d need to meet the City’s standard lot sizes. Councilmember Roe suggested that this could be considered at a later date rather than as part of the current zoning code rewrite.

 

Mr. Paschke advised that there was a need to look at the City as a whole to determine if there were other unique neighborhoods and how they were defined and whether their lot size warranted a special, distinct district.  Mr. Paschke questioned the validity of an opt-in option for a specific zone that could defeat the whole purpose of regulating a single-family overlay district.  Mr. Paschke further noted that the issue of timing under the current process for rewriting the zoning code before the end of 2010 was a consideration, and advised that creation of an entirely new district was an entirely different approach from what had been undertaken by staff and available on the City’s website during the rewrite process since January or February of this year, and may be suitable as a separate issue.

 

Councilmember Pust expressed concerns for a neighborhood “opt in” provision, since the City’s zoning code could be in effect for a significant amount of time, and the neighborhoods would turn over and questioned how reliable those designations would be for people to figure out their properties over the next 15 years.

 

Councilmember Roe noted that this was a problem with such an approach, and the threshold of participation needed serious review if a majority wanted to move one way, but they didn’t meet a certain threshold, and how to address the validity of having a high threshold for deviation from zoning code, with other neighbors possibly not interested or not applicable due to their lot size.

 

Mayor Klausing reminded the public and Councilmembers of the 2007 Lot Split Study CAG and their specific recommendations against a Large Lot Zoning District, but rather suggesting that homeowners create associations or private land preserves as options beyond the zoning code.

 

Councilmember Ihlan opined that there was a need to recognize the public comment received to-date in opposition to a change in minimum lot size standards; and further opined that the Lot Split Study was done three years ago.

 

Mr. Paschke opined that, aside from the neighborhood in question, a reduction in lot size was looked upon favorably by the community.

 

John Bachhauber, 2223 Marion Road

Mr. Bachhauber referenced a portion (page 16, Section C) of the Lot Split Study, in addition to Page 8 addressing dividable lots scattered throughout the City but concentrated in four specific areas of the community.

 

Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane

Mr. Grefenberg, having served on the Lot Split Study CAG as well as the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, opined that neither document provided credibility to the issue of reducing minimum lot sizes.  Mr. Grefenberg reviewed discussions of both groups with substantial discussions held among the CAG resulting in the unanimous decision of the CAG to not make a specific recommendation, and suggested that this proposal was emanating from staff, without much neighborhood input and the CAG being diametrically opposed to reducing minimum lot size standards; which he also did not see justified by the Comprehensive Plan.  Mr. Grefenberg suggested that this issue was severable and deserved public input as initiated at tonight’s meeting; and suggested that the proposal was being fabricated out of ting area and was not being driven by either the CAG or Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee; and that both groups deserved more involvement again with this issue before it became part of the proposed new zoning code.

         

b.            Discuss Adoption of a new Zoning Text Amendment and Adoption of new Regulations for Title 10, Zoning Regulations, pertaining to the Residential Districts

Councilmember Roe noted that the Lot Split Study CAG recommended three different standards and questioned how the process for developing the currently proposed residential districts were developed and how they compared to the three residential districts (page 16 of the Lot Split Study) proposed by the CAG for small residential, the current standard, and shoreland standard and whether those were considered.

 

Mr. Paschke noted discussions on how to potentially address each district, the current code, and how to address future considerations.  Mr. Paschke noted that lakeshores had a much higher standard, and that staff was waiting for new shoreland requirements from the DNR to determine those standards.  Mr. Paschke suggested reviewing the overall community with most areas able to subdivide already developed with shoreland areas having no vacant land where one could change requirements to allow for additional subdivision of lots or higher setbacks and green area requirements as part of those lot dimensions; with most shoreland lots non-compliant even with current DNR standards.

 

Councilmember Roe requested staff’s perspective on potential changes to shoreland requirements.

 

Mr. Paschke advised that the DNR was currently developing their new standards, at which time staff would recommend modifications to shoreland zoning requirements and determine if they should be separate and distinct from single-family residential standards.

 

Councilmember Pust questioned if a separate shoreland designation was considered to meet existing DNR regulations.

 

Mr. Paschke advised that the City’s current code did not meet the current DNR standards, and that part of the zoning district update would look at shoreland as a separate chapter under new DNR regulations when they were available, but was unsure of when their new model would be complete.  Within the Lot Split Study itself, Mr. Paschke was under the impression that the meeting summary dated April 19, 2001 (page 3 of those notes) with the overall Study generated on May 14, 2007, the summary discussed zoning issues and a discussion to consider reviewing lot standards as they related to minimum setbacks and building heights.

 

Councilmember Roe opined that, in relation to the recommendation for a small single-family district and current two zoning districts of this group, roughly half of the City’s properties would fall into the small lot group and the remainder would not.

 

Mr. Paschke advised that he would need to review the map and additional information, but opined that it would be greater than half to get to 93% compliance by reducing the minimum lot size to 9,500 square feet with a 75 foot width; and further noted that there were a number of lots with some form of non-compliance.

 

Councilmember Roe noted the concern of the public and some Councilmembers that reducing the minimum width and square footage and questioned whether it made sense to have neighborhoods with varying lot sizes, and whether that was manageable or made sense from a land use perspective.

 

Mr. Paschke advised that, in an effort to eliminate confusion, it would be more effective to be broad and create broader zoning designations and to identify them as small, large or regular; however, he opined that he didn’t consider 9,500 square feet to be small; and that nonconformities were a product of pre- or post-1959.

 

Councilmember Roe questioned which standard applied if there were several lot size situations on one street and which standard would apply on combined lots of varying sizes.

 

Mr. Paschke noted that interpretation in those situations would be problematic.

 

Mayor Klausing suggested the need to realize the intent of the Planning Commission and staff to design the City’s new zoning code with reality, while it appeared that it was instead it appeared to be driving a new reality.  Mayor Klausing suggested that the minimum lot size be retained as is, and perhaps at a later date reconsider whether it needed refinement or not; but in an effort to move forward on those areas of the proposed zoning code that were not controversial, it be removed from consideration at this time.

 

Setbacks

Mayor Klausing questioned the intent proposed that any new construction with a reduced front yard setback be consistent with homes adjacent on either side; or whether that provided a third setback option.

 

Mr. Paschke suggested that averaging new construction with two identifiable structures seemed appropriate, since current code would require a variance application; and the proposed setback wouldn’t encroach further on one side than the other and subsequently block views, and would appear more consistent than having a hard setback number.

 

Dimensional standards – LDR-1 (page 7)

Discussion ensued related to the Table under B (dimensional standards) and maximum building heights, whether defined as midpoint of the roof; and how accessory structures having similar dimensional standards and wall height limitations benefited the City; confusion with sloped roofs and building height and perceptions of neighboring properties with heights appearing to impose on their yards; with staff noting that all terms would be defined in a separate section of code to provide clarity.

 

Councilmember Ihlan spoke in opposition to dimensional standards (page 6, box and footnote) related to the apparent attempt to maximize lot coverage to 50% in residential districts, rather than retaining the 30% impervious coverage limitations.  Councilmember Ihlan noted that all other districts calculated those percentages based on green space, and questioned how this met environmental goals, while increasing potential flooding and pollution run off into lakes and wetlands through increased lot coverage potentials.  Councilmember Ihlan opined that it seemed more appropriate to look at ways to reduce lot coverage, and with compounding the issue by attempting to reduce minimum lot sizes, there was the potential for a great reduction in green space or non-built areas over time; and further opined that the City needed to support that additional green space beyond the requirements of watershed districts.

 

Mr. Paschke clarified that the City was not attempting to change the maximum impervious coverage from 30% (with shoreline being at 25%) but the intent was to create a threshold for total improved area on a lot (such as decks and other pervious coverage) to not exceed 50% without mitigation for storm water management on the site itself through a variety of options; and eliminating the need for property owners to go through a variance process or administrative deviation that would support that same goal.

Further discussion ensued regarding the need to define improved areas and impervious surface; comparison of DNR definitions; criteria defined in meeting pervious and/or impervious surfaces; applicable mitigation remedies; current requirements consistent with that proposed for single-family residential districts; previous discussions at the Planning Commission level and their confusion on this point as addressed in Section 5.13 of the RCA dated July 26, 2010 and creation of revised language; and recommendation by Councilmember Pust to add a parameter to the chart that only 30% can be impervious to avoid confusion.

 

Councilmember Ihlan brought up similar concerns in the LDR-2 District with up to 70% lot coverage, and opined that the 30% calculation should stay in place. 

 

Councilmember Roe clarified that this was discussing total lot coverage of 70%, not specifically impervious coverage, which would remain at 30%.

 

Public Comment

Vivian Ramalingem, 2182 Acorn Road

Ms. Ramalingem noted the need to understand how rain gardens operated under specific conditions; and suggested review of the substantial amount of available on the web for the States of Michigan and Wisconsin detailing under which circumstances they were advisable and their drainage accomplishments.  Ms. Ramalingem noted the need for the regulations to stipulate what was expected to be accomplished through the installation of rain gardens.

 

At the request of Mayor Klausing, Mr. Paschke advised that the proposed zoning code would come before the City Council sometime this fall; with revised text for these sections, as well as other sections available sometime in August after the Planning Commission had held their public hearings and weighed in on revised language.

 

Mayor Klausing encouraged citizens to forward any further questions and/or comments to the City Council or staff; with Councilmember Roe noting the opportunities provided on the City’s website for comment as well as notification of public hearings and specific discussions by the Planning Commission.

 

Mr. Paschke requested City Council consensus to eliminate the proposed reduction in minimum lot size standards to 9,500 square feet.

 

Mayor Klausing noted the intent to better reflect reality, but the apparent public perception, and suggested that it be set aside for future discussion.

 

Councilmember Roe expressed interest in looking at a separate Large Lot District at this time and as part of the zoning code rewrite.

 

Mayor Klausing noted that this issue was more complicated, and advocated removing it from the remaining zoning code changes at this time.

 

Councilmember Roe advocated for addressing it at this time; to determine how to achieve conformity and whether the 9,500 square foot minimum lot size should apply to all lots across the City.

 

Councilmember Pust advised that she was open to look at where lot sizes were already 9,500 square feet and memorializing that, but holding off looking at Large Lot Districts.

 

Councilmember Johnson concurred with Councilmember Roe in reviewing the issue now if it did not create more complicated time constraints for staff to review it and give it justice.

 

Mr. Paschke advised that, from staff’s perspective, it would be more prudent to set the minimum lot size standard at 9,500 square feet rather than leaving it at 11,000 square feet, as that would be more problematic to leave larger lots.  In order to preserve large lots in the community, Mr. Paschke advised that staff could look at creation of an “Estate District,” but that the majority of Roseville’s lots were less than the current minimum lot standard and always had been, creating challenges for staff and current property owners.

 

Councilmember Johnson suggested looking at an additional zone, while reducing the minimum lot size to 9,500 square feet.

 

Mr. Paschke questioned if that was an option on the table. 

 

Councilmember Roe opined that the nuance was on whether to do it now or later.

 

Mr. Paschke reviewed discussions of the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning process as well as the Comprehensive Plan review as they related to larger or smaller lots and existing situations.  Mr. Paschke advised that it was staff’s belief that both documents guided toward reductions, but that creation of a larger lot requirement would be appropriate unless a broader policy discussion on large lots as a whole was amended in the narrative of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Councilmember Pust opined that more recent discussions were guided by the work of the Lot Split Study CAG, and that their process had been thorough, even if three years old, and had received a substantial amount of public input at that time separate from that of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, and provided three recommendations: not make Large Lot zones; make smaller lot sizes where appropriate; and deal with shoreland lot standards.  Councilmember Pust offered her willingness to hear, at a later presentation, why those recommendations were not being followed.

 

Councilmember Ihlan spoke in support of leaving minimum lot sizes at 11,000 square feet; and if there was a concern with non-conforming lots, the City Council could legislate to make them conforming, rather than looking backwards; and advocated for creating a sliding scale as employed by the City of Edina or creation of a Large Lot District, but for now to retain the status quo.

 

12.     Business Items (Action Items)

 

a.            Discuss Public Purpose of Creating an Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to Assist with the Development of Applewood Pointe at Langton Lake and Consider a Resolution to Set a Public Hearing for Proposed TIF District No. 19

Economic Development Associate Jamie Radel provided a background of this request by United Properties, the developers at Applewood Pointe senior cooperative project at 3008 and 3010 Cleveland Avenue as detailed in the RCA dated July 26, 2010; and their formal request received by City staff on June 10, 2010 for creation of an economic development TIF District to catalyze the development of the cooperative project to fill the funding gap for this project. 

 

Ms. Radel addressed the proposed phasing for this development; and recent action by the State legislature approving temporary modification to TIF laws governing economic development TIF Districts with cities allowed to create those districts for any type of project with a demonstrated gap between now and June 30, 2010 that creates or retains jobs in the state.

 

Ms. Radel reviewed the criteria previously established by the City for public participation, and the narrative provided by the developer analyzing how they met those criteria and objectives.

 

Ms. Radel noted that the request before the City Council at this time was to determine if there was a public purpose to create such an economic development TIF District to assist with this development of Applewood Pointe at Langton Lake; and if so, to establish a public hearing date for September 13, 2010 to consider a proposed TIF District No. 19.

 

Councilmember Ihlan questioned what had changed with the financials for this project, since it had been approved several years ago by the City Council without any request for a public subsidy, without the project going forward.

 

Brian Carey, Representative from United Properties, the Developer

Mr. Carey noted that there had originally been no request for financial assistance, but that the financial challenges had been discussed at that time, and since then with the financial meltdown occurring, it had hit the housing market directly.  Mr. Carey noted, therefore, the need to pre-sell 60%, rather than the original 50% threshold, or 30 of the proposed 50 units in the first phase of the project.  Mr. Carey noted the challenges of the current housing market, in addition to the dedicated land and construction of the road into Langton Park, with the developer agreeing to approximately 2.5 acres of land at a market purchase price of approximately $450,000 to the City, in addition to additional significant park dedication fees.  Mr. Carey requested the City’s support of the use of this TIF tool to bridge the gap to help this project proceed.

 

Councilmember Ihlan spoke in opposition of a road cutting through the secluded and wooded area of Langton Lake, changing the area’s aesthetics; and suggested ways to scale the project down as opposed to seeking TIF funding; opining that it provided no future guarantee by putting public monies toward something that may not be ultimately successful.

 

Councilmember Roe clarified that if the project was not built, the City did not receive any money anyway, and was not giving up existing tax monies.

 

Discussion ensued among Councilmembers and Mr. Carey related to land dedication to access this building and the City park; financial viability of the project from the developer’s standpoint and remaining challenges even with TIF; reduced profit margin proposed by the developer to help close financial gaps; clarification that reduced construction costs didn’t indicated reduced quality from the concept designs provided earlier, but only that contractors and subcontractors were bidding lower on projects; and the number of units sold to-date for Phase I (28 or 29 of the necessary 30 units sold at this time); and review by the developer of the initial reservation agreement showing interest by buyers; reservations versus signed subscription agreements with additional non-refundable moneys; and sale of a buyer’s existing home not being a contingency of going forward with this project.

 

Mr. Carey advised that the developers met on a regular basis with prospective buyers; and when asked by Councilmember Pust why they had not included an affordable living component as part of this project, responded that the project’s price range was extremely affordable to begin with, and that the buyers being served consisted of a group earning less than the area median; and clarifying that the 60% units sold rather than 50% was a HUD standard.

 

Councilmember Ihlan noted that one reason she had originally voted against this project was its scale relative to the neighborhood and her concern that it was too massive and tall against the adjacent residential neighborhood, as well as its encroachment on one of wooded areas of Langton Lake Park due to access requirement for enough turnaround room for emergency vehicles.  Councilmember Ihlan advocated that the project be scaled back to mitigate those impacts that were an original stumbling block for her, and that would also allow the project to work financially without TIF assistance; and opined that she could then look favorably on the project if the developer made the gesture to solve those problems with the neighborhood and park.

 

Mr. Carey advised that is was not economically viable to scale the project back in a material manner without a material subsidy to do so.  Mr. Carey advised that the developer was not proposing the road, and in their first proposal had suggested townhomes as a buffer between the single family homes to the north and the Coop building itself, but that that proposal had not been viewed favorably by staff or the  City Council; and that both staff and the City Council had been adamant that a road to the park was vital, so the developer had moved in that direction.

 

Mayor Klausing refocused the discussion on whether there was a public purpose and to schedule a public hearing; to determine whether additional public comment was called for, and a more formal staff report needed.

 

Mr. Carey listed ways the project met a public purpose

§  Provide permanent and improved access to public park at no city cost

§  Permanent highly visible signage to public park

§  Provide life cycle housing consistent with the City’s recent housing study by Maxfield Research

§  Many of our buyers will move from within Roseville, with those home recycled for younger families with children regenerating the City and School District

§  Clean-up a highly blighted, visible area along Cleveland Avenue, with two blighted homes removed, and plans to eliminate another three homes to the south

§  Phase I works as a catalyst to Phases II and III

§  Plan review fees are substantial

§  Increases tax base at the of end of TIF District

§  Improve quality of wetlands and Langton Lake

§  Park dedication fees are substantial; with further discussion and possible negotiation requested by the developer

§  Consistent with overall mixed use proposed for the Twin Lakes area

 

Mayor Klausing spoke in support of pursuing additional public comment at a public hearing; and was in support of the permanent connection for park access and meeting a specific housing need in the community; and the potential for the building to serve other purposes in the future.

 

Councilmember Roe noted that the proposed project met the basic criteria for public purpose of a TIF District, and while not entirely agreeable to the proposal, opined that additional public comment at a public hearing was worth hearing.

 

Mayor Klausing suggested that, in the developer’s written narrative, Item No. 5, the developer give serious consideration to multi-modal transportation due to the project’s proximity to the new Park and Ride facility and linking to bus transportation.

 

Councilmember Ihlan disagreed that there was a public purpose for use of TIF; as this was designed as market-rate project and a for-profit enterprise, and had been approved without TIF several years ago.  Councilmember Ihlan opined that it would have negative impacts on the neighborhood as well as encroaching on park land; and disagreed that this was a blighted area, with the exception of one home, and served as wooded parkland now.  Councilmember Ihlan noted that access road would pave over a significant portion of Langton Lake Park, currently secluded; and that it didn’t justify public subsidy.

 

Klausing moved, Roe seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10829 entitled, “Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing on the Proposed Establishment of Tax Increment Financing District No. 19 within Development District No. 1 and the Proposed Adoption of a Tax Increment Financing Plan Relating Thereto (Attachment E0” scheduling a public hearing on September 13, 2010 to hear public comment.

 

Councilmember Pust advised that she was opposed to the use of TIF for this project, but couldn’t deny, at this point, that there was a public purpose in connecting Langton Lake Park.  Councilmember Pust noted that the development coming into the area provided an opportunity for a formal connection and access into Langton Lake Park, but that the road would also provide access to the site.  Councilmember Pust supported additional public comment and discussion.

 

Councilmember Johnson spoke in support of public comment and further discussion, based on the proposed use of TIF meeting the City’s criteria.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Roe; Pust; Johnson; and Klausing.

Nays: Ihlan.

Motion carried.

 

14.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions

 

a.                    Continue Discussion on the 2011 Priority-based Budgeting

Finance Director Chris Miller provided as a bench handout, an updated ranking of individual Councilmembers and a composite of those rankings, attached hereto and made a part thereof.

 

Discussion included differentials between high/low rankings; interpretations of rankings for mandated programs and services; areas of consensus and areas without consensus needing further discussion and review; Mr. Miller’s ranking of “6” for those items left blank in the rating process to underscore the need for further dialogue; assumptions and potential distortion of the data and rankings; varying definitions of what is mandatory and whether federal-, state- or City-mandated; mandated areas representing contractual obligations and/or long-term agreements; provisions of City Code; narrow and/or broad definitions of mandatory items; and difficulties in isolating mandates programs without deteriorating the integrity of the ranking system to-date.

 

By consensus, the Council asked that Mr. Miller provide distinctions between federal-, state-, or City-mandated obligations or agreements, and separate them out from the remaining ranked items; and identifying those items that have a programmatic function or mandates embedded into those programs.

 

Mr. Miller asked Councilmembers if the ranking results so far were a true vision of the community; and noted several items ranked lowest (memberships and City Attorney services) that would have substantial impacts on day-to-day operations from staff’s perspective.

 

City Manager Malinen also noted the ranking of the Central Garage Organizational Management higher than that of Human Resources, and the negative impacts such ranking could have on overall operations.

 

Councilmembers noted their individual rankings and perspectives used for those rankings; and recognized the need to revise some of their rankings based on tonight’s discussion and interpretation of mandatory contracts and contractual obligations.

 

Further discussion included rankings for day-to-day operations versus quality of life issues for the wider community; comparables among rankings and where the lines would be drawn based on various interpretations and rankings and changing definitions; and ultimate use of priorities to develop the City Manager-recommended budget.

 

City Manager Malinen encouraged individual Councilmembers to provide their revised rankings at their earliest convenience to Mr. Miller to keep the process moving forward; and advised that staff would provide the mandatory designations as requested this week prior to Councilmembers doing their revised rankings.

 

Mr. Miller advised that he would provide a mandatory managed list by e-mail and Councilmembers could take it from there.

 

15.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Malinen distributed upcoming agenda items.

 

16.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Councilmember Roe advised that he may tentatively be unavailable for the August 9, 2010 regular meeting.

 

17.         Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:45 pm.   

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