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City Council


 

City Council Meeting Minutes

January 12, 2015

 

1.       Roll Call

Mayor Roe called the meeting to order at approximately 6:00 p.m.  Voting and Seating Order: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten, and Roe.  City Manager Patrick Trudgeon and City Attorney Mark Gaughan were also present.

 

Mayor Roe noted that Councilmember Etten had previously indicated that he had a scheduling conflict and would be unavailable for tonight?s meeting.

 

2.       Pledge of Allegiance

         

3.       Approve Agenda

Councilmember Laliberte requested the addition of two additional items to tonight's agenda: Reconsideration of Item 13.c from the January 5, 2015 meeting regarding the City Council/staff retreat; and a staff update on the upcoming Twin Lakes Planning Meeting.

 

Mayor Roe suggested the staff update on the Twin Lakes Planning meeting be addressed during tonight's "Council Communications, Reports and Announcements" section.

 

Laliberte moved, Willmus seconded, reconsideration of the City Council/staff retreat from the January 5, 2015 meeting.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Councilmember Laliberte explained her rationale in requesting reconsideration of this item due to her perception of some confusion during the vote and whether that vote was specific to the original motion, the amendment to that motion, or an amended motion. Councilmember Laliberte suggested some of that confusion seemed to be regarding the actual dollar amount authorized. Councilmember Laliberte stated that she also had remaining concerns regarding the actual scope and cost, and since she had voted in the affirmative, sought input from her colleagues as to whether they also felt more discussion was needed.

 

Mayor Roe stated that he would vote against the motion to reconsider, as he considered the record indicating clarification of the amendment and original motion on January 5, 2015 duly reflected the intent and subsequent action.  As a supporter of the motion, Mayor Roe opined that he had no concern regarding the costs outlined, nor any need for reconsideration.

 

Councilmember Laliberte advised that part of her intent in reopening discussion was to consider going out for bid on a facilitator.

 

Councilmember McGehee concurred with the comments of Mayor Roe; but if the issue was to be reconsidered at all, it should be done when a full City Council was available to discuss it.

 

Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus and Laliberte. 

Nays: McGehee and Roe.

Motion failed due to lack of majority.

 

McGehee moved, Willmus seconded approval of the agenda as presented.

                                               

Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

4.      Public Comment

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

 

5.       Council Communications, Reports, and Announcements

Councilmember Laliberte advised that, as Roseville City Council Liaison, she would be attending the monthly meeting of the Ramsey County League or Local Governments (LCLLG) later this week.

 

Councilmember Laliberte announced locations and times for upcoming Metropolitan Transit open houses scheduled this week for the "Rush Line" corridor proposed from St. Paul's Union Depot to Hinckley, MN; with the public invited to share their comments as options were discussed for routes, station locations and rationale for studying/constructing the line.

 

Mayor Roe briefly reported on recent North Suburban Cable Commission franchise activity; specifically that the membership had been reduced to nine member cities with the formal withdrawal of the City of Shoreview from the Commission as of December 31, 2014.  Mayor Roe advised that the Commission would be revising the joint powers agreement accordingly as it related to governing aspects of the member cities and their working relationship, as well as incorporating changes due to federal law changes.  Once finalized by the Commission, Mayor Roe noted that each member city would be receiving the revised and updated document for subsequent action and approval on their part.

 

Mayor Roe announced the upcoming volunteer opportunity scheduled in Roseville at Acorn Park for removal of Buckthorn debris as part of the Parks Renewal Program Natural Resources work at Roseville Parks.

 

Twin Lakes Community Meeting

At the request of Mayor Roe, Community Development Director Paul Bilotta provided a brief update on the public meeting scheduled later this week in the Skating Center?s Rose Room regarding the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, as a result of the City Council seeking additional community input on various aspects and actions in the area.  Mr. Bilotta advised that this was intended as a listening session, as the City Council took the pulse of the neighborhood, the overall community, and area businesses; and would serve to inform future City Council discussions and decision-making.

 

At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Bilotta reviewed the notice area covered by mailed post cards, as well as other opportunities to spread the word; with post card notice mailed beyond the normal 500? area and extending into the James Addition sough of County Road C and Langton Lake up to Lydia Avenue.  Mr. Bilotta noted that word-of-mouth-advertising would also provide additional coverage in getting the information out.

 

Councilmember McGehee noted the need that this topic involved the entire community, not just the immediate neighborhood, since it had citywide impact; and encouraged the entire community to attend if interested.

           

In response to Councilmember Laliberte's request for "next steps," Mr. Bilotta advised that another meeting was scheduled for February 18, 2015 to present results of the first meeting; and at that point, additional issues based on previous actions should be available, and that the results would dictate those next steps at the City Council level.  Mr. Bilotta clarified that it would be dependent on public comment and determining areas of consensus.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, City Manager Trudgeon discussed timing of the City's newsletter as it related to these community meetings; and addressed other ways to get the word out to the public as the process unfolded.  Mr. Trudgeon assured Councilmembers that staff would work to provide ongoing information to the public; and encouraged public comment directly to staff and/or the City Council in written form at any time, whether or not they could attend the meeting. 

 

Mr. Bilotta advised that written comment received before, during or immediately after the open house would be uploaded on the City website for public information.  Mr. Bilotta recognized that, due to health- or weather-related issues, some residents would not be able to personally attend the meeting, but still wanted their voice heard.  Mr. Bilotta noted that the important part was to receive that public feedback.

 

6.         Recognitions, Donations and Communications

 

a.            Proclaim Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Mayor Roe read a proclamation declaring January 19, 2015 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Roseville, inviting a renewed commitment in the community for racial equality and justice.

 

Willmus moved, Laliberte seconded, declaring January 19, 2015 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Roseville.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

7.       Approve Minutes

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

 

a.            Approve Minutes of January 5, 2015 Meeting

McGehee moved, Laliberte seconded, approval of the Meeting Minutes of November 10, 2014 as presented.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

8.       Approve Consent Agenda

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

a.            Approve Payments

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented and detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated January 12, 2015 and attached check register.

         

ACH Payments

$1,983,922.66

75997 - 76286

1,584,478.72

TOTAL

$3,568,401.38

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

b.            Approve Business and Other Licenses & Permits

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, unless otherwise noted, for applicants as listed and detailed in the RCA dated January 12, 2015.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

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

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the submitted list of general purchases and contracts for services as detailed in the RCA dated January 12, 2015.

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

d.            Receive Feasibility Report and Order Public Hearing for Victoria Street Reconstruction Project

Councilmember McGehee stated that she had previously discussed this project with City Engineer Marc Culver, specific to drainage issues, with assurances from staff that they would be working with the Capitol Region Watershed District to maximize those efforts.

 

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11203 (Attachment A) entitled, "Receiving the Feasibility Report for Victoria Street Reconstruction and Ordering Public Hearing for Improvement;" with the hearing scheduled for Monday, February 23, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

e.            Award Contract for Engineering Services for Replacement of Wagner Lift Station

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of awarding an engineering services contract to Bolton & Menk, Inc. for engineering services for reconstruction of the Wagener sanitary sewer lift station, in an amount not to exceed $25,775.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

f.             Award Contract for Engineering Services for Rehabilitation of St. Croix Lift Station

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of awarding an engineering services contract to S.E.H., Inc. for engineering services for the rehabilitation of the St. Croix storm sewer lift station, in an amount not to exceed $58,817.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

g.            Adopt a Resolution Accepting Part-Time Firefighter as a Member of the Public Employees Police and Fire Plan

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11204 (Attachment A) entitled, ?Part-Time Firefighter PERA Declaration;? accepting part-time firefighter Adam Sabotta (employee #50295) as a member of the Public Employees Police and Fire Plan.

                                   

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

h.            Request for Renewed Approval of Outdoor Storage of Boats as an Interim Use

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11205 (Attachment C) entitled, "A Resolution Approving a Temporary Boat Sales, Service, and Outdoor Storage Facility as an Interim Use at 1705 County Road C (PF09-025)."

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

9.            Consider Items Removed from Consent

 

10.         General Ordinances for Adoption

 

11.         Presentations

 

12.         Public Hearings

 

13.         Budget Items

 

14.         Business Items (Action Items)

 

a.            Request by HR, LLC for Approval of a Preliminary Plat at 2750 Cleveland Avenue

City Planner Thomas Paschke reviewed this request, as detailed in the RCA dated January 12, 2015; noting the addition of two conditions since the Planning Commission meeting approval; as noted on Pages 2 and 3, lines 32 through 51). 

 

At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Paschke confirmed that the parking agreement would be recorded as part of the title for affected properties; including any modifications or revisions necessary.  Mr. Paschke noted that any amendments to that agreement would at a minimum necessitate approval by the City Attorney before re-recording, if not before the City Council.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that she had been interested since the beginning to encourage additional green space; and options that were possible under watershed district requirements.  However that final determination is made, Councilmember McGehee expressed her hope that at a minimum the pathway proposed for installation north of the site would retain sufficient adjacent green space.

 

Councilmember Laliberte noted previous City Council discussions with the developer and staff about walkability and pedestrian safety within the site itself, and sought an update on those efforts as they related to the shared parking agreement.

 

Mr. Paschke responded that an internal sidewalk from Iona Lane and north of one of the hotels was proposed in the site plan, accessing the commercial development proposed to the south on the former Xtra Lease site, and in addition to external sidewalks.  Mr. Paschke displayed several maps outlining those amenities and connections based on site grades.

 

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the proposed Twin Lakes Hospitality Place PRELIMINARY PLAT, as presented and detailed in the RCA dated January 12, 2015, and based on the comments, findings, and nine (9) conditions stipulated therein.

 

Councilmember McGehee suggested that a bench amenity be considered along the pathway to provide an area for walkers to rest.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

Mayor Roe confirmed with staff that the final plat will come before the City Council for review and approval in the future.

 

b.            Request from Roseville Senior Apartments Building located at 1045 Larpenteur for an Exemption from Roseville Ordinance, Chapter 908, for Rental Licensing for Multi-family Rental Properties of Five or  More Units

An e-mail comment dated January 12, 2014 from Lisa McCormick, Wheeler Street in Roseville, was provided as a bench handout,

Permit Coordinator Don Munson introduced Lester Goldblatt, representing Stanley Management Company, 5402 Parkdale Drive, Suite 105, Minneapolis, MN, owner of the property, ?Roseville Senior House,? a Section 8 authorized HUD apartment complex. 

 

As detailed in the RCA dated January 12, 2014, Mr. Munson provided staff's review of the request for exemption noted in the firm?s letter dated October 8, 2014 from Stanley Management Company (Attachment B).  While Mr. Munson recognized the inspections done by other regulatory agencies at this facility and recognized the privacy concerns of tenants, Mr. Munson noted that those inspections did not address the same areas overall as stipulated by Roseville City Code.  Mr. Munson provided the specifics of City Code addressing tenant safety, tenant rights in accordance with written lease provisions, and the infrequency of the City of Roseville?s inspection program for those buildings licensed in the upper tiers, which this building would most likely qualify under.  Mr. Munson noted that the result would essentially require a fifteen minute inspection once every six years, and opined that didn't not seem overly intrusive from staff's perspective to ensure tenant safety and well-being.  Mr. Munson further noted the violations and issues staff had previously found in buildings under HUD inspections, some minor and some more significant.

 

Mr. Munson advised that staff recommended DENIAL of the request for an exemption from the Rental License Program, requiring that the building be licensed as per Roseville City Code, Chapter 908.

 

Lester Goldblatt, Representing Stanley Management Company

As noted in staff's comments, the RCA, and the October letter from Stanley Management Company, Mr. Goldblatt expounded on the number of annual inspections occurring at the facility already, opining that any additional inspections were unrealistic.  Mr. Goldblatt noted that their facility had been operating for over 36 years, and during that time, the City's Building Inspector had never voiced any complaints.  Mr. Goldblatt advised that the only property issues were created by the adjacent shopping center and use of the adjoining alley as a dumping ground by its customers, even though the shopping center was cooperative with clean-up efforts at the apartment complex.  Mr. Goldblatt advised that they took special efforts to keep their property up, and opined that they had an outstanding record, as well as the building being highly respected among Section 8 HUD properties. 

 

Mr. Goldblatt advised that HUD inspected 10% of their units annually; and expressed his willingness to share results of those inspections with City staff at any time, in his plea for preserving the privacy of their tenants and avoiding an invasion of that privacy.  During a recent refinancing of the property, Mr. Goldblatt noted the number of inspections required as part of that process, and the complaints of tenants about that invasion of their privacy.  Furthermore, Mr. Goldblatt assured Councilmembers that he and his staff kept well ahead of any issues as they were proud of the quality of the building with any maintenance issues addressed within 24 hours of being reported; and had never been written up for any safety violation by a HUD or other agency inspector, operating at an 88% acceptance rate for the REACT program.

 

If there was some other way to work things out and ensure tenant privacy, Mr. Goldblatt offered his willingness to work with the City, and arbitrate between his tenants and the City.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Goldblatt advised that there were 127 units in the building, all Section 8, and reviewed the number of units inspected (HUD a minimum of 10% and REACT usually 25% of the units).

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that the building was well maintained, and expressed her appreciation for the sense of community by the tenants, that she had personally observed in her site visit.  Councilmember McGehee asked if it would be possible to coordinate the City?s inspection of units with those of other agencies simultaneously for less intrusiveness of tenants.  Councilmember McGehee expressed her empathy for tenants and her interest in working something out.

 

Mr. Goldblatt spoke in favor of that coordinated effort; and Mr. Munson responded that it could be possible, but given scheduling of limited staff and the number of other building inspections, he could not guarantee that it would always be feasible, but offered to pursue such an effort.

 

Councilmember Willmus sought confirmation that the City ordinance calling for initial inspection of 100% of units to establish a baseline.

 

Mr. Munson clarified that staff was initially inspecting 25% of units annually over a three year cycle, at which time it rotated.  Mr. Munson noted that the City did not have sufficient staff to do an inspection of 100% of the units at one time.

 

At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Goldblatt confirmed that the facility had a large community gathering space for use by its tenants.  Councilmember Laliberte suggested that staff arrange with Mr. Goldblatt for a presentation to tenants on the City?s rationale in and the purpose and intent of the inspection process and what that inspection involved.

 

Both Mr. Goldblatt and Mr. Munson expressed interest in pursuing that avenue; with Mr. Goldblatt noting the annual presentation by the City?s Fire Inspector in that group setting.

 

When public comment was sought by Mayor Roe, no one come forward to speak to this issue.

 

Councilmember Willmus stated that he was not supportive of waiving the City inspection; and supported pursuing the strategies suggested by Councilmember McGehee if and where feasible.

 

Councilmember Roe concurred, further supporting the suggestions of Councilmember Laliberte.

Laliberte moved, Willmus seconded, DENIAL of the request of Roseville Senior Apartments Building, located at 1045 Larpenteur Avenue, for exemption from the City of Roseville Rental license Program, requiring the building be licensed in accordance with City Code, Chapter 908.

 

Councilmember Laliberte asked that staff attempt to coordinate all City Rental License Program inspections with other inspection agencies as feasible in an effort to be sensitive to tenants and avoid multiple intrusions, including opportunities for staff presentations to a larger group of tenants to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Roseville residents in these facilities.

 

Councilmember McGehee offered a friendly amendment directing staff to work with other agencies (e.g. HUD) and their inspection schedules.

 

City Manager Trudgeon clarified that the City no longer performed HUD inspections, as their reimbursement did not cover the City?s actual cost.

 

As the maker of the motion, Councilmember Laliberte did not accept the friendly amendment; opining that as noted in her previous remarks, she did not want to tie the potential coordination into the motion; but was confident that staff would pursue that option if and when possible.

 

As the seconder of the motion, Councilmember Willmus concurred with Councilmember Laliberte; noting staff's direction to try to coordinate at their discretion but not specifically tied to this facility or this action.

 

Mayor Roe stated that he tended to concur with Councilmembers Laliberte and Willmus, and opined that he was not prepared to make a broad directive for staff to have to comply with coordinating efforts in all cases depending on specific situations and schedules.  However, Mayor Roe advised that he would be interested in hearing from staff how those coordination efforts were working during the process to see if it made sense to pursue further, and depending on which other agencies were performing inspections.  Mayor Roe spoke in support of explaining to tenants the rationale in the program and its purpose in addressing their protection.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that she'd go along with the Council majority, recognizing the necessity and validity of the City's Rental License Program.  Councilmember McGehee noted that the program was implemented to address other buildings, not this specific facility, to address severe problems in those facilities.  Councilmember McGehee expressed her faith in City staff in working with Mr. Goldblatt; and asked that he and other multi-tenant building owners in the community keep the City Council apprised of their experiences with the Rental License Program as everyone remains in the learning curve during the initial implementation of this new program.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

Mayor Roe thanked Mr. Goldblatt for his attendance and comments; but confirmed that the motion denied his request for exemption for this facility from the inspection process under the City?s Rental Licensing Program.

 

Mr. Goldblatt expressed his disappointment in the City Council's action; noting that most other multi-tenant buildings were not regulated with rents they can charge; however, owners of this building would be forced to absorb this cost rather than being able to spread the fee over the units.

 

15.         Business Items - Presentations/Discussions

 

a.            Update on Dale Street Fire Station Redevelopment

City Manager Trudgeon provided a verbal update on the status of the Dale Street Fire Station Redevelopment Project, and took responsibility for and personally apologized for not communicating the project status with the City Council and public before now, including the provisions staff was working under in the Predevelopment Agreement.  Mr. Trudgeon stated that one reason for the delayed reporting was that staff kept thinking the end was in sight, but obviously that had not happened and the process went on far too long.

 

Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the history and background of the project; and the recent expiration of the Preliminary Developer Agreement, with financing for the project remaining the final piece of the puzzle, but also still unresolved.  At this point, Mr. Trudgeon advised that the Greater Minnesota Housing Corporation (GMHC) was still attempting to secure financing, and was awaiting completion of an appraisal with the latest bank considering financing the project.

 

Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff was collectively of the opinion that it was time to pursue other options for the land.  Mr. Trudgeon stated that the next steps from staff's perspective were for the City ? and Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) as owner of two of the three acres and the City's partner - discuss options for the property.  Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the project was and would remain a city-led process.

 

Mr. Trudgeon advised that the HRA next met on January 20, 2015, at which time they would be discussing the project?s status, along with options and alternatives.  Subsequently, Mr. Trudgeon noted that the City Council and HRA?s next joint meeting was scheduled for February 9, 2015, where a larger discussion and HRA recommendations were proposed for discussion, and the next steps.

 

Given the amount of time given by the community to-date in considering and agreeing on the right development, Mr. Trudgeon stated that he would lean toward recommending that the City determine if other developers are interested in doing a similar development as that proposed by GMHC.

 

Councilmember Willmus thanked City Manager Trudgeon for his update and explanation; and expressed his concern with the overall process and consequences of the predevelopment agreement lapsing.  While several actions had come before the City Council during the process, Councilmember Willmus opined the silver lining, if there is one, was that the City retained control over and title to the property and other parties were not yet involved, which could have resulted in some major issues.  Councilmember Willmus stated that something to be learned from this process for the City Council, the HRA and staff was the need to stay on top of these things, whether it had been extension of the predevelopment agreement by the HRA; or going forward what measures or stop gaps could be put in place to call attention to issues periodically through such a process, or flagging certain dates to provide that periodic review.

 

City Manager Trudgeon concurred that, certainly on staff's part, assurances of certain dates and better project management, as well as more frequent updates with the City Council, were called for.  As one option, Mr. Trudgeon suggested a report by a representative of the HRA at each City Council meeting to check-in on a process, and/or clear documentation of dates and information and updates available to the public throughout that process, essentially a series of checks and balances.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that this project could serve as a learning experience, and expressed his thankfulness that no lasting repercussions resulted from this delay; however, he duly noted the points brought up about the failure of the process in this case.

 

At the request of Councilmember Willmus, City Manager Trudgeon, confirmed that the public would also have an opportunity to weigh in at the HRA meeting if they chose to do so.

 

While realizing that the delay was problematic, Councilmember McGehee stated her assumptions that the HRA was following it closely.  Councilmember McGehee expressed her thankfulness that the City owned the land; and while having participated in the public meetings, opined that it remained a good project with neighborhood support.  While also understanding that the financing was holding up the project, Councilmember McGehee referenced her understanding from the residential and commercial community that appraisals were delayed across the board from lending institutions at this time as the economy continued to rebound.  Councilmember McGehee expressed her support of the GMHC proposal, and looked forward to the recommendation of the HRA from their upcoming meeting.

 

Councilmember Laliberte expressed her disagreement with her colleagues, opining that the HRA did not follow this project closely enough; and expressed her hope that they paid much closer attention in the future. As a regular viewer of HRA meetings, Councilmember Laliberte noted how brisk they were; and suggested the HRA take more time at their meetings to ask the right questions, since the community granted the HRA a good deal of money to operate.  While the City owned the property, Councilmember Laliberte noted that one of the repercussions of the delay was that a great deal of time had been lost, with City staff and the community at large having put a lot of time and energy into the planning stages, with the end proposal highly praised.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that it was unfortunate that some much time had been lost, and expressed her disappointment that, when it was first determined that financing was problematic, it should have raised more flags than it did.

 

Councilmember Willmus stated that he was not in any way pleased with the time lapse for this project as noted by Councilmember Laliberte, but also remained thankful that the City held the property title, and ramifications were few other than reversing drainage and utility easements.  However, Councilmember Willmus reiterated the need for the City Council, HRA and staff to be in a better position to keep track of various projects.

 

In recognizing that this item will come back to the City Council for discussion at their February 9, 2015 meeting, Councilmember Laliberte noted that, while some other proposals initially came before the City Council, it had been determined at that time that they were never going to work, and cautioned that they really didn?t need to be reviewed again, since the community meetings had supported that the GMHC proposal was the best option, and there should be no need to start over again with less viable proposals.

 

Mayor Roe shared the disappointment expressed that things were not better tracked during the process, while recognizing that everyone was working toward the end product and were confident that financing would fall into place more quickly than it did, which to some extent was out of the City?s control.  However, Mayor Roe admitted that he would have been more comfortable if that information was brought forward before now.  Mayor Roe stated that his takeaway from tonight's discussion was that the GMHC proposal was the best concept brought forward, and suggested the directive to City and HRA staff should be to see if other developers were willing to pursue that concept.

 

In recognizing that the former Owasso School property, now vacant, had received proposals for higher-density, owner-occupied homes, Mayor Roe suggested that it may interest the same developers as part of this development to mix single family homes with higher-density units that may make a larger package more attractive to them versus them attempting to propose something completely different than what had already been ruled out based on community input.

City Manager Trudgeon advised that staff would pursue a package similar to that proposed by GMHC with the development community.  Mr. Trudgeon addressed the four action items requested of the City Council immediately during or after expiration of the pre-development agreement and noted their status:

 

1)    City Council approval of a right-of-entry for GMHC to install a sign to market the property.

Mr. Trudgeon advised that this had never happened, with no sign installed.

 

2)    City Council resolution adopted allowing the use pooled tax increment financing (TIF) dollars to assist with this development.

Mr. Trudgeon advised that the resolution remained in place as the broader TIF District had been amended to make this development happen, but was not tied specifically to this developer?s project.

 

3)   City Council acknowledgment of the Planning Commission?s determination that the concept was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Trudgeon advised that, provided another concept remained consistent with the original proposal, that acknowledgement would remain; and only need revised if a new proposal differed substantially from the original proposal.

 

4)    City Council action related to the drainage and utility easements on the project site.

Mr. Trudgeon advised that, since the City still owned the land, and the easements have not yet taken effect and would be subject to final plat approval, yet to occur, they technically remained in place and had not yet been recorded.

 

Public Comment

Kari Gelly, 777 Lovell Avenue

Ms. Gelly thanked the City Council for keeping the neighborhood involved so far, and expressed her appreciation for being able to participate in the meetings, and for the collaborative approach.  Since the GMHC proposal was supported by the neighborhood for a variety of reasons, Ms. Gelly asked that the City attempt to preserve that plan with the current developer or other developers, or stay as close to that original proposal as possible.  However, if it was necessary to start the process over again, Ms. Gelly asked that the neighbors be allowed to participate again.  Ms. Gelly suggested that, if the GMHC was aware that they may lose the project, it may provide an incentive to keep things moving forward.

 

Ken Hartman, 660 West Lovell Avenue

While past communications were good during the four initial community meetings, Mr. Hartman alerted the City Council that communications with the neighborhood regarding tonight?s meeting had been non-existent.  Mr. Hartman noted that the HRA should have most of the e-mail addresses for concerned neighbors, and suggested at a minimum a monthly update. 

 

Ken Warwick, 748 Grandview

Mr. Warwick thanked the City Council for their ongoing involvement and for listening to area residents to at least get a plan started, even though it was unfortunate that that plan had apparently fallen by the wayside.  However it played out in the future with this or another proposal, Mr. Warwick expressed his concerns with timing, and asked that any future plan received all the same input as voiced the last time to retain the good cooperation between the neighborhood and the City.

 

Jill Atwood, 841 Lovell

In speaking personally and on behalf of at least four of her neighbors unable to attend tonight, Ms. Atwood wanted to go on record echoing the comments stated previously tonight; and thanked the City for this good plan for their neighborhood.

 

Grant Johnson, Representative of Developer J.W. Moore Inc.

From a developer?s perspective, Mr. Johnson opined that the project could be viable, and expressed the interest of their development firm in discussing it further.

 

Ken Warwick

Mr. Warwick alerted staff and the City Council on the availability of two other empty lots on Lovell that had been vacant for some time and while unsure of their ownership, may also be available to add to a project.

 

Mayor Roe and City Manager Trudgeon duly noted the communication concerns expressed by tonight?s speakers.

 

b.            Zero Waste Discussion

City Engineer Marc Culver briefly summarized what he preferred to term "Toward Zero Waste" public events, as detailed in the RCA dated January 12, 2015.  Mr. Culver noted that the 2013 contract with Eureka Recycling, now in its second of three years, included four "Zero Waste" events.  Mr. Culver suggested options would be to include more events when issuing a new Request for Proposals (RFP), to add additional events immediately at extra city expense, or to find more volunteers to staff those efforts, recognizing that there was no guarantee that volunteers would be available to staff the events, which would create additional expenses for staff resources that he estimated between $1,500 to $2,000.

 

Mr. Culver noted that part of the "Toward Zero Waste" effort was educating the public, but also vendors; and cautioned that in moving that direction, the City may not want to require their participation and potentially lose some of those vendors.  Mr. Culver suggested starting with the educational process with vendors, and perhaps by the time a new recycling contract was available, that education could have been completed. 

 

Councilmember Willmus noted that when discussing Rosefest, it was actually only one specific event, the Taste of  Rosefest, and suggested continued review with recommendation by the Public Works, Environment, and Transportation Commission (PWETC) to get more events covered.

 

Councilmember McGehee agreed with Councilmember Willmus, and suggested working with the City's Volunteer Coordinator to pursue those efforts beyond just education, but in moving them forward as much as possible without further delay.

 

Mayor Roe spoke in support of the volunteer aspect especially for those specifically interested in recycling and diverting waste; and suggested that they may be interested in making themselves available for third-party events as well such as for renters of the banquet center who want city assistance to incentivize that.  Mayor Roe suggested funds could possibly be set aside from the recycling contract?s profit sharing fund of a certain amount annually to facilitate zero waste events on city property, whether city events or private.  Mayor Roe opined that this would send a clear message that the City was actively promoting moving toward zero waste.

 

Councilmember Laliberte agreed that the PWETC should look at it and evaluate different events on city property, whether a city organization function or large event by an outside party.  Councilmember Laliberte further spoke in support of pursuing a group of interested volunteers to staff those events and continue educational opportunities.

 

Councilmember Willmus suggested they could be identified as the "Zero Waste Reaction Team."

 

Public Comment

 

Kathy Klink, 525 Ryan Avenue W

In her role as Hennepin County Master Recycler, and as a Roseville resident, Ms. Klink expressed her enthusiastic interest in being on that volunteer team or assisting in any way needed to pursue this effort.  Ms. Klink stated that, ?" am your zero waste person;" and having facilitated a number of reasonably successful events, reiterated her interest in helping the City and staff with this.

 

Ms. Klink noted that with more interest in zero waste, vendors were moving toward that as standard operating procedure, and while it took time to get  everyone on board and organized, and needing more than one volunteer, she expressed enthusiasm that it was doable.

 

Mayor Roe thanked Ms. Klink for her offer, and asked that she coordinate with staff.

 

16.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Trudgeon briefly reviewed upcoming preliminary meeting agendas

 

Mayor Roe suggested that the January 26, 2015 meeting be in Work Session format.

 

17.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

While most commission meetings started at 6:30 p.m., Councilmember Laliberte noted that the Community Engagement Commission meeting would be starting at 7:00 p.m. this month.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, City Manager Trudgeon clarified that the Buckthorn removal at Acorn Park was removal of brush stacked for removal, not actually eradicating it during the winter months, as noted on the informational flyer.

 

18.         Adjourn

Laliberte moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 7:39 p.m.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, and Roe. 

Nays: None.