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City Council


 

City Council Meeting Minutes

March 2, 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.

 

2.       Pledge of Allegiance

 

3.       Approve Agenda

Councilmember Laliberte requested removal of Item 8.f from the Consent Agenda for separate consideration.  Councilmember Etten requested removal of Item 8.d and g from the Consent Agenda for separate consideration.

 

Laliberte moved, Etten seconded approval of the agenda as amended.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten 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

Mayor Roe announced an upcoming free community conversation scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on March 16, 2016 at the Roseville Skating Center, sponsored in part by the Human Rights Commission, and addressing mental health illness issues in general and associated stigmas.

 

Mayor Roe announced scholarship opportunities available through the North Suburban Cable Commission for residents of the nine member communities with students interested in communication, journalism or similar studies.  Additional information, with a deadline of April 10, 2015 for scholarship applications, is available at ctvnorthsuburbs.org/scholarships or by calling 651/792-7515.

 

6.       Recognitions, Donations and Communications

 

a.            Proclaim Women's History Month

Mayor Roe read a proclamation declaring March 2015 as Women's History Month in the City of Roseville, MN, recognizing and celebrating the contributions that women of every race, class and ethnic background have made to the world.

 

Laliberte moved, McGehee seconded, proclaiming March 2015 as Women's History Month in Roseville, MN.

 

Councilmember McGehee noted that the last City Pay Equity Report indicated that the City performed well related to equality of compensation between female and male employees.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

b.            Introduce City Attorney Erich Hartmann

City Attorney Gaughan introduced their firm's newest City Attorney Erich Hartmann, noting his expertise in the field of real estate law, and service in that role for the firm's municipal clients, including the City of Roseville.  Mr. Gaughan noted that Mr. Hartmann's expertise was welcome in  filling the void left by the pending retirement of Attorney Charles Bartholdi.

 

As a resident of Roseville since 2007, and children attending Roseville School District No. 623, Mr. Hartmann expressed his excitement to be representing the City in this role and looked forward to working with Councilmembers, staff and the community.

 

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 February 23, 2015 Meeting

­­­­­­Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of Meeting Minutes of February 23, 2015 as amended.

 

Corrections:

§  Page 30, Line 30 (McGehee)

Delete "and only" and end sentence at "longer."

§  Pages 20 - 33 (Roe)

Reformat from red highlighted type to black

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten 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; and as detailed in specific Requests for Council Action (RCA) and related attachments, dated March 2, 2015.

 

a.            Approve Payments

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

 

ACH Payments

$46,906.28

76635 - 76653

301,221.71

TOTAL

$348,127.99

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

b.            Approve Business and Other Licenses and Permits

Willmus moved, Etten seconded, approval/renewal of business and other licenses and permits for terms as noted.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

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

Willmus moved, Etten seconded, approval of general purchases and contracts for services, and where applicable, trade-in/sale of surplus equipment as noted in the RCA and Attachment A entitled, "2015 Capital Improvement Plan Summary," updated January 31, 2015.

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

d.            Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement for Bids for Victoria Street Reconstruction

Willmus moved, Etten seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11213 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement for Bids for Victoria Street between Larpenteur Avenue and County Road B."

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

9.    Consider Items Removed from Consent

 

d.            Approve Facility Management Contract

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed this item being considered under the Consent Agenda; and as detailed in the RCA and related attachments, dated March 2, 2015.

 

Councilmember Etten asked staff how this contract and defined duties in the contract compared to those duties performed currently and/or in the past by staff.

 

Public Works Director Duane Schwartz responded that specific to facility management, the duties under the proposed contract were very similar to those duties performed by staff.  Mr. Schwartz advised that McGough would also provide additional asset management that would enhance the City's asset management system and possibly link the two to provide even quicker and more detailed management to bring facilities up to current capabilities.

 

Since this proposal includes the City Hall, Maintenance Facility and License Center, Councilmember Etten asked if discussions had occurred on a staff level to work with the Parks & Recreation and Fire Departments to incorporate them into the contract as well.

 

Mr. Schwartz responded that, for the most part, staff had held some discussion about that expansion, and anticipated the 2016 budget may include such a proposal.  However, Mr. Schwartz advised that while the Fire Department was facing an upcoming retirement within the next few years that may prompt their participation as well, the Parks & Recreation Department may need to deal with budgetary issues before they are able to participate.

 

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of a one-year Facility Management Agreement for Limited Services (Attachment A and attached schedules) with McGough Facility Management for the period of one year in the amount of $43,140 for the City, Hall, Maintenance Facility and the License Center.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

F.           Approve Victoria Street Parking Prohibition-from Larpenteur Avenue and County Road B

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed this item being considered under the Consent Agenda; and as detailed in the RCA and related attachments, dated March 2, 2015.

 

Councilmember Laliberte expressed concern in the location and potential number of signs for this stretch of roadway, located directly in front of residential properties on the west side.  Councilmember Laliberte noted recent media coverage about MnDOT and/or cities "over signing" and at considerable cost.  With the exception of the curve areas on the road, Councilmember Laliberte questioned if the City could rather stripe the roadway versus installing signs.

 

City Engineer Marc Culver responded that the City attempted to minimize signage for aesthetic and cost considerations; however, he noted the need to install signage when needed to make it clear where you could or could not park for overall benefit of everyone using or living on the road.  Mr. Culver assured the City Council and public that staff would space out signage as much as possible, and there may be some tweaks indicated after the initial installation as comments were fielded from residents and the Police Department.  Mr. Culver advised that staff would actually walk the area and stake signage prior to installation based on their personal observations on visibility.

 

In response to Councilmember Laliberte's suggestion for striping to discourage parking versus signage, Mr. Culver advised that the shoulders would actually be striped with a  2-3" shoulder on the west side and an 8" shoulder on the east side to accommodate parking width.  Mr. Culver noted that staff relied on the signage and the Police Department for enforcement efforts. 

 

Councilmember Laliberte asked that staff remain cognizant of the location of many of these signs in residential front yards.

 

Mayor Roe asked staff for a comparison of striping costs versus the cost of signs.

 

Mr. Culver responded that striping actually cost more as it required more regular maintenance and wore out more quickly, while signs lasted 15-20 years depending on their direction to the sun, with restriping needing redone every few years depending on the type of material used.

 

Laliberte moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11212 (Attachment A) entitled, ?Resolution Prohibiting Parking on Victoria Street between Larpenteur Avenue and County Road B.?

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

G.           Approve Public Works Department Organizational Changes

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed this item being considered under the Consent Agenda; and as detailed in the RCA dated March 2, 2015.

 

Councilmember Etten asked Mr. Schwartz if the Database Specialist position was a sideways/lateral move from the current pay grade for this position.

 

Mr. Schwartz responded that the new position had a higher level of responsibility, and general expectations from a minimum requirement for some post-secondary education to a college degree level, and therefore the pay grade shift was from the current position?s Grade 7 to Grade 9 as proposed.

 

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the addition of an Office Assistant position and reclassification of the Department Assistant position to ?Database Specialist? in the organizational structure of the Public Works Department.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

10.         General Ordinances for Adoption

 

a.            Consider Updates to the Sanitary Sewer Ordinance

Civil Engineer Kristine Giga provided a summary, as detailed in the RCA, of the proposed revisions to Ordinance Chapter 802 driven by recent inflow and infiltration (I/I) efforts of the City to reduce excess flow of clear water into the sanitary sewer system, thereby decreasing capacity for wastewater and increasing costs to the City.

 

Ms. Giga briefly reviewed the steps being initiated by the City, one of which was the recent City Council approval of sump pump inspections as part of its contract with Ferguson Waterworks for the 2015 meter replacement project.  Ms. Giga advised that Roseville was one of 74 municipalities identified by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) as a contributor of excess I/I.  Ms. Giga noted that this resulted in a surcharge of $170,000 annually for the City of Roseville over the next five years if it was not proactive in making an investment to remedy and reduce this problem.  Ms. Giga advised that the City had committed to $1 million annually in sanitary sewer projects to address this excess flow, with the next step being sump pump inspections.

 

Ms. Giga provided an overview of Chapter 802 specific to sewer use and regulations, and revised general updates needed in the ordinance overall, as well as incorporating sump pump language addressing construction requirements and additional language specific to prohibited discharges.  Ms. Giga highlighted the one provision related to entry upon private property, and an alternate option for a licensed plumber rather than City staff for a homeowner to hire to provide acceptable certification of an inspection, with a corresponding surcharge application to those owners continuing to be non-compliant, at a rate set by the City Council and updated in its annual fee schedule review.

 

Since distribution of the agenda packet, and after concerns expressed by a Councilmember, Ms. Giga noted a suggested revision by the City Attorney in Section 802.11.b that would instead read:

"The City may re-inspect any building or premises for which the City possesses evidence of discontinuation of compliance with the requirements of Section 802.06 of this Chapter."

 

Mayor Roe clarified that the draft ordinance revision in the agenda packet did not include the new language.

 

Councilmember Willmus thanked Ms. Giga for the clarified language as suggested by the City Attorney.

While not technically considered a sump pump, Councilmember McGehee noted potential examples of drain tile not connected to the sump pump but into the sanitary sewer system, and questioned how to find and address those issues.

 

While this may prove to be a problem and those instances harder to catch, Ms. Giga responded that staff may recommend more detailed inspections in the future for round two of this effort and after this initial inspection to determine if non-compliant sump pump installations were a huge part of the I/I problem.  Ms. Giga advised that staff was currently drafting language for a form to be used during inspections to identify visible foundation drains or to document other comments of thins found that didn?t necessarily look right.  Ms. Giga advised that the inspectors will photograph that area.  

 

Mayor Roe noted language in Section 802.08 that specifically included prohibited discharges from foundation drainage systems.  Mayor Roe asked the City Attorney how language in Section 802.11 addressed protection of constitutional private property rights.

 

As a general matter, City Attorney Gaughan advised that the City was empowered to enact laws to affect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, and noted that this type of ordinance would fall under that municipal authority.  Mr. Gaughan reported that, upon staff?s and his review of the proposed language, they all were comfortable in the required filing of a certificate by a private plumber in lieu of City staff or its designees, that further assured a resident?s constitutional rights were being protected and yet providing a mechanism for a resident to feel they maintained control of their property while the City was in turn protecting the entire community.

 

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 1477 (Attachment A) entitled, "An Ordinance Amending Roseville City Code, Title 8, Chapter 802 to Provide for Updated References to Other Agencies, Establish Construction Requirements for Sump Pump Installation, and Establish Procedures for Sump Pump Inspections;" amended as follows that Section 802.11.b that would instead read:

"The City may re-inspect any building or premises for which the City possesses evidence of discontinuation of compliance with the requirements of Section 802.06 of this Chapter."

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

Etten moved, McGehee seconded, enactment of Ordinance Summary No. 1477S (Attachment B) entitled, ?An Ordinance Amending Roseville City Code, Title 8, Chapter 802.?

                                                Roll Call (Super Majority)

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

11.         Presentations

 

12.         Public Hearings

 

13.         Budget Items

 

14.         Business Items (Action Items)

c.            Award Design Services Contract with SRF Consulting Group for the Design of Twin Lakes Parkway Phase III

City Engineer Marc Culver briefly reviewed this request as detailed in the RCA dated March 2, 2014; and subsequent to the updated traffic study presented at the last City Council meeting. 

 

Mr. Culver noted that the consultant?s proposal expired on February 27, 2015, but SRF had agreed to extend the proposal for an additional ninety (90) days at the same cost as originally proposed.

 

At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Culver advised that the proposal and terms as shown in the RCA would be reformatted using the standard contract form as used by the City for their other contracts, and with approval by the City Attorney.

 

Councilmember McGehee sought information from Mr. Culver on the actual square footage involved for the areas of yellow on the displayed map, with Mr. Culver advising that he did not have that information immediately available, and would provide it at a later date.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she wanted the information tonight rather than tomorrow.

 

Mayor Roe opened the meeting for Public Comment at approximately 6:42 p.m. and reviewed public comment procedure and protocol.

 

Public Comment

City Manager Trudgeon noted the receipt of four e-mail comments received since the meeting materials were distributed, provided as bench handouts, attached hereto and made a part hereof.  Those included written comments from Karen Milton, 2939 Mildred Drive; Amy Ihlan and Geoffrey Gorham, 1776 Stanbridge Avenue; James Muirhead and Kay Blassingame, 3091 Mt. Ridge Road; and Jerry Stoner, 2966 Merrill Street.

 

Mayor Roe noted an additional e-mail received immediately before the meeting started, from Ms. Thompson on Mildred Drive that was not included in the bench handouts which will also be attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Kathleen Erickson, 1790 Centennial Drive

Ms. Erickson stated that the neighbors had invested eight months in this project, and noted how intimidating it often was to appear before the City Council, but applauded her neighbors for their attendance tonight.  Ms. Erickson stated that after last week's informational neighborhood meeting, those neighbors in attendance had left feeling hopeless of any favorable results from community engagement and the City?s intent to cooperate with neighbors.  However, Ms. Erickson noted that they were present one more time to see if their voices were being heard. 

 

Ms. Erickson opined that she came away from that meeting last Wednesday night, whether the outcome was intended or not by staff, with the conclusion that the Parkway was not included in the vision being talked about in the neighborhood petition process, even though it was directly connected.  From staff's comments, Ms. Erickson stated that she took away from that meeting the conclusion that there was no vision at all, even though the neighbors were told by Community Development Director Paul Bilotta to "get behind a vision," using other communities as examples of great turnarounds made in redevelopment efforts.  Ms. Erickson questioned if that was the intent in Roseville to have a coordinated plan for redevelopment, not just for more big box retail, hotels and light industrial uses in this beautiful setting.  Ms. Erickson read and left a written list of her remaining questions seeking responses, attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Lisa McCormick, 2850 Wheeler Street North

Ms. McCormick concurred with the comments and questions of Ms. Erickson, opining that this demonstrated process was more than a road, but involved many ancillary issues that have raised more questions.  Ms. McCormick noted that the community process used for the Dale Street project had proven what a great process can result in for all parties.

 

Ms. McCormick stated that she didn't understand the urgency of getting the design process through now for the Parkway extension when the community and City Council was in the middle of the Twin Lakes planning process, and even though told the Parkway was not part of that process, she argued that it should have been.  Ms. McCormick stated that the scope of the Twin Lakes planning process had been announced as a citywide and city-initiated planning process, which was still underway with the community survey results just received and being reviewed, with concerns expressed about the Parkway extension as part of that survey.  Ms. McCormick noted the argument to move forward and discontinue the starts and stops with this redevelopment area; however, she opined that it would be better if citizens were supporting a project and the vision of the City once their questions had been answered.  Ms. McCormick further opined that the conversations about the zoning and regulating plan issues raised by the neighborhood seemed to be stalled and yet the City Council was moving forward with the road; and asked why.

 

Ms. McCormick noted that the only proposal to-date was for the Sherman Apartments, and at a previous meeting Mr. Sherman indicated that his project did not depend on extension of the Parkway.  If the City decided to extend the Parkway up to Arthur and no further, Ms. McCormick questioned what significant amount of subdivision redevelopment would be created other than implementing Planned Unit Developments (PUD?s).  Ms. McCormick urged the City Council to give residents the opportunity to raise their questions and provide the benefit of clarity on the issue.

 

Ms. McCormick displayed and referenced several maps referenced and questioned discrepancies in the propertied identified in the special assessment area as part of extension of the Parkway and repeated statements of the City Council that residential properties would not be assessed for the Parkway extension.  Ms. McCormick questioned which properties were identified in the ?areas of influence? and therefore open to assessment, opining that the documentation provided by the City over a period of time seemed contradictory, and asked if the residents were not going to be assessed, the City Council go on record tonight stating that.

 

Another issue Ms. McCormick brought forward included that of ?livability,? and the potential negative impact of this Parkway extension on area home values; as well as the increase in crime with more developments such as WalMart and increased traffic from I-35W.  Ms. McCormick provided additional information from her online research, including statistics from similar development showing increased crime and the effect of externalities on single-family home values.

 

Referencing the March 2, 2015 RCA, Ms. McCormick asked if there would continue to be an opportunity for public comment throughout the feasibility, cost analysis and construction processes.

 

Ms. McCormick opined that it was unclear from the July 2014 presentation and anticipated cost of $3 million, with some federally funded, whether that included signalization for mitigation efforts.

 

Specific to Langton Lake and Langton Lake Park, Ms. McCormick stated that people love it and it provided a decidedly different ambiance than other community parks, even though it was designated as an urban park due to the proximity of the athletic fields.  In an effort for the City Council to extend its good will and faith, Ms. McCormick noted that neighbors wanted to preserve and protect that natural habitat and walkway if at all possible. In consideration of that effort, Ms. McCormick advised that the neighborhood had drafted another petition to present tonight, after consulting with Parks & Recreation Director Brokke on the process to change a park's classification from urban to distinguish Langton Lake and walkway as a Conservancy Area; and asked that the City Council hold a public hearing to explore that potential designation.

 

Ms. McCormick stated, as she heard the results of the SRF Traffic Study Update at the last meeting, she remained concerned about the Snelling Avenue intersections with County Road C-2 and speculations for six lanes along Snelling Avenue.  Ms. McCormick stated that she found it troubling that those plans were not even in any program yet, and the study didn?t even mention the BRT and improved stations along Snelling Avenue.  Ms. McCormick displayed another map for reference, showing the routes directly from I-35W, opining that such a route would prove very enticing for those wanting to avoid traffic congestion on I-35W and/of I-694.  Therefore, Ms. McCormick opined that she could see regional traffic increasing on Snelling Avenue, and while she appreciated the traffic study being updated and was reassured in some areas, she was equally disconcerted by some mitigation efforts not even being in the plans for a number of years if at all.

 

Ms. McCormick provided her comments, research and the neighborhood petition to City Manager Trudgeon for dissemination to the City Council when copied, and thereafter attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Timothy Callaghan, 3062 Shorewood Lane

Mr. Callaghan expressed two concerns based on his interpretation of the SRF Traffic Study predictions, opining that they were always and consistently off, and that they predict way too high.  Mr. Callaghan questioned the impacts long-term, ten years down the road, on Fairview Avenue with extension of Twin Lakes Parkway compared to the predictions of SRF.  Mr. Callaghan opined that the Parkway was apparently being extended for traffic that appears not to be happening, and stated that he had yet to hear of a reason to complete the road, or in talking about putting in a signal light at an intersection that didn?t yet exists, while there were other existing intersections where a problem already existed and without a light.

 

Mr. Callaghan noted that no one was supportive of this, and questioned who was going to pay for it but the taxpayers.  Mr. Callaghan further questioned why the City?s taxpayers were paying $3.5 million for a road that the updated Traffic Study updated deemed not that important.

 

Gloria Metz, 2926 Mildred Drive

As a resident north of the proposed Parkway extension, Ms. Metz sated that her biggest concern is comments she?d heard from other neighbors about Langton Lake.  Ms. Metz questioned what environmental studies had been done on Langton Lake; and noted her only concern was that the lake not get worse than it currently was, and would prefer that its water quality was improved, perhaps back to where it was in the 1950?s and 1960?s before its deterioration from the trucking companies in the past.  Ms. Metz noted that the map displayed by staff showed the proposed road actually cutting some of the park away that is currently used for drainage.  Ms. Metz questioned where and how drainage from the road would be funneled away from the lake or if runoff would be directly routed from the roadway to the lake and further contaminate it.  If the road is necessary, Ms. Metz asked to see a study why it needed to go through the park, since it cuts off a part of the park, and will only create more noise and traffic access to the park that doesn?t currently exist and change the atmosphere of the park.  Ms. Metz advised that she also had concerns of the potential infiltration of less than savory people coming into the neighborhood and park area, especially concerning with the number of senior citizens using the park who could be a target for the criminal element due to their limited mobility. 

 

Ms Metz asked if there had been an environmental study, and if not if there was one planned, and what steps were planned to improve the water quality of Langton Lake.

 

Bob Patient, 3049 Shorewood

Mr. Patient expressed his concerns with the actual need for the road, and while he attended the Traffic Study Update presentation by SRF at the last City Council meeting, he had not realized that this effort included extending the Parkway and reconfiguring Terrace and Lincoln Drives, and the route to County Road C-2, which would only make those roadways more congested than they already are.  Mr. Patient noted the number of college students and pedestrians now using the areas and increased safety concerns, as well as the cost to taxpayers, which he found particularly offensive, as a resident in the area defined as part of the benefitted area.  Mr. Patient opined that he saw that as anything but a benefit to residents in that area, and if necessary to assess costs for the road, it should be a citywide tax and spread around the city.

 

Mr. Patient also expressed concerns about Langton Lake Park and referenced changes he?d observed from when he first started walking around it to present day and the increased visibility of buildings and traffic.  With the proposed road taking more of the park and bringing in more traffic, Mr. Patient opined that it seemed an unnecessary and expensive project; and opined that further study was needed, especially in light of the comments of George Sherman that their project was not dependent on the road.

 

As mentioned by Ms. McCormick, Mr. Patient addressed the residential area north of Terrace Drive, and asked that zoning issues be reconsidered in the future, especially as it abuts up to a single-family neighborhood, and asked that the neighbors have more opportunities in the future to discuss those issues.

 

Cheri Sheehan 1863 Brenner Avenue

Ms. Sheehan stated that she liked the lake a lot, that it was important to here that it be protected, and spoke in opposition to the road going near Langton Lake at all, especially since it was apparently so expensive to build and not needed.  Ms. Sheehan suggested that, if the road was going to be constructed, why not just extend it up to Arthur and route traffic back to County Road C as an existing major road and thereby avoid the lake and higher costs.  Ms. Sheehan opined that this would make their neighborhood happy, and questioned why the City would consider anything else, since developers in the Twin Lakes area could still access their properties from Cleveland Avenue and Council Road C.  Ms. Sheehan opined that this would be financially and environmentally prudent. 

Specific to any potential development by Langton Lake, Ms. Sheehan suggested raingardens or new habitat buffer zones for developers to provide reasonable green areas before the park and to avoid runoff and more pollution of the lake.  While Conservancy Space was a new term for her, Ms. Sheehan spoke in support of that idea.

 

Ev Senty, 3059 Fairview Avenue North

Ms. Senty asked that the City Council and staff listen clearly to their concerned residents and neighbors about the need for the road.  Ms. Senty opined if Councilmember Laliberte expressed concern for street signs in front of residential properties, she and the City Council should be just as concerned about this road and its impact to the neighbors.  Ms. Senty adamantly stated ?we don?t want it.?

 

Sydney Munson, 1034 Transit Avenue

As a Hamline University student attending tonight?s meeting as part of her Environmental Studies course, Ms. Munson stated that this is the first she?d heard of this plan, and as a resident of Roseville, expressed her concern about this impact to Langton Lake and the Park, opining that it will cause a lot of problems for that park, especially if the road cuts through it.  Ms. Munson expressed her concern with destruction of the park and habitat, noting this was one of the beautiful parks in Roseville, helping to make the community special.

 

Carol Lutz, 1864 Brenner

Ms. Lutz echoed the comments of previous speakers, questioned the need for the Parkway: what it was for, who it would serve and why it was necessary.

 

Amy Brogeer, 1694 Millwood Avenue

Ms. Brogeer admitted she had missed the SRF Traffic Study update at the last meeting, so was not sure how their baseline and projections were established.  However, Ms. Brogeer questioned how the update compared to current situations, and what the anticipated traffic increase was expected to be.

 

As a daily commuter from Roseville to Eden Prairie, Ms. Brogeer provided her own experiences coming down the exit from I-35W and how traffic backs up, and her concern with how people would reroute to avoid those backups in the future with extension of the Parkway.  Ms. Brogeer reviewed right turn lanes being blocked on Cleveland Avenue from those seeking to get around backups on (-35W, and opined that the Parkway would only serve to provide them a straight shot and increase traffic.  Ms. Brogeer opined that the traffic study required more effort, and from her perspective, needed to be re-addressed to consider impacts on Roseville road and neighborhoods in that area.

 

Ms. Brogeer opined that the City didn?t fully understand how much the neighborhood used their road, whether biking or walking and crossing County Road C-2 to get to Langton Park and crossing Fairview Avenue, including students from the University of Northwestern also using the park.  Ms. Brogeer further opined that she saw even more significant traffic increases across Fairview Avenue, and since there is no trail, the shoulder is used for biking or walking, and to create more dangerous intersections with this shortcut from I-35W and Cleveland Avenue.

 

From her reading of the traffic study, Ms. Brogeer noted regional traffic was alleviated by County Roads C and D, but questioned how that would be based on her personal experience with west and east bound traffic, opining that the projected traffic patterns didn't make sense to her and questioned why it was even listed as a benefit. 

 

Ms. Brogeer reiterated that it was important for the City Council to understand how their neighborhood was used, as spoken to by others tonight, opining that this roadway would only serve as a lose-lose for the neighborhood; and if hit by special assessments again, would also negatively impact residential property values.

 

Doug Yunker, 2852 Wheeler

In referencing the traffic study and assumption that I-35W was going to be expanded to six lanes, Mr. Yunker noted how devastating this would be for the neighborhood during construction, opining it would be a nightmare.  Mr. Yunker suggested that, rather than rushing the Parkway extension through now, it would be better to wait and see if it was needed after I-35W was expanded to see if it was needed through another traffic study. Mr. Yunker opined that given the amount of regional traffic now going through Roseville, if this Parkway was approved, that was only going to get worse.

 

Susan Strandberg, 1776 Millwood Avenue

While not sure of the conclusions from this recent traffic study, Ms. Strandberg addressed her situation when previous construction occurred on I-35W.  Ms. Strandberg advised that she had to contact the Police Department and they installed a portable speed board on Fairview Avenue, with impacts felt there as well as County Road C-2, Maple, Wheeler, and Stanbridge.  Even though that project is now completed, Ms. Strandberg expressed concern with the next project and increased traffic down Fairview Avenue yet again, especially with the children in the neighborhood, as well as older residents, pedestrians, bikers and dog walkers. 

 

Ms. Strandberg also questioned who would be paying for the road, since no one in their neighborhood wanted it to go through, she asked that the City Council please listen to its residents.

 

Sherry Sanders, 363 S McCarrons Blvd.

Ms. Sanders stated that she was present tonight to support the great neighbors in this neighborhood, opining that this was a citywide issue, not just a neighborhood issue.  Ms. Sanders noted that the rationale for extending the Parkway was based on the need for business growth in the area.  However, Ms. Sanders opined that the road would obviously compromise green space, and therefore pled with the City Council to help these neighbors and work together to make things work if this was their intent.

 

Rick Sanders, 363 S McCarrons Blvd.

Mr. Sanders stated that he was also here to show his support for this neighborhood, and as a former resident of southern CA, one of his reasons for moving to Roseville was due to its great parks.  Mr. Sanders opined that he loved this area and didn?t want to see it changed, and that the park was an asset to the community, and he hoped the City Council listened to those speaking tonight, and seek a compromise.  Mr. Sanders noted that people would not have taken their personal time to speak with their community leaders if they didn?t love their community.

 

Amy Ihlan, 1776 Stanbridge Avenue

In her review of tonight's City Council Agenda packet and other materials, Ms. Ihlan noted that she had not seen any cost benefit analysis done for extension of Twin Lakes Parkway to Fairview Avenue, nor had she seen any documents addressing how this would impact the neighborhood or parks, but only documents about how to pay for construction costs.  Ms. Ihlan opined that the traffic study update was not sufficient to address that necessary information.  Ms. Ihlan further opined that a fiscal impact analysis should address the property tax base of residential neighborhoods and how they are connected to the community by a market analysis if a throughway from I-35W was created and funneled traffic into a currently thriving residential neighborhood.

 

As a resident of the neighborhood, Ms. Ihlan asked the City Council to provide their vision of the future of this residential neighborhood and how extending Twin Lakes Parkway fit with that vision, whether it supported it or if it served to challenge or threaten the neighborhood; and what their expectations were for the neighborhood when this was built.  Ms. Ihlan questioned if the City Council had sufficient information to make that judgment, without a benefit analysis or comprehensive cost of what will happen in the neighborhood once the Parkway was connected.  Ms. Ihlan opined that the City Council didn't know current conditions, demographics, trends with property values and housing stock, and who would live in the neighborhood in the future once the Parkway was connected and traffic significantly increased, or if it would be attractive to your families from a safety perspective.

 

If the City Council votes to approve this without careful analysis for fiscal and neighborhood impacts, Ms. Ihlan questioned what value that meant and what it said to the community of what was important to the overall community for those living in currently flourishing neighborhoods for over sixty years.

 

JonScholten, 1708 Millwood Avenue

Mr. Scholten seconded those comments of the previous speaker; and expressed his disagreement with the placement and connection of the Parkway as a connection for I-35W and potential increased traffic into the residential neighborhood.

 

Rita Mix, 3207 Old Hwy. 8

Ms. Mix, residing in the Sandcastle Park area, spoke to the fact that Langton Lake and Park are citywide resources; and with attempting to connect a road to that area would create too much disruption. 

 

Ms. Mix opined that the water quality of Langton Lake would already be affected and should also be part of the consideration for the cost of putting in this road.  Ms. Mix opined that the City?s park assets could not be restored once disrupted, and referenced the small protected wetland area near her home that provided a huge amount of wildlife habitat, which would be eliminated if the road went through.  Ms. Mix asked that the City Council respect the residential neighbors as well as that existing water asset.

 

John Easterling, 1850 County Road C2 West

Mr. Easterling noted that Twin Lakes Parkway had been addressed over twenty years ago when he?d first moved to Roseville as a connection to Snelling Avenue. However, when it was determined that another connection would not be approved on Snelling Avenue, he thought the issue was gone, since it was originally intended as an optional northbound option. 

 

Mr. Easterling expressed his concern with this extension for safety issues, and as a professor at the University of Northwestern, noted the extensive pedestrians from the School?s Nursing School in the former Edina Realty building, with students walking to campus and adjacent resident halls.  As an aside, Mr. Easterling advised that the university was working with students to discourage your jaywalking.  Mr. Easterling expressed concern with not only students, but senior citizens from Eagle Crest along Lincoln Drive, and potential problems with increased traffic in an already crowded commercial area.  Mr. Easterling concluded that he was opposed to the extension of Twin Lakes Parkway economically, environmentally and for safety reasons.

 

With no one else coming forward to comment, Mayor Roe closed public comment at approximately 7:37 p.m.; at which time Mayor Roe and staff members responded to questions asked during public comment, and not related to how or if the City Council may or may not support a particular point of view going forward.

 

Assessments

Based on his recollection of previous discussions, Mayor Roe noted that wider area assessments were considered as one of several conceptual options by the City Council as a way to pay for infrastructure improvements in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, but by consensus the City Council had eliminated that as an option.

 

City Manager Trudgeon concurred with Mayor Roe?s recollection, stating it was absolutely correct.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that, in those original discussions last held last summer, the reaction received from the City Council was that there would be no assessment of residential properties for public improvements in that area.  Mr. Trudgeon further noted that staff was not of the opinion that Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 429 process would justify or prove benefit to those properties anyway, therefore not making that a viable option, even without receiving clear direction from the City Council that they would not support such an option.  Mr. Trudgeon reiterated that there was no intent to consider special assessments of residential properties within the larger area.

 

Zoning

Mayor Roe clarified that zoning discussions were ongoing and a follow-up discussion at the City Council level was scheduled for the March 23, 2015 City Council meeting as they reviewed results of the neighborhood planning process in which many residents had participated to consider acceptable uses and those uses not preferred in the broader areas of Twin Lakes.  Mayor Roe advised that to-date he found guidance from those discussions, and also found that the preferences of the residents didn?t differ that much from the thoughts of the City Council.  Mayor Roe advised that future discussions would determine the next steps in that process, with no definitive determination yet made, and that those discussions would still involve neighbors of that area considered for rezoning.  Mayor Roe clarified that those discussions did not get superseded or cut short in any way with this Parkway extension discussion and action.

 

Public Involvement

Mayor Roe personally committed to the community that comments from residents would still absolutely be received at City Council meetings throughout the process, whether through public comment, through neighborhood meetings, or  in other ways.

 

Parkway Encroachment on Langton Lake Park Land

Councilmember Willmus asked staff to address perceptions that the Parkway would encroach on park land, and to delineate between the park and stormwater treatment area east of the main park area.

 

Public Works Director Schwartz advised that, while not clearly shown on the displayed map, the city-owned area was combined with the park space as part of the 2009 Comprehensive Planning and Rezoning Process although previously defined for stormwater purposes, even though it and similar parcels throughout the community were designated as ?Park/Open Space? in zoning district definitions but often reserved for stormwater treatment.  Mr. Schwartz advised that stormwater ponds had been built in that area in the early 1990?s as part of the redevelopment north of County Road C, and if viewing aerial photos, the ponds actually narrowed at that point leaving a strip of land, long intended for the Twin Lakes Parkway.  Mr. Schwartz reiterated that this parcel had been reserved for stormwater ponding purposes.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Schwartz confirmed that the parcel currently served as an infiltration basin to assist in water quality for Langton Lake as well as mitigation for other adjacent properties, with stormwater outlets into that pond from those adjacent properties.

 

Water Quality and Permitting from Watershed Districts

Mayor Roe asked Mr. Schwartz to clarify and confirm that any road projects, including this one, require permits from local watershed districts, in this case the Rice Creek Watershed District, and any projects had to meet their requirements and not leave a drainage situation worse than current, with incentives available if and when actual improvements over and beyond current circumstances were possible.

 

Mr. Schwarz concurred with Mayor Roe?s comments, noting that from a regulatory concept, a property owner - including the City - could not increase any new impervious surface draining into this pond without a corresponding mitigation to address that additional surface.  As part of the proposed Parkway project, Mr. Schwartz clarified that some of the existing impervious surfaces from existing trucking terminals will actually be redeveloped into green space, further improving the overall area.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that, as part of that ongoing mitigation process, very large holes would be dug with pipes installed, which she opined was very disruptive to surrounding areas.

 

Mr. Schwartz agreed that often this occurs, but clarified that in this instance most of the disruption would be within the disturbed roadway area or within remnant parcels adjacent to the roadway.

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned how that would work on the section now defined as Green Space.

 

Mr. Schwartz responded that the particular area in question required an embankment, and any impact to the existing stormwater pond would need to be mitigated at that site or somewhere within the City according to current watershed regulations that required the City to replace anything disturbed.

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned if mitigation efforts for this site could occur at Victoria Street as an example or at another park.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that, generally the watershed district wanted mitigation to happen within the same sub-watershed area; but clarified that this was not yet determined as it was part of the analysis during the design process itself.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that the question and result she had posed was still potentially possible, and wetland could be destroyed by Langton Lake while satisfying the permitting requirements by replacing it in an entirely different area of the community.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that such a potential could be generally allowable within watershed district regulations depending on the situation.

Recess

Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 7:47 p.m., and reconvened at approximately 7:55 p.m., continuing discussion of the requested action detailed in the RCA

 

McGehee moved to TABLE the recommended action until community visioning and planning was completed as promised at last week?s community meeting.

 

Mayor Roe declared the motion failed due to lack of a second.

 

As an attendee at that referenced meeting, Councilmember Laliberte asked Councilmember McGehee what promise was made.

 

Councilmember McGehee referenced Community Development Director Paul Bilotta?s comments that made a commitment to the planning process, and the lack of understanding or realization from the neighborhood that the Parkway would be pulled out as a completely separate piece.  Councilmember McGehee opined that if that were the case, Langton Lake and Park as a major component of this neighborhood would also need to be pulled out.

 

Councilmember Laliberte noted that, while the visioning process for this area was ongoing long before her City Council tenure, seven months ago the City Council had paused their discussions on zoning designations in this area to allow neighbors, developers, property owners, and other interested parties an opportunity to provide their input.  Councilmember Laliberte stated that she did not perceive tonight?s requested action as a reopening of that visioning process, but anticipated the Parkway discussion would move forward, which she saw as a separate issue beyond zoning and land use.  Councilmember Laliberte expressed her appreciation for Community Development Director Bilotta and staff for undertaking this public process to receive feedback on zoning land use issues; but opined that she did not see any promise made as referenced by Councilmember McGehee.

 

Willmus moved, Etten seconded, award of a Design Services Contract (Attachment C) with SRF Consulting Group for the design of Twin Lakes Parkway, Phase III, in an amount not to exceed $117,014.

 

City Attorney Gaughan clarified that the motion should state that the award of the design services contract should be subject to City Attorney approval, as the draft included in the RCA was not the final form of the contract.

 

Councilmembers Willmus and Etten, as makers of the motion concurred that the motion be amended to read as follows:

Willmus moved, Etten seconded, award of a Design Services Contract (Attachment C) with SRF Consulting Group for the design of Twin Lakes Parkway, Phase III, in an amount not to exceed $117,014; subject to City Attorney review and approval as to form.

 

Individual Councilmember Position Statements

Councilmember Willmus noted that the discussion and planning for Twin Lakes Parkway had been ongoing since the late 1980?s and original discussions about truncating County Road C-2 at Langton Lake Park.  Councilmember Willmus noted that those discussions had occurred with the expectation that at some point in the future another roadway connection would be located somewhere in that area, at which point Parkway discussions were initiated. 

 

Regarding the City Council?s vision for this area, Councilmember Willmus expressed appreciation for the public?s good and fair questions, responding that he envisioned a CenterPointe District 2 and that type of office or small business type use.  If that is the vision the community aspires to, Councilmember Willmus opined that the means needed to be put in place to make that happen, whether through incentives for developers if and when the market warrants it, help in providing roadway infrastructure to provide access to parcels, and other means.  If the City steps away and says no to the Parkway, Councilmember Willmus opined that the remaining parcels would likely develop in large chunks supporting larger retail type uses, which he did not think the community wanted to see.

 

When reviewing the updated traffic study, and as a personal resident on Hamline Avenue understanding well traffic volumes and impacts, Councilmember Willmus opined that if the City did nothing, the volume of traffic increased but with connection of the Parkway the increases are projected at only 4% over the next 15 years, and with future improvements at County Roads C and D and Cleveland Avenue the benefits would be realized.  While recognizing the needs and preferences of adjacent residential property owners, Councilmember Willmus opined that the City Council also needed to take into consideration property owners in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area who have routinely come to the City Council asking for connections to facilitate access to the interior parcels of Twin Lakes.

 

Councilmember Willmus further noted that had been initial discussions about applying tax assessments on a broad area, but when the Council reacted and stated they were not interested in assessing residential property owners for this roadway, it was no longer a consideration.  Councilmember Willmus stated that he would hold to that determination.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that while $10 million had been spent to-date on Twin Lakes, and while most was tax increment financing (TIF) money, it was still taxpayer monies and yet had not resulted in cleaning up the parcels for a variety of reasons, and only focused on infrastructure resulting in a parking structure, WalMart, and other developments not necessarily of interest.  Councilmember McGehee opined that it was difficult for her to see any benefit in this Parkway since one business owner had already come forward saying it was fine with him if the City did or did not extend the Parkway, and he was not locating on the section being discussed tonight.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there was not a single parcel in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area that was not already accessible from a current road, and further opined that it was up to property owners to divide their larger parcels.  However, Councilmember McGehee opined that if the City had used some of the money spent on infrastructure for cleaning up the parcels, it could have remained competitive for developers interested in locating their corporate headquarters in Roseville rather than turning to competing suburbs with land already shovel ready and cleaned up of contaminants, perhaps by using a tool like the City?s Port Authority established for that very purpose.  When discussing a community amenity like Langton Lake and parcels adjacent to it, Councilmember McGehee opined that it was not an amenity to have a Parkway located between developable properties and that amenity.

 

Councilmember Willmus echoed Councilmember McGehee?s support of using the City?s Port Authority powers to clean up and redevelop some of those parcels; however, he reminded her that in the past when that tool had been discussed or used, she had been a very vocal opponent and had not advocated for its use, at least during his tenure on the City Council,.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that she had not advocated for use of Port Authority powers outside the Twin Lakes Area originally given to the City by statutory authority to clean up and develop Twin Lakes as a transportation center, which had never been used for that; and when it was used it was not for something done with the original intent and so far never used for this type of project.  Frankly, Councilmember McGehee stated if the City was to subsidize projects to get ones the City and neighbors want, she thought Port Authority powers would be a more valuable and fair tool than TIF.  Councilmember McGehee opined that opportunities had been missed often and for a number of years because parcels were not ready for development, which should be the responsibility of the City Council under its Port Authority powers given in 1987.

 

Councilmember Etten thanked the public for their comments, recognizing their passion and how similar circumstances in the past he had been intimidated appearing before the City Council. Councilmember Etten also recognized that the residents would not be here if they didn?t care. Councilmember Etten stated that his support for this Parkway is centered around more than traffic, which would be there one way or the other as Twin Lakes developed, and opined that background traffic would be there no matter what.   Councilmember Etten referenced data provided from experts in traffic study, and noted that the traffic was projected to improve around major intersections with extension of the Parkway, actually helping residents move to and from their homes more quickly.  Councilmember Etten reminded everyone that there were a number of roadways and intersections in Roseville that were not controlled by the City, but noted that recent dialogue between City and County staff as well as among Councilmembers and County Commissioners was ongoing and things were starting to happen.  Councilmember Etten noted that City staff had brought in Ramsey County staff as part of the SRF Traffic Study update, and their cooperation on the Fairview Avenue situation is beginning.  Councilmember Etten stated that the City was well aware of problem areas and things that needed to happen, but admitted that it couldn?t be done alone. Councilmember Etten noted dramatic improvements to many neighborhood areas, including the intersection of Fairview and County Road C Avenues, and eroding service rates now and in the future if nothing was done,.  In his consideration of the best thing he could do for the neighborhood, Councilmember Etten opined that it would be to support construction of this reliever piece.  Councilmember Etten advised that he had intentionally driven through that neighborhood during rush hours to personally experience what the residents were experiencing daily; and assured residents that this action was not an attack on them but an attempt to make things work better.  Councilmember Etten reiterated that if the road is not installed, the traffic situation will only get worse.

 

Having worked for a number of years as an advisory commissioner on the Parks & Recreation Commission focused on improving park systems and the overall environment, Councilmember Etten noted that one of the first steps undertaken in the Park Renewal Program was to dedicate funds and work cooperatively with Ramsey County to get more sidewalks in the community, with the City even stepping up to fund them on County roads if necessary.  Councilmember Etten committed to continuing to do so for all neighborhoods in the City.

 

Councilmember Etten clarified that tonight?s action in ordering the Feasibility Study did not guarantee that the Parkway would be built, but provide details on how to accomplish it and how best to mitigate impacts.  Councilmember Etten spoke in support of considering Port Authority bonds, but clarified that they would need to be paid with tax dollars as well, and would not provide any escape from taxes, but just a different way to fund improvements in that area; with no free way to accomplish improvements.

 

Councilmember Laliberte also thanked residents for their attendance and those who had called and/or e-mailed over the last few weeks.  In addition to those not wanting this to happen, Councilmember Laliberte recognized comments from those wanting to see something happen, even though they typically didn?t show up at a Council meeting to speak, but still expressed their opinions, which she appreciated hearing.

 

Councilmember Laliberte recognized that the neighbors feel that the City Council is not listening to them or hadn?t performed due diligence; however, she noted that whatever decision is made on the Parkway, it would not be the last decision made on the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area and expressed her hope that the neighborhood would continue to stay involved and voice their opinions.  Councilmember Laliberte also recognized that it was difficult when the decision didn?t necessarily align with the desired outcome; but she assured residents that their opinion always helped in City Council decision-making.

 

In their role as Councilmembers, Councilmember Laliberte stated that they needed to look at the bigger picture, and verified that she would therefore be supporting the motion to proceed with the Parkway, as she saw it as a separate decision from the other pending zoning and development discussions underway and still needing more vetting.

 

Councilmember Laliberte advised that the requested traffic study update had answered many of her questions, even though it paused this Parkway project for a time, and recognized this as a solution or reliever down the road.  While that may be hard to see now or even in the next few years while it?s under construction, Councilmember Laliberte opined that in the long run, she saw destination trips in that area that would free up regional trip traffic volumes, even though she didn?t agree with the study?s findings that there were not currently that many regional trips.

 

Councilmember Laliberte also noted that this process had opened up discussions with Ramsey County, a discussion that had been badly needed for some time, and now staff from the City and County were working cooperatively on remedies along Fairview, which was part of and critical to all of this playing out in a positive way.

 

Councilmember Laliberte opined that new infrastructure was needed for proper and future development, and while some of those parcels are large, the City?s vision was for smaller, more intimate business, and those businesses would all want frontage to attract customers, and without some kind of structure in place, the parcels would remain large and only encouraging larger uses with no one motivated to subdivide them without the Parkway.  Councilmember Laliberte noted that many opportunities in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area had been lost or stalled over time, causing Roseville to gain the reputation of being difficult to deal with and slow to bring things to completion compared to other communities in this increasingly competitive development market, causing Roseville to lose.  Therefore, Councilmember Laliberte opined that it was not prudent for the City to wait any longer and not be ready with this extension in place.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that it was obvious the point had been reached indicating everyone would vote for this project except her.  Councilmember McGehee advised that she would be voting against the motion, with her reasons providing in writing as part of the record, attached hereto and made a part hereof, in addition to the reasons expressed by neighbors attending this and other meetings during the process.  As a resident on this side of Roseville, Councilmember McGehee noted that she drove through this neighborhood all the time, and opined that Terrace Drive is a community/neighborhood street allowing access to the smaller shopping areas versus the larger regional shopping centers and used frequently for people in that area.  Even though the complexion of the area had changed with the changed use of the former County Inn and Suites to a dormitory filled with students from the University of Northwestern, it was still a heavily used community area for young and old pedestrians alike. 

 

By this action, Councilmember McGehee opined that the City Council was bringing regional traffic into that area with all the proposed changes at various intersections proving costly, as well as mitigation required around Langton Lake, which will prove to be a big cost to taxpayers.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there would be an even bigger cost to the livability of the neighborhood and the park that was valued by the neighbors and community. 

 

Councilmember McGehee further opined that this side of Roseville served as a dumping ground for other areas of Roseville, creating increased crime, traffic and only a few areas of green space.  But when neighbors asked that that little bit of green space be properly protected by considering other options or changing the route of the road at the last leg to enter into an offset configuration rather than lining up with Terrace Drive by providing a back door to parcels east of Fairview, Councilmember McGehee opined that it was not something this City Council was willing to consider.

 

In her discussion with City Manager Trudgeon earlier today, Councilmember McGehee confirmed that the City had paid $15,000 of taxpayer money for a consultant to create a regulating map for this area with the direction from staff to the consultant that the Parkway was located where it was to be and should be worked around in the regulating map, even though that road was designed 35 years ago and many changes had occurred since that time.

 

While turning in her personal findings as part of the record, Councilmember McGehee summarized her findings based on her concerns with negative environmental, financial, planning, traffic, resident trust, and business impacts; and reiterated her opposition to the motion.

 

Mayor Roe stated that there was no question that at one time or another as a Councilmember you are faced with making decisions that proved unpopular with a number of residents, many of whom had spoken previously or this evening about this issue.  Under those circumstances, Mayor Roe advised that he struggled with his desire and commitment to engage the community in city decision-making while balancing that with how to proceed with this item for the benefit of broader community. 

 

Mayor Roe clarified that during his tenure on the City Council since 2003, he had supported Twin Lakes Parkway so his decision to support this motion should not come as a surprise to anyone. 

 

Mayor Roe opined that getting neighborhood feedback on future zoning and land use, buffers and setbacks, and height limits was critical and very important to his decision-making, and felt those preferences far outweighed the extension of the Parkway, which had been going on for some time, with the rights-of-way acquired since the mid-2000?s, at which time the previously approved project went away,  as grant monies and TIF became available.  Mayor Roe noted that the City Council, including Councilmember McGehee, voted unanimously just last year to acquire the remaining needed rights-of-way for Twin Lakes Parkway, and every indication at that time was that the Parkway was going to be installed.  Mayor Roe advised that the delay was caused to update previous traffic studies to verify that information and validate why the Parkway extension made sense.

 

Mayor Roe advised that, for him personally, it came down to the benefits of the Parkway on County Roads C and D in terms of alternate connections between points east of Fairview Avenue and the area between Fairview and Cleveland Avenue and those not wanting to take the I-35W route to County Road D. Mayor Roe noted that the intersection at County Road D and Fairview was currently not working properly and would only get worse with construction or weather issues, but those were upset conditions, and plans had to be based on normal conditions, not upsets.

 

Mayor Roe opined that the latest traffic study demonstrated to him that the intersections along Fairview Avenue north of Terrace Drive actually performed better under full 2030 development and with Twin Lakes Parkway completed than they would under no further development and no connection of the parkway in 2030.

 

By extending Twin Lakes Parkway, Mayor Roe opined that it served to improve the overall situation, and while acknowledging that it may not be easy to accept or fully understood by the neighborhood now and perhaps not for some time yet to come, Mayor Roe stated that he was supportive of the motion.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: McGehee.

Motion carried.

 

Mayor Roe thanked the public for their comments and agreed with the comments regarding the value of public input stated by Councilmembers Laliberte and Etten, opining that they were well stated.

Recess

Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:28 p.m., and reconvened at approximately 8:31 p.m.

a.            Continued Discussion of Civic Engagement Module and Request for Motion to Contract for Module Development and Website Integration

 

Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane, Chair of the Community Engagement Commission (CEC)

Mr. Grefenberg, as Chair of the CEC, and through working with Communications Manager Garry Bowman, advised that after reviewing a number of potential vendors, the CEC unanimously on a 7/0 vote supported moving ahead in recommending this particular vendor as detailed in the RCA.  Mr. Grefenberg introduced fellow members of the CEC, Scot Becker and Jonathan Miller.

 

Garry Bowman

Mr. Bowman noted the responses provided by the CEC and staff to previously asked questions of the City Council at their last presentation (Attachment A), at which time Mayor Roe opened discussion at the discretion of Councilmembers.

 

Councilmember Laliberte thanked the CEC for their responses to previous questions; however, stated that she still had some concerns about moderation of the site.  While not wanting staff to have to filter through comments, especially if the intent was to strive for conversation transparency on the site, Councilmember Laliberte opined that just having a profanity filter didn?t preclude the site from degrading for a variety of other reasons.  If this request proceeds, Councilmember Laliberte expressed her interest in receiving additional suggestions from the CEC and staff on how to continually improve moderation of the site and a threshold if a comment received a certain number of thumbs down responses, that it could be hidden from the site.  Councilmember Laliberte stated that she was seeking more versus fewer options for providing a safe environment while still being able to monitor comments.

 

Mr. Bowman responded that when anyone - whether staff or resident - signed up to the online community, you obtained the right to flag an inappropriate comment, and once flagged, it immediately came off the system and went into a section for review.  Mr. Bowman advised that, if a comment seemed to make someone uncomfortable, but staff determined it was actually appropriate, it would be put back online.  Mr. Bowman clarified that such an entry only required one thumbs down to be pulled for review before going back on line if it ended up doing so.

 

In his discussions with other communities, Mr. Bowman reported that the general feeling he got was that since this was not a random message board and an official government site, the level of discourse was automatically at a higher level and more respectful, with people more genuine and using their real names, who accepted that there was a higher threshold.  Mr. Bowman clarified that this was not to say that there still weren?t some problems or areas of abuse, but Mr. Bowman reported that other communities had seen them as minor and those communities had actually been surprised at how minor the infractions actually were.

 

Jonathan Miller

In his professional work in communications, Mr. Miller advised that overall he had found that this type of online community was positive and those of a more negative vein or in attacking format were typically not the norm.  Mr. Miller opined that he had been pleasantly surprised by the positive tones in these online communities.

 

Scot Becker

Mr. Becker opined that the tenor of the comments could be addressed in how this online community was initially rolled out and how the tone was set for anticipated content.  Mr. Becker noted that this could be accomplished by seeding the online community with topics of conversation that could later be refined by what topics of discussion the community was seeking to pursue.

 

Garry Bowman

Mr. Bowman suggested that this site was not a ?if you build it, they will come? type of situation, and people may need to be enticed to join the conversation through offering topics such as the one discussed earlier tonight: the extension of Twin Lakes Parkway.  Mr. Bowman reported that some of the cities he?d interviewed had actually found their level of staff and/or city council e-mail traffic reduced with such topics addressed in the online community, when discussion was focused and out in the open.  Mr. Bowman clarified that developing the site would take some work, but when he asked other cities about how much more staff time was required for this effort, he was surprised with the analogy he?d frequently received in that it took about as much time as the efforts toward social media.  Mr. Bowman advised that social media was part of staff?s work week, and while not an overwhelming part it was one brought on by the city itself.  While all of these communication efforts take time, Mr. Bowman clarified that they were not overwhelming and nothing staff could not easily handle.  Mr. Bowman expressed his appreciation for the responses he?d received from staff in other communities using this tool.

 

Councilmember Laliberte clarified that she was excited about this opportunity; however, she just wanted to ensure that it was transparent and didn?t provide a perception that staff was filtering anything. 

 

Based on another response on the survey module, Councilmember Laliberte asked if there was a way to limit responses by IP address rather than account.

 

Mr. Bowman responded affirmatively, stating that there was a method to use various options to track responses and limit them by IP address or by limiting them to one household or one per device.

 

Councilmember Etten opined that one person could use four different devices.

 

Mr. Bowman admitted that this was a possibility, but questioned how significant that became when it only accounted for four votes or opinions out of how many potential voices.  Mr. Bowman opined that, while many safeguards were built in to limit abuses, it was not a perfect system.

 

Mr. Becker noted that this tool was not intended to be a substitution for the annual community survey

 

Councilmember McGehee agreed with seeding the site and setting the tone, as well as comments about it not serving the same place as the community survey, stating that she saw it more as s discourse module.  While supporting this module, while it is still new to the City Councilmember McGehee suggested an annual versus three year contract as a pilot and determine the City?s experience and how well it was going to be received by the community, since not everyone could or would be using this forum. 

Mr. Becker responded that there was an option to engage the vendor for one to three years, which is ultimately a decision to be made by the City Council.  However, in anticipation of the seeding part, Mr. Becker noted that it may take 8 months to get it set up and may only just be starting to lend results at the end of a one year period, and suggested a longer term to allow a better understanding of this tool and its reception in the community.

 

Mr. Bowman concurred with Mr. Becker, opining that it would be a minimum of four months to deploy and integrate the website before it even went online.  Mr. Bowman also assured the City Council that the CEC would be an integral part of assisting staff to make sure the discussions remained free-flowing and transparent.  Mr. Bowman opined that one year is not sufficient to have residents get used to the forum, or obviously even to become aware of it during the first 4-5 months of development; and suggested a minimum of two years for the initial trial and to work out the kinks, and have the CEC work with staff to make sure the site is serving its intended purpose.

 

Councilmember Etten thanked the CEC and staff for their work on this additional tool to help connect with the community with a two-way dialogue.  As to flagging items or censoring them through staff as needed, Councilmember Etten suggested a rubric of expectations for users of the system and expectations, and how an item may be pulled off in accordance with the user agreements for citizen sign-up and their agreement to abide by the rules for appropriate content.  Councilmember Etten spoke in support of a three year contract to get this moving forward, opining that $14,000 was a small amount to commit to this open dialogue, further opining that after one year of operation there wouldn?t be a complete picture, but after two years at a minimum it would provide some more refined information.  Councilmember Etten noted that this is not the only communications tool being used or considered by the City, but opined that standards should be created by the CEC and staff to set the tone and use those principles to make decisions easier to pull any inappropriate comments.

 

Mr. Becker concurred with Councilmember Etten 100%, noting that some cities used guidelines similar to those used for social media sites.

 

Mr. Bowman also concurred, noting that it was incumbent upon staff to alert a user when their comments were going afoul of the reasons for pulling their comments, and a warning that if those types of comments continue, you would no longer be allowed on the site, with the overall goal to keep in mind that the discourse needs to continue to be two-way.

 

Mayor Roe asked for public comment on this item. No one appeared to speak.

 

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, authorizing staff to negotiate a contract with Granicus to develop a civic engagement module for integration with the City of Roseville website for a term of two years and at a cost not to exceed $9,600;

 

Councilmember McGehee clarified that she saw the two years as a time for reviewing the site, and didn't expect it to be perfect in two years or else, but saw this as a way to not make as large of a financial commitment on the front end.

 

Councilmember Willmus concurred with the comments of his colleagues.

 

Councilmember Laliberte advised that she would have supported a three year contract, however, agreed that she was amenable to a two year contract as well.

 

                        Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

Councilmember Laliberte asked staff to provide a recap of one-time and ongoing expenses coming from the Communications Fund on an annual basis, and the status of that fund; with the request duly noted by City Manager Trudgeon.

 

Mayor Roe also requested that the staff report include anticipated revenues into the fund over the next few years, in consideration of pending cable franchise negotiations and potential changes in those revenues.

 

Mayor Roe thanked the CEC and staff for their work on this website integration module to-date.

 

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

City Planner Thomas Paschke summarized the request for Final Plat approval as detailed in the RCA, noting affiliated site plans and conditions, typically required for submittals for the City Engineer and Planning staff to support.  Mr. Paschke advised that submittals had been completed and staff recommended approval of the Final Plat, conditioned as indicated for the proposed development.

 

Mayor Roe asked for public comment on this item. No one appeared to speak.

 

Etten moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No.11214 (Attachment D) entitled, ?A Resolution APPROVING the Final Plat of Twin Lakes Hospitality Place (PF14-029).?

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

15.         Business Items - Presentations/Discussions

 

16.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Trudgeon distributed upcoming preliminary meeting agendas; and noted that the majority of the March 9, 2015 meeting would taken up with advisory commissioner interviews, with twenty-four applications received as of today.  Mr. Trudgeon suggested that the regular business portion of the meeting begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by those interviews for the remainder of the evening.

 

There were no Councilmember initiated items for Future Meetings.

 

By consensus, the City Council concurred.

 

17.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Mayor Roe announced that, in accordance with State Statute Chapter 13.B.5, the City Council could meet in Closed Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the City Manager?s Performance Evaluation.  Mayor Roe advised that part of that statutory citation afforded the opportunity for the employee to choose to hold the discussion in open session; with City Manager Trudgeon expressing his preference that the evaluation be held in closed session.

 

CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

At approximately 8:53 p.m., Etten moved, Laliberte seconded, moving into Closed Executive Session for the purpose as stated by Mayor Roe.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.

 

Mayor Roe convened the City Council in Closed Executive Session pursuant to the previous motion. In addition to the City Council, City Attorney Gaughan and City Manager Trudgeon were in attendance.

 

Laliberte moved, McGehee seconded adjournment of the closed session and return to open session at 10:00 p.m.

 

Mayor Roe summarized the City Council?s review of the City Manager?s performance as being very satisfactory, and indicated the Council's approval of a salary step increase for Mr. Trudgeon. Mayor Roe noted that the Council was pleased with Mr. Trudgeon's work, and had encouraged Mr. Trudgeon to focus on a couple of area of growth and improvement in his positon for the year to come.

 

Councilmember Willmus concurred with the Council's praise for the work Mr. Trudgeon has done over the last year, and thanked him for that work, with the rest of the Council expressing concurrence in those remarks.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None

18.         Adjourn

Etten moved, Laliberte seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:04 p.m.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee, Willmus, Laliberte, Etten and Roe.

Nays: None.