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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

June 3, 2013

CTV Studios, 2670 Arthur Street


1.            Roll Call

Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm, and welcomed everyone.  Voting and Seating Order: Willmus; Etten; McGehee; Laliberte; and Roe.  Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon and City Attorney Charlie Bartholdi were also present.  Mayor Roe thanked CTV for hosting tonight’s City Council meeting while the audio system in the City Hall Council Chambers was being updated.


2.         Approve Agenda

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


                                                Roll Call

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

               Nays: None.


3.         Public Comment

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


4.         Council Communications, Reports and Announcements

Mayor Roe announced several upcoming Parks & Recreation Renewal Program community meetings for various parks in the community; with additional information available on the City’s website or by calling City Hall.


Councilmember McGehee reminded the public of an upcoming meeting at Century College on June 10, 2013, held by Ramsey County to discuss ways to facilitate recharging area aquifers and maintaining lake levels; with additional information available through Ramsey County.


As a representative of the City Council, Councilmember Laliberte reported on her most recent attendance at a Ramsey County League of Local Governments (RCLLG) meeting with the discussion centered on partnerships between municipalities and school districts.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that it was a good discussion, with an historical presentation about those partnerships; and ideas brought forward by communities and school districts.


Councilmember McGehee reported that she and Councilmember Etten had attended the final meeting of the CDI regarding the former Dale Street Fire Station and adjacent parcels; with views expressed by residents in attendance.  Councilmember McGehee opined that residents were supportive of the process and provided a list of issues and desired outcomes, which appeared not too restrictive, with the HRA very supportive of that public input.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she looked forward to the outcome of this successful civic engagement process.


5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications


6.         Approve Minutes


a.            Approve Minutes of May 16, 2013 Meeting

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.


Etten moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the minutes of the May 16, 2013, special meeting as presented.

                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


b.            Approve Minutes of May 20, 2013 Meeting

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the minutes of the May 20, 2013, meeting as amended to correct the spelling of Councilmember McGehee’s name on page 25, line 15.


                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


  1. Approve Consent Agenda


  1. Consider Items Removed from Consent


  1. General Ordinances for Adoption


  1. Presentations


  1. Public Hearings


  1. Budget Items


  1. Business Items (Action Items)


  1. Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


            a.         Discuss Compensation and Classification Study Recommendations

Preliminary to this discussion three (3) bench handouts were provided related to this item. The bench handouts were entitled, “Survey Methodology/Benchmarks & Comparables;” “2012 Compensation & Classification Study Methodology;” and an e-mail dated June 3, 2013 from Human Resources Manager Eldona Bacon to Interim City Manager Trudgeon related to benefit impacts to the budget for compensation study recommendation implementation.”


Interim City Manager Trudgeon introduced Human Resources Manager Bacon, and Ms. Ann Antonsen, Vice President of Springsted, the consultant having conducted the survey for the City of Roseville.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the June 10, 2013 preliminary agenda included an action item for the City Council’s consideration of implementing the study recommendations.


Ms. Bacon summarized the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated June 3, 2013; as detailed in the report and its attachments.  Ms. Bacon clarified that the study, at that time, did not include paid, on-call fire staff due to related variables and market considerations that were ongoing; and advised that a study for that group would be presented at a later time. 


Ms. Bacon noted that the purpose of tonight’s presentation was based on a previous City Council directing staff to bring back more detail of the study, outlined in the attachments; at which time Ms. Bacon elaborated on those attachments for the benefit of the City Council.  Ms. Bacon advised that the study originally looked at comparisons with twenty (20) other cities with comparable positions to those thirteen (13) subsequently reviewed and where data was available.  Eventually, Ms. Bacon advised that the study was able to realistically highlight and average those similar benchmark positions within the pay system and comparisons with ten (10) cities in that original group and the market itself.  Ms. Bacon advised that the attachments also highlighted any anomalies found during the study. 


In reviewing the bench handouts, Ms. Bacon advised that their purpose was to address the City Council’s previous request to bring back information on how those compensations changes impacted actual payroll costs (e.g. FICA, Medicare, and PERA) and benefits (e.g. short- and long-term disability and paid time off – PTO – payouts); with examples provided.


Discussion with Councilmembers included organization wide impacts, not separated out for tax- versus non-tax-supported funds;  the parallel study data gathered for City Council pay that was excluded from the employee study; specific cities used for the comparable data; and a thorough review of survey methodology, benchmarks and comparables.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that the more detailed information and explanation had been helpful for her; and stated that it would have been helpful to have that information provided during the first presentation.  On a related note, Councilmember Laliberte opined that at some point it she would like a discussion on how comparable cities are chosen, recognizing that comparisons are done for all kinds of purposes.  Councilmember Laliberte questioned the validity of establishing a standard for cities used consistently for comparisons purposes that most replicated the demographics of Roseville, including age and working salary levels, as well as city structure and more representation of cities within Ramsey County.


Mayor Roe noted that a standard would depend on what was trying to be measured, with demographics sometimes having more or less of a factor; and questioned if such a standard would suffice.


Councilmember Laliberte recognized those constraints; however, she noted that the discussion involved taxpayers paying for City Council decisions; and comparable cities needed to include that consideration for the ability of taxpayers to pay for those decisions.


Councilmember McGehee asked Interim City Manager Trudgeon, when that discussion was held, that the cities used for comparison were consistent with the same benchmark rather than shifting them around (e.g. taxpayer issues, demographics, fire-related issues, etc.) to fit a particular scenario.  For example, Councilmember McGehee suggested that for a fire-related study, a bank of cities with fire department structures similar to that of Roseville, with the same level of commercial and retail development would be useful to have.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the concern always came up from the public related to financial concerns and comparisons with other cities to justify Roseville’s “low” tax rates.


Councilmember Willmus noted that the former City Manager justified the use of peer groups based on those cities that were exclusively members of the International City Manager’s Association (ICMA); and spoke in support of more variables in those peer groups when comparing and reviewing services and functions.


Mayor Roe noted that another consideration was that there were not always a lot of other cities doing the same kind of benchmark measurements.  However, Mayor Roe noted that with the recent efforts of the Minnesota State Auditor, a greater pool should become available with cities incented to perform those measurements.  In his research and review of budget documents across communities, Mayor Roe noted that many cities were doing some form of performance measurement, but not necessarily sharing it with other agencies (e.g. Cities of Burnsville and Maplewood); and it would be a matter of determining how to achieve a standard report for that information.  Mayor Roe suggested  that this might be a function of the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) or other groups for tracking/reporting of that data.  Mayor Roe concurred that it made sense to have good benchmarks for decision-making; and opined that it should also include median incomes, one comment he’d heard from the public.  Even though comparisons to the City of Edina based on income may not seem appropriate, Mayor Roe noted that they provided comparable services to that of the City of Roseville.


Interim City Manager Trudgeon agreed to the need to find peer communities, and that they probably could not be universal depending on what was being measured.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that another comment often heard was why the City didn’t compare with its neighboring communities; but noted that they were completely different types of communities, even while geographic location was an important component for comparison.  Mr. Trudgeon suggested that more thought was needed for this complicated issue.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Ms. Antonsen advised that she could provide the larger group of cities originally considered in writing; and read it off during the meeting.  Mayor Roe noted that the list included some neighboring communities to Roseville, along with others in Ramsey County.


Ms. Antonsen clarified that some neighboring cities did not provide the same scope of services provided by Roseville; and when doing a study, they may gather information from those located in the same geographic area, but they were not always found to be a good match and even though the information was available internally, it may not be used for the study itself as a comparable for the overall analysis, but for informational purposes only.  Ms. Antonsen further noted that some of the responses received may be sufficient, but the position itself found inconsistent with another city or that of Roseville, and therefore pulled out of the mix.


Mayor Roe noted that these recommendations would come back to the City Council as part of their budget discussion; and suggested a separate policy discussion as to what the City wished for a threshold for compensation based on averages.


Councilmember Etten sought additional information on how this study compared with the City’s union employees, compared to other cities and non-union positions; and comparisons within the City itself, if there were any positions obviously lagging behind.


Ms. Bacon responded that internal equity is a piece of compensation and how the employees are valued within an organization, admitting that there was some inconsistency, basically due to unions having successfully arbitrated their rights.  As an example, Ms. Bacon advised that, if the City Council determines that all staff will get a cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase in a particular budget year, those unions could contractually go to arbitration and compare themselves with other communities that may be getting a higher percentage increase, with the mediator finding in their favor to receive that higher percentage, which the City was contractually obligated to provide, creating some inconsistency in equity with non-union employee groups.  Ms. Bacon advised that those unions had therefore averaged 1-3% higher than non-union employees over a number of years.  Ms. Bacon noted that those internal inconsistencies, sooner or later, could result in non-supervisory, union employees making close to what their non-union supervisors were making, often creating equity and morale concerns.


Pertinent to a discussion for police officers and a desire for comparisons with communities in the same geographic area, Ms. Bacon clarified that those communities may not have their own police department (e.g. City of Shoreview); and making it difficult for the City of Roseville to make a similar comparison, as the police union could then use that in arbitration.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Ms. Bacon advised that both a comparison of actual wage rates and percent of annual increases were both factors during negotiations; with comparisons of actual and desired 100% compensation used compared with other communities; with the obvious desire of those union employees to seek the top percentage of comparison cities.


Further discussion included clarification that most union employees were at approximately 100% when measured across the board and according to this study, the City’s non-union and exempt employees were currently at approximately 97% compared with other metropolitan communities, with this study proving that the latter group of employees were actually even less, or 4.6% below the 100% figure.


Mayor Roe polled individual Councilmembers as to their preference to have this compensation discussion as part of the budget discussion or as a separate policy discussion.


Councilmember Willmus expressed his preference to have it as part of the budget discussion; clarifying for Mayor Roe that the adjustments needed to remain in context as part of the annual budget and as a policy for how Roseville chose to place its compensation compared to other communities and the market.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that obviously the financial impact was part of the budget discussion; and suggested one way to implement the recommendations was not necessarily to do so in its entirety for the 2014 budget cycle.  Mr. Trudgeon suggested the discussion be continued in the near future.


As part of the next discussion, Mayor Roe asked that staff provide information on the effect on levy-supported versus non-levy-supported funds, and a breakdown for phase-ins and an annual dollar amount for the levy during that phase-in as well.


Councilmember McGehee also requested, outside the budget information, whether or not the City wanted to have a policy for maintaining a certain percentage of the market and other cities; and what cities would be used for that comparison review, as part of that policy discussion.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the policy in trying to provide some equity between union and non-union employees appeared to have been abandoned; but further opined that a policy should be somehow memorialized, noting that this was the first compensation study completed in over ten (10) years, and it should be made meaningful in some way by laying out a policy.


Mayor Roe advised that this had been his rationale in suggesting a policy discussion separate from the budget, outlining a percentage policy and then budget implications, and how to get there in steps.  Mayor Roe questioned if it was accurate to suggest that the 97% goal had been abandoned, just that it was not currently being met; and suggested that one choice before the City Council was to memorialize that situation as part of a new policy.


Ms. Bacon clarified that the 97% goal also had merit pay attached, which was not being met, and asked that both components be considered in the policy discussion, whether or not the merit piece will be reviewed or included or not.


Councilmember Laliberte suggested that, while needing the policy discussion moving forward, the merit situation provided a way to incent employees to do their job at the City, in its role as a service provider, with the need to fund that merit program.  Including moving forward with the HRIS system performance reviews done on time, Councilmember Laliberte opined that some performance reviews could be done and measured similarly across the board and between supervisors, with some pieces already put in place.


Mayor Roe opined that the previous merit system was not well-defined; and agreed that any time a merit based pay structure was used, it was a benefit, but needed to be something everyone understood and supported; and that it took time and resources to meet that goal; and suggested a future discussion include employee input as well.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that it would be difficult and irresponsible for the City Council to decide on implementation of the compensation study recommendations and its dollar impact until legislative caps and fixed costs outside the City’s control for the next budget cycle had been determined.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that Finance Director Chris Miller was preparing to begin that discussion at the next regular business meeting, as legislative issues and mandates were finalized.  However, Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff would prefer having the policy discussion first, as that would inform the budget and what could be accomplished moving forward.  Mr. Trudgeon concurred with the City Council’s preference for having defined criteria for merit pay; but noted that another reason it didn’t move forward previously was due to a lack of funding; and asked that if the City Council was going to have it as their policy, it make sure it was also funded.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that if the decision was for a merit system, that it be clearly defined and that the compensation study recommendations be implemented to avoid gaps occurring again in those positions not currently meeting the goal.


Ms. Bacon reminded Councilmembers that those adjustments were based on the current policy of 97% versus 100%, as that was the comparison used in the market place in accordance with that current policy.  Ms. Bacon advised that, to her knowledge, very few government agencies used a merit system.


Mayor Roe noted that some observers believe a merit system is not appropriate, as public employees are charged with performing their jobs for the good of its citizens; and shouldn’t need to be rewarded for doing their job.


Ms. Antonsen noted that it tied to the ability to fund such programs; with some organizations such as Roseville implementing those merit programs when times were better, with funding subsequently dropping away and employees not incentivized to do better; and rather than redesigning the system, some cities just stopped using it altogether.


Councilmember McGehee summarized future action, based on her perspective and recollection of tonight’s discussion: a future policy discussion would be held with a policy established; a determination of how to go about future compensation studies, at a minimum which cites and the percentage goal preferred for Roseville; a determination as to whether or not to have merit raises; a goal to not have internal unfunded mandates related to these goals.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the City currently had many unfunded mandates, of which this was only one; and further opined that if the City pursued a merit system,  it should ensure that it was funded or remove it.


Mayor Roe noted that this was the point: to have a policy that matched reality, or change the policy, or some combination of both scenarios.


Council consensus was that this had been a good discussion; and expressed appreciation to Ms. Bacon and Ms. Antonsen.


b.         Zoning Code General Discussion

Interim City Manager Trudgeon summarized the RCA dated June 3, 2013; noting specifics items outlined by staff to facilitate tonight’s discussion, including the process itself, text amendment history, current issues, and future items for discussion and review.  At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon suggested that the discussion be free-form including a broader policy discussion on how land use decisions are made and at what level.


General Discussion/Developers Open House

Councilmember McGehee initiated discussions by seeking the City Council to have more of a role in land use decisions, while remaining cognizant of the 60-day review period.  Councilmember McGehee offered, as an example, implementing an open house prior to the 60-day clock being initiated.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred, advising that would be staff’s suggestion to incorporate as part of the subdivision application process, referencing the current practice for some land use cases, advising that the application process required that be done before the permit was accepted at the staff level, and starting the 60-day review period according to State Statute, and as a checklist item for the application itself.


Mayor Roe recognized that current policy for certain applications, and suggested the subdivision application process parallel that as well.


Councilmember McGehee referenced the issues that came up with the most recent preliminary plat review (Josephine Heights), and legitimate concerns raised by residents about tree preservation and how that was monitored/enforced; and opined that the developer had been unwilling to grant a two-week delay to address those concerns by meeting with residents.  Councilmember McGehee opined that if there was an obvious area of great aggravation within the community on a potential project or about a specific aspect; there was currently no way to stop the clock if the City didn’t own the land; and supported something in the application process to provide for negotiation when there was a serious issue among constituents or residents around the area with the developer’s plans.  Councilmember McGehee suggested a way to get those groups together to find a more acceptable solution before the clock started running.


Mr. Trudgeon questioned if there was anything under State Statutes that would help mediate those types of situations.


City Planner Thomas Paschke concurred, noting that if a developer/applicant met the requirements of City Ordinance and State Statute, it put staff in  a difficult position.


Mayor Roe suggested that one solution would be to require an open house and identify significant issues, and have the application process address those issues, whether resolved to everyone’s satisfaction or not, but at least to demonstrate that the issues were brought forward and an attempt made to work together.


Councilmember Willmus suggested that amending the process itself, with a pre-condition to an application being that the developer/applicant meet with neighbors, would serve to flesh out the issues, allowing for conditions suitable to carry forward the preliminary plat phase.  Councilmember Willmus opined that the mediation level would be at the City Council level, and if those conditions were not met, they had the option of denying the final plat, causing the developer to start the process over again; and further opined that this would be the clearest way to identify the issues.


City Attorney Charlie Bartholdi clarified hat, if the conditions and issues had not been raised at the preliminary plat level, they could not be raised at the time of final plat consideration; but concurred that it would be a good idea to identify the issues at that early stage, as stated by Councilmember Willmus.


Mr. Trudgeon further noted that any conditions needed to be deemed reasonable from a legal standpoint, and not arbitrary; seeking that staff also not be put in that position; and providing a nexus of why a developer/applicant was required to meet certain conditions.


City Attorney Bartholdi further clarified that the 60-day review period ran from the official submittal of a successfully-completed application; and if not determined complete by staff, it was returned to the developer; and concurred that conditions could not be deemed arbitrary, but should be reasonable and consistent.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that there was some difference in the 60-day rules for plats and zoning, so a unilateral requirement could not be implemented, but could be done based on specific statutes.


Mr. Bartholdi concurred, noting that a preliminary plat review allowed 120 days, with a 60-day review for final plats; but the City’s current ordinance read just the opposite of current State Statute.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that the City’s subdivision ordinance was probably parallel to that of State Statute at one time, but not reflected so at this time.


Mr. Bartholdi concurred, clarifying that the City’s ordinance read 60-days, and therefore that was the time period.


At the suggestion of Councilmember Etten, Mr. Trudgeon agreed that it should prove a simple change for the City to make and could be done, as noted by Mr. Paschke with a public hearing at the Planning Commission level and processed accordingly.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Bartholdi advised that changing the current Zoning Ordinance from 60 to 120 days may have other implications, as it applied to multiple applications, and those needed to be considered as well (e.g. variances).


Mayor Roe noted that the City’s subdivision code had not undergone a revision as of yet.


Associate Planner Bryan Lloyd concurred; advising that whether to update the Subdivision Code to read parallel to State Statute remained on the “to do” list for this summer/fall, along with more comprehensive subdivision code changes intended to be done enmass.


With respect to the number of potential infill subdivisions city-wide, Councilmember McGehee expressed her preference not to wait until fall to include a condition that developers/applicants meet with their neighbors as a precursor to the 60-day review period.


Mayor Roe and Councilmember Willmus concurred with Councilmember McGehee.


Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the open house clause was not included in the subdivision code, but when dealing with plats, it could be added to the language; or as suggested by Mayor Roe, simply referenced.


Councilmember Willmus opined that this discussion should focus around the level or what size subdivision being considered: whether an individual splitting a lot to create another or some other threshold.


Mr. Trudgeon suggested that a good demarcation would be a Minor Subdivision of three (3) lots or less versus Major Subdivisions with a more complicated process.


At the request of Mayor Roe as to whether an open house was an unreasonable requirement for a simple lot split; Councilmember McGehee that a simple lot split should not apply versus buying a number of lots and recombining them, creating a larger impact.


Mr. Lloyd noted that the Civic Engagement Task Force had done some research on this very issue; and provided recommendations for subdivision open houses suggesting that the number of lots would trigger it.  Mr. Lloyd advised that the first reference for open house requirements was implemented as part of Interim Use or Zoning Map changes, but had come into existence without any code amendment, simply adding that requirement to the application requirements; and suggested that whichever trigger was chosen for an open house could be added the same way and prior to code text amendments.


Mayor Roe concurred with Mr. Lloyd; opining that the important thing was to add a requirement for an open house and to identify significant issues at the open house, whether or not they were resolved.


On a related note, Councilmember Willmus suggested the need for a different environment as to how those meetings are conducted or facilitated, currently held out in the neighborhood, and questioned whether those meetings are sufficiently documented.  Councilmember Willmus suggested that a staff member be designated to attend, and a room provided at City Hall to document those items as a way to track it coming forward at the preliminary plat phase.


Mayor Roe expressed concern that this was asking a lot of staff, since many applications didn’t actually proceed; and opined that if the open house was added to the application checklist, the public would become involved and future discussion would include identification of those issues, and if the developer hadn’t brought them forward, the City Council would be aware of it.


Councilmember McGehee opined that the community was competent and further opined that it would be sufficient for the application to include a submitted record of the meeting and items listed, which could be signed by a representative of the neighborhood and by the applicant.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred that having both the neighborhood and applicant sign off as part of the application process and packet process; as long as they were only signing off in identifying the issues, as suggested by Mayor Roe, and not necessarily agreeing to resolution of all of those issues.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that, if this requirement was part of the application checklist itself rather than an amendment to the subdivision ordinance, it could be implemented much more quickly. 


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon suggested that staff would attempt to work out the details, and suggested criteria, and after consultation with the City Attorney, report back to the City Council at their next meeting.


Tree Preservation

Councilmember McGehee opined that she saw the City’s current tree preservation ordinance as an unfunded mandate, since the City didn’t have current staffing to handle it, with site visits requiring a substantial amount of attention to detail in working with neighbors to identify trees. Also, Councilmember McGehee expressed concern in allowing clear cutting in the middle of nesting seasons for migratory birds; and suggested there were other options available.


Councilmember McGehee also addressed past practice by the Public Works Department in planting boulevard trees by species in a series of five.  Even while being better than the former monoculture plantings, Councilmember McGehee noted the pests and fungi spreading through the root system of a particular species, and therefore affecting the entire group.  Again, Councilmember McGehee opined that it required a highly substantial staff effort to implement and fund an adequate tree preservation program city-wide.


Councilmember Willmus noted that the City had a Tree Board that met annually, as part of the City’s Parks & Recreation Commission; and suggested it may need to have a broader role as part of the subdivision process for review beyond park dedication for larger parcels to address those valid concerns outlined by Councilmember McGehee.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that his only comment was to not lose sight of the 60-day review rule, especially if the Parks & Recreation Commission needed to be involved in working through those issues.


Mr. Paschke concurred, noting the significant number of applications fielded; as well as those permitted uses not requiring anything other than an administrative review and subsequent approval.


Mayor Roe opined that staffing seemed to be the larger issue, with the City currently only funding a part-time forester through the tax levy.  If consideration was given to enhancing the hours of that position, Mayor Roe suggested it should perhaps be funded through developer fees instead to put resources behind the City’s tree preservation ordinance.


Councilmember Willmus questioned if the Tree Preservation Ordinance was intended for everything across the board or if there was a threshold for that review by the forester.


Mr. Paschke suggested that it include everything, or any developments on a lot with trees.


Councilmember McGehee noted the flexibility for tree preservation through use of public land for easements so the City didn’t have to proscribe to tree preservation efforts; however, she remained unconvinced that an annual meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission’s Tree board would suffice in that capacity.


Councilmember Willmus clarified that he was not suggesting an annual role, but a larger role for the Tree Board.


Councilmember McGehee noted that another piece coming into play included water and water reservoirs currently fielded by the Public Works, Environment, and Transportation Commission (PWETC), affected by lots with trees being removed and developed; which all came under the broader umbrella of natural resource management.  While part of the Parks & Recreation Commission, Councilmember McGehee opined that that role was entirely different; and how to properly respond and take advantage of opportunities to protect those natural resources needed to be addressed.


Councilmember Laliberte observed that there were functions in the City that fell across departments and roles, and noted the need for natural resource management, some in the park arena and some in public works; and questioned how that knowledge was being utilized versus having it spread all over in an ineffective manner.


Mayor Roe noted the need to consider balancing the rights of individual property owners with the broader natural resource management element; and the entirely different question in what the City does with its public property and parks from a natural resource management perspective.  Mayor Roe noted the need to be cognizant of rights and impacts, and what was reasonable for the City to ask for in outlining regulations form a realistic and common sense approach versus legislating idealistic best practices.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that a broader discussion was needed on efficiencies and where the talent pool was being funded, not just touching upon it.


Mayor Roe advised that the City Forester’s job was to deal with City park land, which was the current focus; and if that role was added to or other areas included, he questioned if that position should continue residing in the Parks & Recreation Department.


Councilmember Etten opined that expanding the Forester position made sense from his perspective, especially if the Forester was going to be asked to assess developments.  Councilmember Etten noted that a Forester was an expert hired by the City who knew how to take care of trees, and should serve as a consultant for multiple departments: Public Works, Planning, and Parks & Recreation.  Councilmember Etten noted that the reason for the current part-time status was based on the amount of funds available.  Councilmember Etten noted that the Forester position was busiest during the summer months, performing a comprehensive identification of species when trees were leafed out and when disease was more easily identified, but that this was also when development projects were happening.  Councilmember Etten advised that this targeted that position in an intense way; and needed to be considered when determining how that job could and should be expanded to make it useful for all functions city-wide.


Councilmember McGehee suggested having a consultant during the summer months.


Mayor Roe noted that their expertise was pretty specific.


Councilmember McGehee suggested that it would be the most efficient to have a consulting firm or someone with that expertise; of to use the University of MN Extension Service to provide the number of people needed when they were needed.


Councilmember Etten suggested it was worth further discussion when Parks & Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke was present, and the City’s current Forester to determine what she was currently dealing with and what she saw as needs in the community.  Councilmember Etten suggested this may indicate expansion of the part-time position by only one month in each direction.


Mayor Roe suggested that Mr. Trudgeon, Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Brokke be directed to have that discussion internally and bring their recommended options to the City Council for further discussion and direction.


Mr. Trudgeon summarized what he was hearing as staff’s directive: that the City Council desired to put more resources toward tree preservation city-wide and to consolidate it into a better system to determine actual needs.


Councilmember Willmus, with concurrence by Mayor Roe and Councilmember McGehee, that the position be developer funded.  Councilmember Willmus questioned if the position was actually levy driven.


Councilmember Laliberte questioned if someone was then being freed to perform other duties or a shifting of responsibilities.


Mr. Trudgeon clarified staff’s direction to include options for a Forester position and/or duties that could create shifting among departments, as long as not unfunded.  Mr. Trudgeon also noted the need to have someone at City Hall able to review plans, and provide feet on the ground to monitor and enforce the Tree Preservation Ordinance; advising that the position could be as extensive as the City Council desired.  However, for effective tree preservation, Mr. Trudgeon noted that there was the need for on-site monitoring on a frequent basis.


Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that it was similar to erosion control efforts, with a fee structure provided by the developer in the Public Works area to include inspections, fines, and other items; and suggested that their model be used as a starting point for this situation and to set up a system for someone with this expertise to perform those duties.


Councilmember McGehee asked that resident concerns not be left out; and suggested that there were residents in the community who could volunteer to monitor and report any issues to staff for their confirmation so staff didn’t need to be on-site all the time.  Councilmember McGehee noted that this practice was typical for watershed districts to have citizens on site to ensure compliance; and opined that this would reduce costs for the City as well, to only have a staff person go to the site when called by those volunteers.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon advised that a more realistic timeframe for staff to report back to the City Council would be in July of 2013 at the earliest.


Councilmember McGehee noted that the City already had the document, it just needed to come up with enforcement for it.


Councilmember Etten elaborated by noting the need for staff to determine how the departments would work with each other on an enforcement model.


With members of the public in attendance, Councilmember McGehee suggested that the City Council hear their comments at this meeting.


While Mayor Roe’s intent was to hear that public comment, he prefaced those comments by advising that those comments be taken with the understanding that they were very preliminary considering there was not yet anything to comment on until provided by staff; and asked that the extent and length of those comments be respectful of the many other items on tonight’s agenda.


Councilmember Willmus suggested that future work sessions provide for public comment at the beginning of the meeting, no matter if an item is included on the agenda or not, rather than during discussions.


Mayor Roe stated, in terms of City Council work session discussions, the public needed to understand that public testimony was being heard on conceptual versus action documents for those responses.  Mayor Roe cautioned that by not having anything specific to respond to, it simply ate into the time designated and allotted for City Council and staff dialogue to move items forward.


Public Comment

Jody McElroy, 905 Millwood Avenue

Ms. McElroy expressed her five (5) major concerns or comments, tying into tonight’s discussion, as included in previous written comment provided at the May 20, 2013 regular business meeting.


Ms. McElroy opined that having an open house would have been helpful to their neighborhood, based on the time available for their notification and review of the preliminary plat, creating a huge learning curve for lay people before the Planning Commission’s public hearing.  Ms. McElroy stated that the process had caused her trust in City staff to be waylaid; as the plat had been recommended and approved by the Planning Commission without tree preservation included, not only for the development site itself but the adjacent properties, including no identification of significant trees, with only seven (7) trees identified as significant as part of that tree survey from the developer, when the lot was currently full of trees; and without one staff person visiting the site.  Ms. McElroy expressed her disappointment from the last City Council meeting that there had been no site review by staff, and yet the plat had been approved.


In response to Ms. McElroy’s concerns, Mayor Roe clarified with Mr. Paschke that a tree preservation plan was a required part of the preliminary plat approval process; however, from staff’s perspective, it remained a working document, and if the City Council has specific concerns, it would direct staff to look into those and resolve the issues.  Mr. Paschke stated that it should be kept in mind that the City is reliant, as with any submittal information required by City Code and whether during construction or when finished, similar to the tree preservation ordinance, with the developer required to follow City Code.  While not always available to be on-site, Mr. Paschke reiterated the reliance on the information being provided by the developer and recourses available, with staff performing a walk through prior to final approval in accordance with plans submitted and approved.


Mayor Roe clarified that the preliminary plat level was basically verifying lot dimensions, setbacks, and the broader, larger scale issues; allowing staff to address those areas requiring additional focus.


Councilmember McGehee opined that the tree preservation plan should be defined as part of the preliminary plat application process and available as part of the open house and neighborhood discussions with the developer in advance, so any issues can walk the site together and find a resolution.


Mr. Paschke concurred that, if the direction was to hold open houses as part of the subdivision process, the tree survey was one of the documents that should be available, including water, sewer and road layouts, grades, types of homes proposed, and any other information available upfront, noting that the preliminary plat itself didn’t show anything beyond lot lines.


Mayor Roe concurred that the tree survey and other information should be part of the application process.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred, clarifying that it would be in a conceptual or preliminary way; and advised that staff would have further discussions on the details based on tonight’s discussion.


Councilmember Laliberte stated that the City provided customer service and that the developer or applicant wasn’t the only customer, but also its residents.  When she became aware of some of the issues with the proposal before it came to the City Council, Councilmember Laliberte advised that she had personally reviewed the site on her own to attempt an understanding of those issues.  Councilmember Laliberte asked that staff also be sensitive to all of the customers it served.


Council Role/Zoning and Flexibility

Councilmember McGehee opined that the City Council needed to make sure it was not put in a position to be a corner due to the rigidity of its ordinance; opining that it had a role in mediation.  Councilmember McGehee recognized that if those rules became too flexible, it would create additional problems. 

Councilmember McGehee referenced a previous letter from City Attorney Bartholdi written to the City Council indicating that there was a conflict between the Regional and Community Business Zoning Districts due to an overlap in definitions and their ambiguity, potentially setting up the City for further lawsuits.  Councilmember McGehee noted the need to be flexible without ambiguity; allowing the City to be open to new ideas while not also being open to lawsuits.


Councilmember McGehee reiterated her often-stated position and support for Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s) to be part of the system, allowing a place for the City Council and its residents to have a significant role.  As an example, Councilmember McGehee noted the recent CDI presentation for the Dale Street project for single-family bungalow arrangements on small lots each privately owned with common space.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the City didn’t have any zoning like that.


Mayor Roe corrected Councilmember McGehee that there was zoning that allowed for that.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred, noting that allowances were in code for courtyard set-ups; and that concept had been illustrated as allowable in code.


Councilmember McGehee clarified that the City should be willing to accommodate any idea coming forward that seemed to be a good idea.


Mayor Roe noted that they all needed to proceed through the process to determine their merits on a case-by-case basis.


Mayor Roe asked that City Attorney Bartholdi correct any characterizations of the letter referenced by Councilmember McGehee between him and the City Attorney; opining that his interpretation didn’t match entirely with that of Councilmember McGehee.


City Attorney Bartholdi apologized that he didn’t exactly remember the letter being referenced, and would need to review it again.  However, Mr. Bartholdi advised that he recalled that it had addressed a procedural issue, with his opinion differing from that of Mr. Trudgeon and the decision made by the Community Development Department.  Regardless of the decision made, Mr. Bartholdi reminded everyone that there are remedies for developers to contest those decisions, and with the one being referenced, the findings stood.


Mayor Roe clarified that the letter was dated December 2010 or 2011 regarding the Wal-Mart development regarding Community Business and Regional Business Zoning Districts; and from his recollection, Mr. Bartholdi had stated that, “to the extent of any inconsistency” rather than as recalled by Councilmember McGehee.  Based on his review of the letter, Mayor Roe opined that he had not interpreted Mr. Bartholdi’s comments to indicate that there was any consistency needing to be fixed; and recognized that different people could interpret the letter differently.  Mayor Roe suggested that he and City Attorney Bartholdi review the letter off-line, since it was correspondence between the two of them.


Councilmember McGehee agreed to discuss the letter further off-line.


Councilmember Etten opined that part of this involved the City Council’s policy role; and that it was only common sense to open things up for community dialogue before being put under the gun.  Councilmember Etten advised that his concern was to get the City’s staff and developers involved in the process, opining that the City Council did not have a role in those minute details, and should be careful of not doing so.  Councilmember Etten opined that if it was the desire to reach in and get to the dangerous point of defining specific aspects of any development, it was not prudent for the City Council to be involved in that detail.


Councilmember McGehee stated that she absolutely agreed with Councilmember Etten; and that comment went directly to the garage placement and standards design included in current code, with which she did not agree. 


Councilmember McGehee opined that current code was too narrow and restrictive in many ways, but in some ways too ambiguous.  Councilmember McGehee noted that, when the Zoning Code had first come forward, there were definitions for each Zoning District that included square footages; however, those had been removed, even though many objected to that removal including her, and therefore become ambiguous.  An example used by Councilmember McGehee was the proposed asphalt plant. 


Regarding the Twin Lakes regulating map, Councilmember McGehee opined that it was like a corset; and she didn’t think it was her job to tell people where they should place their buildings, and what color brick, etc. should be used.


Regarding removal of the square footage designations form various Zoning Code definitions, Mayor Roe clarified that those had been recommended for exclusion by the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee majority, and subsequently confirmed at the Planning Commission and City Council by majority vote.   Mayor Roe further clarified that, in the case of the Comprehensive Plan, a super majority vote could make changes to the Plan as desired.  Mayor Roe opined, and recognizing the concerns raised by Councilmember Etten, that the City Council not make decisions based on less than a technical analysis of those items based on code requirements, which would open the City up to litigation, and retain their role in making the larger policy decisions.  At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mayor Roe provided an example with a variance process and the City Council determining setbacks based on reallocation by the City Council versus those technical analyses provided in code, and having the potential of those decisions being made differently depending on who was on the City Council at a given time and who the applicant was. 


Mayor Roe reiterated the need for basis, consistent, and explicit application of City Code and rules.  Mayor Roe noted the ultimate goal is to avoid having City Council decisions overturned by the courts.


Councilmember McGehee opined that by not having square footages identified in the Twin Lakes Community Business Zoning District, it had allowed the Wal-Mart development to proceed.


Mayor Roe opined that having square footages included in those designations could prove just as arbitrary in some applications.


Even though it was water over the dam, Councilmember McGehee opined that since Mr. Trudgeon was a big supporter of Community Mixed Use; one option that could have been negotiated would to have had Wal-Mart with residential above.  However, Councilmember McGehee opined that now that the Wal-Mart development had been approved, it seemed odd that the remaining parcels were being restricted with parking spaces, even though many property owners were impacted with those restrictions. 


Councilmember McGehee noted that one of her suggestions had been to have Mr. Trudgeon meet with Twin Lakes property owners and ask them collectively for their concepts to put forward and work through the City to get them moving.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there were many property owners eager to sell, but no one appeared to have any big plans for the parcels.


 Height Limitations Councilmember McGehee questioned why these particular items listed on tonight’s agenda and in the RCA were being brought forward at this time.


Regarding the height issues and silos, Mr. Trudgeon briefly reviewed that portion of the ordinance written in 1959, and apparently not well thought out at the time, since they could be located anywhere in the City.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that this was the rationale in the revised language for Attachment D that they only be allowed in the Industrial District.


Regarding the lack of height requirement, Mayor Roe opined that he was not convinced that there should be unlimited height allowances. 


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Trudgeon advised that he could provide no response to the rationale for not having a height restriction other than that was how it had been on the books for the duration; with no problems coming forward to his knowledge.


Mr. Paschke noted that there was an exception clause, if there were any issues or concerns the Community Development Department has the ability to review it if there appeared to be adjacent impacts.


Councilmember Willmus expressed an interest in finding models from other communities.


Mayor Roe concurred, and opined that as soon as staff was required to decide on a height, it put them in a position the City Council did not want them in.


Councilmember Etten opined that too tall was subjective, and allowed for grey areas.  Councilmember Etten opined that something was needed that allowed a check on the process and to determine if there was an industry standard, based on strength or capacity issues; or based on the technical aspects of a particular business.


Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that a water tower was a good example, since they were often located in residential areas, and were a certain height based on pressure needs; but then there was a need not to treat a church spire as one would a water tower, and if you were going to put limits on, you needed to do so in all areas.


Mayor Roe further noted that a short industrial silo could be installed on top of a building for processing materials and also needed to be taken into account, even though it may not make a difference in the Industrial District.


At the request of Councilmember Etten, Mayor Roe suggested that staff determine if they needed to have a height restriction on each exception listed.


Initiation of Zoning Changes

Councilmember McGehee questioned the rationale for “community planning” language; Mr. Paschke responded, with concurrence by City Attorney Bartholdi, that the language was generic based on State Statute and referred to any planning agency typically managed by the Community Development Department, whether the Planning Commission or staff.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the petition process was per City Ordinance rather than State Statute; with City Attorney Bartholdi speaking in support of the petition process as outlined.


Mayor Roe noted that the provision for property owner petitions for zoning changes on adjacent properties had been added to the 2010 update of the Zoning Ordinance; with Mr. Lloyd clarifying that the provision was a legacy of previous versions of City Code and not something new having been added.


Vehicle Storage

Councilmember Laliberte also brought forward considerations regarding parking of recreational vehicles, boats and other vehicle storage on the streets and on residential properties.


Mr. Trudgeon clarified that a boat stored/parked on a street was not against current City Ordinance unless determined to be a traffic nuisance; and even though some people would dispute the notion, he suggested that the ordinance be limited to a certain number of hours for that storage.


Councilmember Willmus suggested a more comprehensive look at City Code, addressing those items not allowed for parking on the driveway if greater in length that 20’, when the right-of-way from most residential garages to the street exceeded 20’; and may need revamped, accommodating the homeowner and get the boat off the street where it could cause problems.  While having no resolution to offer, Councilmember Willmus noted other areas of code that were in conflict for parking allowed on the street but not on driveways; and suggested a blanket allowance or not allowing them at all.


Mayor Roe concurred that there were inconsistencies in current code; and that specific language was needed to address some of those inconsistencies based on today’s realities.


Discussion ensued regarding facilitating that storage versus creating or eliminating safety hazards; front yard storage except on improved surfaces; original intent of the language to address vehicles exceeding a certain length; trailers at residential properties used for livelihood but not allowed to avoid commercial storage in residential areas to avoid their domination;  and distinctions between zoning and code enforcement issues.


Mayor Roe suggested that the community be involved significantly in those discussions to reflect current community standards.


While not looking to tell residents what they could or could not do on their own property, Councilmember Laliberte noted that this appeared to be an ongoing problem with a significant history of not being addressed; and expressed her confidence that this current City Council and current staff could commit to address it.


Mayor Roe noted that, like many other discussions, there were quick fixes and long-term issues, including inoperable vehicle definitions and other items that needed to reflect community standards.


Councilmember McGehee opined that there should be a policy; with Mayor Roe noting that the challenge was to determine what was the right policy.


Councilmember Willmus opined that it needed a longer review.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that there were a number of public hearings for similar items scheduled for the upcoming Planning Commission meeting, but advised that some of those things were of a preliminary nature and would require an open house and subsequent public hearing.


With Mayor Roe questioning if it was a good idea to touch base with the City Council prior to the Planning Commission process to determine the validity of some items moving forward, Councilmembers Laliberte and Etten expressed their trust in the Planning Commission process.


Councilmember Willmus opined that this City Council was good at reaching out to staff with any concerns.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that each of these items was brought to the City Council’s attention in February of 2013 as a preliminary way to alert them to those issues coming forward in the work plan; and encouraged Councilmembers to review that document to determine if something needed more City Council attention before coming before the Planning Commission and to alert staff accordingly.


Mr. Paschke concurred, seeking City Council direction specifically for those items of a technical nature; and recognized that the Subdivision and/or Shoreland ordinances would require outside assistance form a consultant, due to the much different and time-consuming process needed.


Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:13 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:21 pm.

c.            Discuss Twin Lakes Zoning Code

Mr. Trudgeon briefly reviewed the RCA, noting the expiration of the AUAR last fall and City Council determination to have further discussion on what was preferred for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area before entering into further environmental review.  Mr. Trudgeon suggested that tonight’s discussion could serve as a framework for a broad and complex issue for this unique area of the community.


Zoning Code

Mr. Trudgeon questioned if there should be a distinct and specific Twin Lakes zoning District to regular uses, form and design; or whether the Community Mixed Use (CMU) District should remain, or provide for sub-districts with that zoning district to differentiate between areas; and what parcels should be considered part of Twin Lakes, removed or added.  Mr. Trudgeon further questioned if there should be a clearer distinction in the CMU Zoning District and Comprehensive Plan Land Use Plan and/or regulating plan between “community use” and “regional use.”


Mayor Roe suggested the first discussion should be consideration of how the Twin Lakes area was identified, as it may influence other discussions.


Councilmember McGehee stated that she’d always wondered about the grand Master Plan, and while nice, it hasn’t ever spread out the way those other  properties have; and whatever was in place hadn’t worked since its inception in the 1980’s; and opined that it was probably time to rethink it.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there were some reasonably viable things going on in the district east of Fairview and to the north, whether ideal or not, even though the United Properties parcel (Applewood Point and Cherry Point) were nice additions and took advantage of the park in a very nice way.  Based on her perspective, and her previous conversations with Consultant Michael Lamb, the general consensus was to utilize and protect the park and receive its full benefit through some sort of housing development around the park versus industrial or retail around it.  Councilmember McGehee opined that she liked CMU and the concept of The Shops at West End, and Excelsior and Grant projects; but had difficulty incorporating that concept into the development that had already occurred (e.g. Wal-Mart and the Metro Transit Park and Ride facility).  While supporting the CMU as a nice plan, Councilmember McGehee questioned how it would flow to the east; and noted the small industrial parcel to the north of County Road C-2 abutting the lake, currently the home of numerous truck bodies.  Councilmember McGehee opined that it would be nice if that parcel became available between Bennett Pond and Langton Lake, recognizing that it was not city-owned.


Mayor Roe noted that none of the parcels were city-owned.


Mr. Paschke responded that none of them were currently available either.


Mayor Roe questioned if Area 3 identified on the displayed map should be included as part of Twin lakes.


Councilmember McGehee opined that it depended; questioning how the grand scheme could possibly look like the development along Grand Avenue.


Mayor Roe opined that the CMU does not have to be development that is comparable to the Excelsior or Grand projects.


Councilmember McGehee opined that the regulating  map was very specific and unique related to aesthetics, form and design, with some uses appearing to follow that.


Councilmember Willmus opined that several corridors had really developed and some work put in place (e.g. medical center, hotel, and this building) and questioned whether those areas were part of the discussion moving forward or only those areas more ripe for redevelopment. 


Mr. Paschke opined that those newer developments should be excluded.


When he considered zoning, Councilmember Willmus opined that he was looking at parcels ripe for redevelopment in the next 10-15 years.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred, using the buildings in this immediate area as an example, opining that vacant parcels were ripe for development, even though many of the older buildings and businesses remained viable.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the question was should they be included in Twin Lakes with special zoning designation (e.g. east of Fairview Avenue) for those still viable, but others with outside storage not as desirable.


Mayor Roe noted that the question was whether those, including truck terminals fit the City’s future vision for that area or not.


Councilmember Willmus opined that those properties would start to redevelop in the near future; and thought they should be included in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.


Mr. Paschke noted that some of those east of Fairview (e.g. trucking companies) were not currently expensive uses on those parcels; but if one of them consolidated or moved, the property would then be worth looking at for redevelopment by developers depending on the zoning in place and permitted uses.


Councilmember Willmus noted that they were mostly office/warehouse uses now, clarified as office/showroom uses, but thought they should be included in guiding documents.


Councilmember Laliberte observed that Block 10 on the displayed map abutted residential properties, with Mr. Paschke clarifying that zoning for that parcel was guided HDR, one of only two parcels not guided CMU. (Block 8 and 10).


Mayor Roe advised that his concern about the buffering between uses near residential versus commercial uses by that HDR designation.


Councilmember Willmus explained what had sparked his interest in unique zoning for Twin lakes to take a step back from CB and part of CMU was to address other areas of the community in and around Rosedale and Har Mar Mall to provide subtle distinctions and protections to guide future redevelopment; and to address those grey areas in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.


Mr. Trudgeon sought Council consensus to provide direction to staff to explore a Twin Lakes Zoning District and how it could look, by filling in uses and standards.


Mayor Roe questinoed whether the same goal could be accomplished by zoning parcels in that area with a non-retail component as per zoning districts, thus the CMU associated zoning designations beyond retail.  If a separate Twin Lakes zoning district was created, Mayor Roe opined that it would need very clear and distinct definition, and maybe include sub-districts.


Mr. Trudgeon questioned if there should be a separate or special process for Twin Lakes differing from regular review; and noted that having different standards or a separate zoning district would assist the City in accomplishing that.


Discussion included the ability to add or subtract things through use of sub-districts; and preferred distinctions around the lake that would be easier to accommodate.


Councilmember McGehee opined that she had no problem asking those Twin Lakes property owners for their advice, as the City knew what it wanted (e.g. green space and new ideas), further opining that the City wasn’t offering any new ideas, but didn’t allow any wiggle room with the current regulating map.  If the City wanted housing around Langton Lakes, Councilmember McGehee suggested that it was reasonable to contact those property owners.  While the  original concept was an urban model requiring sharing of space, Councilmember McGehee opined that that plan had been essentially eliminated with the current regulating map taking away that option and departing from the original intent.


Mayor Roe questioned if Councilmember McGehee’s conclusion was actually in agreement with the regulating map itself.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that the regulating map showed where buildings should be located to predominate pedestrian friendly pathways and green space and to avoid parking in front of buildings.  Mr. Trudgeon further noted that it was developed to address AUAR provisions for green corridors and connections; and noted that a considerable time was spent with property owners discussing those items.  While not a perfect document, Councilmember Trudgeon opined that it was attempting to set form and function that would get the desired end results no matter the use.


Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that those very urban principles had been brought forward to the regulating plan and map from the community-driven comments for the Comprehensive Plan guidance and Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning processes, in an attempt to encapsulate all of those preferences.


Mayor Roe noted that there was nothing in the regulating plan that prevented shared parking.


Councilmember McGehee opined that there were restrictions about where a building could be placed on a site compared to its parking.


Mr. Paschke again noted that those restrictions were based on the guiding documents for pedestrian friendly corridors with no front parking.  If the desire was to take away what the community had expressed interest in, Mr. Paschke opined that the City Council should not create a separate zoning for Twin Lakes.


At the request of Mayor Roe, from a staff perspective, Mr. Paschke opined that the regulating plan had not prevented development on the sites, but that there had been no developer interest in developing there.


Councilmember Willmus opined that, for the benefit of Councilmember McGehee’s expressed preferences, the important component in play was to work with property owners and bring them in early in the process to gauge their expectations.


Mayor Roe opined that the City may find that the property owners don’t have a lot of expectations.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that staff had considerable individual contact with property owners, and while they have ideas, what was being observed was that part of the challenge is their perception that their ideas may not work with the unknowns for transitioning this area with actual intent of the City Council in what they want out there.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that this caused them to hold off on development at this time, or for staff to recommend them doing so until a clear decision is made by the City Council on uses and zoning for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.



Councilmember McGehee reiterated her preference for some input from those property owners as to how they saw the area; and as pointed out by Councilmember Willmus, a significant number of buildings and development already accomplished throughout the area.  When asked by Mayor Roe if that included some theoretical vision, Councilmember McGehee responded in the negative, from her perspective of the regulating map.


Councilmember Etten countered that the building housing C-TV as an example matched some of the design elements from his review; and countered that those requirements and design standards had not been abandoned.


Councilmember Willmus opined that the first check would be to reach out to property owners, with the City Council needing to be prepared that if they say to leave it alone, to stop chasing it.


Councilmember Laliberte noted the frequent comments she’d heard during campaigning that the City was difficult to deal with, that the landscape kept changing.  If the City Council reached out to landowners to show them that it wanted to work with them, Councilmember Laliberte opined that it would have a lot of potential. 


Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that development might also be addressed by the market itself when it became clear of retail or distribution uses versus office and residential uses.


Mayor Roe suggested a process with landowners similar to that used with the CDI group for the Dale Street project.


Councilmember McGehee opined that, while staff was talking individually to landowners, the overall vision needed to be reviewed by the whole group, and solicit their opinions for what they could bring to the City or the value added that makes their proposal something the City could agree to.


Mr. Trudgeon suggested that it may prove worthwhile to have that discussion with property owners, City Councilmembers and staff; and questioned how best to arrange that, whether at a City Council meeting or work session.  While predicting that all property owners would not choose to be involved, Mr. Trudgeon suggested soliciting written comments as well.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that there would also be a distinction between property owners wanting to sell and those wanting to retain their properties.  While some people may be looking to develop, Mr. Trudgeon questioned to what extent the City wanted to draw them in when there may be no contractual agreement, and they may prefer not to make themselves known at a public meeting.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that those developers were less interested in what could be developed than what uses were allowed.


By consensus of the City Council, Mr. Trudgeon was directed to included property owners in Areas 1, 2 and 3 in the invitation.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Trudgeon confirmed that there were several developers considering the area and potential projects; but in most cases they had no specific ideas yet, and some had ideas, but nothing concrete yet.


Mayor Roe suggested that staff provide the City Council with a list of some of the types of applications being considered or discussed; however, he suggested caution that the City Council didn’t steer its own vision and plan to those proposals or it may end up with an entirely different development than that preferred


Mr. Paschke advised that, just because there was a developer and land owner showing interest, they may never come to an agreement; and as property values continued to increase, some of those agreements may become more difficult to achieve.  If the City zones the property to allow for certain uses, while it may seem like a great idea and a preferred development idea, Mr. Paschke cautioned that it didn’t guarantee them completing a project, especially without some public incentives.


Mayor Roe questioned if the City Council’s desire was to start with a zoning discussion first, or take it one step further conceptually about what the City Council thought to provide property owners/developers more to which they could respond.


Councilmember McGehee opined that the planned out Twin Lakes Parkway, originally intended to protect Langton Lake Park, no longer made sense, since those interior parcels had already been developed.  Before proceeding any further than it currently did to Arthur Street, Councilmember McGehee opined that housing and traffic implications needed more review.  Based on her past discussions with Mr. Lamb, Councilmember McGehee stated that he had been told not to remove the proposed parkway from the regulating map, as it was a given.  Councilmember McGehee opined that, if the City paid a consultant to do something, staff should not take things out of the picture.  Councilmember McGehee opined that she found that roadway problematic at Terrace Drive, as it would be running traffic into a residential neighborhood, and needed to be rethought.


Mayor Roe stated that the City Council majority would need to make that decision in the future; to which Councilmember McGehee responded that it was a City Council decision, not hers or his.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus as to which blocks should be removed, Mr. Trudgeon suggested guidance from the property owners for that discussion.


Mayor Roe asked that staff provide better designation on a map of those parcels already developed; and the rezoning of Lots 11, 14 and 16 as part of the district, not as separate zoning.


Councilmember McGehee opined that she had no problem grandfathering current uses; however, Mayor Roe noted that the zoning designation could hinder any expansion of their current use.


Further discussion included few inconsistencies at this time (e.g. medical) other than two parcels east of Fairview and preference to retain them in the community.


Mr. Lloyd sought clarification on the context for a new zoning district, whether only applicable for Twin Lakes, or to newly-developed areas similar to what is currently being applied.


Councilmember Willmus opined that he could not respond until meeting with property owners.  In response to Councilmember McGehee for how that might fit with his concerns about the Har Mar Mall area, Councilmember Willmus advised that an opposite side of the coin was that you could focus review of CB but with regard to the Twin Lakes area, it could have implications in other places in the community.


Additional discussion included which of the blocks on Table 1022-1 displayed were included or excluded, and whether to include those expected to be redeveloped or those more contiguous parcels; consideration of existing uses to continue or expand; past visions related to current visions and realities; past considerations during Costco discussions and support for various housing components; walkable amenities without an urban context; necessary dialogue with property owners to inform the discussion; and potential retail for the area beyond what is already being developed.


Mr. Trudgeon suggested the dialogue with property owners to further inform discussion, and suggested outlining things in the meantime to keep the process moving; and providing a map with different colors for those parcels successfully developed already.


d.            Discuss Utility Services – Recycling

Councilmember Willmus explained his request for this discussion was a carryover from previous discussions with former City Manager Malinen last year in a review of various City departments as defined in City Ordinance, with the recycling function currently administered directly under the City Manager’s position.  In reviewing the function and how it has been administered over the years, Councilmember Willmus questioned if recycling was more a function of the Public Works Department, especially with the PWETC’s involvement in various aspects of the program as part of their review and oversight.  If the City Council affirmed that recycling was a utility service, Councilmember Willmus suggested amending the ordinance governing public works functions to include recycling as a function versus as a function of the Administration Department.  Councilmember Willmus opined that this would provide more focus in personnel with that type of background in dealing with those functions.


Mayor Roe focused discussion on whether recycling was defined as a utility or what department that function should fall into, or they were one in the same.


Councilmember McGehee concurred that since it was the PWEC that reviewed and set goals for community expectations with the recycling program, and their involvement in considering the possibility of organized collection, it should be the same process and belonged under the Public Works Department.


Mayor Roe and Councilmembers Laliberte and Etten concurred, for a unanimous finding.


Interim City Manager Trudgeon advised Councilmembers that if the City Council tasked him with exploring that further, he would first talk to Public Works Director Duane Schwartz to determine the possibilities, which would also lead into shifting duties and functions within the Administration Department, creating a much broader discussion of roles and time allotments.


Councilmember Willmus stated that he did not disagree with that review; however, he thought this unanimous decision to include the Recycling Program as a utility program under the Public Works Department should be memorialized by ordinance, since that is where the function belongs.  Councilmember Willmus stated that he would personally look forward to that as a next step.


Mayor Roe clarified that the next step should follow a thorough review by the Interim City Manager and Public Works Director.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that he wanted to do more research, as he was unsure if the sanitary sewer ordinance and function was currently included in the Public Works Department.


Public Works Director Schwartz advised that it was defined in code.


Councilmember Willmus referenced Section 106.09 of City Code; and Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would add recycling to that list.


Councilmember McGehee requested the addition of refuse collection as well; with concurrence by Councilmember Willmus.


Mayor Roe noted that licensing remained a function of the Administration Department as usual.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would take steps to amend the current ordinance to memorialize and organize the decision of the City Council.


Councilmember Willmus noted that the City Council had determined that it should be memorialized, and the organization was up to Mr. Trudgeon.


Mayor Roe clarified that this decision was based on an internal review that had evolved over considerable time, and not based on who was currently involved.


Councilmember Laliberte expressed interest in hearing from Mr. Schwartz on how this would work, and if it was a similar function to other duties done by others in his department or part of the bigger vision with this moving into the Public Works arena.


Public Works Director Schwartz advised that some thought had been put into this consideration over time as it had come up, and noted that the recycling function did fit into the department’s strategic plan.  Mr. Schwartz noted that the plan suggested the need for more resources in some areas, and he saw this function fitting in with those goals, specifically to add another engineering position focusing on environmental areas, including stormwater and natural resources functions.  Mr. Schwartz opined that adding recycling and solid waste functions would come under the water resource, natural resources, and storm water quality issue functions, and provide assistance with the City’s infrastructure program and other sustainability efforts such as LED and other lighting efficiencies, solar, geothermal, etc. with all of those focused around similar goals.


Councilmember Laliberte clarified that it would work for the department and made sense; with Mr. Schwartz responding affirmatively, noting that it all came down to resources, and current staff had their plates full already, and this would take additional resources.


Further discussion included recycling functions paid for by that resource; reallocating duties and functions and balancing them among departments; and whether trees would be included in water management as part of natural resource management as well.


Interim City Manager Trudgeon and Public Works Director Schwartz were directed to return to the City Council at their earliest convenience with specific action; with Mayor Roe clarifying that this would be the proposed ordinance change, with staff working out the details for staffing allocation, funding and other related details.


Regarding the reallocation of the recycling function to Public Works, Councilmember Laliberte sought clarification as to whether transferring some election responsibilities from the City to Ramsey County would also be incorporated into any reorganization plans for the Administration Department. Councilmember Laliberte asked that Interim City Manager Trudgeon be tasked to pull together some of those other implications and considerations for discussion at the next meeting; at a minimum an organizational chart to initiate that conversation, as had been done by other departments as they reviewed their internal functions.


Human Resources Manager Eldona Bacon, recognizing that this would filter down to her as a task, asked that that discussion be deferred beyond the next regular meeting of the City Council, based on other items currently being undertaken.


Mayor Roe assured Ms. Bacon that his intent was only for a broader conceptual discussion within a week or so, with her involvement as details became clear at a later date; recognizing that her activity list was quite extensive at this time.


Councilmember Laliberte concurred, clarifying her intent to empower employees in the Administration Department and provide opportunities for them.  Based on her review of the organizational chart, Councilmember Laliberte stated that she had observed that there appeared to be little room for them to aspire, and this would only be a first step to see if there were ideas already out there without starting from scratch.  Councilmember Laliberte recognized that she was new to the City Council and this discussion; however, she also recognized that this reorganization was not a new discussion; and supported being proactive in reviewing the structure at this time.


Councilmember Willmus noted that Mayor Roe and former Councilmember Pust had been looking into the structure at one time as well.


Mayor Roe concurred, noting that there were some discussion concepts that had been further refined, and needed to be brought forward at this time.


Councilmember Willmus acknowledged that former City Manager Malinen had been reviewing the recycling function, and suggested that could be separate from other reorganizational issues.


Mayor Roe suggested that the broader picture should be considered as part of the recycling component as well.


Councilmember Laliberte recognized that former City Manager Malinen had reviewed the basic concepts and had been almost ready to suggest action on the reorganization, with review of the smaller components still underway, but the larger picture set up.


Mayor Roe concurred that the recycling function was always planned for shifting, just the details of how best to accomplish it.  Mayor Roe suggested that if staff provided the conceptual portion at the next meeting, and the recycling component, he wasn’t sure if the City Council needed to move too quickly on the ordinance portion for Public Works staffing to handle, as it remained part of the puzzle that was coming into play.


Councilmember Laliberte concurred, suggesting that current funding sources could move to the Public Works Department, but duties, responsibilities and other issues could then grow into a 1.0 FTE position.


Councilmember Willmus opined that there was a time element critical to the City, with bids for recycling proposals needing a clear chain of command in place as those came in.  Councilmember Willmus further opined that this wasn’t that complex and questioned if the recycling component needed to be lumped together with other reorganizational efforts.


Mayor Roe suggested there could be a short delay in the recycling RFP process if necessary.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the RFP was scheduled to return to the City Council at their June 17, 2013 meeting for approval.


Mr. Trudgeon summarized the City Council’s direction to staff: with identification by the City Council of recycling options and valued with the needs of the City, staff was being asked to look at how best to structure the Administration Department to meet the goals of the City Council and put it in a better position to move forward on initiatives.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the City Council had already provided good input from the work done to-date, with staff asked to identify what we’re trying to accomplish and how best to position the department to achieve common goals and how those details will emerge.


Mayor Roe concurred, noting that the genesis of the discussion occurred over two years ago with a goal of increasing the communication efforts of the City.  Mayor Roe clarified that this was not saying the current methods were bad, but simply wanting to take them to another level which was not being accomplished at this time, but served as an impetus and guiding principle for this process.


Councilmember Laliberte suggested another guiding principle should be to have departments less “siloed” and provide the ability for departments to serve centrally and more effectively and efficiently, and not require communication expertise at every step in the organization.  Councilmember Laliberte asked that Mr. Trudgeon take a look at that and provide a recommendation to provide a “go to” person that everyone could rely on.


Councilmember McGehee concurred, suggesting something similar to a central purchasing function.


e.            Continue Discussion on City Manager Search Process

Mayor Roe lead the ongoing discussion for gathering criteria and outlining a search process for selection of a new City Manager to find some consensus for a profile and search document.


Councilmember Laliberte advised that she and Councilmember Willmus had taken a subset from the 2006 survey with new updates and amendments.  Councilmember Laliberte noted that revised survey had been sent to Commission Chairs, City Councilmembers, Department Heads, and that all of that information was now included in the updated survey.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that the remaining discussion needed to be the search itself, including how far and wide the search should be.


Councilmember Willmus thanked Councilmember Laliberte for performing the majority of the work accomplished; and Councilmember Laliberte thanked respondents for doing so by the deadline requested.


Human Resources Manager Bacon reviewed the proposed timeline based on an RFP process if the City Council decides to use a search firm to assist in the process; and a subsequent timeframe for actually processing of interviews and other components (Attachment A).  While hearing Councilmember Willmus’ request for a 90-day search period, Ms. Bacon opined that it would be very aggressive.


Councilmember McGehee opined that she wanted a good and competent process, whether it was accomplished in 90 days or took longer; with the goal to find the best person possible to fill the City Manager role.


Councilmember Willmus expressed his curiosity as to what variables would change if the City Council focused on an internal candidate.


Ms. Bacon responded that it could be done immediately, with the position posted, internal candidates providing the City Council with an application, resume, and/or letter of interest; followed by interviews, meetings and any other portion of the process desired by the City Council.  Ms. Bacon reminded Councilmembers that the process was up to them.


Councilmember McGehee stated that her only important caveat was that the candidate be selected by unanimous vote.


Councilmember Etten recognized Councilmember Willmus’ points; however, he personally worried about getting the broader picture.  Even if the decision was for an internal candidate, Councilmember Etten opined that it would be a disservice to the community to not open the process to other people applying and for the community itself.  Councilmember Etten stated that he would be in favor of keeping some sort of application process for anyone to apply.


Councilmember Laliberte stated that this was a great opportunity for the City; and she didn’t want to limit the breadth of candidates and potential new thinking and new ideas coming in externally.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that she felt no need to rush the process, and would need to understand the rationale better to short-cut the process or select someone internally versus receiving adequate information as to what was available externally, without unduly stretching the process out too long.


Councilmember Willmus stated that his rationale included the economy and expense concerns with an external search; as well as providing an opportunity for those currently within the organization to move up in the chain of command.  Councilmember Willmus opined that the City had a number of very highly talented people who already knew the organization inside and out, and better than any external candidates.  If the City Council was willing to look at only internal candidates, Councilmember Willmus opined that it could save considerable time and expense; however, he also recognized those perspectives expressed by Councilmembers Etten and Laliberte.


Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of keeping expenses down.


Councilmember McGehee stated that she concurred with Councilmembers Laliberte and Etten; and suggested expenses could be reduced by the City Council doing some of the work, rather than depending entirely on consultants to ask questions and schedule interviews.  Councilmember McGehee suggested other cost savings could be found in not advertising extensively and not paying moving expenses for a new hire, and volunteered to work on the process.  On the other hand, Councilmember McGehee agreed that this provided an opportunity for one of the many talented people in the organization and those things having been identified for a long time and needing to be changed, but questioned if major changes may be more difficult for an internal candidate to make based on their internal knowledge of the organization and relationship with fellow employees that had been formed.


Mayor Roe opined that there was some benefit to looking outside the immediate organization, and suggested a wider process.  Mayor Roe questioned if the cost outlined by Ms. Bacon was prohibitive, and suggested that it could be refined based on the scope of the work.  Mayor Roe expressed concern with individual Councilmembers taking on more of the administrative role in the search process, noting that they had a different role in the process, and further involvement could create a perception of or actual problems in over-involvement in the process itself.  In using the assistance of a consultant, Mayor Roe further opined that this would alleviate some of the responsibility for Ms. Bacon, recognizing that she had been given a lot of things to accomplish in a short time, and asked that the City Council be respectful of her and her time.


Discussion ensued regarding the process; 2006 practice; options for internal candidates and if there was interest internally in the position without creating an unfair advantage to them in the broader candidate pool; essay questions for finalists for their responses based on various scenarios that provided their vision or strategy; how best to understand the commitment of applicants; changes in policy and practices desired by the City Council for a candidate to enact balanced with their management style and recommendations; and how an internal candidate could be identified and enter into the process.


City Attorney Bartholdi cautioned the City Council in their deliberations to avoid any potential for discrimination, and reviewed State Statute regarding hiring procedures, with the concurrence of Ms. Bacon.  Mr. Bartholdi noted the need to provide internal and/or external with a non-biased process that included consistent criteria and expectations for all candidates equally, without having excluded anyone beforehand for any subjective reasons.  Mr. Bartholdi reminded Councilmembers that the City was a Plan B city, and when a City Manager was hired, he was hired to run the City and the City Council relied on that person to operate the City.  Mr. Bartholdi noted the only other option was to consider an organizational structure other than a Plan B city.


Ms. Bacon noted that, if the candidate was asked to submit their vision, yet didn’t meet minimum requirements of the job description, it would open the City up to a number of public issues, with the City Council having gone outside the scope of their position.


Ms. Bacon suggested starting the RFP process, but not awarding the bid, with the City Council able to change its mind throughout the process.  Ms. Bacon had included a draft RFP in the agenda packet (Attachment B); noting that consultants were asked to identify steps and assigned costs for each step.  Ms. Bacon advised that this would allow the City Council to select only those services they preferred from a consultant.


Using methodology of the Best Value Procurement process, Councilmember Etten stated that he would also look for a potential value-added that a consultant could bring to the process, something that would make their firm special or assist the City in a better way based on their expertise.


Mayor Roe concurred that it would make sense to do so.  Mayor Roe opined that it made sense to take advantage of a consulting firm’s manpower and expertise to assist Ms. Bacon.

Further discussion included role playing by candidates at the search firm level; uniform City of Roseville application forms that provide consistent criteria for all applicants by ranking and screening for minimum requirements and a 100 point structure system weighted at the direction of the City Council and their preferences; and potential ability of individual Councilmembers to add additional candidates from the pool that may not have been selected by a search firm through the essay phase, e-mailed to finalists online and separate from the initial phase.


Further discussion included establishing parameters for salary range, exclusion of moving expenses; and essential contractual terms basic to the application process itself.


Mayor Roe focused on the next step in collating the remainder of Survey Monkey information; and scheduling a special meeting and possible facilitated discussion within the next few weeks depending on the availability of individual Councilmembers.


Willmus moved, Laliberte seconded, extending the curfew by five minutes to 10:05 pm.

                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


Ms. Bacon sought clarification on her next steps, with City Attorney Bartholdi reminding Councilmembers of the need to allow 10 days for a bid process in accordance with State of MN bidding laws.


After further deliberation, Ms. Bacon was directed to prepare an open-ended RFP to be provided to the Executive Search Firms (updated in May of 2013) included as Attachment C in the packet, with the inclusion of the Cincinnatus firm in downtown Minneapolis at the request of Councilmember Laliberte; and following the draft RFP with each step defined and a cost assigned by the consultant for each of those steps allowing the City Council to select which components were of interest to them.


  1. City Manager Future Agenda Review


  1. Councilmember Initiated Items for Future Meetings


  1. Adjourn

Etten moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:08 pm.

                                                Roll Call

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

            Nays: None.