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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

September 16, 2013


1.            Roll Call

Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm, welcomed everyone and made introductions.  Voting and Seating Order as called by Interim City Manager Trudgeon: Willmus; Etten; McGehee; Laliberte; and Roe. 

City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.


2.         Approve Agenda

Councilmember Laliberte requested removal of Consent Agenda Item 7.c. entitled, “Authorize Environmental Specialist and Communications Manager Position” for discussion.


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


                                                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.


4.         Council Communications, Reports and Announcements

Mayor Roe announced the upcoming Roseville Fire Department Annual Booya hosted by the Fire Department Auxiliary, scheduled on October 6, 2013, beginning at 11:00 am at the V. F. W. Post on Woodhill adjacent to the City Hall campus.  Mayor Roe noted that proceeds funded various programs and support of firefighter families not funded through taxpayer dollars.


On a related note, Mayor Roe announced the grand opening of the new Fire Station on Lexington Avenue N, scheduled for October 12, 2013, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, with tours and numerous activities planned for the whole family, and encouraged residents to attend.


Mayor Roe announced the annual “Taste of the Arts” fundraiser for the Northeast Youth and Family Services organization, scheduled for October 3, 2013, from 5:30 – 8:30 pm at the Vadnais Heights Commons.  Mayor Roe noted that additional information was available online at or by phone at 651/379-3422; with tickets for the event $30 in advance, or $40 at the door, with the event featuring local eateries and area artists.


5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications


6.         Approve Minutes

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


a.            Approve Minutes of September 9, 2013 Meeting

McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of the September 9, 2013 Meeting Minutes as amended; and incorporating those suggested revisions submitted via e-mail by Councilmember McGehee, provided as a bench handout.


                                                Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


7.            Approve Consent Agenda

There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted.  At the request of Mayor Roe, Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.


a.            Approve Payments

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


Check Series #


ACH Payments


71337 – 71391





                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


b.            Approve Business & Other Licenses & Permits

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for the following applicants:



Type of License

Heather Marie Simmer; Juut SalonSpa

1641 County Road C

Massage Therapist


Saint Rose of Lima Church;

2048 Hamline Avenue N

Two (2) One-Time Exempt

Gambling Permits

1)   Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham Street for a raffle on October 25

2)   At their school at 2072 Hamline Avenue N for a bingo event on November 3, 2013


                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


8.            Consider Items Removed from Consent


c.            Authorize Environmental Specialist and Communications Manager Position

At the request of Mayor Roe, Interim City Manager Trudgeon briefly summarized this request for creation of the two (2) positions as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated September 16, 2013.


Councilmember Laliberte requested discussion of several aspects of concern to her, while recognizing the need to proceed in posting these positions and getting the hiring process underway.  Councilmember Laliberte questioned if there were policies in place for management positions and grade assignment for supervisory positions; in addition to the status and grades for other positions in the Administration Department currently being restructured and changing duties.  Councilmember Laliberte asked that Interim City Manager Trudgeon  describe the process; and whether job descriptions throughout were being reviewed, or if these two (2) positions were being addressed in a piece-meal fashion.


Interim City Manager Trudgeon advised, that whenever new positions were created within the City organization, there were a matrix of items going into determining the pay grade, and to maintain or achieve organizational consistency with positions with similar duties.  While there was no magic number for determining supervisory grades, Mr. Trudgeon advised that it was dependent on a number of determining factors, including the scope of management responsibilities (e.g. city-wide, department, or a small work group); and noted that there was a science to the process based on extensive analysis.


Regarding other positions referenced by Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Trudgeon advised that he was still reviewing the Assistant to the City Manager/City Clerk position, and anticipated bringing that back to the City Council for official ratification at next week’s meeting, as well as at a future date the revised Communications Specialist position.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that he was aware of the City Council’s desire for a thorough review of the entire organization; however, he noted the need to move forward with these two positions in the near future.


Councilmember McGehee asked that Mr. Trudgeon report back to the City Council comparison information as these positions move forward and in relationship to the recently adopted compensation revisions made, to allow a review of how the City’s pay grades are measuring up in terms of recruiting new hires.


Mr. Trudgeon acknowledged that recruiting would be the best test in the open market to determine if qualified people were interested in the positions.



Etten moved, McGehee seconded, authorization the creation of an Environmental Specialist Position in the Public Works Department and a Communications Manager Position in the Administration Department at the proposed pay grades within the City Compensation Plan.


                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


13.                 Business Items (Action Items)


a.            Approve 2014 Benefit Renewals and City Contribution

Human Resources Manager Eldona Bacon summarized the request for approval of 2014 employee benefit insurance renewals and cafeteria contributions by the City, as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated September 16, 2013. 


Ms. Bacon noted that the City had made numerous changes in the employee benefit package over the last ten (10) years, which had served to minimize premium increase and share the burden between the City and employee to ensure affordable health care options for all.  Ms. Bacon advised that the City currently offered three (3) medical options for its 167 FTE participants, along with 23 former employees currently on COBRA.  Ms. Bacon advised that the City’s claim history was very good last year, with the provider, under the National joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) consortium, indicating a zero percent increase in premiums.  However, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on January 1, 2014, Ms. Bacon reported that there would be a 1.33% increase to account for the transitional tax that will be imposed by the ACA beginning at that time.. 


Ms. Bacon further reported that staff was still loading options into the new HRIS, in order to be ready for open enrollment in November, with testing to  begin completed by November 1, 2013. 


Ms. Bacon referenced the recommendations of the Benefits Committee as detailed in the RCA; and the request of the Wellness Committee for an additional $15 incentive increase for that program prorated according to employee participation, but serving to keep health insurance premiums low and employees focused on a healthier lifestyle and prevention.


Ms. Bacon noted that the City’s self-insured dental program was also at a zero percent increase, with those claims also trending favorably.  Regarding long-term disability and life insurance, Ms. Bacon advised that the RFP resulted in remaining with the current provider, who agreed to two (2) year contract with no changes or increases during that term. 


With the proposed $50,000 allotment for the 2014 budget, Ms. Bacon advised that the projected amount would sustain proposed cafeteria benefits for 2014 as detailed.


Discussion included nationwide participation requirements of the City in the Affordable Care Act with recommendations that the City pick up the additional 1.33% for implementation of that Act; and recommendations that the City also cover the additional $15 incentive for eligible and participating employees in the Wellness Program, currently having three (3) tracks; COBRA coverage paid for by retirees with no City costs other than for administration; and meetings of the Employee Benefits Committee on an annual basis for review and analysis, and subsequent recommended changes as applicable


Further discussion included difficulty in access for employees beyond Police and Fire Department employees to use the limited equipment available in-house for workouts and training, with the City providing financial incentive for employees for private gyms in the area; and also limited due to security issues and timing of access and equipment availability, with the in-house gym not a full-scale gym and heavily utilized already.


Councilmember McGehee commended staff for being proactive with the Wellness Program and control of premiums.


Mayor Roe concurred, and also thanked employees for taking the initiative for the Benefit Committee to bring recommendations forward rather than coming from management or the City Council.  Mayor Roe noted that it was definitely positive for the City’s work force to participate in those programs and more fully understand those benefits.


Ms. Bacon also concurred, opining that it had proven fruitful as evidenced with the City’s premium rates over the last few years compared to those nationwide.


Mayor Roe agreed, based on his historical perspective on the City Council, noting the advantages of being in the larger NJPA pool as well.


Ms. Bacon noted that another positive is that the City was self-insured and funded, saving taxpayer money, as the City didn’t have to pay taxes on insurance.


McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, approval of 2014 City benefits insurance renewals and cafeteria contributions as described in the Request for Council Action dated September 16, 2013; and authorizing executive of the respective contracts, contingent upon review and approval by the City Attorney.


                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


Interim City Manager Trudgeon thanked Ms. Bacon and the Employee Benefit Committee for their efforts, as well as creating good will among employees through team efforts such as this.


Based on her experience working in the Health Care Industry, Councilmember Laliberte asked the Benefit Committee to consider mandatory screenings based on age and/or gender for employees as a further advantage to reduce risk to the total employee pool.


Ms. Bacon advised that this was in discussion, and offered that the new HRIS should allow better tracking capabilities for such data.


10.         Presentations


a.            Receive State of the School District Presentation from Superintendent John Thein, District 623

Mayor Roe welcomed Dr. John Thein, Superintendent of School District No. 623 to provide an update on District 623.


Dr. Thein presented demographic data and comparisons through a Power Point presentation, including enrollment; open enrollment status; exploration of partnering opportunities with area private schools; inclusion of seven (7) communities that make up the school district; and levy referendum renewal information.


Councilmember Laliberte requested that Dr. Thein provide an electronic copy of his presentation for reference by the City Council and taxpayers, with Dr. Thein supporting that request. 


Specific to the Levy referendum renewal sought for long-term financial stability of the District with the current levy expiring on June 30, 2014, Dr. Thein advised hat additional information and “fast facts” were also available on the School District’s website at


In closing, Dr. Thein expressed the pride of the District in its students, families, schools, programming, partnerships, communities, and staff.  Dr. Thein thanked the City Council for their service to the community and district, expressing his pride in working with them, and in being a resident of the Roseville community.  Dr. Thein noted the valuable dynamic in the community being served by two school districts.


Councilmember McGehee thanked Dr. Thein for his presentation, and for the District’s open and cooperative program, based on her personal experience.


At the request of Councilmember Etten, Dr. Thein touched upon various opportunities for partnership between both school districts and City of Roseville in addressing the needs of the community’s large immigrant populations to make programs and services more user-friendly and supportive of various cultural distinctions.  Dr. Thein offered District 623’s support in working with the City, noting that the District had made significant changes to its hiring practices across the board to provide a culturally-competent staff.


Mayor Roe thanked Dr. Thein for his presentation and his service to the community and School District.


11.         Public Hearings


12.         Budget Items


13.         Business Items (Action Items)


b.            Approve Final Design for Lexington Park

Parks & Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke, Park Superintendent Jeff Evenson, and Tim McIlwain, partner at Hagen, Christensen & McIlwain Architects.


Mr. Brokke briefly summarized the request as detailed in the RCA dated September 16, 2013; for final design approval for the Lexington Park Building as presented. 


Mr. McIlwain reviewed the proposed schematic floor plan and building images/elevations; including access point and security issues; how the site shaped the building; types of architectural styles considered; and the aggressive nature of the process to-date, especially with the value added item for a five (5) week early delivery for one (1) project in the Renewal Program within the allotted budget of $500,000.


Discussion included considerations for energy efficient and green components and options based on cost efficiencies and various cost analysis comparisons; balancing of parks and different arrangements for each based on planning models and site specifics; proposed building use during the winter season as a warming house and for neighborhood and./or community gatherings; potential redundancy of dual heating/cooling systems with pricing considered as an alternate; projected lifespan of the building at fifty (50) years; and functionality versus long-term maintenance.


Further discussion included projected construction schedule with groundbreaking anticipated yet this fall depending on weather-related challenges; pre-proposal contractor meetings scheduled yet this week as detailed in Attachment D of the RCA; exclusion of the Lexington Pathway connection at this time; access or dual service capabilities of the storage room based on sketches; and consideration of a cupola design with windows at the peak of the roof to allow natural light; welcoming atmosphere of the trussed peak building balanced with no plans to use that upper space; and whether cost-savings at this park could be used to enhance amenities at subsequent parks by keeping in mind alternate options without diminishing the character or usefulness of any of the structures.


Additional discussion included installation of ceiling fans for use during the winter; interest in buildings that area usable and comfortable with easy cost efficient, long-term maintenance without a high surcharge for residents; connectivity of buildings with fiber optic or I-net capabilities for users, as well as remote control by the City for monitoring, security, and other data access without requiring an employee to be on-site; staff’s collaboration with the City’s IT Department staff to incorporate a system-wide approach, as part of data upgrades at the Arboretum and Nature Center; and ability to remotely control HVAC and irrigation systems as well, if not now at least available for the future.


Etten moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the final design and images for the Lexington Park Building as presented and authorization to staff to seek proposals for construction through the Best Value Procurement Method.


Discussion ensued regarding the RFP process and incorporation of those items addressed during tonight’s discussion in that RFP, with final bids coming back to the City Council for authorization, similar to street and most recent fire station processes; pending finalization of the final plans and specifications as part of the RFP process; and encouraging trust of the deliberative process as it goes through staff, the Parks & Recreation Commission, and the policy aspect for the City Council as well as their final review and approval.


Councilmember Willmus stated that he was comfortable with the floor plan as presented; and advised that his only concern was with some of the building material choices; encouraging further vetting as the process moved forward to address some of his concerns.


Councilmember McGehee concurred with Councilmember Willmus’ comments; requesting that an updated drawing and list of alternatives for the RFP would come back to the City Council at next week’s meeting. 


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Brokke advised that, depending on the weather, he was aware of some contractors in the area who were eager for work on a winter project; but advised that he would know more following the pre-proposal meeting later this week.  After that meeting, Mr. Brokke advised that a clearer picture should be available on whether to move forward with this first project, or package it with the remaining projects or a different approach.


Mayor Roe clarified that the requested action was similar to other projects, authorizing plans and specifications for an RFP to go out for bid; with the City Council still involved in the process and controlling final approval.


Councilmember McGehee expressed her discomfort with not having an additional step with such large expenditures and projects.


Councilmember Laliberte suggested an update on next week’s meeting agenda, yet allowing staff to meet deadlines.


Mayor Roe opined that this seemed to be a reasonable request; with Interim City Manager Trudgeon duly noting the request.


                                                            Roll Call

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

                        Nays: None.


c.            Adopt Interim City Manager Goals

A suggested alternate received from Councilmember McGehee entitled “Interim City Manager Goals for 2013” was distributed as a bench handout out,

At the request of Mayor Roe, the Subcommittee of Councilmembers Willmus and Etten provided a brief summary of their draft of Interim City Manager Goals for 2013 (Attachment A), seeking further discussion by the body.  Councilmember Willmus recognized the submission by Councilmember McGehee with a different organization of those goals.


Under Section A of Attachment A, Mayor Roe questioned “Creating a volunteer management position as part of the 2014 budget process,” and whether there had been City Council consensus of that as an actual goal.


Councilmember Laliberte sought additional clarification from the subcommittee in her recollection of a position either for parks or for the entire City.  Councilmember Laliberte questioned the ability to measure that goal unless clearly initiated.


Councilmember Willmus reported that the subcommittee was aware of the discussion regarding a budget allocation going forward; and opined that initially it was needed in the parks area, which would ultimately have city-wide impacts.  Councilmember Willmus recognized that volunteers were needed in other areas as well, and suggested additional discussion on whether or not that should be a goal as well.  From his personal perspective, Councilmember Willmus opined that such a position would be of great benefit and of significant value for the community,


Mayor Roe stated that he continued to be unclear as to whether there had been a consensus for this goal.


Councilmember Etten noted that it had come up in discussions; and advised that the larger goal areas had been identified in the subcommittee’s discussions with Interim City Manager Trudgeon, recognizing that such a position would be a key way to improve the quality and delivery of programs.  Whether or not it belonged in the list of Interim City Manager Goals for 2013 or as part of a larger budget discussion, Councilmember Etten opined that remained open for further discussion if the majority felt it was inappropriate in the list of goals.


Councilmember McGehee referenced her proposed revisions as provided, noting that she essentially agreed with the goals as provided by the subcommittee.  Councilmember McGehee noted that she had only made two significant changes: stating that a goal was to reconvene the Website Task Force in light of administration department changes being undertaken.  Even though it should be at the discretion of the City Manager on how the website goes forward, Councilmember McGehee suggested that implementation should rest with the City Manager and new Communications Manager; with her intent that the goal be separated out. 


In drafting her revisions, Councilmember McGehee stated that her intent was for the Interim City Manager to have very specific and measurable areas, with many of those areas being requested prior to his term, and some easily doable (e.g. revised RCA’s).  However, Councilmember McGehee opined that other areas should allow for input and recommendations from the Interim City Manager from his unique perspective in administering the City, and key areas for the City Council to base its evaluation based on those things they felt were important; but allowing discretion of the City Manager for flexibility and evaluating his performance on those initiatives. 


Mayor Roe stated that he liked the language in Councilmember McGehee’s draft somewhat better; specifically noting language for “creating documentation for and seeking approval of a Volunteer Manager position…” rather than whether or not the position is budgeted.


Councilmember Willmus stated that this was the intent of the subcommittee, to establish a goal, then step back and provide direction to the Interim City Manager for how it was attainable, or steps that could help enable his ability to attain that goal.  Councilmember Willmus suggested that this may be the difference in the format of the two (2) documents even with their similarities.   Councilmember Willmus stated that he preferred the subcommittee’s draft as it was more easily apparent for anyone to look at, with different areas or goals and areas of impact.


Councilmember McGehee suggested that format provided more of a specific work direction.  Councilmember McGehee opined that ultimately she wanted a City Manager who thought things through and came up with ideas of his own and deciding on how best to proceed with his recommendations.  Councilmember McGehee further opined that she felt more comfortable assigning a general area versus laying out specific steps for an Interim City Manager.


Councilmember Etten agreed with some of Councilmember McGehee’s recommended changes, such as the Communications Manager process; however, he stated that he preferred the format of the subcommittee draft for reasons previously stated by Councilmember Willmus.  Councilmember Etten noted that, while the same issue may come back three times, how it was tied to a specific goal was important.  Councilmember Etten advised that he was open to changes in focus suggested by Councilmember McGehee, he preferred to keep the subcommittee’s overall format, suggesting that the two could be incorporated quite easily.


Councilmember Laliberte stated that she liked the specificity of the subcommittee goals, opining that they were measureable to avoid grey areas.  However, Councilmember Laliberte agreed that some of the challenges preferred for the Interim City Manager to address were specific things that had previously been found lagging and not done, representing a high priority and desired for accomplishment by the City Council.  Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of seeking ideas generated by the City Manager and bringing forward his recommendations.  However, Councilmember Laliberte opined that some of the items addressed by Councilmember McGehee were too soft and wouldn’t work in the limited timeframe (e.g. conducting and completion of a Community Survey in January). 


Councilmember Etten advised that he and Councilmember Willmus had pushed timeframes in some areas, with the majority providing for that aggressive timeline and recognizing that they were asking for a lot.  However, if things did not get done during that allotted timeframe, Councilmember Etten stated that expectations were that an update on how and why there were not completed would be indicated for further discussion by the City Council.  Councilmember Etten recognized that some of the goals may not be possible, noting that there needed to be flexibility in all areas; however, he noted that some goals were easily attainable (e.g. revised RCA’s) and would serve to identify areas and the extent of progress.


Councilmember Laliberte suggested that a measurable checklist should be available for those items easily accomplishable as well as those more aggressive or having other components needed before the City Manager could achieve those goals.  Councilmember Laliberte suggested a full timeline or plan, with scheduled costs and implications was needed to happen by January (e.g. community survey) as that would be a deliverable.


Councilmember McGehee agreed with Councilmember Laliberte on that aspect; opining that it wasn’t soft to have a plan that is acted upon; and she wanted to stress the Interim City Manager plan versus that of the City Council.  Councilmember McGehee further opined that it was important to know how the Interim City Manager approached problems, his priorities, and how he would address issues, not only from a broad perspective, but with an extremely aggressive timeframe rather than having the Interim City Manager constantly driven on line items by the City Council.


At the request of the body, Mr. Trudgeon provided his general comments on tonight’s discussion.  With only 3-1/2 months left of the Interim position, Mr. Trudgeon opined that it would be challenging to set goals and calibrate expectations on what is achievable.  Mr. Trudgeon agreed with the conversation regarding his vision and plan, and the need to have that dialogue ongoing, with both parties understanding the limits during that timeframe.  Mr. Trudgeon clarified that this didn’t mean that things can’t be initiated allowing for some progress, and allowing the City Council to determine the direction and whether they had confidence in it being the right direction.  As he had discussed with the subcommittee and his concerns with the aggressive list of goals and whether that is part of the litmus test, Mr. Trudgeon noted their assurances that there was some give and take built into the list of goals, but that the ultimate determining factor would be whether or not progress was being made.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that he was fully aware of the scope and expectations, noting that some of the goals were already in motion.  Whatever language became final, Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would support; and if the position continued to progress in the future with annual goals, it would be necessary to recognize those goals that were continuing based on what had been achieved during the interim 3-1/2 month period as part of the City Council’s judgment.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that he had reviewed the goals as set forth by the subcommittee as well as those drafted by Councilmember McGehee, and was comfortable with both formats.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that both documents basically contained four (4) elements; and suggested that everyone may be at a point now to set him loose and move forward.  If the City Council desired additional language tweaking, Mr. Trudgeon suggested that the document be included in next week’s meeting agenda for final approval, allowing City Councilmembers to determine the exact wording they preferred.


If Mr. Trudgeon was comfortable with both versions, Councilmember Laliberte suggested that language be tweaked for final approval at next week’s meeting; allowing Mr. Trudgeon to get started on some of the goals, while asking the subcommittee to consider the deliverables, timeline or process as applicable.


Councilmember Etten expressed appreciation for Councilmember McGehee’s input on the website redesign, opining that that made sense; and further agreed with changes in language for the Volunteer Management position.  Councilmember Etten asked that Councilmember Laliberte provide her suggested language on the community survey via staff for the subcommittee’s subsequent receipt.


Concluding discussion ensued for a consensus on the preferred format, with directive to the subcommittee to provide a final document based on tonight’s discussion and formatting preferences for consideration on next week’s Consent Agenda; requesting any further suggestions be provided by individual Councilmembers at their earliest convenience to staff for the subcommittee.


Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:07 pm and reconvened at approximately 8:15 pm.


14.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


a.            Discuss Rental Licensing Ordinance

Mayor Roe clarified that there would be no action by the City Council tonight on this item, and intended only as a policy discussion for the Multi-family Rental License Chapter 908 to City Code, currently under consideration.  Mayor Roe further advised that, while the City Council would accept limited public comment at tonight’s meeting, a formal  public comment opportunity would be scheduled and duly noticed in the future as the process moved forward.


Mayor Roe introduced Acting HRA Executive Director Jeanne Kelsey and Codes Enforcement Coordinator Don Munson for tonight’s presentation.


As detailed in the RCA dated September 16, 2013, and related attachments, Ms. Kelsey provided a brief history of rental licensing since initial 2006 findings and a public hearing process held in 2008 with the subsequent recommendation that the City pursue a rental registration program for 1-4 unit rental properties only versus licensing at that point.  Based on ongoing calls and complaints from social workers and others concerned with the health and safety of tenants, Ms. Kelsey advised that the present situation dictated the need for further recourse to address those concerns. 


Ms. Kelsey noted that a grant had been awarded to the City and additional research conducted, with the Roseville Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) and their due diligence providing for a recommendation that an incentive-based rental licensing program be implemented to reward good multi-family property owners and encourage others to improve and maintain safe and healthy multi-family rental units in Roseville. 


Ms. Kelsey advised that throughout the process of the HRA, substantial and frequent public testimony had been sought and provided, and various meetings with multi-family property owners and their associations, resulting in various modifications and revisions in the original draft of an ordinance, as detailed in lines 14 – 30 of the RCA.  Throughout the process, Ms. Kelsey advised that the City Attorney had been in consultation with staff in drafting the ordinance; resulting in the draft ordinance presented tonight (Attachment A) and Implementation Plan (Attachment C).  Ms. Kelsey advised that the only remaining component still pending was related to a Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program (Attachment D).  Ms. Kelsey noted that the recommended implementation program was based on first-year inspections between May and September of 2014, allowing for full implementation in January of 2015.  Ms. Kelsey noted that this schedule would also allow property owners to allot inspection fee costs in their budgets.


Ms. Kelsey advised that the HRA was recommending hiring a seasonal code official for the first-year inspections in-house versus the original thought for a third party inspector, and would allow for a modified/reduced fee structure in future budget years.  Ms. Kelsey noted that this would allow for reduced inspection fees for property owners, and should fees not cover inspection and/or personnel costs, those additional costs would be funded from the Community Development Department budget.  Ms. Kelsey clarified that if the City Council and community supported a crime-free education element, currently modified out of the program, it would require additional staffing in the Police Department, and if desired for incorporated by 2015 implementation, it would need action by the City Council as part of their 2014 budget deliberations to determine staffing and funding for that element.



At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Ms. Kelsey advised that there were no figures available for costs associated for the crime free implementation; as it would need to be determined internally.  Ms. Kelsey referenced information provided (Attachment D) for the crime-free tiered certification program and required training and education based on applicable phases and license types.


Councilmember Etten opined that, as he reviewed the various phases, it seemed logical and positive.  Councilmember Etten questioned the overtime funding required for staff’s training, and questioned whether some of the training or check-off items nor requiring additional research could be completed as part of a building’s initial assessment for the first year.  Councilmember Etten further questioned if part of Phase III requiring staff’s presence could be accomplished as a regular outreach component, since the Police Department was already very active and proactive, suggesting that some elements could be incorporated without major expenditures.


Interim City Manager Trudgeon advised that the crime-free element is beyond that typically done with current resources or sustainable long-term.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that this responsibility would fall primarily on the Police Department as the experts on safety and crime, and would need to have recognition as a budgetary impact.  Mr. Trudgeon opined that it was an excellent outreach effort and if it could be formalized in this program, would provide excellent long-term benefits for the rental community and the City as a whole.  Mr. Trudgeon cautioned that it was necessary to understand that the crime-free program element needed to be proven sustainable moving forward.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Ms. Kelsey reviewed the initial day-long meeting required of each multi-family property owner in categories A through D; and how the number of units could be determined at that point for planning and staffing for 2015. 


At the suggestion of Councilmember McGehee that in-house staff from the Police, Fire, HRA and Code Departments cycle through and make presentations for tenants of multi-housing units; Councilmember Etten clarified that the educational components were intended for property owners, not tenants.


Ms. Kelsey further reviewed the various tiers and property categories and requirements by HRA and Police Department staff to sustain outreach, engagement of property owners, and their involvement in maintaining or enhancing a working relationship between property owners and the City.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred, noting that this component was entirely different than the crime-free component.


Councilmember Willmus spoke in support of pursuing crime-free multi-housing and the resident training in Phases II and III as one of the tools in the toolbox, putting residents in a better position to advocate for their interests in some situations.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. Kelsey reviewed eviction technicalities based on state law and challenges, resulting in the proposed language modification in the ordinance, allowing the owner to make the best choices case by case.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Ms. Kelsey confirmed that staffing and fees would be taken care of for full inspections during 2014.


Mr. Trudgeon clarified that, while there would be properties to inspect every three years depending on their specific tier, the gap in funding thereafter would need to be made up from Community Development Department funds.


Councilmember McGehee thank you the HRA and staff for their collaborative work and excellent job in finding a compromise in balancing funding and needs of tenants and multi-family owners.


Section 908.04 (Licensing Term)

Mayor Roe offered some suggestions and his questions on several technical areas needing further clarification in Attachment A.  In Section 908.04 (Licensing Term), Mayor Roe suggested clarification of language as “Application for Renewal” to indicate that the property owner was responsible for filing for their renewal.


In Section 908.04,E (License Process and Renewal) related to the established fee schedule and fines for not filing with a certain timeframe, Mayor Roe opined that the language was redundant of language in Section 908.05 (Fees) and should be incorporated with fee/fines being discussed in Section 908.05.


908.07 (Licensing Suspensions, Revocation, Denial and Nonrenewal)

Mayor Roe questioned if a new license was prohibited for one property or revoked on one property, could there be a license issued or renewed on other properties owned by the same owner, or not until the previous property was brought in line.  If so, Mayor Roe questioned if that wasn’t being overly harsh for a property owner.


City Attorney Mark Gaughan referenced the second sentence of Part G.e of Section 908.07 addressing that situation, with no new license being issued for any new property for the same property owner or those same tenants, clarifying that the property owner could continue to operate its current licenses, but not be granted any new licenses.


908.08.D (Appeals – License Action Sections)

Mayor Roe suggested that the actual fees/fines being discussed needed to be clearly outlined. 


Mayor Roe provided additional minor technical and grammatical issues to staff to incorporate into the next iteration; and invited limited public comment at this time specific to the draft.

Public Comment

Mr. Eh Tha Khu provided written comments to Interim City Manager Trudgeon for follow-up.


Ms. Mu Nana Loo, representing the Karen Organization of MN, read written comments, consisting of concerns and questions, of the organization and their reservations about the proposed program.   Ms. Mu Nana Loo noted that their organization supported the City’s attempt to create safer housing but was concerned with possible negative consequences of such a program.  Some of the questions highlighted included:

·         Who is responsible for families evicted from their unit of complex? 

·         Since many represented by their organization did not speak English, was there a plan in place to ensure non-English speaking residents fully understood their rights and responsibilities and possible consequences?

·         Due to the language barrier, who would be responsible in helping tenants find new housing if evicted, or would it fall on other organizations?

·         Given the lack of affordable housing available, often five (5) or more people were housed in one bedroom.  If the proposal passes, will owners be more hesitant to look the other way, but families more susceptible to eviction if their unit is inspected?

·         With many tenants living paycheck to paycheck, it is often difficult to get the first month’s rent and deposit money together, making it even more difficult to make the transition if evicted.

While the proposal is intended to protect tenants, Ms. Mu Nana Loo wanted the City to be aware that there may be negative impacts on residents in the community, and invited the City to work with their organization for everyone’s benefit.


On behalf of the City Council, staff and community, Mayor Roe thanked Ms. Mu Nana Loo and Mr. Eh Tha Khu for their comments and their attendance.  Mayor Roe noted that the solutions may involve organizations outside the community as well.  Mayor Roe noted that there were protections against eviction in Minnesota State Law, but clarified that it was key for renters to understand their rights, especially those new to the country and community.  Mayor Roe noted that it was unfortunate that apartments were affordable due to their lack of maintaining a safe and healthy presence; and if kept orderly, were then able to charge more rent.  With numerous State and Federal programs available to assist with rent, Mayor Roe noted that the important thing was for the City to connect renters with those resources.  Mayor Roe thanked the speaker for bringing the potential for unintended consequences to the City Council’s attention early on in the discussions to avoid them.


Mayor Roe thanked the City’s Human Rights Commission for working with the Karen community, specifically on this issue.


Councilmember Willmus concurred with comments that the City and its staff needed to connect with various immigrant groups.


Mayor Roe suggested this may be a partnership opportunity with the School District.


Gary Grefenberg, Roseville Human Resource Commission Chair

Mr. Grefenberg advised that, during a recently held meeting with the Karen community, this was one of their major concerns.  Mr. Grefenberg advised that, due to their significant concerns, their response to staff’s licensing proposal had been guarded and fearful.  Subsequent to that meeting, Mr. Grefenberg advised that he and leaders of the Karen community had met with Ms. Kelsey, with the result that a lot of good will and common ground found on both sides.  With ongoing communication between staff and the Karen community, Mr. Grefenberg opined that their fears could be further resolved. 


Mr. Grefenberg noted that most of the Karen community did not speak English, and asked that when flyers were sent out in the future, the City allow for funding to have those translated and mailed accordingly.


Councilmember McGehee noted that since the community was new to the country and not English-speaking, it was even more important for them to be close geographically, thus the number living in a unit; and suggested that this was something for staff to take into consideration.


b.            Discuss Twin Lakes Redevelopment

Two additional bench handouts were distributed, , consisting of the District 10 Land Use District and summary of land use categories from the 2030 Comprehensive Plan adopted October 26, 2009. 


City Planner Thomas Paschke included a background of discussions and staff challenges to-date as detailed in the RCA dated September 16, 2013. 


Mr. Paschke suggested two (2) discussion areas upon which to focus:

Property Zoning – With most of the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area zoned Community Mixed Use (CMU) or High Density Residential (HDR); and if there were some areas in the CMU that needed to be removed or other areas to separate out, specifically the area east of Fairview Avenue

Uses within Twin Lakes – Whether or not retail should be a component, if so whether its size should be limited; and whether certain Permitted Uses within current Tables should be revised, or specific uses that are not of interest to the City Council.


Mayor Roe suggested, since uses and where they were or were not permitted may direct zoning, focusing first on the “Uses within Twin Lakes” to define those uses and their locations.


Discussion included how the Twin Lakes area should be defined geographically, and how far north or south, and whether it included the area east of Fairview Avenue (west of Byerly’s strip mall) or whether that area should be rezoned or considered in the context of Twin Lakes or not. 


Discussion specific to that area included what significance there was to make it     part of the Twin Lakes area;  of if it should remain zoned Community Mixed Use (CMU) in accordance with the Regulating Plan, or narrowed further, consistent with the area north of Terrace Drive guided toward HDR, considering that it abutted  HDR even though guided CMU.


Further discussion on current uses in that specific area included management of the multi-tenant properties based on current uses and their range of uses; and if zoned HDR how much change could occur or if other uses could be opened if zoned CMU, but not having definite clarification of what those uses may be.


Whether or not the properties were zoned CMU, Mayor Roe opined that he would argue what significance there was for including the properties in the Twin Lakes area other than the Master Plan as a guiding document for the Comprehensive Plan.


Councilmember McGehee noted that some businesses operating on the other side of Fairview Avenue south of this area had just been rezoned to Regional Business-2 (RB-2), while she considered some of those businesses Light Industrial.  Since some of those provided good wage jobs, Councilmember McGehee suggested that that factor should be considered as part of the equation as well.


Mr. Paschke agreed that their use was limited light industrial or processing.


Mayor Roe opined that they could be considered CMU or RB-2.


Councilmember Willmus concurred, noting that there was little delineation between the two; but cautioned if either were further expanded at Fairview Avenue and County Road C, serious discussion was needed about the implications of that, particularly with traffic situations.


Councilmember McGehee stated that she didn’t want to consider RB-2 as an option, but liked Light Industrial, opining that the current Industrial zoning designation was very broad.


Mr. Paschke noted that Office/Warehouse was already part of the zoning.


Mayor Roe questioned if it made sense to further define CMU-1 and CMU-2 to focus on specific uses, allowing residential or more intense uses, but still providing some flexibility.


Councilmember Willmus stated that he didn’t want zoning that was overly restrictive or focusing toward one specific use.


Interim City Manager Trudgeon suggested working within the CMU framework, with distinctions for limited production east of Fairview versus the west side.  However, Mr. Trudgeon cautioned by not being too specific to allow flexibility, if developers were given full reign to let the market determine what they think is best, the City would not be able to dictate or control that development if the use fell within that broad parameter.  If the City wished to retain more discretion, and avoid the potential for a housing development directly behind Byerly’s or a big box retailer, Mr. Trudgeon noted the need to be aware of potential consequences.


Mayor Roe suggested that the CMU be more defined by which uses the City didn’t want.


In referencing the current live/work/play model, Councilmember McGehee opined that the CMU is too narrowly defined right now, limiting work that consists of a restaurant or small store on the first floor and housing above it.  Councilmember McGehee further opined that she didn’t want warehouse distribution with trucks coming and going, but preferred a use where something was actually made.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she wanted something that provided good jobs above and beyond the current level of wages offered in Roseville.


Mayor Roe corrected that perception by referencing the CMU designated land use category, as included as one of the bench handouts.  Mayor Roe further stated that the CMU does not currently allow for a high production use. 


Mayor Roe referenced Use Tables, some that were included in the packet materials for the CMU District; noting that artisan or catering uses were currently allowed in Industrial Districts, but neither was on the list of permitted uses for CMU or Commercial Districts.  Mayor Roe advised that those were the types of uses he wanted to rethink, and opined that warehousing was not part of that consideration.


In polling the Council, Mayor Roe found majority consensus to look at CMU-1 or CMU-2 to address some of those uses.


Mr. Trudgeon suggested the next step for staff’s review of those sections and use tables, and bring them back for further discussion; opining that it could make a difference in part of the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area than how it was known today.


There was no consensus at this point as to whether the Byerly’s strip mall should be included within the CMU designation.


After further discussion, Mr. Paschke stated that it was easy to determine which uses the City Council did not want permitted, noting that the definition was intentionally broad, but that the chart drove what happened within the Twin Lakes boundaries once assigned and the desired achievement for that area; and those uses further defined if included on the chart and design standards created in remaining areas with specific design plans.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that while staff understood there may be specific things not preferred in other districts (e.g. asphalt plant), it was necessary to understand that the challenge was the size and impact of a permitted use.


Mayor Roe noted that further discussion was necessary in the area west of the Byerly’s strip mall, agreeing with Councilmember Willmus that a large format retailer would not work in that area; while the City found that it would work at County Road C and Cleveland Avenue given the easy access to major highways.  Mayor Roe suggested that perhaps the CMU-2 guidance was to not include large impact retail; however, he noted that it needed to be clearly defined and would need further discussion, but not precluding it in areas where it is already existing or appears to fit well. 


With the whole area involved, Councilmember McGehee opined that she was not sure if the Regulating Map and Design Standards for a common design look were appropriate; expressing her preference for something if phased properly that could allow developers to come in with their own interesting ideas. Councilmember McGehee opined that the City should not serve as the design police.


Mayor Roe opined that developers could come forward with interesting ideas, but the regulating map and design standards defined what the City didn’t want, thus the challenge.  Mayor Roe opined that the Regulating Map didn’t get that specific, and only defined the 25’ feet rule.


Mr. Paschke agreed with Mayor Roe’s comments, opining that the design standards attempted to provide flexibility to address creativity, but if not there, a design needed to meet minimum standards, with the Twin Lakes Development Area ramped up to higher standards based on the Master Plan and Urban Design Standards.


While agreeing with that intent, Councilmember McGehee opined that her perception of the sketches included were that there was an attempt for uniformity in how buildings looked.


Mr. Paschke suggested that may have been evidence in schematics during the early 2000’s when the intent was for one master developer.  However, since that was no longer the situation, Mr. Paschke advised that each development was considered on a case by case basis needing to meet more practical standards while achieving overall commonality.


It that was the case, Councilmember McGehee accepted that, as long as there remained enough flexibility for individuality among property pieces.


Mr. Paschke advised that a number of buildings had already been built in that area that achieved those same standards, while providing differences in design.  Mr. Paschke noted that this was also the case for all three (3) commercial zoning districts, with each achieving goals embedded in Master Plans and building design standards.


Councilmember Willmus expressed appreciation to Mr. Paschke for drawing that distinction, opining that he didn’t have a problem with design standards, but was always concerned with building placement as it related to an adjacent street.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Councilmember Willmus advised that his concerns were both with the zoning code and design requirements elsewhere, using the proposed development at the intersection of County Road B and Lexington Avenue, and his concerns with  sight lines at that intersection.


Mayor Roe opined that the issue was addressed in the regulating map, with a building possible up to the property line, but not necessary.


Councilmember Willmus opined that, in some areas, the City should allow that to occur as it could create unintended consequence for fairly significant intersections.


Mr. Paschke noted that it was a balance with that and to avoid not having parking lots serving as front yards for businesses, another undesirable consequence.


Mayor Roe opined that this was what he liked about the regulating map, it provided enough flexibility and considered what worked for a particular development, while still allowing parking no closer than 25’.


Even with busy agendas coming up in the next few weeks, Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff would like to return for further discussion sooner rather than later to keep things fresh for everybody and continue making progress.  Mr. Trudgeon summarized that the consensus was to head in separate districts with distinctions within the CMU designation, which staff would bring back as a draft at the next opportunity.


Mayor Roe opined that by focusing on CMU sub districts, perhaps including some with a primary focus on residential, but not precluding all other uses, it sent a clear message to developers what the City’s primary intent was.


15.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

Mr. Trudgeon noted the Closed Executive Session on September 23, 2013, for the purpose of discussing the PIK property acquisition and updates on potential park property acquisitions, estimating that a minimum of one (1) hour would be needed for that Session.


After some discussion, Mayor Roe determined that a 6:00 p.m. start time would go forward.


Councilmember McGehee left at approximately 9:24 pm


16.         Councilmember Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Councilmember Willmus requested that Mr. Trudgeon review current code language regarding pervious surfaces related to new construction, in order to address a citizen concern for a property on Owasso Boulevard. 


Mr. Trudgeon suggested additional discussion with Councilmember Willmus offline to clarify the specifics of that situation.


17.         Adjourn

Willmus moved, Etten seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 9:25 pm.


                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; Etten; Laliberte; and Roe.

            Nays: None.