View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

City Council


City Council Meeting Minutes

February 20, 2014


1.         Roll Call

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


2.         Approve Agenda

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


                                                Roll Call

Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; 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, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report

            Mayor Roe announced upcoming vacancies in various City Council's citizen advisory commissions, the deadline for application (March 5), scheduled interviews (approximately March 12) and appointments to start April 1, 2014.  Mayor Roe noted vacancies were available on the City's new Civic Engagement Commission and Finance Commission (seven openings each); one vacancy on the Human Rights Commission and the Parks & Recreation Commission respectively; and with the expansion of the Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commission by two additional members, a total of four vacancies were available.  Additional information is available at City Hall or on the City's website.


5.      Recognitions, Donations and Communications


6.            Approve Minutes


7.            Approve Consent Agenda


8.            Consider Items Removed from Consent


9.         General Ordinances for Adoption


10.         Presentations


11.         Public Hearings


12.         Budget Items


13.         Business Items (Action Items)


14.         Business Items - Presentations/Discussions


a.            Discuss Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area

To focus tonight's discussion, Mayor Roe suggested breaking discussion into two groups: geographical divisions and different subdistricts within the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, and permitted uses in each subdistrict.  Mayor Roe noted that the map provided in the meeting packet prepared by staff did not appear to coincide with the City Council's last discussions regarding district configurations; and asked that before beginning the Council discussion, staff provide their rational in making those adjustments.


Councilmember McGehee expressed her preference that discussion move beyond particular uses and zoning code into a broader policy discussion.


Mayor Roe agreed, with those discussions following and informed by the first two focus areas.


City Planner Thomas Paschke reviewed the adjustments made by staff to maps since previous discussions, in two areas and displayed those two revisions. 


Mayor Roe corrected staff's line to the east of Cleveland went north at Mt. Ridge Road in the  L-shaped area, which staff duly noted and corrected. 


Mr. Paschke advised that modifications were based on the regulating plan and things that may take place in the future.   As displayed on the map, Mr. Paschke noted that it would include the connection of Twin lakes Parkway creating a separate and distinct box at County Road C and similar uses to the south.  Mr. Paschke advised that he didn't think some uses may be appropriate from the standpoint of their location adjacent to Langton Lake and property under one sole ownership (PIK property) and potential land assembly that may be obvious to acquire and redevelop if split into two districts creating a potential conflict within those districts and permitted uses.  Mr. Paschke opined that this delineation allows focus on specific areas and how they complement each other to some degree, with keeping them attached to the area more to the south based on the future Twin Lakes Parkway.


City Manager Trudgeon concurred, noting that as staff considered uses and what made sense, part of their rationale had been looking at subdistricts and uses for continuity; with the only change to the City Council's original subdistrict map discussion, allowing for more discussion on uses and achieving that continuity.


Mayor Roe noted the northern part of the "L" had been talked about in the same context, however, with this latest modification it now was in a different subdistrict, and suggested it be looked at further west of the PIK property between Mt. Ridge Road and Cleveland Avenue, creating a contiguous area.


At the request of Mr. Trudgeon, Mr. Paschke reviewed staff's thoughts in looking at the area different and why a separation was needed from the properties farther south.  Mr. Paschke referenced the proposed CSI proposal, and review of previous discussions and potential future redevelopment of that site and best use, keeping the focus on office versus other types of use.  From a planning/redevelopment perspective, Mr. Paschke opined that it would be a good parcel for office or residential development as carved up with five Community Mixed Use (CMU) Districts. 


From a City Council perspective, Mayor Roe sought comment on staff's revisions versus those lines previously drawn.


Councilmember Willmus expressed his curiosity to hear from property owners about this direction, since they are a key component of any changes made, opining that it would be beneficial to get their input at the onset rather than further down the road.  Councilmember Willmus also expressed interest in getting into policy discussions to determine where things were moving in the future, as suggested by Councilmember McGehee.  Councilmember Willmus opined that, once that was in place, other things may follow suit.


Mayor Roe opined that it was certainly the intent to hear from property owners and developers not too far into the process and have them join the process.  However, Mayor Roe expressed his preference to have the City Council discussion as a body to confirm their intentions based on previous discussion and where the lines are drawn, as well as staff's minor revisions.


Councilmember McGehee noted that the changes were minimal: only north of Twin Lakes Parkway in the purpose area; and expressed her concurrence with staff's suggested revisions.


Mayor Roe clarified the two revisions: the zone west of Langton Lake now no longer extended  south of Twin Lakes Parkway, and the southeast corner joined the same zone to the  west and northern part of the "L" between Cleveland Avenue and Mt. Ridge Road, becoming the same subdistrict type.


Councilmember McGehee noted that a number of uses in that area were not that old, and were reasonable-looking structures and similar to the preferred development; and stated that she had no problem with that.


Councilmember Laliberte agreed that the City Council was very intentional in previous discussions; however, she didn't think things were set in stone.  Councilmember Laliberte echoed Councilmember Willmus' comments that prior to locking anything in place, she wanted to hear from the property owners, since the City didn't own anything to justify moving them around.  Councilmember Laliberte stated that she was not opposed to staff's revision to the City Council's original lines, but remained open at this point.


After the previous meeting, Councilmember Etten stated that he thought the best course of action would be to make the zones more general to group them together if possible.  If a great development came forward, Councilmember Etten opined that his concern was in the green and orange areas along Cleveland Avenue and that a development may be different than the staff proposal as a permitted or conditional use (e.g. day care center).  Councilmember Etten questioned why one was a permitted use across Iona on Cleveland and not in the other area.  Councilmember Etten opined that he didn't want as much distinction, but preferred to open things up and allow more uses to allow potential development to work, by allowing more flexibility.

Mayor Roe noted that, at the last discussion, it was recognized that with a broad view, a lot of things were permitted uses in subdistricts, with only a few distinctions in some subdistricts (e.g. use and scale); with two parts involved in zoning: what's existing or the future vision.  In this case, Mayor Roe opined that with a potential for new uses as the property owner desired, there was a need to balance community preferences as well as part of that process.  Mayor Roe concurred that it would be good to hear from property owners and developers in tonight's audience; opining that it may be found that a lot of it actually blends together well, with perhaps only more or less intense subdistricts as the ultimate outcome.  However, Mayor Roe opined that some uses did not make sense in some areas for various reasons.  Mayor Roe noted that the City currently had a very specific use list and it only made sense to get feedback before discussion of the table and permitted uses.


Mr. Paschke opined that there was actually a distinct different in the map, with the purple area north of Terrace Drive currently High Density Residential (HDR) changing to CMU and adding a number of permitted uses that may be applicable or complementary to those areas previously supported by property owners or managers having already reviewed the information and made contact with City staff, and expressing their appreciation for the greater flexibility beyond HDR-1, opining the door for them to pursue something different for those properties.


Mr. Trudgeon asked Mr. Paschke to describe those major distinctions between the two based on previous discussions on emphasis.


Mr. Paschke stated that from previous information and discussions, for those focus areas, the purpose was for more residential potentials and corresponding complementary uses (e.g. office) with some of those uses permitted and some not and others permitted conditionally.  In the green area specifically, Mr. Paschke noted that the focus was on certain types of office, with more intense uses with higher impact located on the periphery (e.g. larger retail or office) with the interior closer to Langton Lake Park permitting less impactful uses.  Mr. Paschke advised that the color schemes on the map attempted to designate those uses and locals along with balancing pre-existing and non-conforming conditions on some of the properties and potentially others in the future, while blending similar uses (e.g. production, limited processing versus major light industrial located in a multi-tenant building).


In summarizing the intent of the broad area and distinctions, Mr. Trudgeon noted that the orange area focused on retail without restrictions, with the green area permitting limited retail (e.g. 20,000 square feet as an estimated suggested by staff); with the blue area office use but excluding production and limited processing; and the purple area allowing a variety of uses and limited retail and office uses, but more residential in focus.  Mr. Trudgeon further noted that the red area is more industrial.


Councilmember McGehee opined that it seemed that the entire area is an opportunity to change and improve the City's tax base; with long-standing information from the community stating that they do not wish to have any more retail than is currently in the community.  In broad discussions of the CMU, Councilmember McGehee opined that she found no reason in the blue area for uses for anything beyond residential as an ideal use similar to the area surrounding around Langton Lake.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there was a lot of time being spent with a very narrow definition of focus on this and the regulating map rather than looking to current property owners for their suggestions of what they'd like to see and what they think.  Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of a broader look versus a limited focus, and expressed her failure to understand why either a medical office or housing couldn't be located in the blue area backing up to the park.


Discussion ensued with Mayor Roe pointing out that currently there is no housing use excluded there; with Councilmember McGehee opining that in a broader discussion, the Council should get away from the boxes and definitions, get feedback from property owners since the City doesn't want to acquire the property.


Mayor Roe opined that the whole context of everything in the CMU District, except certain areas to be restricted, was for housing of one type or another in most all areas based on density, noting that this was the result of discussions held most recently.  While reiterating his willingness to hear from property owners, Mayor Roe clarified that this was the direction given to staff, and to label things as office or limited use would be too narrow, specifically in the area immediately adjacent to the park, single-family residences, and the freeway.  Mayor Roe sought consensus if that was still the preference and direction to pursue.


Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of that route, since the City didn't own the property.


Mayor Roe noted that the City owned little land in Roseville, however, it was still able to zone it effectively.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that the CMU District was wide open now; and if the Council preference was to have points of emphasis to drive development in certain areas, the idea of the subdistrict would serve that purpose.  However, Mr. Trudgeon further noted that, if too many things remained permitted uses, there was no guarantee other things wouldn't occur.  If the intent was to develop residential uses around Langton Lake Park, Mr. Trudgeon opined that the City Council needed to clearly state that; but could not have it both ways: flexible versus what it didn't want, creating a challenge to drive the properties to certain uses that make sense while not being able to guarantee is and zone appropriately. 


Mayor Roe opined that he wasn't sure if the intent should be to emphasize residential at the exclusion of other uses rather than just to ensure those permitted uses remained compatible with adjacent properties.  Mayor Roe noted that the list of what was not desired as a permitted use created a much shorter list.


Councilmember Laliberte noted the desire to manage traffic patterns and vehicle types along with certain access points as well.


Councilmember McGehee suggested the need to discuss retail and revise previous definitions and recommendation of a previous City Attorney to clear up any confusion about the three types currently in Community Business and Regional Business Districts.  Councilmember McGehee noted the 20,000 square foot delineation suggested by staff got closer to that preference.


Mayor Roe invited property owners to come forward.


Mr. Paschke noted that property owners would speak to their particular parcels and interests versus the broader area being discussed for map focus.


Public Comment


Mark Rancone, Roseville Properties

Mr. Rancone clarified that his firm owned a small, approximately 6-acre parcel at 2720 Fairview Avenue located in the orange area on the map.  Mr. Rancone also noted their firm's unique experience of having been a part of this area for a long time; opining that this appeared to be just the next step in another re-evaluation of what should be done in Twin Lakes.


Based on general comments, Mr. Rancone opined that it may be more prudent to first reflect on the process followed over the last twenty years and why this high profile area of land has remained as is for so long without redeveloping.  While everyone had their own opinions, Mr. Rancone referenced comments made earlier that the City Council's desire is to reflect the wishes of the community.  However, Mr. Rancone opined that often commercial property owners were not treated as part of the community, with residents holding much more weight and commercial property owners looked at as second class citizens, when the contribution of those properties to the City was very significant.  Mr. Rancone referenced his experiences in the City of West St. Paul as an example of their encouragement to retail businesses to help cushion costs for every resident.  Even though a resident may not want more retail, or not desiring another "big box" retailer (e.g. Wal-Mart) or other retailer in the orange map area, Mr. Rancone opined that it is what it is and that's what America wants and that's what Roseville is, not North Oaks, its Roseville.  In today's newspaper, Mr. Rancone referenced population predictions of 4,000 more in population growth than current; this all in a landlocked suburb having potential with this property. 


Mr. Rancone opined that every four years a new City Council came up with new ideas; and he and the development community were finding it tiring as they'd been down this road so many times before, yet the land was still underperforming.  Therefore, Mr. Rancone reiterated his suggestion that the City Council do some self-examination; as many developers were no longer interested in dealing with Roseville, because the public perception isn't worth tackling.  Mr. Rancone noted the potential in the past when Costco was looking to locate in Roseville, including a mixed housing unit - everything the Council now is seeking - with a lot of money spent and frustration on everyone's part.  Mr. Rancone suggested that the economics of how retail benefitted a neighborhood with little impact to adjacent neighbors needed to be clearly understood, and could provide a lot of money for the City and School District. 


Mr. Rancone opined that residential apartment developers should be wanting to develop around Langton Lake; however, they weren't coming forward; and while he didn't claim to be an expert on what market research may indicate would best fit there today, he didn't think anyone at the table was an expert either.  Therefore, Mr. Rancone suggested that the City seek expert advice on what could locate in this area and how to market it to the community to draw interest, rather than simply saying "no" to this and that; to change the mindset of the community to look at Roseville and creative incentives to get what it wanted.

Mr. Rancone agreed with comments that, if it was too prescriptive, it was going down the same path as in the past.  Mr. Rancone questioned who knew what the market place was going to be, and it wasn't about the semantics of retail square footage, but required self-reflection on what has cause the problem in the past and how to do things differently versus only creating the latest iteration of a design.


Councilmember McGehee expressed interest in Mr. Rancone's point of view; and shared her personal point of view and that of her constituents, in clarifying that tax increment financing (TIF) districts did not increase a tax base for the City or School District for a number of years.


Mr. Rancone clarified that it was held at bay for a limited time period; and Mr. Trudgeon specified the sixteen years remaining in this TIF District before it expired.


Councilmember McGehee reiterated that the payback was not instant; and that a lot of infrastructure improvements had already been installed an paid for by taxpayers.  Councilmember McGehee further noted the traffic and congestions concerns for people living in that area and going forward as developers want high traffic generators there.  In reviewing the seasons and traffic studies at County Road C intersections with Cleveland, Fairview and Snelling, the studies indicate a significantly low rating already without Wal-Mart even being open yet.  When people say they don't want retail, Councilmember McGehee suggested that they may be comfortable with small retail with housing above, the intent of the CMU District, and were not in opposition to retail in general, but on a smaller scale that would serve the community.  Councilmember McGehee questioned how Mr. Rancone and the development community would see that scenario going forward to be amenable to them and provides the City with an opportunity to reflect on problems already evidenced in the area.


Mr. Rancone responded that, while everyone had a personal opinion, someone more in tune with the market place (e.g. brokerage community or Maxfield Research) and more expert in the field could and should voice what they thought made sense, what was practical and realistic in today's market place.  While flexibility was needed for any future developer, Mr. Rancone noted that this was exactly what was being talked about with Costco - offices and residential - moving up Twin Lakes Parkway.  However, Mr. Rancone noted that today's market no longer allows such small shops to be financially feasible, opining that this was not a Grand Avenue or 50th and France, and did not share the same demographics as the City of Edina did.  Mr. Rancone opined that there needed to be a balance: what people want but how to realistically accomplish it.


Councilmember McGehee questioned if Mr. Rancone would suggest taking all developers and pooling resources to hire Maxwell to provide a more professional opinion that currently known.


Mr. Rancone noted that this is a possibility; but only his opinion, and sometimes consultants were worth their value and other times not; referencing his lack of support for the overlay district and building location consulting work, opining that it was a lot of money just wasted.


Mayor Roe clarified that not everyone felt that way.


Mr. Rancone noted that it could be debated whether or not it was well-spent taxpayer money; however, before going too far down that line on prescriptive uses, he suggested a "think tank" seeking other opinions.  Mr. Rancone opined that the development had been hardened by a number of things, and would remain a citizen that these decisions would impact, no matter what happens.  However, Mr. Rancone suggested that the main thing is if the City Council goes down the same path for another twenty years, it seemed even more futile.  Mr. Rancone opined that a much more productive path would be to change public perceptions based on realistic versus personal opinions and based on professional advice of what will work and why it hasn't worked before, as well as incenting new ideas. 


Councilmember Willmus recognized the frustration of the development community when every few years the target gets moved.  However, from the other end, Councilmember Willmus expressed the City's willingness to get into a collaborative planning process; and questioned if that was something property owners would buy into and take ownership in the process and end results.  Councilmember Willmus questioned if a consultant came forward, would there be buy in from property owners.


Mr. Rancone spoke in support of a collaborative effort, opining that most community development or redevelopment efforts in today's market place seemed to involve public/private partnerships.  However, if the City Council was only representing residents and not the commercial community, Mr. Rancone advise that the end result of such a collaborative effort needed to represent all parties instead and allow all opinion, with the end result being an unknown until those discussions were completed.  Mr. Rancone opined that it was important for everyone to feel like they were part of the process and could share their opinions, similar to the open discussion tonight and inviting developers to participation.  However, Mr. Rancone noted that previous discussion had moved fast before tonight without involvement by developers.


While there was nothing specific now, Mr. Rancone advised that retail brokers were not looking for large retail areas now, but may come up with several adjacent properties; and even though no one wants to mention the dirty word "big box," which he didn't consider fair, it would serve as another step to produce ancillary uses once constructed, which would in turn drive other developers.  While it remained up to the City Council to decide, Mr. Rancone expressed appreciation for being allowed to be involved, which he fully support, he noted that it was unfortunate that other property owners were also not here, yet recognizing their frustration.


Mayor Roe clarified that it was not the intent to be prescriptive, but the City Council was interested in hearing thoughts of developers if it was zoned 100% as office of some scale, limited production, retail, or residential but only in certain areas, depending on lower density residential or not such an intensive use by Langton Lake.


Mr. Rancone opined that he thought the entire area should be one use, CMU, and when someone came forward with a development proposal, the City Council could simply say yes or no, even though there may be legal ramifications in doing so (e.g. asphalt plant).


While eager to develop Twin Lakes, Mayor Roe noted that the City Council was already on record stating that type of proposal wouldn't fly in this area.


Mr. Rancone recognized that the City may not want an asphalt plant, but there were certain types of industry they did; however, he opined that it may not be necessary to be so prescriptive per block and allow feedback from the development community or market survey people for ideas, then decide when the time comes.  Mr. Rancone noted that the City hadn't had to worry about that over the last twenty years.


Mayor Roe opined that the perception of the City being too prescriptive by not letting certain uses develop on certain parcels, was not accurate when other parcels and uses remained wide open.  However, Mayor Roe concurred that a market study could change from one decade to another.


Mr. Rancone questioned if a master developer buys in the purple or orange areas with two different uses, was he going to have a battle.


Mayor Roe opined that, if in the purple and orange areas, if the uses were clear and defined, they should be easily understood by the development community, with no ensuing battle if aware of uses and not trying a use not permitted.


Mr. Rancone opined that, if certain development was allowed on certain acreage but not others that developer would locate elsewhere.


Councilmember McGehee summarized Mr. Rancone's comments indicating that rather than uses that were permitted or not permitted across the board, a more useful thing would be what was definitely not wanted (e.g. asphalt plant, major trucking terminals, stripper joints, etc.),  Since what was not wanted was a smaller list, Councilmember McGehee questioned if that was his intent to tell developers what was not a permitted use and otherwise let their developments be fitted to the area; to which Mr. Rancone responded affirmatively.


Mayor Roe opined that this was no different than what he was suggesting, simply different ways to say it.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mayor Roe suggested two colors versus five colors geographically to accommodate the larger development community's request for a broader picture.


Dan Regan, Roseville-based commercial developer - Launch Properties - with their office located on Fairview and Highway 36; and owning a 20-acre parcel on County Road C between Fairview and Snelling Avenues

Mr. Regan noted that his firm had been monitoring the situation in Twin Lakes for the last twenty years as well, and was familiar with and not outsiders to the events and battles over the years.


Speaking in general, Mr. Regan looked at the Twin Lakes planning district from a long-term phased approach for development.  While time could be spent guiding subdistricts to uses or unpermitted uses, Mr. Regan suggested that was a good exercise at the City Council and staff level and what made the most sense.  However, at the end of the day, Mr. Regan opined that it would be the market that determined the development, using the Sherman project, the first apartment complex built in Roseville in over twenty years and serving as a nice test for the market.  In noting where that firm decided to locate the complex, he noted their consideration of main arterials and backing up to Langton Lake, a great spot for that type of high density, senior housing type development, opining that they would work well together from his perspective as a developer. 


However, Mr. Regan further opined that there were other uses that would not work there, such as evidenced with CSI proposal from Colliers representing the Dorso site and recent competitions with other metropolitan communities for the CSI which subsequently proved unsuccessful.  Mr. Regan expressed his appreciation to staff and the City Council for their assistance and support for the proposal, and the potential of that use making sense for that site.  Mr. Regan noted that they were selected as the lead developer and had become aware of that deal through the marketplace as they researched who was looking in certain areas and their interest and focus.  Mr. Regan noted that they were looking for high visibility to the freeway - a perfect market case study - and at adjacent properties and their uses.  Mr. Regan opined that housing would not have made sense on that site; and as he worked around Langton Lake, that area made perfect sense for housing or a larger corporate office use.  Mr. Regan noted that other sites were found more favorable (e.g. NW Quadrant in New Brighton and in Brooklyn Park/Highway 610) to provide that billboard presence and visibility.


Mr. Regan referenced further down County Road C and the successful retail area and existing node where Walgreens decided to redevelop by demolishing existing buildings on a land site versus bare ground to achieve that location adjacent to similar service businesses. 


At the specific site of his firm, Mr. Regan reviewed those adjacent uses and the need for consistency with those uses, with their site dictating a similar use, which could be "big box" but was limited due to the County storm ditch around the site on the west and north side and up Terrace Drive, creating an island and no connectivity to adjacent sites to the north or west; as well as the deep size of the lot for buildings other than of 10,000 square feet.  Mr. Regan noted the need to mass uses on the north side of their site and provide a nice boulevard and well landscaped frontage along County Road C and the entrance to the overall site and push things up on County Road C.  While problematic, Mr. Regan expressed confidence that his firm could mitigate design concerns and concerns about massive parking fields.  Mr. Regan opined that consolidation of medical facilities was no longer an option for their site, but based on retail brokers and other retailers, it could support a high quality retail development, as long as it wasn't limited to under 20,000 square feet, at least not as the initial catalyst to develop the site and drive that development further onto the site if limited to smaller retail or quasi-office uses, it couldn't be accomplished in a piecemeal fashion.  Therefore, Mr. Regan advised that they would continue to sit on the challenging site until opinions changed or more flexibility was allowed.


At Mayor Roe's recognition of the current draft of over 20,000 square feet in retail laid out for that site, Mr. Regan responded that what was now being outlined seemed consistent with what could be developed there and demand for that property type that remained consistent over the long-term.  Mr. Regan opined that he had no problem with the proposal as laid out, that it made sense.


Mayor Roe asked Mr. Regan to elaborate on what he was hearing from other brokers or developers and their perception of Roseville.


Mr. Regan responded that Wal-Mart served as a poster child of the perception, since it received significant press over a long period; and similar experiences for Ryan Companies and Rottland.  However, Mr. Regan opined the cycle appeared to be ending and felt like it was starting to trend in the right direction with a whole different set of players.  But, Mr. Regan cautioned that those things were still fresh in the minds of the development community; and while deals will still get done, he couldn't predict how and when. Based on his experience with responsiveness and receptiveness at the City staff level, and support of the current City Council as the CSI proposal was pursued, he offered to do his best to spread the word about that new trend.  At the request of Mayor Roe for any other suggestions of things the  City could do to change perceptions or lingering issues, Mr. Regan responded that he could think of nothing specific.


Councilmember McGehee noted the problems with the land in Twin Lakes and pollution, noting that the rationale provided by CSI was that the City's land option was not   "shovel ready" since the land hadn't been cleansed up yet.  Since the land was not owned by the City, Councilmember McGehee questioned Mr. Regan as to whether it made sense to be more proactive in collaborating with property owners and assisting them with clean up for the types of projects he referenced.


Mr. Regan responded that it always paid to be as ready as possible to respond to opportunities, making sites where due diligence had been done much more interesting (e.g. buildings demolished, MPCA clean-up programs, etc.), all beneficial.  As an example, Mr. Regan noted that collaborative efforts by the City and property owner on the PIK site; and while some seemed baby steps, they all represented progress in the right direction.  From their personal perspective on their property, Mr. Regan noted that Roseville was always in high demand from trucking companies and "dirty" industrial users, keeping all of their buildings full.  Therefore, Mr. Regan advised that they would not consider taking steps now to demolish and clean-up until an application was completed submitted and formally approved with a redevelopment plan in place and signed leases with tenants.  Mr. Regan noted the reality of needing the income to pay property taxes and other expenses until the right opportunity became apparent to move forward with redevelopment, which they were anxious to see.


City Council Discussion following Public Comment

At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Paschke outlined the message received from an attorney representing the AirMark parcel, responding that they were very happy with and accepting of the flexibility being proposed to build into the property; with a similar response received from the property to the east and managed by Traveler's Insurance or Transwestern) including support of mixed uses versus the current HDR-1 as now guided to allow other opportunities that may be more appropriate and applicable to the former  Aramark building, which was currently vacant.


Mr. Paschke further reported his phone conversation with Ms.  Nanette Pikofsky regarding her property in this area; and while not having all the information being presented tonight, her concern was that she not lose anything she already had with the location in the current CMU District allowing multiple uses with few non-permitted uses.  From her perspective, Mr. Paschke advised that she was very interested in retaining that flexibility; and while she was unable to attend tonight's meeting, Mr. Paschke indicated that this involved not restricting retail or other more impactful or less desirable uses adjacent to the park.


Mr. Trudgeon spoke in support of seeking input from market experts, either brokers or market research groups, in addition to community and property owner input.  Mr. Trudgeon opined that such information was probably missing in the discussion, but that the City should be aware of what the market wanted, noting that it may not be what the community wants, but suggested a happy medium could be found. 


Mr. Trudgeon noted the tortuous path periodically taken by the City, as referenced by developers, with this discussion prompted by the Wal-Mart development and related issues and potential conflicts in the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code for CMU Districts.  Mr. Trudgeon suggested that the City Council as a policy board and staff maybe needed to look at how we got here and suggesting five different subdistricts.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that he was hearing tonight that restrictions were not necessary, and if the solution was to go back to the CMU, it could simply be solved with a few tweaks and fixing the Comprehensive Plan to address any incompatibilities.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that this would allow for a variety of uses in the CMU, all remaining one color, even though he had heard a number of issues with that as well.  If that was the decision, Mr. Trudgeon opined that the City needed to be prepared for uses they may not want next to Langton Lake Park if strict definitions were not provided for what is permitted; and accepting that the zoning code currently allows those uses.  As long as everyone remained aware of that, Mr. Trudgeon guaranteed that developers would start knocking on the doors seeking to develop the properties, even though they would lean toward retail uses, since that is the current interest; noting that the Comprehensive Plan modification could address that versus this current process.


Mr. Paschke, from his role in interpreting codes, noted the different areas in Twin Lakes that were and could develop well in advance of the expiration of the current Comprehensive Plan expiration in 7 - 9 years; as well as areas that may stay the same as they are currently for the long-term, with certain areas showing no interest in redeveloping.  Mr. Paschke opined that the market would only look at certain spots, what he considered to be Phase I of the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, but not newer buildings built under many future phases.  Other than that, Mr. Paschke advised that there wasn't a whole lot of interest in development in that area, with properties not at the point allowing purchase and redevelopment to make them work.


Mr. Paschke opined that the multiple colors were not all that prescriptive from what currently was in the boxes under CMU, simply identifying areas from past discussions to place certain uses better suited as a focus for that area and complementary to other uses already there.  Mr. Paschke opined that the right balance could never be achieved unless the CMU was left with minor tweaks to allow whatever came in whenever it wanted.  Mr. Paschke further opined that the purpose of planning and zoning was to be prescriptive and to guide the community to avoid certain uses in areas where they are not appropriate, which is exercise recently completed and subsequent colors articulated on the referenced maps.


Councilmember Willmus questioned whether a discussion should be pursued for those parcels the City wished to acquire and when and how to enter into a more detailed planning process, when there was no other issue to work around or any need to satisfy a private property owner.  Councilmember Willmus suggested a broader discussion focused more on resident expectations for some of these areas.  Even though something we avoid talking about, Councilmember Willmus referenced the recent Dale Street Fire Station Redevelopment project as an example of how it could work, even though that was on a much smaller scale.


Eliminating economics from the picture, Mr. Trudgeon agreed that when you control the land, you could control the use and developer choice.  However, Mr. Trudgeon noted that the holding costs and time could prove significant, even though the end goal was to develop the right product and use at a certain location.  Mr. Trudgeon opined that developers could be found who were eager to sell at which time the City could accomplish whatever the desired goal and ensure use for what was wanted by citizens and the City.


Mr. Paschke opined that he wasn't sure if staff had yet identified the particular properties for acquisition due to a lack of funding sources as well as the market.  Mr. Paschke concurred that holding costs were the biggest issue, and how long was necessary to wait for a project to come forward.


Mayor Roe recognized that staff's delay was also due to not having received direction from the City Council to identify properties.


Councilmember Willmus suggested that, based on CSI selecting the property in New Brighton for development, it may be time for Roseville to have those discussions.


Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of having the discussion; however, she noted that it still wouldn't work whether the City or developer owned the property if the market didn't want to build it.


Councilmember Willmus spoke in support of how to incentivize development (e.g. TIF funding, city ownership of property as part of the package) and other areas of discussion and based on things occurring in surrounding communities.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that the discussion could be held regarding property acquisition; however, based on the repeated comments she heard while campaigning for office, the perception was that Roseville was difficult to do business with; further opining that perception could not be changed overnight.


Councilmember McGehee referenced the Dorso site and previous active inquiry for FBI headquarters that eventually went to the City of Brooklyn Center by the City's removal of a less-than-desirable hotel use making that land available. She also referenced the NW Quadrant in New Brighton and the Excelsior and Grand project with the City assembling land for the site.  Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of having a discussion on property acquisition; and like Councilmember Willmus noted, was unable to define where she would come down on the issue in reviewing pros and cons.  However, Councilmember McGehee noted that the City was granted Port Authority in 1987 with express discretion to clean-up and market the Twin Lakes area; and as yet had done nothing other than bond for blighted parks, while losing out to another community that had chosen to purchase and clean-up polluted land - a former asphalt plant - that no longer existed.


Mayor Roe noted that it was something to consider; however, he cautioned that not every situation was the same or having the same cookie cutter answer.  While it may make sense to buy land, Mayor Roe opined that if under contract and not sold, the City would still own it, and would be more preferable if there was a fast time frame while not limiting viewpoints, and adding to the discussion.  Mayor Roe further opined that it made sense to be flexible and have options, the City still made the zoning decisions.  Mayor Roe sought consensus on Council preferences: whether to tweak the CMU or create two subdistricts, with one closer to Langton Lake and the remaining parcels in another subdistrict. Keeping them all the same or specific parcel to parcel zoning was another option outlined by Mayor Roe, recognizing that the development community desired flexibility, which either of the first two options should accomplish.


Councilmember Laliberte noted that the current CMU District had a variety of uses permitted, yet still nothing was happening and the City chased things away.  While campaigning, Councilmember Laliberte noted the comments she heard in opposition to Wal-Mart and preferring Costco, yet not supporting that when it came forward either.  Councilmember Laliberte expressed her desire to not repeat past City Council cycles by saying its CMU and other than a few parcels, not supporting that designation.


In all fairness to past City Councils, Councilmember Willmus noted that they had approved Costco as a mixed use.


Mr. Paschke noted that on the east side of Fairview Avenue there was no regulating plan to guide redevelopment making it difficult to redevelop; while the west side does have that distinction, creating differences for the east and west sides.


Councilmember Willmus questioned the level of incentive wanted by the community to see development as it wished, since public assistance could take many different forms (e.g. infrastructure installation, demolishing of existing buildings, land ownership, such as done in the City of new Brighton).  However, Councilmember Willmus questioned how that City fared at the end of the period and even though they no longer have an asphalt plant, what other end results occurred.  Jumping back to the core question of where we're at, Councilmember Willmus opined that, absent those additional discussions, he would fall back on the option to update the zoning code and comprehensive plan and not be overly prescriptive with the exception of a few minor tweaks.


Councilmember McGehee concurred with Councilmember Willmus, opining that she would prefer not to be too prescriptive.  However, Councilmember McGehee opined that she was no fan of the regulating map, and would like to consider returning the Planned Unit Development (PUD) to the City's tool box, not that this is a PUD, but having available for appropriate applications.


Councilmember Etten expressed preference to not be too specific to one business but to look to continue if a building was vacant and the owner wanted to redevelop it, at which time the City may be able to assist in clearing the land.  Councilmember Etten questioned what was needed to complete Twin Lakes Parkway, as requested by property owners and developers, suggesting that it be done.  Without memorizing current zoning permitted zoning uses and not having that information available, Councilmember Etten questioned the best option, opining that this is more prescriptive than he was willing to accept at this time without further reviewing the current table of uses, which was subsequently displayed by Mr. Paschke.  Councilmember Etten advised that he was not against the two colored map, recognizing that the current map north of Terrace Drive and east of Fairview Avenue did not include mixed us, even though property owners would like that flexibility for the open market to allow them to make positive moved.  Therefore, with minor tweaks, Councilmember Etten suggested looking at the current CMU, driven by the fact that it was easier to amend that versus having another discussion on how to get to the same goal.


Mayor Roe opined that two versus five columns would be much easier.


Mr. Paschke suggested only one column, not a separate subdistrict CMU-1, in an effort to be more restrictive of uses adjacent to the park on the PIK terminal parcels, but only serving to eliminate opportunities currently available.


Mayor Roe noted that what was being described and the purpose outlined on the map was basically CMU-2 and all others were CMU-1, with things not allowed or only allowed at a certain scale.  Mayor Roe suggested that may be the next step, to determine if that was the right delineation and any differences between the two.  Mayor Roe opined that they were identical with few exceptions in the purple area on the map, located near single-family residential or the park; with the two lists looking the same except for that.


Councilmember Willmus opined that in essence it was creating a buffer around the park, which he was fine with, but not the entire area currently shaded as purple, bur roughly the area south of Iona Lane and blending with the other larger geographical area.


Discussion ensued specific to the PIK parcels as outlined on the map and splitting the parcels or following their property line.  Mr. Paschke advised that the old parcel lines would need re-established with new property lines, but may be splitting uses.


Mr. Trudgeon suggested if two districts were proposed that option be confirmed tonight for the benefit of property owners in attendance.  However, Mr. Trudgeon suggested a different track, since if it remained zoned as CMU, he anticipated people knocking at the door and development applications received immediately under that current code.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that this allowed the most flexibility, with minor tweaking, and with addressing any inconsistencies with the Comprehensive Plan using proposed language provided by staff in the RCA, it would then eliminate any perceived conflict. 


Mr. Trudgeon noted that the City Council had previously directed staff to figure out the zoning; and while his next comments may seem to be a leap, he would recommend keeping the CMU in place, amend the Comprehensive Plan, tweak specifics in the code, and get rid of the regulating plan requirement, changing HDR across Terrace, allowing for mixed use.  Mr. Trudgeon suggested that by doing that, and tackling the EAW and environmental issues, and based on tonight's good discussion on the limits of retail with the City picking where that may happen, it would keep things simple and allow property owners to move forward quickly.  Under that scenario, Mr. Trudgeon opined that the City Council would see applications coming forward yet this summer with projects already ready and waiting in the wings.  If the City Council chose to do so, it could divvy up the area into two districts, and while he saw some merit in doing so, Mr. Trudgeon opined that a decision needed to be taken on the next steps.


Mr. Paschke, in addressing specific design standards, noted that each had specifics beyond the overall plan, with the CMU currently relying on that regulating plan.  Mr. Paschke asked that the Council keep that in mind; and while not a huge effort by eliminating the regulating plan, it also eliminated a number of things already put in place (e.g. buffers, pedestrian connections) and other nuances that would no longer exist to be built into design standards or removed.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Paschke confirmed that setbacks would be addressed like in other sections of code, with percentages based on articulations.


Mayor Roe noted that there was some commonalty in districts, but others were in the context of urban design principles for the Twin Lakes area.


Councilmember McGehee spoke in agreement with Mr. Trudgeon's suggestion for design standard, which she had never been a  big fan of in the Twin Lakes area; and expressed preference for a simpler, less restrictive plan.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the City had good design standards in general around the City with nice looking buildings brought forward by developers, recognizing some excellent plans brought forward in the last few years.  As far as the last piece if this was divided and referencing Mayor Roe's comments, Councilmember McGehee opined that regarding the large PIK terminal parcel, from the standpoint of the park if residential use was dropped next to the line partway across the map, she would prefer more of a buffer on the south end of the lake while still giving the owner more options.  If a consensus, Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of a predominant CMU with residential and minimal tweaks, noting that there was also a ditch running through that helped to buffer the lake as well.


Mr. Trudgeon offered to bring this item back for a final look before adoption.


Mr. Paschke displayed a copy of current uses under the current CMU.


Mayor Roe sought consensus to consider looking at a division of the CMU today minus a few things to describe it.


Councilmember McGehee supported that in the purple designated map display with a few restrictions.


Councilmember Etten spoke in support of the two-color concept; but questioned what would not be permitted there, and if questioned if the PIK property was divided would it create development issues; expressing his preference to leave it open as long as he was clear on what was not a permitted use and allow greater flexibility.


To revisit previous discussions, Mayor Roe noted it could include residential from 12 units up per acre, office/retail, civic, institutional - all permitted uses - while not allowing warehouse, production, or light manufacturing.


Councilmember Etten questioned if the preference was to make it conditional to allow for that, with definition of when permitted without actually excluding it.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that it would a permitted use with conditions.


Councilmember Willmus questioned if the goal would be met in providing a bigger buffer around Langton Lake since the Conditional Use would run with the land.


Councilmember Etten recognized the park dedication option to encourage development as it occurred, and creating a buffer by expanding the park in that area as part of that development.  Councilmember Etten recognized the amount of coordination required between multiple owners and the City, but expressed confidence that a buffer could be created in a different way, seeking park dedication and green space, even in the purple area containing the PIK terminal area.


Mayor Roe questioned if two districts were needed, or simply to define uses as conditional where restrictions took place.


Councilmember McGehee noted residential uses and building where things made sense, based on past input from developers, brokers, and Mr. Lamb in development of the regulating map.  Councilmember McGehee spoke strongly for housing serving as the best buffer round the park, while not trying to impose something on the market that was not uniformly agreed upon.


Mayor Roe pointed out that everything else could be a permitted use there as well as in the CMU, such as a nice corporate headquarters


Mr. Paschke questioned how Councilmembers were thinking regarding a buffer, noting that since the regulating plan seemed to be falling out of flavor, it had still provided an additional ten foot buffer to the City as part of any park dedication which would add to the park, and/or pedestrian connections to get to the park, adding another buffer inherent in that.  Mr. Paschke noted that, while some could built into the code versus requiring a conditional use, it was not clear to him when the buffer was eliminated with the regulating plan.  Mr. Paschke noted that this had served to reduce impacts from one use to another, with current code providing mitigation for those impacts from one use to an adjacent one.  Mr. Paschke questioned how this fit with his perception of the City Council's direction to staff to proceed with the current CMU and tweak other areas.


Mayor Roe recognized that point, noting that some people thought of buffers as strips of vacant land, while others thought of buffers as less-intensive uses. For purposes of creating appropriate buffers in this case, the Conditional Use approach could make sense, creating conditions that would establish buffers for certain uses when adjacent to certain other uses.


Mr. Trudgeon summarized current directive to retain the one CMU District with some uses conditioned around Langton Lake Park; opining that this would provide a good framework moving forward and what was needed for tweaks, which should not prove complicated and get to the point quicker than the various colors.


Councilmember McGehee questioned if staff was proposing certain uses allowed across the entire area as a conditional use, or only in the area closest to the lake.


Mr. Trudgeon, using retail as an example, if at or over 20,000 square feet, it would require a conditional use, and would go through the process on design, location and other conditions for the City Council's review.  While the City Council may approve it adjacent to retail versus Langton Lake Park, it would be possible to consider it and set up sufficient mitigation at that location.

To add to that, currently in code, Mayor Roe noted that conditional uses were required with certain uses with specific conditions attached and broader conditions applied to all scenarios.  Mayor Roe opined that a similar situation could occur if going this route.


Mr. Paschke noted that certain uses and proximity to residential or other uses could be considered to mitigate potential impacts.


Councilmember Laliberte used the example of Iona and exclusion of warehouse and distribution; and if remaining CMU that would be an excluded use creating a buffer and uses around Langton Lake and everything else.


Councilmember Etten noted that conditions would be applied to such a use.


Mayor Roe clarified that such uses couldn't happen, but only in some areas; with staff's response to allow more limited warehousing, but not industrial.


Mr. Paschke advised that the CMU identified multiple uses, and could end up on the PIK site adjacent to the park, and questioned if that was appropriate, opining that it did if mitigating impacts were applied and then made sense.


Councilmember Laliberte questioned what was needed to work back in if the regulating plan was eliminated.


Mr. Trudgeon suggested one more refinement to come back to the City Council with this discussion and ideas to be followed by the official process once a consensus was determined and opportunities for public comment.  At that point Mr. Trudgeon suggested an accelerated process to keep momentum going for property owners.  Mr. Trudgeon opined that this discussion had been helpful even though it went from separate districts back to basically the same framework.


Staff reviewed the potential time frame for the process for Comprehensive Plan amendment and CMU text change, approximately two months if the City Council accepted proposed definitions drafted by staff and detailed in the RCA, initiating the formal process to amend the zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan in that same timeframe; returning to the City Council with a modified use chart and certain uses identified as conditional.


Councilmember Etten spoke in support of that process.


Discussion ensued regarding indication of preferences for the use chart revisions, with the zoning ordinance becoming the regulating document.


The proposed language on page 3 of the RCA was approved in concept by consensus.


Mayor Roe reviewed the official process: open house, public hearing at the Planning Commission level, and ultimate approval by the City Council, with those all providing an opportunity for public comment, and allowing other minor tweaks prior to adoption; with initial review of the proposed revisions scheduled for the March 24, 2014 City Council meeting at the latest in order to meet notice requirements and scheduling.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Paschke advised that the CMU was currently in place and operational of the west side of Fairview but not the east side. 


At the request of Mr. Paschke related to environmental issues, and with consensus of the body, the policy would remain that each future development in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area would be required to provide an EAW with discretional waiver by the City Council as projects came forward.


Mr. Trudgeon thanked Councilmembers and developers for the very productive discussion; with Mr. Paschke concurring that it had proven a very worthwhile exercise.


15.         City Manager Future Agenda Review


16.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings


17.         Adjourn

Etten moved, Willmus seconded adjournment of the meeting at approximately 8:00 p.m.


                                      Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


                        CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION


Mayor Roe called to order the second Roseville City Council special meeting of, for purposes of discussing land acquisition at 2169 St. Stephens and 2168 St. Croix Street, at approximately 8:00 p.m. Voting and Seating Order: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe. City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.


Mayor Roe noted that, in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 13D, all city council meetings must be held in public, but that certain exceptions were allowed, including discussion of the acquisitions or sale of property, and consideration of appraisals or offers on such property.


Etten moved, Willmus seconded, adjourning to closed executive session for the purposes of discussing land acquisisiton at 2169 St. Stephens and 2168 St. Croix Street in Roseville.


                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None


Mayor Roe convened the City Council in Closed Executive Session. In addition to the City Council, City Manager Trudgeon, Parks & Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke, and City Attorney Mark Gaughan were also present.


McGehee moved, Etten seconded, adjourning the Closed Executive Session and returning to Open Session.


                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None


Mayor Roe reconvened the City Council in Open Session at approximately 8:45 p.m.


Etten moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting.


Roll Call

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

Nays: None.