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Council Meeting Minutes
September 28, 2015
1. Roll Call
Due to technical
difficulties, Mayor Roe called the meeting to order at approximately 6:11 p.m.
Voting and Seating Order: Willmus, Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe. Acting
City Manager and Community Development Director Paul Bilotta, and City Attorney
Mary Gaughan were also present. Mayor Roe noted that City Manager Patrick
Trudgeon was attending the annual International City Manager's Association
meeting in Seattle, WA and would return later this week; while Mr. Bilotta was
filling in for him tonight.
2. Pledge of
3. Approve Agenda
requested removal of Item 8.b from the Consent Agenda for separate
Willmus moved, McGehee
seconded, approval of the agenda as amended.
Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe.
4. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called
for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.
Yunker, 2852 Wheeler Street N
stated that part of the appeal of her family's purchase of their Roseville home
two years ago was the bordering park and easy access for their four children to
simply open their backyard gate opening into Oasis Park to this wonderful park,
wildlife area and pond in the SW corner.
Yunker reported that after a major storm several years ago taking out a number
of trees, the area had been allowed to grow up into weeds, now seriously encroaching
into her yard. Ms. Yunker stated that she had contacted Parks & Recreation
Director Lonnie Brokke and Parks Superintendent Jeff Evenson in April of this
year asking for their help, with assurances they would look into it. While
they mowed the general area, Ms. Yunker reported that due to fallen logs and
remaining stumps from removal of the trees after the storm, they were unable to
mow up to the fence, creating an area still overgrown and now encroaching onto
their private property. Ms. Yunker asked that the City Council work with her
and her neighbor, Ms. Lisa McCormick, in getting this area cleaned up.
thanked Ms. Yunker for bringing this to the City Council's attention and advised
that staff would be following up on the situation and reporting to the City
Council and Ms. Yunker.
advised that Ms. Yunker was her neighbor, and spoke in support of Ms. Yunker's
report of the situation for neighbors adjacent to Oasis Park. Ms. McCormick
provided photographic evidence of the current invasive vegetation and remaining
stumps and their proximity to residential property lines. Ms. McCormick
expressed appreciation for the work done to-date by City staff at Oasis Park,
but noted the need to address the invasives and remaining stumps and logs left
after the storm on this public land. Ms. McCormick noted the extensive
landscaping done by the previous owners of the Yunker's property; and the
unfortunate situation now with a variety of encroaching vegetation.
At the request
of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. McCormick clarified that the photos she presented
had been taken earlier today.
referenced City Ordinances she had personally researched online addressing this
nuisance, and its policy regarding diseased and hazardous trees, including
grinding and removal of remaining stumps; and expressed the neighbors' willingness
to work with city staff over the winter months in addressing and resolving this
situation, asking that the City Council provide appropriate direction to staff
to accomplish this.
noted by Mayor Roe, staff would follow-up on this situation.
McGehee provided her perspective and personal review of the situation, noting
the natural habitat for small birds.
Willmus clarified City policy on diseased and hazardous trees when located next
to a trail, that they be dropped to the ground and sometimes were left to provide
natural habitat; admitting that this could all be part of the larger discussion
between neighbors and city staff in resolving the situation.
Councilmember Willmus for that clarification, Ms. McCormick noted the
difficulty in residential neighbors in maintaining the areas immediately beyond
Communications, Reports, and Announcements
announced numerous upcoming community events including activities surrounding
Fire Prevention Week with an open house at the Lexington Avenue Fire Station,
the annual Fire Department Booya at the V.F.W. Club. Mayor Roe also noted
upcoming volunteer opportunities scheduled for October, including a class
entitled "Volunteering 101," natural resources restoration planning and
leadership skill identification to assist in those efforts, a class outlining
the rewards and benefits of volunteering; natural restoration effort coming up
at Villa park; volunteering for the annual Halloween Spooktacular, with additional
information available by contacting Volunteer Coordinator Kelly O'Brien. Mayor
Roe also noted the HRA-sponsored workshop on cooking ideas, with additional
information available from Community Development Department Assistant Jane
On behalf of the
City Council, staff and the community, Mayor Roe thanked the volunteers helping
at last week's Central Park-Victoria Playground Build, those local and those
coming from out-of-town to assist.
Etten reported on recent meetings of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce with
Ramsey County and various municipalities regarding economic and redevelopment
efforts to address areas of concern along the Larpenteur Avenue and Rice Street
Corridor; with many ideas for improving that area going forward.
concurred, opining there was a lot of good and positive information coming out
of that process.
Donations and Communications
7. Approve Minutes
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.
Approve September 21, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes
McGehee moved, Laliberte
seconded, approval of September 21, 2015 Meeting as amended.
Page 17, Line 19 (Laliberte)
correction: Correct to read "broad" rather than "vague."
Willmus, Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe.
Approve Consent Agenda
At the request
of Mayor Roe, Acting City Manager Paul Bilotta briefly reviewed those items
being considered under the Consent Agenda; and as detailed in specific Requests
for Council Action (RCA) and related attachments, dated September 28, 2015.
Willmus moved, Etten
seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented and
78971 - 79052
c. Approve Brownfield Consultant Contract
McGehee expressed her favorable impression with the Brownfield Contract, and
its layout and attention to detail.
moved, Etten seconded, approval of authorizing the Mayor and City Manager to
enter into a professional services agreement (Attachment A) with Liesch
Associates for brownfield consulting services as outlined, subject to final
review and approval by the City Attorney.
Consider Items Removed from Consent
Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items in Excess of
At the request of
Mayor Roe, Acting City Manager Paul Bilotta briefly reviewed this item as
detailed in the specific RCA and related attachments dated September 28, 2015.
no representative of the Police Department available to answer her questions
earlier today, as well as at tonight's meeting, Councilmember McGehee requested
deferring action on the Police Department laptop and equipment purchases until
more detail could be provided. Based on her understanding that squads were replaced
every three years and the need to re-outfit them at that time at significant
expense, Councilmember McGehee questioned the need for these laptops at this
time, given the significant cost represented.
Laliberte stated that she had also intended to remove this item to clarify
whether this purchase was because of the malfunctioning of existing laptops or
excessive maintenance on them, or why they were being replaced, even though
funds had been set aside for their replacement in the City's CIP.
Laliberte also questioned if their purchase could be made from forfeiture funds
rather than the CIP Fund; to which City Attorney Gaughan responded that they
could not be purchased with those funds.
moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the purchase of crack sealing material
from Konrad Material Sales in an amount not to exceed $10,969.00 as budgeted
and as further detailed in the RCA and Attachment A entitled, "2015 Capital
Improvement Plan Summary," updated August 31, 2015.
moved, Laliberte seconded, TABLING approval of the Police Department purchase
of laptops and related equipment under the CIP until the next meeting with
further detail provided, and as detailed in the RCA dated September 28, 2015, and
Attachment A entitled, "2015 Capital Improvement Plan Summary," updated August
General Ordinances for Adoption
Business Items (Action Items)
Consider Approval of an Interim Use of Outdoor Semi-Trailer
Storage at 2720 Fairview Avenue
Planner Thomas Paschke briefly summarized this Interim Use (IU) request for
semi-trailer storage at 2720 Fairview Avenue, as detailed in the RCA dated
September 28, 2015; and supporting attachments. As indicated in the Planning
Commission meeting minutes, Mr. Paschke noted staff and Commission concerns had
been addressed through recommended conditions applied to the proposed approval
supported with a 3/2 vote of the Planning Commission.
Roe recognized the applicant's representative, Mr. Chad Commers with Roseville
Properties, present in the audience to stand for questions if needed.
the request of Councilmember McGehee based on photos of existing trailers
currently obscuring the building, Mr. Paschke advised that the draft resolution
provided a condition to address that for no trailers to be located within 70'
of the front setback.
McGehee stated her support of this request, and expressed appreciation for the
applicant's narrative included in the meeting packet, allowing this IU as
additional redevelopment planning is in process. Councilmember McGehee suggested
revising language in the conditions for approval as "shrubbery trimming" versus
"removing grass, weeds, etc."
Roe stated his intent to suggest several language changes to the draft resolution,
· Page 2, in the paragraph starting: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, insert the word "trailers" after "outdoor storage of semi-truck"
· Page 3, Item 2: Rather than stating "Grass, weeds, and shrubs
shall be cut or removed" modify language to read that "Grass shall be maintained
per City Code and weeds and/or shrubs shall be removed from the lot."
Representative for Roseville Properties, Chad Commers
Commers offered their support for conditions for approval of the IU. however,
Mr. Commers advised that the site is intended to redevelopment in the near future,
and preliminary to that demolition of razing in the existing building would
occur, which they would be working on with staff to accomplish.
McGehee noted that, absent a building, there would no longer be any screening
of truck bodies from the street; and while stating she was not opposed to
demolition of the buildings, it may create different issues once the building
Roe noted that ¾ of the lot didn't currently provide screening from existing
truck storage, and opined that with a 70' front setback it should be sufficiently
addressed. Mayor Roe further noted the willingness expressed by the applicant
in working with staff to reorganize the site to make it work during the interim
once the building is razed.
accordance with draft minutes of the Planning Commission, Councilmember Willmus
noted the amendment and reduction of the IU term from staff's recommended 3
years to 2 years; and asked the applicant's opinion of that reduced term.
Commers advised that Roseville Properties was grateful for any time allowed by
the City to prepare this property for commercial development; and if 3 years
was granted that would be fantastic. However, Mr. Commers noted that this site
is not economically viable in perpetuity, and they would be working to accomplish
redevelopment as soon as possible, and apply for a building permit from the
City. If necessary, Mr. Commers advised that they may need to seek an
extension for the IU beyond 2 years, as the lynch pin for redevelopment was the
acreage immediately behind this property that would serve to identify that
area, at which time Roseville Properties would focus on the smaller development
McGehee asked Acting City Manager Bilotta if this site would be addressed in
the contract approved with the Brownfield Consultant that ran out in 2017,
along with this 2 year IU term; and asked if a 2 year or 3 year IU would be
most appropriate to allow redevelopment planning to occur.
the IU term was at the discretion of the City Council, Acting City Manager
Bilotta stated that staff had already discussed with Commers that their project
would be among the first to be addressed by the Brownfield Consultant; and if
things go as planned the 2 year term should suffice in both instances, but otherwise
he opined that it would not be onerous for Roseville Properties to seek an extension.
McGehee spoke in support of a 3 year IU term now, given the enthusiasm of the
applicant to get this parcel redeveloped.
moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11258 (Attachment C)
entitled, "A Resolution Approving a Temporary Outdoor Storage of Semi-Truck
Trailers as an Interim Use at 2720 Fairview Avenue (PF15-016);" amended
Page 2, in the paragraph starting: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED," insert the word "trailers" after "outdoor storage of semi-truck"
Page 3, Item 4: Revise language to read: 'This approval
shall expire at 11:59 pm on September 30, 20 with the approval term of the
IU for 3 years, expiring on September 30, 20."
Page 3, Item 2: Rather than stating "Grass, weeds, and
shrubs shall be cut or removed," modify language to read that "Grass shall be
maintained per City Code and weeds and/or shrubs shall be removed from the
his support of the standard IU term, Councilmember Willmus noted there are a
number of issues delaying redevelopment of properties in the Twin Lakes area at
the City Council's door in needing to provide direction on how these parcels
should be developed for the benefit of the community and in allowing property
owners to proceed.
McGehee concurred with the comments of Councilmember Willmus, speaking in
support of this IU allowing the property owner to make some money on the site
as it looked at long-term planning for the property.
McCormick offered her personal support of this request, as well as support as
Chair and on behalf of the Twin Lakes Neighborhood Association. Ms. McCormick
noted this support was for the applicant and a 3 year term for the IU. In
seeking to assure the City Council and the business community that they were
not anti-business, Ms. McCormick reported the good working relationship that
had been established between the Association and Roseville Properties, as well
as with other area business owners. Ms. McCormick noted the other sites
currently being enhanced by Roseville Properties in the community; and also
recognized Mr. Commers in his reaching out in support of their residential
neighborhood in past efforts; expressing her appreciation for Mr. Commers'
forthright nature. Ms. McCormick expressed her trust of city staff to handle
the technical issues for safety of the site, and reiterated her support for
this IU request.
Laliberte also spoke in support of a 3 year IU term; acknowledging the City
Council's bigger picture efforts that had delayed property owners.
Councilmember Laliberte noted that property owners couldn't immediately begin
their redevelopment planning until the City Council finished its work to confirm
the status of zoning the property immediately behind this parcel.
Councilmember Laliberte expressed her personal appreciation to Roseville Properties
for their other redevelopment work throughout the community.
Roe spoke in support of this IU request and a 3 year term; however, from his
perspective stated this term extension did not indicate any backing down by the
City Council on their need to remain aggressive in timing expectations for
resolution to facilitate redevelopment of this area pending remaining zoning
decisions by the City Council.
Consider Approval of an Interim use of Outdoor Semi-Trailer
Storage, Contractor Yard, Semi-Truck Service and Sales at 2211 - 2217 County
Planner Paschke briefly reviewed this IU request as detailed in the RCA dated
September 28, 2015; noting that due to its location in a more commercial area
of Roseville, the site problems and similarly functioning uses in the area
didn't create similar problems as with the previous IU in closer proximity to
residential areas. As detailed in the draft meeting minutes of the Planning
Commission, Mr. Paschke noted their unanimous approval of a 3 year IU as
noting the more substantial uses involved with this site beyond that of the storage
of trailers, Mayor Roe suggested more specific language addressing those
multiple uses in the title and body (page 3) of the draft resolution (Attachment
C) consistent with the title of the RCA, incorporating approval for an IU of
"outdoor semi-trailer storage, a contractor yard, and semi-truck service and
sales" at 2211 - 2217 County Road C-2. Mayor Roe suggested this language be
revised consistently in the title of the resolution, the "NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED,.." section and deleting repetitive language or specificity.
Willmus also noted a typographical error on page 1 of the draft resolution, in
the first WHEREAS, indicating the vote of the Planning Commission recommending
approval, correcting that to unanimous approval versus 3/2 approval as with the
ensued regarding addressing additional pollution on this parcel; the compliance
component for the building in relationship to the IU permit date as a condition
of approval; and original intended IU term of three years.
response, Mr. Commers noted their initiation approximately 1 year ago to bring
this parcel into compliance since it wasn't contingent on other parcels in the
area as the previous IU request had been. Mr. Commers advised that the mound
of gravel had been reduced somewhat already, and fencing was underway. Mr.
Commers stated that the existing building was very old and had been very poorly
maintained prior to their acquisition of it, noting that it was also slated for
demolition in the near future. In addressing City Council concerns in
Roseville Properties being able to comply with the conditions for IU approval,
Mr. Commers stated this would be dependent on which specific conditions the
City Council was referring to.
Roe addressed Condition #5 (page 3) regarding the applicant's removal of the
gravel pile by June 1, 2016 and Condition #8 (page 3) regarding the date for
bringing the building and site into full compliance with City Code by September
30, 2018, asking if those dates were appropriate and doable.
Planner Paschke clarified that the conditions were related to the applicant
paving the trailer storage area; and if the IU is extended beyond September 30,
2018, the City would want the site to be brought into compliance with City
Roe noted that this was consistent with the draft Planning Commission meeting
minutes as well.
language in conditions addressing the building and the site itself, Councilmember
Willmus sought assurances that there was no confusion on the part of the
applicant as to the City's expectations.
Commers responded that it made sense to have the condition expire with the IU
permit term, and since it was likely ponding will occur at the back of the lot,
paving it at this point didn't make practical sense.
Roe noted that no paving would be required if no trailers were stored in that
area, suggesting that language should read that the building and site be
brought into compliance, particularly conceivable if the building continues to
be used after the IU term expires.
Attorney Gaughan noted that if the intent of Condition 8 is to specifically
address the expiration of the IU term, it remain specific to that and not include
additional conditions. City Attorney Gaughan suggested that conditions be revised
Condition #8 reads: "This IU approval shall expire at 11:59 pm on
September 30, 2017, for a term of 3 years; and expiring on September 30, 2018.
Additional Condition #9 specifically addressing code compliance
Roe noted that any code compliance at expiration was only applicable if
extended or another use approved.
Attorney Gaughan noted that regarding the specific term expiration, if the
applicant sought an extension, the City Council could deny such extension if
the applicant was found to be noncompliance with any of the conditions for
original IU approval.
Laliberte and Willmus agreed with the recommendation of City Attorney Gaughan
to condition the IU term as a separate item.
Roe concurred, suggesting staff revise language similar to that in the previous
draft resolution for 2270 Fairview Avenue.
McGehee asked her colleagues their opinion on weeds and other City Code
compliance issues for this IU as addressed in the previous IU approval
Roe suggested language similar to that of Condition 2 in the 2270 Fairview
Avenue IU approval.
Planner Paschke stated that staff would be amenable to adding that condition;
however, given the location of this site had not deemed it germane as a
condition of approval for this IU request.
Commers offered the applicant's agreement to address grass maintenance issues
similar to the previous IU request, opining it seemed to be a fair request by
the City. Mayor
Roe clarified the City Council's intent was not to add conditions to IU's, but
to seek consistency.
Commers stated this was a horribly ugly property, and therefore questioned if
grass was a main area of focus.
City Manager Bilotta suggested it was an appropriate condition to add to this
IU approval, noting that this site also had an issue with non-asphalt areas,
and from a maintenance perspective, staff expected compliance.
moved, Etten seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11259 (Attachment C)
entitled, "A Resolution Approving a Temporary Outdoor Storage of Semi-Truck
Trailers as an Interim use at 2211 - 2217 County Road C-2 (PF15-017);" amended
Title of the draft resolution (page 1): Address the multiple uses
on this site, consistent with the title of the RCA, incorporating "outdoor
semi-trailer storage, a contractor yard, and semi-truck service and sales" at
2211 - 2217 County Road C-2.
· Strike those redundant details in the "WHEREAS" section of the
draft resolution, sections a, b and c, accordingly (pages 1 and 2).
· Typographical error " first "WHEREAS," (page 1) correct vote by
the Planning Commission recommending approval to unanimous approval versus 3/2
approval as with the previous IU.
· Page 2, in the paragraph starting: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED," insert the word "trailers" after outdoor storage of semi-truck."
Add a condition similar to revised Condition #2 of the 2270
IU to address grass, weeds and shrubs being maintained per City Code.
comment was sought by Mayor Roe, with no one appearing to speak to this issue.
Consider Approval of a Preliminary Plat at Rosedale Center
to staff's presentation, Mayor Roe clarified that the action sought of the City
Council tonight was only for PRELIMINARY PLAT approval, with the PUD amendment
that had been included in the Planning Commission's review, public hearing and
their recommendation for approval would come before the City Council at a
future date and not part of tonight's requested action.
Planner Paschke confirmed this approval process, anticipating the PUD Agreement
amendment will come before the City Council sometime in October.
Paschke briefly reviewed this request as detailed in the RCA dated September
28, 2015, and outlined on the displayed map (Attachment C). Mr. Paschke advised
that the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval as conditioned,
concurring with staff's recommendation for approval.
he had discussed with Acting City Manager Bilotta earlier today, Councilmember
Willmus asked if the applicable property owners were co-applicants of this
Preliminary Plat, seeking clarification of the wording in the RCA.
Paschke confirmed that co-applicant status, advising that J. C. Penney had
provided staff with a letter of support, the former Compass Realty entity no
longer in existence, with other sub-entities signing off and becoming part of
the permanent record as recorded with Ramsey County.
the City Council approves this preliminary plat, City Attorney Gaughan suggested
adding a condition that its approval be contingent upon approval of approved
amendment to PUD Agreement # 3608.
Representative Bill Mosten, Senior VP of Retail with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)
Mosten concurred with the summarization by City Planner Paschke, stating their
development team's availability in the audience for questions if needed. Mr.
Mosten expressed their firm's appreciation for the City's support of Rosedale
Center over the years and expressed their excitement in moving forward into the
future with this project.
Roe noted the significantly reduced square footage available to the fourth
anchor tenant with this proposal (Attachment C); further noting that it created
some interesting lot lines on the site.
Mosten responded affirmatively, noting that it made for the cleanest way to
replat the site without causing further complications with the parking structure
and other amenities of the site.
general, Councilmember McGehee expressed her interest in seeing all the parking
lots on the Rosedale Center site more amenable to pedestrian movement from one
portion of the site to another; asking the applicant to take that into consideration
in their planning. Councilmember McGehee referenced recent improvements by the
City with trails and pathways within the City and improvements to pedestrian
access from neighborhoods surrounding Rosedale Center, but her concern in
pedestrians then having to dodge traffic once on the site. Councilmember McGehee
asked the applicant to work with staff on that concern as part of their PUD
Mosten expressed appreciation for Councilmember McGehee's comments, and offered
their willingness to work with staff in evaluating options to encourage
connectivity with other access points on their site, as well as supporting
connectivity with adjacent properties and pathways as well. Mr. Mosten opined
that some pedestrian movements may be addressed with the parking structure
intended to cross over the inner-ring road and location of adjacent properties
that should improve from today's situation allowing for more controlled flow.
Mr. Mosten committed to working with staff on additional ideas that could be
incorporated to address pedestrian movement on site.
McGehee opined that while their management kept up their structure(s) well,
since it was surrounded by an asphalt moat, they should also consider some ways
to beautify their parking lot and site.
Roe noted that was an area of importance to all City Councilmembers, and noted
some recent redevelopment examples (e.g. Walmart, Cub on Larpenteur and
Fernwood, and the Ramsey County Library - Roseville Branch) as what was being
sought and specific to provide a safe harbor for pedestrians from the perimeter
of a site to the structure(s).
moved, Etten seconded, approval of PRELIMINARY PLAT as presented, covering the
properties addressed as 1700 County Road B-2 and 1705 Highway 46, based on the
comments and findings, and recommendations of the Planning Commission and as
detailed in the RCA dated September 28, 2015; amended as follows:
Add a condition to state that if the City Council the
PRELIMINARY PLAT approval is contingent upon subsequent approval of amendments
to PUD Agreement # 3608.
Consider Approval of a Preliminary Plat of the Residential
Property at 2201 Acorn Road into Four Lots
Planner Bryan Lloyd provided a brief background of the various applications
received for this site and from this applicant/property owner, and briefly
summarized this latest iteration as detailed in the RCA dated September 28,
2015. Mr. Lloyd noted this latest application was submitted by Mr. Mueller
after his previous discussion with the City Council and staff in how to make
his subdivision proposal more palatable (lines 12 - 27 of the RCA). As the
City Council considers this latest application, Mr. Lloyd referenced the
September 14, 2015 email correspondence from Mr. Mueller's attorney, David M.
Lawson, seeking an extension of the review period for the preliminary plat
application of Oak Acres until October 26, 2015. If necessary to extend action
on this item beyond that date, Mr. Lloyd noted that it would require waiver by
and consent from Mr. Mueller as well.
As indicated in the draft meeting minutes of the Planning Commission held on
September 2, 2015, Mr. Lloyd apologized for his omission from the RCA packet
the referenced written public comments, now provided as a public bench handout
and attached hereto and made a part hereof, from Janet & Paul
Romanowski (2195 Acorn Road) further referencing a November 15, 1993 letter
from Mr. Mueller to former City Manager Steve Sarkozy; and written comments
from S. & V. Ramalingam (2182 Acorn Road).
Lloyd noted that during the public hearing held at the Planning Commission
comments and concerns focused on the stormwater management and tree preservation
plans, as had been consistent areas of concern with previous applications as
well, and the effect of four additional lots as proposed with this subdivision
application on the character of the existing neighborhood. Mr. Lloyd reported
that as new information included in this RCA, staff had researched from as much
available and accurate material immediately available a limited subdivision
history of the small area surrounding this subject parcel from 1959.
conclusion, Mr. Lloyd noted staff's recommendation for approval of this application,
and recommendation for approval by the Planning Commission on a 3/2 vote. Mr.
Lloyd noted that the applicant and his engineer were present and available to
stand for questions.
Owner Art Mueller and Civil Engineer for the Project Chuck Plowe, Plowe Engineering
stated at the Planning Commission, Mr. Plowe reiterated that this plan had been
re-engineered based on comments and concerns regarding previous plans and incorporating
and addressing those areas of concern accordingly. By maps displayed, Mr.
Plowe addressed revisions in the drainage to thoroughly address stormwater
design concerns raised. Mr. Plowe advised that the preliminary drainage plans
had been submitted to and received preliminary approval from the watershed
district upon their review. As part of their approval, Mr. Plowe noted that
the watershed district was requiring a reduction in drainage in some areas for
80% of less than the existing rate of runoff from the site. Therefore, Mr.
Plowe assured residents and the City Council that this design served to meet
that requirement and actually would reduce runoff from existing conditions.
Mr. Plowe further noted the review and preliminary approval of this current
design by the City's Engineer Marc Culver.
tree preservation, and as identified on the displayed grading plan, Mr. Plowe
briefly addressed the applicant's intentions for tree preservation to save as
many trees as possible through revised grading to avoid getting to close to
their root structures or drip lines. Obviously, Mr. Plowe conceded that there
was no way to redevelop the property without some trees coming down, but
assured the City Council and neighbors that they shared the interest in
preserving as many trees as possible.
the request of Councilmember McGehee, using various maps included in the RCA
materials, Mr. Plowe addressed the location of proposed retention ponds, and
32' private road width.
Roe clarified, and Mr. Plowe confirmed, that the grey area shown on the
displayed map showed pavement not rights-of-way as this was a private roadway.
the tree preservation map displayed, specifically on the north side of the property,
Councilmember Etten asked how the applicant and engineer intended during the
grading process itself to protect not only the root lines of trees on the site
as well as those of adjacent neighbors.
Plowe responded that while some of the tree elevations are not too far from
proposed grades, he thought it still possible to accomplish the site drainage
goals while still protecting those trees as identified. While it may prove to
be an issue for 1 or 2 of those identified to save, Mr. Plowe opined that the
goal was to save those identified; as well as replacing those in accordance
with the City's tree preservation ordinance and as part of their required
his review of the trees, especially those along the east side of proposed Lot
4, Councilmember Etten expressed his concern in accomplishing drainage work and
realistically still preserving those trees sandwiched next to proposed building
Plowe assured all that every effort would be made to save as many as possible.
Works Director Marc Culver
Willmus stated it was his understanding that overflow drainage was dependent on
overland flow to an existing city infrastructure in place toward Marion Road.
Councilmember Willmus asked Mr. Culver to advise how far that first catch basin
immediately west was from the subject property.
Culver estimated the distance to be approximately 200' to the west.
Willmus asked if, from the edge of that catch basin to the Mueller property,
there were any type of drainage easements in the area that would prohibit or
prevent anyone from altering the topography within that 200'.
Culver clarified that the only legal easements were between Marion Road and the
catch basin, with nothing east of the catch basin allowing the City to stop anything
from occurring from a grading or other perspective.
Roe sought clarification that some limitations would apply based on the City's
grading permit requirements.
Culver clarified that the City's permit is triggered at 50 cubic yards of imported
or exported soil within a site, therefore noting that a small berm could easily
be constructed without the City's knowledge and/or approval.
Willmus stated the reason for his concern was the gentle slope of the
topography and minimal amount of excavation that could cause problems with the
flow of water.
McGehee noted that the existing site was following current contours and
depositing a certain amount of water off site in that particular corner, with
only one existing lot and impervious surface between it and the road. With the
proposed four pads, Councilmember McGehee opined that not only was the
topography being significantly changed but also the amount of impervious surface.
While some natural swales toward the bottom of the site now hold water on the
subject property itself, Councilmember McGehee opined that unless the plan was
explained in much greater detail, she failed to see how any subdivision proposal
of this magnitude on this site could possibly keep most of the water on site
and not increase water on neighboring properties than currently exists without
benefit of an easement.
Culver concurred with Councilmember McGehee's statement; however, given the
submitted drainage report and engineering calculations, some assumptions were
made about soil types based on existing and developed conditions. Mr. Culver
noted that those assumptions included the recognition that soils had very
little infiltration capability and the basins were therefore designed to
control water from a rate perspective and recognized that eventually all water
would leave the site. Given that assumption, Mr. Culver clarified that the
intent is to control that rate to come off in a more controlled rate than
exists today, and as the applicant's engineer stated, they are required to meet
higher standards and retain more water during storm events as a requirement of
the watershed district and city, in the absence of infiltration type soils.
Ultimately, Mr. Culver advised that while the water will still be leaving the
site, the amount running through to the catch basin to the west will look like
a smaller amount of water but run for a longer period of time.
the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Culver advised that the applicant had
been required to conduct soil borings, and while Mr. Mueller had testified to
that in the past, Mr. Culver could not attest to the depth of those borings
without further research beyond his knowledge of typical requirements for such
borings to be done at a certain depth. At the further request of Councilmember
McGehee, Mr. Culver confirmed that tree roots generally break up soil and allow
more penetration of water and create more permeability in soils, it was hard to
quantify that. In his discussion with the City's Environmental Engineer Ryan
Johnson, Mr. Culver reported that how much stormwater could be managed or
maintained from a perspective of tree canopies and roots or their actual
benefit due to different factors of each site, different factors were used in
drainage reports based on grassy versus wood areas that recognized varying
aspects. Given the variables of each site, Mr. Culver stated that he could not
be sure the impacts could be entirely captured in a preliminary drainage
requested by Mayor Roe, Mr. Culver confirmed that given the variables, calculations
tended to be more conservative by nature, with assumptions in wooded versus
grassy areas as it related to how much water was captures and how much could be
identified as runoff. At the further request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Culver
reviewed the purpose of basins and their engineered soil material for storage
versus depth and differences in filtration basins versus infiltration basins in
addressing rate controls; identifying on the displayed map (RCA Exhibit A) the
sites proposed for those basins where water would filtrate and flow to
applicable depressions on the subject parcel.
discussion included the berm identified by Mr. Culver on the displayed map;
general flow and aggressive grading proposed to address and manage the flow for
redevelopment of the site and directing it appropriately to various sites; with
water flowing from the retention basins to the southwest portion of the property
flowing off site.
the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Culver stated that in the event capacity
was reached in the basins, rate controls were designed to manage the first 1.5
inches of water, after which a more direct runoff would occur.
discussion ensued regarding drain tiles as shown on Exhibit A and their
apparent location to the basins and routing under driveways and other
impervious surfaces and how that would be accommodated during larger storm
events; and using examples of recent significant rain events of the last few
the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Culver reiterated that comparing existing site
conditions and those proposed, including engineered soils in the retention
basins and current runoff from the site, even with additional impervious surfaces
proposed, the permitting authorities (e.g. watershed district and city) were addressing
those changes to the site and as part of the calculations and goal to reduce the
rate of overall runoff from the site.
the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Culver advised that he had seen the
drainage report referenced by Engineer Plowe, but not specific comments to the
developer from the watershed district, which were subsequently provided by Mr.
Plowe to Mr. Culver, and referenced by him. However, before Mr. Plowe provided
a copy of that letter from the watershed district, Mr. Culver clarified that a
condition of approval of the preliminary plat was staff's review and approval
and their concurrence with those watershed district findings and requirements.
there was no easement in place, Councilmember Laliberte asked if there was
anything further from a city standpoint that could be done to address drainage
concerns, or even if an easement existed could this site provide additional
Culver advised that, earlier this year and under separate cover he had forwarded
to the City Council his memorandum related to and confirming elevations. Mr.
Culver opined that certainly there were specific things to be done such as extending
stormwater pipes from the catch basin further east that would capture water
more quickly and avoid its moving overland. However, Mr. Culver advised that
to do so would require an easement - and associated acquisition and installation
costs - to accomplish. From the City's perspective and if no flooding danger
to property is identified, Mr. Culver advised that the City would not take such
action to pursue that.
the further request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Culver stated that from an
engineer's perspective, pre- or post-subdivision, the City's Engineering Department
saw no flooding problem.
Roe reviewed public comment protocol, and reminded the audience that the
official public hearing had been held at the Planning Commission on September
2, 2015; and noted that the City Council had access to a video of that meeting
as well as a draft copy of those meeting minutes.
Cross, 2196 Marion Road
the property owner abutting Mr. Mueller's property, Mr. Cross stated his
property was where the water ran off from Mr. Mueller's parcel. Mr. Cross read
prepared written comments stating his primary points of concern related to drainage,
current density of trees and vegetation providing a country feel, preference
for current larger lot sizes, and potential dramatic changes to the character
of the area. Since the public hearing at the Planning Commission and in his
subsequent conversations with neighbors, Mr. Cross opined that he was
recognizing that the scope of issues was even broader than his own interests,
and asked that the City Council not approve this proposal. Mr. Cross addressed
current drainage issues after snow or rain, and if this develop occurs - which
he hoped never happened - he hoped it didn't interfere with the quality of life
of the neighborhood, opining that this development would change the area
Ramalingam, 2122 Acorn Road
addition to previous written comments from Mr. Ramalingam and provided as part
of staff's bench handout and previously presented to the Planning Commission as
part of the record, Mr. Ramalingam displayed additional calculations he'd
researched regarding the Oak Acres Proposal of Mr. Mueller, specifically related
to loss of virtually all trees except in the SE corner of the property; his
calculations of the removal of 118-120 trees removed for grading the site;
current Roseville Tree Preservation Ordinance and specific code requirements
and caliper replacement he deemed insufficient and personally upsetting; and increased
impervious area he calculated would increase from 6,000 square feet to 27,000
Ramalingam further addressed drainage concerns and flow during heavy rain
events, calculating the potential of up to 67,000 gallons; the inadequacy of proposed
basins to manage that stormwater and exfiltration based on his calculations and
time of year and precipitation levels as well as snow stored along the additional
driveways and roadway created by the proposed subdivision; and potential
aggregate water flow calculations to the southwest corner of the property.
Ramalingam concluded by expressing his issues with the unrealistic expectations
for winter and/or summer parking and pavement width proposed; and cautioned the
need to ensure this subdivision met all City rules and regulations. Mr. Ramalingam
recognized that Mr. Mueller had rights for his private property; however,
opined that it was inappropriate to put a subdivision in the middle of a
single-family neighborhood; and asked that the City Council not approve this particular
Letendre, 2121 W County Road B
Letendre referenced Mr. Culver's comments related to water flow and case law in
the courts addressing potential negative drainage impacts to neighboring
properties. Mr. Letendre opined that the courts would determine this subdivision
to be inappropriate when it would increase flow onto neighboring properties.
When the City Council heard the 2014 proposal for this parcel, Mr. Letendre noted
that several Councilmembers suggested a 3-lot development with entrance off
Acorn Road, which would result in a more uniform and typical situation with existing
access points and properties, while also retaining more trees. Mr. Letendre
opined that this proposed subdivision attempted to put too much on this site
given its topography and how Acorn Road developed as encouraged by Mr. Mueller
in his comments from 1993 as previously referenced and request to leave this as
a non-standard road. Mr. Letendre suggested that the City deny this request.
Cheney, 2172 Acorn Road
not immediately adjacent to this parcel, Mr. Cheney commented to some extent on
water flow by questioning whether the suppositions and presumptions made by the
engineers included the provision of holding or retention ponds. Mr. Cheney
used his experience in attempting a rain garden on his lot in the past, and
finding after 5 years that it had totally filled in and held no water
whatsoever. If those ponds were approved, Mr. Cheney questioned under whose
jurisdiction they would be for long-term maintenance.
Cheney stated that his personal concerns were more specific to traffic and
public safety based on the narrowness of Acorn Road and addressing visitor parking
for these additional homes, as well as additional traffic with 3 additional
homes and concerns with emergency vehicle access for homes along that private
roadway, and utility service and maintenance vehicle access and
Cross expressed one additional and important point he'd forgotten to mention
previously regarding an easement to address water runoff, stating that he wouldn't
agree to an easement.
Peterson, 2281 W County Road B
the risk of offending some of his neighbors, Mr. Peterson spoke in support of
this proposal, opining that three engineers had spoken to the water runoff
concern, and results that it will actually be reduced. Mr. Johnson questioned
how the expertise of 3 engineers could be rebutted, especially based on his
experience in working with the watershed district for many years and their care
in protecting themselves in approving these kinds of projects and addressing
such issues. Regarding trees, Mr. Peterson opined that the neighbors wanted
Mr. Mueller to continue providing a nice forest area for them, but he asked
whose actually owned the trees. While recognizing that the City to some extent
controlled things, Mr. Peterson questioned if it was reasonable for Mr. Mueller
to continue providing the community and neighborhood with a natural forest.
Mr. Johnson encouraged the City Council not to use the drainage issue as a
reason for denial, which he opined would place them on risky ground if the
court system compared their rationale and expertise with that of 3 civil
Boryczka, former owner of 2250 Acorn Road, still owner of an adjacent ¾ acre
Boryczka stated that the issue about these lots had been going on for almost 15
years between various plans; and noted that the neighbors continued to attend
and ask the City not to approve subdivision proposals in this much density for
this parcel. Having been in the grading business for years, Mr. Boryczka
provided his opinion on the drainage flow and its direction based on current
observation and natural tendencies; proposed location of drain tiles related to
the basins; further opining that it would prove a nightmare for any grading
contractor to attempt to make this proposed drainage and grading plan work.
Mr. Boryczka further opined that, with the exception possibly in the northeast
and southeast corners, any existing trees could possibly survive long-term with
disturbance that would occur at their drip line, and guaranteed that result
based on his years of experience in the grading business. As a former 18 year
resident of Acorn Road, with only 20' to work with, Mr. Boryczka addressed
difficulties in backing out, especially with a trailer. Mr. Boryczka expressed
further concern with emergency vehicles and maneuvering. Mr. Boryczka
referenced Minnesota State Statute 103.3 addressing drainage running onto other
people's property; and opined that this grading plan was useless attempting to
move water in the wrong direction, opining that he couldn't see how it could
possibly work. Mr. Boryczka questioned how the City could possibly allow this
proposal; or how it would assure not just "long term' but "forever" maintenance
of the ponds by a "townhome" type of association. Mr. Boryczka stated that he
had been against this for 15 years and remained so.
Romanowski, 2195 Acorn Road
previously noted, a copy of an email dated September 2, 2015 to the Roseville
Planning Commission from Janet & Paul Romanowski, 2195 Acorn Road was
provided by staff at the dais; and Mr. Romanowski provided an updated copy of
the same document re-dated September 28, 2015 and addressed specifically to the
Roseville City Council, attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Romanowski stated their strong opposition to this project as outlined in her
written comments, noting that the ongoing water problem on their property had
not yet been corrected.
to Questions Raised During Public Comment
Roe asked staff to address comments and questions raised related to filtration
or rate control basins, not infiltration basins, and whether the drain tiles
were properly addressed and how they worked.
Culver advised that, if this request was approved by the City Council, as part
of the process, staff would continue working with the applicant and perform a
more thorough review of all designs, including drain tiles. Mr. Culver noted
that typical drain tile installation would be at the bottom of the basins
underneath engineered soils to a 36' excavation and approximately a 30' depth
below engineered soils to allow water to filtrate through. Mr. Culver stated
that both the watershed district and city engineers would review each specific
of the proposed designs throughout the process.
the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Culver clarified that the intent of the ponds was
that the water not flow over the edge of the basin but through the engineered
soils and over time unless a significant rain event at which point they would
the increased water coming off the site due to 4 times the current impervious
surface, based on technical issues and potential water that would be dealt with
on or off site, Mayor Roe asked Mr. Culver how quickly it would move and how
that corresponded with the 80% rate control requirement of the watershed
Culver reviewed the rate and volume, and while there would be an increase in impervious
surface and thus more volume leaving the site, as with any site water would be
absorbed into the ground on grassy areas according to varying factors before
the ground became concentrated and runoff. Mr. Culver confirmed that obviously
anytime impervious surfaces increased, the volume of water leaving a site would
increase, and in lieu of infiltration possibilities that would be the first
preference of the watershed and city to manage stormwater runoff and keep that
volume from leaving the site, if that infiltration option is not available, it
was necessary to increase rate control requirements and construct larger basins
to hold more water for longer periods of time. Reiterating the fact that,
while over time the volume of water leaving the site will be larger, Mr. Culver
noted that the intent is for the rate to be slower to avoid overcharging
overland flow and/or pipes.
the description of basin construction and their bottom approximately 3' lower
than the surrounding grade, Councilmember Willmus sought further detail on
those basins constructed adjacent to the new private roadway and their bottom elevation
in relation to outflow compared to the downstream basin at the southwest corner
of the Mueller property, appearing higher than the ultimate outflow.
not having been able to thoroughly research that question asked by Councilmember
Willmus of Mr. Culver prior to tonight's meeting, Mr. Culver noted that in
order for the water to flow, they would have to be higher than the ultimate
outflow location, with water essentially being drained to the basin to flow
clarify the long-term maintenance of these basins, Mr. Culver stated that when
a watershed permit is required, the applicant or property owner is further
required to enter into a maintenance agreement with the watershed district that
is filed against the property for perpetuity. If the City feels that for any
reason the basins are not being maintained to keep them operational, Mr. Culver
advised that the City would then work directly with the watershed district to
address those issues, with intervention possible and any expenses incurred
charged back to the applicable property owner(s). At the request of Mayor Roe,
Mr. Culver clarified that the city and watershed district would work in partnership,
and further clarified that the maintenance agreement is a legally binding
document between a property owner and the watershed district.
Laliberte noted that the last time this had been discussed, as well as again
tonight, comments had been made on the preference that this be subdivided into
3 versus 4 lots, providing 3 separate access points, causing her to question
how such a change would impact the southwest corner causing so much concern.
Culver stated that without a revised grading plan, he could only speculate that
it may be likely with 3 versus 4 lots that grading or tree removal may not be
as intense to support fewer building pads, and a private roadway would not be
necessary. However, Mr. Culver further speculated that 3 private driveways may
be equal to or greater than the square footage of the proposed private roadway
depending on their design. Mr. Culver opined that there could certainly be
opportunities for less intense grading and less overall impervious surface, but
without a revised grading plan, it would be difficult for him to offer a more
McGehee clarified that with the proposed retention ponds under the purview of
the watershed district and city, becoming a structure running with the land and
therefore unable to be abandoned, it was her understanding that the city intended
to have a review of such basins to ensure their continued appropriate function
and re-permitting every five years. However, while this had been a previous
discussion and intent of the City Council and staff, Councilmember McGehee
noted that the criteria for such a periodic review had yet to be established, including
the cost of testing, required mediation and how to collect money for that; and
therefore the City had some pending work to complete on the broader rain garden
issue being promoted and running with the land.
Culver agreed with Councilmember McGehee that those discussions had indeed been
held previously, and staff's intent was that further development of that policy
be part of this winter's work plan for the Public Works/Engineering Department;
including the details of how various watershed districts and the city will
partner in that periodic review. Mr. Culver reported that as part of that
preliminary work, staff had almost completed compiling a list of best
management practices (BMP's) and rain gardens within Roseville, of which there
are many, and holding staff level discussions on how to address them and work
with private property owners on their establishment and maintenance, as well as
their re-permitting process.
to public comment questions and concerns, Mayor Roe asked Mr. Culver to
address the 32' street width and parking.
Culver responded that this is a standard street width and supported parking on
both sides; even though it is tight when parking is on both sides. By
comparison, Mr. Culver advised that Acorn Road is of 28' width from curb to
curb, providing approximately 21' of bituminous width, which he agreed was very
narrow and allowed for no parking and signed accordingly.
the request of Mayor Roe, and review by staff and its design review committee (DRC),
Mr. Culver advised that no concerns were raised by the Public Works, Community
Development or Emergency Management staff during their review. Mr. Culver
clarified that there were requirements for a certain length of cul-de-sacs
without turnarounds, and while the standard is 100' in diameter, there were
others already existing in the community that were less than that, which is allowed
by city code. Mr. Culver noted that he was not aware of any comments or
concerns of the Fire or Police Departments related to their emergency access
for this area, and assured that they were taken into consideration as part of
any project's review. At the further request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Culver
confirmed that a fire hydrant would be installed for water main maintenance at
the end of the water line, and would be billed accordingly.
with other previous developments in Roseville, Mayor Roe noted that there were
two options - either private or public water and/or sewer lines; and since this
subdivision was for only 4 units, a viable option would be for private mains.
Culver concurred, noting that those private lines and mains would require review
by and determined in compliance with city standards, and would be part of
future negotiations for infrastructure issues.
tree preservation and/or replacement, Mayor Roe advised that the applicant
would be required to meet the ordinance currently in place.
the comment about only one tree per lot required, Acting City Manager Bilotta
clarified that this was referenced in the landscaping plan with the tree
preservation plan subject to a set formula. Mr. Bilotta further advised that
the applicant's grading and tree preservation plan had been submitted by staff
to the City's consulting arborist to determine what if any damage may be
incurred to existing trees.
Planner Lloyd reported that specific to the questions raised regarding the
accuracy of identified trees proposed for preservation with the grading plan as
presented, the consulting arborist confirmed earlier today that his review
suggests the grading plan contours would allow for the preservation of essentially
all the trees identified; but advised that he would be visiting the site in
person to gauge the health of those existing trees, and become part of any
final plat approval.
Roe invited Mr. Plowe to respond to public comments at his discretion.
maintenance of filtration basins, Mr. Plowe reiterated that watershed district
requirements would be recorded at Ramsey County, with his firm preparing
grading plans, and the watershed district subsequently approved filtration basins,
and confirmed that the property owner(s) would be required to maintain them in
placement of drain tiles, Mr. Plowe advised that plans will go through several
iterations between preliminary and final approval; and his intent in this
preliminary submission was to simply show their intended location. While Mr.
Culver had not had the opportunity to review them in detail at this time, Mr.
Plowe noted that they had been available to the applicant and him as the engineer
for some time as thought was given to and further refined as to their location
based on eventual location of private utilities.
conclusion, Mr. Plowe stated the applicant's willingness to come back at the
request of the City Council, but respectfully asked for the City Council's approval
tonight to allow the process to continue.
Mueller spoke to and displayed a history of this site from his perspective and
the original plat of Acorn Acres done in the early 1940's, originally shown as
13 lots. Since then, Mr. Mueller noted that previous subdivisions by neighboring
property owners had resulted in 26 lots, leaving only several remaining that
could be subdivided, one of which was his own.
response to water drainage plans, Mr. Mueller displayed plans and location of
current drainage and proposed, including the lowest spot at the back or Mr. Romanowski's
lot. Mr. Mueller noted that, in 1995, the City raised Acorn Road and the
culvert in front of his home without his knowledge but assuring him it would
create no problem; and further noted that adjacent lots had not paid for
stormsewer management along Acorn Road, while others paid for water service on
Marion Road since 1995. When some of those lots were subsequently sold, Mr.
Mueller reported that Mr. Romanowski had allowed them to fill in the pond in
the 1970's or 1980's that had originally been deeper, and for those living in
at least 6 of those homes, all that water now flowed north down Acorn Road and
around Mr. Cheney's home unless freezing during the winter when it flows into
the sanitary sewer system, or down his existing driveway and into the creek on
his lot. Therefore, Mr. Mueller opined that those neighbors had nothing to
complain about since they filled in the creek; and provided pictorial evidence
of construction of a berm and drainage across Mr. Cross's property; further
opining that if having allowed the creek to be filled in, Mr. Cross would not
now be experiencing this back up or the reduction in value of his lot, nor
would it negatively impact Mr. Romanowski's yard at its lowest point. Mr.
Mueller suggested that Mr. Cross require the neighbors to dig out the creek to
allow the water to flow properly as it was originally intended to do.
responding to public comments, Mr. Mueller recognized that no one wanted this
subdivision to occur, but further noted that even though Mr. Cheney had
subdivided his lot without neighborhood support, the City Council had approved
that subdivision with Mr. Cheney subsequently overbuilding the lot and way over
30% in impervious coverage. Mr. Mueller further opined that Mr. Cross had also
overbuilt his lot even though they complain about hit attempt to subdivide his
Mueller responded further to other neighboring properties and his observation
of their buildings and sites; and negative impacts of drainage from poorly installed
stormwater runoff from some of those parcels onto his property. Mr. Mueller
noted that he had requested an easement in the past form Mr. Cross, who had
refused that option; and opined that the only justified interest should be that
of Mr. Romanowski because of the results of filling in the creek.
Mueller stated that he wasn't bothering a soul with this proposed development,
and opined that the opposition was strictly due to the neighbors not wanting
the neighborhood to change.
speaker in the audience (off mike) asked Mayor Roe if rebuttals would be permitted
by the Chair, to which Mayor Roe responded that Mr. Mueller was being allowed
to offer responses to questions raised during public comment, and that there
would not be an opportunity for subsequent rebuttal in that case.
directly to Mr. Mueller, while understanding his point of view, Mayor Roe
suggested that he had sufficiently addressed his areas of concern, and suggested
he conclude his comments at this time to avoid creating any additional issues
beyond those already existing in his neighborhood.
Laliberte asked the City Attorney how the City Council based their decision given
the verity of statements made, public comments, and experts testifying that the
proposed plan would be better than existing conditions; and how one did or
didn't trump the other in reality.
Attorney Gaughan clarified that the comment made by one individual speaker, Mr.
Gaughan clarified that the State Statute referenced was specific to private
nuisance actions related to water damage.
Attorney Gaughan opined and refined the issue(s) the City Council should be
basing their decision making on from an important legal perspective. Whatever
the City Council determines to be their course of action, Mr. Gaughan advised
that it needed to be supported by specifically-articulated reasons for approval
or denial. At that determination, Mr. Gaughan opined that the City Council's
action could then withstand judicial scrutiny - whatever their collective
action - and to do so with specificity for a basis for that position.
the City Council decides to deny this preliminary plat request, City Attorney
Gaughan advised that it was particularly important that it be supported by enumerated
specific reasons, with staff then obligated to memorialize that decision in
writing to the applicant as soon as possible. Again, as long as the City
Council undertook those considerations, as stated, Mr. Gaughan opined that
their decision would withstand judicial scrutiny.
moved, Willmus seconded for discussion purposes, to DENY the request for a
PRELIMINARY PLAT of Oak Acres dated June 5, 2015, comprising the property at
2201 Acorn Road, based on the following findings:
The size and complexity of having a private road, and
private water and sewer utilities;
The frequent characterization of this subdivision as
townhomes, while this is a residential-1 neighborhood characterized with large
lots; and such a subdivision would alter the character of the existing
neighborhood, and a subdivision of townhomes doesn't fit;
The City is not prepared at this time to handle the various
complexities of drainage issues and retention ponds on this site versus the
availability of infiltration of any time;
The increase in water volume would be significant;
The large loss of trees is certainly noticeable based on
proposed replacement trees of 87 under the City's current tree ordinance, speaking
to a significant loss of existing trees, which are not insignificant in their
relationship to maintaining the character of the neighborhood, wildlife habitat
and ability of the ground to hold water; and
The proposal creates parking issues for guests as well as
emergency vehicle access.
Willmus stated his primary concerns had not changed since the City Council saw
Mr. Mueller's original proposal last fall, with remaining concerns about
stormwater mitigation measures and their reliance on overland flow and the potential
inability to maintain the integrity of that flow over time, and with no
easements in place to ensure that flow. Councilmember Willmus referenced the
testimony of Mr. Mueller regarding the existing infrastructure having been
diminished due to berms and other fill of lower areas, and having personally
walked the property last week with Mr. Cross, he had been able to observe the inhibited
drainage caused by mulch and landscaping installed through the years without
consideration to overall drainage of the area.
to the private roadway and parking as proposed, while recognizing Mr. Mueller's
right and ability to subdivide his property, Councilmember Willmus opined that
there needed to be a balance between that ability to subdivide and other areas
the City didn't have the ability to mitigate, to avoid causing harm to adjacent
properties due to potential stormwater runoff. As an example, Councilmember
Willmus cited some other areas the City has ultimately had to deal with and at
the expense of its taxpayers (e.g. the area surrounding the Fairview Community
Center, the Dellwood area between the library and Chandler Vault flowing to
Highway 36), resulting in significant dollars to mitigate and resolve those
issues. Councilmember Willmus expressed his concern that, if approved and
moving forward as proposed, it would create yet another situation down the road
of significant expense to the City.
Etten agreed with the comments of Councilmember Willmus. However,
Councilmember Etten stated that he was not fully supportive of the motion as
stated, based on the proposed findings. Councilmember Etten noted those areas
he was not in agreement with consisting of the misperception that these homes
are attended as townhomes based on the requirement for a homeowners association
to manage infrastructure in perpetuity; the misrepresentation that this private
road was of the same width as several smaller road and parking would restrict
or prevent emergency vehicle access, which had been addressed and therefore not
an issue to support denial. Councilmember Etten stated he was concerned with
the volume of drainage and potential impact to adjacent properties, and could
support those specific findings to support denial; opining that he would be
open to tabling action tonight for Mr. Mueller to replat for 2-3 homes and
thereby addressing drainage issues.
Roe sought legal clarification from City Attorney Gaughan as to the results of
tabling action with Mr. Mueller returning with another proposal.
Attorney Gaughan responded that his suggestion would be that if in abstract the
City Council was inclined to be more open to considering a different proposal
with a different (e.g. reduced number) of lots, that the City Council take
definitive action tonight since any such application would need to be separate
and the application process would need to start over again.
McGehee stated that she had no problem in reducing lots, but that her primary
concern was stormwater drainage and the amount of increased volume due to
increased impervious surface, especially in light of the rain events experienced
over the last few years, opining that she wasn't confident this was the
appropriate plan for this parcel.
Laliberte stated that her feelings were more in line with those of
Councilmembers Willmus and Etten, noting her greatest concern was with the increase
in volume of overland flow mainly because of past issues and experiences noted
in other areas of the community. Councilmember Laliberte thanked Mr. Mueller
for attempting to respond to their previous direction that he hire a professional
engineer to work with him on a revised plan, and in his attempts to address
additional concerns previously expressed by the City Council. While supportive
of any private property owner's right to subdivide their property,
Councilmember Laliberte clarified that it needed to be done in a way that would
not cause harm to neighboring properties or possibly create significant expense
to the City. Councilmember Laliberte agreed that she didn't agree with all the
findings as stated and listed by the maker of the motion currently on the table.
Roe suggested, if alternate findings are proposed versus their support from the
current findings in the motion, a motion to amend would be order to delete some
or all of those current findings. Mayor Roe suggested a second option would be
to simply defeat the standing motion and make another motion.
Roe stated that, as the motion currently stands, he could not support all of
the findings; opining that the finding regarding the size and complexity of the
private road and utilities seemed to him to be adequately addressed by staff
and City Code; as to fitting with the character of the neighborhood, he opined
this was not a fact-based finding; and further stated he was not supportive of
the finding related to loss of trees since any tree preservation plan would be
required to meet the City's existing tree ordinance. Mayor Roe further stated
his lack of support for the finding specific to parking and emergency vehicle
access, since a 32' width street, whether private or public, was adequate as
noted in staff's review. Regarding drainage and runoff concerns, Mayor Roe
stated that he was also not supportive of that finding, since the watershed
district had provided their written approval and offered their support of the
proposal that would reduce and enforce rate reductions up to 20% from existing
recognizing that the community had other overland flow issues, Mayor Roe opined
that one difference with this site was that even with significant rain events
and damage to foundations in some of those other areas of the community, during
those same significant rain events there was no evidence of similar damage in
this area. Mayor Roe opined that this may be due to the shallow grades in this
area, and not to say it may or may not become a future issue, at this time
there was no evidence to support it becoming a problem; and from his
perspective it appeared that steps as required by the watershed district in slowing
that rate would further mitigate those issues.
City Manager Bilotta, as a point of clarification, noted that while there had
been some references during public comment describing the homes intended for
this subdivision as townhomes, this was zoned for single-family residential;
and the only intended reference for an association was simply in the homes
being part of a future homeowners association to address long-term stormwater
management and infrastructure maintenance, and should in no way reflect on the
nature of the proposed units themselves.
moved, McGehee seconded, striking any previously stated findings not directly
related to stormwater mitigation issues.
Roe noted that, as makers of the original motion, there was no need to move to
amend the original motion if they were in agreement to accept striking those
Attorney Gaughan suggested it would be important to again specifically state
the exact findings for this new motion, as identified and revised by Councilmember
McGehee and the additions of Councilmember Willmus, and outlining those
findings as follows:
The City is not equipped to handle the complexity of the proposed
drainage system, including the lack of easements over surrounding properties;
The potential increase of water volume stands to be large;
There is some basis to believe that relevant ground areas
cannot handle an increase of water volume;
Surrounding properties are not adequately equipped to handle
increased water impacts and would become more vulnerable with this proposed project
versus its location in different part of city;
The City has had similar experience (e.g. Fairview
Community Center, Dellwood area, and Ramsey County Library - Roseville Branch)
in other areas of the City to cause heighted concern with this project.
Chair, Mayor Roe requested a substitute motion for denial based on the findings
as outlined by City Attorney Gaughan.
McGehee seconded, a substitute motion for DENIAL of the proposed PRELIMINARY
PLAT of Oak Acres Plat, dated June 5, 2015, and comprising the property at 2201
Acorn Road, based on the findings for DENIAL as follows:
Surrounding properties are not adequately equipped to
handle increased water impacts and would become more vulnerable with this
proposed project versus its location in different part of city;
The City has had similar experience (e.g. Fairview Community
Center, Dellwood area, and Ramsey County Library - Roseville Branch) in other
areas of the City to cause heighted concern with this project.
that she didn't disagree with the substitute motion, Councilmember Laliberte
noted that three different and non-affiliated engineers had provided testimony
that the stormwater management system was sufficient.
Willmus pointed out that the Rice Creek Watershed District had not seen this
particular iteration yet and at its current evolution.
Laliberte noted that Civil Engineer Plowe had given testimony that they had
seen and approved the plan.
Roe sought clarification from Mr. Plowe.
Plowe provided written documentation to City Engineer Culver received by the
applicant from the watershed district dated August 12, 2015, stating that they
had reviewed and submitted conditional approval of the proposal.
Roe stated that he still opposed the substitute motion, opining that the findings
for denial were of little concern to him in approving a preliminary plat, since
the watershed district would need to approve the drainage plan before consideration
of the final plat based on conditions as stated in staff's recommendation for
conditional approval as detailed in the RCA.
Ayes: Willmus, Etten, McGehee and Laliberte.
with the outcome of the vote, Mayor Roe directed staff and City Attorney
Gaughan to provide written notice to the applicant of the findings for this
Business Items - Presentations/Discussions
City Manager Future Agenda Review
Manager Bilotta briefly reviewed upcoming preliminary agenda items.
Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Etten moved, Laliberte
seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 9:31 p.m.