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Council Meeting Minutes
May 21, 2012
1. Roll Call
Mayor Roe called to order the
Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed
everyone. (Voting and Seating Order for May: Pust; Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and
Roe). City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.
2. Approve Agenda
Willmus moved, McGehee seconded,
approval of the agenda as presented.
Ayes: Pust; Willmus; McGehee; Johnson;
3. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called for public comment
by members of the audience on any non-agenda items. No one appeared to speak
at this time.
Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and
Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report
Mayor Roe announced and invited all
Roseville residents to the upcoming formal groundbreaking ceremony and comments
by City officials scheduled for Monday, June 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm, immediately
prior to the regular City Council meeting scheduled at 6:00 pm. Mayor Roe
encouraged attendance of residents, and asked that those attending park in the
City Hall parking lot.
Mayor Roe announced the filing
period for City Council candidates for this fall’s elections would open on May
22, 2012, with filing available at the Ramsey County Government Center in
downtown St. Paul. Mayor Roe noted that there would be two (2) openings for
City Council; and that if five (5) or more candidates file, a Municipal Primary
would be held in August, and if not, selections would be done at the General
Election in November. Mayor Roe advised that additional information was
available through City Hall or at the Ramsey County Elections Department.
6. Approve Minutes
Approve Minutes of May 14, 2012 Meeting
McGehee moved, Pust seconded,
approval of the minutes of the May 14, 2012 meeting as amended via the
Councilmember McGehee copy of the draft meeting minutes; and incorporating
those corrections verbally noted by Mayor Roe below.
At the request of Mayor Roe,
Councilmember McGehee provided written corrections to the meeting minutes via a
bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof; with changes
to pages 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 25.
Mayor Roe apologized that he had
not been able to review the minutes prior to the meeting; and offered two (2)
Page 9, typographical error
Page 15, typographical error
Page 17, Lines 10-11, immediately prior to “Roll Call, revise to
indicate that City Planner Paschke had advised that the “line would be substantially
radial to the curve and met code requirements.”
McGehee; and Roe.
Councilmember Johnson requested
that, if at all possible in the future, individual corrections be provided with
sufficient time for Councilmember review prior to the meeting.
Approve Consent Agenda
There were no changes to the
Consent Agenda. At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly
reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
Johnson moved, McGehee seconded,
approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
66229 – 66276
Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.
Approve Business and Other Licenses
Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, approval
of license applications for the following applicants:
Steiner Naturopathy, LLC
2353 Rice Street, Suite 208
Massage Therapist Establishment
Greg Steiner at Steiner Naturopathy, LLC
Dave’s Roseville Auto Care; 2171 N Hamline Avenue
B-Dale Corner Store; 2164 N Hamline Avenue
Gas Plus 12; 1583 W County Road C
B-Dale Corner Store; 2164 Dale Street N
Walgreens #13685; 2635 Rice Street
Walgreens #02002; 1611 W County Road C
Walgreens #01804; 1739 N Lexington Avenue
MGM Wine & Spirits; 1149 Larpenteur Avenue W
Hamline Liquors, Inc.; 2825 Hamline Avenue N
Midland Hills Country Club; 2001 Fulham Street
Gas Pumps – Private
Ryder Truck Rental; 2580 Long Lake Road
Roseville Animal Hospital; 2630 N Snelling Curve
AMC Theatres Rosedale 14; 850 Rosedale Center
Rotary Club of Roseville
2233 Hamline Avenue N, Suite 620
Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items Exceeding
Request by Kevin Miller for approval of a partial sewer easement
vacation at 1770 Chatsworth Street (PF12-007)
Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, adoption
of Resolution No. 10984 (Attachment E) entitled, “A Resolution Approving the
Vacation of a Portion of the Sewer Easement at 1770 Chatsworth Street
Request by Minnehaha Transportation, Inc. for approval of outdoor
storage of bus fleet vehicles as a CONDITIONAL USE at 2507 Walnut Street
Johnson moved, McGehee
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10985 (Attachment F) entitled, “A
Resolution Approving Outdoor Storage of Fleet Vehicles as a Conditional Use at
2507 Walnut Street (PF12-006).”
Accept Community Forest Bonding Grant
Johnson moved, McGehee
seconded, authorizing acceptance of a Community Forest Bonding Grant from the
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $25,000 for public
Accept a Conservation Partners Legacy Grant for Langton Lake Park
Johnson moved, McGehee
seconded, authorizing acceptance of a Conservation Legacy Partners (CLP) Grant
from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $89,168 for
Langton Lake Park Natural Resource Restoration with a City cash match in the
amount of $9,880 to be funded from Parks and Recreation Renewal Program Bond
Accept a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Grant for the 2012
Summer Entertainment Series
Johnson moved, McGehee
seconded, authorizing acceptance of a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts
Council in the amount of $5,000 to assist in offering an art-focused summer
entertainment series in Central Park’s Frank Rog Amphitheatre with matching
City funds in the amount of $1,250, to be funded from the approved 2012 Parks
and Recreation Budget; and authorizing the City Manager to execute the Grant
Agreement by and between the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and the City of
Roseville’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Award Contract for Storm Water Ditch Erosion Repair
Johnson moved, McGehee
seconded, awarding a contract to Larson Contracting in an amount not to exceed
$41,280; for construction of a gabion basket retaining wall to prevent further
erosion of the railroad embankment at the drainage ditch adjacent to Minnesota
Commercial Railroad at 2265 – 2285 County Road C.
Approve Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Terminating the Joint
Powers Agreement (JPA) for Engineering Services with the City of Arden Hills
Johnson moved, McGehee
seconded, approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) terminating the Joint
Powers Agreement (JPA) between the Cities of Roseville and Arden Hills for
utilization of Roseville engineering employees.
Consider Items Removed from Consent
General Ordinances for Adoption
Receive Update from Ramsey County Commissioner Jan Parker
Mayor Roe welcomed Ramsey County Commissioner
Jan Parker, noting that since she was not running for re-election, this may be
her last periodic report to the Roseville City Council.
Commissioner Parker’s staff
provided a packet of reports and information. Commissioner Parker highlighted
some of the information and provided updates for items of interest in Ramsey
County and to residents of the City of Roseville. Those highlights included awards/recognitions;
Ramsey County budget; County road projects; medicine collection program and
sites; stadium/TCAAP environmental clean-up; parks and libraries; the Meals on
Wheels program; and trends within the County of families considered “in
crisis.” Commissioner Parker noted that, while the 2012 budget had in fact
been reduced when compared with the 2011 budget, there were increases to property
tax bills in many areas significantly due to reductions in federal and state
Commissioner Parker addressed the
NE Diagonal, noting another meeting of cities along that corridor had recently
been held, with continued interest from those cities in the corridor.
Commissioner Parker advised that it was the County Rail Authority’s plan to
acquire land for future transit as it became available for a bike trail.
Discussion among Councilmembers
and Commissioner Parker included continued increases in the use of the Ramsey
County Library – Roseville branch compared to the seven (7) branches within the
Mayor Roe and individual
Councilmembers thanked Commissioner Parker for her service to and
representation of the City of Roseville during her tenure with Ramsey County;
and for her informative presentation tonight.
Commissioner Parker expressed her
appreciation of being given the opportunity to serve the community as a “labor
of love;” and announced that she had accepted the role of Co-President of the
North Suburban Senior Coalition.
Joint Meeting with Ethics Commission
Ethics Commissioners Ben Lehman;
Margo Fjelstad (Vice Chair); Nancy O’Brian; and Anne Collopy were in attendance
from the Ethics Commission; with Commissioner LuAnne Pederson unable to attend
Commissioner Fjelstad thanked City
Attorney and City Manager for their assistance to the Commission.
Topics of discussion, at the
request of the Ethics Commission, were outlined in the Request for Council
Action (RCA) dated May 21, 2012.
Recap on 2012 Annual Ethics
Vice Chair Fjelstad noted the
favorable reception of speakers at the 2012 annual ethics training: Dr. David
Schultz and former Roseville Mayor Craig Klausing for their thought-provoking
comments and historical perspective.
Vice Chair Fjelstad advised that
the Ethics Commission would be responsive to feedback from 2012 participants
and seek to improve 2013 training to provide a more clear connection between items
in the Roseville Ethics Code for that training, including specific hypothetical
conversations or situations; as well as to reduce the amount of time for the
Update on any Complaints
Reported to Ethics Commission
None received to-date.
Non-Filing of Annual Disclosure
Vice Chair Fjelstad reported on
this issue, brought to the City Council’s attention at their March 12, 2012
meeting, and subsequent reference to and follow-up by the Ethics Commission for
three (3) City Advisory Commission Members who had not completed their
non-disclosure statements. Vice Chair Fjelstad advised that two (2)
Commissioners were contacted by the Ethics Commission in accordance with the
process outlined in the City’s Ethics Code and subsequently completed their paperwork
as required. Vice Chair Fjelstad noted that the tenure of the third
commissioner was coming to a close and had therefore been exempted from their
Regarding the potential change to
Section 6 of the Ethics Code as requested, Vice Chair Fjelstad advised that the
Ethics Commission had discussed it at their May 9, 2012 meeting, and determined
that the current Code was written appropriately and did not recommend any
modifications to the Code.
Mayor Roe concurred that the
presentations at the 2012 annual ethics training were very good; and also
agreed that the amount of training time could be reduced.
At the request of Councilmember
Johnson, Vice Chair Fjelstad advised that the Commission did not currently have
a Chairperson in place, but would be taking that up at their next Ethics
Commission meeting. Councilmember Johnson thanked the Commissioners for their
work on behalf of the City.
Business Items (Action Items)
Consider Citizens’ Petition for an Environmental Assessment
Worksheet (EAW) for the Proposed Wal-Mart Store at County Road C and Cleveland
Prior to the staff presentation,
and for the benefit of the public, Mayor Roe provided a synopsis of the process
for consideration of both Items 12.a and 12.b related to the proposed Wal-Mart
Store at County Road C and Cleveland Avenue. Mayor Roe also reviewed the
process following staff’s presentation to be followed by City Council questions
to staff, not position statements of individual Councilmembers, then comments
from the applicant or their representative(s), at which time public comment
would be received. Mayor Roe advised that any questions of the public would be
addressed by the City Council, legal counsel, and/or staff at the end of the
public comments, after which a discussion of City Councilmembers and staff as applicable
would occur, at which time individual Councilmembers could provide their
positions on the issue prior to voting on each specific item.
At the request of Mayor Roe, Associate
Planner Bryan Lloyd briefly summarized the decision regarding the citizens’
petition as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated May 21, 2012;
in accordance with Minnesota Administrative Rules; and as available to the
public on the Environmental Quality Board’s (EQB) website providing a
procedural guide for Local Responsible Governmental Unit’s (RGU) for reviewing
petitions for preparation of an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW). Staff’s
analysis and conclusion, as detailed in Section 4.0 of their report, was that
the proposed Wal-Mart development was exempt from the citizens’ petition for
preparation of an EAW.
At the request of Councilmember
Johnson, Mr. Lloyd advised that the Alternative Urban Area-wide Review (AUAR)
was updated every five (5) years, and the current AUAR was in place until
mid-October of 2012.
Councilmember Willmus asked staff
to respond to the issues raised by former Councilmember Amy Ihlan in an e-mail
dated earlier today, contrasting some of staff’s narrative in Section 3.2 of
the staff report and current Community Mixed Use (CMU) Zoning versus the former
B-6 Zoning designation for this subject area. Mr. Lloyd advised that Ms.
Ihlan’s perspective was that there was a significant difference between those
two (2) zoning designations.
While Mr. Lloyd advised that staff
had not had an opportunity to review that e-mail, he addressed the differences
between the former B-6 Zoning District designation and the current Community
Mixed Use (CMU) Zoning District for the parcels under discussion.
Mr. Lloyd noted that the previous
B-6 Zoning, much of which was in place since the City’s inception and first
Zoning Code dated from 1959, allowed for little in development parameters and
permitted uses and design standards in today’s development world compared to
the 1950 era; and therefore the use of Planned Unit Development (PUD) process
in zoning districts to allow for site-specific zoning was used predominantly.
Mr. Lloyd advised that, under the current CMU Zoning, and no longer requiring
PUD’s, there was a set parameter of what could and could not be developed in
the form-based development adopted by the City Council in December of 2010,
providing for a dramatic difference in the two (2) zoning designations and
their application to development. Mr. Lloyd advised that the previous zoning
code was found increasingly out-of- date and verging on irrelevant for normal
development types as they transformed over the years since that original code
was created in 1959.
In staff’s narrative, Section 3.2,
Councilmember Willmus noted staff’s mention that the two (2) uses were
substantially consistent and questioned this apparent discrepancy.
Councilmember Pust noted that
those references were to the “Business Park” designation; with Mr. Lloyd
concurring noting that they were referencing the Comprehensive Plan, not the
In follow-up, Mayor Roe asked
staff to clarify that the update of the Zoning Code now in place was based on
the updated Comprehensive Plan and previous discussions related to use in the
Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, with staff concluding that the evolutionary
nature of the community indicated the CMU Zoning designation, consistent with
Mr. Lloyd concurred, noting that
in terms of Comprehensive Plan designation and CMU and previous Business Park
(BP) designation for development of an AUAR, once the Comprehensive Plan was
updated in 2009 it superseded the previous iterations; however, he noted that
the substance of that update was that the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area guided
in the Comprehensive Plan update was essentially intended to replicate the
At the request of Councilmember
Pust, Mr. Lloyd expounded on the basis of that interpretation of the definition
or description of a CMU Zoning District in the Comprehensive Plan, allowed for
walkability. Mr. Lloyd noted that this was the same premise of the former
master redevelopment plan for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, anticipating
the same nature of development; however, the Zoning Code applied the actual
metrics to that intent.
Councilmember Pust questioned
whether staff had listened to the tapes of the Comprehensive Plan Task Force or
Subcommittee recommendations for those specific changes and their intent to the
Comprehensive Plan; and the specific differences in BP and CMU designations.
Mr. Lloyd advised that staff had
not reviewed the actual tapes, but from previous Public Hearings related to the
Comprehensive Plan and subsequent City Council actions, and staff’s review of
those resulting documents, the similar land use designation were indicated.
Prior to proceeding with further
discussion, Councilmember Pust requested the definition of the BP designation
from the 2003 Comprehensive Plan, which was provided by staff as a bench
handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof (page 3, Land Use Section –
2003 Comprehensive Plan Update).
Councilmember Pust clarified that
staff did not believe the City, as the RGU, had the legal authority to find
that the AUAR was not valid.
Mr. Lloyd responded that if the
proposed project didn’t fall within approved parameters and the AUAR was not valid,
an EAW would be required.
Based on staff’s determination,
Councilmember Pust clarified that there was no real distinction, thus their
Mr. Lloyd responded affirmatively,
that the assumptions about future land use made by the AUAR, and the
Comprehensive Plan were comparable and the AUAR not found to be invalid from
Councilmember Pust stated that she
was in agreement with a portion of staff’s analysis: that the level of use that
this particular proposal fits into one of the four (4) scenarios studied by the
AUAR. However, Councilmember Pust opined that the traffic data and traffic
studies submitted to-date in the current proposal included certain parts of
the development area, not all studied in the AUAR. Councilmember Pust noted
that the AUAR provided mitigation plans for different parts of the Twin Lakes
Redevelopment Area for increased traffic, some of which were not included in
City Engineer Debra Bloom
responded that the AUAR was a larger study, including other intersections and
roadways from a regional perspective, and using a regional model. Ms. Bloom
advised that this included multiple intersections, area freeways, and when the
Wal-Mart proposal was reviewed, it was done so in the context of the larger
AUAR model and how traffic would flow throughout the area, not just to and from
the Wal-Mart site. As part of the review of the City’s consulting traffic engineer,
SRF, their reports were referenced by staff and included as part of the supporting
documentation for staff’s report. In response to Mayor Roe’s previous
comments, Ms. Bloom clarified and advised that fourteen (14) potential
intersection and/or roadway improvements were included in the AUAR; however,
only the ones triggered or having a negative impact were listed for City
Council awareness and review. Ms. Bloom noted that those were specific to
I-35W at County Road C and Cleveland Avenue; and from mitigation perspective,
had been included as part of the draft Development Agreement between the City
and the Developer that required future mitigation at the developer’s expense,
as negotiated, triggered by the proposed development of the Wal-Mart.
In an effort to restate and
summarize Ms. Bloom’s comments and to ensure her understanding, Councilmember Pust
stated that, when the AUAR was done five (5) years ago, a broad area of
different intersections was reviewed if and when additional traffic would be
triggered, based on fourteen (14) different mitigations plans for four (4)
potential development scenarios from best to worst case. Councilmember Pust
clarified that the proposal currently before the City Council at this time
reviewed all of those fourteen (14) different mitigation and intersection
points; however, only those called out and addressed in the Development
Agreement were problematic specific to this proposed Wal-Mart development.
Ms. Bloom concurred with
Councilmember Pust’s summarization.
At this time, the previous BP
definition was displayed and reviewed.
Mr. Lloyd noted that a lot of the
description of the BP designation was similar in nature to that description for
future land use scenarios contemplated in the Twin Lakes Master Plan developed
in approximately 2001, and was intended for the more comprehensive development
of the entire area rather than the piece-meal development approach that was
At the request of Councilmember Pust
and whether the 2001 Twin Lakes Master Plan was still referenced today, Mr.
Lloyd responded that it was referenced by the updated Comprehensive Plan, but
not formally a part of the Plan as an official control, but simply referenced
as a guiding document or reference to the initial vision and community
discussions for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.
At the request of Mayor Roe as to
whether the BP language was similar to the CMU, Mr. Lloyd responded that in
essence it was; however, the updated Comprehensive Plan instructed review of
proposed developments in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area against the new
Zoning Code, Comprehensive Plan update, Twin Lakes Master Plan, and AUAR and
Applicant’s Representative, Sue
Steinwall, Land Use Attorney for Wal-Mart in MN, with the firm of Frederickson,
Byron, et al
At the invitation of Mayor Roe,
Ms. Steinwall advised that she concurred with staff’s report and had no
additional comments at this time.
At this time, Mayor Roe opened the
meeting to public comments specific to the Citizens’ Petition for an EAW; and reviewed
the City Council’s rules related to public comment specific to this issue, not
to the Plat at this time. Mayor Roe asked that the speakers and the audience
be respectful and refrain from commentary and/or applause, and that those speakers
would limit comments to five (5) minutes each, with some flexibility provided
for speakers representing a group. Mayor Roe asked that all questions be
addressed directly to the City Council, and noted that subsequent to hearing
all public comments on this issue, the City Council would respond or direct
City staff or legal counsel to respond to questions raised by the public as
Public Comments (7:23 p.m.)
In addition to
the written and verbal comments previously expressed to the Planning Commission
and received by staff (included in meeting materials), additional written
comments to-date were provided as bench handouts, attached hereto and made a
Ihlan, 1776 Stanbridge Avenue
Gilbertson, 2000 Cleveland Avenue N
Thielen, 2210 Midland Grove Road, Unit 203
Gardella, Roseville resident (no address listed)
e-mail dated May 21, 2012 in opposition to Wal-Mart
Callaghan, 3062 Shorewood Lane
R. Eidman, 90 Mid Oaks Lane
McGehee, Councilmember (2 Memorandums dated May 21, 2012)
Statement dated May 19, 2012 from the “Solidarity of West Area Roseville
Neighbors (SWARN)” expressing concerns/opposition to Wal-Mart
*Tim Callaghan, 3062 Shorewood Lane
As noted, Mr. Callaghan had
provided his questions via e-mail dated May 21, 2012. Mr. Callahan questions
1) If the Business Park
(BP) defines limited retail as being acceptable in this area; by what stretch
of the imagination could Wal-Mart be defined as “limited retail?”
2) As he had
previously requested in the past, where was the information addressed on the traffic
impacts to Fairview Avenue at the intersections of Lydia Avenue and County Road
D, as previously available in the AUAR, but now not included in staff’s
report? Mr. Callaghan alleged that the information was being hidden somewhere
and people were not being told of the effect on this currently massively
*Amy Ihlan, 1776 Stanbridge
As noted, Ms. Ihlan had provided
written comments via e-mail earlier today addressing the environmental review
and impacts, as well as the Preliminary and Final Plats and Development
Agreement provisions. Ms. Ihlan’s comments referenced various Minnesota
Department of Transportation (MnDOT) correspondences to staff as part of her
written and verbal comments. Ms. Ihlan verbally reviewed and summarized her
written areas of concern, specifically the accuracy of the AUAR, requested
further traffic studies, and questioned the lack of notice to residents on this
process. Ms. Ihlan alleged a lack of openness and transparency by the City
Council and staff to the surrounding residential neighborhoods. At a minimum,
Ms. Ihlan suggested that it was only reasonable that mailed notice be provided;
and thanked residents for their attempts to get the word out, since the
government had failed to do so.
Raymond Schreurs, 3058 Wilder
Mr. Schreurs noted his residence
at his current home in Roseville since 1956, and approximately one (1) mile
from the proposed site and one (1) block off Cleveland Avenue. Mr. Schreurs stated
that in those years, he had seen many decisions made, most good, but some bad.
However, Mr. Schreurs opined that, if the City Council approved this
development tonight, it would be the worst decision ever made by a Roseville
With no further speakers coming
forward at this time, Mayor Roe closed public comment at approximately 7:37
At this time, with the assistance
of staff and legal counsel, Mayor Roe responded to questions raised during the
“Limited Retail” use definition
In response to Councilmember
Johnson, Mr. Lloyd noted that the CMU and AUAR addressed a much larger area
than just that adjacent to County Road C and Cleveland Avenue; and that larger
area directed that a limited retail presence be maintained. Mr. Lloyd noted
that this didn’t mean that every development should be retail; and acknowledged
that the Wal-Mart development may eat up a significant portion of the retail
area. However, Mr. Lloyd reiterated that it was staff’s analysis that the
proposed store of 160,000 square feet fit in this redevelopment area
At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr.
Lloyd confirmed that the “Business Park” designation was not a designation of
the current Zoning Code or the Comprehensive Plan.
At Mayor Roe’s question as to
whether the Business Park designation was at all relevant to tonight’s
discussion, Mr. Lloyd responded that it was to the extent that the CMU
designation was similar to the BP designation in that it established goals for
mixed use residential and retail. Mr. Lloyd noted that the present description
edged away from warehousing and light manufacturing uses found in the previous
version of the Comprehensive Plan; however, it was relevant in that the City
still aspired to a “limited” retail presence without the entire area becoming a
In considering the entire Twin
Lakes Redevelopment Area, Councilmember Pust questioned Mr. Lloyd on what
definition he would ascribe to “limited retail,” in that context.
Mr. Lloyd responded that, while he
was not alluding to any formal definition, staff recognized in their analysis
of this retail store, that it didn’t break any assumptions of the AUAR of a retail
use that could develop in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area. Mr. Lloyd noted
that this particular corner had been assumed for retail all along to address
potential traffic volumes and environmental impacts, based on the AUAR
scenarios. At 160,000 square feet, Mr. Lloyd noted that this retail store was
smaller than Scenario A in the AUAR.
At the request of Councilmember
Pust as to whether staff was confirming that this was a “Scenario A”
development, Mr. Lloyd noted that the AUAR provided for environmental impact
analyses indicated by retail in that area and that this proposed development
did not exceed the impacts considered by that environmental document. Mr.
Lloyd opined that it was really a subjective observation that a large store in
that corner seemed from staff’s perspective to be limited when considered in
the entire context of the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.
Councilmember McGehee stated that
the term “limited retail” was very subjective in this analysis and that this
proposal fit the definition was only an opinion; Mr. Lloyd responded that it
was based on the given metrics for assessment provided to staff.
Councilmember McGehee opined that
she didn’t see any building in the CMU Zoning District or Comprehensive Plan
that looked like this proposed Wal-Mart development, since that retail was
assumed to have some residential housing capacity on an upper level, with
building design moving vertically, not horizontally, and providing for
underground versus surface parking. Councilmember McGehee further opined that,
from her perspective, this development represented “big box retail,” and was
not desirable in that area, nor prescribed by the original Comprehensive Plan
or the Twin Lakes Master Plan in that area, as addressed in her written
comments, previously referenced. Councilmember McGehee stated that the trip
per day traffic generations had still not been provided negating any possible
analysis of that traffic, which was key to some of the environmental
At the request of Councilmember
McGehee as to how large the Subarea 1 area of the AUAR was in acres, Mr. Lloyd
estimated that it represented approximately 1/3 of the entire Twin Lakes
Councilmember McGehee asked staff
to explain to her how the current process was more flexible than the previous
Mr. Lloyd responded that the
current process may not be more flexible, but it was certainly more current.
Mr. Lloyd noted that former zoning districts were found to be increasingly out
of date with current development types typical for good development desired for
the City of Roseville, with many of those desirable developments not allowed in
the City’s standard zoning districts. Mr. Lloyd advised that this had prompted
the PUD process to provide more flexibility for the previous outdated code
requirements. Mr. Lloyd opined that the new code is much more current with
today’s development standards and requirements.
Mayor Roe requested staff’s
response to the percentage of impervious surface coverage requirements in the
former B-6 zoning district, and that surface area or any relative difference
from the AUAR perspective.
Mr. Lloyd advised that while the
impervious surface addressed storm water and cumulative environmental impacts,
and since that was not his area of expertise, he deferred to the City Engineer
for a response.
At request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Lloyd
advised the City Council that published and mailed notices had been provided
for the Public Hearing at the Planning Commission level on February 1, 2012
related to the Preliminary Plat proposal. Mr. Lloyd, with Mayor Roe’s
concurrence, noted that additional announcements at City Council meetings,
updates on the City’s website, e-mail notices to interested parties having
requested updates on this proposed development, along with media coverage of
the issue over the months.
Traffic and Mitigation at the
Intersections of Fairview Avenue at Lydia Avenue and County Road D
Ms. Bloom provided information,
based on a traffic study by the City’s consulting engineer, S.R.F. in the
context of the AUAR and review of sixteen (16) different improvements identified
for mitigation in the AUAR, based on peak hours, not daily trips. Ms.
Bloom advised that the earlier review of service levels for those intersections
dated January 22, 2012, for Subarea 1, Block 4, using Scenario C, not Scenario
A, reviewed trip generation estimate comparisons and trip generation
differences in the context of numbers from the AUAR and what is currently
proposed with this development.
Councilmember Pust sought
clarification on why Ms. Bloom was referencing “Scenario C,” rather than the
previous focus on “Scenario A.”
Ms. Bloom clarified that in the
four (4) scenarios, “Scenario A” addressed the highest and worst case scenario;
and based on the infrastructure improvement plan, engineers found that
“Scenario A” was not applicable and would not come to fruition, since it was
based on 43,000 vehicles per day versus this actual 28,000 vehicles per day
projection overall for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.
Councilmember Pust questioned how
the 28,000 vehicles per day for the entire area corresponded with the 6,000
vehicles per hour mentioned by Councilmember Willmus.
Mayor Roe referenced the MnDOT
correspondence included in the meeting materials, clarifying that it addressed
100,000 trips per day, or 6,000 per hour, but was for all trips on I-35W
heading into the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.
Ms. Bloom concurred, further
clarifying that the referenced letter had been an initial response from MnDOT
before they had received any subsequent information, when the plat had been
first submitted for review. As a result of their initial review, Ms. Bloom
advised that MnDOT had requested, and had been provided with, additional
information from the City’s traffic consultant, SRF, as well as the developer’s
Ms. Bloom briefly reviewed the
process for determining and projecting traffic counts, based on a regional
model, and including potential mitigation efforts outlined in the AUAR, and if
and how the service level at those intersections changed, and improvements that
needed to happen. In the packet of materials, Ms. Bloom referred to the
Development Agreement that included mitigation for those identified with this
project, with nothing identified at Cleveland or Fairview Avenues at their intersection
with County Road D. Ms. Bloom advised that the level of service with the
addition of this development did not change according to the analysis by SRF
for the regional study. Ms. Bloom noted that the only mitigation addressed
were included in the materials provided to the public and City Council, those
that needed attention specific to this development, and included in the draft
Councilmember Pust summarized that
the model did not flag any mitigation other than at Twin Lakes Parkway, County
Road C and Cleveland Avenue.
Ms. Bloom concurred, noting that
mitigation included a right turn lane at County Road C and Cleveland Avenue;
two (2) improvements by the developer – a right turn off Twin Lakes Parkway and
another off County Road C; and interchange improvements of concern to the City
and/or State to ensure traffic flow. Ms. Bloom advised that the mitigation was
detailed in the draft Development Agreement, with the developer asked to
contribute financially for those identified mitigation efforts.
Councilmember Pust asked Ms. Bloom
to explain to the public why vehicles traveling to and from the proposed
Wal-Mart development wouldn’t increase traffic at Fairview Avenue and County
Ms. Bloom advised that it was
based on directional distribution, with regional trips coming off the highway
to the store and then back onto the highway. Ms. Bloom opined that Wal-Mart
most likely anticipated a significant draw from the Roseville neighborhood as
well or they would not be seeking to locate there.
Councilmember Pust opined if there
was a back-up getting back onto the interstate, there would most likely be an
obvious back-up to those other intersections as well, but the change was not
projected to be significant.
Ms. Bloom advised that the nexus
of models and information was based on potential failure in the regional
system. Ms. Bloom noted the significant traffic impacts already being felt on
the system already with construction projects on Snelling and Lexington
Avenues, I-694, and County Road E; with most north/south roads already
over-burdened, with that current situation not a good gauge of normal traffic
operations. Ms. Bloom advised that she was not attempting to diminish the fact
that those roads already had high volumes of traffic.
At the request of Mayor Roe, Ms.
Bloom concurred that Cleveland Avenue was a likely and common-sense alternative
to access County Road D, as well as County Road C
At the request of Councilmember
McGehee, Ms. Bloom responded that the proposed intersection on County Road C would
cross Mount Ridge Road at the approximate parking lot location, and was
considered a “3/4 intersection,” providing a right-in and right-out, as well as
a left-in, but no left-out.
Councilmember McGehee calculated
the acreage and projected vehicle trips, with approximately 1/3 of the traffic
allotted to the entire area addressed for this single development, and
questioned how to evaluate cumulative impacts.
Ms. Bloom advised that the
projections and the AUAR addressed the entire redevelopment area consistently.
Impervious Coverage (continued)
Councilmember Pust referenced the
previous B-6 zoning district requiring an EIS as part of that zoning; however,
by definition, it was not part of the CMU zoning district at this time. Councilmember
Pust questioned if the PUD portion of the B-6 zoning discussed the impervious
Mr. Lloyd, noting that it was pure
conjecture on his part, suggested that the timing of the AUAR update versus
when the B-6 zoning district was last updated before it was replaced, may have
included some environmental review process. However, since the AUAR update
required that environmental review, Mr. Lloyd noted that the AUAR review
basically included a combined EAW and EIS at the same form and range, and
provided for the depth of analysis of an EIS. Mr. Lloyd advised that it was
prepared in advance versus as each development proposal was presented, and
required a formalized level of analysis for each development. Other than
requirements that could have pre-dated the AUAR itself, Mr. Lloyd advised that
he was unaware of any EIS review required for the entire area.
Mayor Roe asked if it was typical
or not typical to consider a Preliminary and Final Plat in the same discussion.
Mr. Lloyd advised that it was
dependent on the project. In referencing the former Pulte Homes development on
County Road C-2 and Lexington Avenue, Mr. Lloyd advised that it did not come as
a combined Preliminary and Final Plat process, as development of internal roadways
was involved and more questions needing to be addressed in platting the area
and matching existing and proposed roadways and infrastructure. Mr. Lloyd
noted that there was usually a lot of details to be worked out between
Preliminary, or conceptual, Plat. By comparison, Mr. Lloyd advised that this
plat was relatively simple, with many others representing simply a
reconfiguration of internal property boundaries that don’t involve extensive
public infrastructure. While the Final Plat document will have a different
title, Mr. Lloyd advised that it would look similar to the Preliminary Plat,
and be essentially consistent with the Preliminary Plat. Mr. Lloyd opined
that, in such instances, it was common practice to address the Preliminary and
Final Plats at the same time (e.g. Meritex Plats)
Councilmember McGehee sought a
simple explanation of the terms “Preliminary” and “Final” Plats.
Mr. Lloyd advised that it was
based, in some sense, on the level of detail, with more detail provided in the
Preliminary Plat, and including existing easements that may be vacated, but
identifying them. Mr. Lloyd noted that the Preliminary Plat may also involve
roadways, individual parcels combined, and in concept, any changes necessary to
property boundaries or rearrangement of a portion of those boundaries. Once
those numerous details are addressed, Mr. Lloyd advised that the Preliminary
Plat could then be approved, at which time the Final Plat in a simpler format
could be formalized that would provide the final picture once those details of
the Preliminary Plat were addressed and allowing a formal view of the Plat.
Mr. Lloyd advised that the Final Plat was exactly the same thing approved as
the Preliminary Plat with all those conditions applied.
Pust moved, McGehee seconded,
contrary to staff recommendation and as the Responsible Governmental Unit
(RGU), that the City Council grant the citizens’ petition for an Environmental
Assessment Worksheet (EAW).
As the maker of the motion,
Councilmember Pust opined that there were a lot of good reasons to pursue an
environmental review, since if consideration of this project had occurred in
the future, or four (4) months from now when the AUAR was due for a five (5)
year update, the City would be required to perform that review. Councilmember
Pust opined that this development represented a very big change in what the
neighborhood had been expecting and what the community had been hoping for.
Councilmember Pust opined that her questions about traffic had been answered
sufficiently by staff, and while MnDOT’s correspondence included in the meeting
packet materials had backed off their original concerns, the fact remained that
there was now too much traffic and while recognizing that the area may be
inundated with traffic, the City Council could wait and see and deal with it
later. However, Councilmember Pust further opined that this did not represent
good planning. Councilmember Pust advised that she was also concerned with the
reduction of green space from 25% to 15% without adequate explanation, even
with staff’s analysis through the AUAR with respect to runoff and water
quality. Councilmember Pust opined that this was a significant difference, and
provided another good reason to take another look.
Councilmember McGehee seconded
Councilmember Pust’s remarks; and opined that the AUAR was invalid, given
changes from 25% to 15% in green space, and traffic impacts of the development
exceeding what was called out in the AUAR. Councilmember McGehee opined that
the traffic impacts had not been adequately studied, and this development was
more than expected in this area, creating the need for more environmental
review. Councilmember McGehee questioned whether the EAW was sufficient; and
further opined that a new AUAR was needed if this one was found to be invalid.
Councilmember Johnson spoke in
opposition to the motion, opining that staff had proven to his satisfaction
that the existing AUAR addresses his initial concerns.
Councilmember Willmus concurred
with Councilmember Johnson, and thanked staff for their analysis.
Mayor Roe spoke in opposition to the
motion, opining that the AUAR’s worst case scenario was based on assumptions
significantly worse than the impact of this proposed development. Since the
purpose of the AUAR was to address water quality, Mayor Roe noted that the
developer was required to meet Rice Creek Watershed District and other storm
water handling regulations. Mayor Roe opined that the percentage of impervious
coverage would not have significant impacts once water quality and storm water
requirements had been met. Mayor Roe reiterated that the worst case scenario
contemplated by the AUAR was significantly beyond the impacts of this
Ayes: Pust and
Johnson; and Roe.
Willmus moved, Johnson seconded,
adoption of Resolution No. 10986 (Attachment E) entitled, “A Resolution
Enunciating the Exemption of the Proposed Wal-Mart Development at County Road C
and Cleveland Avenue from the Citizens’ Petition for Preparation of an
Environmental Assessment Worksheet.”
Councilmember McGehee spoke in
opposition to the motion, citing MN Rule 4410.3610, as addressed in her written
comments dated May 21, 2012, previously referenced, and based on Items B, C, D,
G and H of those rules.
Councilmember Willmus expressed
appreciation to Mr. Lloyd for his explanation to those questioned raised by Ms.
Ihlan; and spoke in support of the motion.
Councilmember Johnson spoke in
support of the motion, opining that staff had provided sufficient evidence
supporting this action.
Mayor Roe spoke in support of the
motion, opining that in his personal review of Councilmember McGehee’s
memorandum from earlier today and her itemization of her analysis and findings
for MN Rule 4410.3610 items B. C. D. G. and H, he was not in agreement with her
analysis based on the AUAR and additional information provided in tonight’s
meeting packet materials. Mayor Roe opined that it was appropriate to indicate
exemption and declare the citizens’ petition not valid.
Johnson; and Roe.
Nays: Pust and
Willmus moved, Pust seconded,
authorizing the City’s Planning staff to notify the petitioners’ representative
and the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) of the exemption of the proposed
Wal-Mart development from the citizens’ petition for preparation of an EAW.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:15 p.m.
and reconvened at approximately 8:23 p.m.
Approve Preliminary / Final Plat and Development Agreement –
Roseville Properties (Wal-Mart)
Attachments included: Area Map
(Attachment A); Aerial Photo (B); Concept Rendering (C); Preliminary and Final
Plat Documents (D); Memorandum from the City Attorney (E); Parks and Recreation
Commission Meeting Minutes (F); Planning Commission / Public Hearing Meeting
Minutes dated February 1, 2012 (G); Public Comments (H); Traffic Study Material
(I); Draft Development Agreement (J): and Draft Resolution (K).
Mayor Roe reviewed the process
once again for presentation, public comment and discussion of this item prior
to potential City Council action.
Community Development Director
Patrick Trudgeon and City Planner Thomas Paschke summarized the requested
action as detailed in the RCA dated May 21, 2012 for consideration of the Preliminary
and Final Plat for Wal-Mart and Roseville Properties. The Planning Commission
recommended approval of the Preliminary Plat on a 5/1 vote. Planning Division
and Public Works Department staff, and the City Attorney recommend approval of
the Final Plat and associated Development Agreement. Details of those
recommended approvals were detailed in Section 8 of the staff report.
Mr. Paschke noted the existing
parcel would be combined into two (2) lots along Cleveland Avenue as the
property frontage. Mr. Paschke reviewed the Preliminary Plat, in accordance
with City Code, Chapter 11, based on analysis of the development meeting those
code requirements related to appropriate infrastructure, any easements and
rights-of-way issues related to the project, and improvements negotiated
between the developer and staff on behalf of the City. Mr. Paschke advised
that the Final Plat, as previously indicated by Associate Planner Bryan Lloyd,
incorporated those detailed elements of the Preliminary Plat, but not to the
level of detail while yet including all land to be dedicated to the City, and
easements and boundaries related to the specific project. .
Community Development Director
Patrick Trudgeon reviewed the draft Development Agreement (Attachment J) also
known as a public improvement contract outlining the obligations of the City
and the applicant. Mr. Trudgeon provided an overview of those business
points. While the draft Development Agreement included in the meeting packet
was substantially complete, Mr. Trudgeon referenced additional exhibits and
attachments, along with a cover memorandum from Mr. Trudgeon dated earlier
today, providing additional details, was included as a bench handout tonight,
and attached hereto and made a part hereof. Mr. Trudgeon noted that there were
copies available for the public as well. Mr. Trudgeon briefly reviewed the
revisions, whether typographical, grammatical, or more substantial that were
recommended via that bench handout. Therefore, Mr. Trudgeon asked that the
City Council motion include verbiage that Development Agreement was amended.
Councilmember Pust questioned the
exhibits and differences in the Final Plats, with Mr. Trudgeon noting that the
Preliminary Plat was marked “Preliminary subject to revision” which was routine
as the document was forwarded to Ramsey County for their review by the County
Surveyor as part of the recording process.
Councilmember McGehee, via a bench
handout attached hereto and made a part hereof, had a list of fourteen (14)
questions related to the draft Development Agreement to which staff responded.
Operation: Twenty-four (24) hours per day
It was noted by Mayor Roe that Cub
Foods at Har Mar Mall is another retail operation in Roseville with a 24-hour
Mr. Paschke advised that there was
no restriction in City Code as to hours of operation; with Mr. Trudgeon and
Mayor Roe concurring, noting the restrictions for extended hours were specific
to commercial operations adjacent to residential areas.
Councilmember McGehee noted that
there was a potential for future residential development adjacent to the
proposed Wal-Mart as part of CMU zoning, and noted that the Development Agreement
stipulated that no further restrictions could be imposed by the City for at
least two (2) years. Councilmember McGehee questioned whether this precluded
any adjacent properties being developed as residential.
Mr. Trudgeon clarified that it was
not the City of Roseville nor Wal-Mart, but State Statute that dictated the
two-year rule once the Development Agreement and Plat were approved. Mr.
Trudgeon advised that while the City may not appreciate the two-year clause,
there was some protection or assurances based on the newer office/warehouse
building directly to the east of the proposed Wal-Mart site that he didn’t
anticipate for any immediate redevelopment at least within that two-year
window. Mr. Trudgeon also noted that the PIK property directly to the north
could potentially have residential development; however, since it was located
closer to the park, that property had been identified for office/campus
activity. Mr. Trudgeon opined that any future residential developers would
certainly take into account the location of a retail store in the vicinity;
however, at this time, Mr. Trudgeon advised that a CMU zoning designation did
not guarantee future redevelopment as residential. Without that knowledge, Mr.
Trudgeon advised that it was difficult for the City to regulate.
Regarding the two-year rule, Mayor
Roe questioned if the Zoning Code or Comprehensive Plan guidance could be
changed for that area once approved. While not meaning that existing zoning
and Comprehensive Plan provisions wouldn’t remain in effect, Mayor Roe
questioned if residential development adjacent to commercial or retail
properties wouldn’t still be subject to City regulations.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that, prior
to responding, he would like to study that question further with the City
Attorney to determine how to apply those restrictions. Of course, Mr. Trudgeon
advised that it would be staff’s intent to work with any retail and/or
residential development to ensure compatibility. However, he was not sure of
the enforcement capabilities available to the City without consultation with
Mayor Roe encouraged staff to
review that issue with legal counsel in more detail.
Infrastructure Cost Allocation
Councilmember McGehee questioned
why Wal-Mart was only paying $400,000 for I-35W ramp improvements that are estimated
to cost approximately $1.6 million; and why it appears that the City is
subsidizing the Wal-Mart Corporation with $10 million of completed
infrastructure. Councilmember McGehee further questioned traffic projects;
triggers for additional improvements and various interpretations by MnDOT and
other traffic engineers; and questioned the accuracy of models and projected
Mr. Trudgeon advised that
Wal-Mart’s cost allocation had been determined, through significant analysis of
various components and expert consultation, at twenty-five percent (25%) of the
total interchange costs. Mr. Trudgeon noted that this was not a small, but
rather significant, investment on their part, especially when drawing a nexus
to this specific development and other occurrences that may make the
interchange inadequate. Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff had performed
substantial due diligence and negotiations with Wal-Mart to reach this
agreed-upon $400,000 amount, and staff was unable to justify any additional
cost to this developer above that amount. Mr. Trudgeon noted that this figure
represented more to the City than a typical assessment from the Chapter 429
Councilmember McGehee opined that
there would be additional traffic impacts and mitigation that the citizens of
Roseville would be required to pay; and further opined that citizens have
already done their share.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that there
were also other options available to the City for reimbursement of costs from
other future property owners and/or developers, as well as the Chapter 429
Councilmember McGehee questioned
the rationale for accepting $411,115 in park dedication fees as opposed to land
owned by Roseville Properties along County Road C and targeted for an addition
to Langton Lake Park, including the Oak Forest identified in the 2002 Natural
Resources Plan. Councilmember McGehee opined that this agreement not only
precluded the City obtaining the land, but also not getting added protection to
a portion of Langton Lake.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that the Twin
Lakes Regulating Plan identified that area for an addition to Langton Lake
Park, the decision as to whether to acquire the property or a fee in lieu of
had been the decision of the Parks and Recreation Commission after their
deliberation of the issue. While not attempting to speak for the Commission,
Mr. Trudgeon surmised that the Commission apparently had determined that taking
the fee instead of the land, was based on their ability in the future to
improve parks with dollars versus land. Mr. Trudgeon noted that the City could
acquire land with these funds, but the Commission had apparently decided not to
pursue that option at this time. Mr. Trudgeon noted that, even though this
parcel and that north on County Road C were owned by the same property owner, a
different project was being discussed and became more complex.
Councilmember McGehee opined that
any park dedication funds should be used to purchase land around Langton Lake
Park, especially when the intent was to improve or protect water quality and
address other mitigating factors.
Indemnification for Operation
Councilmember McGehee questioned
why the City was not indemnified for operation of the Wal-Mart.
Regarding day-to-day operations,
Mr. Trudgeon deferred to legal counsel.
City Attorney Mark Gaughan sought
additional clarification from Councilmember McGehee, with Councilmember McGehee
advised that she was seeking assurances for proper remediation for TCE or
health damages to people accessing or working at the Wal-Mart site for any harm
caused by contaminated soils.
City Attorney Gaughan noted that
Councilmember McGehee’s question assumed City liability and indemnification suggested
that the City was assuming some liability, which he didn’t believe would be the
At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr.
Gaughan summarized the Indemnification Clause included in the draft Development
Agreement that would “hold harmless” the City under demands or complaints under
the project’s construction. Once completed, Mr. Gaughan advised that he could
not fathom any scenario where a private property owner would be required to
indemnify the City for anything happening on that private property.
Mayor Roe concurred with City
Attorney Gaughan that this was certainly not common practice.
Councilmember McGehee disputed
that assumption, opining that the property was a Brownfield and such an event
could happen, especially since this is the first development to occur in the
area; and there would be a significant number of employees and shoppers at the
Long-Term Continuity of
Councilmember McGehee questioned
if it was possible to have an escrow fund established in case Wal-Mart chose to
move on and leave behind a large, vacant building that couldn’t be marketed;
and to protect Roseville residents against that possibility. Councilmember
McGehee advised that she was aware of 159 other communities with vacant, big
box stores on no fully remediated land. Mr. Trudgeon advised that any
provisions could be suggested for inclusion in a Development Agreement;
however, he questioned the effectiveness of some provisions or what the City
would want Wal-Mart to do if they chose to close the store in the future. Mr.
Trudgeon advised that any remediation should be completed prior to Wal-Mart
opening for business; and in his analysis and review of other Development
Agreements nation-wide, he was unsure of any advantage to be gained and opined
that such a provision might be somewhat unrealistic.
Councilmember McGehee questioned
if the City could stipulate that Wal-Mart carry basic or standard insurance to
cover injuries to store patrons.
City Attorney Gaughan advised that
it could be made a requirement of the Agreement; however, he advised that his legal
counsel would be to keep in mind that any provisions in the Agreement needed to
be reasonable and consistent with other existing or future Development
Agreements to avoid any risk of undermining the reasonableness of the City’s
demands. Mr. Gaughan opined that he was unaware of any other property owner
that the City had required such a mandate. Mr. Gaughan further opined that it
was common knowledge that the Wal-Mart Corporation was sufficiently insured,
and suggested it was a moot point to require such a provision in the
Level of Environmental Clean-up
At the request of Councilmember
McGehee, Mr. Trudgeon advised that any environmental clean-up of the property
by the developer was under the regulations and requirements of the Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), not dictated by the City of Roseville. Mr.
Trudgeon anticipated that this would involve either removal or capping of the
contamination soil so it no longer created any danger to water bodies or the
aquifer; and would require the developer to submit a RAP (Response Action Plan)
document detailing their action plan to the MPCA, which would not be under the
direct approval authority of the City of Roseville. Mr. Trudgeon noted that
there was a difference in clean-up levels between residential and/or commercial
areas, but that this was also determined by the MPCA.
At the request of Councilmember
McGehee, Mr. Trudgeon advised that preliminary analysis of the subject property
should be available to any interested parties as public information, since a
Phase I and Phase II analysis had been performed.
At the request of Councilmember
McGehee, Mr. Paschke advised that the developer would be required to meet the
regulations of the Rice Creek Watershed District as well as the City of
Roseville for storm water management on the site; with an underground chamber
proposed, built to specifications of the MPCA, City and Watershed District, and
monitored as applicable under their various oversight authorities.
Prior to opening the meeting for
public comment related to the proposed Plat, Mayor Roe again reviewed the
process; and recognizing that this was an intense and emotional issue, sought
the respect of all parties moving forward.
Ihlan, 1776 Stanbridge Avenue
Callaghan, 3062 Shorewood Lane
May 19, 2012
position statement from the “Solidarity of West Area Roseville Neighbors
(SWARN)” expressing concerns and opposition to Wal-Mart
David Nelson, 2280 W Highway
36, representative of “Solidarity for West Area Roseville Neighbors (SWARN)”
As previously noted, written
comments were provided from SWARN; with questions specific to the Plat related
to reimbursement for the I-35W and Twin Lakes Parkway interchange; and
clarification of whether or not the Twin Lakes Master Plan was part of the
current Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan.
Mike Gregory, 1945 Sharondale
Avenue, representative of: “Solidarity for West Area Roseville Neighbors
Mr. Gregory expressed concerns
related to economic and/or social concerns, and read his written comment (no
copy provided), opining that Wal-Mart was not a “community-based” business, but
a national chain that will negatively impact and/or close many local business.
Mr. Gregory referenced numerous studies; and questioned what legacy the City
Council wanted to leave for western Roseville and asked that the City Council
consider the record of this corporate citizen elsewhere. Specific questions of
Mr. Gregory included: 1) the impact on taxes to Roseville compared to what
they’re paying versus City costs; 2) impact to local roads; 3) impact to local
roadways (maintenance and clean-up); and crime statistics of other Wal-Mart
stores (e.g., Vadnais Heights store).
Sue Gilbertson, 2000 Cleveland
Avenue N (SWARN)
Ms. Gilbertson shared crime
statistics that she had researched from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office, and
incidents at the Vadnais Heights Wal-Mart Store over a five (5) year period,
and comparing those statistics between Wal-Mart and the Target store in that
same vicinity at 975 and 850 County Road E respectively. Mr. Gilbertson
reviewed the number and type of calls. Ms. Gilbertson also referenced her
discussions with Roseville Police Lt. Loren Rosand and Chief Mathwig for their
anticipated annual call rate of between 900-1000 calls with this Wal-Mart
development in Roseville, exclusive of related officer, squad car and support
Megan Dushin, 2249 St. Stephen
Ms. Dushin opined that legal
language could be interpreted as anyone’s discretion; however, she further
opined that the City Council had sufficient language in the Comprehensive Plan
and other documents to fully support its denial of this proposed development.
Ms. Dushin referenced CMU zoning
provisions, regional trip calculations, and definition of this as a regional
business, questioning the logic in such a definition for this proposed use.
Ms. Dushin referenced Chapter 4 (page 8) of the Comprehensive Plan for
definitions of Regional Business and various sections (1005.05.f) included as
Attachment C in the meeting packet (page 3) related to surface parking on large
development sites, and other areas this did not meet requirements. Ms. Dushin
asked why these discrepancies were not being addressed.
Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks
Mr. Grefenberg referenced the
written comments of SWARN in making his points in opposition to this
development. Mr. Grefenberg alleged that staff had been proposing and
advocating for this development all along, whether at the Planning Commission
or City Council level. Mr. Grefenberg opined that SWARN disputed whether or
not the Comprehensive Plan or the Twin Lakes Master Plan ever recommended a
development of this type. Mr. Grefenberg stated that, as part of the Comprehensive
Plan Steering Committee, on which he had participated, he had been led to
believe that the Twin Lakes Master Plan would be incorporated into the
Comprehensive Plan; however, something happened between the Steering Committee
final recommendation and City Council adoption of the Comprehensive Plan. Mr.
Grefenberg alleged that staff selectively picked what they thought was or was
not important; without any findings of fact presented to the Planning
Commission. Mr. Grefenberg opined that the Comprehensive Plan recommended
against this type of big box retailer; and if the Twin Lakes Master Plan had
been made a part of the Comprehensive Plan, that specific prohibition against
large scale retail operations, which a lot of citizens had spent time debating,
there would be no current dispute or consideration of this type of development.
At a minimum, Mr. Grefenberg
advised that SWARN was asking for the opportunity, before a Building Permit for
this development was issued, notice to formally appeal the administrative
decision to issue the permit. From his perspective, Mr. Grefenberg opined
that there had never been a really adequate discussion of Comprehensive Plan
policies, a number included in packet materials that clearly contradicted
allowing such a development. Mr. Grefenberg disputed the assumption provided by
staff to the Planning Commission that the proposed development meets the
Comprehensive Plan or Twin Lakes Master Plan. Mr. Grefenberg opined that if
the City Council allowed this signature piece to be a Wal-Mart or Target store,
it should not expect much quality residential or retail development to follow
in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area. Mr. Grefenberg referenced the
Implementation Section of the Comprehensive Plan, addressing patience as the
City moved toward its future goals, and willingly promoted public and private
development that fit that vision, dissuading those that did not. If the City
Council proceeds with Plat approval, Mr. Grefenberg asked that it direct staff
to notify residents with adequate time to appeal the administrative decision
for issuance of the Building Permit once the developer’s plans were submitted.
Mr. Grefenberg opined that Roseville citizens, to-date, had not gotten a fair
hearing of this issue.
Megan Dushin (SWARN)
Ms. Dushin referenced numerous
quotes from Chapter 4 (page 423) of the Comprehensive Plan; and sought
clarification if the Twin Lakes Master Plan was included or not included in the
Comprehensive Plan, since she had heard two (2) different versions, based on
her research of a September 12, 2011 staff report, and page 423 of the
Comprehensive Plan, and page 9, Section 2, and page 11 of the Twin Lakes Master
Plan and comments about big box retail and incorporation of the 2011 Twin
Lakes Master Plan guiding future development. Ms. Dushin further referenced
surface parking restrictions addressed in Section 14 of the Land Use Section
(page 20) of the Twin Lakes Master Plan.
In conclusion, Ms. Dushin
questioned the policy for expanding retail in the area, and whether this
development would provide head of household job opportunities stipulated by the
City’s Comprehensive Plan.
Gary Grefenberg (SWARN)
Mr. Grefenberg specifically
addressed traffic analyses, referencing the MnDOT letter dated May 9, 2012 to
staff; opining that Wal-Mart’s expense to the City over the next decade would
far exceed Wal-Mart’s payment of $400,000 for infrastructure improvements. In
the meantime, Mr. Grefenberg opined that Roseville residents would suffer the
penalties while private profits would go to Arkansas.
Mr. Grefenberg asked
Councilmembers why they were rushing to approve the Preliminary and Final
Plats, when there were so many unanswered questions yet remaining. As
requested in the written comments of SWARN, Mr. Grefenberg asked the City
Council to direct the Planning Division to hold an Open House if and when
Wal-Mart development plans evolve to provide answers to those citizen
questions. Mr. Grefenberg expressed his disillusionment that financial aspects
of the Development Agreement had not been provided to the public until late
this afternoon, not allowing any review or informed reaction by the public.
Mr. Grefenberg asked that the City Council hold off on approving the Development
Agreement to allow due process for the public, given the significant impact
this proposal will have on the community.
Ms. Dushin suggested additional
conditions for the City to apply to this development, such as limiting
operating hours and reducing the amount of public subsidy to this developer.
Mr. Grefenberg questioned, if tax
increment financing (TIF) funds were allocated to pay off costs, who paid for
additional costs to the City, including police protection, and how this represented
a public purpose.
Janet Olson, 418 Glenwood
Given the history of concern in
this area of Roseville, Ms. Olson questioned why the City didn’t make more of an
effort to provide notice to citizens about this development. Ms. Olson opined
that the neighborhood had poured their heart and soul into making this a
positive area of the community; and opined that the City had an obligation to
its own citizens. Ms. Olson also questioned how the City could designate this
development as “community” rather than “regional” business, based on her
interpretation of the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map.
Jan Bielke, 2070 N Cleveland (1
mile north of proposed Wal-Mart)
Ms. Bielke stated that she was appalled
at how this whole thing has been handled. Ms. Bielke referenced past
development proposals directly across from her home that she and her neighbors
had fought very hard to oppose. However, Ms. Bielke opined that at least the
neighborhood had been adequately noticed at that time to allow their voices to
be heard. Ms. Bielke opined that it was terrible that citizens were not made
more aware of this proposed development; and while not intending offense to
Wal-Mart since it was not a store that she frequented based on her perception
of their treatment and pay for their employees, she expressed her
disappointment to the City Council and asked that they reconsider this
proposal. Ms. Bielke opined that there was a lot of angst among citizens once
they become aware of the proposal.
Mr. Callaghan advised that he was
still waiting for the answer to his question of what mitigation was intended
for traffic at Fairview Avenue and County Road D; whether it would continue to
be graded as an “f” now and with future development, and why this did not seem
to be important. Mr. Callaghan disputed staff’s previous comments related to
current stresses on the system creating the problem, since at least four (4)
years ago, the intersection had been rated “f,” and questioned if inaction by
the City Council was acceptable. Mr. Callaghan also questioned the feasibility
of building another Wal-Mart store two (2) miles from another one, and
questioned the odds of both remaining open in the foreseeable future. Mr.
Callaghan provided his perspective on the operating characteristics of Wal-Mart
when stores are opened in close proximity, based on his own research and
personal observations. Mr. Callaghan questioned the City’s intent when the
property became vacant; and opined that it would be typical of Wal-Mart to hold
the property vacant to minimize their tax burden with no regard to the negative
impacts to a community. Mr. Callaghan opined that a Wal-Mart store in the Twin
Lakes Redevelopment Area was inconsistent with any of citizen plans, with no
big box supported and having planned businesses within a viable walking area
and easily accessed by residents. With Wal-Mart drawing shoppers from 2-4
miles away, Mr. Callaghan disputed that this was a local store versus a
regional store no matter if staff considered it “limited retail.”
Mr. Rafael Fernandez 1966
Mr. Fernandez concurred with
previous remarks about the lack of information and notice provided to citizens;
and opined whether a legal requirement or not, it was prudent to keep citizens
informed. Given the short amount of time he had to research and prepare his
remarks, Mr. Fernandez asked the following questions: 1) What type of jobs and
what wages will this store provide; 2) are employees anticipated to come from
the community or from other communities; and 3) what additional expenses will
those employees create for Roseville and at whose expense.
Mr. Fernandez questioned why the
City Council would not protect its community rather than leaving it vulnerable
to proposals such as this, or will Wal-Mart sufficiently compensate the
community for the additional infrastructure, public safety, traffic congestion
and delays, and increased crime victims; as well as what will happen to the
local, small businesses established in Roseville and providing its character
and quality of life. Mr. Fernandez opined that Roseville was fine as it is,
and asked that it be left alone.
Vivian Ramalingam, 2182 Acorn
Ms. Ramalingam sought
clarification on the responsibility for construction and maintenance of
roadways around this proposed development.
Tim Kotecki, 3078 Mount Ridge
Mr. Kotecki questioned what the
three (3) most attractive reasons Wal-Mart had for building in Roseville;
whether surrounding retail bothered Wal-Mart or the City Council; whether TIF
was part of this development and if so, would Wal-Mart develop in Roseville
without TIF. In fairness to Wal-Mart, Mr. Kotecki reviewed his mileage
calculations of other Wal-Marts in the immediate metropolitan area (Saint
Anthony Village, University at Prior Avenues) and questioned if it was normal
practice for them to build that close to their other stores. Mr. Kotecki
questioned the accuracy of traffic studies and their projections, and safety of
cars potentially stacking on the freeway for others going at or over speed as
they encountered that stacking.
Jane Auger, 1880 Roselawn
As a twenty (20) year resident of
Roseville, Ms. Auger opined that having Wal-Mart so close to their neighborhood
would decrease their quality of life and property values. Ms. Auger advised
that this may cause her to re-evaluate her choice to remain in Roseville. Ms.
Auger questioned the designation of Wal-Mart at “limited retail” and opined
that there must be other prime vendors looking to locate in Roseville; and
expressed her opposition to the proposed Wal-Mart development.
Mary Alexander, 14 Mid Oaks
Ms. Alexander questioned what was
in it for Roseville from the City Council’s perspective; and whether money
received by the City would serve to further improve community parks and roads.
Ms. Alexander noted the significant tax money being allocated to ensure the
best park system possible for the community; and questioned what was wrong with
Roseville aspiring to be the best rather than dragging it down with such a development
as proposed. Ms. Alexander questioned if the City would feature a Wal-Mart
store on the front cover of the Roseville Visitor’s Association (RVA) promotional
materials; opining that this was not something communities chose to advertise
as a positive in their community. Ms. Alexander noted her confusion in the
Comprehensive and Master Plans, but opined that her perception was that both
consistently supported local businesses supporting area families, not big box
stores in any of their recommendations. Ms. Alexander displayed and referenced
her copy of the March 2012 Consumers’ Report magazine that had rated ten
(10) big box stores, with Wal-Mart scoring the lowest of those ten (10) for
customer satisfaction. Ms. Alexander questioned why a retail store should be
put in the midst of Roseville when customers were not satisfied with this
retailer; and opined that it only provide a recipe for failure.
Mayor Roe closed public comment at
this time, as no more speakers were apparent.
At the invitation of Mayor Roe to Ms. Sue Steinwall for comments or
responses, Ms. Steinwall advised that they would stand for questions as asked.
Mayor Roe responded that while the
subject property will be contributing increments, the developer would not receive
any to fund their proposal other than for the City using it for City costs for
infrastructure improvements contemplated or anticipated.
Twin Lakes Master Plan as a part of
the Comprehensive Plan
Mayor Roe sought clarification
from staff that while the Master Plan was removed as part of the 2009
Comprehensive Plan, it continued to be referenced for consideration; with
specific language in regard to it remaining an official control document.
Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the
Twin Lakes Master Plan was referenced as an “official control” (page 423,
Section 4) in the 2010 Comprehensive Plan.
Mayor Roe further clarified the
intent of “official control” terminology related to regulating a certain area.
Based on his recollection of Comprehensive Plan discussions, the intent was
that a document designated as an “official control” was related to enforcement,
and not carrying the same weight under State Statutes as the Zoning Code, but
remaining part of the review process to determine what was or was not
Councilmember Johnson opined that
he did find this language a bit of a conundrum; and sought clarification from
staff of a process at the Planning Commission level several years ago in reviewing
all Master Plans throughout the City to determine which were and which were not
included in the Comprehensive Plan update. Councilmember Johnson questioned
what the outcome for the Twin lakes Master Plan had been as a result of those
discussions and decisions.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that the
determination was that the Twin Lakes Master Plan was not included as
part of the updated Comprehensive Plan, but that it remained relevant with a
limited ability to accomplish everything desired in the area.
Councilmember Johnson opined that,
based on that, there would appear to be a discrepancy between the Twin Lakes
Master Plan, the Comprehensive Plan, and the Zoning Code.
Mr. Trudgeon did not concur with
Councilmember Johnson suggested
that this appeared to put the Master Plan on a different plane than the
Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code, and if there was a discrepancy, the City
was obliged to abide by the Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan.
With all due respect,
Councilmember Pust opined that the term “official control” did have legal
meaning, not just what the City chose to have it mean, with case law defining
“official control.” If the Twin Lakes Master Plan was defined in the
Comprehensive Plan as an “official control,” Councilmember Pust opined that a
legal argument could be made that the Master Plan then needed to be followed.
While not the Zoning Code, Councilmember Pust opined that it could not be
ignored. Councilmember Pust noted that Zoning Codes and Comprehensive Plans
were official controls, but was unsure if the Master Plan was in conflict with
the Comprehensive Plan.
Public Safety Concern/Increased
Police Call Volumes
Police Chief Rick Mathwig
At the request of Mayor Roe to
respond to public concerns about an increase in police call volume with a
Wal-Mart development, Police Chief Mathwig responded, that his actual
projections were for between 700-900 additional calls annually, or two (2) per
24-hour period. While not able to predict the future, Chief Mathwig advised
that, just based on the potential 24-hour operations for the proposed store,
there would be an obvious increase in calls for service. Chief Mathwig advised
that his projections were based on his research of crime rates from the Cities
of Eagan, Saint Anthony and Coon Rapids when Wal-Mart stores were constructed
in those communities. Chief Mathwig noted that crime statistics were variable,
and would depend on the specific community, bus routes, and a store’s proximity
to the inner core.
Councilmember Johnson asked if the
expansion of the Super Target in Roseville had caused police calls to spike as
well, Chief Mathwig responded that there had been no significant spike.
Councilmember Johnson questioned
what Chief Mathwig’s opinion was on the impact of calls if Target had chosen to
go with a 24-hour operation.
Chief Mathwig responded that they
would have probably had the potential to be higher, with any such 24 hour
operation versus a 12 hour operation creating the probability of more calls.
Surface Parking/Parking Lot
At the request of Mayor Roe
regarding the question on whether the proposed design met parking regulations,
Mr. Trudgeon advised that City Code was referenced for the design by the
developer and review of the design by staff for Community Business District
zoning restrictions, and met those requirements. Mr. Trudgeon clarified that
Community Business District zoning had a different standard that that
While staff did not have the
information available, Councilmember Willmus questioned the approximate amount
of existing office space square footage in Twin Lakes. Councilmember Willmus
explained his rationale in asking the question based on whether or not this
160,000 square foot retail center would skew the overall use within Twin Lakes.
Due Process Concerns with
Revisions to the Development Agreement
Mayor Roe asked that staff respond
to concerns regarding due process with revisions provided by staff this
afternoon related to the Development Agreement.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that
financial information had been included in the information released with the
draft Development Agreement included as part of the agenda packet materials,
and had not been changed with the revisions released today. As previously
noted in staff’s presentation, the revisions were minor in nature and basically
consisted of typographical and grammatical corrections, and additional exhibits
as supporting documents referenced in the body of the Agreement. Mr. Trudgeon
advised that the summary of the Development Agreement and a significant portion
of the exhibits were included in the packet available and/or distributed last
Councilmember Pust noted that the
total dollars were included, just not the detailed breakdown.
At approximately 9:59 pm, Johnson moved, Willmus seconded,
extending the meeting curfew to 10:30 pm.
Mayor Roe deferred response to the
office versus retail portion until the City Council discussion.
Traffic Mitigation at Fairview
Avenue and County Road D
Mayor Roe asked City Engineer
Bloom to respond to the comment that this development did not trigger
mitigation for the Fairview Avenue and County Road D intersection and that its
service level would be maintained at level “f.”
Ms. Bloom responded that, while
not having that information available at this time, she could verify that there
was no change indicated at that intersection. Ms. Bloom noted that there were
a number of intersections within the community currently rated at “d” or “f”
service levels today; and the Wal-Mart development did not trigger any
additional mitigation based on projected impacts to the intersection.
Ms. Bloom referenced a letter
addressed to her from MnDOT dated April 12, 2012, addressing the projected
6,000 vehicles per hour to Wal-Mart. Quoting directly from that
correspondence, Ms. Bloom noted that I-35W carried greater than 100,000 trips
daily. Ms. Bloom summarized that the increased traffic projected for the
future was 6,000 vehicles per hour for northbound I-35W some portion of which may
utilize the interchange, but clarified that they would not all be accessing the
Wal-Mart development specifically.
Ms. Bloom displayed a map showing
the Twin Lakes Parkway interchange, and proposed interchange improvements to
address cuing concerns of MnDOT and S.R.F. Consulting, both included as
attachments to the staff reports as background material, and potential stacking
concerns impacting I-35W, creating the required improvement shown in the
Regarding the City requirement to
make sure access was made available to the Wal-Mart site, Ms. Bloom and Mr.
Trudgeon were in agreement that they didn’t foresee a delay in providing
permanent access, without the need to provide a temporary means. However, Ms. Bloom
advised that the City would be obligated to provide access, whether temporary
or permanent in accordance with the terms of the Development Agreement. At the
request of Mayor Roe regarding public comment on who would pay for the rest of
the cost of the I-35W improvements, Ms. Bloom advised that, while that remains
to be determined, grant funds and Chapter 429 assessments to benefitting
property owners were both options. Ms. Bloom noted that the City’s request for
grant funds had been scored very favorably, but was still not awarded, and
expressed cautious optimism that funding would be made available, but not yet
Current level of retail in
Roseville and Potential Impacts for Wal-Mart
At the invitation of Mayor Roe,
Ms. Steinwall responded that, while she was not privy to Wal-Mart’s business
plan, market research had found that Roseville citizens were shopping at
Wal-Mart. Ms. Steinwall noted that her client was obviously confident that
there were unfilled retail needs in the community, and they recognized
Roseville as a terrific community and were excited to become part of that
community. Ms. Steinwall advised that trends supported the fact that the more
retail available in an area, the better the market was for everyone; and
advised there was no concern by Wal-Mart with existing retail in Roseville.
Spacing of Stores/Potential
At the invitation of Mayor Roe,
Ms. Steinwall responded that, while again not privy to her client’s business
and/or future plans, in observing other big box retailer space throughout the
Twin Cities area (e.g. Target), there were similarities for locating close to
other stores. Whether one store may close due to another store being built in
Roseville, Ms. Steinwall noted that she was unable to predict the future;
however, she anticipated that a vast majority of customers will visit this
Wal-Mart from within a two (2) mile radius.
Councilmember Johnson asked Ms.
Steinwall if the Wal-Mart development team had found the City of Roseville to
be more stringent about design and/or architectural standards not normally
found in a Wal-Mart setting.
Ms. Steinwall responded with a
resounding “yes,” based on the team’s experience, and noted that Wal-Mart’s
approach was to achieve 100% compliance with the City’s new Zoning Code which
had proven quite particular about design elements and building orientation,
design and parking lot size, and assuring that the development was more
pedestrian friendly and accessible. However, Ms. Steinwall expressed the
team’s appreciation for City staff during the process, even while being very,
very particular in meeting City Code requirements, while at the same time
providing the development team with a great abundance of details and
Regarding Community and Regional Business
Zoning designation, Councilmember Pust referenced a memorandum from the City
Attorney’s office dated December 9, 2011 defining CMU designation as a mix of land
uses, and CB as community and regional business in the context of the scale of
the customer base and access to interchanges. Regional Business is defined as
free-standing, large square foot stores, with Community Business defined as
business limited to the local market area including free-standing businesses
promoting community orientation, smaller than free-standing stores.
Mr. Trudgeon was somewhat in
agreement with that summary.
Councilmember Pust opined that size
was not generally an issue, but that the entire discussion of the Task Force
was the scale of size, with CMU area referred to as community businesses, not
regional business; while other areas in the Comprehensive Plan referring to
regional business. Councilmember Pust opined that there appeared to be
inconsistencies between the Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan, and there was
to be no conflict between the two. If that is the case, Councilmember Pust
opined that the definition of “official control” then becomes important.
Mr. Trudgeon admitted that it was
a complex issue; but clarified that the Community Business definition addressed
the local market area within a two (2) mile area of Roseville, and supplying
daily needs (e.g. groceries, clothes, and other household goods), all of which
a Wal-Mart would sell.
Councilmember Pust, however, when assessing
that interpretation against the definition of a free-standing, large format
store, felt there was general agreement on how they fit together. Councilmember
Pust expressed concern that, if there was any potential for disagreement, there
were a lot of citizens who would also disagree. While recognizing City
Attorney Gaughan’s legal opinion in suggesting that the Comprehensive Plan may
not apply, there were other cases of Metropolitan Council approved
Comprehensive Plans that flagged this as a potential legal issue.
Councilmember Pust also recognized that City Ordinance, Chapter 1102, defined
the process and requirements for Preliminary Plat approval with that ordinance
serving as the City’s legal authority.
Mr. Trudgeon, in context of
subdivisions and for this process, concurred.
Councilmember Pust opined that the
City, through its ordinance, was given that authority from the State, and when
ordinances were enacted, the public was assured of their fair and equal
treatment based on the same criteria without arbitrary issues. However, in
referencing Chapter 1102, Councilmember Pust noted that it specifically stated
that the City would have a Preliminary Plat approval process, then a Final Plat
approval process. Councilmember Pust advised that she could find nothing in
City ordinance combining those two processes, causing her to question if the
City had the statutory authority to combine that approval process in one
action. Councilmember Pust opined that the City Council therefore, should not
take action tonight on this issue.
City Attorney Gaughan responded
regarding the issue of potential conflicts with the Zoning Code, Comprehensive
Plan, and the Twin Lakes Master Plan. Mr. Gaughan noted the importance, for
this discussion and the Development Agreement addressing infrastructure, that
the focus was not on potential or future ultimate use of the property, but
simply platting currently subdivided property, or redrawing lines. Mr. Gaughan
advised, when considering whether this application conformed to the City’s
Zoning Code and Subdivision regulations, it was not based on future use, but
whether dividing the property into three (3) parcels conformed to those
Regarding whether this use fits
into the CMU or Regional Business, as brought up correctly by Mr. Grefenberg,
Mr. Gaughan advised that it only came into play when the Community Development
Department issued the building permit. Once the Building Permit is issued, Mr.
Gaughan noted that there was a ten (10) day window for appeal of that decision
if an argument is made that this project’s actual use does not conform to
whatever the official control was. Mr. Gaughan confirmed that this would be an
appropriate process for such a debate at that time. However, Mr. Gaughan again
clarified that the purpose of tonight’s request for action was for the purpose
of redrawing lines regardless of their use. Mr. Gaughan advised that the
League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) has confirmed that the City can’t take the
potential use into account in making that decision.
Regarding Preliminary and Final
Plat approval or denial, Mr. Gaughan advised that, state-wide, cities have the
ability to consolidate those processes, even if the Roseville City Code does
not specifically consolidate them in its current language, it does not specify
that it won’t consolidate them. Mr. Gaughan noted that the Final Plat must be
completed within sixty (60) days, and while there appeared to be some
ambiguity, he expressed more interest in City Code, Chapter 1102.04, Items b.9
and 10 and requirements of what must occur before Final Plat approval. Mr.
Gaughan expressed his concern that staff do a final review to assure that all
those requirements have been completed as per City Code before Final Plat
approval or denial to ensure all those “ducks are in a row” and the Final Plat
is in compliance. Precluding that assurance, Mr. Gaughan suggested that the
City Council approve the Preliminary Plat, subject to conditions of the
ordinance and hold off on Final Plat approval.
Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the steps
followed in assuring that compliance, and those items found on the Preliminary
Plat, from staff’s perspective, needing additional work.
In response to City Attorney
Gaughan, Councilmember Pust opined that, regarding Community versus Regional
Business designation, she thought there was a conflict between the Zoning Code
including reference to “official control” of the Comprehensive Plan and the
Twin Lakes Master Plan. Councilmember Pust concurred with Mr. Gaughan in
general, if all that was being done was platting, those issues may not rise to
the level, since it was a concept or drawing lines, not determining a
particular use. However, Councilmember Pust opined that she did not believe it
to be accurate that citizens had more rights than a sitting City Council in
having the authority to say “no” to something that might allow enough ambiguity
to prompt another lawsuit. Councilmember Pust expressed her frustration with
those past attempts to stifle a project, and opined that she was also tired of
the continued waste of public monies in defending the City’s past actions
Councilmember Pust, opined that an
argument could come up that the City didn’t have the authority to do what has
been proposed, and since she was unable to personally ignore ordinance
language, even if State Statute says it was appropriate to combine approval of
a Preliminary and Final Plat, the City can revise their own ordinance to
combine that approval process, removing any such ambiguity about the process.
No matter if the City of Roseville has just done it that way, without written
ordinance language providing that clear authority and a process outlined, Councilmember
Pust opined that she was confident there would be another lawsuit since the
development was proposed in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, an obvious area
of dispute in the community. Councilmember Pust opined that since there had
already been a delay to ensure that all the “ducks were in a row,” the City
Council should delay further to get its “ducks in a row” to confident action by
the City Council majority. Therefore, Councilmember Pust spoke in support of
not taking any action at tonight’s meeting.
Councilmember Johnson stated that
he heard the logic of Councilmember Pust, and agreed that she had some valid
points. Along with comments heard from other Councilmembers, Councilmember
Johnson spoke in support of moving forward with the Preliminary Plat only
tonight, since it was consistent with State Statute and City Ordinance.
However, Councilmember Johnson expressed his hesitation and lack of comfort
going outside that realm at this point. However, in the interest of time and
the 60-day review period, Councilmember Johnson questioned how much more time
was available in the review period. Councilmember Johnson also recognized the
lateness of the hour in having additional discussion on this, or in any other
making any other significant decisions tonight.
Regarding the Preliminary Plat,
Mayor Roe expressed concern about whether a determination would be available
related to whether use should be considered at the time of Plat approval.
While recognizing that the Preliminary Plat was far along the road toward a
Final Plat, without application of unrealistic conditions, Mayor Roe opined
that the City Council was not currently in a position to approve a Final Plat
Councilmember McGehee advised that
she had personally researched those issues raised by Councilmember Pust tonight
with three other independent attorneys, including one with the LMC, who
concurred with Councilmember Pust’s interpretation. Councilmember McGehee
noted that this was her rationale in addressing some of those issues in her
memorandums as previously referenced as bench handouts. Councilmember McGehee
stated that she specifically tied the use to the Plat, based on her
conversations with the LMC and the City’s Zoning Code, addressing those topics
raised by the public tonight. Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of
waiting to take action. Councilmember McGehee also stated that her
understanding of preliminary and final plat was quite a bit more than “just
drawling lines.” The preliminary plat, she said, is where all the points are
City Attorney Gaughan noted that
the City Council could schedule a special meeting to address the land use
60-day review period that only had fourteen (14) days remaining.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that the
applicant could choose to extend the review period, however the City could not
as it had already done so, as well as the development clock stopping during the
RGU review of the citizens’ petition.
Councilmember Pust asked for a
response from the applicant’s representative regarding their preference to
extend the review period or table action beyond the original sixty (60) days
unless a special meeting was scheduled.
Sue Steinwall, Legal Counsel
Ms. Steinwall advised that she
could not respond without first consulting her client.
Mr. Trudgeon reminded
Councilmembers that lack of action on the part of the City Council on the land
use issue by not meeting the review deadline would automatically serve as an
approval by the City of the Preliminary Plat without a Development Agreement in
Pust moved, McGehee seconded,
TABLING this discussion to a date uncertain for staff and the City Attorney to
provide additional information and clarify those discussion items brought
forward tonight regarding Preliminary and Final Plat processes and the
Development Agreement provisions and process.
Discussion among staff, City
Attorney Gaughan, and Councilmembers included the option of calling a special
meeting prior to the review deadline; and whether, once consulted, the Wal-Mart
Corporate Office could choose to provide a letter authorizing another
extension; and the need for the City Attorney and staff to consult further on
this particular issue before any decisions are made by the City Council.
Business Items – Presentations/Discussions
City Manager Future Agenda Review
Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Johnson moved, McGehee seconded,
adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:35 pm.