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Council Meeting Minutes
June 3, 2013
CTV Studios, 2670 Arthur Street
Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular
meeting at approximately 6:00 pm, and welcomed everyone. Voting and Seating
Order: Willmus; Etten; McGehee; Laliberte; and Roe. Interim City Manager
Patrick Trudgeon and City Attorney Charlie Bartholdi were also present. Mayor
Roe thanked CTV for hosting tonight’s City Council meeting while the audio
system in the City Hall Council Chambers was being updated.
2. Approve Agenda
McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of the agenda as
Ayes: Willmus; Etten; McGehee; Laliberte;
3. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the
audience on any non-agenda items. No one appeared to speak at this time.
4. Council Communications, Reports and
Mayor Roe announced several upcoming Parks & Recreation
Renewal Program community meetings for various parks in the community; with
additional information available on the City’s website or by calling City Hall.
Councilmember McGehee reminded the public of an upcoming
meeting at Century College on June 10, 2013, held by Ramsey County to discuss
ways to facilitate recharging area aquifers and maintaining lake levels; with
additional information available through Ramsey County.
As a representative of the City Council, Councilmember
Laliberte reported on her most recent attendance at a Ramsey County League of
Local Governments (RCLLG) meeting with the discussion centered on partnerships
between municipalities and school districts. Councilmember Laliberte opined
that it was a good discussion, with an historical presentation about those
partnerships; and ideas brought forward by communities and school districts.
Councilmember McGehee reported that she and Councilmember
Etten had attended the final meeting of the CDI regarding the former Dale
Street Fire Station and adjacent parcels; with views expressed by residents in
attendance. Councilmember McGehee opined that residents were supportive of the
process and provided a list of issues and desired outcomes, which appeared not
too restrictive, with the HRA very supportive of that public input.
Councilmember McGehee stated that she looked forward to the outcome of this
successful civic engagement process.
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
6. Approve Minutes
Approve Minutes of May 16, 2013 Meeting
Comments and corrections to draft minutes had been
submitted by the City Council prior to tonight’s meeting and those revisions
were incorporated into the draft presented in the Council packet.
Etten moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the minutes of
the May 16, 2013, special meeting as presented.
Ayes: Willmus; Etten;
McGehee; Laliberte; and Roe.
Approve Minutes of May 20, 2013 Meeting
Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the minutes of
the May 20, 2013, meeting as amended to correct the spelling of Councilmember
McGehee’s name on page 25, line 15.
a. Discuss Compensation and
Classification Study Recommendations
Preliminary to this discussion three (3) bench handouts were
provided related to this item. The bench handouts were entitled, “Survey
Methodology/Benchmarks & Comparables;” “2012 Compensation &
Classification Study Methodology;” and an e-mail dated June 3, 2013 from Human
Resources Manager Eldona Bacon to Interim City Manager Trudgeon related to
benefit impacts to the budget for compensation study recommendation
Interim City Manager Trudgeon introduced Human Resources
Manager Bacon, and Ms. Ann Antonsen, Vice President of Springsted, the
consultant having conducted the survey for the City of Roseville. Mr. Trudgeon
advised that the June 10, 2013 preliminary agenda included an action item for
the City Council’s consideration of implementing the study recommendations.
Ms. Bacon summarized the Request for Council Action (RCA)
dated June 3, 2013; as detailed in the report and its attachments. Ms. Bacon
clarified that the study, at that time, did not include paid, on-call fire
staff due to related variables and market considerations that were ongoing; and
advised that a study for that group would be presented at a later time.
Ms. Bacon noted that the purpose of tonight’s presentation
was based on a previous City Council directing staff to bring back more detail
of the study, outlined in the attachments; at which time Ms. Bacon elaborated
on those attachments for the benefit of the City Council. Ms. Bacon advised
that the study originally looked at comparisons with twenty (20) other cities
with comparable positions to those thirteen (13) subsequently reviewed and
where data was available. Eventually, Ms. Bacon advised that the study was
able to realistically highlight and average those similar benchmark positions
within the pay system and comparisons with ten (10) cities in that original
group and the market itself. Ms. Bacon advised that the attachments also
highlighted any anomalies found during the study.
In reviewing the bench handouts, Ms. Bacon advised that
their purpose was to address the City Council’s previous request to bring back
information on how those compensations changes impacted actual payroll costs
(e.g. FICA, Medicare, and PERA) and benefits (e.g. short- and long-term
disability and paid time off – PTO – payouts); with examples provided.
Discussion with Councilmembers included organization wide
impacts, not separated out for tax- versus non-tax-supported funds; the
parallel study data gathered for City Council pay that was excluded from the
employee study; specific cities used for the comparable data; and a thorough
review of survey methodology, benchmarks and comparables.
Councilmember Laliberte opined that the more detailed
information and explanation had been helpful for her; and stated that it would
have been helpful to have that information provided during the first
presentation. On a related note, Councilmember Laliberte opined that at some
point it she would like a discussion on how comparable cities are chosen,
recognizing that comparisons are done for all kinds of purposes. Councilmember
Laliberte questioned the validity of establishing a standard for cities used
consistently for comparisons purposes that most replicated the demographics of
Roseville, including age and working salary levels, as well as city structure
and more representation of cities within Ramsey County.
Mayor Roe noted that a standard would depend on what was
trying to be measured, with demographics sometimes having more or less of a
factor; and questioned if such a standard would suffice.
Councilmember Laliberte recognized those constraints;
however, she noted that the discussion involved taxpayers paying for City Council
decisions; and comparable cities needed to include that consideration for the
ability of taxpayers to pay for those decisions.
Councilmember McGehee asked Interim City Manager Trudgeon,
when that discussion was held, that the cities used for comparison were
consistent with the same benchmark rather than shifting them around (e.g.
taxpayer issues, demographics, fire-related issues, etc.) to fit a particular
scenario. For example, Councilmember McGehee suggested that for a fire-related
study, a bank of cities with fire department structures similar to that of
Roseville, with the same level of commercial and retail development would be
useful to have. Councilmember McGehee opined that the concern always came up
from the public related to financial concerns and comparisons with other cities
to justify Roseville’s “low” tax rates.
Councilmember Willmus noted that the former City Manager
justified the use of peer groups based on those cities that were exclusively
members of the International City Manager’s Association (ICMA); and spoke in
support of more variables in those peer groups when comparing and reviewing
services and functions.
Mayor Roe noted that another consideration was that there
were not always a lot of other cities doing the same kind of benchmark
measurements. However, Mayor Roe noted that with the recent efforts of the
Minnesota State Auditor, a greater pool should become available with cities incented
to perform those measurements. In his research and review of budget documents
across communities, Mayor Roe noted that many cities were doing some form of
performance measurement, but not necessarily sharing it with other agencies
(e.g. Cities of Burnsville and Maplewood); and it would be a matter of
determining how to achieve a standard report for that information. Mayor Roe
suggested that this might be a function of the League of Minnesota Cities
(LMC) or other groups for tracking/reporting of that data. Mayor Roe concurred
that it made sense to have good benchmarks for decision-making; and opined that
it should also include median incomes, one comment he’d heard from the public.
Even though comparisons to the City of Edina based on income may not seem
appropriate, Mayor Roe noted that they provided comparable services to that of
the City of Roseville.
Interim City Manager Trudgeon agreed to the need to find
peer communities, and that they probably could not be universal depending on
what was being measured. Mr. Trudgeon noted that another comment often heard
was why the City didn’t compare with its neighboring communities; but noted
that they were completely different types of communities, even while geographic
location was an important component for comparison. Mr. Trudgeon suggested
that more thought was needed for this complicated issue.
At the request of Mayor Roe, Ms. Antonsen advised that she
could provide the larger group of cities originally considered in writing; and
read it off during the meeting. Mayor Roe noted that the list included some
neighboring communities to Roseville, along with others in Ramsey County.
Ms. Antonsen clarified that some neighboring cities did not
provide the same scope of services provided by Roseville; and when doing a
study, they may gather information from those located in the same geographic area,
but they were not always found to be a good match and even though the
information was available internally, it may not be used for the study itself
as a comparable for the overall analysis, but for informational purposes only.
Ms. Antonsen further noted that some of the responses received may be
sufficient, but the position itself found inconsistent with another city or
that of Roseville, and therefore pulled out of the mix.
Mayor Roe noted that these recommendations would come back
to the City Council as part of their budget discussion; and suggested a
separate policy discussion as to what the City wished for a threshold for
compensation based on averages.
Councilmember Etten sought additional information on how
this study compared with the City’s union employees, compared to other cities
and non-union positions; and comparisons within the City itself, if there were
any positions obviously lagging behind.
Ms. Bacon responded that internal equity is a piece of
compensation and how the employees are valued within an organization, admitting
that there was some inconsistency, basically due to unions having successfully
arbitrated their rights. As an example, Ms. Bacon advised that, if the City
Council determines that all staff will get a cost of living adjustment (COLA)
increase in a particular budget year, those unions could contractually go to
arbitration and compare themselves with other communities that may be getting a
higher percentage increase, with the mediator finding in their favor to receive
that higher percentage, which the City was contractually obligated to provide,
creating some inconsistency in equity with non-union employee groups. Ms.
Bacon advised that those unions had therefore averaged 1-3% higher than
non-union employees over a number of years. Ms. Bacon noted that those
internal inconsistencies, sooner or later, could result in non-supervisory,
union employees making close to what their non-union supervisors were making,
often creating equity and morale concerns.
Pertinent to a discussion for police officers and a desire
for comparisons with communities in the same geographic area, Ms. Bacon
clarified that those communities may not have their own police department (e.g.
City of Shoreview); and making it difficult for the City of Roseville to make a
similar comparison, as the police union could then use that in arbitration.
At the request of Mayor Roe, Ms. Bacon advised that both a
comparison of actual wage rates and percent of annual increases were both
factors during negotiations; with comparisons of actual and desired 100%
compensation used compared with other communities; with the obvious desire of
those union employees to seek the top percentage of comparison cities.
Further discussion included clarification that most union employees
were at approximately 100% when measured across the board and according to this
study, the City’s non-union and exempt employees were currently at approximately
97% compared with other metropolitan communities, with this study proving that
the latter group of employees were actually even less, or 4.6% below the 100%
Mayor Roe polled individual Councilmembers as to their
preference to have this compensation discussion as part of the budget
discussion or as a separate policy discussion.
Councilmember Willmus expressed his preference to have it as
part of the budget discussion; clarifying for Mayor Roe that the adjustments
needed to remain in context as part of the annual budget and as a policy for
how Roseville chose to place its compensation compared to other communities and
Mr. Trudgeon noted that obviously the financial impact was
part of the budget discussion; and suggested one way to implement the
recommendations was not necessarily to do so in its entirety for the 2014 budget
cycle. Mr. Trudgeon suggested the discussion be continued in the near future.
As part of the next discussion, Mayor Roe asked that staff
provide information on the effect on levy-supported versus non-levy-supported
funds, and a breakdown for phase-ins and an annual dollar amount for the levy
during that phase-in as well.
Councilmember McGehee also requested, outside the budget
information, whether or not the City wanted to have a policy for maintaining a
certain percentage of the market and other cities; and what cities would be
used for that comparison review, as part of that policy discussion.
Councilmember McGehee opined that the policy in trying to provide some equity
between union and non-union employees appeared to have been abandoned; but
further opined that a policy should be somehow memorialized, noting that this
was the first compensation study completed in over ten (10) years, and it
should be made meaningful in some way by laying out a policy.
Mayor Roe advised that this had been his rationale in
suggesting a policy discussion separate from the budget, outlining a percentage
policy and then budget implications, and how to get there in steps. Mayor Roe
questioned if it was accurate to suggest that the 97% goal had been abandoned,
just that it was not currently being met; and suggested that one choice before
the City Council was to memorialize that situation as part of a new policy.
Ms. Bacon clarified that the 97% goal also had merit pay
attached, which was not being met, and asked that both components be considered
in the policy discussion, whether or not the merit piece will be reviewed or
included or not.
Councilmember Laliberte suggested that, while needing the
policy discussion moving forward, the merit situation provided a way to incent
employees to do their job at the City, in its role as a service provider, with
the need to fund that merit program. Including moving forward with the HRIS
system performance reviews done on time, Councilmember Laliberte opined that
some performance reviews could be done and measured similarly across the board
and between supervisors, with some pieces already put in place.
Mayor Roe opined that the previous merit system was not
well-defined; and agreed that any time a merit based pay structure was used, it
was a benefit, but needed to be something everyone understood and supported;
and that it took time and resources to meet that goal; and suggested a future
discussion include employee input as well.
Councilmember Laliberte opined that it would be difficult
and irresponsible for the City Council to decide on implementation of the
compensation study recommendations and its dollar impact until legislative caps
and fixed costs outside the City’s control for the next budget cycle had been
Mr. Trudgeon advised that Finance Director Chris Miller was
preparing to begin that discussion at the next regular business meeting, as
legislative issues and mandates were finalized. However, Mr. Trudgeon advised
that staff would prefer having the policy discussion first, as that would
inform the budget and what could be accomplished moving forward. Mr. Trudgeon
concurred with the City Council’s preference for having defined criteria for
merit pay; but noted that another reason it didn’t move forward previously was
due to a lack of funding; and asked that if the City Council was going to have
it as their policy, it make sure it was also funded.
Councilmember Laliberte opined that if the decision was for
a merit system, that it be clearly defined and that the compensation study
recommendations be implemented to avoid gaps occurring again in those positions
not currently meeting the goal.
Ms. Bacon reminded Councilmembers that those adjustments
were based on the current policy of 97% versus 100%, as that was the comparison
used in the market place in accordance with that current policy. Ms. Bacon
advised that, to her knowledge, very few government agencies used a merit
Mayor Roe noted that some observers believe a merit system is
not appropriate, as public employees are charged with performing their jobs for
the good of its citizens; and shouldn’t need to be rewarded for doing their
Ms. Antonsen noted that it tied to the ability to fund such
programs; with some organizations such as Roseville implementing those merit
programs when times were better, with funding subsequently dropping away and
employees not incentivized to do better; and rather than redesigning the
system, some cities just stopped using it altogether.
Councilmember McGehee summarized future action, based on her
perspective and recollection of tonight’s discussion: a future policy
discussion would be held with a policy established; a determination of how to
go about future compensation studies, at a minimum which cites and the percentage
goal preferred for Roseville; a determination as to whether or not to have
merit raises; a goal to not have internal unfunded mandates related to these
goals. Councilmember McGehee opined that the City currently had many unfunded
mandates, of which this was only one; and further opined that if the City
pursued a merit system, it should ensure that it was funded or remove it.
Mayor Roe noted that this was the point: to have a policy
that matched reality, or change the policy, or some combination of both
Council consensus was that this had been a good discussion;
and expressed appreciation to Ms. Bacon and Ms. Antonsen.
b. Zoning Code General Discussion
Interim City Manager Trudgeon summarized the RCA dated June
3, 2013; noting specifics items outlined by staff to facilitate tonight’s
discussion, including the process itself, text amendment history, current
issues, and future items for discussion and review. At the request of Mayor
Roe, Mr. Trudgeon suggested that the discussion be free-form including a
broader policy discussion on how land use decisions are made and at what level.
General Discussion/Developers Open House
Councilmember McGehee initiated discussions by seeking the
City Council to have more of a role in land use decisions, while remaining
cognizant of the 60-day review period. Councilmember McGehee offered, as an
example, implementing an open house prior to the 60-day clock being initiated.
Mr. Trudgeon concurred, advising that would be staff’s
suggestion to incorporate as part of the subdivision application process,
referencing the current practice for some land use cases, advising that the
application process required that be done before the permit was accepted at the
staff level, and starting the 60-day review period according to State Statute,
and as a checklist item for the application itself.
Mayor Roe recognized that current policy for certain
applications, and suggested the subdivision application process parallel that
Councilmember McGehee referenced the issues that came up
with the most recent preliminary plat review (Josephine Heights), and
legitimate concerns raised by residents about tree preservation and how that
was monitored/enforced; and opined that the developer had been unwilling to
grant a two-week delay to address those concerns by meeting with residents.
Councilmember McGehee opined that if there was an obvious area of great
aggravation within the community on a potential project or about a specific
aspect; there was currently no way to stop the clock if the City didn’t own the
land; and supported something in the application process to provide for
negotiation when there was a serious issue among constituents or residents
around the area with the developer’s plans. Councilmember McGehee suggested a
way to get those groups together to find a more acceptable solution before the
clock started running.
Mr. Trudgeon questioned if there was anything under State
Statutes that would help mediate those types of situations.
City Planner Thomas Paschke concurred, noting that if a
developer/applicant met the requirements of City Ordinance and State Statute,
it put staff in a difficult position.
Mayor Roe suggested that one solution would be to require an
open house and identify significant issues, and have the application process
address those issues, whether resolved to everyone’s satisfaction or not, but
at least to demonstrate that the issues were brought forward and an attempt
made to work together.
Councilmember Willmus suggested that amending the process
itself, with a pre-condition to an application being that the
developer/applicant meet with neighbors, would serve to flesh out the issues,
allowing for conditions suitable to carry forward the preliminary plat phase.
Councilmember Willmus opined that the mediation level would be at the City
Council level, and if those conditions were not met, they had the option of
denying the final plat, causing the developer to start the process over again;
and further opined that this would be the clearest way to identify the issues.
City Attorney Charlie Bartholdi clarified hat, if the
conditions and issues had not been raised at the preliminary plat level, they
could not be raised at the time of final plat consideration; but concurred that
it would be a good idea to identify the issues at that early stage, as stated
by Councilmember Willmus.
Mr. Trudgeon further noted that any conditions needed to be
deemed reasonable from a legal standpoint, and not arbitrary; seeking that
staff also not be put in that position; and providing a nexus of why a
developer/applicant was required to meet certain conditions.
City Attorney Bartholdi further clarified that the 60-day
review period ran from the official submittal of a successfully-completed
application; and if not determined complete by staff, it was returned to the
developer; and concurred that conditions could not be deemed arbitrary, but
should be reasonable and consistent.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that there was some difference in the
60-day rules for plats and zoning, so a unilateral requirement could not be
implemented, but could be done based on specific statutes.
Mr. Bartholdi concurred, noting that a preliminary plat
review allowed 120 days, with a 60-day review for final plats; but the City’s
current ordinance read just the opposite of current State Statute.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that the City’s subdivision ordinance was
probably parallel to that of State Statute at one time, but not reflected so at
Mr. Bartholdi concurred, clarifying that the City’s ordinance
read 60-days, and therefore that was the time period.
At the suggestion of Councilmember Etten, Mr. Trudgeon
agreed that it should prove a simple change for the City to make and could be
done, as noted by Mr. Paschke with a public hearing at the Planning Commission
level and processed accordingly.
At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Bartholdi advised that
changing the current Zoning Ordinance from 60 to 120 days may have other
implications, as it applied to multiple applications, and those needed to be considered
as well (e.g. variances).
Mayor Roe noted that the City’s subdivision code had not
undergone a revision as of yet.
Associate Planner Bryan Lloyd concurred; advising that
whether to update the Subdivision Code to read parallel to State Statute remained
on the “to do” list for this summer/fall, along with more comprehensive
subdivision code changes intended to be done enmass.
With respect to the number of potential infill subdivisions
city-wide, Councilmember McGehee expressed her preference not to wait until
fall to include a condition that developers/applicants meet with their
neighbors as a precursor to the 60-day review period.
Mayor Roe and Councilmember Willmus concurred with
Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the open house clause was not
included in the subdivision code, but when dealing with plats, it could be
added to the language; or as suggested by Mayor Roe, simply referenced.
Councilmember Willmus opined that this discussion should
focus around the level or what size subdivision being considered: whether an
individual splitting a lot to create another or some other threshold.
Mr. Trudgeon suggested that a good demarcation would be a
Minor Subdivision of three (3) lots or less versus Major Subdivisions with a
more complicated process.
At the request of Mayor Roe as to whether an open house was
an unreasonable requirement for a simple lot split; Councilmember McGehee that
a simple lot split should not apply versus buying a number of lots and
recombining them, creating a larger impact.
Mr. Lloyd noted that the Civic Engagement Task Force had
done some research on this very issue; and provided recommendations for
subdivision open houses suggesting that the number of lots would trigger it.
Mr. Lloyd advised that the first reference for open house requirements was
implemented as part of Interim Use or Zoning Map changes, but had come into
existence without any code amendment, simply adding that requirement to the
application requirements; and suggested that whichever trigger was chosen for
an open house could be added the same way and prior to code text amendments.
Mayor Roe concurred with Mr. Lloyd; opining that the
important thing was to add a requirement for an open house and to identify
significant issues at the open house, whether or not they were resolved.
On a related note, Councilmember Willmus suggested the need
for a different environment as to how those meetings are conducted or
facilitated, currently held out in the neighborhood, and questioned whether
those meetings are sufficiently documented. Councilmember Willmus suggested
that a staff member be designated to attend, and a room provided at City Hall
to document those items as a way to track it coming forward at the preliminary
Mayor Roe expressed concern that this was asking a lot of
staff, since many applications didn’t actually proceed; and opined that if the
open house was added to the application checklist, the public would become
involved and future discussion would include identification of those issues,
and if the developer hadn’t brought them forward, the City Council would be
aware of it.
Councilmember McGehee opined that the community was
competent and further opined that it would be sufficient for the application to
include a submitted record of the meeting and items listed, which could be
signed by a representative of the neighborhood and by the applicant.
Mr. Trudgeon concurred that having both the neighborhood and
applicant sign off as part of the application process and packet process; as
long as they were only signing off in identifying the issues, as suggested by
Mayor Roe, and not necessarily agreeing to resolution of all of those issues. Mr.
Trudgeon advised that, if this requirement was part of the application
checklist itself rather than an amendment to the subdivision ordinance, it
could be implemented much more quickly.
At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon suggested that
staff would attempt to work out the details, and suggested criteria, and after
consultation with the City Attorney, report back to the City Council at their
Councilmember McGehee opined that she saw the City’s current
tree preservation ordinance as an unfunded mandate, since the City didn’t have
current staffing to handle it, with site visits requiring a substantial amount
of attention to detail in working with neighbors to identify trees. Also,
Councilmember McGehee expressed concern in allowing clear cutting in the middle
of nesting seasons for migratory birds; and suggested there were other options
Councilmember McGehee also addressed past practice by the
Public Works Department in planting boulevard trees by species in a series of
five. Even while being better than the former monoculture plantings, Councilmember
McGehee noted the pests and fungi spreading through the root system of a
particular species, and therefore affecting the entire group. Again,
Councilmember McGehee opined that it required a highly substantial staff effort
to implement and fund an adequate tree preservation program city-wide.
Councilmember Willmus noted that the City had a Tree Board
that met annually, as part of the City’s Parks & Recreation Commission; and
suggested it may need to have a broader role as part of the subdivision process
for review beyond park dedication for larger parcels to address those valid
concerns outlined by Councilmember McGehee.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that his only comment was to not lose
sight of the 60-day review rule, especially if the Parks & Recreation
Commission needed to be involved in working through those issues.
Mr. Paschke concurred, noting the significant number of
applications fielded; as well as those permitted uses not requiring anything
other than an administrative review and subsequent approval.
Mayor Roe opined that staffing seemed to be the larger
issue, with the City currently only funding a part-time forester through the
tax levy. If consideration was given to enhancing the hours of that position,
Mayor Roe suggested it should perhaps be funded through developer fees instead
to put resources behind the City’s tree preservation ordinance.
Councilmember Willmus questioned if the Tree Preservation
Ordinance was intended for everything across the board or if there was a
threshold for that review by the forester.
Mr. Paschke suggested that it include everything, or any
developments on a lot with trees.
Councilmember McGehee noted the flexibility for tree
preservation through use of public land for easements so the City didn’t have
to proscribe to tree preservation efforts; however, she remained unconvinced
that an annual meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission’s Tree board
would suffice in that capacity.
Councilmember Willmus clarified that he was not suggesting
an annual role, but a larger role for the Tree Board.
Councilmember McGehee noted that another piece coming into
play included water and water reservoirs currently fielded by the Public Works,
Environment, and Transportation Commission (PWETC), affected by lots with trees
being removed and developed; which all came under the broader umbrella of
natural resource management. While part of the Parks & Recreation
Commission, Councilmember McGehee opined that that role was entirely different;
and how to properly respond and take advantage of opportunities to protect
those natural resources needed to be addressed.
Councilmember Laliberte observed that there were functions
in the City that fell across departments and roles, and noted the need for
natural resource management, some in the park arena and some in public works;
and questioned how that knowledge was being utilized versus having it spread
all over in an ineffective manner.
Mayor Roe noted the need to consider balancing the rights of
individual property owners with the broader natural resource management
element; and the entirely different question in what the City does with its
public property and parks from a natural resource management perspective.
Mayor Roe noted the need to be cognizant of rights and impacts, and what was
reasonable for the City to ask for in outlining regulations form a realistic
and common sense approach versus legislating idealistic best practices.
Councilmember Laliberte opined that a broader discussion was
needed on efficiencies and where the talent pool was being funded, not just
touching upon it.
Mayor Roe advised that the City Forester’s job was to deal
with City park land, which was the current focus; and if that role was added to
or other areas included, he questioned if that position should continue
residing in the Parks & Recreation Department.
Councilmember Etten opined that expanding the Forester
position made sense from his perspective, especially if the Forester was going
to be asked to assess developments. Councilmember Etten noted that a Forester
was an expert hired by the City who knew how to take care of trees, and should
serve as a consultant for multiple departments: Public Works, Planning, and
Parks & Recreation. Councilmember Etten noted that the reason for the
current part-time status was based on the amount of funds available.
Councilmember Etten noted that the Forester position was busiest during the
summer months, performing a comprehensive identification of species when trees
were leafed out and when disease was more easily identified, but that this was
also when development projects were happening. Councilmember Etten advised
that this targeted that position in an intense way; and needed to be considered
when determining how that job could and should be expanded to make it useful
for all functions city-wide.
Councilmember McGehee suggested having a consultant during
the summer months.
Mayor Roe noted that their expertise was pretty specific.
Councilmember McGehee suggested that it would be the most
efficient to have a consulting firm or someone with that expertise; of to use
the University of MN Extension Service to provide the number of people needed
when they were needed.
Councilmember Etten suggested it was worth further
discussion when Parks & Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke was present, and
the City’s current Forester to determine what she was currently dealing with
and what she saw as needs in the community. Councilmember Etten suggested this
may indicate expansion of the part-time position by only one month in each
Mayor Roe suggested that Mr. Trudgeon, Mr. Schwartz and Mr.
Brokke be directed to have that discussion internally and bring their
recommended options to the City Council for further discussion and direction.
Mr. Trudgeon summarized what he was hearing as staff’s
directive: that the City Council desired to put more resources toward tree
preservation city-wide and to consolidate it into a better system to determine
Councilmember Willmus, with concurrence by Mayor Roe and Councilmember
McGehee, that the position be developer funded. Councilmember Willmus questioned
if the position was actually levy driven.
Councilmember Laliberte questioned if someone was then being
freed to perform other duties or a shifting of responsibilities.
Mr. Trudgeon clarified staff’s direction to include options
for a Forester position and/or duties that could create shifting among
departments, as long as not unfunded. Mr. Trudgeon also noted the need to have
someone at City Hall able to review plans, and provide feet on the ground to
monitor and enforce the Tree Preservation Ordinance; advising that the position
could be as extensive as the City Council desired. However, for effective tree
preservation, Mr. Trudgeon noted that there was the need for on-site monitoring
on a frequent basis.
Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that it was similar to erosion
control efforts, with a fee structure provided by the developer in the Public
Works area to include inspections, fines, and other items; and suggested that
their model be used as a starting point for this situation and to set up a
system for someone with this expertise to perform those duties.
Councilmember McGehee asked that resident concerns not be
left out; and suggested that there were residents in the community who could
volunteer to monitor and report any issues to staff for their confirmation so
staff didn’t need to be on-site all the time. Councilmember McGehee noted that
this practice was typical for watershed districts to have citizens on site to
ensure compliance; and opined that this would reduce costs for the City as
well, to only have a staff person go to the site when called by those
At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon advised that a
more realistic timeframe for staff to report back to the City Council would be
in July of 2013 at the earliest.
Councilmember McGehee noted that the City already had the
document, it just needed to come up with enforcement for it.
Councilmember Etten elaborated by noting the need for staff
to determine how the departments would work with each other on an enforcement
With members of the public in attendance, Councilmember
McGehee suggested that the City Council hear their comments at this meeting.
While Mayor Roe’s intent was to hear that public comment, he
prefaced those comments by advising that those comments be taken with the
understanding that they were very preliminary considering there was not yet
anything to comment on until provided by staff; and asked that the extent and length
of those comments be respectful of the many other items on tonight’s agenda.
Councilmember Willmus suggested that future work sessions
provide for public comment at the beginning of the meeting, no matter if an
item is included on the agenda or not, rather than during discussions.
Mayor Roe stated, in terms of City Council work session
discussions, the public needed to understand that public testimony was being
heard on conceptual versus action documents for those responses. Mayor Roe
cautioned that by not having anything specific to respond to, it simply ate
into the time designated and allotted for City Council and staff dialogue to
move items forward.
Jody McElroy, 905 Millwood Avenue
Ms. McElroy expressed her five (5) major concerns or
comments, tying into tonight’s discussion, as included in previous written
comment provided at the May 20, 2013 regular business meeting.
Ms. McElroy opined that having an open house would have been
helpful to their neighborhood, based on the time available for their
notification and review of the preliminary plat, creating a huge learning curve
for lay people before the Planning Commission’s public hearing. Ms. McElroy
stated that the process had caused her trust in City staff to be waylaid; as
the plat had been recommended and approved by the Planning Commission without
tree preservation included, not only for the development site itself but the
adjacent properties, including no identification of significant trees, with
only seven (7) trees identified as significant as part of that tree survey from
the developer, when the lot was currently full of trees; and without one staff
person visiting the site. Ms. McElroy expressed her disappointment from the
last City Council meeting that there had been no site review by staff, and yet
the plat had been approved.
In response to Ms. McElroy’s concerns, Mayor Roe clarified
with Mr. Paschke that a tree preservation plan was a required part of the
preliminary plat approval process; however, from staff’s perspective, it
remained a working document, and if the City Council has specific concerns, it
would direct staff to look into those and resolve the issues. Mr. Paschke
stated that it should be kept in mind that the City is reliant, as with any
submittal information required by City Code and whether during construction or
when finished, similar to the tree preservation ordinance, with the developer
required to follow City Code. While not always available to be on-site, Mr.
Paschke reiterated the reliance on the information being provided by the
developer and recourses available, with staff performing a walk through prior
to final approval in accordance with plans submitted and approved.
Mayor Roe clarified that the preliminary plat level was
basically verifying lot dimensions, setbacks, and the broader, larger scale
issues; allowing staff to address those areas requiring additional focus.
Councilmember McGehee opined that the tree preservation plan
should be defined as part of the preliminary plat application process and
available as part of the open house and neighborhood discussions with the
developer in advance, so any issues can walk the site together and find a
Mr. Paschke concurred that, if the direction was to hold
open houses as part of the subdivision process, the tree survey was one of the
documents that should be available, including water, sewer and road layouts,
grades, types of homes proposed, and any other information available upfront,
noting that the preliminary plat itself didn’t show anything beyond lot lines.
Mayor Roe concurred that the tree survey and other
information should be part of the application process.
Mr. Trudgeon concurred, clarifying that it would be in a
conceptual or preliminary way; and advised that staff would have further
discussions on the details based on tonight’s discussion.
Councilmember Laliberte stated that the City provided
customer service and that the developer or applicant wasn’t the only customer,
but also its residents. When she became aware of some of the issues with the
proposal before it came to the City Council, Councilmember Laliberte advised
that she had personally reviewed the site on her own to attempt an
understanding of those issues. Councilmember Laliberte asked that staff also
be sensitive to all of the customers it served.
Council Role/Zoning and Flexibility
Councilmember McGehee opined that the City Council needed to
make sure it was not put in a position to be a corner due to the rigidity of
its ordinance; opining that it had a role in mediation. Councilmember McGehee
recognized that if those rules became too flexible, it would create additional
Councilmember McGehee referenced a previous letter from City Attorney Bartholdi
written to the City Council indicating that there was a conflict between the
Regional and Community Business Zoning Districts due to an overlap in definitions
and their ambiguity, potentially setting up the City for further lawsuits.
Councilmember McGehee noted the need to be flexible without ambiguity; allowing
the City to be open to new ideas while not also being open to lawsuits.
Councilmember McGehee reiterated her often-stated position
and support for Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s) to be part of the system,
allowing a place for the City Council and its residents to have a significant
role. As an example, Councilmember McGehee noted the recent CDI presentation
for the Dale Street project for single-family bungalow arrangements on small
lots each privately owned with common space. Councilmember McGehee opined that
the City didn’t have any zoning like that.
Mayor Roe corrected Councilmember McGehee that there was
zoning that allowed for that.
Mr. Trudgeon concurred, noting that allowances were in code
for courtyard set-ups; and that concept had been illustrated as allowable in
Councilmember McGehee clarified that the City should be
willing to accommodate any idea coming forward that seemed to be a good idea.
Mayor Roe noted that they all needed to proceed through the
process to determine their merits on a case-by-case basis.
Mayor Roe asked that City Attorney Bartholdi correct any
characterizations of the letter referenced by Councilmember McGehee between him
and the City Attorney; opining that his interpretation didn’t match entirely with
that of Councilmember McGehee.
City Attorney Bartholdi apologized that he didn’t exactly
remember the letter being referenced, and would need to review it again.
However, Mr. Bartholdi advised that he recalled that it had addressed a
procedural issue, with his opinion differing from that of Mr. Trudgeon and the
decision made by the Community Development Department. Regardless of the
decision made, Mr. Bartholdi reminded everyone that there are remedies for
developers to contest those decisions, and with the one being referenced, the
Mayor Roe clarified that the letter was dated December 2010
or 2011 regarding the Wal-Mart development regarding Community Business and
Regional Business Zoning Districts; and from his recollection, Mr. Bartholdi
had stated that, “to the extent of any inconsistency” rather than as recalled
by Councilmember McGehee. Based on his review of the letter, Mayor Roe opined
that he had not interpreted Mr. Bartholdi’s comments to indicate that there was
any consistency needing to be fixed; and recognized that different people could
interpret the letter differently. Mayor Roe suggested that he and City
Attorney Bartholdi review the letter off-line, since it was correspondence
between the two of them.
Councilmember McGehee agreed to discuss the letter further
Councilmember Etten opined that part of this involved the
City Council’s policy role; and that it was only common sense to open things up
for community dialogue before being put under the gun. Councilmember Etten
advised that his concern was to get the City’s staff and developers involved in
the process, opining that the City Council did not have a role in those minute
details, and should be careful of not doing so. Councilmember Etten opined
that if it was the desire to reach in and get to the dangerous point of
defining specific aspects of any development, it was not prudent for the City
Council to be involved in that detail.
Councilmember McGehee stated that she absolutely agreed with
Councilmember Etten; and that comment went directly to the garage placement and
standards design included in current code, with which she did not agree.
Councilmember McGehee opined that current code was too
narrow and restrictive in many ways, but in some ways too ambiguous.
Councilmember McGehee noted that, when the Zoning Code had first come forward,
there were definitions for each Zoning District that included square footages;
however, those had been removed, even though many objected to that removal
including her, and therefore become ambiguous. An example used by
Councilmember McGehee was the proposed asphalt plant.
Regarding the Twin Lakes regulating map, Councilmember
McGehee opined that it was like a corset; and she didn’t think it was her job
to tell people where they should place their buildings, and what color brick,
etc. should be used.
Regarding removal of the square footage designations form
various Zoning Code definitions, Mayor Roe clarified that those had been
recommended for exclusion by the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee
majority, and subsequently confirmed at the Planning Commission and City
Council by majority vote. Mayor Roe further clarified that, in the case of
the Comprehensive Plan, a super majority vote could make changes to the Plan as
desired. Mayor Roe opined, and recognizing the concerns raised by
Councilmember Etten, that the City Council not make decisions based on less
than a technical analysis of those items based on code requirements, which
would open the City up to litigation, and retain their role in making the
larger policy decisions. At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mayor Roe
provided an example with a variance process and the City Council determining
setbacks based on reallocation by the City Council versus those technical
analyses provided in code, and having the potential of those decisions being
made differently depending on who was on the City Council at a given time and
who the applicant was.
Mayor Roe reiterated the need for basis, consistent, and
explicit application of City Code and rules. Mayor Roe noted the ultimate goal
is to avoid having City Council decisions overturned by the courts.
Councilmember McGehee opined that by not having square
footages identified in the Twin Lakes Community Business Zoning District, it
had allowed the Wal-Mart development to proceed.
Mayor Roe opined that having square footages included in
those designations could prove just as arbitrary in some applications.
Even though it was water over the dam, Councilmember McGehee
opined that since Mr. Trudgeon was a big supporter of Community Mixed Use; one
option that could have been negotiated would to have had Wal-Mart with
residential above. However, Councilmember McGehee opined that now that the
Wal-Mart development had been approved, it seemed odd that the remaining
parcels were being restricted with parking spaces, even though many property
owners were impacted with those restrictions.
Councilmember McGehee noted that one of her suggestions had
been to have Mr. Trudgeon meet with Twin Lakes property owners and ask them
collectively for their concepts to put forward and work through the City to get
them moving. Councilmember McGehee opined that there were many property owners
eager to sell, but no one appeared to have any big plans for the parcels.
Height Limitations Councilmember McGehee questioned
why these particular items listed on tonight’s agenda and in the RCA were being
brought forward at this time.
Regarding the height issues and silos, Mr. Trudgeon briefly
reviewed that portion of the ordinance written in 1959, and apparently not well
thought out at the time, since they could be located anywhere in the City. Mr.
Trudgeon advised that this was the rationale in the revised language for
Attachment D that they only be allowed in the Industrial District.
Regarding the lack of height requirement, Mayor Roe opined
that he was not convinced that there should be unlimited height allowances.
At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Trudgeon
advised that he could provide no response to the rationale for not having a
height restriction other than that was how it had been on the books for the
duration; with no problems coming forward to his knowledge.
Mr. Paschke noted that there was an exception clause, if
there were any issues or concerns the Community Development Department has the
ability to review it if there appeared to be adjacent impacts.
Councilmember Willmus expressed an interest in finding
models from other communities.
Mayor Roe concurred, and opined that as soon as staff was
required to decide on a height, it put them in a position the City Council did
not want them in.
Councilmember Etten opined that too tall was subjective, and
allowed for grey areas. Councilmember Etten opined that something was needed
that allowed a check on the process and to determine if there was an industry
standard, based on strength or capacity issues; or based on the technical
aspects of a particular business.
Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that a water tower was a good
example, since they were often located in residential areas, and were a certain
height based on pressure needs; but then there was a need not to treat a church
spire as one would a water tower, and if you were going to put limits on, you
needed to do so in all areas.
Mayor Roe further noted that a short industrial silo could
be installed on top of a building for processing materials and also needed to
be taken into account, even though it may not make a difference in the
At the request of Councilmember Etten, Mayor Roe suggested
that staff determine if they needed to have a height restriction on each
Initiation of Zoning Changes
Councilmember McGehee questioned the rationale for “community
planning” language; Mr. Paschke responded, with concurrence by City Attorney
Bartholdi, that the language was generic based on State Statute and referred to
any planning agency typically managed by the Community Development Department,
whether the Planning Commission or staff.
At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the
petition process was per City Ordinance rather than State Statute; with City
Attorney Bartholdi speaking in support of the petition process as outlined.
Mayor Roe noted that the provision for property owner
petitions for zoning changes on adjacent properties had been added to the 2010
update of the Zoning Ordinance; with Mr. Lloyd clarifying that the provision
was a legacy of previous versions of City Code and not something new having
Councilmember Laliberte also brought forward considerations
regarding parking of recreational vehicles, boats and other vehicle storage on
the streets and on residential properties.
Mr. Trudgeon clarified that a boat stored/parked on a street
was not against current City Ordinance unless determined to be a traffic
nuisance; and even though some people would dispute the notion, he suggested
that the ordinance be limited to a certain number of hours for that storage.
Councilmember Willmus suggested a more comprehensive look at
City Code, addressing those items not allowed for parking on the driveway if
greater in length that 20’, when the right-of-way from most residential garages
to the street exceeded 20’; and may need revamped, accommodating the homeowner
and get the boat off the street where it could cause problems. While having no
resolution to offer, Councilmember Willmus noted other areas of code that were
in conflict for parking allowed on the street but not on driveways; and suggested
a blanket allowance or not allowing them at all.
Mayor Roe concurred that there were inconsistencies in
current code; and that specific language was needed to address some of those
inconsistencies based on today’s realities.
Discussion ensued regarding facilitating that storage versus
creating or eliminating safety hazards; front yard storage except on improved
surfaces; original intent of the language to address vehicles exceeding a
certain length; trailers at residential properties used for livelihood but not
allowed to avoid commercial storage in residential areas to avoid their
domination; and distinctions between zoning and code enforcement issues.
Mayor Roe suggested that the community be involved
significantly in those discussions to reflect current community standards.
While not looking to tell residents what they could or could
not do on their own property, Councilmember Laliberte noted that this appeared
to be an ongoing problem with a significant history of not being addressed; and
expressed her confidence that this current City Council and current staff could
commit to address it.
Mayor Roe noted that, like many other discussions, there
were quick fixes and long-term issues, including inoperable vehicle definitions
and other items that needed to reflect community standards.
Councilmember McGehee opined that there should be a policy;
with Mayor Roe noting that the challenge was to determine what was the right policy.
Councilmember Willmus opined that it needed a longer review.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that there were a number of public
hearings for similar items scheduled for the upcoming Planning Commission
meeting, but advised that some of those things were of a preliminary nature and
would require an open house and subsequent public hearing.
With Mayor Roe questioning if it was a good idea to touch
base with the City Council prior to the Planning Commission process to
determine the validity of some items moving forward, Councilmembers Laliberte
and Etten expressed their trust in the Planning Commission process.
Councilmember Willmus opined that this City Council was good
at reaching out to staff with any concerns.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that each of these items was brought to
the City Council’s attention in February of 2013 as a preliminary way to alert
them to those issues coming forward in the work plan; and encouraged
Councilmembers to review that document to determine if something needed more
City Council attention before coming before the Planning Commission and to
alert staff accordingly.
Mr. Paschke concurred, seeking City Council direction
specifically for those items of a technical nature; and recognized that the
Subdivision and/or Shoreland ordinances would require outside assistance form a
consultant, due to the much different and time-consuming process needed.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:13 p.m.
and reconvened at approximately 8:21 pm.
Discuss Twin Lakes Zoning Code
Mr. Trudgeon briefly reviewed the RCA, noting the expiration
of the AUAR last fall and City Council determination to have further discussion
on what was preferred for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area before entering
into further environmental review. Mr. Trudgeon suggested that tonight’s
discussion could serve as a framework for a broad and complex issue for this
unique area of the community.
Mr. Trudgeon questioned if there should be a distinct and
specific Twin Lakes zoning District to regular uses, form and design; or
whether the Community Mixed Use (CMU) District should remain, or provide for
sub-districts with that zoning district to differentiate between areas; and
what parcels should be considered part of Twin Lakes, removed or added. Mr.
Trudgeon further questioned if there should be a clearer distinction in the CMU
Zoning District and Comprehensive Plan Land Use Plan and/or regulating plan
between “community use” and “regional use.”
Mayor Roe suggested the first discussion should be
consideration of how the Twin Lakes area was identified, as it may influence
Councilmember McGehee stated that she’d always wondered
about the grand Master Plan, and while nice, it hasn’t ever spread out the way
those other properties have; and whatever was in place hadn’t worked since its
inception in the 1980’s; and opined that it was probably time to rethink it.
Councilmember McGehee opined that there were some reasonably viable things
going on in the district east of Fairview and to the north, whether ideal or
not, even though the United Properties parcel (Applewood Point and Cherry
Point) were nice additions and took advantage of the park in a very nice way.
Based on her perspective, and her previous conversations with Consultant
Michael Lamb, the general consensus was to utilize and protect the park and
receive its full benefit through some sort of housing development around the
park versus industrial or retail around it. Councilmember McGehee opined that
she liked CMU and the concept of The Shops at West End, and Excelsior and Grant
projects; but had difficulty incorporating that concept into the development
that had already occurred (e.g. Wal-Mart and the Metro Transit Park and Ride
facility). While supporting the CMU as a nice plan, Councilmember McGehee
questioned how it would flow to the east; and noted the small industrial parcel
to the north of County Road C-2 abutting the lake, currently the home of
numerous truck bodies. Councilmember McGehee opined that it would be nice if
that parcel became available between Bennett Pond and Langton Lake, recognizing
that it was not city-owned.
Mayor Roe noted that none of the parcels were city-owned.
Mr. Paschke responded that none of them were currently
Mayor Roe questioned if Area 3 identified on the displayed
map should be included as part of Twin lakes.
Councilmember McGehee opined that it depended; questioning
how the grand scheme could possibly look like the development along Grand
Mayor Roe opined that the CMU does not have to be
development that is comparable to the Excelsior or Grand projects.
Councilmember McGehee opined that the regulating map was
very specific and unique related to aesthetics, form and design, with some uses
appearing to follow that.
Councilmember Willmus opined that several corridors had
really developed and some work put in place (e.g. medical center, hotel, and
this building) and questioned whether those areas were part of the discussion
moving forward or only those areas more ripe for redevelopment.
Mr. Paschke opined that those newer developments should be
When he considered zoning, Councilmember Willmus opined that
he was looking at parcels ripe for redevelopment in the next 10-15 years.
Mr. Trudgeon concurred, using the buildings in this
immediate area as an example, opining that vacant parcels were ripe for
development, even though many of the older buildings and businesses remained
viable. Mr. Trudgeon noted that the question was should they be included in
Twin Lakes with special zoning designation (e.g. east of Fairview Avenue) for
those still viable, but others with outside storage not as desirable.
Mayor Roe noted that the question was whether those,
including truck terminals fit the City’s future vision for that area or not.
Councilmember Willmus opined that those properties would
start to redevelop in the near future; and thought they should be included in
the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.
Mr. Paschke noted that some of those east of Fairview (e.g.
trucking companies) were not currently expensive uses on those parcels; but if
one of them consolidated or moved, the property would then be worth looking at
for redevelopment by developers depending on the zoning in place and permitted
Councilmember Willmus noted that they were mostly
office/warehouse uses now, clarified as office/showroom uses, but thought they
should be included in guiding documents.
Councilmember Laliberte observed that Block 10 on the
displayed map abutted residential properties, with Mr. Paschke clarifying that
zoning for that parcel was guided HDR, one of only two parcels not guided CMU.
(Block 8 and 10).
Mayor Roe advised that his concern about the buffering
between uses near residential versus commercial uses by that HDR designation.
Councilmember Willmus explained what had sparked his
interest in unique zoning for Twin lakes to take a step back from CB and part
of CMU was to address other areas of the community in and around Rosedale and
Har Mar Mall to provide subtle distinctions and protections to guide future
redevelopment; and to address those grey areas in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment
Mr. Trudgeon sought Council consensus to provide direction
to staff to explore a Twin Lakes Zoning District and how it could look, by
filling in uses and standards.
Mayor Roe questinoed whether the same goal could be
accomplished by zoning parcels in that area with a non-retail component as per
zoning districts, thus the CMU associated zoning designations beyond retail.
If a separate Twin Lakes zoning district was created, Mayor Roe opined that it
would need very clear and distinct definition, and maybe include sub-districts.
Mr. Trudgeon questioned if there should be a separate or
special process for Twin Lakes differing from regular review; and noted that
having different standards or a separate zoning district would assist the City
in accomplishing that.
Discussion included the ability to add or subtract things
through use of sub-districts; and preferred distinctions around the lake that
would be easier to accommodate.
Councilmember McGehee opined that she had no problem asking
those Twin Lakes property owners for their advice, as the City knew what it
wanted (e.g. green space and new ideas), further opining that the City wasn’t
offering any new ideas, but didn’t allow any wiggle room with the current
regulating map. If the City wanted housing around Langton Lakes, Councilmember
McGehee suggested that it was reasonable to contact those property owners.
While the original concept was an urban model requiring sharing of space,
Councilmember McGehee opined that that plan had been essentially eliminated
with the current regulating map taking away that option and departing from the
Mayor Roe questioned if Councilmember McGehee’s conclusion
was actually in agreement with the regulating map itself.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that the regulating map showed where
buildings should be located to predominate pedestrian friendly pathways and
green space and to avoid parking in front of buildings. Mr. Trudgeon further
noted that it was developed to address AUAR provisions for green corridors and
connections; and noted that a considerable time was spent with property owners
discussing those items. While not a perfect document, Councilmember Trudgeon
opined that it was attempting to set form and function that would get the
desired end results no matter the use.
Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that those very urban
principles had been brought forward to the regulating plan and map from the
community-driven comments for the Comprehensive Plan guidance and Imagine
Roseville 2025 community visioning processes, in an attempt to encapsulate
all of those preferences.
Mayor Roe noted that there was nothing in the regulating
plan that prevented shared parking.
Councilmember McGehee opined that there were restrictions
about where a building could be placed on a site compared to its parking.
Mr. Paschke again noted that those restrictions were based
on the guiding documents for pedestrian friendly corridors with no front
parking. If the desire was to take away what the community had expressed
interest in, Mr. Paschke opined that the City Council should not create a
separate zoning for Twin Lakes.
At the request of Mayor Roe, from a staff perspective, Mr.
Paschke opined that the regulating plan had not prevented development on the
sites, but that there had been no developer interest in developing there.
Councilmember Willmus opined that, for the benefit of
Councilmember McGehee’s expressed preferences, the important component in play
was to work with property owners and bring them in early in the process to
gauge their expectations.
Mayor Roe opined that the City may find that the property
owners don’t have a lot of expectations.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that staff had considerable individual
contact with property owners, and while they have ideas, what was being
observed was that part of the challenge is their perception that their ideas
may not work with the unknowns for transitioning this area with actual intent
of the City Council in what they want out there. Mr. Trudgeon advised that
this caused them to hold off on development at this time, or for staff to
recommend them doing so until a clear decision is made by the City Council on
uses and zoning for the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.
Councilmember McGehee reiterated her preference for some
input from those property owners as to how they saw the area; and as pointed
out by Councilmember Willmus, a significant number of buildings and development
already accomplished throughout the area. When asked by Mayor Roe if that
included some theoretical vision, Councilmember McGehee responded in the
negative, from her perspective of the regulating map.
Councilmember Etten countered that the building housing C-TV
as an example matched some of the design elements from his review; and countered
that those requirements and design standards had not been abandoned.
Councilmember Willmus opined that the first check would be
to reach out to property owners, with the City Council needing to be prepared
that if they say to leave it alone, to stop chasing it.
Councilmember Laliberte noted the frequent comments she’d
heard during campaigning that the City was difficult to deal with, that the
landscape kept changing. If the City Council reached out to landowners to show
them that it wanted to work with them, Councilmember Laliberte opined that it
would have a lot of potential.
Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that development might also be
addressed by the market itself when it became clear of retail or distribution
uses versus office and residential uses.
Mayor Roe suggested a process with landowners similar to
that used with the CDI group for the Dale Street project.
Councilmember McGehee opined that, while staff was talking
individually to landowners, the overall vision needed to be reviewed by the
whole group, and solicit their opinions for what they could bring to the City
or the value added that makes their proposal something the City could agree to.
Mr. Trudgeon suggested that it may prove worthwhile to have
that discussion with property owners, City Councilmembers and staff; and
questioned how best to arrange that, whether at a City Council meeting or work
session. While predicting that all property owners would not choose to be
involved, Mr. Trudgeon suggested soliciting written comments as well. Mr.
Trudgeon noted that there would also be a distinction between property owners
wanting to sell and those wanting to retain their properties. While some
people may be looking to develop, Mr. Trudgeon questioned to what extent the
City wanted to draw them in when there may be no contractual agreement, and
they may prefer not to make themselves known at a public meeting. Mr. Trudgeon
noted that those developers were less interested in what could be developed
than what uses were allowed.
By consensus of the City Council, Mr. Trudgeon was directed
to included property owners in Areas 1, 2 and 3 in the invitation.
At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Trudgeon
confirmed that there were several developers considering the area and potential
projects; but in most cases they had no specific ideas yet, and some had ideas,
but nothing concrete yet.
Mayor Roe suggested that staff provide the City Council with
a list of some of the types of applications being considered or discussed;
however, he suggested caution that the City Council didn’t steer its own vision
and plan to those proposals or it may end up with an entirely different
development than that preferred
Mr. Paschke advised that, just because there was a developer
and land owner showing interest, they may never come to an agreement; and as
property values continued to increase, some of those agreements may become more
difficult to achieve. If the City zones the property to allow for certain
uses, while it may seem like a great idea and a preferred development idea, Mr.
Paschke cautioned that it didn’t guarantee them completing a project,
especially without some public incentives.
Mayor Roe questioned if the City Council’s desire was to
start with a zoning discussion first, or take it one step further conceptually
about what the City Council thought to provide property owners/developers more
to which they could respond.
Councilmember McGehee opined that the planned out Twin Lakes
Parkway, originally intended to protect Langton Lake Park, no longer made
sense, since those interior parcels had already been developed. Before
proceeding any further than it currently did to Arthur Street, Councilmember
McGehee opined that housing and traffic implications needed more review. Based
on her past discussions with Mr. Lamb, Councilmember McGehee stated that he had
been told not to remove the proposed parkway from the regulating map, as it was
a given. Councilmember McGehee opined that, if the City paid a consultant to
do something, staff should not take things out of the picture. Councilmember
McGehee opined that she found that roadway problematic at Terrace Drive, as it
would be running traffic into a residential neighborhood, and needed to be
Mayor Roe stated that the City Council majority would need
to make that decision in the future; to which Councilmember McGehee responded
that it was a City Council decision, not hers or his.
At the request of Councilmember Willmus as to which blocks
should be removed, Mr. Trudgeon suggested guidance from the property owners for
Mayor Roe asked that staff provide better designation on a
map of those parcels already developed; and the rezoning of Lots 11, 14 and 16
as part of the district, not as separate zoning.
Councilmember McGehee opined that she had no problem
grandfathering current uses; however, Mayor Roe noted that the zoning
designation could hinder any expansion of their current use.
Further discussion included few inconsistencies at this time
(e.g. medical) other than two parcels east of Fairview and preference to retain
them in the community.
Mr. Lloyd sought clarification on the context for a new
zoning district, whether only applicable for Twin Lakes, or to newly-developed
areas similar to what is currently being applied.
Councilmember Willmus opined that he could not respond until
meeting with property owners. In response to Councilmember McGehee for how
that might fit with his concerns about the Har Mar Mall area, Councilmember
Willmus advised that an opposite side of the coin was that you could focus
review of CB but with regard to the Twin Lakes area, it could have implications
in other places in the community.
Additional discussion included which of the blocks on Table
1022-1 displayed were included or excluded, and whether to include those
expected to be redeveloped or those more contiguous parcels; consideration of
existing uses to continue or expand; past visions related to current visions
and realities; past considerations during Costco discussions and support for
various housing components; walkable amenities without an urban context;
necessary dialogue with property owners to inform the discussion; and potential
retail for the area beyond what is already being developed.
Mr. Trudgeon suggested the dialogue with property owners to
further inform discussion, and suggested outlining things in the meantime to
keep the process moving; and providing a map with different colors for those
parcels successfully developed already.
Discuss Utility Services – Recycling
Councilmember Willmus explained his request for this
discussion was a carryover from previous discussions with former City Manager
Malinen last year in a review of various City departments as defined in City
Ordinance, with the recycling function currently administered directly under
the City Manager’s position. In reviewing the function and how it has been
administered over the years, Councilmember Willmus questioned if recycling was
more a function of the Public Works Department, especially with the PWETC’s
involvement in various aspects of the program as part of their review and
oversight. If the City Council affirmed that recycling was a utility service,
Councilmember Willmus suggested amending the ordinance governing public works
functions to include recycling as a function versus as a function of the
Administration Department. Councilmember Willmus opined that this would
provide more focus in personnel with that type of background in dealing with
Mayor Roe focused discussion on whether recycling was
defined as a utility or what department that function should fall into, or they
were one in the same.
Councilmember McGehee concurred that since it was the PWEC
that reviewed and set goals for community expectations with the recycling program,
and their involvement in considering the possibility of organized collection,
it should be the same process and belonged under the Public Works Department.
Mayor Roe and Councilmembers Laliberte and Etten concurred,
for a unanimous finding.
Interim City Manager Trudgeon advised Councilmembers that if
the City Council tasked him with exploring that further, he would first talk to
Public Works Director Duane Schwartz to determine the possibilities, which
would also lead into shifting duties and functions within the Administration
Department, creating a much broader discussion of roles and time allotments.
Councilmember Willmus stated that he did not disagree with
that review; however, he thought this unanimous decision to include the
Recycling Program as a utility program under the Public Works Department should
be memorialized by ordinance, since that is where the function belongs.
Councilmember Willmus stated that he would personally look forward to that as a
Mayor Roe clarified that the next step should follow a
thorough review by the Interim City Manager and Public Works Director.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that he wanted to do more research, as
he was unsure if the sanitary sewer ordinance and function was currently
included in the Public Works Department.
Public Works Director Schwartz advised that it was defined
Councilmember Willmus referenced Section 106.09 of City
Code; and Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would add recycling to that list.
Councilmember McGehee requested the addition of refuse
collection as well; with concurrence by Councilmember Willmus.
Mayor Roe noted that licensing remained a function of the
Administration Department as usual.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would take steps to amend the
current ordinance to memorialize and organize the decision of the City Council.
Councilmember Willmus noted that the City Council had
determined that it should be memorialized, and the organization was up to Mr.
Mayor Roe clarified that this decision was based on an
internal review that had evolved over considerable time, and not based on who
was currently involved.
Councilmember Laliberte expressed interest in hearing from
Mr. Schwartz on how this would work, and if it was a similar function to other
duties done by others in his department or part of the bigger vision with this
moving into the Public Works arena.
Public Works Director Schwartz advised that some thought had
been put into this consideration over time as it had come up, and noted that
the recycling function did fit into the department’s strategic plan. Mr.
Schwartz noted that the plan suggested the need for more resources in some
areas, and he saw this function fitting in with those goals, specifically to
add another engineering position focusing on environmental areas, including
stormwater and natural resources functions. Mr. Schwartz opined that adding
recycling and solid waste functions would come under the water resource,
natural resources, and storm water quality issue functions, and provide assistance
with the City’s infrastructure program and other sustainability efforts such as
LED and other lighting efficiencies, solar, geothermal, etc. with all of those
focused around similar goals.
Councilmember Laliberte clarified that it would work for the
department and made sense; with Mr. Schwartz responding affirmatively, noting
that it all came down to resources, and current staff had their plates full
already, and this would take additional resources.
Further discussion included recycling functions paid for by
that resource; reallocating duties and functions and balancing them among
departments; and whether trees would be included in water management as part of
natural resource management as well.
Interim City Manager Trudgeon and Public Works Director
Schwartz were directed to return to the City Council at their earliest
convenience with specific action; with Mayor Roe clarifying that this would be
the proposed ordinance change, with staff working out the details for staffing
allocation, funding and other related details.
Regarding the reallocation of the recycling function to
Public Works, Councilmember Laliberte sought clarification as to whether
transferring some election responsibilities from the City to Ramsey County
would also be incorporated into any reorganization plans for the Administration
Department. Councilmember Laliberte asked that Interim City Manager Trudgeon be
tasked to pull together some of those other implications and considerations for
discussion at the next meeting; at a minimum an organizational chart to
initiate that conversation, as had been done by other departments as they
reviewed their internal functions.
Human Resources Manager Eldona Bacon, recognizing that this
would filter down to her as a task, asked that that discussion be deferred
beyond the next regular meeting of the City Council, based on other items
currently being undertaken.
Mayor Roe assured Ms. Bacon that his intent was only for a
broader conceptual discussion within a week or so, with her involvement as details
became clear at a later date; recognizing that her activity list was quite
extensive at this time.
Councilmember Laliberte concurred, clarifying her intent to
empower employees in the Administration Department and provide opportunities
for them. Based on her review of the organizational chart, Councilmember
Laliberte stated that she had observed that there appeared to be little room
for them to aspire, and this would only be a first step to see if there were
ideas already out there without starting from scratch. Councilmember Laliberte
recognized that she was new to the City Council and this discussion; however,
she also recognized that this reorganization was not a new discussion; and
supported being proactive in reviewing the structure at this time.
Councilmember Willmus noted that Mayor Roe and former
Councilmember Pust had been looking into the structure at one time as well.
Mayor Roe concurred, noting that there were some discussion
concepts that had been further refined, and needed to be brought forward at
Councilmember Willmus acknowledged that former City Manager
Malinen had been reviewing the recycling function, and suggested that could be
separate from other reorganizational issues.
Mayor Roe suggested that the broader picture should be
considered as part of the recycling component as well.
Councilmember Laliberte recognized that former City Manager
Malinen had reviewed the basic concepts and had been almost ready to suggest
action on the reorganization, with review of the smaller components still
underway, but the larger picture set up.
Mayor Roe concurred that the recycling function was always
planned for shifting, just the details of how best to accomplish it. Mayor Roe
suggested that if staff provided the conceptual portion at the next meeting,
and the recycling component, he wasn’t sure if the City Council needed to move
too quickly on the ordinance portion for Public Works staffing to handle, as it
remained part of the puzzle that was coming into play.
Councilmember Laliberte concurred, suggesting that current
funding sources could move to the Public Works Department, but duties,
responsibilities and other issues could then grow into a 1.0 FTE position.
Councilmember Willmus opined that there was a time element
critical to the City, with bids for recycling proposals needing a clear chain
of command in place as those came in. Councilmember Willmus further opined
that this wasn’t that complex and questioned if the recycling component needed
to be lumped together with other reorganizational efforts.
Mayor Roe suggested there could be a short delay in the
recycling RFP process if necessary. Mr. Trudgeon advised that the RFP was
scheduled to return to the City Council at their June 17, 2013 meeting for
Mr. Trudgeon summarized the City Council’s direction to
staff: with identification by the City Council of recycling options and valued
with the needs of the City, staff was being asked to look at how best to
structure the Administration Department to meet the goals of the City Council
and put it in a better position to move forward on initiatives. Mr. Trudgeon
advised that the City Council had already provided good input from the work
done to-date, with staff asked to identify what we’re trying to accomplish and how
best to position the department to achieve common goals and how those details
Mayor Roe concurred, noting that the genesis of the
discussion occurred over two years ago with a goal of increasing the
communication efforts of the City. Mayor Roe clarified that this was not
saying the current methods were bad, but simply wanting to take them to another
level which was not being accomplished at this time, but served as an impetus
and guiding principle for this process.
Councilmember Laliberte suggested another guiding principle
should be to have departments less “siloed” and provide the ability for
departments to serve centrally and more effectively and efficiently, and not
require communication expertise at every step in the organization. Councilmember
Laliberte asked that Mr. Trudgeon take a look at that and provide a
recommendation to provide a “go to” person that everyone could rely on.
Councilmember McGehee concurred, suggesting something
similar to a central purchasing function.
Continue Discussion on City Manager Search Process
Mayor Roe lead the ongoing discussion for gathering criteria
and outlining a search process for selection of a new City Manager to find some
consensus for a profile and search document.
Councilmember Laliberte advised that she and Councilmember
Willmus had taken a subset from the 2006 survey with new updates and
amendments. Councilmember Laliberte noted that revised survey had been sent to
Commission Chairs, City Councilmembers, Department Heads, and that all of that
information was now included in the updated survey. Councilmember
Laliberte opined that the remaining discussion needed to be the search itself,
including how far and wide the search should be.
Councilmember Willmus thanked Councilmember Laliberte for
performing the majority of the work accomplished; and Councilmember Laliberte
thanked respondents for doing so by the deadline requested.
Human Resources Manager Bacon reviewed the proposed timeline
based on an RFP process if the City Council decides to use a search firm to
assist in the process; and a subsequent timeframe for actually processing of
interviews and other components (Attachment A). While hearing Councilmember
Willmus’ request for a 90-day search period, Ms. Bacon opined that it would be
Councilmember McGehee opined that she wanted a good and
competent process, whether it was accomplished in 90 days or took longer; with
the goal to find the best person possible to fill the City Manager role.
Councilmember Willmus expressed his curiosity as to what
variables would change if the City Council focused on an internal candidate.
Ms. Bacon responded that it could be done immediately, with
the position posted, internal candidates providing the City Council with an
application, resume, and/or letter of interest; followed by interviews,
meetings and any other portion of the process desired by the City Council. Ms.
Bacon reminded Councilmembers that the process was up to them.
Councilmember McGehee stated that her only important caveat
was that the candidate be selected by unanimous vote.
Councilmember Etten recognized Councilmember Willmus’
points; however, he personally worried about getting the broader picture. Even
if the decision was for an internal candidate, Councilmember Etten opined that
it would be a disservice to the community to not open the process to other
people applying and for the community itself. Councilmember Etten stated that
he would be in favor of keeping some sort of application process for anyone to
Councilmember Laliberte stated that this was a great
opportunity for the City; and she didn’t want to limit the breadth of
candidates and potential new thinking and new ideas coming in externally.
Councilmember Laliberte opined that she felt no need to rush the process, and
would need to understand the rationale better to short-cut the process or
select someone internally versus receiving adequate information as to what was
available externally, without unduly stretching the process out too long.
Councilmember Willmus stated that his rationale included the
economy and expense concerns with an external search; as well as providing an
opportunity for those currently within the organization to move up in the chain
of command. Councilmember Willmus opined that the City had a number of very
highly talented people who already knew the organization inside and out, and
better than any external candidates. If the City Council was willing to look
at only internal candidates, Councilmember Willmus opined that it could save
considerable time and expense; however, he also recognized those perspectives
expressed by Councilmembers Etten and Laliberte.
Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of keeping expenses
Councilmember McGehee stated that she concurred with
Councilmembers Laliberte and Etten; and suggested expenses could be reduced by
the City Council doing some of the work, rather than depending entirely on
consultants to ask questions and schedule interviews. Councilmember McGehee
suggested other cost savings could be found in not advertising extensively and
not paying moving expenses for a new hire, and volunteered to work on the
process. On the other hand, Councilmember McGehee agreed that this provided an
opportunity for one of the many talented people in the organization and those
things having been identified for a long time and needing to be changed, but
questioned if major changes may be more difficult for an internal candidate to
make based on their internal knowledge of the organization and relationship
with fellow employees that had been formed.
Mayor Roe opined that there was some benefit to looking
outside the immediate organization, and suggested a wider process. Mayor Roe
questioned if the cost outlined by Ms. Bacon was prohibitive, and suggested
that it could be refined based on the scope of the work. Mayor Roe expressed
concern with individual Councilmembers taking on more of the administrative
role in the search process, noting that they had a different role in the
process, and further involvement could create a perception of or actual
problems in over-involvement in the process itself. In using the assistance of
a consultant, Mayor Roe further opined that this would alleviate some of the
responsibility for Ms. Bacon, recognizing that she had been given a lot of
things to accomplish in a short time, and asked that the City Council be
respectful of her and her time.
Discussion ensued regarding the process; 2006 practice;
options for internal candidates and if there was interest internally in the
position without creating an unfair advantage to them in the broader candidate
pool; essay questions for finalists for their responses based on various
scenarios that provided their vision or strategy; how best to understand the
commitment of applicants; changes in policy and practices desired by the City
Council for a candidate to enact balanced with their management style and
recommendations; and how an internal candidate could be identified and enter
into the process.
City Attorney Bartholdi cautioned the City Council in their
deliberations to avoid any potential for discrimination, and reviewed State
Statute regarding hiring procedures, with the concurrence of Ms. Bacon. Mr.
Bartholdi noted the need to provide internal and/or external with a non-biased
process that included consistent criteria and expectations for all candidates
equally, without having excluded anyone beforehand for any subjective reasons.
Mr. Bartholdi reminded Councilmembers that the City was a Plan B city, and when
a City Manager was hired, he was hired to run the City and the City Council
relied on that person to operate the City. Mr. Bartholdi noted the only other
option was to consider an organizational structure other than a Plan B city.
Ms. Bacon noted that, if the candidate was asked to submit
their vision, yet didn’t meet minimum requirements of the job description, it
would open the City up to a number of public issues, with the City Council
having gone outside the scope of their position.
Ms. Bacon suggested starting the RFP process, but not
awarding the bid, with the City Council able to change its mind throughout the
process. Ms. Bacon had included a draft RFP in the agenda packet (Attachment
B); noting that consultants were asked to identify steps and assigned costs for
each step. Ms. Bacon advised that this would allow the City Council to select
only those services they preferred from a consultant.
Using methodology of the Best Value Procurement process,
Councilmember Etten stated that he would also look for a potential value-added
that a consultant could bring to the process, something that would make their
firm special or assist the City in a better way based on their expertise.
Mayor Roe concurred that it would make sense to do so.
Mayor Roe opined that it made sense to take advantage of a consulting firm’s
manpower and expertise to assist Ms. Bacon.
Further discussion included role playing by candidates at
the search firm level; uniform City of Roseville application forms that provide
consistent criteria for all applicants by ranking and screening for minimum
requirements and a 100 point structure system weighted at the direction of the
City Council and their preferences; and potential ability of individual
Councilmembers to add additional candidates from the pool that may not have
been selected by a search firm through the essay phase, e-mailed to finalists
online and separate from the initial phase.
Further discussion included establishing parameters for
salary range, exclusion of moving expenses; and essential contractual terms
basic to the application process itself.
Mayor Roe focused on the next step in collating the
remainder of Survey Monkey information; and scheduling a special meeting and
possible facilitated discussion within the next few weeks depending on the
availability of individual Councilmembers.
Willmus moved, Laliberte seconded, extending the curfew by
five minutes to 10:05 pm.
Ayes: Willmus; Etten;
McGehee; Laliberte; and Roe.
Ms. Bacon sought clarification on her next steps, with City
Attorney Bartholdi reminding Councilmembers of the need to allow 10 days for a
bid process in accordance with State of MN bidding laws.
After further deliberation, Ms. Bacon was directed to
prepare an open-ended RFP to be provided to the Executive Search Firms (updated
in May of 2013) included as Attachment C in the packet, with the inclusion of
the Cincinnatus firm in downtown Minneapolis at the request of Councilmember
Laliberte; and following the draft RFP with each step defined and a cost
assigned by the consultant for each of those steps allowing the City Council to
select which components were of interest to them.
Etten moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting at
approximately 10:08 pm.
Ayes: Willmus; Etten; McGehee; Laliberte;