September 21, 2020 City Council Minutes

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rockvam at 7:00 p.m.

Council Members Jerome P. Rockvam, Mayor; Mark Chase; Jeff Hoffman; Pamela Horton; and
Present: Gary Hughes

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator; Mary Tietjen, City Attorney; and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Mayor Rockvam led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
M/Hughes, S/Horton to adopt the meeting agenda as amended.

Motion carried 5-0.

M/Horton, S/Chase to adopt the Consent Agenda.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. Jan Callison – Hennepin County Commissioner
Callison has a PowerPoint presentation. She’s going to address the following:
• Covid 19 – a slide is presented showing Hennepin County, State of MN cases, hospitalizations and deaths. She discusses population and disparities by race. Dramatic differences in American Indian population is revealed in a chart.
• A long-term care slide is presented. A slide on CARES funding and recipients. Two small businesses have been funded in Spring Park.
• Housing services are discussed. Pre Covid shelter spending is $200,000/month and Covid housing expenses are approximately 2.5 million/month.
• City of Mpls Civil Unrest: Callison wants to recognize the work of the sheriff’s department due to the challenges. Various slides shown of damage done and repair estimates and insurance coverage.
• Elections: Callison said absentee voting continues to be popular.
• 2021 Budget: Callison said the county administrator is proposing a zero increase to the levy. She said 40 million dollars have to be cut from the county’s budget. She said there could potentially be some upgrades to Sunset Drive in 2021.
• Lastly there is a slide the shows contact information.

Hoffman asked regarding the potential 40 million dollar cut from the budget, what percentage is that of the overall budget. She said their budget is 2.4 billion dollars. He asked about the HCMC costs and Callison said right now it’s being paid for from the CARES act money. She said their support for HCMC is smaller than what one thinks. She said it’s about 20-24 million dollars per year. She said there will be losses due to the stoppage of elective surgeries.

Hughes asked if the presentation material can be left and Callison said she’ll find a way to get the material to Spring Park.

Rockvam asksed Hoffman what his concern is about HCMC and Hoffman said it’s where the highest line item is. Callison maintains the county’s share of HCMC is less than 10%.

Callison thanks the council for the pleasure of her representing Spring Park for twelve years.

Ordinance 20-02: Short-Term Rental Prohibition – Rockvam said the crafting of motion is important in this vote.

Al Brixius addresses the mayor and council and said based upon the Planning Commission recommendation they recommend approval of the resolution as amended. He said a base ordinance was prepared based upon their findings.

Rockvam asked for a sample motion and Brixius said the motion would be to adopt as presented. Rockvam said he wants to present the motion in a positive and by voting yes they’d be not allowing any short-term rentals.

Attorney Tietjen said the amended copy in front of them is just a cleaned up version and there have been no substantive changes. Teitjen wants to know if the council will allow public comments. She said there has already been a public hearing on the matter and they would not have to allow it.
Rockvam recommends following Roberts Rules and those who want to speak can speak during discussion.

M/Hughes; S/Hoffman.

Eric Skaar the Chef and owner of Vonn restaurant at 4016 Shoreline Drive. He said he is standing in solidarity with his friend Anton Reder who is being directly affected by this. He wonders if there are any propositions for someone like Reder who is potentially losing his job. Skaar said if parking is an issue, Reder can have as much of his parking as he needs.

Anton Reder said he got a lot of neighbor signatures and support. He said he’s been doing this for four years and he’s had no complaints. He has made a good living. He said he has a state tax ID, he pays hotel and lodging taxes, state and federal taxes, and the fees he pays to a third party that handles his rental units. He feels he runs a good business that helps other businesses in the area. He said he’s finally found something he is really good at and doesn’t want to see this taken away.

Max Avalos 2413 Black Lake Road. Avalos said he is also on the Spring Park Planning Commission but he is here tonight to speak as a resident. He said this is divided and the voting for not allowing short-term rentals does not reflect the division in the community. He said he feels they are here to represent the residents and not a personal opinion. He said some of the concerns reflected in the ordinance are no parking, small lots, transient neighbors. He said those concerns have already been addressed by the Planning Commission in a way that works for Spring Park. He said the argument seems to be that they are not commercial properties and he thinks the argument could be built when looking at long-term rentals and short-term rentals. He said they are both businesses. He said short-term positives are renters pay upfront versus eviction procedures for long-term rentals when they haven’t paid. Avalos said at the last meeting he asked the city attorney to provide information if this is something that could be voted since it’s a divided situation. He thinks a democratic decision should be made in this delicate matter.

Teitjen said she did look into that and Spring Park is a statutory city and governed by MN statutes. She said this is not one of the areas that would be allowed by a statutory city.

Joe Cheney, 4000 Sunset Drive. He said he can go either way on VRBO’s and it’s one of those things where you like them but you wouldn’t want to live next door to one. He said his neighbor is doing VRBO’s and is booked out for six months. He said for the most part it is okay but occasionally there are parties that take place.

Ian Maloney 4710 West Arm Rd. Maloney said he doesn’t like it when government gets involved in his life. He understands that when his property rights impact his neighbor, it’s a problem. He said in Mound, Minnetrista, Orono, all of these cities have banned this. He is aware that one particular neighbor may be okay with short term rental but many more don’t want it. He feels those who want to make money at this shouldn’t have precedence over long term owners who want peace and quiet. He said this is a quality of life thing.

Council member Chase said he’s talked to a lot of people around the community about this issue and he said it’s very polarizing. Some want it and some don’t. He said his research on short-term rental was originally brought forward to make it legal in a regulated way. He said at the last minute they are now voting to ban it. He thinks there still could be a compromise to explore as a community. He said there is a draft ordinance on the city’s website that addressed enforcement of the concerns regarding parking, loud parties, etc. He believes it should be given a try. The council can vote to end short-term rentals at any time. Chase said there currently isn’t a log of complaints. He’s heard not many complaints to a lot of complaints. He thinks it should be tried. He thinks complaints should be logged by perhaps an online submission form on the city’s website. He thinks that going from how to regulate it to outright banning it is not the right move. He said he also walked the entire city and he said regulation could potentially clean up certain properties in Spring Park. He said he’s going to be voting against the ban of short-term rentals and would like to revisit the Planning Commission’s proposed regulation of short-term rentals.

Roll call: Chase, no on the ban. Hoffman, yes; Hughes, yes; Rockvam, no; Horton, yes.

Motion carries by three yeses and two no’s.

a. Resolution 20-21: 4000 Sunset Variance Application –

M/Horton; S/Chase. Brixius wants to amend the motion to include that no eve encroachment will extend into the variance setback. Motion maker and second agrees to the amendment.

Motion carried 5-0

b. Ordinance 20-03: Amending the Spring Park Zoning Map

M/Horton; S/Hoffman
Roll call: Chase, yes; Hoffman, yes; Hughes, yes; Rockvam, yes; Horton, yes.

Motion carries unanimous.

c. Resolution 20-22: 2021 Preliminary Tax Levy
Teitjen said to add the Truth and Taxation hearing for December 7th.

M/Hofman; S/Chase

Motion carried 5-0

a. Mayor & Council
Chase, nothing; Hoffman wonders where we’re at in the adjustment to the 4000 Sunset Drive property line. Rockvam feels this is going to be a nightmare and he remembers from childhood that road being there. Rockvam said it’s necessary to find out where the two points are at the lake. In other words, is it 20 feet wide, 30 feet wide, whatever it is – where those two points are. Once these are established bollards should be placed. Hoffman wonders if we direct staff to hire our own surveyor. Horton asks about when they walked the property and round circles were placed, she asks if those were the pins. She said one was directly with the utility pole. She asks which survey is it that is correct with the utility pole. Hoffman said that’s why another surveyor should be hired because we can’t assume those pins are in the correct spot. He said they’ll then re-triangulate and establish that. He said they can’t go off the markers because they’re in dispute. He feels the city should hire their own surveyor to establish this. Hoffman feels in order to get to the bottom of this we need to find out from our surveyor where the city’s property is. Brixius said the city’s engineer has a survey crew. Rockvam would rather it be somebody else. Horton asked if this will cost a lot of money and Hoffman said he imagines it will cost a couple thousand dollars. Rockvam agrees with Hoffman and thinks this should be moved on fairly quick in order to get done with it.
b. City Staff
c. Contract Staff

a. September 21, 2020 Claims

M/Horton; S/Hughes.

Motion carried 5-0

b. Purchase Order 20-02
Rockvam asked what the purchase was about and Schyma explains it is where we purchase a public portal and work with our laser fiche contractor to set up the entire site and all the property files would be scanned to the website. Schyma said this requires a vote.

M/Chase; S/Hoffman

Motion carried 5-0

a. September 23 – Fire Commission – 11:00 AM
b. September 23 – LMCD Work Session at 6:00 PM with Regular Meeting at 7:00 PM
c. October 5 – City Council Regular Meeting – 7:00 PM
d. December 7 – Truth in Taxation Public Hearing – 7:00 PM
a. PeopleService July Report
b. August Mound Fire Department Report

The meeting was adjourned by unanimous consent.

Date Approved: October 5, 2020

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator

Wendy Lewin, Acting City Clerk