February 13, 2019 Planning Minutes

FEBRUARY 13, 2019 – 6:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Chair Hoffman at 6:00 p.m.

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Chair Hoffman led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Planning Commissioners Present: Jeff Hoffman, Chair, Max Avalos; Bruce Homan, Michael Mason, and Pete Kaczanowski

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator; Al Brixius, City Planner; and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk.

Others Present: Pamela Horton, City Council Member/Planning Commission Ex-Officio Alternate


M/Hoffman, S/Homan to approve the agenda.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from January 9, 2019

M/Mason, S/Homan to approve the minutes.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. Short-Term/Rental Licensing Ordinance Discussion

City Planner Brixius presented the first draft of a rental housing ordinance for short-term and long-term rental properties in Spring Park. He provided an overview of each section and discussed the potential inspections and licensing process.

Rick Gorra, 8201 Stone Creek Drive, Chanhassen, and owner/landlord of Park Island Apartments, questioned the section regarding tenant behavior since he cannot control his tenant’s behavior and therefore does not believe a landlord should be held responsible for something out of his control. Mr. Gorra also questioned the wording in that section since it references a citation being issued and not an actual conviction for the questionable behavior.

City Planner Brixius responded that most lease agreements already have language to address tenant behavior and consequences when there are violations.

Commissioner Homan added that the language in the section is about addressing a pattern of disorderly behavior.

The Planning Commission consensus was that the language about citations was appropriate and did not need to be changed to address only convictions.

City Administrator Tolsma added that regardless of the violation, whether a citation or conviction, every police call represents a cost to the city so habitual disorderly behavior by a tenant is an important issue.

City Planner Brixius responded that he will discuss the language with the City Attorney and report back.

Chair Hoffman asked if staff receives calls regarding tenant vs. tenant disputes.

City Clerk Schyma responded no, the only calls the city receives regarding rental properties are from tenants who are in dispute with their landlords or from neighbors of rental properties experiencing issues with noise, trash, parking, etc.

City Planner Brixius stated the draft language regarding tenant behavior is to handle the most egregious behavior and the language should be clear and have measurable standards. He added that the Commission could also look at removing the section on tenant behavior altogether and focus more of the ordinance on building maintenance.

Chair Hoffman tabled the discussion regarding tenant behavior until the next meeting.

Mr. Gorra also questioned the inspection process stating that he has tenants that do not want their rental units to be inspected by the government.

City Planner Brixius asked Mr. Gorra if the buildings he manages in Minneapolis are allowed to opt-out of the inspections process if the renter has an issue.

Mr. Gorra responded no, because the City of Minneapolis has ordinances in place.

Chair Hoffman stated that the inspection process is to ensure that rental properties meet the minimum standards for the health, safety, and welfare of their tenants and the city cannot write an ordinance based on exceptions.

Commissioner Homan asked about the inspections process since the International Property Maintenance Code seems all-encompassing. He questioned if the Planning Commission could see a checklist that the inspectors would use because he does not want the inspections process to be onerous.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that he would contact Building Official Qualle to get an example of a checklist that could be used for rental inspections.

City Planner Brixius stated he will bring an updated draft ordinance to the next meeting after further examination the following items:

• Habitual disorderly behavior of tenants
• Language regarding process when denied access to a rental unit for inspection
• Enforcement and license revocation procedure including the appeals process for landlords
• Licensing fees
• Remove homestead requirement for short-term rental properties
• Clarify parking requirements for short-term rental properties

o Minimum of one space available specifically for renters
o Site plan included with license application must identify specific rental parking
o Maximum parking spaces limited to number of spaces on the property (e.g. no parking on grass, no on-street parking, must meet hardcover requirements)




M/Homan, S/Avalos adjourn the Planning Commission Meeting at 7:56 p.m.

Motion carried 5-0.

Date Approved: March 13, 2019

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk