March 3, 2014 Council Meeting

1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Reinhardt called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
2. ROLL CALL – Sippel, Williamson, Bren, Hughes, Reinhardt
3. INTRODUCTIONS – Reinhardt introduced the council and staff to the public. Administrator Tolsma, Attorney Beck, Engineer Pearson, Planner Brixius.
5. ADOPT AGENDA – Williamson makes a motion and Hughes seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Sippel makes a motion and Williamson seconds to adopt the consent agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes from February 3, 2014
b. Administration Committee Minutes from February 12, 2014
c. Planning Commission Minutes from February 12, 2014
d. Work Session Minutes from February 24, 2014
7. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
8. PRESENTATIONS & GUEST SPEAKERS – Reinhardt said the Gillespie Center will reschedule at a later date due to a conflict.
a. Donna Smith – Gillespie Center
a. Resolution 14-09: Variance Application 2401 Black Lake Road
Reinhardt said the Planner will give a report then there will be questions of the applicant.
Brixius said this property had come before the council in 2003 to replace an existing home. He said in 2003 the original building had a tuck under garage and it was decided to convert that into living space. He said in 2006 a petition by the property owner came before the council to add a detached garage to the property. This variance was denied as it was deemed to be a hardship created by the property owner.

Brixius illustrated the garage being proposed tonight. He pointed to rain gardens being proposed and said this has been reviewed by the city engineer. He also said variance criteria has changed since 2006. Brixius said the rules for variance have been changed by the state and the state statute now reads a determination if the use is reasonable within the context of the neighborhood and are there practical difficulties to meet the code requirements. Brixius said one condition is if it’s consistent with the comprehensive plan and Brixius said modernization is encouraged. He said shoreland protection is required and this has been addressed with this application. Brixius said most Black Lake Road homes have garages and he noted R1 and R2 setbacks are identical. He said the request is not out of character with the neighborhood. Brixius said most properties on BLR have variances on the street side and the lake side. He said at one point in time variance was disallowed if the hardship was created by the property but now it’s different.

Brixius said the site is undersized and the applicant is asking for a 22 x 22 garage. He said the placement of the garage is outside the easement, there will be a slatted deck and rain gardens for storm water treatment. Brixius said the total proposed floor space is under 1000 square feet for both floors. He said street setbacks are averaged and a variance is not needed for the garage on the street side. Brixius said there is a 20 foot clearance from the garage to the street providing room for a parked vehicle.

Brixius said the variance being requested is the setback from the lakeshore from 50 feet to 35 feet. Brixius said the garage is consistent with the surrounding area and the impervious surface is being reduced. Brixius said a landscape plan will be requested in order to soften the lakeside façade and a restoration plan upon completion. Brixius said the PC reviewed this and felt it met the criteria for variance. He said the conditions are identified. Brixius said the PC recommends approval.

Sippel asked about the improvements to make it attractive for sale. He is concerned the next property owner may take the rain gardens out and wonders if this will be recorded with the property. Brixius said the variance is recorded and the conditions can be recorded with the variance and Brixius would incorporate that into the resolution. Williamson said enforceability has proved be difficult. He said it’s one thing to make promises but wonders what the insurance is. Brixius said there can be stipulations that everything has to be approved per the plan. Brixius said for future maintenance, there are always the concerns things change. He said it then becomes an enforcement procedure and administrative enforcement would be necessary.

Reinhardt asked property owner Fadell to speak. Fadell said he thanks Brixius and Hughes for crafting this final plan. He said the past history is two young guys bought this older lake cabin and took a risk to reinvest in the property and rehab what was there. He said Graham Neve was a partner in this and he lead the original variance request and he didn’t really take part in that. Fadell said he’s now wiser as time has gone on. Fadell said the slope of the driveway is an extreme hardship. He said he needs an all terrain vehicle just to get out of it. Fadell said he’s looked at the comprehensive plan and is hoping he is granted the opportunity to bring this property into modern times where a garage is considered a necessity. Hughes said he has lived next to Fadell for 11 years. He said he’s voted on the past two applications and this is by far the best plan he’s seen from a practicality. He does have some concerns however. Hughes wonders about a cleaner designation of the side yard. He said he wants to avoid future problems with property line disputes. Brixius said there it can be stipulated that verification of property lines and monument locations need to be identified or replaced.

Sippel said he remembers this from previous and he believes the applicant has addressed all their concerns and it’s a good plan. Hughes said he still has a concern about the variance from the 50 foot lakeside setback. Reinhardt said she was pleased as well to see how this has evolved. She too is concerned about the less than 50 feet from the lakeshore. She feels the reasons are solid that have been presented. Hughes asked about who would do the work on this. Fadell said the house is for sale presently. He said it doesn’t work for his size of family anymore. He said if the house is sold he doesn’t know who would actually do the work. Hughes said he’s concerned about the quality level if Fadell doesn’t do the actual contracting.

Brixius said two more conditions could be added, the applicant will record the variance conditions on the property title and the rain gardens are part of this approval and be maintained and the applicant shall locate and identify the south property monuments. Reinhardt asked about how long a variance is good for and how soon must they act on this. Brixius said it’s approved for a year and if work is commenced, it must show continual progress according to the building permit process. Brixius said Fadell needs a building permit and engineering elements need to be verified.

Williamson said he has witnessed this property come in front of the council several times and he thinks it’s been managed as well as humanly possible. He said a garage has always been an on-going issue with this property. Williamson is concerned about the conditions being met and especially with a subsequent owner. He said now there is potentially a downgrade in the standards approved. He said the biggest issue is the lakeshore setback. He said dealing with the topography, considerations have been accounted for. He said this can be a problem anywhere within the watershed. He said one of the solutions has been to increase the setbacks. However Spring Park appealed to the DNR to allow for 50 foot setback versus the 75 foot setback suggested. He said Spring Park did get approved for 50 feet due to the already existing non conforming lots. Williamson feels this is a radical reduction from 50 feet to 35 feet. Brixius said the model shoreline setback couldn’t be met. He agrees that the setback intent provides for stormwater treatment and it makes for separation. However, he said when looking on either side of Fadell, it’s not out of character in the neighborhood. Brixius said to counteract the lakeside setback the impervious surface is being improved and so many improvements have been factored in compared to what is currently in place. Brixius said there are Shoreland filter strips being designed for this property and it’s all that can be done with the existing property.

Williamson wonders what will the standard be applied to another property. Brixius said the circumstances are looked at, determination made if it’s a reasonable use, if it's within the character of the neighborhood and if it is an investment into the property and the city as a whole. Hughes asked Fadell about raising it to street level and proper grading. Fadell said the slope will be done properly.

Reinhardt moves to approve resolution 14-09 for construction of a detached garage with the addition to record the variance on the title on file with the county and the condition the rain gardens are always maintained and the south side property line monuments are verified. Sippel seconds. Hughes comments on the wording of the resolution under item #3. He wonders about the 50 foot setback to the lake and not including the front yard setback. Brixius said this is one of the findings. He said they are compliant with the street side. Hughes makes a friendly amendment to Resolution 14-09 under #3 to strike the rest of the sentence after ...shoreline setback. Reinhardt is okay and Sippel is okay with that friendly amendment. Hughes said he’s concerned about the 50 foot shoreline setback encroachment however he said he’s researched previous requests and has noted he doesn’t see Fadell’s name mentioned in those previous documents so he has softened his feelings on this. Sippel, yes; Bren, yes; Hughes, yes; Williamson, yes; Reinhardt, yes; Motion passes unanimously. Brief break taken 8:27 pm

a. Ordinance 14-01: Accessory Structure Moratorium –
Reinhardt said the city is under an accessory structure moratorium. Background information is the initial expiration date is being approached. Tolsma said he and Beck have been working on extending the moratorium. He said it’s more complicated and it requires a public hearing. He said the moratorium will expired on the 14th and the council meets on the 17th. He said if the council works from the PC’s recommendation they will have something to work from. He said he would recommend adopting the ordinance and getting it on the books and it can be reworked after that. Tolsma said the public hearing is scheduled for March 12th and he said there is a draft ordinance that will be ready to move forward. Williamson wondered if commissioners are still divided two to two on the square footage size. Williamson wonders why this has become so complicated. Beck said what’s odd is a public hearing was not necessary to adopt the initial moratorium. She said it specifically says in order to extend an interim ordinance, a public hearing is necessary and it can only be extended for three years, none of which probably technically applies. Beck said a different moratorium could be adopted as the first one was for study purposes. She said by resolution another interim ordinance could be adopted to get through it. Sippel said his primary concern was a conditional use within a residential neighborhood and he thought that was taken away. Beck thinks the PC has scheduled a public hearing on an amendment of the zoning ordinance so a new interim ordinance moratorium could be established. Williamson asked if this is a parallel. (Beck is asked to draft some new language while the meeting continues.) Beck said she has drafted some language while the meeting has continued and she has adjusted the current resolution as minimally as possible. Beck wonders about 45 days and said she may recommend a specific date instead of days. Hughes thinks 60 days or April 30th makes the most sense. Hughes makes the motion and Williamson seconds for a new interim ordinance for accessory structures in excess of 1000 square feet through April 30, 2014. Motion passes four to one, Sippel votes nay. Motion carries.

a. Mayor and Council
i. Orono Comprehensive Plan Amendment - Request for Comments –
• Reinhardt said this was discussed at the February 3rd meeting and there were some concerns about sanitary sewer and 50 new wells. Tolsma said the use of septic tanks was clarified. He said this development is outside of the MUSA service area and they aren’t required to have sanitary sewer and the Met Council is not interested in amending the boundary. He said ideally they would like to connect to a water service and they are looking to connect with Minnetrista as Orono is not willing to extend water to that area. Brixius said Orono changed the land use designation from golf course to rural residential land use. He said adjoining communities get to comment on this comp plan amendment. He said all lots will be two acre buildable to insure property drain fields and they must meet standards. Brixius said this is consistent in what’s occurring in the surrounding area. Reinhardt said the next step is to notify Orono. Sippel questions Musa not expanding the service area and wonders if this can be a requirement o the developer. Brixius said this can’t be required of them. It’s decided that for the Met Council to bring sewer availability the density will be increased so the lake water can be affected anyway. Williamson is worried about unintended consequences. He is in favor of extending the Musa boundary in order to treat the sewage. He feels the return comment should be not approving but no specific objections at this time. Brixius said he thinks they’re looking for comments. He said he thinks it’s unlikely they’ll pursue a Musa extension. He thinks it’s reasonable to request exploration of joining Minnetrista for water. Bren asked about septic Mound systems and she feels they are much more efficient than what was in place in older times. Williamson makes a motion this council takes no position to Orono’s change in their comprehensive plan. Hughes seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
• Williamson said the LMCC can continue to operate under the preexisting franchise. He said the communities that left are no longer receive LMCC programming.
ii. Appoint Planning Commissioner –
Reinhardt said there were two applicants and interviews were conducted. Reinhardt would like to make a motion to appoint Gavin Tempero to the planning commission. Sippel seconds. She said there were two solid candidates and many times there is no one so it was nice to have a choice. Williamson makes a subsequent motion to appoint Pam Horton. Hughes said both individuals are highly qualified and either one would be an asset. He said he could vote for either one and both could bring something worthwhile. Reinhardt appreciates Tempero's history of living in the area, she likes the fact that Tempero lives on Lafayette Road and believes it offers a different perspective. Sippel said he’s not familiar with a substitute motion. Reinhardt said she is looking for a second. Motion dies for lack of second. Reinhardt said there is a motion and second to appoint Tempero to the PC. Motion passes unanimously. It is suggested to supply Tempero with the background material and ordinance book.
b. City Administrator
i. Water Meter Radio Read Project Authorization –
Tolsma brings this to the council as he wants an official record approving this and where the funds come from. Hughes said he thinks this comes out of the water fund. Williamson doesn’t want to deplete the fund down so he wonders about splitting it. Williamson is suggesting $7,000 out of existing line item for meters and supply and the other half from the PIR fund. Sippel would rather see all the costs come under the same fund so the accounting is clear. Sippel moves to approve the $14,000 expenditure with the do nothing option and make a note to the auditor in order to track this. Hughes seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
c. City Engineer
i. Lift Station #5 Engineering Authorization –
Pearson has put together some information to authorize the plans and specs. Pearson said there is a memo from MFRA describing the proposed project for Lift Station #5. He said there is evidence that the LS is deteriorating. Pearson said the existing structure would be replaced with a concrete structure, motors and pumps would be replaced, a valve manhole, a standby electric generator and a control panel and temporary pumping to provide service to the existing homes. Pearson said in March and April the soil borings and survey work will be completed. He said June would be plan date to present final plans and specs to the council, bids would be received by June 26th and provided to the council at the July 7th meeting. Pearson said if the bids are awarded, the generator and control panels would be ordered and construction would start in September and October and complete the project in November. He said estimated fees are given in detail breakdown. Civil $45,000 Electrical $5,000, geotechinal of $4,300 for a $54,300 total cost. Sippel wonders about a “to not exceed” number. MFRA said it’s difficult to predict because of variables but if the city prefers a “not to exceed” they could do that for the design phase. Reinhardt said what’s being authorized is the bidding and design phase and, if the council agrees, then it goes out for bids. Sippel said with previous projects and reserving the right to bond, he wonders if this happens now. Williamson said it can happen any time during the process of the project. Sippel makes a motion to approve the expenditure as proposed not to go past the bid phase and accept the not to exceed $14,483. Williamson seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
d. City Attorney – nothing.
e. Utility Superintendent – nothing.
a. March 12 – Administration Committee – 1:00 PM
b. March 12 – LMCD – 7:00 PM
c. March 12 – Planning Commission – 7:00 PM
d. March 17 – City Council – 7:30 PM
13. UNFINISHED BUSINESS – Hughes asked for an update on the city inspector for nuisance properties. Tolsma said there is a draft agreement in progress and it will come to the March work session and it goes to the respective cities for approval. Tolsma said this is based on through the 2014 year but there is a budgeted amount.
a. Bills & Payroll – Williamson makes a motion and Hughes seconds to pay the bills. All votes ayes, motion carries.
15. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
a. AIS Symposium – Reinhardt said there is a small fee that the city will reimburse.
16. ADJOURNMENT – Sippel makes a motion and Hughes seconds to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.