November 2, 2017 Work Session Minutes

NOVEMBER 2, 2017 – 6:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER - The work session was called to order by Mayor Rockvam at 6:00 p.m.

Council Members Present: Jerry Rockvam, Mayor; Pamela Horton; Gary Hughes; Catherine Kane Palen, and Megan Pavot

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

a. Attachments:
i. Discussion Excerpts from Council & Planning Commission Meetings
ii. Public Hearing Excerpts from May 10th, 2017 & July 12th, 2017
iii. Public Comments Received
iv. Proposed Ordinance
v. Current Enforcement Policy

City Planner Brixius provided a summary and background on the outdoor storage and nuisance ordinance process. He discussed complaint-based enforcement, the history of resident complaints, and the fundamental differences between the existing Code and the proposed ordinances.

Mayor Rockvam wanted clarification that the proposed ordinances do not impact daily parking.

City Planner Brixius responded that the ordinances address outdoor storage not residential parking.

Council Member Hughes asked about the distinction between sheds and fish houses.

City Planner Brixius discussed the differences between temporary outdoor storage and permanent accessory structures.

Mayor Rockvam asked for clarification on setbacks “from the edge of the travel lane.”

City Administrator Tolsma suggested changing the language regarding street-side storage on County roads to clarify that outdoor storage needs to be located on private property. Currently the proposed ordinance only states that storage needs to be setback at least 20 feet from the edge of the travel lane and may not extend into any sidewalk area.

City Planner Brixius stated that the current City Code is very restrictive in regards to outdoor storage and is not able to be reasonably enforced. The Planning Commission crafted this ordinance with Spring Park’s unique lot sizes and landscape in mind. The proposed ordinances were drafted with respect to how residents in this particular lake community actually make use of their lots. He stated that the ordinances were not drafted to target any specific person or lot in the community and that the language is more lenient than the current Code.

Council Member Hughes raised concerns about potentially putting a neighbor in violation with the proposed ordinances for their outdoor boat and trailer storage on Black Lake Road.

City Planner Brixius responded that with the current Code, outdoor storage of a boat is technically not allowed, so that person is in violation now but with the proposed ordinances they would not be. When drafting this ordinance the Planning Commission considered the unique size and shape of lots and the fact that setbacks are difficult on all City streets, including Black Lake Road, as they tend to be very narrow.

Michael Mason, 3950 Del Otero Avenue, asked if the complaint policy addressed complaints about neighboring properties from residents that live in buildings over two stories.

City Planner Brixius responded that there is not a provision in the policy that states you cannot make a complaint about a neighboring property if you live above two stories.

Mayor Rockvam stated that anybody who lives in property above two stories should have right to complain about an unsightly property.

Council Member Hughes asked for clarification on who can actually enforce the outdoor storage ordinance.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that as the administrator he is able to enforce the Code or designate certain individuals to enforce on the City’s behalf.

Council Member Pavot would like the definitions to be consistent about who can enforce the Code since language was removed from the recently approved contract with the Orono Police Department regarding the services they provide.

The City Council briefly discussed outdoor storage for commercial properties and the consensus was to look at the commercial outdoor storage ordinance after the residential ordinance is complete.

Council Member Horton asked the Council if they would feel comfortable adding language into the complaint policy about residents who live above two stories not being able to complain about a neighboring property so that it is fair for single-family homes living near high-rise properties.

Council Member Pavot stated that if a property is in violation then it needs to be addressed and does not matter if the person reporting the violation lives above two stories. She added that screening requirements for single-family residential properties are not different based on whether or not they are located next to a property with more than two stories.

Mayor Rockvam agreed and stated that residents above two stories should be legally entitled to the same reporting rights as others residents.

City Planner Brixius asked the Council if they were comfortable with the proposed ordinances enough for them to be considered at a regular meeting. He asked if there were any further questions regarding outdoor storage or if the Council wanted any additional changes to be made.

The City Council consensus was to add language regarding street-side storage on County roads to clarify that outdoor storage needs to be located on private property.

The City Council consensus was that the ordinances were ready to be moved to a regular meeting for a vote.


City Engineer Kuno announced that the City has received a grant from the Metropolitan Council to cover 25% of the cost for the sewer lining project that is scheduled for this year.

City Engineer Kuno presented the infrastructure condition review including:
• Streets – pavement condition
• Sanitary sewer
• Watermain break history and pressure
• Storm sewer
• Proposed project phasing plan for three priority areas including Sunset Drive, West Arm Road West and Black Lake Road
• Hennepin County projects and how those projects impact the scheduling of City projects
• 2018 improvements
• Funding options
• Next steps including a preliminary engineering report and televising the sanitary sewer on Shoreline Drive, Interlachen Road, and Del Otero Avenue

City Engineer Kuno stated that none of the City streets are currently failing so the recommendation about whether to replace or simply mill and overlay a street will be driven by the need for utility replacement.

City Engineer Kuno discussed his meeting with Fire Chief Pederson about hydrant coverage in Spring Park. Fire Chief Pederson indicated approximately five areas of concern because of access, capacity, gap in coverage, and/or age of structure. During the hydrant flushing in the spring of 2018 the Fire Department will also be conducting flow tests.

Mayor Rockvam asked how difficult it would be to underground power lines at the same time as replacing roads.

City Engineer Kuno responded that burying utilities isn’t difficult but it can be expensive.

Mayor Rockvam questioned where the funding will come from for the 2018 projects on Shoreline Drive and Interlachen Road.

City Engineer Kuno responded that there are various ways for the City to pay for improvement projects. He added that creating utility districts is becoming a more popular option as a way for cities to pay for improvements. He continued that funding is also a reason he is suggesting doing a preliminary engineering report as one of the next steps.

Council Member Hughes asked if it would be wise to consider laying down fiber optic cables while the roads are being repaired and/or replaced.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that while the road is dug up it is not very expensive or uncommon to add a conduit for future use.

Mayor Rockvam questioned how long the projects on Shoreline Drive and Sunset Drive would take.

City Engineer Kuno responded that it depends on how many sections need to be replaced but that it could be one full construction season when you factor in adjoining roads.

Council Member Kane Palen asked how residents, businesses, and customers will be protected during that time.

City Engineer Kuno responded that the projects will occur in phases and contractors would be restricted to specific dates and routes to ensure the impact to residents and businesses is as minimal as possible.

Council Member Kane Palen stated that she wants to see details on all funding options available.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that typically the City will work with Ehlers for suggestions and recommendations on the funding mechanisms that could be utilized.

City Engineer Kuno asked the Council to read through the materials provided and contact him with any questions so that his recommendations can be discussed in more detail at a future work session.

3. ADJOURN – The work session was adjourned by unanimous consent at 8:37 p.m.

Date Approved: November 20, 2017

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator