City Council Meeting Minutes of October 13, 2014

Date: 
October 13, 2014

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

OCTOBER 13, 2014

 

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Saint Peter was conducted in the Governors' Room of the Community Center on October 13, 2014.

A quorum present, Mayor Strand called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Zieman, Kvamme, Brand, Parras, Grams, and Mayor Strand.  Absent was Councilmember Carlin.  The following officials were present: City Administrator Prafke, City Attorney Brandt, and City Engineer Domras.

Approval of Agenda – A motion was made by Brand, seconded by Grams, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried. 

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Grams, seconded by Parras, to approve the minutes of the September 22, 2014 regular City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the September 22, 2014 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

Consent Agenda – In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-143 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-143 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.

Councilmember Carlin arrived at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2 Preliminary Plat –  Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation for approval of the preliminary plat of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2.  Wille indicated the Council has always intended to develop Outlot C as a multi-family development as required by the Building Better Neighborhoods program under which the subdivision was developed.  Wille reminded Councilmembers they have already approved the sale of the parcel for development of a market rate multi-family housing development.  Wille also noted that the housing study indicated a 0.7% vacancy rate in multi-family housing which was considered unhealthy in that it doesn’t allow for growth in the community and that it takes away an incentive for landlords to maintain their property and keep rents affordable.  Wille indicated a petition had been submitted by property owners in the Washington Terrace Subdivision expressing concerns about increased parking on the streets, increased traffic; a decrease in their property values; and over population of the neighborhood if the multi-family unit was constructed. 

Councilmember Brand asked about a question raised during the Planning Commission public hearing concerning overcrowding on the school bus and children having to sit on the floor.  City Administrator Prafke indicated staff had contacted the School District regarding the complaint and as the entity contracting for the bus service, the District would need to address any issues with bus overcrowding.

Nathan Tish, 2111 Stark Street, spoke on behalf of the property owners in Washington Terrace Subdivision to express opposition to the multi-family development.  Tish expressed his belief that homeowners bought homes in a “secluded upper middle class neighborhood” and stated he and his neighbors felt “deceived and ripped off” that the Council would consider allowing a multi-family facility there.  Tish also stated that many homeowners are scrambling to sell their homes before the apartments are constructed to save as much resale value as possible.  Tish encouraged the Council to consider the “ethical consequences” for the current property owners and to put a stop to the development “before this goes too far”.

Mayor Strand commented that the Council has never hid the plan to develop the Outlot as multi-family housing. 

Councilmember Parras stated he was looking at purchasing a home in Washington Terrace Subdivision and he was more bothered by the single family homes that are not maintained or the one with a couch on the front porch than he is by the thought of a multi-family development in the corner of the subdivision.

Councilmember Carlin cautioned that “change is hard”, but said the City needs to meet the needs of everyone in the community and pointed out that no neighborhood is the same as it was 20 years ago.  Carlin also noted that in regard to the residents’ concerns regarding decreasing property values, that the rent at the new complex would be quite high and property values of the single family homes may actually increase.

Community Development Director Wille indicated he personally sold all 87 single family lots in the subdivision and each buyer was told about the development of multi-family housing on the Outlot.  Wille also pointed out that 95% of the individuals who initially bought property in Washington Terrace Subdivision qualified for reduced lot prices based on their incomes and reminded the Council that the City would be in default of the Tapper development agreement if the Outlot was not replatted.

Councilmember Kvamme also reminded everyone that the development agreement required the housing complex to participate in the Crime Free Multi-Family Housing Program which would require criminal, rental, and credit background investigations on the tenants.

In motion by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2014-144 entitled “Resolution Approving Preliminary Plat Of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-144 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2 Final Plat –  Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning Commission recommendation for approval of the final plat of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2.  Wille also noted that “Bunker Street”, which was shown on the plat , would be changed to indicate the correct street name of “Bunker Lane”.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2014-145 entitled “Resolution Approving Final Plat Of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-145 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Registered Land Survey #67 –  Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning Commission recommendation for acceptance of a registered land survey submitted by Greg and Denise Engels that would allow the twin homes constructed on the property to become a zero lot line development that could be sold individually and would correct encroachment by a neighbors deck onto the Engels’ property.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2014-146 entitled “Resolution Accepting Registered Land Survey #67, Creating Three Parcels Upon The Split Of Lot 7, Block 1, Martinson’s Subdivision”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-146 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Library Policies Update –  City Administrator Prafke presented the revised Library policies as recommended by the Library Board.  Prafke noted that changes requested by the City Council had been incorporated.  Councilmember Kvamme questioned language in the policy regarding reappointment of Board members and the Chair having the power to appoint committees and asked for action to be tabled until the policy received additional review and clarification.  A motion was made by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, to table action on a resolution entitled “Resolution Approving Modifications And Revisions To Library Policies And Procedures” until additional clarification could be made.  With Councilmembers Grams, Zieman, Kvamme, Carlin, Parras and Mayor Strand voting aye, Councilmember Brand voting nay, the motion carried and action was tabled.

Child Care Fee Waiver – City Administrator Prafke presented a recommendation by the Child Care Study Group for the City to waive the fire inspection fee ($45) and for the City to reimburse the County for the County licensing fee ($150) for up to ten new home based child care businesses through 2015.  Prafke reminded Councilmembers the original recommendation from the Study Group was to ask the County to waive their fee, but the County had declined to participate in the program.   Councilmember Zieman stated his belief that Nicollet County needs to “step up” and support this token effort to encourage new home based day care businesses.  Councilmembers asked for periodic reports on the number of individuals taking advantage of the fee waivers.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-147 entitled “Resolution Approving Temporary Waiver Of City Inspection Fee And Reimbursement For County License Fee For New Home Based Day Care Businesses”, was introduced with modifications to the resolution language to clarify the fee waiver was only for home based child care start-ups.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as modified.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-147 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included the joint City Council/School District #508 Board meeting; a Chamber luncheon; and Oktoberfest.  Strand thanked Councilmember Brand for serving as Mayor pro tem during the Park Row Crossing open house.

Joint City Council/School Board Meeting – City Administrator Prafke reported it was likely that an additional joint committee of the whole meeting of the City Council and School Board would be scheduled to continue discussion on the joint property development.

Board Vacancies – City Administrator Prafke provided information on the various advisory board vacancies along with information on how residents can apply.

Nixle Community Notification System – City Administrator Prafke encouraged anyone who has not yet signed up for the Nixle community notification system to sign up before winter arrives.  Prafke noted that Nixle participants receive notifications about snow emergencies.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Carlin, seconded by Parras, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m.