REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, June 13, 2016, 7:00 P.M.
PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr., Councilors John Schulte V, Larry Baker, George Marin, Reid Olson, Larry Anderson and Al Brooks. Also present were City Manager Chad Adams, Assistant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos, City Engineer Steven Jahnke.
ABSENT: City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte
Gary Hagen, 501 Albert Lea Street, asked for clarification about how the dog park was funded. He noted that the Rotary Club raised $25,000, but has only donated $9,000 to the City. Adams and Gabrielatos answered that the City received $10,000 via a grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation that was awarded to the Rotary. The remaining money raised by the Rotary would be used to reimburse the City for the additional materials purchased for the dog park.
Amanda Irvine and Heidi McGill addressed the Council about establishing a basketball court within their neighborhood in memory of one of their neighbors. They have raised $2,500 toward their goal of $5,000 needed for construction. McGill stated that the park would be an asset to the community because there are many children living in the area.
Paul Shea, 1003 Frank Hall Drive, provided an update about the Cellfie Tour project. The tour will go live on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Shea provided the Council with a QR code similar to those found on the tour.
Susie Petersen told the Council about what happened at the Eddie Cochran weekend and the Mainly Marathon. She thanked the City, particularly Scott Overland and Clark Hagen, for their immediate response to an electrical issue during the Eddie Cochran event. She announced the line-up for Wind Down Wednesday.
Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, suggested using the government channel more to disseminate information, including items related to the Blue Zones Project.
CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
A. Approve Minutes Of The May 23, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The May 19, 2016 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See attached list.)
D. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City Of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Approving A Lot Split Through An Administrative Lot Survey For The Property Located At 1107 Sykes Street
F. Resolution Granting A Variance Setback From The Ordinary High Water Level, Lot Width And Front Setback For Summerdale Second Addition Duplexes
G. Resolution Granting Approval Of A Conditional Use Permit To Allow For Two-Family Semi-Detached Dwellings Within The R-1 Single Family District
H. Resolution Granting A Variance To 21362 775th Avenue
I. Resolution Declaring Military All-Stars Baseball Game As A Community Festival Within The City Of Albert Lea
J. Resolution Authorizing Grant Agreement Between City Of Albert Lea And Minnesota Department Of Public Safety
K. Resolution Reaffirming Support Of Housing Development By Cohen-Esrey Affordable Partners, LLC, As Consistent With Community Revitalization Plan
MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Anderson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-114 thru 16-121 included with these minutes.)
PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS
A. Oakwood Circle Basketball Court Fundraiser
Baker thanked McGill and Irvine for attending and their effort. He commented that many children live in the area and how closely knit it is.
A. Resolution 16-122 Approving Amendments To The Commercial Purchase Agreement For The Purchase Of Real Estate From Duane Johnson By City Of Albert Lea
Adams explained that on May 23, 2016, the Council approved the transaction, however, the Seller wanted to clarify some terms and details of the agreement. For example, the Seller requested permission to obtain the 150’ x 250’ City parcel to allow for construction of his storage/hobby shed before winter. Staff negotiated an earlier closing of the 1016 Madison property by August 1st in lieu of conveying the 150’ x 250’ parcel earlier. The Seller will be able to use the 1016 Madison property until October, 2016 but it will be owned by the City. This will allow the Seller to provide adequate notice to existing tenants in the storage unit building on 1016 Madison. The City will withhold payment of $100,000 to the Seller until he vacates the 1016 Madison parcel and gets tenants to leave. The City will still purchase the 2.52 acre parcel of land at 1016 Madison Avenue for $185,000 and deed the Seller a parcel 250 feet by 150 feet. The purpose of the transaction is to expand the City Garage to have space for a new facility and ensure currently untaxed property is added to the tax rolls. This parcel adjoins the existing Garage property. Staff supports the transaction as being consistent with the Facility Master Plan and in the best interest of the community. The Planning Commission has also found this transaction to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
Motion made by Councilor Schulte V, seconded by Councilor Anderson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-122 included with these minutes.)
A. Public Hearing And Resolution 16-123 Authorizing Order For Removal – 2309 Forest Avenue
Adams presented the Council with photos displaying the deteriorated state of the property. Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 7:22 p.m.
Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, asked how much it would cost to demolish the property. Adams estimated that the cost would be less than $10,000 to $15,000. He added that the demolition order must be obtained before the City obtains quotes.
Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 7:24 p.m.
In response to a question from Brooks, Rob Rice, Building Official, stated that the building is vacant. Marin inquired how many properties in the city are scheduled to be razed, noting that there was a building in his ward that has yet to be demolished. Rice provided an update about that building, commented further about how issuing building permits affects the demolition timelines and the process in general.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-123 included with these minutes.)
B. Ordinance 200,6d Approving A Rezoning From R-3 Multi-Family Residential To B-2 Business Zoning District For The Property Located At 1430 West US Highway 69 (1st reading)
Adams explained that Larry Gensmer of Freeborn Properties, LLC and Clayton Petersen requested an amendment to the Zoning map (a rezoning) to the property located at 1430 US Highway West from R-3 to B-2. Slides were presented with background and recommendations. Adams noted that no findings of facts are included. Adams clarified that findings of fact are justification for the zoning change, arguments about why the change is a good use for the property and critical in litigation, should the matter arise.
Adams provided options for the Council to pursue at this meeting:
1) Approve the first reading of the ordinance and/or approve or table the resolution amending the comprehensive plan change. The second reading of the ordinance would occur at June 27th council meeting.
2) Council could deny the first reading of the ordinance and deny the Comprehensive Plan change based on the findings of facts in the staff report.
3) Refer the zoning change back to the Planning Commission to determine the findings of fact.
4) Direct staff to rezone the property to B-1 and work with the applicant on a CUP (conditional use permit) for rezoning to B-1; in this scenario the first reading could be June 27th, the Planning Commission could hold a public hearing before the July 11th City Council meeting. The second reading of the ordinance could be held on July 11th along with the approval of the CUP.
5) A combination of the above options or some other direction council wants to provide to staff and/or the applicant.
Clayton Petersen, 22108 720th Avenue, spoke about his plans for the property and provided the Council with elevations. He stated that he will still work toward the PDD, but is currently pursuing a time-sensitive lease with a veterinarian.
Marin reported that he toured the building. He stated reasons for supporting the change: the developer is local, has a history of building positive developments, liked that this was a repurposing of an older building and concluded by remarking that the building is energy efficient. Marin spoke with residents in the area; they would like a professional building. Brooks asked about the time-sensitivity of the project.
Petersen mentioned that the potential tenant is tired of waiting and reiterated that the Council should not be worried that he would change plans after the zoning change is approved. He stated his intention to begin a PDD (Planned Development District) after the 4th of July.
Brooks asked Adams if Petersen would have any obligations to fulfill with the city between the first and second readings of the ordinance. Adams answered that there are no findings of fact, which could galvanize a legal challenge. He mentioned that another developer raised concerns about mini storage at this location. A B-1 or PDD defines the uses. A broader site plan would show more definition that could show roads on the property and traffic patterns.
Petersen asked if he could submit the building permit application for the veterinarian building.
Anderson asked Marin about what neighbors had said about the potential development. Marin responded that there was no opposition about mini storage or a veterinarian clinic, only to a gas station. Schulte asked if two uses could be allowed on the same property. Adams said that is generally correct. Schulte said it has not been his experience that two uses like that are allowed on the same lot.
Schulte commented that he likes the idea of a veterinary clinic at the location and appreciates investing in local business owners. However, he expressed concern about three items: the B-2 zoning designations at the site, the potential disregard of the comprehensive plan and that there are no findings of fact.
Marin relayed a story of the nearby Pickerel Lake Townhomes and sees this development as a continuation of that project. He discussed the economic benefits of this project.
Baker said that he spoke with Petersen, and imparted that Petersen would like to work with the City on a Planned Development District (PDD). Baker stated that he chose to believe Petersen will follow through with applying for a PDD.
Rasmussen said that he likes the project, but voiced concern about future developers citing this example as a time the City made an exception to its rules.
Brooks asked if Petersen would start an application for a PDD. Adams said that an application could be submitted with the rest of the pending items. Petersen inquired if the fee paid for the B-2 application could be applied to a PDD application, noting that the Planning Commission seemed amenable to that. Adams clarified that the Planning Commission does not have that authority. He elaborated that applications for a B-1 with a CUP or PDD require additional materials, which one would likely have to incur expense, in addition to the City’s application fee.
Motion made by Councilor Marin to approve the first reading of the ordinance, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion:
Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, and Brooks. Schulte and Mayor Rasmussen Jr. voted nay. Mayor Rasmussen Jr. declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 200,6d included with these minutes)
C. Resolution 16-124 To Amend Comprehensive Plan To Adopt Appendix F, Further Defining A Neighborhood Commercial Node Land Use District And Designating The Property On The Northwest Corner Of Us 69 And West 9th Street – TABLED
Adams explained that the Planning Commission recommended an amendment to the Land Use Plan to describe a Neighborhood Commercial Node Land Use District to be located at key intersections where a mix of commercial land uses, providing for both nearby neighborhood and regional retail and service needs may be met, and to designate the property located at 1430 US Highway 69 West to this district. Staff did not support the request. Adams recommending tabling the amendment, and approving it in conjunction with the zoning change.
Councilor Anderson entered a motion to move forward with allowing the permitting between the two readings of the ordinance with the understanding that the developer will incur any costs if the ordinance fails to pass. Motion seconded by Councilor Marin. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen Jr. declared the motion passed.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS
First Ward, Councilor Schulte V:
- Attended Eddie Cochran weekend and an HRA Board Meeting.
- Reported that HRA housing is 98% full, and the authority is reviewing personnel policies.
Second Ward, Councilor Baker:
- Attended the Board of Appeals and Planning Commission meetings, noting that the aforementioned zoning change was discussed at the latter.
- Encouraged people to attend Wind Down Wednesday.
Third Ward, Councilor Marin
- Congratulated candidates who filed for office.
- Thanked all staff, particularly Parks and Recreation and Street departments.
- Asked if each department could attend a Council meeting to report about their work, as the School Board does.
- Attended a Human Rights Commission meeting.
Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson:
- Requested that the City explore options to reduce noise from railroads.
Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson:
- Reported happenings at the Fountain Lake Sportsman’s Club Take-a-kid fishing event; attended the Lions Breakfast at the airport and announced the Young Eagles Flight event.
Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks:
- Attended the Port Authority meeting.
- Staff is addressing ward items.
Mayor Rasmussen attended the Senior Center Board and Port Authority meetings. He said that staff from “Project Flight” (a potential development) selected another location. Announced Wind Down Wednesday, Buckets on Broadway, Meraki Studios Block Party, the grand opening of the Dog Park and Cellfie tours, Hope Church Baptism Service, Bikes for Barker and Let’s Play! Event.
CITY MANAGER REPORT
- Attended a meeting with leaders in the region to discuss workforce housing; they are planning to host a housing summit.
- Attended a meeting to discuss the state standards that could affect the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
A. Resolution 16-125 Approving Contract with Councilmember Brooks
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Schulte. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson and Mayor Rasmussen. Council Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-125 included with these minutes)
B. Resolution 16-126 Approving Claims
The resolution directed the Mayor and City Clerk to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report. Adams highlighted the claims over $25,000.
Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-126 included with these minutes)
ADJOURNMENT – 8:45 P.M.
Motion made by Councilor Marin, seconded by Councilor Olson, that there being no further business, the Council meeting adjourn until the next regular meeting of the Albert Lea City Council at 7:00 p.m., on Monday, June 27, 2016. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and the meeting adjourned.
Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr.
Council Secretary Pro Tem