1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Jason Grimm, Rick Ihli, and Maureen Stanley.
Staff present: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Bret Weiss, City Engineer; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Open Forum.
3.01 I-94 West Chamber Update
Rhonda Baaken introduced herself as the new I94 Chamber of Commerce president and addressed the Council regarding the I94 Corridor Coalition. Baaken handed out an informational packet regarding the work of the Coalition. Baaken requested the Council to consider funding the Coalition as it did last year. Baaken stated that recently St. Michael, Monticello, and Otsego rededicated their funding.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion directing staff to bring the resolution and request for funding forward on the next agenda. Motion carried 5-0.
Kathleen Poate was also present and recognized by the City Council by being given a Key to the City and Certificate of Appreciation by the Mayor and Council for her 23 years of service as the I94 Chamber president. Mayor Grimm read the following from Poate's Certificate:
This Official Key to the City and Certificate Appreciation are presented to Kathleen Poate in sincere appreciation for your years of dedicated service to Rogers businesses, patrons, residents and to improving the overall economic health of the City of Rogers and the surrounding community. The Rogers City Council, staff and residents thank you for your devoted leadership and vision. Your presence in these matters will be greatly missed, but the foundation you helped create will serve as the basis for a strong local business climate for many years to come.
4. Approve agenda.
The following item was added under Other Business:
8.01 Stanley – discussion of Planning Commission and Park Board
5. Consent Agenda.
5.01 Approval of Minutes from October 11, 2011 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Approval of Resolution No. 2011-48, A Resolution Acknowledging Contributions to City of Rogers Park and Recreation Department
5.04 American Tower Utility Easement
5.05 Senior Use of Community Room
5.06 Approval of SCADA Pilot Project Budget
5.07 Approval of the Requests by Glen Ertel:
• Rezoning of approximately 109 acres from agricultural to R-2, Single Family Residential and Mixed Use Regional (Ordinance No. 2011-06 & Summary Ordinance)
• Preliminary and Final Plat Approval of Henry Homestead (Resolution No. 2011-53)
5.08 Approval of the 2012 Siren Maintenance Contract
5.09 Request for Street Closures for Neighborhood Halloween Parade on Sunday, Oct. 30th – Hollyhock Lane, Lynch Drive and Marie Ave.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.
6. Public Hearings
6.01 Public Hearing to Adopt the Proposed Assessment for Delinquent Sewer, Water, Recycling, And/Or Storm Water Service Charges
• Approval of Resolution No. 2011–49, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for Delinquent Sewer and Water Service Charges (2011)
Doboszenski provided an explanation of the delinquent utilities to be assessed.
Mayor Grimm opened the meeting for public hearing at 7:10 p.m.
There were no comments registered from the public. Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to close the public hearing at 7:10 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to adopt Resolution 2011-49, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for Delinquent Sewer and Water Service Charges (2011). Motion carried 5-0.
6.02 Public Hearing to Adopt the Proposed Assessment for Lawn Maintenance Service Charges
• Approval of Resolution No. 2011–50, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for Delinquent Lawn Maintenance Service Charges (2011)
Doboszenski provided an explanation on the lawn maintenance invoices from summer 2010 and summer 2011 that staff is requesting be assessed against the property located at 22301 Red Oak Drive. Doboszenski stated the property owner was contacted last summer regarding the need to maintain their property, and informed the City would assess the charges against the taxes if the City needed to do the maintenance.
Mayor Grimm opened the meeting for public hearing at 7:12 p.m.
There were no comments registered from the public. Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to close the public hearing at 7:12 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2011–50, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for Delinquent Lawn Maintenance Service Charges (2011). Motion carried 5-0.
6.03 Public Hearing to Adopt Proposed Assessment for the South Diamond Lake Road and 133rd Avenue at Brockton Lane (CSAH 13) Improvement Project
• Approval of Resolution No. 2011–51, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for the South Diamond Lake Road / 133rd Avenue at Brockton Lane (CSAH 13) Improvement Project
Engineer Weiss provided an explanation of the project by giving a powerpoint presentation. Weiss provided an assessment role identifying the three properties proposed for assessment. Also discussed were the deferred assessment agreements prepared for deferring assessment until development occurs on two of the three properties; Agrimson and Zachman.
Ihli asked if Liberty was involved in any of this project. Weiss stated no. There were no improvements on the west side; the road was already fully developed with the median in place. Medline did pay the transportation trunk fee for their project to help defray transportation costs.
Mayor Grimm opened the meeting for public hearing at 7:24. There were no comments registered from the public.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to close the public hearing at 7:24 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2011–51, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for the South Diamond Lake Road / 133rd Avenue at Brockton Lane (CSAH 13) Improvement Project. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion authorizing execution of deferred assessment agreements for Agrimson and Zachman. Motion carried 5-0.
6.04 Public Hearing to Adopt Proposed Assessment for the 129th Avenue (Arthur Street to Brookside Lane) Reconstruction Project
• Approval of Resolution No. 2011–52, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for the 129th Avenue (Arthur Street to Brookside Lane) Reconstruction Project
Weiss provided an explanation of the project, the areas to be assessed, and the funding mechanism for the project. Weiss discussed the deferred assessments and stated a new resolution with correct figures for deferred assessments will be brought forward to council next month.
Mayor Grimm opened the meeting for public hearing at 7:35 p.m.
Chris and Meg Hasbrouck, 22201 129th Avenue N.:
The Hasbroucks addressed the Council and requested the assessment be deferred to a developer in the future or eliminated completely. Mr. Hasbrouck stated the benefit is not that great to us. The value of the property is going down. The road was destroyed by use of the road. Just don't see the benefit. Liked the rural appeal of the property the way it was. Not that pleased with the way the driveway was redone at the end – quick drop off versus a taper they used to have. Mr. Hasbrouck stated the contractor asked them what color stone they wanted on the retaining wall, but then installed a different color anyway. The Hasbroucks commented on the project being a four month disruption and discussed the difficulty with getting their mail and newspaper and also the challenges with the garbage and recycling pick-up; a challenge since July. He stated he knows the engineer will say this is how it is done, but feels the assessment should be reduced.
The Hasbroucks presented a letter of objection to the City.
Meg Hasbrouck questioned the deferred assessments for the other properties.
Ms. Hasbrouck and Engineer Weiss discussed the potential development of their property and the deferred assessments should the property develop.
Ms. Hasbrouck sees that at a liability to a potential purchaser. Weiss stated it's a question of fairness. If properties are going to develop into additional lots, there is a cost of doing that. Weiss stated a small amount of the overall project is actually being assessed.
There was continued discussion between Meg Hasbrouck and Weiss regarding potential future assessments.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to close the public hearing at 7:41 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting asked that the contractor be contacted regarding the color of the block. Weiss stated he will look into the block and the issue mentioned with the driveway. Weiss concurred that the Hasbroucks did put up with a lot during the construction process.
Bunting moved, Bell seconded a motion to adopt Resolution 2011 – 52, A Resolution Adopting and Confirming Assessment for the 129th Avenue (Arthur Street to Brookside Lane) Reconstruction Project. Motion carried 4-1; Ihli opposed.
7. General Business
7.01 Approval of the Sign Standard Adjustment for Stonelounge
Administrator Stahmer read from the memo prepared by Planner Grittman, explaining Grittman had to attend another meeting. Stahmer read the following staff recommendation and explained the Planning Commission voted to approve the three requested sign adjustments:
"Staff believes that the sign standards adjustments to both number of signs and height of the freeway pylon sign are reasonable accommodations for the site in question, considering visibility, frontage, and character of the area in general.
However, staff's recommendation for sign area is to retain the standard found in the sign ordinance at 60 square feet per side, rather than the 188 square feet requested by the applicant. Draft findings of fact are provided in the original staff report to Planning Commission supporting this recommendation.
If the City Council follows the Planning Commission recommendation for additional sign area, findings should be developed that identify the particular aspects of the application and site to distinguish this application from other future requests. As noted above, staff would suggest that if a larger sign area is considered acceptable in this location, the most appropriate action would be an amendment to the code governing signs in this sign overlay district."
Bunting stated to some extent is reminds him of the Appliance Smart application and asked if anyone recalls the allowances given to them.
Attorney Carson commented that Council should find something wrong with the ordinance if they are going to allow this type of variance from the current ordinance; 60 feet allowed and 188 being requested.
Ihli stated the height is a necessary but the size will be hard to see. Ihli stated he agrees with the Planning Commission commenting they voted unanimously to approve the sign variances.
Bell stated he was part of the planning commission at the time the size (ordinance) was evaluated and the numbers are consistent with surrounding communities. As staff as mentioned, we have the ordinance and need to follow the ordinance and if the Council doesn't agree we would need to amend the ordinance across the board.
Bunting stated 188 square feet seems incredibly large for that area.
Ihli stated the Council needs to help our businesses succeed. Grimm agrees on helping businesses exceed maybe there is a size that can be agreed upon.
Property owner Jeff Benzinger addressed the Council on the request for a sign variance. Benzinger discussed the business going into the site as the same kind of business that existed there prior, before the weather took the previous sign down. Benzinger stated the actual size of the sign is approximately 150 square feet, if you take out the empty space because of the design of the sign.
Bunting clarified the size of the sign previously there. Bunting asked when Mr. Benzinger asked for the sign adjustment. Benzinger stated he went round and round with staff. Benzinger stated the process started in August.
Bunting stated he is not asking for a little variance; but an enormous one. Bunting discussed being able to allow something in the area of 100 square feet, but can't give a slam dunk to 188 square feet. Bunting commented on wanting more time to think about the request, drive the City to look at other signs, and talk with others.
Benzinger stated he is asking to replace signs that were there; the building was a restaurant and is going to be a restaurant.
Bunting stated he will be asking the Council to table this item, but is not sure what the other council members are thinking.
Mr. Soltis, the restaurant owner, addressed the Council stating he is looking for the same advantage as the other restaurant in town.
There was a discussion regarding tabling the request or taking chances with the Council to have it approved or denied tonight.
Soltis stated the actual size is about 135 square feet.
Bell stated standards were put in place to make it as equitable as possible.
Soltis stated he would like the Council to consider tabling the variance for the size of the freeway sign. Council discussed proceeding with the rest of the variances requested.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve A and B from the staff memo with conditions 1-5 as set forth in the staff memo. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to table item C until the next meeting. Motion carried 4-1; Bell opposed.
Stahmer asked if there is any information Council is seeking from staff prior to the next meeting. Council directed staff to research the size of the competitor's sign.
8. Other Business
8.01 Stanley – discussion of Planning Commission and Park Board
Stanley commented on the need to fill vacancies on the Planning Commission and Park Board. Stanley questioned if the application process is open to Hassan residents. Staff stated since the vacancies will be filled after January 1st, that Hassan residents are eligible to apply for the positions. Stahmer stated the newspaper article will be clarified to reflect that. Council will those approve those appointments in January.
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 Transportation Task Force Update
9.02 Park Board Minutes – August 4, 2011
9.03 Park Board Workshop Minutes – September 21, 2011
9.04 Elm Creek Watershed Minutes – September 14, 2011
9.05 September, 2011 Financial Reports
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adjourn at 8:17 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk