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2010-09-14 Special City Council Minutes MINUTES SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010 5:30 P.M. EAGAN ROOM – EAGAN MUNICIPAL CENTER City Council members present: Mayor Maguire, Councilmembers Bakken, Fields, Hansen and Tilley. City Staff present: City Administrator Hedges, Assistant to the City Administrator Miller, Director of Administrative Services VanOverbeke, Community Development Director Hohenstein, Public Works Director Colbert, Parks and Recreation Director Seydell-Johnson, City Planner Ridley, Planner Dudziak and Planner Thompson. I. ROLL CALL AND ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA Mayor Maguire called the meeting to order and welcomed students who were visiting from Concordia College. Councilmember Fields moved, Councilmember Bakken seconded a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Aye: 5; Nay: 0 II. VISITORS TO BE HEARD There were no visitors to be heard. III. OPPORTUNITY CITY UPDATE City Administrator Hedges introduced the item noting that the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Regional Council of Mayors (RCM) developed an Opportunity Cities program as a tool for cities interested in receiving assistance in pursuing their goal of supporting a full range of housing choices in suburban cities for a stronger, more prosperous region. Hedges added that in early 2010, at the invitation of the RCM and ULI, the City Council approved an agreement to move forward with the Opportunity Cities program. Hedges also noted that representatives of the MVTA, 360 Communities, Community Development Agency, Advisory Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Advisory Planning Commission were invited to observe tonight’s presentation. Community Development Director Hohenstein provided additional background on the Opportunity Cities program and the study completed to-date regarding Eagan Community Change demographic information, housing program audit, and next steps in the study process. Mr. Hohenstein introduced Cathy Bennett of Bennett Community Consulting. Mr. Hohenstein also introduced John Carpenter of Excensus who is assisting with the study. Special City Council Minutes September 14, 2010 Page 2 Ms. Bennett provided a presentation to the City Council on changes in the community’s demographics, a housing program audit, and next steps in the Opportunity Cities study process. Mr. John Carpenter of Excensus spoke to the trends in the various population groups in the City. The City Council discussed the preliminary findings, their observations and options before the City. The Council gave direction to proceed with a review of three “opportunity sites” by a team of ULI MN members to provide more general suggestions to enhance the City’s redevelopment plan for the mixed use areas identified in the Comprehensive Guide Plan, namely the Central Commons, Cliff Road Commons and Cedar Grove Commons areas. The Council directed that the APC review the recommendations of the ULI MN team yet this fall. The Council directed that the item be brought back to a Council workshop following the review of the APC. IV. ZONING PERMIT CONCEPT DISCUSSION City Administrator Hedges introduced the item noting that there are a number of property improvement activities that do not require a building permit or any formal review by Planning, Building Inspections, and/or Engineering staff. Hedges noted that certain improvements that have been made to properties over the years have resulted in the need for the property owner to seek a variance or a lot line adjustment (replat or subdivision) due to a private improvement resulting in a non-conforming situation that requires correction before the property can be sold or granted a building permit for additional improvements. Community Development Director Hohenstein and City Planner Ridley provided additional background, noting that a zoning permit could be required for improvements that do not require a building permit. Hohenstein noted that the purpose of this type of review is to insure standard zoning requirements are adhered to such as setbacks and impervious surface coverage. Mr. Ridley noted that such a permit process would be intended to provide professional guidance and engage property owners early in the process in order to prevent issues in the future. Mr. Hohenstein noted that the City of Chanhassen has a similar program that could be modeled in Eagan, and stated that no permit fee is contemplated at this time. The City Council discussed the issues of zoning permits. The City Council provided direction to proceed with a Consent Agenda item to prepare an ordinance outlining the zoning permit process. The Council noted that the ordinance should also go through the Advisory Planning Commission per standard process. The Council directed that the APC review the zoning permit concept, and provide a recommendation as to whether the ordinance should be implemented on a trial basis or include a sunset provision. The Council requested that following the APC’s review of the zoning permit concept, the item should come back to the Council on the consent agenda to direct the preparation of the ordinance. Council requested that the background memo on the item include a summary of the APC’s discussion and recommendations to the Council on the zoning permit concept. Special City Council Minutes September 14, 2010 Page 3 The City Council recessed at 7:00 p.m. The Council resumed their meeting 7:26 p.m. V. PROPOSED AD HOC COMMITTEE STRUCTURE FOR FRANCHISE ENFORCEMENT City Administrator introduced the item noting that staff was directed at the June 8, 2010 work session to bring to the Council possible structures for a proposed ad hoc committee or modified and downsized commission to handle governance of the Eagan cable franchise and programming complaints. Communications Director Garrison summarized the options available to the City Council regarding cable franchise enforcement and program appeals. The City Council discussed the options available. There was City Council consensus to designate the Eagan City Council as the cable franchise enforcement authority for the City of Eagan for those matters that cannot first be resolved by City staff, who serves as the local franchise authority (LFA). The Council also directed that if programming complaints arise an ad hoc committee be formed with authority to resolve programming / sponsorship complaints if staff cannot first resolve the issue. The Council directed that the ad hoc group would meet only as needed. The Council directed that the three member panel or appeals board should include the City Clerk, an outside expert from another City or franchise authority, and an Eagan resident appointed by the Council. The Council noted that the resident selected to serve on the ad hoc committee should not be involved in programming decisions at E-TV and that the Clerk’s involvement be reviewed after a trial basis. The Council requested that the direction provided at tonight’s workshop be formalized as a Council item for consideration at a future City Council meeting. VI. REVIEW SPECIAL ASSESSMENT FOR TRUNK AREA ASSESSMENTS City Administrator Hedges introduced the item noting that the purpose of tonight’s agenda item is to review the current special assessment policy on trunk area assessments and provide direction for possible revision or amendments to the policy. Mayor Maguire added that by re-examining the special assessment policy on trunk area assessments, the Council will have the opportunity to review the special circumstances associated with the trunk water main assessments for the Lakewood Hills neighborhood. Public Works Director Colbert highlighted a map showing the Cliff Road – Trunk water main assessment area, which included platted lots, unplatted lots, and building structures for general reference during discussions. Mr. Colbert explained the two existing trunk area assessment options based either on actual square footage or, on a flat per lot basis. Director Colbert provided historical information on the City’s special assessment policies and the various amendments and revisions to some of the earlier policies that pertained to trunk area assessments and potential credits for public easements. Special City Council Minutes September 14, 2010 Page 4 The City Council discussed the special assessment options available to them. The City Council and staff discussed the option of potential credits for any conservation easements that might be dedicated prior to the final assessment hearing for the Lakewood Hills properties. The City Council took public testimony from Bob Lane, 896 Lakewood Hills Road, inquiring as to the benefits and restrictions for the property owners if a conservation easement is considered. Mr. Lane also inquired about the previous credits homeowners were given against area assessments for existing ponds and wetlands that didn't have formal easements in place on the property, and whether such credits could be grandfathered in to become a ponding easement under this project. Lois Agrimson, 894 Lakewood Hills Road, inquired about the difference between ponding easements versus conservation easements, and whether there is a difference in the assessment depending on which easement is obtained. Betty Undis, 870 Lakewood Hills Road, inquired about the natural pond on her property and whether the City could put a trail around the lake. Upon further discussion, the Council provided direction to staff to prepare a specific proposal to be brought back to the City Council to include a conservation easement template, combined with how trunk fees could be paid via the City’s open space fund for those properties that dedicate conservation easements to the City. The Council directed that staff get feedback on the proposal from property owners in advance of being brought back to the City Council. The Council also clarified that there shall be no minimum or maximum size for a conservation easement area. The Council invited staff to include their thoughts and recommendations in the proposal, and identify potential issues and possible responses to those issues when bringing the proposal back to the City Council. The Council also requested information regarding the value of ponding easements to the City. The City Council noted that should staff need additional clarification, the conservation easement proposal could be brought to the Finance Committee for further recommendations. The Council asked that the proposal be brought back to the November or December City Council workshop. VII. OTHER BUSINESS There was no other business. VIII. ADJOURNMENT Councilmember Bakken moved; Councilmember Fields seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:48 p.m. Aye: 5; Nay: 0