|Abatement Plan Alice Krengel, 823 Allen - all below from West staple City Council Meeting Minutes except for article from Pioneer Press Immediately below:|
on Sun, Sep. 03, 2006
the problem of dumpy-looking and poorly maintained property spreads from
inner cities to aging suburbs, so does the debate over what to do about
Martin, the suburb's chief building official, said the ordinance is needed
to give officials stronger powers to eliminate nuisances such as bad roofs
and siding, junk cars, unsightly storage of items, and similar eyesores.
Property owners who don't comply could face citations and fines, get a
bill from the city for abating the problem or, as a last resort, be taken
do not have the tools in place to enforce maintenance provisions. Without
such a provision, you can't address the issues that are of primary nuisance
to neighborhoods: torn screens, broken doors, dilapidated roofing,"
Martin said. "Currently, there have to be building-code violations
that would hamper life and public safety."
said rundown properties exist "all over town" and include vacant
farmhouses and collapsed barns. But the old village area, along Concord
Street near the northern border with South St. Paul, appears to have a
higher concentration of problems.
not looking at kicking anybody out of their home," Tourville said.
"But we need to get ahead of the problem, not behind it."
want to see the ratty-looking property cleaned up, too," Madden said.
"But there needs to be some sort of oversight so it's not just up
to the inspector. I want the City Council involved if there's any serious
move at all. If you get a real tyrant in there (as city inspector), you're
going to have a real problem."
very, very important," Laska said. "Our citizens deserve nothing
less than to have an ordinance that defines standards and expectations."
draft proposal was similar to one that has been in effect in West St.
Paul for several years.
While West St. Paul formed in 1889 and Inver Grove Heights incorporated only in 1965, both have homes dating back to at least the early 20th century.
of them obviously need repairs.
is a fan of his neighboring city's ordinance and how it has been enforced.
there's still debate among West St. Paulites about the ordinance and how
it is enforced. Some think inspectors are too harsh and arbitrary. Others
think they are too lax.
St. Paul calls its inspection program PACE, an acronym for Pro-Active
Code Enforcement. At one time, a city inspector went from house to house
in problem neighborhoods, inspecting and issuing orders to correct violations.
The worst offenders got citations if the problems weren't fixed, and some
ended up in court.
however, West St. Paul has dropped aggressive enforcement and started
to respond mostly to complaints a sign of the inspection program's
success, said city attorney Kori Land.
change has rankled some residents, such as John Rapos, who wants inspectors
to return to house-to-house inspections in targeted neighborhoods.
Juarez, who represents one of the city's three wards on the seven-member
City Council, said he was cited twice for a crumbling concrete retaining
wall in front of his house, which was built in 1890.
first citation came shortly after he bought the house in 2003. The most
recent one came last week, after neighbors raised questions about whether
Juarez is getting favored treatment because of his status as a council
member. The city says the wall poses no safety hazard.
it's unsightly to people and they want me to fix it, I'll fix it,"
Juarez said. "I agree it's unsightly. There's some paint coming off,
cinderblock has fallen away."
than getting special treatment, Juarez believes he's being singled out
as are other people who have complaints lodged against them.
don't see the purpose of the PACE program. It's supposed to be pro-active
to preserve housing stock and bring property values up," Juarez said.
"But it doesn't get to all the problems in the city. I can drive
up every block in the north and find problems on every single house."
also said the program doesn't take into account the modest financial means
of many West St. Paul residents, including him.
said he's gotten estimates of up to $15,000 to hire a contractor to build
a new retaining wall. He doesn't have the money, so he will patch the
he has his way, Juarez said, West St. Paul will do away with the PACE
inspection program and replace it with "a little softer program,"
such as one that uses volunteers to help low- to moderate-income people
make essential repairs.
appointed to the council in 2004 to fill a vacancy, doesn't think the
condition of his retaining wall will hurt his election chances this fall.
Brian Bonner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-228-2173.
FOR 823 ALLEN, July 24, 2005
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council hereby adopts the following
abatement plan for Alice Krengel at 823 Allen Avenue:
PASSED AND ADOPTED
BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WEST ST. PAUL, THIS 22nd DAY OF AUGUST,
OPEN COUNCIL WORK SESSION
MONDAY, JULY 10, 2006
LOBBY CONFERENCE ROOM
Members Present: Mayor Zanmiller; Clpns. Tessmer, Englin, Wright, Lewis, VanMoorlehem, and Juarez.
Members Absent: None.
Also Present: City Manager Arbon Hairston, Asst. City Manager/Human Resources Director Karen Divina, Police Chief Manila Shaver, Parks, Recreation & Public Works Director Matt Saam, Fire Chief John Ehret, Community Development Director James Hartshorn, Zoning Administrator Jim Housley, Deputy City Clerk Diane Meissner and City Attorney Kori Land.
Call to Order
Mayor Zanmiller called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and added Other Items if Time Permits to the agenda list.
Update on 823 Allen
City Attorney Land advised the Council that the owner of 823 Allen, Alice Krengel, was served with the injunctive order on June 27th. That same day, Attorney Land received a fax from Ms. Krengel offering to agree with an extension of the abatement plan with the only change as to instructions as to what constitutes the number of police visits. On June 29th, there was a call into the police, a woman, who said she thought that Ms. Krengel was a danger to herself so the police went there. There was another person there that said Ms. Krengel was sleeping and couldn't come to the door. The police insisted on speaking with her and she eventually came to the door. The police were given a bottle of vodka so she is clearly in violation of her abatement plan as well as her probation. Attorney Land brings this information to the Council because Ms. Krengel has offered an extension of her abatement plan, but she clearly has demonstrated she can't hold to it, and she suggests not accepting it, wait out the 30 days and let the injunction runs it course.
Clpn. Tessmer asked if there could be a press release with what has happened with Alice so if the Council starts getting calls, and Attorney Land replied that this is all public information on Ms. Krengel.
Clpn. Tessmer asked if the eviction would only affect Ms. Krengel or everybody living in the house and will the house be secured, and Attorney Land replied everybody in the house must leave and the Police will monitor the house.
Police Chief Shaver noted that securing the house will be problematic as the Police did this before and had to be there every other day.
Clpn. Tessmer asked who cuts the grass, and Attorney Land replied, if the city enjoins the use of the property, they are responsible for its maintenance.
Clpn. Wright asked about insurance on the house, and Attorney Land replied that Ms. Krengel would be responsible for maintaining insurance on the house.
Mayor Zanmiller noted if there were any questions, they should refer them to the City Attorney, however, Attorney Land stated that this process is open to the public.
OF WEST ST. PAUL
1616 HUMBOLDT AVENUE
WEST ST. PAUL, MN 55118 651- 552-4100; TDD 651- 552-4222COUNCIL CLOSED SESSION
MONDAY, JULY 10, 2006
LOBBY CONFERENCE ROOMAGENDA
THE COUNCIL WILL BE MEETING IN CLOSED SESSION
TO CONSIDER LITIGATION STRATEGY
regular meeting of the West St. Paul City Council was held on Monday,
July 10, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Center,
1616 Humboldt Avenue, West St. Paul.
ORDER FOR OPPEGARD