Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Abatement Plan Alice Krengel, 823 Allen - all below from West staple City Council Meeting Minutes except for article from Pioneer Press Immediately below:

Breaking News:

Posted on Sun, Sep. 03, 2006

Suburbs seek fix for aging houses
Citing property owners has pros, cons for Inver Grove Heights, West St. Paul

Pioneer Press

As 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 it.
Familiar arguments are resurfacing in Inver Grove Heights, which is considering whether to adopt an ordinance to enforce minimum appearance standards for homes and other property.

Franklin 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 to court.

"We 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."

Martin 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.
While the percentage of troubled properties remains low in the city of 33,000 residents, Mayor George Tourville said adoption of a nuisance-property ordinance is long overdue.

"We're not looking at kicking anybody out of their home," Tourville said. "But we need to get ahead of the problem, not behind it."
However, resistance from other members of the City Council recently derailed a proposed ordinance modeled after the one in neighboring West St. Paul.
In a City Council work session last month, member Dennis Madden and others raised objections to the adversarial tone of the draft ordinance and worried that city inspectors would be overly intrusive. Madden also objected to some of the provisions as too restrictive, such as one limiting the height of grass or weeds to eight inches.

"I 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."
No date has been set for when an amended or scaled-back version of the proposal will surface on the council's agenda.
Martin said that, based on the experience of other cities, council members often "think worst-case scenarios" when considering such ordinances for the first time. But they usually become more comfortable when they see "how it operates and how the city uses it," he said.
Oversight and legal due process are already in place, Martin said. City inspectors are supervised by city managers, he said, while homeowners can challenge citations in Dakota County housing court.
Jim Laska, a 48-year resident, is disappointed by the slow progress in adopting a nuisance ordinance. He said he and other residents won't let the issue drop.

"It's very, very important," Laska said. "Our citizens deserve nothing less than to have an ordinance that defines standards and expectations."

]The 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.

Some of them obviously need repairs.

Martin is a fan of his neighboring city's ordinance and how it has been enforced.
"I think they've seen a lot of success," he said. "Neighborhoods look better."

But 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.

West 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.

Recently, 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.

The change has rankled some residents, such as John Rapos, who wants inspectors to return to house-to-house inspections in targeted neighborhoods.
"The whole program seems like it's falling apart," Rapos said. "There's less enforcement. They're not doing code enforcement until someone brings it to their attention. The reality is most people don't say anything. A number of people are upset, those of us who have nice houses."
But even City Council members have been caught in the crosshairs of city inspectors, and at least one of them thinks the city should scrap what he considers to be an overly harsh program.

Nick 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.

The 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.

"If 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."

Rather than getting special treatment, Juarez believes he's being singled out — as are other people who have complaints lodged against them.

"I 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."

Juarez also said the program doesn't take into account the modest financial means of many West St. Paul residents, including him.
"Not all politicians are rich," said Juarez, a married father of three children who works as a security guard for a Target store in St. Paul. "I'm a common guy. It comes down to priorities. Taking care of family is first. Taking care of property is second."

Juarez 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 wall himself.

If 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.

Juarez, 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.
"If that's the best they can do is go attack my retaining wall, let them attack," he said.

Brian Bonner can be reached at or 651-228-2173.

City Attorney Crawford indicated that Clpns. Juarez and Tessmer along with City Attorney Kori Land has worked with the owner of 823 Allen to generate this abatement plan which is agreeable to both the City and the Owner, Ms. Alice Krengel.
Clpn. Juarez indicated their meeting was very productive and, hopefully, will bring eventual closure to a problem property.
On Motion of Clpn. Tessmer Seconded by Clpn. Juarez


WHEREAS, THE West St. Paul City Council (the "City") authorized pursuing an injunction for the residence located at 823 Allen Avenue, legally described as Lot 4, Deppes Addition, according to the recorded plat thereof, in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 617.81;
WHEREAS, the Owner at 823 Allen Avenue, Alice Krengel, (the "Owner") was served with a Notice of Injunctive Action (the "Notice") by certified mail, indicating that she had violated Minnesota Statutes, Section 609.74 by being a Public Nuisance for an extended period of time and that she had violated Minnesota Statutes, Section 609.745 by Permitting a Public Nuisance for an extended period of time;
WHEREAS, pursuant to Minnesota Statute, Section 617.81, the Owner contacted the prosecuting authority within thirty (30) days of being served with the Notice and has agreed to an Abatement Plan;
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Notice, if the Owner complies with the conditions of the Abatement Plan for a period of one (1) year from its date of adoption, the City will not pursue the injunctive action initiated by the Notice;
WHEREAS, should the Owner violate any of the terms of the Abatement Plan during the one year time period, the City will consider pursuing the injunction, which could result in preventing the Owner from using the residence for any purpose for a period of one (1) year;
WHEREAS, the City Council has reviewed the Abatement Plan and agrees to the terms and conditions.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council hereby adopts the following abatement plan for Alice Krengel at 823 Allen Avenue:
1. No use of alcohol or controlled substances by Alice Krengel.
2. No alcohol, alcohol containers or controlled substances are allowed in the residence or on the property.
3. No more than three (3) unrelated occupants may reside in the residence.
4. Alice Krengel agrees to random visits and entry by Community Policing Officer Christina Micek, Sergeant Dan Weber, Sergeant Tom Fangel, Sergeant Brent Nagel, and Chief Bud Shaver.
5. Alice Krengel agrees to submit to random preliminary breath tests to be given by Community Policing Officer Christina Micek, Sergeant Dan Weber, Sergeant Tom Fangel, Sergeant Brent Nagel, and Chief Bud Shaver.
6. Alice Krengel agrees to attend ninety (90) Alcoholics Anonymous meetings within 120 days from the date of this resolution. Verification of attendance at meetings is due by November 30, 2005 and shall be submitted to the City Attorney's Office.

Ayes: 6 Nays: 0_______________________________ Attest:__________________________
John A. Zanmiller, Mayor Diane K. Meissner
Deputy City Clerk

MONDAY, JULY 10, 2006
6:00 P.M.
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.
WEST ST. PAUL, MN 55118 651- 552-4100; TDD 651- 552-4222COUNCIL CLOSED SESSION
MONDAY, JULY 10, 2006
5:30 P.M.


If you need an accommodation to participate in the meeting, please contact the ADA Coordinator at 651-552-4108, TDD 651-450.1111 at least 5 business days prior to the meeting. EOE/AA

MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2006
6:15 P.M.
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, IT Coordinator Evan Stegman, Deputy City Clerk Diane Meissner and City Attorney Kori Land.
Others present: Jay Haugen, School Supt., ISD 197; Hugh Guscetti, 1103 S. Smith.
Mayor Zanmiller called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m.

823 Allen
City Manager Hairston indicated that this issue has been postponed from the last meeting and one of the major items that were pending was the issue of Father Adrian sending homeless persons to 823 Allen.
Police Chief Shaver stated a police investigator was sent to interview Father Adrian and the Investigator said that it appears that Father Adrian has not been sending homeless people to Ms. Krengel's house. We have been checking the house and there have not been very many people there.
Mayor Zanmiller indicated that he didn't think we have enough to go to a judge right now but we can get her to sign an extension where if there are any police calls, she loses the house.
Clpn. Tessmer stated if you talk to her neighbors, you will hear a different story, and he asked about the two people that are causing the most problems.
City Attorney Land stated that there were two individuals causing problems, but she didn't believe that one is there anymore.
Clpn. Tessmer asked if Ms. Krengel has violated two items, and Attorney Land replied, yes. He further stated he didn't think extending her agreement would do any good when she will just continue what she has been doing.
Hugh Guscetti, 1103 South Smith, asked if she has been going through the AA program she was supposed to go to, and Attorney Land replied that she did provide her with proof that she had gone to AA meetings.
Mr. Guscetti commented he thought the plan she signed was that she could have up to 3 non-related people living there, and Attorney Land replied she did, but the issue was no alcohol and we can't find any proof of alcohol use.
Clpn. Lewis suggested changing the extension adding that she has to go to in-house treatment.
Mayor Zanmiller stated the City couldn’t enforce that, but Attorney Land noted unless she agrees to it. Mayor Zanmiller commented but the City would probably have to pay for it.
Clpn. Tessmer commented she has probably exhausted her options in that regard. We should let the matter go into the court and let a judge find something to help her. The abatement plan we set for her was in response to probation violations and Attorney Land stated Ms. Krengel had several public nuisance violations that were outstanding and she agreed to the voluntary abatement plan as opposed to going to court.
Mayor Zanmiller indicated it appears two Ward Council persons want to go forward to enforce the injunction.
Attorney Land noted there is a timing issue. A temporary injunction needs to be done before the expiration of the abatement plan on August 22nd and we need to provide her with a 30 day notice; we need to serve her with something this week.
Clpn. Juarez stated he would put this matter on the regular Council agenda for action.

Other Abatements:

The 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.
Roll Call:
The roll being called, the following members were:
Present: Mayor Zanmiller, Clpns. Wright, Tessmer, Lewis, Englin, VanMoorlehem, and Juarez.
Absent: None.
Also Present: City Manager Arbon Hairston, City Attorney Kori Land, Parks, Recreation and Public Works Director Matthew Saam, Finance Director John Remkus, Police Chief Manila Shaver, Fire Chief John Ehret, Community Development Director James Hartshorn, Asst. Finance Director Mark Schaefbauer, and Deputy City Clerk Diane Meissner...

City Attorney Land explained the Council will be considering a Resolution supporting the issuance of a Court Order regarding the abatement and assessment for the removal of a public nuisance on the northeast corner of Emerson and Valley View Court, property that is owned by Cheryl Oppegard and that is currently occupied by a building that is not on its permanent foundation. This matter was discussed by Council at a closed meeting and she is making one change to the resolution based on her conversations with Council and read the change for confirmation of Council.
Clpn. Tessmer asked if the list of improvements Ms. Oppegard presented to staff could be contained in the resolution, and Attorney Land replied she was hesitant to list such restrictions as to what the building will look like in its final form.
Clpn. Tessmer stated he just wants to make sure that the owner makes the improvements she agreed to, and Attorney Land replied that she would present this to the Judge and he can make the determination if it is appropriate.
On Motion of Clpn. Tessmer Seconded by Clpn. Juarez
WHEREAS, Cheryl Oppegard (the “Owner”) is the owner of certain real property located at the northeast corner of Emerson Avenue and Valley View Court, PID 42-36200-100-01 (the “Property”); and
WHEREAS, the Owner moved a residential building to the Property in the fall of 2005 but did not place it on a foundation or in any way permanently place it on the Property; and
WHEREAS, the Owner appeared before the West St. Paul City Council on January 23, 2006, and stated that she would be doing the following:
•Applying for a permit for the foundation in April
•Conducting exterior renovation on the building
•Conducting interior renovation on the building
•Adding a family room
•Adding on to the garage to make it a 3-car garage
•Having it ready for occupancy by August 1, 2006; and
WHEREAS, as of April 6, 2006, no permits had been pulled and the building was declared a Public Nuisance under City Code Section 2010.01(L), as an annoyance to the persons in the neighborhood; and
WHEREAS, on April 6, 2006, Code Enforcement Officer Gerry Hokanson sent a letter to the Owner notifying her of the Public Nuisance, requiring that she correct the Nuisance by May 1, 2006 and providing her with the proper permits to correct the Nuisance; and
WHEREAS, on May 3, 2006, the Owner was issued a citation for Public Nuisance; and
WHEREAS, on May 11, 2006, the Owner appeared before the Honorable Leslie Metzen in Community Court and plead guilty to the Public Nuisance violation but the court stayed the imposition of the sentence if the Owner obtained prior licensing and permits by June 8, 2006; and
WHEREAS, by June 8, 2006, the Owner had not obtained the proper permits and she appeared in Community Court before the Honorable Karen Asphaug who accepted the plea and imposed the following sentence:
•$50 in court costs and $50 in prosecution costs
•$1,000 fine and $77 surcharge
•Stayed $700 of the fine on condition that excavation for the foundation begin by June 19, 2006; and
WHEREAS, the Owner did not begin excavation by June 19, 2006; and
WHEREAS, City Code Section 2010.09 provides the City with the authority to abate any Public Nuisance that has not been removed by the compliance deadline and assess the costs against the property; and
WHEREAS, on July 10, 2006, the Council considered the continuous violations of the Owner and the Owner’s refusal to cooperate with either City or Court-appointed deadlines and desires a final resolution of the Public Nuisance.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council hereby supports the issuance of a court Order requiring the immediate abatement and assessment for the Removal of the Public Nuisance on the Property in the following manner:
1. The Owner shall immediately remove the Public Nuisance;
2. If the Owner fails to remove the Nuisance, the City may remove the Nuisance;
3. If the City removes the Nuisance, it will submit an invoice to the Owner for the costs of such removal;
4. If the Owner fails to pay the invoice, the City will assess all costs for such removal against the Property, pursuant to City Code Section 2010.13, as a special assessment in accordance with Minn. Stat. §429.101.