Osseo moves forward with nuisance parking ordinance amendments

The Osseo City Council continued talking about the amendment to the nuisance parking ordinance at its meeting Monday, Aug. 26.

The council also formally approved purchasing property from a resident for future park property, as well as a request from another property owner to sell their property to the city.

Here are some of the meeting’s highlights.

NUISANCE PARKING ORDINANCE

The council once again took up discussions on the amendment to the nuisance parking ordinance. A first draft of the proposed changes was brought to the council July 22.

The ordinance would limit the number of vehicles to four parked or stored anywhere outside of a garage on residential property.

At the Aug. 12 meeting, Attorney Loren Magsam added the wording defining what a vehicle was. The council wanted more definition of “vehicle.” The council also didn’t agree that a snowmobile on a trailer, for example, should be two vehicle. They felt it should be just one.

Magsam brought forth an updated ordinance amendment at the Aug. 26 meeting. The proposed changes would be: “for purposes of this section, ‘vehicle’ means any motorized vehicle, truck, passenger vehicle, motorcycle, motorized bicycle, motorized cart, golf cart, boat, watercraft, snowmobile, recreational vehicle, trailer or any similar device with wheels or tracks capable of transporting an operator or passenger, however any such vehicle mounted or placed on a trailer used for purposes of transporting such vehicle and the trailer on which such vehicle is mounted shall for purposes of this section be considered one vehicle.”

Resident Larry Stelmach said he agreed with most the proposed changes, but not the number of vehicles allowed.

Councilor Mark Schulz wondered how many people could be violation of the ordinance just by the number of vehicles they have outside. “I also struggle with, as a city government, granted there are certain things our residents look to us for, but I struggle with how much latitude we’re supposed to take away from our residents when using their own personal property.”

He added he like parts of the proposed ordinance amendments, but was personally uncomfortable with the four vehicles restriction.

Councilor Rick Weber agreed, stating anybody at anytime could over the four vehicle limit.

Mayor Duane Poppe asked the council if there was a motion or direction for Attorney Magsam.

The council approved the first reading of the proposed amendment to the ordinance with the exception of striking out the vehicle number limit from the ordinance.

PURCHASING PROPERTY

First, the council formally approved the purchase agreement for property at 17 Fourth Street N.E. for future park property for a purchase price of $145,000. The closing will take place Sept. 28.

In a related matter, the council heard a request from another resident nearby property owner at 417 First Ave. N.E. to purchase that property. This property is also part of the area that has been designated for possible future a city park and community facility. The city has suggested it is a good idea to purchase properties as they come up for sale.

City Administrator Doug Reeder said the first step the council would take would be to obtain an appraisal of the property to determine the fair market value. The estimated cost of an appraisal would be $500.

Councilor Bonnie Heinen said, “I don’t think we should purchase this at this time because just recently during this meeting tonight we have spent on a fire truck, dump truck and it comes close to $450,000. I don’t think we should venture into another agreement to purchase a house that might sit there for years.”

Councilor Weber stated the strategic plan calls for all the properties on the block. “We knew this time was coming,” he said. “We knew we would have to do this at some point. We all agreed upon it.”

Reeder said he wasn’t sure when the property might be available again if the property owner sells it to another person instead.

The council voted 3 to 2 to authorize staff to obtain an appraisal of the property at 417 First Ave. N.E. for the purpose of considering the purchase of the property for park and community facilities.

OTHER

In other action, the council:

APPROVED the purchase of a 2012 demo fire pumper truck from General (Rosenbauer) for a price of $323,914 with the condition that the Osseo Fire Department Relief Association agrees to donate $180,000 toward the purchase by the end of 2015. The rest of the truck will be funded through the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) equipment fund. The CIP calls for the purchase of a new fire truck in 2014 to replace the 32-year-old truck.

APPROVED the purchase of a 2013 dump truck from Boyer Trucks at a cost of $162,354 plus tax.

ANNOUNCED regular office hours for City Hall and the Police Department will begin Tuesday, Sept. 3. Hours will be Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

TABLED any action on the city becoming a Minnesota GreenStep City. The council wanted to get more information on the program.

APPROVED the Duffy’s Bar and Grill annual party during Lions Roar scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7. Activities will take place between 9 p.m. and midnight in the parking lot.

 

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