[Moermond gives background of appeals process]
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this Category 2 Vacant Building file was
opened November 4, 2022. It was referred to the program, the house was vacant and
the electric was off. Some siding issues. It was found vacant. The total proposed
assessment is $2,616. There has been two Summary Abatement Orders sent and one
work order from March 16.
Moermond: why are you appealing Mr. Meyer?
Meyer: we bought the house meaning to fix it up for family. It needed more work than
we thought. We also have a place in Florida and I came back and all of a sudden I got
all this information. My question is, can you have two houses and not live in one for a
certain amount of time? And have to pay this Vacant Building tax? I’ve bought houses
for years; we spend two to three months in Florida. The house is in horrible shape, but
that is how I bought it. No one lived there before I even bought it. No one paid the
vacant tax then. I’m curious why now? We’re fixing it up because it was falling apart
when we bought it.
Moermond: do you have mail forwarded to you in Florida?
Meyer: no. We come back. That isn’t my house-house. That was a secondary house
for family. My mailing address is 297 Copp drive in West St. Paul.
Moermond: I see that. That isn’t really what we’re talking about today. The notification
of being in the Vacant Building program went out in November 2022. We do hear
appeals at that point in time from people. What I see is that without services from
Xcel—they are the ones who notified the City they shut the power off to the property.
That was the trigger for it to be looked at it. It is considered a basic facility so when
the City gets those notices they send an inspector out. They wait six weeks before
they notify the City. That’s what the inspectors came across. It wasn’t a judgment
about whether you get to own two houses. It was based on that referral. You also don’t
have this as the address where you live, which also probably help informed that. Do
you have an action plan for dealing with it? You said the house was worse than you
expected. How long before you can get out from under these problems? Mr.
Yannarelly, due to the type of Vacant Building, can you describe what is required?
Yannarelly: the inspector deemed it a Category 2 because it had multiple Code
violations including lack of electricity and exterior maintenance of the building. Before
it can be occupied it needs a certificate of Code Compliance. That Code Compliance
Inspection needs to be done to find out what needs to bring it up to code.
Meyer: I understand about the Code, but you go around that neighborhood and all the
houses look like cr@p. Yes, we turned off the electricity because we were not going to
be there. We were clearly having to redo the siding and stucco. The plan is to have it
done within 2 months now that we’re back.
Yannarelly: you need a Code Compliance inspection to pull permits.
Meyer: I understand all that.
Moermond: you think you can get out from underneath this in a couple months. How
long are Code Compliance Inspections taking, Mr. Yannarelly?
Yannarelly: four to six weeks.
Moermond: I don’t see any returned mail in the system. Did you have anything about