15 West Kellogg Blvd.  
Saint Paul, MN 55102  
City of Saint Paul  
Minutes - Final  
Legislative Hearings  
Marcia Moermond, Legislative Hearing Officer  
Mai Vang, Hearing Coordinator  
Joanna Zimny, Executive Assistant  
Tuesday, November 7, 2023  
9:00 AM  
Room 330 City Hall & Court House/Remote  
9:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 826 COMO  
AVENUE. (File No. VB2402, Assessment No. 248801)  
Approve the assessment.  
Danny Joslin, friend of Wendy, appeared via phone  
Kim Oanh (aka Wendy Guertin), owner, appeared via phone  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this is the yearly cost of being in the  
Vacant Building program.  
Moermond: we talked about this in July. At that time, I know you were working on  
clearing the title and interested in selling. I look at this and see you’ve been in the  
vacant building program for six months now. What is going on?  
Joslin: we’ve gone through and got an attorney to move it over. We are still waiting to  
get title in Kim’s name for that location. We have been showing it, but have had no  
solid buyer in the closing process. We’d like to wrap this into a sale as planned  
Moermond: I look at the building from a street view and it looks like a business with a  
parking lot.  
Joslin: yes. We’re not opposed to someone buying and knocking it down.  
Moermond: and I heard you want this dealt with as part of the sale?  
Joslin: yes.  
Moermond: your Public Hearing is January 24, and on that day the Council would  
vote and if they ratify this assessment it would be invoiced a couple of weeks later. If  
the invoice doesn’t get paid, which is fine, it rolls onto the property taxes. That’s one  
way to deal with it. In terms of getting title and selling soon, it is obvious to anyone  
doing title work that this is a pending assessment so they can deal with that as part of  
the closing. So, it would be dealt with before the Public Hearing if you sell it, or on the  
2025 taxes. I’m going to recommend approval of the assessment.  
Joslin: if we did take the road with the hearing, we don’t pay it and it goes on 2025  
taxes and we sell it middle of 2024, does it still get dealt with the title company?  
Moermond: yes, they would see it exists.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1008  
CARROLL AVENUE. (File No. VB2402, Assessment No. 248801)  
Layover to LH December 5, 2023 at 9 am for update on payment of assessment by  
Dominique Stryker, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Moermond: you did send in quite a bit of material, which I did review. There may have  
been some miscommunication with the paper billing and how you’re reading it. I think  
we’re going to have to hit reset, but it will work out for you.  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this was in the Vacant Building program  
from May 3, 2023 and removed from the program yesterday after the Code  
Compliance Certificate was issued. In the program about six months. The total cost is  
Moermond: this bill originally went out in the mail May 2, 2023. The time period it  
covers is May 2, 2023 through May 1, 2024.  
Yannarelly: correct.  
Moermond: that’s a bit confusing because the title of the letter says billed during July  
2022 through May of 2023, so it may have looked like that was what the bill was for,  
but it was when the bill was originally mailed?  
Yannarelly: correct.  
Moermond: I’m clarifying that because I think, Ms. Stryker, you were thinking the bill  
was for that time period. But those (assessment roll) titles are so confusing that I  
don’t know that was clear. By the way, congratulations on getting your Code  
Compliance certificate.  
Yannarelly: sorry, I need to clarify, the Code Compliance inspection was done  
yesterday. Rehab is not done.  
Moermond: oh, oh no. Good to have that done, but not quite the same thing. Ms.  
Stryker, what would you like to say?  
Stryker: we already hired a company to complete in 2023. They want to bill us for  
2022. It wasn’t vacant then.  
Moermond: that is what I was trying to explain. The title reads “for Vacant Building  
registration fees *billed* July 13, 2022 to May 18, 2023”. So that means the original  
bill went out during that time period. Your original bill was May 2, towards the end of  
that time period. They don’t mean you were paying for that time period. Does that  
make sense?  
Stryker: we’ve already paid the registration for 2023.  
Moermond: it is still a pending assessment, so it wasn’t paid.  
Stryker: I’m talking about the registration.  
Moermond: they sent in the form, but no check with it?  
Yannarelly: yes, paid by assessment.  
Moermond: I guess the question is to go back to 5 Brothers and ask if they sent in  
that check and if they did they can prove it up. They did reach out proactively to talk  
to the City and fill the form out so the City knew,, but the City got a check for the  
Code Compliance Inspection Report but not the Vacant Building fee. Do you want to  
talk to them?  
Stryker: yes, because they charged us $2,459 in August for that same thing. If they  
didn’t do it, I’m fighting it.  
Moermond: for sure, that is worth a follow up. This Council Public Hearing isn’t until  
January 24. Why don’t we talk—  
Stryker: I have the check they said they sent out, a copy of it, is there a way to send  
this to you to double check before I lay the hammer down.  
Moermond: I can ask Department of Safety & Inspections to look around. They  
handle a lot of these.  
Yannarelly: are you looking to sell it?  
Stryker: that’s the goal.  
Yannarelly: you didn’t need to do both the TISH and the Code Compliance report.  
Stryker: honestly, I was so confused about what was needed.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 12/5/2023  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1055  
REANEY AVENUE. (File No. VB2402, Assessment No. 248801)  
Delete the assessment.  
Dustin Fronk, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: calling about your Vacant Building fee for 1055 Reaney. This required a  
ton of homework on our side to figure out what was going on. I think we’ve nailed it  
down and you shouldn’t have to say anything. It appears that the Vacant Building  
renewal letter in the middle of May went to the previous owner. We know you bought  
it in December. That’s a long time for Ramsey County not to have their information  
updated and that’s where the City pulls their information from. For some reason that  
didn’t happen and you didn’t get the letters. From what I can tell you got your  
Certificate September 26, so you were in the program 3 months. I would commonly  
look at deleting or prorating this. Because of the notification issue on this I’m going to  
recommend this is deleted.  
Fronk: that sounds amazing, thank you.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1941  
(File No. VB2402, Assessment No. 248801)  
If VB file is closed by January 17, 2024 reduce assessment from $5,075 to $2,538  
and make payable over 5 years; otherwise approve in full and make payable over 5  
Ruth Ogbaselassie, treasurer of Eritrean Community Center, appeared via phone  
Essey Asbu, Secretary Eritrean Community Center of MN, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this is the annual Vacant Building fee from  
June 7, 2023 to June 7, 2024. The total assessment is $5,075.  
Ogbaselassie: we’ve been fixing the building. We paid last year. We’re in the process  
of fixing it, I don’t know why we have to pay. We’re 90% done with the building.  
Asbu: we shouldn’t be assessed this fee. The building was functional before as it was  
used for storage, we’ve been putting in effort to fix it. We’ll be using it. We shouldn’t  
have this fee, it isn’t vacant.  
Moermond: when was the last time you think it was functional?  
Asbu: we had used it for equipment storage, they put it against the wall and it  
collapsed the wall. That was the beginning of Covid. We were cash strapped at the  
time and trying to do work on it. It didn’t pan out and kept getting worse. We decided  
to fix it, with the help of you guys.  
Moermond: I have an entirely different opinion of being functional. I see a photo from  
2018 with a huge hole in the roof and sides. The fact a building is being rehabbed  
doesn’t mean it is out of the Vacant Building program. The marker would be getting  
the Certificate of Occupancy for it to be used again. I’m heartened that you’re within a  
month. That’s great. Right now, we are five months into the billable year. If you can  
get out of the Vacant Building program by January 17, 2024 I’ll recommend it is  
reduced by half. If you are not, I’ll recommend it is approved in full. I can make it  
payable over five years if that makes it easier. This isn’t a case where I would  
equivocate if it is in the program; it most certainly is.  
Asbu: we need to finish construction and utilize the space or have the Certificate of  
Occupancy? In June the nuisance was still present but the danger was secured. I  
don’t know if that has any weight towards getting some of the money back?  
Moermond: the answer is no. You aren’t out of the Vacant Building program until you  
get your Certificate of Occupancy, when the permits are finaled. I get you have grant  
programs and it's bureaucratic but it also means you haven’t had to dip into your own  
coffers either. This is part of the cost of time. They are annual fees. You didn’t lose  
your Performance Deposit for no progress in six months, and that’s because you’re a  
nonprofit working with grant dollars from the government. That doesn’t transfer here.  
This is the cost of managing the Vacant Building program. I really hope I can work  
with you on prorating it. The Council may see it differently than I do.  
Ogbaselassie: you’ve been helping us a lot. I just want to say we’ve never ignored  
that building. I’ve volunteered for 20 years.  
Moermond: we’ll look at this January 17 and hopefully you’ll have your certificate. Is it  
helpful to make this payable over 5 years?  
Ogbaselassie: yes, yes.  
FOLLOW-UP: Building and electrical permits still open as of January 18, 2024. This  
matter was discussed in the Legislative Hearing on January 16, 2024, when follow-up  
on the nuisance/dangerous building abatement order was conducted. -Moermond  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1031 SIMS  
AVENUE. (File No. VB2402, Assessment No. 248801)  
Layover to LH December 19, 2023 to discuss status of rehab.  
See Yang, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: entered the program June 8, 2021. This is  
the annual fee from June 8, 2023 to June 7, 2024. Total proposed assessment of  
$5,075. A recent Code Compliance inspection was requested. There have been 3  
orders, all taken care of by the owner. It was boarded on July of 2022 by the City.  
Moermond: Ms. Yang, you are appealing, what is going on?  
Yang: we’ve been trying to work with insurance. It has been vandalized multiple  
times. We need time to get the money to bring it back to a place we can live and get  
our Certificate of Occupancy. It has been quite the battle and we’ve been struggling  
with the repairs. I’m hoping to get something worked out because we do our best to  
take care of the property. I was hoping to work with you on something doable for me  
considering the whole situation.  
Moermond: I was looking to see what landed you in the Vacant Building program. It  
looks like the place was found to be empty and boarded when the Fire Inspectors  
went by on regular inspection. Here we are and I have to balance making sure the  
City is recouping costs of managing the Vacant Building program but I want to see  
you get this up and running and used again. Do you have the money now to do the  
Yang: it is already done; we’re just waiting for that report to see if we can get the  
Certificate of Occupancy. The insurance company instructed us to board it when they  
were doing the investigation.  
Moermond: the inspection report is creating a to-do list of things to be done.  
Yannarelly: you ordered a Code Compliance Inspection and we have four trades go  
through to develop a list that needs to be done before it can get its Code Compliance  
certificate and be occupied. That’s what you paid for.  
Moermond: that’s the punch list you need to take care of to be habitable again. You’re  
on the right path, you aren’t there yet. It is going to take some money to fix, you won’t  
know how much until you receive that report. I don’t mean to make matters worse.  
One, this hearing is in front of Council in January. In the event you are done with  
fixing the property then I’m happy to prorate the Vacant Building fee. It would at least  
be a partial approval. We can also make it payable over a number of years. Why  
don’t we talk again December 19 and I’d like to know more at that time how close you  
are to being able to finish and anything we can do to help you.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 12/19/2023  
10:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1348 SIXTH  
STREET EAST. (File No. J2401E, Assessment No. 248300)  
Approve and make payable over 2 years.  
Jamilynn Rodriguez, tenant, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: a Summary Abatement Order was sent to  
remove snow and ice from the sidewalk on March 20, 2023. It was rechecked and the  
work wasn’t done on March 23. It was done by the time the crew went out on March  
27th. The photos do show the sidewalk wasn’t shoveled within 24 hours. This is a trip  
fee, total assessment of $169.  
Rodriguez: it was taken care of, it just wasn’t timely. I had a family emergency. I did  
take care of it. The previous owner, I don’t know what was going on but this is my first  
time ever having orders like this.  
Moermond: you said you had it taken care of the day after?  
Rodriguez: no, it was delayed because I was in the hospital.  
Moermond: who was taking care of it end of February and beginning of March? Was  
Rodriguez: there was.  
Moermond: the photos show a lot of snow and ice and I was curious when the last  
snowfall before that, how long it was sitting around.  
Rodriguez: it doesn’t wait around because we have a snowblower.  
Moermond: the last snowfall was 3.2 inches the first week in March, but the snow and  
ice in the photos was more than 3.2 inches. The snow before that was February 20  
through 24 was 15” which looks more consistent with the photo. It is pretty intense  
how much snow and ice are there. I think it’s a longer problem than just a few days.  
Rodriguez: we just moved in last year. I can only answer for me. We were taking care  
of it and whatever was happening with the snow I don’t know.  
Moermond: there was a lot of snow February 20 and a few days after and a little bit  
the first week of March and the photo taken March 23 shows significant snow and ice  
buildup, especially when its 3 weeks after the last snow. It is dangerous.  
Rodriguez: what am I supposed to do when I can’t go out there? When I’m pregnant?  
I’m supposed to risk my life and my child’s life for someone else’s?  
Moermond: you and your landlord need to figure it out, if you have a contract with him  
to take care of it, that’s a private agreement between you. It wasn’t taken care of. If  
he’s saying you need to pay the bill, it doesn’t really have to do with us.  
Rodriguez: where is it coming from? The snow was already taken care of.  
Moermond: when the inspector went out it wasn’t done by deadline. It is a trip charge.  
Rodriguez: I guess I don’t understand. I’m not able to pay this.  
Moermond: this goes to Council in January. I can ask them to make it payable over 2  
years. We can send you a confirmation and you can make arrangements with your  
landlord. $169 over 2 years.  
Rodriguez: he doesn’t tell me until it is a problem; until rent is due. I don’t know how  
to move forward with that.  
Moermond: you might want to reach out to HomeLine or Southern Minnesota  
Regional Legal Services to see if someone can help with those conversations. I can’t  
help with that, but they may be able to.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/10/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1556  
REANEY AVENUE. (File No. J2402E, Assessment No. 248301)  
If no same or similar violations before January 24, 2024 delete the assessment,  
otherwise approve in full.  
Anna Fitterer, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: April 25, 2023 a Summary Abatement Order  
went out to dispose of some garbage bags and wood from the property. May 2 was  
compliance date, May 3 rechecked. It was not done. It was sent to the work crew, by  
the time they went out it was taken care of. This is for a trip charge, total assessment  
of $169. Really clean history.  
Fitterer: May 3 my husband and I received the second letter say we weren’t compliant  
and within 2 hours of receiving it we called the number listed. We never received the  
original warning letter, so we didn’t know there was an issue. We got sent the May 3  
letter and we moved them from the property within 2 days. We are good with our  
mail; I work from home. I talked to a woman May 3 and she said it was sent and  
never returned, but we didn’t receive that April 25 letter.  
Moermond: you just bought this property last year?  
Fitterer: yes, it is also the first house with an alley, we weren’t aware of leaving the  
bags there after raking. First time dealing with something like that, it won’t happen  
Moermond: I’m struggling with the Excessive Consumption mailing get out quickly,  
and the Summary Abatement Order not getting out very fast. I think this is one of  
those circumstances with a glitch, I do trust what I’m hearing. If you have no further  
violations between now and the Council Public Hearing I will recommend this gets  
Lisa: normally these are sent out with a photo and I see this doesn’t have a photo, so  
it is entirely likely there was a glitch.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 244 GRAND  
AVENUE (BURGER KING). (File No. J2402E, Assessment No. 248301)  
Approve the assessment.  
Lisa McCormick, attorney, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: April 13, 2023 a Summary Abatement Order  
was issued to occupant and owner to remove and dispose of loose and scattered  
trash including the drive through. Compliance date of April 20. Inspector Westenhofer  
went out April 28, no attempt to clean it up. He sent a work order and the crew went  
out and found it done. This is a trip cost for a total assessment of $169.  
Moermond: a charge for sending out the crew who found the work done, but not by  
McCormick: so, it was done, but not on deadline?  
Moermond: yes, he went out and it wasn’t done, but it was addressed by the time the  
work crew went out, so this is the cost of sending the truck to do the cleanup.  
McCormick: he’s fine paying the charge but I wanted to have the hearing because  
this has been an ongoing issue. I’ve called into Department of Safety & Inspections  
before because we weren’t getting the abatement notices but then would get the  
assessment notice. They informed me the addresses are taken from the GIS and it  
looks like some of the notices have been changed, noted on the bottom, but not all of  
them. I just wanted you to be aware that’s the issue we’ve been having. The ones we  
have received we’re getting them 4 to 7 days after the date of the letter, which has  
also been an issue. We also had a change in tenants early 2022 and this was when a  
new tenant had taken over, that was part of the problem. We see trash issues and  
illegal dumping ongoing at this site. It has been difficult to keep up with but we’ve  
been trying. We have a new tenant in that is being more proactive it should resolve  
and improve. I wanted to explain the situation.  
Moermond: Ramsey County manages the owner of record information. I assume you  
have the Fire Certificate of Occupancy filled out form so the right people are notified  
about inspections.  
McCormick: please do because the initial one had the wrong name and I asked it to  
be corrected, I don’t know it was. Could I request Lisa Martin follow up with me so we  
can get in touch with inspectors when we find out about things. I think that would be  
in everyone’s best interest.  
Martin: you do have to have someone managing the property. The City only goes out  
when we receive complaints. The Certificate of Occupancy folks and owner of record  
with Ramsey County are where orders are sent. Having someone drive by is  
McCormick: we’ve been doing it. At the west end of the property the issue I see I  
noticed lots of illegal dumping which is hard to see because of the trees. Point taken;  
I’ll make sure we’re monitoring more regularly.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1491 (1475)  
UNIVERSITY AVENUE WEST. (File No. J2402P, Assessment No. 248401)  
Delete the assessment (waiver on file).  
No one appeared  
Moermond: this is a deletion for graffiti because a waiver was on file.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Special Tax Assessments-ROLLS  
Ratifying the assessments for Collection of Vacant Building Registration fees  
billed during July 13, 2022 to May 18, 2023. (File No. VB2402, Assessment  
No. 248801)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Securing and/or Emergency Boarding services  
during June 2023. (File No. J2402B, Assessment No. 248101)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Collection of Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
fees billed during April 11 to June 22, 2023. (File No. CRT2401, Assessment  
No. 248200)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Excessive Use of Inspection or Abatement  
services billed during April 24 to May 19, 2023. (File No. J2402E,  
Assessment No. 248301)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Graffiti Removal services billed during July 11  
to 20, 2023. (File No. J2402P, Assessment No. 248401)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Removal of Diseased and/or Dangerous Tree  
services during June to August 2023. (File No. 2401T, Assessment No.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 1/24/2024  
11:00 a.m. Hearings  
Summary & Vehicle Abatement Orders  
Appeal of Leeyoun Sayaxang to a Summary Abatement Order at 960  
The nuisance is abated and the matter resolved.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: the appeal is granted noting the matter was resolved by the deadline of  
the department.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 12/6/2023  
Making Finding on Nuisance Abatements  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 761  
HOWELL STREET NORTH in Council File RLH SAO 23-26.  
The nuisance is abated and the matter resolved.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: I hear we have no raised beds anymore?  
Martin: that is correct. Both Howell street addresses have removed their planter  
Moermond: nuisance is abated and matter is resolved.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 11/15/2023  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 845  
HOWELL STREET NORTH in Council File RLH SAO 23-22.  
The nuisance is abated and the matter resolved.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: I hear we have no raised beds anymore?  
Martin: that is correct. Both Howell street addresses have removed their planter  
Moermond: nuisance is abated and matter is resolved.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 11/15/2023  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 0 ISABEL  
STREET EAST (PIN: 08-28-22-21-0085) in Council File RLH SAO 23-40.  
The nuisance is not abated; authorize Department to take action after November 17,  
Jessie Rosillo, owner, appeared  
Moermond: we’re here to assess whether the conditions are met. I heard you are not  
all done yet, so we’re having this conversation which is fine.  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: September 19 a Summary Abatement Order  
and Vehicle Abatement Order was issued. It is a vacant lot. Jayco travel trailer is still  
present on the lot. The majority of the garbage and trash has been removed. Just the  
trailer remains, and we have current photos.  
Moermond: that’s there but you took care of other things. What is going on?  
Rosillo: I put new tires on and I was doing the crank thing it broke, so I had to jack it  
all up, and then I moved it and the plug in for the lights is gone from copper theft. I’m  
still working on that. I’m trying to level it more and remove more trees and eventually  
put a building up. I was just going to sell, but now I’m going to keep it.  
Moermond: we have a simple situation; you’re trying to do what you were asked to.  
You had some problems.  
Rosillo: I need a new jack; it is on blocks right now. I really don’t want to move it; it  
has been there for years without a problem. It won’t be vacant forever. I just don’t  
have any place to park it. I had a boat there before too with no issue. I pay $150 to  
store that now; I don’t want to pay more for the trailer.  
Martin: being up on blocks makes it more dangerous. We could easily have it towed  
by the police department. He also shouldn’t be making any improvements until he  
has an approved sight plan.  
Moermond: I’m thinking your ears may have perked up with the idea of putting dirt  
over the bluff. Don’t do it. What is the end game with the trailer?  
Rosillo: I have to move it, but it sounds like I have to. I can move it before winter, I  
just have to figure out where. I have to fix the lights. I didn’t know they were gone. I’ll  
have to borrow a friend’s truck. It isn’t really on blocks; it is so it doesn’t move.  
Moermond: not done by November 3. You’re saying before winter.  
Rosillo: a couple of weeks?  
Moermond: the Council gave Friday as the deadline; I know you came in on Friday.  
The Council meets tomorrow and the next week, but then not again due to the  
holiday. We’ll put this in front of the Council November 15, I’ll say it wasn’t done on  
deadline and I’m recommending if it isn’t done then the Department is authorized to  
take action after November 17th.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 11/15/2023  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 1523  
LAUREL AVENUE in Council File RLH SAO 23-36.  
The nuisance is abated and the matter resolved.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: this is abated?  
Martin: that is correct.  
Moermond: nuisance is abated and matter is resolved.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 11/15/2023  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 1223  
MARION STREET in Council File RLH SAO 23-37.  
Majority of nuisance conditions in order abated. New order forthcoming from  
Department on new items in exterior.  
Tried calling at 11:46 am: MAILBOX FULL  
Moermond: we have updated photos from Inspector Kedrowski from November 3 and  
7th. It is difficult to discern due to the volume of materials whether the nuisance  
conditions described in orders were completely abated. I do see broken lawnmower  
and bicycle, contrary to the Council’s decision. I see more items in these new photos.  
I ask that Department of Safety & Inspections go through the property with MR. Heller  
to create a list of expectations and discuss whether the storage of items is managed  
safely. The manner may create a dangerous condition and that needs to be explicitly  
stated. The resolution will say a majority of items in original orders were abated, but  
new orders are forthcoming due to the new items.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 11/15/2023  
1:00 p.m. Hearings  
Vacant Building Registrations  
Appeal of Jeff Johnson to a Vacant Building Registration Renewal Notice at  
Grant the appeal and release property from VB program (Code Compliance  
Certificate was issued).  
No one appeared  
Moermond: my recommendation is they grant the appeal on the Vacant Building fee  
because the Code Compliance has been issued.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 11/15/2023  
Appeal of James Ngene to a Vacant Building Registration Requirement at  
Waive the VB fee for 90 days (to February 16, 2024) and allow permits to be pulled.  
James Ngene, owner, appeared via phone  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: opened as a Category 2 Vacant Building on  
November 16, 2012. To date our appellant went through the sale review process and  
was approved July 7, 2022. Permits, Code Compliance all on file. Rehab ongoing.  
The Vacant Building fee is coming due on November 16, 2023.  
Ngene: they’re trying to make me pay the Vacant Building fee and my argument is  
we’re working on the house. We have all the permits we need and we don’t know  
what we’re going to find when we open walls. The City knows we have permits and  
inspectors coming out, so I don’t know why we have to pay this fee. I was hoping  
they would pay the Vacant Building fee. It isn’t really vacant,  
Moermond: it looks like your plumbing permit expired, have your plumbing contractor  
look into that. The Vacant Building fee is an annual fee for the costs of running the  
program. The finish line is getting your Code Compliance certificate, all your trades  
permits finaled. I want you to be able to do that. I’m willing to give a 90-day waiver,  
and if you’re done you won’t have waiver. That takes you to February 16, 2024. If you  
aren’t done you can let it go unpaid and appeal the assessment.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 12/6/2023  
Appeal of Edwardo Rikprashad, Intact Properties, to a Vacant Building  
Registration Fee Warning Letter at 1082 LOEB STREET.  
Deny the appeal. Allow permits to be issued.  
Edwardo Rikprashad, owner, appeared  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: opened October 3, 2019 as a Category 2  
Vacant Building, we are currently a Category 3 Vacant Building. Active permits, rehab  
ongoing. I assume we are here to discuss the Vacant Building fee due November 3,  
Moermond: why are you appealing?  
Rikprashad: I just bought in July and I know it has been through a lot with the City. I  
feel I shouldn’t be paying a fee while I’m rehabbing. The inspectors that inspect put a  
lower rate than it will cost to rehab, it's double to satisfy the Code Compliance. It will  
be about 2 more months until I’m done. Xcel is slow, that’s about to be done to get  
gas. The furnace needs to be hooked up, plumbing rough ins are in the next couple  
of weeks. I just was there an hour ago.  
Moermond: a few things to unpack. While I appreciate you are working on the  
property, the finish line is getting the Code Compliance Certificate. You’re out of the  
Vacant Building program once that is issued. That is when the fees stop. I hope that  
is sooner than later.  
Rikprashad: I wasn’t aware of the fee when I bought it. I already gave you $5,000.  
Moermond: the $5,000 is the Performance Deposit you get back again when you  
finish on deadline. That’s completely different than this.  
Dornfeld: this is in place to cover the services we provide to all of our Vacant  
Buildings. Many are a blight to the City and require many of our services, including  
monitoring and taking care of these problems. That’s why the fees exist.  
Rikprashad: I did the cleanup since I took over—I did the cleanup the City didn’t do  
before I bought it.  
Moermond: pausing you there, the City isn’t responsible for cleaning it up, it would  
have been the person you purchased from.  
Rikprashad: the neighbor was cutting the trees and dumping it on the property. Had  
been doing that a long time. I cleaned up the yard. I totally understand the rules but at  
the same time I don’t think I should pay this fee. I’m there and rehabbing and it is  
moving along. This was surprising to me.  
Moermond: welcome to the Vacant Building program, and I hope the price you paid  
reflected that. For the record I want to indicate we sent this to Council August 9 to  
give 180 days. Sounds like that it is under control. I saw there was a building permit  
from September 19, a mechanical October 11, and a plumbing October 31. We had  
water hookup closed out. No electric permit.  
Dornfeld: I see the same thing.  
Rikprashad: it should be pulled; I can check on that.  
Moermond: I do think the Vacant Building fee does apply here. That being said if you  
are moving quickly, this fee applies October 3, 2023 through October 2, 2024. We’re  
a month in. What we can do is not recommend it is waived at this time. If it goes  
unpaid it will come forward as a proposed special assessment on the taxes. If that  
happens, we can look back and see how long you are in the program. Then we can  
discuss prorating it. Mr. Dornfeld can we have a note so there is no issue for an  
electrical permit being issued? I want to see the rehab keep going.  
Dornfeld: I can put anything you like on there.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 12/6/2023  
Appeal of Jason Stockwell to a Vacant Building Registration Renewal Notice  
Layover to LH November 14, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss permit status.  
Jason Stockwell, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Moermond: Joanna was telling me some of what was going on, and we’ll sort through  
that after we discuss the fee.  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: this entered the Vacant Building program  
October 31, 2019 and is a current Category 3 Vacant Building in front of you. I  
assume we are here to discuss the annual Vacant Building fee coming due.  
Moermond: I’m happy to look at prorating it down the line, but I want you out of the  
program before we decide what that looks like. The fee just came due last week.  
You’re working hard and expect to be done soon. Tell me more.  
Stockwell: as of 2 hours ago we have the HVAC had two corrections, dryer vent and  
gas stove hookup. He’s doing those now. The electrical has been finaled.  
Moermond: plumbing it looks like it expired.  
Stockwell: everything had passed except the water heater. He needs a new permit  
for that, which he tried to do last Thursday. I’ve been trying to figure out how to  
handle this. I talked to Robert Humphrey to see if it was a Vacant Building thing, it  
expired but he was able to get a final on everything except the water heater. He was  
going to get one on that, he was out yesterday, and I haven’t been able to get ahold  
of him today.  
Moermond: Ms. Shaff, the note says "need permit for water heater to water heater  
manifold." That correction I just read went into the system November 2. The permit  
was pulled originally November 4, 2022. I think that permit got to be exactly one year  
old November 4 and automatically expired in the system. Since you just got the  
correction orders we can shoot an email to Clint and the Plumbing inspector to see if  
something can be done. You’re so close to finishing and we’re happy to do that to  
intercede to get that taken care of. Did you also need a mechanical as well on that  
water heater?  
Stockwell: just plumbing.  
Moermond: we’ll reach out to Paul Zellner and Clint Zane and ask if they could  
reopen that one permit to allow you to get that final inspection and closed out. You  
have your couple of corrections from mechanical that will be done today. Your  
building work is done?  
Stockwell: he can’t do his final until everything else is done. That’s why the plumbing  
one was urgent, because he can’t do that final. We’re right there. Plumbing is the only  
holdup at that point, all started last Thursday.  
Moermond: we’ll communicate that. Your Vacant Building fee goes from October 31.  
For this item I am going to lay this over in hearing to next week. Everything may be  
resolved then. Tomorrow in front of Council we have that follow-up on your grant of  
time, what I’m going to do is ask the Council to continue it another week, to the 15th.  
No other amendments. Try and get this sorted out between now and then. I can see  
you’re in the crosshairs, but it is also an 11th hour situation with the year-old permit  
expiring. We’ll try and get that taken care of tomorrow.  
Stockwell: the plumber is ready, whatever they would need. He’ll get down there right  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 11/14/2023  
1:30 p.m. Hearings  
Orders To Vacate - Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
Appeal of Nickolas Gerr to a Revocation of Fire Certificate of Occupancy and  
Order to Vacate at 36 FRONT AVENUE.  
Layover to December 12, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. for results of November 8, 2023  
Nickolas Gerr, owner, appeared  
Staff report by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: this is a duplex scheduled for its regular  
Certificate of Occupancy inspection by Chute. First inspection was to be August 17. It  
was a no show and inspector notes that he called St. Paul Regional Water Service  
(SPRWS) and received an updated address for property owner and number. He  
called and was advised they were moving into the property in the future. Inspector  
advised him to move forward with the inspection. Next inspection was September 14,  
again no show by property owner.He said again he’d be moving in and it would nullify  
the inspection. Being he didn’t live there he was advised we’d move forward. October  
13 Inspector Chute showed up and again a no entry. The property owner stated he  
moved in 2 weeks earlier. We needed proof it was owner occupied, he said he didn’t  
have proof, as he hasn’t changed his license. He said the mail goes to his grandma in  
Shoreview. SPRWS said little to no water use. Certificate of Occupancy was revoked  
for failure to allow access.  
Moermond: you homestead the Shoreview address, not the Front Street property. I'm  
curious how these pieces fit together.  
Gerr: I did hear some discrepancies. I live at 665 Hawthorn in St. Paul with my  
girlfriend. The plan is to move into 36 Front. When I spoke to Mr. Chute, I said my  
mail goes to my grandmother’s house. She owns it but she lives there. No one has  
really rented it. I explained this to Mr. Chute and tried to stop from losing the  
Certificate of Occupancy and wasn’t met with any answers. I felt dismissed. I was just  
trying to remedy it, but I was wrong. I told him I could definitely allow him access; I  
haven’t changed anything .I just don’t think it should be revoked with the order of  
things that happened. He called me front my front door a couple of times that I don’t  
always get a chance to get my mail from Shoreview. He was going to check with a  
supervisor. Apparently they wanted to send me another notice and I didn’t get it. I’m  
in the wrong but I just want to resolve it. I was going to move into this temporarily and  
then sell it.  
Moermond: I do see you are the tax owner for 665 Hawthorne and is homesteaded  
by Jamal Britt.  
Gerr: I've had been living there. That’s the address on my license and stuff.  
Moermond: I’ve been doing this a while, but it wouldn’t be the first time an owner of a  
rental says they live there, you don’t have to get it inspected. The inspector is aware  
there is a lovely home there in SHoreview, and this place has significantly less value.  
If I’m the inspector I’m saying, “meet me there.” Ms. Shaff, you are the supervisor,  
what things do you think of when you send your inspector out?  
Shaff: it raises some flags when the property owner doesn’t update us where their  
mail should be sent. Fire Inspector has to make calls to update everything. We let  
you know we were going to revoke it before we did.  
Gerr: I was informed by mail but at that point I had no idea it was the only way I was  
going to find out about it since I was being contacted on the phone. Now I’ve  
collected my mail and saw two separate notices, I understand I’m in the wrong.  
Shaff: part of being a property owner is doing all the things that come along with it.  
Part of it is doing your due diligence—  
Gerr: that is where I disagree, he said he’d let me know and since we had an open  
channel of communication I thought he’d let me know. I’m driving across the country  
all the time. While he has me on the phone why not communicate that says he’ll send  
something to my house so I know. He can come whenever he wants whether I live  
there or not.  
Moermond: I see 3 appointment letters that would have gone out to the address in  
Shoreview you have indicated to your Ramsey County taxation as your address of  
record. That’s where they are obligated to send it. That obligation was met. The  
standard length of time to get your Certificate of Occupancy once the inspection  
starts is about 3 months. You may be a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit a standard  
puzzle. I’m not going to indicate they did wrong. I see at 665 Hawthorne it says  
relative homestead and Shoreview says you’re the homesteader. If Front isn’t owner  
occupied, it needs its Certificate of Occupancy. I’m willing to put a pin in this and give  
it a few months. If you are living there, I see the address is updated in the computer  
system. The inspector doing a follow up 3 months down the line, are you getting your  
mail there? Is this your address for other things? Is the water running ever?  
Gerr: I am ok with an inspection. I just know I was getting close to the last day and I  
can’t legally go in to get my clothes. I just wanted that part to stop. I know I’m in the  
Moermond: I read this paragraph and see where you are coming from. This is  
language that is built for most other circumstances. You are allowed to live there. I  
am hearing the whiskers twitch over here with good reason. What kinds of things do  
you look at?  
Shaff: your electric bill listing that address. Change your driver’s license.  
Gerr: what if I just want the inspection done? I called Mr. Chute and he said he can’t  
talk and hung up on me.  
Moermond: and once it is appealed they have to lock things down. Enforcement is  
stayed until the matter is resolved.  
Shaff: I can schedule an appointment with you right now. Are you around tomorrow?  
Gerr: yeah.  
Shaff: 1:00.  
Moermond: let’s do a follow up December 12 and see where things are at.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 12/12/2023  
2:00 p.m. Hearings  
Fire Certificates of Occupancy  
Appeal of Ia Thao to a Fire Inspection Correction Notice at 986 GALTIER  
Grant to July 1, 2024 for item 6 (concrete repair), and January 1, 2024 for balance of  
September 22, 2023 orders. Fire C of O orders to be referred to Code Enforcement.  
Ia Thao, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: we are following up on our previous hearing to see where things are at.  
I’d like Ms. Shaff to put her comments on the record first.  
Staff update by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: looking at the plan and comparing to the  
orders I see the bigger items have a “TBD” date. Other than picking out a concrete  
contractor we don’t have answers.  
Thao: American Water Works came out today to give an estimate. They aren’t sure  
they can even do the work because we also have concrete stairs in the back. He has  
to review because they thought they were just going to pour cement. We’ve  
completed other items off this list the past weekend too.  
Moermond: the unapproved exposed wiring, where are things at with the electrical?  
Thao: that’s on the front porch. It is still hanging; we haven’t hired a contractor yet. All  
of the other parts have been covered, the junction boxes. We also replaced the  
broken garage window this past weekend.  
Moermond: you said you’ve taken care of some things already. You’ve had the  
concrete contractor out. That’s ongoing. In the first column your estimated time  
period, glass for the porch before the 19th? Same timeline for upper level. Replacing  
screens, waiting on delivery November 4. Did that come?  
Thao: yes, and we’ve installed it.  
Moermond: perfect. You did the window on the garage. The trim on the doors?  
Thao: we have 3 doors missing trim, one is done and the other 2 we are still working  
Moermond: then we have the wiring we just discussed. The painting in kitchen and  
rear entry December timeline. As I look at this I have a couple of thoughts about the  
plan and your situation. Did I understand correctly you just got married and just  
moved from Eagan to Orange Avenue?  
Thao: yes, I moved from Eagan in April and moved in with my husband to his  
property on Orange, but as of October 31 I moved back into 986 Galtier.  
Moermond: I just have to say that is a very odd thing. To think you just got married,  
moved to Orange, and now you’re moving to Galtier. That isn’t to say people’s life  
circumstances don’t change that way but it is very unusual. I’m struggling with the  
“smell test” on it, to tell you the truth.  
Thao: I can explain what is going on.  
Moermond: I don’t need to know your private business, where I was going was that it  
amounts to the same thing for inspections, it is just a matter of who is doing the  
inspection. If you get the Fire Certificate of Occupancy if it is non-owner occupied,  
then it would be someone from Ms. Shaff’s team. If you are an owner occupant living  
there, the follow up would be by Code Enforcement. Either way you have a follow up  
inspection. We’re in the same place more or less either way.  
Thao: I understood that from last time we spoke, yes. No certificate needed but it  
would be moved to a different group.  
Moermond: exactly. The furthest out deadline, without the concrete work, in your  
work plan is December 17th. I can recommend they have a January 1, 2024  
deadline. We’re getting to a point in the year where the weather will be working  
against you in concrete work. Let’s go with January 1 for everything except the  
concrete which we’ll say is July 1, 2024.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 12/6/2023  
Appeal of Lisa McCormick, Attorney, representing Grand Holding Co., LLC,  
to a Correction Notice-Reinspection Complaint at 236 GRAND AVENUE.  
Grant the appeal on conditions that service garage door provides legal egress and  
signage from garage area and area with conveyor belt indicates not an exit and trip  
hazard. (Note: conditions met at time of second hearing).  
Referred to the City Council due back on 12/6/2023  
Appeal of Jason Overs to a Correction Notice-Complaint Inspection at 950  
Grant to November 21, 2023 for compliance.  
Jason Overs, tenant, appeared via phone  
Ann Edmunds, property owner, appeared via phone  
Joe Collins, property manager at Housing Hub o/b/o property owner, appeared via  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: October 17 our office received a report that  
the upper unit is over-occupied and renting out rooms. About 12 people. Inspector  
Chute called the management company to get access. They were unable to gain  
access as the locks had been changed. They did return later to meet with tenant, and  
they did get access. It is hard to say how many people are there each night. The  
tenant told the inspector that the unit varies from 5 to 6 to 10 to 11 each night. They  
are paying the tenant rent. Basically, the orders say there are multiple sleeping areas  
in the bedroom, dining room, and a back balcony which was ordered to be  
immediately removed. There are also Facebook posts and Craigslist posts showing  
rooms for rent. We did find on reinspection the bed was removed from the back deck.  
Inspector Chute did return to measure all the rooms to make sure we had adequate  
area within them. I believe there is a sketch of where the beds are in the record. He  
did write orders to reduce the amount of people to less than 6 unrelated adults. We  
did also receive on Friday a complaint about an unsheltered person living in the  
basement. Chute did go look and found some people leaving the property but did  
speak to someone who stated she was paying the tenant money to store her items  
there but wasn’t sleeping there. It is over-occupied. Zoning code refers to a  
“household” being defined as six or fewer adults and minor children living together in  
a dwelling unit. We found evidence of far more than six adults living at this property.  
Moermond: one question has to do with zoning code, one having to do with square  
footage and number of occupants. Issues there?  
Shaff: square footage wise there is enough for the number of occupants. The third  
floor has a sleeping room exiting through a living area. You can’t have a bedroom  
exiting through another bedroom. There is also one on the main floor of that unit. It  
has since had just a futon put in so we aren’t sure.  
Moermond: so bedroom four exits through bedroom 3. Square footage is fine, but not  
the egress.  
Shaff: living room and dining room both have 2 beds in them too.  
Moermond: with respect to the unsheltered person reported in the basement, there  
were comments about storage?  
Shaff: it is considered more a common area to the units. He said two individuals were  
moving things out. He didn’t state there were people sleeping. One person said they  
were just storing items there. They said Mr. Overs charged $250 every two weeks to  
store them.  
Moermond: I feel uncomfortable with that staff report. Mr. Overs, you appealed this  
set of orders. Why are the orders addressed to the tenant and not the Responsible  
Party or owner?  
Shaff: it would go to everyone.  
Moermond: Mr. Overs, you are appealing, why?  
Overs: I never received how many people can live here if we’re all related. They just  
keep saying six unrelated adults. When I rented this property she confirmed that a  
Hmong family lived here with 13 people and had a fight with the City then about the  
dining room becoming a living space. I rented it as a 7 bedroom, 2 bath. Now in the  
middle of the lease, which I’ve already asked to be terminated since we can’t afford it,  
I had no other choice than to try and make ends meet. I’m a schoolteacher without a  
lot of income. We got permission to do HomesStay with students from other countries  
studying here. In March we just signed the contract after pressure from Melanie, we  
felt under duress. The inspector never said a lot of this was an issue. You’re usurping  
your authority as a City by telling us how we can decorate or furnish our home. You  
have no proof of anyone else living here. Where did you arrive at this conclusion that  
I have people living here? Which I do. But no one pays rent, we all just divide the bills  
Collins: there are occupants on the lease and those are the only occupants that are  
supposed to reside there. Two adults and two minor children. On our end we don’t  
force anyone to sign leases. We’ve been told from neighbors that people are going in  
and out. Homeless in the basement. They shut off the water heater and caused a lot  
of maintenance problems for the owner. This isn’t what she wishes. I’ve went back  
and forth many times via text with Mr. Overs. It is over-occupied. He does have  
people coming and going. Its hotel California. This whole “we’re all related in live”  
thing. That’s all I have.  
Moermond: Ms. Shaff, a referral means someone called to complain?  
Shaff: yes.  
Moermond: tell me more about how you come to the conclusion about  
overoccupancy. I see a lot of beds in the photos and in the floor plan.  
Shaff: we’ve heard from the neighbors that there is a lot of coming and going. Our  
Inspector Chute did see some things on Craigslist and Facebook advertising this.  
There is one attached to the record. In one instance when he arrived the tenant  
stated the popular varies per night from 5 to 11 and verified they aren’t related  
directly but we are “all related as we are all made the same.” He notes the tenant,  
spouse and children occupy the third level for personal living and everyone else  
remains on level two. He also states he found a Facebook post indicates it is the  
“Hotel California of Minnesota” and a video showing occupancy of 13. October 18  
there was a young man who stated he was a college student he is there to rent a  
room and the agreed upon price is $650 per month. He opted to leave and didn’t  
meet with tenant.  
Moermond: Mr. Overs, any comments? What is your specific ask for today?  
Overs: we had permission from the owner to start a HomeStay program. She said  
she’s fine with it. Second, you can’t say we have to tell the truth based on the bible  
and then tell me were not related as people based on the bible. We’ll get to that at  
some point. For them to say homeless people are living here is absolutely correct,  
otherwise they would be homeless. Ipso facto, I’m doing the greater good. St. Paul  
wants homeless people freezing on the street. You’re playing fast and loose with my  
rights. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I have a  
letter signed by everyone living here dated November 1:  
To Whom It May Concern,  
My name is Jason Overs. I rent unit 2 from Housing Hub at the above listed address.  
I have opened my home to my extended family to help them while they navigate the  
job market of the Twin Cities.  
They are all productive hard-working people. As the  
result of an anonymous compliant , fire inspector from St Paul, Daryl Chute, came by  
on 2 separate occasions. While here he made assumptions based on the way we  
decided to furnish our home. He never met anyone here other than my 2 children.  
He claims it's overcrowded. He says I am sub leasing the place. This is all false. I  
allow my extended to live here. We are all related by blood, marriage or in the eyes of  
God. We live a happy and humble community style life where we all pitch in to make  
it work. Nobody pays rent except me to Housing Hub. Below I have the names and  
signatures of everyone living here. They signed this to attest that no rent is being  
asked for or paid. Any money that changes hands is out of our own free will to say  
thank you for the help we provide. You may have ordinances and statues in place to  
circumvent our unalienable rights, but we are here to stay and say we've had enough  
of the corrupt government practices that violate our God given rights to life, liberty  
and our pursuit of happiness. Does the city of Saint Paul want homeless people?  
We the people of 950 Arkwright St. Unit 2 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55130 attest to the  
1.We live here free of charge.  
2.We help pay for the bills.  
3.We all chip in on food.  
4.All money exchanged is of our free will.  
5.Housing Hub and the Owner Anne Edmunds refuse to add anyone to the lease.  
6.We will not leave unless removed by force.  
7.We stand strong and firm in our convictions to live here as a happy family.  
Moermond: You say it has 11 signatures. Who are they?  
Overs: Zane Spalding, John Meeder, Melanie Geostch, Carlos Palacio, Kornell  
Green, Otis Bynum, Daniel Coleman, Galphin Chavous, Stacy Claus, Don Frahm.  
And of course, myself, Jason Overs.  
Moermond: do you have a specific ask in this process?  
Overs: I’d like to be left alone until I can find housing for all the people living here. I  
was told as long as we are family we can live here. We have to find other methods for  
housing since I won’t put them out on the street. 90 days would be what we would  
Moermond: any other comments Ms. Edmunds?  
Edmunds: there are things he did not say that are true. He asked if he could have a  
homestay program. I have not communicated with him for quite some time and I  
clearly stated I was new to hiring a management company, shouldn’t have been  
speaking with him in the beginning, and everything he wanted to do he had to ok with  
them. I clearly stated that early on. I was communicating him with him and he talked  
about different ideas that he was talking about, one was the HomeStay program  
where they act as guardians for 2 to 4 students, be their family while in America. He  
asked if it would be an acceptable use of unit one. I just said I’d look into it.  
Collins: I think Mr. Overs has clearly stated what he is doing there. My only concern  
is about the children in the home with all these people coming and going. But I’ll leave  
it there.  
Moermond: what I have in front of me are two orders, October 19 with 5 items in it,  
and another October 30th which has two items on it. The Department deadlines were  
October 23 and November 7. Under normal course of events, noncompliance with  
these orders would result in what?  
Shaff: revocation of the Fire Certificate of Occupancy and vacation of the building.  
Moermond: if the Council gives an extension, it would be in the context of allowing  
time to come into compliance prior to there being a revocation of the Certificate of  
Occupancy for noncompliance. It is a longer window before the next level of  
enforcement. By virtue of filing this appeal this window has been opened further and I  
can see where we’d put this in front of Council and I would want them to have a  
deadline that would be after it is in front of them so they can hear testimony still  
relevant to their decision-making.  
I do feel like the record needs to be clear that one, refusal to accept an attachment to  
an appeal? That would be the first time in all the years I have been doing it that there  
was such a refusal. I see this appeal was filed in person so, no, if there are any  
submissions prior to the Council Public Hearing they will also be accepted and are  
more than welcome from literally anybody. I reject the notion that by not allowing  
people to live in this property, whether or not it is in a code compliant fashion, that not  
living there would result in their homelessness. There are a lot of places in between  
being a resident of 950 Arkwright and being homeless. I’m not owning that  
responsibility on behalf of the City. Whether or not there is payment of rent to you,  
Mr. Overs, doesn’t speak to the occupancy of the building itself. Rather, just the  
passing of cash between hands. We aren’t concerned about contract enforcement or  
the lease provisions. That’s a private legal matter. I can say anyone who calls in a  
complaint, whether founded or not, it needs to be investigated within reason. We are  
obligated by law to investigate those circumstances. If you have concerns about  
whether or not enforcement of zoning or occupancy codes is constitutional or not, I  
won’t be entertaining that argument. I’m operating on the premise that these codes  
are consistent with the constitution. If you wish to pursue that elsewhere you are  
welcome to do so. I’m left with the need to create a recommendation for the Council. I  
do find there is reason to believe there’s a violation and there needs to be  
compliance, if for no other reason than I saw 13 beds, and you read to me all these  
names that sound unrelated. Maybe at the pearly gates everyone is related, but not  
today under the zoning code. This will go to Council November 15, and I’ll  
recommend compliance by November 21.  
You’ll receive this recommendation by email, but I’ll invite you to reduce anything  
more in writing or at the Council Public Hearing since I have another case.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 11/15/2023  
Appeal of Yusuf Kabeto to a Correction Notice-Reinspection Complaint at  
Grant to December 22, 2023 for compliance on condition that basement smoke &  
carbon detectors are installed and unit is not reoccupied until the Fire C of O is  
Yusuf Kabeto, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: October 16, 2023 we received a referral that  
there was a mice infestation and the ceiling caving in. Inspector Caballero went out  
and wrote orders. We also had a referral that the electric doesn’t work for the fridge,  
heat goes on and off and the fuse box not easily accessible. Caballero has orders  
against the upper unit right now, I believe that was being appealed. The lower tenant  
vacated that unit. A lot of the same thing in both units, but being vacated now. One  
order was about low heat, Inspector Caballero reported the heating company has  
come out and that has been addressed now.  
Moermond: and I thought that was the most important thing when I looked. Sounds  
like you have your hands full, tell me what is going on.  
Kabeto: this house was in good condition, they stopped paying the rent and didn’t  
want me to come over. Then I was trying to file an eviction. They told me they were  
going to pay. Finally unit 1 wanted to move out but complained to the City and  
wouldn’t allow me to fix anything. When I asked if I could send someone to fix it, she  
told me she’d let me know when it was vacant. She emailed me October 14  
Moermond: and I appreciate your issues but I need you to focus on these orders.  
You’re saying she doesn’t allow access. What is your ask today?  
Kabeto: unit 1 I just got the key. I need an extension for maybe 15 days.  
Moermond: I am happy to work on an extension for unit 1 with two provisos, one  
being item 2 on the list needs to be dealt with immediately (to provide missing  
smoke/carbon detectors in the basement). Is that done?  
Kabeto: no, because we just got access today.  
Moermond: I want that done in short order, the other thing would be the unit to not be  
occupied until it has been reinspected and approved. No moving in another tenant  
until these are fixed.  
Kabeto: sure.  
Moermond: grant to December 22 for compliance on condition basement smoke &  
carbon detectors are installed and unit 2 is not reoccupied until the Fire Certificate of  
Occupancy is reinstated. In Unit 2, the City cannot step in to make sure you have  
access. It is up to you to enforce the provisions of your lease.  
Shaff: we don’t step into a civil agreement between property owner or manager and  
Moermond: you are responsible for providing access. I can put in a December 22  
deadline on that and if you want longer I’m in the same place. It just can’t be  
reoccupied until it is fixed.  
Kabeto: that is fine.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 12/6/2023  
3:00 p.m. Hearings  
Water Bill Appeals  
Appeal of Clement Marriott to a Water Service Bill at 703 CASE AVENUE.  
Recommendation forthcoming.  
5/1/24 Update: Deny the appeal.  
Clement Marriott, owner, appeared  
Lillian Marriot, owner, appeared  
Moermond: I know you’re familiar with the Fire Certificate of Occupancy program,  
since this is a rental property and you’ve appealed before. This is for your water bill.  
I’m not the hearing officer for the Council as I speak now, I’m the hearing officer for  
the St. Paul Regional Water Service’s (SPRWS) Board. In this case, if you object to  
my recommendation the Water Board may look at it differently. I’ve looked at the bill,  
your statement in your appeal, materials given to me from SPRWS. You should have  
received a packet of materials--  
Marriott: I don’t have anything.  
Mai Vang: there was a letter sent with a packet of information.  
Marriott: oh, yeah the one page letter, I have it here.  
Mai Vang: no, that’s the reschedule letter. You didn’t get the packet?  
Marriott: when was it sent?  
Mai Vang: I sent it October 9 at 2:49 p.m. and there are a whole bunch of  
Marriott: I responded to it? I do not have it.  
Mai Vang: you responded to me at 3:11 p.m. saying you may not be available that  
date and asking how long these hearings usually take and where it will be conducted.  
Marriott: what’s the title?  
Mai Vang: 703 Case Avenue. I can forward it again now.  
Moermond: please attach that email chain to the record as well, that would be helpful.  
I have information you’ve seen in different formats already. Your bills over time.  
Summaries of meter readings over time. Those are summarized in the bill.  
Marriott: I have the meter readings here. Earlier today I printed all the bills since  
2019. I had brought copies.  
Moermond: we have a large bill and I am going to turn it over to Mr. Olson to walk us  
through the circumstances here.  
Staff report by Derek Olson, SPRWS: March 3 we drove by to pick up a meter  
reading for the regular quarterly bill. The reading that came in showed usage of 341  
units. When that happens, the next day the meter operations team does a “leak  
audit”. They caught the high usage and Josh reached out to Mr. Marriott. He got the  
call and they talked about flappers having been replaced within the last year, but we  
were letting him know that they could go bad within a year and recommended a dye  
test. After we talk to the customer we go back a week later and check the usage to  
see if it continuously leaking still. It looked to be back to normal, went no further with  
it. We believe whatever was needed was fixed. Now that we have all this information  
I notice that the December 7 reading, when we drove by, had a continuous leak so  
whatever was leaking at the property had started 22 to 34 days before that December  
7 reading. It just didn’t alert us because everything was so normal with that reading it  
didn’t come into an exception report to look at.  
Moermond: tell me more about what you mean you saw on December 7.  
Olson: we saw 70 units of water used on December 7. It was right within the normal  
pattern so it didn’t come into what we call an “exception report.” We have parameters  
in the computer to flag things that are odd. It wasn’t triggered because it followed the  
usage history, even though whatever was leaking started it may not have been fully  
leaking. As we went through the winter it became more of an issue and the high  
usage was picked up. Readings after that have gone down, and the August reading  
has returned to the normal pattern from before the high usage. When we talked, we  
don’t know what was leaking. We see things in STAMP about a water heater being  
replaced and not being inspected, then being inspected in February. We don’t know  
for sure what was really leaking, we aren’t there. We count on the homeowner or  
tenant to say the toilet was leaking or an overflow valve was bad, water heater broke,  
something to explain the usage. All we know is the reading was picked up and the  
meter was working because it is still working and has showed lower and normal  
usage. The last year we have no reason to believe a meter is bad.  
Moermond: one of the things your meter team offers is that if there is a high reading  
that you could also check the meter to make sure it is reading accurately.  
Olson: we pull the meter if a meter test is asked for by the customer. There is a fee  
for it.  
Moermond: would they know that is an option?  
Olson: I can’t say for sure it was talked about. My interaction with the owner was to  
talk about a hearing and getting the letter out. I don’t see it mentioned in the notes.  
Moermond: I see the meter readings returned to normal as soon as the next bill in  
Olson: the June bill looks lower than any of the previous bills, 41 units in 91 days,  
which is about half of what it usually is. Usually, it is between 70 and 90 units. I  
wouldn’t think a meter was causing high usage or it would have continuously gone  
high. It went down and now it went back to 77 units in August which is the normal  
Moermond: December normal flow, between December 22 and March an uptick, then  
returning to normal after. Tell me what is happening?  
Marriott: you said you thought it was one day?  
Olson: it is a reading for a three-month period, we read it on a day and it shows us 3  
months’ worth of usage. We read it on December 7 and March 3. When we say the  
readings, it’s the reading between that time period.  
Marriott: March 3? And you said you have a system that tells you when an overuse  
Olson: yes, there is an audit program the meter techs run where if they notice high  
usage they will reach out.  
Marriott: when did it click on your side?  
Olson: our guy called you March 6, a Monday. The reading happened on Friday.  
They always pick them up the next working day and make their calls.  
Marriott: ok. It is ok to assume this must have happened in March?  
Olson: anywhere between December 7 and March 3.  
Marriott: you said he called me on the sixth—  
Olson: because they read it March 3.  
Moermond: let’s clarify. The meter reading happened March 3. The thing that would  
have notified the water staff that it was unusual is the computer program flagging  
higher usage than expected. If it is a certain level above it merits a phone call.  
Marriott: your system happens after the reading. They say it is above the threshold  
and that is when you call? Not that the system notices it right away.  
Olson: right, they read the meter at your property and there’s a program in our billing  
system flagging it.  
Marriott: I get it, I used to build systems like that.  
Olson: they always do that the next working day. They upload them at 3 pm in the  
afternoon, they’re done at 3:30. They don’t call the same day.  
Marriott: to me, I can only run with assumptions, and my assumption is somewhere  
along the line the meter went bad. Something went bad. It does happen. I’ve owned a  
few cars; you drive a car and you get something that says “check engine” and the  
next day you start the car it is no longer there. I’ve seen that. I’ve been in IT for 20  
years. I’ve built systems. It does happen. Everyone knows that. I think a similar thing  
happened because it supports his point of saying the reading after March, someone  
had moved out. We didn’t have a tenant until June 1 again. It was empty during that  
time. Water leakage on a unit that no one was in, we would have known that because  
the guy doing our handy work ended up moving. My wife and I were in there every  
day painting the lower unit. Part of it is watching the HGTV shows and thinking we  
could do it. We would have noticed. The upper unit has a mother with 4 kids in it.  
They aren’t babies, 13 to 17 years. Not a woman that leaves her house a lot. She had  
no issues with her place. She’s the most annoying person if she has an issue. She  
texts at midnight. March when he called me about the usage I told him no, there is no  
issue with the house. I am there constantly with my wife and the person upstairs  
would have told us. We constantly were in the basement to clean paint brushes,  
things like that.  
My water bill is usually $300. This was $1,790. When I called I spoke to a few people,  
and I’ll be honest they weren’t the nicest, usually they are really nice. They changed  
as soon as I asked about the bill. They told me the meter never goes wrong. There’s  
no such thing. I am an IT guy. I was VP at Wells Fargo, bills intelligence. I’m not a  
dummy. They do go bad. My freezer goes bad. My car goes bad. It happens. For  
them to say “no, you have to pay because they never go bad”—I don’t have any way  
of going back and measuring. Tomorrow Xcel could call me and say my bill is  
$10,000, there’s nothing wrong with the meter. At what point do we look at this  
$1,790.56 bill and not come to a point and say something must have happened. I  
have photos of the dates we were there cleaning. I have photos showing me there  
constantly. The lady upstairs should have told me that. At what point do we say the  
bill should have gone down—at what point do we see it could be a system issue.  
When does the government do that instead of saying “they don’t go bad, pay it.” It is  
really unfair. I’m a father with 2 kids in college.  
Olson: some of the things you said offer clarity too. Remember how I said in  
December we see the continuous leak, which is odd because it didn’t trigger anything  
in the reporting, it came in normal because you only had one occupied unit and it was  
leaking at the time for 22 to 34 days prior to December 7.  
Marriott: I’m lost.  
Olson: it shows we had a continuous leak, which was happening for 22 to 34 days  
before December 7.  
Moermond: contradictory information and that is that you would expect the bill to dip  
with only one unit being occupied, and it didn’t dip, rather it stayed the same. At the  
same time your computer system told you it was a continuous leak, which doesn’t  
have to do with the number of units being consumed it has to do with the rate the  
units are consumed.  
Olson: a continuous leak means: our meters take a reading every 15 minutes of the  
day. If it didn’t move every 15 minutes, that means no leak indicated. A continuous  
leak is when every time that meter stores a reading one of the dials moved. We’re  
saying somewhere between November and any time before March 3, something got  
fixed. If you would have had a full house your usage would have been very high, but  
it was “normal” because you only had it half-occupied. We didn’t catch it because you  
only had the one unit occupied. It would have been caught in December if you had  
two occupied units.  
Marriott: I beg to differ. First you said, sometime in February there was an inspection  
of the water heater. It wasn’t changed. Nevertheless, we’re continuing to make  
assumptions. The reality is if no one lived there from November to June 2023, the bill  
should have gone down. If you are saying the reason you didn’t catch it is because  
you would have caught it if someone was living there because it would have been  
higher. It didn’t double, it didn’t triple. It didn’t go from $300 to $600. It didn’t go from  
$600 to $900. It didn’t go from $900 to $1,200. It went to $1,700.  
Moermond: your argument is “would the leak have occurred at a trajectory that was  
the same?” and what does that arc look like. We’ve been alluding to something about  
the water meter, and I want to name that I do have the August 4, 2023 Fire  
Correction Notice where it calls out the water heater was replaced without a permit.  
Subsequently, I do see a permit was pulled by Champion Plumbing February 17. It is  
hard for me to not say we’re talking about the system supporting the building then.  
That type of infrastructure is also in play, especially when I see the anomaly that  
occurs exactly at the time period in question. You’re replacing the water heater  
exactly in the middle of the spike in the bill. I have seen that permit.  
Marriott: we didn’t change the water heater. I bought this building in 2019. It was  
changed prior to that. An inspector came and said the water heater that was there  
was a different water heater. There was nothing wrong with it. They asked when it  
was changed, which I didn’t know. My question to them was when was the last time  
they did an inspection, and did you check on that to know when it changed, because I  
don’t know. I was forced to get a permit; I called and called several plumbing places  
who said they weren’t going to pull a permit on something they didn’t do. I was forced  
to go buy a new water heater and get it installed. That was also a mistake, they said if  
you want a new one you have to buy from us. I called Champion who went to rebuy  
from Home Depot and then came and installed it February. Not because there was  
an issue, but because of the permit issue, since supposedly the water heater that  
was there didn’t have a permit. I had to find a company to take out a water heater that  
was working perfectly so they could put in one under permit. I had $2,600 bill to do  
the water heater, not because there was an issue.  
Olson: you brought up that meters break. We put these in starting on 2012. Do they  
break? Yes. But we have never had one register over-usage. They always stop.  
There are gears. They can’t just run and over-use. If they break, they stop. The  
conversation would be a 0 usage bill, not a high usage one. We haven’t had one yet  
that would over-register.  
Marriott: we just got married 3 years ago and she came in with a son. She said he  
never lies. The teacher said he lied. Then he admitted he did lie because he didn’t  
want to get in trouble. Everyone lies. It is kind of like saying that. Things do happen.  
There’s no such thing as “fool proof.” If I’m forced to pay this bill, I will because I don’t  
want issues with the government. I’ll figure it out. My business isn’t doing well now, so  
if I have to pull equity to pay it I will. Truthfully, the City choosing to tell me “our stuff  
never is wrong, so too bad, pay it.” I have nothing I can do because what is an  
argument that would be bulletproof just like your meter is? You tell me. There isn’t  
one. The only argument is to provide you proof the meters do go wrong. I don’t work  
for the manufacturer. I didn’t write the codes the meter operates on. I don’t even have  
access to the meter and even if I did do I want to spend that kind of money? Xcel  
could call me tomorrow and tell me I have a $3,000 bill. There is nothing I can do.  
Moermond: Xcel energy is also accountable as a public utility, in a similar kind of a  
spot were that to happen. There are next steps after this if you don’t get satisfaction  
here. One of the things that came up was the question of the last time the Fire  
Certificate of Occupancy inspectors went through and would they have identified the  
water heater at that time. It looks like it would have been September of 2018 and  
there was a TISH done September of 2019. That was probably one of the things you  
looked at when you bought the house.  
As I hear this, I understand where you are coming from. This isn’t the first time I’ve  
heard this kind of circumstance where something has happened where a permit  
should have been pulled, almost always plumbing and mechanical repairs. Does  
there have to be a visible malfunction to be called out by the fire inspector? They are  
going to look at see the earmarks on the equipment, when it was installed. That is  
something they would notice and presumably that is where that came from. I do see  
people in your circumstance being tasked with figuring out how to get a permit and  
contractors not wanting to put their name on someone else’s work. One thing I would  
want to know more about is, like a medical device, if it fails if it fails in a way that is  
protective of the patient and you’d know that walking in. It is 90% accurate and is  
10% more likely to give you a false positive. You have that kind of testing information  
you can walk into eyes wide open. I don’t have the industrial standard testing for the  
water meter. I hear Mr. Olson say the fail is the fail of stopping operations rather than  
over-metering. There will be a statistic connecting to that. I am hearing the statistic  
would be a certain way.  
Marriott: he hasn’t said any statistics. He’s saying assumptions. I remember in  
college we talked about having “check proof” on your programming things someone  
had programmed originally the CT scan without putting a “fool proof” and boiled  
someone in the CT scan. Do you hear that every day? No. Realistically things do  
happen. People do go test for pregnancy, then seven months in they find out they are  
having twins. That does happen. My opinion would be to take this bill, put it back to  
my usual quarterly bill is. The reason this started is because our tenant didn’t pay us  
rent during Covid so we were in a really tough place.  
Moermond: that’s your ask?  
Marriott: I’m not saying put it to zero. Put it to normal.  
Moermond: and I need to consider your argument it is a meter problem, not a  
problem with any usage passing through. I hear over here no; the likelihood of failure  
is insignificant. I’m also seeing the stuff happening with the water heater installation  
and what may have transpired there. I will find out more and don’t have an answer  
right now which is to the betterment of everyone. I want to get it right, and if we don’t  
in your view, have the path clear for you on next steps.  
Marriott: even at a restaurant I won’t return food. I won’t sit here and refuse it. I’ll just  
eat it and die. I feel really pushed into a corner by the City I love. It is kind of uncool.  
I’ll be honest with you, but I don’t want to sound like the guy on the previous case.  
Moermond: you don’t at all.  
Marriott: I understand his pain.  
Moermond: people can disagree and I hear you in good conscience making your  
argument, I do. I am in a tough spot. You may agree or disagree at the end of the  
day, and if you disagree with me it is totally fine. It really is. You can send it back to  
the kitchen.  
Referred to the Board of Water Commissioners due back on 6/11/2024