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, March 19, 2024  
9:00 AM  
Room 330 City Hall & Court House  
9:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
RLH TA 24-82  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 571 VAN  
BUREN AVENUE. (File No. VB2401A, Assessment No. 248808)  
Approve the assessment.  
Property owner unable to attend and sent in written statement (rescheduled 2x)  
Moermond: things to note: first is this was originally scheduled for Legislative Hearing  
February 6, per owner’s request it was rescheduled to February 20, at the last minute  
he let us know he couldn’t attend, so it was rescheduled to today, March 19. It did  
require us to send back from Council. Third Legislative Hearing.  
Second, the assessment today is a Vacant Building for $5,075 with the cost and  
service charge together. For the time period of May 19, 2023 through May 18, 2024. As  
of today, we are 10 months into the billable period. This is a Vacant Building fee for  
the second year in the Vacant Building program as a Category 2 Vacant Building,  
hence the higher fee level. The owner has yet to get a Code Compliance Inspection  
Report so there is no punch list created yet on what is necessary for this owner to be  
reoccupied. The owner indicated yesterday he was unable to attend today’s hearing and  
we only typically have 2 opportunities, today is the third. It was offered he could provide  
a written statement, which he has done. He is looking to have a meeting with City  
representatives and people offering financial assistance to create a list of what can be  
done to fix the property. The Code Compliance Inspection Report is articulated in the  
Vacant Building registration notices, 4 of them. We’re going to send the application for  
the Code Compliance Inspection Report to him so he has clear understanding as the  
expectation. Let’s send this to Council Public Hearing April 3 and my recommendation  
will be to approve the assessment in whole. He will have been in the Vacant Building  
program for just about two years without that most basic inspection done.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/3/2024  
RLH TA 24-134  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 686  
EDMUND AVENUE. (File No. VB2406, Assessment No. 248805)  
Approve the assessment.  
Somdy Kong, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this is the annual Vacant Building fee for the  
property, it was condemned by the Fire Certificate of Occupancy program in October of  
2020. No permits pulled. Total assessment of $5,075.  
Moermond: this is the fourth Vacant Building fee, October 5, 2023 to October 4, 2024.  
Tell me why you are appealing.  
Kong: when I went before the Council they said they were going to work something out,  
but then I didn’t hear anything about it. I thought I got it waived. I was going to use  
those funds to demolish the garage.  
Moermond: no one was trying to give anything back to you. You went in front of Council  
April 19, 2023. They made the assessment payable over 5 years, with the intention of  
freeing up money now so you can reinvest those dollars into the property. The invoice  
you received after that should have confirmed that. I don’t know what you were waiting  
for, but the invoice would have given you the answer.  
Kong: that wasn’t how I understood it. They’re going to give me a plan or something. I  
wasn’t aware of that. Why wasn’t I aware? How come I didn’t know that?  
Moermond: I am not sure.  
Kong: why I didn’t know about a five-year plan? They said they would figure something  
out and get back to me.  
Moermond: we can send you a link to the video of it. I would say the testimony doesn’t  
say that. The invoice around May 1, 2023 would have been for one-fifth of the Vacant  
Building fee. That would have been a big clue.  
Kong: I’ll look at the video and go from there. That wasn’t how I understood it.  
Moermond: we’ll send that. My question today will be the same as before, what are you  
looking for today? You haven’t gotten the Code Compliance Inspection Report required  
since 2020. You need to do that so you can begin pulling permits. Tell me what is  
going on.  
Kong: I’d like to get it up and running. I want to know the next step to do that. I want to  
start pulling permits and go from there. It has been a while and I understand that. I had  
a misunderstanding.  
Moermond: March 15 of 2023 you actually got one. They expire after a year. That report  
is what you use to share with your contractors and the expectations to get your Code  
Compliance certificate. Given how close you are to the expiration, I’d give the  
Department of Safety & Inspections a call to see if you can get an extension.  
Kong: there’s nothing wrong with my house.  
Moermond: your Code Compliance Inspection Report has four pages. The City won’t  
allow reoccupancy until the Code Compliance certificate is issued. The only thing I can  
offer is making this payable over a number of years. I don’t have any reason to  
recommend any reduction. I don’t know that dividing the payments has been  
successful in getting you to pull permits so far. You of course can testify at Council  
and they may look at it differently than I do.  
Kong: that’s fine. I’ll talk to the Council then.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/17/2024  
RLH TA 24-126  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 2330  
LONG AVENUE. (File No. J2414A, Assessment No. 248513)  
Delete the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: this is a deletion. There were five months between issuance of the orders  
for tall grass and weeds and the parks crew going out to mow it. Who knows if it was  
the same tall grass and weeds or not between the two dates.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 5/1/2024  
RLH TA 24-127  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 2112  
REANEY AVENUE. (File No. 2404T, Assessment No. 249003)  
Approve the assessment (PO no longer contesting).  
Kong Meng Vang, owner, appeared via phone  
Grace Benson, St. Paul Forestry, appeared via phone  
Moermond: looks like we have an assessment for the removal of the bulk of the oak  
tree in the front of the property. [Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Vang: Mai Vang told me if I wasn’t contesting I didn’t have to attend.  
Moermond: so you aren’t contesting. Your insurance is helping I assume?  
Vang: yes.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/17/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1672  
TAYLOR AVENUE. (File No. 2404T, Assessment No. 249003)  
Layover to LH April 2, 2024 at 9 am (unable to reach appellant).  
Voicemail left at 10:10 am: this is Marcia Moermond from St. Paul City Council calling  
you about two appealed assessments for 1672 Taylor, one for a tree and one for a  
Vacant Building fee. We’ll try you back in a little bit.  
Voicemail left at 10:16 am: this is Marcia Moermond from St. Paul City Council calling  
you again about your two appealed tax assessments for 1672 Taylor Avenue. Since  
we’ve been unable to reach you this morning, we’ll continue it from today to Tuesday,  
April 2, between 9 and 10:30.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 4/2/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1672  
TAYLOR AVENUE. (File No. VB2405, Assessment No. 248804)  
Layover to LH April 2, 2024 at 9 am (unable to reach appellant).  
Voicemail left at 10:10 am: this is Marcia Moermond from St. Paul City Council calling  
you about two appealed assessments for 1672 Taylor, one for a tree and one for a  
Vacant Building fee. We’ll try you back in a little bit.  
Voicemail left at 10:16 am: this is Marcia Moermond from St. Paul City Council calling  
you again about your two appealed tax assessments for 1672 Taylor Avenue. Since  
we’ve been unable to reach you this morning, we’ll continue it from today to Tuesday,  
April 2, between 9 and 10:30.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 4/2/2024  
RLH TA 24-135  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 817  
PARK STREET. (File No. J2406B, Assessment No. 248105)  
Approve the assessment.  
Jay Mitchell o/b/o Quality Residences, appeared via phone  
[Moermond skips process as Mr. Mitchell has done this many times]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: responding to a phone call from a neighbor  
saying someone breached the property October 5. Inspector Gavin went out, confirmed  
it was open to entry, and called in a non-emergency work order to have it secured.  
Total proposed assessment of $224.  
Moermond: why are you appealing?  
Mitchell: we had appealed previously before. The board removed and reboarded, they  
removed the board off the bottom, a 2-foot piece. That’s the only piece they put there  
and they put a board over my door. At the same time, we got an abatement order, and  
that’s when I noticed it. 90% of the door was boarded, it seemed extreme to charge me  
all that money for 2 feet of the door.  
Moermond: can someone get through that size opening?  
Yannarelly: yes, I’d argue a 2-foot opening is enough to get through. Inspector notes  
says front door board was pulled off and found open to entry. It was called in by a  
neighbor saying someone was in the building and the front door was pulled off.  
Moermond: a neighbor called, people inside, City called, City verified it was open to  
entry, contractor resecures with another board on top. Mr. Mitchell you are saying it  
should have been handled differently?  
Mitchell: yes.  
Moermond: what would that have looked like?  
Mitchell: they typically send a citation. There was no one in the building, the entire  
board wasn’t removed.  
Moermond: there’s also a public safety issue. There isn’t an emergency call out fee on  
this one. That $250 fee isn’t attached.  
Yannarelly: that would have happened if the police were involved.  
Moermond: I am going to recommend this is approved.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/17/2024  
RLH TA 24-136  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 701  
SURREY AVENUE. (File No. VB2406, Assessment No. 248805)  
Approve the assessment.  
Jay Mitchell, o/b/o Plaza I Inc, appeared via phone  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this has been in the Vacant Building  
program since October 2013. Total proposed assessment of $5,075. No open permits  
or activity.  
Mitchell: I’ve ordered a Code Compliance Inspection as of last Thursday, then we’ll  
start plowing through it. I thought the fee was $2,500. I didn’t understand why it was  
Moermond: for the first year, everyone pays the lower $2,500 amount, but for year two  
and beyond, if you’re a Category 1 you stay at that lower level, but for Category 2 and  
Category 3 they move up to the $5,000 level. That code change went into effect  
January 2023. There’s still a lot of catch up because of how these work through the  
system. This has been in the Vacant Building program for a while.  
Mitchell: now I understand.  
Moermond: you’ve ordered the new Code Compliance. For this case I’m going to  
recommend approval of the assessment.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/17/2024  
10:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
RLH TA 24-124  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1096  
JESSAMINE AVENUE EAST. (File No. J2406E, Assessment No.  
Delete the assessment.  
Pao Lee, owner, appeared via phone  
Lee’s wife was also on the phone  
Mai Vang interpreted  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Richard Kedrowski: March 16, 2023 a correction notice was  
issued for a shed built too close to the house that had electricity and no permit for  
installation of electricity. We believe there is cooking of commercial food occurring.  
April 15 a resinspection was done and the shed was not removed and no permits  
pulled. And Excessive Consumption fee was sent out for noncompliance. Total  
assessment of $169.  
Moermond: you are appealing, but at the same time I have a note that the Department  
of Safety & Inspections is interested in deleting so they can be present with an  
interpreter and not charge this fee at this time. Tell me what is going on Mr. & Ms.  
Lee? Can you can make yourself available for an inspection.  
Lee: I told Inspector Williams that there is snow on the ground and I cannot remove  
the shed. Why did they already come and take photos when the snow hasn’t melted?  
When they came and took the photos, I wasn’t aware, why did they come and take  
photos secretly.  
Moermond: when are you talking about?  
Lee: the May photos, the ones Ms. Vang sent to me.  
Moermond: I have a note from the Department of Safety & Inspections that they came  
by, thought they were meeting someone, was rescheduled to have an interpreter  
available. We want to schedule that appointment today.  
Lee: the first time they came I did speak with them. I made it clear there was still a lot  
of snow on the ground and I couldn’t remove the shed. Then in May they came and  
took photos I wasn’t aware of. I feel like they are secretly coming by.  
Moermond: thank you for sharing that. I believe they would have spoken someone to  
establish that they needed an interpreter with them. Are there times of day you are  
open so we can schedule an inspection with an interpreter and you present?  
Lee: I only want to talk about the issues, not the future.  
Moermond: there is no issue if they are proposing to delete the assessment. We need  
to move on.  
Lee: ok. I’m fine with it being deleted.  
Moermond: of course you are. Please tell me, Monday through Friday between 9 and 3.  
Lee: yes, now I understand the fee is deleted. We have moved the shed.  
Mai Vang: I told him if the shed is removed we still need confirmation with an  
inspection and an interpreter.  
Moermond: and we need the inspectors to have some general times you are available  
to meet with inspectors.  
Wife: yes we spoke to the inspector and told them the situation. We did remove the  
shed but they still took photos and said we weren’t in compliance, that’s why they sent  
us the Excessive Consumption letters and fees. I don’t understand why we get the fee  
when we already moved the shed.  
Mai Vang: I asked when that conversation was, about moving the shed.  
Moermond: I understand there are different understandings. I need to close the book  
on a tax assessment. The Department of Safety & Inspections is asking for deletion,  
but I won’t do that recommendation until I have confirmation that this is moving forward  
and will be resolved.  
Wife: Monday through Friday between 11 and 12. I am home all the time. Available  
Moermond: is this the best number to reach you to confirm an appointment time?  
Wife: yes.  
Moermond: Mr. Kedrowski will speak with two other inspectors about visiting and one  
of them speaks Hmong, Der Vue.  
Wife: ok.  
[they hang up]  
Moermond: I will recommend this is deleted.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/17/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1157  
HERBERT STREET. (File No. J2405E, Assessment No. 248304)  
(Public hearing continued to October 16, 2024)  
Continue CPH to October 16, 2024 and if there are no same or similar violations,  
delete the assessment. If there are violations, reduce assessment from $169 to $50.  
Waygner Cordon, tenant and brother of owner, appeared via phone  
Spanish Language Line interpreter 38106 appeared via phone  
Moermond: I’m calling about your appealed special tax assessment for 1157 Herbert  
Street. My understanding is you have appealed the $169 assessment. I am the hearing  
officer reviewing this appeal. [Moermond gives background of appeals process] If you  
choose to attend the Council Public Hearing we will have an interpreter for you.  
Staff report by Supervisor Richard Kedrowski: July 26, 2023 a Summary Abatement  
Order was sent to the property for a couch on the property. Compliance date of August  
2, 2023, it was rechecked on August 9, 2023 and found in noncompliance. The work  
was done on August 23, 2023 by Parks for a total assessment of $169.  
Cordon: we didn’t see the first notice and we didn’t know the laws and City rules. I put  
the couch there. I didn’t see the first notification and wasn’t aware of the rules. That’s  
what happened.  
Moermond: how long have you lived in the property?  
Cordon: almost three years.  
Moermond: there is no history of the City having to write orders on this property to  
clean up. This weighs in your favor. I also want to say when orders do come in an  
envelope from Department of Safety & Inspections you need to open it. You can call in  
to get them interpreted or translated to Spanish. If you get mail, get it translated  
immediately. There’s no charge for that, of course. I would like to suggest this: if there  
are no same or similar violations between now and October 15, I’ll recommend this  
assessment is deleted in its entirely. [Moermond explains what “same or similar” items  
Cordon: it won’t happen again.  
Moermond: if you do have bulky items that need to be picked up, the garbage bill you  
pay covers at least 2 bulky items a year. You just have to call them ahead of time. If  
there is a founded violation I will recommend the assessment is decreased from $169  
to $50.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 3/27/2024  
Special Tax Assessments-ROLLS  
RLH AR 24-23  
Ratifying the assessments for Property Clean Up services during  
November 6 to 7, 2023. (File No. J2414A, Assessment No. 248513)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 5/1/2024  
RLH AR 24-24  
Ratifying the assessments for Equipment and Labor for Clean Up  
services during November to December 2023. (File No. J2415A,  
Assessment No. 248514)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 5/1/2024  
11:00 a.m. Hearings  
Summary & Vehicle Abatement Orders  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 1341  
CASE AVENUE in Council File RLH SAO 24-9.  
The nuisance is not abated.  
Augustine Sylvester, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: we’re doing follow up on that first set of items. The first deadline was for  
removal of items around the property and the pickup.  
Staff update by Supervisor Richard Kedrowski: current status, photos taken today,  
there are still items in the back of the flatbed truck, covered with a tarp. Also trash on  
the ground. There’s a pile of debris and brush by the fence near the rear of the  
Moermond: so in your view, the orders don’t have full compliance. Outside of the fence  
sections, how would you treat this? Excessive Consumption? Deploy a crew?  
Kedrowski: because of the way the orders were written it only addresses the items in  
the truck, not on the ground. Only enforceable stuff are the items in the flatbed  
covered by the tarp. I can issue new orders on the rest.  
Moermond: I feel like it is covered under the original orders, but that is fine if your  
interpretation is more liberal. That’s to the benefit of the property owner. So the items  
in the brush and the trailers you’d look to have addressed.  
Kedrowski: the items in the flatbed truck covered by a tarp.  
Moermond: that’s not new.  
Sylvester: the original was on two flatbeds. We have taken all the items into the truck  
and will finish removing it today. We haven’t got a chance to do that. the dump truck  
with all the stuff on the back, I’m hauling out of there. Some of the stuff the neighbor  
put there.  
Moermond: the neighbor put it there? Or it isn’t on your property?  
Sylvester: the guy I talked to said they were going to remove trees. I don’t know if it  
makes a difference. Yesterday they hauled a bunch of stuff to the dump, and today  
they’re supposed to do more. On top of that they’re trying to start cleaning up the area  
to make a fence.  
Moermond: the deadline was yesterday, sounds like the only thing was the flatbed  
truck. You’re already removing those items today; the Department of Safety &  
Inspections won’t go back to the property until Thursday of this week. I would say  
today or tomorrow make sure it is off the property, then the first thing is done. It  
sounds like Mr. Kedrowski identified some other issues besides the fence sections,  
and those included brush beside the garage. If he wrote a 7 day order on Thursday,  
what timeline do you need to get that brush removed?  
Sylvester: I’ll have to talk to him and see.  
Moermond: if he writes an order it would have a March 22 deadline, I’ll push it to April 1.  
That gives you a couple of weeks to deal with it.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 3/20/2024  
1:00 p.m. Hearings  
Vacant Building Registrations  
Appeal of Roger and Lana Cheatham to a Vacant Building Registration  
Notice at 1769 SAINT ANTHONY AVENUE.  
Layover to LH March 26, 2024 at 1 pm for further discussion. PO to submit work plan  
by noon on Monday, March 25th. Units 2 and 4 to remain unoccupied until C of O is  
issued for those areas of the building.  
Roger Cheatham, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: calling you back about your property at 1769 St. Anthony. Walking into  
today’s hearing you were to provide a work plan. We don’t have one.  
Cheatham: I wasn’t even sure what time the hearing was. I guess you’d emailed a form.  
I did go through the list and checked off 10 or 11 things on it.  
Moermond: I really don’t want to go item by item, that’s me creating a plan for you.  
When we spoke, we needed a plan to discuss clearly the priorities, we gave them to  
you in the hearing. What’s your ability to do one in short order.  
Cheatham: apparently I’ll have to hire some contractors. I appreciate the fact Mr.  
Imbertson pointed out the water heater has a poor connection to the chimney.  
Moermond: quite a few connections in the list appear to be problematic. When can you  
have an actual plan to me?  
Cheatham: I can put one together this week, but some of the stucco people are still in  
Florida or Arizona for the winter. It is worse than I thought it was.  
Moermond: the letter we sent and what we laid out in the hearing gave you a list of  
priorities. I’ll give you one more week, otherwise I’ll pick the deadline and you can’t  
reoccupy until your Certificate of Occupancy is reinstated.  
We’d like that plan no later than noon on Monday. Otherwise, I’ll recommend the  
appeal is denied and it cannot be reoccupied, remains a registered Vacant Building.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 3/26/2024  
Appeal of Kevin Christ to a Vacant Building Registration Notice at 1391  
Waive the VB fee through April 15, 2024 to allow Fire C of O to be reinstated.  
Kevin Christ, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: are you CBW Properties, LLC?  
Christ: yes, that is correct.  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Mitch Imbertson: this is a residential duplex in the Fire  
Certificate of Occupancy program. There was an initial inspection for renewal on  
January 8, 2024. At that time the inspector had condemned 1393 as unfit for habitation  
due to no water. A report was issued with a number of other items, with a February 8th  
reinspection date. The February 8 reinspection was cancelled based on a discussion  
that repairs would take until summer, and not under our normal timeline and the  
property had already been vacant for up to a year. It was referred to the Vacant  
Building program. It does look to fairly meet the definition of being a Vacant Building  
being unoccupied with multiple code violations.  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: this was made a Category 2 Vacant Building  
per that referral, February 12, 2024. The house was found to be vacant, secured, and  
maintained at time of inspection.  
Moermond: Mr. Christ, what is going on?  
Christ: I have an app for a provisional Fire Certificate of Occupancy, I don’t know if that  
was every filed or received.  
Moermond: since you had your Fire Certificate of Occupancy inspection, I’d say it is a  
moot point, and was likely the trigger for the most recent inspections.  
Christ: January 8 was the first inspection and my maintenance guy for my rentals was  
working on replacing the kitchen floor at the time. I was aware there would be issues  
on the inspection report. We’re working on upgrades and a facelift before renting it  
again. I asked for an extension until summer in order to have enough time. I own quite  
a few properties and just needed more time to get it done. January 8 to February 8 it  
went from being worked on to condemned. I did ask for that extension January 25 to  
see if I could get a couple more months, and it was sent to Vacant Building before I  
got any response or reinspection. I just want more time to get things done. The reason  
the water was off was because we had a frozen pipe, I took care of that with the water  
department. There is running water to both properties.  
It was described as being filthy, well obviously it was under construction. We did have  
some debris and tools and materials to get the renovation done. I would just like more  
time to get things done, obviously I will schedule a new inspection before any new  
occupants and make sure everything is up to code.  
Moermond: the house is considered to be uninhabitable right now, I think we’re in  
agreement on that?  
Christ: just because of water? Obviously when its under construction it is  
Moermond: it is condemned, no one is living there. It wasn’t discretionary. You met the  
definition. An assessment needs to happen, for a condemned property you would  
normally need a full Code Compliance Inspection. It appears most of the items were  
building related, but I’d like to see a building permit pulled.  
Imbertson: I agree, based on the extent of the work.  
Christ: one hole in the ceiling under the upstairs toilet. Is there a way for us to do one  
more walk through? I think there’s confusion caused by the words filthy and no utilities.  
It is a stretch. Water was turned off to half the unit for a repair. Plaster and paint are  
extent of repairs. I can have a furnace guy come for the furnace. It isn’t an extensive  
repair job by my definition. How do we come to a consensus on that?  
Moermond: this isn’t about consensus. We’re trying to assure that minimum safety  
standards are met while trying to make it the least onerous on you. If I say you don’t  
need a full Code Compliance Inspection, which I don’t think the list in front of me  
merits four trades going through, what would be a compromise as it were. Is it getting  
your Fire Certificate of Occupancy reinstated, or does the scope of the issues being  
addressed exceed $500. I’m looking at things like holes in walls in ceilings throughout.  
Holes in flooring and cabinets. Basic building items. I’m not dying over the number but  
I do think there is a lot going on here. Are you going to get out of all of it? No building  
permit, we could talk about and get Mr. Imbertson’s input. The other thing is the  
Vacant Building fee and where we go with that. Mr. Imbertson, what are your thoughts  
on the building permit and the nature of the violations? Where would you put that?  
Imbertson: there are a number of violations that fall under general building repair work  
that aren’t items that would automatically require a permit by themselves, but they  
aren’t exempt items so they would fall under the general $500 rule for valuation.  
Moermond: so general repair permit.  
Imbertson: that’s what I see, unless we can be shown the extent of the repairs truly  
doesn’t cross over the valuation triggering a building permit.  
Moermond: seems the cost of the flooring alone would exceed that amount.  
Christ: so every time you tear up 100 square feet of flooring, that would exceed $500.  
So that is for a full-blown rehab or what? Even replacing carpet would exceed $500. Is  
it more for extensive repairs versus normal wear and tear? Even some of the cabinet  
doors, a front falls off under normal wear and tear and replacing carpet every few years.  
This has been rented for 15 years and I’m giving it a facelift. I’m not doing anything  
major. Clean it up, new paint, bright and shiny and clean again. Making sure furnaces  
are safe, obviously would be repaired under permit. All the utilities are on.  
Imbertson: it may be helpful to read the definition for the permit in the legislative code.  
Section 33.03 for building permits. [code is read]  
Moermond: I do think it meets the definition of a Vacant Building, but I can see a way  
where we can waive the fee for a narrow length of time, through April 15, and we can  
skip the requirement it have a Code Compliance Inspection or a building permit, but  
the Certificate of Occupancy needs to be reinstated by then in order to not have any  
Vacant Building fee at all. If it isn’t reinstated by then, the fee comes back into play,  
and moves to assessments and can be prorated then potentially.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/3/2024  
Appeal of Cecilia Resendiz to a Vacant Building Registration Fee  
Warning Letter at 1056 BEECH STREET.  
Layover to LH April 9, 2024 at 1 pm for further discussion after building inspector visit.  
Cecilia Resendiz, owner, appeared  
Spanish Interpreter appeared  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: Department of Safety & Inspections received  
a form 4 notification from the St. Paul Fire Department January 24, 2024 at 8:20 pm.  
That form 4 report states: this is a vacant house and family members checked on it  
today and found the heat not working and a water pipe had burst. Water had leaked on  
the furnace and it wasn’t operational. The gas was shut off at the meter and Xcel was  
requested to ensure it was safe to turn it back on.  
Moermond: can you explain what a Form 4 is?  
Supervisor Mitch Imbertson: a form 4 is the name for a form used by the St. Paul Fire  
Department when they are on an emergency scene and need to refer an issue to us for  
follow up after the emergency has been cleared. If there are issues with the property  
that can’t be resolved on the call to the property, it gets sent to the Department of  
Safety & Inspections for additional follow up.  
Moermond: we have a burst water pipe, gas was shut off, no one was living there.  
Family members indicated the house was empty when they went to check on it that  
day. Why are you appealing?  
Resendiz: I never abandoned my house. I live there with my daughter. I have here my  
monthly bills I pay every month, in full, including my house. I received something from  
the insurance company [shows phone with a screenshot saying ‘log in to see status of  
your claim’] I don’t want to sell it, that’s where I live with my daughter.  
Moermond: what was going on in January?  
Resendiz: my daughter called me saying there was a lot of water and flooding. She was  
calling fire department and police because she was scared. I have a new furnace and  
the water pipes are fixed. The only thing missing is the insurance.  
Moermond: you had a handful of paperwork indicating you are paying bills and your  
mortgage. I take that at face value you are doing that, you don’t need to show me any  
paperwork. Second, I’m glad you’ve taken steps to get the furnace fixed and the water  
is back on, but I am concerned I don’t see any permits for that work being done.  
Replacing a furnace and broken pipes would require permits. I don’t know if that will  
impact your claim and they’ve talked to you about this, but it is concerning to me.  
Resendiz: the insurance didn’t want to cover it, so I found contractors to do the work.  
Moermond: what is the situation when you contacted the insurance?  
Resendiz: I contacted them to see if they could help me. They said they would  
investigate and see if it was the water heater leaking or cold weather. They sent a lot of  
people, so I think they did it, but they thought it was just too old so they couldn’t help  
me so I had to find a company to fix my own problems.  
Moermond: did the insurance company provide interpreting services?  
Resendiz: yes. That was the lady that was talking.  
Moermond: typically, when these things happen, it is first the heat fails and then the  
pipes burst.  
Dornfeld: I agree with your assessment. A pipe bursting like that would come from a  
furnace failure, but we have had unconditionally warmer weather so maybe something  
else happened.  
Moermond: January 11 through the 21st it appears to have not gotten above freezing,  
which is a good long period for a house to freeze if the heat isn’t working. The question  
is how we move forward from here. My first concern is the lack of permits. That’s a  
problem for the City and I’m guessing also the insurance company and getting  
compensation from them.  
Resendiz: now what can I do?  
Moermond: they will have to go back and pull permits for the work they’ve done if they  
have the right licensing to do work in the City. I’m afraid the message I need to give  
you is that not only the work you had done problematic for lack of permits, but there  
needs to be a more general inspection to determine the scope of damage in the house  
and what else may need to be done to determine if it is safe.  
Resendiz: that’s what the insurance company did. The removed flooring and drywall in  
the basement. Even in one bedroom. The insurance company is paying me for a hotel  
while they are working on that.  
Dornfeld: I think English as a second language has played a significant role in how  
things went down.  
Moermond: I think so too. One of the things that may have tripped you up is you got to  
work right away before you had gone through the whole process with the insurance  
company and City permits. That may in large part due to English being your second  
language, and you inadvertently undermined your own interest. What I would like to do  
is have an adjuster who looked at your house talk to the head of inspections for this  
area, who deals with Vacant Buildings. His name is Clint Zane.  
I would like to continue this a couple of weeks so an inspector can go out either on  
their own or meet an inspector at the property. I’m going to ask for a Code Compliance  
Inspection Report form to be filled out. I’m going to ask Department of Safety &  
Inspections to hold the fee for a moment.  
If you didn’t have insurance covering this, the City would be requiring a Code  
Compliance Inspection Report. If you had a fire the City wouldn’t require that, since  
they would be trusting that insurance was supervising and making sure things were  
done that needed to be. You find yourself in the middle of those situations.  
I’m going to ask the Department to waive the fee due to your unusual circumstance,  
but I would like you to fill out that Code Compliance Inspection application. You will  
need a lock box.  
Resendiz: when the insurance company needs to go in, they call and I meet them  
Moermond: this still leaves the Vacant Building fee. It seems to me you do meet the  
legal definition of being a registered Vacant Building. That is because the house isn’t  
considered to be habitable if it doesn’t have gas, heat, or water. Sounds like some of  
that has been fixed, but without permits we don’t know it was done safely. Often  
insurance companies will cover this fee as part of your claim, and if not we have  
options as well.  
Resendiz: but it isn’t vacant, we live there. We’re always there. Only when I’m visiting  
my sisters for holidays, but my daughter checks the house all the time. I never leave  
the house alone.  
Moermond: but you were gone in January. How long were you in a hotel?  
Resendiz: it has been five or six weeks.  
Moermond: are you still in a hotel?  
Resendiz: yes.  
Moermond: you are meeting the definition then.  
Resendiz: even if I’m in the hotel because of the insurance company?  
Moermond: yes, it still applies. If you had a fire and your house was unlivable it is the  
same kind of circumstance. I want to focus on the money part of this, one is the  
Vacant Building fee you’ve appealed and two is the money involved in inspections and  
Resendiz: how am I going to pay if I am not working?  
Moermond: I understand. [Moermond explains tax assessment process]  
[Recess while Moermond calls Nathan Bruhn]  
Moermond: I just spoke with the assistant building official. We’re going to send one  
guy through. They will want to talk to the insurance company to see what has been  
done. I’m going to continue this for 3 weeks. Right now, no Vacant Building fee for the  
moment, and we’ll slow down in figuring out how to move forward until the inspector has  
taken a look at it. We’ll talk again Tuesday, April 9 at 1 p.m.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 4/9/2024  
1:30 p.m. Hearings  
Orders To Vacate - Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
RLH VO 24-5  
Appeal of Occupant to a Revocation of Fire Certificate of Occupancy and  
Order to Vacate at 421 THOMAS AVENUE #1.  
Deny the appeal and grant to May 1, 2024 for Fire C of O to be reinstated, or property  
must be vacated.  
Maleeha Rizwy, SMRLS, appeared via phone  
Occupant, 421 Thomas Ave #1, appeared via phone  
Moermond: when we last spoke we talked about a couple of things. The City’s concern  
primarily around the bathroom, and you covered concerns about the difficulty of being  
rehoused. I’d like to have the inspector summarize those key concerns again.  
Staff report by Supervisor Mitch Imbertson: a residential two unit building in the Fire  
Certificate of Occupancy program, though only one is occupied at this time. It was due  
for a renewal inspection, initially schedule for May 2023 and the inspector wasn’t able  
to get in. A number of additional attempts were made in June, July and August to gain  
access. October we issued a noticed of pending revocation for failure to provide  
access. We were able to get into the property in November 2023. Inspector Caballero  
issued orders on the items found, additional time was granted since we’d been given  
access. December was the first reinspection, nothing was done. Inspector spoke to  
owner who cited contractor difficulties. January 9, 2024 another reinspection and  
nothing was done. 19 deficiencies on the report including some major maintenance and  
safety items. The most serious being a failing subfloor in the lower unit bathroom.  
At the last hearing it was indicated they are using the bathroom in the upper unit,  
where we would have concerns about continued access. We’ve had continuing  
long-term noncompliance, and especially without a work plan from the owner who  
ultimately has responsibility for the unit.  
Moermond: it looks like it is borderline in terms of condemning due to state of the  
bathrooms. A floor in a state of failure.  
Imbertson: the inspector was aware the tenant was using the upper unit bathroom,  
which may have made it less of an immediate concern. The bathroom floor is what  
would bring this to a condemnation level without a bathroom in the unit safe to use.  
Moermond: Initially inspected in May of 2023, but not revoked for long-term  
Imbertson: we didn’t get in for an inspection until November. The repairs on this report  
should have been similar to what was on the November inspection.  
Moermond: tell me where things are at with you two and ability to move forward? It isn’t  
a sustainable situation to continue to use a bathroom in another unit without legal  
control of that unit. I’m struggling with this.  
Rizwy: we have heard from the landlord. My client does have a key to the other unit.  
They are able to freely access it. My client shares all of those concerns and does wish  
to vacate, as you indicated it is a matter of time and hardships hindering her search.  
Moermond: though she does have a key the landlord was actively marketing the unit.  
Rizwy: she is actively looking. She and her daughter have numerous disabilities that  
slows the process. No places available for April 1, a couple May 1. A few August 1,  
but she has no desire to stay that long. She’s hoping to remain for 2 months to find a  
safe place for herself and her daughter to go.  
Moermond: so the ask is for a push for time, I’m not hearing you’ll try to get repairs  
done with an Emergency Tenant Remedy Action (ETRA) or rent withholding?  
Rizwy: that’s not the client’s focus at this time, she just wants to go.  
Moermond: I’m willing to go to May 1, and do an extension on the revocation until that  
Rizwy: thank you. That will be a big relief.  
Occupant: as far as I know the upstairs unit isn’t being marketed. It wasn’t turned over  
when the last people moved out and they have left quite a mess. Someone did come  
by yesterday, a carpenter of some sort, to look at the issues. I’m not sure the  
conversations he had with the landlord. That’s the second person that’s been out in the  
last couple weeks.  
Moermond: the Certificate of Occupancy is revoked and unit 1 doesn’t need to be  
vacated until May 1. No one can move into either space until that Certificate of  
Occupancy is reinstated.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 4/3/2024