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, June 4, 2024  
9:00 AM  
Room 330 City Hall & Court House/Remote  
9:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
RLH TA 24-212  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1039  
CARROLL AVENUE. (File No. J2409B, Assessment No. 248108)  
Recommendation forthcoming.  
Elizabeth Ellis, owner, appeared via phone  
Ellis: it is ironic that you called this morning because I was hot last night and tried to  
open the window the brick had gone through and it wouldn’t open. I contacted the  
company who did the repair this morning.  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: January 1 at 1 am the St. Paul Police  
Department called in an emergency boarding contractor to board over a window at the  
property. Total proposed assessment of $474.  
Moermond: it sounds like that was very early on New Year’s Day. You wrote in your  
letter you were sound asleep and a brick came through the window and you got glass  
on your bed. Tell me more about that night.  
Ellis: I was asleep on New Year’s Eve. I went to bed between 9 and 10 and maybe a  
minute after night glass came flying through the room. Windows just don’t decide to  
not be windows anymore. I didn’t know what happened. I called 911. Police responded  
quickly. One officer came in the bedroom and picked up a brick. I started crying  
because why would someone throw a brick through my bedroom window. It was the top  
half of the window, not like the lower part like they were going to break in. It was  
malicious. They asked me if I wanted to board it. It was a hoel the size of a  
basketball, and who was I going to call anyway? When they asked me, I assumed the  
Police Department had resources. A man game with a gun like you do for roofing, he  
put just up enough particle board to cover up the hole. When I got the glass cleaned  
up I went for a walk, around 5 miles. The police said to not think of yourself as a  
target, consider it was drunkenness and New Year’s Eve.  
Moermond: you had to replace the window. Tell me how that transpired and when.  
Ellis: we have a family member we use when we need repairs like this. I don’t know  
exactly when he came, we had to order a window. He did a great job, though I can’t get  
the window open this morning. We trust him and use him for many things. When I was  
reluctant to answer your phone this morning it is because Friday night at 9 am the  
phone rang, I assumed it was something having to do with my family member with  
cancer. It was a roofing company. You go with who you trust. Not someone who calls  
you at 9 at night.  
Moermond: when did he replace the window?  
Ellis: he came maybe the day after, gave me a cost for labor. He talked about  
Menard’s. He came back with a folder with the replacement he wanted to do to match  
the other window. It took 3 visits to take the old one out and put the new one in, which  
took a while to arrive since we had to order it.  
Moermond: if the City did’t board the window would he have been someone you relied  
Ellis: I can’t imagine I would have felt comfortable having a hole in January. Luckily it  
was a mild window. I assumed when the police asked if I wanted someone to cover it  
up, I was crying because I didn’t understand why someone would do that. Why me and  
those types of things.  
Moermond: did you file a claim with your insurance for the window?  
Ellis: no. First, I believe my deductible is so high it wouldn’t have been worth it, but  
because of the neighborhood I live in my insurance is so high already. I know they  
track the neighborhood I am in because every year it goes up I haven’t done anything  
to cause that. Lower tax but higher insurance. I did call my family at midnight and no  
one answered. I was so surprised because I thought that was the whole idea of having  
a cell phone. That’s the reason to have a cell phone. I just had to wait until morning.  
Moermond: my job is to give that recommendation to Council and I don’t have one yet.  
Once I have that we’ll reach back to you by phone and let you know that.  
Ellis: sounds good.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
RLH TA 24-219  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1783  
DAYTON AVENUE. (File No. VB2409, Assessment No. 248812)  
Delete the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: this went into the Vacant Building program after a fire, the file was opened  
January 24, 2023. The fee we are looking at today is the fee that covers January 24,  
2024 through January 23, 2025. We saw this on appeal February 6 and they received a  
90 day waiver through April 23, 2024. The Vacant Building file was closed April 15,  
2024, within that 90 day window and the assessment was processed incorrectly.  
Therefore the recommendation is to delete.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
RLH TA 24-221  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1762  
ENGLEWOOD AVENUE. (File No. VB2409, Assessment No. 248812)  
Continue CPH to August 7, 2024. If CC certificate is issued reduce assessment from  
$5,075 to $2,537.  
Brad Eggen, attorney o/b/o Mortimer, appeared via phone  
Mike Mortimer, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this is the Vacant Building fee covering  
12/27/2023 to 12/27/2024. The total proposed assessment is $5,075. We’re a little  
over 5 months into the billable year.  
Moermond: we have talked before, we have a fresh email from Mr. Eggen that repeats  
conversations we have had Mr. Mortimer, but it is nice to have it summarized. Mr.  
Eggen, we’ve spent hours talking with Mr. Mortimer about this. I feel pretty well versed  
on the complexity, but I know new information comes forward. I’ll turn it over to you to  
highlight the important things about this Vacant Building fee.  
Eggen: this has been a protractive situation. There was difficulty in even getting the  
building permit for the project. I’d like to start with the good news, which is by all  
projections it should be done by the end of the July. It is finally coming to head. I can  
assure the court that it is hard to fine a minute during daylight hours there isn’t  
someone out there. Mr. Mortimer is out there every weekend. He’s lost his stepson, his  
daughter, his wife’s health is declining and he’s had a couple of heath issues. We got  
funding released by the insurance company, and the mortgage company wants to look  
over the scene to release its lien. All those obstacles are out of the way. He just got a  
payment for $48,000, the last payment. A lot of headway has been made. The  
circumstances here are quite extraordinary due to the initial problem with the initial  
contractor. He had to retain Council, which was not me, to fix that. It was at a huge  
loss to Mr. Mortimer. This property wasn’t vacant much at all. We had a couple break  
ins at midnight to steal tools, which were setbacks. Even with all the hurdles it appears  
we’re at the end stretch. Because of the peculiarity of the facts, we’d like to get this  
fine forgiven to see whether he can demonstrate it will be done and a benefit to the  
community. It is an 1880 home, kind of a life project for Mr. Mortimer.  
Moermond: as I said, this isn’t court and I make no final decisions. The definition of  
Vacant Building is met, it doesn’t pertain to workers being there. Once it is in a  
condemnable state, which is what a fire does, it meets the definition. It also has major  
code violations. One thing missing from your summary is that Rest Pro was involved  
early on, they did the boarding and then seemed to enter into a contract with Mr.  
Mortimer that was both problematic and consuming a lot of time. July of 2022 he was  
still pretty deep into trying to get them disentangled from this. The building permit was  
issued in 2023. I don’t know the connection between the two happening.  
When I look at this and you say end of July, I think that’s great. My original thoughts  
when reviewing this was in most cases where a property gets its Code Compliance  
certificate by its six month anniversary of being in the Vacant Building program. It went  
in December 27, 2021, so halfway through would be the end of June 2024. So you’ll be  
about 7 months by the time it hits Council July 17. I can ask them to lay it over for a  
couple of weeks to the end of July in which I’d recommend it is reduced by half. I can  
make that payable over 5 years as well. The interest rate is on the back of the letter  
telling you about today’s hearing. I recognize there have been many difficulties from  
beginning to end on this. We have insurance, mortgage company, litigation with Rest  
Pro, a fire which complicates things and always at least doubles the length of time to  
get things done. I’m very happy to hear it is so close to the finish line. July 17 I’ll ask  
them to continue it to August 7. If Code Compliance certificate is issued, reduce  
assessment from $5,075 to $2,537.50. We’ll check the file on August 5 to see where  
things are at. If you haven’t met the deadline I’d imagine you’d want to testify, which is  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
RLH TA 24-205  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 720  
EUCLID STREET. (File No. VB2407, Assessment No. 248806)  
Approve the assessment and make payable over 5 years.  
Hanh Ha, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this Vacant Building fee covers October 16,  
2023 to October 15, 2024. Total proposed assessment of $5,075. We are 8 months  
into the billing cycle. Currently just a building permit pulled.  
Moermond: you acquired this about a year ago. What are you looking for today?  
Hanh Ha: the kids in the apartment next door went around the neighborhood and  
started fires. They were arrested. I put new windows in and they broke them after I put  
up a “smile you’re on camera” sign. I put labor and materials into this asset and it has  
been quiet since then. I believe they were arrested, so no more vandalizing. It has  
been delayed because the kids kept coming back and breaking my window. We got  
the plumbing rough in passed. I had to come frequently to monitor the property. I  
bought this and it turned out to be a nightmare for me. Please give me more time to  
wrap it up. I just took a second loan to make it look nice again. It has been expensive  
for me to rehab and maintain over time. I’d like an extension to finish.  
Moermond: I’m not seeing a rough in inspection. You maybe want to follow up on that.  
By extension I’m not sure what you mean. You’re 8 months into the year already. What  
specifically are you looking for?  
Hanh Ha: I’m thinking I’ll wrap it up by the time school starts again. September or  
October at the latest.  
Moermond: that’s a full year. If you’re asking for the Vacant Building fee for an entire  
year to not be charged I won’t entertain that. Right now the way I’d normally handle it, is  
if you are done before the sixth month mark which would have been April in your case,  
I’d be willing to recommend it be reduced by half. You won’t be done until, at best, 11  
months into the year. I wouldn’t make that recommendation. Would it be helpful if I  
recommend they make it payable over 5 years?  
Hanh Ha: awesome, yeah.  
Moermond: I’ll recommend they approve it and make payments dividable over 5 years.  
Hanh Ha: I appreciate the consideration.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 6/26/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1698  
THOMAS AVENUE. (File No. VB2407B, Assessment No. 248821)  
Layover to LH June 18, 2024 at 9 am (interpreter needed). Current recommendation is  
to reduce from $5,075 to $2,537.  
Linda Tang, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: I see Joe Steinmaus’s name on this too. Are you working with him?  
Tang: yes.  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this is for the annual Vacant Building fee for  
October 3, 2023 through October 4, 2024. The Code Compliance certificate was given  
roughly six months past the anniversary date. In the program roughly half the year.  
Moermond: went into the program January 2, 2021, and out November 2024. This  
looks like I’d recommend prorating this by half. Is that what you are looking for today?  
Tang: how much do I need to pay? Is there a way to make it less?  
Moermond: you were in the program six months out of the 12 you are being billed for. I  
can cut it from $5,075 to $5,075 to $2,537.00. I can also ask them to make it payable  
over 5 years if that is helpful.  
Tang: sorry for the English, sometimes it is hard.  
Moermond: would you like an interpreter?  
Tang: yes, if you can. Mandarin Chinese.  
Moermond: we can call you back in 2 weeks.  
Tang: you are willing to reduce it by half. Are you able to take more off? It is still a lot.  
Moermond: I’m not comfortable with that, no. The City Council could, you’d have to talk  
to them. We can provide an interpreter that isn’t a problem at all.  
Tang: if I can try next time with an interpreter. This house cost me a lot of money. I  
hope you can cut more vacant fee. That’s what I’m trying to ask.  
Moermond: I think it would be helpful to schedule another time to talk with an  
interpreter so you can more fully express your interest. I’d feel better about that. Are  
you available June 18th?  
Tang: I will accept your recommendation of half, but if is possible can the City take off  
Moermond: I am not going to recommend that. I could possibly be persuaded with  
more testimony and an interpreter. Are you available?  
Tang: yeah. Can you send an email with the date and time?  
Moermond: yes, we can do that  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 6/18/2024  
10:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
RLH TA 24-210  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1468  
BREDA AVENUE. (File No. J2409E, Assessment No. 248312)  
Approve the assessment.  
Jackie Breitung, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Richard Kedrowski: December 11, 2023 a Summary  
Abatement Order was sent to remove and dispose of furniture and debris in the rear  
yard. Compliance date December 18, December 18 it was rechecked and it was not  
removed. Excessive Consumption sent for noncompliance with a reinspection date of  
January 4, 2024 at which time the items were removed. Total proposed assessment of  
Moermond: for clarity, this is for the inspector trip when the work was not done, not  
because any cleanup was done.  
Kedrowski: correct.  
Breitung: we talked to the tenants. I hate to say it, but they were terrible. He collected  
things. I’d just given them their 60 day notice. I am just hoping to get a little bit of a  
break because we incurred about $20,000 in damages from them .I know it was a  
waste of the City’s time. We got them out so hopefully it isn’t an issue moving forward.  
Just hoping for a bit of a break.  
Moermond: a concern I had looking at the photos was there were two refrigerators out  
there that weren’t secured. That is always a concern for me when I see that. I also see  
quite a few complaints during 2023.  
Breitung: right, during their tenancy. We had to let their lease ride, and then gave them  
their 60 day notice as soon as we could. They damaged and left so much stuff. Just  
hoping to catch a break with one fee. We paid another fee a different time. If it isn’t  
possible I understand. We’re just so far in the hole with this one and following tenant  
Moermond: you could put an addendum in the lease agreement about Code Violations  
moving forward. This is local code, it is law that needs to be abided with. That’s why  
the City can issues orders. When someone makes a request like you the first thing I  
do is look at what the situation was in terms of what needed to be cleaned up, as well  
as the history of the property. Both things are strikes against you. The fridges being a  
strike and then the 2023 history with so many violations. Many orders. Animal control  
visits. In your situation I would say I am recommending approval of the assessment. I  
don’t think the other tax payers in the City should be responsible for it. I’m sorry I can’t  
be more helpful. The Council may see it differently.  
Breitung: it also hasn’t been an issue since they’ve been out. I’d just like to point it  
out. I did my best to work with them. It is kind of crazy you wouldn’t give me one pass.  
It is whatever. What do I need to do next?  
Moermond: on the notice about today’s hearing, it also includes the Council Public  
Hearing date. We can follow up with additional information.  
Breitung: we did our best, I do want to proceed. I can’t control they had two fridges out  
there. We tried to clean up the entire year they were there. If Minnesota was easier on  
landlords it would have been easier to get them out. I’m asking for a one time pass, so  
please let me know what I can do.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
RLH TA 24-211  
RLH TA 24-213  
RLH TA 24-215  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 969  
EARL STREET. (File No. J2407P, Assessment No. 248406)  
Delete the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: recommendation is to delete the assessment, a waiver was signed.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 2044  
MARSHALL AVENUE. (File No. J2407P, Assessment No. 248406)  
Delete the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: recommendation is to delete the assessment, a waiver was on file.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 499  
SHERBURNE AVENUE. (File No. J2419A, Assessment No. 248523)  
Recommendation forthcoming.  
Sherita Mosley-Coats, o/b/o Quality Residences, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Richard Kedrowski: January 16, 2024 a Summary  
Abatement Order was issued for the removal of mattresses, a bed frame, and other  
garbage from the backyard and along fence Compliance date of January 23,  
rechecked January 23, it was not done. Work order was sent and it was done for a  
cost of $202 ($35 (mattress fee), $65 (garbage abatement fee), $102 (general refuse)  
for a total assessment of $364, including service charge.  
Sherita Mosley-Coats: Kelly martin called the inspector because we got the letter the  
compliance date. We went on the 25th to pick up the mattress. It was gone, but there  
was other garbage. On the photo attached it says January 26. Is that a typo?  
Kedrowski: my records indicate it was done on the 24th.  
Moermond: I see January 26 too, and the other photos appear to be taken January 23.  
What I’ve learned is that is because there is a delay in the inspector actually uploading  
the photos. It gives the date loaded rather than the date taken. I’d like you to confirm  
that process, because that’s an assumption from the past.  
Kedrowski: that is correct. The photos are taken the day of the inspection, but due to  
cell phone to computer in field there’s often a delay until the next day or even a couple  
if it’s a weekend.  
Moermond: so we have photos January 16th, with a box spring and mattress and with a  
wider view of the yard on the January 23 photo I see just the mattress and then some  
pink and blue plastic in the middle of the yard.  
Kedrowski: that’s correct.  
Moermond: does that help Ms. Mosley-Coats?  
Mosley-Coats: I’m concerned about the validity. We have photos from the 23rd showing  
the cleanup we did, and the ground looks completely different. We did call  
immediately. We did a full yard cleanup within 24 hours.  
Moermond: I do have photos of what the crew saw when they came but what I will do is  
some follow up. I don’t see notes of contact with the department but sometimes the  
notes don’t get entered.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024  
Special Tax Assessments-ROLLS  
RLH AR 24-44  
RLH AR 24-45  
RLH AR 24-47  
Ratifying the assessments for Collection of Vacant Building Registration  
fees billed during October 25 to December 20, 2023. (File No. VB2409,  
Assessment No. 248812)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Securing and/or Emergency Boarding  
services during January 2024. (File No. J2409B, Assessment No.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Collection of Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
fees billed during December 28 to January 30, 2024. (File No. CRT2408,  
Assessment No. 248207)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
RLH AR 24-47  
Ratifying the assessments for Excessive Use of Inspection or Abatement  
services billed during November 22 to December 22, 2023. (File No.  
J2409E, Assessment No. 248312)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
RLH AR 24-48  
RLH AR 24-49  
Ratifying the assessments for Graffiti Removal services during  
December 5 to 14, 2023. (File No. J2407P, Assessment No. 248406)  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
Ratifying the assessments for Removal of Diseased and/or Dangerous  
Tree(s) services during February 2024. (File No. 2407T, Assessment No.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
11:00 a.m. Hearings  
Summary & Vehicle Abatement Orders  
Appeal of Dan Lissick to a Summary Abatement Order and Correction  
Notice at 2135 CASE AVENUE.  
If pool is emptied by June 10th, grant until July 8th for compliance with balance of the  
Dan Lissick, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Lissick: I did the no mow May thing. I had already mowed the grass before it came. Is  
that still open?  
Moermond: let’s get more information from staff.  
Staff report by Supervisor Richard Kedrowski: it appears a couple orders were sent  
May 17, 2024. One to remove tree logs, scrap wood, plastic buckets and totes from  
the property and also an order to remove a trailer from the grass in the front yard.  
Compliance date of May 24. Appeal was filed before that date.  
Lissick: I already moved the trailer. I actually did it before I got the order as well.  
Moermond: you talked about the back yard. Can you summarize?  
Kedorwski: multiple items back there. Upon reviewing the photos I also see a pool the  
inspector did not make note of. We’d like to verify it is functional and not full of  
standing water, and has a fence.  
Moermond: so the trailer is gone, that’s great. We have tall grass and weeds and the  
photos show the front yard was mowed. The back yard you were doing no mow May. Is  
it now mowed?  
Lissick: yes, I’ve mowed twice.  
Moermond: I know the computer system kicks out the letters for tall grass and weeds  
automatically. The last thing is the cleanup in the back yard. You said you were  
requesting additional time in your appeal. What is going on?  
Lissick: we had a tree removed and I asked to keep the logs. This was last year.  
They’re still there. They’re big so I need more time to remove them. The wood is not  
scrap, it is lumber that we have stacked to be used for some projects. We can move  
though out though. The rest too, yes, get it out. We had some family moving out the  
last year, so they’ve kind of caused some disruption in maintaining the back. Maybe a  
month or something.  
Moermond: what have you done so far?  
Lissick: in the backyard? Just a few things. We were busy this last week. Just my son  
and myself live there now. He’s 30. General cleanup.  
Moermond: the order was May 17 so its already 2 and a half weeks later, that’s why I  
was asking. Last, the pool. Is the water in the pool?  
Lissick: yes, there is a regular fence when the pool was put in during the 70’s. 4’ high.  
It is functional. I just put a new liner in last year. It just has the winter water in it, I can  
drain it and put new in. I do the work myself. Third liner we’ve put in during the last 29  
years. There’s a cover I typically put on, a mesh safety cover. Brand new safety cover.  
Moermond: how would you prioritize what needs to be done, Mr. Kedrowski?  
K: no orders were written on the pool, but we’d like the stagnant water to be removed  
ASAP. If it was empty it owuldnt’ be a concern since it isn’t a hazard. As long as  
there’s a fence and refilled. I’d like the wood done in the next couple of weeks.  
Lissick: for the liner pools you have to have water in year round. I have a pump, I can  
get it out quick.  
Moermond: I’d like to give you an extension conditioned upon getting the pool emptied  
on a tighter timeline. Let’s get the pool done by June 10th and then you’ll get an  
extension through July 8th to complete the yard cleanup.  
Lissick: that sounds good, thanks.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 6/12/2024  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 272  
RICHMOND STREET in Council File RLH SAO 24-25.  
Items 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 18, and 23 of March 28, 2024 SAO were abated.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: we have a follow up email from Lisa Martin indicating the owner has meat  
the deadlines she needs to as of now, so that is confirmed. We can incorporate that  
into the next resolution as follow up on the nuisance.  
Mai Vang: the other is a correction order, so we don’t do those.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 6/12/2024  
1:00 p.m. Hearings  
Vacant Building Registrations  
Appeal of Franchesca Vann-Wickstrom to a Vacant Building Registration  
Notice and Summary Abatement Order at 705 DAYTON AVENUE.  
Grant the appeal and release the property from the VB program and the property is no  
longer condemned with an order to vacate. Remaining orders converted to new  
Correction Order will be issued by Code Enforcement staff. The following deadlines  
apply to the June 5 Correction notice: 1) June 11th, 2024 deadline: items 1, 2, 3 & 4  
(smoke, carbon monoxide installation, removing items blocking egress, and removal  
of feces & straw from garage) and 2) September 1, 2024: balance of all remaining  
items in the order (items 5 through 14).  
Franchesca Vann Wickstrom, occupant, appeared via phone  
Moermond: I understand Mr. Kedrowski did a follow up inspection, so I’d like to start up  
with a report from him.  
Staff update by Supervisor Richard Kedrowski: I was at the property yesterday and did  
interior and exterior inspection. I found about 20 things that need to be addressed and  
corrected, but did not see anything that led me to believe the house needed to be  
condemned. It was worn and dirty and repairs were done without permit.  
Moermond: let’s start with the most basic level, it was determined the property was  
gross unsanitary with multiple animals and feces. That was the basis for vacation. Do  
those conditions in that severity continue to exist?  
Kedrowski: there is some evidence of dog feces still in the house. There is a licensed  
dog at the house, but they’re working on cleaning.  
Moermond: so some unsanitary but not rising to level of order to vacate?  
Kedrowski: nothing would take more than a couple hours of thorough cleaning.  
Moermond: highlight your observations. You had 20 items. Anything in particular you  
want us to know. I know we touched base and decided to do a verbal report, write new  
orders later.  
Kedrowski: number one is safety issues. Smoke and carbons that were hanging or  
missing. Animal feces. Garage has some straw and animal feces, could be rodent  
harborage. Those should be addressed relatively quickly. The other items would be  
repair of broken windows and remove broken boards from windows. Not a security  
issue now, but should be taken care of quickly. Some permit issues. Then the  
maintenance issues. I’d say three levels of issues.  
Moermond: it did meet the criteria to be sent to the Vacant Building program, but no  
longer does. For that part I’d recommend the appeal is granted. Then we have  
correction orders that need to be issued and deadlines attached to that.  
Vann Wickstrom: I let him know how embarrassed I was and it is only my husband  
helping me. I fell and have some issues so can’t do much. I have people coming to  
help. There are programs that can help, but it has to be out of the Vacant Building  
program. Habitat for Humanity and Rondo Community Land Trust.  
Moermond: the House Calls program may be able to help with cleaning and sanitation.  
Vann Wickstrom: House Calls said I needed a referral, I guess.  
Moermond: Mr. Kedrowski, can you handle that?  
Kedrowski: writing orders is usually enough to trigger House Calls. There’s also the  
probate and ownership issue to be addressed.  
Moermond: there is a quit claim deed on the property, which may address some of your  
concerns. How quickly can you get the cleanup done Ms. Vann Wickstrom?  
Vann Wickstrom: we’ve been working on it every day. I got carbon monoxide detectors  
yesterday. I just have to put them up.  
Moermond: I’d like to give you a week so it throws in the weekend in case family  
members would help. June 11th for a deadline for dog feces, smoke and carbons and  
straw and feces in the garage.  
I’m thinking for windows, they’re a priority but you likely would seek funding for. I’m  
inclined to say—  
Kedrowski: there’s a zoning issue too, it is HPC.  
Moermond: right, so when a permit is filed it would get reviewed by Department of  
Safety & Inspections for the basic things, but they’ll also refer it to the HPC staff to  
make sure the style is consistent with the district you’re in. It shouldn’t take too long.  
Your contractor should be familiar with that.  
Vann Wickstrom: yesterday you pointed out the hole in the basement. That scares  
me. How do I do that.  
Kedrowski: I am not sure what that hole is. Based on the age of the house I am  
guessing its an old gravity drain. I’d call a plumber.  
Vann Wickstrom: do I fix it with mortar? Put tile over it? Something now before I can  
get someone out.  
Kedrowski: I think it’s the only drain so I don’t know I’d fill it now.  
Moermond: based on that observation you will have to hire a plumber, and they may be  
able to advise you if it is something you may be able to handle.  
The only other thing that struck me is blocked egress/aisles.  
Kedrowski: the basement exit had things stacked blocking the door, same with the  
kitchen. It is more cluttered. Just moved out of the way to ensure proper egress.  
Vann Wickstrom: they were dog kennels.  
Moermond: we’ll put that on the list for June 11. Blocked egress makes me worry. I’ll  
ask Mr. Kedrowski to put those four things as priorities, then the balance of the orders  
let’s put a September 1 deadline.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 6/26/2024  
Appeal of Mike Young to a Vacant Building Registration Renewal Notice  
Waive VB fee for 90 days (to September 8, 2024) and allow permits.  
Mike Young, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: was made a Category 2 Vacant Building June  
8, 2022. The appellant went through sale review and was approved to purchase  
September 26, 2023. We do have a Code Compliance Inspection and permits on file.  
Rehab is ongoing. We had a recent tall grass and weeds issue but that has since  
been cut.  
Young: over the last year we had this discussion. We’re having a lot of trouble with City  
inspections and subcontractors. The entire building has been done. We’re waiting on  
one last final electrical inspection. It was listed on the MLS today.  
Moermond: when I checked earlier I didn’t see a building permit pulled.  
Young: we’re pulling permits as we need. Can you explain that more please?  
Moermond: the Code Compliance Inspection Report that was done as part of sale  
review, it would have had things broken out by trades. If you look at it, there’s a list of  
building items that would have been done under permit.  
Young: Jason Lindsey was the one who did the work. I wish he was here.  
Moermond: the fact he was doing it is fine, but he needs to get that building  
inspection. You want get that Code Compliance certificate without it.  
[Jason Lindsey is added to call]  
Moermond: I was saying that a building permit needs to be pulled. There are a number  
of items in your building portion of the Code Compliance Inspection Report.  
Lindsey: I pulled plumbing and electrical. I didn’t think like installing gutters needed a  
Moermond: you need to reach out to Building Inspector Clint Zane. You need finals on  
your plumbing and electrical permits, and pull a building permit.  
Lindsey: I will double check with them. They said they passed.  
Moermond: the main conversation is the Vacant Building fee. I’m happy to recommend  
the Council do a 90 day waiver of the fee. If your done within that 90 days you won’t  
have that fee at all. If you aren’t, there would be a fee and it would come forward as an  
assessment. We could talk again about that.  
A 90 day waiver would take you through September 8, 2024.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 6/26/2024  
1:30 p.m. Hearings  
Orders To Vacate - Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
Appeal of Cynthia Johnstone, Tenant, to a Fire Inspection Correction  
Notice at 1352 SEVENTH STREET WEST, UNIT 1.  
Layover to LH June 11, 2024 at 1:30 p.m. for further discussion after tenant contacts  
Cynthia Johnstone, tenant, appeared  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Der Vue: 3 unit dwelling. Renewal inspection of the Fire  
Certificate of Occupancy was conducted May 13, 2024 by inspector Caballero. Orders  
issued based on that inspection. Noted a full inspection of unit 1 was unable to be  
performed due to high content. The rear unit is referenced as uncertified since  
December 2021 when the last renewal was done. Reinspection was scheduled for June  
Johnstone: I live in unit 1. Did you get the fax I sent?  
Moermond: yes. It seemed to do with the exterior of the house?  
Johnstone: I was just wondered why they would take the lawn chair and table away.  
That’s more like theft.  
Moermond: when I looked, orders were sent to your landlord the beginning of May to  
clean up the outside. When the crew arrived they said that the orders were gone on  
arrival. So, whatever needed to be cleaned the City said was. I’m not sure what  
happened to your stuff. I know Betty Gruber would have received a letter.  
There are a few thing sin the orders that do affect your unit. Do you want to talk about  
Johnstone: it is really hot and humid and my leg is starting to get well, and my leg is  
broken and arm is half paralyzed. I’m slower at doing things. I’m not sure what this  
argument is.  
Moermond: what argument?  
Johnstone: when someone comes over to see your apartment. Maybe someone could  
call when they’re done and then come over.  
Moermond: the appointment letter would have gone to Betty Gruber, she is responsible  
for reaching out to you to let you know inspectors were coming and when.  
Johnstone: I knew they were coming. I was suggesting when you’re done you could call  
and I could say to come over to inspect. There wasn’t enough time for me to put things  
together they would want to see it.  
Moermond: which is a good transition to discuss when you will have things done and  
what you’re looking for today.  
Johnstone: only get one or two things done every day. Sometimes the housing isn’t as  
important as other things.  
Moermond: are you familiar with the House Calls program?  
Johnstone: I’ve tried to call public housing but they didn’t answer. The way it is now,  
this apartment is perfect for my mobility.  
Moermond: so you would like to move into public housing that’s more accessible?  
Johnstone: now that there’s someone upstairs. I’m in my 70’s. It gets hard to be  
around other people you know. They run in and out all the time. I don’t want help from  
the outside. I want to do my own cleaning.  
Moermond: there are orders to reduce the content of your apartment by 50%. Before  
the pandemic that would have got you condemned. It is a very serious order that could  
lead that direction, especially if you aren’t taking care of it in a timely fashion. If you  
want to be the decision-maker you need to mark what you want to keep and let the  
rest go. Work with an organization that can be your muscle. It needs to be done  
before you can do so on your own the way you’re describing things to me. Follow  
through talking with House Calls, they can give good advice and cleaning and labor  
help. That’s the way it makes sense to go. Do you have a pen?  
[Johnstone thinks she finds a pen] Johnstone: I can’t guarantee someone won’t take  
this. they get in all the time.  
[Moermond gives House Calls phone number for the Ramsey County House Calls  
Moermond: we’ll also send the information to you in the letter we send. I’ll call them to  
let them know to expect your call.  
Johnstone: I think they will just put a lot of stuff in storage.  
Moermond: it is an option. My experience has been when people put things in storage  
they often get a good, cheap rate, but then the rates go up and it gets expensive. It  
may be a good time to look at dividing things up. This is your stuff, I’m not telling you  
what to do. Just a word to the wise.  
Johnstone: public housing might have something too. You never know. I don’t know  
about this time frame you have but it sure seems like it’s a rush sometimes.  
Moermond: I’m trying to work with you and cooperate, but you have to participate and  
take this seriously. Let’s talk again in a week’s time and lock in a plan.  
Johnstone: I want to be able to explore possibilities of what I want to do. I don’t know  
that a week is enough time.  
Moermond: and yet that is what I’d like you to do. Work hard on it.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 6/11/2024  
2:00 p.m. Hearings  
Fire Certificates of Occupancy  
Appeal of Vincent Hughes to a Fire Inspection Correction Notice at 1058  
Layover to LH July 18, 2024 at 2 pm for further discussion.  
Christopher Heinze, attorney, appeared via phone  
Liam Audet, law clerk, appeared via phone  
Eddie Showers, law clerk, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Der Vue: this is a single-family home and has been part of  
the Fire Certificate of Occupancy program since July 2016. Current orders are for  
access. Inspector Caballero attempted to inspect based on the renewal due date. The  
inspector was reached out to by the property owner to notify him it was not a rental  
property and was in fact owner-occupied. No inspection was conducted at this time by  
Fire Safety.  
Moermond: my team pointed out we had an appeal for this property and issue  
November 2016 at which point Mr. Hughes was making a similar argument and  
mentioned a number of family members who lived there and this was the family home.  
Mother raised 9 kids there. She passed in 2002 and he purchased in 2003. He  
maintains a sleeping room there and visits 4 times a year. My recommendation at that  
time was to deny the appeal noting it was not owner occupied, rather than rental. It  
wasn’t owner occupied, the appeal was denied, so Fire inspection was responsible for  
follow up based on Council’s decision. Can you describe that?  
Vue: 2016 recommendation, no inspection was conducted. The area inspector did  
follow up but no access was provided.  
Moermond: and you didn’t raise to the level of administrative warrant?  
Vue: there was not, no.  
Audet: as we stated in our letter, we’d like this removed from any municipal records  
that state is a rental property or non-owner occupied. I know you said owner-occupied  
is an important part here, but Mr. Hughes no longer has family members stay there. He  
has only had his sister stay there once or twice for a week or two. He is the only  
person who occupies the building right now. Out of town family stays on occasion when  
he’s there and they want to visit. He’s just a regular occupant now. We don’t see a  
need for a Fire Certificate of Occupancy. That’s our goal, to get us removed from any  
list that states he needs one.  
Moermond: struggling with what to do with your statement and the older of record. He  
mentions a sister back then. You’re saying no one lives there except when an  
out-of-town family member is visiting—  
Audet: his residence is here.  
Moermond: Ramsey County Tax records indicate Louisville.  
Audet: really. I’m thrown off here. I’m under the impression he is a Minnesota resident.  
Are the tax records sent to a P.O. Box in Louisville? Is that why they’re deeming him a  
Louisville resident?  
Moermond: yes, and it also shows an address of 316 Alcott Road in Louisville from  
information he submitted to the City. That is different than the box. Those two things  
together speak to that. That isn’t saying it is non-owner occupied; it is saying this isn’t  
a primary residence. It also isn’t homesteaded which is a clue. It is certainly not a  
requirement in the ordinance.  
Audet: is there anything in the ordinance that allows the City to make a determination  
on whether property is owner occupied by looking at state tax rolls or these “clues” as  
you put it?  
Moermond: the City looks at a lot of different information to determine owner  
occupancy. The first clue is the last hearing when he talked about only visiting a few  
times a year. There was no reason for fire inspection staff to believe there had been a  
change in circumstance and they had been doing follow up periodically since. That is  
contrary to what you indicated in your letter, that the Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
people have never been involved in the property. They have.  
Audet: that’s fair, that was our understanding. What happened in 2016, four years  
before Covid, I’m not sure it is germane to this hearing. I’m still looking for some sort  
of authority that allows the City to make decisions on whether property is non-owner  
occupied in the City code by using the criteria that you mentioned. Or is it opaque and  
vague in terms of what the City can consider when making that determination?  
Moermond: the section I’m looking at is § 40.02 which provides for expectations to  
certain residential dwellings. That would be excluding them from the Fire Certificate of  
Occupancy program. It would be an owner-occupied, single-family home, duplex or  
condominium unit that shall be exempted from the requirement to have and maintain a  
Fire Certificate of Occupancy. Owner occupied means the house, duplex or condo for  
which the exemption is claimed is the owner’s principle residence.  
There had already been a determination in 2016 it was not the principal residence.  
That’s what they are carrying forward with. I know that was a while back but access  
was never provided to the interior. It doesn’t evaporate in the City records because of  
that. What information do we have now that’s different than then that the Council made  
its decision on? I’m looking for you to fill in that blank for me.  
Audet: prior to this hearing we were unaware of any previous hearings. So, we’re dealing  
in the dark here. We don’t know what happened 8 years ago.  
Moermond: it makes sense you be given an opportunity to look at those old materials  
and talk to your client. Maybe he has additional information he’d like to provide that  
shows further this is his primary residence.  
[discussion of layover dates]  
Audet: the 18th will work best then, we can move things around.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 6/18/2024  
Staff Reports  
Review Compliance with the Previous Order under RLH VO 24-12  
adopted by Council on May 1, 2024 for Appeal of Matt Birk to a  
Revocation of Fire Certificate of Occupancy and Order to Vacate at 786  
Compliance with deadline established by RLH VO 24-12 for follow up inspection.  
Matt Birk, owner, appeared via phone  
Greg Miller, attorney, appeared via phone  
Staff update by Supervisor Leanna Shaff: I was speaking with inspector Schmidt this  
morning and it looks like there were four things, three remaining to get an extension to  
July 14. Yes, it was secured from trespass. Item 2 is done. There’s no business  
operations in the building. So they’ve complied with requirements for an extension as  
far as we’re confirmed.  
Moermond: so we’re where we need to be.  
Miller: we’ve completed eviction through Ramsey County court and obtain writ of  
restitution. We have possession and are working with former tenant for removal of the  
last items.  
Moermond: sounds good, we wish you well. We’ll follow up on the last set of deadlines.  
Sounds like we won’t have any issues.  
Received and Filed