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 18, 2024  
9:00 AM  
Room 330 City Hall & Court House/Remote  
9:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
RLH TA 24-236  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1056  
BEECH STREET. (File No. J2420R, Assessment No. 248524)  
Continue CPH to January 8, 2025 and if no same or similar violations, delete the  
Ricardo Patron, interpreter, appeared  
Cecelia Resendiz, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: January 22, 2024 we issued a Summary  
Abatement Order to the property to clean up mattress and plastic buckets from the  
alley by January 29. We did recheck the property and it was not done, so we sent a  
work order and that was done February 5, 2024. There was no returned mail. Total  
proposed assessment of $313.  
Moermond: tell me why you are appealing and what you are looking for today.  
Resendiz: I didn’t throw anything; it wasn’t mine. I was on vacation in California and I  
didn’t return until February. My daughter called me and told me about mattress and  
trash in the back. I asked her who did it and she said she came back and it wasn’t  
there anymore. She was ready to do it with my nephew. I don’t want to pay for things  
that I didn’t do. I have my backyard clean and I don’t throw trash in my backyard.  
Moermond: I understand it was dumped; it certainly looks like something that would  
be. I want to emphasize that it is your property and your responsibility to maintain it.  
Regardless of who put the items there. I’m not seeing any history on the property that  
there have been previous cleanups. Is that right Ms. Martin?  
Martin: that is correct.  
Moermond: looking at the photos I notice the garage door is open about one foot. That  
means someone could have been in there. In the winter especially, fires are started.  
I’d like to create an incentive and reduce this assessment if you can maintain it  
through January 1, 2025. If there are no founded orders between now and then I will  
recommend this is reduced from $313 to $75.  
Was this the same trip to California you learned the furnace failed and broke the water  
Resendiz: yes, it was in the same days.  
Moermond: you weren’t able to move back in because the City put it in the Vacant  
Building program, even though there were fixes made. She was staying in a hotel, so I  
want to consider that as well. On reflection I’ll recommend no problems between now  
and January 1, 2025 the assessment is deleted.  
Resendiz: ok.  
Moermond: please call if you get future orders and talk to the inspector about it.  
Resendiz: August 7 I have to go to court again? I have to have another conversation?  
Moermond: if you agree with my recommendation you are not required to go to the  
Council Public Hearing. If you disagree you are more than welcome to come, but it is  
not a requirement.  
Resendiz: so, I don’t need to pay anything? I have to wait until January 2025? What do  
I need to do.  
Moermond: make sure the lawn is mowed, when someone dumps it is cleaned up, the  
walks are shoveled. Those are the most common things. You’ve never had a problem  
before so I don’t think you will now.  
Resendiz: I will try to clean up and make sure no one dumps more trash.  
Moermond: exactly.  
Resendiz: thank you very much, have a great day.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
RLH TA 24-232  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 549  
DAYTON AVENUE. (File No. J2420R, Assessment No. 248524)  
Approve the assessment.  
Kyra Christopherson, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: December 13, 2023 a Summary Abatement  
Order was issued to remove and dispose of fire damaged debris from rear of property.  
Rechecked January 5, the work was done by the crew February 9, 2024. Total  
assessment of $394.  
Moermond: why are you appealing?  
Christopherson: the fire of our garage happened the beginning of December. Once we  
got that notice we called Inspector Smith right away. The biggest issue we had was we  
wanted to do the cleanup, but our insurance company told us we shouldn’t touch  
anything because the investigation was happening why the fire occurred. We still don’t  
know, but our company was very delayed in taking action. We were talking with the  
Inspector and told him we were advised not to touch and gave contact information for  
the insurance. It was frustrating because we were trying to comply and then were being  
told not to take action. That’s the quandary. We really appreciate the City and wanted  
to say we are grateful for the St. Paul Fire Department. We tried to reach out to find  
out which department it was to thank them personally. We want to be in good standing  
with the City. It was mainly inaction with the insurance company.  
Moermond: right, understandably. I’ve seen similar cases with fire damage like this and  
the insurance company should be covering the cost of this cleanup. I’m assuming  
you’ve reached your deductible; I’m thinking you should submit the bill to them and  
they should be covering it because they should have been doing it to begin with. It isn’t  
the worst bill for cleaning up fire damage I’ve seen. Does that sound doable?  
Christopherson: would we just send the Summary Abatement Order to the insurance.  
Moermond: do you have the fire report?  
Christopherson: honestly, my husband has been handling most of it because I’m a  
teacher. Now we’re working with Paul Davis for the restoration.  
Moermond: this goes to Council Public Hearing August 7. I’d like to make sure you  
have contact information for our office so if you run into problems with insurance we  
can be of assistance. A packet was sent to you June 5 with the Summary Abatement  
Christopherson: does the insurance pay you directly? We haven’t received payment  
from insurance, we’re frustrated with the process and want to make sure this is paid  
Moermond: August 7 the Council will vote and within a couple of weeks you’ll get an  
invoice in the mail. That can go to the insurance company. If it goes unpaid through  
the beginning of November it goes on your 2025 property taxes.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
RLH TA 24-217  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 927  
DESOTO STREET. (File No. J2418A, Assessment No. 2488522)  
Refer back to LH July 16, 2024 at 9 am for further discussion. Current  
recommendation is to reduce assessment from $6,734 to $3,387 and make payable  
over 5 years.  
Tasha Fierro, daughter of Lita Fierro occupant, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: September 8, 2023 a Summary Abatement  
Order was issued to occupant and owner to remove/dispose tarps, chairs, garbage,  
plywood, toilet, microwave, shopping carts, miscellaneous debris from the rear yard.  
Compliance date of September 15, work was not done when rechecked October 12,  
Moermond: looks like the assessment went through for twice that amount? So that is a  
change from the amount you were notified of. So were reduced to $3,387 starting out.  
What are you looking for beyond that today?  
Fierro: I just wanted to plead for my family. They’ve been struggling. We have people  
trying to help. We grew up in the house and lived there all our lives. We aren’t rich, and  
we’re trying our best. My mom’s on social security. My grandma passed away a year  
ago. A lot of depression, which makes it hard to get motivated. My mom really wants  
the house in her name, which she’s willing to do the best she can paying it. I have 3  
kids of my own and my own place. It is frustrating and depressing when we keep  
getting thrown more things when we’re trying our best with our situation. If you can  
lower it, it would be appreciated. We are doing our best to clean things up. Just being  
human and realizing life isn’t easy. Doing the best you can to lower payments. We  
have already been trying to pay this off, it hasn’t been paid off in 37 years. We’ve  
always helped the community.  
Moermond: the best I could offer is making it payable over 5 years, but I’d like to  
double check the math. So, I’d like to continue this to July 16 and make sure that  
math is ok. You have a Council Public Hearing on July 10th, the week before. We’ll  
ask them to refer it back to Legislative Hearing.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024  
RLH TA 24-240  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1069  
FREMONT AVENUE. (File No. J2420R, Assessment No. 248524)  
Delete the assessment.  
Gholamreza Ashrafzadehkian, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: January 5, 2025 a Summary Abatement Order  
was issued to remove and dispose of cardboard, trash, tv and materials around  
backyard. Compliance date of January 12. Rechecked January 16 and work wasn’t  
done. Contractor did the work February 5, 2024. Total proposed assessment of $313.  
Ashrafzadehkian: we received the letter. We took care of the items in the back. The  
photos show two mattresses and a couple of other items, they are at 1075 Fremont. If  
you look at the photos you see the power lines, that’s the border line. We have six  
bulky items part of our garbage. It is not mine.  
Moermond: we’ll have the inspector review and do some quality control. I’d like to  
continue this to figure out what is going on with that. We’ll talk again July 16 and have  
them look at this and see if there are any quality issues and have a better  
conversation then.  
Ashrafzadehkian: I assume you have the photos I sent?  
Moermond: I do.  
Ashrafzadehkian: if you look at the post, it tells you. It is inside their property.  
Moermond: while telephone poles are often a good indicator they are not perfect.  
Ashrafzadehkian: there’s also a fence.  
Moermond: I know what you’re saying and am hearing you, I just want to hear more  
about how this came to pass.  
Ashrafzadehkian: alright.  
[After staff discussion post hearing it was determined that the items were on the  
neighboring property and recommendation is to delete the assessment]  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
RLH TA 24-235  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 392/394  
UNIVERSITY AVENUE WEST. (File No. J2420R, Assessment No.  
Reduce assessment from $278 to $139.  
Tou Lee o/b/o Hmong American Partnership, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: January 31, 2024 a Summary Abatement Order  
was issued to occupant and owner to remove the mattresses, door, scrap wood and  
miscellaneous garbage from the parking lot. Compliance date of February 7. It was not  
done on recheck. Work was done by contractor February 9, 2024. Total assessment  
of $278.  
Moermond: why are you appealing Mr. Lee?  
Lee: we did receive the letter. I do have an invoice from our contractor to remove the  
mattresses. One of them wasn’t even on our property. It was between the fence and we  
still removed it. The doors we threw in the dumpster. Just maybe not in time. We do  
have the invoice to back that up.  
Moermond: did they grab the doors? Because it does look like the doors were still here  
but the mattresses were gone.  
Lee: yes. We had to check with the tenant, the restaurant, to make sure they weren’t  
Moermond: the photos on recheck the doors were still there besides the dumpster.  
Lee: yes.  
Moermond: so, half a cleanup. What are you looking for today?  
Lee: I was hoping to avoid any fees. It is an ongoing issue in this neighborhood. We  
don’t report as much as we should. I try to do it every day and it still looks the same.  
We get couches and all sorts of things and try to get rid of as much as we can. We do  
try to keep it tidy.  
Moermond: I want to give you credit for getting the contractor out. I’m not seeing  
history on the property, which shows you have been taking care of it. I’d like to reduce  
this by half as a one-time deal. I can’t delete it entirely, but I can definitely see my way  
to reducing it to $139. In the future make sure to reach out to the inspector right away  
if you’re running into timing problems.  
Lee: if that’s all we can do.  
Moermond: there was still trash around and the doors were still there. There was work  
to be done and it just didn’t include the mattresses. I need to recoup some of those  
costs for the City, while giving you credit for doing part of it and having a good history.  
The Council could of course look at this differently, you’re more than welcome to  
pursue it with them.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
10:00 a.m. Hearings  
Special Tax Assessments  
RLH TA 24-234  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 66  
COOK AVENUE WEST. (File No. J2409E, Assessment No. 248312)  
Approve the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: Ms. Martin, we haven’t received any contact information outside the email  
for this owner. We’ve reached out a couple of times for a phone number. This is a  
simple Excessive Consumption?  
Martin: this has been going on over 5 years, constant vehicles and trash. The was  
related to a Vehicle Abatement Order for two inoperable vehicles, total assessment of  
$169, the 12th Excessive Consumption on this property.  
Moermond: without contact information I have no option but to recommend approval.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/17/2024  
RLH TA 24-244  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 729  
DAYTON AVENUE UNIT 1 (File No. J2421R, Assessment No. 248526)  
Delete the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: these three all have the same problem. The notification went to Occupant  
at 729 Dayton, not a particular human or unit per Code requirement. None of these  
three that happens. The assessment was divided over the 3 owners, but that is  
different than notification on the problem. Each I will recommend deletion for improper  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
RLH TA 24-242  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 729  
DAYTON AVENUE UNIT 2. (File No. J2421R, Assessment No. 248526)  
Delete the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: these three all have the same problem. The notification went to Occupant  
at 729 Dayton, not a particular human or unit per Code requirement. None of these  
three that happens. The assessment was divided over the 3 owners, but that is  
different than notification on the problem. Each I will recommend deletion for improper  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
RLH TA 24-243  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 729  
DAYTON AVENUE UNIT 3 (File No. J2421R, Assessment No. 248526)  
Delete the assessment.  
No one appeared  
Moermond: these three all have the same problem. The notification went to Occupant  
at 729 Dayton, not a particular human or unit per Code requirement. None of these  
three that happens. The assessment was divided over the 3 owners, but that is  
different than notification on the problem. Each I will recommend deletion for improper  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
RLH TA 24-233  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1047  
DESOTO STREET. (File No. J2421R, Assessment No. 248526)  
Approve the assessment.  
Tanveer Ashraf, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: A Summary Abatement Order was issued  
January 29, 2024 to remove furniture items from the side of property. Photo shows a  
couple of mattresses. Rechecked February 5, work was not done. Work was done  
February 16 for a total assessment of $313. There is a history at the property.  
Ashraf: I did talk to the tenant; she did put the mattress out there and was getting  
some help to remove it. She is a single mom with four kids. I asked her if she  
removed it or the City did. She said she did. That’s what she told me.  
Moermond: did you get the June 5, 2024 email from Mai Vang?  
Ashraf: no.  
Moermond: we can send that again. The tenant moved things from being on the corner  
of the property that faces the sidewalk around to the corner so it faced the back. They  
were not removed. The photos we sent you reflect that. We can forward that again, but  
I am left with the conclusion those items were not removed, simply moved.  
Ashraf: I agree with what you are saying, it was on the Cook Avenue side and she  
moved to the back of the house. The folks who were supposed to recycling it—the City  
didn’t do it. That is what she is saying.  
Moermond: the photos say otherwise.  
Ashraf: what did the City do?  
Moermond: there are photos from the contractor showing before and after they  
removed the mattress.  
Ashraf: she said the City didn’t do it. I don’t know. Either way, can we reduce the cost?  
She’s a single mom on Section 8.  
Moermond: you’re the one responsible for maintaining your property and you didn’t even  
drive by to see what is going on. I understand you may have a private contract with  
your lessee. The City experienced the cost of removing this. I can’t say the City is  
responsible for recouping costs that were privately incurred. My response is no, and to  
refer to the photos sent to you. The work wasn’t done by you, the tenant, a Contractor  
hired by the City did it. And that was full 11 days after the deadline, which is plenty of  
time to take care of it.  
Ashraf: she got the notice and she said she’d take care of it. That’s why I didn’t go by.  
I have a text from her.  
Moermond: that’s between you and her.  
Ashraf: you can’t reduce it? Because this is her bill.  
Moermond: this is your bill and between you and the tenant. If you want to give her  
special consideration you can. The City can’t consider her income.  
Ashraf: ok I understand. She’s responsible, she put the stuff out there. Next step is  
August 7, third floor Council Chamber, and tenant and I will try to appeal and get yes or  
Moermond: that is an option. The timing on that would be in the notice you got about  
today’s hearing.  
Ashraf: I will talk to the tenant. If we just want to pay, that’s it?  
Moermond: if that’s how you want to proceed, that’s up to you.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
RLH TA 24-241  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 601  
LEXINGTON PARKWAY NORTH. (File No. J2421R, Assessment No.  
Delete the assessment.  
Mackenzie Fjetland, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: February 6 2024 a Summary Abatement Order  
was issued to occupant and owner to remove and dispose of a footboard by the garage  
in the alley. February 13 compliance. Reinspected and was not done. Work done by  
contractor February 14 for a total assessment of $278.  
Fjetland: I was out of town all of February for work, so I wasn’t able to receive that  
mail. I spoke to my neighbor and he said it was dumped into the alley and he put in  
between the two garages because people have camped out in there and done drugs in  
that little nook. He propped it up for that reason. Had I been home I would have dealt  
with it.  
Moermond: this was dumped in the alley and moved so it was no longer an obstruction  
in the alley.  
Fjetland: my neighbor said he found it in February when I wasn’t around and then  
moved it to block between the two driveways.  
Moermond: this is a situation where it was in the public right-of-way and moving forward  
you can call the City and they will come and remove it. This is new information to you.  
He was trying to be a good citizen by moving it out of the way, and you end up with an  
assessment because of it. As far as the problem area between the two garages, Ms.  
Martin may have ideas.  
Martin: obviously call the police if people are there, but otherwise motion lights,  
signage that says on camera, no dumping, putting up a fence.  
Moermond: because of this being a first instance and it being in the right-of-way I’m  
going to recommend the Council deletes the assessment.  
Fjetland: fencing has been something I’ve been considering this summer.  
Moermond: that sounds wise.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 1411  
SHERBURNE AVENUE. (File No. J2409E, Assessment No. 248312)  
Layover to LH July 16, 2024 at 10 am for further discussion. CE staff to confirm  
vehicle is removed prior to hearing; new orders will be issued.  
Joanna Hodgeman, owner, appeared via phone  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: the last Vehicle Abatement Order was issued  
November 9, 2023 to owner for a Silver Dodge with expired tabs and flat tires and  
missing windows. We asked that be put into compliance and be made operable with  
current tabs by November 16, 2023. We’ve done many rechecks. We’ve been fining an  
Excessive Consumption fee for noncompliance. There are 11 previous Excessive  
Consumptions. This one before us is for a total assessment of $303. We have a  
history at the property, total of 5 assessments on the lookup currently.  
Moermond: why are you appealing Ms. Hodgeman?  
Hodgeman: the vehicle runs, it has insurance, tabs are current. I can’t afford 4 new  
tires. I called the inspector and let them know. I offered to put a tarp over it. They said  
no. It has broken windows now because it has just been sitting there due to the flat  
tires. Punk kids came and busted the windows out. I can’t afford 4 new tires. I tried to  
talk to the inspector about this and I don’t know what else I can do so I stop getting  
this fine. Tires are expensive, I’m a single parent. It is on my property. It isn’t blocking  
the alley. That’s my appeal.  
Moermond: I suppose this sounds obviously, and I don’t mean to insult, but if it isn’t  
something you are using why do you keep it? Is there a plan for it in the future? It  
seems to be costing you a lot of money sitting there.  
Hodgeman: I was planning on using it, but again I have to get new tires. I can’t do that  
right now.  
Martin: can you store it in the garage?  
Hodgeman: I can probably try to push it into the garage. I don’t want to destroy the  
rims on the tires. If that’s the only option, I can look at doing that. I don’t understand  
why I couldn’t just tarp it if that’s the issue.  
Moermond: it would still be the issue under the tarp. What you aren’t written up for  
here, it is also open to entry. While the plastic may keep the weather out, it wouldn’t  
keep a human out. I think your best solution is to get it into the garage. If you do that  
we can take a look at some of the Excessive Consumptions. But I’d like the problem  
taken care of first. Let’s talk again July 16 and I’d like to have staff check it out before  
the hearing to make sure it isn’t there, then we can talk about reducing assessments.  
Martin: would you like us to reissue orders with that due date and including in the open  
to entry?  
Moermond: yes, why don’t you.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 7/17/2024  
Special Tax Assessments-ROLLS  
RLH AR 24-42  
RLH AR 24-50  
RLH AR 24-51  
Ratifying the assessments for Property Clean Up services during January  
10, 2024 at 927 DESOTO STREET. (File No. J2418A, Assessment No.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
Ratifying the assessment for Rubbish & Garbage Clean Up services  
during February 1 to 12, 2024. (File No. J2420R, Assessment No.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
Ratifying the assessment for Rubbish & Garbage Clean Up services  
during February 14 to 27, 2024. (File No. J2421R, Assessment No.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 8/7/2024  
11:00 a.m. Hearings  
Summary & Vehicle Abatement Orders  
Appeal of Jennifer Roba to a Notice to Cut Tall Grass and/or Weeds at  
Grant the appeal noting orders were issues to the wrong property.  
Jennifer Roba, owner, appeared  
Sean Morgan, owner, appeared  
[they sat through appeals process in previous hearings]  
Staff report by Supervisor Lisa Martin: I’m not sure if you’re aware, but when someone  
calls in a tall grass and weeds complaint, a letter goes out automatically. There was  
also an order for overhanging vegetation. I wasn’t sure which you were appealing. You  
don’t have tall grass and weeds and as of this morning you have a beautiful photo from  
the inspector showing the boulevard.  
Morgan: we did that before we even got the letter.  
Martin: as far as we are concerned everything is in compliance. I know the neighbor  
along the fence line have some tall grass over there.  
Morgan: there’s history with him. You have the photo; he previously built a fence along  
the contour of his driveway. The small wrought iron one. A couple of years ago we had  
slowly been converting it to native pollinator habitat. They got to be over 8 inches; this  
was right before the State law change about native pollinators. He called and  
complained, so we had to dig them up.  
Roba: this has been going on over a year. I know it is “anonymous” but he tells us  
every time he is going to call. We have a lot of documentation about that. I’m just  
wondering about the initial complaint we paid the $25 for, it is for the weeds on the  
other side of the fence. That those are ours.  
Morgan: we are pointing out that we built the fence right along the property line, and his  
complaint is he wasn’t able to get his lawn mower in there. But that is because of  
where he built a wrought iron fence several years before we even moved in. We were  
outside weeding and he came up to us and said we had to take care of the weeds or  
he was going to keep calling. We said it was on his side of the fence. He’s refusing to  
mow or do it. He says he will keep calling. I think this is the fifth letter you’ve issued  
about various things from him. This started when we put up the fence—he said he was  
glad we were putting it up because then he doesn’t have to seeing our—we did, we  
spent $7,000. Then he’s still complaining. We’re trying to mitigate everything we can. It  
is harassment at this point. [gives example of a time when their religion was  
discriminated against by neighbor and complained about].  
Roba: he has a lot of issues. We have lived there 14 years. We don’t want to against  
compliance with the City.  
Martin: there’s been one tall grass and weeds complaint, three overhanging vegetation.  
In compliance for all. We don’t have any issues.  
Moermond: it makes it clear from the photo you provided, the telephone pole, which  
usually is a good measure, makes it clear that the tall grass and weeds are your  
neighbors. Almost equally to that point, is that three-foot setback from garage to the  
property line. That has been in place many years. So, if you draw the line straight from  
the garage forward that also gives you the line your fence was on. He needs to get a  
weed whip. Perhaps, Ms. Martin, orders should go to 1486?  
Martin: I could issue them, but typically if 90 percent of the yard is cut, which it is, we  
close it. We won’t send a work crew at $380 an hour to trim a few weeds.  
Morgan: and we aren’t going to complain about it because it is his yard.  
Roba: is there a way to send a letter stating that? We just want to prevent him from  
continuing to complain.  
Moermond: we aren’t surveyors. There are general principles we follow about  
determining property lines, but it isn’t the same as a survey.  
Morgan: he’s going to complain to us when we’re out working on the yard this summer.  
Can we tell him these things?  
Martin: if he has a question he can definitely call me directly. I’ll give you my number.  
Roba: that would be great.  
Moermond: just keep doing what you’re doing. Your lawn is fine.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024  
Making Finding on Nuisance Abatements  
Making finding on the appealed nuisance abatement ordered for 1472  
SHERBURNE AVENUE in Council File RLH SAO 24-8.  
Grant a further extension to July 12, 2024 for compliance.  
Whittney Streeter, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: following up on the abatement order on the fence materials. I know Joanna  
confirmed with you we were looking for at least a fence permit indicating you were  
moving forward.  
Staff update by Supervisor Lisa Martin: all the fencing material is stacked where it was  
from last year. There are tall grass and weeds orders that we just issued as well.  
Moermond: we asked for a fence permit to be pulled.  
Martin: we asked it to be installed under permit, so the permit is applied for but no  
Moermond: and I wanted forward movement to consider an extension. The application  
says you’ll be done July 1.  
Streeter: that’s the new deadline. The only issue may be all this rain.  
Moermond: right, that’s a problem for a lot of people. I’ll recommend the Council give a  
deadline of July 12 for the fence. Do you have issues with addressing the tall grass  
and weeds?  
Streeter: I didn’t get to the backside before my battery died in the weed whipper.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024  
Orders to Vacate Code Enforcement  
1:00 p.m. Hearings  
Vacant Building Registrations  
Appeal of David Abbott to a Vacant Building Registration Renewal  
Requirement at 1818 GRAND AVENUE.  
Grant the appeal and release the property from the VB program. Convert to preliminary  
VB file to be revisited February 2025.  
David Abbott, owner, appeared via phone  
Moermond: my intention in laying this over was for me to have a chance to talk to  
Public Works and get a better idea of what is going on. What I heard from Nick  
Peterson was the street reconstruction affecting your corner was this construction  
season and should be done by Thanksgiving. Because of that, what I think would work  
is we will make this “preliminary” file, which gets you out of the Vacant Building  
program but making it so there’s a follow up at a certain point to see if it is still vacant.  
Revisit it, if you will. Based on the work around thanksgiving, I think a February follow  
up would be reasonable. Does that sound like it would work?  
Abbott: that will work, yes.  
Matt Dornfeld: I will revisit in February; I’ll change to a preliminary file which makes the  
Vacant Building fee go away.  
Moermond: it is important to note that Mr. Abbott has indicated he will have trouble  
renting the space when the main entrance at the intersection of Grand and Fairview is  
not accessible. Only entrance is through the parking lot. It would be extremely difficult  
to get a brand-new business in there, I think he’s right. It feels like insult to injury when  
what is preventing reoccupying is a periodic street reconstruction.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024  
Appeal of L Lee Coulter to a Vacant Building Registration Fee Warning  
Letter at 2117 MOHAWK AVENUE.  
Layover to LH June 25, 2025 at 1 pm (unable to reach PO).  
Voicemail left at 1:12 pm: I’m trying to reach Lee Coulter, this is Marcia Moermond  
from St. Paul City Council calling you about your Vacant Building registration for 2117  
Mohawk. We’ll try you back in a few minutes.  
Voicemail left at 1:21 pm: this is Marcia Moermond from St. Paul City Council calling  
you again about the Vacant Building registration. I will continue this to June 25 at 1  
pm. Expect a call between 1 and 2 next Tuesday afternoon.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 6/25/2024  
Appeal of Moe Thida, Moenaymoe LLC, to a Vacant Building  
Registration Renewal Notice at 933 PAYNE AVENUE.  
Waive VB fee for 90 days (to September 27, 2024).  
Moe Thida, owner, appeared  
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]  
Staff report by Supervisor Matt Dornfeld: this was made a Category 2 Vacant Building  
June of 2022. It has been in front of you twice, both times in July 2022 and July 2023.  
90 day waivers were granted. Permits allowed. The property was made to a Category 1  
Vacant Building. Since then the property has been maintained vacant and secure.  
Looks like there were permits on file but have been withdrawn due to possible change  
in use.  
Moermond: why are you appealing?  
Thida: I just bought this building April 1. I rented the space and the company is now  
Moermond: who is doing the work?  
Thida: an adult daycare center.  
Moermond: I don’t see a building permit for this, so I’m hesitating.  
Thida: they need architectural drawings. They got that plan and are applying with the  
Moermond: you have a tenant. Someone is developing plans. There will be a permit  
applied for, and a change in use from what it formerly was. How long are you estimating  
this work will take?  
Thida: based on my experience four or five months to get approval. We have to meet  
DHS requirements.  
Moermond: 5 months from today?  
Thida: we started the end of May.  
Moermond: I can help a little, but not a lot. I can ask the Council to give you a 90-day  
waiver on the fee. If you aren’t done by then, but you’re done within six months it will be  
an assessment you can also appeal to see if it can be prorated.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024  
1:30 p.m. Hearings  
Orders To Vacate - Fire Certificate of Occupancy  
Appeal of Tasha Fierro to a Correction Notice-Reinspection Complaint  
(which include vacate order) at 927 DESOTO STREET.  
Layover to LH July 9, 2024 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss work plan and deadlines based on  
Fire Inspection orders (inspection to be done on or before July 5, 2024).  
Alida Weidensee, SMRLS, o/b/o occupants, appeared via phone  
Lita Feirro, occupant, appeared via phone  
Tasha Fierro, Lita Fierro’s daughter, appeared via phone  
Moermond: we were expecting some photos from you or Al Harris Ms. Weidensee,  
where are we at with that?  
Weidensee: Al came yesterday and took photos; I can send them to you.  
[photos sent]  
Weidensee: there are photos of the smokes and carbons and then the window with  
cardboard that Al was most concerned about.  
Moermond: is that the only window? Is it a sleeping room?  
Weidensee: yes, Ms. Fierro’s room.  
Moermond: a new smoke detector above a door, is that outside a sleeping room?  
Weidensee: outside.  
Lita Fierro: it is both carbon and smoke.  
Weidensee: the last one is with Christmas lights above a doorway outside a bedroom.  
Moermond: I’m concerned about that window.  
Shaff: I’m not familiar with the layout of the house so it is hard to ascertain where  
those are.  
Moermond: no one has been in the interior. Smoke detectors are good. What was Al’s  
biggest concern?  
Weidensee: that window in Lita Fierro’s bedroom. There’s another window in another  
bedroom was also a concern but no one is sleeping there.  
Moermond: we did talk about windows being able to be opened and being able to stay  
open for emergencies. What’s going on with the cardboard?  
Tasha Fierro: someone broke into it a while ago.  
Moermond: that does make it a problem. Is it going to get repaired?  
Tasha Fierro: we’re trying to get it fixed. We’re trying to get it cleaned out. Al says  
there’s improvement in the house since we last met. We’re making progress.  
Lita Fierro: we aren’t sitting on our @sses.  
Weidensee: they got the smoke and carbons and HouseCalls gave them a big  
dumpster and removed some of the clutter. They have a second dumpster now too.  
They made arrangements through HouseCalls to have the stuff on the curb picked up.  
HouseCalls can’t help with the window repair, so that is what they are trying to figure  
out right now. Trying to gather their own funds to make that repair.  
Moermond: both the room Lita is sleeping in, and the spare room both have window  
problems. That’s a concern for me. I was looking at the life safety issues as a way to  
continue this conversation. I’m kind of concerned. Where is the probate situation at?  
Weidensee: I spoke to our volunteer coordinator and it sounds like they’re at the top of  
the list for a probate attorney. Hopefully within two months. It is all volunteer based so  
it is a bit out of our control. I know Ms. Fierro did call around to see if she could get an  
attorney on a pro-bono or low-bono basis.  
Tasha Fierro: it is a money thing. It is coming out of our pockets so it is taking longer  
than normal. We’ve lived here for 36 years. There is a lot to it.  
Moermond: if this were owner-occupied house we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  
If it doesn’t have an owner occupant it does need to be in the Fire Certificate of  
Occupancy program. I am not seeing a clear deadline because of these delays. The  
track record is it isn’t going through probate over quite a few years. I don’t know why  
the next period of time will look any different. I get you are the daughter and  
granddaughter of the deceased owners. I can say that as far as I can tell there is no  
legal representative of the estate of your parents, so I have no responsible party for  
receiving orders or being responsible and the official contact person. that has to be  
the owner or someone designated by one. You seem to be nice people, trying to do the  
right thing. I have seen cases where people have continued to live in a house and  
created havoc for the house and the neighborhood. I have to treat you the same way I  
have others. Yes, windows cost money. I’m not asking for any huge number of things  
to be done.  
Tasha Feirro: I understand that. We’re trying to get it in my mom’s name. everyone  
agrees to that, so once we are able to find a lawyer it should go quickly because  
everyone agrees. It is just getting someone to help and finding the funds to pay the  
Weidensee: there is an organization called Rebuilding Together MN and I sent them a  
referral email for the family. They will assist people as long as they are paying the  
mortgage and up to date on taxes. Again, it is probably a time issue.  
Moermond: when we spoke last time you talked about the tribe possibly assisting. Has  
there been any follow up on that?  
Tasha Fierro: they won’t help because they don’t have the house in our name and we  
aren’t a member of that tribe. Our own tribe we went through can’t help us either.  
Moermond: five adults living there and between all of you can’t get the window squared  
Tasha Feirro: only 2 adults and work and my mom is on social security.  
Moermond: five adults. This isn’t making sense to me.  
Tasha Feirro: two people work full time and help pay the bills and the mortgage. My  
mom helps pay the mortgage. The other adult helps take care of my mom, they both  
kind of do. They don’t work. It is my brother and uncle.  
Moermond: they have no income?  
Tasha: correct. One is going through a court battle so they can’t. The other hasn’t  
worked in a while. Three incomes in the house, they don’t make a lot. They work at  
hotels. We don’t have a lot of money. We can stop paying the mortgage and put that  
towards the window.  
Lita Fierro: we can starve to death.  
Tasha Feirro: bills and food.  
Weidensee: if the main obstacle at this point is the window—  
Moermond: I was asking these basic life safety issues be dealt with so we could delay  
while probate was worked on. Those conditions weren’t met. In the short term, while we  
wait on probate, the City has assurance this place is safe. If something happens right  
now, I don’t need my photo on the front page because I said it was okay to stay. I need  
an interior inspection and we can figure out that to-do list properly and figure out where  
the windows fit into it. We could also look at whether another space could be used as  
a safe sleeping place pending the window replacement. I’m willing you to work with you  
but I need better assurance on life safety issues. I’d like a walkthrough done, create a  
list, and together we can put together a plan with short- and long-term items, higher  
priority and lower priority. I’m willing to work with you but meet me halfway.  
Tasha Feirro: showing the dumpster and decluttering prove we aren’t just sitting  
Moermond: working on it is great, but it doesn’t tell me the life-safety issues are being  
taken care of. Fire load is being reduced, that’s important. But if there are other critical  
items I would like that IDed so we can prioritize that. I’m sorry, but two months before  
an attorney is even assigned, probate court is 4 to 6 months out.  
Tasha Feirro: so, we just should sleep on the street?  
Weidensee: I think there’s some frustration happening here, but I do hear your  
concerns. When would that inspection have to happen?  
Moermond: I would like to see it happen in the next two weeks.  
Tasha Feirro: if we can get someone to work on the windows prior to that, before the  
two weeks. No one can work on windows that quick anyway, but maybe we can get a  
payment plan.  
Moermond: I understand that. It was a basic level of concern I need to deal with.  
Tasha: we’re doing the best we can. We’re just asking you understand that. It is just  
stressful; it is a lot. I appreciate you giving us that time. I’d rather not have my mom  
living on the street because of broken windows.  
Moermond: I haven’t said you had to leave. I’m trying to figure out as many paths  
forward that figure out the critical items without you having to leave. I need a plan to  
make this as safe as possible while we work on ownership. I understand you’re doing  
things and I appreciate that. I need to have a little bit more, quite honestly. I think  
that’s a reasonable ask.  
Tasha Feirro: I get where you’re coming from but giving us like two months---this is a  
lot of pressure.  
Moermond: I’m asking for an inspection, not for all the repairs to be done.  
Tasha Feirro: then you’ll throw more stuff at us which causes more stress and things.  
It is making us work harder and slowing us down. I don’t think you’re going to kick us  
out, but it’s always in our minds. Give us time and patience so we can form that bond  
to make connections with people. It takes time to do that.  
Weidensee: if there was an inspector that had to come in and then also the pathway  
after that. There is a lot of anxiety in this room right now so having things as clear as  
possible would help.  
Moermond: Ms. Shaff can tell you the standard items covered in a fire inspection.  
Shaff: in a typical inspection we are looking at the property not only for life-safety  
codes but also the property maintenance codes. And that’s minimum compliance. D  
minus is the most we can enforce. Windows go up and down so people can go out.  
Smoke alarms works. Carbons work. People have adequate space and we have  
sanitation and/or combustible load addressed. Hot and cold running water. The  
appliances work. Code complaint electrical fixtures.  
Moermond: if we have something that is three people in a bedroom with square footage  
for two. We have in the past worked with people to figure out a path forward. I’m not  
going to say it has to be done in a month. If we have something screaming life-safety  
at us then Rebuilding Together would have a concrete order to look at. We need to  
throw a rope around this. I’m not in the business of kicking people out of their houses.  
I’ve dealt with a lot of people in your situation. I know it is stressful, I do.  
Tasha Feirro: I agree. I appreciate you working with us. We’re going to get it done.  
We’re just asking for time.  
Moermond: and I can work with you but I would like that list. I can tell by the mortgage  
being paid and taxes being paid that you are good people doing your best. Are you  
willing to work with me by getting that inspection in the next couple of weeks?  
Otherwise, I have to pull the plug.  
Tasha Feirro: yes.  
Shaff: because Ms. Bono is the original inspector, I’d like Ms. Bono and Der Vue out  
there. Ms. Vue is back on Thursday.  
Moermond: can you call Sarah Bono before 9 am on Thursday morning she’ll have had  
a chance to find some time and talk to Supervisor Vue to get that scheduled.  
Schedule an inspection on or before July 5. We’ll talk here again on July 9th.  
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 7/9/2024  
2:00 p.m. Hearings  
Fire Certificates of Occupancy  
Appeal of Vincent Hughes to a Fire Inspection Correction Notice at 1058  
Recommendation forthcoming (Attorney to submit additional materials).  
Christopher Heinze, attorney, appeared via phone  
Moermond: when we last spoke we talked and I had information in my records you  
didn’t have, and we sent that to you to look over. Any comments or questions on that?  
Heinze: that was information from 2016 we weren’t privy to before. We weren’t aware  
the fire inspection department had any contact without client prior to this year. I’m not  
sure it is germane to the issue at hand today. I only received these documents in the  
last 24 hours from my client. I have a copy of my client’s driver’s license which shows  
his primary address as 1050 Selby Avenue. Similarly, I have a photocopy of his  
primary vehicle registration, which is a Chevy Tahoe truck, registered to 1058 Selby  
Avenue in St. Paul. I can forward those to you.  
Moermond: that would be helpful. No representation this is homesteaded, right?  
Heinze: he is in the process of that as well. He hadn’t because the tax implications  
have changed  
Moermond: it sounds like he works full time in Kentucky.  
Heinze: he is here for short spurts of time and works full time down there.  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024  
3:00 p.m. Hearings  
Other - Fence Variance  
RLH OA 24-7  
Appeal of Jonah Martin to an Appeal to Denial of Request for Fence  
Variance at 1672 MCAFEE STREET.  
Grant a 3' variance (allowing 7' total) for north side of front plane of house to the right of  
Jonah Martin, owner, appeared  
Moermond: we didn’t have a plan, is it just the entire yard?  
Martin: yes.  
Moermond: what are you doing in the driveway?  
Martin: there will be swinging doors.  
Bruhn: will there be a locking mechanism?  
Martin: they said something about a pipe that goes into the asphalt. They were  
supposed to deal with all this stuff, I just had to deal with the variance portion. I have  
two children with autism in their teenage years. One already broke their arm climbing  
the chain-link fence. I have disabled placards from the DMV. They tend to elope. He  
lacks special awareness, so the main thing is to have something they can’t climb or  
see over. It isn’t about privacy; it is about safety. I understand the City’s standpoint  
about having it a certain height. My neighbors both agreed, they help look out for my  
boys. I’m not sure on the specs of the fence itself. I have the specs they gave me; I  
can forward that. I wrote down some different reasons: 1) safety of my autistic children  
2) barrier to prevent wandering 3) handicap accessibility due to the eloping tendency.  
They’re so trusting they would go with someone, no question. 4) I love St. Paul, but my  
neighborhood isn’t the greatest. We’ve had a lot of theft. People fighting in the yard.  
The bus stop brings a lot of people. I’ve had to call St. Paul Police Department a few  
times. I can’t stress enough how it is all about safety. We have chain link fence now, it  
is 4’ high, and my older son is cognitively around six decided to climb and broke his  
arm. Had a titanium rod and 7 screws put in. 5) both the neighbors have tall trees in  
the area where you back out of the driveway, so there’s already a visibility issue due to  
bushes on each side. I can’t imagine a fence making much of a difference. I’ll be  
taking those out to put this fence in, they’re 12’ tall. The Pins were checked and the  
fence there now is quite inside my property line, so I found those bushes were mine. 6)  
street racing on our street. We’ve had people’s cars in our yard. 7) they have therapy  
dogs and I’ve had to lock them away because the dogs can’t go in the front yard. It is  
all just safety. We’re requesting the six feet around the house, and they’ll remove the  
current fence.  
Moermond: what is the existing fence like?  
Martin: it is 4 feet. It doesn’t extend to the front. The new fence would have the same  
footprint on that side. They have small kids as well, so they were excited about it. It’s  
the backyard and part of the side yard.  
Bruhn: the once fence would be the neighbor’s north back yard?  
Martin: yes, part of their backyard.  
Bruhn: and you feel it is necessary to encapsulate the entire yard?  
Martin: for my kids, yes. There are so many things I worry about with their disability.  
This fence has been approved by the CADI waiver service; they’ve deemed it  
necessary for my boys.  
Bruhn: I can only authorize variances because of three very limited reasons. I do have  
concerns about access for emergency vehicles. That being said if it was approved by  
Council we wouldn’t be opposed.  
Moermond: I do have concerns about the barricade/fortress nature of it. I understand  
the immediate neighbors may be ok. Future neighbors? If we could say it only applies  
for you, while you live there, with your children’s needs it would be a different  
conversation. Do you have, or have you looked into a security system with an alarm  
that is triggered if the front door is opened?  
Martin: we have that. it just happens in an instance. They’re bigger than me. They’re  
strong kids, they just aren’t cognitively there. It isn’t something they will ever grow out  
of. They are so tall and so big they could be gone in a second.  
Moermond: what about an alarm code that goes off if a pin isn’t entered, that could be  
24 hours.  
Martin: if I was approved for four foot, that’s standard right? Would there be any issues  
Moermond: four feet from front plane of the house to the sidewalk. You could do 7 feet  
in the back.  
Bruhn: since it abuts a rear property we wouldn’t have an issue with 7’ fence on the  
north side, because they would be able to do so.  
Moermond: I’m fine with a variance for the north side. So, we’re left with the street side  
and the sidewalk. I’m going to noodle this a little bit. I’ll try to have an answer to you by  
Referred to the City Council due back on 7/10/2024