HJ-ED-DHJ

Dec. 4 , 2006

Montrose council appoints Kaufman to fill vacant seat

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

The Montrose City Council is back to full strength following the appointment of Andrew Kaufman at the start of Monday’s council meeting.

Kaufman was elected to the council in the Nov. 7 general election.

He would normally have taken office in January, but was appointed early to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Council Member Dave Nordschow in October.

In other business, the council approved a final plat for Rock Brook Condominiums.

The approval included a condition that the city attorney investigate whether the city can legally dictate whether the project is used as rental property.

The decision followed a lengthy debate about the issue.

“I am not going to turn down a sale because I tell the buyer he can’t rent it out,” developer Joe Lemmerman said in response to questions about whether the property would be limited to owner occupants.

Mayor Charlie Nelson expressed concern about the possibility of the units being rented.

“There is another situation in town where the value of the property is diminished (because of rentals),” Nelson said.

“Owner occupants would be considerably better,” he added.

“I am not allowed to discriminate,” Lemmerman said.

“At the public hearing, it was portrayed as a condo unit. Now, it is being suggested that some may be rental units,” City Planner Bob Kirmis observed.

“The rental issue was brought up during the public hearing, and the other city attorney (Dave Wendorf) said you cannot prevent that.

Wendorf was not present at Monday’s meeting, but City Attorney Kristin Carr was, and she also expressed doubt that the city could legally prohibit property owners from renting out the units.

“I am not saying that they will not be condos,” Lemmerman said, adding that he could not prevent owners from renting out the units.

Kirmis said that another question that had been brought up during the meeting, the elevation of the garages, was a minor issue that could be handled by staff.

A motion to table the issue failed on a 2-2 vote, with Council Members Sharon Knodel and Andrew Kaufman in favor, and Nelson and Council Member Jeff Petersen against. Council Member Cindy Beaton was absent.

Kirmis suggested that the council could direct the city attorney to investigate the question of whether the city can stipulate a requirement of owner occupancy, and noted this could be addressed in the developer’s agreement if it is permitted.

Carr agreed.

“I would not use the owner occupant issue to deny the final plat. You can address that in the developer’s agreement, if it is allowed,” Carr said.

Knodel stated that the property is zoned high density residential, and noted that the developer has made all of the changes to the exterior design that the city requested.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved a compromise with Pearson Bros. to split the $3,600 cost overrun for the 2006 street seal coating project. The city will pay half of the cost.

• authorized staff to request quotes for auditing service.

• accepted the resignation of Thad Tomlinson from the fire department. Tomlinson has joined the military, Fire Chief Mike Marketon said.

• noted that the only council meeting in December will be Monday, Dec. 11. There will be no meeting Monday, Dec. 25.

• approved a new job description for the position of public works director, and authorized staff to advertise for applicants. Salary range for the position is up to $55,000 per year.

• approved a proposal to engage G&K Services to provide uniforms for public works staff at a cost not to exceed $2,000 per year. Nelson noted that uniforms will make it easy for residents to identify city employees.

• denied a request to provide snow plowing service for a private road in the Rock Brook development.


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