September 14, 2007

Sump Pumps, Drainage & Rain Garden Questions

Officials of the Rice Creek Watershed are looking into some of the water drainage problems that Victor Gardens homeowners have been dealing with.  John J. Waller, the 2nd Vice President on the board of the Rice Creek Watershed has also been speaking with a few neighbors in the Western most parts of the Single Family Village so far.  He said that homeowners have a “right” as landowners to have the water draining into the “drainage ditch” which is also known as Clear Water Creek.  Mr. Waller thought that plans should have been made long ago for how the water was going to get into the storm sewer.  He also mentioned that he has dealt with problems before where the design and construction of a development has caused drainage and water problems that didn’t exist before.


A few neighbors are specifically going to talk to Chris Petree, Hugo’s Director of Public Works about what may be done to get water to drain into the storm sewer. 


Several people have been considering installing rain gardens to correct their problems.  CPDC also supported the installation of rain gardens, and approved at least one installation.  It is prudent to wait to install any more rain gardens until more information is available from the City and Rice Creek Watershed. 

Volunteers Needed to Create email List

A comprehensive email list is needed to improve communications among all Victor Gardens residents.   It’s especially important now because there’s less money available for printing and postage of VG social events and other neighborhood updates.  Most email addresses are known for Single Family Village homeowners, but the Association needs to include as many Townhomes residents as possible in future email communications.  We’re asking for volunteers who may have a tech-savvy approach, or can expand our existing simple Excel database.  The method by which the email addresses are gathered would be up to the volunteers to decide.

If you have good ideas, and you’re willing to lead the effort - or just help out, please let me know.



Board Meeting - Important News Update

The Victor Gardens Community Association's Board of Directors met today.  The meeting was attended by CPDC's Homer Tompkins, Shelly Tompkins, and Dave Hempel, Community Development, Inc.'s Chuck Schneider, and Gina Higgins, Neighborhood Liaisons Mark Vlker and Charles Kirk.  Len Pratt, a board member, did not attend the meeting.

The meeting was dominated by the discussion of the Community Association's budget and the absence of "developer's (financial) contributions".  Mr. Tompkins also conveyed sobering information that CPDC is in default of their Victor Gardens East loans.  This news was met by an interest of all in attendance to work together to find ways to keep homeowners informed, find alternate sources to supplement the shortfall of developers contributions, work with the banks, and maintain the neighborhood.  

In light of this new information,  CPDC's President and Board Member, Homer Tompkins will communicate to homeowners more details of CPDC's financial situation, how it relates to our VG Community Association, and how CPDC, the Association's Board, and homeowners can work together to address our neighborhood's challenges.   

CPDC and the Board of Directors welcomes the offer to work with the group of volunteers, now called the "Board Advisory Group ", who emerged from the July Neighbor's Meeting held at City Hall.  

A future Neighborhood Meeting may also be called by the Board and CPDC to answer homeowner questions, and discuss the issues.

September 13, 2007

Board Meeting - a few other topics discussed

Considering the gravity of the Community Association’s financial situation, other New Business topics were briefly discussed:
1.New Retail Construction         - Positive homeowner reaction to new retail architecture         - Proposed new medical facility construction (South of Frenchman                  Rd. East of Victor Hugo Blvd.) may be held up by contract problems          with existing, competing businesses.  (This relates to a “compete          clause” involving medical businesses on that particular site.)
2.Appearance of unsold lots         - New City of Hugo ordinance permits weed/grass growth no longer                  than 10”         -  CPDC has been notified by the City that it needs to comply with          the new ordinance, and cut the growth on it’s unsold lots.     
3.Review of dog leash rules & pick-up policy         - City of Hugo to hold a public hearing on the issue          Monday, Sept. 17 @ 7pm at City Hall.         - Separately, VG homeowners requested clarification and         reinforcement of Association Rules.   Board decided to table the          discussion and wait for outcome of City of Hugo’s ordinance process.  
4.Holiday lighting & some future social events         - Board advocated neighborhood partnering with new businesses and          retail landlords for potential sponsorship of some “social events” and          holiday lighting.
5.Review snow removal contracts         -  Association should review contracts with cost savings in mind.  Past                      problems with were also discussed.  It is likely that the snow removal          amenity may be reduced or cut back this year due to budget          constraints.  More information will be announced when it becomes          available.
6.Tennis court maintenance         - CPDC is working with the City of Hugo to address damaged net         anchoring posts.
7.Pool, irrigation and fountain winterizing         -  Pool is now closed         - Irrigation and fountain blow-out & winterizing will take place in         October.
8.Clarification of status of homeowner representatives.         -  The official status of neighborhood representatives, Charles Kirk (Townhomes) and Mark Vlker (Single Family Village) to the Board of Directors has been settled.  It was agreed by the Board’s Directors, Charles and Mark that the neighborhood representatives be considered as volunteers/informal Liaisons to the Board - not voting members of the Board. This clears up confusion that recently arose about the voting status of the neighborhood representatives.  All agreed with the resolution to this issue.

September 10, 2007

Notice: Amended Noxious Weeds & Tall Grass Ordinance

In a move welcomed by many in the neighborhood, the City has amended an existing ordinance, requiring more frequent cutting of unsold properties:




Section 1. The City Council of the City of Hugo does hereby delete Section 200-3-8 in its entirety and replace with the following language:

Noxious Weeds and Tall Grass

A. It shall be unlawful and prohibited for any owner, tenant, or occupant of land in the City to permit or maintain noxious weeds or other rank growth, as prohibited by Statutes of the State of Minnesota.

B. It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant, or occupant of land in the City to allow or permit any growth of weeds, grass, brush, or other rank vegetation to a height greater than ten inches (10''), or any accumulation of dead weeds, grass, or brush on such land.

C. It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant, or occupant of land in the City to allow or permit the growth of vegetation to a height greater than ten inches (10'') or noxious weeds on any land between the property lines of the parcel and the pavement edge of any public roadway.

D. Tall vegetation along driveways and public roads that may impair visibility when entering or exiting public roads is prohibited.

E. If the provisions of this section are not complied with, the Code Enforcement Officer will mail a certified written notice, return receipt requested to the owner, tenant, or occupant of the land requiring them to comply with the provisions of this section. If the owner or owner's address is unknown, the City Clerk will publish a notice in the City's official newspaper. The notices and publication shall include the property address or description of the property and description of the violation. The violation shall be abated by the owner within seven (7) days of the mailing notice or publication. If there is failure to comply with the violations outlined by the ordinance, the City will abate the nuisance and assess the cost to the owner. The owner shall pay the assessment within 30 days or the assessment will be applied to the owner's property tax statement.

Sections B & C shall not apply to:

a) Natural areas, such as but not limited to, wetlands, prairie grass or wild flower restoration, public open spaces, storm water ponds, wooded areas, rain gardens, bogs, or marshes.

b) Land used for agriculture

c) Landscaped areas as shown on an approved landscape plan.

d) All property that is zoned Rural Residential, Agricultural, and Long Term Agricultural and Future Urban Service.

e) All property that is not platted or developed. For the purpose of this section "developed" shall mean that the property has been improved with the construction of buildings, parking lots or other facilities excluding utilities or sewer or water lines.

f) Any property that is undeveloped and platted greater than 5 acres.

Section 2 Severability. In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction adjudges any part of this Ordinance to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect any other provision of this Ordinance not specifically included with that judgment.

Section 3. Effective Date. This amendment shall take effect upon its passage and publication.

ADOPTED by the City Council on August 20, 2007.

Fran Miron, Mayor

ATTEST: Mary Ann Creager, City Clerk

Click here for PDF copy of current ordinance

September 9, 2007

Notice: City of Hugo Public Hearing Amendment to Dog Ordinance

The Hugo City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, September 17, 2007, Hugo City Hall, at 7 p.m., to consider an amendment to the City's current dog ordinance, which would require dogs to be leashed in City parks that are considered "active" parks. All oral and written comments will be considered at this time.

- Mary Ann Creager, City Clerk

Click here for the current ordinance