Isanti City Council votes to clean up property on Broadway Street

By Elizabeth Sias

The city of Isanti cleaned up several items on the property at 216 Broadway Street SE after Isanti City Council members voted to abate the property if items on the lot were not cleared by Monday, Feb. 13.

The property was in violation of City Code regarding public nuisances for the outdoor storage of materials and equipment.

In August 2011, the Community Service Officer (CSO) received a complaint regarding the condition of the property. A letter was provided to the property owner which outlined the violations found and the manner in which those were to be addressed.

A phone conversation was help between the CSO and Don Apitz, who said he was moving into the property and would have the items cleaned up soon. In September, a letter was again provided by the CSO as well as the City Planner regarding the outdoor storage of materials on the property.

Since that time, actions to come into compliance with City Code appear to have stopped, and an “excess of items” continue to remain on the property. In December, a letter was again provided requesting items be removed. After the deadline provided, the property was again found to be non-compliant and “some additional items seemed to appear on the property.”

At the request of city staff, a citation was issued by the Isanti Police Department. During the Jan. 17 City Council meeting, council members called for a public hearing to abate nuisances found on the property.

The property owner, Brandon Apitz, called the city to say he would be unable to attend the public hearing. He said he had a verbal agreement with Don Apitz, but he had failed to meet the terms of the agreement.

Brandon Apitz stated he would return the weekend of Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 to remove remaining items.

As of the afternoon of the City Council meeting Feb. 8, said Planning and Parks Director Lisa Wilson, some of the items had been cleaned up. City Attorney Clark Joslin said Don Apitz had failed to appear at his scheduled court date, which will be rescheduled for approximated 30 days later.

In other action, the council:

• Approved a special event request from the Cambridge-Isanti Soccer Club for the state level National Soccer Tournament scheduled to take place over the course of several weeks beginning April 28 through May 20 and June 1 through June 3. On weekends, the event will begin at 7 a.m. and will continue until dark. During the week, games begin at 4 p.m. until dark. The estimated number of people to attend is 7,000 between players and spectators. Parking will be at the soccer complex as well as within Bluebird Park.

• Approved City Council goals for 2012. The goals include a review of the community center; a review of the capital replacement fund and municipal building fund reserve; review regarding utility bill; review traffic and congestion issues; review Main Street traffic issues; and continue economic development efforts to diversify and increase the tax base.

• Appointed Christopher McDonald to the vacant Planning Commission seat.

• Denied a request from Robert Patterson on behalf of P&M Truss Partnership to rezone a 2.5 acre parcel of property located at 28437 Highway 65 NE from commercial to industrial. The Planning Commission found that the requested rezoning would be directly conflicting with the future land use plan for the area; the Comprehensive Plan identifies the area as General Business District.

• Amended the City Code regarding trails to reflect the Joint and Cooperative Agreement for the Cambridge-Isanti Bike/Walk Trail. Both the city of Cambridge and Isanti need to incorporate the rules and regulations for governing the use of the trail into their City Codes.

In other city of Isanti news:

• Isanti Mayor George Wimmer informed the NEWS that Finance Director Kristi Smith resigned Feb. 14 to take the finance director position in Inver Grove Heights.