Minneapolis City Council
James Heiberg, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for relator)
Susan L. Segal, Minneapolis City Attorney, Lee C. Wolf, Assistant City Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Stauber, Judge.
Relator appeals the Minneapolis City Council's decision to demolish a house he owns, contending that the decision was arbitrary, oppressive, and unreasonable and violated his due-process rights. Because the decision was arbitrary and without proper evidence to support it, and because relator's due-process rights were violated, we reverse and remand.
Relator Mahmood Khan owns property located at 2639 Oliver Avenue North, in Minneapolis. Relator purchased the property in 2009 and rented it until it sustained tornado damage on May 22, 2011. Thereafter, the house was boarded up and vacant. Six months later, the City of Minneapolis Inspections Division ordered the house demolished. Relator administratively appealed the order.
The city's nuisance condition process review panel (NCPR) heard relator's administrative appeal. Relator argued that with the tornado and subsequent vandalism, the house required approximately $200, 000 in uninsured repairs. The NCPR continued the appeal hearing to allow relator time to negotiate a restoration agreement with the city.
At the continued hearing, the city's department of regulatory services (DRS) employee Kellie Jones reported that the DRS had inspected the house, provided relator a list of actions requiring abatement, and was awaiting a response. Relator requested extra time to negotiate an agreement with the DRS. The NCPR again continued the hearing.
At the second continued hearing, Jones reported that relator had agreed to approximately $143, 000 in repairs and had signed a restoration agreement with the city, which included a six-month restoration timeline. Further, relator presented a $10, 000 check to the NCPR as evidence of his good intentions. The NCPR accepted the agreement and recommended that the city approve the agreement in its findings, conclusions, and recommendation.
The city council's regulatory, energy & environment committee (REE) heard the NCPR's recommendation. At the meeting, Jones noted that the DRS had received seven community-impact statements. Four of the statements recommended demolition, and three recommended renovation. This evidence was never presented to the NCPR. The REE then requested "any history with [relator] of rehabilitation agreements involving the City." The REE continued the hearing to obtain the information.
Jones provided the REE with the information at the continued hearing. Jones reported that relator had entered into five restoration agreements with the city and had failed to meet the established timeline on all of them. Jones noted that relator had eventually completed the work on four of the five properties, and that the fifth property was subject ...