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MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE <br />EDINA CITY COUNCIL HELD AT CITY HALL ON THURSDAY, <br />SEPTEMBER 26, 1974 <br />p. h <br />c9 w W <br />Members present were Councilmen Courtney , Johnson, Shaw and Mayor Van Valkenburg . <br />ROBERT DE BREY VARIANCE REQUEST GRANTED FOR 4502 BROWNDALE AVE. <br />kenberg recalled that the appeal of Mr. and Mrs. Robert 6. Gisselbeclc to the <br />Mayor Van Val- <br />Board of Appeals and Adjustments decision granting a variance to Mr. and Mrs. <br />Robert De brey had been continued to this meeting from September 16, 1974, so <br />that the City Attorney could render an opinion on the questions of what constitutes <br />"undue hardshipEf and "unique circumstancesn with respect to the De brey variance <br />petition; and specifically, whether expenses incurred- in reliance on a <br />building permit issued to Mr. De brey, or the mental anxiety and stress of the <br />De breys, may constitute the requisite "hardship" necessary to granting a var- <br />iance. Mayor Van Valkenburg said that Mr. Ericlcson has now furnished that opin- <br />ion and recommended that the opinion be considered a privileged communication. <br />Council reviewed the second set of plans which the De breys had brought in to ' <br />the Building Department when they requested their permit, <br />ined by Mr, Vayne Michael of the Building Department, who said that he had not <br />realized that there was any intention of changing the use from the greenhouse. <br />He said that he did not recall having seen the oveklay which was exhibited. <br />De brey said that he did not recall specifically telling Mr. Michael of the <br />changed use for the addition and did not realize that any variance would be re- <br />quired at the time he started construction. Councilman Johnson read from the <br />original Building Permit application for a kitchen, porch and unfinished green- <br />house on which Mrs. De brey had signed a statement saying that the statements <br />made therein were true and that all work would be done in accordance with the <br />ordinances.of the Village of Edina.' Councilman Courtney said that he believed <br />that the City is responsible for the De breys going ahead with their project. <br />He said that because of the work stoppage, because of the money expended, because <br />of the personal hardship in having their house open in part to the elements, <br />because he would probably have made the same mistake under the same circumstances <br />and because he believed that this is an "undue hardship", in a large part due to <br />the City, he moved that the appeal of Mr. Robert G. Gisselbeck be denied and <br />that the variance of Mr. and Mrs. De brey be granted. Councilman Johnson said <br />that he believed that the De breys were negligent in not getting an estimate of <br />additional heat needed before obtaining the building permit and that if they had <br />done this, the problem would never have risen. <br />that they proceeded in good faith, not realizing that-a variance would be <br />required. Councilman Johnson said that he believed that the City has a moral <br />responsibility and that he was concerned about the financial loss of the De breys. <br />Councilman Shaw said that, while he believed that it was a self-created hardship <br />because "ignorance of the law is no excuse", he thought that the <br />"unique to the propertye' because of the location of the garage and because of the <br />age of the area in general and the older construction which did not contemplate <br />double garages or possible expansion, that the financial loss is certainly a <br />hardsh'ip, and that the addition will not be detrimental to the neighborhood. <br />then seconded Councilman Courtneyfs motion with the findings that the De breys <br />acted in good faith without actual knowledge of the applicable zoning require- <br />ments, that the financial loss that they incurred in reliance of the permit is an <br />undue hardship, that the hardship is because of circumstances unique to the pro- <br />perty, and that the granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the <br />neighborhood, the general welfare and in keeping with the general spirit and <br />intent of the ordinance. Mr. Greg Gustafson, attorney for the Gisselbecks, <br />said that his clients will suffer a financial hardship from the addition to the <br />De brey's house and asked if the Council would entertain a motion €0 reimburse <br />the Gisselbecks for the loss that they will incur. No action was taken by the <br />Council. Mr. Gustafson further stated that the Gisselbecks would not object to <br />an appropriate compromise and have indicated that they will withdraw their <br />objection if the De breys go back to the original idea of a greenhouse. . man Courtney said that Council has no proof that the pmoposed addition to the <br />De brey's house would actually lessen the value of the Gisselbeck's property. <br />Mr. Messerli, attorney for the De Breys, pointed out thatfhey had delivered to <br />the Council a formal appraisal which evidenced no decrease in value of adjoin- <br />ing properties. <br />on both sides as to the affect that the, addition wo;ld have on the value of the <br />Gisselbeck's property and that the neighbors had made no objection to the addi- <br />tion until they were called by the Gisselbecks. Councilman Johnson pointed out <br />that Council had no real information that the De breys had actually expended <br />$12,000, but acknowledged that they had certainly spent a "substantial sum of <br />money". <br />I <br />The plans were exam- <br />Mr. <br />I <br />He said that he is satisfied I <br />situation is <br />He <br />Council- <br />Councilman Courtney recalled that Council has heard opinions <br />Discussion was held on the subject of landscaping on the North side'of <br />Councilman Courtney then added to his motion, which addition was 'the addition.