Brainerd City Council: Council rejects apartment license application

The Brainerd City Council Monday night decided to deny the pending apartment license application of a downtown Brainerd property, following the recommendation of an appeals board.

The city of Brainerd has notified Julian Jayasuriya, owner of an apartment building at 217 South Seventh St., of its intent to revoke or suspend his license. He has appealed and the hearing took place Tuesday. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch
The city of Brainerd has revoked the apartment renal license of Julian Jayasuriya, owner of an apartment building at 217 South Seventh St. The building is pictured here in a file photo. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch

The Brainerd City Council Monday night decided to deny the pending apartment license application of a downtown Brainerd property, following the recommendation of an appeals board.

The Brainerd rental dwelling license board of appeals recommended revoking and not renewing the license of DBM Two Partnership LLC, the owner and license holder for 12 apartment units at 217 S. Seventh St. The license is for the period of June 23, 2016, through May 31, 2017.

Julian Jayasuriya, the owner of DBM Two Partnership, previously appealed the proposed revocation, prompting the board of appeals to hear his case. The city has not processed his pending rental license application, city attorney Joe Langel said, because of the pending decision. The council Monday night decided to uphold the appeals board decision and deny Jayasuriya's pending application.

The board heard Jayasuriya's case in a public hearing April 25 and continued its discussion May 17, at which point the board adopted a brief recommendation to revoke the license. The board again met on June 13 to adopt a formal recommendation which includes findings of fact, a conclusion and determination.

Per city code section 425.1960, Jayasuriya was given a final chance Monday night to argue his case before the council made its decision. He asked the council to suspend its decision until after July 13, which would give him the chance to provide an acceptable management plan or find a suitable buyer for the building. In a letter submitted to the council, he noted Jennifer Bergman, director of the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority, had expressed interest in the building.


"I wouldn't want to see my building boarded or terminated if I can't find a buyer," Jayasuriya. "Maybe we can all get together and work this out for the betterment of downtown Brainerd."

Council member Dave Badeaux is the council liaison to the board. The board members did not take this decision lightly, he said, and they took considerable time deliberating the issue.


The city's argument for revoking or suspending the rental license follows section 425.2020 of the city code, titled Conduct on Licensed Premises. The code outlines different types of disorderly activities prohibited in licensed dwellings, including possession of stolen property, unlawful sale of alcohol, unlawful sale of controlled substances, disorderly conduct and noise-related issues, among others.

If two instances of disorderly use occur within 12 months, the license holder is required to submit a written management plan to the Brainerd Police Department. The plan should detail all the actions the license holder took in response to the instances and to prevent further instances. Then, if a third instance of disorderly use occurs within 12 months, the department may initiate a process to deny, revoke, suspend or not renew the rental license.

The property at 217 S. Seventh St. generated three instances of disorderly use between February and August of 2016. These instances were on Feb. 20, 2016, March 6, 2016, and Aug. 11, 2016. Jayasuriya bought the building in 2004.

The city has also cited data from police call history showing from October 2014 to September 2016, the 217 S. Seventh St. property generated 112 police calls. Of those 112 calls, 36 involved disturbances, noise complaints, fights, intoxicated persons and assaults. In comparison, the more than 48 apartment units in six buildings within a one-block radius generated 60 calls during the same time period.

Council President Dave Pritschet and council members Gabe Johnson and Sue Hilgart were absent Monday. Because vice president Hilgart was also absent, council member Kelly Bevans was unanimously chosen as president pro tempore to preside over the meeting.


"I'll do my best," Bevans said. "It's been a while but I think I can make it through this, this is a fairly easy one."

In other business, the council:

Adopted the Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan as required by the law. A public hearing on the plan was held at the June 5 council meeting.

The plan evaluates city policies, practices and programs involving rights-of-way and helps city staff understand obligations to provide accessibility to city programs, services and activities. It also catalogs and identifies barriers to accessibility within the city's public rights-of-way and gives a general outline or timeframe to remove these barriers.

Approved the appointment of Patrick Wussow to the planning commission, as recommended by Pritschet. Wussow fills a position vacated by the resignation of Robert Turner.

Approved the appointment of Jeff Czeczok to the airport commission, as recommended by Pritschet. Czeczok previously served on the commission.

Approved new contractor licenses for Five Star Home Improvement LLC, Brainerd; and API Garage Door Store, Inc., Nisswa.

Received a written report from Police Chief Corky McQuiston on the department's activity for the month of May. The department received 1,581 calls for service during the month. This compares to 1,556 calls for service during May 2016.


Approved a final contractor payment to Asphalt Preservation Company for the 2017 chip seal project in the amount of $124,773.

Approved a contractor payment to Braun Intertec for work on the Jackson Street resurfacing project through May 26 in the amount of $3,254.

Approved a contractor payment to Tom's Backhoe Service for the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport utility extension project in the amount of $16,712.

Approved a street closure application submitted by the Brainerd Jaycees for the annual streetfest July 28-29 in downtown Brainerd. The event requires the closure of Laurel Street between South Fifth and South Sixth streets from 3 p.m. July 28 through noon July 30. It also requires reserving the Brainerd City Hall parking lot during the same period.

Adopted a resolution authorizing an agreement with the state of Minnesota to provide public transportation services in Crow Wing County and selected areas of Cass County in 2018. The agreement is the same as those from previous grant cycles.

The agreement includes a local cost share of 15 percent of total operating costs and 20 percent of total capital costs. The state of Minnesota is responsible for the remaining shares of operating and capital costs.

Adopted ordinance 1467, to add section 455 to city code for technical standards and criteria for subsurface sewage treatment systems. There are still a few septic systems within city limits and this ordinance gives the city authority to regulate those systems. The ordinance adopts Crow Wing County technical standards for septic systems. A memorandum of understanding between the city and county gives the county authority to inspect, review, approve and regulate septic systems within the city.

The council held a public hearing and final reading of the ordinance prior to its adoption. No one spoke at the public hearing. The first reading of the ordinance was held on June 5.


Called for applicants for one term on the Charter Commission and one term on the Transportation Advisory Committee.

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