Brainerd City Council: Juniper Street landlords draft management plan

The owners of the Brainerd house where a double shooting took place in January plan to review police reports of their rental properties on a monthly basis, in order to prevent further problems.

The owners of the Brainerd house where a double shooting took place in January plan to review police reports of their rental properties on a monthly basis, in order to prevent further problems.

That, among two other priorities, are part of Tom and Melissa Lake's recently penned management plan to prevent future troubles at their property.

At a Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group was presented with the formal management plan, which was a required step, per city ordinance, following the situations at their house on Juniper Street - the site of a Jan. 4 double shooting in which a Brainerd man was killed.

Police officials met with the Lakes Jan. 13, pursuant to city ordinance, regarding the second instance of "disorderly use of the licensed property" within a year. That meant the Lakes would have to draft a written management plan, detailing what actions they took in response to the conduct on their property, and what they will do in the future.

The Lakes completed that plan a week later and it was reviewed by the city attorney and a few other city officials.


After looking over the document, the attorney "doesn't believe it supports the council taking action on the license at this time," said Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston.

According to the Lakes' plan, other action steps include: evicting tenants who violate city code and working with the city housing inspector to keep properties up to code.

"This plan is intended to be as aggressive as legally possible to change the current tenants and get a fresh start so that we and the city can move past the recent tragedy," the Lakes wrote in the plan.

The plan also detailed steps the Lakes took in order to comply with city code for the Juniper Street house. They included: Updating leases to include a crime/drug free component, sending an eviction notice for apartment one, sending a notice to vacate to apartment three, and working with a property management company to lease the apartments on the Lakes' behalf.

According to Brainerd Police Department records, the property on the 800 block of Juniper has been the subject of 57 calls since January 2012. The police calls included five disturbances, four noise complaints, three assaults, a kidnapping/assault and the shooting.

City code governing rental properties establishes the Brainerd Police Department as responsible for communicating with licensed landlords about conduct on properties deemed disorderly. Prostitution, illegal gambling, disorderly conduct and noise-related issues are considered offenses warranting police contact with a licensed landlord. This applies to people living on the property, as well as their guests.

The code dictates the required procedure once the police department has informed the landlord of an issue. If another instance occurs within 12 months, the police department should notify the landlord of a requirement to submit a written management plan of how they intend to deal with the conduct issues. If a third instance occurs within the next 18 months, the licensed landlord is subject to denial, revocation, suspension or nonrenewal of their rental license for the property in question.

In response to concerns over the appearance of the house, city building officials met with the Lakes Jan. 27 on site. There, the property owners agreed to cover a broken window and paint it to match the trim, said building official Tim Caughey.


As for the siding, the landlord plans to replace the bottom siding in the spring, he said.

The roof, which several people have taken issue with, is "consistent with enforcement standards" so the city can't require them to change it, he said.

The Juniper address in question was last inspected Nov. 5, 2014, and had 11 violations. The property owner fixed the issues, which included repairing a broken window and a hole in the wall. The property passed inspection on Nov. 18, 2014.

Prior to the shooting, the landlords were sent seven letters regarding conduct on the property since November 2012. Three of these letters concerned noise complaints. Three letters were sent within four days of one another in January 2014, two addressing numerous vehicles or people arriving at and leaving the property and one concerning a tenant who apparently had medication stolen from them. The last letter addressed the incident last October where a man was allegedly assaulted and held against his will at the residence.

The Rev. Tony Wroblewski, superintendent of the school, said at the meeting Monday the shooting shined a "big, bright light" on the area.

He added the school and church won't let that light dim until the issue is resolved.

City council member Kelly Bevans said one issue raised by residents around the Lakes' letter is the lack of deadline in managing the progress.

He continued that city ordinance provides clear deadlines in completing physical projects, like fixing siding or broken windows, but not when it comes to the bigger picture tasks.


With that said, the council unanimously agreed to direct city staff and the attorney to review the current ordinance and aim to draft steps to lay out penalties or consequences for not following up on action plans.

JESSIE PERRINE may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at .

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