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Many of the Country Village’s units were lacking fixtures or showed signs of pest infestation, mold and other problems.

Jeff Wheeler, Dml - Star Tribune

Complex nearly back in Burnsville's good graces

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER
  • Star Tribune
  • December 2, 2012 - 8:44 PM

The Burnsville City Council this week will consider signing off on the last of the repairs made at an apartment complex forced to shut down because of squalid living conditions.

Residents of Country Village, a six-building complex near Hwy. 13 on the western edge of Burnsville, were forced to move out in March after the city revoked the property's rental license.

The issues came to light last year when firefighters responded to a kitchen fire and a resident stepped forward with a jar of dead insects. Subsequent inspections by the city uncovered a host of problems, including insect and rodent infestations, broken plumbing, mold, sagging ceilings and electrical problems.

The license revocation came after the city decided that initial repairs by the property owner and manager, Lindahl Properties of Minnetonka, fell far short of Burnsville's minimum code requirements. The city had granted Lindahl a provisional license giving the owners several weeks to fix the problems, but after inspecting the property concluded that only minor repairs had been made.

Representatives of Lindahl could not be reached for comment last week. According to city documents, Lindahl began working in March to fix the numerous problems so the property would comply with building and fire codes.

In July, Lindahl asked if it could reopen part of the complex based on progress it had made on some buildings. Attorneys for Lindahl said the owners hoped to generate rental revenue to pay for the remaining work.

The City Council issued a provisional license in July and said it would grant one license for every two buildings where repairs were completed.

Since then, the city has inspected and issued subsequent licenses. The final inspection of the last building took place Nov. 27, and it was found to be in compliance. Now the City Council can consider a staff recommendation to grant Lindahl the rental license for the final two buildings.

Community Development Director Jenni Faulkner said the city didn't have a total figure spent by Lindahl to bring the apartment complex back up to code. Earlier this year, Paul Lindahl told the council his firm had spent more than $400,000.

City documents say that in addition to the repairs, Lindahl has paid for rental license and inspection costs for all six buildings.

Faulkner said she believes Lindahl has re-rented some apartments in buildings that previously had been granted new licenses. The six buildings have a total of 138 units.

Faulkner said the city will continue to monitor conditions at Country Village, as well as other apartment buildings, under a new rental license ordinance that calls for the city to inspect one-third of its rental properties each year. She said Burnsville has more than 8,900 rental housing units.

Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282

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