Forum for Coon Rapids townhome owners and residents on hoarding

A forum for townhome owners and residents will be hosted by the city of Coon Rapids Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m., at the Coon Rapids Civic Center.

The topic of the meeting will be hoarding, the dangers of excessive storage in attached living units, like a townhouse.

Guest speakers are Leya Drabczak, city housing inspector, and Shannon Moen, Coon Rapids fire inspector.

According to Kristin DeGrande, city neighborhood coordinator, excessive storage in any home is not healthy and is potentially dangerous, but with attached living units, there are additional concerns.

For example, Moen will address the issues these homes would present the fire and police departments when they respond to a medical call or house fire, DeGrande said.

Drabczak and Moen will also talk about resources that are available to help someone living in excessive storage conditions, she said.

The forum is part of a continuing series put on by DeGrande, who launched the townhome forums in 2009. They have taken place once or twice a year since then.

Topics covered have included preventing water damage in vacant units, protecting vacant units and getting ready for winter, foreclosure and financial reserves, rentals in a townhome association and information on homeowners insurance.

According to DeGrande, the forums have been well attended with between 50 and 70 people showing up.

“There are quite a few townhome associations in Coon Rapids,” DeGrande said.

In fact, there are over 110 townhome associations in the city although a handful of townhome developments don’t have associations, she said.

The forums are not just open to townhome owners, association representatives and townhome management companies, but all residents, DeGrande said.

DeGrande started the forums because there was a need at the city level to have regular contact with townhome associations to address issues and concerns, she said.

One example is working together to protect vacant units, DeGrande said.

At the forums, the focus is on owners, occupants and managers of townhomes in Coon Rapids and their questions, concerns and ideas, she said.

Speakers generally come from the city, but DeGrande said she has also brought in outside presenters, like attorneys to talk about such issues as association by-laws, financial reserves and foreclosures.

The association can foreclose on a townhouse unit where the resident has not paid their association dues, according to DeGrande.

To receive an invitation to future townhome forums, register contact information at www.coonrapidsmn.gov/housing/index.htm.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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