This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Dennis Korman, et al.,
City of Cloquet,
Filed September 24, 2002
Robert H. Schumacher, Judge
Carlton County District Court
File No. C7-01-1072
Dennis J. Korman, Six – 11th Street, Cloquet, MN 55720 (for appellants)
George C. Hoff, Hoff, Barry & Kuderer, P.A., 160 Flagship Corporate Center, 775 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Harten, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
ROBERT H. SCHUMACHER, Judge
Appellant Dennis Korman and other local business owners filed suit against respondent City of Cloquet (the city) for declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the city from conveying property to the Human Development Center (HDC) for the purpose of constructing affordable housing for those with mental disabilities. Korman appeals the grant of summary judgment in favor of the city and the denial of a temporary injunction. We affirm.
In 1967, the city acquired title to Lots 4, 5, 6, and 17 through four separate warranty deeds. The city also acquired Lot 18 and the southern twenty-seven feet of Lot 19 through a deed that restricted the use of those lots to be "solely and exclusively a municipal parking lot" with a right of reverter. The acquisition of the six lots was financed by special assessment against the benefited property owners surrounding the lots. All the lots were improved and used for a parking lot with approximately 87 parking spaces.
In July 2001, a hearing was held before the city council on a proposal to convey the unrestricted Lot 6 to HDC. The purpose of the conveyance was to provide HDC with property on which it could construct a housing facility for low-and-moderate income families with mental disabilities. The conveyance of Lot 6 was authorized contingent on:
1. locating an equal number of parking spaces to replace those lost by the conveyance of Lot 6;
2. final approval of the site plan by the City Planning Commission;
3. HDC obtaining financing;
4. approval of a development/purchase agreement by the City; and
5. the completion and implementation of a formal parking study.
The contingencies have not yet occurred.
The district court granted the city's motion for summary judgment, dismissing Korman's complaint. This appeal followed.
A motion for summary judgment shall be granted when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issues of material fact and that either party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. On appeal, the reviewing court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom judgment was granted.
Fabio v. Bellomo, 504 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn. 1993)(citations omitted).
There is no genuine issues of material fact for trial when the nonmoving party presents evidence which merely creates a metaphysical doubt as to a factual issue and which is not sufficiently probative with respect to an essential element of the nonmoving party's case to permit reasonable persons to draw different conclusions.
DLH, Inc. v. Russ, 566 N.W.2d 60, 71 (Minn. 1997).
Korman claims that the City holds the HDC land in trust or under the governmental/proprietary theory as a parking lot for the community. Korman cites Kronschnebel v. City of St. Paul, 272 Minn. 256, 160-61, 137 N.W.2d 200, 203 (1965), for the proposition that a municipal corporation cannot sell or dispose of property devoted to a public governmental use or purpose without special statutory or charter authority. However, Minn. Stat. § 412.211 (2000) provides;
Every city * * * may acquire, either within or without its corporate limits, such real and personal property as the purposes of the city may require, by purchase, gift, devise, condemnation, lease or otherwise, and may hold, manage, control, sell, convey, lease, or otherwise dispose of such property as its interests require.
This statute clearly gives the city the authority to transfer Lot 6 "as its interests require." The City has made a decision that if the parking spaces from Lot 6 can be moved to another location, the city would be better served to use Lot 6 for low-income housing. This decision is within the city's authority under Minn. Stat. § 412.211.
A public trust is created only when a party transfers real property to a governmental entity for a particular purpose as evidenced by statute or the conveying document. City of Zumbrota v. Strafford Western Emigration Co., 290 N.W.2d 621, 622-23 (Minn. 1980). "Once land is formally dedicated, [with a condition] the government does not own the land in fee simple with right of alienation, but in trust for a specific use. Larson v. Sando, 508 N.W.2d 782, 787 (Minn. App. 1993), review denied (Minn. Jan. 21, 1994).
Although Lots 18 and part of Lot 19 were transferred with a restriction, Lot 6 was not transferred for any stated purpose. The city obtained fee-simple title to Lot 6 by warranty deed from a private party. The fact that other lots were dedicated to be used as a parking facility does not carry over to Lot 6. Thus, the city is free to use or sell the property under Minn. Stat. § 412.211.
Korman also asks this court to grant an injunction against the conveyance of the property pending trial and final judgment of the case. Because the district court did not err in granting summary judgment against Korman, we do not address this issue.