Assault rifle, guns, meth, cocaine found during raid of apartment

   Two men are facing felony charges following a drug raid in one of Eagan’s newest apartment complexes.
   Investigators found substances that field-tested positive for methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as an assault rifle and other weapons during the Nov. 7 raid, according to court records. Two plastic bags containing 56 grams of suspected methamphetamine were found in a safe in the apartment. Investigators also found two plastic bags of containing 221 grams, about a quarter-kilo, of suspected cocaine. Police also found $1,000 in the safe.
   Police also found a digital scale coated with a white powdery residue in a cabinet above the kitchen sink and two more bags containing a white powdery substance under the kitchen sink.
   Police found a 9 mm handgun under the living room couch and an assault rifle behind a dryer in the apartment, according to court records. They also found ammunition in the apartment.
   Jeffery Allen Phetteplace, 25, of 3513 Federal Drive #204, Eagan, was charged with first-degree sale of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by an ineligible person, according to court records. He is ineligible to possess a firearm because of a 2015 burglary conviction.
   Another person in the apartment, Terrence Wilson, 25, of 651 Cook St., St. Paul, was charged with possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. Wilson has a record of assaults from 2011 and 2017, making him ineligible to possess a firearm.
   The charges stem from the Dakota County Drug Task Force’s execution of a search warrant at Phetteplace’s apartment on Nov. 7. When police entered the apartment, Phetteplace was crouching in a bedroom closet next to the safe. His girlfriend was also in the bedroom, according to police.
   Wilson was in a second bedroom when police arrived. A .40-caliber handgun was in a laundry basket within reach of the bed, according to court documents. A female was also in the room.
   Phetteplace’s apartment building is next-door to the management office of the apartment complex and its playground. There is a child care center directly across the street from the apartment complex.
City Council considers changes to local codes

   The Eagan City Council is considering changes to the city code to regulate massage parlors and weed-eating goats.
   At a series of meetings this month, councilors discussed proposed changes to the city rules. At its Nov. 6 meeting, the council debated the ramifications of allowing city homeowners to use goats as a method to control weeds. The council recently questioned a local goat herder about the precautions necessary to prevent escaped or rogue goats from running loose through the city.
   At a Nov. 14 workshop, the council reviewed a proposed new ordinance related to massage parlors. The ordinance amendment is an attempt to give police more tools to prevent what Eagan’s city clerk called unseemly behavior in the city’s massage businesses. The proposed ordinance specifies what appropriate attire for massage providers and what clients must keep covered.
   The city must publicly post proposed changes to city ordinances before their approval.

Eagan Art House winter sale attracts crowd

   Local artisans and buyers crowded the Eagan Art House on Saturday, Nov. 18, for the city’s antidote to a world filled with mass-produced goods from foreign lands sold by people who don’t care who’s coming to our house for Thanksgiving.
   The Eagan Art House’s Winter Sale overflowed from the city’s art house at 3981 Lexington Avenue to the Advent United Methodist Church across the parking lot. Buyers stood in line to buy hand-made pottery, hand-dyed and painted fabrics, hand-made jewelry and cards, and other items.
   Behind every table full of hand-crafted items stood an artist happy to talk about how she made what she made. There were stories of how horsehair can be used in pottery, how to select leaves to press into clay, and how to mix color for a perfect shade. Outside the display room, workers were busy ringing up purchases for a long line of people and wrapping them up for a safe journey home.
 Resident urges City Council to consider solar rules
   A neighbor’s installation of solar panels prompted an Eagan resident to ask the City Council to consider establishing rules regarding solar panels in the city.
   During a hearing to discuss possible revocation of a permit of the panels, which, at 15 ½ feet high, resemble the backside of bleachers at a sports field, the woman noted that a visitor mistaken thought the solar panels were part of a new Vikings football stadium.
   Eagan’s city code does not include special provisions for the installation of solar panels. Instead, the city considers such applications under the rules for accessory structures. That rule covers such things as swing sets residents install in their back yards. Those rules don’t require the panels to be screened from neighboring views, or limit their size, according to discussion at the hearing.
   The council expressed empathy for the neighbors’ situation, but took no action on the request at its Nov. 21 meeting. “If this were in my back yard, I’d be livid,” City Council member Cyndee Fields said.
   The matter was continued to its Dec. 5 meeting to allow the neighbors additional time to try to resolve the issue.