City Council  |  Contact the City  |  Home

MINUTES-PLANNING COMMISSION-REGULAR MEETING-JANUARY 16, 2007

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 16th day of January 2007, by Chair person Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.

CALL OF THE ROLL: Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners Johnson, Granger, Hoffman, Rudney, Carpenter and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioner Stevenson was absent. Also present were ex-officio Miller and City Manager Larson.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 11/21/06 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Rudney indicated at the top of page two, his question was if the Planning Commission has a role if the County decides to remodel without changing the footprint. Kuchenreuther will check on that.

At the bottom of page two under ‚"Other Business‚" in the first paragraph, Rudney asked if in the last line the word ‚"flower‚" should be added to read, ‚"Carpenter noted it would have to be spelled out when a flower bed becomes a lawn.‚" Carpenter indicated she is satisfied with how the minutes read without the addition of ‚"flower‚".

The second sentence of the next paragraph reads, ‚"The first being when the Jehovah Witnesses' build their new building and‚Ķ..‚" Rudney feels the word ‚"build‚" should be changed to ‚"built‚".

The first full sentence on the top of the fourth page reads, ‚"A review of who and how the systems should be inspected, and information on relevant county and state policies would also be helpful‚". Rudney feels this is an awkward sentence. Kuchenreuther indicated this is the language that was used in the application for a Planning Commission intern.

Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Rudney, to approve the minutes with the typographical errors corrected. Motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: None

OTHER BUSINESS: Welcome: Kuchenreuther welcomed council ex-officio Miller to the Planning Commission.

Election Chair and Vice Chair for 2007: Commissioner Johnson moved, seconded by Rudney, to nominate Kuchenreuther as chairperson for 2007. Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Granger, to nominate Rudney as vice chairperson for 2007. Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Johnson, to cease nominations and vote on this slate. Motion carried. There was no discussion on the issue. Voting was unanimous on this slate of candidates.

MINUTES-PLANNING COMMISSION-REGULAR MEETING-JANUARY 16, 2007

Additions to the Agenda: Granger has a question regarding the November meeting that will be added to the agenda, and Kuchenreuther wants to inform the Commissioners of an upcoming hearing.

Jail Issue: Kuchenreuther drafted a memo from the Planning Commission to the City Council regarding the Planning Commission's desire for the City to be involved in the design process of a new jail the County is considering. Granger asked if Kuchenreuther intended for this to be acted on if there was any kind of remodeling going on or if they just change the footprint. Rudney indicated he feels the City decides whether they have to get a conditional use permit if they change the building. City Manager Larson indicated if they are changing the use of the building substantially, they would have to get a conditional use permit. He feels adding a jail would be considered changing the use of the building. Larson indicated a conditional use permit goes with the property.

Considerable discussion was held regarding wording in the memo. It was felt the last sentence of the first paragraph should read, ‚"Recognizing that doing so would require a conditional use permit from the City (City Code Chapter 11.23.2.C.5), we believe that it would be in the best interest of the City and the County for these parties to consult with each other before and during the Courthouse design process, rather than waiting until a design is finished.‚"

Granger asked why the Planning Commission is not sending this memo to the County instead of the City Council. Larson pointed out he feels it would be better to have the two elected bodies communicating, and feels it would have more weight coming from the City Council. He pointed out the Planning Commission is an advisory board.

Granger asked if the words ‚"now and in the future‚" should be added to the bulleted item ‚"parking‚", as she feels parking can be a big stress on a residential neighborhood.

The second bullet reads, ‚"efficient use of the Courthouse lot.‚" Carpenter questioned if the City has anything to say about whether someone uses their property inefficiently. Carpenter suggested striking the second bulleted item, along with the word ‚"aesthetic‚" in the last bullet which reads, ‚"other aesthetic considerations‚".

After discussion, Commissioner Johnson moved, seconded by Rudney, to send this memo to the City Council with the change in paragraph one as noted above. Motion carried.

Dark Sky Compliant Lighting Condition Possible Violations: When the plats for the Riley's Riverview Townhomes, the Iowa Avenue Townhomes, and the Timmerman conditional use permit for a billboard were approved by the Planning Commission and City Council, conditions were attached that dark sky compliant lighting be used. Kuchenreuther and Carpenter have both noticed that the lights in these developments and on the billboards are not dark sky compliant. Hoffman indicated he has spoken with Timmerman regarding the lighting on one of the billboards and Timmerman indicated he

MINUTES-PLANNING COMMISSION-REGULAR MEETING-JANUARY 16, 2007

Dark Sky Compliant Lighting Condition Possible Violations: (continued)

is looking into putting some sort of shield on the light. Granger pointed out that the lighting condition on the billboard was that the light faces down instead of up, and that it doesn't shine into a residence.

Kuchenreuther indicated the International Dark Sky Association has put their stamp of approval on certain lights, which may be helpful to developers.

City Manager Larson handed out a copy of the Municipal Services Agreement the City has with Otter Tail Power Company which expires in August. In the Agreement Otter Tail agrees to own and operate a street lighting system in the municipality. Therefore, Otter Tail is the entity that installed the lights in the Riley's Riverview Townhome Addition and the Iowa Avenue Townhome Addition. Mike Nyberg was at the meeting when the preliminary plats were presented to the Planning Commission and was aware of the dark sky compliant condition on both variances. Kuchenreuther indicated she feels Riley Brothers should have been obligated to say something to Otter Tail regarding the lights. Larson pointed out Riley Brothers wouldn't interact with Otter Tail on lighting in the new developments, the City does.

The condition regarding dark sky compliant lighting on both developments states, ‚"provide dark sky compliant lighting, both wall mounted and pole mounted lights, and adhere to the best practices of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.‚" Kuchenreuther indicated she has visited with one of the owners in the Iowa Avenue Townhomes and they did not get any criteria on exterior lighting from the developers.

Considerable discussion was held. Kuchenreuther asked whose responsibility it is to bring this up to the developers.

Carpenter indicated she feels the Planning Commission should get on board with discussions on the Otter Tail Agreement but also have an ordinance on lighting. Hoffman questioned if the Planning Commission overstepped its boundaries by even discussing lighting on private homes.

Kuchenreuther indicated Otter Tail is aware of dark sky compliant lighting and has indicated it is no more expensive than what is currently being used.

Kuchenreuther will discuss dark sky compliant lighting with Otter Tail and try to get something done before the Agreement with them expires.

City Manager Larson handed out an article from the League of Minnesota Cities Bulletin that discusses new billboard technology.

Status of Intern: A grant application for a planning commission intern has been approved. City Manager Larson indicated only one application has been received so far, with the hope there will be more.

MINUTES-PLANNING COMMISSION-REGULAR MEETING-JANUARY 16, 2007

Housing Study: Kuchenreuther indicated the Housing Study is in its final draft. There should be an informational meeting on the Housing Study around the 1st of February. Granger indicated she requested a copy of the Housing Study for each of the Planning Commission members.

Public Hearing: Kuchenreuther indicated there will be a public hearing regarding annexation at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 22nd here at the senior center.

Question on Minutes: Granger asked about the policy on tax abatement that was discussed at the November meeting. She asked why there is a requirement

for building to be substantially completed on the site within twelve months. Larson explained the theory for tax abatement is to generate taxes and that would only happen if there was building on the lot.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Hoffman, to adjourn. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:10 p.m.

Website Services by Iceberg.