COMMISSION-REGULAR MEETING-FEBRUARY 20, 2007
The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was
called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 21st day of February, 2007, by
Chair person Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
CALL OF THE ROLL: Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners Johnson, Granger,
Hoffman, Rudney, Carpenter and Chair person Kuchenreuther. Commissioner Stevenson was absent. Also present were City Manager Larson
and ex-officio Miller.
READING AND APPROVAL OF 1/16/07 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: The last sentence of the 6th
paragraph on page 3 reads, “Hoffman questioned if the Planning Commission
overstepped its boundaries by even discussing this.” Hoffman explained he was talking about lighting on private
homes, not dark sky compliant lighting in general. Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Rudney, to approve
the minutes with the last sentence of the 6th paragraph on page 3
reading, “Hoffman questioned if the Planning Commission overstepped its
boundaries by even discussing lighting on private homes.” Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
Noise Issues – Amanda Minion: There were a number of complaints last fall regarding the
noise from a grain elevator in town.
Planning Commission Intern Minion provided a copy of the
Noise Pollution Control Section of the Minnesota State Regulations published by
the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The City of Morris has adopted this section by reference in the City
City Manager Larson indicated Minnesota Pollution Control
has provided a sound meter to the City to measure the noise from the
elevator. The recommendation is to
conduct a one-hour test at a certain distance to determine if there are
violations of the noise limits.
The test has not yet been conducted. Discussion was held on where the test is to be
City Manager Larson and Commissioner Granger both feel the
noise levels aren’t as bad from the New Horizons elevator as they were last
fall. Larson indicated once the
noise testing is done, the results will be presented to the Planning
Chair person Kuchenreuther indicated she has met with Minion
to start work on dark sky compliant and yard ordinances. Minion will also research septic system
Granger suggested another issue to research would be the
potential incompatibility of rental units in residential neighborhoods, and
trying to keep inner parts of the city habitable. She feels rental units are actually businesses. With UMM trying to add another 300
students to the campus in the next few years, there will be even more rental
units in town.
Granger indicated the Housing Study should be done toward
the end of March. It will have a
number of recommendations on housing issues. Rudney indicated the housing concerns
shouldn’t be unique to Morris, as there are other
college towns. Granger indicated
the trouble is that Morris is the smallest community in Minnesota with a college
the size of UMM.
Billboard Technology: Commissioner Carpenter suggested the City may want to look
at updating its billboard signage standards to keep up with technology. She cited a very bright billboard in
Sauk Center and questioned how it would be regulated in Morris. Kuchenreuther suggested
investigating possible performance standards. Carpenter indicated the City needs to revisit and update
performance standards in light of today’s technology. City Manager Larson suggested Intern Minion research
this. He stated this issue is
going to the Legislature and stated the City will keep an eye on the issue.
Conditional Use Permits: Commissioner Rudney asked what procedure is followed to be
sure conditions attached to conditional use permits are carried out. He also asked what line of
communication the Planning Commission has to the building inspector. Kuchenreuther pointed out the Planning
Commission makes recommendations to the City Council on conditional use permits
and they make the final decisions on them.
City Manager Larson indicated the City and County are
looking into sharing a planner.
The Planning Commission’s communication with the building inspector
would be through the planner. Rudney
indicated he feels the dark sky compliant condition on the Iowa Avenue
Townhomes development and the Riley’s Riverview development got lost and never
Kuchenreuther indicated she is planning to meet with Otter
Tail to discuss alternatives for different street lighting. She indicated the former Planning
Commission intern met with Otter Tail and they seemed quite amenable to dark
sky compliant lighting.
Granger asked if conditional use permits could be attached
to building permits. City Manager
Larson indicated he feels the standards need to be developed first and
presented to the City Council.
Commissioner Granger indicated the City Council has approved entering
into an Agreement with MNDOT to plant trees on the East Highway 28 entrance
into Morris. The goal is to eventually
plant trees on all entrances to Morris. Kuchenreuther pointed out that Highway 9 is a prairie
corridor and suggested everything be done to preserve the prairie along that
There being no further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Carpenter, to adjourn. Motion
carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.