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MINUTES  -  PLANNING COMMISSION  -  REGULAR MEETING  -  APRIL 17, 2007

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 17th day of April, 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 Hoffman, Granger, Rudney, Carpenter and Chair person Kuchenreuther.  Commissioners Stevenson and Johnson were absent.  Also present were City Manager Larson, ex-officio Miller, and Intern Minion.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 2/20/07 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Rudney, to approve the minutes of the 2/20/07 meeting as presented.  With all voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None.

OTHER BUSINESS:  Commissioner Granger noted the Planning Commission minutes are now posted on the City’s website.

Chair person Kuchenreuther indicated Mayor Giese provided her with information regarding the Minnesota Rural Summit Driving by Design at Cragun’s from May 10-11.  She asked if anyone would be interested in attending.  She stated she may be able to attend.

Granger asked if the Planning Commission ever made a final recommendation on the lot coverage ordinance.  This will be checked into before the next meeting.

Annexing Private Septic and Wells:    Kuchenreuther indicated this is mainly informational for the Planning Commission as Morris is already covered under Stevens County’s ordinance.  Intern Minion has done some research into properties with private septic and well systems in the newly annexed areas.  She raises a number of questions that need to be addressed regarding the private septic systems and wells in the newly annexed areas.  Kuchenreuther asked if the Planning Commission needs to think about those questions.  Larson indicated some of the items are incorporated in the annexation resolution. 

Miller indicated that once properties are hooked up to city water, they will be allowed to maintain their private wells for outdoor watering if they choose. 

Hoffman indicated this has become an issue for realtors as it is hard to establish a value on properties where there is a potential assessment. 

New Potential Noise Pollution Regulations:  Minion indicated there have been complaints with loud music coming from automobiles in town.  She stated her hometown, Roseville, does regulate this noise.  She attached their ordinance, and incorporated some of their language into potential new language in Morris’ Code. 

MINUTES  -  PLANNING COMMISSION  -  REGULAR MEETING  -  APRIL 17, 2007

New Potential Noise Pollution Regulations: 

Granger indicated she checked with the Police Chief to see if there is a State standard on muffler noise.  She has not heard back from him on her request. 

Carpenter asked if jake braking should be included in the Ordinance.  It was felt language regarding jake braking could be added after B in Subd. 3. 

Rudney asked if some of the language under Subd. 1 should be reviewed by the City Attorney.  Carpenter feels the language in red under Subd. 1 should be under Subd. 2, Unlawful Act.  Rudney indicated he feels some of the language is somewhat subjective.  Granger indicated that is the reason she called the Chief of Police. 

Carpenter questioned if language should be added that would require a commercial entity to get a permit for a party or street dance.  Granger indicated she does not think community livability is a problem.  Kuchenreuther stated a permit might make sense for a special event.  Larson asked if the chimes at the cemetery would constitute an event.  He feels issuing permits for those things is getting into muddy waters and questioned who would enforce something like that. 

Miller indicated he feels this deals more with the private things such as cars and mowing in late or early hours.  He’s satisfied with most of what is in the proposed ordinance. 

Granger suggested adding language under Subd. 3J, to include air handling units or fans.  Larson indicated performance standards already address that.  Granger asked if the grain elevator noise would be addressed by this.  Carpenter indicated placement of  air conditioner units is addressed elsewhere in the Code. 

It was the consensus to add “fans and other air handling equipment” under Subd. 3J, and have Minion figure out language for jake braking. 

Limited Parking:  Minion provided a memo on limited parking on residential streets in Morris.  Granger indicated she feels this is a bigger issue, and noted it will be addressed in a meeting with the Housing Study Group.  The Housing Study Group would like to meet with the Planning Commission sometime. 

Prairie Grass:  Minion provided information on a prairie grass ordinance.  She stated that presently there are two different height limits for grass in the City Code, one at 6 inches and another at 12 inches.  Minion and Larson feel 8 inches would be an acceptable limit. 

Minion inserted language in Section 7.11, Sub. 5 and Section 10.21, Sub. 1 which states that native grasses and wildflowers indigenous to Minnesota, planted and maintained on any occupied lot or parcel of land, set back a minimum of twenty (20’) feet from the front property lines as part of a garden or landscape treatment are exempt

MINUTES  -  PLANNING COMMISSION  -  REGULAR MEETING  -  APRIL 17, 2007

Prairie Grass: 

from the 8” maximum length. 

Larson suggested having individuals register with the City if they have native plantings so that the weed inspector doesn’t send them a letter saying their grass is too long. 

Granger asked the purpose of having a front yard setback on the native grasses.  She questioned if there should also be side yard and rear yard setbacks.

White Bear Lake has language in their ordinance that states it shall be unlawful for any such person or persons to cause, suffer or allow noxious weeds or plants identified and defined by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to grow on any such lot or parcel of land so as to endanger the health, safety and welfare of the City.  Kuchenreuther suggested adding similar language to Morris’ ordinance.

It was the consensus to change the setback from 20’ to 10’ and add the noxious weed language. 

Potential Dark Sky Ordinance:   Kuchenreuther asked the Planning Commissioners to take a critical look at the dark sky ordinance. 

Minion indicated there is a movement in the Legislature regarding dark sky compliant lighting and it should be resolved by the next Planning Commission meeting.  Kuchenreuther and Granger indicated that is just for publicly funded lights.

Granger noted that 175 lumens equal 100 watts.

This was tabled until the next meeting.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Rudney, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:05.

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