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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - NOVEMBER 20, 2007

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 20th day of November, 2007 by Chairperson 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, Rudney, Carpenter, Johnson and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioner Granger was absent.  Also present were City Manager Hill and Ex-officio Miller.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 10/16/07 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Johnson, to approve the minutes of the 10/16/07 regular meeting as presented.  Motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None.

OTHER BUSINESS:  Hammond Variance Appeal Update – Council Approved Request:  The Commission was informed that Hammond appealed the Planning Commission’s denial of his variance request.  The City Council did approve that request.  Ex-officio Miller explained the City Council felt 3-car garages are more the standard in newer additions in Morris and thus felt his request was not unreasonable.

Resignation:  City Manager Hill indicated Commissioner Stevenson has resigned from the Planning Commission.  Kuchenreuther asked the Planning Commission to be thinking of candidates to fill the position.

Wood burner Ordinance:  City Attorney Glasrud has reviewed and made some changes to the prototype of the wood burner ordinance that Chairperson Kuchenreuther wrote.  One change was Subd. 4 D which indicates the furnace shall have a chimney of at least 12 feet or as necessary to minimize the likelihood that smoke will adversely affect neighbors.  It further states it is recommended that the chimney be as high or higher than the rooftops of nearby residences.  Commissioners Rudney and Johnson questioned if 12 feet is high enough as that would be barely above the roof of a single story home. 

Hill provided Chairperson Kuchenreuther with information he received from Central Boiler, Inc., who is a manufacturer of outdoor wood burners.  Central Boiler recommends a much taller stack than the City’s proposed ordinance.  Rudney feels the stack should be at least 2’ taller than the existing house. 

Subd. 4 F requires that storage of wood or corn shall be in such bins or enclosures so as to prevent the attraction of rodents or other vermin.  Kuchenreuther indicated it is her understanding cord wood should not be stored enclosed.

Wood burner Ordinance:  (continued)

Chairperson Kuchenreuther will review the manufacturer’s information and make recommended changes to the ordinance.

Update of Zoning Map:  Hill indicated that with the recent annexation, the city’s ½ mile zoning authority has changed. 

Brief discussion ensued regarding billboards. 

Hill indicated he is interested in having a zoning and development discussion with the County and the surrounding Townships. 

Kuchenreuther suggested having a map made that includes the new ½ mile zoning jurisdiction, getting a plat map to see who owns what, and work on the zoning from that point.

Future Agenda Items:  Carpenter indicated she feels lighted billboards of various kinds should be discussed.  Kuchenreuther indicated Otter Tail Power is reworking language on dark sky compliant lights.  Rudney indicated he feels the City should work on a dark sky compliant ordinance and then talk to area electricians and inform them of the ordinance.  He also suggested having the building official hand out lighting information to individuals applying for building permits. 

Housing Study:  Hill indicated the City will be establishing a Rental Housing Commission that will look at issues between landlords and tenants.

Dilapidated Buildings:  Rudney asked what the City is doing about dilapidated buildings.  Hill indicated the City did not get selected on the pre-application for a Small Cities grant for rehab projects.  He indicated the City needs to identify those properties and figure out how to get rid of them.

Miller indicated the City Council has worked on several dilapidated building issues lately.  Hill indicated there are several more the City will be addressing soon. 

Sump Pump Hoses:  Rudney asked about the City ordinance regarding sump pump hoses.  They are to be routed indoors from November – April.

December Meeting:  It was the consensus to cancel the December Planning Commission meeting if there are no variance or conditional use permit requests.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Hoffman, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:15.

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