COMMISSION-REGULAR MEETING-JANUARY 15, 2008
The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was
called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 15th day of January, 2008, by
Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community
CALL OF THE ROLL: Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners Rudney, Johnson,
Carpenter, Granger and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioner Hoffman was absent. Also present were City Manager Hill and ex-officio Miller.
READING AND APPROVAL OF 11/20/07 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Johnson moved, seconded by
Carpenter, to approve the minutes of the 11/20/07 regular meeting as
presented. With all voting in
favor, motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
Elect Chair and Vice Chair for 2008: Commissioner Johnson moved, seconded by Granger, to re-elect
Kuchenreuther as Chairperson for 2008 and Rudney as Vice-chairperson for
2008. With all voting in favor,
motion carried. Commissioner
Granger thanked Kuchenreuther and Rudney for their service as Chair and Vice
Chair of the Planning Commission.
Woodburner Ordinance: After receiving information from Central Boiler, a
manufacturer of outdoor furnaces, Kuchenreuther re-wrote the ordinance
combining that information with the ordinance the City Attorney recently
Commissioner Granger indicated she feels the Planning
Commission is considering this ordinance that addresses quality of life and not
affecting each other adversely.
She feels this type of ordinance is a step backwards. These devices produce heavy smoke which
is a health hazard no matter the spacing or their stack height. With this ordinance there could
feasibly be 5 wood burners on her block.
She indicated she would argue on the basis this is still a nuisance to
her neighbors by causing emissions that are not healthy to them. She indicated the City of New Prague
has banned outdoor wood-fired furnaces.
Kuchenreuther asked if indoor wood fireplaces or wood stoves would also
be banned. It was felt the outdoor
furnaces are the issue at hand.
Granger indicated outdoor wood heaters burn a lot more than indoor
heaters and therefore produce more emissions.
Granger indicated the existing stoves would be grandfathered
Granger indicated it does not seem to her that the benefits
outweigh the costs of an outdoor furnace.
Hill indicated the complainant feels the smoke from the
outdoor furnace is a health hazard.
He also stated the owner of the outdoor furnace is considering moving it
to the other side of his building.
Hill recommended he not do anything until this Ordinance is adopted. Hill indicated he received a call from
someone on East 9th Street that has smelled the smoke from the
Kuchenreuther indicated that according to the manufacturer
these stoves have the potential to provide a reasonably clean and
cost-effective way to heat large areas.
Miller indicated he has a tough time seeing these furnaces
work in a residential area, but feels they may work in the perimeter of the
Carpenter suggested adjusting the setbacks so they could
only be on the edge of town or on a huge lot, and requiring a conditional use
permit for them, although she feels the easiest thing would be to ban
them. Rudney indicated he feels if
they are banned altogether the City loses some of the language for the existing
Granger suggested using New Prague’s language to ban the
Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Rudney, to table
this item until the Planning Commission looks at an alternative to encompass
the spirit of these discussions, and bring back another version of the
ordinance that would ban them in the City limits, require a conditional use
permit in the city’s ½ mile zoning jurisdiction, and use setbacks for
furnaces that are not EPA certified.
Granger asked if this would affect properties in the City’s ½ mile
zoning jurisdiction. Hill will
check with the City Attorney on that question. Granger indicated she does not want to inadvertently cause
hardship in the ½ mile zoning jurisdiction. The motion to table carried.
Kuchenreuther indicated she will rewrite the ordinance that
will 1) include definitions;
2) ban outdoor furnaces in City limits; 3) regulate them in
the City’s ½ mile zoning jurisdiction (if according to the City Attorney
the City controls that) by requiring a conditional use permit, set stack height
and setbacks and use setbacks for units not EPA certified; and 4) address
outdoor furnaces in existence in City limits.
Update of Zoning Map: In July of 2006 the Planning Commission discussed Framnas
Township’s concerns with the MC zone on farmland. The Planning Commission feels they would like to speak with
Framnas Township representatives regarding their concerns. It was the consensus to have the Planning
Commission review the proposed zoning map in February, and to invite Framnas
Township representatives to the Planning commission meeting in March to discuss
Zoning Bulletin: It was the consensus of the Planning Commission to renew the
subscription to the Zoning Bulletin.
Rudney asked about the Planning Grant from MPCA for the Elementary
School site. Granter is working on
the grant and indicated the Elementary School Reuse Committee has applied for a grant to redevelop
the 17 acre site. The
planning is predicated on the school building being gone. The grant would fund landscape
architects, architects to design a set of model green homes, and look at the
entire 17 acres to see if there are ways to encourage green construction in the
remaining area. Carpenter
indicated Kuchenreuther will be attending planning meetings with the City
Council on January 23 and 30. The
idea would be to bring the Planning Commission in on the discussions
There being no further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Johnson, to adjourn. Motion
carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.