MINUTES PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING
AUGUST 19, 2008
The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was
called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 19th day of August 2008 by
Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
CALL OF THE ROLL: Roll Call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners Gades, Granger,
Carpenter, Rudney, Johnson and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioner Hoffman was absent. Also present were City Manager/Zoning
Administrator Hill and Ex-Officio Miller.
READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 6/17/08 Regular Meeting: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Carpenter, to approve the 6/17/08 regular meeting minutes as written. With all present voting in favor,
6/30/08 Work Session Minutes: In the second to last paragraph,
Commissioner Granger asked that the word current be inserted so that the
sentence reads, The current school property should be R. Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by
Rudney, to approve the 6/30/08 work session minutes with the noted change. Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Chouinard Variance Request: This hearing is for a zoning variance request from Section
11.23, Subd. 2 D 5 (c) of the Morris City Code which requires a 10 sideyard
setback in a residential (R) zone.
This request is by Matt Chouinard, 22 Westwood Acres, legally described
as Block 4, Lot 1 and East 48 Lot 2 and East 8 of West 27 of Lot 2, Highland
Homes First Addition, parcel number 20-1664-000. This variance, if granted, would allow an addition to an
attached garage within 6 of the interior sideyard line.
City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill explained the
property line is 16 from the present garage. Chouinards are proposing to add 10 to their garage which
would put the addition 6 from the property line. He stated there is a huge wide open space between the
Chouinard home and the home to the west.
Chouinard indicated he intends to expand the existing
driveway and will have to bring in some fill to make it level with the existing
Rudney indicated that based on what the Planning Commission
has approved on other properties, he does not see any issues with this
request. Rudney commented that
there are a lot of houses on Westwood Acres that have single garages, but they
are all closer together.
Carpenter asked if the Planning Commission is obligated to
approve other requests if this one is approved. Hill indicated variance requests are all handled on a case
by case basis because all circumstances are different.
Johnson asked how big the lot is between Chouinard and the
house to the west. Chouinard
indicated there are 16 between his house and property line. He estimates there would be 50 or more
to the next house.
Commissioner Johnson moved, seconded by Rudney, to grant
this variance request based upon a hardship of the property having only a 1 car
garage. With all present voting in
favor, motion carried.
Head Start Conditional Use Request: This hearing is on a request for a
conditional use as required in Section 11.24, Sub 2, C1 of the Morris City
Code. This request is by Morris
Head Start for the property at 1001½ Scotts Avenue, legally described as
35 124 42 18.85, Pt. N½ SW¼ SE¼ Co. Sub. Div., parcel
number 20-0042-005. This
conditional use, if granted, would allow a daycare center in an RM (Multiple
Family Residence District) zone.
Hill indicated when this application was made it was his
understanding that the current daycare center located at the West Wind Village
may not continue to operate, and Head Start was in the process of applying for
a license from the State, and that is how the City got involved.
Sue Dieter was present representing the Morris Area Child
Care Center. She stated the Morris
Area Child Care Center has operated in the West Wind Village for the past 13
years. Seven years ago they began
collaborating with Head Start.
Earlier this year the Morris Area Child Care Center was not sure they
had the wherewithal to continue.
At that time they notified Head Start and told them they should have
their own license for operating. Head
Start is being licensed under the State Department of Human Services. At this time the Morris Area Child Care
Center will continue to operate.
She stated it would be a matter of two licenses under one roof.
Susan Olson, administrator of the West Wind Village,
indicated they have passed all inspections.
Hill indicated he does not think there is a current
conditional use permit for the daycare center. Dieter indicated it was their recollection that a
conditional use permit was part of the building permit process, however they
cannot locate any paperwork on the application.
Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Gades, to
recommend approval of this conditional use permit with the condition that it
meets State licensing standards.
With all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Commissioner Granger handed out information regarding tree planting
along Highway 28. She explained
the Minnesota Design Team suggested tree planting along Highway 28 when they were
in Morris about three years ago.
She explained that the City got a grant from MNDOT through the COPC
project to plant trees, and they are looking for volunteers to help with the
planting. The planting will take
place Saturday, September 20.
Elementary School Update: Kuchenreuther asked about the old elementary school. Hill indicated the architects are
coming to Morris on Monday. There
are two architects one will design the layout of the development, and the
other will design three model home plans to be used for demonstration
Granger indicated there is a separate committee working on
financing for the model houses and the affordability level so financing can be
Hill indicated the 10,000 gallon underground storage tank on
the old school property will be removed in the next year or so. He stated that ultimately the school
building needs to be demolished.
There is asbestos that needs to be abated. Granger indicated the school did abate some of the asbestos
and it is her guess that about 80% of it is out of there.
Ex-officio Miller asked about a timeframe on reuse for the
UMM dorm project. Hill indicated
it is his understanding that project has been put on hold.
Granger indicated the committee was also talking with an
agency that takes buildings apart and reclaims the materials.
Commissioner Rudney asked when the City expects a conditional use
request for the jail at the Courthouse.
Hill indicated it is his understanding that the architects
are working to meet various requirements for the property so there wont be any
Granger indicated she thought that if they were going to
encroach on the neighborhood around the courthouse they should come to the
Planning Commission. Miller
indicated it is his understanding they are talking about bringing more County
departments back into the Courthouse.
Granger asked if the County is still talking about
demolishing a house for parking.
Hill indicated he thinks that is something they are looking at, along
with vacating a road. Granger
indicated she is concerned about them demolishing a house in a solid
residential neighborhood. Hill
indicated he will be meeting with the architects tomorrow. He indicated they are still working on
the design based on their space needs.
UBC/Morris Community Church: Rudney asked about the status of the
UBC/Morris Community Church project.
Hill indicated the City hasnt heard anything from the Church regarding
a conditional use permit on this project.
Granger indicated she looked into one of the old buildings and the
materials on the inside are in really great shape.
Carpenter asked the status of the zoning map. Hill indicated hopefully it will be ready by the next
There being no further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Johnson, to adjourn. Motion
carried and the meeting adjourned at 5:50 p.m.