PLANNING COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING OCTOBER 21, 2008
The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was
called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 21st day of October, 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 Hoffman, Carpenter,
Johnson, Granger, Gades, Rudney, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Also present was City Manager/Zoning
READING AND APPROVAL OF 9/16/08 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Johnson, to approve the minutes of the 9/16/08 meeting as submitted. Motion carried unanimously.
Timmerman Variance Request:
This hearing is on a request for a zoning variance request from Section
11.70, Sub 25 D 1 (j) of the Morris City Code which allows two advertising
signs per premises. This request
is by Terry Timmerman dba KTM Billboards, lessee. Variance request address is 1100 Atlantic Avenue, Morris,
MN 56267. This variance, if granted, would allow
three advertising signs at one premises.
Hill indicated presently there are two 12 X 25 signs at
this location. The owner of the
property does not want those signs anymore and has worked out a deal with
Timmerman which would be to erect three 8 X 16 signs. The zoning ordinance only allows two
advertising signs per premises.
The three smaller signs would have a smaller total footage than the two
larger signs. Also, the new signs
would not be as high in the air as the current signs.
Rudney indicated the proposed signs look a lot less
intrusive than the current signs.
He asked about dark sky compliant lighting.
Timmerman is proposing the signs be 8 off the ground,
making them 16 high at the top.
Timmerman hopes they will not extend above the roof line of the Arctic
Cat building behind the sign.
Timmerman indicated the lighting shines downward. Granger asked what the lighting looks
like. Timmerman indicated it would
be two fluorescent bulbs one 8 long and one 4 long with one continuous
formed metal guard. He indicated
he has received a lot of really good public feedback from his billboards. He feels he is bringing something
positive to the community.
Granger indicated that about a year ago she heard a comment
from someone that felt there were too many new billboards in town. Timmerman indicated this is the final
billboard he intends to erect in this community. He stated there are not many more permittable locations in
the City of Morris.
Granger asked why he cant just put up two signs and be
within the Code requirements.
Timmerman indicated he could but his rationale is that the present
billboard has two signs but is 600 square feet. His proposed three signs would only be 384 square feet. Hoffman indicated most billboards are
on highways and are designed to be seen quite a ways away. He feels the smaller ones would look a
lot better than the larger signs.
Johnson indicated the Planning Commission usually takes
aesthetics into consideration.
Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by Johnson, to approve
this variance request based on the fact its a peculiar situation in town and
the Planning Commission feels the ordinance needs revision. Motion carried unanimously.
Krosch/Dairy Queen Variance Request: This item has been removed from the
Trees: Granger indicated
6 months ago she brought up the issue of trees being planted at the Iowa Avenue
and Riverview Townhome developments.
One of the conditions of the conditional use permits granted for these
developments was that trees be planted in the developments.
Granger indicated the new duplexes at 617 East 7th Street
have no front yard, just gravel for parking. According to City Code they are not allowed to use the front
yard for parking. She feels this
is just an oversight and feels the parking could go in the back, off the
alley. It is the feeling of the
Planning Commission that the City should contact the property owner regarding
this. Hill will contact the owner.
It was the consensus of the Planning Commission to continue work on the
zoning map at the next meeting. Hill
indicated it appears the City will have to give notice to any owners affected
by any changes in the zoning map, therefore it will take some time to determine
those owners. Granger indicated
she feels the Planning Commission should have clear justification for all the
changes. Also, she feels the
½ mile zoning jurisdiction on the proposed map is actually larger than
that in some areas.
Courthouse and Old Elementary School: Rudney asked the status of the Courthouse
project and the old elementary school.
Hill indicated the County may come to the City Council shortly and
explain where they are in their planning.
It appears a conditional use permit will be required for the jail, and
possibly a variance on lot coverage.
The plan is to purchase an adjacent property and some property from the
church to be used for parking. It
appears there will be a 25 setback from all sides of the Courthouse.
Hill indicated he had a meeting last week with architects on
the old elementary school project.
Kuchenreuther suggested the City Council and Planning Commission both
attend the next meeting on the old elementary school. Granger indicated the next meeting will be a major design
review before the final design is finished. The landscape architect has designed the entire site, and an
architectural firm is developing three model homes. The recommendation of the housing study on the number of the
homes on that site was used in development of the plans. Kuchenreuther indicated the architects
are trying to hit a price point of $100,000 to start. She feels it is important for the Planning Commission to
attend the next meeting on November 19 at 5:15 to have a final say in the
Commissioner Johnson moved, seconded by Rudney, to adjourn. Motion carried and the meeting
adjourned at 6:15.