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MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING–FEBRUARY 17, 2009

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 17th day of February, 2009, 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 Carpenter, Johnson, Rudney, Hoffman, Granger and Chair person Kuchenreuther.  Commissioner Gades was absent.  Also present were City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill and Ex-officio Miller.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 1/20/09 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Granger suggested on the last page of the minutes, the last sentence in the first paragraph read, “It was the consensus to change the Mohr Plumbing/Melchert area to R.”  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Johnson, to approve the minutes as modified.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESS:  Old Elementary School:  Kuchenreuther indicated that the date for the next Planning Commission meeting, March 17th, is also the date for the plans for the elementary school project to be presented at 7:00 p.m. at the Soils Lab.  It was the consensus of the Planning Commission to cancel the March Planning Commission meeting if there is no official business to consider.  Kuchenreuther invited the Planning Commission to the 7:00 p.m. meeting at the Soils Lab on March 17th.  She indicated representatives from Dovetail will be in town at 5:00 that day to go over covenants and zoning.  They will meet at Bello Cucina for dinner, and the Planning Commission was also invited to attend the dinner.

Lighting Ordinance:  Granger indicated that a while ago she volunteered to rewrite the lighting ordinance that intern Amanda Minion had worked on.  While working on this project she discovered a Minnesota Statute that directs the Commissioner of Administration to develop a model lighting ordinance on outdoor use for cities.  In light of this information, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission to put the rewrite on hold until information is received on the model ordinance. 

Zoning Map:  City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill made a list of all proposed zoning changes that the Planning Commission has discussed since June of 2008.  The Planning Commission reviewed the list and cited reasons for the proposed zoning changes.

  • Make the property from Olson Implement on the South side of Highway 28 west to the road and the property past the marsh on the north side of Highway 28 Highway Business (HB).
  • Leave the lots the Morris Dental Building is on and the lots the Schuster Agency and Raymond James are on as Central Business District (CBD), and the rest of the lots on those two blocks should be Multiple Family Residence (RM).  The reason for this change is the city is trying to not encourage the demolition of houses in the central area of town.
  • Change Mohr Plumbing and Melchert area to Residential (R).  The reason for this change is that this area is adjacent to a newly-developed residential area and is flanked by other residential areas.
  • Change all Morris School property near the University to Residential (R) and all University property to Municipal Conservancy (MC).  The reason for this change is because Farm Residence (RF) would not allow appropriate density to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Change the area along Iowa Avenue near the Iowa Avenue Townhomes from Highway Business (HB)  to Residential Multi-Family (RM).  This includes the apartment to the northwest of the Townhomes and the small triangular lot to the east of Iowa Avenue near 7th Street.  The reason for this change is that the area already contains multi family residences.
  • Change the area north of the new elementary school from Residential Farm (RF) to Residential (R).  This includes the small triangular area east of the Columbia Avenue and South Street corner.  The reason for this change is because there are single family residences there now. 
  • Change the zoning along the railroad to Light Industrial (I1) from Heavy Industrial (I2).  The reason for this is to promote a nice, quiet, aesthetically pleasing downtown environment, and to consolidate new industry in the Industrial Park.
  • Change R & B Tire from Central Business District (CBD) to Highway Business (HB).  It was the consensus to change this to Highway Business (HB) south of  5th Street, and Central Business District (CBD) north of 5th Street on the west side of Pacific Avenue to 7th Street.  The reason for this change is that it fits with existing businesses and is more compatible with residential areas than I2, and provides a gradual transition to the R zone.
  • Change the small piece of land just east of Highway 59 on the very northeast corner of the zoning map from Farm Residence (RF) to Municipal Conservancy (MC).  The reason for this change is that it is within the Pomme de Terre River valley.
  • Change the area around Riverview Townhomes First Addition and east of the Highway 59 bypass from Residential (R) to Municipal Conservancy (MC) coming up to the property lines.  The reason for this change is the area is too wet to build on, and to provide protection of the water quality of the Pomme de Terre River.
  • Change the area north of Riverside Addition and east of the Highway 59 bypass, plus the small open area immediately west of the Highway 59 bypass to Municipal Conservancy (MC) from Residential (R).  The reason for this change is the area is too wet to build on, and to provide protection of the water quality of the Pomme de Terre River.
  • Change the triangular parcel shown Light Industrial (I1) on the zoning map along South Highway 9 in the southeast part of the map to Highway Business (HB), along with a strip extending diagonally to the southeast.  The area north and east of this Highway Business (HB) strip should be Residential (R).  The reason for this change is that views of the river in the designated R and the rest is a logical area for HB.
  • Change the Municipal Conservancy (MC) zoning in the southeast corner of the zoning map to include a Residential (R) zone extension extending south east along the area just east of the newly created Highway Business (HB) zoning area to the ½ mile line of authority.  The reason for this change is there are desirable home building sites with views of the river along here.
  • Change the homes on the south side of Thomas Street from Multiple Family Residence (RM) to Residential (R).  The reason for this change is there are single family residences in this area. 
  • Change the Michaelson land to Municipal Conservancy (MC).  The reason for this change is that currently it is spot zoned.  Also this area drains into the Pomme de Terre River and aquifers used by the City for the municipal water supply.
  • The former Westmor property on the northeast part of town should be changed to Highway Business (HB).  The reason for this change is because it is an appropriate place for highway business. 
  • Change the farm land to the  South side of North Ridge Drive, which is owned by the University, from Farm Residence (RF) to Single and Two Family Residence (R), except that a strip in the southeast corner should be changed to Highway Business (HB) and should run in a line equal to another line of Highway Business (HB) property for the adjacent properties.  The reason for this change is because there are houses north of North Ridge Drive, and it is a prime location to put in homes because of the infrastructure there.  To the south, the area should be HB because it’s by the highway.
  • Change the land designations to Highway Business (HB) along a line east of and parallel to Highway 9 from the northwest line of authority running southeast to the east west line of the Highway Business (HB) property designation which is northwest of Highway 28 as presented on the updated zoning map.  The reason for this change is to expand highway business locations along the highway.
  • Change a small quarter section area northwest of North Ridge Drive and west of Yankee Ridge Road from Farm Residence (RF) to Residential (R), except that portion that is part of the newly created Highway Business (HB) area.  The reason for this change is because there are presently houses in this area.
  • The quarter section south of West 8th Street right outside the City limits, along with the quarter section directly to the west should be Farm Residence (RF).  The reason for this is that the utilities have been extended out West 8th Street and this would be a good place for new homes.  The two quarter sections south of these should be Municipal Conservancy (MC) because this is a wetland.
  • The area south of the railroad tracks south of Lake Crystal should all be Farm Residence extending to the City’s ½ mile authority.
  • The fairgrounds should be zoned Highway Business (HB).  Carpenter noted the HB zone has a lot of restrictions that do not work for the fairgrounds.  It was the consensus to do an ordinance change that would make the fairgrounds a conditional use in the Highway Business HB zone. 
  • The strip of land north of East 7th Street from Columbia Avenue extending east and north to the railroad tracks should be Multiple Family Residence (RM).

 

Discussion was held on notifying several of the businesses for which the Planning Commission is proposing zoning changes.  Carpenter indicated she feels it would be common courtesy to notify those individuals instead of just telling them this is the Planning Commission’s proposal and inviting them to the public hearing.

Commissioner Johnson left the meeting at 6:23.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  Commissioner Carpenter moved, seconded by Rudney, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:30.

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