MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING – MAY 17,
The regular meeting of the
Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 17th day of May, 2011, 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 Gades, Livingston, Rudney,
Hoffman, Granger and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioner Johnson was absent. Also present were ex-officio Miller and
City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.
READING AND APPROVAL OF
4/19/11 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: The Commissioners praised Deputy Clerk Anderson
for doing a great job on the minutes. Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Livingston, to approve the 4/19/11 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
OTHER BUSINESS: Zoning
of Orderly Annexation Area:
Hill stated the next step in the process is to recommend a zoning plan
to the city council. There have
been a couple questions raised with regard to farmland and Hill’s
recommendation is that the areas in question be changed.
indicated she drove out and took a look at the area and felt that everything did
rise and become farmland. Rudney stated
he thought the reasoning it was set that way was because the commission was looking
at section or half section lines.
Kuchenreuther pointed out it follows more of the wetland boundary.
Kuchenreuther stated it is
hard to see the area behind Keyrow and the Villa but it appears to be a whole
bunch of cottonwoods and standing water.
The section just west of White’s looks dry. Miller noted there may
be a little more water than normal because an outlet was blocked but it’s still
a wet area. Hoffman indicated most
people have encroached upon this area and made their own parks.
Kyle Greiner arrived at
Livingston asked since farming
is permitted in a municipal conservancy zone, what would be the ramifications
of changing it from farmland to municipal conservancy. Granger read the purpose of a
municipal conservancy district from the City Code is as follows: The
MC District is provided to protect the integrity of sensitive natural resources
and aesthetic beauty of the natural areas in and around the City of Morris,
while at the same time provide the opportunity for compatible use and
development of land within the District. Hill stated if it is just farmland it
doesn’t meet that definition.
Hoffman moved, seconded by Gades, to recommend that the map of the 1/2 mile
Orderly Annexation Area be presented to the City Council including the
following changes: the area around the south side of Crystal Lake should be
properly marked as Municipal Conservancy, the approximate 1/8 section of land
owned by Dale Greiner just west of the City Limits should be changed from
Municipal Conservancy to Farm Residence, the four approximate 1/16 sections of
land owned by Dale Mathison and one approximate 1/16 section of land owned by
Michael White just west of the City Limits along an approximate north/south
line and north of West 8th Street should be changed from Municipal
Conservancy to Farm Residence.
Hill explained he has met
with the map maker from WSN and they will be filling
in the plats on the map that has been developed. There will also be signature blocks at the
bottoms of the maps once they have been approved. A map will be printed showing just the
½ mile area as well.
Variance Legislation: Hill
stated the variance legislation passed by 100% of the votes in the House and
the Senate. This legislation changes
the terminology for granting a variance from “undue hardship” to “practical
difficulties”. Hill indicated the commission needs to
look at whether or not the code should be changed to address why people are
asking for variances. Hill noted
the City of Benson has a rule in place that two structures have to be a certain
distance apart and for them it's only 6 feet. Hill stated Morris’ is 20 feet and in a
nonstandard lot it's a percentage. Hill
stated there are potentially five variance requests coming up on garage type
projects. Rudney asked about fire
code requirements with having structures so close together in Benson. Hill stated they do have requirements in
Hill stated there are a
lot of garages out there that are small.
Hoffman noted the city may be approaching a
point where a lot of them have been changed. Rudney mentioned there are a number of garages
that are in terrible shape. Hill indicated
the city would have to start taking some action on those. Kuchenreuther asked if Kathy Benson was
called and Hill stated he would contact her about her variance request
Zoning Amendment: Hill
explained the notice requirement for the update to the zoning maps will include amendments to the zoning ordinance. Hill indicated notice could be given by
publishing notice in the newspaper with an explanation of the changes and a
map, mailing notice to everyone in the city with an explanation and a map, or
giving notice to the affected property owners within 350 feet of each change. Commissioner Gades asked if the notice
could be put in water bills. Hill
doesn’t believe that would qualify as a notice. Hill noted along with the zoning changes
there are some other issues that have come up that should maybe be included
such as wind turbines and wells.
Miller asked about height
restrictions for wind turbines. Granger
asked if farm animals and wind turbines were more of a comprehensive plan
change. Hill believes it is a code
change but stated the comprehensive plan should be reviewed. Kuchenreuther brought up the fact that in
the comprehensive plan it says there should be graded size garbage cans. Kuchenreuther pointed out garbage pick
up went from two times a week to once a week and recycling stayed the
same. Hill pointed out the answer
to recycling is educating people on how to recycle. The major cost in garbage pick up is getting
the truck to go by the houses and volume is the smaller cost. Hill stated the garbage contract is
coming up for renewal so these things could be discussed. Kuchenreuther asked about the ability to
recycle more things. Rudney indicated
sorting then becomes an issue too.
The consensus of the
commission was that it would be best to send a zoning notice to everyone in town
but there probably would not be a lot of people that show up at a public
hearing. Kuchenreuther suggested
having the meeting with the hearing in September because many people may be
gone in August.
Hill stated an
inconsistency in the code is that houses are called different things throughout,
such as structures or dwellings.
Hill indicated he would draft
a notice with a description of the zoning changes. Granger asked if the changes could be
put on the city’s website also.
explained to the group the discussion that was had about chickens at the last
council meeting. A citizen has
requested that she be allowed to have chickens in city limits and it is not
allowed according to City Code. The
council will be looking at the issue again at their next meeting.
Granger noted as part of the planting at the new courthouse there are
still some things missing which they were required to have. Rudney asked if the county planned to
leave the big sign up that is on the end of Colorado Avenue. Hill indicated the sign was there
because they had a problem with people driving right up on the curb.
being no further business, Chairperson Kuchenreuther adjourned the meeting at 6:18