COMMISSION–REGULAR MEETING–SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15
p.m. this 20th day of September, 2011, by
Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
OF THE ROLL: Roll call was taken with the following
members present: Commissioners
Rudney, Hoffman, Granger, Livingston, Johnson, Gades, and Chairperson
Kuchenreuther. Also present were
ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.
AND APPROVAL OF 8/16/11 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Granger, to approve the minutes of the 8/16/11 regular meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
HEARINGS: Volker Variance Request: This hearing is on a zoning variance
request from Section 11.23, Subd. 2 D 5 (e) of the Morris
City Code which requires a 25’ sideyard setback in a residential (R) zone; and
Section 11.23, Subd. 2 D 3, which requires buildings or structures may cover
no more than 30% when lots are less than or equal to 7,000 square feet. This request is by Dennis Volker. The subject address is 100 East 3rd
Street, and is legally described as Lot 7, Block 9, Morris First Addition, parcel number 20-0743-000. This variance, if granted, would allow
the construction of a home that covers 36% of the lot, and has a sideyard
setback of 16’.
Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill explained the Volkers propose to construct a
rambler on a corner lot, which is something the Planning Commission has
addressed in the past. This is a
corner lot which requires a 25’ setback on both street
sides of the lot. There is a house
on this lot now, which the Volkers would tear down. There are also 4 large trees – 1
elm and 3 ash – that may have to be removed for
construction of the new home. Hill
indicated he recommends these variance requests be approved. He feels there is really nothing else that
can be done with a 50’ lot.
asked the rationale for having the driveway cross the sidewalk instead of going
out the alley. Volker indicated
they want to put a patio and garden off the garage end of the home. He also noted their plan has changed and
they will not be constructing the 4-season porch on the north end of the home,
and the location of the home will be slid north to where the 4-season porch
would have extended, thus leaving more room by the garage. He stated that by removing the 4-season
porch, only 33% of the lot would be covered by structures
Killoran, 102 Columbia Avenue, asked the size of the home. Volker indicated it would be 28’ wide
and 88’ long, 2,360 square feet including the garage, and they would live in
the home. Killoran indicated he
feels this would be a positive addition to this neighborhood. Commissioner Rudney and ex-officio
Miller agreed that it would be a nice improvement to this neighborhood.
Johnson moved, seconded by Rudney, to grant these variances as requested. Motion carried unanimously.
Amendments: Kuchenreuther indicated there are a
number of amendments to discuss tonight.
She noted every property owner in Morris received a notice of this
hearing. Hill indicated that
originally the city had authority to zone ½ mile outside City limits,
but it was only just recently zoned.
The Planning Commission then looked at changes needed inside City
limits, and that is what this hearing is for. The Planning Commission will make
recommendations to the City Council on zoning changes, and then the Council
enacts changes by Ordinance.
Stewart, 401 West 9th Street, asked if the City could have an
airplane scan the area to show the location of buildings on lots in the City to
give an actual picture. Granger
responded that the City does have MNDOT aerial maps.
reviewed the proposed changes.
the Highway Business (HB) zone along East 7th Street from Columbia
Avenue to Iowa Avenue near the old elementary school to Multiple Family
Residence (RM). Bill Stewart, 401
West 9th Street, asked if this area is along East Highway 28. Hill indicated it is East 7th
Street which was the old highway into Morris. Bob Johnson of Johnson Grain asked if
truck traffic would have to be changed on East 7th Street with this proposed
change. Hill indicated East 7th
Street is still a State Aid street, and there are no discussions on changing
any road widths or construction levels.
He stated semis could still use East 7th
the Morris Dental Building, Schuster Agency, and Raymond James Office on East 6th
Street and the Professional Building on East 7th Street and
California Avenue as Central Business District (CBD) and change the rest of the
lots on those two blocks to Multiple Family Residence (RM). Hill noted the zoning is being set for
CBD where the businesses are, and then the rest of the area would be RM.
the Mohr Plumbing and Melchert properties along Hwy 28 from Highway Business
(HB) to Single and Two Family Residence (R). Hill noted that Mohr Plumbing is the
only business in that area. He
stated there is a residential subdivision next to this, along with the areas to
the north, northeast and northwest.
Hill indicated he received a telephone call from the property owner of
the majority of the residential property in that area. There is a piece of MC that extends to
the west that is now farmland, and the owner would rather that be R instead of
MC. Hill indicated Mohr Plumbing
would be grandfathered in.
all Morris Public School Property near the University to Single and Two Family
Residence (R). Hill indicated all
the property where the new schools is is zoned RF. It is recommended that zoning be changed
the area along Iowa Avenue near the Iowa Avenue Townhomes from Highway Business
(HB) to Multiple Family Residence (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.
area north of the Elementary School from Farm Residence (RF) to Single and Two
Family Residence (R). This includes
the small triangular area east of the Columbia Avenue and South Street corner.
the zoning for all railroad property northwest of the DENCO II plant from Heavy
Industrial (I2) to Light Industrial (I1).
Hill indicated he has received 3 telephone calls on this proposed change
this week. He indicated the owner
of the concrete plant feels the City is making a mistake rezoning this out of
Heavy Industrial (I2) because there is a rail spur there. Hill noted that presently, concrete
plants, along with grain elevators, are conditional uses in both I1 and I2
zones. Jay Morrell, owner of the
concrete plant on Pacific Avenue, indicated he feels his property would be
devalued by changing the zoning to I1.
He indicated the rail spur onto his property is a very vital piece of
their operation. He is requesting that
area be left I2. He indicated he
has found it is much easier to get a conditional use permit in an area zoned
I2. He also feels it would be more
valuable to be able to sell his property with the rail spur if it were zoned
I2. Morrell further stated most I1
businesses do not need a rail spur, and rail becomes a real asset to anything
that is moved in bulk. He stated he
has explored running a rail spur onto property that does not have one, and has
found it would cost about $2 million per mile, which is very cost
the lots from West 5th Street south to West 4th Street on
the west side of Pacific Avenue from Heavy Industrial (I2) to Highway Business
the lots from West 6th Street south to West 5th Street on
the west side of Pacific Avenue from Heavy Industrial (I2) to Central Business
10.Change the area around Riverview Townhomes First Addition
up to the rear lot lines from Single and Two Family Residence (R) to Municipal
Conservancy (MC) coming up to the property lines. Bob Johnson of Johnson Grain asked what
the MC zone is, and if the City owns all MC property. Kuchenreuther read the explanation of MC
from the code book, and explained it is not
necessarily owned by the City. She
stated the Planning Commission has mainly zoned the river corridor and obvious
wetlands as MC.
11.Change the small triangular area north of Riverside
Addition and east of the Highway 59 bypass, plus the small open area
immediately across the Highway 59 bypass from Single and Two Family Residence
(R) to Municipal Conservancy (MC).
12.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 600’ wide strip (from the front property
line) extending diagonally to the southeast. The area north and east of this
Highway Business (HB) strip should be Single and Two Family Residence (R).
13.Change the Municipal Conservancy (MC) zoning in the
southeast corner of the zoning map to include a Single and Two Family Residence
(R) zone extension extending southeast along the area just east of the newly
created Highway Business (HB) zoning area to the ½ mile line of
authority. Hill indicated the
Planning Commission determined this would be a good place to bring some
residential properties in. Josh
Kurpiers, 9 East 2nd Street, asked where HB starts on the
northwest corner and the northwest corner of the new residential area. Hill indicated the Planning Commission
tried to use ¼ section lines and designated a length in order to
describe the lines. Kurpiers asked
if there is current access to the new R area. Hill indicated there is not, and in zoning
the area, access is not considered.
Bob Johnson of Johnson Grain asked if land descriptions are more
accurate on the east side of town as opposed to the west side of town. He had some surveying done on property
he owns on the west side of town, and his surveyor indicated some properties
there are 30’ off.
14.Change the newly acquired school property near the water
tower from Farm Residence (RF) to Single and Two Family Residence (R).
15.Change the single-family homes on the south side of Thomas
Street from Multiple Family Residence (RM) to Single and Two Family Residence
(R), leaving the multi-family complex the same.
16.Change the south side of North Ridge Drive from Farm
Residence (RF) to Single and Two Family Residence (R), except that a 600’ strip
(from the front property line) 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. Hill noted this is probably the biggest
change when one looks at development and the future of Morris. It is proposed that 600’ in will be HB
and behind that will be R. The City
does provide water and sewer in this area.
Bill Stewart, 401 West 9th Street, asked what is going to
happen with the Coborn’s property.
He asked if a renewal group could acquire that property. Hill indicated the Stevens County
Economic Improvement Commission is working on that.
17.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.
18.Zone the Fairgrounds area Highway Business (HB) and add as
a permitted use.
19.The area between Pacific Avenue and the Burlington
Northern right of way north of 7th Street should be Light Industrial
(I1) all the way north to Park Avenue.
The area between Pacific Avenue and the Burlington Northern right of way
between 7th Street and 5th Street should be Central
Business District (CBD).
20.Move residential single family
homes from a permitted use to a conditional use in a Highway Business (HB)
Kurpiers asked the purpose of the little finger of residential area south of
the cul de sacs by the townhomes on East 7th Street. Hill indicated that area is outside City
limits and has already been zoned.
Hill further pointed out the City has no authority to zone University
land as they have separate powers to designate their land use.
indicated that the change to I1 starts northwest of DENCO II, but doesn’t
Granger indicated the Planning Commission did take the Comprehensive Plan into
consideration and it talks about enhancing livability by separating uses and
encouraging business by providing good business sites. She stated the central core of Morris
has dilapidated housing, and one of the reasons for that is there is that spine
of I2 right down the center of town.
She believes the shift of I2 is helping support the renewal of the inner
part of the City. Granger
calculated that with the proposed zoning, 15% of Morris will be I2, 7% will be
I1, 15% will be HB, and 3% will be CBD, which makes a total of 39-40% available
for businesses. Also, 4% will be
RF, 42% will be R, and 16% will be RM, for a total of 57-58% Residential. Jay Morrell of the cement plant
indicated he disagrees on the I2 versus the I1. He feels Morris was built from the
railroad out. He stated having his
property changed to I1 does not make sense to him. He disagrees that revitalizing involves
trying to get people to build in the core of the City. He feels changing his classification
from I2 to I1 will not help build new houses in downtown Morris. He asked this his zoning be left
hearing was closed at 6:25 and brought back to the Planning Commission. It was felt the Planning Commission
would like to take this under consideration. Commissioner Johnson moved, seconded by
Gades, to table the Zoning Amendments until the October meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURNMENT: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Johnson, to adjourn. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:26.