MEETING–PLANNING COMMISSION–FEBRUARY 21, 2012
regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:17
p.m. this 21st day of February, 2012, in
the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center by
OF THE ROLL: Roll call was taken with the following
members present: Commissioners
Gades, Granger, Livingston and Hoffman.
Chairperson Kuchenreuther and Commissioner Rudney were absent. Also present were ex-officio Miller and
City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.
AND APPROVAL OF 1/17/12 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by
Gades, to approve the minutes of the 1/17/12 regular meeting as written. With all present voting in favor, motion
BUSINESS: Evangelical Free Church Information: City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill
indicated Evangelical Free Church is looking at expanding, and before they go
ahead with any more planning, they wanted to get input from the Planning
Commission. The Church is
interested in expanding to the east, and would be within 10’ of their property
line. The required setback is 25’. This expansion would go toward the
platted, yet undeveloped, extension of Scotts Avenue to the south. Hill noted that potentially in the
future, someone might want to develop the area around the extended Scotts
Joel Flaten, representing the Evangelical Free Church, handed
out aerial photos of the church and surrounding property. He stated that presently there is 60’
between the Church and the East property line. One of Flaten’s
handouts notes a septic system under the proposed addition. Livingston asked about that septic
indicated if they are allowed to add to the East, that septic system would be
abandoned and the Church would connect to the City’s sewer system.
Church owns the property south of the Church, all the way to the old Alberta
road. Granger indicated her
first reaction to this request is that it does not seem right to infringe on
the setback by 15’ when the Church owns all the property to the South. She feels the open space would be a nice
spot for future houses. Ex-officio
indicated the first choice of the Church is to build about 4,000 square feet on
to the sanctuary to the East towards Scotts Avenue. If they are not allowed to do that, they
will have to move the sanctuary, and he estimates the cost could be an
asked if there has been any thought given to extending Scotts Avenue to the
South. Hill indicated the extension of Scotts Avenue has not been considered by the City. Hill indicated no one has requested that
Scotts Avenue be extended. If it
were to be extended, the City would assess the costs of the extension.
indicated he does not see any problem with this request. Livingston asked if the City would ever
abandon the platted extension of Scotts Avenue. Hill indicated the City might consider
indicated in the last zoning review it was discussed that this area was an
ideal place to develop lots.
Hoffman indicated he would be a little concerned allowing this, as he
feels it could have some impact on future development. Hill pointed out there are no houses on the Church (west) side of the street, so
there are no sight line issues. The
Cannon family has a large strawberry patch across Scotts Avenue from the
Church. Hoffman indicated by adding
onto the East side of the church, they would actually be pushing themselves
closer to the gardens and all the noise and activity that entails. Flaten
indicated they are not worried about that.
He stated the extension of Scotts Avenue would be more of an issue for
indicated the 25’ setback tends to be for yards in front of homes. He pointed out buildings in the Central
Business District can be right up to the property line. This property is zoned RM with Scotts
Avenue being the dividing line between the R and RM zone in this area.
indicated he feels that there have not been other options with other projects,
but there are options on this project.
indicated she feels this is an area that should be protected for residential
development. Hill pointed out there
are water and sewer utilities in this area.
the consensus of the Commission that they are not in favor of this
Plan Review: Granger handed out a list of changes in
the community that have happened since the 1999 Comprehensive Plan was adopted.
indicated she feels a Housing Task Force should be formed. Hoffman indicated since the last meeting
he has had at least 60 telephone calls from people looking for property to rent
in Morris, and he feels there is a need for good rentals in Morris.
asked if there are any regional planning bodies that could help with the
Comprehensive Plan. Hill indicated
the City does not work with any regional planning agency. Granger indicated she feels a
professional planner could help and advise the Planning Commission.
indicated he agrees with Granger in that a Housing Task Force should be
formed. He feels Morris does need
housing, but not senior housing as noted in the 1999 Comprehensive Plan. He feels Morris needs affordable housing
for people with medium incomes.
indicated he feels the working relationship between the City, County,
Townships, and UMM is really good, which is a good thing.
indicated in skimming the Comprehensive Plan, emphasis on some things is
indicated the Industrial Park is pretty much filled. Granger asked what kind of services will
be needed if the land to the south is developed. Hill indicated the services have been
sized right for expansion in that area.
Hill indicated he feels the Industrial Park needs to be expanded. Miller suggested the City secure more
land for expansion of the Industrial Park.
Hill indicated the City should at least identify land for expansion and
start working on an agreement for possible future purchase.
indicated he feels the #1 priority right now is housing.
asked if there are other things that more current Comprehensive Plans are
covering, and things that can be dropped that are old-fashioned. Hill will get Plans from other cities
and compare them to see if there are any items to be added or dropped.
the consensus that the “homework” for the March meeting will be the same (page
11 and pages 14-35 of the Comprehensive Plan).
ADJOURNMENT: There being no
further business, Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Livingston, to adjourn. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned