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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - MARCH 20, 2012

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:17 p.m. this 20th day of March, 2012, 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 Granger, Hoffman and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioners Livingston, Rudney and Gades were absent.  Also present were ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 2/21/12 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Hoffman, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held 2/21/12.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  Riverview Variance Requests – 16 East 4th Street and 15 South Street:  This hearing is on a request for two variance requests.  The first request is for a zoning variance from Section 11.23, Subd. 2 D 5 a of the Morris City Code which requires a 25’ front yard setback in a Central Business Zone (CBD) adjacent to a Residential Zone.  This request is by Riverview, LLP, 26410 470th Avenue, Morris, MN  56267.  The subject property address is 16 East 4th Street, and the legal description is Block 29, Fraction Lot 22, 1st Railway Addition, Fraction Lot 22, Morris First Addition, Parcel No. 20-0374-000.

The second request is for a zoning variance request from Section 11.23, Subd. 2 D 5 a of the Morris City Code which requires a 25’ front yard setback in a Residential (R) zone.  This request is by Riverview, LLP, 26410 470th Avenue, Morris, MN  56267.  The subject property address is 15 South Street, and the legal description is Block 15, Lot 1, Morris First Addition, Parcel No. 20-0765-000. 

These variances, if granted, would allow a home to be constructed on each lot that is 6 feet into the 25 foot front yard setback requirement.

Kevin Wulf of Riverview, LLP, was present and indicated these projects are the same as the project they undertook at the corner of East 9th and Oregon Avenue in 2010.

Hill indicated he has received no correspondence or comments on these projects.

Mark Nemmers, 13 South Street, indicated he has no problem with the project that is next to his home. 

Commissioner Granger indicated she feels the home at 9th and Oregon Avenue that Riverview did is a good addition to the neighborhood.  Ex-officio Miller agreed and feels these homes will clean up the lots they are going onto. 

Chairperson Kuchenreuther indicated she feels these homes will be improvements and will increase the City’s tax base.  Her only concern is that she feels there is a proliferation of driveways crossing sidewalks, and both of these projects do that.  She encouraged Riverview to look at plans that would allow the garage to approach the alley if they do more of these projects.  Wulf acknowledged that was a valid point.

Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by Granger, to grant these variances at 16 East 4th Street and 15 South Street as requested.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESS:

Comprehensive Plan Review:  Kuchenreuther feels a lot of the information the Planning  Commission was to review for tonight’s meeting just needs updating.  She suggested the City hire someone from the Center for Small Towns to do the updating.  Hill indicated he feels this would be a good project for an intern.  He suggested the Planning Commission members review the Comprehensive Plan and turn in comments to him.  The Planning Commission could make recommendations to the Council based on those comments.  He stressed that implementation of the plan is not the Planning Commission’s job.  Rather, they are charged with reviewing and updating the plan. 

Granger indicated the hard information needs to be updated.  She feels the policies and goals need to be talked about, and feels the community visioning seems solid.  She feels there is a stronger process with everyone working together. 

Hill indicated he will look at updating the statistical information.  He indicated that the format of the Comprehensive Plan is good. 

Kuchenreuther indicated she is impressed with how much the community has accomplished since the Comprehensive Plan was written in 1999.  She does feel one area that has not been addressed is making the entrances to Morris more attractive.  Granger asked if the proposal of a roundabout at the intersection of the Highway 59 bypass and Highway 28 is still being considered.  Hill indicated he has not heard anything about that.  He will discuss this with the City’s engineering firm. 

The Planning Commission is to review pages 23-26 of the Comprehensive Plan for review at the April Planning Commission meeting.

Brewery:  Hill indicated the City has received an inquiry about a brewer taproom in Morris.  A brewery is not a permitted or conditional use in the location the person asked about.  Hill did send a letter to this individual outlining the steps he would have to take in order to be licensed.

ADJOURNMENT:  Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by Granger, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:08.

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