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MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING – APRIL 17, 2012

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

Chairperson Kuchenreuther welcomed new member Josh Kurpiers to the Planning Commission and thanked him for his willingness to serve.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 3/20/12 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Livingston moved, seconded by Granger, to approve the minutes of the 3/20/12 regular meeting.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None.

OLD BUSINESSCourthouse Landscaping:  Commissioner Granger indicated when Stevens County was granted a Conditional Use Permit for the Courthouse, landscaping conditions were placed on the Permit.  At this time, they have yet to complete the landscaping.  Hill indicated he will send them a letter indicating they need to finish the landscaping as noted in the Conditional Use Permit.

Morris Evangelical Free Church:  Hill indicated the Evangelical Free Church has applied for a variance to setback requirements, and it will come to the Planning Commission at their May meeting.  Discussion was held on the church’s sewer system. 

OTHER BUSINESSComprehensive Plan Review:  Review began in the middle of Page 23, Morris Land Use Alternatives.  It was felt the introduction looks good.  The first bullet under “Constant Forces” reads, “The City of Morris will provide sewer to development within its service area.”   It was felt the words “where feasible” should be added to the end of that sentence.

The second bullet reads, “The City of Morris may well experience moderate growth while the rest of the county declines in population.”  Hill indicates he does not feel that is still true.

The third bullet reads, “The highway bypass will result in increased demand for development along its corridor.”  Hill indicated he feels this could be eliminated because the MC zoning will limit the ability to develop along that corridor.

The four bullets under “Variable Forces” were reviewed.  It was felt the fourth bullet, “Amount of services provided in the areas outside the city limits,” could be removed.

Kuchenreuther suggested rewriting the Constant Forces and Variable Forces sections.  Hill indicated a good Constant Force is that the City now has a solid zoning plan.  Kuchenreuther indicated the Orderly Annexation Agreement is also a solid plan.  Hill noted a variable is the ability to enforce zoning plans at all levels.

Under Future Outlook and Foreseeable Trends, the population projections need to be updated.

There are three bullets under Current development patterns.  The first bullet, “southward commercial expansion with the new bypass, with anticipated commercial/industrial expansion in this direction.” is no longer true.  The second bullet reads, “industrial park area.”  It was noted the size of the Industrial Park needs to be increased.  The third bullet, “residential development pressures mainly to the northeast and southeast” is still true.

Kuchenreuther asked if there are any other outlooks or foreseeable trends.  Hill indicated he thinks the old school property development needs to be addressed.

Kuchenreuther indicated she feels a lot of the housing part of the Comprehensive Plan seemed redundant and could be better organized.  Discussion was held on housing opportunities.

Kuchenreuther felt most of the language on Growth Management and Orderly Annexation under the Planning Issues section could be tossed out.  She feels urban core redevelopment should be discussed, and felt it should be rewritten with no anticipation of annexation.  Also, the school property should be added, along with information from the housing study. 

Hill indicated before any major project is done the implications should be considered. 

Granger indicated there is a lot of talk about balancing existing utilities and the costs; however, there is nothing about the environmental impact.  She feels it has become more front and center and should be a lot more important in this report.

Kuchenreuther feels e. Urban Fringe Planning on page 26 seems relevant.

Hill noted the City needs to make a concerted effort to watch what the County is doing.  Kuchenreuther feels the City Planning Commission should meet with the County Planning Commission this summer.

Next month’s homework will be to review pages 26 – 29.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by Kurpiers, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:24.

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