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MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING – JULY 16, 2013

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 16th day of July, 2013, in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center by Chairperson Kuchenreuther.

CALL OF THE ROLL:  Roll call was taken with the following members present:  Commissioners Gades, Kurpiers, Livingston, Rudney, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioners Granger and Hoffman were absent.  Also present were Ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 5/21/13 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Kurpiers, to approve the minutes of the 5/21/13 regular meeting as presented.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGSBruns Variance Request:  This hearing is for a zoning variance request from Section 11.23, Subd. 2 D 5 (i) of the Morris City Code which requires a 7’ sideyard setback in an residential (R) zone.  This request is by Gary and Ione Bruns, 12 South California, legally described as Block 1, SE 20’ Lot 8 and All Lot 9, Morningside Addition, parcel number 20-0935-000.  This variance, if granted, would allow building an attached garage within 5’ of the sideyard property line. 

Hill explained the Bruns’ have an attached garage that they want to enlarge and it would be within 5’ of the sideyard property line.  The finished garage would be 24 X 32.  Hill has received no feedback regarding this request.  He indicated the neighbor’s house has smaller high windows next to this garage, and it is living space.  Bruns noted the neighbor has a garage in the back of their yard.

Rudney indicated he does not see any problems approving this request.  Bruns indicated they are going to try keep the pitch of the roof the same on the garage.

Kurpiers asked how far the neighbor’s house is from the property line.  Bruns estimated it is about 8’ from the sideyard property line. 

Bruns’ currently have a 1-car garage.  Kuchenreuther noted the Planning Commission considers a 1-car garage non-standard.

Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Livingston, to approve this variance request.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

MPCA Request for Closed Landfill Restricted Zone Creation:  Hill handed out information he received from Olmsted County on this issue.  He indicated he basically took their information and drafted a new zoning district document for Morris.  He indicated it is short and to the point, and follows MPCA requirements. 

Hill indicated he does not know if Stevens County has finished their plan for this yet.  He noted the City really doesn’t have any liability or responsibility for the landfill, except to zone it.  He indicated the only thing the City should make a decision on is if a solar farm should be allowed.  Livingston noted the ground under the landfill is unstable and is going to settle, so he is surprised that a solar farm could be allowed. 

Hill indicated there are three types of uses – permitted, accessory and conditional. 

Kuchenreuther asked if there is any urgency to get this adopted.  Hill indicated there is no urgency.  Kuchenreuther suggested the Planning Commissioners read through the information and discuss it at the August meeting.

Kurpiers indicated he feels landfill and methane gas capture options should be included as well.  Hill noted that the Olmsted County resolution includes bee keeping and vineyards. 

Rudney noted Olmsted County has methane gas capture as a conditional use.

Old Elementary School:  Chairperson Kuchenreuther asked if the City EDA is made up of Council members.  Hill indicated that is correct.  Kuchenreuther indicated the proposals for development of the old elementary school property all talk about student and elderly housing.  She feels there is a need for transitory housing for temporary or new staff that are not interested in buying a home when they first come to town.  Ex-officio Miller noted the design plan included some nicer rental units.  He feels the developers will look to target what is needed in our community.  Kuchenreuther indicated out of town developers may not realize Morris needs transitory housing.  Hill noted one of the developers has indicated they would like to meet with community members to get a feel for what they want. 

Industrial Park:  Commissioner Gades asked if the Industrial Park was full.  Hill noted it is pretty much filled.  Gades asked if the City is going to purchase more land for the Industrial Park.  Hill indicated the City is interested in purchasing more land and has talked with an adjacent land owner. 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Livingston to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 5:40.

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