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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - DECEMBER 17, 2013

The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 17th day of December, 2013, 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 Rudney, Livingston, Granger, Kurpiers, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioners Gades and Hoffman were absent.  Also present was City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.  Ex-officio Miller arrived at 5:30.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  11/19/13 Regular Meeting:  Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Livingston, to approve the minutes of the 11/19/13 regular Planning Commission meeting as presented.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

12/3/13 Worksession Minutes:  Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Livingston, to approve the minutes of the 12/3/13 Planning Commission worksession as presented.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None.

OTHER BUSINESS:  Neighborhood Commercial District Discussion:  Kuchenreuther drafted Subd. 1  Purpose, which reads, "The NC, Neighborhood Commercial District, is intended to provide a mix of housing and small-scale businesses that are compatible with surrounding residential areas.  Uses in this district are restricted to limit adverse impacts on nearby residential areas.  The scale of buildings and parking areas are also restricted so as not to conflict with the character of surrounding residential development."  The Commission felt this wording is good, and captures the intent of the district. 

The Planning Commission went on to review the various sections of the draft ordinance.  The first section discussed was Use Regulations and Permitted Uses.  Granger indicated she feels the Commission should limit things that need big signs, parking, and uses that spill into the neighborhood. 

Rudney indicated he has a concern with drive-in restaurants.  Granger indicated she doesn't feel drinking places should be permitted uses in this zone.  It was the consensus to strike "eating and drinking places" in 8a, and delete 8f in its entirety which includes entertainment and amusement services such as motion picture theatres, bowling alleys, and roller skating rinks.

Kurpiers asked if in 8a, the word "neighborhood" should be inserted before "grocery store".  It was felt lot coverage and setbacks would take care of the size of the grocery store, so "neighborhood" does not need to be added. 

Granger asked what 9 Professional businesses would include.  It was felt 8c which lists professional services such as medical and dental clinics, architecture and attorney offices would cover all professional businesses, so 9 can be deleted. 

Kurpiers asked the intent of 10 – private clubs.  Hill feels that would be like the Eagles and Legion clubs.  Discussion was held on liquor establishments and restaurants that serve liquor.  Rudney suggested making liquor establishments conditional uses and limit them with conditions.  Granger stated she feels the purpose of this district is to protect the sanctity of the residential neighborhood.  Hill suggested making a restaurant a permitted use, but if they serve liquor, they would be required to get a conditional use permit. 

It was the consensus to add "coffee shops" before bakeries in 8a. 

It was also the consensus to make 10 private clubs, 11 automobile parking lots, 12 on and off sale liquor establishments, and 13 mortuaries all conditional uses. 

Garden and landscape sales under permitted uses is similar to nurseries and greenhouses under conditional uses.  It was the consensus to strike garden and landscape sales in permitted uses, and leave it as a conditional use. 

Veterinary clinics for small animals is listed as a permitted use.  It was the consensus this should be a conditional use.

Permitted Uses (Accessory) was reviewed next.  Discussion was held on B3, the renting of rooms or the providing of table board to not more than three persons per single family dwelling.  It was the consensus to leave the language in this section. 

Rudney asked if a gym facility should be a permitted use.  It was the consensus that "fitness center" be added to Permitted Uses 8b.

Granger asked about the restriction of size in B6, home occupations.  After discussion, it was the consensus to list B6 as Home Occupations, and strike the restriction on use of gross floor area. 

Granger questioned if cemeteries, hospitals and rest homes, and public schools, colleges and universities should be struck because of their scale. She also asked if police and fire should be deleted.  It was the consensus to leave them all in as conditional uses. 

C9 lists automotive accessory stores, repair shops, service stations and car wash establishments as conditional uses.  It was the consensus to add automotive parts store to A8 of Permitted Uses, and strike "accessory stores" and "service stations" from C9 of Conditional Uses. 

Discussion was held on District Requirements.  It was the consensus that language needs to be added that limits commercial structures on a lot or parcel of 21,000 square feet or less (3 lots). 

In terms of coverage, Kuchenreuther indicated she feels limiting coverage to 30% of the lot is too small.  In several examples of the NC zone Kuchenreuther researched, they allowed 50% coverage with 70% impervious surface.  Hill noted setbacks need to be addressed before coverage can be determined.  He indicated on a 50 X 140 lot with a 25' front setback, 10' rear setback, and a 5' sideyard setback, there's a total of 2,800 square feet in setbacks, and then buildings and parking need to be added.   On a corner lot, the setback requirements comprise 4,900 square feet of a 50 X 140 lot.  Hill indicated he feels a 5' sideyard setback is sufficient, along with a 25' front yard setback.  He also feels parking needs to be allowed in the front of businesses in this zone.  Granger indicated she feels setbacks in the multi family district are too restrictive for this district. 

In District Requirements, Granger questioned if the term "commercial" should be changed to "non-residential".  It was the consensus to change the term to "non-residential' in D1 Lot Coverage, D2 Height Restrictions, and D3 Setback Requirements. 

Hill will draw up a new draft for the January meeting that will reflect the changes discussed tonight.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Livingston, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:25.

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