MINUTES - PLANNING
COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - APRIL 15, 2014
Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15
p.m. this 15th day of April, 2014, by Chairperson Kuchenreuther in
the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.
OF THE ROLL:
Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners
Gades, Hoffman, Kurpiers, Rudney, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.
Commissioner Granger arrived at 5:17. Commissioner Livingston was
absent. Also present were ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning
AND APPROVAL OF 3/18/14 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved,
seconded by Kurpiers, to approve the minutes of the 3/18/14 regular meeting as
submitted. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Signs: Don Munsterman was present representing Zion Lutheran Church
in Morris. He indicated the church wants to put up an electronic sign
about 5’ X 6’ in front of the church, but according to the City Code they
cannot have an LED illuminated sign in a residential zone. He noted they
have found out that the illuminated signs are programmed to shine brighter in
the daytime, and dimmer at night.
Kuchenreuther indicated digital signs are here to stay and she feels the City
needs to write an ordinance to address them.
indicated they propose a double sided box sign that would face north and south,
perpendicular to South Columbia Avenue.
addresses message signs. Kuchenreuther questioned what a message sign would
be as cited in Section 11.70, Subdivision 25.E.6, as she feels all signs
deliver a message. Hill indicated he feels that refers to a sign that
provides more things than general information. Rudney suggested changing
that section of the Code by adding the word “changing” before “message
Granger stated she has been thinking about different businesses in the
residential areas of Morris, and wonders how lighted signs could be
restricted. She feels it is nice to keep the residential areas quiet and
questions if illuminated signs are needed in residential areas.
provided a sign catalog the Church is considering ordering from. Kuchenreuther
noted some signs in the catalog can be animated, and she does not feel those
types of signs would be appropriate in residential areas. She feels there
would be potential for graphics on signs to be obnoxious.
indicated she feels illuminated signs on commercial buildings are fine, but
feels there should be a separation between commercial and residential
areas. Hoffman indicated he feels Granger’s point is valid. He
stated there are a lot of home businesses in town and if everyone installs an
illuminated sign, it would change the look of the residential neighborhoods.
listed several non-profit businesses in residential zones – churches,
schools, the DAC, and group homes. Granger asked what the justification
would be for treating signage different for a non-profit business.
Kuchenreuther indicated she feels churches view themselves as being for the
public good rather than the private gain. Hill pointed out the Planning
Commission needs to be looking at identification signs, and not just signs for
churches. This issue would be dealt with as a Code issue.
indicated he doesn’t feel the City should be restrictive on signs in the
feels an ordinance regarding these types of signs needs to address animation,
digital and LED signs. She also suggested language be included that signs
need to be dimmed at night. Rudney feels lighted signs could be intrusive
in residential zones.
noted that no flashing signs are allowed in the City with the exception of
time/temperature or message signs. He feels there is a difference between
having a light on a sign versus the new electronic and LED signs. He
feels the language needs to be tweaked taking into consideration what the
Planning Commission wants to allow in the residential zone. He pointed
out the regulations would apply to the entire City.
pointed out that most churches are located on an entire block, so an
illuminated sign probably would not affect a residential area along the same
side of the street as the church. Hoffman pointed out it could affect the
property owner across the street though. Granger indicated she is
concerned about the proliferation of illuminated signs in residential
suggested checking to see what other cities have done regarding illuminated
signs in the residential areas. Hill indicated he would check into the
Codes of other cities.
noted most signs are probably preset on lumens. He suggested if electronic
signs are allowed in the residential zone, the City could require that at night
everything must be static. Kuchenreuther asked if the City could require
that any illuminated signs in the residential zone be turned off during certain
times at night. Hill noted that presently the City Code allows the City
to regulate the illumination of any sign as part of a sign permit. Hill
noted that the Planning Commission needs to look at brightness, motion and
illumination of signs in residential areas.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further
business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Hoffman, to adjourn.
Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:15.