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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING-SEPTEMBER 16, 2014

The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 16th day of September, 2014, 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 Hoffman, Gades, Livingston, Rudney, Kurpiers and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioner Granger was absent.  Also present were ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 8/19/14   REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Livingston moved, seconded by Gades, to approve the minutes of the 8/19/14 regular meeting as presented.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGSVacation of Roads and Right of Way:  The public hearing was opened at 5:17 p.m.  Commissioner Kuchenreuther explained this hearing is on the vacation of the non-existent roads and right of way in the Riley’s Commercial Subdivision that was platted in 2006.  City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill indicated these roads and right of way must be vacated so that the new plat for this area can be filed. 

There being no public comments, the hearing was closed at 5:19.  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Hoffman, to recommend to the City Council to vacate the roads and right of way on the 2006 plat of the Riley’s Commercial Subdivision.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESSK-Bid Auction Site/Rezoning:  Hill noted that allowing this type of operation would require two things:  1.  The area has to be rezoned; and 2.  The language in the HB zone has to be changed in order to allow this kind of operation.

Hill recommends the I1 (light industrial) zoning along the railroad track along East 10th Street be eliminated.  He feels there is a natural dividing line to split the area between HB (Highway Business) and R (Residential).  He feels the property to the northwest and west from the end of the Morris Co-op property could be changed to HB, and the property to the southeast could be changed to R.  The Railroad would be grandfathered in as a use.

The second item would be to add language in the HB zone allowing for “Online Auction Collection Sites” as a Conditional Use Permit.  He noted the sticking point is there is no way for them to sell someone else’s merchandise in the HB zone without screening it, so that language would have to be tweaked.  Another option would be to add “unless otherwise authorized by the Planning Commission through a Conditional Use Permit.” in the City Code at Section 11.3.2.D.7.  This section addresses storage and display requirements in the HB zone.

Commissioner Rudney asked if changing the zoning to R would create any landlocked lots.  Hill indicated he thought all the areas zoned R would have access to 10th Street.  Rudney asked about the area to the north.  Hill noted the alley right of way is vacated, and the only way anything would happen there would be if someone sold their property.  Kuchenreuther noted the zoning would not be designating lots, rather it is zoning.

Commissioner Hoffman asked if the railroad had commented on this.  Hill noted they haven’t because there has not been a hearing on this yet.  They might comment if they get a public notice.

Rudney asked if Cenex’s operations would fit the new zoning.  Ex-officio Miller noted they would be grandfathered in. 

Hill indicated he feels changing the zoning would make more sense than adding Online Auction Collection Sites as a Conditional Use Permit in the I1 zone.  Kuchenreuther noted that if the Railroad sold some of their property and it was zoned I1, all light manufacturing businesses would be allowed, and they would be across the street from an area zoned R.  Livingston asked what would happen if the Railroad decided to  construct a small maintenance facility on their property.  Hill indicated they would be grandfathered in, but could only continue using their property as it is now being used. 

Kurpiers asked if changing the zoning on the east end of the current I1 zone would divide any existing properties into two zones.  Hill noted he doubts it, but he will double check on that.  Ron Gausman was present and noted when Gausman and Hansen, owners of West Central Implement, purchased their land, they sold the northern portions of the property to the adjacent businesses – Subway, Northern Impressions, and Ag Service.  He’s not sure if UPS or the Railroad own the property behind UPS. 

The most controversial part of the proposal is whether or not anything should be rezoned to R, or if it should all be HB.  Rudney indicated he feels there should be as much of a buffer on 10th Street as possible. 

Hill recommends having the public hearing first and then deciding whether or not it should all be HB or have R included also. 

Gades suggested having the public hearing and getting property owners’ input. 

Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Kurpiers to set a public hearing for October 21 to consider rezoning that section from I1 to a split between HB and R with the residential buffer toward 10th Street as big as possible.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Rudney, to add “Online Auction Collection Sites” to the conditional uses and in the Code in Section 11.3.2.D.7, add “unless otherwise authorized by the Planning Commission through a Conditional Use Permit” at the end of the paragraph.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

ADJOURNMENT:  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Hoffman, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:05 p.m.

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