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MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING – DECEMBER 16, 2014

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 16th day of December, 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 Gades, Hoffman, Rudney, Granger and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioner Livingston arrived at 5:17 and Commissioner Kurpiers arrived at 5:18.  Also present was City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.  Ex-officio Miller arrived at 5:21.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 11/18/14 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Rudney, to approve the minutes of the 11/18/14 Regular Meeting with a change on page 2, first paragraph, changing the name of Granger’s partner from “Steve” to “Scott”.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARINGSK-Bid Conditional Use Permit Application:  This hearing is to consider a Conditional Use Permit application from Derek Gausman to operate a K-Bid online auction collection site at 1100 Atlantic Avenue, parcel number 20-1728-000.  This Conditional Use Permit, if granted, would allow a collection site for auction items that will be sold via an online auction.  An inspection day for items on the auction will be set up for potential bidders to inspect the items for sale.

Chairperson Kuchenreuther opened the public hearing at 5:18.  City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill indicated he has not received any calls or comments on this hearing.  There were also no comments from the public, so the hearing was closed at 5:19.

Hill noted in his memo to the Planning Commission he included 7 possible conditions the Commission may wish to place on the Conditional Use Permit.  Hill asked who would own the subject property.  Ron Gausman, 52348 210th Street, indicated he would be the owner, and a partner in the K-Bid business.  Hill read the 7 conditions he suggested:  1.  That the entire property be cleared of junk and debris prior to the start of the collection of any items for an online auction.  2.  That the area be designated on the property where items will be placed for an online auction and that no items will be placed anywhere else unless inside a permanent building.  3.  That the time period allowed for an online auction collection shall be set at 30 days and that multiple auctions cannot be run at the same time on this site.  4.  That all items must be removed within 3 days of the close of an auction and prior to the collection of new items for a new auction.  5.  That the surface area for the collection site shall be gravel or bituminous paving and must be maintained and free from weeds and grass.  6.  That the entire property shall be kept in a neat and orderly manner to avoid the appearance of clutter and shall be free of junk and debris.  7.  That the K-Bid business owner must have an ownership stake in the entire property.

Ron Gausman noted at the Benson auction site they may have 3-4 auctions going on at once and then they all close the same day.  This may also be the case at the Morris site.  Hill noted one of his concerns is if someone doesn’t pick up their items, he doesn’t want those things collecting at the site.  Phil Gausman, 54098 210th Street, noted that in Benson the sellers don’t get paid for any of their items until all their items are sold or picked up.  He pointed out the smaller auction items will be inside a building.

Ron Gausman indicated there are other online auction collection franchises, so he requested the Conditional Use Permit not be solely for the K-Bid franchise.

Hoffman asked if items for sale have to be brought to the collection site.  Ron Gausman indicated they do not have to be brought to the site. 

Kuchenreuther asked about any additional lighting plans on the building or in the parking lot.  Ron Gausman indicated they haven’t really thought about lighting.  He noted the street light lights up the front of the lot pretty good and they have installed a light on the back of the property which helps.  Kuchenreuther indicated the Planning Commission has been recommending that any new lighting be dark sky compliant.

Hoffman asked if the City is allowed to require the business owner to also be the owner of the property.  Hill noted Conditional Use Permits go with the business on the property.

Granger asked about signage.  Hill noted that any signage would be covered under the sign ordinance. 

Hoffman asked about the condition regarding the surface area being gravel or bituminous.  He didn’t feel that condition needs to be so specific.  It was felt by the Commission that weeds can be added to item 6, and this condition could be eliminated.

Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Livingston, to recommend to the City Council that this Conditional Use Permit be granted with the following conditions:

1.      That the entire property be cleared of junk and debris prior to the start of the

         collection of any items for an online auction.

2.      That the area be designated on the property where items will be placed for an        online          auction and that no items will be placed anywhere else unless inside a          permanent building.

3.      The business will ensure online auction items are removed in a timely manner.

4.      That the entire property shall be kept in a neat and orderly manner to avoid the

         appearance of clutter and shall be free of junk, debris and weeds.

5.      That the online auction collection site business owner must have an ownership

         stake in the entire property.

6.      That any additional lighting of the yard or buildings shall be “dark sky”

         compliant.   

Motion carried unanimously.

Precision Machining Shops – Central Business District:  The purpose of this hearing is to consider an amendment to the City of Morris Zoning Code to add Precision Machining Shops as a conditional use in the Central Business District. 

Kuchenreuther indicated the Planning Commission should also consider adding precision machining shops as Conditional Uses in the Light Industrial and Highway Business Districts.

Hill indicated he did not receive any comments on this request.  Discussion was held on adding this in the Light Industrial zone.  Granger read Section 11.40, Subd. 2.A.15 of the Code which addresses businesses such as precision machining shops.  It was felt precision machining shops do not need to be added to the Light Industrial zone since it is covered already.  Hill noted it should still be added in the Highway Business zone though.

Commissioner Rudney asked if it should be added in the Neighborhood Commercial zone.  It was not felt that was necessary.

Kuchenreuther opened the hearing at 5:52.  There being no public comments, the hearing was closed at 5:53.

Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Gades, to recommend to the City Council to add precision machining shops as a conditional use in the Central Business District and the Highway Business District.  Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESSLighting in New Development:  Granger asked if the lighting in the new development at the corner of Highways 9 and 28 will be dark sky compliant.  She is worried the car lot will have an excessive amount of lighting.  Hill indicated he will talk with Otter Tail Power Company about the street lighting, and he will discuss this with the property owners out there. 

Kuchenreuther asked if the City Council would ever consider passing an ordinance requiring all new lighting be dark sky compliant.  Rudney asked if it could be included on building permits.  Hill indicated it could only be included on building permits if the City passes an ordinance that it be required. 

Christus House Lighting:  Granger noted the Christus House at the corner of 2nd Street and Columbia Avenue has installed lights on the building that are very bright.  She noted this is a non-profit entity in a residential zone.  Rudney pointed out the Christus House is an inspected rental.  Hill indicated no one has talked to him about the signage or the lighting.  Granger recommended that the lights be required to be turned off because it’s against the ordinance, and it changes the character of the neighborhood.

Hill indicated he will look into this. He did note that there is a sign similar to this on the St. Mary’s School. 

Phil Gausman indicated his church and the Christus House have an association, and he would be willing to have a conversation with their Pastor about this. 

Review of Code:  Commissioner Hoffman indicated he feels the Planning Commission should do a thorough review of uses and conditional uses in the various zones.  Hill indicated he feels the process of changes in zoning should be looked into as there is a lot of duplication in the steps to rezone.  Granger indicated she feels it’s been helpful to have both the Planning Commission and City Council look at things when there’s a big issue.  Ex-officio Miller indicated the current process allows time to find out facts, etc., on the issue.  He feels the process has its reasoning.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by Rudney, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:15.

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