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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - FEBRUARY 17, 2015

The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 17th day of February, 2015, 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 Granger, Kurpiers, Livingston, Rudney, Gades and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioner Hoffman was absent.  Also present were ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.

ELECTION OF 2015 CHAIRPERSON AND VICE CHAIRPERSON:  Chairperson Kuchenreuther added this item to the agenda.

Commissioner Kurpiers nominated Kuchenreuther as Chairperson for 2015 and Rudney as Vice Chairperson for 2015.  With all voting in favor, motion carried.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 12/16/14 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Gades, to accept the minutes of the 12/16/14 regular meeting as presented.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGSWilco Precision, Inc., Conditional Use Permit Application:  This hearing is on a request for a Conditional Use Permit from Wilco Precision, Inc., to operate a precision machine shop in the Central Business District.  The shop will be located at 16 East 5th Street, parcel number 20-0113-000. 

City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill indicated notice of the hearing was published and sent to property owners within 350’ of the subject parcel.  He did receive one call from a neighbor ½ block away asking how much noise the shop would produce.  He received no other calls or comments. 

Hill indicated he does not expect any noise issues with this request but if there are it would be dealt with as a nuisance complaint. 

Kuchenreuther asked if all precision operation businesses are quiet.  Jeff Wilcox, representing Wilco Precision, Inc., indicated the noise level shouldn’t be anything louder than a lawn mower.  Kathy Wilcox, also representing Wilco Precision, Inc., indicated if the doors to the shop are open a person may hear something, but they have installed air conditioning and will keep the doors closed, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Granger asked what would happen if they decided not to use the air conditioning and opened their doors during operation.  Kathy Wilcox indicated that won’t happen and is the reason they installed the air conditioning.

Jeff Wilcox indicated there will be some outside noise with deliveries, but nothing more than any other business that has deliveries.  Kathy Wilcox noted the liquor store gets a lot more deliveries than they will.  She also noted their materials will be stored inside their building.

Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Kurpiers, to recommend approval of this Conditional Use Permit to the City Council.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESSLighting:  Commissioner Granger asked what happened with the lighting issues at the new development and the Lutheran Campus Ministry building at the corner of East 2nd Street and Columbia.

Hill indicated he forwarded the Planning Commission’s request for dark sky compliant lighting in the new development at Highways 28 and 9 to the developers and they seemed amenable to the request.  He noted the lighting at the new car lot in Glenwood is box lighting and shines downward.

As for the Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) building, Hill indicated it is a sign on the side of a building with lighting behind the letters.  He stated the Planning Commission needs to determine what it wants to do with lighting on churches. 

Granger doesn’t feel it is a sign that it is compatible in a neighborhood, and if they at least turned it off at night it wouldn’t be as intrusive into the neighborhood.  Commissioner Gades indicated he feels the street lights cast more light outward.  Granger commented it’s a non-residential use in a residential neighborhood.   Hill indicated his point is that there are a lot of signs in the City that are not allowed in our zoning ordinance, e.g. Morris Area High School, St. Mary’s School and various churches. 

Granger indicated it bothers her that LCM did not follow the process of obtaining a sign permit and asked what the City can do about it. 

Hill noted no one in the neighborhood has complained to him about the sign.  Hill will send a letter to Lutheran Campus Ministry and let them know of the Planning Commission’s concerns.

Kuchenreuther noted that DENCO put shields on their lights, which she appreciates.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Livingston, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 5:55.

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