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MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING – APRIL 21, 2015

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 21st day of April, 2015, in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center by Chairperson Kuchenreuther.

CALL OF THE ROLL:  Roll call was taken with the following members present:  Commissioners Granger, Hoffman, Rudney, Kurpiers, Gades, Livingston and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Also present were Ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 3/17/15 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Livingston, to approve the minutes of the 3/17/15 regular meeting as submitted.  Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARINGSHeartland Rezoning:  Chairperson Kuchenreuther opened the public hearing at 5:19 p.m.   The purpose of this hearing is to consider an amendment to the City of Morris Zoning map as requested  by Morris City Council Ordinance No. 102, titled "An Ordinance Amending the City of Morris Zoning Map to Rezone the Heartland Motor Company Property."  This request is made by Daniel Dripps of Dripps Automotive, LLC, dba Heartland Motor Company.   The property is located in the northeast corner of MN Hwy 28 and Iowa Avenue in Morris, Minnesota and is legally described as parcel number 20-0018-000, PT NW1/4NW1/4 NW OF HYW #28 EXC ELY 33' IOWA AVE & A TR BEG 33' E OF NW COR, S 129.26', E 334.48;, SELY 355.34' TO HYW, 5.51 ACRES and parcel number 20-0018-001, PT NW1/4NW1/4 BEG 33' E OF NW COR, S 129.26', E 334.48', SELY 355.34' TO NWLY R/W HYW 28, NE ON R/W TO SEC LINE, W ON SEC LINE TO PT OF BEG AND EXCEPT LOT A OF NW1/4NW1/4, 5.O7 ACRES. This amendment, if granted, would change the zoning for the Heartland Motor Company property from Highway Business (HB) to Heavy Industrial (I2).

City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill indicated this is a pretty straight forward request.  He indicated Superior Industries plans to purchase this property from Heartland Motor Company when they move to their new location.  Superior Industries has requested a change in zoning from HB to I2 to match the existing zoning on their adjacent property.  Hill noted notices of this hearing were sent to property owners within 350', and he has received no comments regarding this request. 

Hill indicated the City Council has held the 1st reading of this rezoning ordinance.  The Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council on the rezoning.  Commissioner Granger asked if the City Council has already held the 1st reading because of timing issues.  Hill indicated it is partly because of that, and Superior Industries wants to make sure they can use that land as I2 property.

Commissioner Kurpiers asked who owns the rectangular parcel on the northwest part of the subject parcel.  Hill indicated Superior Industries owns that.

Sheila Hemming, 20733 468th Avenue, indicated she lives directly across from Superior Industries.  She stated she is excited about the expansion of Superior Industries, but is not a fan of all the garbage that blows across the highway from Superior into her yard.  She is requesting a fence or hedge be required on Superior's property to prevent the garbage from blowing into her yard.  Chairperson Kuchenreuther asked if Hemming has discussed this with Superior.  Hemming indicated she has not talked to them about the garbage, rather she is bringing it to the public forum so it's heard.  Kuchenreuther indicated the garbage is not an issue that is dealt with as part of this rezoning request.    Hill indicated he will contact Superior regarding this complaint.

Ex-officio Miller asked if there is any indication what Superior Industries would do with the Heartland property.  Hill indicated he is not aware of anything they plan to do with the property.

The public hearing was closed at 5:25.

Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Kurpiers to make a recommendation to the City Council to change the zoning of the Heartland Motor Company property at the corner of East Highway 28 and Iowa Avenue from Highway Business (HB) to Heavy Industrial (I2).  Motion carried unanimously.

Kirwin Variance Request:  This hearing is on a zoning variance request from Section 11.23, Subd. 2 D 5 (c) of the Morris City Code which requires a 10' interior side yard setback in a residential (R) zone.  This request is by Shawn Kirwin, 19700 470th Avenue, Morris, MN.  Subject parcel is 10 Meadow Lane, legally described as Block 3, Lot 5, Morley's Meadowbrook Addition, parcel #20-1042-000.  This variance, if granted, would allow the owner to build a two-car, attached garage up to the side yard property line.  There would be no interior side yard setback on the southeast side of the house. 

Chairperson Kuchenreuther opened the public hearing at 5:27.  Hill indicated that presently there is an attached breezeway and single car garage.  The Kirwins are planning to remove the breezeway and single car garage, and are requesting to build an attached double garage up to the property line.  The required setback for this property is 10'.  Hill indicated he has not received any calls or comments regarding this request.  He noted that Shawn has talked to the neighbor that owns the property to the north, and he has no issues with this request.  Hill feels there would be plenty of room to get around to the back of the house with the addition.  He recommends that this variance be granted.

Rudney asked if the setback of the current structure is around 5'.  Hill indicated that is correct.  Hill doesn't feel the tree that is close to the property line would be affected by the construction.

Heidi Kirwin, 19700 470th Avenue, indicated the driveway would come out at a 45' angle.  She also indicated that there is no intention of removing the tree.  She indicated this will be a rental.

Granger indicated she thinks this is consistent with other variances that the Planning Commission has approved. 

Rudney indicated that on that whole street there is only one 2-car garage now.

Beth Kieffer, 105 Meadow Lane, indicated she lives across the street from the subject property, and she is not opposed to the proposed addition. 

Commissioner Hoffman pointed out that with building up to the property line, there cannot be an eave that hangs over the property line.  Shawn Kirwin, 19700 470th Avenue, indicated there would be no overhang.

Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Rudney, to approve this variance as requested.  Motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESSPreliminary Plat – District 769 School Property:  Hill explained there is a purchase agreement for Lot 1 on the old elementary school property, which is approximately 3.03 acres.  In order to complete the sale, the property has to be platted.  He indicated he has received a conditional use application for this property to construct an assisted living facility.  Hill noted there are no roads or alleys on the preliminary plat because the property will be accessed from College Avenue and East 7th Street.  He pointed out the storm water holding pond is sized for the entire 17 acre parcel.

Hill indicated he requested that utility easements be on the preliminary plat so utilities have a place to come through if anything else gets platted. 

Hill also indicated he thinks the name of the plat needs to be changed because "District 759 School Property" could become quite confusing.  Joe Riley, owner of the parcel indicated the name has been changed and believes it is now "Old Elementary School Property."

Rudney asked if there is any provision for sidewalks along College Avenue.  Hill indicated there are no provisions for sidewalks along College Avenue.  But, he indicated sidewalks could go in the easement area along the road. 

Rudney asked why the west line of the subject parcel is not parallel or perpendicular to 7th Street.  Joe Riley indicated he's not sure but it may be because of the location of the storm water holding pond.

Riley pointed out that with each sale of property from the 17 acre parcel, a new plat will be required.  He indicated that after this 3.03 acre sale, there will be 14.64 acres left, which is Outlot A on the Preliminary Plat. 

Rudney asked what Lot 9 and Lot 4 refer to on the Preliminary Plat.  Hill indicated those are the original lot numbers of the entire 17 acre parcel, and will be gone on the Final Plat. 

Kuchenreuther asked if the pond would be a standard storm water pond.  Riley indicated there are no specific plans yet for the pond.  Kuchenreuther suggested that they make the pond an asset with high quality vegetation. 

Granger asked if there would be room for a sidewalk along East 5th Street.  Riley indicated he thinks there would be room for sidewalk there. 

Rudney asked if there is any serious interest in other parcels.  Riley indicated there is serious interest.

Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Hoffman, to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat, with a name change, to the City Council.  Motion carried unanimously.

Rudney asked if most of the parcel is flat.  Riley indicated the 3 acre parcel is fairly flat, however on the 5th Street side it is about 4' higher than the 3 acre parcel.

Downtown Uses:  Hoffman asked that the Planning Commission keep thinking of potential uses for downtown buildings.  He would like to keep this on the Planning Commission's "to do" list.

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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