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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - APRIL 19, 2016

The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 19th day of April, 2016, 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, Kurpiers, Rudney, Gades, Livingston and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioner Granger was absent. Also present were Ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 9/15/15 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Kurpiers, to approve the 9/15/15 regular meeting minutes as submitted. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: Riverview, LLP Variance Request: This hearing is for a zoning variance request from Section 11.23, R-Single and Family Residence District, Subd. 2 D 5 a of the Morris City Code which requires a 25' front yard setback and Subd. 2 D 5 e which requires a 25' street yard setback. This request is by Riverview, LLP, 26406 470th Avenue, Morris, MN 56267. The subject property address is 101 East 3rd Street, and the legal description is Block 30, Lot 6, First Railway Addition to the Town (now City) of Morris, and Fraction Lot 6 in Block 11, Morris First Addition to the Town (now City) of Morris, Stevens County, Minnesota, parcel no. 20-0380-000. This variance, if granted, would allow a home to be constructed 10' into the 25' front yard setback requirement and 7' into the 25' corner lot side street setback.

City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill explained this will be the 4th house Riverview, LLP has built. They propose building a rambler on this lot, facing Oregon Avenue. He noted that notices were sent to all property owners within 350' of this parcel, and he received one call regarding the request. The caller suggested greener landscaping versus rock landscaping. Hill recommended that this request be granted.

Commissioner Hoffman asked if this house would have the same setbacks as the other homes they have built. Kevin Wulf and Lyle Grimm, representing Riverview, LLP, were present. Wulf indicated this home will have more of a setback as it is 30' wide, and their other homes are 26' wide. Wulf noted that on the street side the variance is needed so the house lines up with the other homes on that block. Hill noted the rear yard does not need a variance.

Commissioner Kurpiers noted two of the other homes Riverview built were built too close to the street because the builders measured from the curb and not the property line. Wulf noted they will be very careful that does not happen again.

Kuchenreuther asked if the construction of this home will result in the loss of any trees on the lot. Wulf indicated he did not think it would. Kuchenreuther asked if the address of this home would change. Hill indicated it would change to an Oregon address.

Kuchenreuther asked why Riverview chose to build a rambler on a lot meant for a 1_ or 2 level home. Wulf replied they feel a rambler is more efficient and more people prefer a rambler. He did indicate that was a good question, and he appreciates the feedback. He also noted they have built their houses on lots that have had old dilapidated homes. He stated a 30' X 30' 2-story home would also require a variance on this lot. Kuchenreuther stated she feels a rambler on this lot will change the character of the neighborhood and she doesn't like to give variances if they don't have to. Rudney indicated he feels the issue is the size of the lot and the fact it is a corner lot.

Commissioner Hoffman asked if they have thought about the color of the house. Wulf indicated this house would have more character than the other homes they have built.

Rudney indicated his only concern is that this house be built so that the street side of the home is in line with the average of houses along that block. Hill indicated he will verify that.

Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Hoffman, to approve this variance request as submitted with necessary adjustment of average setback from 3rd Street. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESS: Election of 2016 Chairperson and Vice Chairperson:

Hill informed the Planning Commission that Commissioner Livingston is resigning from the Planning Commission effective tomorrow. He asked that the Planning Commission let him know of any potential candidates to fill Livingston's term.

Commissioner Rudney nominated Kuchenreuther as Chair for 2016, and Commissioner Hoffman nominated Rudney as Vice Chairperson for 2016. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Private Storage Proposal: Hill explained that Kirk Riley owns a one-acre parcel in the Industrial Park that he would like to subdivide into lots and sell for private storage buildings. The lot sizes and setbacks would meet the current rules. However, the Industrial Park is in the Heavy Industrial (I2) zone, and private storage buildings are not a permitted use in this zone. There is a storage rental building in the Industrial Park now, but that is allowed because it is a business.

Hill is asking that the Planning Commission amend the City Code to allow for private storage garages in the I1 zone as a permitted use. He noted that all uses allowed in the I1 zone are also allowed in the Heavy Industrial (I2) zone.

Riley indicated he plans to run water and sewer to the lots and also construct a road. This would be mostly for personal storage, although a small business may be set up in one of the buildings.

Riley indicated he has thought about covenants and will require that everything be inside the buildings. Kuchenreuther indicated she thinks this is an appropriate use in the I1 and I2 zones.

Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by Rudney, to schedule a hearing for May 17, 2016 to amend the City Code to allow private storage garages as a permitted use in the Light Industrial (I1) zone. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Informational Items: Hill indicated there is an issue that may come to the Planning Commission. He indicated Jerry's U-Save is looking at a project across Columbia Avenue that would tie into the commercial aspect of that business, and may necessitate a zoning change.

Commissioner Hoffman indicated that with so many businesses moving out of the downtown he feels the Planning Commission should look at the permitted uses and be a little proactive with allowing other things in the Central Business District (CBD). Gades agreed the Planning Commission should be open to new ideas. Kuchenreuther indicated she feels Morris needs a vibrant downtown. Kuchenreuther noted that Montevideo has a bustling downtown, and asked why that is.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Livingston, to adjourn. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:10.

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