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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - MARCH 21, 2017

The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 21st day of March, 2017, 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, Rudney, Wulf, Hoffman and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioners Gades and Kurpiers were absent.  Also present were ex-officio Gullickson, Zoning Administrator Jacobson, and City Manager Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 2/21/17 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Granger noted that on the 2nd page, 4th paragraph, the first sentence should read, "Granger asked if Hill has heard any concerns about bike or pedestrian traffic going to the new Thrifty on Highway 28."  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Granger, to approve the 2/21/17 regular meeting minutes with the noted amendment.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None.

OTHER BUSINESSFinal Plat - Third Addition to Stevens County/Morris Industrial Park:  City Manager Hill explained the name of this plat was changed from the Preliminary Plat name of "Subdivision A of Lot 1, Block 1, Morris Industrial Park Addition" to "Third Addition to Stevens County/Morris Industrial Park" at the suggestion of the County Recorder.  There were also a few informational items added to the final plat.  Other than that, the final plat remains the same as the preliminary plat.

Commissioner Wulf moved, seconded by Rudney, to recommend approval of the Final Plat of the Third Addition to Stevens County/Morris Industrial Park.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Airport Zoning Questions/Recommendation - Home Construction:  The County has received a request from Jim and Penny Domnick to build a home near the airport.  During their review, the County determined that some zoning issues need to be resolved.

A zoning map and Airport Zoning Ordinance were completed in 1974 by a joint City/County Airport Board.  This Board no longer exists, however, the Zoning Ordinance does name the City Zoning Administrator as the Airport Zoning Administrator.  

The County Planning Commission has approved a zoning map that included a limited industry zone that is near the airport and includes the land where the Domnicks want to build their house. 

Hill indicated the City has applied for a grant to complete a Master Plan update at the Airport.  This will be a 2-year $500,000  project.  He indicated he has checked with the

City’s Master Plan engineers to make sure that allowing this house to be built will not affect the Master Plan.  One of the things the engineers recommend is that a minimum lot size of 3 acres be required to insure the City has the flexibility in the Master Plan to adjust the City’s crosswind runway zones at the airport.  City Zoning Administrator and Hill both recommend that the minimum lot size be 5 acres.  The Dominicks own 11 acres, so this won’t be an issue.  The engineers also recommend a maximum height of 60 feet to protect a future 34:1 surface ratio on a realignment of the crosswind runway, and that an agreement be entered into releasing the airport and the City from any liability associated with the noise from the airport.

The City Attorney has recommended that the Planning Commission review and make a recommendation on this request. 

Chairperson Kuchenreuther referenced 7A of the Airport Zoning Ordinance which talks about glare for pilots.  She just wants the Domnicks to be aware of the lighting at the airport.  Jim Domnick noted they are aware of the airport lighting as they currently live in the vicinity of the airport. 

Commissioner Wulf moved, seconded by Rudney, to convey to the County Planning Commission that the City Planning Commission has looked at the proposal by Domnicks to build a home close to the airport, and the Planning Commission does not see any major problems.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Training:  Commissioner Granger asked if there is any training available for Planning Commission members.  Hill will look into this.

Downtown Vacancies:  Commissioner Granger asked if there are any zoning or planning issues that are impeding redevelopment in downtown Morris.  Hill indicated he is not aware of any issues. 

Kuchenreuther indicated she recently reviewed the Code with a party interested in opening a restaurant.  She noted their biggest obstacle is off-street parking as required in the Performance Standards.  Discussion was held. 

Commissioner Hoffman indicated there is a requirement in the Code that once the use of a building is changed, the building then has to be brought up to Code, which can be very costly.  Zoning Administrator Jacobson noted the City has adopted the State Building Code, and that requirement is in there.   

Hill noted he feels it would be helpful if the Planning Commissioners could identify things they feel should be allowable in the CBD. 

Hoffman feels the City needs to be more accommodating to people that want to redevelop properties in the downtown area. 

Granger inquired if Jacobson was aware of anything the City could do to encourage downtown development.  Jacobson mentioned incubator businesses wherein the City owns a building and lets people try a business on a small scale to see if they could make a go of it.  Gullickson feels that is a good program.

It was the consensus the Planning Commissioners should review the Central Business District and performance standards for the next meeting.

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

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