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MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING – FEBRUARY 20, 2018

The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 20th day of February, 2018, 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, Gades, Kurpiers, Brands, Rudney and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioner Wulf and Ex-officio Gullickson were absent.  Also present were Building Official/Zoning Administrator Jacobson and City Manager Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 9/19/17 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Kurpiers, to approve the minutes of the 9/19/17 Regular meeting as submitted.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None.

OTHER BUSINESS:  Election of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson:  Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Rudney to nominate Kuchenreuther as Chairperson for 2018.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Rudney, to nominate Gades as Vice Chairperson for 2018.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Discussion of Meeting Dates and Times:  It was the consensus that the current meeting time is convenient for the Planning Commission members.  Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Rudney, to continue with the current meeting date and time of the 3rd Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Review of Planning Commission Duties:  Hill indicated he has been going through the City Code looking for any updates that may be needed.  He is trying to update the Code to include common sense language that reflects how things are being done.  He noted that a lot of the things that are listed have been done by the Planning Commission.  One of the items is to prepare and recommend a zoning map of the half mile area beyond the City limits.  Hill pointed out that although according to State Statute, the Planning Commission could zone out ½ mile, the City’s zoning goes by a legally-defined area. 

He indicated there has been a lot of building activity lately, and all of the activity has met Codes, so no variances or conditional use requests have been made. 

Kuchenreuther indicated that as solar energy becomes more inexpensive and amenable for residential installment, she wonders if the Planning Commission should be looking into that.  Granger indicated the Tree Board is looking into that and feels it needs to be dealt with thoughtfully. 

Granger asked about language in the Code regarding trees in new developments.  Gades feels the City should be encouraging tree planting. 

Granger inquired about the lighted sign ordinance.  Hill indicated it is his understanding the lighted sign ordinance is working good. 

Hill indicated there is language in the Code that says building permit applications may come to the Planning Commission.  He noted that enforcement of building permits lies with the Building Official and those issues do not go to the Planning Commission.  Hill noted an expiration date will be put on building permits.

The Code currently says the Planning Commission must hold at least one regular meeting each month.  It is clear that currently that is not the case.  Granger suggested having meetings quarterly, and then as needed.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Granger, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 5:45.

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