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MINUTES – PLANNING COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING – AUGUST 21, 2018

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

Because a quorum of the Commission was not present, an official meeting couldn’t be held.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 6/19/18 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Kurpiers moved, seconded by Brands, to approve the minutes of the 6/19/18 meeting. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: Hentges Rezoning Request: This hearing is to consider an amendment to the City of Morris Zoning Map as requested by petitioner Jerry Hentges of Jerry’s U-Save, Inc. The property is located at the southeast corner of Columbia Avenue and MN South Highway 9 in Morris, and is legally described as parcel number 20-0002-007, and legally described as Lot G of S ½ SE ¼. This amendment, if granted, would change the zoning for the Jerry’s U-Save, Inc., property from a Residential (R) zoning district to a Highway Business (HB) zoning district.

City Manager Hill explained that this piece of property abuts Highway Business, Residential and Residential Multi zoning districts.

He indicated there are three ways to initiate a zoning amendment – by the property owner, by the City Council, and by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is required to hold a public hearing on the issue, and makes a recommendation on the zoning change to the City Council. The City Council held a first reading of an ordinance to make the zoning change at their meeting August 13, 2018. Notice of today’s hearing was published, and sent to property owners within 350’ of the subject property. Hill received no inquiries about the notice.

Hill indicated that he and Building Official/Zoning Administrator Jacobson recommend this zoning change be approved.

This property, even though it is currently zoned Residential, is being taxed as commercial property.

Hentges would like to build a new car wash, have a separate detail area, and new office building across Columbia Avenue onto this newly-zoned area. The current car wash would be torn down.

Hentges Rezoning Request

Jerry Hentges, indicated the office building also houses the office personnel for their bulk petroleum business.

John Backman, 45456 140th Street, who drew up the plans, indicated the vehicle detail area is not an enclosed building. Commissioner Kurpiers asked about the proximity of the blowers and dryers in the car wash to the residential area. Backman indicated the dryers will be on the south side of the building, away from the residential area. Hentges noted that the new dryers will be about ½ the decibels of their current dryers.

Kuchenreuther noted this is an allowed use in an HB zone.

Commissioner Brands inquired if there are other businesses in town that are zoned R and taxed commercially. Hill indicated he does not know.

Tim Soderberg, 4 Thomas, inquired about plans on the north end of the lot. Jacobson indicated zoning regulations require screening between commercial businesses and R zones. Hentges noted they can’t plant trees on the north end of this property because there is an easement there. He thinks the screening would be a nice fence. Backman indicated the entrance to the car wash would face the north end of the lot. It would not just be a big parking lot.

Kuchenreuther asked if any turf would be left. Hentges indicated they would not asphalt everything. He noted it will have curb appeal. Soderberg indicated runoff from heavy rain comes toward their house from this lot. Kurpiers asked if there is a natural swale on the north end of the lot. Hentges indicated that because it has never been developed, they don’t know where the water will drain but they will do their best to make things right. He’s not sure if there is a 15’ or 20’ easement there, but it is all on Hentges’ property. Hill indicated they could probably do a landscape swale on the easement, but they cannot build on the easement.

Kuchenreuther suggested they look at dark sky compliant lighting so it doesn’t cast on nearby neighbors.

After hearing all the testimony, it was the consensus that a recommendation should be made to the City Council to approve this zoning request.

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

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